Chapter 67 Part 2
Together Through Life and Death
Long Jin who is standing in a dark corner looks at the tall pavilion with a complicated look in his eyes. This must be the reason why she chose him. With a man who loved her so much that he was willing to die for her, how could she look at other men?
As for him, he was just like his father and grandfather. Foolish when it came to love.
What is the point? He is dead now.
Long Jin has to admit that he did not see this coming. He thought that with Gong Sang Mo around, that icy, expressionless woman could live. Even if he could not get her heart, being able to hear about her once in a while or perhaps see her once in a while would be enough for him
Now that everything has turned into dust, he takes a deep breath and walks away.
When Yu Jian, San Qiu and Feng Ran reach the Grandmaster Tian Yi's courtyard, he is standing under the autumn rain, looking at the direction of the pagoda.
"You knew, Grandmaster?" Yu Jian asks.
"All three of you had a trial of death, one that was bound together. Your trial will be solved by them and their trial can only be solved by themselves." The Grandmaster look away, his face carrying a kind smile.
"Now that you have returned, Your Highness, you have passed your trial. As for their trial, only they can figure out how to pass it."
"Why didn't you tell us, Grandmaster Tian Yi?"
"The secrets of the heavens must not be divulged!"
"Then why are you telling us this, now?"
"Because you have passed your trial, Your Highness."
Yu Jian ask him while frowning, "What is the worst possible result of our trial?"
"Death." The Grandmaster replies.
Not only Yu Jian, even San Qiu and Feng Ran who are behind him trembles when they hear that.
Yu Jian fists his hand, looking firm as he says, "I believe that imperial sister and Brother Sang Mo will return."
San Qiu and Feng Ran echo him, "So do we!"
The trace of smile on the Grandmaster's face becomes even more apparent. Isn't this a kind of power that will support them over there? The power of faith.
"Amitabha." The Grandmaster look at the direction of the pagoda as he chants.
Yun Qian Yu is falling into a dark abyss. The surrounding air is chilling to the bones. She cushions herself with Zi Yu Xin Jing. The pit seems baseless and without any walls. People could faint for falling continuously like that.
Yun Qian Yu stays alert despite everything. There is something more important to her than fear, at the moment. Where is Gong Sang Mo? The force sucking them in was so strong, earlier on, Gong Sang Mo have probably exhausted his entire inner power when he flung Yu Jian and her out.
"Sang Mo! Sang Mo!" Yun Qian Yu screams his name, her heart engulfed in dread. She does not even want to imagine how she would live without Gong Sang Mo. Her heart feels like it has been cut by a blade. She is willing to die if it means that Gong Sang Mo gets to live.
"Sang Mo, please answer me!" Yun Qian Yu pleads. There shouldn't be that big of a distance between them. She uses all nine levels of Zi Yu Xin Jing to quicken her fall.
"Sang Mo, I am scared!" Amidst the darkness, Yun Qian Yu's voice trembles a little.
A hand suddenly grabs her waist, pulling her into a tight embrace. A familiar, crisp bamboo-scent assaults her nose and Yun Qian Yu immediately burst into tears, looping her hand around his neck.
"You were courageous enough to jump down, why are you scared now?"
When she hears that familiar voice, Yun Qian Yu finally feels like her heart is alive again. "I was afraid of losing you!"
Gong Sang Mo turns quiet. The arms that are hugging her tightens even more.
With Yun Qian Yu using her Zi Yu Xin Jing, the speed of them falling becomes a lot slower.
The two of them hold each other tight. Although they cannot see each other's expression, they can feel each other's heart. The situation is perilous, but their hearts are enveloped with sweetness.
Gong Sang Mo didn't think that Yun Qian Yu would jump after him. As he fell into the deep abyss, he could see a flash of light blue jumping towards him. The feeling in his heart was complicated; he was happy that Yun Qian Yu would disregard death for him, but was also angry because she would put herself in danger.
The moment he fell into the abyss, he slowed down a little to wait for Yun Qian Yu.
But the pit is too dark, he couldn't see a single thing. Just as he was about to call for her, he heard her calling for him first. That voice that was full of love and worry warmed him up amidst the cold air.
