After the imperial order with the imperial seal of Emperor Song was sent to the immortal cultivation world, responses came in one after another.
If this was really an order from the Emperor Song, it wouldn't be threatening, but everyone knew that it was the Demon Supreme who was behind it. With the bloody precedent of the Wuyun Sect, many of the smaller sects did not dare to resist at all. At most, they can only ask for more time. Wuliang Sect and Chunyang Sect wrote in to complain, finding a bunch of excuses with a humble and honest tone. Only the Cangyu Sect had the toughest attitude, refusing to give up the treasures their ancestors had left to the people of Kunlun.
Song Zi Xiao clenched the letter from the Cangyu Sect and laughed coldly, "This demonic girl Qi Meng Sheng really has some guts. She became the Sect Leader, got the Ice and Snow Jade, and she thinks she can stand up to me?"
Song Zi Heng, who was standing at one side, didn't believe it. He thought to himself that the Ice crystal was the lifeblood of the Cangyu Sect because that was Cangyu Sect's cave, so how could Qi Meng Sheng not fight to the death and resist? Plus, the relationship between Qi Meng Sheng and Xu Zhi Nan is so close that perhaps the opportunity for the immortal cultivation community to put aside their former grudges and join forces against the enemy again sprang up here.
However, Song Zi Xiao would not sit idly by and watch them form their alliance. The Cangyu Sect would probably be used by him to kill the chicken and warn the monkey*. "The Cangyu Sect is still needed for opening the Shen Nong Ding, otherwise, they would be the next Wuyun Sect." Song Zi Xiao's eyes showed a cold glint, "It looks like I have to go to Kunlun personally to teach her some lessons."
"The Cangyu Sect is willing to take many magical treasures and pills to pay for this annual offering. Don't you bully people too much." Song Zi Heng said, "Since we still need them, we must not kill the chicken to get the eggs*."
Song Zi Xiao snorted lightly, "I want the ice crystal. The Shen Nong Ding refines things for 49 days at least. It's too slow."
"You want a top-notch Immortal Pill, so naturally you need time."
Song Zi Xiao gave a soft "tsk" and looked askance at Song Zi Heng, "Are you very tense about the Cangyu Sect because Qi Meng Sheng helped you take the throne? But whether it was her or Xu Zhi Nan, they put you on the throne for their own benefits. After you took over, these three large sects took the lead in reneging on their debts, and the Song's annual offerings became less every year. What, was this all negotiated by you guys? Was this the price they paid for supporting you?"
"Not really." Song Zi Heng said calmly, "The Song clan is in a decline. The status of the common lord of the world already exists in name only, and the annual offerings have long been inappropriate. In fact, the Song clan has enough taxes from the people of the Central Plains, so perhaps it is time to change the old system." What he didn't say was that before Song Zi Xiao's return, at that time when the immortal cultivation world had allied themselves against Wuyun Sect, he had discussed a new system of alliance formation with Li Bu Yu, Xu Zhi Nan and Qi Meng Sheng.
In the past, the Song Clan was able to claim the empire and collect wealth from all sides by absolute, oppressive force. Now that the immortal cultivation world had changed and was no longer likely to be exploited by the Song Clan, the Song Clan had to find its own way out if it did not want to be attacked by the herd. He took the opportunity of the alliance fighting against the enemy to propose changing the old system and forming an immortal alliance, with each sect governing their own and no longer paying tribute to the Song Clan, but they also agreed not to offend each other and not to encroach on the smaller sects. The other three sects agreed and also offered to retain the name of Emperor Song, so that if there were any injustice or difficult cases in the immortal cultivation world, Emperor Song would still take the lead in administering justice.
They agreed to make it known to the world and establish an immortal alliance after the elimination of Wuyun Sect.
Unfortunately, this plan was completely disrupted by Song Zi Xiao, and the vast spoils of war left behind by Wuyun Sect caused the alliance to fall apart.
Every step Song Zi Xiao took seemed crazy, yet terrifyingly sober. Instead of destroying the Song clan and making himself emperor as everyone had guessed, he manipulated Song Zi Heng, the puppet Human Emperor, and properly raided the entire immortal cultivation world just to refine a pill for himself.
Once he successfully refined the ultimate Immortal Pill and broke through to the Ninth Chongtian of the Zongxuan Sword, the immortal cultivation world would never see the light of day again.
"Change the old system?" Song Zi Xiao balled up the letter into a ball and played with it in his hands, "Changes can only be made when I say so, and I can change it however I say. Whatever I want, they must offer it with both hands."
"Now you haven't got the ingredients for refining pills yet, so there's no rush to get Qi Meng Sheng to hand over the ice crystal. Why not go and write another letter so that she knows of its importance."
Song Zi Xiao looked at his big brother with a wry smile, "Are you really afraid that I will destroy the Cangyu Sect? Don't worry, I won't. As long as I kill Qi Meng Sheng, who else is left in the Cangyu Sect?" "You must not." Song Zi Heng's heart tightened, "The cultivators of the Cangyu Sect are both good and evil, and they lack the etiquette and virtue of the Central Plain's people. If Qi Meng Sheng dies, with no leader, those elders will probably fight over the Ice and Snow Jade and cause internal chaos, which will not be conducive to your pill refining"
Song Zi Xiao narrowed his eyes and said unhappily, "Why are you so concerned about Qi Meng Sheng?"
"I'm just ..."
"Qi Meng Sheng is a stunning beauty known throughout the world." Song Zi Xiao's voice grew colder, "Much more beautiful than a silly little girl like Hua Yu Xin. She could even be on par with my mother. Could it be you're interested in her too?" Hua Yu Xin, a thorn that could not be removed, was stuck in Song Zi Xiao's heart, and every now and then an itch would arise. He always remembered that his big brother liked women. Qi Meng Sheng, as the head of the Cangyu Sect, in terms of beauty, cultivation and status, there was no man in the world who would not be attracted to her. Not to mention that she was a great supporter of Song Zi Heng, and if the two of them tied the knot, they would reconstitute the most powerful force in the immortal cultivation world.
Song Zi Heng wanted to marry Hua Yu Xin back then and become the ideal son-in-law of the Huaying Sect, so what were his intentions towards Qi Meng Sheng?
Song Zi Xiao's face was getting darker and darker, he felt very logical in his speculation and was about to die of anger at his own assumption.
"What are you babbling about?" Song Zi Heng frowned, "I never hit upon the idea." He had already taken in that Qi Meng Sheng and Xu Zhi Nan had developed a mutual affection for each other, but had never revealed or told anyone. He knew that even if they were happy with each other, it would be impossible for them to stay together. Xu Zhi Nan has an extremely pure Yang body, so how can he give up his lifelong cultivation for lovemaking? And Qi Meng Sheng was too ambitious and proud to make compromises. This relationship was destined to fizzle out. "Really?" Song Zi Xiao said in a cold voice, "Then why do you defend her so much?"
"She is the head of the Cangyu Sect and an ally of my Song Clan. Her death would do no good to you, to me, or to the immortal cultivation world at all." Song Zi Heng said sternly, "Shouldn't I stop you from killing the innocent indiscriminately?"
"Would the Cangyu Sect dare to not hand over the Ice crystal if she died?"
"The Cangyu Sect cultivators are skillful at using the Shen Nong Ding. If the Cangyu Sect is in chaos, you will get half the result with twice the effort with an empty ice crystal."
Song Zi Xiao glared at Song Zi Heng with an examining gaze, trying to see from his face how much truth was there in this statement.
"Wait till you have finished collecting the base materials for refining pills. Perhaps Qi Meng Sheng will also have figured it out. You ... should not act impulsively."
Song Zi Xiao extended his hand, "Come here."
Song Zi Heng took a deep breath and slowly walked over, sitting on Song Zi Xiao's lap as usual. He couldn't tell if Song Zi Xiao did it on purpose. He always liked to hold him like this, just like he had always held Xiao Jiu like this when he was little. But however tall Song Zi Xiao was, he was after all a grown man, and he could not behave like a child or a woman, so he was always ashamed to be in such a position.
But Song Zi Xiao was happy to do so. He embraced the person in his arms and said lazily, "If you don't want me to kill her, then beg me nicely."
Song Zi Heng's heart tightened and his expression changed immediately. The unpleasant memory of how Song Zi Xiao had forced himself to beg him last time still tormented his pride repeatedly. Song Zi Xiao saw through his big brother's mind at a glance. He licked his lips gently and teased, "What are you thinking about? Are you thinking the same thing as me, big brother?"
Song Zi Heng instinctively wanted to run away, but also instinctively dared not move. As if there were wild animals surrounding him.
"Are you thinking about how you served me with your mouth that day?" Song Zi Xiao laughed lowly.
Song Zi Heng's face was as pale as paper, and his body grew stiffer and stiffer.
"Alright, relax." Song Zi Xiao took his big brother's hand and gently opened his tightly clenched fingertips, coaxing gently, "If you be obedient, I will only make you comfortable and not let you suffer in pain."
"... What do you want to do again?" The humiliation Song Zi Xiao had given him again and again had made his fear penetrate deep in his bones long ago.
"I just want you to kiss me." Song Zi Xiao nuzzled Song Zi Heng's with his cheek, putting away his fangs like a small beast showing goodwill, "Big brother, give me a kiss."
Song Zi Heng looked into Song Zi Xiao's eyes, which were close at hand, and there seemed to be some glittering fire in these deep, dark pupils, lit by anticipation. He thought, just now this person called him big brother. That slightly arrogant tone was so similar to Xiao Jiu. He was being prompted and enticed. He slowly moved forward and kissed that pair of pale pink lips.
Those lips were warm and soft. Such an evil and malicious man even had soft lips.
Not knowing whose heart was beating so fast. It was practically rumbling. Song Zi Heng kissed it, then tried to back away, but Song Zi Xiao held him by the back, holding his lips, sucking and tasting them delicately, grinding their lips together, kissing them hot and tender, as if they were about to melt.
The shallow kiss turned into a deep kiss, and the deep kiss turned into an inseparable intertwining of lips and teeth. Such a fierce kiss would give people the illusion of intimacy, as if the two of them were in love willingly.
Song Zi Heng's face was flushed and his chest was heaving violently. He was kissed until he went weak in his younger brother's arms. Supposedly a patriarch-level cultivator with the ability to overturn mountains and seas, yet at this moment he was as tame as a lamb. He had never been afraid of a sword, but he was embarrassed and at a complete loss by a kiss so tender and long.
"Does big brother like this kiss too?" Song Zi Xiao stroked Song Zi Heng's soft and smooth cheek, "I liked it very much."
Song Zi Heng settled his mind and tried to stand up, "Alright, I ..."
"Don't move." Song Zi Xiao kneaded and pinched his small earlobe, "I'm just appetizing now. , I want a full meal."
Song Zi Heng's face burned up.
"Big brother feed me well tonight too, okay? I'll strip big brother clean and eat you up one bite at a time." Song Zi Xiao stroked Song Zi Heng's waist and hips, that dark voice full of seduction, "Where should I eat big brother up? Wuji Palace is so big, how about we change to a fresh place?"
"Don't be like that ..."
"How about you choose." Song Zi Xiao said softly, "Where does big brother want to be fucked by me?"
"If you don't say anything, then it'll be here." In the Emperor Song's study room, the extravagant sound did not stop all night.
kill the chicken and warn the monkey*[杀鸡儆猴]---to punish an individual as an example to others
kill the chicken to get the eggs*[杀鸡取卵] A metaphor for the
desire for immediate gain without considering the long-term gain
PS: When SZH had Xiao Jiu in his mind before he kissed SZX, I wonder if SZH actually had a bit of hidden, unconscious romantic feelings for him back in the past (like he didn't realise it at all). There were some comments on IQIYI stating that maybe he loves Xiao Jiu romantically without knowing it himself, what do you think?
Every few days, Song Zi Xiao would go to Bailu Pavilion for a period of silence behind closed doors, and Song Zi Heng would have a brief period of freedom.
He had been trying to break the spell seal that Song Zi Xiao had put on him to break through the spirit chakra blockade. The weird spell seal must have come from the 'Yellow Emperor's Yin Fu Heavenly Secret Scripture'. After finding the book by himself, he studied it for a long time. Constantly searching for shortcuts to break through on a small scale, and now the time required was getting shorter and shorter, which means he could recover his own spiritual power at any time. But it was not this that really bound Song Zi Xiao to him, but the entire Song clan.
The current calm was in fact as precarious as a pile of eggs*, and the immortal cultivation world's fear of Song Zi Xiao would eventually turn into a forceful rebellion, at which point the Song clan, which was at the center of the storm, would be the first to suffer. In the limited future he could see, there was only endless pessimism, and he could not think of a solution that would restore peace to the immortal cultivation world while also saving Song Zi Xiao.
Unless he could control Song Zi Xiao.
Unless he could control Song Zi Xiao. Cai Cheng Yi was guarding at one side, watching the young and handsome emperor's face with a gloomy look that could not be dissolved. His frown seemed to have deepened between his brows, and in just over a month, he had lost a lot of weight. Thinking of the bitter experiences that had happened to the emperor, he felt very sorry in his heart and gently advised, "Emperor, have some ginseng soup. You have lost so much weight and you should get some nourishment."
Song Zi Heng came back to his senses and looked at the fragrant soup with floating steam in front of him, but he had no appetite for it. He waved his hand, "I've already eaten."
"You haven't eaten a few mouthfuls of rice. How can you go on like this?"
"How is Zhong Ming doing these days?"
"His Highness is fine. It's just that he's been clamoring to see you every day." Cai Cheng Yi sighed, "Why not I secretly bring him here?"
"No, if Song Zi Xiao sees him, he will be scared again."
"His Holiness usually stays at Bailu Pavilion for a few hours and will not be back for a while yet."
Song Zi Heng shook his head. After a moment of silence, he added, "Eunuch Cai, I want to send Zhong Ming away."
"Zhong Ming is not originally from the Song clan either, so if the Song clan is in trouble, there is no need to get him involved. He is still so young and is the only bloodline left of the Hua family."
