Edited -Zaki and Animeart
Guiltless grasped the sword with one hand. Fresh blood dripped down continuously. His eyes dulled, and he looked at Lin Shu with resentment and anger rising up.
The resentment and grievances of Min Prefecture City had already taken control of Guiltless and he had lost his mind.
Lin Shu thought he had not recovered yet and wanted to speak out to soothe the other party but he was locked in place by the murderous aura unable to move or make any sound.
Guiltless’ blood red heart formed due to grievances won effortlessly. Although Lin Shu had abolished Guiltless’ whole body’s meridians and spiritual power, his strength didn’t have the slightest depletion. Guiltless’s resentment became an entity, and the stormy waves slapped Lin Shu.
Lin Shu was knocked down from the air and he fell on his back, heavily on the rock, His heart and lungs in deep pain causing him to continuously cough up blood.
The blood stained Folding Bamboo Sword clattered to the ground.
Lin Shu struggled to support his body and sat upright. He watched Guiltless coming towards him.
The sea of blood surged behind Guitless. This scene now was very similar to the time when Xiao Shao had lost his sanity after being controlled by resentment and grievances.
Like a pale puppet, Guiltless touched his chest with his right hand and blood stained it red. The tip of his red tongue licked the back of his hand. He tilted his head and said expressionlessly, “I told you, you’re clean and pure, you’ll never want me.”
“Guiltless, I was going to —–”
He was so badly injured that just as he opened his mouth, the intense pain in his heart and lungs made his whole body spasm and tremble. With great difficulty he tried to say in broken words, “I…just want you ……”
Before his words were finished, his heart seemed to be gripped tightly and his eyes darkened as he was about to lose consciousness. His heart was racing, the blood in his body was raging, and there was only a violent ringing in his ears and in his head.
——He immediately reacted to the fact that Guitless was about to kill him in his usual method, just like how he had killed those people outside.
The words “If you don’t want me, I’ll kill you too” were still ringing in his ears, but he never thought they would come true today.
But he just wanted to free Guiltless from his grievances — that was the only way he could take at that time.
He could not say anything, his ears were buzzing, his body was burning with pain, and he could not move, but he could only watch this child walk through the sea of blood, step by step towards him.
The child whom he had raised with his own hands, full two years together, longer than any other child.
Remembering the tragic deaths of those people who had turned into blood when they died, Lin Shu didn’t have any waves in his heart. He just desperately wanted to talk and explain the reason for the sword — explain that he did want Guiltless.
But Guiltless tilted his head again and smiled: “I can’t kill you.”
He also coughed a few mouthfuls of blood, but still smiled: “You just… For the sake of the Little Phoenix, you saved me from the Heavenly Tribulation and asked the Heavenly Dao to give me a human form. Why is there such a big Cause and Effect?”
The heart made of grievances palpitated violently a few times, but then it gradually came out of Guiltless’ chest and floated in the air!
Black Qi swirled around the heart and became a fuzzy human shape.
Guiltless’s original body, devoid of the red-blood heart, seemed to lose its vitality, closed its eyes and fell to one side.
Guitless’ cold voice came from the fuzzy human form: “You blocked the Thunder and Lightning Tribulation for me. I will give back the human shell to you and your face too.”
Lin Shu gasped with difficulty.
Guiltless yet still did not kill him.
Lin Shu guessed that because he had helped Guiltless cross the Tribulation, Guiltless owed Karma in Heavenly Dao. Hence he couldn’t kill Lin Shu.
But the squeeze of resentment had made him almost unconscious. He wanted to speak, but he choked on the blood in his mouth. For a moment, the pain tore his heart and lungs, and he kept coughing up blood foam.
The black figure floated up, and he felt a complex gaze from mid-air watching him.
A moment later, the phantom shadow rose in the air and went straight towards Min Prefecture City.
