Chapter 91: The Divine Punishment
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
At the very end of the steel suspension bridge, both the sky and land were turbid and blurry.
The smell of rotting flesh permeated the air when harsh wind slashed across their faces.
Three huge objects could be vaguely identified amongst the mist; only by walking closer did they realize that the objects were three identical palaces. Each of the three palaces guarded a different direction; they were closely connected together, forming the strongest of all defense formations—a golden triangle. In the middle of the three palaces, there was a clocktower which disappeared into the clouds; its grey walls were covered with traces of aging, and the old bronze bell on the top of the tower was swinging back and forth ominously.
Ear-deafening tolls rang across the land, thick and low layer of clouds created a suffocating environment.
Wilted flowers with purple petals littered the ground, mixing with the soil and giving off a rotting smell. Goopy sounds were formed every time they stepped on the muddy ground, their feet sinking into it every step they took.
They stepped under the night sky; the dark clouds above them were like huge ships soaring above, bumping into each other and emitting loud crashing sounds. Lightnings with hints of blue intersected among the clouds; they were so packed together that it almost seemed like a huge blanket covering the sky.
Thin layers of black smog surrounded them. They felt as if a pair of invisible eyes were staring at their every move from the darkest place, and Gu Ting Yu felt his fears were amplified under the unsettling gaze.
Is this a dream?
He was trapped by nightmares for thirty something years, but now that the scenes from his dreams were in front of his eyes, the scenery around them made Gu Ting Yu think he was inside a dream.
“Ting Yu?” Gu Ting Yu heard Qing Que’s voice. Returning from his thoughts, he gave Qing Que a reassuring smile. There wasn’t as much fighting as they had anticipated after entering the barrier here. They hadn’t even seen any traces of the Evil Source.
“Be careful.” Just after the sentence was finished, a huge lightning came flashing down near Gu Ting Yu, hitting a huge rock beside his foot. The blue lights illuminated Gu Ting Yu’s face. Not having the leisure of thinking about his almost charred self, he stared at the place up ahead.
A person was standing in front of the palace. They had no idea since when had the person been standing there; perhaps he was waiting for them from the very beginning. That person merged with darkness perfectly—if it weren’t for his flash of murderous intent just now, Gu Ting Yu wouldn’t have been able to sense his presence.
Gu Ting Yu felt that inside the spirit power of this person lay a thousand of years of hatred, but when he wanted to examine the source more closely, it strangely disappeared without a trace.
That man was Jue.
Gu Ting Yu looked straight into Jue’s eyes, and in that instant, everything except for that pair of purple eyes was gone.
Jue’s eyes were like a bottomless well.
A well bound by the chains of destiny under the desolate night, a well which constantly emitted purple-colored hatred.
At the same time, the seemingly calm Jue was also shocked——this average human in front of him was the legendary son of God? Jue didn’t believe in the prophecy, nor the promised salvation they would get; compared to everyone else, he had the clearest picture of where the Sacred Beasts belonged, and he knew that they all, including himself, were destined to die.
Jue sighed as he thought from the bottom of his heart, “Human, do you think that simply destroying the Evil Source means salvation? If you want to meet the Evil Source, the only way forward is to step over my corpse; you… do you think you have that sort of fortitude?”
Complicated thoughts came across his mind in a flash; in the end, Jue didn’t say a thing, he only raised his right arm.
A flash of lightning came crashing down, hitting the center of his palm directly. All of a sudden, a blue crack formed between the sky and land.
Sizzle… along with the roaring of swords, the blue energy condensed into the shape of a sword surrounded by strands of lightning.
The Soul-slashing Sword.
The Soul-slashing Sword ranked first among all ancient swords; in the legends, it was known as a sacred sword fit for Gods.
No normal human had ever seen its terrifying nature, as the sword was just as effective as a steel weapon when used against a human—but when it encountered someone with stronger spirit energy than a normal human, then the power it showcased would behave like a mirror, at the same time absorbing the opponent’s’ strength. Thus, it was only strong when it was facing strong opponents. Historically, the stronger the person was, the more certain they were to have died under this blade.
In that battle a thousand years ago, the God of Righteousness disappeared into nothing all because of this sword.
Jue’s purple eyes locked onto Gu Ting Yu inently as if he hadn’t even noticed the other sacred beasts coming towards him.
“Oh no!!” Under the lightning and thunder, Zhuo Ying was the first to react. “It’s the Divine Punishment!!! Quick! Evade———” His voice still echoed the air, but the sky was already shaking with loud bangs of thunder and blinding blue lights; the lightning bolts turned into sharp blades, raining down in every corner, making it impossible to dodge. Bai Zhi Ao barely escaped, bringing Gu Ting Yu with him, but the other Sacred Beasts with stronger spirit powers weren’t as lucky.
The first one to get hit was Tong Ying.
The fiery red fox lay on the ground, full of pain; he never would have thought that he would be so useless. Uneasiness permeated the air. Tong Ying rolled around on the ground. The only thing he sensed in human form was the smell of iron; he covered his mouth as blood spilled out of it.
“Tong Ying!!!” ——Gu Ting Yu screamed in worry, jumping off of Bai Zhi Ao, and dodging lightnings he rushed to Tong Ying’s side.