He fell into a daze while listening to that voice, forgetting to even answer her. Only when he heard her trembling voice saying, 'Sang Mo, I am scared!' that he finally snapped out of his daze. He anxiously felt his way around. He could hear the sound of the wind moving and immediately knew it was Yun Qian Yu. Without even hesitating, he outstretched his arms and caught her. He coughed out a mouthful of blood when he rushed into the full-fledged Zi Yu Xin Jing that Yun Qian Yu had released.
When she looped her hands around his neck, his heart was filled with satisfaction. When she told him that she was scared of losing him, his entire world turned upside down. He finally understood how hard it must have been for his father back then, to be losing his mother.
"Don't ever leave me, Sang Mo," Yun Qian Yu buries her face against his chest. The trace of pleading in her voice gives him pain.
"En, the heaven and earth is our witness. We will never part," Gong Sang Mo earnestly promises her.
Yun Qian Yu finally calms down when she hears that.
"Qian Yu, the rest will be up to you," Gong Sang Mo can sense something.
"We have reached the base?"
"How much of your inner power is left?"
"Less than one level."
Yun Qian Yu knows that he spent a lot of power when he pushed Yu Jian and her aside, earlier on. She uses Zi Yu Xin Jing to figure out their distance from the ground.
"Hold me tight."
"Don't worry, I will not let go!" Gong Sang Mo quickly says.
Yun Qian Yu takes off the ice silk that Gong Sang Mo gave her and wraps it around their bodies.
Gong Sang Mo sigh softly, "Qian Yu does not trust me?"
"What I do not trust is your strength."
Gong Sang Mo's laughter suddenly reverberates amidst the darkness.
"You can still laugh at times like this. We are about to become human pancakes."
"That'd be good. I will not be separated from Qian Yu again."< < 24. <<<<
"We are almost there."
"En." Gong Sang Mo suddenly hugs Yun Qian Yu even tighter.
Yun Qian Yu directs her inner power beneath them, estimating the distance by how long it takes for her purple ball to collide with the ground.
She throws her purple ball to the ground again, and judging by the strong flow of air that is resulted from the collision, the distance is getting smaller. She repeats them a couple of times until she can tell that the ground is right beneath them.
She slows down and their feet quickly touch the ground.
Both of them are relieved beyond words.
Yun Qian Yu looks around the darkness before regretfully saying, "In the future, I will always bring a Ye Ming Pearl with me."
"Yatou, don't tell me you plan on experiencing this again?" Gong Sang Mo touches her face and tries to figure out where her lips are. Then, he gives her a deep kiss.
Yun Qian Yu hook her arms around his neck, not giving him any chance to back away. Gong Sang Mo is momentarily stunned. He grabs her face and deepen the kiss. Yun Qian Yu is not very good at this, but even this is more than enough to please Gong Sang Mo.
The eerie silence is broken by the sound of the two people breathing.
This feeling of blankness is indescribable, they are using the most basic way to comfort each other.
Yun Qian Yu breathes heavily as she snuggles against Gong Sang Mo's chest. He rests his chin on top of her head, holding her still.
After a while, she finally manages to compose herself.
She checks for Gong Sang Mo's pulse. He originally wanted to avoid that, but gives that idea up because he does not wish to hide anything from her.
Yun Qian Yu is shocked, "How did you obtained this internal injury?"
Gong Sang Mo helplessly says, "Who told me to be so weak and frail; I probably couldn't even kill a chicken. Catching my loved one actually caused me that much internal injury."
Yun Qian Yu finally understands why. She chokes out a light, "I will protect you."
Gong Sang Mo laughs happily, "Alright."
Yun Qian Yu looks around, she cannot see a single thing. "What is so dangerous about this place?"
"I don't know!"
Yun Qian Yu originally thought that Gong Sang Mo would know something, but turns out, even he doesn't know anything. "You didn't know and you still jumped down?" she angrily asks.
"The probability of returning is pretty small. I didn't want you to come down, so I have no other choice but to come down myself."
When she hears that, Yun Qian Yu no longer says anything.
