Against the Gods Chapter 787
Chapter 787 – Taking the Netherworld Udumbara by Force
"Is he… dead?" Yun Che asked with much difficulty.
"He's dead!" His devil soul has dispersed and before long, the Golden Crow flames will completely burn his body to ashes as well." Jasmine said as she sighed silently in her heart, "But don't let anything distract you right now, you need to devote all your energy to healing your wounds! The injuries you sustained are really too serious this time around and even if it is you, if you let them linger on a while more, you might lose your life at any moment."
Yun Che did not speak any further. Instead he focused on adjusting his current state and mindset until he could attain proper focus. After that, he swiftly cleared away any thoughts that would distract him before he focused on circulating the Great Way of the Buddha… He knew that Jasmine's words were not the least bit exaggerated. Even when he was in the Primordial Profound Ark, he had never been so seriously injured to the point where he lost all sensation of pain.
This time, his internal and external injuries were incredibly serious and within the entire Profound Sky Continent, the only person who could sustain such injuries and still live was Yun Che alone. This coupled with the fact that he had nearly run out of profound energy meant that it would require a rather long period of time before he could make a full recovery.
Because of his heavy injuries, Yun Che's ability to concentrate was also greatly affected. A full seven minutes passed before that dim golden pagoda gradually appeared over his head. After that, the energy of heaven and earth that surged into his body began to get denser and denser.
At the end of the Moon Slaughter Devil Nest, the broken corpse of the Moon Slaughter Devil Sovereign had finally been incinerated by the Golden Crow flames. The devil body, that was bereft of the power of the devil god, could not escape the fate of being burned to cinders… However, the clouds of black ash were dimly illuminated by streaks of bizarre black light.
Behind the body lay the wall at the very end of the Moon Slaughter Devil Nest. Most of the impact from the sword strike that Yun Che had launched at the Moon Slaughter Devil Sovereign, after he opened the "Rumbling Heaven" gate, had been absorbed by this pitch-black wall. However, the attack that had enough power to destroy the Moon Slaughter Devil Sovereign had not caused this wall to collapse. It had only left behind many long and narrow cracks along its surface.
Threads of abnormal black energy were quietly seeping from those cracks. It was just that there was no way anyone would be able to see it with their naked eyes in this absolute darkness.
"Heeheeheehee… Kekekehahahaha… Huhuhuhu… Wahahahaha…"
Now that the dust had finally settled, one could clearly hear the sinister wailing laughter that continued to echo within the Moon Slaughter Devil Nest. The Netherworld Udumbara Flower still gently swayed despite the absence of wind but only four petals remained and whether it was the ghostly wail or the gloomy purple light, both of them had grown far weaker than before.
Blue Wind Nation. Snow Region of Extreme Ice
Dongfang Xiu had been going north all this while, traveling through day and night and barely even stopping to catch his breath. Given his cultivation, which was at the initial stages of the Emperor Profound Realm, he had barely made it from Blue Wind Imperial City to Frozen Cloud Asgard within twenty hours.
By the time he had reached Frozen Cloud Asgard and conveyed the message he was supposed to deliver, Dongfang Xiu had exhausted all his profound energy. He fell headfirst into the snow and he could barely force himself up after half a day of rest.
"Palace Chief Dongfang, do not worry. Asgard Master has the Frozen Cloud Celestial Soul with him, even if the distance is one hundred and fifty thousand kilometers away, he will still be able to receive our sound transmissions."
The news of Xiao Yun's disappearance deeply shocked the disciples of Frozen Cloud Asgard. Yun Che had personally told them that Xiao Yun was his sworn brother and a few months ago, he had even brought Xiao Yun to Frozen Cloud Asgard to assist him in scaring off Sun Moon Divine Hall.
Murong Qianxue and the others did not have time to arrange for a place for Dongfang Xiu to rest. The six of them combined their powers and swiftly constructed the sound transmission profound formation that was unique to Frozen Cloud Asgard. Borrowing the power of the profound formation, they would definitely be able to send a sound transmission to Yun Che, who possessed the Frozen Cloud Celestial Soul, as long as he was still on the Profound Sky Continent.
