The hidden phoenix energy inside Han Yunxi’s body had been inadvertently summoned, its power challenging the strength of celestial fire. At the same time, it enwrapped Han Yunxi into a trial by fire. She needed three days to be reborn, which should be an excellent chance. After all, her dual cultivation benefited both Long Feiye and herself. Even if it succeeded normally, she could only control her Nirvana Heart Arts and Celestial Mountain’s sword arts. However, if she passed this latest trial, she would be able to control phoenix energy. Then she and Long Feiye would stand shoulder-to-shoulder in terms of martial arts.
Unfortunately, the chance came at a terrible time!
Being bathed in fire for three days and three nights meant breaking off her dual cultivation with Long Feiye. They had expended so much effort on that, while he and Gu Qishao had already suffered from the backlash of the furnace flames. In the end, they still couldn’t escape this trial. Nothing else posed a greater disaster to them than their dual cultivation!
Six hours remained before the appointed time for dual cultivation. How was Han Yunxi supposed to last three days and three nights? Once the dual cultivation was interrupted, she would enter deviation at the same time the phoenix energy created a backlash against her. It was certain she’d be reduced to ashes. Long Feiye’s life would be in dire straits as well.
Pill Furnace Master stroked his beard on the side, sighing with emotion. However, Long Feiye and Gu Qishao were fixated on Han Yunxi’s form in the flames. They didn’t waste any more words with the old man because their sky had already collapsed…
What was there to oppose the nirvana of a phoenix? Was there anything? Even if there was, they couldn’t stop her. Advance or retreat, there was only death! Doom was foretold!
Han Yunxi was currently levitating in mid-air with her eyes shut in the middle of an inferno. Her expression was serious, but what kind of agony was she suffering now? Was she feeling the same despair as Long Feiye and Gu Qishao at this moment? Death awaited her no matter whether she pressed on or pulled back. Perhaps she had already given up and was waiting for it all to end?
Everyone had no choice but to keep waiting for the next six hours. Supposedly, waiting dragged out the time, but Long Feiye and Gu Qishao felt that the time slipped by all too quickly. They had just been shocked for awhile, but why was time already running out? Looking at Han Yunxi’s face, Long Feiye suddenly fell into a trance. Although she was right in front of her, he felt like she was getting further and further away. Even the memories from their years together seemed to be drawing distant. He had never expected a woman to walk into his life, much less his heart. Who would have thought she’d walk hand-in-hand with him, fight shoulder-to-shoulder with him? He never predicted his life would stop being lonely, or that he’d look so much to the future one day.
Yet he never thought everything could disappear just like that, either.
Long Feiye stared silently at Han Yunxi until a trickle of blood slowly fell from his lips.
Time was up! It was the deadline for dual cultivation!
Gu Qishao gazed fixedly at Han Yunxi, not even noticing Long Feiye’s abnormality. It wasn’t until Pill Furnace Master cried out, “East Qin crown prince, what’s wrong?!” that he spun around to see an ashen-faced Long Feiye with blood pouring out of his mouth.
He remembered the dual cultivation schedule. If Long Feiye didn’t start dual cultivation right now, he would enter deviation!
If he’s like this, then what about Han Yunxi?
The Lustbite energy was already recoiling in Long Feiye’s insides, but he ignored it to keep looking at Han Yunxi. His tone was calm and even as he spoke. “Gu Qishao, we...we might have to leave everything to you.”
Long Feiye’s words carried too much meaning. He not only meant all of Cloud Realm Continent, but countless people’s lives and futures. He wanted to say more, but in the end, only managed one last word. “Please!”
So speaking, he took to the skies and flew towards Han Yunxi. Even if he couldn’t touch her or get close, he still hovered outside the flames to look at her within. When he saw blood trickling out of her mouth as well, his heart twisted. He was very clear that she was bearing even more agony than him in this moment. Subconsciously, he tried to reach out and wipe off her blood, but it was impossible to get close. Without a word, his eyes grew red with the threat of tears…
Currently, Han Yunxi was feeling absolutely wretched. She not only had to deal with the internal recoil from delaying their dual cultivation, but also the scorching flames of the phoenix energy. The two forces rumbled inside her, creating chaos in her blood and qi. Pill Furnace Master’s words had reached her loud and clear, so she knew they were on a path of no return. No matter how hard she tried, the ending would be the same once time was up. Still, she stubbornly hung on for the next six hours, refusing to give up even now.
If this is fate, then I refuse to accept it this time!
If this is calamity, then I won’t admit defeat!
If even the Heavens can’t stop it, then I’ll fight with the Heavens themselves.
She didn’t want to remain the one who was being protected all the time. This time, she would fight a bout. Let her protect them for once!
The phoenix energy burned through her body, almost scorching her soul to nothingness. All of the pain was concentrated at her back in the location of the phoenix wing birthmark. As the pain intensified, energy seemed to accumulate in the birthmark. The more pain she withstood, the stronger the power grew. This was a brand new strength from the Phoenix Baptism by Fire!
