"If you like it, then it's worth it."
Editor(s): juurensha, namio
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As if there was some kind of grand sacrificial ceremony being held, bursts of flames soared into the sky and immediately bathed the horizon crimson.
Xiang Shu raised his spear, and together with 4,000 Tiele and Akele warriors, he began to launch an assault at the lakeside. Zhou Zhen had immediately activated the Zheng Drum in response, but the moment those bones leaped out to the bank, they were doused with fire oil and burnt by raging flames. The warriors charged in one after another with their mouths and noses covered, knocking all the bones back into the lake with their heavy-armored warhorses. Those skeletons, reduced to ashes under the burning inferno, were blown away by the strong wind and scattered all over heaven and earth.
It had never crossed Zhou Zhen's mind that Xiang Shu would actually use this kind of move to foil his plan. The beating of the Zheng Drum stopped. On the island in the center of the lake, he stood and looked at Xiang Shu from afar.
"Shulü Kong, long time no see," said Zhou Zhen. "Sure enough, you came."
Che Luofeng actually retreated half a step at this and said to Xiang Shu, "Don't go over there. Anda, he's thinking of a way to deal with you."
Zhou Zhen smiled coldly and suddenly shook the Zheng Drum. As a loud "dong!" echoed, a shockwave spread!
After all of the dead bones had retreated underwater, Zhou Zhen put away the Zheng Drum and lifted the pitch-black Antler Staff!
The burning water of Barkol Lake surged over and over. Those bones underwater crumbled before once again reassembling themselves. After several breaths, a long serpent draped in flames rose from the water with a loud bang!
All the warriors shouted at once. Xiang Shu yelled out, "Fall back! Let out the grappling chains!"
Rallying cries coming from the outside were so loud it could even shake heaven. Chen Xing, however, was still sleeping behind the tree as the light of those flames kept flickering on his face. He slept and slept, his head unconsciously tilting to one side.
After getting their grappling chains ready, both the Akele and Tiele warriors threw them out to hinder that skeletal serpent that had just flown out of the water. The serpent, its whole body bathed in fire, continuously burned under the raging inferno. Yet it, still unreconciled, let out a roar as it charged toward the lakeside!
Xiao Shan urged his horse toward them and shouted, "Gege!"
Xiang Shu immediately turned his head to look before shouting, "All yours!"
As Xiao Shan activated Cangqiong Yilie, thunder and lightning gathered and spread all over the lake surface. That bolt, striking from the heaven down to the earth and from the earth back to the heaven, struck that giant serpent and disintegrated it into pieces.
"Where's Chen Xing?!" Xiao Shan asked.
"Sleeping!" Xiang Shu shouted in return.
Xiao Shan: "???"
Xiang Shu withdrew and hurried to the other side of the lake. He then fetched a shield from his subordinate before shouting, "Che Luofeng!"
Che Luofeng, who finally made up his mind after giving Xiang Shu another look, charged toward the lake together with him. Treading on the unmelted ice in the northwestern surface of the lake on their shields, they moved rapidly toward the small island in the center of the lake.
Upon seeing this, Zhou Zhen immediately turned around and went to the altar, constantly gasping for breath.
When Xiang Shu and Che Luofeng arrived on the island, Zhou Zhen said in a deep voice, "You still brought him in the end."
Xiang Shu looked at Che Luofeng who shouted at him, "I have not betrayed you! I have not! Anda! I've been telling you all along not to come! He has set up a trap, he wants to deal with you on this island!"
Xiang Shu just replied in a profound voice, "Then come and try? Zhou Zhen, even after death, you are still unwilling to rest in peace?"
With a cold sneer forming on the corners of his mouth, Zhou Zhen pulled away the animal hide covering the altar to reveal the corpse of a giant wolf, its whole body covered in a deep ash color.
On the lakeside, amidst the rolls of thunder and flashes of lightning, Tuoba Yan rushed in with his horse. Xiao Shan yelled, "Send me up!"
