When Zhu Yao woke up, what she saw was complete darkness. The whistling of strong winds could be heard from all around, and it felt as though there was something blowing on her. With every blow, she felt there was something chilly infiltrating her, and her body would turn colder little by little.
What was this place? Logically speaking, her master wouldn’t have thrown her here all alone. She tried to stand up, only to realize she was basically unable to move. It was as though her entire body was restricted by something, wrapping her like a ball. The lighting was too dim, and she was completely unable to see her current situation. However, it was very evident that she was no longer in her previous body.
Could she have died again? And this was a new avatar? As she had thought, that avatar had a one-day usage limit, right!? However, why didn’t a reincarnation notification window appear this time when she died? Had the student Realmspirit gotten bored of it?
She tried calling out to Realmspirit several times, wanting to understand her situation. However, she did not receive a single reply. Though, her eyes were beginning to adapt to the darkness, and she could now faintly discern a few things. For example, the thing’s that had been whistling all this time wasn’t wind, but a dense black fog, and it even carried an uncomfortable aura. She encountered this fog before… twice.
She was actually surrounded by devilish energy. Theoretically speaking, the devilish energy was energy wielded by the Devils, just like how deities make use of divine energy. Someone who did not belong to the Devil Race, was basically unable to endure devilish energy, and would instead be eroded into ash. Why was she completely fine other than feeling a little chilly?
Zhu Yao stayed in these plains of darkness for a very long time. In the beginning, she was worried that she would encounter some Devils. However, a total of ten days had passed, other than the endless amount of devilish energy surrounding her, not a single human figure could be seen. She could not help but begin to doubt if there was even a single living being here?
Until the eleventh day, she finally heard footsteps. Those footsteps were very light, however, in this place where there was nothing else could be heard but the whistling of the wind, it was especially clear. Joy filled Zhu Yao’s heart. Facing the direction where the sound was coming from, she… rolled towards it.
That’s right, she couldn’t walk, but she could roll. Furthermore, it was a smooth journey without any obstructions while she was rolling. Guruguru, she sped towards the footsteps. In the beginning, Zhu Yao was even a little rejoiced about this self-taught high-level rolling skill, but a moment later, she realized, she couldn’t stop!
The place she was staying on earlier seemed to be a downhill, so, the moment she started rolling, she began to speed up and roll even further away. She was basically unable to stop at all. She struggled a little, yet, her actions were completely futile. The hell. It wasn’t like she was a ball, did she have to roll so joyously?
A moment later, her entire body shook. She seemed to have bumped into something, as she finally stopped rolling. A husky voice was then heard.
Who was he cursing at?
Zhu Yao raised her head to look, only to see a bony little figure. That was a child. A child who was so skinny, his human shape could hardly be discerned. It seemed to be a long time since he had eaten anything, as all that was left of him was bones. His eyes looked hollow, and there wasn’t the least bit of meat left in his cheeks, from afar, his head looked like a skull. His entire body was so skinny, it looked no different from a skeleton. If he had not let out that voice of his earlier, even Zhu Yao would have suspected that he was a child skeleton model that was taken out by some experimental lab.
Zhu Yao instantly felt a little sour in her heart. She, who had lived in the modern era, had never seen a child that was as skinny as this. Even when she arrived in the cultivation world, among the mortals she saw occasionally, there wasn’t ever a child that was in the same condition as his. And it seemed as though he wasn’t even five years old.
“Egg…” The child once again said, as he looked straight at her. However, those eyes were especially cloudy, as though there wasn’t a single piece of his soul left in his body. His voice was also so soft, it scattered the moment the wind blew.
The child stood there blankly for a moment. Suddenly, he bent his waist, and hugged her up with his arms. “Egg.”
Only then did Zhu Yao realize that the egg he was speaking of, was actually her? She was actually an egg! Zhu Yao forcefully nodded her head to nudge about, and as expected, she bumped into a wall-like object. It was an egg shell! She was really an egg! It was no wonder she rolled so quickly.
Wait a minute… This child, couldn’t be thinking of eating her, right?
In an instant, Zhu Yao began to imagine the hundreds of various home-cooked egg meals. Seeing that the child was already that hungry, it might be possible that she would be eaten raw!
Don’t be like that, little friend. At least, tell me what kind of egg I am before eating me!
The child did not have much strength left in the first place. After hugging for a while, he became a little tired, as he sat on his buttocks. Zhu Yao then realized that her current height was about the same as his. After the child sat down, his two thin, stick-like arms still continued to circle around her.
That little extremely skull-like head, tightly pressed against her egg-shell, and he did nothing else. He did not even have the slightest of intention to feast on a meal.
Mn, he’s not eating me. We can still be friends.
After a long while, when even Zhu Yao was about to think that he was sleeping, a soft mutter sounded. “Were you discarded as well?”
Discarded? This child was thrown down here by someone else?
With just a glance, it could be seen that this child wasn’t a Devil, and his entire body was emitting out a hint of refreshing aura. For him to appear in a place like this filled with devilish energy, was it to serve a purpose of some sort? From his tone, it seemed that the person was even someone close to him.
Zhu Yao instantly felt sour in the depths of her heart, and she was just about to console him with some words. However, the child did not have the slightest of reaction, and simply stayed there unmoving while hugging onto her. Her voice seemed to be reflected by the firm eggshell.
Just like that, as he hugged onto this egg which was bigger than he was, he sat for half a day.
Suddenly, the devilish energy in the surroundings began to grow denser. Earlier, she could still clearly see her surroundings, but now, she couldn’t even clearly see the child that was an inch away from her. That sinister feeling began to grow, and even the thick egg shell could no longer block the needle-piercing chill.
