In the infinite darkness that was night, deep withing a verdant forest, the earth began to stir. Chen Ming clapped as if all was normal, only to find pairs of scarlet eyes bearing down on each of his movements.
No less than a hundred Sovereigns stood near him and around him. A thick red cloud floated above, with Sovereigns just finishing polishing their weapons.
“Chen Ming, took you long enough.”
Chen Ming turned to find a man with five sabers on his back standing before a campfire. He was roasting a nice succulent golden lamb.
Wu Jiang grabbed a three-foot-long sharp saber from his back to cut a lamb’s leg. He took a bite, despite just being taken from the fire, mouth filled with the oily delicacy. He popped the cork of a wine bottle, took a sip then cast a glance Chen Ming’s way, “What, not in the mood for a bite arranged for you especially?”
Chen Ming sat across Wu Jiang, tore another lamb’s leg, and took a couple of bites, “Oh, not a bad flavor. You’re quite skilled!”
Wu Jiang laughed, “I was a butcher before all this. This saber has a simple name, Butcher’s Cleaver. I treaded a long road that year, when both factions were hunting me down. None of my weapons remained at the time and I was left with just this Butcher’s Cleaver to rely on. I used it to butcher all those who went after me. Don’t you find this blade suitable for your neck?”
Chen Ming took another bite, “You knew I was coming?”
Wu Jiang let out an unrepressed laughter, “You’re an array master and this teleportation array fell in your hands once. You were bound to come here. You know we’re ready for war, while your righteous faction is not. Your only choice was to come and buy some time. It’s all a mere educated guess.”
Chen Ming bit twice more, somewhat greasy, then gestured to Wu Jiang, “Pass the wine gourd.”
Wu Jiang handed it over and Chen Ming took a mouthful. Wu Jiang said, “I didn’t foresee for Owl to die and you to live. You are no Beneath Immortal but still quite strong for an Autarch. I’m not a person to leave any wild cards around, so I came to deal with you myself.”
Wu Jiang glance at Chen Ming feasting on the lamb’s leg, “Take your time, since this shall be your last meal. As a person, it’s the least you deserve before your death.”
There were many Demon Kings and Demon Sovereigns watching the two experts’ meal. One Demon King burst in laughter, “You never saw this day coming, did you, Chen Ming?”
Chen Ming glanced at the speaker and waved a flying sword through him, “How noisy, we are talking here and there’s no room for you to but it!”
Wu Jiang didn’t even bat an eyelid at his action. Chen Ming was skeptical, “I just killed one of you’re own yet you’re not mad or even try to block me?”
Wu Jiang was enjoying the food, “You’re right. I am the demonic sect’s leader, its Head Sect Leader. You are the righteous faction’s leader, Righteous Alliance Leader. When we speak, a small-time punk like him has no right to interfere.”
None was wiser as that particular spiritual sword flew further and faster into the night.
Chen Ming turned to Wu Jiang, “You’re really not angry. In other words, you think I’m already dead and there’s no point in arguing with a corpse.”
Wu Jiang was doubtful, “As the Righteous Alliance Leader, and a nearly dead one at that, you want to waste time in talking about some Demon King?”
Chen Ming asked, “How’s Li Suyi?”
Wu Jiang laughed, “You believe I’ll ever trust him before your death? With some Demon Kings under him and upheaving the world a bit he thinks I am oblivious to his plan. How laughable!”
Chen Ming asked, “Then what about the demonic sect’s Sacred Maiden?”
Wu Jiang gave a calm smile, “To be honest, I admire your insight. You managed to pick four outstanding talents among the masses, training them into bright suns. As for your second disciple liking demonic sect’s Sacred Maiden, isn’t it just mutual attraction? When you pass away, isn’t it proper for Ling Xian to be one of my demonic sect’s people?”
Chen Ming said, “You’re sure you’re not angry I killed that Demon King?”
Wu Jiang threw a whetstone in front of Chen Ming, “As I’ve said, there’s no point in wasting time on such an insignificant Demon King. Oh, right, how sharp do you want this Butcher’s Cleaver to be? Do you like it to be one strike to split you in half then another to finish you, or just one hit to the head?”
Chen Ming waved, “Polish it well, I want it at the sharpest.”
Wu Jiang began honing the Butcher’s Cleaver over the whetstone, “You seem to be quite knowledgable. I have to say that if a blade ain’t sharp enough, a strike won’t kill you, letting you feel pain for a while longer. But if it is at the sharpest, a strike won’t let you feel a thing. This kind of death is the quickest, painless.”
Wu Jiang chatted as he polished the blade, with Chen Ming asking, “You’ve sharpened it way too much, you went too far in honing it.”
Wu Jiang chuckled, “You’re the Righteous Alliance Leader, the only one in these lands. When killing you one needs to show consideration. A white blade goes in and a red one comes out, leaving a clean cut. Then follows with a head tumbling down like a watermelon.”
Wu Jiang looked at the calm Chen Ming and said, “You are something, to be so composed before your death. I will see you through the end!”
The Demon Kings and Demon Sovereigns watched the two speaking frankly on the topic of killing Chen Ming. Even on death row, Chen Ming still gave some tips, “When you behead, remember to hold the blade tight, to do it cleanly. Oh, right, there are no wild dogs here, but wolves. I was thinking of dying in the wolves’ bellies. That is how a man of my status should pass. With a hero doing it all for the country and for the people, one can only have a tragic end to have them tell stories about you. I might die, but I will live on in the hearts of men.”
Wu Jiang nodded, “You speak reason. Men, fetch a pack of wolves!”
The Demon Sovereigns’ eyelids twitched, The Righteous Alliance Leader is too vicious! Does he really want to die like this?
They were oblivious to the world of the strong.
Chen Ming turned to Wu Jiang, “Your blade is more than ready.”
Wu Jiang touched the sharp edge, “En, at the sharpest. Everything’s set.”
Chen Ming asked, “You’re positively sure you’re not angry I killed that Demon King?”
Wu Jiang was growing irate, “Again with this! I already said I wasn’t. A Demon King’s death is nothing if it means killing you!”
Chen Ming said in all honesty, “You might not be now, but just wait for it. Your blade is ready but so is mine!”