Star Sovereign knelt down and propped himself on his divine sword with a laugh while looking at the old foe that was walking toward him. "Old Human Emperor, you and I are just puppets on a string, toys of the true gods. So what if you struggle to block us here? There are two groups from High Heavens, and we are here just to hold your attention. The ones who are truly here to activate the meteorological divine weapons is the other group. Eternal Peace is bound to be destroyed…"
In front of him, the primordial spirit behind Village Chief was blazing fiercely as though he was a god burning with flames of light. However, this god was worn-out at that moment, finding it hard to keep itself up.
It gradually dimmed and almost went out before blazing vigorously again. This repeated over and over again, making it evident that the old sword god wanted to maintain his peak strength even at the cost of exhausting the last of his qi and blood.
"Star Sovereign Qiao, where's the other group?" Village Chief walked over, ignoring everyone else in the battlefield. His gaze stared intensely at him. "You and I are old foes, so now that we're both about to die, show kindness with your words. Do you really want to see countless lives in Eternal Peace Empire be wiped out?"
A crumbling noise came from inside of Star Sovereign Qiao's body. This handsome god was the color of death as he chuckled. "What do the lives of those lowly life forms have to do with me?" He raised his head to look at the sky and muttered, "The star that belongs to me is finally going to fall."
A soft crack came from his sword, and another soft crack followed right after, before becoming concentrated. The cracking became faster and faster, until the crumbling of his body became all that could be heard.
The primordial spirit behind Village Chief's back dimmed once more, and he roused his qi and blood again, wanting to recover his primordial spirit back to its peak, but he couldn't do it no matter what.
The him now was like a tattered bellows which was leaking air everywhere. He wanted to reignite his life force, but his body was too broken.
He had been crippled, lost all four of his limbs. This affected his corporeal body and also his battle power. However, the most crucial point was that he was old.
He was so old that his lifespan was coming to an end. He originally still had a year or more left, so if he had lived out his life peacefully and cultivated diligently, he might have been able to patch his divine bridge before he died, entering another realm and becoming a god.
However, this battle had made him exhaust the last of his qi and blood.
There was no longer any way for him to reignite his lifeforce.
"Tell me, where did the other group go?" Village Chief shouted. "Star Sovereign Qiao, where are you from? Were you not like these people in the past, a lowly life form as you put it?"
Star Sovereign Qiao had already closed his eyes to await his death, but his body suddenly shook, and he opened his eyes which were blank without any life in them. Sword wounds were opening one after another on his body.
They continued to grow deeper as though there was an invisible sword that was slowly slicing open his corporeal body.
Village Chief's last move had cut off his life force and his divine treasures were crumbling apart. His corporeal body was also torn apart, so he was destined to die there.
"What's the use?" Star Sovereign Qiao lowered his head and scorned him, "Do you still have the ability to stop them? You are also going to die, old friend, so know your place and sit down, follow me to the other side. We can accompany each other on the road to the Yellow Springs…"
"Tell me, which way did they go?" Village Chief said solemnly.
Star Sovereign Qiao raised his head to look at him before his blank eyes turned to look at the darkness of Great Ruins. His breaths suddenly became urgent. "They should be almost there… cough cough, if you still have the ability, then go and stop them."
His face changed drastically, and he suddenly grabbed Village Chief's clothes while shouting himself hoarse. "I see the fires of hell, the fires of the countless dead people from Eternal Peace, demanding their lives from me! Stop them! Don't let the deaths of those people become my sin… Don't come over, don't come over! It's not my fault, I was just following orders… For every grievance there is someone responsible, for every debt there is a debtor. I'm not the one that wanted all of you to die!"
Village Chief's struggled to break free from his grasp, then rushed off to leave.
Star Sovereign Qiao's pupils shrank more and more, as though he was seeing something abnormally frightening as he shouted crazily, "It's not my fault, I'm also helpless, don't demand your lives from me!
"I see countless paper boats, so many paper boats sailing from Eternal Peace into the darkness… My god, what's that? The horns of Earth Count… Hell! This is hell!
"Save me! True gods, where are the true gods overseeing me! Come and save me! You guys promised me to not let Earth Count take me away to judge me… Save me—"
After a moment, Star Sovereign Qiao stopped breathing with a look of endless terror frozen on his face.
The divine sword in his hands suddenly turned into dust which scattered on the floor. The lifeless body of Star Sovereign Qiao collapsed forward, and his sword wounds erupted all together, tearing apart his corpse.
Village Chief rushed into the darkness of Great Ruins at top speed. His primordial spirit was sometimes bright and sometimes dim. He was doing his best to rouse the last of his blood to prevent his corporeal body from dying, to prevent his determination from fading away.
He could feel the call of death, and it was becoming harder and harder for his corporeal body to hold his soul. Death was closing in on him.
He felt something chasing him, but truth be told, he'd frequently had this feeling in the recent years. It had to be the call from the Youdu World. It was the law of heaven and earth in Youdu that was restricting him, wanting to take away his soul.
With the gradual death of his corporeal body, this kind of restraint was becoming stronger and stronger. The calling from the world of darkness was thus becoming stronger and stronger as well.
It was the Pact of Earth Count. The moment anyone was born, they would sign this kind of pact. The moment their corporeal body died, their soul would belong to Earth Count, living in silence in Youdu thereafter.
