Chapter 87: Answer
Translated by Ying of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
With the arrival of Mian, an outbreak of cold sweat spread throughout the people who had never yet laid eyes on such monstrosity. In an instant, the entire area went dead silent.
Mian didn’t move, nor did he make any sort of sound, but an icy chill washed over them all, sending waves of panic through their hearts.
Zhuo Yin looked to Gu Ting Yu from afar; the man was wrapped in Tong Ying’s arms. Zhuo Yin prayed subconsciously that he would be able to survive through this obstacle. He hadn’t even gone out to battle yet, but waves of apprehension crashed around inside him—this was something that had never occurred in any other battle he had fought in his lifetime.
The man with his face drained of colour seemed to detect Zhuo Yin’s eyes on him and hurriedly turned his own gaze to meet the other’s eyes, black pupils filled to the brim with concern…
Zhuo Yin’s heart swelled with warmth. It was a wonderful feeling—wanting to protect someone. No matter the amount of fear brought by his opponents, he was immune to it. Zhuo Ying steeled his heart and regathered his spirit power.
Watching as Zhuo Yin rushed out as the first attacker, Gu Ting Yu immediately felt an urge to rush out and stop him.
Zhuo Yin could not defeat Mian, Gu Ting Yu understood this better than anyone.
As expected, as soon as Zhuo Yin took his first few steps he suddenly froze in his stride, his face contorting out of shape due to the enormous pain he felt. His bright yellow eyes were slowly drained of their colour and his pupils contracted and expanded irregularly. His entire person seemed to be trapped in a suffocating space with no one to help him and no way to call for help.
Mian always used terror to kill people.
Soft tentacles slowly began their ascent up Zhuo Yin’s body, but Zhuo Yin couldn’t spare the attention to notice, he wanted to call out but couldn’t make a sound…
The scene unfolding in front of his eyes had already taken away his ability to respond.
He had foreseen Gu Ting Yu’s death.
His greatest fear over the years had come to existence in front of his eyes. Since he had met the man, Zhuo Yin started wanting to bind him tightly to his side. Zhuo Yin didn’t realize when it was that all of his other wishes had suddenly paled in comparison to this singular desire.
He only wanted that man to be safe, he just wanted to see him go through life without obstacles.
It was so painful… But Zhuo Yin didn’t give up and cast his eyes towards Gu Ting Yu desperately… He couldn’t… He couldn’t die… There was still so much that he hadn’t said, so many things left undone! Gu Ting Yu… Gu Ting Yu…
“Zhuo Yin!!!!” A cry that disregarded everything else tried to pull him back to reality, but just as Gu Ting Yu wanted to rush out to Zhuo Yin’s side, he suddenly realized that Qing Que and Nian Xing were also being held captive in the depths of their minds by terror while tentacles forcefully tightened around their necks. Nian Xing’s face had begun to lose color from the lack of air.
Facing the three men teetering on the edge of life and death, who was Gu Ting Yu supposed to choose?!
“No…!” The despair he felt seemed to rip through his entire being, what was he supposed to do?! … I don’t want any one of you to die!!!
While his mind was filled with turmoil, Gu Ting Yu suddenly felt his shoulders lighten. He lowered his head and found that Tong Ying had shown his original form, though he hadn’t noticed it happening. A soft-furred fiery fox now sat in his arms.
Because he had used up too much spiritual power, Tong Ying could no longer maintain his human form; a pair of watery eyes tiredly struggled to stay open, drooping and half-lidded while his awareness was muddled as he looked at Gu Ting Yu.
He didn’t know why—perhaps it was because the expression in the human’s eyes was one he had seen too often, or perhaps it was because he had once changed into a beast and been held in a human’s arms before… As he looked at the face in front of him, Gu Ting Yu’s face began to overlap with the blurry one in his memories.
He hadn’t even finished talking when his body was suddenly pulled backwards—tentacles had already sunk their teeth into Tong Ying and were about to pull him into endless horror.