After they had constructed the sound transmission profound formation, Murong Qianxue entered the center of the profound formation and focused on sending a sound transmission to Yun Che. Immediately after that, her eyes blinked open as a look of shock and alarm spread across her face.
"Senior Sister, what happened?" Mu Lanyi asked in a worried voice.
"I can't get through, we are unable to send out the sound transmission." Murong Qianxue replied, shaking her head gravely as her crescent brows knitted together in confusion.
"How could it be?" Feng Hanyue asked anxiously, "Asgard Master has the Frozen Cloud Celestial Soul, so how is it possible that he isn't able to receive our sound transmission. Nothing like this has ever happened before. Unless… unless Asgard Master has expelled the Frozen Cloud Celestial Soul from his body."
"Ah!" Feng Hanxue cried in shock as her beautiful eyes immediately grew misty with emotion, "Could it be… could it be that Asgard Master doesn't want us anymore…?"
"Stop spouting nonsense." Jun Lianqie immediately exclaimed, "Asgard Master is a man who values relationships the most in this world! There is no way he would suddenly abandon our Frozen Cloud Asgard. If he truly expelled the the Frozen Cloud Celestial Soul from his body, the six of us should be able to sense it. My guess is that because Supreme Ocean Palace is located in the ocean that is one thousand five hundred kilometers to the south of the southernmost part of the Profound Sky Continent, it might be located outside the boundaries of the Profound Sky Continent. So Asgard Master would not be able to receive our sound transmission. There is another possibility… That place is, in the end, still a Sacred Ground, so it should be covered by an a powerful protective barrier and that barrier might also block out sound transmissions."
"Another possibility I can think of is that Asgard Master is currently within the 'Moon Slaughter Devil Nest' that he had mentioned many times before." Chu Yueli continued after Jun Lianqie, "Asgard Master has told us this twice before, the main objective behind his trip to Supreme Ocean Palace is to enter the 'Moon Slaughter Devil Nest' to look for something. Furthermore, that 'Moon Slaughter Devil Nest' is the greatest forbidden ground in the entire Supreme Ocean Palace, so it is definitely covered by an extremely strong isolation barrier. Not being able to send a sound transmission to him is extremely normal in such circumstances."
"In short, let's not play wild guessing games with each other." Murong Qianxue said as she strode out of the profound barrier. She turned to Dongfang Xiu before she continued, "Palace Chief Dongfang, please rest here for the time being, you can send a sound transmission to Empress Cang Yue to update her on the current situation. There is definitely a reason that we cannot send a sound transmission to Asgard Master but there is no need to get too anxious. After that, we will attempt to send a sound transmission every two hours and I believe that Asgard Master will reply us before too long."
"If that is the case… then we will have to trouble you fairies regarding this." Dongfang Xiu said in an extremely exhausted voice.
Murong Qianxue and the others did as they said they would. They would reconstruct that profound formation and attempt to send a sound transmission once every two hours. Each time they performed the task, they intentionally increased the amount of profound strength they used…
But the days passed and there was still no reply from Yun Che.
At this point, even the ladies of Frozen Cloud Asgard began to panic.
Even though none of them said it out loud, every single one of them had a bad feeling that… it was not only Xiao Yun that was in trouble right now. It seemed very likely that something had happened to Yun Che as well.
Within the dark and silent world, Yun Che, who had sat quietly for an unknown period of time, suddenly opened his eyes as he asked in a strained and urgent voice, "How long was I in a trance for!?"
"More than forty hours." Jasmine coolly replied.
"What!?" Yun Che shouted in shock as he jumped to his feet. That sudden action immediately tore open all the wounds in his body, causing his face to twist in pain as he uttered a low moan.
Yun Che could completely recover from normal injuries in two days time, even if they were considered heavy injuries for a normal person but this time, things were different. Not only had he sustained grievous external and internal injuries, he had even damaged his foundation. So even though he had been quietly recovering from his injuries for more than forty hours, only half of his injuries had healed and he had also only recovered about fifty percent of his profound strength.
