The young man’s face was indeed as Xie Lian had suspected—an extensive burn scar. However, beneath these patches of blood-red scars, one could faintly see three or four small faces.

These little faces were no larger than the palm of a child’s hand, distorted and scattered across his cheeks and forehead. Due to the intense flames, each tiny face exhibited contorted features, as if screaming in agony. These eerie little faces crowded together on his otherwise normal face, creating a terror surpassing any ghost!

The moment Xie Lian saw this face, he felt as if he had fallen into a nightmare. Overwhelmed by immense fear, he became numb, unaware of when he had stood up or the expression that had contorted his own face. It must have been a terrifying sight. The young man hesitated as he slowly removed the bandage, feeling anxious from Xie Lian’s reaction. He took two steps back, seemingly aware that Xie Lian couldn’t accept his face. He instinctively covered his terrifying face, leaped up from the ground, and shouted as he fled deeper into the woods.

Only then did Xie Lian regain his senses and exclaim, “Wait!!!”

Chasing after him, Xie Lian continued, “Wait! Come back!”

However, it took him a while to snap out of his daze, and the young man, familiar with the mountain paths and accustomed to evading in the darkness, disappeared in no time. No matter how much Xie Lian called, he refused to come out. With no one else around to assist in the search, and with his own magical powers depleted, Xie Lian ran through the mountains for almost half an hour without any results. Feeling slightly sobered by the cold wind, he realized that aimlessly running around like a headless fly was futile. Forcing himself to remain calm, he thought, “Perhaps he went back to take Xiao Ying’s body with him.” So, Xie Lian turned back toward Ming Guang Temple, only to be stunned.

In the forest behind the temple, many people dressed in black had gathered, their expressions grave as they carefully lowered the forty-plus inverted corpses. Standing in front of the forest was a tall figure with folded arms, overseeing the scene. Turning his head, his face portrayed an ethereal yet cold countenance—it was Fu Yao. It seemed that he had returned and brought a group of priests from Xuan Zhen Palace to assist.

Xie Lian was about to speak when he heard footsteps behind him. Nan Feng had finished escorting the villagers and returned. Observing the situation, he glanced at Fu Yao and said, “Weren’t you the one who ran away?”

The remark was rather impolite, and Fu Yao frowned in displeasure. Not wanting them to argue at such a critical moment, Xie Lian interjected, “I asked him to go back and bring reinforcements.”

Nan Feng scoffed, “And where are these reinforcements? I thought at least your General would come personally.”

Fu Yao calmly responded, “When I went back, I heard that General Pei had already come down, so I didn’t bother looking for our General. Besides, even if I did go find him, he’s too busy and might not have time to come down.”

To be honest, based on Xie Lian’s understanding of Mu Qing, even if he had the time, he wouldn’t want to come down personally. But at this moment, they had no time to dwell on such thoughts. Feeling somewhat exhausted, Xie Lian said, “Let’s not argue. Please help me look for the young man with the bandages.”

Nan Feng furrowed his brow and asked, “Wasn’t he with you, guarding the girl’s body?”

Xie Lian replied, “I asked him to remove the bandage, and it scared him away.”

Fu Yao’s lips curved into a smirk. “Surely, it wasn’t that terrifying. You dressed as a woman couldn’t have frightened him to that extent.”

Xie Lian sighed, “It’s not a matter of being ugly or not. He… has the Face Pox.”

Upon hearing those three words, both Nan Feng and Fu Yao froze in place, their movements and expressions instantly stiffening.

Finally, they understood why Xie Lian had been stunned earlier.

Eight hundred years ago, a plague swept through the ancient Xian Yue Kingdom, annihilating the entire nation. Those afflicted with the disease would initially develop small lumps on their bodies, which grew larger and harder while causing mild pain. Then, the lumps would gradually take on an uneven shape, with three depressions and one protrusion, resembling… eyes, a mouth, and a nose. As time went on, the features became clearer, ultimately forming a shape similar to a human face. If left unchecked, more and more faces would grow on the body. It was said that in the final stages, some faces even had the ability to speak or scream.

And this plague was called the Face Pox!

Fu Yao’s complexion changed repeatedly, and his hands released their grasp. He exclaimed, “How is that possible? This thing was eradicated hundreds of years ago and should never reappear!”

Xie Lian simply uttered one sentence, “I didn’t misjudge it.”

Neither Nan Feng nor Fu Yao could refute what Xie Lian had said. The statement he made left no room for argument.

