Chapter 53: Tian Xie
“Don’t come closer!” Qian Lü got up on one knee, trying to suppress the bloody taste pumping from his lungs.
The striking white glow of light seemed to be growing from within Gu Ting Yu’s body. The powers raged, and it felt as though his body was a broken shard of ice, melted by raging flames. “What should I do?!”
Qian Lü’s pupils widened, his blood running cold. He studied the enormous amount of power before his eyes, as it enveloped Gu Ting Yu in blinding light that was like a falling star.
Just a while ago, when the Ni Gu needle pierced into his Resting-soul point, it should have put Gu Ting Yu into an unconscious state. However, not only was the Ni Gu needle unable to subdue him, it also triggered the energy source in his body.
But that’s impossible… his soul should have shattered long ago under such tremendous force…
So why is he able to contain Ming Lei?
Qian Lü held back his internal panic, stood up before the rapid whirlwind, and shouted at Gu Ting Yu, “Hold your breath!! Focus all your energy to flow with your body’s inner circulation!!!”
At the same moment, loud tremors could be felt within the depths of the Twelve Palaces. The palace was situated in the heart of the vibrations, threatening to crumble at any time. On the land where the Evil Source dissipated, one could see waves of decaying dead energy emerging from the ground. The energy nourished the handful of Yuan Ming flowers, making their beautiful blossoms even more eerie.
Jue stood before the Clock of Reincarnation, casting his eyes on the rising black fog. He, who had always held himself with pride, was now kneeling on the ground.
“Has he awakened?” The voice came from behind him together with the sound of sluggish footsteps. Huan Sheng dragged his weakened body as he appeared at the Land of Yuan Ming.
“No—he’s scared.” Jue turned around with an ambiguous expression.
As the decaying energy gathered above them, the sky began to dim.
Jue’s neck had an obvious wound which he got earlier when Huan Sheng attacked him in surprise.
“You’re back.” Jue’s voice was devoid of all emotions.
Huan Sheng looked at the glaring wound before he shut his eyes; other than the Evil Source, nobody had ever come close to hurting Jue, yet… he betrayed his trust and hurt Jue who had always been trying to protect him.
“His consciousness is still muddled… I did not tell him where you’ve been,” Jue continued to explain without any tinge of emotion before getting on his feet to leave.
“Jue!” Perhaps it was the abrupt agitation what strained his body; Huan Sheng suddenly collapsed on the ground as he panted heavily, “… I’m sorry.”
“I really don’t know what were you thinking!!!” Jue shouted back, as his face contorted in anger; the cold mask he was wearing began to fall apart, “A thousand years ago, you willingly chose to become like that because of the Evil Source, but how about now?”
“Jue, it’s not the same anymore…” Back then, he had no other choice.
Jue pulled Huan Sheng’s collar towards himself as he stared into those dark-green eyes, “Don’t make me remind you—the Sacred Beasts’ fate has long been decided. You and I both know it damn well.”
He glanced over Huan Sheng’s pale face, speechless and unwilling to say more. He handed over a bottle of Yuan Ming flower’s dew to Huan Sheng, “Drink it sparingly… I will think of other ways…” Jue lowered his head in deep thought, “If Qian Lü could play his zither again, maybe he’d be able to heal you.”
Huan Sheng smiled bitterly. What irony that everyone claimed that Jue, whose powers were the closest to the Evil Source, was a cold-hearted person. No one understood that under the cold, distant exterior, there was a strong man who nagged like a brother and was tolerant like family. He got angry because of Bai Zhi Ao and Xiu Er’s betrayal, but that was because he couldn’t bear to see them die. He slapped Huan Sheng because he thought the man had killed Qing Que. At this moment, though, he was desperate to find alternatives so that he could extend Huan Sheng’s life.
He’d always look at the bigger picture in everything he did. Still, he always cared for every single Sacred Beast in silence—he was truly worth the title as the leader of the Twelve Sacred Beasts.
“Huan Sheng, stop putting up a fruitless struggle. Regardless of what you do, our future is carved in stone.”
Jue heaved a deep sigh as he turned to leave.
The black decaying energy continued to gather in the space above them as it merged into a growing ball of energy. Huan Sheng lay on the ground, sipping the golden dew. Moments later, he raised his head again as his eyes regained their beautiful dark-green color.
He glanced towards the direction in which Jue left, his gaze filled with sorrow and determination.
[I will protect all of you in my own way.]
Beads of sweat rolled off Gu Ting Yu’s forehead as he followed Qian Lü’s instructions and directed the scattered energy within his body.
“That’s it…” Qian Lü’s voice seemed close yet far away, “Don’t resist the energy, let it flow with your body’s circulation and slowly direct it away…”
Gu Ting Yu shut his eyes as he focused on feeling that rampaging force slowing down gradually. It was as if somewhere in his mind, he knew how to do it. Eventually, his body did not feel as painful anymore, and the blinding light began to dim.
“Relax…” then suddenly, a warm embrace wrapped around his weakened body, and Gu Ting Yu leaned against Qian Lü’s shoulder; he breathed weakly like a person who had just recovered from a grave sickness.
