Translator/Editor: Mr Voltaire
A crimson red flame landed on Xi Ling’s body, encasing it within the flames. Simultaneously, two streaks of hot air shot towards Ling Chen… they came from within the Vermillion Bird’s eyes, and although it was only the Vermillion Bird’s consciousness looking at him, it felt as if it was the real Vermillion Bird watching him. The might and power that this god beast emanated created a massive pressure which bore down on him.
A gust of cool wind blew across Ling Chen’s body, and all of a sudden the immense heat that Ling Chen had been enduring suddenly disappeared. All of the pain and discomfort, as well as loss of HP vanished. Ling Chen looked at the Vermillion Bird’s phantasm in shock, and marvelled at its power.
“You came here to save her?”
The Vermillion Bird’s voice was calm as water, filled with neither joy nor sorrow, and sounded both close and far away. Ling Chen nodded, “She sacrificed herself for me, so please save her… only you’re able to save her.”
“Since you know that I’m the only one who can save her, you should also know the price I need to pay for saving her.”
Ling Chen sighed, and replied, “The price you need to pay for saving her is that you need to use the flames of your own lifeforce to reignite the flames of her lifeforce, causing you to lose your energy and life… I know this is a very selfish request, but apart from you, I don’t have any other methods to save her.”
“Since it’s like that, why did you risk your life coming here? With your strength, coming to where you are now was already a miracle. You’ve endured pain that most people would have died from. Didn’t you know that after suffering so much, and maybe even dying, it was possible that you wouldn’t achieve anything at all? Where did your confidence come from?”
Ling Chen looked up as he gazed at the Vermillion Bird’s phantasm, “Because I believed that you, the Vermillion Bird, would have compassion on Xi Ling. She has the Golden Crow’s flames. If she died, the Forgotten Continent’s strongest flame would forever disappear. As a mighty and compassionate god beast, I’m sure that you wouldn’t want such a thing to happen, right?”
The Vermillion Bird’s phantasm gazed back at him. Under the pressure that the Vermillion Bird’s phantasm was releasing, normal people wouldn’t even be able to say a complete sentence, let alone tell a lie. Hearing Ling Chen’s reply, the Vermillion Bird fell silent, while the flames surrounding Xi Ling grew larger and larger.
Sweat started to trickle down Ling Chen’s forehead. This sweat wasn’t from the heat, but rather from Ling Chen’s nervousness. Xi Ling’s life or death depended on the Vermillion Bird’s reply… as the majestic and powerful Vermillion Bird, who was also the guardian beast of the Vermillion Bird City, would it really give up its own life for Xi Ling?
After a few moments of tense silence, the Vermillion Bird spoke, “You’re half right, but half wrong.”
Ling Chen: “……”
“The Golden Crow is the sovereign of fire, and its flames are far above mine. I definitely don’t want to see the Golden Crow’s flames disappear forever. However, I have my own duties and responsibilities. Asking me to give up my responsibilities and my life in exchange for the Golden Crow’s flames is something I cannot do.”
The Vermillion Bird’s words startled Ling Chen as he frowned, “But…”
“Unless you can agree to three conditions.”
Just as Ling Chen was about to speak, he was cut off by the Vermillion Bird. An overwhelming feeling of joy rushed into him and vigorously nodded, “As long as you’re willing to save Xi Ling, I’ll do anything within my power.”
“Very good.” The Vermillion Bird’s gaze seemed to become gentler, and the pressure on Ling Chen’s body felt lighter. The Vermillion Bird continued to speak, “All of these three conditions must be met. If there’s even one that you can’t fulfil, then I won’t save her, even if the Golden Crow’s flames disappear forever.”
Ling Chen once again nodded. Although the Vermillion Bird had not named its terms yet, but he was already feeling over the moon. There was finally hope for Xi Ling! He had never expected the Vermillion Bird to be willing to compromise so quickly.
“The first condition is that you must immediately get rid of your Contract with her. She has already been revived once in the past, and her life is now tied to yours. If you don’t get rid of the Contract between you two, even if she revives, her life will still be linked to yours. If you die, she will also die. If you want her to die, she must die. How can the Sovereign of Flames’ life be controlled by a human! Get rid of the Contract, and grant her freedom. When the time comes, whether she wants to continue to follow you or destroy you, that’ll be up to her!”
