Chapter 107: Burial
After an unknown amount of time, the number of sobs gradually decreased. I could feel Ling’er’s strength leaving her as she gradually fell asleep. I sighed before I looked up into the sky. Are we going to sleep here like this?
I was about to reach out to put the corpse away into my ring, but suddenly a harmonious ding resounded in the air. I could feel Ling’er shiver as if she had been awoken by the sound.
I was hoping it was my imagination, but the sound resounded again. I rapidly looked around to see where if it was coming from, yet to no avail as it seemed to be coming from everywhere.
Then, a heavy sigh resounded in the air as if it came from all around us. Both Ling’er and I looked around frantically, hoping it was not the worst case scenario of another enemy,
With a final ding, we noticed a blurred silhouette walking through the forest in our direction. The silhouette gradually became clear, revealing a bald, old man, with a white beard. He was dressed in a brown robe with an orange sash, and he was strolling over eyes closed with his hands held together as if he was praying.
He slowly arrived in front of us before he opened his eyes. Although he seemed to be a normal monk before, after his eyes opened, a boundless pressure descended which caused our surrounding ground to crack. Surprisingly, this pressure avoided Ling’er, the corpse, and me.
The monk then glanced down at the corpse before he let out a long sigh, “Amitabha, alas fate is inevitable.”
He then closed his eyes once more as he murmured, “You should have heeded my warning, my son.”
He then turned his face over to us, more precisely to Ling’er who was now behind my back.
“You must be Xiao Ling’er. Your father entrusted me to take you with me. Pay your last respects to your father. We have a long journey ahead of us,” the monk stated.
Oi. This old man couldn’t had decided to make Ling’er a nun now huh? Why did he say he was going to entrust her to me then?! And oi! Who’s this old monk?! I could feel Ling’er’s grip on my clothes as we vigilantly stared at the old monk.
“sigh Perhaps my arrival was too sudden. Let me introduce myself. I am Hua Tian Zhenren from the Tian Nan Monastery in Shen Ren continent. Your father has entrusted me to take in Ling’er into the monastery,” the monk stated calmly.
“Oi! Just who do you think you are that you can just turn Ling’er into a nun like that?!” I growled back.
The old monk stared at me confused before he stated, “Why would I want to make my own granddaughter a nun? She’s still too young for that.”
Silence descended upon us as the shocking facts sunk in. Ling’er peeked out behind my back with swollen eyes full of confusion. The monk saw our reactions, and as if he was enlightened, he stated, “Perhaps your father never mentioned me? Ah, was he still so angry at me over his mother that he still doesn’t want to recognize me as his father? Alas, he still doesn’t understand that fate is inevitable.”
I really don’t like this guy’s “fate is inevitable” tone, but I don’t think I can sock his face in because I know he’s way stronger than me.
The monk shook his head in depression before he stated, “Now, pay your last respects to your father. Then, I will have him buried and we can be on our way. The sooner we leave, the better as the Xian Xiafan continent won’t stay open forever.”
As the monk didn’t seem to have any hostile intentions, I relaxed my guard and turned around to look at Ling’er. She was currently biting her lips as she glanced at her father’s corpse with red eyes. I gently reached my hands out to stroke her head as she turned to look at me. I gently smiled at her as I said, “Go on. Let’s let both our father and your seniors rest in peace.”
I could feel the monk’s queer stare on my back as he heard “our father”, but maybe it was my imagination. I brought my focus back as Ling’er took out the corpses of her Senior brother and sister, laying them next to her father’s. Although I desired to let my master rest in peace, I didn’t want to bury it right now as I believed that the person best for this job would be Fatty. I am glad that my inventory actually preserves the objects inside of it.
“Senior brother and senior sister, you two can now rest in peace. The one who had slayed you is already in pieces. Ling’er hopes that you two can peacefully move on to the next step of your life together in the afterlife. Don’t continue to argue over trivial matters …” Ling’er softly spoke with a small smile.
Then, Ling’er gently grabbed my hand with hers as she said towards her father, “Father, do not worry about Ling’er. Although Ling’er can’t completely forgive you for what you did to mother yet, Ling’er understands who the true culprit is now. But do not worry father, Ling’er will not do anything stupid. Ling’er will live very happily with Brother Ye just like you did with mother, and one day, we will get our revenge.”
After Ling’er said her speech, she closed her eyes and the two of us knelt down and respectfully bowed towards her father, hand in hand. For some reason, I felt like a granddaughter-con’s glare was on my back the entire time, but it’s just my imagination right?
