“The only mountain here is south of the military compounds. Although it has been somewhat useless for the past year, a few centuries ago it blocked the harmful miasma from spreading across the Demonic Realm. Today we left rather late, so we won’t don’t have enough time to go to the lake. For now, we’ll just visit the mountain.” Chen Li took the map from the soldier and earnestly studied it as she gave directions to Xing Zhi.
But behind her, Xing Zhi was incessantly smoothing out his long robes and didn’t hear a thing. Chen Li struggled to restrain her temper, and could only repeat herself, “Sir God, we’ll go to see the mountain first.”
“En.” Xing Zhi just grabbed the ends of his robe and just used his fingertip to cut off the too-long hem, tossing it behind him conveniently. The pure white silk hem flew in the winds, fluttering in the miasma far, far away. “Let’s go.”
Chen Li didn’t move as her eyes followed the silken hem. In the Demonic Realm, even the Demon Emperor himself couldn’t wear clothes of that quality. But this guy, he had actually just thrown it away so easily. Chen Li turned her head to look at Xing Zhi’s newly made short robe. Even though he’d been in the Demonic Realm for more than a few days, she had never seen it even a little dirty. Thinking back to the day she had mistaken him for Xing Yun, she had wiped blood all over his robes, but it had already been washed with water the next day.
Thinking of the filth the soldiers had to endure by the boundary, Chen Li’s head hung. Such unfairness, it really makes one feel as if they had a fish bone stuck in their throat.
Seeing Chen Li so still, Xing Zhi felt very confused, “What?”
“Nothing.” Chen Li just shook her head, continued to walk without another word.
It was the afternoon. The fog on the mountain was dense, and adding on the thickly accumulated miasma made it near impossible to see anything more than 5 steps away, even during the day. Chen Li looked at the directions on the map as she used her other hand to snap any branches that got in her way. But the branches were already so fragile from the miasma, that even the slightest touch would have caused it to crumble away.
“We are currently close to the field camp, but rather far away from the Space-Time Rip, so the soldiers don’t come here often. As such, they aren’t very familiar with this place so the map only displays around half the mountain. If we were to directly fly up, the mountain’s fog and miasma would prevent us from seeing anything. That means that we can only find the trail up the mountain ourselves.” But when Chen Li finished speaking, she waited but no one answered back. Confused, she turned around only to see thick mist and a hazy outline of Xing Zhi’s silhouette.
Chen Li gawked, and blinked her eyes. It has been said that during the battle against the Scorpion Tailed Fox, the Ancient God was late because he had gone the wrong way……. Could it be that he got lost?
“Sir God Xing Zhi?” Chen Li walked back, “Sir God?”
Chen Li did not walk very long before she realized the air had somewhat changed. Her heart beat faster as her footsteps quickened. A cool breeze blew over her, shooing away the thick fog before her eyes. On the other side, a heavenly immortal clothed in white slowly walked. Wherever he stepped, the miasma that accumulated for more than hundreds of years seemed to be washed away by new rain. Although you still couldn’t see any green plants, the air was clean.
Chen Li stared at him blankly. White robes danced in the air as a gentle breeze swept past. The brilliant light that he emitted within the gray Demonic Realm imprinted itself onto Chen Li’s eyes, her heart gone of the negative emotions it once held.
This is….. The Ancient God.
With an inborn intelligent nature and kind-hearted disposition to wage battle against the evil gods of the Demonic Race, no matter how filthy the air, it could still be washed away cleanly….
Clothes fluttered and poked her gently. Xing Zhi walked up to her in a few steps and asked, “Where do we go now?”
In a blink of an eye, Chen Li instantly regained conscious. She was about to reach over and take out the map, but suddenly, pain shot up her left foot. Her hand slid down, the map flying away from her hands as it flew through the air, disappearing amidst the fog. She was about to jump down to go find it when she suddenly felt something restraining her. Chen Li turned her head to see a small wild boar, it’s head with 4 ears, nipping at her leg. Although it didn’t actually hurt, due to the delay, there was no way for her to find the map.
Her heart burned with urgency. She bent her waist to grab the little boar that was curling up on its tail to slap it’s butt maliciously. “What a hindrance!”
The wild boar was in a panic as it squirmed around in her hand. A pair of beady red eyes locked onto Chen Li’s as it growled maniacally. Xing Zhi frowned, “It’s been polluted by the miasma and changed into an evil spirit. Put it down, I’ll burn it.”
“No need.” Chen Li’s arm swung and the little boar was flung back into the woods. It screeched as it fled, panicked, leaving no traces behind. “Although the miasma changed them into evil spirits, they themselves are still mostly animal. Their attacks aren’t strong, and even the common people can easily deal with them.” Using her memory, Chen Li found the same path that they took earlier. As she hiked the trail, she said, “It’s not easy for them to survive in this kind of terrain. They didn’t do anything wrong, so slaughtering them is too unreasonable. Even if they do commit sins later on, they can be still stopped and punished then.”
