Rays of light emerged in the horizon while a faint mist lingered in the air.
It had been a night of snow, especially in the latter half of the night when the falling of snowflakes became ever more intense, covering the entire Heaven Connect City in white snow. This had been the city’s biggest snowfall for a century. Fine snowflakes continued to flutter during the early morning, albeit not as much as earlier.
At the door of the Heaven Wasteland Building.
Dressed in gray servant robes, [Demon Sage] Purple Night was holding a broom and slowly clearing the snow.
He had become very quiet after what happened the previous night.
In his heart, there was no longer the same kind of expectation and sense of superiority as he had when he first came to the Heaven Wasteland Building despite appearing submissive on the surface. Instead, he had truly restrained his inner sting and unruliness, and forgotten about his former status and glory. Unexpectedly, he had truly devoted himself to the role of “Floor-Sweeping Demon”, and took the initiative to come out and sweep the snow even before the sun had risen.
Nobody knew what he was actually thinking inside.
Few passers-by took a second look at him.
This was because it was very difficult to associate this powerless and aura-less gray-robed servant with the high and mighty Demon Race Black Guards Commander of former days.
The main door of the Heaven Wasteland Building opened once more.
Ye Qingyu walked out of the building.
Day had not yet broken fully.
There were only faint rays of sunlight.
Dressed in white clothes, Ye Qingyu was in a pleasant mood as he stood at the door, giving a yawn and gently stretching, as if he was a pampered child who had just woken up from a good sleep.
Along with the growth of his martial cultivation, his temperament was also continually being refined.
These days, it was difficult to sense even a trace of wild and murderous evil qi from his body when he was not in an angry mood. The feeling he gave one was that of warmth, modesty, amiability, and extreme refinement, as if he was a well-read scholar. Amid his faint bookish aura was an Immortal-like calmness and indifference which had an aloof and ethereal quality about it.
Subsequently, he walked out of the Heaven Wasteland Building with Lu Wei following behind him.
The Great Dragon Turtle Demon and the others stood at the door to send them off, still looking a little nervous.
This was because Ye Qingyu was going to the divine temple of the Alliance of Domains to pay respects to the remains of Ren Puyang.
However, everyone knew that the mourning hall was presently in a terrifyingly blade-filled state.
If, during this world-shocking episode, it was said that Ren Puyang’s death was the fuse, the imprisonment of Lin Yutang was the explosion, the battle of Wuqing street was the first small climax, while the night battle in the Heaven Wasteland Building was the large climax, then everything that was going to happen in the mourning hall today would be the ultimate climax and ending, featuring the fiercest and closest combat.
Everything would be settled in the mourning hall.
Many years later, the Great Dragon Turtle Demon, who would have given up the sword for the plough by then, would still be able to vividly recall the early morning when, with fine snowflakes fluttering in the air, two young humans walked out from the Heaven Wasteland Building one after the other, passed by the floor-sweeping demon dressed in gray robes, and vanished down the snow-covered street. This was a dreamily mysterious scene indeed.
As Ye Qingyu walked out from the Heaven Wasteland Building, the attention of the entire Heaven Connect City was focused upon him.
From various positions and angles, countless pairs of eyes were observing this audacious Human Race young talent.
There were constantly new pieces of news being transmitted among the various forces.
The masters and higher-ups of the super forces who truly possessed authority and status had already received invitations from the Alliance of Domains and had hurried to the mourning hall of the divine temple even earlier on to witness the entire process of this climax. As for those experts who did not receive invitations, they appeared along the route from the Heaven Wasteland Building to the divine temple of the Alliance of Domains. It was no exaggeration to say that Ye Qingyu was afforded an eye salute by countless experts as he boarded the White Cloud Airship and advanced to the divine temple of the Alliance of Domains.
His every movement and action tugged at the hearts of many.
“Only two people?”
“To think that he’s bringing along only one young sidekick to the divine temple of the Alliance of Domains. Surely that’s too arrogant of him?”
“The young man behind him looks rather unfamiliar. Could he be Ye Qingyu’s secret weapon?”
“Nonsense, this young man’s strength is at a low-level Great Saint realm. I found this out using the [Celestial Eyepiece].”
Similar discussions were going on everywhere.
White clouds were abound.
Ye Qingyu stood alone at the front of the White Cloud Airship.
In the horizon were layers of dark clouds which blocked out the sun rays although they were not thick, causing this early morning to be especially chilly.
Covered in white snow, Heaven Connect City appeared magnificent and spectacular.
The boundless stretch of white caused Ye Qingyu to suddenly remember a scene from many years ago.
It was a scene from the Youyan frontier, at a time when he, Yu Xiaoxing, the [Painting Saint], and the others were riding an airship toward the hinterland of the Snow Ground Demon Race on a mapping expedition. As a small party venturing deep into enemy territory, they were taking a huge risk with only a small chance of survival. The trip was fraught with all kinds of dangers and variables, and, just like today’s trip to the mourning hall, was also snow-filled and harshly cold.
“Except that this time… I have enough power to take control of everything. I just hope that the bigwigs in the mourning hall don’t disappoint me.”
With a sword in his heart, Ye Qingyu found it difficult to temper his will.
This time in the mourning hall, he planned to draw the sword and thus temper his will.
In this dangerous world where favors and grudges were hard to reconcile, the best way to deal with things was with one’s own sword.
Ye Qingyu arrived in the vicinity of the divine temple in a twinkling. As usual, there were all kinds of checks to go through. After changing airships, he landed in the midair terminal according to the order number just like before. The place remained as bustling as ever. While Lu Wei curiously observed everything in the surroundings, this being his first time here, Ye Qingyu had long become familiar with these sights.