After we got up, Ling’er turned towards the old monk and stated, “Umm … senior-“
“Call me grandfather, Xiao Ling’er~” the old monk said with a smile as his closed eyes twitched.
“G-grand … father … you can proceed with the rites now,” Ling’er squeaked as she hid behind my back.
The old monk’s playful atmosphere then disappeared as if it was an illusion. He put on a solemn face as he said, “Amitabha.”
As soon as the final tone resounded, dinging sounds resounded in the air once more as our surroundings seemed to distort and shift. Not long after, we seemed to have reappeared in another forest clearing. Nearby was a tombstone with fresh flowers surrounding it while trees shaded it from above, and it seemed that Ling’er recognized it as she exclaimed, “M-mother”.
Suddenly, a harsh wind seemed to have blown across the nearby forest as part of the forest was blown away. The ground the cracked before sinking in to form two large rectangular boxes, one beside the the tomb of the mother, and the other some distance into another part of the forest. What seemed to be golden, glowing symbols surrounded the bodies before lifting them off the ground and gently gliding them over to the two boxes, with Ling’er’s father in the one beside the tomb while the one in the other area for the disciple couple.
Then a higher pitched ding resounded as the dirt from the surrounding seemed to recede like a wave as they rushed in to fill the boxes. Then, grass and flowers began to grow on top of the flat dirt, completely hiding away the fact that there was a grave there in the first place.
Before I could question how we would be able to find the grave in the future, another higher pitched ding resounded as large tombstones materialized in the sky and planted itself on top of the graves.
Then, golden characters floated from the ground and stamped themselves on the tombstones, engraving the names and text for each tombstone.
The old monk then opened his eyes for a glance before closing them once more, releasing a sigh.
“This can count as my final gift to you my son. May you rest in peace with the one you cherish.”
I looked over at Ling’er and saw a tear roll down her face as she smiled gently in happiness. She glanced at me before pulling me gently over to her mother’s graves.
“Mother, I haven’t introduced him to you yet, but he’s Zhi Ye, my partner,” Ling’er said as a small blush grew on her face, “Ling’er will have to leave now and Ling’er doesn’t know when the next time Ling’er will get to come visit you, but Mother don’t worry, Ling’er will live happily.”
I also nodded and stated, “Don’t worry mother, I, Xiong Zhi Ye swear to take Ling’er as my only wife, and will never give up on her, whether through suffering or happiness. Then, we’ll also have lots of childr-“
OOF Ling’er gave me a hard pinch as she said with a blush, “W-who said I will have c-children with you! Humph.”
“Aiya- Ling’er, you can’t harm your husband like that, I-” I shamelessly claimed, but was cut off by a cough behind us.
“Ahem, I believe it’s time for us to be on our way Ling’er,” the old monk interrupted.
“Humph,” Ling’er pouted.
I grinned as I grabbed Ling’er’s hand. We then both took a final look at the grave and bowed once more in respect. Then, we gently glanced at each other as we prepared to head off to a new adventure, together.
“Brat, what are you doing holding my Ling’er’s hands?” the old monk grunted.
Huh? Is he jealous over such a small thing? I decided to ignore the granddaughter-con’s remark and stated, “Old monk, let’s go, bring us to this Shen Ren continent or whatever so I can kick their butts!”
The old monk gave me a glare before stating in a solemn tone, “Do not say us. Even if we’re going to Shen Ren continent, it has nothing to do with you. I only came to bring Ling’er back, not you.”
Both Ling’er and I froze in shock. Oi, this couldn’t be the separation for a lifetime trope where the protagonist has to power up in order to get his girl back right? Ling’er gripped my hands tightly as she fiercely glared back, “I’m not going anywhere without him.”
A fierce sweetness brewed in my heart, yet at the same time fear grew as I knew I was powerless against this monk. I began to think up of ways to escape, but was shocked at what the monk said next.
“Very well. I am unlike those forceful fools that would force you to do something you don’t want to do as I believe everything is fated; however, Ling’er, I would like to speak with you in private for a bit. Perhaps you could decide if you want him to come along after. I assure you that you would want to listen and consider my speech because it relates to the life and death of your lover over there,” the old monk stated in a grim tone.
Oi. Oi. Oi. You say you don’t want to force her, but no matter how you listen to it, doesn’t that sound like a threat?! I prepared to activate void form to escape with Ling’er, but suddenly a pressure descended upon me as the old monk opened his eyes. Once again, I couldn’t activate my abilities as I was locked in place.
Ling’er pulled out her sword as she prepared to battle.
“Let go of Squishy!”
Tension filled the air as a hopeless battle was about to begin. My heart sunk as I realized in the end, I was still as powerless as ever.