"Qianqian, Qianqian… Senior Sister Qian…" Chu Yang called out to her anxiously, his voice full of panic . When he saw Wu Qianqian's ghastly pale face and checked her injuries, Chu Yang's heart felt as if it had sunk into the deep abyss .
Wu Qianqian's injuries were fatal .
According to Chu Yang's current knowledge, there was no way to save her life at all .
This caused Chu Yang to feel as if his heart had suddenly been ripped apart . For a moment there, he felt as if his own life had also become dull and colorless .
"You're safe… I'm glad . " Wu Qianqian gazed at Chu Yang weakly, her voice soft and feeble but immensely relieved .
"I'm fine… You'll be okay too…" Chu Yang felt like a knife was being twisted about in his heart . He held Wu Qianqian in his arms, feeling as though his heart ripping apart and healing, before it ripped apart again…
Even now, she's relieved… that I'm safe?!
"Don't comfort me anymore…" Wu Qianqian's voice was weak and low, without any vigor in her, but there was a great tenderness within . "I'm not going to make it… I can feel… my mother waiting for me here… Chu Yang, I'm going soon…"
Wu Qianqian spoke feebly, a light of childlike affection toward her parent shining in her eyes .
Chu Yang thought of that dream that Wu Qianqian had . Tears suddenly streamed down his face .
Since a few days ago, she had been dreaming of her mother and saying that her mother was here for her… Chu Yang had long sensed that this was an inauspicious dream but he didn't expect that her dream would turn into reality in this manner…
Using his broken hands, he held Wu Qianqian tightly in his embrace, choking on his sobs and unable to speak .
He owed her too much .
Since they were in the Lower Three Heavens, every step he took, Wu Qianqian was always there . She gave her all to help him; using all the talent and wits she possessed, she forced herself to learn all those knowledge and do all those missions that shouldn't have been carried out by a frail woman…
When they had just arrived at Iron Cloud, she would even turn pale when she saw blood; she would tremble whenever she saw corpses . Yet in order to help him, he didn't know how but she managed to force herself to accept all of those cruel realities .
Every command left her hands; every aftermath was personally taken care of by her . Every single time…
When he left the Lower Three Heavens, she was heartbroken and devastated . But she stayed as strong as ever, draping his black robe on herself and putting on his mask, and started shouldering his responsibilities…
Now, after she had come to the Upper Three Heavens, she still stayed with him, sticking by him through life and death, and fighting hard bloody battles .
Yet I have never given her anything at all .
Not even a word of promise that she had so desired .
Even now, it was for him that she used her frail body to take a fatal blow in place of him, offering up her life for him .
In the Lower Three Heavens, during the Golden Horse Rider Department assassination, she already had intentions to sacrifice herself for him . After that, during the final battle with the Department, she remained willing to die for him…
And today… She ultimately still ended her own life the way that she desired to… even if she was so reluctant to leave him .
He knew that she loved him deeply; however, she had never said it .
I love you but it doesn't concern you .
Wu Qianqian nestled in Chu Yang's arms, taking in the warmth of his embrace . Somewhat contented, the corners of her mouth curled up . In a low voice, she murmured, "So warm…"
He's so warm . I really can't bear to leave… This is my first time in his arms my whole life…
Chu Yang's tears splattered one by one on her cheeks .
"I'm going . My mother is waiting for me… I, I'm very happy, don't… worry about me…" Wu Qianqian's head was lowered . Her eyes lingered longingly on Chu Yang's black robe . In that particular corner of the black robe were a few words that she had embroidered using her hair —'Chu Yang, Qianqian likes you' .
She felt a sudden wave of sorrow .
Actually, I really can't bear to leave… him .
"Chu Yang, after I'm gone… Don't wear… the black robe anymore…" said Wu Qianqian feebly .
Because you'll think of me when you wear the black robe . And when you do, you'll feel terrible…
Chu Yang didn't know what to say . He hugged her tightly, choking as he said, "Don't go… You won't go!"
"Actually, dying like this… I'm very happy… Really… This is what I wish for… because…" A hint of a smile appeared on Wu Qianqian's lips with some difficulty . She tried her best to raise her eyes, saying with a tinge of anticipation, "Chu Yang… That time, you said… that you owed someone else your entire life… That's why you wanted to repay it… Today, should I die… y-you… will you owe me? …Will you… repay me… in your next lifetime?"
"I will!" Chu Yang replied resolutely, nodding heavily . As he nodded, tears fell endlessly from his eyes . "I will definitely repay you! I'll repay you this lifetime, Senior Sister Qian… Don't die!"
"I'm really looking forward to my next life… I'll wait for you to repay me a lifetime…" Wu Qianqian was lost in her thoughts . Snowflakes fell onto her cheeks, her eyes reflecting deep love and affection . In a low voice, as if talking to herself, she murmured, "Chu Yang… Qianqian likes you…"
'Chu Yang, Qianqian likes you . '
The girl, who should have been frail and weak but was instead strong and independent now, had always hidden this one sentence inside her heart . She devotedly, quietly and humbly sewed it onto the robe, never saying it out loud .
