When Ye Zichen entered his room, a soft murmur echoed from within. His head jerked up at the sound of that familiar tone. He looked the room up and down, but saw no sign of life.
He laughed self-deprecatingly and shook his head, then hung his coat up.
He was hallucinating again.
Ever since the great war against demonkind, he often heard voices in the dead of night.
Sometimes it was Su Yiyun. Other times, it was Xia Keke…..
Ye Zichen’s desolate figure trudged up to the window. He placed a gourd of alcohol on the windowsill then gazed outward, taking big swigs of booze. Despite himself, his mind filled with images of the past.
“If I hadn’t entered that chat group, maybe things wouldn’t have wound up like this?”
He’d truly considered this question countless times. If he hadn’t joined the Heavenly Court’s chat group, he might be living an entirely different life right now.
Su Yan and Xia Keke would still be his heart’s goddesses, while his old roommates would still be his bros. They would have parted ways after graduation and gone on to pursue their separate careers. After a few years, an invitation to a banquet would arrive and bring them back together. Then they’d sit at the same table and immerse themselves in memories of the paast……
That sort of life was perhaps a little bland, but compared to his current life’s endless plotting, vicious competition, and constantly walking on the edge of a knife, it would have been far more satisfying.
“What, you’re already this age yet you still like moping around? That’s not like you!” At that moment, however, he heard yet another voice. This time, Ye Zichen whipped his head around, certain that this was no mere hallucination. There really was someone in his room!
Indeed, there was a grinning youth standing right behind him. He wore long black robes, and Buddhist rosaries hung from his neck.
“You…..” The instant he saw the youth, Ye Zichen froze in place, and his wine gourd slipped from his fingers. The youth reached out and caught it.
“Bro, did you come down with parkinsons or something? You can’t even hold up your wine!” With that, the youth raised the gourd to his lips and took a swing.
Ye Zichen’s expression shifted erratically, but after a few breaths of time, he snatched the gourd out of the youth’s fingres. “You’ve become a monk, so why are you still drinking alcohol! That’s against your vows!”
“I’m not prohibited from consuming wine and alcohol,” said the youth before snatching the gourd back once more and draining it. He placed the empty vessel back on the windowsill, and his smile faded.
“How’ve you been?” he asked somberly.
When he heard that, Ye Zichen felt a twinge in his nose, but after a brief pause, he pounded the youth’s shoulder. “Su Yiyun, you brat…..”
He intended to smile, but despite his best efforts, his eyes were visibly bloodshot. He lowered his head silently and wiped away his tears, then face the window.
A long time passed before he said anything.
A hundred years.
He’d blamed himself for a full hundred years.
For the past six months, he’d torturede himself. Images flashed through his mind constantly.
After arriving in the God Realm, he’d tried countless ways of finding traces of Su Yiyun and the others and gone to places were he might find information. No one forced him to take this on, nor did they blame him, but the pressure he put on himself was enough that he could barely breathe.
Now that Su Yiyun had reappeared before him, this feeling….
It was difficult to express in words.
Su Yiyun stood beside him. He knew that at a time like this, he had to let Ye Zichen readjust his mental state.
Little did they know, at this exact moment, up on the Divine Mountains…..
After Zhao Qianhe forced him away, Xiao Hu returned the Central Divine Mountain indignantly, his entire body emanating ferocity.
When his clansmen saw him, they gave him a wide berth and greeted him from a distance.
Upon his return, Xiao Hu immediately rushed to Xiao Yan’s courtyard. When he got there, he saw that Xiao Yan had long since prepared tea for the both of htem.
The tea was still steaming hot; he’d obviously poured it just recently.
“Sit.” Despite Xiao Hu’s fury, Xiao Yan smiled amiably and gestured to the seat across from him.
“Family Head.” As soon as he sat down, Xia Hu started to talk, but Xiao Yan stopped him and pointed to his tea cup.
“Have a cup of tea.”
“I….” Xiao Hu was deeply agitated, but he was helpless against his clan head. He couldn’t disobey him, so he drained his cup, sat it down, then started again. “Family Head, I….”
“I already know.” Xiao Yan pressed his hands together.
XIao Hu frowned. “Family Head, you already know?”
“Aren’t you here to tell me that the three disciples we sent to the Lower Lands were murdered, and that the Longevity Blade, Yellow Wind, and Beast Rider sects were involved?”
“Since you already know all that, why don’t….”
“What can we do about it?” Xiao Yan looked at him placidly. “Just now, the Northern Divine Mountain’s Sea of Innocence spread the news that the Longevity Blade, Yellow Wind, and Beastrider Sect are now their subordinates. Half a day later, they sent emissaries to hold the fort at each of the three sects.”
“The Sea of Innocence again!” Xiao Hu clenched his fists and frowned again. “Family Head, the Sea of Innocence is deliberately making trouble for our Xiao Family. Are we just going to tolerate this? So long as you give the word, I will personally lead our troops against them.”
“Xiao Hu, you’re one of our families elders, and even I ought to call you ‘uncle.” No one doubts your strength, and the title ‘Lightning Tiger’ is a form of praise in itself. I don’t doubt that you have the strength to attack the Sea of Innocence, but not everything is best solved with violence.”
Xiao Yan looked at him, then pointed at the tea. “Do you know why I had you drink tea first? It’s because I wanted you to cool your head before we spoke. Whatever else you might say about them, the Sea of Innocence is one of the top factions of the God Realm. It’s not realistic to just attack them. Besides, our current situation is rather tense, so it’s better to avoid trouble if we can.”
Xiao Hu was a warrior, and had always been hot-tempered.
He’d already repressed his fury against Zhao Qianhe, and when that junior who wasn’t even a supreme yet provoked him. By now, he was on the verge of explosion.
Despite Xiao Yan’s explanation, he struggled to repress his wrath, but he still had to give his family head face. If his leader said they couldn’t offend the Sea of Innocence, he’d just have to let this slide.
“Alright Family Head, I’ll obey your commands.” With that Xiao Hu turned to leave, only for Xiao Yan to call him back.
“Don’t be in such a rush to leave. There’s something else I’d like for you to do for me.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter