Chapter 1359 - Gray
When he was sixteen years old, Jasmine had remade his profound veins and given him new life.
When he was seventeen years old, he had participated in the Blue Wind Ranking Tournament as a representative of the Blue Wind Imperial Family for Cang Yue, winning first place and making history for both the Blue Wind Imperial Family and the whole nation.
When he was nineteen years old, he had single-handedly destroyed one of the four great sects of the Blue Wind Empire, Burning Heaven Clan.
In the same year, he had traveled to the Divine Phoenix Empire and participated in the Profound Sky Seven Nation Ranking Tournament as a representative of the Blue Wind Empire, once again defeating every genius from all six opposing nations single-handedly and stunning the entire Profound Sky Continent.
When he was twenty-one years old, he had survived the profound ark accident and arrived at the Illusory Demon Realm. During the Demon Empress' Grand Ceremony, he had fought six battles in a row, criticized the seven clans harshly, reunited Illusory Demon Realm and crushed Duke Huai’s scheme to dust. He had saved both the Yun Family and the Demon Emperor lineage from the brink of destruction.
When he was twenty-two years old, he had returned to the Profound Sky Continent, broken into Divine Phoenix Sect by force, and forced them into ceasing fire and apologizing, saving Blue Wind Nation from the brink of destruction.
When he was twenty-four years old, Xuanyuan Wentian had achieved the divine way, but he had ultimately defeated him and saved the Profound Sky Continent and the Illusory Demon Realm from calamity. He was known as the foremost person of the continent afterwards.
When he was twenty-five years old, he had accompanied Mu Bingyun to the Snow Song Realm and defeated every genius in Divine Ice Phoenix Sect at the Heavenly Netherfrost Lake, becoming Mu Xuanyin’s direct disciple as a result.
When he was twenty-six years old, he had escaped to Darkya Realm alone and wreaked havoc on its realm king’s sect, Black Soul Divine Sect. He was even indirectly complicit in its ultimate destruction.
When he was twenty-eight years old, he had participated in the Profound God Convention, defeated Four God Children of the Eastern Region and even triggered a nine stage heavenly tribulation in the end. He shocked the entire world with his feats and caused every god emperor present to offer him an olive branch.
Finally, when he was twenty-nine years old, or just ten days ago… he had broken into the Star God Realm alone, unleashed a forbidden power as a Divine King, and slaughtered an elder and one thousand five hundred Star Guards.
Thirteen years were a very short time to a profound practitioner. In the God Realm, it barely counted as several flashes of time during one’s cultivation. However, Yun Che had spent just eight years to become the number one cultivator of a continent, and another four to stun the entire God Realm.
From the lower realms to the God Realm, and then from the lower star realms to the unparalleled king realms, his every step had astounded the world. In fact, it wouldn’t even be an exaggeration to say that he was creating miracles every time he made a move.
He had the divine inheritances of five ancient True Gods, namely the Evil God, the Dragon God, the Phoenix, the Golden Crow, and the Ice Phoenix. He also possessed the divine arts belonging to the Creation Goddess of Life, Rage God, and Heavenly Wolf Star God. Not only had this never happened in the past, it was literally an unrepeatable miracle.
In the end though, everything had died with him, and they would stay dead for the rest of eternity.
That wasn’t his only loss either. He had lost the red sword imprint on his arm, meaning that he would never be able to summon the Heaven Smiting Devil Slayer Sword and see Hong’er again.
Moreover, the Sky Poison Pearl and He Ling the wood spirit, the girl who had gambled everything she had and transformed into the poison spirit for revenge...
They too had vanished when he had died in the Star God Realm.
The Flames of Nirvana might have succeeded in resurrecting him in his weakest form, but there was no way it could’ve resurrected both Hong’er and He Ling as well.
The reason I managed to save Blue Wind Nation for Yue’er was because I had enough strength. It was also why I had managed to save Grandfather and Lingxi, find father and mother in the Illusory Demon Realm, meet Xue’er, save both the Demon Emperor’s line and the Illusory Demon Realm for Caiyi, and return to the Azure Cloud Continent to find Ling’er and master...
Grandfather… father… mother… Yuanba… Yue’er… Lingxi… Xue’er… Caiyi… Ling’er...
But how can I face you all now that I’ve become a cripple...
Back at the God Realm, he wasn’t able to return to Blue Pole Star because he was watched by Qianye Ying’er and countless other powerful people there. If he had acted rashly and allowed his enemies to discover his tracks, he would’ve brought calamity upon the people he cared about and the entire Blue Pole Star itself.
But right now, his return was perfect. He didn’t leave any traces behind, and no one in the God Realm had a clue that he was still alive.
The pressure and danger the God Realm had posed was completely gone too.
He raised his arm bit by bit. For the first time, he was able to raise it completely into the air.
The wind blew a dry leaf to his arm. The dry leaf had completely lost its green, and it made not a sound of life even though it was flying with the wind.
Yun Che stared quietly at the leaf, looking dazed and listless.
Since the day he met Jasmine, the next thirteen years had felt like a dream, a dream he had unfortunately woken up from.
After he had awoken from his dream, it turned out that he was still the broken, useless Yun Che; scorned and disdained, a cripple who could do nothing but rely on Xiao Lie and Xiao Lingxi for protection.
What was even more difficult to accept was that his innumerable efforts, his many brushes with death, his convictions, his pursuits… had all turned into nothing.
If that was all, he still would’ve had hope. He could’ve started fighting and pursuing again just like thirteen years ago...
But he had lost even the ability to dream.
Time passed soundlessly. Yun Che’s world remained gray even now.
What else do I still have, the way I am now?
What is life?
For my whole life, I’ve worked hard and grown stronger again and again to survive and to lead a better life. However, I’ve also encountered some people and things that I’m willing to risk or even give my own life for.
I’ve regained my life, but being alive is all I have...
“Big Brother Benefactor!”
A girl’s voice came from the distance. It was a true and melodious voice, but it failed to stir any emotion behind Yun Che’s pupils at all.
Feng Xian’er gently landed beside him… she was using one of the most basic arts of the mortal way, the Profound Floating Technique that even a Sky Profound Realm profound practitioner could perform. But to him? It was an extravagant hope that he could never, ever reach again.
She tried to lift Yun Che up to his feet. “You’ve been here for a very long time already, and you’re going to catch a cold if you stay here any longer. Let’s head home now, okay?”
Once upon a time, he could’ve stood in the middle of a storm that could crush mountains as solidly as a rock. But now, he had fallen so low that he needed to watch out for chills...
“Leave me.” He pushed Feng Xian’er’s hand away with whatever strength he had left.
“Big Brother Benefactor,” Feng Xian’er caught his arm again, “please listen to me, will you? Everyone’s so worried about you. You haven’t eaten anything since you’ve awakened, so I’m sure you’re hungry already. Mother’s cooked a lot of great food besides the bamboo soup, you know…”
“Leave me!” Yun Che’s voice abruptly grew heavier. Feng Xian’er might have tried to be as gentle as possible with her words, but they were no different from ice cold stings to Yun Che. He said coldly, “You’ll never call me Big Brother Benefactor again… That man is dead already. The one in front of you is nothing but a… useless cripple. Get it!?”
“...” Feng Xian’er’s lips parted slightly in shock. It was clear that she was startled by Yun Che’s reaction. Her eyes immediately turned watery as she bit her lips in an attempt to keep herself from breaking into tears, “Big Brother Benefactor, please don’t be… like this. You’ll… you’ll get better… you’ll definitely get better…”
“You don’t understand.” Yun Che looked away, “You don’t understand anything… Go. Leave me.”
“Big Brother Benefactor, I…”
“Can’t you understand what I’m talking about!” Yun Che’s voice grew heavier, “Go!!”
“Cough… cough cough…”
A gust of mountain wind entered his mouth, causing him to cough painfully and violently.
“...” The girl stared at him helplessly, the tears she tried so hard to hold in finally sliding down her cheeks. She would never forget that gentle, great figure who had descended from the sky like a god and saved them from danger. Since then, she had done everything she could just to get closer to him...
