“Looks unfamiliar. Never seen him before…”
“He’s truly gutsy to gatecrash the Tu Shan and Zhu Clans’ wedding.”
Many people were asking the same question. No one knew Song Ci. He was from another era where he had met Rong Bai. Then, he had come to Rong Bai’s past as if he had descended from the Heavens. Even Rong Bai did not know where he came from or what his purpose was.
Yet, he stood before Rong Bai – steadfast and fierce – as he drew out his sharp blade and spoke harshly to Tu Shan Bi.
The last person who stood up for him had long died after being nailed to that tree. Rong Bai had hidden her away in his heart.
For an instant, Rong Bai panicked. He raised his hand to grasp hold of Song Ci’s wrist. “Why are you here?”
Song Ci back-handedly grabbed hold of Rong Bai’s hand and stroked it. He turned his head to meet his eyes and smile mischievously. “If I don’t come, then am I supposed to look on helplessly as you marry another?”
Rong Bai looked at him. His heart and eyes no longer had room for anyone else. “I will marry no one else.”
“I know.” Song Ci nodded and suddenly shouted at the top of his voice towards the rear, “Tu Shan Heng!”
“Coming!” Tu Shan Heng responded and flung out the folding fan in his hand with all his might, sending it flying towards Song Ci.
Rong Bai subconsciously moved to block it, but Song Ci beat him to it. The moment he received the fan, it suddenly turned into a pure white robe. Song Ci held the robe with one hand and ripped away Rong Bai’s wedding robe with his other hand.
After the outer robe came off, he unfolded the white robe and swung it around Rong Bai to drape it over him. He extended the sleeves and said, “Put it on.”
Rong Bai compliantly wore it, and Song Ci freed his long hair from the robe. Satisfied, he said, “You look better in this.”
Tu Shan Bi was about to explode with anger by the time this series of actions were completed. He glared at Tu Shan Heng and flung his whip out towards Song Ci. “You ruined my son’s big day today. You deserve to be cut to pieces!”
Rong Bai pulled Song Ci back a step and caught the whip with his bare hand.
Tu Shan Bi bellowed, “Tu Shan Rong Bai! Are you rebelling?!”
Rong Bai’s expression was as cutting and frosty as ice shards. He did not speak. Instead, he took Du’e from Song Ci’s hand and stabbed it right into his own chest. Half of the blade sank into his flesh, and blood spilled from the wound. At the same time, a white light materialized.
His action shocked everyone. Tu Shan Bi’s reaction was even more extreme. “Tu Shan Rong Bai! What are you doing?!”
Song C’s heart ached, but he immediately guessed that Rong Bai was preparing to extract the blood from his heart. So he clenched his fists and waited patiently beside him.
On the other hand, Tu Shan Bi was shouting frantically, “Men! Grab them! Stop him, quick!”
The wedding had been organized on a grand scale, and almost everyone in power from the various clans in the Divine Realm was here. But all of them felt that this was a Tu Shan’s family affair, so it was inappropriate for them to intervene. Tu Shan Bi’s shout could only mobilize the divine soldiers, while the rest looked on as though they were watching a show.
Song Ci took a deep breath and deployed his spiritual energy to his palm. With a strike, he sent several tables before him flying. The pastries on the table scattered all over and forced many of the guests back. He said coldly, “Since I’m here, I won’t let you take a step closer.”
“He’s a demon! A demon brought back from Sihuang Mountain!” Right this time, Tu Shan Lian leaped out. She pointed at Song Ci and yelled, “Grab him!”
Once Song Ci was identified as a demon, it became the business of the entire Divine Realm. To sit and do nothing was tantamount to giving the demons free rein to commit evil.
The divine soldiers moved quickly and formed a ring around Rong Bai and Song Ci to besiege them. Bit by bit, they narrowed down the circle and closed in on them.
Other than the ancient divine beast White Tiger Clan, the other clan in the Divine Realm renowned for their combat abilities was the Phoenix Clan. The ones at the foremost position among the soldiers spread out and sealed off all of Song Ci’s retreat routes.
And yet the one with the strongest combat ability in the Phoenix Clan, Ze Chen, was sitting among the guests to watch the show intently.
On seeing this, Tu Shan Heng’s blood ran cold. He pushed aside the crowd and strode over to Song Ci.
But Song Ci showed no signs of fear. He grinned, “I finally get my chance to explain.”