“Hang on, I’m going to heal you right a…” he said, but just when he was about to heal Tong Ying, the latter raised his hand, stopping Gu Ting Yu from doing so.
“Tch… How unlucky.” Tong Ying was smiling and laughing on the surface, but on the inside he was feeling pathetic. He pulled Gu Ting Yu’s hand and said, sounding a little discouraged, “It really hurts this time.”
Tong Ying understood very well that the Divine Punishment was a kind of lightning summoned by the Soul-slashing Sword. In this world, everything had its inhibitor. The Sacred Beasts were born from the sky and earth, so of course they would eventually be diminished by the sky and earth as well. Those slashed by the Soul-slashing Sword would keep on losing spirit energy until they died; even if Gu Ting Yu used his healing powers, it would only be a waste of his energy. It would even result in the sword sucking away Gu Ting Yu’s spirit energy as well.
So, once someone was slashed by the sword, there was no cure.
“Zzzzap!!!” All of a sudden, a blue ring of light appeared above of Gu Ting Yu’s head; it was so fast that it was almost invisible, and it went straight towards Gu Ting Yu’s head.
“Gu Ting Yu! Move!!”
“Be careful!” Mian cried out.
Tong Ying screamed loudly as he planned on pushing Gu Ting Yu away, but to his dismay, Gu Ting Yu was one step ahead, subconsciously hugging Tong Ying tightly. After a few moments, as the expected pain did not come, Gu Ting Yu raised his head, shocked to see Mian controlling all of his tentacles and blocking the blue lightning from advancing. The sharp lightning bolts and Mian’s tentacles interweaved, both sides refusing to let the other gets its way.
Gu Ting Yu felt as though all the blood in his body came to a halt; his heart was pounding heavily.
Ice blue blood (i) splashed onto Gu Ting Yu’s face, in just an instant, the tentacles took all of the damage that was meant for Gu Ting Yu. Shreds of tentacles dropped beside them. Mian didn’t say a word; he stumbled for a few steps and fell to the ground, his blood kept seeping out of his back. He lay on the floor face down. His expression couldn’t be seen, but his fingertips were trembling slightly, just like the twitching shreds of tentacles around him.
An indescribable pain tugged at Gu Ting Yu’s heart; the horrific scene of Mian in agony was etched into his heart… his chest hurt… blood was splattered everywhere. The liquid on his face was cold, but to Gu Ting Yu it felt as though it scalded the corner of his eye.
Jue arched his eyebrow, looking at Mian; then, his expression turned grave, and he began walking towards Gu Ting Yu.
A sharp screech came from the sky. Dark green feathers drifted down slowly, and golden spheres of fire mixed with the blue lightning. Qing Que was glowing in bright golden flames, but the lightning bolts were like chains, binding him in the sky as his golden lustre faded…
A strong black figure dodged all the lightnings, dashing towards Jue in high speed. Just when he was almost in contact with Jue, cracks formed on the ground, and rays of blue lightnings came flying out. They flew towards the sky forming a parabola, then quickly slashed down on Ye Yin Ju——after the huge explosion, Ye Yin Ju was already lying at Jue’s feet motionlessly…
Jue kept walking towards Gu Ting Yu without a shred of emotion on his face.
These Sacred Beasts used to be his comrades, he even remembered how they joined the Evil Source, he remembered what they were good at, even all of their powers. He had watched them grow… but now at the very end, he had to look at how they die.
Xiu Er, Liang Yue, and Zhuo Yin who were good at offense started fighting Jue while Bai Zhi Ao, Qian Lü, and Nian Xing guarded Gu Ting Yu heavily.
Facing the hardest opponent yet, Zhuo Yin and everyone understood clearly that only a few would come out of this alive—just the Divine Punishment alone took four of their comrades’ lives. Exactly how strong was Jue?
Black swirls of wind mixed in with sharp feathers flew towards Jue, and behind that, a huge chunk of ice followed——they had decided to focus everything on offense. As if everyone had lost their mind, they were prepared to sacrifice their lives. After all, that was the only way they could have a chance of winning.
After a while, the only one left beside Gu Ting Yu was Bai Zhi Ao. Even Nian Xing and Qian Lü had joined in the battle.
Howling, screams, and the sounds of clashing blades were mixed into the bloodied wind and smoke, reaching their ears. They had no idea who was who, and they couldn’t see how long would they be able to hang on.
“Da Shu, you should run away first.” The heavy fighting seemed to have calmed down a lot; Bai Zhi Ao said looking into Gu Ting Yu’s eyes as his face turned pale.
“…” Gu Ting Yu opened his mouth wanting to say something, but just at that moment, Bai Zhi Ao was hit by a blue lightning, his whole body jerked in pain as he fell onto the ground.
This was the strength that was next to that of the Evil Source. When the black smoke dissipated, Jue looked across the battleground emotionlessly. The Sacred Beasts who were injured by the Soul-slashing Sword would not die immediately—though they were immobilized, their consciousness had remained.
Jue stood in front of Gu Ting Yu, smirking coldly; in a soft voice, he said, “I’m not going to kill them, because I want them to see how you die.”
(i) Octopi and other invertebrates have blue blood, so the blue blood is most likely from the tentacles. Human blood cells contain hemoglobin, which is red in color, while octopi blood cells contain hemocyanin which is blue in color, hence the blue blood.