Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
In addition to sounding a bit hard-headed, Ivy’s side of the face looked slightly tense, similar to being in a state of readiness and rather high-strung. The person asking the question was obviously on guard, like a feline ready to run away from danger.
Jiang Ci blinked when he heard the question, and then returned with an affirmative, “Of course.”
Jiang Ci didn’t lie, and thought his tone should be serious enough to pass a lie detector test.
But Ivy reacted as though he didn’t believe it; his eyebrows furrowed again, and his expression became colder.
In response, Jiang Ci had to repeat his position, “Of course I care about you too.”
Ivy remained silent.
Seeing the other party’s reaction, Jiang Ci thought about it and decided not to press further. He knew that building trust was a process, and that it was not easy to gain credibility by just saying things. However, when Jiang Ci did not say anything else, Ivy did not keep silent for long; he turned back to Jiang Ci and said, “How long will you stay in Phantom?”
Jiang Ci couldn’t help pondering if there was some underlying meaning in the other party’s words.
“I should at least wait until the elements are back in balance here and the city folk are in a better condition,” Jiang Ci replied. “Do you want me to leave earlier?”
Although not consciously so, Jiang Ci’s question did suddenly and unexpectedly switch their active and passive positions.
Ivy had difficulties answering the question. It was hard for him to deny it frankly, but he could not… or was afraid to say yes.
To deny it would mean revealing one’s inner concerns, actively showing one’s weaknesses clearly to the other person.
But if he said the opposite…
Even if he didn’t admit it, Ivy found it hard to avoid the fact that he was indeed afraid that Jiang Ci would leave because of this.
After Ivy was silent for a while, Jiang Ci felt that the other person probably didn’t want to make it too obvious that he wanted him to leave, so he spoke up and said, “Well, I understand.”
Jiang Ci was not discouraged; he could always find an opportunity to change his opponent’s mind later.
While hearing the young man’s words, Ivy’s unrestrained voice broke through his clenched throat, “No.”
Jiang Ci looked at him in surprise. For a moment, he felt as if he was grasping at something, but the other man quickly covered it up, “The world is your creation, whether you stay or go anywhere is only up to you.”
Ivy’s response was official and sounded impersonal.
Jiang Ci looked at him steadily for a few seconds, and what he had just caught in a flash gave him an inexplicable hunch. It seemed to him that Ivy was not as resistant to him as he thought he was.
Jiang Ci wasn’t entirely sure of the validity of his intuition, but trusting his gut, Jiang Ci reached out and touched the small black horn on Ivy’s head.
Getting it wrong could backfire.
Of all the scenarios Ivy had envisioned, this one was definitely not one of them. His body refused his command and he remained as still as if pinned to the spot. Perhaps the body’s instincts reflected his innermost will.
Unable to move when touched, Ivy’s taut face relaxed a bit when he felt the horn on his head being gently touched by the young man’s fingers, and even the corner of his pursed lips relaxed.
“Phantom City is very well built, and you’ve managed Shadow Race very well.” Jiang Ci commented with complete sincerity. After a pause, he added, “It’s been hard work.”
From coming to the city and seeing an overview of Shadow Race, Jiang Ci knew that it would not be easy to manage the place well. At least Jiang Ci was sure that Ivy didn’t resent his touch on the horns on his head, so he touched them twice before withdrawing his hand.
“Why are you wearing this?” Jiang Ci clearly remembered that he did not add any strange settings when he created Ivy.
Ivy quickly tilted his face slightly to the other side to prevent Jiang Ci from taking a closer look at the side of his face where he was wearing the mask, and spoke in a flat tone, “It’s unsightly.”
Jiang Ci was stunned for a moment, never expecting this answer.
“Is it the same symptoms as the city people…?” Jiang Ci was very quick to associate, frowning, “Your situation is worse than theirs, isn’t it?”
Before Jiang Ci came, he had heard from other Shadow Race members that in the townspeople who were sickened by the dark elements, the ones with heavier symptoms would have signs of corrosion on their skin.
Ivy was silent, acquiescing to Jiang Ci’s words.
Theoretically, Ivy, as an administrator, had a much higher tolerance for the dark elements than the average Shadow Race member.
Ivy looked at Jiang Ci as if he didn’t want to talk about it, so Jiang Ci chose to ask the system, “Can Ivy not make the elements dissolve?”
The system replied, “Yes, only you can do that.”
Then Jiang Ci guessed what method Ivy was probably using to heal the city folk.
“From now on, all the city dwellers in Phantom City who are in trouble will be sent to me.” Jiang Ci’s expression was all serious, “You can’t transfer the extra dark elements from them to yourself.”
Ivy was stunned at the words, and Jiang Ci then said to him, “Hands.”
Ivy hesitated, looking like he was a little reluctant, but obeyed and put out his hand.
Jiang Ci took his hand in his and began the ‘treatment.’
It was only at this very beginning that Jiang Ci finally realized just how overbearing the dark elements were in Ivy’s body. The energy was too great, and unlike the townspeople he could simply heal, Ivy’s condition could not be resolved in one fell swoop.
“Do you feel better?” Jiang Ci asked him.
Ivy stiffened slightly and responded in a low, monotone voice, “Hmm.”
