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Chapter 1129 - The Death of My Mount Yanzhi1
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The mountain shuddered, sending rocks tumbling down from its face and crashing to the ground, and stirring up dust that obscured Mountain Man Yanzhi's figure.
After some time, the dust finally settled. The mountain had clearly shrunk, but it still towered over the dark gra.s.sland. It had not toppled.
The mountain was still a mountain.
At this sight, a hint of disappointment finally appeared on Xu Yourong's face.
"The Holy Maiden's methods truly are extraordinary."
Mountain Man Yanzhi's voice was still deep, but the careful listener might be able to notice that it was slightly trembling, concealing a hint of anger.
Xiao Zhang used his spear to help his tired body stand.
The white paper flapped in the wind, the black holes incredibly dark and serene.
He spoke in his raspy voice, apparently not caring about the current situation.
Chen Changsheng said nothing.
Several li away, the storm of swords prepared to return.
Xu Yourong also said nothing as she once more extracted the Fated Star Plate from her sleeve.
The starlight fell on the Fated Star Plate, flowing along the orbits of the stars and releasing rays of light, both deep and shallow.
She had calculated many times the conclusion of today's events, and all of them predicted disaster. That small and delicate arrow had also failed to reach its target, leaving her somewhat disappointed. But since the battle had not yet ended, they had to continue. If the Fated Star Plate could not give a good result, then she would use it as a weapon in battle. Might that produce a different result?
Imbued with the might of the heavens and earth, the spear rumbled toward the mountain.
Two sword glows once more met, cleaving open the world with a stance that seemed intent on setting the world ablaze.
The winds raged as dust rose into the air once more.
In this world of dust, Xu Yourong continued to stare at that black hole, her fingers moving to and fro across the Fated Star Plate.
Mountain Man Yanzhi had suffered significant injuries, and now he felt even greater danger.
Both from Xiao Zhang's spear and Xu Yourong's Fated Star Plate.
But what made him most wary of all was that Qi that could set the world ablaze, revealed by the combination of Chen Changsheng's and Xu Yourong's swords.
This made him recall that man of the Human race that had terrorized the world many years ago.
Wariness and danger, coupled with those memories he wished that he could not recall, made Mountain Man Yanzhi truly angry.
An angry howl tore through the dark clouds, sending them drifting away.
The mountain range seemed to congregate while the gra.s.sland seemed to bulge upward into furious waves.
Mountain Man Yanzhi's cultivation spanning several thousand years was fully displayed!
The flash of the spear faded while the glow of the swords dimmed.
Xiao Zhang angrily roared as he bitterly endured.
Chen Changsheng stood up, his left hand extending toward the mountain in front of him.
At this moment, Xu Yourong abruptly looked toward the Fated Star Plate.
The stars on the Fated Star Plate were circling their orbits at unfathomable speeds, creating countless complex and incomprehensible images.
She was somewhat puzzled.
Just what had happened?
More precisely, just what would happen soon that would stimulate so many changes in this battle and the entire course of history?
The dark clouds had been ripped to shreds and sent drifting into the distance, leaving the sky clear and allowing the starlight to flourish.
Suddenly, a line of fire appeared high up in the sky.
This line of fire seemed to almost instantly arrive over the gra.s.sland.
The line of fire came from the south. Logically speaking, Mountain Men Jingbo and Yichun should have been able to stop it, but for some reason, they had let it go. Perhaps it was because this line of fire could not affect the course of this battle.
A Red Cloud Qilin appeared at the end of the line of fire.
The Red Cloud Qilin flapped its wings, but no one was riding it.
The whole world knew that Xue Xingchuan, the second-ranked Divine General of the Great Zhou, had used a Red Cloud Qilin as his mount. Was this the same one?
Ten-some years ago, Xue Xingchuan was poisoned to death in the Imperial Palace by Zhou Tong. His Red Cloud Qilin had vanished deep in the palace and was never seen again.
