Heavenly Sun Arteries
Editor: Mr Voltaire
“Little master, you want to ask me how I know, right? It’s simple: the reason is because there is a bit of her smell on little master’s body. It’s impossible to get rid of the smell of a virgin. You’re having fun with other girls on one hand while you’re saying that you only like little sister Shui Ruo on the other hand; little master, you’re not honest at all. Furthermore, it’s really cruel to little sister Bing Yao who views you as more important than herself.”
Ling Chen breathed in deeply and replied listlessly, “That was before I knew Shui Ruo. Alright, don’t say anymore. Shui Ruo told me many times that she allows me to like other girls and I know it’s because she doesn’t want me to feel troubled about the incident with Dia Wu. However, the more she behaves that way, the more I feel like I can’t let her down. I am unable to forget about Dia Wu and one day in the future I will find Dia Wu, but other than that, I will not do anything to let Shui Ruo down.”
At this moment, a notification for a text message came from his communication device. The only person who would send a text message to him was most likely Su’Er.
He raised his wrist and confirmed that it was indeed Su’Er who sent the text message,
“Big brother Ling Tian, it will be my 16th birthday on the 30th of October. Would you be able to sneak in to the dinner banquet that day? I just want to see you on that night and I won’t let other people know… is that alright?”
Ling Chen was startled for a while when he saw the text message.
“I heard little sister Xiao Qi mention before that little Su Su will officially be engaged to that guy called Xuanyuan Xue Yi on her 16th birthday. Little master, do you understand little Su Su’s intention?” Qi Yue said in a playful manner.
Ling Chen stayed silent without saying anything.
“It’s really simple. She likes you and it’s to the point that she can’t help but like you, so she doesn’t want to be engaged to Xuanyuan Xue Yi. However, she was already initially an obedient girl, and her family, Xuanyuan Xue Yi’s family as well as many other famous and powerful families will be there that day, so she really has no courage to reject him in front of everybody. Only you would be able to give her that kind of courage. Aiya, even I would like to hug such a cute, beautiful, and obedient little girl like her to sleep every day. Little master, are you really willing to let little Su Su, who has already fallen for you, to be with that guy called Xuanyuan Xue Yi?”
In just one day, the atmosphere these two girls and himself, and the feelings he had towards them, had quietly changed in a subtle way. These changes kept attacking his heartstrings which made him to feel restless.
He did not reply to Su’Er’s message, nor did he answer Qi Yue as he spurred the Cloud Stepping Mare onwards.
At the border of the Lava Purgatory.
“Qi Qi, Qi Qi.”
Stopping in front of the Lava Purgatory, Ling Chen shook Xiao Qi who was still in her sleep. Along the way, Xiao Qi spent most of her time in her sleep. She slept especially soundly and peacefully, as if she could never get enough of sleep. It was unknown whether she was usually this greedy for sleep.
Hearing Ling Chen’s voice, Xiao Qi woke up slowly and blinked her hazy eyes a few times, “Big brother Ling Tian, have we arrived?”
“Mmm, we’ve arrived. Alright, let’s get down.”
Ling Chen reached out his hands and gently held onto Xiao Qi’s slender waist as he jumped down from the horseback to stand on the dried-yellow ground. Xiao Qi also reached out naturally to hug him, but she did not let go even after reaching the ground for quite a long while. Ling Chen was not sure if she had forgotten or subconsciously did not want to let go.
“Where is this place?” Xiao Qi asked in surprise as she looked at the sky in front of them that was dyed in red.
“The name of this place is called Lava Purgatory and it is said to be the hottest place in the Forgotten Continent.” Xiao Qi’s body was still leaning on his body softly and Ling Chen could not bear to push her away, so he could only pretend that he did not mind as he answered calmly.
“Is it hot?” Ling Chen reached out with his hand to wipe away the sweat on his head as he asked in concern.
“A little bit, but it’s still okay. Big brother Ling Tian, why did you bring me over to this place? Was it to look at the scenery? Red coloured ground, red coloured sky, and there also seems to be a lot of fire on the ground. It’s all so pretty.” Xiao Qi replied in an infatuated tone. Who knew whether the infatuation was with the scenery or with the person beside her. At this moment, Ling Chen noticed that while he was sweating profusely and feeling uncomfortable even though his tolerance level was a lot higher than normal people, Xiao Qi’s face was rosy as usual and no sign of sweat could be found on her forehead.
After pondering for a little while, Ling Chen did not summon the Vermillion Bird immediately as he asked, “Qi Qi, I have a few questions to ask you. You must answer them seriously, okay?”
“Okay, what are they?” Xiao Qi answered in glowing spirits.
“Are you a fire element esper?” Ling Chen asked.
“Eh?” Xiao Qi’s face was filled with surprise as she shook her head, “Of course not. Big brother Ling Tian, why did you ask me that?”
She’s not? Ling Chen was stumped. The Vermillion Bird said that a person who possesses a Flame Soul has very strong talents in controlling fire. However, Xiao Qi directly denied it and she doesn’t seem to be lying. Judging from her expression, she’s probably curious why I asked such a weird question. Since she said no to the first question then there’s no need to ask the rest of the questions.
What was happening…… so Xiao Qi didn’t possess a Flame Soul? Then what was the reason for the reaction from the Vermillion Bird’s feather? Could it be that there was something wrong with the feather?
It seemed that the only thing he could do was call out the Vermillion Bird.
Choosing not to answer Xiao Qi’s question, Ling Chen took out the Vermillion Bird’s feather. Under Xiao Qi’s surprised gaze, he faced the Vermillion Bird’s feather that was radiating light and shouted, “Vermillion Bird!!”
