Lin Dong was slightly taken aback as he felt the soft and icy sensation on his lips. After which, he looked at Ying Huanhuan’s smiling yet tear-stricken face as his heart trembled for some time.
“What do you mean?”
Ying Huanhuan got off Lin Dong’s body. Her hand gently stroked his face as she muttered, “You have really endured through three Reincarnation Tribulations… sorry, I was unable to remain beside you.”
She lightly took two steps back. After which, her pretty crystal like eyes gazed at the countless anticipation filled eyes from the sea of people below as her serene voice spread, “My current self has yet to truly reach the Ancestor stage. At best, I can be considered to be at the Half-Ancestor stage. There is still an extremely huge gap to the true Ancestor stage.”
The Chaotic Demon Sea gradually quietened down. Many people became despondent upon hearing these words. Half-Ancestor? What did she mean?
“With my current strength, I am still no match for the Yimo Emperor. When his true body descends upon this world a month later, I will no longer be able to stop him.”
The faces of countless individuals gradually paled, as the fire of hope in their eyes was extinguished bit by bit. Was their final hope about to shatter at this moment?
The Ice Master did not advance into the Ancestor stage like they had anticipated… instead, she only reached the Half-Ancestor stage. Just a mere difference of a word, yet it was worlds apart.
“Really… is it the end of the world?”
Countless individuals muttered to themselves, while intense fear and despair crawled out from deep within their hearts.
The Ancient Masters also wiped off the blood at the corner of their mouths. They gazed at the sky and sighed quietly in their hearts.
“It doesn’t matter if you did not reach the Ancestor stage. If we work together and combine our strength with the others, it may not necessarily be impossible to fight the Yimo Emperor!” Lin Dong looked at the slightly trembling body of Ying Huanhuan. The anticipation of countless individuals was just like a heavy mountain that weighed down on her soft shoulders. The pressure and responsibility of saving this world would make anyone become unable to breath.
Ying Huanhuan looked at Lin Dong and smiled a little as she said, “In reality, I have already known that this will be the result. Even all this gathered energy cannot allow anyone to step into the Ancestor stage. Moreover, this forceful raising of cultivation level has terrible repercussions. I’m afraid that my current self is no longer able to advance to the Ancestor stage.”
“How can it be so easy to truly reach the Ancestor stage. However, this is within my expectations. Hence, I have still succeeded.”
Lin Dong’s body violently shook as he blankly stared at Ying Huanhuan.
“It is precisely because I knew that this would be the result that I rejected your offer to replace me. Sorry, I had no intentions of dismissing your efforts… I am aware of all that you have done…”
Ying Huanhuan covered her lips with her hand as her voice became hoarse. Tears rolled down from her eyes. Her eyes were filled with tender feelings as she looked at Lin Dong.
There was no longer any traces of the iciness from before.
The countless people of the world were blankly watched the crying girl that was covering her mouth. At this very moment, she did not appear to be the saviour of the world, whom everyone had placed all of their hopes on. Instead, she was just a weak and pitiful ordinary girl.
“Just what… are you planning to do?” Lin Dong muttered as he looked at the trembling girl.
Ying Huanhuan smeared the tears on her face. She looked at Lin Dong as s an extremely beautiful smile blossomed on her face. “I am thinking of letting you become the second Symbol Ancestor.”
Lin Dong was stunned. The countless experts below also looked at Ying Huanhuan with incomparably shocked eyes. Just what did she mean?
“Give me some time. I will definitely reach that stage!” Lin Dong stared intently at Ying Huanhuan as unease rose within his heart.
“However… we do not have any more time.”
Ying Huanhuan lifted her pretty face. The seal between the planes in space was rapidly dimming. The ice seal that she had placed above it was melting at a frightening pace. It was obvious that the Yimo Emperor was attacking the seal with all his power.
“Sorry… I have been lied to you all along. I got you to enter the Ancestral Citadel to create the Divine Palace, and forced you to undergo three Reincarnation Tribulations… I am really someone you should hate…” The smile on Ying Huanhuan’s face had an air of ultimate melancholy. Her fingernails pierced deeply into her palm, and icy-blue blood continuously dripped like beads of ice.
