Chapter 344: The Stars Change their Positions and the Blue Dome of Heaven is Dyed Blood-Red!
Translator: Novel Saga Editor: Novel Saga
The Sword Spine touched his hand gently, yet cautiously. Then, it retracted. It seemed like a mischievous child who had just got a shock, and hadn't been able to regain his composure.
Chu Yang finally laughed.
The Sword Spine relaxed as it saw him laugh. It hurriedly made its way back. It merged with the other two fragments, and congealed a sword. The sword then issued a joyful sword-cry.
The entire blade of the sword was covered in a layer of gentle white-light. It seemed as if a layer of silver mercury was flowing on the sword's blade. Suddenly, the blade issued a trace of a pinkish-bloody light. It flashed for an instant, and then disappeared.
The sword's blade went silent.
Chu Yang realized that the three sword fragments had integrated. Moreover, they had surrendered to him.
"You must be obedient if you wish for me to use you.
"I will abandon you if you're not."
This was Chu Yang's principle.
It was indeed very overbearing. Fortunately, he achieved his goal.
The Sword Spirit gently smiled in the space of his consciousness. He thought scornfully, [You thought that he would be orderly like the former sword owners? That he would obediently followed your orders...? He's different... ah...]
Then, it composed itself and took a human form inside the space of Chu Yang's consciousness. He was clad in a green robe and had a sword in his hand. He slowly began to practice the four moves of Nine Tribulations Sword's third fragment.
This Spine has existed in this world since eternity;
One must go through the nine hidden hells on this journey;
Cut off the traveler's attachments with worldly affairs;
The sharp edge will reach everywhere and put everything to rest.
Chu Yang closed his eyes, and wholeheartedly immersed himself into space of his consciousness. He didn't wish to miss any part of the sword dance that was being performed by the Sword Spirit. However, he deeply pondered about the 'ideal outcome' of these four moves... 
A pure, colorless and traceless energy silently rushed-out from the center of the lake once the Nine Tribulations Sword's Sword Spine had returned home. It carried the power of thunder, but nobody could perceive it. It brazenly rushed to the sky. Then, it began to wreak havoc in the clouds like a crazed dragon.
A loud 'bang' was heard as an enormous aura scattered in the sky.
The clouds in the sky were instantly swept away, and a clear blue sky emerged. The bright Moon was inclined in the west, while the night sky was filled with stars. The stars appeared so close that it seemed as if one could just reach out and grab them.
It seemed similar to a cloudless 'summer's night sky'. However, the winds and the thunders had begun to roll. Suddenly, a purple lightning went whistling-up into the sky. It was incredibly swift and fierce.
This was really a rare and wondrous sight, and it appeared only once in ten thousand years.
Several people heard that sound and stepped out from their houses. They looked up at the night sky and were left astonished.
~Inside Prime Minister's Palace~
Diwu Qing Rou had been sitting calmly, and was drinking some tea before he detected this strange event. He had been reading as he waited for Yin Wu Tian to come back some news. However, his face instantly revealed a startled expression as the clouds disappeared. Then, he silently went to the courtyard.
It would seem as if he had been standing in this courtyard forever, and had never moved from that spot.
If the people familiar with Diwu Qing Rou were to witness this scene - they would be terrified to the point of falling chin-first to the ground. They would think... [isn't he supposed to be unfamiliar with martial arts? Then how come... how come he has such profound cultivation?]
However, perhaps no one in the entire world would dare to be impudent in front of him - not after seeing his current facial expression.
Diwu Qing Rou was staring at the starry sky. His twisted face was trembling slightly. His mouth was half open. There was look of disbelief in his eyes.
He clenched his fists tightly. The muscles in his body cemented to stone. In fact, Diwu Qing Rou didn't breathe for close to half-an-hour.
"How is this...? How is this possible?" Diwu Qing Rou finally exhaled a long breath. His eyes seemed somewhat powerless as they listlessly gazed at the stars.
"The Emperor Star has vanished, and the other stars have shifted around. It seems like the stars have changed their positions. There are sounds of thunderstorm in a cloudless sky... this clearly shows that the world itself is warnings about the impending calamity. Lightning in the starry sky... the glittering moon... they indicate the beginning of chaos. The sky is bathed in starlight... but it is still red. It seems as if the blue dome of heaven has been dyed red in blood."
