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Chapter 295 - If Life Could Be Like the Moment When We First Met (Part Eight)
There was not a single moment in which the space within the plains was not incessantly changing. Other than the monsters that lived within them, intelligent beings that came from the outside would find it very hard to understand the rules that governed these changes. As the old saying went: there cannot be an exit without an entrance. Just as Chen Changsheng was stressing over exactly this, the Yellow Paper Umbrella suddenly pointed in a certain direction—perhaps it was not the best choice, much less the correct one, but it was a path nonetheless. That would always be much better than aimlessly wandering without a destination. It was just like a difficult homework question. No matter how bitterly you racked your brains over it, it still remained unsolved. Suddenly, a classmate of yours gives you an answer. You have no idea of whether he's deceiving you or consoling you, but besides writing this answer upon your paper, what other choice did you have? Notwithstanding the fact that the strand of sword intent truly did exist, for what reason would the Yellow Paper Umbrella hold enmity to him and send him to an early grave?
Chen Changsheng finally decided upon the direction he would walk. Although his body was still weak and drowsiness wrapped around his body like a snake, his mind had been appeased. He sat down by Xu Yourong, leaning against that pile of crystals. He staved off the onset of somnolence as he stared into her eyes, waiting for her to wake up.
After who knows how long had passed, Xu Yourong's eyelashes fluttered and she roused from her sleep. The two transparent pools of water formed by fresh rain over the bare mountains once again rested on Chen Changsheng's eyes, rendering him speechless. Exactly as it had been in the cave when he had woken up, they were so very close to each other, staring into each other’s eyes. However, her eyes had no panic, no shyness, no wariness, much less fear now. There was only calmness.
Her eyes were extraordinarily clear, free of dust and sophistication. They were like the eyes of a newly born infant. On the other hand, the ocular serenity also seemed to allude to having beheld the red dust of the mortal world, to have experienced all worldly things. They seemed like the eyes of an elderly man watching the rain. But these two feelings were not in conflict. When mixed together, they engendered a profound and indescribable charm.
Perhaps because he was too tired, or maybe because her eyes were too enchanting, but Chen Changsheng did not avert his gaze.
Lying on a pile of grass, separated by not even a foot, a young man and a young lady calmly stared into each other's eyes.
However, they could not look into each other's eyes forever. Interestingly, the first one to turn away out of shame, or perhaps nerves, was Chen Changsheng.
He somewhat uncomfortably shifted his gaze, flitting his eyes towards the grass not too far away, and said, "You're awake?"
Of course she was awake. He was merely finding something to say in order to spark conversation. Just like Zhexiu at the other end of the plains, Chen Changsheng was also rather unskilled at the art of interaction, especially with members of the opposite sex. However, these words truly possessed another meaning.
Xu Yourong softly acknowledged that she was awake.
Chen Changsheng replied, "Let's switch places then."
Xu Yourong slightly raised her brows. "Hm?"
Chen Changsheng said, "You’ve slept for a long time, so now it's my turn."
When he regained consciousness in the cave, he knew that the girl had saved him. Soon after, she had left him with a few words before sinking into a deep sleep. This had placed immense pressure on him, as if both of their worlds had been placed on his shoulders. Only now when he confirmed that she was truly awake did he finally relax.
Once he gave their two worlds worth of burdens to the awake her, he would finally be able to rest. As soon as he thought of this, exhaustion swept over him like a tide, submerging him from head to toe, filling in every pore, sinking into his muscles and bones, and even his spiritual world. Not waiting for any response from Xu Yourong, he closed his eyes and began to sleep. Perhaps he went as far as to have fainted.
Just like Chen Changsheng in the cave, Xu Yourong was caught completely off-guard. After staring vacantly at him for a while, she finally broke out of her stupor. With the flattened grass as support, she laboriously sat herself up. Only then did she notice the pile of precious crystals by her side. As she swept her gaze across her surroundings, she realized that she was in the plains. This made her silent for a very long time.
In the end, she had still been forced into these plains. Then was there still a possibility of getting out?
Relying upon her illustrious Dao heart, she expelled these disorderly thoughts from her sea of consciousness and entered into Meditative Introspection. She realized that although her vision was clearer than it had been this morning, Nanke's poison still remained within her body, continuously corroding her body and sea of consciousness. However, the biggest problem was that her bloodline were almost drained.
It was not that she was severely lacking in true essence, although this was also the case, but that she was almost out of blood.
Blood was the basis of all life. Without blood, there was no life. In reality, based on the injuries she had incurred this morning, she should have still been in the grips of unconsciousness and not awake—her body would require more blood to be awake and move around. Since she had awoken, it indicated that her situation had taken a turn for the better.
She saw the remnants of the snake corpse on the grass, and then muttered to herself. She could tentatively guess at what had happened, her gaze at Chen Changseng turning soft. Fellow human cultivators being chased by demons providing each other support—this was as it should be. Chen Changsheng had already proved through his actions that he was not someone who would abandon his companion, so of course she would have to do her part. She lightly placed her right hand on his pulse.