“… it’s incredible that Ming Lei’s power could get along with you in such a perfect manner,” Qian Lü slowly guided Gu Ting Yu towards the bed, seemingly forgetting how much he hated touching the human’s body.
He looked into Gu Ting Yu’s eyes, asking seriously, “Before you gained Ming Lei, was there anything unusual about your body?”
“Hm…” Gu Ting Yu mumbled. The dire situation earlier made his eyes bloodshot, and his limbs turned cold. He forced himself to face Qian Lü’s gaze as he briefly described his past thirty years of life, the nightmares and the ability to absorb a beast’s physical pain and heal them in return.
Qian Lü listened, then remained quiet for a long time.
Among the healing attributes Qian Lü belonged to, there was a rumored forbidden technique.
That technique was named [Tian Xie]. It was a technique that was extremely rare and very few had the potential to possess the ability. Due to how heavy the liability coming with practicing Tian Xie was, nobody had ever successfully mastered it over the past thousand years.
Tian Xie could heal any types of pain, be it mentally or physically. However, the practitioner would act as a medium—they’d transform the pain into negative energy and absorb it into their own body.
The pain did not lessen, it was simply converted.
The negative energy was like an hourglass which would eventually fill up the practitioner’s soul. At the point where it exceeded the medium’s capacity, the practitioner would wither away and die.
Hence, it was said that Tian Xie could save anyone, except the practitioner themselves.
Qian Lü had always thought that the practitioners of Tian Xie were just a tall story, and yet before him, there was this average-looking human, who happened to be the only person who was willing to use Tian Xie for the sake of someone else.
“Hey… why are you spacing out…” After he had adjusted his breathing, Gu Ting Yu looked at Qian Lü puzzledly, since the man stared at him, not moving an inch.
“No, it’s nothing.” Qian Lü cast his gaze away indifferently, as he continued, “The negative energy within your body has been expelled and it faces its end. Somehow, Ming Lei’s power entered your body by accident and merged itself together with you.”
“Oh,” Gu Ting Yu replied dully.
“Anyway…” Qian Lü, who was the master of the healing attributes, could not bring himself to meet Gu Ting Yu’s eyes, “You’re the opposite from the other practitioners—they learn how to attain their powers step by step. You first need to learn how to control the energy.”
“What’s on your mind?”
“I just want to quickly pass this weird energy to you as soon as possible so that I can return your favor,” Gu Ting Yu mumbled. As for the other practitioners, attributes, and so on, that was none of his concern.
“…” Qian Lü lowered his head, not replying to that sentence. Moments later, he got off the bed with his back to Gu Ting Yu, “Let’s head out.”
Outside the house, there was still a world that looked like a land of fantasy.
The five mouths of the spring were about ninety meters from the bamboo house.
They headed towards the pavilion that was in the center of the spring water. Before them, there was a narrow, thin bridge made of bamboo. The surface of the bridge was smooth as it swayed gently along with the mountain breeze.
Qian Lü stepped onto the bridge, walking lightly on it with ease, his image reflecting on the clear spring waters.
“You will cross this bridge to the pavilion, then head back here again.”
“That’s it?” Gu Ting Yu asked, smiling.
“Hn,” Qian Lü snorted coldly in return.
However, as soon as Gu Ting Yu shakily attempted to stand on the glossy surface of the bridge, his smile vanished.
He couldn’t even stand upright on it without falling straight into the spring waters.
Qian Lü calmly looked at the now drenched Gu Ting Yu and said, “If you can’t balance your own energy forces within your body, you’ll never get to the other side.”
“…” He must be doing this on purpose, seeing this like a joke, Gu Ting Yu thought to himself as he grudgingly wiped the water off his face.
Just like that, Qian Lü held a piece of bamboo leaf in his mouth, watching Gu Ting Yu show all kinds of comical postures, as he struggled on that bridge. Despite all his efforts, he continued to fall into the water.
But Qian Lü did not laugh. His gaze fixedly followed Gu Ting Yu whose face filled with frustration as he repeatedly got up and made another attempt at crossing the bridge.
Qian Lü’s gaze seemed to be unfocused.
A piercing voice appeared in his memories…
[A selfish person like you who refuses to save someone in need… just go to hell with your zither!!!]
The sunset’s glow bounced off the surface of the water as the slow ripples shined.
Qian Lü suddenly returned from his thoughts. It was near evening now; he instinctively searched for Gu Ting Yu’s shadow in the water.
But there was nothing.
Not even a shadow on the bridge.
Just when panic started to set in, he heard someone calling from afar. He turned his gaze towards the voice as he saw Gu Ting Yu waving at him, standing under the pavilion.
The whole afternoon had passed before Gu Ting Yu finally got the hang of controlling his balance. In the beginning he couldn’t even stand straight on the bridge; gradually, carefully taking one step at a time, every time he fell off the bridge, he would improve from the previous attempt.
Holding back his surprise, Qian Lü gestured at him to return. “Come back,” he urged.
However, Gu Ting Yu’s focus was on the other parts of the pavilion. Then, he shouted back at Qian Lü, “—there’s a zither over here, it looks… really weird…”