Chapter 118 - Star Scorching Demon Lotus
“Dead… Captain’s dead… Captain’s dead!”
After the three Vice Captains had perished in succession, the strongest practitioner of the Black Demon Mercenary Group, who was also their boss, had first ran out of cowardice and was then easily killed by Yun Che in the midst of his escape. Losing their backbone, the Black Demon Mercenaries were all scared witless as their hearts trembled in fear. Looking at the youngster who stood beside Black Demon’s corpse with a face that was as tranquil as water, all the fighting spirit they had possessed earlier melted into endless panic and fear.
In the short deathly silence, the flames gradually extinguished. With a cold expression, Yun Che slowly walked forward. Following his movements, the eyes of the closest Black Demon Mercenary shrank in fear; he then let out a shriek as he desperately turned around to escape. His actions also immediately woke up all of the Black Demon Mercenaries from their shock. All of them started to escape one after another in fear, and no longer cared about anything else.
“Want to run?” Their escape did not give Yun Che a sense of relief; instead, a touch of ice-cold murderous intent flashed in his eyes. He poured his profound energy below his feet as his body flew, and caught up with the group of escaping Black Demon Mercenaries in just a few breaths of time… Had these Black Demon Mercenaries scattered when running away, he wouldn’t have any means to do anything. However, his successive slaying of their four captains made the hearts of these Black Demon Mercenaries give birth to an enormous fear toward him, which made all of them subconsciously escape in the opposite direction of where he was before. Moreover, that direction, was also the only exit of the rear mountain.
Behind the group escaping for their life, Yun Che leaped high into the air, instantly moved horizontally with a Star God’s Broken Shadow after reaching the highest point, and arrived directly on top of the group. Pointing his Tiger Soul Sword downwards, the sword’s body ignited with blazing flames as the golden phoenix imprint in the center of his eyebrows released a blinding golden radiance.
“Star… Scorching… Demon… Lotus!!”
During his low chant, Yun Che’s entire body ignited in flames, and suddenly crashed down.
Sky covering flames exploded with a bang from where Yun Che had landed; the wildly released profound energy turned into layers and layers of blazing phoenix flame and scattered outwards, instantly shrouding a radius of over sixty meters in the surrounding area, mercilessly engulfing all of the Black Demon Mercenaries within it. Looking at it from the sky, it was as if a beautiful flaming lotus had suddenly bloomed with Yun Che as its center. However, every single petal was burning with lethal phoenix flame.
Countless miserable screams of agony resounded from within the enormous fire lotus. The cries were so miserable that it was as if they had come from the depths of hell’s ninth level. But the Star Scorching Demon Lotus did not feel any pity for the screams, and continued to blossom without mercy; layers and layers of flickering flames gradually bloomed into a larger and larger scorching fire lotus.
Lan Xueruo, who was standing far away, had long became complete stunned from watching. Even though she wasn’t very old, she had already seen too many experts, including some strong individuals of the high-level Earth Profound Realm, and even some Sky Profound Realm masters. However, she had never seen anyone who could release such a magnificent sight using a fire attribute profound art, including the Burning Heaven Clan, which possessed the strongest fire-attribute profound art in Blue Wind Empire.
What was even more unbelievable, was that such a blow actually came from Yun Che… From the hands of a sixteen year old!
“Defeating a tenth level of Nascent Profound Realm at the first level of Nascent Profound Realm … Crossing an entire realm in a month’s time… Consecutively slaying four True Profound Realm profound practitioners at the tenth level of the Nascent Profound Realm… My feelings did not deceive me, he is definitely the one I’ve been searching for.” Lan Xueruo faintly muttered as she blankly looked onwards.
The flame lotus had already blossomed to its largest size, while the sound of the miserable screams had become quieter. Through the layers of flames, Lan Xueruo could still see figures desperately rolling in the flames for their lives; she turned her head around, and her heart flooded with deep reluctance. At this moment, within the flames, she saw Yun Che walking out with heavy footsteps while dragging the Tiger Soul Sword with an exhausted demeanor. The clothes on his body were already tattered, and all of the patches of blood on his clothes had also been scorched black inside the fire lotus.
“Junior Brother Yun!” Lan Xueruo exclaimed as she hurriedly rushed over. But she stopped her footsteps right as she neared Yun Che, and was momentarily afraid to come forward. It was because at this moment, it was impossible for her to not spawn a sense of unfamiliarity toward the current Yun Che… That sudden surge in power was actually less important; when he had slain the three Vice Captains earlier, and when he massacred these Black Demon Mercenaries, every one of his moves were fatal without the slightest hint of leniency. And with a single fire lotus, another seventy or more Black Demon Mercenaries were sent to their graves… His expression had not changed at all even when massacring over a hundred people in the blink of an eye. He was clearly just a sixteen year old youngster, yet he actually possessed such a demon-like disposition.