Not even once .
But at this point where her life was about to dissipate, she said it out loud with courage .
She knew that if she didn't, she really wouldn't have the chance to anymore .
Because Chu Yang had already promised and pledged his next lifetime to her, she was afraid that she would fail to keep her end of the promise . Therefore, before she died, she wanted to say it out loud as a reminder to herself, whether in life or death… Chu Yang would never fail to keep his promise, but she was afraid that she herself would, and end up missing him…
Chu Yang, Qianqian likes you!
"I like you too! It's true!" Chu Yang's mouth was ajar, his breathing heavy and in gulps . Yet he still felt that something was blocking his chest and his throat…
Intense grief and pain almost suffocated him .
At this moment where she was about to leave him, Chu Yang was suddenly reminded of that time during his previous life at the Purple Bamboo Forest, where Mo Qingwu laid in his arms as her life slipped away…
That feeling then and the feeling now… Why was it so similar!
Yet again, he could only watch as she left him, unable to do anything! The Nine Tribulations Pill could treat grievous injuries but there was nothing it could do about this kind of destruction of life force and soul…
So what even if I became the true Nine Tribulations Sword Master?!
So what even if I stand at the pinnacle? So what even if I am to march into the Nine Heavens Imperial Court in the future?! She's still going to die today!
Chu Yang bellowed in rage and howled in his heart, wailing inwardly…
Wu Qianqian gazed quietly at the hem of Chu Yang's black robe . She could no longer raise her head . There was no more strength in her whole body . Her soul felt as if it was about to leave her body at this moment…
But she didn't want to leave; she tried her best to make herself stay a little longer . She couldn't bear to leave, because she was now in this warm embrace . In her entire life, this was her first time truly in his embrace; so warm, so comfortable, so secure… Yet this first time would also be the very last time…
How could she bear to leave?
How could she bear to leave! Even if she could only stay just a moment more, it would still be wonderful and blissful…
But she knew that she had to leave eventually! This embrace did not belong to her in this lifetime…
Wu Qianqian smiled forlornly . She seemed to see her mother taking her hand and slowly walking far…
While Chu Yang stood where he was, watching her leave . She turned back time and again but she was still led far away by her mother…
Using all her strength and in a tone that was close to praying, she said, "Chu Yang, you must be happy in this lifetime…"
Then, she felt her fatigue and the weariness of her soul . She was about to leave, really about to… She really couldn't bear to…
Right at this moment, she suddenly remembered something of utmost importance .
All of a sudden, she started to pant and gasp, trying her best to open her eyes . Miraculously, they did, though her eyes were already empty and blank . Chu Yang was right by her yet she could no longer even see his black robe .
She tried her best to tell him an important matter in her heart . "There's something… important…"
"Chu Yang… Chu Yang… Go to… Go to the Lower Three Heavens… Look for… Tie Butian… She… She's a woman… Y-you… you…" Wu Qianqian's lips trembled as she whispered feebly .
But every sentence and every word that she uttered was a roaring thunderstorm in Chu Yang's heart, slamming against his heart .
At this moment, Chu Yang was actually dumbstruck .
Tie Butian is a woman?!
Wu Qianqian continued to murmur, her voice weak and feeble . Struggling, she tried her best to continue, "She… you… When you were poisoned the other time… it's her who saved you… Chu Yang… she… her childhood name is Little Tian Tian… Tian Tian… Chu… Yang… s-she bore you a child…"
Wu Qianqian continued to struggle, finally saying her last words, "Do not… let her down… I-I'm so… envious… My… my feelings for you… have never changed…"
She gave one final shudder and then suddenly, there was no more movement .
Her last words spoke of the thoughts that lingered the most in her heart and her grievances .
'Do not let her down' .
'I'm so envious of her' .
'My feelings for you have never changed' .
Didn't you think that I was once the empress… But the emperor is a woman… and she's your woman too… My feelings for you have never changed, really!
Chu Yang felt as if his heart had been dealt a devastating blow by a gigantic hammer . For a moment there, he actually felt lost, as if he was in a dream . Everything seemed so much like an illusion and fantasy .
He felt as if he was the only one remaining in this vast and boundless world .
'It was her who saved you when you were poisoned the other time' .
'She's Little Tian Tian' .
'She bore you a child' .
In his arms, Wu Qianqian's frail body shuddered and then she was silent . She was still looking at him . The eyes of this woman, who was once frail and weak but had become strong for him, regained its fragility and frailty…
But her eyes were filled with such emptiness and blankness…
Chu Yang only felt a sense of blankness in his heart . When he looked up, everything was covered in white . At this moment, agitation, guilt, regret and pain were all intertwined . His body swayed and shook and his legs gave out beneath him . He landed on his knees, holding Wu Qianqian in his arms as he howled at the skies, tears streaming down his cheeks…