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Chen Jiawang began cleaning up after the director left with the camera crew. To his surprise and delight, Fang Shui’er offered to help him.
‘Wow… It’s the real deal! Fang Shui’er! Maybe I can get a signature? What’s her relationship to boss, I wonder…’
“Um… Can… we take a picture together?” Chen Jiawang finally mustered the courage necessary to ask the question to his idol.
Chen Jiawang was left unanswered. After a few seconds of dead silence, he glanced at Fang Shui’er, thinking that she simply ignored his untimely request, but found her looking at the main entrance with a severe countenance.
“What’s wrong?” Chen Jiawang asked, only for his question to be unanswered again.
The door was then opened, and an overweight, middle-aged woman stood at the door, looking rather exhausted with her baggy pants and loose shirt, but displayed a radiant smile nonetheless.
“I'm sorry, but we're closed for today,” Chen Jiawang said, thinking she was a customer.
“I’m looking for someone. Could you tell Li Yiming that Aunt Wu is looking for him?” The woman asked.
“Go upstairs.” Fang Shui’er said as she made ready for a fight breaking out at a moment’s notice.
“I’ll wait outside since you seem so wary.” Aunt Wu shook her head and walked out of the door.
“Aunt Wu!” Li Yiming appeared following a flash of purple light, thrilled to see his teacher.
“How did she come down?” Bai Ze came down from the second floor with a puzzled look.
“She’s Aunt Wu, the real one?” Fang Shui’er asked her with an excited voice.
“Who’s that?” Chen Jiawang asked.
“A legend among legends…” Bai Ze said as she walked to the window to observe the conversation between Li Yiming and Aunt Wu.
“Master…” Li Yiming paid due respect to Aunt Wu. After learning from Bai Ze, he fully acknowledged the powers of his master.
“Now, I'm not sure I want to be your master anymore. I thought that you were him, so I was going to have an opportunity to be your master before you awakened, but you’re that staff…” Aunt Wu chuckled.
Li Yiming scratched his head in embarrassment, unsure how to respond.
“I just came down.” Aunt Wu suddenly said.
“Well, that's what I came to you for. With all of us gone, he's the one in charge…” Aunt Wu said as her smile faded away.
“So are you all…”
“I'm not sure what happened. We were about to lose it completely when the seal was broken, so we jumped on the opportunity and escaped.”
“The Seal of Heavens and Earth. You should be able to feel its existence, if not for all the chaos that’s been going on above.” Aunt Wu took a deep breath, and looked around for some place to rest — despite only having been talking for a bit, she seemed worn out.
Li Yiming immediately rushed to help her, but Aunt Wu stopped him.
“The entire world has been sealed. The key to that seal, as you've read in Adventure to the East, is that stone.”
“That stone?” Li Yiming remembered the story from Fu Bo’s book. After Wukong lost all hope, he decided to seal his strength away, throw his staff into the Eastern Sea, and encase his body into a rock.
“It’s been a while since you’ve become a guardian. I think that you’ve noticed by now that a lot of the legendary tales that have been retold since time immemorial are true. Have you ever considered the reason behind that? If these things are only supposed to exist within domains, why are ordinary people aware of their existence?”
Li Yiming frowned as he considered the thought.
“That’s because domains used to be part of our world…” Aunt Wu revealed.
“Yes. After all, if the domains originate from the wills of living creatures in our world, then how could they truly be separate from our world?”
“That stone… It sealed those wills away.”
“To protect our world,” Aunt Wu said, “If these wills continue to evolve, our world will eventually be destroyed.”
“So he split the worlds of the ordinary and extraordinary?”
“Do you think that he’s revered as a legend simply because he was undefeatable? No… Even in death, he stood by his principles…”
“Then why do guardians exist?” Li Yiming was confused.
“The only mistake he made was to underestimate the complexity of the wills. He thought that our world would be safe if he simply split those wills away, but he did not think the domains would come back to haunt our world…”
“So Heaven’s Laws, to keep the world in balance, created guardians and assigned them the task of eradicating domains?” It finally came back to a concept that Li Yiming was familiar with.
“Then what about now?” Li Yiming looked at the sky.
Aunt Wu sighed and shook her head.
“Did Mr. Kong remove the seal?”
“Impossible. He wouldn't have waited for so long if he was able to. Besides, he was focused on taking control of Heaven’s Laws.”
“What is Mr. Kong up to exactly?”
“I don't know. There is a price to be paid for stealing power from the Heavens. He’s not the kind of person who would lose himself in power either. Without our support, it's going to take him a while to completely seize control of Heaven’s Laws.”
“Then what should we do now?”
“To be honest with you, I came here today to check if you were still… you.” Aunt Wu suddenly stared intensely at Li Yiming.
Li Yiming hesitated before putting his right hand out and releasing the metallic sphere from his body.
“So you haven’t fused yet?”
“I've seen him once.”
“That's good then. Be careful.” Aunt Wu stood up.
“You still haven't told me what we should do!” Li Yiming was confused.
“What I think doesn't matter anymore.” Aunt Wu looked back.
“What?” Li Yiming grew irritated, thinking Aunt Wu to be an irresponsible person for pulling out at such a moment.
“I'm lucky to get out with my life. I've lost everything I had. Just let me live out my last days in peace.” Aunt Wu said in a low voice.
“I'm already at my limits. I don't think I'll be able to live for much longer. It's time for us old-timers to rest.” Aunt Wu continued walking into the distance.
“You can't leave like that!” Li Yiming rushed forward to stop Aunt Wu. He still had many unanswered questions to which Aunt Wu seemed to have all the answers.
“I need you to teach me the Nine-Step Sword!” Li Yiming yelled out. He was desperate for power. Power was the key to survival in a chaotic world, and it was essential for saving Liu Meng.
“The Nine-step Sword?” Aunt Wu stopped walking.
“You're the one who forced me to become your pupil,” Li Yiming insisted.
“Very well. I'll show you once. How much you can learn from it is up to you.” Aunt Wu said.
Satisfied with her answer, Li Yiming let go of Aunt Wu.
“Pay attention now.”
‘What? She's going to show it to me now?’ Li Yiming focused his attention on Aunt Wu right away. She walked forward with her hands in front of her chest. After three steps, she suddenly turned around.
“Have you seen it?”
“What? That was it?”
“Yes.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter