Chapter 93: Resurrection
Translated by Ying of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Jue took out a scroll; its yellowed parchment had a soft texture and a stale smell. He opened it, revealing a completely blank surface. He bit his finger, painting on the scroll with the blood from the wound.
The parchment absorbed the blood as though it were alive and soon, when all the liquid had been taken in, the scroll began to change.
Ancient curses began to appear on the scroll prominently and faint smoke could be seen rising from the black scripture.
“Starting from death, rebirth after demise. Cyclic reincarnation; where it ended, it shall begin.”
As Jue chanted the invocation, he walked towards Bai Zhi Ao. Bai Zhi Ao was on all fours, his entire body enveloped by a whirlwind of lightning, and the crackling electricity forming a sort of prison around him with no openings for escape. Bai Zhi Ao seemed as though he couldn’t see nor feel the Divine Punishment; instead, his clear pupils were fixed on Gu Ting Yu who was standing some distance away.
His tears dropped in silence, occasionally accompanied by sobs which would never make it out of his throat; the youngster’s dead silence made his figure all the more sorrowful.
Jue didn’t waste his time on words. He reached out his right hand and slowly began to force his fingertips into Bai Zhi Ao’s chest. Bai Zhi Ao’s body began to shake softly, but like a soulless wooden doll, he didn’t struggle in the slightest.
Black fog was enclosed in Jue’s palm as he retracted it from Bai Zhi Ao’s body; Bai Zhi Ao fell limply to the floor.
“Confusion.” Once he said that word, the black fog slowly rose into the air, floating towards the Clocktower of Reincarnation.
Jue let go of Bai Zhi Ao, turned around and used the same method to extract the black fog from Xiu Er’s chest.
“Murder.” “Vanity.” “Greed.” …
Following the ranking order of the twelve Sacred Beasts, the Sacred Beasts who fell increased in number while more smoke floated upwards from them to the Clocktower of Reincarnation.
Over time, the black fog formed figures that seemed to bare their claws and fangs, running rampant as they competed against each other in a race to reach the clocktower.
When Jue had pulled out “terror” from Mian’s chest, all of the Sacred Beasts in front of him now had lain down quietly in the mud, devoid of even the energy required to blink.
Crack… From the depths of the soul came a small cracking sound, everyone could sense that something was about to climb out of its thousand year old prison.
Jue stood alone at the base of the Clocktower of Reincarnation. He placed the scroll at the bottom of Gu Ting Yu’s feet as fresh blood continued to be soaked up by the scroll. Jue looked up at the darkened sky and stopped for a moment before finally putting his fingertips on his very own chest. A blue light flashed and Jue felt that his body had dropped to the temperature of ice. The pain of ripping his soul apart made it feel as though he was reaching into his heart to pull a part of himself out by force.
Just as the last shreds of black fog left Jue’s body, Jue managed to say in a raspy voice, “Despair.”
Jue could no longer hold up and crumpled to the ground. His body was so cold, but the deserted chamber of his heart provided a strange sense of comfort. After a moment of silence, Jue sighed to himself. I have finally completed… what I’d… promised to you…
Eleven clouds of black fog flew towards the depths of the clocktower, going straight to the huge white cocoon formed at the sacred palace.
The person sleeping inside the white cocoon had taken a grave injury a thousand years ago and as a result, he could only feed on the Yuan Ming flower’s nectar to remain alive.
That person had once said that out of the twelve Sacred Beasts, he was the only one who truthfully could never betray the Evil Source.
the Evil Source didn’t have a physical manifestation; whenever his last body died, the Evil Source would have to create another vessel to replace it.
Huan Sheng happened to be that vessel. All of him existed for the sake of the Evil Source. Unexpectedly, however, Huan Sheng slowly began to develop his own awareness.
The original sin Huan Sheng protected was called “Illusion”. Huan Sheng was like the reflection of the moon in water—even he himself didn’t know whether he had ever really existed. As soon the body’s owner awakened, Huang Sheng’s existence would lose its meaning.
Another way to put it was that, that person wasn’t currently called Huan Sheng. Instead, he had a name that the world feared, he was called the Evil Source.
In truth, it was because of what Jue had said while attacking Gu Ting Yu. “Huan Sheng is the Evil Source.” That had caused Gu Ting Yu’s attention to waver for an instant and result in him taking a sword through the heart.
In the sacred battle a thousand years ago, the Evil Source had used up too much of his powers so he had had no choice but to split his soul into twelve types of original sins and put them separately into the twelve Sacred Beasts’ bodies.
To put it simply, the twelve Sacred Beasts were a part of the Evil Source.
When the evil powers had been distributed amongst them, the original vision was that after a thousand years, the sins that had been placed inside of the twelve Sacred Beasts’ bodies would expand within the separate souls to their limits. The evil of the sins, which would have experienced maximal enlargement by now, would once again return to become one with the Evil Source after his awakening.