There was a great deal of blood in Min Prefecture City. In an instant, the roaring and wailing became hundred times stronger, and the evil atmosphere spread all over the sky and enveloped the vast area.
Lin Shu guessed that the whole city of Min Prefecture had become a resentful ghost city and the reason should be Guiltless.
His hand was shaking, he took out a few healing pills, swallowed them, and finally had some clarity, but he still couldn’t stand up. He slowly moved with difficulty to the side of the human shell, and pressed the pills on the wound on its chest.
He suddenly remembered that a long time ago, Xiao Shao kissed him on the left side of his chest, saying that there seems to be a scar here.
He then laughed and laughed, and coughed again, spitting out blood.
Time flies but human life is rare. When the sweet dew falls, heaven and earth unite, and the yellow bud grows at the place of separation.
Tangible things in the world were born out of the harmony of Yin and Yang. Swords were inanimate objects and only by chance could they gain spiritual wisdom. Only after the Transformation Tribulation from the Heavenly Dao would open a line for it and create a body for the soul using the spiritual aura of Heaven and Earth.
Lin Shu blocked the Thunder and Lightning tribulation, and the human shell was his – but he had a human body, and his Divine Soul could not leave the body. Guiltless could take this opportunity to take shape and walk in the world with a human body.
It turns out that in the end ……
The pill took effect quickly, and Lin Shu’s blood-darkened vision slowly became clearer. He saw the wound healing, and the little human shell opened his eyes dazedly.
The eyes were chaotic and dazed, with no brightness of understanding. Lin Shu called out to him, but he did not answer.
It was just a shell without any soul.
Lin Shu leaned on the ground with his sword, stood up with difficulty and picked up the child.
He had lost all his cultivation and stumbled a few steps.
Black fog filled the air, the demonic energy was rising, and the mutation of Min Prefecture City had begun.
He trudged through the mountains and wilderness, not knowing how long it had been, when finally dim lights appeared in front of him.
Lin Shu put down the child, wiped the blood from his lips, straightened out his messy robes and hair, led the child, and walked into the village.
Aunt lived in the village. At this time, Li Jimao and Li Yamao were still children, and Emao had not been born yet.
He knocked on the door.
Because of this unusual and bizarre change, the whole village was in a panic. Aunt opened the door with a wary face and sized him up from head to toe before relaxing slightly: “This ……?”
Lin Shu took a soft breath and pushed the child in front of Aunt: “I’m Lord Taoyuan, a man of the Immortal Dao. I’m here today to ask the Aunt… To take care of the child for me for ten years.”
He looked around: “Min Prefecture City has become a gathering place for evil spirits. I’ll set up an enchantment barrier for you to protect the villagers from being invaded by Evil Qi… as repayment.”
Aunt looked at him suspiciously.
He smiled, took out his defensive magic weapon, and formed a solid and incomparable clear Qi barrier for the village.
In a flash, the black fog in the village cleared away, and the wailing of ghosts and spirits that filled the vast field miraculously disappeared.
Aunt finally believed him but she still asked him a lot of questions, such as who was the child, why did he look as if he had lost his mind and how to raise him.
In order for Aunt to take care of this child, Lin Shu could only say that this was his apprentice.
Today, he finally knew the whole story.
He put the marriage letter with Ling Fengxiao in a jade cylinder and the token, and left it with Aunt. And in the face of Aunt’s question “What should I say to this child in the future”, he left a letter for this non-existent apprentice.
The Aunt hugged the child after having finally dispelled all of her doubts and said, “Is Immortal Lord leaving now? Come in and have a cup of water.”
“No need.” Lin Shu did not have any more strength and whispered, “When there is fate, we will see each other again.”
After a thousand years, Lin Shu would fail to cross the Tribulation because of a lightning rod. His body was erased by the Heavenly Dao, and his soul was about to dissipate.
Somehow, he would traverse thousands of years in the past, and end up in this era, where there just happened to be an ownerless human shell for Lin Shu’s soul to take over as if it was specifically kept for him by the Heavenly Dao.
