The mage-like figure buckled their hood. Beneath the firelight, Ye Zichen could vaguely discern a pair of bright, eerie eyes.
When the figure spoke just now, they sounded like a clown; their voice was high and shrill.
Ye Zichen, who was currently preoccupied, jumped in surprise, then glanced, wide-eyed, at the hooded figure. When he sensed the other party’s gaze, he pointed to himself and took a few steps back.
“Are you talking to me?”
“That’s right, boy….. I was talking to you.” It was a familiar sound. Despite himself, Ye Zichen recalled the sound of airplanes. The mage’s speech patterns sounded just like them.
Of course, all of that was beside the point. More importantly, the hooded figure…
Just now, the scenes he’d witnessed of the God Emperor and Five Elements Great Emperor weren’t off this world, so he’d assumed the mage was illusory too. Yet now, for some reason, they’d become a real person. This was truly unbelievable!
“You’re really talking to me?” Ye Zichen instinctively arched his brows. His lips quivered. He crossed his arms and evaluated the mage.
He stretched his hand towards the flames. Indeed, they were transmitting heat.
It was just that this mage….
Was a little strange.
He seized a moment when the mage wasn’t paying attention to lift their hood and reveal the face hidden below.
Beneath its hood were two little horns. It looked a bit like a deformed dwarf.
Its head was huge, but its neck was thin. Its limbs were slender, but its belly was big and round. Its skin was pale green and hairless, and its eyes took up practically a forth of its face.
“My heavens!” His appearance obviously startled Ye Zichen, who took a few hurried steps backward, then blinked at the dwarf….
“Hey, bro, are you an alien?”
The universe was an enormous place. It had just about everything in it.
Ye Zichen had experienced a series of events beyond most people’s comprehension, but to tell the truth, this was his first time seeing an alien.
To his surprise, the hoodless alien lowered his head and trembled non-stop. After a while, he raised his head and glowered hideously. “Do you know what you’ve done?”
He was obviously infuriated. His enormous eyes blazed with fury as he glared at Ye Zichen. “How dare you pull off my hood! Your foolish behavior has infuriated the Great Pilar! Boy, before the Great Pilar truly loses his temper, apologize to the Great Pilar!”
When he saw how angry he’d made the mage, Ye Zichen felt a little embarrassed. He put his hand to his forehead and smiled apologetically, “I’m sorry. I was simply overcome with curiosity and didn’t think. But is the ‘Pilar’ you mentioned your name?”
“Ignorant!” The mage put its slender hands to its hips, then pointed at Ye Zichen and snorted, “In my Kingdom, ‘Pilar is a title for devils! I am the Great Pilar. You can also call me, ‘king,’ or ‘Mister Devil.’ You’re extremely fortunate to have owned the door to the Time Corridor, so I can grant you a single wish. Of course, you’ll have to pay the corresponding price.”
Is this what they looked like?
Ridiculous as it sounded, when the mage said ‘Pilar’ meant demon, Ye Zichen was almost inclined to believe him. After all, as far as he knew, only devils would behave like that.
“Fine then, Mister Devil. Please forgive my ignorance just now. Now then, can I say my wish?” If everything was as Pilar said, and he really could grant any wish Ye Zichen asked for, then Ye Zichen knew exactly what he wanted….
The wish he’d held in his heart for a full hundred years.
“Of course! That’s no problem at all, you lucky little chap.” Hearing Ye Zichen call him “Mister Devil” had clearly improved the mage’s spirits. He crossed his arms and smiled, looking totally relaxed.
Ye Zichen’s heart thudded wildly in his chest. Was it all really going to end here?
Was the wish he’d worked for for one hundred years really about to come true in this Time Corridor?
There was a lengthy silence. In the empty time corridor, the sound of Ye Zichen’s ragged breathing was clearly audible, but the mage didn’t say anything to pressure or hurry him. He simply sat there indifferently, waiting to see what wish this lucky little fellow would ask for.
“Mister Demon, if you can really grant this wish, I can pay any price.”
“Then go on and say your wish,” said the mage in his bizarre voice.
“Alright.” Ye Zichene took a deep breath and gulped. Images of the place he’d seen countless times in his dreams filled his thoughts. “I want to turn back the flow of time and return to my past life, when I was nineteen years old.”
And here the warlock thought he was going to ask for something big! This was the Time Corridor; for him, there was nothing simpler than turning back the flow of time.
Whether he wanted to return to the past or go ahead to the future, both were easy as pie.
“Of course I can do that. Now then, please tell me what you have to offer,” said the mage with complete confidence.
Ye Zichen noted his confidence, and his heart thudded even harder. He recalled what the God Emperor and Five Elements Great Emperor had paid: a heart, and an arm.
In that case, what should he offer?
“Mister Devil, I’m not quite certain about how you do things. How about this? You tell me what you think is appropriate. So long as you say it, I won’t dilly-dally or fuss around; I’ll give you everything you ask for.”
“Alright, let me think for a moment.” After all these years, this was his first time encountering such a simple wish. All he had to do was make a few quick modifications to the flow of time, so he was too embarrassed to ask for much.
Furthermore, this little fellow kept calling him “Mister Devil.” This made him even more reluctant to rip him off.
“How about this?” said the “devil” after a bit of a pause. He rubbed the center of his forehead, frowned, and continued, “I’ll just take three strands of hair. You can just pluck them and throw them into the flames.”
Ye Zichen froze.
All he wanted was three strands of hair?
He’d seen how much the God Emperor and Five Elements Great Emperor had paid, so he’d assumed he’d have to offer his arms or legs. He never would have guessed the devil would just ask for a bit of hair.
He naturally wouldn’t miss such an opportunity. He immediately reached up, plucked the hairs, and flung them into the fire.
The hairs entered the flames, which immediately blazed even brighter.
“A fair exchange.” Just like before, the warlock closed his eyes and snapped his fingers. Ye Zichen stood directly across from him, his heart beating frantically in his chest, as he waited for the mage to tell him what to do next.
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