Chapter 184 - Between Life and Death (1)
Before today, Yun Che had never encountered a weapon more powerful than the heavy sword he wielded. However, the moment the heavy sword slammed into the Stone Dragon General, he felt as if an enormous mountain had fallen from the heavens to slam into him…. He suddenly lost all feeling in his arm, and the heavy sword flew up into the air. He himself smashed down into the earth, shooting like an arrow across the surface of the ground, leaving behind a nearly sixty meter mark in the dirt.
Bang! The heavy sword descended, miraculously slamming down next to his feet, penetrating the hard-packed earth. Shockingly, a two inch nick had appeared on the blade of the sword.
After Yun Che slid to a stop, everything was still. His arm was bent backward at a horrifying angle. It was hard to tell if it was just severely dislocated, or simply broken.
“Yun Che… Yun Che!!” Little Fairy cried at the top of her lungs as her heart filled with anxiousness. Just now, when Yun Che had been thrown backwards across the ground, he had held her tightly up against his chest. She hadn’t been hurt even the slightest bit. However, Yun Che had clearly suffered a severe injury. Such a blow would have been fatal to anyone other than him.
Little Fairy knew that she was the reason Yun Che had been injured. If he hadn’t been attempting to protect her, he could dealt with the Stone Dragon General with speed. Perhaps he wouldn’t have achieved victory, but at least he wouldn’t have been so quickly put into such a miserable situation.
Yun Che struggled to sit up. His voice was hoarse and a bit muffled as he spoke. By the time he sat up, the Stone Dragon General was roughly thirty paces away. His right arm was still twisted back, and he couldn’t feel it anymore. The only thing he could feel was a sharp pain in his shoulder.
“Let me go… If you don’t wish to die, hurry up and let me go!” Yun Che’s miserable condition caused Chu Yuechan’s vision to swim. She just couldn’t understand why he would risk his life to protect her… risk his life and not hold anything back! People were selfish by nature. Cherishing life was an instinct. She really didn’t understand why this mysterious young man could hold such disregard for his own life and his own benefit just to protect her.
“No… no way!” said Yun Che gravely, gritting his teeth.
“If you don’t let me go… I’ll bite off my tongue and kill myself!”
Chu Yuechan’s words caused Yun Che’s pupils to constrict. He tilted his head to look at her. Seeing her determined face, his mouth twitched, and then suddenly he roared at the top of his voice: “Shut the hell up!”
The furious roar knocked Chu Yuechan virtually senseless. When had anyone ever dared to speak thusly to her; she, who stood so arrogantly at the apex of the profound strength pyramid, who looked down at all creation?
Yun Che’s entire body trembled. While staring at Chu Yuechan, he grated, “Little Fairy, you need to listen to me carefully. At the moment, you are not a revered practitioner half a step away from the Emperor Profound Realm. You are not set above the masses, nor are you a Frozen Asgard Fairy who can look down on everyone. You’re just a weak little girl who can’t even protect herself! As a weak little girl, there’s only one thing you can do. And that is, to let a man protect you!
“Now I get it. You kick men away, you basically hate them down to your bones, disdain them…. Well, there probably aren’t any men your age in the Blue Wind Empire who can measure up to you. One day you might well become the most powerful person in all of Blue Wind Empire, but that doesn’t mean you can despise all men! Even the most powerful of women must have a man to rely on sometimes. That’s obviously why women and men both exist in the world! If throughout her life, a woman rejects all the men who wished to protect her, then she’ll end up with no one! If that happens, then even if she stands on top of the entire world, she’s still nothing but a failed woman. She doesn’t even deserve to be called a complete woman….
“In terms of strength, I may be thousands of times weaker than you, but here you are, relying on me! You can seek death, you can try to kill yourself, or even give up. But I won’t. Because I’m a man. When a man must protect someone, only death can stop him!”
Yun Che slowly stood up. Without his arm to support him, it was a bit difficult. “You want to die, but I don’t… I selected the heavy sword so that I could take care of the people I chose to protect. The first person to fall under the protection of my heavy sword is not a family member, or a loved one, or even a friend. It’s you…. If I’m not capable of defending the very first person to come under my protection, then how can I continue to use the heavy sword?
“Today, I’ll bet my life and my dignity to show you, you who hates men… what is… a true man!!”
Yun Che opened his eyes to its extreme limit as he let out his hoarse cry. He jerked the right side of his body, causing the dislocated arm to snap forward. It clicked back into place with a popping sound…. It only took a moment, but the pain was unimaginable. However, Yun Che didn’t so much as frown. His arm was now back in its original position, but couldn’t be moved forward. He gripped the hilt of the heavy sword and looked at the approaching Stone Dragon General. He laughed, a laughter grim and shrill.
As the two words erupted from his mouth, his eyes suddenly filled with a light red color. Heretic God’s Profound Veins’ second gate —— Burning Heart, a gate that he would never dare to open under any circumstances, was forcibly opened by him in his most weakened state.
Inside the Sky Poison Pearl, Yun Che’s action caused Jasmine to turn pale in shock. She opened her mouth, but then immediately bit down the words that nearly left her mouth. While accessing Yun Che’s current condition, she went into a daze; her vision became hazy as an indistinct figure that she always yearned for appeared before her eyes. Then, it slowly overlapped with Yun Che’s current form...