Ten years later, Lin Shu would be reborn in the little fool’s body.
In that same year, Phoenix Mountain Villa’s Big Miss passed through Jiangnan, dressed in red and armed with a blade and at night entered Min Prefecture City.
Separation and reunion are all pre-determined fate.
He finally understood the four words behind the mirror.
He smiled and looked in the direction of Min Prefecture City, his heart could not help but feel some kind of powerlessness and sadness.
He was completely devoid of cultivation, and his Divine Soul was as thin as a piece of paper.
He wanted to call back Guiltless, but how to do so?
In that instant, he suddenly remembered that the eight secret peerless manuals were still on the bookcase in the Sword Pavilion hall, and the thieves were eyeing them…
The matter at hand was irrevocable, but the eight peerless manuals must not fall into the hands of others. He closed his eyes, and withdrew his divine thoughts from this place, back to the higher dimensional world in the Mirror of Cause and Effect.
Just as he was about to return to the present, a luminous human form suddenly appeared in front of him.
The light represented the strength of the Divine Soul, and this light was escaping frantically, symbolising that this person’s Divine Soul was being depleted at a rapid rate.
Lin Shu held the figure’s hand and transfused a few strands of his remaining Divine Soul strength over and finally could see the person’s face: “Qinglu?”
“Master… Master.” the figure whispered.
Lin Shu saw that he was still holding something in his arms.
“Why are you here?” he asked. “What’s going on outside?”
“Outside… You can’t go outside.” Qinglu said, “Several elders came immediately when they saw the summoning fireworks and fought with those people. I have no magic power, I only know… I only know.”
He said, holding out the things in his arms – the eight secret peerless manuals: “I only know that these are very important things. To keep them, I took advantage of the chaos, took them off the master’s desk and hid them behind the screen.”
Lin Shu: “What happened afterwards?”
“Afterwards…” Qinglu’s voice trembled: “A crazy black thing came out of the mirror and went on a killing spree and destroyed the Sword Pavilion Hall. It killed many people, several elders were also seriously injured, Lingsu sister also …… I do not know if she was alive.”
Lin Shu closed his eyes, thinking that thing should be Guiltless.
After one thousand years, the Sword Pavilion Hall did show signs of reconstruction after being destroyed.
Qinglu continued, “That thing made a lot of commotion. Half the sky was blood red. It killed enough, hovered in mid air and returned to the mirror. I thought… It was safe.”
Lin Shu: “What happened later?”
Qinglu clutched the eight peerless manuals, and his body form was flickering in and out: “The crazy black thing left. I came out of the ruins, but I didn’t expect that the Qin… Daoist Qin, gathered a large number of people to set up an ambush at the foot of the mountain. Seeing that the mountain had calmed down, he once again attacked me– threatened me to hand over the peerless manuals. The elders were seriously wounded. I was driven to a dead end by them. There was no place to go. The mirror… Sucked me in.”
Lin Shu: “How many more of our people are out there?”
“No more.” Qinglu shook his head and said anxiously, “All the young disciples are hiding in the border. Some of the elders and guards are dead and some are injured. Master, you can’t go out! There are at least a hundred of them, and two of them who are in lead are in Crossing the Tribulation realm. That Daoist Qin has practiced some evil spells and also become a cultivator in the realm of Crossing the Tribulation. If you go out, you will die.”
Lin Shu: “If we stay here, that is also death.”
This place was not for ordinary people to stay, not to mention that Qinglu had just formed the Golden Core last year, and his soul was not much different from ordinary people.
“Master, you have been here for so long, must be fine, I …… it doesn’t matter if I die!” Qinglu stressed again and again, “You can not go out!”
“What about you?” Lin Shu said faintly.
“I……” Qinglu was afraid as he also felt the passing of the soul: “I will also die when I go out, and I will stay here to accompany the Master. Didn’t the elders teach me that life and death are instantaneous things, Master, I’m not afraid.”
