What was Ah Chou?
Ah Chou was just a man who had lost everything.
For the Ah Chou that was transformed by Earth Count, his parents were killed as part of the celestial heavens' plot against him. At that time, Earth Count's power prevented him from seeking revenge.
Ah Chou and Earth Count were two consciousnesses of the same life. Earth Count was restrained by rules, while Ah Chou wanted to break them. In the end, Ah Chou was beaten back to Youdu by Celestial Emperor. He was suppressed by Earth Count at Youdu's Jade Lock Pass, lonely and miserable.
Now, Qin Mu was also Ah Chou. They were similar—both appendages of the original bodies. Ah Chou was Earth Count's reincarnation, while he was Qin Fengqing's second consciousness, born from his baby body after he was sealed.
Ah Chou didn't have a soul of his own, and neither did he.
Ah Chou was a guardian and an avenger. He fiercely wanted to protect his family but failed, ultimately falling into the hands of the ancient Celestial Emperor.
Qin Mu also wanted to protect Eternal Peace and wanted to avenge the people who suffered and died from this calamity.
In the end, Ah Chou was suppressed at Jade Lock Pass, subjected to endless hellfire and powerless to do anything.
In the end, Ah Chou became a sinner under the rules of Youdu.
He should have been Earth Count, impartial and possessing god nature. Instead, he developed humanity.
Qin Fengqing was Little Earth Count. Qin Mu, who was his other consciousness born from his shell, should have had god nature as well. Instead, Qin Mu had Little Earth Count's humanity.
Because of their similar predicaments and encounters, he was Ah Chou—a man who wanted to protect and avenge but was powerless to retaliate.
Qin Mu laughed, his hand clutching Celestial Venerable Ling's peachwood hairpin tightly. He pointed at the space between his eyebrows, which used to house his third eye but had now become a deep, empty socket.
"Ancient Celestial Emperor, you have been waiting instead of making a move. Are you waiting for me to grow desperate and ultimately submit to you?"
Fresh blood was still flowing out of his third eye socket, streaming down on both sides of his nose. Even so, his hands were steady as they inserted the peachwood hairpin into his empty eye socket. He laughed softly. "I am left with nothing without Eternal Peace. Once I activate Celestial Venerable Ling's hairpin, water from the celestial river will gush out to destroy my body and consciousness. You will have no chance of coming back to life!"
A powerful consciousness surged from the sky and thundered within his head. The ancient Celestial Emperor's voice was cold and emotionless. "You shouldn't have dug out your eye. You are now left with no soul and are useless, with no power to solve Celestial Venerable Ling's divine art. Why should I help you when you can't retrieve my corporeal body?"
His voice became colder. "You thought that you could control everything—giving my imperial decree to a black demon boar, negotiating with me, making me your arm and your pawn. However, you were ultimately short a move. Do you remember Wei Suifeng?"
Qin Mu was stunned.
"My Right Commander of the Feathered Forest Guards, Wei Suifeng. He used to command the right regiment of the Feathered Forest Guards on my behalf. He is like you, full of himself."
Celestial Emperor's voice was filled with mockery. "He is as arrogant as you. He thought he could infiltrate the Heaven Alliance and deceive everybody. He believed he could do something for the lower bound. However, he was unable to fool me because I was the one who appointed him as an official! I saw through him the moment he entered the Heaven Alliance and arrested him immediately. He also comprehended Celestial Venerable Ling's divine art, and I have ordered the Green Deity of the Eastern Sky to drown him in the river, in exchange for the Ghost Ship."
He laughed heartily. "If I can exchange for the Ghost Ship, I can trade for the corporeal body locked under the celestial river by Celestial Venerable Ling. I can then coerce Celestial Empress with her body. Also, I have the help of Dao Ancestor, and I can make things difficult for Earth Count's daughter as a way to threaten Earth Count!"
"Why do I have to rely on you? I made use of you to reconstruct my souls, now my three souls are complete. I also used you to severely injure Celestial Venerable Hao, forcing him to return to the celestial heavens and be unable to interfere with the Primordial Realm. I even utilized Celestial Venerable Hao to get rid of Mother Earth and obtained her corporeal body. With it, the entire Primordial Realm is mine. Half of this universe is under my control!"