“Senior Sister, I’m a bit tired… Support me for a moment.” Yun Che walked forward with weak footsteps while swaying unsteadily; his body went limp as he said that and nearly collapsed. "Star Scorching Demon Lotus" was the Phoenix flame skill contained in the sixth stage of the [World Ode of the Phoenix]. Its single target power was inferior to Empyrean Dance of the Phoenix Wings. Instead, it had an extremely terrifying large-scale incinerating ability. Empyrean Dance of the Phoenix Wings could only be used in the sky, while Star Scorching Demon Lotus could be unleashed in any condition and at any place. But at the same time, it exhausted a huge amount of energy. His profound energy had been completely exhausted in this short span of time after unleashing two Empyrean Dance of the Phoenix Wings and one Star Scorching Demon Lotus while also remaining in the Heretic Soul state.
Lan Xueruo promptly stepped forward to support Yun Che. She hesitated for a moment before asking: "Junior Brother Yun, have you... killed a lot of people in the past?"
Yun Che remained silent at first before slowly nodding: "I have killed before... Many, many people, far more than you can imagine." Looking back at the gradually shrinking fire lotus, he said: "Senior Sister, do you think I'm cruel, to kill those who were no longer trying to attack us and were merely trying to run for their lives?"
Lan Xueruo did not say anything and silently agreed.
Yun Che looked at Lan Xueruo and said: "Senior Sister, when I said your nature was too soft and kind previously, it was not a compliment to Senior Sister but a complaint… Senior Sister should sense that these villains, more or less, carry evil tendencies; all of them are murderers and the people they slaughtered should mostly be innocents they had raided and plundered. These villains ought to have died earlier, and even death can’t wipe out the crimes they have committed. Previously, they had also trapped us in the trial ground for over a month; if not for the fact that I cleared the Phoenix trial, we wouldn’t have escaped this easily. In addition, they would have exterminated the entire phoenix clan. Me killing them all, is not one bit, going overboard.”
Lan Xueruo’s lips trembled slightly as she looked at the diminishing fire lotus. She asked with a faltering voice: “Since a very young age, my master taught me to be benevolent and gentle to people, to love all living things… They indeed carried sins, but they were still living life. Just now, they even threw away their weapons, chose to escape, and thus posed no threat to us. Why… couldn’t you let them go?”
“They are a bunch of extremely evil and vicious people. If I let them go today, they might kill other people tomorrow, and it could even be many many people.” Yun Che resolutely said: “Whereas if we kill them now, we can instead save many innocents. Of course, kind people and innocent people should not be killed but killing these evil ones is not a sin. Instead, you will actually be saving others! Letting them leave is the true sin!”
Lan Xueruo: “...”
“Little Brother Yun, you really did it… That’s great, that’s really great!!”
At this moment, Feng Baichuan still carried the unconscious Feng Zu’er in his arms as he walked over with the phoenix clan members. Every one of them had a face full of excitement and eyes filled with warm tears. They fervently looked at Yun Che as if they were gazing at at a god.
During the time Yun Che had slain Black Demon, the cave’s seal formation was opened by Feng Baichuan. What they saw next blew their minds and stirred their emotions. Among them, quite a number of elders were unable to resist muttering: “This must be the emissary that the Phoenix God sent to save us, the Phoenix God never forgot about us…”
Looking at the pale-faced Feng Zu’er in Feng Baichuan’s arms, Yun Che quickly said: “Clan Leader Feng, the villains have been completely wiped out. Quickly, bring Zu’er and the rest back home and find some clean water for consumption. However, do not let them eat food right away… Go quickly, these children are in a dangerous situation now, we can talk about the other things later.”
“Okay!” Feng Baichuan nodded. With the help of the others, he took the unconscious children and hurried in the direction of the valley entrance. When passing by the place where the fire lotus was burning, they all suddenly stopped in their tracks, and stared ahead with faces full of caution.
As the fire lotus extinguished, two Black Demon Mercenaries who sat paralyzed with pale-white faces appeared in their line of sight. Most of their clothes had already been burned black; their bodies were also burned in several places, but those were essentially all minor burns. They were at the very edge of the Star Scorching Demon Lotus a while ago so they had not actually gotten hit by the fire lotus; they were just swept by the aftermath of the fire lotus. The reason why they were still sitting down in a paralyzed fashion was not because they had been heavily hurt, but because they were so frightened that their legs turned into jelly. As they watched Feng Baichuan and the others approach in their direction, they immediately stared with wide eyes and panickedly retreated like a bird startled by the mere twang of a bow.