The child seemed to have sensed it as well. His eyes which were filled with deathly silence earlier, were instantly dyed with rage. A brilliant red glow actually began to flash. “Scram!”
He desperately swung about his pair of little stick-like hands, waving away the devilish energy that was encroaching the egg’s surroundings. He was acting so madly, it was as though he was trying to hide the egg from the devilish energy. “Scram. Don’t touch it. Scram…”
However, his actions and voice did not have the slightest of effect. Not only did the devilish energy not scatter, it instead continued to grow. Zhu Yao’s entire egg-body was raised by the devilish energy, as though there was a large force pulling her away from the child’s embrace.
The child began to act even more crazed. Seeing that the devilish energy was growing denser in his surroundings, he suddenly opened his mouth wide, and bit on his own arm. His bite was extremely forceful, as though he had seriously gone crazy. In an instant, blood began to pour out. However, with a wave of his hands, he sprinkled his own blood onto Zhu Yao. On the places where his blood was sprinkled on, it was as though the devilish energy had met its weakness, as it completely dispersed in an instant.
Zhu Yao once again landed into the child’s embrace. His two hands hugged onto the egg tightly, and as he gently stroked it, he whispered over and over again. “Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid…” Though it was unknown if those words were to console her, or to console himself.
Pain grew in the depths of Zhu Yao’s heart. She had never expected that she would ever be protected by a little child, and not only was he someone she had just met, the child was so skinny, it looked as though he was at his last breath. Suddenly, she somehow understood how this child managed to live in this place filled with devilish energy all by himself.
She knew, from the depths of her heart, that the child was simply using the egg as a spiritual support, which was why he so desperately wanted to save her. Most probably, he had lived in this place for a very long time, and understood that he wouldn’t be able to live on, hence the lifelessness within his eyes. She was most probably the first being that could be considered alive that he had encountered here. Thus, he had unconsciously treated her as his one and only spiritual support. In times of despair, humans would always find a reason to continue living. She was this child’s reason to live right now.
In an instant, Zhu Yao’s heart began to ache. Just how young was he? He had such a small stature, and even this egg of hers, was much bulkier than him. If this was the modern era, he should be at the age where he was a pearl in the hands of his parents, and he could act recklessly without having the slightest of thoughts. She recalled what she was doing at his age. She was busy being mischievous, breaking her house’s roof1, and even when eating, her parents would have to carry her and coax her. Yet, he had already tasted despair to the extent where he couldn’t find a single reason to live.
Zhu Yao began to think about what she should do. At the very least, she couldn’t watch this child die in front of her eyes. The light in the depths of his eyes were already becoming dimmer, and even the arms hugging her were beginning to slowly slacken. She believed that in just a few more days, he would never be able to open his eyes again.
What could she do? In a place as dark as this, she couldn’t even clearly see a few meters in, let alone leave this place. It’s so dark, it would be good if there’s some light.
As though it was to respond to her, she suddenly felt the egg shell heating up. The bit of coldness that was left from the infiltration of devilish energyearlier, instantly disappeared without a trace, and, the egg shell still continued to heat up. Scattered rays of light, suddenly spread out from within her body, and instantly, her entire egg-body brightened up, just like a… light bulb!
“Egg?” The child was stunned as well. Under Zhu Yao’s radiance, the surroundings began to light up, as though it was inserting a strand of life into this lifeless and lonely place. His initial hollow eyes, began to reveal a glint of light as well, and they were no longer as lifeless as before. As expected, light could give people hope.
Very good, this was the first step. It’s fine if he harboured hope. Zhu Yao instantly heaved a sigh of relief, and the sense of violation she had in the depths of her heart when she turned into a light bulb disappeared as well. Now, it was to leave this damnable place. Zhu Yao then began to roll, escaping from the child’s embrace.
“Where are you going?” The child became anxious, as he began to quickly run towards her in a fluster. In an instant, he hugged onto the egg again, as though he was afraid that she would throw him aside, as his eyes were filled with fear and anxiety.
He was unable to hear her, hence, Zhu Yao could only console him by nudging a little in his embrace, before rolling out a few steps once again, and then, she stopped. She then repeated this process!
“You want me to follow after you?” The child finally understood her intentions.
Zhu Yao circled around him, and then, chose a direction to continue rolling towards. This time, without her waiting for him, the child followed after her by himself.
There were entrances to every road. No matter what this place was, she had to try finding an exit.
However, an hour later, Zhu Yao despaired. No matter where she went, it would still be the same piece of darkness in front of her, as though the place was boundless and endless. There basically did not seem to be anywhere that resembled an exit. And, there wasn’t even the slightest bit of engravings that looked like a formation, nor was there any energy ripples of arts being cast. Just what in the world was this damnable place?
“Egg…” The child caught up to her. Seeing that she wasn’t moving anymore, he sat down, and continued to hug her.
No wonder the child was in such despair and did not have the slightest of hope to struggle. Even if there was a map for this place, it was basically impossible to leave.
Suddenly, she heard a familiar sound.
Within the darkness in front of her eyes, a string of white words, bolded, enlarged and written in Arial font, suddenly appeared.
“Ren Woxing2 of the Three Realms” Navigation System is glad to serve you! Please enter your destination.
Zhu Yao: …
- The full proverb (三天不打上房揭瓦) literally translates to ‘Not being caned for three days, and the child breaks the house’s roof’, which means a child will act all mischievous if not lectured often.
- Ren Woxing (任我行) is character from the classic wuxia novel ‘The Smiling, Proud Wanderer’. His name literally means ‘I do as I please’.