A dead silence reigned in the air as Li Yiming looked around. He found himself in a running field in the middle of the night, with all of his friends on the ground, still unconscious. Li Yiming slowly walked to Liu Meng and picked her up.
‘Can we talk…?’ Li Yiming asked.
‘I don’t want to…’ Bai Ze answered with a shaking voice.
‘Am I really him?’ Li Yiming muttered to himself. Everything made sense to him now, and he realized that his first encounter with Mr. Kong was not a coincidence.
‘You’re going down a hard path from now on.’ Bai Ze sighed.
‘Because of Heaven’s Laws?’
‘Yes. You’ve just crossed a line,’ Bai Ze said.
‘Yes, but if I’m him…’
‘But you’re not! At least, not yet…’ Bai Ze interrupted him. She would have otherwise been ecstatic to find out that Li Yiming had such potential, but Li Yiming exposed himself way too soon.
‘I need to have a talk with Mr. Kong…’
‘Mr. Kong…’ Bai Ze sank into her thoughts once again. ‘If Li Yiming’s indeed Wukong, then who is Mr. Kong?’
Li Yiming’s thoughts were interrupted by the whistling of a blade slicing through the air. Li Yiming frowned and jumped back with Liu Meng still in his arms.
“Linglong?” Li Yiming was surprised.
Li Yiming had been aware that Qing Linglong had woken up this entire time. Just like it was the case with Bai Ze, Li Yiming did not quite know how to face his friends yet, so he pretended to not have noticed. However, he did expect Qing Linglong to attack him from behind as soon as she recovered enough strength.
Qing Linglong slowly stood up with her weapons ready. The look on her face expressed her will to take his life.
Li Yiming’s metallic orb transformed into a sword and blocked two daggers that were thrown at him.
“Eyeglasses?” Li Yiming stared at the figure who stood in front of him.
A gunshot was heard. Li Yiming bent backward and dodged the armor-piercing round aimed at his head.
“Big Beard…” Li Yiming raised his sword and quickly jumped back.
Suddenly, something ticked him off. Li Yiming looked at Liu Meng, refusing to believe his eyes. Explosive flares forced Li Yiming to let go of Liu Meng and roll backward.
“Liu Meng…” Li Yiming put one hand on his chest, which had been charred. He was finally beginning to panic.
“The person who kills Li Yiming will be made a sage!” Liu Meng floated in the air, the red glow in her hands becoming ever so bright.
“You decided to kill me?” Li Yiming stood up, staring blankly at the love of his life.
‘That’s not Liu Meng!’ Bai Ze’s exclaimed.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
Three more rounds were shot at Li Yiming. Just as he started his dodging motion, he was suddenly unable to focus and the world around him began to spin.
“Qiaoqiao…” Li Yiming leaped to the side despite the immense pain in his head. Qiaoqiao’s attack was enough to slow Li Yiming down and allowing one of the bullets to pierce through the left side of his body.
The stinging pain was enough to wake Li Yiming up. Before he could regain his composure, another black dagger appeared out of nowhere and slashed at his throat. Li Yiming reached out for the dagger and stopped the deadly blow at the expense of having his hand pierced by the blade. Li Yiming stared right into Eyeglasses’ eyes as the latter materialized out of thin air, seeing nothing but the white of his eyes.
“Heart Trial…” Li Yiming knew instantly what he was dealing with.
A pillar of flame emerged from below Li Yiming.
Faced with a new threat, Li Yiming yelled and threw Eyeglasses into the distance with his hand still perforated by the dagger. Shifting his sword into a silver shield, he deflected the erupting flames toward Big Beard to stop the barrage of bullets.
The whistling of Qing Linglong’s dagger was heard once again. Li Ying lowered his sword and parried the attack. He then leaped forward and delivered his signature spinning slash.
“Linglong!” Li Yiming stopped his attack right as it grazed Qing Linglong’s forehead.
Not minding Li Yiming’s hesitation, Qing Linglong continued to slash at Li Yiming with her dual blades.
Li Yiming blocked the attack again, this time sending Qing Linglong’s weapon flying into the distance.
‘We have to leave!’ Bai Ze urged.
Li Yiming pushed Qing Linglong away and swung forward with his sword, blocking off two more daggers. He then leaped high into the air.
‘Are you sure?’ Li Yiming stood on his silver shield and cast down a look below.
He saw Qing Linglong ready herself to attack him again, Eyeglasses taking out his sniper rifle, and Qing Qiaoqiao’s irises glowing with a pink light. Big Beard’s mecha was transforming into a cannon while Liu Meng...
Li Yiming’s heart ached as he saw the birds of flame around Liu Meng ready to be unleashed upon him.
‘There’s nothing we can do now,’ Bai Ze said.
“Heaven’s Laws…” After a venomous glance at the sky, Li Yiming fled, turning into a ray of light that shot into the distance.
* * *
“Li Yiming, male, twenty-five years old. Talent: thunder. Masterful swordsmanship. Innate summon: Bai Ze. Overall strength: sage leveL.” An old man went through the file on the table in front of him. Across the table sat an attractive young woman, who seemed agitated.
“Why did you bring me this?” The old man put down the file and looked at the young girl with a smile.
“I… I think this can help you…” The young woman took a deep breath and answered hesitantly.
“He’s a sage… Your master, Bing Shuai, died at his hands, didn’t he? Are you seeking revenge?”
“Yes!” The young woman’s eyes were filled with hatred.
“Why me then? You’ve heard the voice. The whole world wants him dead now.” The old man smiled again.
“That’s exactly why. Most people will have no idea what they’re up against, but you do.”
“And you expect me to try and kill someone even Bing Shuai was unable to defeat? What makes you think that I’ll be able to finish him off? I’m not even a sage.”
“You’ll become one after killing him.”
“Not bad, Ying Mei. I see Bing Shuai did not waste your talents…” An unfittingly energetic laugh came from the old man.
* * *
“We need to talk.” Stargaze looked at the young girl on the wheelchair in front of her.
“I don’t know anything about him. I can’t see anything.” The girl knew what Stargaze sought.
“I’ll find a way to make you see him.” Stargaze coughed and tightened her collar with her right hand.
“Are you sure? In your current state?” Tian Yan stared at Stargaze. She could see a thin line above Stargaze’s head ready to rupture at any time.
“Don’t worry about that. Just be ready for it.”
“What if I do see something. What then?” Tian Yan asked.
“I’ve seen a lot of things this life… Too many, in fact. I want to see the thing it doesn’t want me to.” Stargaze raised her head toward the sky.
* * *
“Born from stone, and soon with the entire world becoming his playground. What is the point of fame? Who will sing the songs of praise?” A man sat down under a tree near the running field and observed the construction workers as they tried to determine the cause of the collapsing ground.
“To fight gods and have the Heavens at his feet. To be crushed by a mountain, listening to the chants of Buddha…” The man took out a cigarette but stopped before lighting it.
“To enjoy a quiet life as a king of the mountains, or to fight against the bravest champions under the Heavens… What will you become? A demon? Or a sage? A thousand year-long dream… Are you really him?” A small flame suddenly burst out of the tip of the man’s fingers and lit up his cigarette as he stared forward blankly.
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