211 The Li Qing in My Memories
The bamboo hat trio entered a basement carpark after crossing the street. Nie Zun and I followed closely behind.
"There was such a place in the Split Zone that looked so similar to the real world… I really didn't know this before…" I was amazed at the basement carpark. It was exactly like those in the real world, except that the cars here were from different times. There were brands like Honda, Audi and Rolls-Royce, but there were also rickshaws parked here, and there were even horse-drawn carriages. What kind of place was the Split Zone?
And why did I feel that this was less of a coincidence, but more of a planned event?
I was beginning to think that I might really be able to leave this place someday. Everything will probably be revealed when that day comes.
Nie Zun and I focused our MF on our feet as we followed the bamboo hat trio. We tried our best not to produce any sound as we kept a one-centimeter gap between our feet and the ground.
The bamboo hat trio opened a door in the wall after passing the last vehicle in the carpark.
It was an ordinary door which looked like it led to an office from the carpark.
Sensing one of them looking back at us as the door opened, I pulled Nie Zun to hide behind a vehicle.
"Why are you following them?" Nie Zun asked with curiosity.
I glanced at him. "Why do you have so many questions? You don't seem to be anxious about completing Huai Du's task anyway, so how about doing something fun with me?"
Nie Zun looked at me lazily. "Sure thing, but if your goal is to snatch Piercer somewhere along our journey, I'll advice you to drop the idea. I'm not returning something I like to you," he said as he pointed at Piercer hanging at his waist.
He hung Piercer at the waist just like how I used to.
I almost laughed at this look of his.
What I didn't say was that it wasn't because of this that I'm with you. I'm with you because I was always with you before, no matter what I did. I'm together with you because it feels right to me. It's just that you've forgotten this temporarily.
I hit myself on the face gently, telling myself, 'Li Shen, don't be sad now. You'll find a way to get him to remember you.'
Gaoqin Jiuye was right. My real motive was to get Nie Zun to regain his memories, and I was not in the mood to do anything else until he remembered me.
"Don't worry, I have no interest in snatching it away from you since I've already given it to you. She doesn't listen to me anyway. I should tell you though, that this thing is cursed. You knew it before, but you've forgotten it now. Legend has it that Piercer will bring harm to whoever uses it," I said as I pointed at the weapon hanging at his waist.
I didn't believe the curse. Zou An came up with this because he knew how it was created. He knew that he owed the soul in this living weapon, and he knew that soul carried a deep hatred within it.
I was curious at how Nie Zun would react upon hearing this.
He smirked. "Curse? Then it's perfect for me."
"Let's go through that door. We'll lose them if we don't."
As we reached it, Nie Zun asked, "Just open it?"
I realized that we didn't actually need to creep up on them, so I decided to open the door right there and then.
I was stunned at what I saw.
I saw someone whom I thought I never would be able to see again, or rather, thought impossible that I would see here again.
Nie Zun waved a hand in front of me.
I smacked his hand away as I took a better look at the people behind the door.
The room was medium-sized, and it was empty except for four individuals who were standing. They were all facing the door. It was an obvious invitation for me to walk into a trap.
There were no windows here and it would be dark once we enter.
One of them from the bamboo hat trio spoke. "Come in and close the door."
I stared at the fourth individual in the room as I said to Nie Zun, "Let's go in. Close the door."
Nie Zun actually listened to me this time, probably because I looked serious. He closed the door behind him as we entered.
Visibility decreased to ten square meters as soon as the door closed, but almost instantaneously, a light was lit.
It was an ordinary light, but it lit up the entire room.
I could take a clearer look at her now. It really was her.
Nie Zun was beside me, hands in his pockets, looking bored as he observed the four individuals.
I was simply staring at whatever was opposite me.
Apart from the bamboo hat trio, who were all disguised, there was another woman here. She was standing right in the middle, flashing a brilliant smile at me.
I wasn't able to return that smile of hers.
"I really hoped my eyes fooled me." I looked at her, feeling like I've just been drenched in cold water.
