When Hulei manages to rouse himself, he panics at the thought that Xionglin might be dead, but he turns out to be merely exhausted. The hologram accuses Tuoren of sticking with the emperor, not from a sense of loyalty or to protect the people, but for the sole purpose of defeating Yanlang--making him the same as the rebels at heart. He says he used Tuoren's mother Airan simply to give birth to him. Lifang attempts to warn Tuoren not to give in to hating Yanlang any further, but Yai has the power to cut off his air if he keeps interrupting.

Yanlang continues, saying Airan manipulated him into marrying her by spreading rumors that he had gotten her pregnant, threatening to kill herself when he denied it. He went along with it, on the condition that he would only visit her when the flowers in front of her house were in bloom. Yanlang had conceived the notion of the rebellion even before Tuoren was born. He wanted Tuoren to use his power in the war. He has let Tuoren live this long on the chance that he could still be of service, but he finally decided he has no more use for him. He figures Tuoren ought to die by his own power, just as Airan killed herself. Tuoren loses himself thinking that his life and his mother's death were both for nothing, and it's all Yanlang's fault.

Just as Yai is preparing to transport Lifang to Yanlang, he teleports free to Nasha's group. Then Tuoren appears, the unfortunate Yai in tow, his powers already running wild. Long, Nasha, and Fengyu try to suppress him, knowing that once he lets loose his full strength he'll flatten the entire mountain, destroying himself in the process. Lifang yells that he's going into the whirlwind to stop him. In an attempt to prevent him from going, Nasha is rebuffed by the very edge of the storm, but Lifang heads straight in.

Tuoren comes back to his senses at the sound of Lifang's voice, but he can no longer control his magic. He cries out to Lifang for help. Lifang holds him tight and encourages him, ordering Tuoren not to leave him alone before fulfilling his promise. At last Tuoren realizes that he does have people to protect, and for Lifang's sake he can't be defeated. The whirlwind subsides and the two collapse in each other's arms.

Lifang dreams of his mother telling him not to be beaten by his destiny and that she'll always be with him no matter what. When he wakes up, he makes up his mind not to let Tuoren know what he remembered about Yanlang. Xionglin regains consciousness and Hulei relates what happened. They head back to the rest of the team (Long carrying the weakened Xionglin, to his embarrassment). Tuoren rouses and apologizes for hurting Lifang, who in turn protests that he broke his word by not running away as he was supposed to. Tuoren holds him and thanks Lifang for saving him yet again.

They all gather in a circle and Fengyu begins his story. Three thousand years ago there lived a man named Kai so powerful he could even magically transform into an animal shape, earning himself the title of "Man-beast." At the time, Jusenkai was in the same dimension as Chijoukai, and the place was called Jusenkyou. Kai was one of the advisors to the first emperor. Eventually Kai became drunk on his own power and started believing only in strength. At the time, some humans tried to invade Jusenkyou. Ignoring the orders of the emperor to the contrary, Kai slaughtered them as an example to prevent further incursions. The emperor renounced him, so he instigated a rebellion, intending to become emperor himself.

Kai defeated the emperor's soldiers one by one, but the emperor had a trusted warrior named Li remaining. Li had been traveling lands far away, but he returned when he heard of the war. Kai and Li battled for ten solid days, yet neither of them had complete strength alone--they were fighting without heart, which leads to losing control. However, Li had the emperor on his side to support him. When Kai lost control for a moment, the two were able to defeat him.

Because it was such a fierce war, the entire land of Jusenkyou had been moved to another dimension to prevent it from affecting the surrounding human areas, forming Jusenkai. What was kept out of the common legend was that Kai swore to the emperor that he would be reborn in three thousand years and then he would rule the world, creating the society he envisioned. The emperor made Li promise to tell the prophecy only to the next emperor, and then, having used up all his energy in the battle, he resigned himself to following Kai into death. He entrusted the rebuilding of Jusenkai to Li, vowing to meet him in their next life, when they would fight alongside one another again.

Time passed. One day the young Reishia had just decided to go work at the palace (invited by Long), when she met up with a man who gave her a very creepy feeling she couldn't explain...Yanlang. He was Kai reincarnated. Lifang hastens to assure Tuoren that his magic is different, not anything like his father's. Fengyu announces that he's exactly right--because Tuoren is Li's reincarnation. Which makes Lifang the reincarnation of Jusenkai's first emperor. Reishia had had a dream in which the first emperor had informed her that her child would have the power to end the upcoming great war. She had consulted Yui about it, and he confirmed it.

Lifang believes the story, and it amazes him that he and Tuoren had met so long ago. Yet he declares that it has nothing to do with why he wanted to be with Tuoren. He likes Tuoren for who he is now. Tuoren agrees that he feels the same. Fengyu cautions them that Yanlang also knows the truth, and the two are huge targets. Xionglin gets all excited and promises to protect them. Hulei, on the other hand, is disturbed. When they return to the palace, the emperor lets Fengyu know he doesn't intend to let either Lifang or Tuoren become sacrifices repeating the past. Then he expresses his relief that Fengyu wasn't hurt when Tuoren's power went wild...and makes him take another day off. [Ed. note: On these days off, by the way, it's made clear that he stays in the emperor's quarters.]

Hulei confronts Lifang about his misgivings. He doesn't think Lifang understands the enormity of the role he's been cast into. His "as long as I'm with Tuoren it's all right" attitude gets on Hulei's nerves, since he expects more of an "Oh, no! What do I do?!" reaction. He warns Lifang not to take the task of defeating Yanlang lightly. He has the fate of all Jusenkai on his shoulders. Lifang confers with Tuoren, who proclaims it doesn't matter what may have happened in a previous life, they swore they'd defeat Yanlang together for their own reasons. They're their own selves, nothing more.

Lifang notices that Tuoren doesn't stop him from touching his face anymore, as he had at their first meeting. He had hated how he looked, that he resembled his father. Lifang insists they're not alike at all--Tuoren is much more awesome. (He doesn't mention that if he had ever considered the two similar, it would have brought back the memory of his father's death the way seeing Yanlang had.)

In the morning, Lifang walks Xionglin to the palace and chats with him about Hulei. Xionglin recounts the story of how Hulei's first partner, a childhood friend, had died in the war. Hulei's first instinct had been to go after Yanlang himself, but Xionglin convinced him he could never win through hatred alone. Hulei had sworn to beat Yanlang someday. Lifang figures out that part of what's ticking Hulei off is that some new arrival suddenly shows up with the power to accomplish what he couldn't do himself.

They come across Hulei sparring with some other soldiers, and Lifang faces him in the rematch they had postponed earlier. (Xionglin cheers for Lifang...) Just as the spectators think someone ought to stop them--though no one wants to volunteer--Huzhi calls a halt. Lifang takes Hulei aside and spills the whole story of what had caused Tuoren to lose control. Then he proves he has as much reason to want to kill Yanlang as anyone else by revealing that it's to avenge his father. He makes Hulei promise not to tell anyone, especially Tuoren. They agree to work together as a team to take out Yanlang, because Lifang admits he can't do it alone.

Yanlang knows that Tuoren survived his magic going wild, making him even more certain of Lifang's power. With his forces gathered at last, he gives the order to attack Jusenkai itself and capture Lifang while they still can.

End Volume 8