“I drew it.” At a glance, Li Huaibei looked nothing more than a harmless drunkard, but Chen Jiawang had the uneasy feeling that he was a dangerous man.
“Really?” The man asked with a cold voice as he stared at Chen Jiawang.
“You are…” Chen Jiawang looked behind Li Huaibei and saw Tian Yan, in her pure white dress.
“We’re Li Yiming’s friends.” Tian Yan smiled.
“Boss isn’t here.” Chen Jiawang was on high alert, as he knew exactly what kind of people would pretend to be Li Yiming’s “friends”.
“I presume that she isn’t involved in this, is she?” Tian Yan turned toward Wu Jia.
“I’m… I’m also Li Yiming’s friend…” Somehow, seeing Tian Yan gave Wu Jia the courage to speak out, despite being slightly intimidated by Li Huaibei’s aura.
“I’m sorry for the interruption then. There’s a few things we’d like to discuss with mister here. Could we ask you to grant us some privacy?” Tian Yan asked in an affable tone.
“I…” Wu Jia glanced at Chen Jiawang to seek his opinion, as the drunkard especially made her uneasy.
“It’s okay. You can go home. I don’t think boss is going to come today. Maybe you can give me a phone number so I can tell him to call you back?” Chen Jiawang did not want to involve Li Yiming’s future girlfriend in something potentially dangerous.
“Oh, sure then.” Wu Jia wrote her number down on a piece of paper and left the tea shop.
“Are you a guardian?” Li Huaibei asked as soon as Wu Jia left.
“Yes.” Chen Jiawang took a deep breath to compose himself.
“Don’t worry, we’re really Li Yiming’s friends.” Tian Yan answered, trying to appease Chen Jiawang’s suspicions.
“Boss isn’t here.” Chen Jiawang said.
“I know. Let me ask you something. Did you make that drawing?” Li Huaibei said as he sat down.
“Yes.” It took all of Chen Jiawang’s bravery for him to nod.
“Did Li Yiming tell you what to draw?” Li Huaibei looked at the scene the drawing depicted, knowing that there was no way Chen Jiawang could have known about the happenings with Mr. Kong himself.
“What?” Chen Jiawang did not expect Li Yiming to know about the plate. ‘Captain? He knows about the tablet?’
“Please, allow us to introduce ourselves. My name is Tian Yan. This is Li Huaibei.” Tian Yan, despite being blind, was far more acute to people’s emotions than Li Huaibei, and she caught Chen Jiawang’s surprise right away.
“I’m Chen Jiawang.”
“Mr. Chen, I’ll be frank with you. The content of this drawing is of the utmost importance to us. If Li Yiming told you about it, then we have nothing more to ask out of respect for his privacy. However, if you’ve seen this from somewhere else, then please tell us about it. It would cause much trouble for all of us if this is handled poorly,” Tian Yan said with a serene and strangely charming voice.
“This… this was from some customers a few days ago…” Finally giving in to Tian Yan’s tone of voice, Chen Jiawang decided to trust her. Little did he know that he was already under the influence of Tian Yan’s ability.
“Yes. They brought a stone tablet. This was what was sculpted on it.”
“What did they look like?”
“There were three people…” Chen Jiawang recalled the distinctive characteristics of the guests from three days ago.
“You know how to draw?” Li Huaibei turned his attention towards the drawings on the counter desk.
“A little bit…” Chen Jiawang was unusually intimidated by Li Huaibei, as he gave off the same feeling Li Yiming did.
“Could you try to draw them out?”
“Ah? Yes… of course!”
* * *
In the middle of the smoldering ruins of a city, a woman with long hair covering most of her naked body sat down, surrounded by a ball of dark fumes. As she regulated her breathing, tenebrous marks of purple light could be seen flashing beneath her skin.
After one last deep breath, Liu Meng looked up at the monotonous, lifeless grey sky. Right above her head, someone who looked exactly like her floated in a giant sphere of black smoke.
“What are you up to?” Liu Meng muttered as the black sphere shrank and flew into her forehead.
After seeing Li Yiming die in her arms, Liu Meng finally awakened the true potential of the phoenix within her. Right before she could burn the entire world to cinders, she heard a voice in her head telling her that Li Yiming was still alive.
A fissure suddenly opened up in the sky, and a familiar giant eyeball emerged out of the crevice from the other side.
“Well, aren’t you the timely one…” Liu Meng smiled as she had already lost count of how many times Heaven’s Punishment came down on her. She raised her arms and released the shadow replica of herself.
A bolt of lightning split the horizon into two and came down on Liu Meng.
“How many bolts this time?” Liu Meng closed her eyes and prepared to meet the fury of Heaven’s Laws. As the purple lightning neared her, they were all intercepted by the dark sphere above her head.
Liu Meng chose to believe the voice in her head, due to the sole fact that it came from Heaven’s Laws. Before she could think any further about how to return to Li Yiming’s side, she was presented with a barrage of lightning. She had initially thought it would be a bitter struggle for survival, but she as time went by, she began to realize that the Heart Trial Punishment which gave her so much trouble was, in reality, her biggest asset.
As another bolt of thunder crashed down against the sphere containing Liu Meng’s clone, a puff of black smoke flew toward Liu Meng and entered her body. Liu Meng frowned, but she clenched her fists and endured the pain.
‘Just a little more…’ Liu Meng gritted her teeth and tried to stop the shaking in her limbs. Although the thunder ultimately strengthened her body, it was an unbearably painful process. It had been a year since Liu Meng had started her training, and it was still ongoing.
Eventually, it dawned upon her that Heaven’s Laws was providing assistance rather than punishing her. The only thing, however, was that she did not know why. As her strength gradually grew, she became much more perceptive of the changes which had occurred in Heaven’s Laws; it was as if the world she was in was split from the main timeline of the world by a strange power.
Another lightning bolt. This time, it contained a blue flame which burned within.
Liu Meng wiped away the blood on the corner of her mouth and looked at her clone — after enduring so many lightning strikes, the consciousness of her Heart Trial was wiped away, and she gained control over a clone as strong as herself.
“Just a bit more… Yiming… Wait for me…” Liu Meng took a deep breath and concentrated on absorbing the power of the lightning. She could feel herself inching closer and closer to the point where she could rip through the fabric of time and join Li Yiming.
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