"But where can I send him? His Highness has long since ..." Cai Cheng Yi knew the true identity of Song Zhong Ming, and people only thought the boy was Song Zi Heng's illegitimate son.
"I think I can send him to where Lao Wu* is. Among all of the siblings, only he is the most reliable." The fifth prince, Song Zi Yun, had lost his mother when he was young, and he had always treated him well. After ascending to the throne, he made all his siblings move away from Daming, and everyone thought he was trying to strengthen the illegitimately conferred throne, but in fact he just did not want his siblings to be buried alive with him for the Song family. Song Zi Yun seemed to have no heart, no fight, but in fact he put his own safety before matters of principle, and he was the only brother who didn't turn against him and left in style with a large sum of money.
"Will Fifth Highness adopt him?"
"For old times' sake ..." Song Zi Heng was a little hesitant, "Zhong Ming is still too young, I really don't know who I can entrust him to."
"What about Sect Leader Xu?"
Song Zi Heng shook his head, "Once the war starts, Chunyang Sect will not be able to take care of itself. Lao Wu is now a free and casual immortal, and won't be found easily. Even if he is found, Song Zi Xiao more or less
… will remember a little brotherly love." After these words, both of them went silent.
Can Song Zi Xiao still have a bit of sentiment for anyone nowadays? Ever since he obtained the Xuanyuan Heavenly Secret Talisman and immersed himself in the secret techniques of incantation on the 'Yellow Emperor's Yin Fu Heavenly Secret Scripture', cultivating with spiritual energy and yin energy together, evil has already entered his heart. With the hatred he was already carrying, he has become colder and more ruthless. Even if there was only one Song Zi Heng left among his living enemies in this Song clan, there was no guarantee that he would not exterminate the Song clan to vent his hatred.
"Then, what does Emperor intend to do?"
"You go and prepare his traveling clothes, and I will arrange someone to send him out of the palace when the right time comes."
Cai Cheng Yi could not hide his sadness: "His Highness is still young and relies heavily on Emperor, how can he bear this farewell?" Song Zi Heng felt dejected: "I can't protect myself, so how can I shelter him from the wind and rain? If he concealed his identity, perhaps he can live peacefully." He treated Song Zhong Ming as if he were his own son, not only because he felt sorry for the Hua family, but also because the boy always reminded him of his Xiao Jiu. The time when Xiao Jiu had relied on and trusted him with all his heart had been beautiful but too short, and after so many years, his memories were already blurred, but when he was with Song Zhong Ming, he could often recall some forgotten moments.
In this decade, with no future to look forward to, he could only warm himself by remembering the past.
Every time he left Bailu Pavilion, Song Zi Xiao would be in a very bad mood. The memory of his mother did not make him feel any better, but only reminded him over and over again that the only person in the world who really cared about him had died long ago.
He walked quickly through the zig-zag corridors of the palace, so full of anger that he wanted to destroy everything he saw!
Suddenly, he sensed someone was following him.
"Who's there?!" Song Zi Xiao turned his head violently and spotted a movement in the grass. He waved his robe's sleeve and swept his spiritual pressure across the air.
"Ah " came the shriek of a child from the grass.
Song Zi Xiao frowned and watched as Song Zhong Ming rolled and crawled out of the grass, patting his clothes while glaring at him menacingly.
"Looking for death?"
"Why won't you let me see Father!?" Song Zhong Ming pointed at Song Zi Xiao. Song Zi Xiao ignored him, lifted his leg and was about to go.
However, Song Zhong Ming chased after him. His short little legs ran but were not slow, and quickly blocked Song Zi Xiao: "What right do you have? My father is the Human Emperor, and has also reached the eighth Chongtian of the Zongxuan Sword. He's the most powerful person in Jiuzhou, so why can't you let me see him?"
Song Zi Xiao sneered, "Get lost."
"I know. It's because you are Father's younger brother, so Father didn't beat you up, otherwise a bad person like you would have been beaten to death long ago." Song Zhong Ming raised his small chin, very sure of what he was saying.
Song Zi Xiao narrowed his eyes slightly as he looked down at Song Zhong Ming: "Who taught you that? Did Song Zi Heng tell you that I am his younger brother?"
Song Zi Xiao looked at the tiny, spirited toddler and thought to himself. If Song Zi Heng really did have a biological child, what would he be like? Surely he would be smarter, better looking and more gifted than the Hua family's child. And if he inherited Song Zi Heng's looks, he would be perfect.
But that was no longer possible. If Song Zi Heng wanted to have a child, he would have to give birth for him. He wondered if there was any evil magic in the world that could make a man give birth to a child, and if there was, he would have to try. He could not help but imagine, and many images had already come to his mind. When he looked at Song Zhong Ming, he was inexplicably a little more pleasing to the eye. He said, "Since you know that I am your father's younger brother, what should you call me?"
Song Zhong Ming seemed to think hard for a moment, then shook his head, "I won't call you that." "You should call me uncle."
"I won't say it." Song Zhong Ming pursed his lips, "Unless you let me see Father."
Song Zi Xiao held his head down and ordered, "Say it."
"No calling, I won't say it!" Song Zhong Ming said angrily, "I hate you." "If you don't call me that, you'll never see him again in your life."
Song Zhong Ming was so angry that he shouted, "Xiao Jiu!" Song Zi Xiao was baffled, "What did you ... call me?"
"Xiao Jiu. Aren't you Xiao Jiu? I'm not calling you uncle." The most respectful thing when calling someone is their title, and the least respectful thing is the person's birth name. Song Zhong Ming looked smug as if he had taken advantage of the situation.
Song Zi Xiao squatted down and glared at Song Zhong Ming grimly: "Did your father tell you this too?" There were few people in this world who could call him by his birth name.
"No, I guessed it myself." Song Zhong Ming curled his lips, "Father would sometimes call me Xiao Jiu, and when I asked him who Xiao Jiu was, he wouldn't tell me. Eunuch Cai said you are the former Ninth Highness, so isn't that you?”
Song Zi Xiao's body trembled lightly as he held Song Zhong Ming's shoulders and whispered, "Your father called you 'Xiao Jiu’? When and why?"
Song Zhong Ming tried to break away from Song Zi Xiao's grip: "Let go of me!"
"Speak up!" Song Zi Xiao said in a stern voice. The child was shocked by Song Zi Xiao's expression and he mumbled, "Father, Father said that he called the wrong name. Initially, I even thought I had an elder brother."
"... What else did he say?"
"Nothing else." Song Zhong Ming used his round eyes and rolled over Song Zi Xiao, "It's just that, when Father mentioned Xiao Jiu, he always looked sad, and now I know why, because you are a bad guy."
Song Zi Xiao only felt his heart pained and ached, as if he had been cut several times without seeing any blood, a kind of pain that he could not even scream out.
Was it, in fact, Song Zi Heng also missed their old days?
He wanted to hear his elder brother call him "Xiao Jiu" again very much.
as precarious as a pile of
eggs* [ 危若累卵 ]----pile of eggs that may collapse anytime; in an extremely
Lao Wu [⽼五] --- An informal address to the fifth prince of Song Clan
A month after the imperial order demanding for the annual offerings was sent out, Daming received intermittent replies. Some sects did not dare to resist and could only sell at a loss, some bewailed their poverty and tried to bargain, and some were still delaying.
Among the immortal families, the Wuliang Sect and Chunyang Sect were the first to lose their control. After the collapse of Wuyun Sect, these two sects became the largest sects under the Song Clan and above Jiuzhou. They had almost divided up most of the wealth of Wuyun Sect, and naturally, Song Zi Xiao was demanding an exorbitant price from them.
The Wuliang Sect and Chunyang Sect had long been scornful and competed with each other, and had nearly fought again over the spoils of war, so in fact their grudges were quite deep. But this time, they were forced to stand together again. On the day of the Winter Solstice, Li Bu Yu and Xu Zhi Nan came together to Daming to see Emperor Song.
In terms of age, Li Bu Yu and Xu Zhi Nan were a generation apart, but both had already taken the position of Sect Leader. However, Xu Zhi Nan naturally succeeded to the position after the death of his master, and Li Bu Yu's grandfather, the old Sect Leader of the Wuliang Sect, was bedridden after being seriously injured in a battle with Lu Zhao Feng. His father's qualifications were not good, so he gave his position directly to his grandson to help him strengthen his position.
At first, the immortal cultivation world was not optimistic about this twenty-something-year-old at the helm of the Wuliang Sect. After all, Li Bu Yu's qualifications were barely satisfactory and he had never shown much at the Jiaolong Assembly, but he became an overnight celebrity in the confrontation with the Wuyun Sect, demonstrating his strong cultivation and excellent leadership. He has everything going his way. Plus, he's at a young age and is able to put down his posture on stage, making a big difference in the alliances between the various sects. Since then, no one has dared to underestimate him.
Song Zi Heng summoned them to meet him at Zhengji Hall.
The Zhengji Hall, most of which had been destroyed, had just been repaired after a duel to the death between Song Zi Heng and Song Zi Xiao. The battle had shocked the entire immortal cultivation world. Unfortunately, people could only watch the stormy clouds and shaking mountains in Daming City, but they could not witness this once-in-a- century top-level duel with their own eyes. If they could really see the battle with their naked eyes from a close distance, they would probably have no lives to be able to tell others about it.
As Xu Zhi Nan and Li Bu Yu entered the hall, they looked around, as if subconsciously trying to see traces of the duel in the brand new beams. It was a duel between two Eighth Chongtian Zongxuan Sword cultivators, and many people would never have the chance to see such a spectacle in their lifetime.
Yet the renewed Zhengji Hall was whitewashed and peaceful.
Inside the hall, the twelve elders were seated on either side, with their disciples standing behind them. Their eyes followed the carved Danxi* with the Nine Dragons piercing the clouds and chasing the waves upwards. Song Zi Heng was sitting on a high throne, while a large ebony chair was placed on the lower left side of the throne. Song Zi Xiao casually sat with his legs crossed, looking at the two of them calmly in the midst of chaos with his eyes deep and cold, like they were dipped in venom.
"I, Xu Zhi Nan/Li Bu Yu, greets the emperor."
The two finished in unison, and then looked at Song Zi Xiao hesitantly at the same time. Li Bu Yu was the first to respond and said without changing his expression, "Greetings to Your Holiness."
When Xu Zhi Nan was the Sect Leader’s senior brother, he was also very nimble, but when he became the Sect Leader, he represented the dignity of a sect and was not as flexible as before. When he saw Song Zi Xiao, his face tensed.
In the Daming Song Clan's Zhengji Hall, in front of Emperor Song, this "Greetings to Your Holiness" made the Song Clan's cultivators feel dejected and dare not to speak out in anger.
Song Zi Xiao raised his eyebrows, thinking that this youngster was still as shameless as when he was young.
Xu Zhi Nan coughed lightly and looked at Song Zi Heng, "Emperor, the two of us are asking for an audience for the matter of the annual offering."
Song Zi Heng nodded and silently exchanged a look with Xu Zhi Nan. Nowadays, the power he could trust the most and rely on was Xu Zhi Nan. He had failed to fully gather the hearts and minds of the Song Clan over the years because he got this position using unjust methods. If they reached a life or death crisis, these elders might not be willing to follow his orders, but he and the Chunyang Sect had the same goal; they both wanted to stop Song Zi Xiao.
"What opinions do you have about the annual offerings?" Without waiting for Song Zi Heng to speak, Song Zi Xiao grinned, "Did you fill your qiankun bags today and present them personally with interest?"
"Your Holiness, the annual offerings demanded in that imperial order greatly exceed all of the sects, and some are even ancestral treasures of each sect." Xu Zhi Nan said, "Everyone feels that it is extremely difficult."
"My Wuliang Sect would never be able to get 100 million taels of gold even if we dug up Mount Shu." Li Bu Yu said with a bitter smile. "You have come all the way here just to push your luck?" Song Zi Xiao smiled coldly, "Whether it's an ancestral heirloom or not, it's none of my business whether you can take it out or not. I just want to see something."
Xu Zhi Nan said with a sullen face, "Your Holiness is imposing too much on us."
"So what if it's an imposition?" Song Zi Xiao looked at Xu Zhi Nan from a high position, "How many debts have you reneged over the years? Now you have to pay them back twice as much."
Song Zi Heng's hand clenched into a fist under his sleeved robe. He was sitting here like a puppet at the mercy of others. What 9 and 5 reign supreme? What Human Emperor? He’s just a mere prisoner without shackles. Not only that, the Zhengji Hall was almost completely renovated, except for the throne, which was left untouched. This was the first time he had been to court since the duel, and he was on pins and needles, with all sorts of unpleasant and painful images filling his mind. As Song Zi Xiao had said, from now on, every second he sat on this throne, he would remember the most humiliating experience of his life, which was Song Zi Xiao’s revenge and torment.
As if they had telepathy, Song Zi Xiao suddenly turned his head and looked at Song Zi Heng, smiling but not smiling. His unrestrained gaze fell from the man to the throne beneath him, his eyes containing unspeakable ambiguity.
Song Zi Heng lowered his eyes, his stiff jaw line revealing his inner anxiety.
"Your Holiness should not push people too far." Xu Zhi Nan said in a deep voice, "A top-grade immortal core cannot be refined overnight. What good would it do to Your Holiness to kill the chicken and take the eggs?"
"It is for the sake of refining it as soon as possible that I want your assistance." Song Zi Xiao curled his lips and smiled, "Gathering the powers of the immortal cultivation world, gathering the spiritual treasures of Jiuzhou, and using the Shen Nong Ding as the furnace, could I still not refine a supreme Immortal Core?"
"Your Holiness, this refining of cores, especially the superior ones, may waste ninety-nine of them to get one, or not even one. It is really a waste of manpower and resources." Li Bu Yu arched his hand and said, "My sect would like to offer the best core. Please Your Holiness, don't go and refine that unreal and supreme immortal core."