Keeping the corporeal body alive was the crux in jumping out of the pact. Gods cultivated their corporeal body to the god realm, and in the last divine treasure, a divine bridge was hidden. Their primordial spirits would cross it to become gods, and at that time, when their corporeal bodies became god-like, their primordial spirits would no longer be restrained by the Pact of Earth Count.
Village Chief had also had this possibility, but Star Sovereign Qiao had cut off that path before he had died.
Village Chief could only hope that he could find the other group of gods and devils from High Heavens that had gone forward to send the disaster. Yet even if he found them, he didn't know if he still had the strength to continue fighting.
"I'm really old…"
Village Chief felt his qi and blood fluctuating, and he could barely restrain his primordial spirit. It suddenly shook violently, wanting to leave his body, but he didn't stop to rest. It was likely that when stopped, he would collapse forever.
He continued forward frantically in the company of countless monsters that stirred in the darkness. They followed him along the foothills, waiting for the moment he died.
When he collapsed, they would swarm him and tear him to pieces.
He ran slower and slower, feeling his limbless body growing heavier and heavier. Sorrow suddenly welled up within him as he let out a bitter laugh, wishing to stop. "I guess I'm really dying…"
At that moment, he saw a huge bird flapping its wings through the darkness. It flew ahead of him and landed on a peak. After folding its wings, it transformed into a god with a bird's head and a human body. He used his beak to carefully prune his feathers.
"Time's up." A human voice came from its beak.
Village Chief continued to walk forward, his speed becoming slower and slower.
"Give me a moment more!" He heard his voice as though it was coming from tens of thousands of miles away, distant and hazy. "Give me a moment more, I still have unfinished business!"
The bird-headed god gave him a weird glance before repeating his words. "Time's up."
"Please wait." Village Chief heard a sob in his voice when he said, "Please wait a moment more. I don't want Eternal Peace to become hell. I can still fight. I'm the human emperor of this land, after all, I still have the responsibility and burden…"
Mocking came from the darkness as though the bird-headed god was laughing, and Village Chief seethed with anger. "You dare to laugh at me? Even though I'm old, my magnificent aspirations have never changed!"
The bird-headed god flapped his wings to fly up, chasing away the monsters in the darkness. He circled around, then suddenly landed on a branch nearby. "I'm laughing at a warrior in his decline, wallowing in pointless sorrow with persistence, for he has no more strength."
Village Chief ignored him and continued to stumble forward. After a moment, he saw the bird-headed god stop in front of him and call out, "Time to go. If you don't go, the messenger of death will come! There's still an old friend waiting for you in Fengdu."
"I can still fight…"
Village Chief saw that his face had already turned black and the aura of death had already spread to his head, moving his brain toward death.
His divine treasures started to crumble yet his primordial spirit still continued to stand on Magpie Bridge. Below it was boundless darkness without any bottom.
It was his Divine Bridge Divine Treasure, so there shouldn't be anything else from the outside world there, but something invading it from the darkness. It was another world, the world of Youdu.
His corporeal body had already entered the state of death, so Youdu World was entering him through his divine treasure.
From the boundless darkness inside, a paper boat floated over into his divine treasure, closing in on his primordial spirit.
He should go, for if he didn't, Earth Count would take away his primordial spirit.
It looked towards the opposite shore of Magpie Bridge which was Mysterious Guide Bridge. However, there was still a distance between the two bridges, and he needed to cultivate Secrets of Divine Crossing to be able to cross and enter the realm of legends.
Yet his qi and blood had completely withered, and his vital qi could no longer flow through his dead body. It was completely impossible for him to execute Secrets of Divine Crossing.
"As Human Emperor, I want to fight again!"
He let out an angry roar, but he could no longer even hear his own voice. At that moment, he saw a ship sailing through the darkness.
That ship was like a three-legged toad formed from mountains and rays of moonlight. On it, a giant was swinging half a broken moon to smash against a god, nearly crippling him with one strike!
Stunned, Village Chief stopped.
It was Moon Ship.
He had seen this ship once. When he went to find Carefree Village, Qin Mu had once driven it through the darkness to look for him.
Never had he expected to encounter it again.
What was currently fighting with the ship was a god from High Heavens. Compared to Yan Jingjing, Qin Mu was simply too violent. He swung the moon and just smashed it against his enemy, completely ignoring the consequences!
Other than him, the dragon qilin was on the ship too, and on its back were the little fox and Si Yunxiang. There was also a sapphire blue divine flood dragon king flying around to fight with another god of High Heavens.
Tears flowed down Village Chief's eyes, and his heart was suddenly at ease. It gradually stopped beating.
The bird-headed god turned to look at him and said, "Now you can be at ease? Follow me, King Yama is waiting for you."
Village Chief's heart beat for the last time and he smiled, "I refuse to give in to old age."
His primordial spirit leaped up from Magpie Bridge as it rushed towards Celestial Heavens on the other shore.
"I was born as the god of war! I will never accept death!"
His primordial spirit laughed loudly, and his sword qi spread out unhindered, rushing towards Celestial Heavens that were shining radiantly. That moment seemed to last an eternity.
However, his white-haired corporeal body fell.
Qin Mu looked toward the sound and saw Village Chief gradually solidifying into a stone statue as he fell from the sky.