Why had it appeared today? Just what did it signify?
The gra.s.sland was still.
This stillness lasted for only a moment.
But to Mountain Man Yanzhi, Xiao Zhang, Chen Changsheng, Xu Yourong, and the Mountain Men to the south, this was an extremely long moment of time.
It was like this stillness had persisted for several years.
The world was relative.
Position was relative.
Time was also relative.
Feeling that time was longer than the time that was actually pa.s.sing could be because a new reference object to this shard of time was traveling too quickly.
A blade glow was coming.
It came from the heavens.
It was not a gorgeous blade glow, but composed and quiet.
Compared to the fierce winds and clouds of gravel and dust that had yet to dissipate, this blade glow could be described as smooth and fine.
Compared to Mountain Man Yanzhi's fury, this blade glow could be described as very warm and gentle.
But this blade glow was truly too fast.
If this blade glow slashed at flowing water, the flowing water would a.s.suredly be severed.
If this blade glow slashed at time, which flowed like water, time would also stop for a few moments.
By the time anyone could see this blade glow, it would have already descended.
There was a soft swish.
The blade glow fell into the mountain.
There were no flying rocks, no rising dust.
The blade glow seem to submerge into the mountain.
And then, the mountain toppled.
The earth quaked.
This was the shifting of a mountain range.
Two deep roars came from the darkness in the south.
These were roars of anguish and rage.
Chen Changsheng fet like these roars were somewhat similar to Dragon language.
An even more arduous battle was probably going to take place.
He stood up, prepared to fight.
At this moment, a low howl came from the toppled mountain.
It was Mountain Man Yanzhi's voice.
This time, Chen Changsheng could hear it more clearly. He realized that this was not the standard Demon language, nor was it the ancient Demon language favored by the n.o.bles of Xuelao City.
He turned to Xu Yourong. She softly shook her head.
Although they could not understand exactly what he was saying, they could roughly understand Mountain Man Yanzhi's current emotional state and the information he wanted to transmit.
Mountain Man Yanzhi was not angry, not unwilling, not resentful. He was very calm.
The two mountain ranges stopped. After letting out several low hums, they moved west, gradually disappearing into the darkness.
The southern region of the gra.s.sland returned to silence, leaving only the sorrow of parting.
Blood was trickling down the edge of the paper. Xiao Zhang touched it, and the wet feeling left him very annoyed.
He was even more annoyed by the person standing next to him.
"Such a good chance, so why aren't you chasing? Why are you just standing around like an idiot? Are you hoping that someone will make a statue of you?"
The person these words were aimed at was unaffected by this jeering.
He had heard far too much of this sort of words over the last few decades, and he knew how to counter it.
"If you weren't injured or could at least walk two steps, perhaps I would be able to chase after them."
Xiao Zhang had a nasty complexion, but he could not counter this fact.
He truly was injured quite severely. He truly could no longer move.
The most important fact was that this person had saved him, whether he liked it or not.
Dust settled and rocks rolled across the gra.s.sland.
A person walked out of the toppled mountain.
This person was dressed in white, his hair was white, and his body was also white.
This was not the white of snow, nor was it the white of paper. It was a white that was faintly suffused with a gem-like l.u.s.ter, the white of white jade.
This person had very elegant features and smooth skin. Neither his forehead nor hands showed any wrinkles. He did not seem alive.
If not for the demon horn on his head, he might have been mistaken for a statue of white jade sculpted by an artisan of the Mutuo clan.
This legendary and ancient expert of the Demon race had actually been this handsome.
Chen Changsheng suddenly recalled the first time he saw the Demon Lord in Mount Han.
The Demon Lord had also been a very elegant scholar.
Xiao Zhang snorted, seemingly unhappy.
It was hard to say if it was out of shame at his own inferiority or disdain.
The answer was not in the wind, but beneath the white paper.