Ling Chen unhesitatingly nodded, “Back then, I formed the Contract with her in order to save her. If I could give her back her freedom, I’d be extremely willing. However… I don’t know how to do this. Also, if I get rid of it, will it endanger her life?”
“You don’t need to worry about this. The only chance you have to get rid of the Contract is when she is nearing death, which is now. After cancelling the Contract, with my flames, she will be perfectly fine. All you need to do is not resist! Even if it’s me, if you resist, I won’t be able to cancel the Contract.”
As the Vermillion Bird talked, its two massive eyes flashed with red light. One ray of light landed on Ling Chen’s body, and the other landed on Xi Ling’s body. When it hit him, Ling Chen felt like something had left his body.
“Ding… the Contract between you and your pet ‘Xi Ling’ is about to be cancelled. After the Contract is cancelled, Xi Ling will still be your pet, but her life will no longer be tied to yours and will not have to unconditionally obey you, and will be able to escape. Will you allow this?”
“Yes.” After hearing the notification, Ling Chen immediately gave his affirmation.
The red light dissipated, and another system announcement rang out, “Ding… the Contract between you and your pet ‘Xi Ling’ has been cancelled.”
After the Contract was cancelled, Ling Chen didn’t feel any regret at all. In fact, he felt relieved. He had only entered the Contract to save Xi Ling, but had restricted her freedom and was unable to get rid of the Contract. This way, if Xi Ling could be revived, she would also regain her freedom. When the time came, she could do what she wanted without being tied down by him.
“Indeed, you didn’t resist at all, and your heart remained calm. Looks like you didn’t have any selfish motives. You were willing to endure such pain and risk your life to come here, making it evident that you truly care about her. Now, my second condition… I carry the responsibility of protecting the Vermillion Bird City. If I die, then the Vermillion Bird City will definitely descend into chaos. As such, if I save her, you must keep my death a secret! You cannot even tell your closest family or friends- in fact, it would be good if you could forget it completely. Moreover, if, one day, the Vermillion Bird City is facing destruction, you must do everything in your power to save the Vermillion Bird City. Do you accept?”
“Yes!” Ling Chen immediately nodded, “I won’t tell anyone else about you. Even though I’m quite weak right now, but if the Vermillion Bird City ever faces peril, I will do all I can to save it.”
The Vermillion Bird looked at him calmly, before naming its third condition, “The third condition is that within one month, you must find a human with a Flame Soul, and bring them here.”
“A human with… a Flame Soul?” Ling Chen looked at the Vermillion Bird is surprise.
“If she dies, then the Golden Crow’s flames will be forever lost. I don’t have any descendants, so if I die, the Vermillion Bird’s flames will be forever lost. I don’t want to see the Golden Crow’s flames being lost, but I even more so don’t want to let the Vermillion Bird’s flames perish because of me. Otherwise, I will be a traitor to my clan. As such, before I save her, I need to find a creature that is able to inherit my Vermillion Bird’s flames. The only type of beings that can inherit my flames within a short period of time are humans with a Flame Soul. Humans have the most talent and potential out of all species, and those with a Flame Soul are able to handle the might of my flames. If you can’t find a human like this, then even if the Golden Crow’s flames are lost, I won’t help.”
This condition was the true test for Ling Chen. He thought for a while, before asking, “How do I find someone with a Flame Soul, and what do they look like? Could it be there are flames burning on their body?”
“Humans do not naturally possess flames, and only 1/1,000,000,000,000 people might possess a Flame Soul. It is extremely difficult to find one. Those with a Flame Soul have incredible aptitude for controlling fire, but will also be tortured by the pain of fire from time to time. As their Flame Soul grows, it becomes more and more difficult for their human body to contain it. As such, humans with Flame Souls usually die before they’re 20 years old. However, if they can inherit my power, then they can live thousands, or even tens of thousands of years. The Flame Soul will also be able to be controlled by them as they wish, and they’ll be able to control my flames within a short period of time. Here, take this.”
A crimson red feather slowly floated down from the sky. Ling Chen stretched out his hand and let the feather fall into his hand.
“This is one of my tail feathers. You can use it to find a human with a Flame Soul. When it’s within 10 steps of a person with a Flame Soul, it will let out a red light.”