Yun Yiyuan basked in a pool of hot water, his index finger sliding past the scar on his left chest which reminded him of his defeat against Li Yiming.
“You’re hiding something from me.” Yun Yiyuan looked at Ying Mei, who was standing at the edge of his bathing pool made of jade, with a sunken countenance.
“What do you mean?”
“You didn’t tell me about the people behind Li Yiming when you asked me to kill him.”
“Well, you didn’t ask, did you?” Ying Mei smirked.
“If you still want my help, then tell me everything you know.” Yun Yiyuan took a deep breath to clear away his anger.
“Unfortunately for you, even I don’t know much. I only came into contact with him following Bing Shuai’s artificial guardian plan.”
“Artificial guardian plan?” Yun Yiyuan frowned as he had heard some rumors about Bing Shuai’s ambition.
“Yes. The people who support Li Yiming were also involved.”
‘The people behind Li Yiming are also trying to challenge Heaven’s Laws? I thought Bing Shuai was the only one crazy enough to have such a ludicrous goal… Wait… The festival… Mr. Kong?’ A terrible thought suddenly occurred to Yun Yiyuan.
“Do you suppose that he is behind Li Yiming?” Yun Yiyuan asked with a severe countenance. If Mr. Kong was indeed supporting Li Yiming, then he would have to reconsider his goals.
“I have my doubts… but…” Ying Mei knew what Yun Yiyuan was implying.
“I’ve went through my archives about Li Yiming a few days ago. Here’s what we know about him.” A file folder suddenly appeared in Ying Mei’s hand.
“The first person to enter contact with Li Yiming was a test subject of ours, Guo Xian. The reason was that Li Yiming’s girlfriend had an affair with him.”
“As in he took Li Yiming’s girl?” Yun Yiyuan was unsure where this was going.
“Yes. There was no doubt that the girl cheated on Li Yiming.”
“And then?” Yun Yiyuan could not believe the story. ‘To think that Bing Shuai’s preparations for all these years have been ruined because of something like this…’
“And then nothing.”
“Then nothing.” Ying Mei opened to the file folder and pointed to the first page. The page was blank aside from a single line of writing at the top of the page.
“What do you mean?”
“I wrote this file myself, but that’s all that remains.” Ying Mei said with a severe countenance.
“You mean that…”
“I’m positive that I’ve recorded every detail myself, as this was Bing Shuai’s top priority. Even that girl’s name is gone.”
“Someone came back later and changed it?” One of the reasons which Yun Yiyuan enjoyed Ying Mei’s company so much was due to her meticulousness — she was the last person on Earth to omit such important details.
“I’ve always had this file on me. It’s my own handwriting. I can guarantee to you that this came out of my own hands.”
“Let me have a look.” Yun Yiyuan stood up from his bathing pool and scrutinized the file folder.
“Do you remember anything about where and when you made this?”
“Absolutely not,” Ying Mei said.
“It’s not that someone changed the record. This girl… Her existence has been wiped away.” Yun Yiyuan said as he squinted.
Both of them sank into a dead silence. They immediately understood that this implied the involvement of someone who had a deep understanding of the inner workings of Heaven’s Laws.
“He didn’t execute his plan at that point,” Because Mr. Kong had not completely seized control of Heaven’s Laws yet, Ying Mei knew that he did not possess such an ability at that point in time.
“Don’t we have a way to find that girl?” Yun Yiyuan gave the folder back to Ying Mei and sat down in his bath, no longer feeling the warmth that it used to have.
“I’ve already sent a team to find her.”
“We need to find her, at all cost.” Yun Yiyuan finally relaxed down.
“Then Li Yiming…” Ying Mei said anxiously, concerned that Yun Yiyuan would give up his vendetta against Li Yiming out of fear of the new discovery.
“You don’t reckon I end up the same way Bing Shuai did, do you?”
“Of course not. Bing Shuai made the mistake of being too arrogant.”
“Then you have nothing to fear. Don’t worry, I have personal reasons to see Li Yiming dead,” Yun Yiyuan said calmly as he put his finger on his scar again.
Yun Yiyuan had recovered from the injuries he had suffered against Li Yiming, but the humiliation and shame remained. Until he would be able to wash those feelings away with Li Yiming’s blood, he was doomed to live a stagnant life.
Li Yiming was indeed the intimidating foe, but Yun Yiyuan wasted no time during the past year, doing everything in his capabilities to acquire a favorable hand.
With his eyes closed and his mind relaxed, he let his naked body surface on the hot water. Ying Mei’s body went stiff, but she soon gained a determined look as she knew that there was no way back. Her long robe fell to the ground as she pulled on the strings holding it to her neck, and she walked into the bathing pool.
* * *
“Did Eyeglasses leave yet?” Qing Qiaoqiao asked as she looked at the landscape in the distance from her balcony.
“He should be in Hangzhou now.” Qing Linglong brought a blanket for Qing Qiaoqiao.
“How do you think Li Yiming is going to react when he sees us?” Qing Qiaoqiao asked in a low voice.
“Are you still thinking about him?”
“Of course not.” Qing Qiaoqiao said. “It doesn't matter at the end of the day, does it?”
“Oh, I’m sorry…” Qing Linglong wrapped her arms around Qing Qiaoqiao.
“I’m just curious about what he’s become…”
“I don’t know. He’s the only person I’ve met that I couldn’t see through completely.” Qing Linglong said.
“It really makes no sense. He had no conviction, no rational judgment, no murderous impulse... A guardian like him should have died a long time ago,” Qing Linglong said as she remembered her past with Li Yiming.
“But you do trust him, don’t you?” Qing Qiaoqiao asked.
“The world has changed.” Qing Linglong said as she raised her right hand. Around her fingers danced a ribbon of blue light. “What’s our purpose now? What was the point of all the sacrifices we’ve made?”
“Survival, of course…” Qing Qiaoqiao answered. Unlike her sister, she did not feel the sense of duty which came along as one became an experienced guardian.
“If this was one year ago, I would have scolded you.” Qing Linglong chuckled and slid her finger over her sister’s nose. In fact, Qing Qiaoqiao’s statement was the reality of things. Beneath the extraordinary abilities and noble motives was a rather pitiful desire to survive, and everything they endured was simply so they could live for a little longer. This was one of the reasons why Qing Linglong ultimately chose to align herself with Li Yiming.
“What’s going to happen now?” Qing Qiaoqiao said as she looked up at the sky.
“The world has changed, but our goals haven’t.”
“Is that why you’ve agreed to let Eyeglasses go meet Li Yiming?” Qing Qiaoqiao asked.
“That’s part of the reason. I have a feeling that he’s going to change the world.”
“But we…” Qing Qiaoqiao’s mood sank again as she remembered the risks of meeting Li Yiming again.
“That’s why sooner or later, we’ll have to face him.” Qing Linglong sighed as put her hand on her chest — beneath her flesh hid a terrifying dormant power.
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