Book 4 Chapter 33 - Ji Xiaoqin Awakens?
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Surrounded on all sides, Li Yiming was bathed in blood, yet stood proudly. Deep gashes and puncture wounds ran across his back and torso, but his eyes still shone with unsatiated bloodlust. With the addition of Xue Mei, Li Yiming struggled even harder against the attacks of his opponents.
His stamina and energy exhausted, Li Yiming should have collapsed long ago. but his desire to fight grew stronger than ever. The white of his eyes were dyed scarlet, and joining the sparks around his limb was an ebony light. This gave Li Yiming the appearance of a demon, which deterred his opponents, despite his injuries and his heaving chest.
“This...This guy…” Man Dao looked at Li Yiming in shock and stuttered. His blade was planted into the ground in front of him, and he used his sole remaining hand to tend the gaping wound on his left shoulder. When Xue Mei had entered the fray, he took advantage of a brief opening and tore three wide gashes on Li Yiming’s thighs. But he was too slow in backing off and paid a heavy price for it; Li Yiming caught him by the wrist and ripped off his left arm.
“Just keep him trapped and we’ll wear him out.” Xue Mei reminded her companions. She could see that Li Yiming had little time left, and it was not wise to trade a life to accelerate the coming of the end.
In the main bedroom on the second floor, Ji Xiaoqin was still in a coma. Tian Yan stood by with a confused expression as she scrutinized Ji Xiaoqin with her silver pupils.
After Xue Mei left, Tian Yan slowly made her way towards Fu Bo again. However, when she opened the door to the basement, she was greeted with an empty room. Disappointed, her thoughts strayed to Ji Xiaoqin, who was captured alongside Fu Bo. ‘If Fu Bo has been rescued, then surely she...’
Tian Yan rushed towards the second floor, hoping to confirm Fu Bo’s safety. Upon opening the door, she was stunned at seeing Ji Xiaoqin unconscious and her heavenly karma completely filled up.
For as long as Tian Yan could remember, her life had revolved around the experiments related to artificial heavenly karma. Tian Yan knew right away that Ji Xiaoqin was about to climb the Stage of Ascension and become a guardian. Tian Yan fished out her communicator immediately and sent a message to Bing Shuai. However, since she was blind, she did not notice the strange, glowing stone on Ji Xiaoqin’s neck.
* * *
“You know?” After Bing Shuai left, Li Huaibei turned towards Stargaze, his sword still ready for battle.
“Don’t look at me like that… We have the same goal in mind.” Stargaze smiled and dispelled the light around her.
“This kid is too important to let anything happen to him.” Li Huaibei eyes were affixed on Stargaze, his stare interrupted by the occasional glance at Fu Bo. ”Is he the reason why you made me come to Hangzhou?”
“Yes, and you completed your end of the bargain. I believe I also upheld my end of the deal just now, didn’t I?”
“So… The deal is done.” Li Huaibei slowly his the sword. The aura around him intensified further.
“As I said, you don’t have to be so guarded. I know what kind of person you are. We truly have the same objectives in mind, it’s just that I’m able to see further down the road.”
Li Huaibei hesitated. Stargaze had indeed a reputation for being a spectator, often opting to remain neutral, which was strangely similar to Fu Bo’s role.
“Your little friend’s life is in peril. Are you sure you don’t want to go back?” Stargaze looked at the center of the city.
LI Huaibei’s gaze followed and he wavered once again. ‘With Bing Shuai on his way back, Li Yiming …’
“If you’re that worried, why don’t I go back with you? I’m also interested in this Ji Xiaoqin. Has someone truly succeeded in creating a guardian? Bing Shuai seemed to believe so.” Stargaze raised Fu Bo’s body and traced a runic glyph in the air. A translucent light bubble appeared and enveloped Fu Bo.
Li Huaibei seemed to have found his resolve. He nodded at Stargaze and flew toward the Guo villa. A smile appeared on Stargaze’s lips and she followed close behind.
* * *
It did not take long before Bing Shuai arrived home. After a quick glance at the battlefield in the courtyard, he showed up in Ji Xiaoqin’s room.
“So?” Bing Shuai asked hurriedly when he saw Ji Xiaoqin’s unconscious body on the floor.
“She… she…” Tian Yan turned around with her face frozen in shock.
“You said that she awakened?” Bing Shuai saw Guo Xiang, who sprawled on the floor, and disgust flashed past his eyes. He turned back toward Ji Xiaoqin.
“Her karma was full just now. She should be ascending to the Stage of Ascension at any moment, but… but…” Tian Yan stammered.
“But what? Spit it out!” Bing Shuai pressed on in frustration.
“The karma is gone. There’s nothing left.”
“What? Suddenly disappeared?” Bing Shuai knelt down and placed his hand on Ji Xiaoqin’s forehead. ‘Her vitals are stable… Did their plans also fail?’
“I’m not sure… It’s gone. She’s no different from a normal person now…” Tian Yan was as stunned as Bing Shuai was. However, due to her blindness, Tian Yan did not notice that the stone which hung from Ji Xiaoqin’s neck had vanished.
“Man Dao!!!” A scream in the yard below broke Bing Shuai out of his daze. With furrowed brows, he walked to the window. What he saw there surprised him once again.
Just a moment before, Li Yiming’s lightning, along with his aura suddenly fizzled off. Li Yiming stood still like a statue, soaked in blood. If not for his faint breathing, Ying Mei and her friends would have believed him to be dead.
Since the start of the battle, Li Yiming realized that something was wrong. An irrational desire for blood, battle, and death overtook his senses gradually. His consciousness sank into an ocean of darkness, and it was as though someone took control of his body and made him fight like a mindless machine.
The feeling of tenebrous suffocation lasted until a few seconds ago, when a rock about the size of a fingernail suddenly appeared in front of him. This stone was all too familiar to Li Yiming; it was something he had ever since birth, and he had barely spent a day without it since his childhood.
Just before he graduated, Li Yiming gifted it to Ji Xiaoqin as a token of his love. Ji Xiaoqin knew about the importance of the trinket to Li Yiming and even made a little accessory out of it. Li Yiming had not seen it on Ji Xiaoqin ever since he returned to Hangzhou, and he chose not to think about it, as a way to bid farewell to his past.
However, the stone was now quietly floating in front of him. It seemed to contain a light that glowed more and more intensely. With a loud crack, the stone shattered into dust and a translucent runic glyph flashed in front him. Li Yiming heard a sharp scream of pain and he regained control of his body.
Li Yiming was met with a longsword going straight for his heart as he opened his eyes. Li Yiming moved to the side to protect his vitals, but the sword still pierced his chest.
Li Yiming reached out for the hilt of the sword without thinking and punched out with his other hand, sending his attacker flying.
Li Yiming scanned his surroundings and tried to make sense of the chaos before him. He was facing five enemies now, and he was afflicted by a plethora of injuries, some of which were quite grave. However, Li Yiming did not feel weakened. Rather, his wounds were closing up and his stamina was recovering at an astonishing speed.
‘You’ve awakened?’ Bai Ze asked in surprise.
“Yeah, was that the Heart Trial Punishment?”
‘I think so… A second later and you would’ve gone to sleep forever…’ Bai Ze still sounded worried.
‘What’s happening to me? Is this a reward for surviving the trial?’ Li Yiming could feel the changes occurring in his body.
‘I’m not sure, but it seems like you’ve awakened your talent.’
‘Oh?’ Li Yiming took a quick look. A fuzzy mark appeared in his previously empty talent section. The colors of his five Heavenly veins were also shifting, becoming brighter one moment and dimming down the next.
‘What talent is this? What happened to my veins?’
‘Now’s not the time to think about this!’ Bai Ze reminded him.
Li Yiming snapped out of his introspection and was greeted by Man Dao and his well-built friend charging towards him. Li Yiming leaped into the air, cracking the pavement below him with lightning. He gnawed his teeth, pulled out the sword stuck in his chest cleanly, and appeared behind Man Dao with a flash of light.
Man Dao, who had grown familiar to Li Yiming’s combat style, slashed backward without even looking. The clang of metal echoed across the courtyard as Li Yiming blocked Man Dao’s slash. Li Yiming noticed the opening created by Man Dao’s missing arm, pushed the latter’s blade to the side and went straight for his throat.
As the sword pierced through Man Dao’s neck, Ying Mei screamed out in horror.
I guess the rock is some kind of deus ex machina to help Li Yiming out of his predicament.
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