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Book 9: Chapter 30 – Let's Get Married
As she looked at the black-clothed youth standing before her, Jing Qiu recalled the first time they had met in the Dragon Mountain Manor, over at Azure River City. Back then, they were both still so young and had only exchanged smiles as silent, polite greetings before going back to their respective dwellings.
Ten years then passed, and that talented, modest youth became a famous person in the Azure River County. He also had a high standing in the Xia Clan and was hailed in history as the most talented Transcendent as well as the person who facilitated the destruction of the Demonic Faction Headquarters and of the Great Demonic God's Deity Avatar. Unfortunately, his future now seemed bleak due to vengeance inflicted by the Sorcerer God and the Great Demonic God.
"Disciple Brother Xue Ying." Jing Qiu rushed over and took Xue Ying's hand in hers.
"Let’s take a stroll." Xue Ying smiled at her.
"Mn." Jing Qiu slightly nodded.
The two of them walked together within the Infernal Palace.
"Have you heard everything?" Xue Ying asked, still smiling.
"I did. I was also there when the Purple Thunder Emperor requested a decision from the Demigods," Jing Qiu replied. "Palace Head Chen did not want to conceal it. Perhaps everyone in the Xia Clan has heard, not only the Demigods."
Xue Ying looked towards the palace building and laughed. "He was right to do so. We've only found the identity of the High Priest of the Demonic Factions; we still don't know the identities of the 2nd or 3rd priests. There might still be traitors within our ranks, so there's no need to hide it. Moreover, I suffered from the poison of the Sorcerer God's saber. The Sorcerer God is the one who knows the might of this poison best, so he could just guess at my condition."
Jing Qiu's felt inwardly sour. Disciple Brother Xue Ying is going through so much—having to bear the pain caused by the hexing poison every day and night, being unable to cultivate… He's suffered such setbacks, yet he's still so calm; he's even thinking about the affair with the Demonic Faction and the Sorcerer God.
"Oh, right. The Xia Clan has paid a huge price to treat the poison I was inflicted with by the Sorcerer God's saber," Xue Ying suddenly said.
"Mn." Jing Qiu nodded. "That's not a secret. The Demigods all know that the medicine's price was equivalent to that of sending down a Deity artifact, a price which was covered by the ancestor Purple Thunder Emperor. It's not that we did not want to cure you completely, Disciple Brother, but you're afflicted by the Six Ghosts Resentment. We could not acquire the medicine even if all 52 of our Xia Clan Ancestors used all of their treasures."
"They've already done enough." Xue Ying nodded.
A Deity artifact had great value. In the entire history of the Xia Clan, how many Deity artifacts had they accumulated?
"The Scarlet Cloud Mountain World lies before us. Let's go have a look." Xue Ying sent Jing Qiu a smile as they both flew towards a waterfall. Although he could no longer practice Qi or physical strength, he would only lose a fraction of his Qi whenever he used it. This was a minor loss to Xue Ying, however, since he mostly depended on his True Meanings which were of a rather peculiar kind.
Hua, space distorted as their bodies came into contact with the waterfall.
Xue Ying felt his vision darken before returning. He was greeted with the view of a vast space of endless mountain ranges and white clouds floating in the sky.
"I remember the time when we used to cultivate in the Scarlet Cloud Mountain World," Jing Qiu said as she looked around. "The invasion of the demons made it so less people come here."
"Let's go for a walk." Xue Ying soon landed together with Jing Qiu.
They walked side by side on the shore of a mirror-like lake, enjoying the view and chatting about various events which occurred when they practiced in the Scarlet Cloud Mountain World.
"The view here, in the Scarlet Cloud Mountain world, really is beautiful," Xue Ying suddenly made this appraisal as they sat on a meadow near this lake. He smiled. "They said the poison of the Sorcerer God's saber would make it difficult for me to practice. I'd like to try it out, to see whether that's true or not."
Saying that, Xue Ying closed his eyes. Sitting beside him, Jing Qiu became slightly nervous. She had heard that the pain caused by the Six Ghosts Resentment was so excruciating that it could cause even someone of Xue Ying's willpower to lose their consciousness. They could only bear the pain by using the suppressants to relieve a part of it.
"Extreme Penetration." With his eyes still closed, Xue Ying tried to perceive and move the surrounding World Energy.
Before being suppressed, the pain caused by the Six Ghosts Resentment affected his ability to practice. It felt akin to someone continuously whipping him as he tried to focus. Under that sort of suffering, how could anyone attain the tranquility necessary to train? Essentially, even if an antidote was taken to suppress the pain, the agony of the Six Ghosts Resentment had long surpassed the pain of a typical whipping punishment.
