Paragon of Sin

Chapter 554: Second Calamity Never Alone

Death.

It was such a simple word but one can typically only experience it once, and before you do, it is as unknown and terrifying as can be. An unavoidable eventuality that all things must experience. It meant the end of everything. It could be painful or painless, but it was always abrupt. 

There were many assumptions about what happens after death. There were religions that believed that their souls would be carried by their divinities to eternal lands to live forever alongside their loved ones. 

There were those who believed that it all just ended, that there was no reincarnation or divinities that brought one ’s soul to eternal lands to seek everlasting happiness.

There were those who believed that the soul is cleansed, brought along the River of Souls to be recycled and reborn into new individuals. There were new souls without pasts, but the vast majority of souls were assumed to have experienced at least one lifetime before. 

In this same vein, some believed that they ’d been beasts or even inanimate objects like mountains in their past lives. Some believed they were of their species, and their souls can only be reincarnated into their own species.

There were endless beliefs and thoughts on what one would experience upon entering death, but only those who ’ve died could give an answer to this single word: Death. 

Step. Step. Step.

A series of pattering steps echoed out. The world was dark without the slightest trace of light. The curtain of darkness that blanketed the world was as endless as the cycle of life and death. 

Step. Step. Step.

’Where am I? ’ Wei Wuyin ’s thoughts were born as he walked, taking step by step in complete darkness. There was no particular direction he traveled or even a reason to move, yet he felt compelled to do so. An unknown amount of time passed before Wei Wuyin recalled his entire life.

He recalled his two memories of being born. The warm, gentle, and gorgeous smile of his silver-eyed mother as she held him. The exhaustion in her eyes from a tiring birth was as prevalent as the sheer happiness she felt. The first memory was filled with endless smiles and a faint humming lullaby that caused his crying to cease then and there.

The second memory was of him remaining utterly silent, observing his mother as she reacted strangely. She seemed to be filled with questions yet she spaced out, unable to react in time. 

These two distinct memories kept diverging from his two minds and lived out double his lifetime with tiny deviations during his firsts. The first time he saw, the first time he walked by his own power, the first time he made love, etc. 

’I remember now. ’ He finally reached the end. Long Chen ’s malicious smile as he swiped his sword across his neck, beheading him before his lovers. 

’I ’m dead. ’

Step. Step. Step.

’So, this is death? Darkness? Endless darkness? ’ 

Step. Step. Step.

’How tiring, disappointing even. ’

Step. Step. Step.

After every three steps he was allowed thoughts, and he formed those thoughts. He had noticed this pattern instantly, finding such restrictions incredibly odd. But what was he to question death? He had already lost in life, so why did the particulars of death matter to him? Screw it all.

Step. Step. Step.

As Wei Wuyin walked within the empty darkness that seemed as everlasting as the cycle of life and death, a figure, gigantic and ever-looming, was towering outside a spherical world of darkness. This figure had numerous eyes of varying colors, both brightly radiant and darkly dim. Along with these seemingly infinite eyes were infinite arms that stretched out in all directions. Those arms seemed to grasp everything above and below. As for his body, it was indistinct and lacked depth like a shadow.

Below this looming shadow were two smaller winged figures. One of them had bright silver wings with a healthy and vigorous appearance alongside sparkling feathers that emanated dazzling light. The aura of this figure was majestic, yet lacked a particular holy quality that one would expect.

The other had dark crimson wings that were thin, cracked as if extremely dry, and lacked feathers. There was only a thin layer of flesh like a bat, with the bones being overly apparent. The aura of this figure was abundant, yet it lacked a particular malevolent quality that one would expect.

Their faces and bodies were unclear and distorted, yet they were certainly humanoid in shape. 

”The Sinner that carries the Bloodline of Pride has returned, ” the rough and gruff voice of the silver-winged figure resounded. There was a faint expectation in his voice. 

”But he still possesses a Mortal Soul. It ’s too unfortunate that his soul remains untempered by Karmic Sin nor is his Mortal Soul complete. Without reaching the Realm of Sages, he ’s one step from it all ending; there is no second chance. ” The crimson-winged figure spoke in a soft, gentle voice that was as delicate as a child ’s. 

”That ’s more exciting! ” The silver-winged figure exclaimed. ”He ’s the only Sinner that carried a Mortal Soul and survived the Calamity of True Loss. Not only did he survive, he overcame ALL seven stages of loss. There has never been a Bloodline of Sin wielder that has survived that, let alone one that carried the Bloodline of Sinful Pride. ”

”… ” The crimson-winged figure didn ’t speak further. In truth, even it was a little startled by Wei Wuyin ’s feat. While the Calamity of True Loss was the weakest of the Eighteen Calamities of Hell, it was extremely difficult to overcome as it played upon one ’s emotions and memories. To overcome all seven either required a strong mind or an emotionless one.

As none of the Bloodline of Sin holders were emotionless, they were always affected and always failed at least a few of the Calamity of True Loss. Of course, they had souls tempered by Karmic Sin, so they could resist the degradation of their outer shell. A Mortal Soul couldn ’t! Yet Wei Wuyin had accomplished what no other had before! 

A flawless run!

The silver-winged figure continued, ”The Calamity of True Loss is divided into seven stages, but the Calamity of Endless Regret is only a single stage. Do you think he can make it? ”

”…I think eight thousand years. ” The crimson-winged figure spoke out his thoughts. 

”Eight thousand? Only? He can ’t make the full hundred and eight thousand years? I don ’t believe it. ” The silver-winged figure shook his head. 

”The Calamity of Endless Regret is about suffering, losing one ’s sense of self in regret on the long stretch for unreachable salvation. It induces endless despair and isolation, feeling of loneliness. With every negative emotion that emerges, his outer shell will deteriorate. With his soul, he has only one failure. I don ’t think he can resist the despair, loneliness, and regret. ” The crimson-winged figure spoke more words than he ’d ever had before, clearly he was opinionated on this topic.

”Even if that ’s the case, I think he ’ll make it to the end. ” The silver-winged figure was optimistic. However, there was a clear sense of adamant rejection from the crimson-winged figure. 

The Calamity of True Loss tested emotions, how one feels when coming across alternative futures and witnessing endless loss, but the Calamity of Endless Regret instills boundless regret, replacing one ’s original death with a devastating one directly after succeeding in their greatest goals in life. The reason for this death was due to their negligence or actions, producing boundless regret.

This regret ate at the soul without end, cleansing the karmic sin and deteriorating one ’s consciousness. Furthermore, one ’s memory of other events are unclear except for that particular event. It was utter torture to only remember your greatest possible regret without your five senses, just your thoughts and memories for years and years.

The loneliness. The despair. The isolation.

Unimaginable.

Step. Step. Step.

’I can ’t believe I was killed by Long Chen of all people. It ’s all my fault. I failed all of them. All of them… ’ 

Not even an hour had passed before this thought formed, followed by a vivid reliving of that event. The smell of fragrant scents and joyous laughter combined with sensual pleasure flashed like lightning to be followed by a thunderous intrusion and a swift, unforgettable death. 

Wei Wuyin couldn ’t escape his thoughts as they were the only things that he could feel. It gave him a feeling of being alive, addicting yet terrifying. 

Just as he once more relieved that devastating moment of neglect that led to him losing everything, a soft yet forceful sound replaced his thoughts.

”Tch! ”

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