251 His Illusion
Du Yue's chances of winning would definitely be lowered in a scenario where she had to go against five others.
To win, one had to know your enemy. Though she was powerful, there were two other individuals here who knew her rather well. In such a situation, it would be difficult for her to emerge victor if she wages a war on her own.
I didn't believe that she'd actually choose to fight us alone, and she did not make that choice either.
She looked at me steadily. "Do you really think that those pills I made would be ineffective?"
"What do you mean by that?"
She snapped her fingers loudly.
The scene in front of me started shaking.
I heard Gaoqin Jiuye ask, "What did you do to her…?"
"It's not my fault when she voluntarily ate it. The drug only has a limited effectiveness if I don't activate it. You're worried? Don't you want her to remember everything about you?"
"No, you can't do that."
So this was to activate the drug again?
I can finally find out what happened in the past?
Instead of being afraid, I was surprisingly calm. Li Shen, Li Shen, just what have you forgotten?
Just as I felt my consciousness slipping away, a cold hand grabbed me. That hand was as cold as ice, but I felt an indescribable sense of security in that coldness.
His voice was calm beside my ear. "Seems like I have to use that technique on you."
Right after that, darkness blanketed my vision and I began to feel as if I was falling.
It didn't feel as if I was falling at a high speed, and it didn't feel as if I was dropping into a bottomless pit.
It felt like I was slowly flying downwards. It was sort of relaxing.
"Time to wake up, Shen'er." I heard Nie Zun's familiar voice.
Snapping my eyes open, I lost that feeling of flying immediately. I stood up and looked around me.
I seemed to be on a tiny tropical island, but it did not seem like an uninhabited island. There was an abundance of trees, flowers, and little animals.
The island was surrounded by a sea, and I woke up by the shore. Climbing up to higher ground, I could see the waves crashing against the rocks. I enjoyed the smell of the fresh air as the breeze from the sea tousled my hair.
I have not felt this alive in such a long time.
I didn't want to think about what was happening right now nor where exactly this was as I shouted towards the ocean, "Ahhh…….!"
After taking a deep breath, I felt re-energized as the cold air entered my throat.
This felt different from the Split Zone.
I literally felt alive at this very moment.
Someone tapped me on the shoulder as I was busy being excited on my own.
My heart flinched a little in fear before I turned around to look.
His starry eyes met mine.
The wind tousled his wispy bangs, and the sunlight reflected off his black hair, making it look golden brown.
It was the first time I saw such a gentle gaze on him.
"Nie… Zun…" I stuttered.
He interrupted me gently, "Call me Zun."
My eyes widened in slight shock. Call him… Zun?
I've never called him that, and it was difficult for me to change how I addressed him all of a sudden.
But what he did next made me even more surprised.
He reached out and took me in an embrace.
Resting my chin on his shoulders, I looked up at the endless azure sky. The sky was blue instead of gray here, and there were clouds around. The sun was behind me, and I could hear the sound of the waves hitting the shore. Though the breeze was chilly, it felt comfortable as it blew across my back.
Though his embrace still felt chilly, there was no one else but him who could give me such a sense of security.
After being in a daze for about ten or more seconds, I finally returned his hug as I wrapped both my arms around his waist.
We hugged each other tightly.
My eyes were open as I asked softly, "I'm not dreaming, am I…?"
His voice was dreamy but clear at the same time. "You're not. I'm Nie Zun, and you're hugging me now."
Where is this place? Where are we? Why are we here? Why are you treating me so differently now? There were many more questions in my head, but I didn't want to ask any of them.
None of that mattered in this moment.
At least I knew that I wasn't dreaming.
This might be an illusion, or some other space that I was not aware of. But these things were not important anymore.
What mattered was that I could feel that the real Nie Zun was right in front of me now. He was no impostor.
That was enough.
I'll cherish this precious moment.
Just like that day in the demon cave, I wanted time to stop so that I could just stay by his side like this.
Just like what he did for me in the past.
Nothing mattered more than this.
Although this might just be me running away from things, I'd rather enjoy this beautiful moment, even if it might turn out to be a lie.
I hugged him even tighter as I thought of this.
He returned it.
"Don't you want to ask me anything?"
My chin was still resting against his shoulder as I spoke, "Yes."
I interrupted him. "I want to, but I won't. Shhh. Just let me hold you like this for a while."
Nie Zun kept quiet after that.
I closed my eyes slowly and took another breath of the refreshing air. I could smell Nie Zun's unique aroma with it.
This was a smell that was indescribable.
It was like telepathy between us. I could always feel it and smell it whenever he was around.
This was that aura which gave me a sense of security.
There was nothing to be worried about and nothing to be afraid of, because he would be by my side like this.
I could free my mind of all thoughts as I held him.
I've never felt this way before, and I might never feel this way again.
Let time stop now.
Every girl would probably have had such a thought. Every girl would have had such an experience, and it might have been more than once, or with more than one individual.
But I only had Nie Zun in my life.
It was only now that I began to realize how scary it was to get used to being together every single day.
He had been by my side for way too long.
It was like a slow-acting drug where he enters your life slowly but surely, and takes over all your senses and everything in your mind.
You'd be crying tears of joy when you realize it, and you'd be smiling bitterly too, because you'd know that you'll never be able to leave him, ever.
He had become your greatest weakness, and your only weakness.
I could not imagine losing him, not even for a mere second.
I took him in a tighter embrace as I felt my heart overflow with emotions.
"Zun…" I called out, hearing my own voice being carried away by the wind.
"Mm," he answered, as if reassuring me that he was right there.
My tears started falling just like this.
He then let go of me slowly, as if he had sensed something.
I didn't want that embrace to end, so I grabbed him tightly, refusing to let go.
He seemed to get a little anxious at this, probably because he could tell I was crying.
But he still let me grab him.
"Don't be scared, I'm here," he said.
Looking up at the clear sky, I knew that no matter how much I wanted for this moment to last, I had to face reality.
Avoidance does not solve any problems.
Finally, I let go of him unwillingly.
I smiled as I looked into his eyes. "Tell me, where is this place? Why am I here?"
Nie Zun's gaze entrapped me as he brushed my hair lovingly. "You're in an illusion that I've created."
I stuttered, "You… you know how to create illusions?"
He nodded. "Guan Nie taught me a bit, and I've seen Huan Qing use it a few times. The way they controlled MF seemed similar to how I controlled mine, so I tried to do this on my own."
"But why did you pull me into your illusion…?"
He smiled gently. "It's not only you. I'm here in the illusion too. It's nothing, just treat it as a present from me. Taste the freedom here with me for a little while."