Their surroundings instantly went completely quiet. However, both Xu Sanshi and Jiang Nannan's bodies began to change. After a moment, they were less adolescent; they'd returned to their twenty-year-old selves.
The bed was still the same bed from five years ago. However, their bodies and hearts were wound tighter than they had been five years ago at this moment.
He wasn't going to enter the wrong hole this time.
The black glow that signified the evolution of his martial soul surfaced once again.
Outside of their room, the golden sun and silver moon seemed to arc together in a smile.
A boundless prairie spread out before her, jade-green vines of Bluesilver Grass swaying in the gentle breeze. As they swayed, they seemed to endlessly extend.
When Zhang Lexuan discovered herself in such a place, her eyes started to shine brightly. She had always loved this sort of boundless feeling. The endless green, the refreshing air, the bright sunlight, and the birds that occasionally flew by all left her in a pleasant mood. It was as if all her troubles were slowly slipping away, one breath at a time.
Where is this? There was no such place on the continent in Zhang Lexuan's memory, or at least, not that she knew of. If this place was real, she believed that she would've already fallen in love with this place.
"What is love?" A dull voice echoed through the air. This voice seemed to resonate from all directions, even the sky, as it did so.
What is love? Zhang Lexuan was dazed as she lifted her head to peer into the sky. Afterwards, she gently shook her head. She'd never fallen in love; how could she know what love was? In her heart, there was only one person she was fond of.
"Love is about giving and devoting one's self. It's also about thoughtfulness and having no regard towards anything else." The loud voice suddenly became gentle, as if it was a gentle breeze sweeping across her, comforting her soul.
"Love is selfish, possessive, and present everywhere. It's also the root of much pain.
"However, we cannot live without love. A life without love is incomplete. Do you understand?"
Zhang Lexuan laughed bitterly. "I understand. However, how can I forget something deep within my bones?"
"You'll forget everything as a reward." A gust of wind raged, causing leaves to billow upwards. Just like them, Zhang Lexuan's spirits were also lifted into the air.
Bitingly cold mountains and gusts of wind.
"Ah—!" Ning Tian tried to keep her balance as she let out a shriek of fear. She'd already broken out into a cold sweat.
She was shocked to find that she'd appeared at the edge of a cliff, and that there was a deep valley in front of her. If she were to take even half a step forward, she'd disappear into the deep valley in front of her, never to return.
There was a deep valley in front of her, but what about behind her?
When she turned around, Ning Tian saw a bunch of mountains behind her. She was standing atop the peak of a mountain.
"Who are you?" A deep voice echoed upwards from the valley.
"I'm Ning Tian." Ning Tian subconsciously replied.
"Who are you?" The same question was posed to her again.
"I am Ning Tian from the Seven Treasures Glazed Sect! I'm the next sect leader of the sect!" As she stood atop the piercingly-cold mountain peak, Ning Tian felt that her emotions had gone out of control for some reason. Thus, she shouted as loud as she could without regard for anything else.
Her voice echoed far and wide and through the mountain range. Even after a long time had passed, it hadn't completely faded.
"You are under too much pressure." The deep voice echoed again. "Are you willing to relieve this pressure?"
"How do I do so?" Ning Tian asked agonizingly.
Ever since she'd been young, she'd been the lone daughter of the Seven Treasures Glazed Sect's sect master. The Seven Treasures Glazed Sect had once met with a catastrophe ten thousand years ago, and been almost completely destroyed. After ten thousand years of development, it had finally re-established itself as the continent's top auxiliary-type tool soul, and had once again become one of the strongest sects on the continent. However, Ning Tian had led a boring life as a direct female disciple. The only things she'd done throughout her life had been studying and cultivating.
She'd then proceeded to enter Shrek Academy at the apex of this boring life. Originally, she'd been considered a chosen child of heaven, and had thought that she would be the best amongst those the same age as her. However, she soon came to know of Shrek Academy's golden generation. She met the unbeatable Wang Dong'er, the gifted Dai Huabin, Xie Huanyue and finally Huo Yuhao, the strangest person, who had twin martial souls, immense spiritual power, and even Ultimate Ice.
As she continued to mingle with them, she realized that she wasn't nearly as outstanding as she'd thought. Even though she was still extremely outstanding, her limelight had been completely stolen by the others.