“No… you’re not like this…” Feng Xian’er shook her head as tears streaked down her cheeks soundlessly, “Back then, you weren’t afraid of those bad people at all even though you were hurt so badly… you didn’t hesitate in the slightest even though the Phoenix Trial was very difficult…”
“Big Brother Benefactor…” She bit down on her lips harder and harder until everything turned into a heart shattering cry, “I hate the way you are right now!”
Feng Xian’er turned around and flew away while covering her mouth. Her tears occasionally fell down from the sky.
“...” Yun Che closed his eyes as the trace of a pathetic, bitter smile crossed his lips.
Heh… To think that I would say such harsh words to a girl who cared for me with all her heart...
I had always thought that my heart was strong, but I was just fooling myself after all.
It was at this moment a tall figure slowly walked up to him and stood next to the old tree.
It was Feng Baichuan.
“Sorry,” Yun Che said without strength.
Feng Baichuan shook his head, “There’s no need. She’s only come into contact with the world for less than two years, and she hasn’t experienced any true hardships or changes in her life yet. It’s no wonder she doesn’t understand.”
Yun Che, “...”
“A long time ago, our ancestor made a grave mistake and was punished by Lord Phoenix God with a bloodline curse. He could never cultivate beyond the Elementary Profound Realm. After that, he led his clan here to hide from outsiders. Back then, I told you that the reason he did this was to atone for his sins and protect his clansmen, but in reality…” Feng Baichuan let out a soft sigh, “It was mostly because he was completely disheartened after losing all of his profound energy.”
Yun Che, “...”
“Although I’ve never experienced a roller coaster like this personally, the heights you’ve reached are so much higher than what our ancestor had achieved, and the abyss you’ve fallen into so much grayer. That is why I know that what you’re feeling right now is hundreds, thousands of times worse than our ancestor’s.”
“Our ancestor never broke free from his nightmare. He passed away in depression at an early age.” Feng Baichuan turned to look at Yun Che. “But what about you?”
“...” Yun Che couldn’t say anything.
The sky started to darken as evening approached. The mountain breeze was starting to turn chilly.
“You were already titled the ‘foremost’ at such a young age, so I’m sure that you’ve gone through countless dangers and tempering in your life. However, the one you’re facing now may be your biggest trial yet.”
“While you were unconscious, you spoke the names of many people, so I believe that you still have many regrets and worries in your heart. If that is true… I’m sure you will not resign yourself to oblivion.”
“...Give me some time,” Yun Che muttered.
Feng Baichuan nodded and turned away, “We will not spread word of your stay here… until the day you’re willing to set out again.”
The day grew darker and darker. The moon had risen before Yun Che realized it, and starlight pierced through the gaps between the tree leaves to bathe him in light. Somehow, it made him feel even colder and more alone.
Since no one had come to disturb him after Feng Baichuan’s departure, he just stayed there unmoving as if he was nothing more than a corpse. His eyes continued to stare aimlessly.
“Big Brother Benefactor…”
It was at this moment a girl’s voice rang beside him yet again. She was holding a hot bowl of soup, and her reddened eyes made it clear that she had been crying for a very long time, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said something like that to you… please don’t get angry with me, please?”
“...” Yun Che didn’t move a muscle.
The girl walked closer and spoke timidly as if she was a child who had just committed a grave mistake, “You just woke up, and you’ve been starving for a day… this is a new bowl of soup mother and I boiled together. Please drink some, will you?”
Yun Che’s dry lips parted slightly, “I’m not hungry.”
His voice sounded both weak and raspy.
He no longer had a divine physique which could forgo food or drink. He had suffered the wind for an entire day, and he hadn’t eaten or drunk anything just as long. Right now, he was far weaker than when he had just woken up, and his vision had been blurry since a long while ago.
Feng Xian’er didn’t try to change his mind further. She knelt quietly beside Yun Che and kept him company in silence. She held her soup on her lap and kept it protected carefully with profound energy, not allowing any breeze or dust to enter the bowl.