Because of his special status for the day, he did not have to queue up in the waiting temple, and was instead directly led by Fang Bule, one of the four White-robed Divine Guard Commanders, toward the mourning hall.
The road there was rather deserted.
A tense aura faintly pervaded the air.
Guard posts, some visible and some unseen, had been set up along the cloisters and walkways of the divine temple.
Many arrays which had not been activated for a long time had been activated in advance this time.
“Lord Ye Qingyu, the mourning hall is right ahead.” Leading the way in front, Fang Bule respectfully pointed at a black divine temple at the end of the cloister. “This is the [Divine Hero Temple], where, for many years, the corpses and tablets of those experts from the Human Race headquarters who perish in the line of duty have been placed, so that future generations can come to pay their respects. This is the most sacred place in the Human Race headquarters… After Lord Ren Puyang’s death, his body was brought back and stored here. Now that more than seven days have passed, his burial should by right be conducted already. However, in recognition of his prestige and eminence, Lord Ou Wuji decided to delay his burial so that more human compatriots with feelings for him can come and take a final look at him.”
Ye Qingyu nodded without saying a word.
A hint of disgust emerged on his face.
Ou Wuji’s motive for delaying the burial is probably to make use of Ren Puyang’s body to create a stir. When he truly becomes the main envoy of the Human Race headquarters, Ren Puyang’s body will probably never be seen again even if many people still want to pay their respects.
However, this was also the point which Ye Qingyu was most doubtful about.
If all of the earlier predictions and investigations aren’t wrong and Lin Yutang isn’t lying, Ou Wuji was the one who betrayed and murdered Ren Puyang. But if that’s the case, he should be in a hurry to bury the body so as to prevent outsiders from spotting anything on it.
Why isn’t he doing this?
Pondering, he arrived below the large temple.
Leading toward the door of the temple were twenty-eight steps, on every one and every side of which stood a human divine guard wearing white armor. These fifty-six divine guards were the elites of the White-robed Divine Guards. Having braved countless dangers, every one of them was extremely strong and gave off an iron-and-blood aura. They certainly could be considered one of the trump cards of the Human Race headquarters.
Ye Qingyu ascended the stairs step after step.
The divine guards saluted him as he passed.
His footsteps were rather heavy.
Although he had already digested the news of Ren Puyang’s death, coming to the mourning hall and seeing the white flowers hanging on the door of the divine temple still brought about a feeling of grief and sorrow, and his eyes could not help reddening.
Contrary to the saying, it’s not true that heroes don’t cry.
Ever since the opening of the Domain Gate and his departure from the Heaven Wasteland Domain, he had met countless older-generation dignitaries, but among them, no one had treated him better than Ren Puyang did. The latter had treated Ye Qingyu as his own child and provided protection even when Ye Qingyu had gotten into grave trouble. Otherwise, there would not be rumors presently abound that Ye Qingyu was Ren Puyang’s “own son”.
It would be no exaggeration to say that Ren Puyang’s kindness had made Ye Qingyu a new person.
Unfortunately, the hurried farewell eight months ago turned out to be the final farewell.
When Ye Qingyu arrived at the door of the large temple with tears in his eyes, an elderly man in mourning wear, who was holding the hand of a similarly-dressed young boy of eleven or twelve years old, welcomed him tearily. While the man’s eye expression suggested that he was unfamiliar with this arriver, Ye Qingyu’s heart was, for some reason, touched by the hint of uneasiness and fear in the black gem-like eyes of the young boy.
“Who are they?” Ye Qingyu asked.
Fang Bule hurriedly answered, “Uncle Lin was Lord Ren Puyang’s butler for more than sixty years. This young boy is called Ren Xingyan, an orphan whom Lord Ren Puyang adopted two years ago. Lord Ren Puyang was clean throughout his entire life and doesn’t have any wives or children, and so Xingyan is his one and only descendant. These days, it’s these two who have been observing the mourning and welcoming visitors.”
An adopted orphan?
Ye Qingyu was taken aback.
His eyes involuntarily fixed upon the young boy, with a hint of warmth involuntarily arising in his heart.
It turns out that Lord Ren Puyang does have a descendant.
This discovery caused an unprecedented joy in the depths of Ye Qingyu’s heart.
As he reached out a hand and warmly patted the head of the young boy, the expression in his eyes became a tad softer. However, without saying anything to the latter, he nodded toward Uncle Lin and said, “It has been tough on you… Please bring me a set of mourning wear.”
When he heard this, the old man trembled slightly and understood what Ye Qingyu meant. He replied in a surprised tone, “Lord Ye Qingyu, you don’t have to...”
The latter shook his head, “Since so many people have called me Mr. Ren Puyang’s ‘own son’, there’s no harm for me to act as his son for a while… He was very kind to me, and as a human, I want to give him a good sending-off.”
Someone fetched a set of mourning wear in little time.
After putting it on, Ye Qingyu walked into the large temple.
“Elder brother, there are many people inside… and they’re all very fierce.” Ren Xingyan suddenly spoke of his own initiative and clutched a corner of Ye Qingyu’s clothes.
Laughing, Ye Qingyu held the young boy’s hand and said, “Don’t worry, I’m even fiercer than them.”
The boy did not fully understand what this meant.
Just then, a voice was heard from inside the mourning hall, “Dammit, we’ve been waiting for so long but that fellow called Ye Qingyu still hasn’t shown up. What terrible luck it is to be holed up together with a dead person.”
Ye Qingyu’s countenance changed instantly.
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