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"When my eight brothers died back then, the killers were in the very loop of things, they were the same people whom we protected and guarded with our all. They were the ones who betrayed us, who were accomplices. Can you all imagine the bleakness in my heart then?"
"This is far from over! There will be more to come, so continue relishing the powerlessness, the helplessness, and the agony!"
"Young Master Yun." Venerable Lord Snow stood up slowly, his snow-white robe rustling with the movement.
"Thank you for your kindness and for bringing us our brother's last message. It's just that I'd like to ask another question. I'm not doubting Young Master Yun, so please do not be offended by my question."
Yun Yang shifted his expression to one of grievance as he said dryly, "Do ask, Venerable Lord Snow. Although we've never been on friendly terms before, we've still had a few exchanges. Venerable Lords are credible people and I've yet to forget what's happened. Karma will decide in the end. Regarding Venerable Lord Ice, I shall disclose everything that I know. This is my final act of respect for a strong contender, the last tribute to our past."
"Thank you for your kindness!" Venerable Lord Snow spoke in a low voice.
"We want to know, why did Hong Zhan kill our brother? Was young master there to witness it?"
Venerable Lord Sword and Venerable Lord Frost looked up simultaneously.
"Speaking of this, it's really a coincidence. I was fortunate enough to witness the incident. Due to certain reasons, I had to go out of the city to tend to some matters," Yun Yang glossed over his personal reasons.
The youth had made the headlines for himself in recent days. Almost everyone knew about it, and the three Venerable Lords knew it too, but they honestly had no concern for Yun Yang's business. They only wanted to know one thing.
"When I went to a more secluded hillside, I realized someone was paying their respects there. Considering the current bad weather and situation, I was fairly surprised to see someone there and I went to have a closer look. I was shocked to see Venerable Lord Ice, who was already severely injured at the time!"
Venerable Lord Snow sighed sorrowfully.
"That should be the memorial for Ice's son, which he built for him. Ice ruined his family back then and didn't even get his son's remaining belongings. He only had some gold and silver that his son gave him when he ultimately left Tiantang City. He buried them there. I did this with him."
"As for the injury…"
The three Venerable Lords faces became vicious at once. Venerable Lord Ice's serious injury was of course from the Concourse of the Underworld and the Four Seasons Tower's a.s.sa.s.sination but Yun Yang didn't need to know about this.
"By the looks of things, Venerable Lord Ice was grieving. We met out of coincidence and did not have much to say to each other. I was about to leave after a word or two but the Hall of Crimson Blades' Hong Zhan had come with his five subordinates," Yun Yang looked pained as he recounted what happened.
"I watched the entire battle but my cultivation base was too low," he coughed.
Venerable Lord Frost rolled his eyes, thinking, "Your cultivation base was low? Kid, even if your current skill isn't already unprecedented, it's more than enough to triumph over most people – it's just that you would never choose to help us."
"If you really helped Ice, perhaps Ice wouldn't have perished in this battle!"
Despite knowing this, Venerable Lord Frost did not say anything. They were never on the same side anyway; now that Yun Yang was willing to be the messenger and did not take the G.o.d's Bone for his own, it was already an immense favor towards them. Should they ask him for more, then they would be overstepping.
"As both sides came to a conflict, they argued and began to fight. In the end, Venerable Lord Ice was injured heavily but he managed to kill three of the other party's men. Up until the very last moment, Venerable Lord Ice suddenly called out my name."
Yun Yang looked both lost and surprised, "I was rather confident with my cultivation base. I thought that Venerable Lord Ice wouldn't know that I was still around. Although I had initially intended to step forward and reveal myself, I thought to leave myself out of this when the Hall of Crimson Blade's people came."
Venerable Lord Frost scoffed, swallowing what he wanted to say, "Your cultivation base is great indeed but to hide yourself from us, Snow, Frost, and Ice in such a climate? You must be dreaming!"
"Then, Venerable Lord Ice charged over towards me, commissioning me to carry out these few requests. After that, he committed suicide by self-eruption. Then this piece… this…"
Yun Yang voice was tinged with bewilderment like he did not know what the piece of bone was at all.
"Self-eruption… how could…"
Venerable Lord Frost murmured to himself.
Yun Yang continued speaking, his face was full of confusion, "Speaking of this, I'm very confused regarding the circ.u.mstances as well. Although Venerable Lord Ice was severely injured, he still managed to rush towards me and could even communicate these matters to me, surely there must have been some chance for him to escape…but why didn't he flee or fight to his death? This doesn't make sense to me. For lack of better words, if it wasn't for the fact that I never break promises, I'd never even make this trip at all. Honestly, this matter is full of question marks but it all happened exactly as I described it. I've already said all that I know. If you're still suspicious, then pardon my inability to help!"
