AST 2252 – Her Self-Inflicted Injury
“You are…? You are Qing Shui. How did your hair turn white?”
Qing Shui was filled with mixed emotions at her words. She had completely forgotten who he was, only that he was Qing Shui from their previous encounter. Even then, it was Old Turtle who told her of his identity. If it hadn’t been for Old Turtle, Qing Shui might have already been killed by her hands.
Clearly, Qing Shui wouldn’t divulge that he changed because of her. She was no longer the same person whom he had been familiar with. What should he do? Could he really treat her like a stranger?
“Give it up. This place is not your battlefield. What’s the point even if you razed it to the ground?” Qing Shui persuaded.
He was not afraid of the battle. But of course, he was afraid that his kin and friends would die in her hands. If that were the case, then they’d be forced to fight until their dying breath. Even if he could kill her, she’d still leave him wounded. Qing Shui couldn’t bear to imagine that scenario.
Qing Shui didn’t spare a glance at the Demon Kings behind her. He had never cared about them.
“Who do you think you are? Why should I listen to you? Even if it’s not my battlefield, I’d still need to take this step at a point in time. Taking over this place is a step for the Demon Gate into entering the depths of the Nine Continents World,” Tantai Lingyan looked at Qing Shui and spoke seriously.
“Who do I think I am? That’s right… Who am I indeed,” Qing Shui replied bitterly.
“Why did you seek revenge? How did you wake up? You were sealed away for a hundred years, do you not remember how you came to?” Qing Shui watched her.
Nobody had told her about these before. She did ask but didn’t receive an answer. Old Turtle wouldn’t tell her in fear that she couldn’t handle it and kill off Qing Shui. If that was the case, then he’d rather not speak a word about it. This version of Tantai Lingyan couldn’t be treated like her in the past.
“Sure, I am curious. Why wasn’t I able to recall all those muddled memories yet retain the memories of Demon Gate? I want to strengthen the Demon Gate, that’s my destiny.” Tantai Lingyan kept her eyes on Qing Shui. She had the Demon Saint Blood flowing in her; this was indeed her destiny.
“You were awakened by me thirty years ago in the Greencloud Continent. I spent the next twenty years training and catching up to you, and I did it. We are a married couple, but you disappeared two years ago. We met during our previous encounter when I heard you’ve returned. I’ve always been preparing to avenge you. Never did I expect you to do so before me,” Qing Shui stated calmly.
Everyone fell into silence. Meanwhile, Beihuang Fan and Shen Huang looked from Qing Shui to Tantai Lingyan.
Although Qing Shui had explained it in simple terms, everyone could feel his love for the woman through the misery in his voice. He had contributed a lot yet was nearly killed by the same person. After all, he fell into isolation after being hurt.
“Lingyan, you may not recognize me anymore. Qing Shui became this way during his return previously. You might not have struck him hard, but he was so heartbroken he fell into isolation. He was low in vitality at that point. You’re very important to him and loved him so much. Yet, how could you bear to kill him now?” Beihuang Fan spoke softly as she looked at Tantai Lingyan.
Beihuang Fan didn’t like Tantai Lingyan much at this point. The latter hurt Qing Shui to the extent of nearly losing his life and wanted to attack her Taiyi Immortal Palace. Beihuang Fan wasn’t a pushover.
Tantai Lingyan wore a strange expression. She observed Qing Shui, not able to believe what she just heard. This stranger was her man, and she was married to him?
“It is true. He was indeed your husband, and you were happy with him for many years. Those years represent your happiest period. I had once asked you if you would kill him someday, do you know what you said to me?” Old Turtle said sadly.
“What did I say?” Tantai Lingyan was perplexed.
“You said that you’d rather kill yourself than hurt him. Now that this day has come, you drew your sword of death towards him without hesitation. The sword in your hand was gifted to you by him. He refined that Coldfrost by himself. Even your footwear was done by him, as was your previous outfit. There were many things you owned which were gifted by him.” Old Turtle realized that this was his chance.
Tantai Lingyan paled. She knew that the old man wouldn’t lie to her. No matter how much she had changed, her respect for Old Turtle was unwavering; he was her senior after all. She raised the sword slowly; there was a slight tremble to her hands.
The Demon Kings at the Demon Gate weren’t void of emotions. They were sincere towards true friends and their family members. She couldn’t believe it. If they were speaking the truth, then this was all too terrifying for her.
“You may not believe it, but I want to persuade you nonetheless. Yan’er, I’d never hurt you. If you kill these people here today, you may commit suicide from despair in the future. Even then, it might not cleanse you of guilt. He’s the most important person in your life,” Old Turtle continued.
Tantai Lingyan fell into silence. She had Demonic Saint Blood and wouldn’t be completely controlled by the tendencies and logic. She didn’t know why she had forgotten so many things from the past. Was this amnesia or were there other reasons?
“How could it be? I’m a Demon King, and you’re a Battle God.” Tantai Lingyan muttered in disbelief.
“You were kind. I helped you understand the demon attributes in the Demon King’s blood and thought nothing would happen. I didn’t expect that you were of Demon Saint Blood,” Qing Shui said; he was embarrassed. How he wished Tantai Lingyan had the generic Demon King blood instead.
“Am I ruthless now?” Tantai Lingyan watched Qing Shui.
“You’re a stranger now. My Lingyan wouldn’t have behaved this way. I’m upset that I didn’t take better care of you. How I wish you could recall a portion of our memories.” Qing Shui answered, his voice laced with both disappointment and anticipation.
“I can’t remember them. Regardless whether it’s real or a farce, you’re not dead. If it’s the truth, then it hasn’t led to disaster yet. I’ll not look for you any further and hope the same sentiments are reciprocated for the Demon Gate.” Tantai Lingyan softly spoke these words to Qing Shui.
“Whatever that is between us is separated from your destiny. They wouldn’t conflict. The Divine Palace and the Demon Gate would surely clash in the future, and I wouldn’t be able to stay as a bystander with my position as Palace Lord. You won’t have to show mercy. It’s fine even if you attack today. It’s better to face some things sooner than later.” Qing Shui shook his head.
Tantai Lingyan frowned. “I really can’t remember, and I may never will. I’m afraid I’d kill you.”
“Death isn’t scary, and you may not be able to kill me either. I’ve thought it through. The person you are now is not my Lingyan. If tragedy was to play out, then perhaps it’s because we aren’t fated.” Qing Shui’s voice was hoarse and deep. It was difficult for him to say these words.
“In that case, then let’s battle then. You didn’t retaliate when I struck you before, so you can do the same to me now. This way, I wouldn’t owe you a thing,” Tantai Lingyan said, as calmly as usual.
“There’s no need,” Qing Shui rejected.
“I’ll return this debt to you on your behalf then. You gifted this sword to me, so let’s just use this.” The sword in Tantai Lingyan’s hands pierced through her own shoulder. Her eyes remained fixated on Qing Shui.