"If one doesn't work, then refine ten. If ten don't work, then refine a hundred." Song Zi Xiao slowly stood up, his tall body gave people a sense of oppression of the Five Sacred Mountains of the Daoists, "If a hundred cores are still not enough, then refine a thousand, ten thousand cores." His eyes were fierce, "If the Wuliang Sect and Chunyang Sect are really in a difficult position, then I will dig up all of your cores. Won't that help me break through to the Ninth Chongtian?!”
The crowd became horrified. They couldn't help but think of what happened to the Wuyun Sect. That night at Wuling, corpses were strewn all over the place, blood was scored, and all the cultivators had their guts cut open and their golden cores were taken away by the Yin soldiers. They had no choice but to burn Wuling to the ground and gather a thousand high- ranking cultivators to perform a ritual for three days and nights, yet they were still unable to transcend* all the grieving souls. Finally, they could only set up a huge soul-binding formation. The once prosperous and affluent Wuling was now a ghost town that no one dared to approach for ten miles around.
The Demon Supreme is not joking. He really can do it. He has done it before.
Xu Zhi Nan took a deep breath, "Your Holiness, there is no core in this world that is guaranteed to definitely help you break the boundary to Mahayana."
"Whether there is or not, I, will, try." Song Zi Heng silently looked at the people below, who were also looking at him, and what he saw in those gazes was either indignation or disdain, stabbing at him sword by sword.
The highest battle power in the immortal cultivation world today has been gathered in all of Zhengji Hall, yet no one dared to defy Song Zi Xiao. The Human Emperor in name only, and a group of great men who were drifting and living without purpose, it was pathetic.
They knew clearly that whatever Song Zi Xiao demanded would be a bottomless pit.
What kind of core is the supreme Immortal Core? What is needed to refine it, how will it be refined? When will it be refined, and will it be practiced successfully? How many treasures would have to be thrown into the furnace like firewood? How many cultivators would have to quench the fire night and day*, and how many times would it have to fail before it would succeed?
No one has the answer, nor does Song Zi Xiao himself, so he needs to scour the world for just one elusive thing.
If they compromise this time and accept the "annual offering", he will come to exploit the next batch of treasures when this batch is gone. If all the heavenly treasures fail to produce the core he wants, he will take countless human cores.
Today five cities will be destroyed. Tomorrow ten cities will be destroyed. And when they wake up and look around the border, the Qin army is coming again.*
Sooner or later, they would be completely emptied by Song Zi Xiao.
Song Zi Xiao did not force them to make a promise on the spot. He ordered them to stay in the guest post and to talk about it on another day. What was to be discussed was clear to all. It was just a question on how much meat to cut. As long as the Wuliang Sect and Chunyang Sect sucked it up, the various sects in the Central Plains would not dare to disobey, and now, on the contrary, the Cangyu Sect that had the most unyielding attitude.
Back in his bedchamber, Song Zi Heng stood with his eyes closed, allowing Cai Cheng Yi to take off his imperial crown and clothes for him.
Song Zi Xiao sat on one side and watched Song Zi Heng unblinkingly, when suddenly he spoke, "Change into the smoke-colored one."
Cai Cheng Yi froze.
"That set looks good against big brother's complexion." Song Zi Xiao’s tone was completely matter-of-fact.
Song Zi Heng took a breath and suppressed the anger in his chest.
Cai Cheng Yi stole a glance at Song Zi Heng and received tacit approval from his eyes before he took the smoke-colored regular clothes and changed them for the emperor.
"Big brother shouldn’t always wear white. Although white looks good, sometimes it looks like you don't have much spirit." Song Zi Xiao put one hand on his cheek as if he was playing with some interesting object, "I don't think I've ever seen you wear bright colors either. Eunuch Cai, doesn't the emperor have any brighter clothes?"
"Uh ..." Cai Cheng Yi whispered, "The emperor prefers plain colors." "Go make a few sets." Song Zi Xiao hooked his lips in a smile, "So as to
increase our pleasure in bed."
Song Zi Heng glared at Song Zi Xiao with a chill in his eyes.
"What, not happy? Think I have disgraced you today at Zhengji Hall?" Song Zi Xiao laughed evilly, "You've lost more than face. If you think with an open mind, you won't be asking for discomfort." "What kind of core are you trying to make?" Song Zi Heng asked in a deep voice.
"A core I read about from the ‘Heavenly Secret Scripture’." Song Zi Xiao said proudly, "I am bound to get it!"
Danxi*[丹樨]--- In ancient times, a large building would
usually have a large hall with a prominent pedestal in front of it, which we
call Danxi. Usually connected to a staircase. Auspicious animals, such as lions, qilin, etc. will be placed on the left and right. Sometimes the pair of auspicious beasts would also be called Danxi.
Transcend* [ 超 度 ]----The real definition is: to perform religious ceremonies to help the soul find peace Night and day*[ 夜以继⽇ ]----
continuous strenuous effort Today five cities will be destroyed. Tomorrow
ten cities will be destroyed. And when they wake up and look around the border, the Qin army is coming again.* [今⽇割五城，明⽇割⼗城，起视 四境，秦兵⼜⾄]----this whole phrase comes from a political essay 《六
国论》written by Su Xun ( 苏洵) PS: the tl word for 丹 (dan) is very diverse. I usually tl it as pill or core most of the time. Sometimes it is also tl as elixir which I don’t think I use it. Just FYI :)
Transcend* [ 超 度 ]----The real definition is: to perform religious ceremonies to help the soul find peace Night and day*[ 夜以继⽇ ]----
continuous strenuous effort Today five cities will be destroyed. Tomorrow
ten cities will be destroyed. And when they wake up and look around the border, the Qin army is coming again.* [今⽇割五城，明⽇割⼗城，起视四境，秦兵⼜⾄]----this whole phrase comes from a political essay 《六
国论》written by Su Xun ( 苏洵) PS: the tl word for 丹 (dan) is very diverse. I usually tl it as pill or core most of the time. Sometimes it is also tl as elixir which I don’t think I use it. Just FYI :)
"That core, has it ever been refined by anyone?"
"No. If it were that simple, how could it be called a supreme immortal core?"
"Pill refining is even more elusive than cultivation. A person, even if he lacks natural talent, will always have a bit of progress if he cultivates a bit, but refining cores fails from time to time, and the more complex and powerful the core, the easier it is to lose everything."
Song Zi Xiao nodded his head in agreement.
"Many sects' secret core techniques have gone through countless failures before they succeeded. Even if the Giant Spirit Villa came to refine their best core, accidents could still occur." Song Zi Heng frowned deeply, "If you insist on refining this core, I am afraid that it will be a waste of manpower and resources. If you fail repeatedly, do you want to squander the property of the various immortal families?"
"So what?" Song Zi Xiao laughed disdainfully.
Song Zi Heng said in a deep voice, "If you can't refine it anyhow, do you really want to take the human core?"
"Haven't I taken it before?"
"Song Zi Xiao, have you seen what you have become now!?" Song Zi Heng only felt bitterness. His Xiao Jiu was somewhat stubborn and arrogant, but in no way was he a cold-blooded and cruel demonic cultivator who stole cores. He would rather ... rather have Xiao Jiu dead than the murderous Demon Supreme he is today!
Song Zi Xiao ridiculed: "The reason why I have become like this is because I have a good big brother. He taught me righteousness, virtue and goodness ever since I was a child, while he himself did the most shameless, despicable and vicious things in the world. Hypocrites full of benevolence and morality are really disgusting. I would rather be a bad person magnanimously."
Song Zi Heng's body trembled. His shoulders collapsed as if he couldn't carry the heavy burden, and his face looked defeated.
"Even if the entire immortal cultivation world is emptied, they must still refine the core for me, and if they still can't, I'll rip the core out of all of them." Song Zi Xiao's smile was ferocious and grim. The evil ghost that crawled out of the Abyssal Hell was no better than him. He admired Song Zi Heng's fear and pain, and gained twisted pleasure.
In fact, he had never eaten a single human core. Ever since he was eight years old when he went out with Song Zi Heng and nearly died under the sword of a core-stealing demonic cultivator, he had been extremely disgusted with core thieves, and the appearance of Lu Zhao Feng had deepened his hatred. He had his Yin soldiers dig out the cores of all the cultivators of the Wuyun Sect, so that they would never be able to form cores again. That was the punishment for the core thieves. Those who were unwilling to submit to Lu Zhao Feng, such as his third sister's family, had already lost their lives under the Chasing Mountain Whip, and none of the remaining ones were innocent.
Even if Lu Zhao Feng dug out his own core and gave it to him to eat before he died, he would not have cared.
But he doesn't need to explain it to anyone, and even if he did, no one would believe him. Fear was the best rule, so let the world be afraid.
Song Zi Heng looked out of the window in a daze, "Song Zi Xiao, you acted perversely and became an enemy of the world. Sooner or later you will pay the price."
"As long as I possess supreme power, no one will be able to do anything to me." Song Zi Xiao walked towards his big brother and wrapped his arms around his thin, narrow waist from behind. His voice low and dangerous against his ear, "Same goes to you. Do you think I don't know that you're secretly breaking your chakra? Even if you unblock the chakra, what can you do? You can't beat me, so are you planning to sneak attack?"
Song Zi Heng pursed his lips and said nothing.
"Well, a sneak attack may be possible." Song Zi Xiao gently licked the tip of his tongue across his big brother's ear, "Big brother's taste is so soul- crushing. I want to stay inside and not come out." He let out a flirtatious string of laughter, "If you sneak up on me while we're tangled up, you might be able to succeed."
Song Zi Heng, already on the defensive against his usual humiliation, said indifferently, "If you're so sure that I can't hurt you no matter what, why don't you unseal me?"
"I have a poisonous snake sleeping beside me, how can I ignore it?" Song Zi Xiao turned over his big brother's face and kissed the warm, soft lips, "You should spend less effort on such useless thoughts."
Song Zi Heng turned his face away.
Song Zi Xiao pulled his collar away with his teeth and nibbled lightly on the snow-white, slender neck that smelled like orchids, "This color really suits your complexion. Since you were young, big brother has always loved to wear white, but I want you to wear red for me."
As soon as the words landed, the two of them stiffened in unison. It sounded too much like a romantic and charming love sentence. Like a person proposing to the one he loved, and willingly draping himself in flourishing red attire for him. The words were inappropriate in this place. At this time and in this place, the both of them were not suitable.
Song Zi Xiao felt a bit regretful, but having inadvertently said what he had longed for years, he couldn't help but anticipate seeing something on his brother's face.
Unfortunately, this face was deathly still, so beautiful that one could love and hate it at the same time.
Disappointment filled his chest, and Song Zi Xiao held the person in his arms tightly, thinking viciously: Whether you care for me or not, you are always mine!
In the past few days, Song Zi Heng had been trying to find a chance to see Xu Zhi Nan and Li Bu Yu alone. After realizing that it was not very feasible to meet them secretly, he thought about how to get Song Zi Xiao to allow them to meet under the excuse of advising them.
Unexpectedly, when he mentioned it, Song Zi Xiao agreed, but with one request; he could only see one person at a time.
Song Zi Heng could not help but sigh secretly at his deep scheming. Xu Zhi Nan and Li Bu Yu were polite on the surface, but in reality they each had their own agenda. These two alone would never be able to cooperate without reservation, but it would be different if Song Zi Heng was there, and Song Zi Xiao would not give them that opportunity.
So Song Zi Heng first summoned Xu Zhi Nan, the person he wanted to see most, and the only one who could help him turn the situation around.
The two of them had not seen each other for only a year, but the immortal cultivation world had been turned upside down, and there was a deep weariness on each other's faces. "Emperor." Xu Zhi Nan bowed, "To be able to see the emperor again, it's really..."
"Big brother Xu." Song Zi Heng held Xu Zhi Nan, "There are no outsiders here, so you and I don't have to be so formal."
Xu Zhi Nan let out a long sigh, "In these few months, Emperor has been alone and surrounded by Song Zi Xiao. You have lost a lot of weight."
Song Zi Heng said gloomily, "I can only drag out an ignoble existence* when asking a tiger for its skin*."
"If the emperor lives, there is hope for us. When Song Zi Xiao pushes us to the brink, we can only fight to the death."
"We all understand this, but how easy is it to unite the entire immortal cultivation world?" Song Zi Heng laughed bitterly, "I, the Emperor Song, am not worthy of the name. I am not supported internally, and I am not supported by the people externally. Now, I am defeated under Song Zi Xiao's sword. Even if I have the heart, I’m afraid I don’t have any power.”
"Please don’t think this way Emperor. In the past, we were able to fight together against the Wuyun Sect because it had lost its humanity and had become a demonic sect that stole cores and killed many cultivators, which became a common enemy in the immortal world. Now Song Zi Xiao's threat is even greater than that of Wuyun Sect, but he has no enmity with the immortal families. Most of them are afraid of his Heavenly Secret Talisman and only want to avoid disaster. If we really have to wait for them to wake up to reality, by then Song Zi Xiao would have gnawed them to the bones. Now the immortal cultivation world is falling apart, but you are still here, the emperor is still here, and only you can command the world in name only."
Song Zi Heng shook his head slowly, "Even if I have the support of you and Wuliang Sect, I may not be able to command those many, many immortal sects and families." "Now it is impossible because they haven't learned their lesson enough." Xu Zhi Nan said gravely, "This time, on the way here, Li Bu Yu and I had actually agreed to take a portion of the tribute to stabilize that demon first. Sooner or later, he will ask us for another annual tribute. Once, twice, three times, and the immortal cultivation world will definitely awaken. When the time comes, if the trouble comes from within the Wuji Palace from Song Zi Xiao's side, it will definitely give confidence to the immortal cultivation world. When the emperor issues a call for action, we will follow you in life and death to eradicate the demonic cultivator."
Song Zi Heng's face was tense, and his eyes looked vacantly into the void, not saying anything for a long time.
Whether it was Song Zi Xiao draining the immortal cultivation world dry or the immortal cultivation world annihilating Song Zi Xiao, it was something he did not want to see at all. Song Zi Xiao had humiliated and tortured him to the utmost, but he could not hate him in any way because of his affection and guilt for Xiao Jiu.
He did not want Song Zi Xiao to die. Even if there was no more trace of Xiao Jiu in that man, he could not forget his late night dream of the world's most fearful Demon Supreme, cowering in his arms and calling out "big brother". His heart was repeatedly broken, but he was still unable to be heartless.
However, no matter how he thought about it, he could not come up with a solution to the problem.
"Emperor." Xu Zhi Nan said softly, "Emperor?"
Song Zi Heng looked at Xu Zhi Nan in silence, his eyes were seemingly frozen with pain that could not be dissolved.
Xu Zhi Nan was also silent, and only after a long time did he say, "Is it possible that the emperor still cares about his brotherly love?"
This sentence was like a sharp sword piercing through his heart, and Song Zi Heng's face turned white as he opened his mouth, unable to speak. "He's not your younger brother anymore." Xu Zhi Nan said again. "I know."
"We must stop him from capsizing the entire immortal cultivation world."
"I know." Song Zi Heng forced down the sharp pain in his heart, "When the time is right, I will personally ... clean up the mess." If they could defeat Song Zi Xiao, he would definitely establish his authority through this battle, and perhaps at that time, he would be able to leave Song Zi Xiao a life. Would this be their only hope?
Xu Zhi Nan let out a long sigh, "I will also advise Meng Sheng to hold back for a while."
Song Zi Heng nodded, "She is a proud and stubborn person, I'm afraid you are the only one who can persuade her."
"I have no confidence either." Xu Zhi Nan laughed at himself, "The whole immortal cultivation world is no match for a group of female cultivators from the Cangyu Sect who have a stiff backbone. Now they are on their knees, it won't be easy to stand up in the future."
"The Cangyu Sect does have the capital to be tough, but if they really piss him off, I am afraid that ..." Song Zi Heng said worriedly, "You should advise Qi Meng Sheng as soon as possible, otherwise, sooner or later, he will go to Kunlun to punish them as an example to others. "
"There is one more thing, I need Brother Xu to help me." "Please speak, Emperor."
"I want to send Zhong Ming to be raised by my fifth brother, so that he can stay away from the chaotic land and people." Song Zi Heng said sadly.
"That’s fine. If there is anything the Emperor wants me to do, just ask." "When everything is ready, I will find a way to inform you."
only drag out an ignoble existence* [ 苟且偷⽣ ]---to drift and live without existence
when asking a tiger for its skin* [与虎谋⽪]---expect someone (usually an evil person) to
act against his own interest
When Song Zi Heng met Li Bu Yu, the atmosphere between the two of them became cold.
They had not met alone ever since the Eight Trigrams Platform. With that unpleasant secret holding them back, the little friendship they had when they were young had long since vanished.
Li Bu Yu bowed deeply, "Greetings to the Emperor."
Song Zi Heng looked at Li Bu Yu expressionlessly, "There's no need to be polite."
Li Bu Yu straightened up and looked at Song Zi Heng with a slightly evasive gaze, not daring to take the initiative to speak either.
It was only after a long time that Song Zi Heng asked, "Is there anyone taking care of mother's tomb?"
"Consort Shen's place is always guarded and always clean. I often go and pay respects on the Emperor’s behalf."
"... Many thanks."
"Emperor has flattered me. Emperor has succeeded to the throne for many years, have you ever thought of moving Consort Shen back to Daming?"
Song Zi Heng shook his head, "She cannot enter the Song's cemetery." She hated Song Ming He so much that she wanted to die with him, so how would she be willing to be a ghost of the Song clan after her death? She would rather sleep forever in Mount Shu. Although Mount Shu is a foreign land, it is a picturesque place filled with an immortal breeze, so it is also considered home.
"That's also good. If the Emperor wants to pay respects to Consort Shen, I will arrange it without telling anyone."
"I ..." Song Zi Heng thought about it and shook his head. Maybe after some time, he has to meet his mother eventually. If the two of them met in the underworld, they might be able to let go of their grudges in this life. But now, he still cannot let it go. Her twisted love and hate had ruined him and herself.
Li Bu Yu took advantage of Song Zi Heng's contemplation to peek at him. Remembering the tainted rumors in Daming City, and he mentality tensed up. The supremely proud and noble Human Emperor was really taken by Song Zi Xiao ...
Song Zi Heng kept away his train of thought and said deeply: “Today I summoned you here because of the matter of the annual offerings. I just met Xu Zhi Nan. There was already a discussion between you two, right?"
"Yes. But if Chunyang Sect really handed over the Vermilion Bird Plume, it would be forcing our sect to hand over the Nine Heaven Mystic Iron."
"It wasn't Xu Zhi Nan who forced you, but Song Zi Xiao." Song Zi Heng said, "If both of you are afraid of suffering a loss, you take a step back, and he takes a step back. In the end, you will attract censure"
Li Bu Yu wrinkled his brow, "I know it's a stop-gap measure, but ..." "You are worried that the Chunyang Sect is hiding a selfish motive?" "Yes." Li Bu Yu said frankly, "What's more, Xu Zhi Nan is close to Qi
Meng Sheng, and this time Qi Meng Sheng's reaction is the most stubborn. What will happen after that is really unpredictable." It’s understandable that Li Bu Yu was worried that Xu Zhi Nan and Qi Meng Sheng would work together to trap him, and likewise, Xu Zhi Nan may also have such worries, which was why he needed Song Zi Heng to mediate between them.
Song Zi Heng was frank about the countermeasures he and Xu Zhi Nan had discussed. Now, it was necessary to stabilize Song Zi Xiao first, then secretly lobby all the sects and wait until the time was ripe to fight the enemy together. There was no better way. If they could not unite the power of the entire immortal cultivation world, it would be impossible to defeat the Demon Supreme who is holding two ancient divine treasures and could summon thousands of Yin soldiers.
Li Bu Yu agreed to this, and only under Song Zi Heng's guarantee did he agree to trust Xu Zhi Nan and work with Chunyang Sect together this time.
Song Zi Heng advised, "Bu Yu, although you have taken over as the head of Wuliang Sect, you are too young and your foundation is not stable. The open and dark fights between Wuliang Sect and Chunyang Sect are mostly the affairs of the previous generation. You are the one who knows how to advance and retreat, so why don't you take this good opportunity to make peace with the Chunyang Sect?"
Li Bu Yu said with a bitter smile, "Emperor, it's not that I haven't thought about it. I'm a junior in front of Immortal Lord Xu, so I don’t mind about that bit of face, but ..."
"Emperor, don't mind me talking about people behind my back. I really have no choice." Li Bu Yu sighed, "Leaving aside the conflicts of the previous generation, this person, Immortal Lord Xu, is really incomprehensible to me." He gave an odd expression, "When I was young, I had some contact with him and found him to be open-minded and dashing, unlike those old-fashioned people in Chunyang Sect. But ever since he became the Sect Leader, he has changed. Sometimes he is pleasant, sometimes he seems to be indifferent, extremely difficult to please, and once he even forgot our verbal agreement and went back on his word." Song Zi Heng was slightly surprised. The Xu Zhi Nan described by Li Bu Yu was totally different from the one he knew. In any case, Li Bu Yu was the head of a sect, so he’s unlikely to sow discord between people. With his friendship with Xu Zhi Nan, wouldn't he be able to see through him at once?
"The Emperor and Immortal Lord Xu have a deep friendship, so he is naturally submissive before the Emperor." Li Bu Yu said helplessly, "But what I said is true, or else the emperor can ask around in the immortal cultivation world. Many people say that after Immortal Lord Xu became the Sect Leader, his temperament has changed greatly and he is cloudy and unpredictable."
Song Zi Heng pondered for a moment, "As the Sect Leader, naturally he cannot act in the same way as before."
Li Bu Yu sighed.
"Go back to the post house, discuss with Xu Zhi Nan and make a new annual offering. I will try my best to negotiate with Song Zi Xiao."
"Yes." Li Bu Yu stole another glance at Song Zi Heng and could not help but say, "Emperor, you have lost a lot of weight. Is your body ... unwell?"
A light silhouette appeared on Song Zi Heng's thin cheeks, which appears extremely handsome. A pair of dark inky deer eyes were increasingly sullen day by day, set against that sickly pale skin that showed a bit of fragility.
Li Bu Yu's heart surged with a desire that he had suppressed for years, but he only dared to watch from afar.
Song Zi Heng shook his head, "It's not a problem."
"I heard that Song Zi Xiao has sealed your chakra." Li Bu Yu held an extra item in his hand, "You have taken this True Essence Jade Training Pill before. I brought two more. It is a universal pill, so it will help you."
"Thank you for your concern." This time it was a secret meeting. There was not even a single subordinate in the room and Li Bu Yu seemed to have an excuse to come closer. He got bold and presented the immortal pill with both hands and gently placed it on the coffee table next to Song Zi Heng's hand.
Song Zi Heng swept a glance at the delicate wooden box and felt the sensation of being watched above his head again. He looked up and met Li Bu Yu's eager gaze that he could not tuck away in time.
Song Zi Heng suddenly felt strange. Ever since he was forced by Song Zi Xiao, he began to feel repulsed by the proximity of men. Fortunately, he was usually surrounded by eunuchs, but at this moment Li Bu Yu made him feel a little uncomfortable.
Li Bu Yu took two steps back quickly, "Emperor, forgive me."
"It's alright." Song Zi Heng was even more uncomfortable with his own sensitivity, "It is late, you should go back. In two days, you guys will have to be summoned to the palace again."
"Yes." Li Bu Yu said softly, "I hope the Emperor will take care of your health."
After Li Bu Yu left, Song Zi Heng was silent for a long time alone, thinking about all that had happened in the past ten years, only to feel that he was caught in a swamp which he could not get out of.
He thought of Yunding, of the Eight Trigrams Platform, of the moment when he had defeated Song Ming He with his life, and the twist of pain and delight that had flooded him at the same time. His own father, who had given him hair, skin, bones and blood, had tried to dig up his core, and he used his sword to vent all his sufferings. The reason why he took on the eternal infamy of killing his father was not just to save his mother's honor, but because, at that moment, he truly had the intention to kill. He could never forget the image of Song Ming He's blood splattered on the Eight Trigrams Platform. Where the unbeatable Emperor Ning Hua begged him, the eldest son who had never been taken seriously, to spare his life for the sake of their father-son relationship.
Father-son relationship; that was the biggest joke he had ever heard in his life. But in the end, he still could not kill him.
Caught up in his memories, Song Zi Heng did not realize someone was approaching until he heard footsteps close at hand.
"What are you thinking about?" A hand pinched his fleshy earlobe.
Who else but Song Zi Xiao could be so wanton? Song Zi Heng did not raise his head, collected his emotions and said in a calm tone, "I have summoned Xu Zhi Nan and Li Bu Yu separately. You will get what you want."
"Very well." Song Zi Xiao said with a low smile, "It seems that big brother has saved me some trouble."
"You shouldn't push people too much either."
Song Zi Xiao sat his big brother on his lap. His high nose resting against his big brother's collar, lightly sniffing the faint scent of his skin, "What do you mean by too much?"
"You know it in your heart."
"Then we'll see if they have it in their hearts." Song Zi Xiao laughed twice, "By the way, there was something interesting just now."
Song Zi Heng did not say anything.
"Someone called Huang Dao Zi came to Wuji Palace."
Huang Dao Zi? Song Zi Heng vaguely felt as if he had heard of this name before. All this time, Song Zi Xiao had been recruiting people to prepare for the alchemy. Even though he had fallen into the demonic path, there were still countless people who wanted to work for him, and the number of people who came to pay their respects was endless day after day, but there were very few who could be looked upon by Song Zi Xiao.
"This man is a bit interesting. He looked like a beggar with ragged clothes, claiming to be able to predict the world, but he looked like a divine charlatan." Song Zi Xiao played with his big brother's fair and slender fingers, "However, he has a magical weapon, which is rumored to have been passed down from King Zhou Wen - the Luo Shui Jade Armor."
Luo Shui Jade Armor!
Song Zi Heng finally remembered this person. His mother had once told him that back then a divine fortune-teller, who was both real and fake, had come to Wuji Palace and calculated that among Song Ming He's nine sons, he was the only one with an imperial destiny.
He did not believe it at the time, and neither did Song Ming He, because this Huang Dao Zi had a bad reputation. He also said that his magical weapon was the back armor of the Luo Shui divine tortoise that King Zhou Wen used to forecast the world, but no one could prove it. Sometimes his calculations were accurate, sometimes they were outrageous, and he was greedy and would talk nonsense for money. The treacherous thing was that no matter how much money he got, he would soon lose it all. So the world sees him in a very downcast state most of the time, and he looks even less credible.
"This man has a notorious reputation, do you want to use him?" Song Zi Heng said coldly.
"He may not be completely useless. Let's try to keep him around." Song Zi Xiao gave a light laugh, "And this man is interesting. I asked him to forecast for me on the spot, just to calculate my life, and guess what he said."
"..." "He pounded on that king's shell for half a day and said that I 'shall not end well'." Song Zi Xiao laughed out loud.
"Since ancient times, demonic cultivators don't end up well. Do you still need to calculate?"
Song Zi Xiao kissed his big brother and his gaze was dark, "You also hope for my downfall, don't you?"
"I hope that you will return from your lost path."
Song Zi Xiao laughed wildly and wickedly, "This is not a lost path, but a straight path to immortality. I am walking a path that no one has ever walked before, and I am destined to go further than anyone else. He is a mere mortal and cannot calculate my great life."
"In that case, why do you still keep him?" Song Zi Heng was very resistant to Huang Dao Zi. Although his mother's love-hate obsession could not be counted on an outsider, perhaps she would not have done so much evil if Huang Dao Zi had not given her that little bit of hope at a time when she was suffering the most.
"He later said that he could help me to change my fate against the heavens." Song Zi Xiao arrogantly said, "My fate, I’ll write it myself."
A few days later, Song Zi Xiao hosted a banquet in the name of Emperor Song to entertain Xu Zhi Nan and Li Bu Yu. He also summoned the sect leaders of several small sects. These were the people who obediently paid their annual offerings immediately.
They had cut their flesh and had blood dripping from their hearts, but they still had to force a smile on their faces at the banquet and treat Song Zi Xiao with respect. Worse still, some of them had to stay in Wuji Palace or send their elders and trusted aides to Wuji Palace to refine the core for Song Zi Xiao.
At this banquet, everyone except Song Zi Xiao was uneasy and nervous, especially Emperor Kong Hua, who was high on the throne.
At the banquet, Song Zi Heng met the divine predictor Huang Dao Zi.
The man's hair was grey at the temples and was skinny. His eyes were too white which made his black pupils look extra sharp. It was deep and sharp when he looked at people. He really had an unpleasant face. Even though he's wearing the attire of a scholar*, at this moment he still couldn't conceal his marketplace vibe.
During the banquet, Song Zi Heng noticed that Huang Dao Zi looked at him several times, as if he was pondering something. If Song Zi Xiao didn’t want to retain him, he would have expelled the man from Daming.
Song Zi Heng drained his cup of wine and rose to leave the table. Cai Cheng Yi followed behind him. Seeing that his steps were a little weak, he was about to help him.
Song Zi Heng waved his hand: "I want to be alone."
"Don't catch a cold, Emperor." Cai Cheng Yi draped a cloak over Song Zi Heng before silently retreating.
Song Zi Heng stood in the garden of the courtyard. Looking up at the lonely star and the waning moon in the sky, his heart felt infinitely lonely.
A cautious sound of footsteps came from behind him.
Song Zi Heng inclined his head slightly, and when he saw the person coming, his eyes grew colder.
"Caomin* pays respects to the emperor." Huang Dao Zi bowed his body almost at a diagonal.
"Who are you?"
"Caomin is a fortune teller, known as Huang Dao Zi in Jianghu. His Holiness is not disdained with my crudeness and has allowed me to stay in the palace and serve the Emperor and His Holiness faithfully."
"Who gave you permission to follow me?" Song Zi Heng turned around and glared sternly at Huang Dao Zi.
Huang Dao Zi smiled in a pleasing manner, "Emperor, forgive me. Caomin dares not to. Caomin was looking for the toilet and took a wrong turn. I took a wrong turn. Emperor please forgive me." After saying this, he retreated backwards.
There was a flash of light in Huang Dao Zi's eyes and he stopped in his tracks.
Song Zi Heng narrowed his eyes, "Do you have something to say to me?" Huang Dao Zi smiled, "Does the Emperor have something to instruct Caomin?"
Huang Dao Zi bowed again, "The Emperor is now in deep sorrow and thinks you cannot free yourself, but in fact, the Emperor has an imperial destiny and is a reincarnation of a celestial being. This is all a necessary calamity. Eventually, you will surely escape danger."
Such words are often used by fortune-tellers to comfort sorrowful beings, but it is disrespectful to deceive the Emperor.
Song Zi Heng's disgust with Huang Dao Zi increased: "How do you know that I have an imperial destiny?"
"Caomin used the Luo Shui Jade Armor to calculate it." Huang Dao Zi still smiled obsequiously, "It was calculated when the emperor was born."
"Who knows if you're just a charlatan?" Song Zi Heng gritted his teeth and said, "You fooled the late emperor and my mother with this art of words, do you want to die?"
Huang Dao Zi said unhurriedly, "How would I dare fool the late emperor and Consort Shen? What I said is the truth. The Emperor does have an imperial destiny."
"Everyone in the world knows how I came to be the emperor." Song Zi Heng took a step closer to Huang Dao Zi, his voice concealing a murderous aura, "Is this the imperial destiny?"
"Those who can be emperors may not always have an imperial destiny, but those who have an imperial destiny are bound to be emperors." Huang Dao Zi said respectfully, "The emperor's throne is the destiny."
"Now I am under coercion, and the throne only exists in name, is there such an imperial destiny? Is this also destined!?"
"The emperor is not invulnerable." "Then what is the use of this imperial destiny?" Huang Dao Zi smiled but said nothing.
"What are you guys talking about?"
Song Zi Xiao's icy voice came from behind him.
"Your Holiness." Huang Dao Zi saluted very flatteringly.
"What did you say to the Emperor?" Song Zi Xiao looked askance at Huang Dao Zi in a condescending manner.
"The Emperor was slightly curious about Caomin's magical treasure." Song Zi Heng tensed his face and looked at them without saying a word.
Song Zi Xiao glanced at his big brother and said coldly, "If you dare to say anything nonsensical to the Emperor that he doesn't like to hear, go back and count how many days you have left to live."
"Caomin does not dare." Huang Dao Zi begged for mercy as he retreated. Song Zi Xiao walked over to his big brother, "He's not talking nonsense,
"What can he say?"
"This man looks blindly subservient, yet he dares to say to my face that I 'will not end well', I am afraid that he is hypocritical. I also wanted to see what he is really up to, that's why I retained him." Song Zi Xiao didn't know why he got flustered. When he saw Song Zi Heng and Huang Dao Zi standing together, he was afraid that this divine scoundrel would also read his big brother's fortune.
When Huang Dao Zi told him that he would "not end well", he was not angry, but on the contrary, he found it funny. From the day he went into exile ten years ago, he never thought he would end well. He summoned the Yin soldiers and his hands were full of blood. It was forbidden by heaven and earth. Unless he can attain perfection, attain immortality and transcend reincarnation, he will definitely go to hell. Therefore, he's provocative, and he will die for a good cause if he doesn't succeed.
But what about Song Zi Heng? What will happen to Song Zi Heng, who has sinned just as much?
During those ten years, he had cursed his big brother in endless pain, but he dared not let go of him as if he was clutching at the last straw*. He did not even have the courage to ask Huang Dao Zi to forecast Song Zi Heng's fortune, fearing that their fate - even if it was a sinful one - would be broken.
He wanted to change his fate against the heavens. Not just his own fate.
He wanted to be entangled with his big brother until the end of time!
The words "imperial destiny" still seemed to echo in Song Zi Heng's ears, and because of this imperial destiny, his family had been destroyed and he had even been reduced to his younger brother’s exclusive property.
"Big brother?" Song Zi Xiao frowned, "What exactly did Huang Dao Zi say? Did he forecast your fortune?"
"... No. He only said that I have an imperial destiny."
Song Zi Xiao's frown deepened, "Isn't that nonsense?"
If one did not specialize in the way of reincarnation of life and death, an ordinary person would not understand that imperial destiny and imperial fortune were two different things, and it was only from Huang Dao Zi that Song Zi Heng learned a thing or two.
Song Zi Heng always felt that Huang Dao Zi had come with some kind of purpose, and as Song Zi Xiao had said, this man was not as shallow as he appeared. "It's cold outside, let’s go inside." Song Zi Xiao gathered the front of Song Zi Heng's cloak.
"I want to get some air and enjoy the moon." Song Zi Heng said lightly.
Song Zi Xiao lowered his head and kissed the tip of his big brother's nose: "There is nothing to see in the stars and the moon tonight. If you want to see them, I will take you up the mountain to see it another day."
"No need." Song Zi Heng turned around and was about to leave.
Song Zi Xiao stopped him by the waist and gazed down into those indifferent eyes, "You are mine. If he upsets you, you can tell me."
Song Zi Heng thought: You actually care about who upsets me? You have contributed half of all the pain today. But his face sank like water and he shook his head, "Let's go."
The two of them left side by side.
In the deep, darkened corridor, a handsome face peeked out. The intimate image Li Bu Yu had just seen kept floating before his eyes, and one pair of pupils was gradually drenched with jealousy.
Attire of a scholar* [峨冠博带]---A tall hat with a wide belt. A reference to the attire of the ancient scholar.
Caomin*[草⺠] a way to address oneself (of a low status) when
talking to a superior. I wanted to change it to ‘I’ initially, but hmmmm… clutching at the last straw*[抓着救命稻草]---clutching onto one last hope
The treasures of the immortal families were sent to Daming in batches, leaving trail after trail of ruts and horses in the snow, leaving a muddy ravine that was repeatedly crushed, a trail of snow and mud, a trail of geese, all of which were evidence of the Song Clan's crime of scouring the world. (Check again)
It had been a long time since Wuji Palace had been so noisy, and it had taken several days just to count the annual offerings.
The treasures of the immortals were certainly different from each other, but after all they were non-living things, and Song Zi Xiao was very ruthless in asking them to offer living things. Of course, what he asked for by name was the secret method of alchemy of each family. How can anyone give this kind of sect's treasure? With no choice, each family could only send those people, who inherited the secret method, to Wuji Palace. They became hostages at the same time when refining the core for Song Zi Xiao.
Among these people, the most important person is Ran Xing Wen, the young master of the Giant Spirit Villa.
This Giant Spirit Villa is unique in the immortal cultivation world. It has been a sect for hundreds of years, never pursuing extreme sword techniques or cultivation, but craftsmanship.
Giant Spirit Villa possesses the best and most comprehensive smelting techniques in the Immortal Cultivation World, including armor, pills, talismans and magical treasures. It is not that all the best things in the immortal cultivation world are produced by Giant Spirit Villa. After all, the best treasures need the best base materials, but for the same base materials, Giant Spirit Villa can always produce the best. Therefore, all immortal families purchase many things from Giant Spirit Villa throughout the year, and they also send the treasures they found to Giant Spirit Villa for refining.
Giant Spirit Villa has never been involved in the sects' disputes. Because of its special and lofty status, the Giant Spirit Villa has always stood alone, no matter how turbulent the immortal cultivation world has become.
That is, until Song Zi Xiao appeared.
Now the Giant Spirit Villa had no choice but to send the heir to the head of the sect to Wuji Palace, which can be described as enduring humiliation.
Ran Xing Wen is a mysterious man who lives in seclusion and never even attended the Jiaolong Assembly when he was young. In addition, the Giant Spirit Villa does not prioritize cultivation, so the outside world thinks that he is mostly of mediocre talent, but it does not matter. As long as he can inherit the smelting skills from the old master, he is good enough to gain a foothold in the immortal cultivation world.
This time he came to Daming, causing the world to want to get a glimpse of his honor. Even Song Zi Heng was a little curious.
However, when they met him, they were disappointed. He was quite handsome, but he spoke little and was even a bit inarticulated. But, no one dared to question his genuine talent.
Song Zi Xiao entrusted Ran Xing Wen with the important task of planning the refinement of the core and discussing with the top alchemists from various sects on the method of refining this supreme immortal core. Wuji Palace's furnace will be used to test it first, and when he's confident, real material will then be used to refine at Shen Nong Ding.
Ran Xing Wen showed no expression. Without speaking nonsense, he buried himself in his research. This winter, many expensive base materials have been wasted in one trial after another. ---
From the day Song Zi Xiao made a great fanfare of refining cores, Song Zi Heng's mind was hardly at peace. He did not know exactly what kind of core Song Zi Xiao wanted, nor could he understand what was written in the Heavenly Secret Scripture, but he had known many years ago that there was a legendary core that was described as a supreme immortal core.
Which was what his own father had even told him.
On this day, Song Zi Heng went to the core room to see how they were progressing, only to find that the whole room was so smoky and hot that even the doorway was almost too hot to stand. If he hadn't heard any noise, he would have thought that one of the core furnaces had exploded again.
Cai Cheng Yi stretched his neck to look inside, but a thick cloud of smoke filled the room and nothing could be seen: "Aiya, what's going on in here? Emperor, should I go in and take a look?"
Song Zi Heng gave Cai Cheng Yi a protective boundary, "Go ahead."
After waiting at the door for a while, the sound of water and yelling came from inside, guessing that even if that core furnace hadn't exploded, it must have burned up and was being put out.
Someone approached behind him, and Song Zi Heng turned around to see that it was Huang Dao Zi.
"Emperor." Huang Dao Zi saluted from afar, "I happened to be passing by and saw black smoke rolling from the core room, so I came to take a look, this is ..."
"The core furnace is on fire. It should be nothing serious."
Huang Dao Zi shook his head, "After fiddling it for so long, it doesn't look like much progress has been made. So many treasures have been thrown into it, what a waste." Song Zi Heng said coldly, "Aren't you a divine predictor? Why don't you calculate whether the core that Song Zi Xiao wants can be refined or not."
"It cannot be refined."
Song Zi Heng snapped his head around and glared at Huang Dao Zi.
Huang Dao Zi remained humble and said, "Emperor, please don't blame me, I am just being straightforward."
"What did you just say?" Song Zi Heng gritted his teeth, "Say it again." "I said that the core His Holiness wants cannot be refined."
Song Zi Heng had a killing intent for this elusive Huang Dao Zi. This man seemed obsequious, and his words were often offensive, as if he was a swindler, but it doesn’t look like it carried no weight, making it completely impossible for people to know his background story. But he was convinced that this person must have come to Wuji Palace with some purpose, and most likely had bad intentions.
Huang Dao Zi seemed to sense Song Zi Heng's murderous aura and unhurriedly knelt down, "Emperor, please forgive me."
"... What is your crime?"
Huang Dao Zi smiled bitterly, "I don’t know. I'm just a fortune teller. I just answer since Emperor asked."
"Have you really forecasted this?" "I did."
"Then why didn't you tell Song Zi Xiao?"
"His Holiness didn't ask, so how dare I go looking for death? Besides, even if I said, His Holiness would probably not believe me." Indeed. The current Song Zi Xiao is extremely conceited and arrogant. He did not believe that Huang Dao Zi could calculate his own fate, and most likely he would not believe that he could not refine this core either.
Song Zi Heng said in a cold voice: "If I don't ask today, will you keep concealing it and watch these people get tormented blindly, wasting manpower and resources?"
"It is not my intention to conceal it." Huang Dao Zi said helplessly, "I really don't dare to say it."