Sima Wei thrust his heavy iron spear forward. Tuoba Yan jumped from his horse and, stepping on the spear, he soared upward. With one claw hooking Tuoba Yan's collar, Xiao Shan turned over and positioned himself on the top of Tuoba Yan's head. As Tuoba Yan followed up by putting his halberd across, Xiao Shan stepped on its handle and finally made a powerful leap. He borrowed the power of these two jumps to fly to a height of nearly 10 zhang!
Xiao Shan directly met that skeletal serpent that was just about to soar while brandishing the claw that could alarm even the heavens, his Cangqiong Yilie.
That claw drew in claps of thunder that could nearly exterminate the whole world. A powerful light sparked and pierced through the body of that serpent, striking it to pieces on the spot. Its burning bones dispersed and fell to the earth, looking like a flaming meteor shower amidst the dark night.
While still emitting high temperatures, those burnt pieces of bones flew into the forest, with one small fragment directly falling into Chen Xing's collar.
"What in the——!" Chen Xing, who had been in the middle of sleeping, madly bounced up as if he got possessed, shouting, "HOT! HOT!! What's happening?! What's this?!"
Chen Xing fiercely shook his whole body, causing the bone fragment to fall. He was still in the middle of frantically scratching his back with his hands when he caught sight of the burning Barkol Lake in the distance, which made him freeze immediately.
"Where's Xiang Shu?" Chen Xing shouted. "Xiang Shu!"
Chen Xing bolted out of the forest. Xiao Shan, Tuoba Yan, and Sima Wei were in the middle of leading the troops to cross the lake when more fire-coated skeletons rushed out from within the water, unwilling to give up as they tried to escape the flaming area. At this moment, Youduo showed up.
Led by Youduo, the regrouped Akele drought fiends advanced toward the lakeside as they joined the fray.
"I'll take you all there!" Youduo shouted.
Youduo then threw off the iron chain in his hand. Unexpectedly, it transformed into a huge rope that could be used to cross the river, destroying the bones blocking the way with one move as it shot directly toward the island in the middle of the lake.
Chen Xing yelled, "Go! Find Xiang Shu!"
Thus, the crowd climbed up the iron chain and rushed to the center island.
On the island in the middle of the lake, a moment after Zhou Zhen pulled open the hide covering, the giant wolf on the altar slightly opened its muddy eyes while exuding a dangerous aura.
"It hasn't been totally refined yet," Zhou Zhen said. "Let's see whether you, the Greatest Warrior of the land beyond the Great Wall, can withstand the power of the Wolf God ba."
Zhou Zhen suddenly retreated. Xiang Shu immediately stood in front of Che Luofeng, covering him. The moment that giant wolf opened its eyes and caught sight of Xiang Shu, it immediately howled and rushed toward the two of them!
Xiang Shu pressingly pushed Che Luofeng away as he shouted, "Take care of Zhou Zhen!"
Che Luofeng immediately drew his bow, nocking the arrow as he rushed to the back of the altar. In that small time frame, that corpse of the Grey Wolf shifted its paws —— after crouching down, it lunged at Xiang Shu with its claw swooping down. As he leaped back in response, Xiang Shu drew and readied his sword mid-air, only for it to break after meeting the shockwave created by the Grey Wolf's claws!
The snapped part of the sword recoiled and gave rise to a bloody mark on one side of Xiang Shu's face. After landing bent down with one hand supporting his body, Xiang Shu rolled about immediately to evade the attack —— wherever the Grey Wolf's claws went, the stones and tiles on the island shattered.
"Xiang Shu——!" Chen Xing shouted as he rushed off the chain.
Seeing the Grey Wolf roar as it lunged at him once more, Xiang Shu knew that it was already too late to avoid the attack. But not a moment too soon, the Heart Lamp burst out. Xiang Shu immediately made a turn after a shield manifested itself on his left hand, preparing to use it to hold the Grey Wolf's attack while his other hand readied the sword.
The Grey Wolf lunged at Xiang Shu. But right at the moment it was about to make contact, Xiang Shu, now draped in a martial robe that radiated golden light, confidently waved his shield and gave the Grey Wolf a head-on blow.
