Chapter 138: Brink of …
The days after returned to normal, with the addition of my crazy push towards ascendant realm at night. Ling’er and I seemed to have grown closer after she had shared her burdens with me. She began to actively engage in conversations with me more than before, and I happily indulged her. We thought that our sweet times could continue until the pill was ready, but will that really be the case?
Although I cultivated hard, I always paid close attention to Ling’er to make sure she is alright. With her telling me that she was fine everyday with a mellow voice, I naively thought it would be the case for a while, but one day, Ling’er simply stopped telling me she was fine. Although she tried to engage in conversations with me, she failed to do so. That day, Ling’er lost her cherished, mellow voice. My heart was crying as I watched her tears rolled down her face along with her silent sobs.
After that shock, I began to watch over Ling’er every day and night, never leaving her side even when I’m cultivating. Although the old grandpa told me to rest, I refused as I was afraid … afraid that once I wake up again, Ling’er will no longer be there.
Alas, my worries were unfounded as I calmed down once more as I was nourished by Ling’er’s gentle smile every day as she listened to me talking to her. I knew she was keeping a strong front on the outside to comfort me, but I knew she was hurting deep down inside. It has been a while since her last meal as eating only made her suffer … she has been getting thinner and thinner my heart was squeezed tighter and tighter.
Before long, Ling’er stopped responding to my calls. No matter how much I called for her, she did not respond. Even, when I tried to use telepathic communication, she didn’t seem to hear me. It was then I realized she has lost her sense of hearing. Every day, I could only accompany her through our daily routine and when I wanted to talk to her, I would have her face me before I mouthed to her what I wanted to say slowly. After a while of doing this, we finally got used to the situation and Ling’er was able to respond to some of things I say to her with gestures. A sense of accomplishment filled my heart, yet there was already a gaping hole in that same heart.
Ling’er told me she wanted to see the Lover’s Heart I planted for her today. I nodded and brought her to go see it. I watched her gently touch the Lover’s Heart all over as a gentle smile arose on her face, yet I couldn’t feel an ounce of happiness because Ling’er’s eyes were staring blankly into space. Even when I turn her over to face me, I knew she could no longer see me. Yet, she still gave me a gentle smile as she caressed my face with her hands. From that day on, Ling’er waited for me by the bed side as I led her through our daily routine. I wanted her to enjoy the flowers with me while we still can …
It wasn’t long before Ling’er couldn’t get out of bed. It’s not her fault … it’s just her body being disobedient and refusing to move. Every day, I could only plant a gentle kiss on her forehead to let her know I am still there. I continued to talk to her while grasping her hands even though I knew she would never respond. It felt like talking to empty air, but I had to keep doing it to keep my heart from becoming completely empty. I wonder … how she is feeling right now? Is she scared? Is she crying? I just wanted to let her know that I am by her side … always and forever.
I woke up from my cultivation as the morning sunshine filtered in. I glanced over at the thin, fragile Ling’er on the bed as I gave her a morning greeting. Then, I tried my best to put on my best smile as I bent down to give Ling’er a morning kiss like usual, but I failed to do so. I could only blankly stare forward as there was no feeling of contact. My hands shivered as they slowly reached out in an attempt to grasp Ling’er’s hands, but I could only helplessly watch my hands pass through Ling’ers body. My knees weakened as I knelt on the floor at the brink of insanity. I had tried so long to stay strong and not cry, but I couldn’t hold back my tears no longer. Being able to feel each other was all we had left … How can the world be so cruel … Why must you take away even this?
From that day onward, I focused on cultivating non-stop day and night with no rest. I could only watch as Ling’er gradually turned more transparent every day. It got to the point where I didn’t dare to even spare a single glance at Ling’er because I was afraid that if I opened my eyes and looked at her too much, she would dissipate into thin air. I consumed everything I could in order to boost my power as I prepared for the ascendant tribulation. I could feel it was near, I must not give up!
And finally, the day has finally come. I don’t know how many secret realms I had destroyed nor did I care. I have hit the pinnacle of this world. It was time to ascend. I stood next to the bed as I smiled gently at Ling’er. I slowly leaned down and planted a kiss on her head … one that neither of us felt, “Ling’er, wait for me.”
I then turned away with determination as I told the Fatty to watch over her.
I swiftly headed to the nearby forest where the old grandpa and the Fatty’s master had already prepped for my ascension. The pill cauldron was also ready, the materials were ready, everything was ready. It was just this final step left.
I called out to heaven as I loosened the bottleneck on my cultivation. The heavens responded as dark clouds gathered overhead. Lightning began to fall upon me not long after as I resisted it with all my might. Even though I suffered injuries, I didn’t feel it was painful at all … it could never be more painful than what Ling’er is experiencing. There was only two more strikes to go and the power of ascension would descend upon me, after which I could condense it into the ascendant pill.
I watched the second-to-last strike come down upon me, ready to resist it with all my abilities. Suddenly, I lost control of my body as jumbled symbols filled my vision before forming a line of words in a familiar interface.
[This is my final gift to you b*st**d!]
My mind blanked in shock for a moment before I realized what and who it was. Then, I felt a force explode inside of me as multiple organs ruptured. I spat out mouthfuls of blood, but those blood never reached the ground as they were evaporated by the lightning strike that followed. I felt my cells being burnt to crisps as I failed to put up a sufficient defense. The thunder gradually faded away, and I weakly knelt to the ground as the world spun around me.
F**k … you … system.
I slowly cranked my head upwards to stare at the final strike of lightning that was condensing in the air, stronger than all the ones before. I was at the brink of success, but is this where I will fail? Is this the end? Will I not even get the chance to save her?