Gong Sang Mo knows what she is thinking, he hugs her before saying, "This was a cultivation place for the previous kingdom. It was a rare kind of cultivation, one that was really hard to master. This place was dangerous and regular people weren't allowed entry. Only the most-skilled members of the royal family were allowed here. Those who succeeded gets to be king. Once Nan Lou Kingdom was established, there were people who tried to master that art of cultivation, but none of them returned. After time passed, nobody dared to even approach this place anymore."
Remembering what the unofficial historical records said, Yun Qian Yu realized that she had guessed right.
"What should we do? This place is so dark and we have no idea how big it is or what it has in store," Yun Qian Yu asks, feeling a little stressed out.
"Let's go and take a look," Gong Sang Mo suggests.
When she hears that, Yun Qian Yu unwrap the ice silk from their bodies and tie one end around Gong Sang Mo's wrist, and the other around her's.<
"This way, we will not get separated."
Gong Sang Mo's heart warms up when she ties the silk around his wrist.
The two of them hold hands. They follow their instincts and walks to a direction.
The entire area is dark, they cannot see a single thing. Since none of them brings any match, they can only explore in the dark. After walking for a long time, they still cannot find any wall.
Yun Qian Yu cannot stop herself from murmuring, "Just how big is this place?"
Gong Sang Mo pulls her over, "Don't you think the ground is getting wetter and wetter?"
"You are right. Perhaps there is a pool in front," Yun Qian Yu feels very clueless.
The moment she says that, her feet steps on thin air and she falls. Since they are connected by the ice silk, Gong Sang Mo falls right after her.
The sound of the two of them hitting the water can be heard. The water is ice-cold, penetrating to the bone. Yun Qian Yu suddenly has a brilliant idea. She uses her Zi Yu Xin Jing to counter the cold. Remembering about Gong Sang Mo's exhausted inner power, she follows the ice silk to get to him and hold his hand to transfer the Zi Yu Xin Jing to him.
Gong Sang Mo does not reject her action. He knows that this stubborn girl will not take no for an answer.
He is surprised that Yun Qian Yu knows how to swim.
Just as they are about to swim upstream, they discover a dim light shining from the bottom of the pond.
That dim light is as good as the sun for the two of them who have been trapped in this darkness.
Without even saying anything, both of them swim towards that source of light.
The deeper they go, the colder the water becomes. They swim on as Yun Qian Yu continues transferring her inner power to Gong Sang Mo.
When they finally reach that light, a strong force suddenly sucks them in again. They hold each other tight.
The blinding light cause them to close their eyes and in the blink of an eye, the powerful force flings them out of the water and into the ground.
Just moments before they hit the ground, Gong Sang Mo hugs Yun Qian Yu and turn their bodies around so that she is on top of him. He ends up cushioning her fall.
"Oh," he groans. Yun Qian Yu clambers out of his embrace before shielding her eyes from the bright light. With the help of the light, she can see Gong Sang Mo lying next to her, a trail of blood flowing from the corner of his lips.
"Why did you do that? You are weaker than a little chicken right now. One fall will not kill me," Yun Qian Yu says, aggrieved.
"I will not let you injure yourself."
The moment she hears that, Yun Qian Yu's tears flows down.
Gong Sang Mo lies on the ground with his eyes closed, his hand holding onto Yun Qian Yu tight.
She helps him sit before sitting behind him, trying to heal his injuries. He was initially injured by her Zi Yu Xin Jing, and now, he suffered from another great fall. At the moment, he really is weaker than a little chicken.
The two of them takes advantage of the healing time to adjust their eyes to their now bright surrounding.
After two hours, Yun Qian Yu put her hand away.
Gong Sang Mo has gotten a lot better.<
After she open her eyes, she looks around to check out their surroundings. "What a huge Ye Ming Pearl!" They are in a cave and the source of the bright light is a Ye Ming Pearl hanging from the very top of the cave. The pearl is huge in a shocking way, as big as her three pearls combined. No wonder it is strong enough to light the entire cave.
Gong Sang Mo gets up and pulls Yun Qian Yu up with him. He does not look at the pearl and instead train his sparkling eyes on her face.