Xie Lian said, “There are traces of burns on his face. Perhaps he wanted to burn away these necrotic faces.”

When someone is afflicted with the Face Pox, the immediate reaction of many is to use a knife to cut away the terrifying growth or to burn it, even if it means sacrificing flesh and bone. Nan Feng’s voice grew heavy as he said, “Then he is likely not an ordinary person. Perhaps he has already lived in this world for hundreds of years. Putting that aside, could his disease be contagious?”

Though his head throbbed with pain, Xie Lian had calmly considered this question. He replied with certainty, “No, it won’t. The Face Pox is highly contagious. If the disease on that young man’s body were still infectious, then this entire area around Mount Yu Jun should have been infected by him. His disease should have… been cured already. However, the scars from before remain.”

The three of them couldn’t afford to be careless. Fu Yao, seemingly holding a certain position in Xuan Zhen Palace, summoned the priests to conduct an exhaustive search around Mount Yu Jun. However, no trace of the young man could be found, indicating that he had likely escaped from Mount Yu Jun and disappeared into the vast sea of people. Their current plan was to return to the heavenly realm and request assistance from Ling Wen Palace in the search, patiently awaiting news. It was fortunate that whatever the young man carried wasn’t contagious, but Xie Lian worried about his terrifying appearance. If he were discovered after descending the mountain, he would likely be treated as a monster and subjected to violence. Finding him as soon as possible was imperative.

It was not good to delay any further at Mount Yu Jun. Xie Lian carried Xiao Ying’s body and descended the mountain step by step. Lost in thought, he was nearly about to enter Xiang Feng Inn with the corpse before Tea Immortal shouted and reminded him. Apologizing profusely, he hurriedly turned away, entrusted someone to handle the burial, and returned. Once everything was settled and they had sat down, Xie Lian let out a silent sigh.

One matter had finally come to an end, and he couldn’t help but feel that these few days after ascending had been more exhausting than an entire year of scavenging in the mortal realm. Climbing, crawling, leaping, somersaulting, disguising, and performing acrobatics—his body felt like it was falling apart. Moreover, many unresolved mysteries and potential problems remained. He truly wanted to hang a sign that read “Scavenging is better than ascending” and carry it with him to advocate for returning to the mortal realm. Fu Yao raised the hem of his robes and sat down beside him, finally unable to resist rolling his eyes as he had prepared for a long time. He said, “Why are you still wearing this outfit?”

Seeing his eye-roll, Xie Lian unexpectedly felt an unparalleled sense of closeness. He then took off the bridal attire he had been wearing the entire journey, wiping off the rouge and powder from his face, feeling somewhat frustrated. “So, you mean I was talking to General Pei while dressed like this? Nan Feng, if you had reminded me earlier…”

Fu Yao said, “Perhaps it’s because you seemed so delighted wearing it.”

Nan Feng, who had been running all day, could finally sit down and rest. He said, “No need for reminders. General Pei wouldn’t care what you’re wearing. Even if you were ten times stranger, he wouldn’t say a word to anyone else when he returns.”

Xie Lian felt that this young priest had truly been through a lot tonight. He poured a cup of tea for him and remembered the solemn expression of General Pei contrasted with the madness of Xuan Ji. He said, “General Pei is incredibly calm and composed. He can keep his composure very well.”

Nan Feng drank the tea but said, “Don’t judge a book by its cover. General Pei may seem polite, but just like his ancestors, he is not easy to deal with.”

Xie Lian naturally noticed this. Surprisingly, Fu Yao agreed, saying, “Pei Su is a rising star who ascended only about a hundred or two hundred years ago, but he has gained significant momentum and climbed rapidly. Do you know what he did when General Pei recruited him?”

Xie Lian asked, “What did he do?”

Fu Yao coldly uttered two words, “Slaughtered a city.”

Upon hearing this, Xie Lian pondered with a pensive expression, but it didn’t come as a surprise. In the heavenly realm, there were kings and generals everywhere, and the saying goes that to achieve immortality and divinity, one must first be a remarkable individual. The path to greatness is paved with bones. Fu Yao summed it up, “In the heavenly realm, there are few who get along well. You can’t trust anyone.”

Xie Lian listened with a hint of amusement, thinking that Fu Yao must have experienced setbacks in the heavenly realm and had a deep understanding. However, he also knew that despite ascending three times, his time spent in the heavenly realm had been as fleeting as a shooting star, vanishing in an instant. When it came to understanding the heavenly immortals and gods, he might not be as knowledgeable as these two young priests. Nan Feng, on the other hand, seemed to strongly disagree with Fu Yao’s statement and said, “Don’t exaggerate. There are good and bad people everywhere, including in the heavenly realm. There are many trustworthy priests there.”

