Chapter 72 With Whom I know, for Whom I Become Gray-headed
With tens of millions of square kilometers of land, Zhongzhou State was rich in land and talents.
Looking at Zhongzhou State from an international perspective, everyone had a different view.
Politically and militarily, Zhongzhou State was the most powerful country in the world.
From the perspective of ordinary folk, Zhongzhou State was the most mysterious and charming country in the East.
However, in the eyes of the experts in the Dark World, the vast Zhongzhou State could actually be concluded with three sentences.
In the West, it had Kunlun City; in the North, it had Mount Taibai; and in the South, it had Dongcheng Clan.
In the hearts of the experts in the Dark World, these were the three most powerful forces in Zhongzhou State.
Kunlun City of Mount Kunlun, Sigh City of Mount Taibai, and Zhongzhou Border Praetorian Corps.
They were the backbone that had guarded Zhongzhou State over the past two decades. Over the years, they were deep-rooted in Zhongzhou State and were as firm as a rock.
Beyond the three forces was the Wang family of Beihai.
This was an influential family of extreme speciality in the world. For hundreds of years, both Zhongzhou central government and the Wang family of Beihai had stressed that Beihai Province was part of Zhongzhou State. But the fact was that few people in the world thought that the Wang family of Beihai belonged to Zhongzhou State.
This was a very peculiar phenomenon.
Beihai Province was a piece of land of 160,000 square kilometers. From officials to military officers, the Wang family of Beihai appointed them itself. Even the top leader of Beihai Province was chosen by the Wang family of Beihai. Then this person would be recommended to the Decision Making Committee. Of the more than 30 provinces in Zhongzhou State, only Beihai Province enjoyed this kind of treatment.
Even the residents of Beihai Province would say that they were from Beihai rather than from Zhongzhou State or Beihai, Zhongzhou, when they went out and traveled around the world.
This strong sense of regional belonging was common at the provincial level. For example, people of Qingdao would say they were from Qingdao rather than from Shandong when they were out; people of Gushu would say they were from Gushu rather than from Wuyue on the same occasion. But at the national level, in the entire Zhongzhou State, only people of Beihai Province would say they were from Beihai when walking around the world.
This was the general situation.
In the Dark World, experts would also separate the Wang family of Beihai from Zhongzhou State.
It seemed that only in this way, the foreign experts in the Dark World would not have so much pressure when mentioning the experts in Zhongzhou State.
If one looked at the big picture in the Dark World, he would discover that the most memorable persons were nothing more than the experts on the Divine & Holy Lists.
Divine List enjoyed supreme status.
While Holy List ranked only second to Divine List.
There were 30 members in total on the two lists and they would be ranked again every 10 years. They were all first-tier big shots in the entire Dark World.
If Wang Tianzong from the Wang family of Beihai was added on the list, of the four Invincible Realm experts in Zhongzhou State, three would be on the list. Furthermore, they were all on the Divine List, and the pressure was self-evident.
If Wang Tianzong was eliminated from the list, Zhongzhou’s experts were still extremely powerful, but at least they did not make people feel desperate.
On the same morning.
Wang Tianzong from the Wang family of Beihai was heading toward Kunlun City.
As one of the 12 Super Masters from Samsara, Flaming Fire, came to the peak of Mount Taibai as well.
Its summit, nearly three kilometers high, was magnificent and as white as snow. Standing at the top of Mount Taibai and looking down, one could see mountains covered with snow all the year round in all directions. The mountains were quiet and peaceful, like a kingdom of fairy tales, clean and pure.
“It’s indeed beautiful and even more beautiful than our headquarters. I just don’t know what the future holds.”
Flaming Fire looked at the white snow and sighed softly.
“Have you thought of your tribe again?”
Beside Flaming Fire stood a tall, slender, black figure, who was covered in a loose cloak. The cloak obscured his face; no one could see the person’s face and he looked mysterious. He stood quietly beside Flaming Fire with a long sword on his back. When he didn’t speak, he was like a ghostly shadow, with no vital force at all. But as he opened his mouth, he seemed to suddenly come back to life and there was suddenly an extremely sharp sword intent all over him.
