Chapter 106: Inevitable Death
The spear drew nearer and nearer to her heart as if it was the arrow released from cupid’s bow. I screamed in my mind for her to move out of the way, I wanted to howl back that I love her, yet silence was all I was capable of.
At the moment that I thought my mind was going to shatter, thick vines reached out to impede the spear’s path. Hope grew once more inside me; however, it was quickly extinguished as the spear drilled right through the vines as if they were made of paper. No matter how much vines there were, it could not prevent the inevitable. The spear dictated that someone had to die.
It seemed like so much, yet it only happened within a moment. Ragged green robes appeared in front of Ling’er, shoving her back as the spear collided with the palms of the warm, outstretched hands. An extremely strong repulsive force immediately formed on contact, sending both Ling’er and me launching a distant away.
A green barrier seemed to have formed around the palms, impeding the spear’s progress. Although the spear was stopped for a moment, it was clear that the power behind the hand could not stop the spear from drilling through as the spear gradually drilled through the barrier and into the palms causing blood to splatter into the air. Then, the spear continued its journey, right into the heart of the owner of the palms.
Instead of piercing through, the spear exploded into a black cloud of fog as they gathered and were sucked into the heart of its target. Then, the restraints on me slowly dissipated as I continued to stare at the green robed figure in the distance. Eh? Did he manage to stop the spear? Is he all right?
I mean, he’s still standing-
As if to contradict me, the green robed figure swayed a bit before gradually falling backwards with arms still outstretched, as if he would guard those behind him forever. A horrid scream resounded beside me as white hair dashed off towards the green robed figure.
Then, I knew, this world is f**ked up as always. I hurriedly scramble over as well to be met with the sight of Ling’er freting about, not knowing what part of her father she could touch. On the ground was no longer a youth in green robes, but a wrinkly old man in rags. As if to signify the inevitable, an ominous blackened area was visible on his chest as it gradually contaminated the rest of his body.
Ling’er shakily reached out for the old man’s bloody hands. She covered the distinct hole in the palms with her own, attempting to stop the blood flow, but to no avail. Tiny specks of glistening tear dripped off her face continuously as she continued to shake her head in denial. She repeatedly called out father, trying to wake him up.
I trembled in frustration over my helplessness as I knelt down next to Ling’er. I can’t help but curse, “Old man, you’re not really going to die like this and not say anything important now are you?”
As if he heard me, the old man’s eyes trembled before they gradually squeezed open. Ling’er excitedly exclaimed in happiness, “F-Father, you’re alright.”
But it was clear as day she was deluding herself as the contamination on his chest area had slowly climbed towards his neck already. I shiver in fright as I thought about the impact this would have on Ling’er.
The old man gently looked at Ling’er as he said, “Ling’er, father has something important to tell you.”
“F-Father, don’t speak. Y-you’re hurt like this, you must rest. Nothing is more important than that right now. You can tell me everything once you get b-better,” Ling’er said as she tried to put on a smile, but tears continued to leak down her face.
The old man then sighed as he looked over to me, “Brat, my ring should be unsealed now. Take it. Inside is-“
“F-father! Listen to Ling’er, you can say everything later!” Ling’er huffed in anger as her hands gripped the old man’s hand even tighter.
“Ling’er you must listen, this is about your future, in addition to about my greatest regret, your mother,” the old man stated.
Ling’er froze as she quieted down. I could tell her mind was in turmoil trying to decide if she should listen. I reached over and placed my hands over hers, causing her to look over blankly. I nodded gently as I gave her hands a squeeze while stating, “I’m here with you.”
I then reached out my hand to pull the ring off the old man’s hand before giving the old man a nod. The old man gave a slight smile before staring into space and speaking, “Your mother was my most beloved. We never shared our love with others, and believed we would only die for each other. Yet, who would expect we couldn’t help but also share our love with the child we gave birth to.”
Ling’er shivered as it was clear who he was talking about.
“When we gave birth to you, it was the most joyous occasion. We named you Xiao Ling because you would be our little brightness, our happiness. Unfortunately our happiness could not last for long. Brother Xiong delivered news through Xu Fa not long after. He said the people from Shen Ren continent had come for the lives of the children that were born recently. He said that as long as they knew you had a child, they will track down that child at all cost, using their special GuMu artifact that can detect the child no matter the distant as long as they have the living mother of the child,” the old man continued.
Ling’er shivered next to me, but I could not help but also be shocked. Perhaps if they hadn’t killed my mother first, I would also be dead now, but it seemed that they thought they could kill me back then, hence discarded my mother.
