Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The Imperial Palace was the center of the capital, and it, too, had been reconstructed and expanded. It was more opulent and beautiful than before, and at the same time, it had brought together the unique traits of the palaces of the other peoples. However, the core of the complex remained the same.
Within Taihe Palace…
"May the Emperor live ten thousand years!"
A whip cracked three times. Officials from the various provinces, including the Promised Land, as well as officials from all the other peoples, entered the hall and hailed the Emperor.
The entire human world was united, and it extended from the Goguryeo peninsula in the east all the way to the Red Sea and Baghdad in the west, from the polar lands in the north to the Promised Land in the south, and even a little farther than that. This was so many people that the original bureaucratic system simply could not handle it all.
The court officials were no longer called 'the one hundred officials, civil and martial', but 'the one thousand officials, civil and martial'.
The sight of one thousand officials prostrating was a spectacle to behold. Above the officials, atop a large dragon throne, was a dignified and majestic figure: the new Emperor of Humanity, the first Human Emperor as acknowledged by the people, Wang Chong.
Whether Arab, Goguryeon, Tibetan, Sassanid, or otherwise, everyone felt sincere reverence for the first Human Emperor.
If not for Wang Chong, the human world would have been obliterated. He was the savior of all peoples, and moreover, Wang Chong treated all people equally under the law. This was the unprecedented and legendary era of harmony.
As Wang Chong sat above the assembled officials in his dragon robe, his eyes flickered.
Several years had passed, and though Wang Chong was still young, he was much changed in appearance. He had a beard around his mouth, and he appeared even more steady and composed. With every move, he exuded the thick aura of a sovereign.
The Sage Emperor, Emperor Wu of Han, and the Qin First Emperor were eternal sovereigns hailed throughout the ages, but Wang Chong had clearly surpassed them. To call him the greatest sovereign in history would not at all be absurd.
Wang Chong passed his eyes over the officials and declared in a majestic voice, "Honored officials, there are any concerns, please present a memorial. If there is nothing else, withdraw!"
"Your Majesty, this lowly subject has a memorial!"
As the officials began to step forward, another morning court session commenced.
After a long while, the court session ended. Once all the officials were gone, Wang Chong finally rose from his throne.
"Is everything ready?" Wang Chong loudly said.
"Your Majesty, everything is ready!"
The officials had left the hall, leaving only Xu Keyi, Old Eagle, Zhang Que, and Xue Qianjun—Wang Chong's old subordinates. All of them had excited expressions, seemingly knowing something.
Wang Chong took in a deep breath and nodded.
In the human world, the long-cherished dream of countless talented individuals had finally been realized. There were so many outstanding individuals that, though the empire was vast, Wang Chong did not have many places he needed to worry about.
As for Wang Chong, after seven years, the moment he anticipated had finally come.
A moment later, as Old Eagle and the others watched, Wang Chong extended his hand and grabbed at the air. At the same time, a large crystal appeared at the center of Wang Chong's brow, blazing with light. It was none other than the Stone of Destiny.
"Stone of Destiny, open the dimension."
Without the slightest hesitation, Wang Chong communicated with the Stone of Destiny.
Within the Stone of Destiny, in a hidden dimension, balls of light floated. Within each ball of light was a figure that pulsed with soul energy.
Sensing those familiar energies, Wang Chong couldn't help but get excited.
"Master, Village Chief, Senior Su, Unity Supreme, Luo Supreme…" Wang Chong muttered as he identified those energies.
In that epic battle seven years ago, countless people had sacrificed their lives: the Demonic Emperor Old Man, the Wushang Village Chief, Su Zhengchen, Li Xuantu, Unity Supreme, Luo Supreme, Li Siye… To save him, everyone had died to Heaven. This was an eternal source of pain for Wang Chong, but when Wang Chong fused with the Stone of Destiny and successfully reached the Divine Martial realm, he was given an opportunity.
Whether it was the Demonic Emperor Old Man, the Wushang Village Chief, or any of the others, they were all top-class experts with formidable souls. Although they were dead, their souls had not completely dissipated. With the powerful abilities of the Stone of Destiny, Wang Chong had successfully gathered up their souls and placed them in the Stone of Destiny, where they were nurtured by its formidable powers. Bit by bit, Wang Chong had pulled them away from the precipice of death.
So long as the soul survived, they still had some hope of living.
Essence Supreme had the ability to repair and remold souls, and the complete Stone of Destiny had the same ability.
But life and death were the domains even beyond the reach of gods and devils. Even gathering their souls had needed seven years.
Wang Chong began to pour universal energy into the balls of light, and at the same time, his stockpile of Destiny Energy began to rapidly drain away.
Finally, those balls of light began to solidify and transform into those people Wang Chong was so familiar with.
In a flash of light and a powerful pulse of energy, these figures began to appear in the hall. The Demonic Emperor Old Man, the Wushang Village Chief, Su Zhengchen, Li Xuantu, Luo Supreme, Unity Supreme, Li Siye… their bodies began to rapidly manifest in the hall.
Wang Chong had already prepared clothes for all of them.
When the entire process was over, they all began to open their eyes as if they were waking up from a dream. At the start, they all had blank expressions on their faces, but their memories soon came rushing back.
A moment later, they all saw Wang Chong in his dragon robe.
Wang Chong excitedly strode forward. After seven years, he had finally saved them all.
"Chong-er, what in the world happened?" The Demonic Emperor Old Man was the first to speak, his expression one of utter confusion. What he was seeing was completely different from his memories.
Smiling, Wang Chong told them everything that had happened in the last seven years.
A while later, the Demonic Emperor Old Man and the others departed in shock.
There was far too much for them to digest. Moreover, they had just awoken, and their souls were not very stable, so they needed to rest.
Everyone left, and the hall once more fell quiet. Even Old Eagle and Zhang Que had departed this time.
With no one else around, Wang Chong softly sighed, a hint of sorrow on his face.
Li Heng had not been among the people revived.
When the battle ended, Wang Chong had tried every method possible, including Soul Fire, to gather his soul, but all his efforts had failed.
At that moment, Wang Chong had known that Li Heng would not be coming back.
The Demonic Emperor Old Man and the others had died in battle, but Li Heng was different. He had transformed all of his soul energy into Dragon Qi and merged it into Wang Chong's body, leaving behind no trace of his soul.
He had truly vanished from the world, and not even the Stone of Destiny could change that.
'Wang Chong, when you read this letter, I will no longer be here. In truth, I learned from Senior Guangcheng a long time ago that Dragon Qi was the secret of the Divine Martial realm, and that it had to be the Son of Heaven's Dragon Qi. But I also knew that if I abdicated to you, you would never accept. Thus, please forgive me for not telling you beforehand, or anyone else.
'There is no need to mourn me. I am the Emperor of the Central Plains, so it is right that I protect my people in my own way. This was my own choice.
'In addition, to have you as a friend and brother, Li Heng has no regrets!'
Wang Chong took that letter from his sleeve, his heart wracked with sorrow as he read those familiar words.
"Li Heng, it was truly an honor to have you as my friend!"
After saying this, Wang Chong solemnly folded up the letter, stored it away close to his chest, and walked out of the hall.
"Prepare my carriage to Morning Phoenix Palace!"
Pushing open the door, Wang Chong entered Morning Phoenix Palace. Beyond the draping curtain, he saw the familiar and graceful figure garbed in phoenix crown and robes, her gentle and affectionate face beautiful to behold.
"Qiqin, I kept you waiting."
Wang Chong smiled as he quickly strode over.
Hypersheep325, Starve's Notes:
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