After Mr. Kong had left the scene, Li Yiming’s mind was filled with more unanswered questions than ever. The same familiar feeling of space itself ripping apart occurred shortly after Mr. Kong’s departure, and the ruins of Lianyun City vanished. The sun rose from the East for the first time in many days.
Everything was finally over once Li Yiming heard the reward notification from Heaven’s Laws.
Stargaze was the first one to wake up in the aftermath. She glanced at Li Yiming and simply left without uttering a single word.
The second person to wake up was Big Beard.
“I’ve left the team already.” Li Yiming picked up Liu Meng, who was still unconscious, and disappeared after leaving one last message for Big Beard. Li Yiming did not want to leave without bidding farewell to his teammates; the path he had chosen to take was a dangerous one, and he did not want to burden his friends needlessly.
Right after he had passed Lianyun Peak, Li Yiming took a short pause to contemplate Xianyun Abbey and bowed in its direction one last time before continuing on his journey. Liu Meng woke up once the two arrived at the airport. She stayed silent and buried her head into Li Yiming’s arms. The two bought tickets and boarded the earliest flight for Wen City.
‘We can finally talk about it?’ Liu Meng fell asleep once more after boarding the plane. Bai Ze took advantage of the opportunity to discuss matters with Li Yiming.
‘Talk about what?’
‘I was wondering about that. What’s the point of having this thing inside my body anyways?’ Li Yiming looked at the mysterious runic glyph in his body.
‘Do you think that I’d be asking the question if I knew? You’re unable to get any reactions? I thought that there would be a big change…’
‘Nothing. I’ve tried a few times.’
‘What about the part that lit up? How did that happen?’ Bai Ze turned her attention toward the part of the runic glyph that had obviously changed since last time.
‘There was this giant wok in Lianyun City…and you were asleep…’ Li Yiming explained to Bai Ze.
‘You saw Mr. Kong inside the giant golden wok? Why didn’t you tell him about it then?’
‘I felt like it was… someone else.’ Li Yiming said hesitantly.
‘Are you sure?’ Bai Ze suddenly remembered that Li Yiming once mentioned that there were two Mr. Kongs in Eden.
‘The one inside the golden wok is the one who killed all the guardians in Eden.’ Li Yiming gave his opinion.
‘That’s why I didn’t tell it to the one outside…’ Li Yiming took a deep breath. He recalled the eyes of the Mr. Kong he met inside the golden wok. There was nothing but despair, bitterness, and hate, and it made Li Yiming sad to even think about it.
Li Yiming trusted Mr. Kong without reserve, especially when the latter had made him a guardian and saved his life so many times. But now, he was unsure whether he could continue to put his trust in him. After Lianyun City, Li Yiming was now certain that Mr. Kong was planning something big, and perhaps even Lianyun City itself was just a scheme he had devised himself.
‘If Fu Bo’s book tells the truth, then Mr. Kong… He should be Wukong… It wouldn’t be surprising that he feels bitter and betrayed. But what about that golden wok? How did it end up becoming part of what guards Lianyun City? And did the other Mr. Kong save Li Huaibei?’
‘A fragment of a soul… I am him, and he is me… What is Mr. Kong talking about?’ Li Yiming was sure by now that he was the person Mr.Kong had mentioned when he met him inside the golden wok, but his purpose was still a mystery to him.
‘And what he did to my runic glyph…’ Li Yiming looked at the runic glyph inside of his body, which had a third of it lit up. He knew that it had to do with what Mr. Kong did before he was ejected from the space inside the golden wok.
Li Yiming remained silent as tried to decipher everything.
‘Your Thunder Purity… it’s gone…’ Bai Ze remarked in a discouraged voice.
Li Yiming had obtained great power by consuming his Thunder Purity, allowing him to defeat someone whose strength he would normally not be able to rival. However, he also paid the price by losing his Purity permanently. For Li Yiming, Thunder Purity was more than just an enhancer his lightning techniques; it was also the conduit of his power. Now that it was gone, Li Yiming’s arsenal of thunder techniques was reduced to nothing.
‘But I did get this…’ Li Yiming looked around and opened his hand. A small sphere of grey matter sat in the middle of his palm.
