Chapter 22

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Written by Miniorchi and Chimera
edited by kakashi and JoAnne

After lingering at the palace as long as she could, watching people pay their respects to the Celestial twins, Li Ying headed back towards the Demon tents, feeling disappointed that the festivities were over. It had been so enjoyable! She had lost count of the days; had it been 6? 7? 8?, but she knew - it had not been nearly long enough.

It was baffling to her that it was possible for so many clans from different realms to come together in such a peaceful manner. Demon clan festivals were always rowdy and violent, competitions to showcase one's warrior skills. Male and female warriors alike thirsted for an opportunity to increase their cultivation through bloody battles. Injuries or even the death of weaker demons were normal occurrences there.

Li Ying had never had the chance to prove herself in battle and thus, her cultivation remained lower than she wished it to be. Her dear brother had not let anyone come even close to drawing blood from her after that one incident 80,000 years ago: A shady demon from another clan had underhandedly thrown a dart towards her neck during a fight with her brother. Furious at this breach of etiquette, her brother had blasted his opponent through several pillars at the battle arena. The man died slowly and gruesomely from a broken back. His screams, later turned to mere whimpers, had been heard for many hours until he was silent forever. From that day on, nobody had dared to come near her and all she ever got at those festivals were hateful stares, but no real fights.

In fact, to gain cultivation and skills, Li Ying had to fight with hired Demon assassins in secret. She had to pay these warriors handsomely and in secret (using the money that her brother gave her for clothes and other possessions) because the risk was high: if her brother caught them, death was certain for her opponents. But she knew that if she did not go behind his back, she would be forever dependent on him and the bodyguards he assigned to her.

Li Ying sighed. Her brother's extreme protectiveness also meant that it was hard for her to make any friends among Demons. That's why she had been so delighted to meet Shao Wan back at the Obsidian Palace - she had really hoped to be able to get to know this legendary warrior better. Sadly, after disappearing overnight the Demon goddess had been too busy to exchange more than a few polite words with her at the festival. In contrast to their first meeting, the Demon ancestor also seemed much more wary of her now. Li Ying suspected it had something to do with her brother, but she could not quite figure out what their relationship was.

What was clear: Her dear brother was extremely jealous of how the Demon goddess looked at the God of War. She had seen him fuming. Li Ying had never seen anyone like High God Mo Yuan herself. He was one of the oldest living gods, but looked so young - exactly like his twin, even though the crown prince was more than 300,000 years younger. High God Mo Yuan's aura was very strong but he often withdrew into himself completely, veiling his powers. She did not understand why - Demons always boasted about their prowess. A man as powerful as he would certainly be Demon Overlord in her world, but the Celestials had a different system of power and she did not understand it at all. Why would a warrior like him choose to sit on a mountain day and night and teach Taoism to only a few disciples if he could rule the world?

She had hardly ever met (or even seen) any Celestials before, and she had been surprised by how different they were when compared to how she had imagined them. She was particularly struck by how polite, even friendly they were to everyone - so unlike demons. Apart from that, she had mainly come to admire their ability to party. She had always imagined Celestials sitting around prettily, having boring conversations over bland tea. But ye heavens, the food! She had never before tasted such exquisite delicacies. And the wine! Much more potent than what she knew from the Demon realm, which was very surprising when considering the Heaven Tribe's insistence on propriety and appearances.

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