The pain reached his very core.
It was manageable during daily life, but if he tried to practice, the curse would react.
"Cool down, cool down!" Xue Ying did his best to ignore the disturbance, but with his concentration and spirit diverted by the pain, his comprehension of the True Meaning slowed down drastically.
Time passed by.
The effect of the medicine in his body continuously lessened while the pain grew stronger. Due to that, he had to spend additional effort to suppress the pain, diverting his attention from his comprehension of the True Meaning.
Yu Jing Qiu looked to Xue Ying to her side. Four hours had already passed, and he was still sitting cross-legged. The Purple Thunder Emperor mentioned that the hexing poison would make it so calming the heart and practicing becomes very difficult. But he only said it would be very difficult, not impossible. Perhaps with enough willpower, one could ignore the pain and still be able to practice? Jing Qiu pondered.
She saw the still sitting Xue Ying's forehead starting to perspire, his body trembling slightly.
"It's really hard," he said, opening his eyes.
"What do you think?" Jing Qiu asked him as she helped him stand up.
"The pain was lightest right after consuming the medicine, so I was barely able to practice, but with much lower efficiency than before. After an hours…the pain increased, making it harder to meditate and focus." Xue Ying shook his head. "I tried to hold on, but my body could no longer take it."
After he stopped practicing and concentrated to suppress the pain, his body stopped trembling, though his face was slightly paler than before with perspiration occasionally trickling down his face. That triggered him to fully stop operating his True Meaning of Star.
Xue Ying smiled. "Being able to practice for an hour every day is alright."
"Disciple Brother, perhaps if you manage to temper your spirit, you'll be able to practice for longer." Jing Qiu replied, full of hope.
"That's right. A stronger spirit could lessen the disturbance caused by the pain," he agreed. But there was something he was hiding from Jing Qiu—while he could indeed practice for an hour every day, that was at a much lower efficiency. The disturbance caused by the hexing poison was even worse than they had imagined.
The two of them continued their walk.
Two hours later, Xue Ying's body was still trembling uncontrollably, despite him concentrating to suppress the pain. The suffering…was too much to bear!
"I have to sit for a bit." Xue Ying went to sit on a big rock and lowered his head. He had to get used to the pain, to control it; in the future, he would have to endure it every night.
"Disciple Brother Xue Ying…" Jing Qiu's heart tightened as she watched Xue Ying shiver, his face pale and covered in sweat.
Seeing Xue Ying be unable to even operate his True Meaning of Star couldn't help but make her think: Is this still the Xue Ying from my memory?
The Disciple Brother she remembered was able to kill Xian Pang Yun, survive the Black Wind Abyss, and become the youngest Transcendent in the history of the Xia Clan! His dazzling performance at the Transcendent Battle of Life and Death and all of his latter achievements had been even more dazzling. His actions had brought light to this era—from his destruction of the demon lairs to killing four of the five Demon Generals, while the last one escaped with much difficulty. He was even the first to ever discover the Demonic Faction Headquarters and even took part in destroying the vessel of the Demonic Avatar. Even peak Demigods such as Lord Mountain He, Elder Ao Lan, and Si Kong Yang marveled at this extraordinary Transcendent's achievements.
But now…Jing Qiu's heart ached as she looked at Xue Ying suffering from this torturous pain.
"Let's go back," Xue Ying said. His lips had paled, and his face was drenched in sweat. He knew he could no longer hold on, so it was better for him to turn back.
"Mn." Jing Qiu tried to grab his hand, but Xue Ying evaded, saying with a smile, "My hand is sweaty." His face became even paler.
Jing Qiu's eyes reddened.
All of a sudden, she said, "Disciple Brother Xue Ying…let's get married."
Xue Ying was stupefied to the point that a rumbling sound resounded in his head, making him even forget his pain.
"Are you aware that I can only live for another one or two hundred years? There's a chance I will live even less than a hundred more," Xue Ying said, looking towards Jing Qiu.
"Then you will accompany me in a trip to sightsee every single part of our Xia Clan World. We will walk around together, until the end of the world." Jing Qiu looked back at him.
Xue Ying laughed, "Haha, later on, you'll have to take care of this sick person."
Jing Qiu's vision turned hazy. She cheerfully replied, "That's alright! You just have to listen to me."
"I will," Xue Ying agreed.
They flew together, hand in hand towards the exit of the Scarlet Cloud Mountain World. The sounds of them conversing still reverberated.
"When should we get married?" Xue Ying asked.
"Let's do it the day after tomorrow."
"Good. We'll do as you say."