281 Ta Lai Returns
“A living weapon… Piercer has been awoken?” Si Luo asked as he looked at the lady dressed in purple in front of me.
Panting from the continuous pain that was emanating from my chest, I kept my answer short. “Yes.”
“This is the first time I’ve seen such an interesting sight. So many powerful individuals have congregated here in the Gate of Heaven. How lively.”
A group of people were walking towards the plaza in single file. Ta Lai was at the fore with three giants behind him. He wasn’t sitting on the shoulder of any giant this time, and these giants looked a little different from those I had seen before.
The giants from before looked like mere puppets who knew nothing except for killing. This time, the giants looked like they had some thoughts of their own.
I haven’t seen Ta Lai in a long time.
Many powerful individuals were indeed gathered here. I wouldn’t have been able to beat any of these individuals alone even when my split symbol was activated.
Ta Lai greeted me in a surprisingly polite manner. “How are you doing recently, Miss Ah Shen?”
Jiao S supported me as I stood up slowly to answer Ta Lai. “I’m good. Nie Zun’s face is healed, so of course I’d be doing well.” I made it clear that I haven’t forgiven him for disfiguring Nie Zun.
Ta Lai smiled without speaking, as if he didn’t understand me at all.
I smirked as I asked, “I heard that you’re actually Rong Jin.”
The sudden question stunned Si Luo for a split second. Emotion filled his silvery-white eyes as he asked, “Is that true?”
“Yes, I’m Rong Jin,” Ta Lai said, turning to Si Luo.
Si Luo looked a little conflicted, but he finally said, “I should’ve known.”
Ta Lai fiddled with the jade stone ring on his right hand. “But you didn’t realize it. Though I’ve kept this from you for a long time, I’ve never let you down, Si Luo. I’ve always done my best and stayed loyal to you as Rong Jin. Even though I, Ta Lai, might not be friends with you, Rong Jin has never betrayed you.”
Si Luo nodded lightly. “I’m not someone ungrateful. I know what you’re getting at. But you’re the only one left in the Gate of Heaven right now. I’m no longer your opponent nor am I a threat to you. Why did you have to be so wary of me?”
Ta Lai smiled. “What you just said proves that you’ve always seen me as a villain. I’ve never thought of competing with you. If you didn’t leave without a word at the time, you’d still be the one Feng Zhu trusts the most in the Gate of Heaven. I’ve never thought of snatching what belongs to you, so why are you playing the victim here?”
Si Luo’s smile was enchanting and beautiful. “You wouldn’t be where you are now if I was really playing the victim. You’ve also gotten what you wished for. But how about Bian Ying? Ta Lai, you’ve stayed with me as Rong Jin for a long time. I’m sure that wasn’t the only thing you had to say to me.”
Ta Lai ended up looking a little unnatural as he tried to suppress his emotions upon hearing Bian Ying’s name.
“I used Rong Jin’s identity because I wondered how you’d get by after you left the Gate of Heaven. Didn’t you say you were going to create a utopia? Didn’t you say that the brand of justice in the Gate of Heaven and Feng Zhu’s brand of justice were all a sham? I simply wanted to have a look at what exactly justice was in your terms.”
Si Luo nodded as if in agreement, but it felt more of a reassurance for himself. “I believe that you’re telling the truth. You just wanted to have a look at how I’d get by since you just couldn’t understand my decisions. Isn’t that right?”
Ta Lai answered resolutely, “Yes.”
“So, have you gotten an answer?”
Ta Lai looked around at all of us before turning back to Si Luo. “Is your definition of justice allowing the Southern District to be trampled upon and destroyed while you couldn’t do a thing about it?”
This felt too harsh. Though I wasn’t as strong as Jiao S or Si Luo as a District Commander, I still wanted to protect my residents. Ta Lai’s words just trivialized whatever we’ve been doing, and it was equivalent to saying that whatever we believed in was wrong.
Others can reject you, disagree with you and be in your way, but your beliefs can never be trampled like this.
