Author’s note: December 14th notice: Fever and tonsillitis, feeling unwell, taking a day off. No need to brush today, everyone.

The previous cold seemed to have lingered, and today it came back even stronger, with inflamed tonsils… I don’t know what’s going on. I’ve worn plenty of clothes, so everyone, let’s not rush to brush too early, let’s read during the day…

Hua Cheng said, “What?”

He turned his head to look at Hua Cheng and asked, “Bai Wu Xiang, why did he come to Copper Furnace Mountain?”

Hua Cheng replied, “Perhaps his power hasn’t fully recovered yet, and he wants to be reborn using the Copper Furnace.”

Xie Lian said, “So, if that’s the case, it means that he is not… unbeatable?”

Hua Cheng said, “There’s a possibility that he’s not.”

Earlier, Bai Wu Xiang disguised himself as Fengxin and Muqing, suddenly appearing in a terrifying manner. Combined with Xie Lian’s immediate reaction of “can’t fight, run!”, he pulled Hua Cheng and fled. They didn’t directly confront him for long, so they couldn’t determine the extent of Bai Wu Xiang’s current strength.

Was it all bluff? Or was he at ease? The brief exchanges of lightning-fast moves were not enough to judge. Xie Lian murmured, “I only saw those two fake faces and subconsciously thought that he had become stronger, but maybe… he hasn’t fully recovered yet. Maybe now is his weakest moment? Otherwise, why would he come to Copper Furnace Mountain? Perhaps… I can give it a try.”

To see if he can take him down now!

Hua Cheng immediately said, “Alright. I’ll face him.”

Xie Lian suddenly came to his senses and quickly said, “No, no, don’t face him head-on. I’ll give it a try!”

Usually, the Ghost Kings in desperate situations wouldn’t easily fight each other, like Black Water Sinking Ships and Blood Rain Exploring Flowers, maintaining a peaceful coexistence for years. This was because, unlike the divine officials in the Heavenly Court, the Ghost Kings’ strengths, palaces, followers, and spheres of influence were all calculable by those who cared enough to do so. They would conceal their true strength, just as they would hide their backgrounds, and they were not aware of each other’s true strength. No one knew what would happen if two powerhouses fought, so they tried to maintain balance as much as possible. Hua Cheng said, “Don’t worry. The outcome is uncertain. Otherwise, does Brother think that I would let you face him alone?”

“…”

Xie Lian shook his head and said, “That’s not it, Sanlang. We’re different. He… won’t kill me, I promise.”

Hua Cheng asked, “Why?”

After hesitating for a moment, Xie Lian chose not to answer and simply said, “You don’t know how terrifying he really is…”

But Hua Cheng interrupted him in a deep voice, saying, “Your Highness! I know.”

Only then did Xie Lian remember that Hua Cheng had participated in the Xianle Army and had personally experienced the Xianle battlefield, witnessing the horrifying scene of corpses strewn all over. However, Hua Cheng hadn’t witnessed the terrifying battle between Jun Wu and Bai Wu Xiang like he had. He had never interacted with Bai Wu Xiang.

Thinking of this, Xie Lian vigorously shook his head and said, “I don’t doubt you, it’s just… I don’t want anything to happen to you.”

Hearing this, Hua Cheng’s gaze flickered. In an instant, he smiled and said, “Brother, rest assured. I have already died once, so it’s not so easy for me to die again. Besides, have you forgotten what I said? As long as he doesn’t find my ashes, he can’t harm me.”

Prompted by his reminder, Xie Lian remembered this. He hurriedly said, “Wait! Let’s not talk about that now. Sanlang, have you… hidden your bones, your ashes?”

Hua Cheng said, “I’ve hidden them a long time ago.”

Xie Lian nodded, paused for a moment, and couldn’t help but ask, “Are you sure they’re hidden properly? Is that place safe enough? It won’t be found?”

Hua Cheng calmly replied, “For me, that’s the safest place in the world.”

Xie Lian felt that nothing was absolute and said, “Are you really that confident?”

Hua Cheng smiled and said, “If the place where it’s hidden is destroyed, then I don’t need to exist either. Of course, I’m confident.”

Although Xie Lian was very curious about what it meant for Hua Cheng to say “don’t need to exist,” he couldn’t delve into this topic here since this place wasn’t safe. However, at this point, Xie Lian really wanted to ask Hua Cheng… how did he die?

He really wanted to know but couldn’t bring himself to ask. After death, the reason why a soul could stay in the world was based on attachments. In most cases, the attachments of pain and resentment were the strongest. And to become a Ghost King in desperate circumstances, the attachments were even more profound. He was afraid that if he asked, it would be like poking a scar, and both he and Hua Cheng might not be able to bear it. How had Hua Cheng survived these eight hundred years?

At this thought, Xie Lian’s mind was suddenly filled with a dreadful idea, and he immediately exclaimed, “Sanlang!”

Hua Cheng asked, “What?”

Xie Lian’s fingers twitched slightly as he said, “I… I have another question to ask you.”

Hua Cheng replied, “Go ahead, ask.”

Xie Lian stared at him and said, “In these over eight hundred years, besides when you saw me in Xianle Kingdom, have you ever seen me at any other time?”

“…”

Hua Cheng slowly turned his head and said, “Unfortunately, despite my best efforts to search, never once have I given up, but no.”

Xie Lian pressed further, “Really?”

Hua Cheng met his gaze directly and said, “Really. Why does Brother ask?”

Xie Lian couldn’t help but feel relieved, forcing a smile and saying, “No, it’s just that in these years, I’ve had a pretty rough time, muddled and full of failures. I thought it wouldn’t be good if you saw me like that.”

Hua Cheng laughed, “How could that be?”

But Xie Lian didn’t laugh at all and said, “I’m not joking, it’s really been a failure.”

Hearing this, Hua Cheng’s smile faded, and he said seriously, “That’s alright. Your Highness, haven’t you said it yourself?”

Xie Lian was taken aback, “Me? What did I say?”

Hua Cheng said leisurely, “To me, you are infinite glory and fallen dust. The focus is ‘you,’ not what kind of ‘you’ it is.”

He winked at Xie Lian, raised an eyebrow, and said, “I’m the same.”

“…”

Xie Lian listened in a daze for quite a while, then suddenly slapped his face, feeling like his whole head was burning, and said, “Did I… Did I really say such things?!”

Hua Cheng said, “Yes! Brother, don’t try to deny it.”

Xie Lian covered his face with his arm and said, “No… I didn’t!”

Hua Cheng said, “Brother, do you want to see? Shall I find it for you?”

Xie Lian raised his face abruptly, “??? You… Could it be… Sanlang, you… You didn’t… remember everything, did you?”

“Just kidding, just kidding.”

“I honestly don’t believe it…”

“Brother, trust me.”

“I don’t believe it!”

The two of them arrived at a fork in the road. Suddenly, a gust of wind came. Hua Cheng instinctively moved to shield him, raising a hand as if to protect him.

The wind was actually not strong, and there was no need to block it, but Hua Cheng’s action was completely natural. As the wind passed, their hair continued to flutter, causing annoyance. Xie Lian suddenly noticed that when Hua Cheng wasn’t looking at him, his expression and features appeared cold. Absent-minded and beautiful. Hua Cheng didn’t even realize that he had acted without thinking, as if protecting him was simply an instinct.

Xie Lian blurted out, “Sanlang!”

Hua Cheng turned his head to look at him and smiled, “Your Highness, what’s wrong?”

Xie Lian felt that Hua Cheng probably didn’t realize that he had smiled.

A clear and strong voice said in his heart, this person truly treats him as a god.

Xie Lian clenched his fists in his palms and said, “After we leave Copper Furnace Mountain, I have a lot to talk to you about.”