He turned his head and looked at Rong Bai, who was still straining to cut his chest open. Song Ci touched the side of his face lightly with the softness of his fingertips and whispered, “Concentrate on what you need to do. Don’t get distracted.”
Then he said to the crowd, “I’m not a demon. My name is Song Ci. I come from a faraway land, and I’m taking Rong Bai away from the Divine Realm.”
Who are you? Where are you from? What do you intend to do?
These were probably the questions everyone was the most curious about. He answered them all at once.
On the contrary, Tu Shan Bi did not care about these questions. After he realized Rong Bai’s intention, he immediately flung out his whip. Sharp barbs grew on the whip as it violently and swiftly came at him.
The light in Song Ci’s eyes dimmed. He took a step forward with his right foot, and brilliant blue flames swirled out from the side of his foot. Under the watchful gazes of the guests, it abruptly burst out like a flower that had suddenly bloomed. It spread rapidly to the surrounding area, and its scorching aura set off waves of heat, forcing the divine soldiers surrounding them in a retreat.
The blue flames almost stung everyone’s eyes. Stunned expressions were all that remained on their faces.
Especially those from Tu Shan.
Tu Shan Heng’s widened eyes were even bigger than bronze bells as he came to a halt and looked disbelievingly at the blue flames emanating from Song Ci.
Only Tu Shan foxes with pure lineage could use blue flames. That was an advantage that came naturally with one’s own bloodline. Those of mixed blood did not have this ability.
And there was only one of pure ancestry in Tu Shan—Tu Shan Rong Bai.
But right before his eyes, a minor demon, who was thought by others to have been brought back from the Divine Hunt Meet, could manipulate blue flames. This was far beyond the comprehension of those from Tu Shan.
After the flames dispersed, Song Ci stood in the center with five pure-white tails. His eyes glimmered blue, and there were still the faint remnants of red totems at the sides of his face. His scattered ink-black hair fluttered wildly in the wind, and a pair of fox ears stood erected among his hair.
Song Ci’s black robe added a sharp edge to him. Even his usual amicable countenance turned into a sharp sword that warned them “to stay away”.
“You…” Tu Shan Bi looked as if he had lost his ability to speak. None of what had happened before him made sense. He could not think of an explanation for it at all.
“Tu Shan Bi.” Song Ci looked at him with loathing. “You are not worthy to be a father, and even more so, a husband. I’ll teach you a good lesson today. Consider it a memorial to the woman whose death you caused.”
Song Ci put his hands together. Then he separated them and conjured out a long pole formed out of blue flame. He grasped the pole and instantly shifted over to Tu Shan Bi. Before the latter could react, he struck a brutal blow at him.
Tu Shan Bi leaned back, and the tip of the pole brushed past his nose. The hot wave of energy stirred his hair, leaving behind a scalding heat.
The long, blazing pole forced him back in a retreat. Song Ci thought, just one hit will suffice; striking him just once was enough for him.
But just when Tu Shan Bi was thrown into disarray, a whip suddenly came lashing at him from the side and interrupted Song Ci’s attack. To dodge it, he retreated a few steps, increasing the distance between him and Tu Shan Bi.
Tu Shan Bi was the clan head of the Tu Shan Clan after all. He was a divine nine-tailed fox with exceptional cultivation. Even if Song Ci had been making rapid progress, he could not contend against him. The only advantage he had was his blue flame.
Tu Shan Bi’s next blow was menacing once he seized the opening to steady himself. Song Ci used the pole to block the whip, but he did not expect the whip to smash it into a shower of sparks.
Tu Shan Lian stood beside Tu Shan Bi with a long whip in her hand. She glared at Song Ci, “Father, let’s kill this demon first.”
“No, we have to stop Rong Bai from extracting his blood first.” Tu Shan Bi said in a deep voice.
The other Tu Shan clansmen in Tu Shan were anxious by now. They shouted to him, “Clan Head, you stop the Young Master first. We will deal with this evildoer.”
“That won’t do.” Song Ci shook his head. “I won’t consent to it.”
Each of his hands conjured up a blue flame. With a lift, the flames rose and formed a circular barrier that enveloped Rong Bai and protected him within. His words were powerful and resonating. “As long as I’m still standing here, no one can touch him.”
“Song Ci.” Feng Zhuojun’s voice rang out faintly.
“Hmm?” Song Ci distractedly responded.
“Bid farewell to Rong Bai.” He said, “We are going back.”
Song Ci had long mentally prepared himself for this. He slowly turned his head back to look at Rong Bai. The latter’s chest was shining with golden light as he slowly pulled the black blade out.