In such a vast and spacious area, no echo could be produced. Just when Ling Chen’s voice had completely dissipated among the hot and dry wind, a huge image of a bird slowly appeared in the sky in front of them.
Although it was only an image, but the formless pressure and intimidation from the Vermillion Bird’s phantasm greatly shocked Xiao Qi. Xiao Qi screamed out as she subconsciously tightened her grip on Ling Chen with both her hands, and her body stuck closely to him as she leaned on his body. Ling Chen said softly beside her ear, “Don’t be afraid, this is just the phantasm of the guardian beast of the Vermillion Bird City. It won’t harm us.” After that, he raised his head to face the Vermillion Bird’s phantasm, “Vermillion Bird, is the person beside me the type of human that you wanted me to find?”
The Vermillion Bird did not reply for a very long time. Ling Chen could feel that the Vermillion Bird’s gaze did not fall on him, but on Xiao Qi who was beside him. Under Vermillion Bird’s gaze, Xiao Qi had to withstand the pressure from such a huge god beast. She had a nervous expression on her face and did not dare to say anything.
After a long while, the Vermillion Bird’s faintly discernible voice resounded in the air, “You carry a Flame Soul in your body, but you did not utilise this heaven bestowed talent for yourself and even tried to suppress it. You even selected the water element as your profession. Are you thinking of using water, which restrains fire, to suppress the fire that may explode anytime out from your body? Little did you know, by doing this, the flames would not be suppressed, but would explode out more violently. You could have had a lifespan of 25 years, but by trying to suppress it, you will die after the flames explode out another five times- due to your five major organs being incinerated. I believe that the last time it exploded out was ten days ago, and the next time it explodes will be in one month! From the next time onwards, the intervals that it explodes out will be shorter than a month, and every time it explodes out, you may not make it out alive. Which is to say, within half a year, you will definitely die.”
Xiao Qi’s body trembled violently and her pair of beautiful eyes opened wide as she stared at the phantasm in the sky blankly.
Ling Chen was also shocked and immediately asked, “Vermillion Bird, what do you mean by that? You’re saying that she……”
“You can ask her if what I said is true or not.”
Ling Chen turned his head to look at Xiao Qi, only to realise that her expression was filled with shock and her face was abnormally pale. Her flickering pair of eyes was looking at the phantasm as she asked in fear, “How…… how did you know……”
The last time that it exploded out was indeed ten days ago! The ‘fire’ that was in her body was also supressed from the day she was born. Even choosing to become a water element mage was also in fear of the ‘fire’ that was in her body. The ‘Vermillion Bird’ that was in front of her eyes, a beast in the game world, had actually voiced out her biggest secret.
Xiao Qi’s reply gave Ling Chen’s heart a big shock. He held her shoulders as he asked worriedly, “Qi Qi, what is all this about? Vermillion Bird said that you have a ‘fire’ in your body, and that you would not be able to live past another half a year…… so you have already known all this? Is this for real?”
His concern and panic made her heart feel very warm and sweet, and if it was possible, she would like to enjoy this kind of feeling for the rest of her life. She lowered her head as she did not dare to look at Ling Chen in the eye. It was impossible for her not to believe what the Vermillion Bird had said. The previous flaring up had come too early, which caught her off guard. And now, she was told that the reason was actually because it was the start of the countdown for her life. Even she herself had not thought that she would only be left with a short half a year’s time instead of the two years that she had originally thought.
“Big brother Ling Tian,” she said softly. She had wanted to hide this matter from him until the day she left this world so as to not burden him. But standing near the man who gave her the security that she most desired for, her heart could no longer continue sealing this matter up no matter what……
“I have told you before that my mother had left me on the day I was born…… from the time when I could remember, my dad and big brother told me that mum died due to a difficult labour. As I grew older, the symptoms from my body became more and more frequent, and they could no longer stop me from knowing the truth. When I was seven years old, the ‘fire’ that my dad had helped me suppress for the past seven years finally exploded out, and that was when I knew the reason why my mum had left me……
“When my mum was still conceiving me, she had to bear the scorching pain in her body and all her five major organs were severely damaged. However, she relied on her willpower to miraculously persevere till the day I was born. At that moment when I was born, the bedsheet suddenly caught fire and while I was crying loudly in the fire, my mum looked at me and smiled lightly. Before she had the chance to speak to me, she had left me forever.”
Ling Chen: “……”
“Ever since it exploded out when I was seven years old, the ‘fire’ in my body became harder and harder to suppress, and the frequency of it exploding out became faster and faster. It exploded out again when I was nine years old, then ten and a half years old…… then it was half a year, and it became once per few months. The last flaring up and the previous one before that had only a short interval of one and a half months.
“I pestered my dad for a reason and finally one day dad told me while tearing up that I possess the ‘Heavenly Sun Arteries’. Apparently only less than ten people in the whole world in every hundred years will have the same illness as me, and none of them live past 25 years of age. When the illness acts up, all the cells in the body rapidly rise in temperature as if flames were ignited inside of the body. It’s extremely painful, and it may even sever one’s consciousness apart during the final stages.
“My dad travelled almost the whole world just to find a cure, but he always returned empty handed. After all, there was never a case where someone was cured of the Heavenly Sun Arteries. After that, my dad could only find the most powerful ice element espers to suppress the ‘fire’ inside of my body every three months. Even so, the doctor had told me very clearly that I would only live till twenty years old at most.”