The one who was smiling brilliantly at me was none other than Li Qing.
I thought she died, or went missing.
Li Qing still had that head of indigo hair, but she was no longer in that silver armor. She was currently dressed in a hot pink tracksuit. She never dressed like this in my memories.
The Li Qing I knew did not return.
"Ah Shen, it really is me." Li Qing stepped towards me.
I retreated immediately, smiling. "Mm, it's you."
Her expression did not change. "Ah Shen, you might have misunderstood me. I'm here to explain everything to you."
I shook my head, raising a hand to stop her. "No need for that, Li Qing. I don't want to hear it."
I smiled gently at her. "You're already dead in my memories."
One from the bamboo hat trio took off his hat suddenly as he spoke. "Miss Li Shen, you might have forgotten. It's not that Lord Li Qing died, it's that you've forgotten her."
A charming face was revealed under his hat. The character for 'Huo' was engraved on his forehead. I recognized him straight away. He didn't have that character on his forehead previously.
The two others took off their hats as well. One of them had 'Feng' on his forehead, while the other had 'Lei'. All of them had the exact same face.
I suddenly felt like the dumbest person in the world. Yes, Li Shen, how could you have forgotten?
How could you have forgotten this? After Li Qing's disappearance, apart from Li Wen, her three subordinates, those triplets, had disappeared as well.
Why weren't you able to tell who they were when they've appeared several times before you in the name of protecting Jiao S?
Smirking, I said, "So the three of you didn't disappear. You were with Jiao S instead. Is Jiao S aware of your identities?"
Li Qing signaled for them to stay silent. She addressed me, "It was me who got them to help and protect Jiao S. Jiao S is not fully aware of this, and she did not keep it from you intentionally. She thought I was dead as well."
"What should I say?" I laughed with irony.
I didn't know why I was acting like this. I should be happy that she's alive, I should be running to her in an embrace and crying to her about how the Western District was destroyed, about how I let her down by letting something like this happen. I should be asking for her forgiveness.
But, why did I feel a sort of hatred towards her? Why?
None of this might have had anything to do with her at all. She simply went missing and left you alone, she simply threw everything to you and hid herself elsewhere.
Can you blame her for this, Li Shen? She had always protected you before, so can't you forgive her for this?
I just couldn't stand the fact that you kept secrets from me.
I just couldn't stand the fact that I was upset over your death for so long, and it all ended up being a sham.
"Ah Shen, there're some things that are out of our control. I hope you don't blame me."
I took a deep breath. Even though all I wanted to do was to turn around and leave, there were some things that I definitely had to face.
I walked over to Li Qing. "Since I'm already here, go ahead and say whatever it is that you want to tell me."
Li Qing was silent for a while as she looked at me with a gentle gaze.
When I was about to get frustrated with her, she finally spoke. "I asked Huo and the rest to lure you here because I've set up a protective barrier around it. Others won't be able to see the door."
I glanced at the trio behind Li Qing. All of them had a poker face.
They weren't like this in my memories. There might be some misunderstanding here.
But misunderstandings were normal in the general scheme of things, since time changes everyone.
"Ah Shen, I wanted to advice you that you shouldn't be staying in the Gate of Ghost for too long. I know about what happened in the Western District, and no matter what you're planning to do after this, just remember that it can only be done if you're alive. Leave the Gate of Ghost."
I laughed. "Where should I go after I leave the Gate of Ghost? You've said it yourself, that the Western District has been destroyed. Where do I go?"
I leaned in, my face almost touching hers. "You knew the Western District has been destroyed, and you didn't stop it? Have you been hiding all this time?"
Huo pulled me away. "Li Shen, there are some things that you don't know, so don't…"
Li Qing interrupted, "Stop. Did I say you could speak?"
I saw the old Li Qing in this very moment. Her authority was so apparent here.
The old Li Qing was someone who looked dashing in battles and who had an authority about her. She was someone who was decisive in everything she did, that Li Qing who was always positive and who was always sure of herself.