I was a little upset and angered at this, but Si Luo remained extremely calm as he answered. “We don’t know if my residents are really dead or if they’ve returned to the real world. There’s no use in being upset or mourning over this before we even get to the bottom of things.”
Du Yue had also appeared sometime after Ta Lai’s arrival. I knew she was hidden somewhere nearby. Her eyes had never left Ta Lai.
Love can really change a woman. This had nothing to do with how she was in the past, or what happened that changed her. Looking at her now, there seemed to still be a trace of humanity left in that ruthlessness when Ta Lai appeared. This was definitely a love that she wanted to protect.
Shouldn’t we all be forgiving, since everything was done in the name of love? Even so, the sight of You Ji right before she died reignited my hatred towards Du Yue.
I guess hatred just stays ingrained in human minds and we are simply creatures who forget that we should be thankful for things.
“Why didn’t you tell me you were coming?” Du Yue stared at Ta Lai as she asked.
Ta Lai glanced at her as he fiddled with his ring. “You hurt her?”
If I understood this correctly, he should be referring to Bian Ying.
Du Yue’s eyes were lit immediately with a burning flame. “Is that the first thing you have to ask me once we meet? You were there too. Her condition was already bad. It doesn’t have anything to do with me if she ends up dying. Are you trampling over my feelings like this because you can’t accept it?”
Ta Lai kept his eyes on Du Yue. “I wouldn’t be here to save you if I wanted to trample on your feelings.”
Du Yue laughed in self-mockery. “Are you sure you’re here because you’re worried about me? Your goal should be the same as theirs, it’s all for that woman. Sadly, the news that Li Shen’s second personality can patch up an incomplete consciousness is just a rumor. Why try so hard for a mere rumor? Especially you, Ta Lai. Even though you’ve done everything for her, do you think her heart will leave Cang Ming and go back to you?”
Ta Lai’s gaze darkened. “Seems like I’ve been too lenient with you all this time.”
Du Yue’s laugh was laced with sarcasm this time. “Lenient with me? Don’t pretend to be close to me, Ta Lai. I won’t be able to enter your heart, and I know very well where I’m placed. There’s no need to say such a thing.”
I couldn’t bear listening to this anymore as I shot Du Yue a cold look. “Do you have any right to say this, Du Yue? Gaoqin Jiuye loved you so much and he did so much for you. If your love was so noble, why did you have a change of heart?
“Yes, it’s true that Gaoqin Jiuye caused you to lose an arm, and it was also because he wanted to save me that it led to you turning into an absolutely different person. But even so, can love change so quickly? Why fall in love with someone else who already has a lover when you could’ve stayed with Gaoqin Jiuye?”
Du Yue stared at me incredulously. “How did you know this?”
Her eyes then landed on Piercer beside me.
Her gaze wavered for a bit, but she regained that calm demeanor quickly. “I guess it’s your precious living weapon who told you about it. I was definitely a little retarded at the time. I shouldn’t have even given you a chance to come into contact with a living weapon. It wouldn’t have been able to tell you all these secrets and things of the past.”
I responded immediately. “I’m not the only one you’re trying to keep this from. You’re trying to keep this from everyone else too, that you had been in love with Gaoqin Jiuye once. I’m just wondering why you had a change of heart if you could have done so much for him in the past.”
Seeing Du Yue losing her patience, Ta Lai interrupted us. “Enough, Du Yue. Come with me. We can talk about our issues later. Don’t we still have some work to do?”
Du Yue’s anger was tamped down immediately with Ta Lai’s words. I guess people will always have their weaknesses.
She nodded at Ta Lai and walked over to him. She seemed to have made her decision to stand on Ta Lai’s side no matter what happens.
Du Yue smirked as a bloodthirsty killing intent emerged in her eyes. “Didn’t your Nie Zun protect you every night and day? He loved you so much, but he’s also turning his back on you now that he says he doesn’t love you anymore. We’re the same. You didn’t have to be so sarcastic.”
Her words hurt me. Subconsciously, I glanced over at Nie Zun. He seemed to be looking into the distance, and I couldn’t tell if he was even looking at me. If he was, I wondered what went through his mind.
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