"DANG!" The Grey Wolf's skull surprisingly got dented by that strike. With his extremely formidable strength, Xiang Shu actually used a shield to deflect that huge behemoth weighing about a thousand jin.
Turning its head, the Grey Wolf fixed its eyes on Xiao Shan who was currently staring at it in a daze.
"Don't space out!" Chen Xing shouted. "Go get Zhou Zhen!"
After Tuoba Yan and Sima Wei got off the chain, they immediately rushed into the dense forest on the island, which was actually very small since it only covered a radius of no more than several dozens of steps. After Zhou Zhen went to hide in this forest, Che Luofeng chased him inside while shooting out arrows in rapid succession.
Zhou Zhen sneered. "So, in the end, you still chose Shulü Kong?"
Che Luofeng said, his voice trembling, "Zhou Zhen, come back. Since even Youduo can be resurrected, surely you too can..."
Zhou Zhen said, "Why do you always make me follow all of your whims every single time? It was still like that until the moment I died. You just can't..."
At this time, Tuoba Yan and Sima Wei showed up inside the forest, each of them armed with a weapon. Together with Che Luofeng, they surrounded Zhou Zhen from three directions.
Xiang Shu, whose body was radiating golden light, walked toward the Grey Wolf under the influence of the light of Chen Xing's Heart Lamp. The Grey Wolf opened its mouth, exhaling breaths filled with decayed aura as black blood dripped from his teeth.
"Wait!" In a moment of desperation, Xiao Shan spread his arms and stood in front of the Grey Wolf.
"Xiao Shan!" Chen Xing knew what the Grey Wolf meant to Xiao Shan, but at this moment, not only was that wolf no longer the former Grey Wolf, it also didn't remember Xiao Shan anymore!
Xiang Shu stopped moving and frowned while fixing his gaze at Xiao Shan.
But then, the Grey Wolf, as if sensing some kind of danger, suddenly pulled back.
In the forest, Zhou Zhen said in a low voice, "How else would I have become what I am today, if it wasn't because of that momentary impulse of yours? If you really want to kill me, then let go of that arrow ba. Use your own hands to shoot me in the chest with that one arrow."
"I know." Che Luofeng trembled. He couldn't shoot out the arrow and just said, voice still shaking, "I've always known… Come back ba, Zhou Zhen. You will surely be able to live like how it was, just like them…"
Zhou Zhen: "Come back? To act as your slave, just like before?"
Che Luofeng looked at Zhou Zhen, stumped for words, while Zhou Zhen just sneered at him in response. "Your Shulü Kong, his life won't last long."
As he said so, Zhou Zhen raised his Antler Staff and gently tapped it at the ground.
The moment the Antler Staff touched the ground, a bright light burst out and began to spread all around the entire island!
Standing in front of the altar, Xiang Shu's body suddenly lost all of its strength, and even the brilliance coming out of his whole body totally dissipated. That strange magical array took away all of his body's strength, making him feel as if there was a giant hammer striking him right in the head. The mark on the ground kept expanding and went past Chen Xing's feet to cover the whole island.
Chen Xing stepped back a little, immediately recognizing the thing.
"Damn it! It's the Dragon-Binding Array!"
"Gege!" Xiao Shan quickly rushed forward, but Xiang Shu had already lost consciousness and fell directly to the ground.
"Watch over him!" Chen Xing yelled. "We must quickly get Zhou Zhen and destroy this magical array!"
Back in the forest, Sima Wei and Tuoba Yan both turned into phantoms that swiftly launched toward Zhou Zhen. However, Zhou Zhen just leaped back and rolled over in the air while shouting, "I won't keep you company! If you truly wish to die, then come to Carosha..."
Saying so, Zhou Zhen swiftly rushed out of the forest and dashed to the altar. But when he was just about to grab Xiang Shu and fly away with him, a burst of light coming from Chen Xing's Heart Lamp confronted him head-on. A moment later, accompanied by Youduo's shout that was filled with anger, an iron chain shot out and firmly tied him from all around.