This person was Mountain Man Yanzhi.
The mountain was his demon body.
This was his actual body.
"If you truly did chase after them, the final result would just be a loss on both sides."
Mountain Man Yanzhi looked at the man next to Xiao Zhang and said, "Even though you are w.a.n.g Po."
The person wore a blue gown now faded from being washed too many times. His shoulders and brows were both drooped, making him look just like a hard-pressed accountant.
Of course, he was w.a.n.g Po.
"Senior's cultivation truly is unfathomable. My side's four people together barely managed to win. I naturally hold no rash delusions."
This was reality.
Xiao Zhang's despotic spear working together with the harmonious swords of Chen Changsheng and Xu Yourong, the sword array and the Tong Bow, the strongest methods at their disposal, had still not been able to defeat Mountain Man Yanzhi, only heavily wound him. Only the acc.u.mulated energy of w.a.n.g Po's blade from above the heavens finally made him lose this battle.
Xiao Zhang, Chen Changsheng, and Xu Yourong no longer had the strength to fight, so w.a.n.g Po would find it very difficult to defeat the combined might of Mountain Men Jingbo and Yichun.
Of course, this proposition reversed was also true.
Mountain Man Yanzhi explained, "Thus, I stopped them from attacking and had them leave."
w.a.n.g Po replied, "Senior wants to preserve the line of the Mountain Men."
Mountain Man Yanzhi said, "I have already done all I can. I presume that when I meet Grand Teacher after I die, he will not be able to accuse me of not doing anything."
Chen Changsheng was well-versed in the Daoist Canon, Xu Yourong had read a vast number of books, and w.a.n.g Po and Xiao Zhang were both incredibly experienced, but they only had a faint idea of the connection between the Eight Great Mountain Men and Grand Scholar Tungus.
Who was the Grand Teacher that Mountain Man Yanzhi spoke of? Could it really be Grand Scholar Tungus?
If this was the case, the Eight Great Mountain Men being Tungus's students was truly a secret that no one knew.
But why had he called Tungus 'Grand Teacher'? Because Tungus's t.i.tle included the word 'grand'? Or was it because… the Eight Great Mountain Men also had a secondary teacher?
Chen Changsheng and the others thought of the rest of that rumor, their expressions shifting.
The most secretive of rumors said that the appearance of the Eight Great Mountain Men also had to do with the Pope of that generation.
Could it be that this Pope had also been their teacher?
"Yes, we have two teachers."
Mountain Man Yanzhi confirmed their theories.
All cultivators knew of the relationship between that Pope and Grand Scholar Tungus.
From Purification to Star Condensation, the countless laws and knowledge now regarded as common sense by the people of the world had come from the letters exchanged between these two.
In terms of authority or martial might, that Pope and Grand Scholar Tungus perhaps did not stand at the very top, but in terms of effect on history, they were unquestionably ranked in the top three. And in terms of intelligence and knowledge, this pair stood far above anyone else.
The most intelligent of geniuses often had the most insane of ideas.
Grand Scholar Tungus and that Pope had managed to secretly work together in an undertaking, managing to successfully hide it from the entire world.
Perhaps it was to confirm the possibility of eternal life, the ability of the soul to continue to exist, or to overcome the differences between races and exchange information, or maybe because they had just been bored.
They created the Eight Great Mountain Men.
Many of the details in this process were already unverifiable. The Eight Great Mountain Men themselves did not know. Only one fact was clear: they were not demons, nor were they humans, and they were not hybrids like Qi Jian. They were beings that existed on the line between the races, perhaps even existing above them.
Every existence required meaning, or perhaps one could say that existence would seek out meaning all on its own and grant it unto itself.
Grand Scholar Tungus pa.s.sed from this world, followed by the Pope.
The Eight Great Mountain Men left their garden and entered the world.
They began to ponder this matter.
Given their intelligence, they could not understand the true thoughts of their teachers, and they certainly could not ponder the domains of eternal life and the soul.
