Chapter 17: “Spirit Pearl”
Sima You Yue did not know how long she slept for. All she felt was as if she had fallen into a deep, long slumber and she was in a dream realm. In that dream, there was a mirror which reflected her past life as she stood in the abyss of darkness. Scenes flashed before her, one after another and she stood there calmly, watching each fragmented scene, as if watching a movie. Suddenly, she felt a sharp pain in her heart, and she let out a bloodcurdling scream.
“You Yue, today is the day of the downfall of our Ximen Family. They have been plotting against us for a long time, so you are not responsible for this matter. No one will blame you for this."
“Ximen You Yue, seeing your loved ones dying before you, how does that feel? Ha ha ha ha … …”
“You Yue, you have to live well … …”
“Yue Yue, no matter where you go, Little Roar will follow you.”
“Ximen You Yue, Die!”
Sima You Yue stood in the abyss of darkness as she struggled to listen to the exchange between the gentle voice and the voice laced with hatred as she gritted her teeth and bore through the pain. She felt as if her heart was slowly being torn apart. However, she tried her best to concentrate on the voices, she wanted to know who the voices belonged to, but in the end, no matter how hard she tried, she could not pry her eyes open, it was as though something was restricting her vision.
Sima You Yue forcibly flung her eyes open, and the restriction that binded her eyes dispersed along with the dream. She was panting heavily, gasping for breath, her whole body was drenched, as if she had just doused with water.
"Yue Yue, you've finally woke up! Wuu Wuu… You've scared Little Roar to death!!!" Sima You Yue was still groggy when Little Roar who was floating by her side suddenly dashed and nuzzled his way into her arms, crying and wailing loudly.
Sima You Yue's thought snapped back to reality when she heard Little Roar's cries as she held him gently in an embrace as she touched his fur and coaxed, "Do not cry, am I not fine already?"
"Wuu wuu, it's all Little Roar's fault! If I had not made you try to bind the Spirit Pearl, this would not have happened at all." Little Roar sniffled and said in a self-deprecating tone.
Sima You Yue hugged him tightly and planted a kiss on his forehead, as she soothed him in a gentle voice: "Didn't you do it all for my sake? It was for my own good, wasn't it?"
Although the dream was very fragmented, however, the feelings she had for Little Roar seemed to have been cleared by a fog and she felt a whole lot closer to him. That feeling wasn't just a mere link based on a contract, it had a depth that was as if they had been together for a long, long time, a special kind of bond had formed between them.
She stood up with Little Roar in her arms as she looked around, trying to figure out her where she was. She found herself standing in the midst of a strange new world – surrounding her were mountains, lakes, fields and a house. However, there were no signs of anyone else.
"Where is this?" Sima You Yue couldn't help but ask in surprise as she observed her surroundings, realizing that they were nowhere near the Capital City that she had some knowledge of.
"Yue Yue, just now when you fainted, there was a bright light and it brought us here. I do not know where this is as well." Little Roar replied honestly.
"You are inside the Spirit Pearl." A childlike voice sounded out.
"Inside the Spirit Pearl? Who are you?" Sima You Yue turned around and did not find a trace of anyone or any animals nearby.
A small figure slowly took form and manifested before her. A small child looking around to be 3 year old, with two red buns on his head, wearing a red bib was looking at the person and Sacred Beast before him and said: "I am the soul of the Spirit Pearl, and you are now in the world that exists in the Spirit Pearl itself."
The world that exists in the Spirit Pearl.
Looking at the befuddled expression of Sima You Yue and Little Roar, the soul nodded and continued: "There is a world that exists within the Spirit Pearl, similar to your world on the outside. No, this world is much better than your world outside." He gave a proud smile as he corrected himself.
Sima You Yue couldn't help but nod in agreement. It was indeed much better than the world outside! She could already feel that the Spiritual Qi in the environment was many times denser than the outside world. Even a novice like her who could feel the Spiritual Qi without meditating signified how many times the Spiritual Qi was! Also, not only the Spiritual Qi was denser, the ground was filled with many precious herbs.
"Where did these herbs come from?" She couldn't help but ask as she stared at the myriad and vast quantity of precious herbs that were growing on the pastures that stretched beyond what she could see.
"These were all left behind by the former masters, and these herbs have been around for hundreds and thousands of years." Replied the boy with a sense of pride. "All those that can't grow for too long have been regularly cleared by me."
"The former masters?"
"Yes, it's been hundreds and thousands of years ago, too long that I don't even remember some things." The boy said wistfully as he had on a faraway look as he looked into the distance, deep loneliness reflected in his eyes.
Not knowing if it was because of the bond they shared due to the contract, when Sima You Yue saw that he had on a lonely and forlorn expression, she walked up to him and held him up in her arms as she brought him closer to her face and looked at him in the eyes and softly said: "Don't worry, we are here, with us around, you won't be alone anymore."
The small boy was startled and he stiffened up when he heard that, however when she embraced him, he felt her warmth and he slowly relaxed and let out a small cry. "Yeah."
Sima You Yue patted his head as she carried him in her arms and walked towards the house and said: "Let's go have a look around."
"Ok! Sounds good!" Little Roar who was perched on Sima You Yue's shoulder exclaimed excitedly in anticipation.
Sima You Yue walked towards the house and went in to explore, discovering many things the previous masters left behind. There was also a study that housed a larger amount of books than the Book Pavilion back at the Sima Residence. It had a huge selection of rare ancient texts, many which have already been lost with time. The boy said that this collection of books had started from the first generation master and in this large collection, was the accumulation of various predecessors and the vicissitudes of time could clearly be reflected here.
When she saw these books, she was ecstatic and excited for quite some time, ancient texts have always been known to be more powerful, however, many had been lost with time as knowledge slowly got lost in transition.
What got her really psyched was what he mentioned at the end.
"Your soul is incomplete, you should have been gravely injured in the past. But don't worry, this Spirit Pearl has the ability to heal you and mend your soul, at the same time, it can also aid you in your cultivation."
"It can also aid me in my cultivation?" Sima You Yue couldn't help but blurt out in excitement.
"Try sensing the Spiritual Energy in your abdomen"
She did as she was told and although she could not accurately control and visualise everything at her current level, she could still sense that the Spiritual Energy was no longer just a mass of sporadic red Spiritual Energy, there seemed to be the existence of a pool in there.
"At your current level, you still can't see it, but when you can, there's actually a small pool in there. That is what the Spirit Pearl has prepared for your cultivation, when you inhale the Spiritual Qi, it would attract all the Spiritual Qi and gather them there, using it's ability to sort the various attributes apart. Now, you won't be able to understand it very well, when you can see it, everything will be clear to you."
She stared wide eyed at him and blanked out momentarily before coming to her senses. "You mean that when I cultivate, I do not need to concentrate on which attribute to absorb but I can simply absorb them all and the Spirit Pearl would help me sort them out?" She really could not believe her windfall, It was simply a game cheat!
"Yes." He calmly replied. Sima You Yue picked up up in a crazed fervour and smacked a large kiss on his cheek.
"Yucks! That's so disgusting! There's so much saliva!" He wiped his cheeks with his hands, as he gave her a disgruntled look, however, he could not mask the suspicious blush that appeared on his face and ears. Amused, both Little Roar and Sima You Yue laughed out loud.
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