Chen Xing practically gave his all for that one move when he saw Xiang Shu in danger. He made use of what he had learned all his life to create the Yin Yang Seal with both hands, sending out a light sphere made of the Heart Lamp's power that hit Zhou Zhen with a loud bang. Zhou Zhen didn't even have the time to let out a scream as the Heart Lamp's bright light enveloped him. It was as if time had been frozen in some strange way as the iron chain continuously moved around and locked him in place.
After being kept under control by Chen Xing and Youduo's joint effort, Zhou Zhen, locked in some kind of strange posture high above the sky, opened his muddy eyes wide and stared at Chen Xing.
With one shake from Youduo's chain, the Antler Staff on Zhou Zhen's hand was gotten rid of and fell from the sky.
Afterward, the spark of the Dragon-Binding Array on the island gradually faded away.
"Have you forgotten that I'm also here?" Chen Xing coldly said before angrily shouting, "Exorcise!"
As Youduo tugged on the iron chain, Chen Xing pressed his hand that was emitting a brilliant light on Zhou Zhen's forehead!
Che Luofeng and the others rushed out of the forest and could only stare blankly at this scene. While Zhou Zhen continuously struggled, he still couldn't escape from his shackles. The Heart Lamp, similar to the gale that swept away the dense fog, unceasingly dispersed the resentment on his whole body,
The moment Chen Xing pressed his hand on Zhou Zhen's forehead, just like the moment he exorcised Feng Qianyi, countless chaotic memories flooded into his mind all of a sudden.
In the first month of the lunar calendar, the weather was so cold to the point the ground froze. Cold winds blew all over the prairie, gently sweeping across Chi Le Chuan.
"Did you find it?" The fifteen-year-old, refined and bright Che Luofeng had been expecting Zhou Zhen's return for a long time.
Zhou Zhen opened his palm; there were four plumes of a golden bird inside, all of them similar in length.
"I chased the bird for over a thousand li before finally finding it at the summit of Mt. Qilian," Zhou Zhen answered.
Zhou Zhen's arms still had bloodstains he got from being cut by some rocks. Che Luofeng's eyes lit up. He smiled as he took those plumes and, lowering his head, he continued making his feathered crown.
"Took you long enough to find it." It could be clearly seen that Che Luofeng was slightly dissatisfied with Zhou Zhen. "You've been gone for half a year; even if you hadn't found it, couldn't you at least send a letter back?"
Zhou Zhen said nothing in return. He, whose clothing was already ragged and tattered, had been exposed to the sun to the point he had tanned, looking as if he had shed a layer of skin. With a smile, he sat down inside the tent and drank some milk tea.
"If you like it, then it's worth it."
"I hope I'll be able to make it in time." After finding the unfinished feathered crown, Che Luofeng inserted the gleaming golden bird plumes into it. Zhou Zhen suddenly felt a bit uneasy. Indeed, not long after that, Che Luofeng pulled the rest of the plumes off the crown one after another.
"Not good," Che Luofeng was distracted, his heart full of anxiety as he said, "The other plumes don't match up with these golden bird's ones. It's too late after all, I won't be able to finish it by the time he's taking over as the Great Chanyu."
Zhou Zhen kept his silence. Che Luofeng seemed to notice something and threw away the feathered crown, putting zero concern to it. And so, just like that, the unfinished work was so casually thrown aside, abandoned and neglected, while Che Luofeng hurried out of the tent.
Zhou Zhen was still quietly sitting inside the tent when Chen Xing, who appeared behind him, gently tapped him on the shoulder.
"Zhou Zhen?" probed Chen Xing.
Zhou Zheng got up and walked out of the tent, his whole body emitting black qi as he said in barely more than a whisper, "I am not reconciled... I am... not reconciled..."
Outside the Rouran camp, a graceful-looking young man came urging his horse from afar; it was none other than half-grown, young Xiang Shu.
"Shulü Kong!" Che Luofeng was waiting for him.
"Is Zhou Zhen back yet?" Xiang Shu shouted. "Let me dispatch people to make him easier to find!"
When Che Luofeng turned his head to look at Zhou Zhen in front of the tent, Xiang Shu also saw him.
