The Heaven Splitting King, Yin Long, had simply arrived far too fast, to the point where it caught Liang Chen completely off guard. He most likely hadn't been in this universe when Liang Chen spoke up, this was a universe ruled by the Nine Star Demon God after all. But he had arrived the moment the name had left Liang Chen's lips. Was it really that easy to travel between universes?
"Yin Long... I see, you should be Nergal. Forgive me, I've heard and read about you, but it still takes me a second to put all that together when I first meet someone new. It may be rude to ask, but are you okay? You look a bit more dishevelled than Asmodai and Hades usually do."
Tian Shen had raised his head slightly, his body now half a step to the side so that the first attack went right past him. It was subtle, but Liang Chen could tell that he was using titles rather than actual names, it seemed like he didn't want to draw even more people here.
His words also caught Liang Chen's interest so he raised his head to properly inspect the person that had responded to his call. The Yin Long standing in the air above him looked the same as the Yin Long he had seen when he got the full Ocean God's Physique, a light yellow robe, long silver hair and pitch-black eyes.
But it was just like Tian Shen said, he looked a bit dishevelled at the moment. His robe was so loose and open that it revealed a good portion of his chest, almost displaying a gruesome scar that seemed like it wanted to split him in half. His hair was also damp, clumping together as it hung down wildly, a few errant drops of water still stubbornly clinging to his hair. He raised an arm and ran it through his hair to push it back, glancing down at Liang Chen as he responded.
"Don't mind it, I was just a bit busy. But Kid, you really got me good there, I have no idea how badly they're gonna manhandle me when I return, you should be glad you don't have to be there."
Liang Chen had no idea who Yin Long spoke of, but the slightly aggrieved tone in his voice really made it sound like he wasn't looking forward to returning to whoever it was that was going to beat him up. For that matter, who in this universe could manhandle one of the people controlling a Pillar Universe?
"I see. Indeed, getting called out while busy is fairly annoying, if you want I can help you form a few avatars to help you multi-task. What do you think, you just do me a favour or two and I'll give you a hand, fair, no?"
Tian Shen was evidently quite calm about it, already putting Yin Long's state behind him as he moved on to a new topic. But the topic he settled on was one that Liang Chen couldn't help but find a bit strange, offering him a hand, when they were enemies? Taking into account the way he had spoken earlier, it seemed like he was trying to avoid fighting? But as to why, Liang Chen had no idea, it seemed like he could make avatars rather freely after all.
"No thanks, your avatars are little better than puppets, and I abhor puppets. But you seem quite willing to talk and bargain, I wonder why? Is this avatar perhaps a bit important to you? Is it perhaps...your main avatar in this Sphere?"
The corner of Tian Shen's left eye twitched slightly as Yin Long put out his theory, it was so obvious that even Liang Chen could notice it. And of course, if the weakest person present could notice it then there was no need to talk about the true powerhouses present, Yin Long's lips slowly curving up.
"Bingo, is it? Now, for the second time, what sort of weapon do you use? I hope it's not something ranged, really isn't anything to be gained from that."
A faint yet sharp light flashed through the black pupils of Yin Long as he spoke. In that moment he looked more like a predator than anything else, a hungry beast that was eagerly waiting to swallow up whatever it could. Liang Chen felt the air around Tian Shen change subtly, but Yin Long's voice sounded out at the same time, as if he was talking to Liang Chen.
"This is Huafen, it is he who eternally separates heaven and earth."
A sword had appeared in Yin Long's grasp before Liang Chen had noticed it, and that sword drew a beautiful archthrough the air, as if it was trying to demarcate the line where heaven ended and earth began. It was a move Liang Chen had actually seen before, once in that ancient recording. A single stroke of the sword that separated one particular area from the rest of the multiverse, possibly even the entire Sphere of Existence.
But now that he saw it in person rather than through a recording, he couldn't even marvel at the beauty of it. That sword was nothing but sad, a crying child huddled away in a closet. It was filled with a horrible loneliness and longing, it felt just like Liang Chen did when he realized that his parents and sister had already reincarnated and that he would likely never see them again.
"Lost contact with the outside world? Can't teleport away or call in any of your reinforcements? This is what it feels like to be alone, Tian Shen. This world, right now it exists just for us, right now we are so alone that it's suffocating."
Yin Long descended to the ground as he spoke, cutting off Tian Shen's shocked exclamation. From the looks of it, not even the Existential Lord that ruled the original Sphere of Existence knew everything about the enemies he was facing. And realizing that, Liang Chen couldn't help but wonder. Why would he start a war when he didn't know the full extent of what his enemies were capable of? What pushed him to that brink? But there would be no answer to that question, Yin Long glanced at him out of the corner of his eye.
"It's a shame that you're not a proper spearman, but that's just life. Still, pay close attention, Liang Chen, it is not often that you get to spectate a fight like this from the front row. So watch, take in everything that you can and use it to move forward, that is how a warrior marches."
Yin Long, or perhaps more fittingly right now, the Heaven Splitting King, reached out with his right arm after he finished talking. Tremors ran through space all around them, Liang Chen could tell that the palace they were in was crumbling, resisting. Perhaps the entire hidden realm was. Was it crying, struggling to resist whatever was going on? Liang Chen didn't know, but he did know one thing.
"There are many innocents in this hidden realm, they won't even know about this battle. Please, don't drag them into something they can't even comprehend."
Liang Chen himself wasn't sure if he could comprehend what sort of fight would break out here so much less had to be said for the people living in this hidden realm. The mortals tending to their crops, the shopkeeps working on their line up, the hunters stalking the forest for prey, none of them would even know about the three people currently standing in this tower. For them to die because of them, to die innocent and unknowing, Liang Chen did not want that. Yin Long halted for a second due to Liang Chen's words, but the curve of his lips crew a touch softer.
"You've got a good heart, a strong one burning with conviction, that's good, be it heaven or hell, a heart like that will take you far towards either. Don't worry, I've never had the habit of dragging others into my fights, and I'm not planning on picking it up now that I'm already an old fossil."
The Heaven Splitting King clenched his hand after he finished speaking, and what followed was a scene that Liang Chen never could have imagined. The palace around them, the floors beneath them, that land of death in the hidden realm outside, the cities scattered about, all of them whizzed past him. They flew past him like images, transparent strips imprinted with the scenery.
Before he knew it he found himself standing on the slightly damp earth of Purgatory's Cradle, the faint scent of blood hanging in the air. The entire hidden realm that the Sealing God Empyrean had set up had vanished, now grasped securely in Yin Long's hand in the shape of a sword, one brimming with power.
He raised the sword, which seemed to swim with all the scenery that once belonged to the hidden realm. The tip was pointed straight at the sky, and suddenly all sound vanished from the world. The squelching of the earth, the rush of the wind, the slight rustling of the grass, everything vanished.
"I'll start off strongly, Tian Shen, so I suggest you bring out your weapon."
In that moment, The Heaven Splitting King became the centre of the world, he and his sword became the world, rejecting everything else, yet also accepting it all. That sword, held high towards the sky, seemed like it became the hands of a clock, time would not move unless the sword moved, and whenever the sword moved so too would time march on in tune.
"This is Lunhui, it is the sword that brought about the end and birthed the beginning."
The Heaven Splitting King brought down his sword as he spoke, and what accompanied that blade was the end of all life, a merciless extinction.