Fu Yao, however, said, “Haha, trustworthy priests? Are you talking about your General?”

Nan Feng said, “I don’t know if it’s my General, but it’s definitely not your General.”

Facing this situation, Xie Lian had long grown accustomed to it. He was unfazed and lacked the strength to even open his mouth, preoccupied with his own thoughts.

After wrapping things up in the northern region and returning to the heavenly realm, Xie Lian first went to Ling Wen Palace and explained the situation with the bandaged youth, entrusting Ling Wen to search for him in the mortal realm. Ling Wen’s expression turned serious upon hearing the story and promised to do everything possible. She ended by saying, “Ling Wen Palace will spare no effort in the search. But I never expected that a trip to the northern region would lead to so many complications. Your Highness, you have truly been through a lot.”

Xie Lian said, “I must thank the two young priests who volunteered to help, as well as General Pei from Ming Guang Palace. I don’t know how to express my gratitude.”

Ling Wen said, “It was General Pei who caused this trouble with his past connections, so it’s only right for him to clean up the mess. He’s used to it, so there’s no need for thanks. Your Highness, if you have some free time later, please come to the Communication Array. We need to discuss this matter together.”

Xie Lian still had many unanswered questions. After leaving Ling Wen Palace, he wandered around until he found a small stone bridge. The bridge crossed a babbling stream with crystal-clear water that revealed the movement of clouds and mist underneath. Through the flowing water and clouds, he could even see the undulating mountains and the neatly arranged towns in the mortal realm. He thought to himself, “This is a good place.” He sat down at the bridgehead, silently recited the password, and entered the array.

Upon entering, Xie Lian was surprised to find the Communication Array in the heavenly realm unusually lively. Countless voices flew back and forth, creating a chaotic scene. The first voice he heard was Feng Xin’s angry voice, “Damn it! Have you chosen a location to suppress the corpse forest or not?! That madwoman, Xuan Ji, insists on seeing General Pei and refuses to disclose the whereabouts of Qing Gui Qi Rong!”

General Pei said, “Xuan Ji has always been stubborn and fierce.”

Feng Xin’s voice sounded very irate, “General Pei, has he returned?! Hurry up and let her see him. Get her to reveal the whereabouts of Qing Gui Qi Rong and then get her out of here!”

Feng Xin was not good at dealing with women, and he was the one assigned to interrogate her. Xie Lian couldn’t help but feel a twinge of sympathy. General Pei said, “Seeing her won’t make a difference. If anything, it’ll make her go crazier.”

Another voice chimed in, “It’s the Hanging Corpse Forest again… Qi Rong’s taste is truly abhorrent, unpleasant to witness.”

“Even the ghost realm despises his taste, indicating that it is truly abysmal.”

The priests exchanged words without any pause, demonstrating their familiarity with one another. As a newcomer who ascended eight hundred years ago, Xie Lian should have remained silent, but after listening for a while, he couldn’t help but interject, saying, “Regarding the Hanging Corpse Forest in Mount Yu Jun, what’s the story behind it? Is Qing Gui Qi Rong also in that area?”

Since he rarely spoke in the Communication Array, his voice was unfamiliar, and the priests didn’t know whether or not to respond. Surprisingly, it was Feng Xin who answered him. He said, “Qing Gui Qi Rong is not in Mount Yu Jun. However, Xuan Ji is providing offerings to him in the Hanging Corpse Forest as he requested.”

Xie Lian asked, “Is Xuan Ji subordinate to Qing Gui?”

General Pei replied, “Indeed. Xuan Ji died hundreds of years ago, and although she held grudges, she lacked the power to cause havoc. It was only after Qi Rong, the Qing Gui, took an interest in her over a hundred years ago and greatly admired her that she gained increased power.”

In essence, he was saying that it wasn’t General Pei’s fault that Xuan Ji caused trouble. She wouldn’t have been capable of it on her own. If someone had to be blamed, it should be Qing Gui Qi Rong for taking her in and giving her the ability to cause harm. The priests initially believed that General Pei was responsible for this mess, but he had discerned their thoughts and subtly reminded them with his words, neither too heavy nor too light, concealing his true intentions even deeper. Xie Lian continued, “Have you thoroughly searched Mount Yu Jun? There should be another child spirit.”