"Why? Are you afraid that you won't make it in time for the Devil Sword Conference?" Jasmine said as she gave cold snort, "Hmph! You haven't even completely recovered yet and you still have to think about how you're going to break out of this place! So attending the Devil Sword Conference should be the last thing on your mind."
"No! It's not that!" Yun Che said as he swiftly turned around.
Those four points of gloomy purple light continued to slowly sway three hundred meters from where Yun Che was. The moment he looked over at them, he could hear that sinister, soul-piercing, ghostly wail ring out.
Besides the fact that it was missing petals, the Netherworld Udumbara Flower was exactly how Yun Che saw it initially. Even the four petals that remained still continued to shimmer with that purple light, it did not look like it had started to rot or decay in the least.
Even from three hundred meters away, the moment Yun Che laid his eyes on it, he could clearly feel its touch on his soul.
"This is great." Yun Che said as he let out a long sigh of relief, "Master told me the Netherworld Udumbara Flower would only bloom for three days and once those three days were up, it would wilt instantly."
"Even though it's only been two days since it bloomed, it still lost five of its flower petals. So its strength would have greatly weakened. Given my knowledge of these rare plants and spirit medicines, I believe it will definitely wilt earlier than the recorded three days because of it! So we are truly fortunate that all four of the remaining petals are still in perfect condition!"
Yun Che could not help feeling antsy right now. In order to concentrate on recovering from his injuries, he had sealed all of his senses. He knew that the moment he slipped into a trance he would lose all sense of time, so he ensured that a part of his will remained to prevent him from being in a trance for too long a period of time. It was just that his wounds were really too serious, so his will had become extremely weak and the bit of will that he had held in anticipation of this event very swiftly dissipated as well… The moment he came to, he instantly thought of how long the Netherworld Udumbara Flower would stay in full bloom and he grew so anxious that cold sweat nearly drenched his entire body.
It was truly fortunate that all four of the remaining petals of the Netherworld Udumbara Flower had remained intact.
But at the same time, he was perfectly clear about one thing—If it was a complete and unharmed Netherworld Udumbara Flower, it would still be a full day away from wilting.
A Netherworld Udumbara Flower that had only four petals remaining would definitely remain in full bloom for a shorter period of time, it definitely would not last for three full days! If two days had already passed since it fully bloomed… then it was extremely likely that it would wilt any second now!
"You want forcefully retrieve that Netherworld Udumbara?" Jasmine said as her delicate brows slanted downwards. After that, she immediately barked out a rebuke, "Are you insane!? Have you so quickly forgotten about how terrifying the Netherworld Udumbara Flower is!? What's more, right now you're injured all over and you only have half your usual profound strength. So even thinking of getting within one hundred meters of the Netherworld Udumbara Flower will already be harder than scaling the heavens, much less actually plucking it! Forcing your way close to it will also likely result in it stealing your soul and you will become the living dead!"
Yun Che breathed a long sigh before he said in an extremely resolute voice, "I am well aware of how terrifying the Netherworld Udumbara Flower is! But do not forget the reason why I stayed behind in the first place! This even resulted in meeting one Moon Slaughter Devil Sovereign who very nearly buried me in this place!"
"What Moon Slaughter Devil Sovereign? What ancient devil? What universal calamity… I don't really give a crap about any of those things! The only thing I stayed behind to do was to obtain this Netherworld Udumbara Flower! Furthermore, I have exhausted so much strength and braved so much danger that I very nearly threw my life away, all so that I could protect this Netherworld Udumbara Flower that only has four petals left! If we do not manage to retrieve it, how do you expect me to be satisfied!?"
Yun Che had already started to gnash his teeth as he finished his rant. Ever since he had entered the Moon Slaughter Devil Nest, his encounters had far exceeded his expectations. Given his personality, having already reached this point, he would definitely not allow himself to leave empty-handed, regardless of the risks or how difficult the task was.
