Chapter 1028 – Old Acquaintances of Tonight (One)
The night was forlorn. A dim half-moon shimmered among the dark clouds.
In the empty city, the standing buildings seemed to narrate its former glory.
Under the gentle night wind, white joss paper scattered across the ground, sometimes fluttering with the wind.
Within the murky buildings, a black horse carriage was silently pulled along a long street. Two glazed lanterns burned with dark-green ghost flames like gloomy eyes. The four large horses that pulled the carriage shimmered about. The clip-clopping of horse hooves were nowhere to be heard.
The arrival of the carriage did not break the deathly silence in the city. Instead, it was like an underground river that flowed into a lake.
The curtains to the carriage were lifted up, revealing a jade-like face. Ru Xin scanned the surroundings and was not fazed at all. She looked back and asked, “Your majesty, many people have died here before, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of eggs.”
This was once one of the eighty-one prefectural cities of the Green province. Ever since the Soaring Locust King breached the city, millions of people died in the mouths of the insects. At the same time, it became the largest insect nest in the north of the Green province, giving birth to countless locust Daemon Generals or even Daemon Commanders. However, after the combined efforts of the Green province cultivators, it had completely become a ghost city. The streets paved with stone were unsuitable for normal locusts to multiply in too.
“There are other insects here.”
The Dark Queen sat back and gently caressed the cat in her arms. The black cat lay on her lap lazily and did not become annoyed, which sure did compliment her bearing.
“People from the Sword Collection palace?” Ru Xin asked casually.
“Am I supposed to praise you as clever?” the Dark Queen asked.
“That won’t be necessary,” Ru Xin smiled and lowered the curtains, silently circulating the Heavenly Tome of Cloud Furnace. She did not try to persuade the Dark Queen against creating any unnecessary problems, even if this was the north of the Green province, the region under the Sword Collection palace’s control.
“You truly are very clever.” The Dark Queen nodded. She lowered her head and said to the cat on her lap, “My dear Xuanyue, I’ll kill two people from the Sword Collection palace to avenge you.”
Ru Xin opened her eyes slightly. There was a hint of surprise.
“Master, you don’t have to bother. The one who harassed me is already dead.” Xuanyue waved her tail in disinterest.
“How can he die? The Sword Collection palace doesn’t run out of people to die, but there will be a day when I kill them all, one by one, before refining them into ghost slaves,” the Dark Queen said gloomily. A slight smile formed on her pale and depressed face.
Xuanyue glanced at the Dark Queen before curling up. She knew she was not talking to her. She had been like that ever since the battle of Burial Mound mountain. Perhaps she had always been like that, which was why Xuanyue wanted to leave this cosy nest and travel to the distant Dragon province.
“Meow. Then kill them!” However, she no longer wanted to go to the Dragon province now. She thought to herself inside, I’ll avenge Big Blacko too. Just you wait, Dragon King of Ink Sea. I’ll never spare you for killing my Big Blacko!
This thought was so hopeless, yet she was also so determined.
The closer the carriage got to the centre of the city, the more damaged the surrounding structures became. The buildings had all collapsed, basically reduced to ruins, but in the centre of the ruins, a man strolled about, dressed in green clothes with a broken sword. He was lonely.
Nearby, a woman in violet sat on the half-collapsed eaves of a building, leaning against her hand as she gazed at the changing clouds in a daze. She was not an absolute beauty, but she did possess a flourishing sense of vigour. Even the dark night sky and the miserable ruins could not affect her. Instead, it only fed the aspirations in her eyes.
The man in green raised his head and looked at her, and his face warmed up. “Zijian, let’s head back!”
“Alright!” Yu Zijian answered and leapt down from the eaves. “Did you find anything, senior brother?”
“The Green Ruins sword intent is too profound. It’ll probably take me another century before I completely comprehend it.”
Fu Qingjin felt a hint of uncertainty. Ever since the Green Ruins sword was snapped, his cultivation over the years had progressed extremely smoothly. He had even undergone the second heavenly tribulation. However, ever since the start of the year, he encountered a sense of incompatibility when he comprehended the Green Ruins sword intent as if he was missing something, which was why he came to these ruins in search of inspiration.
“Alright. By then, we’ll fuse our swords together and kill all of the monsters like the Soaring Locust King!” Yu Zijian’s eyes shone brightly. Her killing intent was pure and clear.
“There’ll be too many of them.”
Fu Qingjin shook his head. No matter how hard they tried, ruins like this would still be created. Even the most glorious of structures would have a moment when they collapsed and fell into ruin. Protecting and conserving them blindly would only be creating problems for themselves.
Even without daemons to devour and kill them, all these lives still would not have been able to escape death in the end, so what was still so important about so-called good and evil?
“We’ll kill them even if there are too many!” Yu Zijian said stubbornly.
“I’ll accompany you to wherever you go.”
Fu Qingjin then wondered why he would have such a strange thought where he blurred the lines between good and bad. Was the influence from the Green Ruins sword intent too heavy? But ever since the Green Ruins sword was broken, it broke off the influence from the past masters of the sword. All of these thoughts should have originated from himself!
“Thank you, senior brother. I’ll work hard on cultivation too so that we can fuse our swords sooner,” said Yu Zijian.
Fu Qingjin stared into her eyes and saw a brilliant violet flowing inside vaguely. Yu Zijian asked in confusion, “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing.” Fu Qingjin shifted his gaze first and shook his head.
Green Ruins and Violet Clouds, a yin and a yang. When one emerged, the other would always soon follow. Most swordmasters ended up as lovers, but strangely enough, they had already spent so many years together and they could basically read each other’s thoughts, yet they did not feel any affection for one another.
“Let’s return to the Sword Collection palace!”
The half-moon emerged from the clouds, sprinkling the ghost city with its light. The two streaks of light were just about to take off when a ghost-like figure suddenly rose up, spreading over the ruins rapidly. Fu Qingjin abruptly looked back, only to see a huge ghost claw swinging down heavily. It was undodgeable.
With a thunderous rumble, the ground shook violently. Countless pieces of rubble were thrown into the air.
A huge ghost that resembled a mountain stood within the ruins with a hand on the ground. It was the Void-bellied Ghost King.
The horse carriage stopped beneath the huge ghost’s feet quietly, and the Dark Queen disembarked. “Green Ruins and Violet Clouds. I didn’t expect it to be two big fish.”
A mixture of green and violet light poured out between the fingers of the Void-bellied Ghost King. Fu Qingjin and Yu Zijian crossed their swords, forming an almost-illusionary domain. Violet buildings appeared vaguely on the green ruins. The green was heavy, while the violet was dim, but they managed to stop the Dark Queen’s fatal strike together.
“Dark Queen, is such a lowly act really befitting of a great cultivator?” Fu Qingjin asked. Not only was she targeting them despite being overwhelmingly stronger, but she had even used a sneak attack on them.
“Damned insects.” With a face of disgust, the Dark Queen did not even bother to rebuke him. The other hand of the Void-bellied Ghost King slammed down, and the illusionary domain of green and violet immediately reached the brink of collapse.
“Do you really want to declare war against the Sword Collection palace?” Fu Qingjin asked.
“I only want to crush you,” said the Dark Queen.
“Your majesty, this probably won’t benefit our plan against the Soaring Locust King.” Ru Xin also disembarked and walked over.
“Ru Xin, I just praised you as clever, so don’t be foolish now.”