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Chapter 294 - If Life Could Be Like the Moment When We First Met (Part Seven)
In the early morning, he had woken up in the cave, and the first thing he saw was that bloody and horrifying sight, closely followed by an escape, and then yet another escape. Although they had carried out a few short and simple conversations, in reality, this was the first time Chen Changsheng had the time to closely examine this white-clothed girl's appearance. Perhaps because of the poison or some other reason, this girl's cheeks were somewhat swollen, and yet even this was incapable of obscuring the elegance of her appearance. But even without this swelling, this was only elegance and nothing more—for an ordinary girl, elegance was an excellent descriptor, but since this girl was an elf, elegance indicated only that she was very average.
Like an infant, she hugged her two legs and lied on the grass, on her side. Her long eyelashes were unblinking as though she was in a deep and unwaking sleep, but Chen Changsheng remembered her eyes, remembered the deep impression left upon him by those two eyes in the cave. His eyes were incredibly clear, such that Luoluo and Tang Thirty-Six had once said that you could even see a person's reflection in them. Her eyes were also very clear, but different from his.
Her eyes were like the clear autumn waters, not like the waters of the lake, but an even fainter and clearer color.
Imagine a celadon bowl calmly sitting under the eaves. A fresh spring rain falls upon the world. The rain travels along the eaves and falls down, drip drop, drip drop, gradually transforming into a song. Not too long after, the spring rain slowly fades away and the sunlight shines brightly and beautifully once more. The bowl sitting under the eaves is the same as ever, except now there is a bit of water in it. This water is colorless, and yet it seems to be imbued with the spirit of spring. It has no flavor, and yet it seems to have been mixed with fresh tea.
Yes, it was like the water in the celadon bowl, clear and light, but not weak.
As he gazed at this sleeping girl, Chen Changsheng wanted her to open her eyes so that he could once again see the water that was like fresh rain over the bare mountains.
Next, he thought of how when they first met in the cave, he had noticed that the limbal rings of her eyes seemed to have been suffused with a strange green flame—if his guess was correct, that was most likely Nanke's poison. The poison of the Peacock Plume was incredibly toxic and incredibly hard to remove. It was no wonder that the elf, who was so close to nature and well-versed in which plants could serve as antidotes, had actually been so weakened by this poison.
Chen Changsheng placed his hand on her wrist to feel her pulse and realized that her meridians were empty. Not even the slightest drop of true essence flowed through them. Even more frightening was that she had clearly lost too much Qi and blood. Her pulse was soft and weak. If this situation persisted, then it was highly likely that she would quietly die in her sleep.
This realization made him very nervous, so he hurriedly tried to think of a way to stop it. It was just that all of the medicine and food that he had carried with him had all been thrown away as weapons in his battle yesterday. He thought deep and hard, sending his spiritual sense into the sheath. After silently searching for a long time, he finally found a box in that seemingly empty space.
It was the very last box, and it was very heavy. The moment it appeared on the pile of flattened grass, it caused the ground to sink into the water somewhat.
Opening the box, countless bright and eye-catching golden leaves, as well as a box half-full of crystals, appeared before his eyes. On the very top was a thin booklet. Within that booklet were the secrets of the Mount Li Sword Style.
This had been the most direct and most extravagant of the gifts Luoluo had given to pay respects to her teacher.
If the golden leaves and crystals in the box were used to buy a property, he probably could have bought the entire Hundred Flowers Lane very easily.
If he were to destroy the book of secrets of the Mount Li Sword Style, even Qiushan Jun would come to pay him respects out of gratitude.
But within these dangerous plains, the golden leaves and the secrets of the Mount Li Sword Style had no use. He pushed the golden leaves to the side, put back the secrets of the Mount Li Sword Style, then took out all the crystals in the box. He piled them all up by her side and he walked over to the edge of the pile of flattened grass and stared blankly into the shallow water. What he was thinking, what he wanted to do, no one could tell.
After a while, his right hand pierced into the water.
It was just that his breathing and pulse were already extremely slow, so his actions were also naturally much slower. The movements of his hand could not meet the expectations of his mind. There was a tiny splash of water, but his hand landed on nothing.
Just as he was feeling helpless, he suddenly realized that the water around his arm had formed a thin layer of ice.
In the next moment, he took his hand out of the water. In his fingers, he tightly held a plump water snake. This water snake did not put up the slightest struggle. It was obvious that it had been frozen stiff.
Right now, he did not even have the ability to catch a water snake, but the cold Qi being emitted by his body could help him do some things.
He slowly made his way back to her side, then took out his dagger and chopped the head of the water snake off. He brought its headless body over to her lips and began to pour its blood into her mouth.
Right now, she was not even conscious, so naturally she could not swallow. Inevitably, some of the snake blood flowed out of her lips, creating a rather bloody scene.
After a while, the water snake's blood ran dry. He placed the body of the snake on the side and looked at the girl's face. He took a handkerchief from his sleeve and began to carefully clean her face.
Even at this time, he still adhered to his everyday lifestyle.
The blood of the water snake contained a lot of heat energy, making it the most suitable for enriching one's blood. Adding on that incomparably luxurious pile of crystals by her side, and Chen Changsheng knew that this would at the very least keep her from dying in her sleep.
Only now did Chen Changsheng finally sigh in relief. He sat by her side, gazing at the impenetrable grass surrounding them, and truly began to stare blankly.
Without any medicine, it was impossible for him to directly enrich her blood and it was very difficult to cure her. Moreover, his own situation was also very terrible.
The Black Dragon was sleeping in the lake outside his Ethereal Palace, emitting the coldness of Black Frost, continuously mending the wounds of his internal organs. But this was just treating the symptoms.
Right now, he was very weak, his breathing and heart beat were extremely slow. His situation was very similar to that of a cold-blooded animal shivering before the advent of winter.
This signified that he was about to enter hibernation.
The method the Black Dragon used to save him was exactly that—hibernation.
Hibernation was sleep.
Right now, what he required most was sleep, to sleep for a long time, to sleep until the sky and earth went dark, until the end of time.
But he could not sleep.
Because she was still asleep, so he must stay awake.
This feeling was extremely painful.
Wanting to sleep, but being unable to; how beautiful was this sight? It served as the most effective of punishments. One could imagine how unbearable it was. In order to prevent his heavy eyelids from closing, Chen Changsheng made all sorts of efforts and attempts. He slapped his face, washed his face, and even attempted to gather his spirit. At the end, only when his spiritual sense rested on the black stone did he instantly and truly wake up.
The black stone was placed together with Wang Zhice's notebook in a very remote corner of his little world. If not carefully searched for, it was very easy to miss. Perhaps because of this reason, or perhaps because even at the point of death, he instinctively felt it was too precious. Yesterday, he had not thrown out this black stone and the notebook along with the rest of the items in his bid to escape from the entrapment of those two wings of light.
When he journeyed from Xining village to the capital, returning the marriage contract had never been very important. For him, what was important was the Grand Examination, because only through the examination would he be allowed to meditate in the Pavilion of Ascending Mist for one night. For this reason, he had put forth an unimaginable amount of time and effort, eventually reaching that seemingly inconceivable goal. In comparison to the price he had paid, his gains from the Pavilion of Ascending Mist were rather pitiful. He had not directly found the secret to defy the heavens and change fate. All he had gotten was the black stone and the notebook.
So of course he would place great importance on this black stone and notebook, as he hoped that he would obtain even more things from them. In fact, this seemed to be the case. In the Mausoleum of Books on that night when he was viewing the monoliths, they floated in his sea of consciousness, and yet, no matter how he moved them around, they had been unable to form that piece of starry sky. At that time, the black stone played an extremely important role, allowing him to break into the upper level of Ethereal Opening in one move. Then what about the notebook?
The positions are relative. This was the sentence Wang Zhice used to open this book, and also the sentence which had left the deepest impression on him.
He gazed at the dense and green foliage of that impenetrable plain, silently comprehending the words. He didn't have any realizations, but he suddenly discovered that yesterday, when he and Zhexiu leapt from that clifftop into that cold pool, they had emerged on the surface of the lake in the end. When he was attempting to escape the pursuit of Nanke's two maids and sank down to the lake bottom, when he had returned to the other side, he had been sent soaring into the night sky in the end… position was relative, and it was also opposite?
Could it be that the world of the Garden of Zhou was not a flat surface, but two opposite surfaces combined together? With that cliff at the uppermost reaches of that river serving as the boundary, those scenic lakes and mountains were one world, while the mountains, rivers, and the plain was another, opposite world. The path between those two worlds, was it that cold pool as well as the pond that was some ten li away from Sunset Valley?
Chen Changsheng silently calculated the extent of this world, but soon after, he thought about why he and Zhexiu had gone over to the world on the other side, and then about how he had come back to the Garden of Zhou's main world… in both cases, it was because of the strand of sword intent. Initially, they had gone in pursuit of the sword intent, but the sword intent was what had brought him out in the end.
Last night in the depths of the lake, just as he was about to die, in that final moment, he had noticed a strange change. How could he forget it?
He lowered his head to look at the metal ball in his hands, lightly stroking it in thought.
With a slight movement of spiritual sense and a dense collection of metal rubbing and crashing sounds, the Yellow Paper Umbrella suddenly appeared in his hands.
After silently giving it some thought, he stood up and then thrust the umbrella forward.
The Yellow Paper Umbrella gave no response.
He turned his body, slowly moving the umbrella through the air and stirring up a light breeze.
When the umbrella pointed at a direction that he guessed to be the southwest, it suddenly stopped.
It was not because he had made the umbrella stop, rather the umbrella did not want to move anymore. The wind on that pile of grass suddenly disappeared without a trace.
A light and yet very clear shaking moved from the canopy to the spine to the handle of the umbrella, and then to his hand, ultimately transmitting over to his heart.
A strand of sword intent had appeared somewhere far away in that direction.
The sword intent was very elusive, just like the sword intent he had sensed at the cold pool yesterday. However, it was much more intense this time, making him instinctively feel reverential towards it.
This sword intent made no sound. It seemed to have been in that place for countless years, but its appearance was in itself a sort of summoning.
Chen Changsheng thought about how this Yellow Paper Umbrella had violently carried him along in its rush last night and mumbled to himself, "Was this sword intent looking for you?"
After a moment of silence, he looked at the umbrella again and said, "Or is it...that you're supposed to be used to find that sword intent?"