This time, the voice of Mu Qing emerged, neither warm nor cold, saying, “Child spirit? What child spirit?”

Xie Lian thought that perhaps Fu Yao hadn’t mentioned this detail to him, and he didn’t want to mention Fu Yao either, to avoid causing trouble. Thus, he said, “While I was in the sedan chair, I heard the laughter of a child, singing a nursery rhyme as a clue. At that time, there were also two young officials from the Hall of Martial Valor beside me, but neither of them noticed. It seems this child spirit possesses considerable power.”

Mu Qing said, “We haven’t found any child spirits in Mount Yu Jun.”

Xie Lian found it strange. Could it be that the child spirit had deliberately come to give him a clue? Thinking of this, he suddenly remembered something he had been concerned about throughout the journey and asked, “By the way, during my time in Mount Yu Jun, I encountered a young boy who could command silver butterflies. Do any of you know who this boy is?”

Inside the Communication Array, there was initially a bustling and noisy atmosphere. However, as soon as Xie Lian spoke, a sudden silence fell.

Xie Lian had anticipated this reaction. He patiently waited. After a while, Ling Wen asked, “Crown Prince, what did you just say?”

Mu Qing coldly stated, “He said he encountered Hua Cheng.”

Finally knowing the name of the young man in red, Xie Lian inexplicably felt in a good mood and smiled, “So his name is Hua Cheng? Well, that name suits him quite well.”

The priests inside the Communication Array seemed speechless at his tone and words. After a moment, Ling Wen cleared her throat and said, “Well… Crown Prince, have you ever heard of the so-called Four Great Calamities?”

Xie Lian thought to himself, “Embarrassingly, I only know of the Four Great Beauties.”

The so-called Four Great Beauties were the stories of four divine officials in the heavenly realm before their ascension—Shao Jun pouring wine, Tai Zi enchanting the gods, General Zhe Jian sheathing his sword, and the Princess taking her own life. Among them, “Tai Zi enchanting the gods” referred to the awe-inspiring beauty of the Prince of Xian Le, known for his martial arts prowess. Being one of the Four Great Beauties didn’t necessarily mean having the strongest divine power; rather, it was because their legends were the most widely spread and talked about. Xie Lian had always been slow to react to such news from the outside world, perhaps due to his ignorance or lack of exposure. Nonetheless, as one of the Four Great Beauties, he had some understanding. However, the term “Four Great Calamities” seemed to have emerged more recently, and Xie Lian had never heard of it. Since it used the word “calamities,” it certainly couldn’t be something good. He asked, “I’m sorry, but I’ve never heard of it. May I ask what the Four Great Calamities are?”

Mu Qing replied coolly, “After spending hundreds of years honing your skills in the mortal realm, Crown Prince, it’s truly intriguing how closed off you are to such information. What were you doing down there, after all?”

Naturally, he was eating, sleeping, performing, and collecting scrap. Xie Lian smiled and said, “Being human involves many complicated tasks, unlike being a divine official, which is easier.”

Ling Wen said, “Remember these Four Great Calamities, Crown Prince. They are ‘Black Water Sinking Ships, Green Lamp Night Wanderings, White Robes Bringing Disaster, and Blood Rain Probing Flowers.’ They refer to the four demon kings from the ghost realms that both the heavenly realm and middle realm find extremely troublesome.”

As humans ascend, they become gods, while descending leads to becoming ghosts.

The heavenly realm was established as a dwelling place for the divine officials, separating themselves from the mortal realm and overlooking it from above. However, the ghost realms, as the name suggests, have not been completely separated from the mortal realm. Demons and monsters share the same land as humans, some lurking in the darkness, others disguising themselves as humans and mingling among the crowds, wandering in the mortal realm.

Ling Wen continued, “Black Water Sinking Ships refers to a great water ghost. Although he is at his wits’ end, he rarely causes trouble and keeps a very low profile, so few people have seen him. Let’s put that aside for now.

“Green Lamp Night Wanderings refers to the Qing Gui Qi Rong, who enjoys the Hanging Corpse Forest with his abhorrent taste. However, he is the only one among these four who is not in dire straits. Why is he included? Perhaps because he causes trouble constantly and is quite annoying, or maybe it’s just to make up the number to four for better memorization. We won’t dwell on that.

“White Robes Bringing Disaster. Crown Prince, you should be familiar with this one. He has a name, Bai Wu Xiang.”