"Celestial Venerable Mu, do you think you are qualified to negotiate with me?"
He was the biggest winner of the battle for the Primordial Realm!
Be it Qin Mu, the living beings of the Primordial Realm, the great army of gods and devils of the celestial heavens, the four deities of the celestial heavens, or even Mother Earth and Celestial Venerable Hao—they were all his pawns!
He planned to make a comeback, and half of this universe would be his!
In the past, he failed because he was above board, out in the light. Everyone was plotting against him. Be it half-gods, lifeforms after the beginning, or the ancient gods, they all wanted him dead.
Now that he was in the dark, who could plot against him?
He was the winner, the sole and biggest winner of the battle for the Primordial Realm!
Qin Mu said indifferently, "The Green Deity of the Eastern Sky? He is just behind me. Why doesn't Your Majesty ask him the outcome of the exchange?"
The voice of Celestial Emperor disappeared as his consciousness left. He was apparently going to ask the Green Deity of the Eastern Sky, who was approaching Qin Mu from the east, how it went.
After some time, Qin Mu felt a consciousness returning to his mind.
This was Celestial Emperor's consciousness. However, it didn't have the arrogant, incessant chatter of a victor like before.
Instead, he fell silent.
Qin Mu spoke coldly, "Wei Suifeng is my big senior brother. He is the most paranoid person under the heavens, as well as the wiliest. He has been unrestrained for a million years, there is no way you can keep him."
The four deities of the celestial heavens were approaching—they could capture Qin Mu at any moment, or kill him at will.
The voice of Celestial Emperor rang out again. However, it wasn't within Qin Mu's mind but from afar. "Four deities, stop."
Qi Xiayu, Son of Heaven Yin, and the rest stopped. They raised their heads and saw a lush Primordial Tree descending from the sky, stabbing into the heart of the Primordial Realm.
The other Celestial Venerable Yu descended together with the Primordial Tree, looking majestic and dignified as his body radiated ten thousand rays of light.
The ball of Primordial Tree roots gently relaxed, the gigantic roots extending and burrowing deep into the ground.
As the roots burrowed beneath the earth, mountain ranges that measured over 10,000 miles rose on the surface.
A majestic-looking scene of mountains was created. The life force contained within the Primordial Tree filled these mountain ranges with lush flora and dense forests, like a beautiful painting.
This strange phenomenon demonstrated Mother Earth's power. However, it wasn't Mother Earth who controlled this power but the ancient Celestial Emperor.
That Celestial Venerable Yu walked over and told the four deities of the celestial heavens, "You are dismissed. He is already not the Son of Youdu."
Qi Xiayu and the rest were stunned.
Son of Heaven Yin said, "This person is one of the three heroes of Eternal Peace's reform, the famous Overlord Body of Eternal Peace, and a survivor of the Founding Emperor Era, he cannot be kept alive…"
Celestial Venerable Yu glanced at him and smiled ambiguously. "Yin Chaojin, he has another identity—Celestial Venerable Mu."
Son of Heaven Yin's expression changed, his face pale.
Celestial Venerable Yu said indifferently, "Celestial Venerable Mu's merits are unrivaled—imparting teachings at the Jade Pool and benefiting countless future generations. How many people are qualified to kill him? If you kill him, you will suffer infamy. Step back now, he's already useless. With no soul and only spirit and flesh, he's no longer the overlord body."
Son of Heaven Yin was in a daze.
He wanted to examine Qin Mu carefully, but he felt guilty and didn't dare to make eye contact with him.
He was the Black Deity of the celestial heavens, an existence at the Emperor's Throne Realm, and he ruled Mingdu and had power over all levels of society. However, when he made eye contact with Qin Mu, he couldn't help but recall what happened a million years ago.
Qin Mu, however, was calm.
The ancient Celestial Emperor was correct in that he was without a soul and was left with only spirit embryo and a corporeal body.
He was a consciousness born out of Qin Fengqing's body after he was sealed. To put it harshly, even his body didn't belong to him but to Qin Fengqing.
All along, he was just an orphan.
On that night 32 years ago, when Granny Si picked him up from the basket that was sailing down the river, his consciousness was born.
Qin Mu was the name given to him by Village Chief.
Son of Heaven Yin turned and left, while Qi Xiayu stared at Qin Mu for some time before flying off.