A flame ignited from his toes and crept up slowly. The tips of his five fluffy tails broke out in flames too. Blue flame enveloped his entire person. After being stuck in a stalemate for a while, the Tu Shan clansmen all charged towards him in an attack, while Tu Shan Bi sidestepped Song Ci and dashed right for Rong Bai.
Song Ci took a deep breath and unleashed all the power within him that he could deploy. A colossal flame burst forth, reducing all the spots it passed by into a piece of charred, barren land. A violent wind swept over it, building up this great fire’s momentum. It was as if the flame had engulfed even the sky. Half of the sky darkened as the flame devoured everything around them.
Yan Song picked up Yan Bei and handed him over to Ze Chen. “Take Yan Bei and stand farther away.”
Ze Chen said nothing. She simply took Yan Bei and left swiftly. Even the deities and immortals at the perimeter could not withstand this blazing flame and flee. Tu Shan Bi hurriedly cast a spell to resist it, but even so, he could still sense the intense temperature of the flame.
Zhu Chengming watched the devastating flame spread all over and hit upon a plan. He turned his head to haul a detained Zhu Han over—at the start of the farce, he had already commanded his men to escort the real Zhu Han over.
Zhu Han looked fearfully at Zhu Chengming. “Father! What are you doing?!”
“This is the last time you can be of use.” Zhu Chengming looked at her coldly and mercilessly shoved her into the blue flame.
Zhu Han’s tears fell almost immediately as she screamed. She turned to look for Zhu Qin, but there was no sign of him. All that remained in her mind was the thought: you said you would protect me from death!
She flailed her hands about, wanting to escape from the searing heat. But she did not expect Zhu Chengming to cast a spell on her to immobilize her as he shoved her into the flames. By the time her cries trailed away, the blue flame had engulfed her entire body
In just an instant, she was incinerated until there was nothing left of her.
Zhu Chengming’s expression took on a dark turn as he stared at Rong Bai and watched as the white light all over his body converged at his chest. When Rong Bai extracted a plump drop of vivid red blood, Zhu Chengming swapped his expression and wailed in grief.
He gathered up a red flame in his right hand and met the blue flame head-on in an attack. He bellowed, “Demon of Tu Shan! Return me my daughter!”
Song Ci was oblivious to what was happening. All he could feel was an intense force charging right for him. The impact smothered him, and the momentum of his flame weakened.
This was the limit of all the power he could mobilize on his own. Now that he had suddenly come up against a more formidable power, he was unable to ward it off. Fortunately, Rong Bai had already completely extracted the blood of his heart.
Song Ci turned to look at Rong Bai and sighed. It might already be too late to bid him farewell.
The red flame was like a massive wave several zhang1 high surging right at him. The unbearable heat swiftly surrounded him. Amidst a sea of dazzling, gorgeous light, his eyes met Rong Bai’s eyes. As he watched a panic-stricken expression wash over Rong Bai’s face, he raised a smile at him—This was the last thing he could leave behind for him.
Time seemed to freeze the very instant the red flame pounced on him.
Tu Shan Heng yelled out Song Ci’s name.
Yan Song grew a pair of black dragon horns and mustered up golden light in his palm.
Ze Chen solemnly scrunched up her eyebrows. In her arms, Yan Bei held on tightly to her neck and gaped with his mouth wide open.
The next instant, the flame engulfed Song Ci whole. Rong Bai’s stunned eyes reddened. As soon as Tu Shan Heng stepped forward, the billows of the flame flung him away. Yan Song was all enveloped in golden light as he shot into the flame like an arrow leaving its bow.
The collision of golden light and red flame shook the earth and the mountains. A violent gale bulldozed its way through the realm and uprooted all the trees and flowers on Moshi Mountain. In the twinkling of an eye, it razed this beautiful divine mountain into a barren land.
By the time the flames dispersed, Song Ci, who had been standing among them, had disappeared. In his place was Yan Song and his pair of black dragon horns. He lifted his pure golden eyes, and the penetrating iciness of his murderous intent overpowered them all.
Rong Bai stood where he was and released his divine consciousness within a radius of a hundred li,2 only to discover that Song Ci’s aura had thoroughly vanished.
Just like the time he arrived—abrupt and mysterious.
This is the last chapter of the “Tu Shan Rong Bai” arc. The next chapter onwards will be the “Shuhong of the Liang Clan”3 arc. This is not an April Fool joke.