His tone was soft and slow, but every single word was like a sharp long sword.
“That’s not a tribe.”
Flaming Fire was in a trance and her tone was extremely flat. Standing in this place, it was easy for her to remember the place she had called home before she met the Palace Master. There was also the same dreamlike snow, waterfalls that flowed down, and cold pools that never froze all the year round, but there was no laughter.
It was a silent, serious, rigid place, like a false landscape painting, dead and lifeless. Unlike here, even in the midst of snow and ice, it was full of vitality.
The black figure chuckled and the sword intent whirled around him. He stretched out his hand and pointed forward, saying slowly, “There are about two kilometers left, just go straight.”
Flaming Fire nodded her head and walked forward.
Shortly after she took one step.
A mild voice full of laughter suddenly rang out. It sounded quite polite.
“Forbidden area ahead, may I know what you are doing here?”
Flaming Fire stopped and raised her head.
On a small snow hill dozens of meters in front of her, a snow-white figure stood there quietly. The man was clothed in white and had white hair. Wearing a silver mask, he seemed to blend in perfectly with the snow.
He stood there motionlessly, as if he had been standing here for a long time or had just appeared, soundless and stirless. At that moment, he seemed to be a part of the snow; he was everywhere, but there was no trace to find him.
Flaming Fire’s pupils contracted slightly. For a while, she actually had a feeling that her eyes could not be fixed on the figure in front of her. If it was a fight, she wouldn’t even have a chance to take the initiative to attack under such circumstances. The other side had been completely integrated into the surrounding environment, once he attacked, their life and death absolutely could be figured out instantly.
This was the combat status of a top assassin; it would be fine if he didn’t move, but once he attacked, he would kill the enemy with a single shot!
Clearly, the white shadow standing opposite her was ready for battle, although his tone was mild.
The black figure beside Flaming Fire suddenly coughed softly.
All of a sudden, dense and cold sword intent broke out on the peak of Mount Taibai. Wind and snow were turbulent, sword intent was mighty like a dragon, and the Sword Energy was like a rainbow!
Before Flaming Fire, the snow-white fantasy broke into pieces like a mirror due to the Sword Energy. The snow and the white shadow remained unchanged, and everything became clear again.
“We are not enemies. May I know who you are?”
Just as the white shadow was about to attack, Flaming Fire took the initiative to speak.
The white figure who had snow swirled around him stared at the black figure in sight with a solemn look, but the smile on his face did not disappear. He said, “I’m Drifting Cloud from Sigh City. What should I call you two?”
Cool Breeze and Drifting Cloud.
They were arguably the strongest assassin team in Zhongzhou State.
Both of them had the strength at the peak of the Thunder-shocking Realm and were known as the two geniuses of Sigh City. Their individual strength may not be the strongest when compared with people whose strength was inferior to the Governor, but once they united, they had the capital to fear nothing.
They were real big shots in the entire Sigh City and even the killer world.
Flaming Fire nodded with a solemn look and said, “Flaming Fire from Samsara.”
Drifting Cloud was slightly stunned. But before he could speak, the black figure continued, “Saint from Samsara.”
Drifting Cloud’s expression suddenly became solemn.
Saint and Flaming Fire.
Although the two of them were among the 12 Super Masters of Samsara, their status was absolutely different.
Flaming Fire’s status and strength were undisputed.
But of the 12 Super Masters, Saint was the No. 1 Super Master. His degree of mystery was second only to the Palace Master, so did his strength.
Having such a person visiting Sigh City, Sigh City had to treat him cautiously.
The two Super Masters of the other side suddenly came here especially under the circumstance that there was no interaction between Sigh City and Samsara Palace. What did they have in mind?
“What can I do for you?”
Drifting Cloud’s facial expression was serious, but his tone was full of doubts.
“There is a letter which we wish to hand over to His Highness Hidden God ourselves.”
Flaming Fire spoke straightforwardly.
“A letter for the Palace Master?”