There was a painful look in Diwu Qing Rou's eyes as he muttered, "Is this the so-called indication of the Nine Tribulations Sword's third fragment's birth? Has that caused a thorough reversal in the laws of the heaven? If so... then what is the significance of my decades-long planning?"
His voice sounded very low and gloomy. It was filled with a deep unwillingness, and the trace of a deep-rooted madness.
However, his complexion was rather calm and collected.
Yet, there was plenty of fighting spirit in his eyes; he was brimming with a bloody murderous aura.
"So what?" The trace of a sneer appeared in the corners of Diwu Qing Rou's mouth. He crossed his hands behind his back and profoundly looked at the starry sky again. He sneered indifferently as he declared, "Even though it's a big omen... what can it possible change? Even though this omen has already taken place and the sky has changed its form... but that doesn't change anything!"
"I, Diwu Qing Rou, take a vow - I shall use my intelligence and resources to fight till the bitter end! I may meet the wrath of the Heaven, but I won't fall short! I will decide my fate. How can the heavens decide it for me?"
He stood in the courtyard for a long time. His countenance turned calmer and calmer. Yet, the look in his eyes became more and more resolute, decisive, and persistent.
"I will never give up!" he gently clenched his fists as he muttered. His hands were still crossed behind his back.
Then, he turned around and walked back to his room. He walked in a very relaxed manner. One couldn't sense any confusion in his gait.
Tie Bu Tian and Wu Qian Qian had been discussing things in the camp when such great changes occurred in the sky. The Iron Cloud Citadel had been thoroughly purged by then.
Chu Yang had provided them a list of Diwu Qing Rou's spies. This list of names had enabled them to fish-out those spies; they were then eliminated. In fact, the spies had been killed-off in a very short period of time.
Some were still at large; but they were being arrest one by one, and were then being brought to trial.
The purge could've been sped up by one-third if not for the joint interrogations held by the top ministers of the Iron Cloud. The intention of some of the ministers weren't clear. It was unclear whether they wished to show kindness towards the person... or whether they wanted to thwart these trials.
Tie Bu Tian's butcher-knife would naturally fall upon the traitors in the military once the enemy spies had been caught and eliminated.
However, the military was passing through a delicate phase. The Great Zhao's army was constantly trying to push through the border. It was the occasion for someone to take charge and manage the personnel properly in order to resolve the situation. Tie Long Cheng had been overseeing the frontlines. And he didn't dare to leave regardless of anything. He didn't even abandon his post to return for the former Emperor Tie Shi Cheng's funeral. This was an irrefutable proof of his determination.
He wasn't showing disloyalty in his actions; nor was he being unfilial. He was simply guarding the border with all his might. There would've been no assurance of keeping the Great Zhao's army at bay if he didn't constantly draw-out strategic plans to battle them.
It was like Tie Long Cheng was walking on a tightrope that hung from a ten-thousand-feet tall cliff. He had to be extremely careful. He had to rack his brains before he took each and every step since it needed the utmost care. He had been using all his strength to fight a war of wits with Great Zhao, and he couldn't dare to relax even the least bit.
The names of the people mentioned in the intelligence report would most likely cause serious trouble later on. Moreover, Tie Long Cheng heavily relied upon several of them. Tie Long Cheng would have his suspicions about any replacements that were sent; no matter who the replacement was. And in case the enemy was inadvertently alerted about it - the consequences could be disastrous.
Therefore, Tie Bu Tian's only option was to lead his imperial troops to the frontlines. The imperial power and the military power would successfully merge into one. It would form the greatest force as long as he arrived with his force.
In accordance with the suggestion in Chu Yang's letter - Tie Bu Tian had recruited new soldiers to form a great force before his departure. He had summoned waves of mighty army units from all directions to fight for him at the frontlines.
There was a sense of urgency in Tie Bu Tian's heart. In fact, it was almost like a premonition... [It feels like a decisive battle is about to begin.]
[Or perhaps my destiny will be fixed for a lifetime as the newly appointed Emperor of Iron Cloud. It might even pass into eternity. It is also possible to get my hands on the exploits which last for a thousand years...]