His personality seemed very, very much like that of her older brother…
In order to protect those he must protect, in order to protect his own pride and honor…
He knew what he had to do, and he knew what would happen if he did… However, he would never hesitate. Furthermore, there wasn’t anyone who could stop him…
When “Burning Heart”, the Heretic God’s second gate, opened, the previously exhausted body was suddenly filled with an incomparable vigor. But at the same time, it also gave rise to unstable energy ripples. Yun Che gripped the heavy sword and let out a roar of rage. He hurled the heavy sword toward the incoming Stone Dragon General…. The blade of the sword danced with scarlet Phoenix Flames.
This Phoenix Break did not send forth a blazing phoenix. but rather, a flaming heavy sword!
Flames danced madly upon the surface of the heavy sword’s blade as it transformed into an enormous steel phoenix. It shot forward toward the Stone Dragon General as flames filled with unstoppable power rippled. Yun Che flew along behind it. As he did, phoenix flames burst out around him, as a pair of resplendent illusory phoenix wings sprouted from his back.
“Empyrean Dance of the Phoenix Wing!!”
They flew through the air, sword and man!
The heavy sword stabbed into the chest of the Stone Dragon General, sending flames bursting out. Massive tongues of fire engulfed the Stone Dragon General, shoving its torso backward. The force of the explosion caused Yun Che’s torso to also bend backwards. Thrown off balance, he lost control and spun down towards the ground.
He spun in midair, while keeping one arm encircled protectively around Chu Yuechan. His other hand reached out to grab the heavy sword as it flew back toward him. Vicious violence glittered in his eyes as he raised the heavy sword high into the air...
“Sky… Wolf… Slash!!”
A massive wind chaotically sprung up, and a blue wolf howling at the sky flashed behind Yun Che. As Yun Che brandished the heavy sword, the wolf shot forward, carrying with it power seemingly sufficient to collapse the heavens and crush the earth.
BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM…..
The wolf charged, leaving a deep gully in its wake as it shot forward. It reached the fallen Stone Dragon General in the blink of an eye, slamming into it and sent the Stone Dragon General flying up into the air. The immense power of the attack knocked the Stone Dragon General a full one hundred meters away. It slammed into the side of the mountain, then slowly slid down toward the ground. Crumbling rocks and debris rained down onto it, burying it completely. Only its heavy sword remained on the outside.
Chu Yuechan watched mutely as all of this happened, seemingly having lost the ability to even think.
“Did… did it… work?” she said. She felt as if she were in some sort of dream. Despite such a serious injury, despite being drained of energy, Yun Che had suddenly erupted with a shocking amount of power…. He was like some sort of monster. It was as if his body didn’t have any bottom line.
The only answer she received was the ear-splitting drone of the heavy sword.
Chu Yuechan forced her tiny head to look up. When she caught sight of Yun Che’s face, her eyes instantly grew wide.
Yun Che’s eyes were closed, and two thin streams of blood seeped out from their corners. Blood also oozed out of his mouth, nose and ears.
Faint but intense cracking sounds could be heard, emanating from Yun Che’s skin, blood vessels and bones. The skin on his face, arms, and body… were slowly being filled with cracks. Blood oozed out of the cracks. Over a few breaths of time, his face began to fill with similar narrow cracks. It looked like parched, dry earth… beneath his clothes, cracks covered the rest of his body. Beneath his skin, his blood vessels and bones also seemed to be splitting apart.
Using the Burning Heart in a normal situation was dangerous enough. But to use it in a weakened state was even worse. Yun Che had predicted that something like this would happen. The three moves he had made after using Burning Heart had completely sapped him of all energy and will. Perhaps it would turn out to be his final blaze of glory before dying.
Yun Che’s left arm went limp and Little Fairy dropped to the ground. Then, Yun Che fell flat onto the ground, unmoving. He didn’t even have a chance to utter a single word to Little Fairy.
“Yun Che… Yun Che... Yun Che!!”
Chu Yuechan’s cried out as loud as she could and reached out to touch him with her right arm, the only arm she could move. However, she was simply too weak. The half pace that existed between them was a gap too far to cross. She looked at Yun Che, who laid there motionless, hemorrhaging blood, and her heart began to throb with pain…. It was a pain she had never felt before, mixed with a deep dread —— dread that Yun Che might die.
Before she realized what was happening, her vision began to grown blurry. This fact filled her mind with numbness and confusion, because… she was crying. Dozens of years had passed in which she never imagined that she would cry, especially not for a man so beneath her. What was unfamiliar, were not only her uncontrollable tears, nor the unbearable pain which stabbed into her heart like an arrow, but also deep fear.
Here she was, crying. She didn’t know why she was crying, or why she felt pain, or why she was scared…. She began to weep; great billowing waves of weeping that she couldn’t prevent, and couldn’t stop.
“Yun Che… Yun Che!” she cried with a voice filled with helplessness and sorrow.
Her shouts did not provoke any response from Yun Che. However, over at the base of the mountain, the sounds of crumbling rocks suddenly sounded out. The Stone Dragon General suddenly emerged from the pile of rubble. Debris showered off its body as it stood up once more.