Entering the palace, Wei Wuyin was calm. His footsteps were leveled and his silver eyes shone with a light of intelligence.
The last time he entered this place, he was a Mortal God who had recently achieved godhood. His reverence for those with this title was at an all time high and his belief in the strength of the upper echelon was that they were invincible.
However, his mindset had experienced an intense shift. Not only did he no longer feel that those elder Mortal Gods were beyond reach, his personal confidence in prevailing in battle was at its utmost highest.
Gu Futu, a Mortal God of the Earthly Titan Sect, had died by his hands from a single blow. At the time, he had just birthed his magma qi. The strike he launched didn ’t incorporate a single art, but pure qi, yet it had annihilated him into dust.
Now, he had the Nascent Saber Soul – Element, a Divine Heart of Elemental Qi, a Divine Heart of Saber Qi, and a spiritual sense that went beyond normal limits.
Therefore, he walked with a degree of confidence.
The first person he saw caused eyebrows to lift briefly.
”It ’s him? ” He thought as he recalled who this person was.
Before him, standing in the center of the palace hall, was a young man with scarlet hair and scarlet eyes. He was exceptionally handsome, with a square-cut jaw and thick eyebrows. He was fit, his muscles defined even through his scarlet robes, but he wasn ’t bulky like Wei Si. It resembled Wei Wuyin ’s physique, except he was shorter. Despite being shorter than Wei Wuyin, he was still taller than most men and released an imposing aura of existing within a different height.
At his forehead was a crown, much like his father, with several jewels inlaid within it, and the centerpiece was a scarlet jewel that radiated a powerful scarlet qi. He felt like a prince charming from legends, upright and noble.
The only thing that gave one pause was the light in his scarlet eyes that gave one a somewhat sinister tingle.
”Young Master Wu Chen, ” instinctively, he called out in greeting, clasped his hands, and bowed slightly. Despite his change in temperament, his loyalty and beliefs towards the Scarlet Solaris Sect remained. Personal impressions aside, he had to appropriate respect in greeting the Young Master of the sect, as a member of the sect should.
Wu Chen smiled, revealing a handsome visage. His eyes were bright as he analyzed Wei Wuyin openly.
”You ’re truly alive, ” Wu Chen said in wonderment.
Wei Wuyin replied simply, ”Yes. ”
Wu Chen ’s eyes flashed with subtle interest. To him, Wei Wuyin and himself had very little interaction before, but he was responsible for many records and achievements worthy of notice. According to the reports, he had reached the Fifth Stage of Qi Condensation at twenty-six years old.
There were also wild rumors that he had some cultivation treasure. Even he had some avarice towards that fabled item, but even his father and mother ’s personal investigation revealed nothing. This only showed his innate talent in cultivation was unimaginable.
If it wasn ’t for his relationship with Jiu Lang and their agreement, he would ’ve wished to draw Wei Wuyin to his side. Unfortunately, Jiu Lang was intent on killing him at the time. It wasn ’t just her either, Lang Yi had personally asked for him to take action after Wei Wuyin had Jiu Lang taken by the elves and revealed his immense talent.
She was scared that he would seek revenge for her ’alleged ’ actions if he matured fully.
It was truly unfortunate that when Mei Mei returned with Godlord Helios Witch, she decisively and openly beheaded Lang Yi. Laughable. Her previous actions had set her execution.
”Wei Wuyin. ” A voice sounded that was filled with power. Su Lanyi arrived. She wore a simple scarlet robe, had phoenix eyes, thin eyebrows, cherry lips, a lithe figure, with her hair tied in a bun.
She was as beautiful as Wei Wuyin remembered.
Wu Chen smiled, turned to face his mother and greeted, ”Mother. ”
Su Lanyi acknowledged him and turned her attention to Wei Wuyin. She frowned, ”How are you alive? ”
”… ” Wei Wuyin stilled. How was he alive? That was such a direct question that immediately caused him to think. Why was she so certain he was dead? His heart quivered as his mind developed suspicions. Was there a plot underneath this? Was he marked for death?
As these thoughts surfaced, his heart grew cold, and his eyes became vigilant. ”What do you mean, Sect Leader? ” He cautiously inquired.
Su Lanyi and Wu Chen remained silent, both gazing at him oddly. Those gazes told him that they had the highest belief that his life had come to an untimely end. There was no question about that.
When he focused on Su Lanyi, he even noticed a degree of shock and disbelief as well as confusion and doubt. For someone of Su Lanyi cultivation to reveal even a minute degree of her thoughts were telling how serious the situation regarding news of his death was.
It was like they saw his cold corpse.
A scarlet mist started to seep through the walls. Wei Wuyin ’s guard was instantly raised.
”We were told you had died. ”
A male voice resounded this time, the mist gathering to a single location near Su Lanyi. It congregated and started to rapidly condense until a silhouette formed. This silhouette became dense as it transformed into an undefined figure of humanoid shape. A moment later, the figure gained defined features to reveal a man.