Xing Zhi was startled and closely sized up Chen Li’s back, “So the Azure Sky King is actually kind-hearted, ah.” The dark mood in his eyes settled down and he followed Chen Li. “But I personally prefer to eliminate the source before it grows more troublesome.” He paused, eyes fixed closely on Chen Li.
“Those words…..” Chen Li glanced back at him, but she didn’t notice the strange mood in Xing Zhi’s eyes. Her lips hooked, her smile revealing uninhibited self-confidence. “Then today, it won’t be quite so boring.”
For a moment, Xing Zhi was silent but suddenly smiled. “It is quite boring today.”
The more they walked forward, the more lost they became. Looking at the darkening sky, Chen Li couldn’t help but grow somewhat agitated. Xing Zhi stopped and spoke up, “To have the moonlight look after us is quite good.” He looked as if he was merely taking a walk in his own backyard. Watching, Chen Li knew it wasn’t good to urge him and just slowly walked along with Xing Zhi on the barren hills.
The sky unknowingly grew darker as they walked. The withered tree grew thickly on the mountain path. Suddenly, Chen Li’s eyes grew wide with shock. The moon was above them, large and bright, making her jaw drop in admiration. In the Demonic Realm, how long they have not seen such beautiful moonlight.
“The mountain peak. We’ve arrived, let’s climb up.” Xing Zhi walked out from behind her. His white robes and figure that gleamed in the moonlight left a clear outline in Chen Li’s eyes. He slowly walked forward. Xing Zhi stopped in front of the thick withered tree.
Looking closely, Chen Li saw that this tree that grew on the summit was different than the others. Although it was also brittle and dry, leaves grew on the branches, dancing beautifully in the wind, rustling with the desire to fall.
Xing Zhi’s hand stretched forward to touch the tree trunk. The shriveled tree resembled the sound of weeping. The trunk trembled with grief along with the lamenting of the earth. Xing Zhi’s facial features lowered, half sighing, half comforting them. “It was hard for you. Thank you for your trouble.” White light rippled from his palm, pouring into the dead wood, following its roots into the earth. Chen Li could almost see the earth under her nearly leap up with joy and glory.
The mountain trembled, as if it’s soul has awakened with boundless knowledge, the fog disappearing completely. Chen Li stood on the edge of the cliff, gazing down at the mountain. She discovered that the same road they’ve walked was now illuminated with beams of light. The light seemed to print out a character, leaning on the trail. It was: “Mountain”.
The moonlight, the dead tree, they all had this same character. The light seemed to penetrate inside them, purifying all traces of corrosive miasma.
From the beginning, he had calculated it so well. In the afternoon, he’d drew the character “Mountain” on the trails, and with the power of the moonlight, he purified the mountain of the miasma and awakened the item he had used for the Space-Time Rip’s seal. Such comprehensive arrangements and all still didn’t reveal a single hint of his plans.
“Azure Sky King.” Xing Zhi beckoned to her under the tree. Chen Li’s heart was cautious as she walked up, but was surprised to see him go on his tiptoes to pick something from the tree. He handed Chen Li a long, green leaf, and smiled. “The Demonic Realm sprouts are quite long.”
Chen Li had a blank look as she accepted it, caressing the cool leaf. Her heart held a feeling she didn’t quite understand. This Demonic Realm leaf, how the fresh, green color sparkled with liveliness. How wonderful it’d be if the young children of the Demonic Realm could see such a leaf. Her eyes were soft, a gentle smile on her lips. Chen Li was so focused on stroking the leaf that she didn’t notice the man beside her who looked at her softly, a silent, gentle smile on his lips.
“Do you want to sit in the tree for a while?”
Chen Li wore a somewhat foolish expression on her face, “Can I?”. She pointed at the tree trunk, not daring to touch it. “It won’t break?”
Xing Zhi laughed, amused, “I’ll compensate if it breaks.”
He hugged Chen Li’s waist, and 2 people sat on the coarse, strong tree. Moonlight shone on the leaves, making them grow denser and more vibrant. Chen Li stared at the branches as new leaves slowly grew out, and couldn’t help but feel moved. “Truly wonderful.” She said, “They look like they’re singing.”
Hearing what was said, Xing Zhi easily plucked a thin leaf and placed it between his lips. A beautiful, melodious tone flew out from his mouth. Chen Li looked back, pleasantly surprised. Watching him blow with such ease, she too grabbed a leaf and studied his technique. But when she tried to blow it, the leaf that was in her mouth fiercely flew out, and like an arrow, jabbed deep inside the earth!
“Ah!!” The music on the tree stopped. Chen Li looked at Xing Zhi and narrowed her eyes. “Sir God, are you laughing at me?”
“No, I just thought…” Xing Zhi looked up at the night sky and smiled, “The moon today is beautiful.”