The three Venerable Lords heaved a sorrowful sigh together. They were experienced enough to understand Yun Yang's mind, but what was more, they also understood Venerable Lord Ice's mind at that moment.
Why did he not escape?
Why did he commit suicide?
These were unspeakable sorrows!
Putting themselves in his shoes, in front of the grave of his son who died because of his doing, considering a lifetime that was full of lies, bearing such serious injuries, and unable to return to the Four Seasons Tower that he had always depended upon… the world looked so vast yet there was nowhere for one's foot to be set upon!
When the heart was so chilled to a point that one would really give up the intention to keep on living.
"Then, is Hong Zhan still alive?" asked Venerable Lord Snow coldly.
"He's the only one intact from the battle!" Yun Yang elaborated, "Three of his five subordinates died while two of them were severely injured. Even if they were lucky enough not to die, they won't be able to live much longer. Pardon my frankness, just looking at the battle, I feel that Hong Zhan's cultivation base and combat power are much higher than Venerable Lord Ice's, maybe this is the main reason Venerable Lord Ice took such an extreme solution?"
Venerable Lord Snow's teeth clacked as he gritted them. "Heh heh, the leader of the Hall of Crimson Blade…of course his cultivation base is commendable and his men are brave indeed… Heh heh, heh…"
The chilling laughter told of indescribable grudge, so much so that Yun Yang, a mere outsider, could not help but shudder when he heard it.
"Once again, we thank Young Master Yun's delivery of news." Venerable Lord Snow stood up and walked to the door, speaking in a hoa.r.s.e voice, "Three of us brothers owe you a huge favor, Young Master Yun. If there's a chance in the future for us to repay you, we'd certainly do it."
While the words were kind, they also hinted for Yun Yang's to make his departure. Yun Yang stood up, understanding the implied meaning, and said, "I didn't fail in my a.s.signment after all, I should leave now. To all you three Venerable Lords, my condolences. The deceased has pa.s.sed after all."
Venerable Lord Snow waved his hand tiredly, his expression mirroring the fatigue. "Do be on your way…"
After Yun Yang exited the inn, he stood at the foyer for a while but did not hear any noise coming from the room, as if there was no living person in the vicinity.
Yun Yang was quiet and still for a moment before finally leaving. He went straight to Yang Botao and his wife's grave.
"Yang Botao, this lifetime of grudges against your family, ends here. Don't you worry, your son… will be fine."
Yun Yang turned and left.
That same night, Tiantang City was blasted with a whirlwind of blood and red. The Hall of Crimson Blade's three secret meeting points in Tiantang City were suddenly ambushed. Three attackers wiped out all that was breathing like a kitchen knife meeting vegetables.
They killed everything that was living, even the mystical beasts in various locations, dogs that guarded the doors, even chickens and stray cats that were scavenging for food around the area.
They were all killed.
Leaving no life behind, whether human or animal.
While the annihilation was extreme, it was a martial world revenge. Yet coincidentally, one of the three secret joints and the eight people who managed this joint had somehow managed to set the location in the fourth prince's house.
Despite it being a prince's house, the three attackers were unstoppable, emerging in the middle of the night and springing an ambush. The entire house was exterminated, including three hundred guards, butlers, maids, and others – none of them was an exception to the annihilation.
This shocking event shook the entire Tiantang City to its core. However, what was even more shocking came subsequently. It was late into the same night after the last Hall of Crimson Blade joint was annihilated that a clear voice rang out above Tiantang City's night sky like a dragon's cry.
"Hong Zhan! Didn't you call yourself unpredictable? Why are you acting like a coward now? What capability do you have to reign in the Hall of Crimson Blade? Come out and meet your death!"
Once the voice rang out, a large group of Yutang experts scurried towards it. It was only after a moment that the voice rang out again, "Hong Zhan! Step out if you're a man!"
The same line was repeated thrice but there was no reply to be heard.
When Yutang's countless experts bolted over to the top floor of Tower to Heaven Inn that was closest to the voice, they only saw snow, frost, and ice, with more than forty heads, piled up on it.
They were all the Hall of Crimson Blade's experts'.
Other than executed heads, there were also more than forty crimson sabers that were broken in half, arranged neatly in the snow. Right in the center, a few large words were written in blood – "Hong Zhan, an eye for an eye!"