“The strength that my master spoke of does not refer to my ability to reach the Ancestor stage. Instead, I possess the power to help one reach the Ancestor stage. It is still possible to save this world. Of course, the precondition is that I must reach the Half-Ancestor stage.”
Lin Dong gritted his teeth as he stared at Ying Huanhuan. I do not want to be the second Symbol Ancestor. I am a very selfish person. Therefore, I do not view something like saving the world as part of my responsibility. I only wish to be together with those whom I care about. Even if everything will eventually be destroyed, I will at least not have any regrets!
Ying Huanhuan looked at Lin Dong. It was as though she could read the thoughts swimming in his heart. She gently bit her lips and said in a hoarse voice, “But… I only wish for you to live.”
I only wish for you to live.
Lin Dong seemed to have been struck by lightning. These familiar words were said in the same manner by a red eye young lady many years ago in that hopeless situation back in the Unique Devil Region. However, this simple request made Lin Dong feel a heart shattering pain.
“Just what are you planning to do?!”
Lin Dong shook as he once again repeat the same words. He stared at Ying Huanhuan and muttered, “Can’t you listen to me for once?!”
“I really do not wish for things to be like this… however, is there really any other choice? In reality, everything was predestined since the beginning. It is impossible for me to change anything…”
Ying Huanhuan’s pretty eyes turned fully red. Tears gathered in those eyes.
“Sorry… I only wish for you to remain alive and well.”
Ying Haunhuan slowly stepped back and gently shook her head. The moment she did so, her long crystal like hair gradually turned jet-black. Those ice-blue eyes similarly regained the lively pitch-black color from long ago. At this moment, the former lively young girl with a jet-black ponytail and a sweet laughter seemed to have appeared again.
The expressions of the other Ancient Masters drastically changed when they saw Ying Huanhuan’s transformation.
Lin Dong had also sensed that something was amiss. He moved and directly rushed towards Ying Huanhuan.
However, the space around Lin Dong was frozen just as he was about to charge forward. Ice turned into vines that entwined around Lin Dong. After which, ice gathered under his feet, forming an incomparably huge ice lotus.
Even though Lin Dong had created the Divine Palace and experienced three Reincarnation Tribulations, he still had difficulty resisting such power. Although his cultivation speed was sufficient to be ranked amongst the top three since ancient times, the time he cultivated was far too short. This was also his greatest weakness. If he was given a little more time, he believed that he would definitely touch the Ancestor stage!
However, he did not have any more time!
“Ying Huanhuan! I will not let you off if you dare to do anything reckless!” Lin Dong’s eyes were entirely red as he roared.
Ying Huanhuan gave Lin Dong a tender smile. Her smile was as sad and moving as a snow lotus fading away on an ict mountain. Soon after, her eyes slowly shut.
A long long time ago.
An old man had carried a small baby girl from out of a thousand year ice mountain.
The baby girl gradually grew up, and turned into a little girl with a small ponytail.
“Bing’er, you possess great power. In the distant future, the world will perhaps need your protection when master is no longer around.” The old man faintly smiled as he looked at the pretty jade like little girl and said in a warm voice.
“Why will master not be around?” The little girl’s voice was young. Her large jet-black eyes were filled with innocence and confusion.
The old man laughed and continued, “However, you will need to be fully willing to unleash this kind of power. Moreover, you will pay a huge price as a result. That price might well be your life. If you can find a person whom you are willing to give everything up for when that time comes, I hope that you will save the lives of this world.”
The little girl blinked her large eyes as if she half-understood and said, “What if I do not find that person? Why should I sacrifice my life for others? I do not like it.”
“If you fail to find that person, it would mean that this world is destined for a calamity. Master’s agreement with you will also be void.”
The little girl took a bite out of the popsicle in her hand as her jet-black ponytail bounced about. Sacrificing her life for others? Although she was still young, the iciness in the depths of her heart allowed her to understand that it was impossible for something like that to happen.