Drifting Cloud asked attentively and his tone grew more and more solemn. Since the Samsara Palace Leader was a mysterious figure throughout the Dark World, he did not think there was any interaction between the Samsara Palace Leader and his Governor. Thinking of what the other side had done in Bili State recently, Drifting Cloud was absorbed in thought. There seemed to be some speculation in his mind.
Flaming Fire remained silent and showed an attitude that she would not tell him anything.
Drifting Cloud narrowed his eyes. He gently pushed the earphone in his ear and whispered something secretly. After that, he said to Saint and Flaming Fire, “Please.”
No matter what the two Super Masters of Samsara came here for, they were guests after all. Anyway, it was inappropriate to keep guests out.
The three walked forward in the snow.
After they walked for about two kilometers, a vast palace complex covered with snow appeared in front of them.
The palace complex was grand and magnificent and was the palatial architecture in imitation of those in ancient times. Different palaces extended outwardly unevenly and appeared simple but dignified against the snow.
Small quantities of flowers and plants were planted in front of each palace. Flaming Fire did not know most of their names. Flowers and plants with bright colors took root in the snow. The snow appeared whiter and the flowers looked more colorful.
In a world of ice and snow, the plants and flowers were vigorous and tough.
Flaming Fire’s face was calm as she came to Sigh City for the first time. But as she looked at the palaces and snow, there was a kind of unspeakable shock in her heart. It was not obvious, but it did exist.
She glanced unconsciously at Saint beside her.
Saint was clad in a black cloak. He was quiet and speechless, like a shadow beside her.
Flaming Fire shook her head slightly and took a deep breath. She followed Drifting Cloud and walked into the main hall of Sigh City.
The main hall was called Changbai. The hall and Changbai peak of Taibai mountains complemented each other. It had a simple interior decoration and was spacious. Eight stout columns, with vivid designs, supported the roof. Under the sky-high ceiling, everyone inside felt they were extremely small.
The main hall was lined vertically with two rows of soft leather sofas. Several steps were created at the end of the sofas. Above the steps, a long and soft couch was placed at a place that was noticeably higher than the sofas below. A languid female figure was leaning against the soft couch in the rear. As she looked at Saint and Flaming Fire entering the main hall, her eyes were clear and cold.
Her figure was plump and soft and she wore a loose gown. A golden mask covered most of her face, revealing only a sharp chin and beautiful lips.
The woman’s limpid and cold eyes sparkled and she said nothing.
The sofas in the main hall were almost fully occupied.
With a rough calculation, Flaming Fire figured out that there were about 30 people in the hall. Everyone was clad in white with the mark of a gold mask about the size of a strawberry embroidered on their chests. The mark shone magnificently in the soft light.
Flaming Fire glanced around, keeping a straight face.
This was the Changbai council of the Sigh City of Mount Taibai and also the decision-making body of Sigh City. Inside Sigh City, Situ Cangyue, as the Governor, owned the highest decision-making authority and leadership. But most of the time she seldom ran affairs and even showed up rarely. Every day she just kept the world of ice and snow company and devoted herself to Martial Arts.
While Situ Cangyue remained silent, the 29 members of the Changbai council were in charge of the city’s daily operations. In Sigh City that had less than 1,000 people, 29 councilors were the true core of Sigh City. Assassins of Sigh City, the patriarchs of several powerful families in the north, and the leaders of the Special Warfare System gathered together and held the highest say in the Special Warfare System in the three northeastern provinces of Zhongzhou State.
Flaming Fire quietly watched Situ Cangyue on the soft couch. She saw only endless vacancy and loneliness from the pretty and languid figure.
Of all the special warfare organizations in Zhongzhou State, Sigh City was arguably the most detached and aloof one. For years, the members of the city stayed at the top of Mount Taibai peacefully and controlled the overall situation of the special warfare in the northeast of Zhongzhou State. They didn’t expand, but they didn’t allow anybody to get involved. When something happened outside the northeast of Zhongzhou State, Sigh City never took the initiative to take action. They would act as soon as possible only when the higher-ups of Zhongzhou State expressed clear requirements. They would ask for nothing after the matter was settled. Instead, they would return to Mount Taibai as fast as they could and continue to stay there.