It was evident how tormented she felt! She had once tried to cultivate even harder. However, her martial soul was an auxiliary-type! It was the Seven Treasures Glazed Pagoda, which couldn't be used to fight directly. It was thus very difficult for her to cultivate. In fact, it was just as difficult for to cultivate as it was for Huo Yuhao to cultivate his Ultimate Ice. No matter how hard she'd tried, it didn't change the fact that an auxiliary-type soul master couldn't exceed a battle soul master.
When she saw that Huo Yuhao, Wang Dong'er, and Xiao Xiao were crowned champions along with their inner courtyard seniors in the last Continental Elite Advanced Soul Master Academy Tournament, Ning Tian hadn't just been filled with envy, she'd also been filled with jealousy.
And following that, she'd suddenly like she couldn't possibly catch up to the rest of them, no matter how hard she tried. At that point, she'd thought of another possibility, which was the hope that her family had held for her.
As a top-ranked auxiliary-type sect, many strong soul masters often looked to the Seven Treasures Glazed Sect for help. As one of the elites of the younger generation of soul masters, Ning Tian knew that she'd have to find a protector that would stay by her side one day. This person's strength wouldn't simply determine her future status in the sect and whether she could successfully take hold of the sect's reins, but it would also determine the future of the sect itself.
That was why she'd chosen Huo Yuhao during the Sea God's Fate. She'd chosen him because he was the most gifted, as well as most likely to be the strongest individual amongst the younger generation of soul masters in the future.
However, she hadn't expected to fail. She'd lost, and lost tragically at that. She'd been as embarrassed as a little girl when she'd taken the initiative to express her love, but had still been met with rejection. When that rejection came, it had felt as if her heart was stabbed by tens of thousands of blades—it was extremely painful.
She didn't really like Huo Yuhao very much. Rather, she just couldn't accept her failure.
The blow dealt to her from this failure was simply too huge. For a period of time, she was completely despondent. At that point, only Wu Feng remained at her side.
Wu Feng was angry with Huo Yuhao, and cultivated even more tirelessly than her. Yet, even when Ning Tian saw all of this, she still only treated Wu Feng as a sister.
"You can relieve all your pressure by jumping off of this cliff." The deep voice echoed yet again. It was asking her to die.
Ning Tian was dazed by the voice. Jump off? Everything will be settled if I just jump off... Yes! What could be better than death to alleviate this pressure? What could be more exciting than death?!
Death? She laughed.
Bring it on! A sharp gaze flashed through Ning Tian's eyes, before she pursed her lips. The huge pressure that she'd been facing was instantly converted into persistence that now drove her to leap off the cliff. With that, she flung herself off the edge in front of her.
The moment that she leaped, she seemed to hear a tragic scream.
Gusts of wind raged around her, becoming even colder as they swept past her. At this moment, Ning Tian felt as if her spirit had detached from her body; it was a magical feeling. The pressure she felt seemed to slowly disappear as she fell.
I'm sorry, Wu Feng. If there's such a thing as another life, I'll become a man and will protect and take care of you. You'll be my wife. We'll run our family together, and I'll make sure to love and repay you for all of the love you've shown me all these years.
Tears started to trail through the air above her. As they did, they formed pearl-shaped beads in the air.
Even though she was in free fall, Ning Tian realized that the voice had been right. The pressure that she'd felt seemed to have vanished. At this moment, nothing seemed important to her anymore.
Wu Feng stood upon the mountain peak, gazing down at the deep valley that Ning Tian had disappeared into. As she stared into the endless drifts of snow, her tears started to flow uncontrollably.
"Ning Tian, why... why did you do this? Why did you jump off the cliff? Why?"
She'd appeared on the other side of the mountain, and had then been given instructions to walk around. Right when she'd been about to arrive, she'd been greeted with the scene of Ning Tian leaping off the cliff. No matter how hard she tried, she hadn't been able to make it in time; she could only watch as Ning Tian disappeared into the valley below.
Everything seemed to lose importance when she saw that; Wu Feng seemed to have lost her soul. She staggered, about to fall.
"Follow her. If you really love her, you should seek a new life with her." The voice echoed through the mountain valley.
Wu Feng was shocked. She looked at the deep valley before her, before lifting her head to gaze at the sky and wail, "Ning Tian, I'm coming!" Yes! Since the person she loved was already gone, what was the point of her staying alive?
The projection of a fire dragon grew behind her. This projection carried a sense of elegance and passion, before disappearing along with Wu Feng as she leaped off the cliff in pain and tears
Everything became silent and peaceful again afterwards, the mountains still as bitingly cold as ever.