The night sky was tranquil, and the moonlight shone down on the Great Sage’s despondent smile. Just looking at him made one’s heart ache.
He smiled and gazed silently into the distance, his eyes carrying hints of profound emotion, as if his blazing passion had been extinguished by icy rain.
His mood affected both Ye Zichen and Pu Jingwan. Ye Zichen had watched movies about the Journey to the West, and although he didn’t understand everything, he had a rough sense of the complex emotions between Fairy Zixia and the Great Sage. He knew how thoroughly the Great Sage loved her.
Pu Jingwan was different; she and the Great Sage were barely acquaintances. She was purely moved by the depth of his feelings. Her disdain for Yang Jian faded from her mind, replaced by silence.
The Great Sage had waited for tens of thousands of years to stand before Zixia once more, only to hear “It’s over.” How painful must that be?
No one spoke. Even Yang Jian, dirty and bedraggled, kept silent after crawling out from under the Ruyi Jingu Bang. He initially put his hands on his hips and started cursing out the Howling Celestial Dog, but he quickly sensed the melancholy atmosphere and fell silent as well.
“What’s going on? Why is the monkey making that face?” Yang Jian inched closer to Ye Zichen and Pu Jingwan, then asked in confusion. He’d only just crawled his way out of the dirt, and was still caked with mud.
They merely glanced at him, but said nothing. Yang Jian scratched his head. Then, suddenly, his eyes lit up. “Ha ha ha, could it be that I was right? The monkey was really….”
“Shut up!” Ye Zichen and Pu Jingwan yelled in unison, but the Great Sage was faster.
The Ruyi Jingu Bang grew until it reached the heavens, then slammed back down, stirring up fierce winds and scattering the surrounding boulders. Yang Jian had only just barely struggled his way out of the dirt, only to suddenly “return home.”
“Really, how did he survive this long? Even I wanted to hit him just now.” Pu Jingwan was so angry, she’d clenched her dists. Even at a time like this, he dared tease the Great Sage. Didn’t he have a conscience?
After spending this bit of time together, she had developed some understanding of Yang Jian.
He was definitely an absolute master of insults.
However, he lacked the brainpower to use his skills effectively. He didn’t know when to jeer and when he ought to keep silent.
They ought to seal his mouth shut. If he were rendered mute, he’d bring about less trouble.
In the face of Pu Jingwan’s indignation, Ye Zichen merely glanced at her but said nothing. Yes, Yang Jian was over the line, but he’d always been like that, throwing out insults every time he opened his mouth, never once considering whether it was the right occasion or not.
This was just his personality. Ye Zichen had known him for so long that he didn’t blame him. He also knew that the Great Sage understood Yang Jian, which was why he’d merely slammed Yang Jian back into the earth. He hadn’t truly lost his temper.
He knew Yang Jian didn’t really mean anything by what he said, but his careless remarks were like sharp daggers, cutting right into the Great Sage’s heart.
Ye Zichen walked up to the Great Sage, then took out a few bottles of divine brew. “Want some?”
The Great Sage grabbed a bottle, then raised it to his lips and drained it without leaving so much as a drop behind. He didn’t ask for more, nor did Ye Zichen offer more.
The wine was intended to help him relax, not to make him forget his problems in an intoxicated stupor.
“What do you want to do after this?” Ye Zichen asked between sips of his own wine.
The Great Sage put his hands behind his head and leaned against the trunk of a snapped ancient tree. He gazed up at the radiant, starry sky and said, “What else can I do? I’ll just have to go on living.”
His tone was casual, but nevertheless, it made Ye Zichen’s heart ache. He understood how much the Great Sage was hurting beneath the surface.
He’d loved her for so long. Could he really let go of her just like that?
No one could really just take things in stride and move on at the drop of a hat. The mess and desolation around were proof of that.
The Great Sage cared! He cared deeply!
“Then go on living.” Ye Zichen patted his friend’s shoulder, then suppressed everything else he’d considered saying. At a time like this, saying any more was a waste of time. He needed to give the Great Sage time to recover on his own.
Night passed, and the sun peeked out over the horizon. When the light of dawn spread and lit up the world below, Ye Zichen and his companions were still in the Yao Realm.
Yang Jian scrambled back out of the hole when the Great Sage wasn’t looking, but this time, it seemed he’d learned his lesson. He kept silent, especially about the possibility Zixia had another man. He simply sipped at a bottle of wine and walked his dog.
The Great Sage had decided to stay in the Yao Realm. He said that this was the last thing he wanted to do for Zixia.
But afterward, perhaps because he didn’t want to disrupt her life, he decided to simply silently wish her well. Pu Jingwan, in a rare display of her sensitive side, turned away, her shoulders heaving.
Maybe she cried, maybe she didn’t.
No one knew what she did after turning around, but all of them felt the weight of that night.
The Great Sage had stared silently up at the sky all night. When he spoke, his voice was raspy. “Time sure goes fast. It’s daybreak already.” He twisted his neck and patted the ground, leaping to his feet and summoning his staff. He swung it playfully, then shoved it back into the earth.
“Let’s go.” Ye Zichen, Pu Jingwan, and even Yang Jian all gathered at his call. They gathered around him, and heard him laugh heartily, “What are you all doing? Don’t worry about Ol’ Sun; the past is the past. Let’s hurry back to god race territory. Don’t you have business to attend to? No need to waste time here.”
“Surely you know why we’ve been ‘wasting our time here,’ right?” Yang Jian, who’d been given the cold shoulder, spoke up. Pu Jingwan glared at him, and Ye Zichen couldn’t help but facepalm. Even the Howling Celestial Dog batted at its ears as if to express its exasperation.
By comparison, the Great Sage responded more directly.
As soon as Yang Jian spoke, he sensed the word around him go black. When he looked up, he saw the Great Sage’s Ruyi Jingu Bang poised threateningly above him. Yang Jian immediately tensed up.
“Brother Monkey, don’t mess around. Heh he…” Yang Jian smiled obsequiously. “It’s all my fault. We stayed here all night because of me. Please, sir, put away your weapon.”
His body was covered in mud, and if you looked closely, you’d see dirt clinging to his lips and mixed with his saliva.
He’d been eating earth all night; Yang Jian didn’t want to eat anymore.
The Great Sage snorted, but put his staff away. Yang Jian had been scared back into good behavior. He stood aside and smiled foolishly.
Ye Zichen no longer hesitated. He nodded in approval.
The way he saw it, it really was best they left this place as soon as possible; it was the home of the Great Sage’s emotional scars.
At that moment, Ye Zichen’s transmission slip lit up. He pulled it from his pocket and inserted his divine sense. Xuan Ji’s transmission filled his consciousness. “When you come back, come see me right away. I’ve already arranged everythingPrevious Chapter Next Chapter