“Ling’er, your mother’s love for you was unbounded. When she heard that news, her first thoughts were to keep you safe no matter the cost. She attempted to kill herself; however, I could not bear for her to do so. I could only lock her up as she begged me to kill her. I then sent your Senior brother and sister to bring you away for years to go into hiding before slaughtering all the servants who knew about your birth. I was cruel, but I thought that this could protect both mother and daughter, hence I had no qualms. As expected, it worked. After a couple of years, you were brought back, and your mother was released. We then enjoyed our happy time together yet keeping as low key as possible, expecting it to last … or so we thought,” the old man stated with a grim tone.
“Unfortunately, it seemed that the inevitable had to come. When you were 15, we received news that the hunt was still ongoing. Apparently, the prophecy child was deemed to still be alive by another revelation. As the Shen Ren continent had already closed, they couldn’t come over themselves with the GuMu artifact, hence, they telepathically sent the portraits of all the women of the Shen Nu family, including all branches and servants. These portraits were distributed all over the continents, and all discovered women were hunted down with no exception, with all the children they gave birth to sentenced to death as well. Unfortunately, one of those portraits was that of your mother, who was a servant to one of the missus of the Shen Nu family.”
Ling’er shivered uncontrollably as she had an inkling of what happened next.
“We knew they were coming sooner or later. It was impossible for them to not know the face of the queen of Hua; however, fortunately we had not held your coming of age party yet, and as we had not revealed you to the public yet, we had a chance of concealing you. She begged me to protect our child, even at the cost of her life. Then, when they came, I-I, with my own hands, executed her in front of them along with a random 15 year old, mute servant girl we found. It was the only way,” the old man stated as a tear rolled down his face.
“We had planned to hide you away for a few years. What I didn’t expect was that you would have been hidden and seen that scene. By the time they left and we found you staring into space, it was already too late. Your mentality was fixed at that of a child, hence we could not bear to let you go so we kept you by my side; however, we knew this would lead to suspicion, and I could not forgive those at Shen Ren continent. Hence, when the pill grandmaster revealed a secret weapon, “Nut Q-queer Er” or “strange nut 2″, that he found in an ancient ruin, we came up with a plan to defeat the Shen Ren continent. Your uncle then turned his research into a frenzied direction in order to build the weapon while I gathered the resources along with the pill grandmaster. Finally, it was completed,” the old man stated proudly.
“Inside that ring is a black box. Inside the box is a key along with a formation. As long as the correct combination is entered along with twisting the key in the clockwise direction, then the weapon will activate, setting the black box as its target while a barrier will spawn to protect the box along with the one activating it. Through your uncles research, no matter the distance, the signal will still reach the hidden location of our weapon. Your uncle is currently hiding in the hidden location, waiting for the signal to launch the weapon. There is no other way to send communication into the location, to prevent leakage of its location. We decided to set the combination to your name, Ling’er, and I shall now hand this weapon t-to y-you- ” the old man stated as he coughed out a glob of black blood.
It was then we noticed the contamination had already spread up to his mouth, turning the lower half of his face black.
“F-FATHER! No- no- you’ll be alright-” Ling’er frantically said.
The old man smiled gently as he glanced over at me, “B-brat, you can go with t-the one I requested to bring my daughter to Shen Ren … I l-leave my d-daughter in y-your hands. T-take good care of her …”
I solemnly gripped the old man’s hand as I asserted, “Don’t worry. I will, father.”
The old man’s eyes then glistened in approval before it began to lose its luster. He blankly stared into the sky as he smiled, “Ah? B-brother Xiong? You want to drink with me now? Ah … yes, it’s been a while, we’ll drink until we drop dead- ahhh … Xiao Cui. Did I keep you waiting? I’m coming to join you now … I hope our daughter … forgives … me.”
One last, long sigh leaked out as the old man’s face turned completely black.
“A-ah ahhh, L-Ling’er forgives you father. Ling’er forgives you! So … please! Please! Don’t leave Ling’er- Don’t leave Ling’er all alone-“
I swiftly pulled Ling’er into my tight embrace as I repeatedly console her, “You’re not alone, Ling’er, you still have me.”
A suffocating silence descended upon us before horrid sobs broke out from the one in my embrace. My heart felt extremely stuffy as a tear also rolled down my face. I buried my face into her soft, white hair as I decided to stay here as long as she needs, even though I know that doing so will not bring the inevitable death right next us back to life.