"Do you know that if he fails to refine this core, he is likely to take countless human cores?"
"I know." Huang Dao Zi hanged his head down and stared at the ground, his gaze sharp as a hawk, "That's why I don't dare to say anything."
"Why did you come to Wuji Palace?" Song Zi Heng looked down at Huang Dao Zi who was kneeling beside his feet, "If it is for money, I will grant you ten thousand gold, as long as you tell me your true purpose."
"My true purpose is to help His Holiness refine the core."
With a flash of silver light, Zongxuan's sword came out of its sheath. Its cold blade instantly resting against Huang Dao Zi's throat.
Song Zi Heng's chakra was sealed and he could only mobilize weak spiritual energy, but the speed of his sword was not slow at all.
"Stop pretending, who are you exactly and what is your purpose?" Huang Dao Zi did not see panic and remained silent.
"More than ten years ago, it was you who calculated that I had an imperial destiny and told the late emperor and my mother, letting my father covet my golden core and my mother determine that I would be the human emperor. The calamity of my Song Clan and the evil of the human heart may not be calculated on your head*, but you also cannot escape from guilt!" Huang Dao Zi slowly raised his head and said calmly, "Emperor, I’m just a mere mortal who can only glimpse the bit of heaven's destiny. I cannot shake or change it. Everything the emperor experienced is destined. Whether I’m here or not, it’s still the same.”
Song Zi Heng's eyes gradually turned red: "You have calculated that he cannot refine this core, yet you said you will help him refine it, isn't that contradicting?"
"His Holiness can't refine that core inside because, what His Holiness really needs, is not that core." Huang Dao Zi's gaze grew darker and deeper.
Song Zi Heng's heart trembled, "What are you trying to say?" "In the emperor's heart, you have already guessed it, right?"
"You’re looking for death!" Song Zi Heng's sword-wielding hand shook, and a string of blood beads sprinkled onto the ground.
Huang Dao Zi covered his neck with blood gushing out between his fingers, but the sword clearly did not intend to kill him. It did not touch the vital point, otherwise there were few people in this world who could have dodged Emperor Kong Hua's sword.
"If I kill you, he won't know about the 'Absolute Human Emperor'." Song Zi Heng's voice was also trembling.
"If the emperor really thought this, I would have been dead by now."
Song Zi Heng's face was blue and white, and his eyes were filled with bewilderment and pain. Ten years seemed like a short reincarnation. Ten years ago, he had no choice but to raise his sword to usurp the throne in order to avoid the fate of having his core dug out, and ten years later, his core had become the supreme treasure that Song Zi Xiao had searched so hard for.
Although Song Zi Xiao does not know it yet, he could also kill Huang Dao Zi to silence him, but as Huang Dao Zi said, he has seen the cruelty and vileness of fate to the fullest. When Song Zi Xiao has searched all over the world, spent countless money, and cannot refine the core, sooner or later, he will know this secret one day through the mouth of someone unknown, or an ancient book, or a legend.
At that time, what will happen?
What would Song Zi Xiao do to him in order to break through to the ninth Chongtian of the Zongxuan Sword? He was terrified even just thinking about it.
Huang Dao Zi stopped the bleeding himself and said slowly, "Emperor, I have come to help His Holiness refine the core, but His Holiness cannot successfully refine the core."
"... What exactly are you trying to say?" Song Zi Heng said in a hoarse voice.
"This matter concerns the life and death of Jiuzhou. The balance between humans and ghosts, and the heavenly secret must not be revealed." Huang Dao Zi gave Song Zi Heng a kowtow, "No matter what happens, the emperor cannot allow His Holiness to get your core."
Song Zi Heng looked at Huang Dao Zi in a daze.
At that moment, Cai Cheng Yi ran out with a wail, "Emperor ah, it's too hot in there. It's a core furnace ..." He looked at Huang Dao Zi, who was covered in blood, and froze.
Song Zi Heng put away his sword and walked away without looking back.
When lunch was served, Song Zi Xiao returned. When he saw him frowning, he asked, "What happened between you and Huang Dao Zi? You wanted to kill him?" "If I wanted to kill him, would he still be alive? He spoke rudely, so I'm just punishing him slightly." Song Zi Heng hung his head and whispered.
"As the Human Emperor, you punished him by drawing your own sword?" Song Zi Xiao lifted Song Zi Heng's chin and stared into his eyes, "Don't be perfunctory towards me. This Huang Dao Zi made you become very unusual, what is going on between you two!"
Song Zi Heng said without expression, "He calculated that I had an imperial destiny back then."
"He told Father about it, and also Mother."
Song Zi Xiao understood at once, and he revealed a look of disgust, "That's why that poisonous woman Shen Shi Yao was convinced that you were going to be a human emperor, and went out of her way to clear the way for you. But even without Huang Dao Zi, it’s hard to change you and your mother’s essential nature.”
Song Zi Heng laughed mockingly, "You are right, even without Huang Dao Zi, my mother is still resigned to the fact that I cannot make a name for myself."
Song Zi Xiao gritted his teeth and tried to suppress the wild surge of emotions. Recently, he and his big brother had been getting along much more peacefully with each other, an atmosphere that he did not want to break, and he did not like the idea of swords being drawn all day long and bringing up old grudges over and over again. He took a deep breath: "Then why didn't you kill him?"
"He only wanted to ask for some reward. It was insignificant." Song Zi Heng repeatedly recalled what Huang Dao Zi had said. This man, he must have calculated something important. Perhaps he knew the possibility of reversing this deadly situation. Song Zi Xiao did not care about Huang Dao Zi either. He calmed down a bit, "Don't see him again in the future, lest he annoys you."
"It's snowing so heavily on the mountain. I'll take you there to enjoy the snow."
When they were young, every time during this season, he always took Xiao Jiu to the mountains to enjoy the snow.
calculated on your head*[算到你头上]---be blamed
PS: From this chapter onwards, I’ll replace “Caomin” as ‘I’. Sounds more natural lol
The Wuji Palace was beside the mountain. In the mountain, a hidden and luxurious temporary imperial residence was built, where the Song Clan's cave was hidden in it, guarded by a powerful boundary. No one could enter without permission from the emperor.
The cave was the lifeblood of a sect. Ordinary disciples had little chance to cultivate inside the cave. The servants who served in the cave had to be specially chosen from those ordinary people whose immortal roots were unusually poor and who would never be able to form a core in their lifetime.
Song Zi Xiao did not remember much about the cave because when he left Wuji Palace, he had one year to go before he reached adulthood. He was too young, and it wasn’t necessary for him to go into seclusion in the cave. The only thing he remembered most about this temporary imperial residence is that he came here every year with his big brother to soak in the hot springs and enjoy the snow.
This time when he came to the temporary imperial residence, Song Zi Xiao remembered someone: "Where did Uncle go?"
Although Uncle was his master, he went into seclusion when he was very young, and he could not even remember his Uncle's appearance.
Song Zi Heng felt a blockage in his heart and said heavily, "Uncle is no longer around." "How did he die?" In fact, Song Zi Xiao had expected this. If Uncle was still alive, how could he not come out from seclusion when there was so much turmoil in the Song Clan?
"... I don't know."
"How could you not know?" Song Zi Xiao was not satisfied with this obviously concealed answer, "Uncle was once the most powerful cultivator of the Song Clan, and he died for no reason?"
Song Zi Heng tasted the bitterness in his heart and said flatly, "I don't know. Father didn't tell me."
Song Zi Xiao narrowed his dangerous fox eyes, "Could Uncle have died at your hands too ..."
"I didn't!" Song Zi Heng suddenly lost control and roared lowly. He thought that his heart had already gone numb with pain, but he didn't want to be stabbed and still spurt out blood. In Song Zi Xiao's heart, how unbearable was he that all the evil deeds in the world had to be suspected on his head?!
Song Zi Xiao was a little stunned. The indignation and hurt in Song Zi Heng's eyes, as if he had suffered a great grievance, uncontrollably made him feel a little pained. Knowing that this man is undeserving and unworthy, but he still cared. But the more this happened, the more resentful he became, and his mouth became more unforgiving. He snorted coldly, "You are guilty of many crimes, so don't blame others for suspecting you."
Song Zi Heng's heart ached like it was wrung, but he could not say anything.
"Alright, let's not mention this." Song Zi Xiao wrapped his arm around his big brother's waist, and was actually magnanimous in tone, "We're here to enjoy the snow today. Don't spoil the fun."
--- Dance and music were filled inside the palace. The Shengxiao* are pleasant to the ears. It is a scenery that hasn’t been seen for many years.
Emperor Kong Hua was not fond of noise. He almost never held banquets except for New Year's Eve or banquets for guests. Even his own birthday was passed in silence. These 10 years are a decade of silence and loneliness.
Now the palace is filled with delicacies and wine, and the beautiful musicians and dancers are performing with great vigor, just for the pleasure of the man in power.
On a couch up high, two men were sitting on it. One was comfortably sipping wine, while the other was just sitting expressionlessly.
Song Zi Xiao looked askance at his big brother and said lazily, "Why are you being so serious?"
"This is the Song Clan's cave, not a place for fun and games."
"Hehe, what this place is used for is up to me." Song Zi Xiao had obviously drunk too much, and his expression was full of drunkenness.
Seeing that his big brother was still stern-faced, Song Zi Xiao drained his cup of wine, threw the golden cup, and dragged the man into his arms.
"Not here ..." Song Zi Heng struggled in panic. Song Zi Xiao had become more and more unrestrained, being so indiscrete even in front of so many people.
Song Zi Xiao laughed lowly and pressed his nose onto his big brother's cheek, lightly sniffing the clear scent of orchids on his skin, "Do what here? Fuck you here?"
"Let go of me." Song Zi Heng whispered.
"Not letting go. I’ve been moody enough these days. I came here for some fun and yet you have to be stern-faced." Song Zi Xiao pinched his big brother's soft cheek, "Can't you show a better complexion?" "Don't get ahead of yourself."
Song Zi Xiao narrowed his eyes slightly, "I get ahead of myself, or you get ahead of yourself?”
When Song Zi Heng didn't say anything, Song Zi Xiao cupped his chin and kissed him, not letting go until he was panting.
The palace people and the dancers in the hall took in the absurd scene, but they did not dare to look different.
Song Zi Xiao buried his face into his big brother's chest and muttered, "Did I get a bunch of trash? Why is the core refinery not improving at all?"
At the mention of core refinery, Song Zi Heng's body stiffened.
"This bunch of trash, they always tell me not to be impatient, but today they blow up a core furnace, and tomorrow they will refine and waste the base materials. As a result, the way still hasn’t been found." Song Zi Xiao said angrily, "I really want to throw them all into the core furnace."
"It's only been two months of refining, you really should be more patient." Song Zi Heng said indifferently, "It is not uncommon for a supreme immortal core to be refined for years or decades without being successful."
"I can't wait that long. Don't think I don't know that they will definitely go and lobby the various sects privately to unite against me."
"No one dares to confront you now." Song Zi Heng was a little alarmed.
He was afraid that Song Zi Xiao would go on a killing spree.
"Sooner or later, they will. I will also let them know the consequences of overestimating their abilities." Song Zi Xiao smiled sorrowfully, "Trash. Trash who overestimate their abilities.”
"Alright, you've drunk too much. Rest for a while." Song Zi Heng was afraid that he would act more unscrupulously if he drank too much. "This little bit of wine is nothing." Song Zi Xiao hugged his big brother's waist and rubbed his cheek back and forth against his big brother's chest, as if this was the most comfortable thing in the world. He called out softly, "Big brother."
Song Zi Heng was embarrassed. He couldn't get away at this point, nor could he cover the eyes of so many people, even though the servants didn't even dare to look at him, but it was as if he could hear how they were despising him in their hearts.
Song Zi Xiao took in his discomfort and waved his hand, telling everyone to stand down.
The dancing and music stopped, and the servants exited in a line. The lively atmosphere was like a fleeting moment, and the palace suddenly became a place that a pin drop could be heard.
"It's so quiet ah. It's just big brother and me." Song Zi Xiao kissed Song Zi Heng on the lips and said softly, "Sometimes, I feel that there is only you and me in this world. All other people and things are insignificant like dust, and only you and me, is true."
"The others are not insignificant. They are living, breathing people." "The living, the dead, what difference does it make? If they are obedient
when dead, then it is good being dead.” "You've drunk too much, stop talking."
Song Zi Xiao stroked his big brother's cheek, a deep desire in his eyes, "After the New Year, I'll go to Kunlun and fetch the ice crystal."
Song Zi Heng's breath hitched.
"Whoever defies me, shall take a good look at what will happen to Cangyu Sect."
"Don't you mess around!" "It's not that I didn't give Qi Meng Sheng a chance. She's the one looking for death."
"Xu Zhi Nan will persuade her, she ..."
"Shhh----" Song Zi Xiao pressed his slender fingers against his big brother's soft lips and said vaguely, "I don't like, when your lips are hanging onto someone’s name."
Song Zi Heng was feeling very worried. It seemed that Song Zi Xiao was really going to take action on Cangyu Sect and use them to make an example.
"Big brother, do you know, why I must refine this core and break through to the ninth Chongtian?" Song Zi Xiao asked and answered himself, "Because, I want to be with you forever."
SQC’s note: I’m so stuck. It’s so painful to get stuck in writing T_T
Shengxiao*[笙箫] a musical instrument that looks like
PS: SQC hasn’t been updating new WCJ chapters for 3 days. She’s too busy signing books and getting stuck in writing. She’s been pouring out her feelings on Weibo stating how bad her situation is now. Sadly, we can’t help her other than giving her spiritual support, buying IQIYI chapters and hardcopy books. Let’s all support her with our hearts! ♥
Explicit chapter. Contains R18 scenes (sexual scenes, coarse language)
This is a sentence that Song Zi Xiao would never have said when he was sober, but at this moment, it poured out unguardedly with emotion, just like the rain is about to fall in the cloudy sky and the fruit is about to fall onto the ground when ripe. It is a pure expression of true feelings flowing out without any pretense.