As Xie Lian sat on the stone bridge and heard this name, he suddenly felt a sharp pain spreading from his heart to his limbs. His hand trembled unconsciously, and he clenched his fist.

He was undoubtedly familiar with that name.

It was said that when “Jue” appeared, it brought calamity to the country. And the first country that Bai Wu Xiang destroyed was Xian Le.

Xie Lian fell silent. Ling Wen continued, “However, Bai Wu Xiang has already been vanquished. Let’s not dwell on that. Even if he still existed, he wouldn’t have a chance to steal the spotlight now.

“The silver butterflies you saw in Mount Yu Jun, also known as Deathly Butterflies, are owned by the last of the four, the ‘Blood Rain Probing Flowers,’ Hua Cheng.”

In the heavenly realm, the two who deserved the title of “world-renowned” were the God of War and the Prince of Xian Le. Although their significance was completely opposite, they were both thunderously famous. Outside of Hua Cheng, there was no one else in the ghost realms who could rival their fame in the category of “world-renowned.”

If you wanted to understand a divine official, you could go out, find a temple, and see what clothes the deity wore and what magical tool they held. That would give you some insight. If you wanted to know more, listen to the legendary stories and epic tales passed down through generations, which would reveal their identities and deeds. However, it was different for demons and monsters. Their true nature and appearance remained a mystery.

The name Hua Cheng was definitely fake, as was his appearance. According to rumors, he could be an unpredictable and malicious young boy at times, a gentle and elegant beauty at others, or even a gorgeous female ghost with a wicked heart. There were all sorts of descriptions about him. The only thing certain about his true form was his red attire, often accompanied by the fluttering silver butterflies between his garments.

As for his background, there were countless versions. Some said he was a deformed child born without a right eye, who had experienced bullying and grew to hate the mortal world. Others claimed he was a young soldier who died in battle for his homeland, with a lingering unwillingness in his lost soul. Some believed he was a tormented fool consumed by grief over a lost love. There were even those who called him a monster. The most bizarre version, which was just hearsay, suggested that Hua Cheng was actually an ascended divine official. However, after his ascension, he jumped back down and fell from grace, becoming a ghost. This was just a lesser-known legend, and its authenticity was unknown, believed by only a few. But even if it were true, it would still be false because it was too embarrassing for the heavenly realm to have someone willingly choose to become a ghost instead of remaining a deity. In short, the more diverse the opinions, the more shrouded in mystery Hua Cheng became.

The various divine officials were particularly wary of Hua Cheng for many reasons. For example, he had an ever-changing temperament, sometimes cruel and bloodthirsty, other times performing bizarre acts of kindness. Moreover, he wielded significant influence in the mortal realm and had an enormous number of followers.

Yes, people worshiped gods, praying for blessings and protection from demons and monsters, which resulted in many followers for the divine officials. However, it was astounding that a ghost like Hua Cheng had amassed a tremendous number of followers in the mortal realm, to the point where he seemed to have absolute control.

Here, it must be mentioned that when Hua Cheng first emerged, he did something incredibly famous.

He openly challenged the thirty-five divine officials of the heavenly realm. The challenge consisted of fighting the God of War in combat and engaging in a philosophical debate with the God of Literature.

Among the thirty-five divine officials, thirty-three found it utterly laughable, but they were provoked and angered by his challenge. They accepted it, ready to unite and teach him a lesson.

The first to face him was the God of War.

The God of War was the most powerful god in the heavenly realm, with numerous followers and formidable divine powers. Facing a novice ghost, victory seemed assured. Little did they know that after a single battle, the entire army was defeated, and even their divine weapons were shattered by Hua Cheng’s inexplicably twisted scimitar!

Only after the battle did they realize that Hua Cheng hailed from Copper Furnace Mountain.

Copper Furnace Mountain was a volcano, but that was not important. What mattered was that within the mountain stood a city called Gu Cheng. Gu Cheng was not a city where people raised insects; it was a massive hub of poison itself.

Every hundred years, countless ghosts gathered there to fight until only one remained—the Gu King. Although the result was often the annihilation of all ghosts, if even a single one managed to emerge, it would undoubtedly become a fearsome demon king. Over the centuries, only two ghosts had emerged from Gu Cheng, and as expected, both had become widely known ghost kings in the mortal realm.

Hua Cheng was one of them.

The God of War suffered a crushing defeat, and then it was the turn of the God of Literature.

If they couldn’t win in a fight, surely they could outmatch him in a debate, right?