"Zhou Zhen, what exactly did you go for?" Xiang Shu said from afar. "I even thought you both weren't going to attend my succession ceremony!"
Che Luofeng: "We're coming! Come on, Zhou Zhen!"
The snow covering the whole world was only getting heavier and heavier when Zhou Zhen left the camp and went toward Chi Le Chuan.
Che Luofeng was carrying a shield on his back. The people of Chi Le Chuan climbed the mountain and started to sled one after another. Braving the wind and snow, Che Luofeng shouted, "Anda!"
The fifteen-year-old Xiang Shu was currently playing with a group of seven-or-eight-year-old children, asking them to guess which of his hands was holding sweets. When he heard the call, he turned to look at Che Luofeng.
Che Luofeng patted the shield on his hand as he looked at Xiang Shu.
Xiang Shu just opened his palm and gave the sweets to the children before turning around to leave. Che Luofeng immediately chased after him, blocking Xiang Shu's path as they reached the bottom of Chi Le Chuan's ancient tree. He was slightly nervous, his expression actually looking like a child that was totally at a loss.
"Sledding," Che Luofeng finally managed to speak out.
Xiang Shu, with an unclear smile on his face, simply replied, "I won't go."
However, Che Luofeng still stubbornly blocked Xiang Shu's way just as before, his eyes reddening a little.
Xiang Shu put forth his index and middle fingers, first touching Che Luofeng's shoulder and gently pushing him away, before once again patting his shoulder and saying in his ear, "I won't go. You are my Anda, and I don't sled with Anda."
As he slipped past Che Luofeng, Xiang Shu cast a glance that seemingly contained profound meaning to one side.
Zhou Zhen quickly chased after him. Looking as if he had been insulted, he said in a deep voice, "Shulü Kong, I want to talk to you."
But Xiang Shu just got on his horse and went away.
Che Luofeng lowered his head. He looked at the shield in his hand, not saying anything for a while, and finally threw the shield aside.
Zhou Zhen took the shield and proceeded to hold Che Luofeng's wrist as he earnestly said, "I'll take you there. Just treat me as Shulü Kong."
Che Luofeng raised his eyebrows.
All of a sudden, the snowflakes that filled the whole sky gently dispersed, replaced by pale ashes rising from the burning brazier inside the tent. In this place, the faint sound of people's drinking sprees could be heard from a distant location. A dead-drunk Zhou Zhen, his bare upper body only wrapped by a robe made of animal skin, was currently pressing an equally flushed drunk Che Luofeng on the couch, each of them gasping hard for breath.
Chen Xing: "......"
"He's the Great Chanyu now…" Zhou Zhen whispered. "He doesn't want you. Dianxia, he doesn't want you!"
Che Luofeng, so drunk both of his eyes were thoroughly red, looked straight at Zhou Zhen with a gaze full of meaning. Zhou Zhen first took off the hide robe covering half of his body, revealing the slender and fit body underneath, before he began to tear apart Che Luofeng's martial robe. His action was both rough and straightforward, looking similar to a stallion pushing down another stallion.
"Give me… give me," Zhou Zhen said. "I am the one —— I truly am willing to die for you ah, Dianxia!"
It was the first time Chen Xing witnessed this kind of situation. He didn't expect that among Zhou Zhen's lifelong obsessions, such a shocking thought would actually be left behind. At this moment, Zhou Zhen looked exactly like a wild beast. Che Luofeng too didn't have any slightest hint of discontent; he actually nodded and titled his head to kiss Zhou Zhen on the lips.
This scene actually didn't feel unclean in the slightest bit. On the contrary, it was brimming with sincerity. Zhou Zhen gently lowered his trembling hands until he managed to tightly hug Che Luofeng and buried himself in his body. Che Luofeng, whose eyes also carried a hint of daze, blankly looked at Zhou Zhen's eyes as he raised his hand to shift Zhou Zhen's hair, making it cover the sides of his face.
At that moment, Zhou Zhen seemed to notice something. Che Luofeng's lips were trembling all along, but in the end, he didn't call out that name and just closed his eyes.