Lin Shu’s eyes were sour: “I have not done anything for you.”
“Master has shown great kindness to me by giving a new lease on life. When I was climbing the 9000 long steps, the master…. Looked at me, and this disciple… This disciple will never forget.” Qinglu looked directly at him, and his soul flickered wildly, which was a sign that it was about to disappear.
Lin Shu said, “You go in.”
Lin Shu picked him up by the back of his neck and brought him to the river of time.
If he went out, he would be surrounded by people and die, and if he was here, his soul would dissipate and die, but there was a way to keep Qinglu alive – to keep him at a certain point in time – forever.
Instead, he discovered something desperate.
Going back in time would also require the depletion of the Divine Soul – the amount of Divine Soul depleted would be enough to kill the uneducated, mediocrely cultivated Qinglu in one fell swoop.
He looked blankly at the river of light, constantly changing the point in time, but found that the closer he got to the present, the less Divine Soul was consumed – perhaps, this was also a rule set by the Heavenly Dao to prevent someone from making a mess in the past.
The more you go beyond the present point in time to the future, the less was needed.
He carried Qinglu, who didn’t know what he was doing, all the way back up the river of time at the fastest speed, and finally found a point in time that could support the loss of Qinglu’s soul, so that after landing, he would still a sane living person, not a fool with an incomplete soul.
According to his projection, this was already a thousand years in the future, maybe even two thousand years later.
“Are you afraid of death? You can’t lie to me.” Lin Shu asked Qinglu.
Faced with the frantic dissipation of his Divine Soul, Qinglu’s voice seemed as if he was about to cry out, “I’m afraid …… Master save me.”
Lin Shu infused another strand of his Divine Soul: “You will go to a very different place, but you can live well. There may also be seniors of the Sword Pavilion that you can find.”
He thought back to his modern life. Although Qinglu had mediocre talent, he was not a foolish person – he barely had a bit of cultivation that could lift the clouds and drive the fog, but it was enough to adapt to the changing times. What’s more, the inheritance of the Sword Pavilion remained unbroken until his generation, Qinglu could get the protection of his elders.
Qinglu said, “Then, Master, can I come back? I want to come back.”
Lin Shu thought about it, bit his index finger and drew a soul seal on his back.
Qinglu said, “It’s so hot!”
“This is the soul-guiding seal, when your Divine Soul is enough, it can extradite you to return.”
“When will it be enough?”
“At the peak of the Tribulation realm.”
“Huh? Then I won’t be able to return ever?”
Lin Shu: “……”
He shoved 《Everlasting Yearning》into Qinglu’s arms: “This can be cultivated until the Tribulation realm.”
“Huh? What is this?” Qinglu shouted, “Master, even if you give me 《Everlasting Yearning》, I won’t be able to cultivate to the peak of the Tribulation realm!”
Lin Shu threw him into the river of time: “Do your best.”
Qinglu continued to shout in the air, “Master, I don’t have a sword! My sword has fallen outside! Is there a sword over there? Ah???”
Time was urgent, Lin Shu had no other way, so he threw the Folding Bamboo Sword that was in his hand towards Qinglu’s direction.
Qinglu caught it, “Master! I will come to see you!”
The voice gradually became smaller, and Qinglu turned into a point of light and disappeared in the river of time.
Lin Shu returned to his original position and deduced the time, but his soul was already dying, so he couldn’t deduce the exact point of time. He could only engrave the soul-guiding seal’s receiving mark on a point of time that roughly belonged to the present, with the error margin of thirty years.
If Qinglu could cultivate to the peak of the Tribulation in his lifetime, this seal could bring his soul back from the future.
At this moment, he suddenly froze.
A fragment of a long-lost, dusty memory flashed back in his mind.
It was when he was very, very young.
His master had pricked out blood and carved an intricate seal on his back.