Hua Cheng nodded slightly and said, “Alright, I’ll wait.”

Xie Lian asked, “Did Fuxin and the others leave?”

Hua Cheng replied, “They have already left.”

Xie Lian asked, “What about Bai Wuxiang? Did he not catch up to us, or did he not go to stop them? Where is he now? How far away from us?”

Hua Cheng said, “He is…”

Before he could finish his sentence, his expression changed slightly. He lightly touched his right eyebrow with two fingers, then after a moment, said, “…He’s gone.”

“!”

Xie Lian was shocked, “How could he be gone?”

Hua Cheng remained calm, his gaze focused as he said, “He disappeared into thin air.”

Even if he was a ghost, it would be impossible for him to disappear into thin air within the Ten Thousand Shrine Grotto, surrounded by countless dead butterfly spirits!

Xie Lian blurted out, “Let me see!” As he spoke, he grasped Hua Cheng’s shoulders with both hands and lifted himself slightly, bringing their foreheads together. Hua Cheng’s hand circled his waist as if he wanted to move away, but in the end, he left it there, holding him tighter.

In an instant, Xie Lian’s vision rapidly flashed through what Hua Cheng had seen. The white-robed figure leisurely entered a cave, and countless dead butterfly spirits swarmed him, enveloping him in a silvery cocoon. They struggled for a while, but he shook them off, causing a burst of silvery light, and the silver butterflies turned into scattered phosphorescence. But after the silver light settled, he had disappeared!

Next, Hua Cheng’s right eye brought his vision through countless tunnels, all of them revealing the white-robed figure. Xie Lian slightly moved his face away and asked in doubt, “Could he have left?”

However, others may not know, but he knew best that once Bai Wuxiang saw him, he would surely cling to him persistently. Hua Cheng said, “Perhaps our previous speculation is true. His top priority is to use Copper Furnace to recreate his divine body, so he left ahead of us.”

The voice came directly into his ear, and Xie Lian snapped back to reality. He realized that he had been holding Hua Cheng’s face in his hands, causing him to slightly bend forward. He quickly let go and said, “Stop him!”

Their mission in coming to Copper Furnace Mountain was to intercept anyone who had the potential to become a deity. After understanding the situation with the white-robed person, they actively searched for him among the countless divine statues. Before long, they arrived at the place where the white-robed person had disappeared.

Sure enough, besides a few statues, there was no one else. The ground was filled with silver light, and some silver butterflies flapped their broken wings on the ground. Xie Lian bent down, not knowing if it would help, but he still wanted to gather them with his hands. At that moment, he heard Hua Cheng’s voice behind him, saying, “…Brother, come over here.”

The voice carried suppressed anger, but the anger was not directed at him.

Xie Lian raised his head and saw Hua Cheng’s fiery gaze fixed on a statue ahead.

It was a statue covered from head to toe by white fabric, motionless, with only a vague outline visible. It seemed that one hand was holding a sword, pointing towards a certain direction, making the tip of the sword exceptionally sharp.

However, at this moment, a layer of bloody red slowly seeped out from the sharp tip of the sword, spreading and staining the white fabric, permeating through it.

There was blood on the sword!

Anyone who saw this scene would know that something was amiss with this statue. Perhaps, beneath the white fabric, there was something other than the original statue. Xie Lian leaped up and stood shoulder to shoulder with Hua Cheng, with the tip of the Fragrant Heart Sword pointing towards the statue. With a stern expression, Hua Cheng waved his hand, lifting the white fabric.

Xie Lian’s pupils suddenly contracted.

Beneath the white fabric was still a statue of him. It was a statue of Prince Yue, one hand holding a sword and the other holding a flower, with a slight smile on its face. However, that smile was tainted with a hint of blood.

The source of the blood was a young man impaled on the sword blade, his face wrapped in bandages and his body covered in blood. It was none other than Lang Yue!