It was because of this that Song Zi Heng's ears hurt extraordinarily upon hearing. His heart felt like it was carrying ten thousand pounds in a flash, almost being crushed to pieces.
He had always avoided thinking about what Song Zi Xiao really considered him to be in his heart. What Song Zi Xiao had done to him could not be interpreted by the word "hate". Other than pain and hatred, there was also a strong dependence and demand. After all, they had been the closest people in the world once. Both of them wanted to dig out the shadow of the person they had been when they were young from each other, and they had both relied on this little thought to support themselves for ten years.
Song Zi Xiao did not kill him, or perhaps it could be said that he cared about brotherly love, but brothers do not do such things to each other. Song Zi Xiao already had lewd thoughts of him when he was a teenager, and if everything that happened afterward had not happened, Song Zi Xiao would still have said this to him. In fact, he saw it. The same twisted love that could not be expressed under the twisted hatred of Song Zi Xiao.
But it's too hard to change anything between them. Neither could forgive the other, and it was destined to be an unresolved situation.
Song Zi Xiao had not realized what he had said yet. He only clung to the person tightly in his arms by instinct, half asleep and half awake, intoxicated by the faint scent of orchids, licking his lips and calling out "big brother" as if he had returned to the best of times.
Song Zi Heng lowered his head and looked at the slightly drunken Demon Supreme, who had actually become a little more docile, like a beast that had been exhausted after a full meal and was not a threat for now.
After a long time, he stretched out his hand, gently pushed aside the hair on Song Zi Xiao's forehead and examined this beautiful face. If only this man could remain this quiet, not having to open these malicious eyes, not having to open these mean lips, lying in his arms obediently, and be his younger brother.
In the middle of the night, Song Zi Heng was shaken awake.
He opened his eyes and looked blankly at Song Zi Xiao. The two of them had surprisingly fallen asleep right on the couch in the main hall. No one dared to disturb them, so they slept until the stars and moon were in the sky.
"It's snowing. There’s a lot of snow." A faint smile hung on Song Zi Xiao's lips, "Let's go and enjoy the snow." He tugged his big brother up, and the two of them held hands as they made their way out of the palace.
The mountains were indeed covered in snow, with irregular layers of mountain peaks as the background. The snow was fluttering like little spirits of light that were shimmering in the ink-colored night sky, falling from the heavens to the mortal world. The snow was so heavy, but there was no wind, so it seemed particularly quiet. Song Zi Xiao wrapped his arms around his big brother's waist and flew up to the roof of the palace in one leap. The two of them sat on the ridges of the eaves and admired this snow scenery at night.
"It's so beautiful." Song Zi Xiao exclaimed, "Did I see such beautiful snow when I was a child? I can't even remember."
"You did. We came every year." Song Zi Heng looked at the picturesque beauty, but couldn't appreciate a single bit of it. Whenever it snowed, he always remembered how he had fought a group of elders and high-ranking cultivators until he was exhausted in order to escape from Song Ming He's subordinates, and how he simply did not have the energy to defend with his sword or the cold, and could only use one pair of feet to step across the boundless snow plain of Kunlun.
The cold was like millions of needles sticking into the marrow of his bones, like a knife lacerating his flesh. Even his soul was trembling and screaming.
Finally, he collapsed in the snow, waiting to die from his wounds, the cold, and hunger. But just as he was running out of oil*, he accidentally achieved the eighth Chongtian of the Zongxuan Sword.
Although it was a blessing in disguise, since then he has become even more afraid of the cold. That blanket of miserable white only reminds him of the infinite approach of death.
"I remember that one year the snow was particularly heavy and the wind was particularly strong, even one could barely stand up. It was impossible to enjoy the snow, was it?"
Song Zi Heng froze as he couldn't help but remember the past, "Yes, that should have been the coldest year in Daming. You were about the same age as Zhong Ming at the time, and when you stepped in the snow with one foot, it reached your knees." It was the first time, after all these years, that he had thought of snow and all he could link together were good memories.
"Did it really snow that much in Daming?" "Yeah, as far as I can remember, it was only that year." Song Zi Heng looked into the long distance, "You were small. Not only could you not walk in the snow, but you also swayed by the blowing wind. I wanted to hug you, yet you were defiant and insist on showing off your sword flying skills to me."
Song Zi Xiao snickered, "Sword flying? I think I have a bit of impression."
"Of course, you fell in the end. Luckily the snow was thick and the fall didn't hurt you." The corners of Song Zi Heng's lips tinged with a smile, and his gaze unconsciously became gentle, "You grew up with a character that is not willing to show weakness." It was as if everything became clear at once now. He thought he would never be able to enjoy snow again in his life, but at this moment he remembered many memories of his youth related to snow.
"I just don't like to lose to anyone." Song Zi Xiao paused and added, "But I can lose to you."
The two of them could not help but look at each other, as if suddenly waking up from a dream. Both of them caught a hint of panic in each other's eyes that they could not hide in time.
Remembering the past together just now was the most peaceful moment they had since their reunion, so warm that it made their hearts sour.
Just as they both felt at a loss for words, Song Zi Heng sneezed.
Song Zi Xiao propped up his own leather cloak, covered his big brother, and embraced him into his arms, "You're still so afraid of the cold."
"It's natural to be cold without spiritual protection." Song Zi Heng used a flat tone to suppress his stirring heart chambers. It turned out that remembering beautiful scenes related to snow helped him fight his fear of snow. He even felt less cold now. "You have me. I won't let you get cold." Song Zi Xiao injected his spiritual energy into his big brother, "I remember you were always afraid of the cold last time and always wrapped up thickly once winter came."
"And after autumn you only drank hot water, and you will still scold me if I drank cold water."
"When the weather is cold, drinking cold water is naturally bad for your body."
"When the weather is cold, I like to sleep with you." Song Zi Xiao gave a wicked smile, "I always like to sleep with you."
Song Zi Xiao lowered his head, found his big brother's lips, and kissed them gently.
The four pieces of cold lips were warmed up at the same time when they were pressed together. As the kiss deepened, they were even hot enough to melt.
Song Zi Xiao seemed to like kissing a lot. Sometimes he tormented his big brother so hard that he couldn't do it for days, but he still wants to hold his big brother and kiss him several times every day. Even if it was a forced, false intimacy, after a few times, it seemed to become a real, warm intimacy.
Song Zi Xiao took his big brother's hand and tucked it in his arms, rubbing it gently: "Still cold?"
Song Zi Heng shook his head. He knew he shouldn't, but he didn't resist such warmth; no matter how cold it was, if he held someone close like this, it would also warm him up.
When he had collapsed on the snowy plains of Kunlun, helplessly waiting for death, he wished so badly that someone could hold him and warm his frozen body. He thought about his mother and Xiao Jiu before, but in the end, he thought only of Xiao Jiu, because that was the only person who had never failed him.
A man, no matter what despair he went through, as long as there was still someone in his heart who cared for each other, there will be a fire, a light.
But he had lost that person completely.
When Song Zi Heng was pinned down on the couch and gazed into the eyes of a pair of lustful pupils, he knew it would be another long and endless night.
The charcoal fire in the room was exuberant, which was extremely warm, but Song Zi Heng still clutched at his clothes as if he was afraid of the cold, yet could not stop them from being removed by Song Zi Xiao.
Song Zi Xiao dragged his big brother's body out of the scattered clothes, and his scattered kisses fell on the white, warm skin, sometimes nibbling to leave light teeth marks, or sucking to make bruised red marks.
Song Zi Heng instinctively tried to retreat, but was pressed by the weight of Song Zi Xiao's entire body, no longer squeezing and rubbing with just four petals of lips, but also two hot chests and the gradually hot and hard private parts.
Song Zi Xiao gently raised his waist, using that bulge to press against Song Zi Heng’s lower half: "Big brother, I’m so hard over here, do you feel it?"
“Huuu…” Song Zi Heng was panting heavily, trying to replenish the air that was robbed by Song Zi Xiao’s kiss. He couldn’t move, and could only let that big and hard, wicked stick rub him until a reaction occurred.
Song Zi Xiao used his knees to open up Song Zi Heng’s thighs, forcing him to spread his legs widely. His big hands massaged his big brother’s fat and smooth butt, causing him to cede the dominance of his body step by step.
Song Zi Heng shook his head, still shrinking futilely into the bed. These few months, Song Zi Xiao had been demanding him uncontrollably almost every night, and their body fluids have been sprinkled everywhere in Wuji Palace. It was as if his only use for Song Zi Xiao was to be wantonly played with over and over again, as if his body no longer belonged to him. He could not climb out of the whirlpool of desire. He was afraid to face the scandal of his own submission to lust.
But Song Zi Xiao will not let him go. He only wants to drag him down with him.
He had nowhere to hide, and was dragged back by Song Zi Xiao. He licked his lips, and his lust-soaked pupils looked even eviler: "If you dodge again, I'll tie you up."
"No." Panic flashed across Song Zi Heng’s eyes. He was already scared by Song Zi Xiao’s endless patterns, as if there was a heavenly pleasure in playing with his own body.
"If you don't want to be tied up, you have to be obedient." Song Zi Xiao lowered his head, nibbled gently on the tip of his big brother's nose as if punishing him, and ordered, "Lie over there, and lift your butt up."
"Scram!" Song Zi Heng pushed his head away.
Instead, Song Zi Xiao kissed him lightly on the cheek and warmly said a terrifying sentence, "After getting fucked by me all this time, why hasn't big brother learned to be obedient?"
Song Zi Heng had already learned enough about what would happen to him if he resisted. He gritted his teeth and slowly turned around. With humiliation, he laid over there with his four limbs bent.
Song Zi Xiao's eyes narrowed slightly as his big brother's narrow waist collapsed on the couch, while his round, raised buttocks puckered slightly, presenting an extremely seductive curve. His body was lean yet well-built and his snow-white flesh undulating like small hills of muscles, like a carefully carved jade, making one's blood boil.
Song Zi Xiao reached out his hand and slowly slid his fingertips down the spine, straight to his tailbone, and his big brother's body shivered along the way. That hand paused, as if purposely extending the duration of this kind of torture, slowly inserting into the butt crevice, erotically stroking gently.
Song Zi Heng's face was hot, even the roots of his ears were red. His eyes closed tightly and his eyelashes were swishing. He could not see, but he could feel more clearly how that hand was doing evil.
The cooling lubricant was sent into the tunnel by the fingertip, which was quickly melted by the warmth of the intestinal walls. Song Zi Xiao inserted more fingers, stirring and opening that tight meaty hole. The sound of sticky wetness came from inside the tunnel.
Song Zi Heng’s lips were closed tight. His jawline tensed and his Adam’s apple was rolling non-stop, as if tolerating unbearable torture. When Song Zi Xiao’s fingers started to go in and out quickly, he finally couldn’t restrain and moved his waist and butt, trying to avoid this kind of play.
But one powerful hand pressed on his waist.
“Feeling uncomfortable? Or big brother doesn’t like finger, and only likes my baby?” Song Zi Xiao bent his joint, brushing across that sensitive point intentionally or otherwise, making Song Zi Heng tremble uncontrollably.
“Mm…Ahh…” Song Zi Heng bit his lips, afraid of letting out his moans, but his member was already standing up high, which has no place to hide at all.
Song Zi Xiao pulled out his fingers and laughed lowly: “It’s wet enough.
Big brother, come sit on it yourself.” Song Zi Heng was trembling while looking at Song Zi Xiao’s standing giant, unable to imagine how his body swallowed this kind of thing again and again. His face turned white from red.
“Come ah.” Song Zi Xiao pulled him over and kissed him intimately, “I want to see big brother push my baby in.”
Song Zi Heng gritted his teeth, straddled on top of Song Zi Xiao, and tried his best to spread his two legs. He grabbed that hot and hard meat stick with one hand and sat down on it with Song Zi Xiao’s scorching hot gaze staring at him.
Song Zi Heng’s legs became weak when that big meat head just inserted into the meaty hole. His body kept trembling, and he could only cling onto Song Zi Xiao’s shoulder, bracing himself while slowly swallowing up that thick and long meat blade.
“Big brother…” With the tight meaty hole wrapping around his member layer upon layer, pleasure surged, and Song Zi Xiao couldn’t help and let out a comfortable sigh.
Song Zi Heng was panting heavily. His two legs were so weak as if they couldn’t support his body.
Song Zi Xiao’s endurance has already reached its limits. He moved his waist, letting that meat blade bumps deeply inside.
Song Zi Xiao buried his face in his big brother’s neck, lightly biting his Adam’s apple: “Big brother, move a bit. You bit me too tightly.”
Song Zi Heng unconsciously shook his head. He slightly moved his limbs, and a terrifying numbness came. His toes curled up helplessly, leaning on Song Zi Xiao’s body and dare not to move.
Yet Song Zi Xiao doesn’t want to wait anymore. He fixed his waist and thrust up fiercely. His thick and hard member almost pressing against his big brother’s heart of the hole, which cannot go in any deeper and stronger.
The pleasure was insane, peevish, and continuous.
Song Zi Heng was being thrust until his whole body was shaking, as if the blood in his body is going to boil. He didn’t hesitate to bite the back of his hand, preventing himself from letting out an embarrassing sound.
Big brother’s black hair was hanging loosely on the porcelain white chest. The two nipples in front of his chest were in a tender and lovely pink color, which made Song Zi Xiao’s eyes turned red. He opened his mouth and contain that small meat ball, sucking it as if drinking milk.
Song Zi Heng let out a painful whimper. He futilely refused by pushing Song Zi Xiao’s shoulders, wanting to free himself from this lustful torture, but he had nowhere to escape, as if his body was fixed onto that meat blade.
Song Zi Xiao sat up and pressed Song Zi Heng down on the couch, grabbing and separating his two legs to the widest, and used his most familiar position to thrust fiercely.