"Celestial Venerable Mu? Overlord Body Qin?"
Green Deity and White Deity both shook their heads and left apathetically. "He's useless."
Celestial Venerable Yu held Qin Mu up in his palm, examining him from left to right, and shook his head. "You are without a soul, so how can you help me get back my corporeal body? Celestial Venerable Mu, I find it very hard to believe you."
Qin Mu put away the peachwood hairpin and sat down on his palm, coldly saying, "Yes, had I not mastered the undying god consciousness, I could have died when I dug out my third eye, my consciousness dispersing. It's understandable that Your Majesty is worried. However, Your Majesty needs to take a gamble."
Celestial Venerable Yu revealed a smile. "I usually don't gamble, but after I met you, I realized I made the right gamble. The threat to the celestial heavens and the Heaven Alliance is very low—the descent of the strongest divine weapons to the lower bound was merely a splitting of benefits by the celestial heavens. Some got Youdu, some got Xuandu, some got the Great Ruins, and some got the Four Great Celestial Poles. For myself, I wrestled back the Primordial Realm from the hands of Celestial Venerable Hao. In the future, I will gain even more."
Qin Mu was breathless and forced a smile. "Your Majesty has the Primordial Realm. In that case, Eternal Peace…"
"I won't destroy Eternal Peace, I have promised you that."
Celestial Venerable Yu smiled faintly. "My words still hold true, and I won't renege. The power of the Primordial Realm is too diverse and complicated, making it very difficult to govern. I will give your people a tiny place. Letting them live is also the heavens' virtue of loving all living beings. Moreover, I am the heavens."
Qin Mu let out a sigh of relief.
"However, the reform needs to stop, and the leader of the three heroes of the Eternal Peace reform needs to be killed and paraded on the God Execution Stage. Otherwise, where is the prestige of the celestial heavens?"
Celestial Venerable Yu looked at his face and smiled. "You can live, the people of Eternal Peace can live. The new sky map will encompass the entire Primordial Realm. This is the future I plan to give to the people of Eternal Peace and the Primordial Realm."
Qin Mu's heart was sinking.
An extremely hopeless future encompassed by the sky map.
Emperor Yanfeng and Eternal Peace Imperial Preceptor would become the sacrificial offerings to end Eternal Peace's reform.
"There are still powers within the Primordial Realm that need to be suppressed and subjugated, like Mahakala, Crimson Light Son of God, and Fengdu."
Celestial Venerable Yu placed him down and laughed. "Your friend is here for you, go with him."
Qin Mu saw Cripple running towards him, as swift as wind and lightning, fear and panic clearly written all over his wrinkled face. He looked as though he had made up his mind and summoned enough courage to charge towards Qin Mu and Celestial Venerable Yu.
Cripple was the most timid in the Disabled Elderly Village. However, to save Qin Mu, he was willing to sacrifice his life.
Celestial Venerable Yu laughed and flew off.
Qin Mu smiled as he looked at the oncoming old man. "I'm fine, I'm just tired."
"Don't say anything!"
Cripple carried him on his back and ran with all his might towards the east. He felt warm blood flowing down his back onto his chest, and Qin Mu's breath becoming weaker.
"Grandpa Cripple, I remember when I was small, every time Granny gave me to the people outside the village, you would steal me back."
Blood wouldn't stop coming out of Qin Mu's mouth, and his voice was getting softer. "I originally didn't want to recall the incidents from when I was young. At that time, I was just a weak consciousness of this body. I suddenly thought of it now… I am just a consciousness born out of this body. As I slowly grew up, I was able to remember many things."
"Don't say anything."
Cripple's eyes widened, and he ran as fast as he could.
"Mu'er, don't say anything. I will bring you to see Apothecary… Apothecary, f*ck, why are you still not here? My speed is too slow!"
He ran with all his might and was exhausted to the point that he felt like vomiting blood. Qin Mu, who was on his back, was quiet, causing Cripple to worry again. "Mu'er, talk to me. Don't sleep. Mu'er?"
Qin Mu opened his eyes and looked forward groggily. The dragon sparrow flew and danced in the sky. Yan Qiling was with the dragon qilin, standing on the dragon sparrow's back.
What was Ah Chou?