“Master… I ultimately still found the one who can make me willingly sacrifice everything for… Bing’er is also very happy…”
This distant memory surged out from a long forgotten part of her mind as Ying Huanhuan muttered to herself in her heart. The smile on her pretty face grew warmer as her hands lightly touched, forming an incomparably ancient seal.
“I pray with my very soul…”
“Using my body…”
“Using my soul…”
“Using my blood…”
An airy voice seemed to to appear along with an ancient song. It leisurely resounded over all corners of this world. The Four Great Xuan Regions, Chaotic Demon Sea, Demon Region… countless individuals lifted their heads. They could feel an indescribable feeling rise within their hearts as they looked towards a certain direction.
“Calling upon the spirit of heaven and earth, Divine transformation, Ancestral Path!”
Ying Huanhuan’s delicate body trembled violently when the final ancient word sounded. Subsequently, the world started to shudder, and brilliantly colored light appeared in the sky. It was as though there endless spiritual light had emerged. In the end, the sky above the Chaotic Demon Sea turned into a gorgeous light curtain that was hundreds of thousands of feet in size.
The spiritual light ultimately poured into the huge ice lotus under Lin Dong’s feet. Subsequently, the ice lotus became brilliant…
However, Lin Dong did not have the time to observe the ice lotus’ transformation. He looked at Ying Huanhuan with inconsolable grief. An icy-blue flame had started to burn her body.
At this very moment, he finally understood what Ying Huanhan intended to do. She was burning herself in order to activate her greatest power to assist him in reaching Ancestor stage. However, the price would clearly be her life!
Lin Dong finally understood why Ying Huanhuan had rejected him in that cold and indifferent manner in the Western Xuan Region… that was not a formation meant for attempting to break into the Ancestor Stage. Instead, it was for the sake of activating this power!
She had thought of this from the very beginning!
“You stop right now!”
Countless veins of blood traces extended in Lin Dong’s eyes as he struggled crazily and roared furiously. His roar was just like a wild beast as it resounded over the area.
The Flame Master’s group below had a drastic change in expression when they saw this. They were about to charge forward when they were held back by the Life Death Master. The latter’s eyes were red as she muttered, “This is her choice. Do not interfere.”
“Why have things turned out like this?” The Flame Master’s group had pale expression as they mumbled.
“We… do we have any other solution? It is not so easy to reach the Ancestor stage. Even little junior sister can only use this method in order to allow Lin Dong to advance to the Ancestor stage. This is the only way we avoid this calamity.” The Life Death Master wiped her tears and answered.
The Flame Master’s group was speechless. They gazed at the sky. Even after everything they had experienced and been through, their eyes involuntarily reddened at this moment.
The icy-blue flame rose. Ying Huanhuan looked at the practically maddened Lin Dong, while tears gathered and fell.
“Sorry… I do not wish to protect this world, nor do I wish to become its saviour. However, I wish for you to live…”
“Lin Dong, thank you for letting me to fall in love with you before I awakened… thank you for giving me so many beautiful memories. You made me to understand that one’s heart will eventually bloom regardless of how icy it is…”
“You have once asked me if I am the Ice Master or Ying Huanhuan…”
“I can tell you now… you fool, there has never been an Ice Master. I was always… Ying Huanhuan.”
The icy-blue flame rose in spirals. Finally, it wrapped around Ying Huanhuan’s entire body. Her somewhat hoarse voice also spread at this moment.
“Ah! Ah! Ah!”
Lin Dong let out a long howl of sorrow. It spread far into the distance. The heartbreaking pain and helplessness inside it instantly turned countless eyes red.
An overwhelming radiance exploded from the enormous ice lotus at this moment. After which, the ice lotus petals slowly began to fold. Lin Dong’s vision gradually turned blurry as the ice lotus began to fold, while his consciousness began to descend into darkness.
When his sight was about to fade completely, a figure seemed to appear.
Hands behind her back, her long jet-black ponytail bounced in a lively manner. Her pretty face was filled with a sly and lovely smile. It was just like when they met for for the first time back then in Dao Sect.