He was quite handsome and dressed in scarlet-colored robes befitting an emperor and a golden crown with a ruby embedded within. This ruby was like a neon object, shining ever brighter, effusing all sorts of light like a red sun. A dense aura of scarlet qi flowed around him naturally.
This was Wu Xinghong, the Scarlet Solaris Sect ’s Ancestral Elder.
”By whom? ” Wei Wuyin immediately questioned after seeing Wu Xinghong appear. It seemed his return had even drawn the Ancestral Elder and Godlord of the Scarlet Solaris Sect out.
”An oracle. ”
Another voice, this time sounding like a lark, soft and gentle, but elegant and beautiful. It resembled structured music, the hymn of ancient feys, and sounded as if it was produced by nature itself.
This voice belonged to a woman. She was dressed in short sleeved white cheongsam with golden images of the sun and vines embroidered on its surface. It was tight-fitting, accentuating the slim figure and defined curves of her figure. Her long pale white hair and golden highlights was perfectly matching her dress and highlighted her natural beauty.
With soft, gold eyes, pink lips, and jade skin made her look like a fairy from another world. As she walked, her gentle aura attracted all eyes.
Wu Chen turned his gaze towards this woman, his eyes revealing a brief moment of intense lust swiftly hidden. He revealed a respectful expression, one commonly seen from a son to its step-mother.
Wei Wuyin ’s focus was completely on this woman. Even Wu Xinghong and Su Lanyi had seemed to be less dominant in the room when she arrived. They seemed ready to let her lead the conversation upon her entry.
Wei Wuyin noticed all these things and his heart grew curious and anxious, but her words left him in thought.
”An oracle? ” When he heard this term, he recalled that golden-haired, blue eyed, holy beauty that had been with Godlord Lin. He had nearly forgotten about her existence, but when it entered his mind, he felt like clenching his fist and crushing something. This woman left in such a shameless way after they made that bet. They had even wagered their spirits with an oath.
In fact, he was somewhat happy and awaiting for her to meet him again. At that moment, the spirit oath would invoke, and her future would not be well. The thought of seeing her cultivation deviate from the norm and even explode made him feel a little pity, but he still wished for it.
If she decided to accept his victory and condition, he was going to have her do very, very dirty things. Her dignity will be thrown in the trash. While he had stipulated that he wouldn ’t do certain things, he had worded it in such a way that it was open to many, many things.
That being said, if an oracle had foretold his death, then he understood why they were all shocked and interested in his return. This was like defying fate!
”However, it seems that oracle was wrong. You ’re not only alive, you ’re thriving. I ’m quite curious, what is your reasoning for not returning to the sect in ten years? ” The mysterious woman said.
Wei Wuyin calmed his heart. Now was the moment. He knew from the moment of his return, he would have to explain himself, so he decided to tell the truth.
”Ten years ago, I learned from Wei Si, my cousin, that Mei Mei, a core disciple of the sect, had been abducted with barely any evidence. He had a unique physique that increased his sense of smell. He informed me that Mei Mei had been taken by the Helios Witch of the Mystic Elven Forest. ” He started from the very beginning, but when he said his last sentence, the expressions of Wu Chen, Wu Xinghong, and Su Lanyi changed.
He didn ’t take this as anything special as he continued, ”He had informed the sect prior to myself, but no action was taken, so I took it upon myself to travel to the Mystic Elven Forest as swiftly as I could. Due to certain circumstances, I had stopped in several cities and towns on my way there, but soon I made my way to the border of the Clear Sky Mountain Range in a little under two months.
”When I reached there, something was birthed by the world and, like a giant hand of god, was pushing all things and destroying all life it touched. Luckily, I escaped. ”
When he detailed his escape of the Rite of a Sinner, leaving out the actual aspects and claiming ignorance of what it was or how it was born, the expressions of all four listeners changed drastically.
Wu Xinghong interrupted, ”The Wall of Heaven. An unnatural phenomenon that wiped out all life and destroyed several hundred miles of land. Many sects, clans, and cities in its path were annihilated in the blink of an eye. ”
When he said those words, a trace of trepid fear emerged in his voice. He seemed to have been thoroughly shaken before. Hearing his description, Wei Wuyin also shivered. That wall nearly took his life!
As he suspected, the death toll was incredibly high. However, when he thought of the collapse of the Tree of Eden, he knew the death toll was little to nothing in comparison.
”At the time, I drew upon my quintessence of my Heart of Qi, barely escaping, but when I did, I lost control of my ability to stop moving. I crashed heavily and suffered a head injury that affected my memory, which resulted in amnesia. I didn ’t have the ability to return as I soon found myself in the Country of Xin.