In the end, they obtained one conclusion.
Their two teachers had created them to prove that the humans and demons could live together in peace, should live together in peace.
They were a symbol of peace.
Mountain Man Yanzhi said, "Our goal is a peaceful world. Before peace is finally realized, we at least hope that neither the Divine race nor the Human race will be too strong, causing the weaker side to be at risk of extinction. Thus, when one side is ascendant, we a.s.sist the other side."
Chen Changsheng said, "So you led the armies against Emperor Taizong but later on vanished."
Mountain Man Yanzhi affirmed, "Yes."
"Where were you when the demons were ascendant? And where were you in the siege of Luoyang?"
Xu Yourong suddenly spoke, her voice cold and impa.s.sive.
Mountain Man Yanzhi replied, "The Human race still had many experts then, so there was no worry of extinction."
Xu Yourong asked, "As long as there is no extermination but the humans are treated like livestock by the demons and harvested for food, none of you will care?"
Mountain Man Yanzhi was quiet for a while, then he said, "Before, I said that we read many human stories and saw many plays in Xuelao City. For the latter, Grand Teacher brought us to see the plays, while for the former, Second Teacher mailed them to us. In the end, the two are still somewhat different."
They had been born in Xuelao City and grown up in Xuelao City, so they naturally felt a deeper sentiment for the demons.
And as time pa.s.sed, their sense of belonging to the Human race became fainter and fainter, even though the human blood flowing through their bodies was no less diluted.
"So your existence has no meaning. To the demons, you are opportunists that sway with the wind. Probably both the old Demon Lord and the current Demon Lord were both incredibly wary of you. I even think that old Demon Lord probably killed a few of your members. And to the humans, you're no different from Black Robe. All of you are traitors."
Xu Yourong's voice was very calm, but her words were exceptionally lethal.
w.a.n.g Po and Xiao Zhang exchanged glances, not knowing what to say.
The truth had always been the most hurtful.
It was clear that Xu Yourong had accurately described the bitter circ.u.mstances of the Eight Great Mountain Men.
Mountain Man Yanzhi angrily said, "We swayed back and forth, but that does not mean that we are traitors! Do not mention us in the same breath as Black Robe!"
Xu Yourong suddenly changed the topic. Pointing north, she asked, "Just what's over there in the darkness?"
Mountain Man Yanzhi froze, and then said, "Is there any need to mention it at this time?"
The corners of Xu Yourong's lips perked upward as she jeered, "For the demons to still be engaged in civil war at this time, it would go against the heavens for this race to not die off."
Mountain Man Yanzhi had a rather nasty expression.
"This is clearly Black Robe's scheme, so why do you need to cover for him?"
Xu Yourong asked him, "Is it the Demon Commander?"
After a little hesitation, Mountain Man Yanzhi nodded.
Xu Yourong nodded back and said, "I have nothing else I want to ask."
Only now did w.a.n.g Po understand what she was doing, for which he felt deep admiration.
He turned to Mountain Man Yanzhi and said, "It's best if Senior has them travel farther away."
He was referring to Mountain Men Jingbo and Yichun.
The fires of war were callous and were certain to engulf the entire continent. Even the Great Western Continent might not be able to escape.
Mountain Man Yanzhi said, "They will go to the distant Abyssal Sea."
The curtain had truly dropped on the story of the Eight Great Mountain Men.
The historic mission they had bestowed upon themselves had already come to an end.
These words from Mountain Man Yanzhi were an admission of defeat.
Not tonight's defeat, but the defeat of the entire Demon race.
Before the war had even begun, he had admitted defeat.
To defeat a mountain, one first had to break its momentum.
Xiao Zhang had done this.
A mountain's true power lay in its momentum.
The difference between high and low cliffs, the undulations and bends of its ridges—these were all part of its momentum.