But soon afterward, Che Luofeng's naked body began to transform into a pool of the devil's blood that moved in reverse, wrapping itself around Zhou Zhen's body.
"Get up!" Chen Xing shouted. "Zhou Zhen!"
Zhou Zhen also started to feel at a loss of what to do. He just looked down at his own body as the blood that continued to wrap itself around his whole body produced a weird voice belonging to Chiyou.
"Hate it ba..." Chiyou's bewitching and hoarse voice sounded out. "That's correct..."
Chen Xing grabbed Zhou Zhen by the shoulder and pulled him toward himself. After that, he took a hold of that ever-flowing devil's blood that was circling Zhou Zhen's body with one hand.
"Deity of War," Chen Xing coldly said, "get out of his body!"
Chiyou's voice whispered, "To live is also to suffer. Everything you invest in during your life must be reciprocated in any case. What harm is there in turning your unattainable goal into hatred?"
Zhou Zhen came to a realization and began to struggle. Chen Xing yelled hard as he pulled out the devil's blood attached to Zhou Zhen's naked body!
Chen Xing stood in front of Zhou Zhen, covering him. The devil's blood slowly rose and, condensing into a tall shape of a person, it calmly asked in a deep and low voice, "Wielder of the Heart Lamp, this time, with what reason are you going to illuminate his heart?"
Unexpectedly, Chen Xing had no way to refute Chiyou's statement. Chiyou let out a burst of savage laughter as he continued, "You can't seize him back. His resentment, even you are incapable of resolving it..."
"Is that so?" Chen Xing slowly said. "Zhou Zhen, what if I told you that Che Luofeng had once drunk the Devil God's Blood for your sake?"
Chiyou's voice came to an abrupt end.
Zhou Zhen's whole body trembled in an instant. Chen Xing added, "Zhou Zhen, this matter truly had happened once before, although it has long been lost and buried away because of the intersection of fate."
Zhou Zhen replied, "He did not."
"He did." Tears actually gushed out of Chen Xing's eyes out of his control. "But, after drinking the Devil God's Blood, because of this love of yours, he also ended up with a torn body and crushed bones. Is that the kind of response you expect him to give you?"
Before the Ancient Tide of Eternity had been initiated, during his first arrival in Chi Le Chuan, Chen Xing still clearly remembered that Che Luofeng had drunk the Devil God's Blood given to him by Zhou Zhen.
"I......" Zhou Zhen muttered.
Chen Xing softly said, "You still have a lot of opportunities to verify it, Zhou Zhen. I believe you'll be able to get that answer you desire. But for now...
"Get lost for me!" Chen Xing yelled loudly.
The Devil God's Blood, accompanied by Chiyou's snarl, was thus expelled by the strong light of the Heart Lamp and scattered away.
Back on the island in the middle of the Barkol Lake, the Dragon-Binding Array, which was gradually fading away, let out a buzz before completely disappearing.
Xiang Shu gasped for breath, struggling on the ground as he attempted to get up. Che Luofeng came to Xiang Shu's side and said in a low voice, "Anda! What's the matter with you?!"
Another sound came through from inside the forest. The Grey Wolf showed up once more, unexpectedly not leaving yet.
Xiang Shu immediately looked at Chen Xing who was using the Heart Lamp to dispel the Devil God's Blood in Zhou Zhen's body. Tuoba Yan and Sima Wei both readied their weapons while Xiao Shan, getting up, aimed the newly-unsheathed Cangqiong Yilie at the Grey Wolf!
Seeing the Grey Wolf roar and throw itself at Chen Xing who was in the middle of performing a spell, Xiao Shan, Xiang Shu, Tuoba Yan, and Sima Wei —— all of them simultaneously rushed out as if their lives depended on it! Flashes of lightning gathered around Xiao Shan's claws, but in the face of the incoming Grey Wolf's claws, it actually lacked any power to retaliate, and he was thrown to the ground like a kite whose string was broken. Following that, Tuoba Yan and Sima Wei were also knocked away at the same time, leaving only Xiang Shu to stand in front of Chen Xing who was still casting a spell even now.