”I had been enrolled into the Eden Earth Sect as a disciple due to this amnesia state where I trained for several years. I soon regained my sense of self due to the help of resources from the sect, and immediately decided to return. Unfortunately… ”
Just as he was about to detail his close shave at escaping the Eden Earth Sect ’s catastrophe, the mysterious woman interjected, ”The Tree of Eden collapsed and killed millions. ”
Wei Wuyin looked at this beautiful, mysterious woman and gave a solemn nod. There were various complicated emotions in his heart. While ’he ’ wasn ’t a disciple of the Eden Earth Sect, his other self had various memories and brilliant achievements that left one filled with sadness.
All his friends: Dead.
He knew that a part of him would forever feel a sense of sorrow and loss, but to himself, it would feel empty and hollow like deaths read from a book, stories of challenges and hardships overcome with friends, and achievements of glory gained through talent.
They weren ’t ’his ’ memories, nor were they ’his ’ emotions.
”You escaped the Wall of Heaven that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, devastated tens of miles of land, and appeared suddenly without warning or reason. Then, regained your memory and left the Eden Earth Sect just before it collapsed. An event that brought death to millions of people. ” The mysterious woman had an incredibly beautiful smile as she said, ”No wonder you could escape an Oracle ’s prediction, you must be a blessed individual. ”
”… ” Wei Wuyin stayed silent.
”I find no fault with your story. It lines up well with what we understand, and I sense no intent to lie. While you didn ’t go too in detail, all cultivators have their own secrets and adventures, I don ’t believe its anyone ’s right to pry those from you. ” The mysterious woman turned towards Su Lanyi and Wu Xinghong, ”What do you two think? ”
Su Lanyi and Wu Xinghong, ”… ”
In truth, they had their own suspicions and doubts, but with those words, they felt it was inappropriate to ask. While Wei Wuyin likely didn ’t lie in his recount, he definitely left out critical details. It was like seeing the summary of a book, but incapable of reading the pages.
In the end, Su Lanyi softly nodded. ”You ’re right. The important matter is that you ’ve returned. There will be deliberation amongst the Grand Elder Council as to how to move forward. Whether you ’ll be reassigned the title of a core disciple or given the designation and duties of an Elder will depend on that. Do you understand? ”
Wei Wuyin naturally understood, so he swiftly nodded and said his thanks.
He knew the intricacies of a cultivation base, and because of the aspect of yin-yang energies being fully kept within the Heart of Qi, it was difficult to determine his true cultivation level. In fact, with their level of spiritual sense, they could only determine that he had reached the Fifth Stage of Qi Condensation, Yang Growth Phase by the natural emissions of his yang energies.
With his age being thirty-six, fourteen years off from the required enlistment as an Elder of the sect and his recent return, they would decide whether it was best suited to place him as an Elder early or keep him as a disciple.
”Congratulations! ” Wu Chen interjected, he warmly smiled as he walked towards Wei Wuyin. He was just about to give Wei Wuyin a warm pat on the shoulder when the mysterious woman spoke.
”Wei Wuyin! I recall the name now. You were once Mei Mei ’s lover, no? ”
That hand froze. The eyes of Su Lanyi and Wu Xinghong froze as well. It was as if this reveal was a thunderous secret that disturbed any and all who heard it.
Wei Wuyin noticed this, and came to the quick conclusion that now Mei Mei had reached the Mortal God level and deemed an absolute talent, a Chosen in fact, they were startled by this news.
In truth, Mei Mei and his relationship had always been secret. They had engaged in sexual acts over the few years in small number, small enough to count on one ’s finger. However, to him, each time was intimate and filled with passion, enough that it never felt like a ’one-night fling ’ such as with Jiao Ning.
It felt visceral and true. It was unfortunate that the day Han Yu self-destructed himself on stage, nearly killing her, Mei Mei had decidedly distanced herself from him.
At first, he was going to deny it, but considering who he suspected the mysterious woman may be, he nodded.
The hand that Wu Chen reached out with trembled, his eyes flashed a dense scarlet light, and his aura roiled within his body causing the atmospheric pressure to grow tense.
Frowning, Wei Wuyin took a step back and paid rapt attention to Wu Chen. His reaction to this piece of information was rather odd. After all, it wasn ’t like Mei Mei didn ’t have other lovers. At least, she didn ’t have her primal yin when they slept together.
In fact, he knew she had relationships with other men, even when they were doing their own acts. Who she slept with was not his responsibility or concern. After all, they weren ’t in an official relationship. Why would Wu Chen, the young master of the sect, someone who could easily gain this type of information, react so strangely?
A soft laughter echoed in the tense hall, ”Indeed. Then, I should introduce myself, yes? ” The mysterious woman walked forward and stood a few feet away from Wei Wuyin and Wu Chen. A playful yet charming glint flickered in her eyes.
She spoke clearly, ”My name ’s Mei Yang, but others call me by another name: Helios Witch. ”
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