‘What is that?’ Bai Ze was surprised.
‘I don’t know, but I got this after realizing that I couldn’t use my thunder techniques anymore.’
‘What does it do?’
Li Yiming looked around again to make sure that no one was looking at him. The small grey sphere suddenly took the shape of a spoon.
‘Metamorphosis?’ Bai Ze had her interest piqued.
The ball of grey shifted again. This time, it turned into a lighter, then a knife, then an axe. It took on the shape of every object Li Yiming could think of, only a miniature version of them.
‘It can turn into any kind of weapon? Can it become any bigger?’ Bai Ze knew that the grey sphere needed more mass if Li Yiming hoped to use it as anything more than a toy.
‘Yes, but it’s very tiring.’ Li Yiming put away the sphere, believing that it was not anything particularly impressive.
‘Nothing for now…’
‘Well, it’s better than nothing. I have a feeling you’re going to have to rely on Liu Meng for protection for a while.’ Bai Ze teased Li Yiming.
Li Yiming smiled and looked at Liu Meng, who was still sound asleep. Liu Meng’s long eyelashes moved slightly with every slight tremor of the plane cabin. Li Yiming could no help but kiss her on the forehead, but it seemed like Liu Meng was too tired to wake up from her slumber. Liu Meng frowned slightly and turned her head to the other side.
‘Anything for completing the domain?’ Bai Ze could not bear seeing Li Yiming show off his affection for Liu Meng and tried to change the topic of the conversation.
‘My life marks are all gone.’ Li Yiming answered as he pulled on Liu Meng’s blanket to cover her fully.
Bai Ze was surprised at first, but then realized that Li Yiming actually had “negative” contribution, since he killed so many of his supposed allies in the Lianyun domain.
Li Yiming accompanied Liu Meng to her home after leaving the airport. Liu Meng had not returned home since the domain in Ning Village, but Liu Meng’s parents thought that she had been busy filming the music video, so she was not scolded for it.
However, Liu Meng’s mother was extremely displeased by Li Yiming’s white hair. Upon noticing her discontent, Li Yiming tried to trim it down himself in a bathroom, but even after breaking the pair of expensive scissors he had bought, he did not manage to cut off a single hair.
Li Yiming found a hair salon at night to dye his hair black, but the coiffeur kicked him out in anger after trying for a few hours in vain. He believed that Li Yiming had used some kind of special white dye on his hair, and was looking to prank him. No matter what kind of dye he tried on Li Yiming’s hair, the artificial color would always wash off, leaving Li Yiming’s hair white as snow.
Li Yiming stayed in Liu Meng’s home for three days. On the last day, he had to leave for his own home in Li Shui. Liu Meng wanted to accompany him, but her disgruntled mother forbade her from doing so. After nearly dying for quite a few times, Liu Meng did want the company of her family, so she saw Li Yiming off at the train station, but not before giving him a long kiss in public.
* * *
Just as Li Yiming traveled home, a half-naked man with many wounds across his body emerged from the forests of Tianshan. He had a muscular body, but walked in a very effeminate way.
Sai Gao stared forward and walked silently as blood trickled down his left hand. He clasped a pot sized turtle shell in his right hand.
A sudden roar was heard. A black bear emerged from behind the trees, having caught the scent of the blood on Sai Gao’s body.
Sai Gao looked at the beast who was ready to attack him at any time, and smiled with relief.
The bear roared once again, showing its razor sharp teeth and exhaling a putrid smell of flesh.
Sai Gao’s eyes suddenly started to shine with iridescent light. The bear, who was roaring a moment before, calmed down. It walked toward Sai Gao and grazed its head against Sai Gao like a dog. Sai Gao set down on the bear, using its body as a pillow, and closed his eyes, exhausted by the ordeal. However, his fingers were still tightly wrapped around the blood-stained turtle shell.
* * *
At the same time, in a hotel at the foot of Tianshan, a man sat on his bed, the wall on the opposite colored by blood he had just spat out. The bedsheets were covered in fallen hair and dirt.
The man wiped away the bloodstains on the corners of his mouth and picked up a broken piece of his spear. “Li Yiming…”
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