Tie Bu Tian had been pondering within his heart. He had been thinking of a possible way to talk to Tie Long Cheng... and what means he should take to arrest all the traitors within the military ranks once he had been convinced... and too without spreading a panic among soldiers...
He had been thinking about this problem for a long time.
And King of Hell Chu was in another carriage... en, Wu Qian Qian was also thinking about something. She was thinking that she hadn't seen Chu Yang for a long time... She had dreamt about him several times over these days; she had been meeting him in her dreams.
However, she would find her pillow wet with her own tears every time she's wake up.
She worried whether Chu Yang was okay or not? Whether he was safe or not?
She wasn't bothered over the matters that Tie Bu Tian was. That was because Tie Bu Tian had personally come to deal with it. [He should be able to make necessary arrangements]. Wu Qian Qian didn't feel the need to unnecessarily worry about it.
However, there was something she had been worrying about... Tie Bu Tian was accompanied by several experts for these expeditions. The experts from Beyond the Heavens Sect had formed a team on the inside of the formation to serve as friendly guards.
However, there was a person among them who wasn't letting her be at ease. And that was her Second Martial Uncle... Li Jin Song!
Wu Qian Qian even blamed her father, Wu Yun Liang. [You knew that he isn't a good person. Then why did you bring him along? Even if you needed a proper justification to eradicate him... you did not need to choose this time for that...]
[This... isn't this contributing to the mess?]
Wu Qian Qian was confused and upset. She had been silent throughout the way. The imperial guards around the carriage would feel a dense gloomy aura emanating from the carriage. It made their blood run cold with terror. They would march very cautiously since they didn't wish to provoke the infamous King of Hell Chu...
The Emperor was going on an inspection tour. So the stance naturally won't be small. Tie Bu Tian had ordered to keep it simple in the beginning. However, it could be dangerous for the Emperor to go to the frontlines during such an unusual phase.
Therefore, he was accompanied by the imperial army, the former imperial guards, and the garrison armed forces. A total of 50,000 people were part of this expedition. This number didn't include the experts from Bu Tian Pavilion and other major sects...
It was the dead of the night, and Tie Bu Tian's mind was in utter chaos; perhaps a hundred times more than Wu Qian Qian's. The two coincidentally stepped-out of their tents in order to breathe some fresh cold air, and discovered each other.
"Thinking of him?" Tie Bu Tian asked as he smiled in a mischievous manner. He was disconsolate. However, he somehow felt better to see that someone was similarly depressed, and had come to a secluded place in the dark... just like him...
"There's no use in thinking about him," Wu Qian Qian said in a gloomy tone as she made no attempts to hide it. Tie Bu Tian had come looking for her a number of times after gaining power. And it was getting more frequent. Moreover, sometimes he'd go to her to rely on her and wouldn't leave. Wu Qian Qian was somewhat scared because of this. Hence, she took advantage of the subject of this conversation, and spoke about this matter.
"There is someone in his heart; someone who is very deeply ingrained!" Wu Qian Qian said in a sad voice, "I can clearly sense this. He has already found the person of his dreams. So, his heart cannot accommodate anyone else."
"But... who is this person?" Tie Bu Tian timidly said as he crossed his hands behind his back. He stood upright as he pondered. His heart couldn't help but heave a deep sigh after hearing Wu Qian Qian's words. Wu Qian Qian wasn't alone to feel this way. Tie Bu Tian also had a similar feeling in his heart.
One could clearly see Chu Yang thirsting for someone's company whenever he was alone. That deep look of loneliness in his eyes clearly showed that he felt lonely, and was longing for someone; all of these things illustrated this one point.
But it was a pity that they hadn't been able to find the slightest about the person Chu Yang liked... no matter how much they tried. This was really an extremely strange matter.
There are several other probable translations for the term used here; 'Perfect outcome' or 'Ideal outcome' or 'artistic conception' or 'creative concept'. It refers to the final form of a sword move in this context. This basically means the outcome of using that particular sword move. For example, Chu Yang uses a sword move that gathers clouds in the sky; that gathering of clouds could be described as the ideal outcome of that particular sword move.