Unfortunately, they couldn’t. Hua Cheng displayed remarkable knowledge, shifting from ancient wisdom to contemporary affairs. He alternated between elegance and malice, strength and profundity, trickery and persuasive reasoning. He was truly cunning, leaving no opening for criticism. Several God of Literature officials were verbally assaulted from heaven to earth, from the past to the present, to the point of spitting blood in frustration.

Hua Cheng had become famous overnight.

But that alone was not enough to make him terrifying. What made him terrifying was that after his resounding victory, he demanded that the thirty-three divine officials fulfill their promise.

Prior to the challenge, an agreement was made: if Hua Cheng lost, he would offer his ashes. If the divine officials lost, they would all voluntarily descend from the heavenly realm and become mortals. Hua Cheng’s attitude was arrogant, and the divine officials were confident in their inevitable victory, so they agreed to the challenge. However, not a single divine official voluntarily fulfilled their promise. Although reneging on their word was disgraceful, they realized that if all thirty-three of them had lost, it would be far more embarrassing collectively, and they could even mock Hua Cheng together. Thus, they reached a silent understanding, pretending as if it had never happened. After all, people had short memories, and in another fifty years, they might forget entirely.

They were not entirely mistaken in their calculations. However, they were mistaken about one thing—Hua Cheng wasn’t so easily dealt with.

Refusing to fulfill their promise? Fine, let him lend a hand.

Thus, he set fire to all the temples and shrines of the thirty-three divine officials in the mortal realm.

This was the nightmare that still haunted the minds of the heavenly realm—the Red Ghost Fire that burned down the thirty-three divine temples of both military and literary gods.

The palaces and temples were the greatest source of power for the divine officials. Without them, where would the followers go to worship? Where would the incense come from? It would take over a hundred years, if not more, to rebuild the palaces, and even then, there was no guarantee that they would regain their former grandeur. For the divine officials, this disaster was more terrifying than a failed tribulation. Among these divine officials, some had thousands of temples, while others had over a hundred. Together, they totaled in the tens of thousands. Yet, Hua Cheng managed to burn them all overnight. Nobody knew how he did it, but he did.

It was simply outrageous.

The divine officials cried out to Jun Wu, but he was helpless too. The challenge was accepted by the divine officials themselves, and they made the promise themselves. Hua Cheng was cunning—he destroyed the temples but didn’t harm anyone. It was like digging a pit and asking if they would jump in. They willingly dug the pit even deeper and jumped in themselves. At this point, what else could be done?

Originally, those thirty-three divine officials wanted to defeat this arrogant little ghost in front of the world. That’s why they chose the battleground for their combat and debates in the dreams of many mortal kings and nobles. Their intention was to showcase their divine might before their devoted followers. Little did they know that the kings and nobles witnessed their humiliating defeat. As a result, many nobles stopped worshiping the heavenly officials and turned to worshiping ghosts instead. The thirty-three divine officials lost their followers and temples, gradually fading away. It wasn’t until a new generation of divine officials ascended and filled the vacancies that they were replaced.

Since then, the mention of the name “Hua Cheng” would send shivers down the spines of many divine officials in the heavenly realm. Even hearing about the red attire and silver butterflies would make them tremble with fear. Some were afraid of provoking him, as a single displeasure from him could lead to a challenge and the burning of their temples. Others feared having their secrets in Hua Cheng’s hands, rendering them powerless. Some had to rely on him for favors because Hua Cheng had absolute control in the mortal realm. Over time, a strange psychological dependence developed among some divine officials, leading them to have a certain reverence for him.

Thus, the heavenly realm held a mixture of hatred, fear, and respect for him.

Among those thirty-five divine officials, the two who didn’t respond to the challenge were General Xuan Zhen, Mu Qing, and General Nanyang, Feng Xin. Their initial refusal wasn’t due to fear of Hua Cheng. They simply didn’t consider him worthy of their attention and felt it unnecessary to respond. Little did they know it would backfire. However, even though they didn’t engage in combat, Hua Cheng didn’t forget about them. They crossed paths several times during the Mid-Autumn Festival and had a few confrontations. Both generals were left with deep scars from the crazed and rampant silver butterflies.

Listening to this, Xie Lian’s mind was filled with the vivid and cheerful image of the silver butterflies dancing around him. He couldn’t reconcile that with the rumors about them and couldn’t help but think, “Are these little silver butterflies really so terrifying? They seem quite lovely.”