“Aaaaahh…” With his heart crumbling to pieces, Gu Ting Yu turned his head to look at Mian, who was sporting a calm expression, “I’m begging you…”
Gu Ting Yu stepped towards the unfeeling man, and he kept on repeating that phrase, “I’m begging you…”
I know that you aren’t a bad person at heart… So, I’m begging you, please…
Tears rolled down his cheeks. However, Gu Ting Yu didn’t notice that at this point in time, his body was slowly beginning to glow. When it started, it was as dainty as the shine of a distant star, but gradually, the almost unnoticeable light brightened.
The specks of starlight began to morph together, combining to form a shine as soft as that of the moon—this was Gu Ting Yu’s innate soothing power. And as the distance to Mian got shorter, the moonlight-like shine became even brighter!
Ming Lei’s powers fused with Gu Ting Yu’s as they seeped into his veins for the very first time. The light emitted pierced through the darkness for miles—a light too strong to look upon.
The tentacles under the glow began to stop their attacks as though they had received orders to retreat while a shred of something could be seen in Mian’s eyes as he watched the approaching light.
Gu Ting Yu stood in front of Mian and reached out his hand, gently pressing it against Mian’s chest.
Waves of thought seemed to rush into Gu Ting Yu…
A quiet seaside; a beautiful woman was holding her big belly with one hand while smiling towards the sea. She prayed that the baby she was to give birth to would be healthy and smart.
The peace was broken a while later by cries from the midwife screaming “monster”.
Mian should, in reality, have been given the opportunity to experience the same emotions as any other person, but just because of the horrific tentacles growing out of his back, his entire life was ruined.
Whenever people nearby produced a sense of terror, the evil growing out of his back would start moving to wreak havoc.
He asked his mother, why did you make me like this?
Those words stabbed the woman’s heart like a dagger, and she, who had never shed a tear in front of others, began to sob.
“I don’t know…” the mother cried. “You can blame me, but I don’t know who I should blame…”
Mian couldn’t clearly remember anything that happened after that ; it was all likely events from the past which had pushed the limits of human emotions. This continued until the day the little village quieted down again—because Mian had disappeared.
Much later, rumors only told of a man-eating monster dwelling in the fogs of the ocean, but no one dared to find him while the questions remained. How did he come to be?
Why did he… choose to appear only in isolated places?
Did anyone ever really care about how he was supposed to continue living?
Mian’s awareness had been sealed away by himself and he was also the one who trapped himself in the depths of the ocean.
However, none of that mattered. Even if it was for his mother to never shed tears again. Even if it was because he no longer wanted to see the villagers’ gaze filled with disgust and horror.
Even if it was because he never wanted to see himself again.
It hurt so much that he began to feel numb. Did anyone understand? All the self-loathing and terror, all those other feelings, how he didn’t know who to direct his hatred to… All of this, he didn’t bother with.
He chose to go to sleep. In this sleep, he wallowed in his existence for a thousand years.
A thousand years later, he sensed a human for the first time, and that person used a gentle voice to reply to his perplexity.
He said, “Why are we born and why do we die?
Why are there some people who have it all—the money, the rank—while there are others who blend into the background, not affecting the world with their existence, living out their plain and meaningless lives?
I can’t reply to any of these questions.
The pain you’ve been through and the turmoil you’ve collected throughout your life—since I’m not you, it’s impossible for me to understand everything you’ve been through.
However, there is one point which is definite.
I, too, have my fears. The shadows lurking in my heart aren’t any lesser in number than the ones in yours. You need to know that I’m the same as you—that I, too, am scared of facing the future, and that I have the same feelings of doubt towards this world that you do.
So, I’m willing to bear the burden of terror with you and to grieve by your side. What I can give you isn’t just warmth; right now, I am standing in front of you to tell you that even if the world were to end, you needn’t be lonely…”