After an unknown amount of time, Yang Chen revealed a gentle smile. 

The wind and smoke dispersed. It seemed as if everything in the past was contained in that smile wordlessly. 

An imperceptible smile also seemed to have appeared briefly on Athena‘s cold face. 

He pursed his lips and took a deep breath before opening his mouth to ask, “Does it mean you‘re giving up on fighting by putting away your weapons and your shield?”

She shook her head. “I am on par with Zeus and even less powerful than him without being able to use the Great Prophecy on you. The fact that you can easily destroy him means that you can easily destroy me as well. To fight any longer would be nothing but self-humiliation. I‘m not fighting you anymore… But it‘s not over yet.”

Yang Chen smiled bitterly “It seems that even if I destroy Mother Tree and kill everyone here, you still won‘t give up on the idea of reviving the Gods, will you?”

Athena nodded her head without hesitation and answered firmly, “Yes.”

“Why?” His smile faded, replaced by a vague sadness.

Athena, however, smiled slightly. She seemed as beautiful as the blossoming of flowers in spring.

“You should know me the best, shouldn‘t you… You came here and confronted us, not because you hate us Gods or because you want to protect the humans on Earth as a great hero. This is simply the destiny you will meet. There‘s no reason for that at all; this is the fate you choose to accept as a human, a human who can change the destiny of humanity. For you, you can‘t sit back and ignore the demise of humanity. For me, it is Mother Tree. It‘s our mother. The Gods who are born of the divinity are my people. All that I have done in the past 20,000 years have all been for the sake of reviving the Gods today. Whether I succeed or fail, this is the destiny I have to accept. I can‘t stop, and I need no reason to convince myself.”

Athena spoke calmly. When those words fell on the ears of the Gods, they were all touched and sank into their own thoughts.

“Hah…” Yang Chen nodded and laughed at himself mockingly. “You‘re right. Yes… Indeed, you don‘t need a reason for a lot of things. It‘s predestined…”

The scene once again fell into silence.

After a while, she said in a sultry voice, “Now, the choice is in your hands. If you want the Gods never to be revived again, then your only choice is to kill me. Otherwise, even if the rest of the clan dies, even if the Mother Tree withers, even if all hell breaks loose, I will never give up. If… you can‘t do it, then it only proves that my Great Prophecy has succeeded in the end, and this will be the future to which we, the Gods, aspire.”

Feeling troubled, Yang Chen massaged his temples, clicked his tongue, and sighed feebly. “I‘ve worked so hard for most of the day. Yet, it will still end with you dying and me living, will it…”

Athena revealed a hint of a relaxed smile. “If you have a way to strip Lin Ruoxi and Seventeen‘s souls from mine, or destroy only my soul alone, then perhaps there is another ending.”

“Don‘t joke about it…” He waved his hand and smiled bitterly. “If I could do it, I would have done it a long time ago. It‘s not like it‘s my first day knowing that you‘re the mastermind in the dark…”

Of course, she was only making casual remarks. Unless she was willing to divest herself of the divinity or let Lin Ruoxi‘s soul take control of her body, not even Meng Xiaoyao could split their souls apart, much less Yang Chen. 

After all, Athena was no mere mortal. Her soul was protected by the abundant spiritual energy of the divinity and thus was as solid as a rock. Before her soul could be forcibly removed from her, Lin Ruoxi and Seventeen would have long been killed.

Yang Chen naturally knew that was impossible, so he did not bother to think in that direction.

He quietly closed his eyes and opened them again. After giving her an incomparably complicated glance, he recovered his cold demeanor.

“In that case, take out your Pallas spear, and let us use the moment of battle to pronounce death.”

Athena‘s eyelashes trembled slightly. When she heard his decision, she could not help but reveal a relaxed smile again and nodded.

The blue spear was once again summoned by her, and she raised it, aiming at him.

Upon seeing that scene, the main Gods below felt tearful and even those who were not on good terms with Athena, such as Hera and Hermes, were moved.

It was clear to everyone that with the space laws rendered useless, Athena‘s move would be nothing but a show. Yang Chen only needed a second to use the Yu Qing Heavenly Lightning to destroy her soul. 

In the independent space, Meng Xiaoyao finally smiled in satisfaction when he saw that scene. Gone was the gloomy smile on his face. 

“This brat. He has finally thought things through. The 50,000 years I‘ve spent waiting aren‘t in vain.”

Yu Xuening, on the other hand, sighed rather sadly. “This woman of the God clan is really obstinate. Why must she go to such extremes? There‘s nothing wrong with both sides making concessions. She‘s hurting others and herself as well.  Indeed, beautiful women haven‘t been able to live a good life since ancient times…”

“Xue‘er, sometimes, in order to achieve the Great Dao, one must make sacrifices. What Yang Chen has done today will bring him one step closer to that threshold. It‘s a good thing for him. You can‘t have the best of both worlds. You don‘t need to lament,” he said, smiling. 

Yu Xuening spat at him. Giving him the side-eye, she replied, “Don‘t think that everyone is as heartless as you! I know you‘re in a high realm, but I just don‘t like you! Yang Chen was fine before this, yet you caused him to have no choice but kill the woman he loves the most altogether. Are you satisfied now?”

Meng Xiaoyao raised his eyebrows and said, “If you don‘t want that to happen, you can go and stop it.”

That infuriated her further. “Will it even work if I try to stop it? That woman from the God clan is obdurate. She‘ll clearly refuse to take a step back even if she‘ll die!”

On the other side of the room, Yang Yuansu and Li Xuemei, could not help but smile woefully when they saw their master and senior arguing with each other like that.

Jane was looking at the mirror image with complicated emotions. It was impossible to describe those feelings, but she felt vaguely uneasy.

The two people in a confrontation were silent for a moment. Finally, it was Yang Chen who made a move.

The black Yu Qing Heavenly Lightning began to dazzle in his hand and coalesced into a slender black longsword about six to seven feet long. 

Although it looked rather light, no one would doubt what would happen to Athena if that Yu Qing Heavenly Lightning longsword fell on her.

Yang Chen slowly walked towards Athena, each step striking fear into the hearts of the Gods present, causing their sanity to nearly collapse.

Her walk toward death would also mean the complete collapse of the Gods.

Venus and Artemis were even sobbing uncontrollably.

On the contrary, Athena was calm. As she watched Yang Chen get closer and closer to her, the spear in her hand remained aimed at the man. She did not move at all.

At that very moment, his figure accelerated!

Like a lion pouncing on its prey, he emitted a raging killing aura. As he leaped, the heavenly lightning longsword in his hand stabbed straight at her head like a black beam of light. 

Athena felt the irresistible force approaching and closed her beautiful eyes early on. No one would notice the glint in the corner of her eyes. 

The corner of the Goddess‘ lips curved into a smile of relief. 

Fresh blood sputtered down from the air.

Looking at the scarlet liquid from below, the Gods stopped grieving. Their sadness transformed into a state of shock and bafflement. Even their minds went blank. 

Athena, at that moment, strangely felt that the lethal power suddenly disappeared the moment it came near her face. 

Right after that, a large, warm hand carefully caressed her left cheek. 

She inhaled a sharp breath of air and opened her beautiful eyes. For a moment, her body stiffened like an ice sculpture. 

Unknowingly, Yang Chen‘s body had been penetrated by the Pallas spear, and the part which was stabbed was, in fact, his heart. 

The spear went through his sternum and penetrated and shattered his heart, then stabbed through his back. The exposed part of the spear was around over four feet long, covered with his cooled blood. 

Yet, he seemed oblivious to it all, sticking close to her. With a gentle smile on his face, he gazed at her lovingly. 

His big hand that originally brought death only carried a warmth that made the woman‘s eyes and nose hurt and trembles.