“To think there are still fish that escaped the net!” Yun Che revealed a face of astonishment before quickly placing the Tiger Soul Sword into Lan Xueruo’s hand and hurriedly said: “Senior Sister, I have no profound energy and can’t do anything anymore. Quickly go and kill those two men, you must not let them run away!”
Taking the Tiger Soul Sword subconsciously, Lan Xueruo subconsciously took the Tiger Soul Sword and instead, motionlessly stood there. After her eyes swiftly flickered, she shook her head and said: “I’ve never killed anyone before, and I don’t want to kill anyone. Since they were able to survive, then that is their fate. The entire group had been exterminated and they have no where else to return to. After experiencing such a horror just a moment ago, they could be considered to have received their punishment… Just let them go. The Black Demon Mercenary Group no longer exists, so it is unlikely that they would do evil again in the future.”
“Out of the question!!” Yun Che firmly shook his head, “Being lenient and not eliminating the roots is always the biggest taboo when facing off against enemies! If you don’t kill them, there may be grave consequences that we cannot foresee, do it quickly!”
Yun Che’s words were urgent and strict, completely different from the gentle him who normally faced Lan Xueruo. Lan Xueruo’s lips trembled and walked two steps forward before stopping again, unable to raise the Tiger Soul Sword no matter what. Finally she gave a silent sigh and turned towards the two Black Demon Mercenaries who were still lucky to be alive: “Leave. Don’t be so treacherous in the future. If not, I won’t easily let you off the next time I see you!”
Lan Xueruo’s words caused the two Black Demon Mercernaries that were paralyzed on the ground to wake up from their dream as they quickly got up from the ground… However, contrary to what Lan Xueruo had thought, they did not turn around to escape. Instead, their gaze darkened before leaping toward Feng Baichuan.
“Clan Leader Feng be careful!” Yun Che’s pupil shrank and roared loudly.
However Yun Che’s shout was too late, the Black Demon Mercenary had already rushed in front of Feng Baichuan, and caught him unprepared. With his power at sixth level of Nascent Profound Realm, how was Feng Baichuan able to resist him? In an instant, he pushed Feng Baichuan far away and seizing Feng Zu’er from his arms. He then hooked his hands around to pinch Feng Zu’er’s neck as he revealed a sinister smile: “All of you stay back, move back! Move back! Or else… I will immediately snap his neck off!”
“Zu’er… Zu’er!” Feng Baichuan, who had been knocked away, cried out loud.
Lan Xueruo expression changed greatly as she quickly said: “You… you villian! I let you off out of goodwill yet you shamelessly behaved in such a despicable way! Release Zu’er right now!”
“Heh!” The Black Demon Mercenary laughed coldly: “Our Black Demon Mercenary Group paid a large sum to enter this Ten Thousand Beast Mountain Range, how could I be willing to leave after our entire group was wiped out for a single treasure! Immediately hand over your treasure! If not, I will strangle this brat to death! I know that this is the son of your clan leader! As a matter of fact, I want to see if your treasure is more important than this brat’s life! If you do not hand it over… I don’t even want to live anyway, so it would be worth it to pull one down with me and watch your painful weeping before seeing death’s door, HAHAHAHA!”
Lan Xueruo tightly clenched her fists as her face paled in anger. Yun Che’s calm and ice-cold voice came from her side: “Senior Sister, this is the result of your hesitation, your leniency, and your benevolence. Your benevolence released these two villains and in return, handed over Zu’er life into their hands. Was this the result that you wanted to see?”
“And even if they don’t do this, if they escape from here, what do you think they would do afterwards? They would publicly spread word that a mysterious village here is hiding a so-called ‘treasure’. When that time comes, who knows how many great powers and sects would come to search for the ‘treasure’. At that time, this phoenix clan would suffer a greater crisis by who knows how many times, and everyone here may even be massacred because of that.”
Yun Che looked at Lan Xueruo as each of his words stabbed into her heart like needles: “I’ve killed people, killed over a few hundred villains, avenging the uncountable number of people who were harmed, and saved an even more uncountable number of people that may perhaps be harm by them in the future. You did not kill anyone, and even let two villains off kindly but because of that, over two hundred innocent people here, young and old, had to tragically die… Is this your understanding of benevolence and universal love?”