He was puzzled and asked, “What is this?”
His master blew on the mark and said, “This is our Sword Pavilion’s Pavilion Master Seal. Your master passed on to me, and today I am passing it on to you.”
He then did not ask any more questions.
After a while, his master said, “Disciple, do you know why you are called ‘Lin Shu’?”
He said, “Shu means far away. You said you wanted me to be far away from the world of mortals and the world of living.”
Master smiled and said, “No.”
Lin Shu said again, “You often recited the ancient text, which had a line ‘The moonlight seeps down to the forest, sparse as residual snow’.”
Master said, “Neither.”
He then stopped guessing.
But the master sighed and gently stroked his hair: “My dear disciple …… you really look like that person.”
Thinking of this, Lin Shu covered his mouth, tears suddenly slipped down. In this silent space, before the boundless time, he thought back to his two lives as a human being – the separation and reunion, joys and sorrows, cause and effect, and he couldn’t restrain his cries and laughter.
The seal that was engraved on his back by his master’s hand, caused his soul to be returned to the past when he had died under the Heavenly Thunder and Lightning Tribulation.
Who was the Master? Who was he? The book 《Everlasting Yearning 》was still in Master’s hands. Where was the Folding Bamboo Sword? Who was the Folding Bamboo Sword?
He felt that he had gone crazy, and everything in the world pressed against him, pouncing on his face, struggling to get out.
Some things couldn’t be remembered again. It was a deep knot that tore through the deepest part of his heart.
He looked at the river.
The deceased were like this, reluctant to give up, all the time.
At that moment, he wanted to jump down, just like a death-seeker jumping into the rushing river. The cold river would drown all joys and sorrows, and he would finally have a long-term peace.
Xiao Shao, Guiltless, Qinglu, Folding Bamboo.
There was nothing left for him to lose, except his own life.
A point of light somehow lit up, hovering around him, Lin Shu struggled to see clearly and found that it was the mirror.
This mirror, that was the beginning of all stories.
The eight characters “Separation and Reunion, are all pre-determined fate” were faintly lit up and hung in the mirror.
He grabbed the mirror: “Do I have another chance?”
The mirror flickered, and a word appeared on the mirror: “Yes.”
Lin Shu looked at the river of time. It looked as if he was speaking to the mirror, but also seemed to be talking to himself, as he said, “I want to see Xiao Shao.”
He lowered his head, his eyes were blurred. The light of the river reflected an overwhelming golden color: “But I can’t deduce the time.”
He had no other thoughts. Everything in his life was scoured away by the will of Heavenly Dao. It was good to say that he was tired of this earthly life and hoping for complete silence. In the end, there was only one idea in his heart that had been crazily suppressed for countless days and nights.
He missed Xiao Shao. As a widower, he never stopped missing him, every day and every moment. He fooled everyone and himself. But now, he couldn’t fool himself anymore.
He saw the writing in the mirror change: “Why not do the same thing as Qinglu?”
Find a time in the future and live?
“I do not want to go,” Lin Shu’s mind was blank, there was no way to think. In the silence, he finally broke down emotionally. His tears kept falling down, crying so much that he could not breathe and could barely say complete sentences: “I want to.. Xiao Shao …… I don’t want to go to a place without Xiao Shao.”
He lowered his head, his voice was weak and next to nothing: “I want …… to see him again.”
Four words floated on the mirror: “To go is to die.”
“I know.” Lin Shu reached out and caressed the mirror, saying in a hoarse voice: “I want to die in …… a place where there is Xiao Shao.”
The mirror was blank for a long time, and finally a word appeared.
Ela – so bittersweet! But mind boggling as well QAQ ( Literally rushed the TL because it was too gripping! Now Zaki is rushing the next chap!! Hold tight folks!)
Zaki~ I’m having goosebumps because of these twists and the end part made me cry so bad :’(!!!!
Ani ~~ Woah!! *first time reader* So many twists!