Translator/Editor: Mr Voltaire
After the last bone had been incinerated, the Eerie Castle no longer existed within the Forest of Bones. Even the bones on the ground had been completely destroyed, revealing black dirt that had not seen the light of day in ten thousand years. Although Xi Ling had limited the area of the Heavenly Wrath of the Nine Suns, the surrounding area within 1,000 metres had been completely razed to the ground.
No matter how terrifying flames were, they were bound to die out sooner or later. When the last piece of the Eerie Castle had disappeared, the nine golden suns in the sky finally completely disappeared, and the flames also began to extinguish. Without the dark clouds covering up the sky, Ling Chen’s surroundings were no longer dark and gloomy.
A red silhouette began to drift downwards, seeming as light as cotton. Ling Chen walked forwards, and caught the drifting Xi Ling in her bird form in his hands.
Xi Ling’s body was no longer covered in flames, and her body was only barely warm. Her body quivered in his hands, and she tried to raise her head, but was unable to do so. She was only able to make a few weak noises.
“Xi Ling…” Ling Chen bit his lips, and was only able to let out a helpless sigh. This result had been inevitable the moment Xi Ling had activated the Heavenly Wrath of the Nine Suns, and he could do nothing about it.
“Xi Ling, you have the power of the Golden Crow, and are able to make even the Demon Emperor and ten ancient demon beasts tremble. I, on the other hand, am only a human who has just entered into this world. In this world, millions of my own lives would not be as valuable as even one of your feathers, why would you do this for me…” Ling Chen absentmindedly muttered to himself.
In this life, the things he had experienced the most were pain and suffering; the least were warmth and joy. Before meeting Shui Ruo, his entire world had been icy cold, and he himself was cold and heartless, like a demon. Shui Ruo had changed his entire life, and he was willing to use his entire life to repay her. The warmth and kindness she had shown him that year was forever engraved into his memories. Apart from Shui Ruo and her parents who had taken him in, Ling Chen had never thought himself to owe anyone anything…
However, in this virtual world, this “beast” he had casually released had used her life to protect him again and again…
“Back then when I saved you, it was just something that I casually did, and never once expected you to do anything because of that… when you sacrificed yourself for me at Lonely Spirit Ridge, you did not owe me anything anymore… now, it’s only me who owes you; you did not have to save me like this at all.”
If he had not chosen to enter the Eerie Castle, none of this would have happened, and Xi Ling would still be alive… He had willingly accepted this sort of danger, even though he knew that he might face death- however, even if he did die, he would not regret it at all. Despite this, looking at Xi Ling in his hands, he realised… right now, he was not by himself anymore. He now also had Xiao Hui and Xi Ling to think about- the choices he made would not only affect him, but also his companions.
Xi Ling could no longer reply to him, but if she could, her reply would definitely be, “I am completely willing…”
“For now, she won’t die.” Qi Yue’s sighing voice appeared in Ling Chen’s mind. She was also feeling very melancholic over Xi Ling’s choice. A powerful being possessing rootless flames giving up their life for a human was something that no one could ever accept.
“You mean…” Hearing what Qi Yue had just said, Ling Chen was extremely shocked.
“If she wasn’t your pet, she would have died immediately. You have to remember, this is her ‘second life’, and her life force is linked to yours. As long as she is near you, she can remain ‘alive’ from your life force… however, her current condition isn’t too far from being dead. Right now, she’s not able to move or fight. Even if she uses all of her strength to just survive, she won’t last for too long.” Qi Yue replied.
Ling Chen twisted his hands together, and asked, “Qi Yue, what I want to know is if there’s any way to rescue Xi Ling… you’ve lived for ten thousand years, so you must know things that other people don’t know. There has to be a way, right?”
Ling Chen did not receive an answer from Qi Yue… but neither did she deny it.
Qi Yue’s reaction caused Ling Chen to see a faint glimmer of hope. He hurriedly asked, “Qi Yue, do you really know of a way to save Xi Ling?”
Qi Yue remained silent, as if she didn’t want to tell Ling Chen. After a few seconds, she replied, “You could say there is, but also isn’t… because right now, to little master, there is indeed a way to save Xi Ling, but it’s almost the same as not having one at all.”
Qi Yue’s meaning was very obvious- although there was a method of saving Xi Ling, it was so difficult as to be almost the same as not having that method.
“What method is it?! Quickly tell me! As long as I can rescue Xi Ling, even if it is as difficult as reaching up to the heavens, I still need to try!!” Ling Chen resolutely said.
“…Alright, since little master is so insistent, I’ll tell you later. However, little master… don’t you feel something is a bit weird?” Qi Yue suddenly said.
“Something… weird?” Ling Chen looked around him.
Most of the flames had already died down, and there were only little tongues of flame on the ground. Not too far away from him was the Warring Palace Skeleton on the ground. Although its body had somehow escaped being incinerated by the golden flames, it was undoubtedly dead. Next to its gigantic body, Ling Chen saw the black-clothed semi-spirit girl…
“Please… don’t… die…”
As she cried, she spoke with a small, trembling voice that could cause anyone to feel sympathetic for her. This girl had been here for a long, long time, and this gigantic skeleton had been her only companion, and possibly her only family. Now that it had died, she had broken down… despite being a semi-spirit girl.
Right now, she was probably more devastated than Ling Chen who was about to lose Xi Ling… she was crying her heart out, and seemed to have forgotten about Ling Chen’s existence.
Seeing the fallen skeleton, Ling Chen finally realised what the ‘something strange’ was…
The Warring Palace Skeleton had evidently been killed by Xi Ling, so why wasn’t there a system announcement saying that this Heaven’s End Boss had been killed? Moreover, there were no SP or Fame Points rewards, nor was there any EXP given.
What was going on? Could it be that there were no rewards for killing this skeleton at all?
“Please… don’t… die…”
“Please… don’t… die…”
Ling Chen looked at the girl, surprised. She didn’t have a body, and definitely should not have tears. However, Ling Chen clearly saw her teardrops falling onto the Warring Palace Skeleton’s body. She repeated those few words over and over again in her soft, but trembling and desperate voice.
“Please… don’t… die…”
Her weak voice suddenly became louder, pierced into Ling Chen’s ears. As she let out that piercing cry, a thick, black smog rose up from her body…
What was that? Ling Chen began to have an uneasy feeling.
The ground began to shake as an oppressive aura started to weigh down on Ling Chen’s body and mind.
As the ground trembled, Ling Chen’s eyes widened as he saw the Warring Palace Skeleton begin to move again. The arm holding the massive sword slowly rose up, and its upper body sat up. Its dark eye sockets once again lit up with an eerie green flame…
A sound that was not meant to be ever heard again sounded out in Ling Chen’s ears.
Ling Chen: “!!!!!!!”