She looks back at him, her face blooming in a smile, "I can finally see you. This is good!"
"Yeah, this is good!" Gong Sang Mo outstretch his hand and touches Yun Qian Yu's smeared face. His hand is very light, as if she will break if he use any more force.
"Qian Yu, we will definitely leave this place!" he gently says.
They definitely will. He has waited three years for his feeling to be reciprocated, they still have an entire lifetime left to spend together, how can they leave this world just like that?
"Of course! If we doesn't manage to get out, that means that we are stupider than the people of the previous kingdom. How can that be?" Yun Qian Yu jokes.
Gong Sang Mo laughs, "Of course!"
"Let's go! Let's give this place a look. Since this is a cultivating place, let's see what there is to cultivate?" Yun Qian Yu drags Gong Sang Mo with her.
At this moment, the sky is already bright outside. The imperial grandson has gone to the Great Hall to continue the blessing ceremony.
People start whispering amongst themselves when Princess Hu Guo is nowhere to be seen.
A lot of things are said, and they mostly assume that the princess is too lazy to care about this since she has no blood relationship with the imperial grandson.
Princess Ming Zhu and Hua Man Xi exchange a worried look.
The Grandmaster is wearing a golden jiasha. He wave his arm and the back door of the hall is opened, revealing a lady in a light blue dress studiously copying scriptures. Everyone who has seen Yun Qian Yu can tell that the lady is her.<
"Princess Hu Guo has been copying the Diamond Sutra since last night. She will not be eating, drinking or sleeping for three days until the day after tomorrow. She will be using her filial piety to pray for the prosperity of the kingdom and the imperial clan."
After the Grandmaster finish explaining things, the backdoor is closed again.
The crowd are embarrassed and immediately stopped gossiping, quietly waiting for the ceremony to begin.
Throughout the entire ordeal, Murong Yu Jian is without any expression. He stands straight, looking at the statue of Buddha in the middle of the hall.
Hua Man Xi frowns, he can tell that something is wrong.
The corner of Long Jin's lips curl; the Grandmaster is actually helping to cover up things. Don't tell him that they actually hoped the two of them will manage to leave that place? In spite of everything, Murong Yu Jian's performance shocked him a little.
Even last night, Murong Yu Jian was really calm when he left Cang Bao Pavilion. This little kid is making him anxious with how calm he is to everything. If he lets Murong Yu Jian grows up, this child will become a really powerful enemy to him.
Lucky for him, Gong Sang Mo and Yun Qian Yu are already out of the picture. The people from Nan Lou Kingdom's own court will be the one to finish Murong Yu Jian for him.
Wen Ling Shan outstretch her neck to get a better look, but she is too far away to get a good look on the so-called Yun Qian Yu. When the door is closed, she anxiously asks her brothers, "Did you get a good look? Is that really Qian Yu?"
Wen Lan Jin who is originally frowning, laughs at her, "Of course! You actually think that someone will be daring to cosplay as the princess?"
"You are right," Wen Ling Shan admits in embarassment.
"One more thing, do not simply call the princess by her birth name in the future. Even if the princess is okay with it. You should not bring her unnecessary trouble," Wen Lan Jin gently knocks Wen Ling Shan in the head.
"Got it!" she clicks her tongue. Deep inside, she agrees with him. Never mind other people, if her strict father hears her, it wouldn't be as simple as punishing her to stand in a corner.
Wen Lan Jin looks away, concealing the look of worry in his eyes.
Hua Man Xi sneaks out for a moment and goes to Feng Ran, "Where is the little girl?"
Feng Ran raise his eyebrows, "Mistress is copying Buddhist scriptures."
"Stop lying to me. That person is not the little girl," Hua Man Xi persists.
Feng Ran looks at him, "The only thing shizi can do to help right now is to protect the Great Hall. Protect the one copying the scriptures."
Hua Man Xi grabs onto Feng Ran, "The little girl is in danger?"
"Be cautious of what you speak," Feng Ran leaves after saying that.
Hua Man Xi freezes. He returns to the Great Hall, secretly ordering his people to secure the parameter.
At this moment, Yun Qian Yu and Gong Sang Mo are sitting in front of a stone tablet, reading what is carved on top of it in a daze.
It took them an hour to find this dim little chamber. There is only a stone tablet surrounded by four little stone stools inside. What is inscribed on the tablet is the art of cultivation that they have been looking for.
Yun Qian Yu finally understands why only the highest-skilled members of the imperial clan were allowed to enter this place, back then. One needs to achieve a high level of martial arts to be able to endure the unimaginable power that this art offers.
And the only way to master this art is by crippling one's own martial arts ability. The inner power that you cultivated since you were young has to be crippled, and even then, there is no guarantee if you will be able to master this. This stone tablet said it itself; a thousand people may try, but only one gets to live.
This explains who nobody manage to return after entering this place. Without your power, don't even think about leaving.
The probability of mastering this art is slim enough, the chance of getting out is even more so.
Yun Qian Yu tightens the ice silk that is connecting them. She does not untie it because she knows that without it, there are higher chances of them getting separated.
Gong Sang Mo looks at her; seeing her looking around, he knows that she already has an idea of what they have to do.
He takes out his hands, signalling Yun Qian Yu to come over. She gets up and sits next to him. He pulls her over and buries her in his embrace. She does not resist and snuggle into him.
"Qian Yu, if we manage to leave this place, marry me," Gong Sang Mo gently asks.
Hearing her simply answer, his phoenix eyes dims down. "Can't you at least coddle me, at times like these?"
"I do not wish to lie to you."
Gong Sang Mo chokes in his own breath.
"I need to wait until the court is stable before I can marry you," Yun Qian Yu says after making some serious thinking.
Gong Sang Mo's eyes bright up; it is not that she is unwilling to marry him. She only wish to wait until the court settles down.
"You said it yourself! You are not allowed to take this back, later."
"I have never done things that I will regret."
Gong Sang Mo laughs. Although he looks really messy at the moment, that beautiful smile can still rival a celestial's.
It takes a lot from Yun Qian Yu to tear her eyes away from Gong Sang Mo. She discovers that she is getting a lot weaker against his good looks.
"Have you made your decision?" Yun Qian Yu motions towards the stone inscription.
"There is no other choice!"
Yun Qian Yu knows too, that at least trying to master the art gives them a glimmer of hope. Or else, they are just going to wait for their deaths here.
She suddenly has a sudden, indescribable feeling of loss.
She picks up the heart-shaped pendant on Gong Sang Mo neck and inscribes the character 'Yu' in it. And then, on the pendant of her own bracelet, she inscribes the character 'Mo'.
"Sang Mo, if we ends up going to another world, do not forget to look for me. Don't ever forget me." Yun Qian Yu's eyes are brimming with tears.<
Gong Sang Mo touches the 'Yu' on his pendant. When he hears what she says, he leans his head against her's and gives her a fierce kiss. He kisses her passionately, as though he wants to bury her inside his own body so they won't have to part.
Yun Qian Yu's tears flow down and he gently nip at her tears with his lips.
"I will not lose you. I will chase after you wherever you go!" he says with a hoarse voice.
Yun Qian Yu lowers her voice, "Sang Mo, let me tell you a secret."
"I am listening."
"I have two lifetimes worth of memory. In my past life, my life was pretty tough. I had a brother who was very attached to me, but I died early after succumbing into illness."
Gong Sang Mo is stunned when he hears that. He didn't think the secret will be this big.
"You don't believe me?" Yun Qian Yu asks after seeing the stunned Gong Sang Mo.
"I trust you." He finally understand why the indifferent her is so warm towards Yu Jian. It is because she sees the reflection of her brother in him.
"If we doesn't survive this and have to go to another life, please recognize me even if I look different."
Gong Sang Mo's heart aches when he sees that worry in Yun Qian Yu's eyes. Is she afraid that he wouldn't recognize her? Is that why she is willing to divulge a secret that no one else will believe?
"I will recognize you no matter what you look like. Don't even think of running away from me!" Gong Sang Mo gives her forehead a kiss.
Yun Qian Yu laughs, relieved.
She points at the stone inscription, "Let's begin."