“When you’re fully recovered, your face should also recover.” Jiang Ci pointed to the corresponding spot on his cheek. “It won’t be unsightly anymore. Even if it can’t be restored,” Jiang Ci took a step back and reassured the other, “It will look alright now.”
Ivy was a very handsome and elegant type in appearance, and his expression was reserved when it was indifferent or unkind. Wearing a small silvery-white half-mask would only make his features appear more profound, and other people would never think it was a flaw.
Jiang Ci had already expressed his concern several times in words and actions in a very direct way, and Ivy was not unaware of it, but because he received it, he wanted further proof of his importance.
He would never allow himself to show any care or affection until he was sure.
Ivy withdrew his hand and stated softly, “I will never look good compared to him.”
Jiang Ci didn’t respond immediately, and it took a moment for him to figure it out, “… You mean Luci?”
When Jiang Ci came over here, he had thought about the reaction that might result from their meeting, so he didn’t ask Luci to follow him. However, he did not expect that Ivy could react to Luci’s absence.
Jiang Ci’s eyes twitched, but he had to answer properly, “To me, you are completely different individuals, and I would never compare you two together. And there is no need to compare.” Jiang Ci didn’t choose to gloss over it. “Celestials and Shadow Race have different talents. Celestials have their wings to become the lords of the sky, while you have the special talent to manipulate time, there is no way to compare the two. “
Ivy didn’t know if he was convinced or not, but all Jiang Ci could see was that his lowered eyelashes seemed to tremble a little, and the corners of his mouth were pursed quite forcefully, but this time it didn’t look unpleasant like before – instead, it seemed as though he was restraining himself from something.
In this state, the other party’s expression was obviously quite cold, but somehow, on Jiang Ci’s side, it just seemed a bit nicer. Compared to the obvious resistance that made Ivy look like he was close to stabbing him before, now it seemed that Jiang Ci could get closer – as long as he was more careful.
Such a rapid and remarkable change was noticed by the system. At that moment, the system suddenly had a little premonition of a crisis. It was only then that it realized in hindsight that the object of its task this time seemed to be naturally provocative….
So the question was, did it really bring the creator here in order to restore the world, instead of causing some kind of war between the six tribes again? A508 pondered, and attempted to make a data calculation to find an answer, but it ultimately failed to calculate any meaningful result.
Jiang Ci didn’t know what the system was thinking. He felt that he had answered the question quite well, expressing his true thoughts and presenting them in a convincing and reasonable manner.
If this were an exam question, he wouldn’t be able to get a perfect score.
Phantom’s night came early, and the city’s streetlights glowed softly, with a color close to the kind of light emitted by fireflies in the dark. At first glance, they resembled tall, narrow, exotic plants, but at the tops they looked like lamps. Adorned with fluorescent lights, Phantom at night looked serene and beautiful.
The arrival of god allowed the Shadow Race to see a real night sky for the first time in ages, with a bright, cool, glowing moon hanging in the sky, and most of the city’s residents going out to their homes tonight to watch the moonlight fall on the city streets. It was a beautiful sight, of course, but the Shadow Race in Phantom City still hoped to see God more than anything else.
Even the brightest of moons paled in comparison to God, and the beauty of the moonlight was not even one ten thousandth of that of God. For some of the city dwellers who had seen Jiang Ci, they felt that as long as they saw God, anyone would definitely call Him the most beautiful.
Jiang Ci did not go out and wander the streets to see the city. He would have liked to, but because he was a little tired from the intense concentration he had to exert several times today to mobilize his mind enough to affect the elements, he shelved the idea. Without going out, Jiang Ci sat on a chair on the outdoor balcony, looking out with his hand resting on his chin.
Luci came up to him at that moment and asked, “Are you worried about the Shadow Race?”
Jiang Ci nodded, “I don’t know how long it will take for the environment in Phantom City to return to normal, but in the end, it’s my fault.”
If it weren’t for the rule he had unintentionally added when he created the world, there wouldn’t have been so many natural disasters that happened for no reason, and all the chain reactions would have disappeared.
“It’s not your fault,” Luci looked down, “No one would think so. How long do you plan to stay in Phantom City?”
Having heard a similar question just a short time ago, Jiang Ci gave the same answer, “At least until the elements are back in balance here and the situation of the townspeople is better.” However, since it was Luci that he was dealing with, Jiang Ci said one more sentence, “The situation in Celestials is stable, so there should be no need to worry.”
Arsène’s defense was perfect, and it was unlikely that natural disasters would happen frequently these days. Jiang Ci thought so, and he said this more to reassure Luci, but it didn’t turn out the way he thought it would.
Luci’s demeanor changed slightly when she heard Jiang Ci say not to worry about Celestials.
“Does that include me, too?” he asked.
He chose to ignore because he was strong enough. Luci reacted to Jiang Ci’s question while understanding his point of view, even though he knew that Jiang Ci did not mean it.
Before Jiang Ci could respond, he saw Luci take a step closer to him, then half-kneel down and gently rest his head on his knee, “They hurt.”
Jiang Ci was stunned, “What?”
Luci whispered, “My wings, they hurt.”
The silver-haired Celestials half-kneeling in front of Jiang Ci was powerful and perfect. When such a being suddenly showed weakness to him, Jiang Ci couldn’t tell how he felt. But now his hand was already one step ahead of his mind, soothingly touching the wings on the back of the other man.