As one of the Speical Warfare Magnates in Zhongzhou State, the entire Sigh City’s style of doing things seemed to be strange. They had no goals, no direction, no desires, so much so that they were somewhat distant from the Zhongzhou central government.
And it was because that Sigh City stood aloof from worldly affairs and desired for nothing that it served the interests of many people. Therefore, the top management of Zhongzhou State decided to ask Sigh City rather than Kunlun City to take charge of Setting Sun, one of the 12 Murderous Weapons.
As an Invincible Realm expert, Situ Cangyue took control of Setting Sun, possessed Sigh City, and was on the Divine List.
As the Hidden God of Zhongzhou State, Situ Cangyue possessed too many things. However, she gave Flaming Fire an impression that she was really confused, not knowing what she should do.
Her attitude toward life was extreme numb and even dull. She was passive and decadent, and just tried to muddle along.
Although Flaming Fire was bewildered, she was still polite. She even slightly bowed and said calmly, “Pay my respects to Your Highness Hidden God.”
“What are you doing here, Super Master?”
Wearing white clothes, Situ Cangyue lazily leaned against the soft couch on a high position in the main hall and asked indifferently.
“Here is a letter for Your Highness to read.”
Flaming Fire put her hand in her chest pocket and took out an envelope.
Situ Cangyue waved her hand slightly. The air in front of Flaming Fire fluctuated and the weightless envelope in her hand directly rushed to Situ Cangyue’s tender white hand like a meteor immediately.
Flaming Fire’s expression remained unchanged. She stood where she was and waited quietly.
On the soft couch, Situ Cangyue had opened the envelope and pulled out a piece of paper.
This piece of paper was clearly torn from a notebook and looked very irregular. Eleven words were written on the white paper. The writing was delicate and commanding.
Ride the Wind of Nine Heavens.
Situ Cangyue’s eyes lit up and she suddenly stood up.
The paper in Situ Cangyue’s hand crumbled in a moment, drifting in the air. Her eyes shone brighter than ever before.
As she did so, the attention of all the members of the Changbai council was thoroughly focused.
“Where is he?”
Situ Cangyue asked, staring at Flaming Fire.
Flaming Fire replied flatly.
“What’s his relation with the Palace Master? Is the Palace Master now in Zhongzhou State?”
Situ Cangyue continued to question closely. At this moment, she seemed to have found her goal and direction. The powerful aura that belonged only to Invincible Realm expert burst out unscrupulously, grand and dazzling.
“The Palace Master is still in Bili State, and this letter was sent to Your Highness by the boss.”
Flaming Fire told the truth in an old-fashioned tone.
Situ Cangyue slightly raised her eyebrows and was muddle-headed.
“Yes, it’s the boss. But this matter can represent the Palace Master’s will.”
Situ Cangyue resumed her seat on the soft couch and looked at the scraps of paper still floating in the air, absorbed in thought.
The scraps of paper in the air finally fell to the ground.
“Are you Saint?”
Situ Cangyue’s eyes flickered and her gaze fell abruptly on the black shadow beside Flaming Fire. “Take off your cloak.”
Everyone in the hall was in a state of shock.
If they could catch a glimpse of the appearance of the most mysterious No. 1 Super Master of Samsara, none of them was willing to miss it.
“Why don’t you take off your mask?”
Saint stood motionlessly, his tone cool and fearless.
Situ Cangyue’s bright eyes slightly narrowed, and she snorted.
Silence pervaded the main hall.
The wind stirred.
And the wind rushed toward Saint’s face.
Saint took one step forward and stretched out his hand to hold his sword.
The long sword, which he was carrying behind him, suddenly revealed part of its body from its sheath.
There was a ringing sound between heaven and earth.
Inside the main hall, the swords of several masters rushed out of their sheathes at the same time.
The strident whistling rushed out of the main hall and echoed in the mountains, whistling in the depths of everyone’s heart at the same time.