Chen Changsheng’s pulse was mysteriously slow, more than three times slower than that of the average person, and yet its beat was very steady. Although it seemed somewhat weak and disorderly, it gave a completely different feeling from the pulse of a person at their deathbed.
Back then, in the early morning, when they were on the patch of reeds, she had taken his pulse and even made some calculations with her Fated Star Plate. It had been clear that this person was not to live long, so why was he still alive? She pondered this and decided that it had something to do with the pure yin coldness in his body. She gazed at Chen Changsheng and silently thought to herself, the continent really does have hidden dragons and crouching tigers. Even the Snow Mountain Sect, whose glory days are long behind it, could not be underestimated.
Just as she turned her gaze, the grass began to resound with snoring. Because of his heavy injuries and how long he had carried her, and also because he had resisted the Black Dragon's hibernation, Chen Changsheng had long ago been completely exhausted. Now that he could finally relax, he had entered an incomparably sweet and sound sleep. Let alone his thunderous snoring, even if there was actual thunder, it would still be impossible for him to wake up.
From time to time, the soundly sleeping Chen Changsheng would smack his lips, as if he was eating something tasty in his dreams. Occasionally, he would also ball up his fists and stamp his legs, making him seem like a little baby. Xu Yourong could not help but smile at this scene.
However, at this moment, the sound of a zither came from deep within the plains.
Xu Yourong's expression did not change, but a hint of caution appeared in her eyes.
She could not forget that the old zither-player was an elder of the Candle Shadow Shaman Tribe, and what the shaman tribe was most skilled at was manipulating poisons and monsters. Furthermore,the space within the Plains of the Unsetting Sun was warped. She had only been awake for a few moments, but that was all the time needed for her to understand this mystery. Even so, not even warped space could block sound, and, moreover, the monsters hidden within the plains most definitely had some means of moving freely through the plains.
Her eyes, shimmering like mountain dew, rested upon the water, growing cold once the calm surface began to ripple. The shallow ripples seemed like countless insects crawling along the surface of the water as they fanned out in all directions, but there was, in truth, nothing. They were merely the aftermath of commotion from either afar or deep underground..
A strand of condensed spiritual sense followed her sight and was sent into the distance, sweeping through the dense grass and the thick mud beneath.
Perception had always involved both sides, thus the beings hidden deep within the grass and the ooze clearly sensed her Qi.
It was a Qi from ancient times, grand and noble beyond comparison.
Restless noises arose from far off in the plains, followed by countless rustling sounds. The sources of some of the underground vibrations were also quietly retreating. Xu Yourong's Qi had in some compacted form been sent all around the plains. Many of the monsters who had been stimulated by the zither into hunting for prey had, one by one, made their escape, but… there were numerous monsters who did not change their direction.
Xu Yourong's Qi was, without question, a most noble and powerful Qi, but in her weakened situation, for these monsters, it was also the most delectable.
If at this moment there was someone up in the sky that could look down on the plains, they would see that the grass within the surrounding few dozen li contained the figures of countless monsters. Like a tide, they slowly encircled the place where she and Chen Changsheng were located. And even more chilling was the fact that, despite all these monsters roving about, none of them made a sound.
With a gentle breeze, a pair of snow-white wings appeared behind her back.
While she was sleeping, she had recovered some of her true essence and regained some blood, but now she used them all up without hesitation.
She turned to Chen Changsheng, preparing to extend her hand and grab his belt, but she stopped halfway for some reason.
This circle of several dozen li had already been turned into a battlefield by those countless monsters, but the true danger had yet to rear its head. It lay outside the battlefield, at an even farther place.
The dense grass of the plains cast a dark shadows on the water. The shadows concealed several hundred demon vultures.
Those demon vultures were covered with gray feathers, and their black beaks were even sharper than the average sword.
Even more frightening were the gazes of these demon vultures, cold and merciless, sharp to the extreme. Whether it was a sword or their pointed beaks, neither of them could compare to their gazes.
This species of monster was highly intelligent, its attacks extremely strange, and its flying speed extremely fast. In the outside world, they dwelled in the mountains of the northeast. One demon vulture alone could slay the average Meditation cultivator. Thankfully, the demon vultures were extremely rare on the Eastern Continent. However, who could have imagined that there would be so many of them in the Garden of Zhou?
There were several hundred demon vultures present, but not a single one moved its wings. All of them stared out into the plains at a particular place, their eyes cruel and thirsty for blood, and their demeanor terrifyingly calm.
From an even farther place came the faint sound of the zither. Amongst the reeds, the grey silhouettes of the vultures seemed sinister beyond compare.
Xu Yourong turned her body, gazing far off into the distance.
She did not know what dangers were concealed out there, nor did she take out her Fated Star Plate, but she knew that taking to the air was not a good choice. She was still severely injured and was incapable of exhibiting her fastest speed, nor could she properly orient herself in this plain. If she chose to fly, there was a high possibility of dying.
The azure sky above the plains seemed vast and limitless, as if she could freely stretch her wings. In reality and on the contrary, it was exceptionally dangerous.
If she were alone, perhaps she would have been capable of successfully escaping, but there was a sleeping youth thunderously snoring away behind her right now.