Jasmine replied in a very grave voice, "Hmph, I know that the thing you love to do the most is to gamble with your life. But you should still retain some self-awareness at the very least! Two days ago, you personally experienced the might of the Netherworld Udumbara Flower—and it was when you were still very far away from it! Right now, your wounds haven't even healed, yet it seems like you've completely forgotten what it means to feel pain!"
"Jasmine, tell me this one thing." Yun Che said in a very calm voice, "Is an incomplete Netherworld Udumbara with only four remaining petals enough to create a new body for you?"
"…No! Of course not!" After a short pause, Jasmine vehemently denied him, "An incomplete Netherworld Udumbara Flower and a complete one are worlds apart! If I want my body and soul to be perfectly united when this new body of mine is created, I definitely need a complete and perfect Netherworld Udumbara Flower! Even if it was missing just one flower petal, it would not be of any use, much less a Netherworld Udumbara Flower that is missing five! So even if you decide to gamble your life and you really succeed in obtaining it, it will all be for nothing!"
"Besides, you won't even be able to live to tell the tale if you do try to attempt it!"
Jasmine's words did not move Yun Che in the slightest. On the contrary, they caused Yun Che to focus even more intensely on the Netherworld Udumbara Flower, "You're lying to me!"
"…Lying to you!?" Jasmine's voice became cold, "So now, you don't believe even my words?"
"No." Yun Che lightly shook his head, "Jasmine, you are the person that I trust the most in this world. As long as it is something that you've said, no matter how unreasonable or outrageous those words may be, I will not doubt them in the least. Unless… it was the words that you just said."
"Jasmine…" Yun Che's voice became exceptionally soft and gentle, "The year that we met, I was sixteen and you were thirteen. You helped me rebuild a set of profound veins, took me as your student and even used your foot to step on my head to force me to kowtow to you… After that, we have been together every day and night, every hour and every moment. We can even clearly feel each other's existence with every breath that we take. And now, it has already been more than seven years since we met."
"You… what are you trying to say?" Yuni Che's words caused Jasmine's voice to turn funny.
"What I'm trying to say is that we have spent seven years completely tangled together. The time that I have spent with you is longer than the time that you have spent with your parents, longer than the time that you have spent with your precious big brother, longer than the time you have spent with any person in this world. So, I know you better than anyone else does—just like how you know me better than anyone else as well."
"So right now, I could tell instantly whether you were lying or not. What's more, you don't even like to lie in the first place, so you're really not used to it. Normally, if you want to hide something from me, you'll simply seal your lips and refuse to speak a word more and you will also deliberately make it known to me that you don't want to continue. Other than the time you 'sealed your own profound strength', you have never even tried to deceive or lie to me!"
"That is also why your claim that you had 'sealed your own profound strength' deceived me for such a long time. It was the only time that you had ever lied to me before this! Just now was the second time you tried to lie to me! But I am no longer the person I was five years ago, so I won't fall for your trick this time. No matter what…"
"No matter what, you definitely want to forcefully obtain those four petals, right!?" Jasmine's voice had undergone a faint change, it was as if some complex emotion had been layered into it. "Fine… I was indeed lying to you just now! But it wasn't a complete lie! Even though a Netherworld Udumbara Flower with only four petals remaining would be able to merge my body and soul together, it would not be able to perfectly merge the two! So in the end, it would only stay in effect for twenty to thirty years!"
"…What will happen after twenty to thirty years have passed?" Yun Che asked in a stunned voice.
"It is highly likely that my body and soul would reject each other and I would have no choice but to resume my current form! Hmph, I won't be so stupid as to endure the same kind of pain as Fen Juechen."
"So that's how it is!" Yun Che said as he nodded heavily, "This also means that it will grant you at least twenty years of independence and absolute freedom. After that, the worst case scenario is that you would return to your current state."
"Then we definitely need to obtain this four petal Netherworld Udumbara Flower!!"
"You!!" Jasmine snapped as her temper boiled over. She gritted her teeth within the Sky Poison Pearl as she said angrily, "You're really someone who won't weep until you are one foot in the coffin! Since that is the case, then go ahead and try! Go harvest that four petal Netherworld Udumbara Flower! Let me see where you're getting that confidence from!"