What followed was the Grey Wolf opening its mouth to bite Xiang Shu that had just barely regained consciousness.
In the depth of Zhou Zhen's consciousness, the tent, the stove fire, even the prairie, everything turned into specks of light that flew to the sky above.
"Do you truly mean what you say?" Zhou Zhen had recovered his former beast-fur hunting robe. His long hair was currently tied up, and he was wearing a beautiful crown signifying his position as the Rourans' Greatest Warrior on his forehead.
Chen Xing nodded before saying, "What if I told you that all of this had once happened at some point in time, that at that time, you didn't get ambushed by Shulü Kong on the Barkol Lake, but rather, together with Che Luofeng, you took me to the summit of the Yin Mountains? You are free to regard this as an event of the previous life, or something that is yet to happen in the next life, but all in all, on that day, Che Luofeng indeed drank the Devil God's Blood you had offered to him. He, hoping to die together with you, transformed into a drought fiend."
Zhou Zhen looked at Chen Xing, astonished. "Why do I... always feel that you look so familiar? I also feel that everything you said had indeed occurred before."
Chen Xing calmly answered, "That is indeed the most irrefutable piece of evidence, is it not?"
As a brilliant dome full of stars appeared above their heads, Zhou Zhen sighed and nodded his head.
"Come back ba," Chen Xing said. "You still have a lot, a lot of opportunities to be by the side of the person you like. One day, he will surely get to understand his own heart."
"No," Zhou Zhen said. "I'm so tired, I don't wish to continue this. Just let it end ba. Regardless of the choice he makes, it will ultimately cause him to suffer. What's the point of me clinging on like this? And the answer that I so desire... I've already obtained it too."
Chen Xing: "......"
Zhou Zhen turned around. Looking up at the lustrous night sky of the prairie, he softly said, "Exorcist, let me go ba. Even if I do stay behind, what else can be done? What do I wish to prove? Drinking the Devil God's Blood and letting Dianxia become a drought fiend, both really aren't my true desire. I'm not a human anymore, moreover, I have also fulfilled my promise: I did die fighting for his sake."
Chen Xing: "But you..."
"Please tell Dianxia," Zhou Zhen said, "to keep on living well, and please also tell him that I still love him. Only, I can no longer guard and stay by his side. In the end, even if it's very difficult, he will have to grow up alone."
"Zhou Zhen!" Chen Xing reached out his hand, wanting to pull Zhou Zhen.
"Thank you for telling me these." Zhou Zhen smiled. As he turned back, he transformed into countless particles of light that rose high into the night sky.
Under the glimmer of dawn that slipped through from the far end of the northern land, the distant Mt. Carosha appeared similar to a sleeping dragon below the canopy of the sky. The moment the great wheels of the heaven vein and the earth vein came into contact with each other, Zhou Zhen's body, still bound in chains, began to disintegrate and turned into motes of light.
When the light of the Heart Lamp was withdrawn, tears unknowingly rolled down Chen Xing's eyes as he helplessly watched Zhou Zhen disappear off the chain in front of him.
Che Luofeng, standing quietly behind Chen Xing, said in a trembling voice, "Zhou Zhen?"
A thread of light whirled in. It transformed into a shadow in the shape of Zhou Zhen's figure and approached Che Luofeng from behind. The tall man gently hugged Che Luofeng from behind before disappearing once more with a thump, thoroughly returning to the heaven vein from then onward.
Chen Xing repeatedly panted while slightly bending down. Raising his head, he told Che Luofeng in a low voice, "He... left some words... Let me tell you... Where's Xiang Shu?! Xiang Shu?!"
The ground was a complete mess. The people waiting for Chen Xing to finish his spell were scattered all around, but Xiang Shu was nowhere to be found.
I’m… I’m full of sadness… SAD SAD SAD SAD I WANNA BONK CLF SO BAD ZZ DESERVES SOMEONE BETTER OUT OF ALL PEOPLE WHY CLF AAAAAAARKH
When ZZ said “I still love him” I perished.
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Elestrea.