According to this theory, the Evil Source’s powers would be much greater than a thousand years ago, so strong that it would be unimaginable.
Now the Evil Source had awakened, meaning that the existence of the Sacred Beasts was meaningless. Thus, their fate was obvious—their destruction was imminent, inevitable.
A person emerged from a cocoon.
The man lightly sprung onto the floor and took a deep breath. The air of a thousand years later carried sweet traces of fresh blood; the man lifted the corners of his lips in satisfaction and he opened his eyes, jade green eyes shining in the black night.
Dark spirits lurked in the dark, they crawled at the bottom of the man’s feet while they chanted an invocation. Let everything be resurrected, let everything be destroyed. Where it ended shall be where it will begin once more.
The man walked out of the Clocktower of Reincarnation; he stood at the top of the tower, and the world spread out in front of his eyes. The vast emptiness before him seemed as though it could easily be swept into his palm with just a reach of his hand. A moment later, his eyes fell on Gu Ting Yu, pinned to the bottom of the tower by the Soul-slashing Sword.
In that second, the man remembered many things. It seemed as though time hadn’t moved at all since that day. A thousand years ago, it was in this exact same spot that Zheng Shen had been pinned to the Clocktower of Reincarnation by the Soul-slashing sword and slowly lost all of his energy, ultimately dissolving into dust and was swept away by the wind.
The oddly green-colored pupils darkened, but a fraction of a second later, his attention snapped back to Gu Ting Yu. By now, Gu Ting Yu was in the midst of stepping over the fine line between life and death, as the Soul-slashing sword sucked away the scarce amount of Ming Lei’s power there was left. Once Ming Lei had been completely absorbed, Gu Ting Yu would perish.
The man took a small leap off of the clocktower. He plummeted down like an arrow released from a bow, his speed so fast that it was impossible to follow with the human eye. It took less than an instant for him to do a flip just before landing soundly on his feet in front of Gu Ting Yu.
“… Huan Sheng… Ugh…” Gu Ting Yu opened his mouth with great difficulty, a mouthful of blood spilling out.
The man smiled, he even lovingly stroked Gu Ting Yu’s face, saying, “You look so much like her.”
“Your mother.” The man didn’t spare Gu Ting Yu another glance as he turned away and softly said to Jue, “You did very well.”
Jue respectfully kneeled on the ground, his entire body shaking uncontrollably because of the removal of his original sin. Jue said, “I fulfilled my side of the bargain and helped you to be resurrected. As promised, please let Huan Sheng come back now.”
“Oh?” the man seemed to be completely perplexed as he shook his head, he leaned forwards and said with finality into Jue’s ears, “Since I have been resurrected, Huan Sheng no longer exists.”
Jue looked as though someone had just hit his head with a baseball bat, he squinted his eyes. “What did you just say?”
“Good boy,” the man comfortingly patted Jue’s head, “let me tell you a story.”
“A very long time ago I heard that in the Three Realms*, there was a Qilin* who didn’t allow anyone to ride it. He was very strong, very proud and he didn’t seem to have any weaknesses—until one day, I discovered that he had a dead younger brother. What a coincidence that the only person that Qilin ever loved and cared for was his younger brother, take a guess… I knew exactly what to do after that.”
Jue’s head snapped up.
“That’s right,” the man continued, “Using his younger brother as a template, I created a copy. The exact same green eyes, the exact same mannerisms. As expected, the Qilin couldn’t let go of a person who was the mirror image of his younger brother, even if he knew that it wasn’t really him. All along, he thought that that laughable doll really had a soul. Jue, Huan Sheng was only ever the flower in a mirror, the reflection of the moon in a pond, an illusion—would you believe that a hallucination is real?”
“Huan Sheng… doesn’t exist?” Jue could only look at the man in denial as he repeated himself in agony. “But you are Huan Sheng!”
The man’s smile was gentle. “No, of course I’m not Huan Sheng. In fact, Huan Sheng doesn’t exist in this world. I believe that Huan Sheng also slowly began to realise this fact—the reason for his headache-inducing actions. For example, he always said that he didn’t believe in life, that was because he was afraid that he was a hollow shell. Another example is that he once planned to assist Gu Ting Yu and his friends, but he knew very well that he could never betray me, so at the last moment, he could not stand in front of Gu Ting Yu.”
“That’s not possible,” Jue looked up at the face identical to Huan Sheng’s, murmuring to himself, “… You’re lying.”
The man stroked Jue’s hair, his hand slowly sliding towards Jue’s neck. He used a smooth voice to speak softly, “Good child, I know that since all your efforts have been wasted… you must be distraught…” The man slowly began to exert more power in his tightening fingers, the corners of his mouth lifting as he spoke, “But don’t worry, I’ll take you to him.”
*Three Realms refer to the Heavens, the Earth and the Underworld.
*Qilin is a hooved Chinese and Japanese (Kirin) mythical creature that usually appears when a sage or great ruler passes away. The creature is formed from various animal parts (chimerical).