The momentum of the world, on the other hand, was based on the fortune of the races that lived in it.
Over the last one thousand years, the Human race's fortune had gradually been improving.
Emperor Taizong, Emperor Xian, and the Tianhai Divine Empress could all be described as wise sovereigns of their generations.
Most importantly, they had all died when they should have died, leaving their good legacies to the Great Zhou Dynasty.
Such legacies included the alliance with the Demi-human race, the establishment of Snowhold Pa.s.s, Blue Pa.s.s, and the rest of the seventeen strongholds, and the confluence of the north and south.
The current emperor was also a wise sovereign.
He remained deep in the palace yet could rule the world. For ten-some years, the weather had been fair, the oceans calm, the rivers clear. Could one really think that this was all because the Heavenly Dao was taking pity on the Human race?
Compared to the Human race, the Demon race's fortune over the last one thousand years had been disastrous.
The abilities of the previous Demon Lord were truly perfect. He was the true king of superb talent and bold vision, a mighty sovereign.
If only he had died a little earlier.
It was a pity that this Demon Lord had lived too long.
He was older than Emperor Taizong, was even fit to be called Emperor Taizu's brother.
Yet even when Emperor Taizu had died, Emperor Taizong had died, and Emperor Xian had died, he did not die. He was not willing to die.
Only flowing water could remain free of decay. The Demon Lord had ruled Xuelao City for too long, causing the entire Demon race to fall stagnant.
Even more frightening was that though the old Demon Lord's flesh had still lived, his mind had gradually begun to rot.
Perhaps because he had confronted death for too long, he lost all interest in ruling. He spent the vast majority of his time and energy on tempering his demon body and soul.
He wanted to cure his old wounds, wanted to enter the legendary Grand Liberation Realm. He wanted… to live forever and never die.
Thus, he had risked entering Mount Han to eat Chen Changsheng. Thus, he had fallen into Shang Xingzhou's trap and fought a world-shaking battle with the White Emperor on the snowy plains, leaving him heavily injured. Thus, he had revealed a weakness, been overthrown by Black Robe and the Demon Commander, and been forced into the abyss by his own son.
In the final a.n.a.lysis, his ultimate death in the snowy mountains was solely because he had wanted too much to live.
As was said a moment ago, it was a pity, truly a great pity, but he had still died late.
If, like Emperor Taizong, he had died a little earlier, the upper level of the Demon race would have naturally changed generations. Even if they did weaken, the time of their revival would have come a little earlier.
In the end, it was all about fate.
This was the Demon Lord's fate and also the Demon race's fate.
Tonight was the Demon race's final chance. The Eight Great Mountain Men had wanted to defy the heavens and change fate, but they had failed.
Thus, the momentum of the world was decided, as was the momentum of the Demon race.
"Alas, the women, the women…."
"Alas, the elders, the elders…"
The starlight shining on Mountain Man Yanzhi's face made it ghastly white.
His lips were also white, opening and closing like a pile of snow about to collapse.
"The death of my Mount Yanzhi leaves me not one bit happy."
After saying this, he closed his eyes and died.
1. This saying originates from a Xiongnu lament that goes 'The death of my Mount Qilian leaves the herds without a place to breathe. The death of my Mount Yanzhi leaves the women without makeup to wear'. The Xiongnu were a confederacy of steppe tribes that lived to the north of China. They were often in conflict with the Han Dynasty and fought several wars. One of the regions the two fought over was the Hexi Corridor, which formed a part of the North Silk Road. The Qilian Mountains formed the southern wall of the Hexi Corridor, with Mount Yanzhi being one of these mountains. During the Han-Xiongnu wars, the Han general Huo Qubing led a force of ten thousand cavalry and dealt a devastating blow from to the Xiongnu kingdoms, capturing the Hexi Corridor. This loss was the first of several major defeats to the Xiongnu, and the Xiongnu never were able to regain control of the Hexi corridor.↩