The meaty hole, which was already soft and wet from being fucked, had been completely opened. The friction against the meaty tunnel set off a thrill like a boiling sea and shaking mountains. Song Zi Heng finally couldn’t control and called out: “No…no…slow down…ahhh…”
Song Zi Xiao was
feeling so pleasurable that his scalp went numb. As if he was poisoned,
instinctively fucked even faster and heavier to obtain an even more intense pleasure.
Song Zi Heng was being fucked until his whole body went weak, sinking
in the messy bedding, dispersing like an orchid in the rainstorm, trembling and moaning helplessly. When his conscious was in a daze, he begged, but Song Zi Xiao will never stop because of this.
While Song Zi Xiao was in the extreme pleasure and thrill, a sentence of desire, which was buried in his heart for a long time, blurted out: “Big brother, call me Xiao Jiu.”
Song Zi Heng was as if splashed with cold water, and his body suddenly froze.
“Call me Xiao Jiu.” Song Zi Xiao fiercely thrust in twice. “Ahhh ” Song Zi Heng said with a hoarse voice, “No, no…”
“Call, call me Xiao Jiu, and I will let you go.”
“No…” Song Zi Heng kept shaking his head, “You, you are not…” How could he hear this name during this filthy sex? No, no, he doesn't want to hear this name.
Song Zi Xiao pulled out his knife blade, flipped his big brother over, and viciously penetrated in from behind again. Almost not giving him a chance to breathe, he started thrusting with force again.
“Ahh…No…no…” Song Zi Heng’s both hands were tightly grabbing onto the bedding, his joints turning white due to overuse of force.
“Call ah!” Song Zi Xiao said in a trembling voice, “Call me Xiao Jiu. I want to hear, big brother, call me Xiao Jiu.”
“No, you are not…” Song Zi Heng’s body kept moving forward from being pierced. With all his might, he clenched the blanket tightly and crawled forward with his knees.
But in the next instant, he was being dragged back by the waist by Song Zi Xiao, and the thick and hard meat stick penetrated all the way in.
Song Zi Heng screamed once, and finally cried out: “You are not…are not Xiao Jiu…Wuuu…No…” “Call me Xiao
Jiu, or else I will fuck you to death!” Song Zi Xiao was like a demon who killed until his eyes turned red, and thrust violently and fiercely, as if he
cannot free himself from
the pain if he didn’t hear the call that he craved so much that he even dreamt
So, he will also not let the person beneath him be free.
Song Zi Heng bit his lips tightly. He was so tormented by this crazy and long lust that he was on the verge of fainting, but the remnant of his consciousness made him unable to call out that name from the beginning till the end.
That was the last Pure Land* in his heart.
Before losing consciousness, he seemed to hear Song Zi Xiao’s hoarse and choking voice, pleading beside his ears: “Big brother, I’m Xiao Jiu ah.”
PS: T T it hurts my heart translating this man… running out
It means that the lamp oil has boiled dry and the fire has gone out. It is a metaphor for a life ending soon.
Pure Land*[净⼟]---clean and unpolluted place
Song Zi Heng was caught in a nightmare.
In his dream, he was back in the snowy plains of Kunlun. Everything was extremely weird. He knew he was dreaming, knew he wasn't supposed to be here, that this memory existed in the past, but he couldn't wake up. Not only that, but the pain, the cold, the fatigue, the hunger, all the despair that had been inflicted on him at that time reappeared this time.
The blood from his wounds had turned to ice. His golden core was completely empty, and the extreme cold was causing his body to lose consciousness gradually from the ends of his limbs to his flesh and bones, just waiting for that moment when the fire of life would be extinguished and the freezing cold would consume him, or vice versa, which will also have the same ending.
He knew he was going to die in this deserted, icy landscape, and the only thing he was glad for was that he had desperately escaped without letting Song Ming He get his hands on his core.
He collapsed in the snow. His thoughts following his body as they become stiff, but all those things that had happened in his short life came back to him quickly and clearly, appearing before his eyes.
In this near-death moment, there were only two people left that he was willing to recall; his mother and Xiao Jiu.
He had hated Shen Shi Yao and could no longer face such a mother, but when he looked back the last time, all he remembered was how both of them had clung to each other in the deep palace, his mother's caring words and gentle caresses and her tears when she had been wronged. If it wasn't for the torture of suffering fate, she could have been a free and easy-going cultivator, and married to someone who treated her with sincerity.
His poor mother ah. If she had not harmed those he held dear, he would have fought for his life just for her to have what she wanted.
But he had to protect Xiao Jiu, the one he would also give everything for, and the one he loved most.
He would die in this blanket of white misery, but his Xiao Jiu would live freely in the rich, diverse and gorgeous mortal realm. And that was enough.
His thoughts gradually scattered into the wilderness. His body was no longer cold and aching. He let go of love and hate, gain and loss. In the midst of this ultimate penetration, it was as if a golden light had descended from the heavens and violently split open his spiritual wisdom. A huge heavenly gate slowly opened before his eyes, and he actually had a moment of enlightenment of the mysterious eighth Chongtian of the Zongxuan Sword, which he had struggled to understand.
But what was the use? He was going to die.
His body was plunged into two heavens of ice and fire, alternating between extreme heat and extreme cold, tearing him apart completely. He wailed hard but could not make a single sound as he was engulfed in darkness.
"Big brother, big brother."
An urgent call came from the darkness, and Song Zi Heng felt his heart awaken with a thumping leap. It was Xiao Jiu, it was Xiao Jiu calling him, it had to be Xiao Jiu!
Song Zi Heng struggled to "pull" his scattered body back and tried hard to open his heavy eyelids. He woke up from the dream, but when he looked at Song Zi Xiao, did not want to believe that it was Xiao Jiu.
Song Zi Xiao let out a light breath, hid his concern and said coldly, "You had a nightmare."
A nightmare ... yeah. He dreamt of the near-death moment in his life. If Qi Meng Sheng hadn't saved him, he would have died for sure.
While he was recuperating in Fenglin continent, Song Ming He secretly came to Fenglin continent and unsuccessfully demanded for someone. Because the Cangyu Sect did not put the Song Clan in their eyes much, plus Song Ming He was afraid of making a big deal out of it, so he did not dare to use force.
At this time, Li Xiang Tong passed away. Before she died, she requested for another grave to be set up in Mount Shu for her and Song Zi Mo, so Song Ming He has to return to Daming angrily and take Shen Shi Yao with him to Mount Shu to blackmail him into showing himself.
In order to save his mother, he could only up to Yunding with his sword alone.
What happened afterward is known to the world, except that the truth has long since been painted over several times and become completely different.
This was just his usual dream about the past. Actually, it wasn’t really considered a nightmare, because a long, long time ago, he was living in a nightmare every day.
Song Zi Heng's pale, paper-like face caused Song Zi Xiao's heart to palpitate as he gently stroked his big brother's silky cheek, "What did you dream about? If you are afraid, you can say it out."
Song Zi Heng's hollow gaze slowly turned from the void to Song Zi Xiao's face. The muddiness brought on by the dream receded. What had happened last night was the next wave to come. He remembered how Song Zi Xiao had forced him to call out "Xiao Jiu", and how he bit his lips in a near-death frenzy of lust and refused to say anything.
Under the gaze of those gradually clearing eyes, Song Zi Xiao's heart felt weak.
The sensations in his body were rapidly returning to place and Song Zi Heng felt that none of his body parts did not ache unbearably as he closed his eyes and turned away.
But Song Zi Xiao did not allow him to turn his back on himself and turned him around again: "You have slept for a long time. Get up and eat something.
Song Zi Heng remained silent.
"What, are you going to act mute?" Song Zi Xiao huffed, "Not talking to me for the rest of your life?"
Song Zi Xiao yanked him up. The blanket on his body slipping off, revealing his chest speckled with love marks that seemed astonishingly eye- catching.
Song Zi Heng looked at him indifferently.
"Why won't you call me?" Song Zi Xiao couldn't help but ask in a coarse voice.
Last night, this man had orgasmed under his body several
times, unable to ejaculate anything, was confused, crying and begging for mercy
without regard to his dignity. Even then, he refused to call him "Xiao Jiu". Why? By not admitting he was Xiao Jiu, it was just like erasing their past. When he thought of this, Song Zi Xiao felt a piercing pain in his heart.
Song Zi Heng's red lips trembled slightly as he mumbled, "You're not Xiao Jiu."
"Then who am I!" Song Zi Xiao roared low.
If he wasn't Xiao Jiu, then who was he? He was not a descendant of the Song clan. He should not be surnamed Song. He hated Lu Zhao Feng and he would never be surnamed Lu. His name, his origins, his family history, all were shadows in the water, which were crumpled beyond recognition when the wind blew.
Who exactly was he? Who could see his true form through the name that was not his? Who would still care for him when he had no name, just the real him?
His mother was gone. His big brother ... His big brother had betrayed him, but he still craved the warmth that his big brother had once given him. Beneath his appearance that the world feared, was actually hiding a lonely, timid child, crying and waiting for his big brother to save him.
But his big brother refused to save him, or even to acknowledge him.
The only person left in this world who has seen Xiao Jiu says that he is dead.
Who is he?!
Song Zi Heng shook his head, "Xiao Jiu ... wouldn't do this to me." "Then what did you do to Xiao Jiu?" Song Zi Xiao’s eyes were fierce,
"Ask yourself what you did to Xiao Jiu!"
"Xiao Jiu wouldn't do ... that to me," Song Zi Heng had trouble speaking and just shook his head. "You're wrong. Xiao Jiu has always wanted to do this to you." Song Zi Xiao smiled, his teeth as white as a blade, "Because I grew up thinking that you belonged to me alone, so I forbade you to marry, so I vowed that one day I would return to Daming and do everything I wanted to you."
Song Zi Heng still shook his head. He didn't believe it.
"Look at me." Song Zi Xiao panickily grabbed his big brother's shoulders and said in a stern voice, "Look at me!"
Song Zi Heng looked at Song Zi Xiao with fright.
"Whether you want to admit it or not, I am Xiao Jiu. You killed him, so he can only live inside me." Song Zi Xiao pounded his fist against his heart, "I am your man. You have to accept that I am Song Zi Xiao and Xiao Jiu."
"Don’t say anymore." Song Zi Heng's eyes filled with blood. His expression was crying, but his eyes were dry, as if he was ashamed to even shed tears for such mutual torture.
"You refuse to call, I will have ways to make you call." Song Zi Xiao gently pushed aside his big brother's forehead hair, carefully examining the face that he loved and hate to the marrow of his bones, "We still have a long time."
Song Zi Heng gasped, terrified by Song Zi Xiao's insatiable animalism. His body had been violated all night, forcibly remembering every touch, every collision, every kiss that Song Zi Xiao had given him. His body went out of his control. How humiliating and unbearable it was to be played lewdly by his own younger brother. He was clearly loathing in his heart, but this body kept shamelessly succumbed to the sexual desire again and again.
"Xiao Jiu" was his bottom line and his only remaining loincloth. If this bottom line was also pierced through, he did not know how he could face Xiao Jiu and himself.
Song Zi Xiao let go of him. Song Zi Heng shrank back into the blanket, burying half of his face into the pillow.
After a long silence, Song Zi Xiao asked, "You spoke a lot of nonsense in your dream."
Song Zi Heng stiffened.
"You were saying ... how Shen Shi Yao had died."
Song Zi Xiao had vowed to grind Shen Shi Yao's bones and scatter her ashes* to console his mother's spirit in heaven, but he had never expected her to die early, which was cheap for her.
Song Zi Heng whispered, "Suicide."
"Why? Discovering conscience?" Song Zi Xiao said coldly, "Does that poisonous woman even have a conscience?"
For more than ten years, she had pretended to be gentle and soft, taking good care of his mother. Her sisterly love gained her trust, and finally stabbing them, mother and son, in the most vicious and deepest way. Such a person would have a heart?
For a long time, he refused to believe that his big brother would betray him, but he used Shen Shi Yao to convince himself that the same hypocrisy, the same insidiousness, the same tactics to buy hearts, this mother and son were truly one in the same lineage.
Song Zi Heng became silent. His mother had killed his father and then killed herself for fear of being arrested for her crime. This is a secret that he would carry to his grave.
"It was fear of being arrested for her crime, wasn't it?" Song Zi Xiao said in a cold voice, "Song Zi Mo and Li Xiang Tong's deaths were all related to her, and Song Ming He brought her to Mount Shu to use her life to pay."
"She's already dead, what more do you want?" Song Zi Heng said indifferently. "Yes, she is dead. I am unable to do anything to her." Song Zi Xiao wrapped his fingers around his big brother's hair, "Luckily there is you."
Song Zi Heng secretly gripped the blanket tighter.
"What about Qi Meng Sheng?" Song Zi Xiao asked in a seemingly indifferent manner.
"Why did you, call Qi Meng Sheng’s name in your dream?" Song Zi Xiao's fingers slid from his big brother's cheek to his neck, and everywhere they passed was like a blade licking through.
"I dreamt of Kunlun." "And then?"
"Kunlun ... was very cold."
"Why did you and Song Ming He go to Kunlun back then? What exactly did you just dream about?" Song Zi Xiao intensified his tone, "No perfunctory talk, say."
"Why we went to Kunlun, don't you know it?" Song Zi Heng struggled to maintain a superficial calm on the surface.
"What a joke. Could it be that he was forging a sword for me then?"
"He didn't want the family scandal to be publicized, and all the preparations were already in place, so he simply went to Kunlun as originally planned and changed to core refinery instead, just that when Li Xiang Tong died, the core refinery was left unsettled."
Song Zi Xiao reluctantly accepted this seemingly flawless explanation, "What about Qi Meng Sheng?" Jealousy emerged inside him again.
"I dreamt about the big snow in Kunlun. It was too cold. Other than that, I don't remember anything." Song Zi Xiao narrowed his eyes at him for a moment before he said, "After the New Year, I will go and find Qi Meng Sheng. If I find out that you guys are hiding something from me, I will not spare you guys."
grind someone’s bones and scatter her ashes*[挫⾻扬灰] used when you hate someone to the core