Would she succeed as long as she allowed the energy to grow? Just how much pain was she supposed to bear for three days and three nights? Could she take it all on at once?
I’ll give it my all and risk a gamble!
Han Yunxi abruptly opened her eyes and saw a very familiar face right in front of her. That mesmerizing visage made her break into a smile.
Long Feiye, as long as I see you, I can bear anything--even if the sky falls down, much less some paltry phoenix’s power!
Long Feiye never expected Han Yunxi to open her eyes, to say nothing of her smile. He gave a start and stared at her dumbly, clueless about her thoughts. Still, his heart ached before he smiled back.
Abruptly, Han Yunxi released all her resistance and protected herself with internal energy to shield against the scorching heat of the phoenix energy. At the same time, scalding flames assaulted her form and swallowed it whole! Where Long Feiye could see her before, she was now completely lost to the sea of flames.
How could this be?
Had the phoenix energy caused a recoil?
“Yunxi!” Long Feiye thought he could stay cool until the end, but in this moment he lost all rationality. Like a madman, he threw himself at the flames, but they abruptly fell towards the ground. He chased them to the floor and caught a glimpse of Han Yunxi within them. Unlike her levitating form, she was looking in a sorry state, curled up in a ball as her body shuddered uncontrollably!
Long Feiye crashed to the ground and tried to crawl to his feet, but soon toppled over again. The Lustbite energy had lost all inhibitions within his body. Ignoring all that, he struggled to his feet--then crashed to his knees again and spat up a big mouthful of blood.
Even Gu Qishao had lost his mind. He was currently flying at the flaming inferno nonstop, but was thrown back every time. Pill Furnace Master had no idea what was going on and only grew frightened at their actions. He even forgot his resentment as he tried to coax the two men. Still, neither of them paid him any attention. Despite being full-grown adults, both of them were acting like little children. Han Yunxi was no exception, stubbornly accepting all of the all-too-real pain. It felt like someone had set her muscles on fire and was burning away at her layers of skin until her very blood was boiling and her bones aflame. Even her soul seemed to be flaming away.
She could even feel her bones aching and her soul ready to fly away. But she gripped the jade crystal bracelet on her wrist and held on. Gradually, however, her breathing grew labored as her consciousness turned hazy. The pain eventually ebbed away, leaving her with nothing but exhaustion. She suddenly wanted to fall asleep and didn’t even know why she was hanging on so hard for.
Suddenly, Gu Qishao’s familiar voice pierced her thoughts, shouting “Poison lass” over and over again. Then there was Gu Beiyue going, “Miss Yunxi...Miss Yunxi…”
Linger, little Yu’er, Ning Jing, Ning Cheng, and all the rest were all calling out for her, telling her not to sleep, never to sleep. She couldn’t fall asleep and die here! There were too many things waiting for her to do. There were too many people waiting for her to save them!
Where’s Long Feiye? Why can’t I hear him?
Long Feiye needs me even more than them!
Han Yunxi’s eyes flew open as she stood upright in the flames. She held her breath as she focused her thoughts on the birthmark on her back. In a flash, all of the pain returned and rushed towards that spot. This was agony, but also the phoenix energy! What was originally supposed to take three days and three nights was bore by Han Yunxi in a single shot. Once all of the energy entered through her back, the flames assembled into a large flaming phoenix that burrowed in through her birthmark and into her body.
“Ahh!” Han Yunxi shrieked wretchedly before toppling to the ground. The fire vanished, leaving everything at peace. Sprawled against the dirt, she laid with Gu Qishao staring at her on the right while Pill Furnace Master gaped from his position by the wall. Han Yunxi only felt a sluggish source of strength moving in her back. She had no idea whether she’d lost or gained the phoenix power. She only knew her blood and qi were counterflowing, so she had to start dual cultivation before everything was too late.
“Long Feiye!” Harried, she looked around but saw no sign of him.
Where’s Long Feiye?!
Before she could get up, arms wrapped around her from behind and pulled her into a familiar embrace.
“Han Yunxi, let me hold you for awhile. Just little while.”
OK GUYS HELLO I AM ALIVE! Thank you for the wait, let's get this started with a double release that covers today's daily release and a bonus chapter from my very good friend Cranebro. Like dude, I sure fell off the face of the planet. But okay, if I'm ever gone for too long you can just poke me on the PGC discord channel! That's the best way to reach me directly instead of messaging the site or Big Boss Grace. ^-^ Kick me all you want, I can take it...
Got a planner now (Hobonichi Techo A5 Cousin whew that was a mouthful) to manage my time a bit better, also my self-imposed hiatus was a much needed break from this PGC melodrama. I am very relieved we're finally done with this "I sacrifice You sacrifice" business so we can move on to bigger and better things for the new year.
Okay, stay tuned for the next chapter in a couple minutes!