The sword intent was raging and endless.
A smile flickered across Situ Cangyue’s face and she said in a low voice, “It’s you.”
Just now, she even suspected that Saint was the mysterious Samsara Palace Master. Although she guessed it wrongly, it was not bad to know the true identity of Saint.
Saint let go of the sword and the ringing sound disappeared. He said in a calm tone, “This is the sincerity of Samsara. I’ll take my leave.”
He turned around and walked out of the main hall.
Flaming Fire followed him closely and kept silent.
Outside the hall, wind and snow were all over the sky, howling incessantly.
Inside the hall, looking silently at the back of the two people, Situ Cangyue suddenly said, “Wait.”
She stood up again.
The entire main hall fell into absolute silence all of a sudden.
While Situ Cangyue’s figure had rushed out of the hall.
Endless wind and snow suddenly became quiet, only her figure walked in a world of snow. Countless lifelike residual shadows behind her drew a straight line. The air shook violently, but there was no sound between heaven and earth.
Everything happened in an instant.
Situ Cangyue seemed to have only taken one step but it also seemed that she had taken many steps. When the residual shadows vanished, she had already stood before Saint.
Saint remained motionless. He even lowered his head, as if in thought.
The coldness in Situ Cangyue’s eyes faded. Her eyes looked gentle and she said smilingly, “Samsara showed its sincerity with your identity, I showed my sincerity with my Martial Arts, did you see it clearly just now?”
“Thank you a lot!”
Saint fell silent for a long time. Then he bowed slightly and said in a serious tone, “I owe you a favor.”
Only he himself knew what that moment had meant to him. That was the real Desperate Chase. Relying on that body movement, Situ Cangyue successfully entered the Invincible Realm. All the quintessence of this body movement seemed to be fully displayed at that moment.
Saint was a half step to the Invincible Realm and was only a hair’s breadth away from the real Invincible Realm. For him, that moment was like a light in the darkness, and the importance of it was self-evident.
“We are on the same side; why should you stand on ceremony?”
Situ Cangyue wore a faint smile. He glanced at Flaming Fire and continued, “Tell your boss that I’ll send someone to the Sky Academy.”
“Is it Drifting Cloud or Cool Breeze?”
Flaming Fire asked subconsciously. Given Situ Cangyue’s attitude, she was sure that this time Situ Cangyue would absolutely send a big shot of Sigh City to the Sky Academy. The leader of the assassination course team of the Sky Academy seemed to be settled.
Cool Breeze? Drifting Cloud?
Either of them could be said to condescend to go there.
“Neither of them is.”
Situ Cangyue turned around and said calmly, “It’s Tribulation.”
Not only Flaming Fire but even Saint shook violently, and their expressions changed drastically.
The only Deputy Governor of Sigh City.
The most powerful Qi-controlling Realm expert, a lunatic who tried to enter the Invincible Realm from the Qi-controlling Realm six months ago.
The only lunatic whose fame matched Situ Cangyue in Sigh City.
The Lord of Shadow of the Dark World.
The No. 1 assassin in Zhongzhou State.
Tribulation was not on the list of the top 10 contemporary experts in Zhongzhou State. But if this person was determined to assassinate someone else, except for the first three experts among the top 10 experts, perhaps everyone was doomed.
Saint took deep breaths. Looking at Situ Cangyue who was standing under the Changbai Palace, he grinned and said, “This person is really a big potato and also a headache for Zhuang Huayang.”
Under the Changbai Palace, instead of watching the two leave, Situ Cangyue just looked up at the plaque hanging in front of the place with a blank stare.
Many years ago, the traitor who made Zhongzhou State suffer heavy losses and also a man who made her today, had personally inscribed two words on the plaque—Changbai.
Knowing each other until the hair grew white.
For many years, the Hidden God of Zhongzhou State, who had frightened countless people, had always been alone, without any concern or support.
Situ Cangyue looked up at the plaque with a gentle expression and desolation in her eyes.
“If you are not here…
“In my entire life, with whom I know, for whom I become gray-headed?”