Chapter 7 – Borrowing a Mortal Body
The soul floated across the air and she knew that she was unable to return. The person she did not want to disappoint most was Xu Linghe but there were no second chances in this world. The little fox had truly disappeared. In the clouds, Wuyou felt the biting chill of the wind. The sky was extremely cold and the feathery snow kept the darkness at bay. The Qilin came toward her but could not see her. Even the Little Longchong was unable to sense her aura. She was extremely weak and as she looked at the Qilin walking further and further way, she used her last bit of strength to fly out of the ravine.
Her soul was slowly fading away and she was unable to latch on to any spirit creature. She was all alone in this vast world and the silence was deafening. Wuyou hid under a banana leaf, she had to be careful not to become elf food in this dark place.
There was a sudden whinny behind the mountain and Wuyou quickly threw herself to the ground in fright. Only then did she realize that she was merely a soul.
As the footsteps drew closer, Wuyou’s terror grew. She was hiding in a place where elves were aplenty and after she lost her seven mortal forms, Wuyou’s sense of smell and sight were slowly fading away. A feeling of helplessness consumed her in this dark night.
The footsteps finally stopped and Wuyou carefully poked out from the banana leaf and looked around. She saw a giant serpent hissing and fighting with a golden toad. The giant serpent coiled its body tightly around the golden toad and all the golden toad had to do was to gently bite at it and the arrogant snake was defeated. It uncoiled its tail and surrendered. As it stared at the golden toad, Wuyou saw the indignance in its eyes but nothing could be done.
“You little bastard, come out! If you still refuse to come out, I’ll have you for dinner tonight.”
The frustrated giant serpent calmed down and hid its head under its body while the golden toad climbed up to its master’s feet and looked at the giant serpent with disdain. This was such a familiar sight.
“Master, this creature tried to eat me.”
The golden toad shook its tiny claw and its eyes gleamed craftily. It knew the giant serpent was its match and pitied this frustrated giant serpent.
“I’m not only going to cook you, but I’m also going to cook it.”
The banana leaves rustled and the solitary shadow had nowhere to hid. Under the dim moonlight, a man was dressed in white, his black hair tied up tightly and only a wisp of hair could be seen curling in the night sky. He held a jade fan in his hand that gave off chilling light.
“Little demon, you don’t even have your soul left. You’re such an embarrassment to Teal Hill.”
The man looked at the soul with disdain and Wuyou was shocked to find out that the man knew that she was a fox from Teal Hill. However, she had nowhere to hide and the giant serpent in front of her was monitoring her closely so it would not be easy to escape the serpent’s attack. The soul was suspended in spirit power and the cunning golden toad spat out a mouthful of sticky saliva, trapping Wuyou within, in order to curry favor with its master. Wuyou struggled futilely, unable to free herself from the sticky bubble.
“Master, this demon soul is very fresh.”
The golden toad clapped its little claws and used the giant serpent as a springboard to jump up dozens of meters. The giant serpent was enraged to see that this cunning toad was always claiming credit in front of their master. It curled into a ball and tried to think of ways to make the toad suffer next time.
“Little demon, how do you want to die?”
She did not want to die here tonight but as she slowly started to lose Divine Awareness, she struggled to recall Xu Linghe’s name but failed to do so. As her soul was suspended in the bubble, her final thought was that when one loves too deeply and is completely helpless to do anything about it, despair would eat away at one’s heart like a knife and one can only hope that one’s blood flows for a longer period, as proof that one is still alive.
As she gradually lost Divine Awareness, Xu Linghe became a faraway dream. Wuyou was unable to hold on to anything, including her soul. She closed her eyes in the bubble.
“Little demon, I’m going to spare you for now.”
The man flicked his spiritual finger and burst the bubble. Wuyou landed in the man’s palm, as big as his finger. A ray of light dissipated and Wuyou was deep in slumber.
“Little demon, I won’t kill you.”
In the iris field, a small purple fox chased after butterflies. This was Qin Lengyue’s dreamscape and although she had asked Xiao Qi, Xiao Qi had always evaded the question. Qin Lengyue had been sleeping for one year and six months.
Under the scorching sun, Qin Lengyue took only a few steps before she felt dizzy. The lotus leaves in the lotus pond were in a mess after the wind blew and the lotus petals had scattered messily on the lotus leaves. A small dragonfly rested on its yellow petals. Qin Lengyue leaned against the pavilion railing and enjoyed this moment of peacefulness. A cicada would occasionally fly by, scaring the dragonfly off.
The pond was crystal clear and Qin Lengyue leisurely combed her hair by the pond. She had just recovered from her long illness and although she was frail, her frailness was unable to mask her matchless beauty. Sounds of the zither could be heard from the pavilion and after listening closely to the music, Qin Lengyue recognized Xiao Qi’s music and enjoyed the sounds of Xiao Qi’s ‘Guanglin San’. The energetic and impassioned tune captured the essence of Xiao Qi. This was the true Xiao Qi. In her memory, Xiao Qi had always been kind and gentle but now, there was a murderous intent in his tune. She fell asleep listening to this impassioned tune and in her dreams, a girl in purple was in the arms of a man. The girl smiled blissfully and they held each other tightly amongst the flowers. Qin Lengyue fell into a coma again.
Xiao Qi carried Qin Lengyue to the bed. This little demon was probably causing unrest!
When she came to, Wuyou realized that her soul was trapped within Qin Lengyue’s body. Each time she tried to break free of her shackles, an invisible spirit power held her down. In this quiet place, Wuyou listened to her surroundings and heard birds chirping and smelled the scent of flowers. Her divine awareness could only reach as far as this yard.
Wuyou had tried to leave the physical body to float into the yard but each time she did so, the scorching sun burned her soul and caused smoke to rise from her arms. She was so frightened she hid back within the physical body. She could not see sunlight and even walking had become a farfetched dream. This soul would be destroyed the moment she left Qin Lengyue. Wuyou was trapped in a living hell but was helpless to do anything about it. She refused to be held captive by mortals and could only hope that this woman would recover and become stronger. However, this woman had been sleeping for a few days. Wuyou’s soul left the woman’s body and took a look around. She discovered that there was face powder and several decorative items on the dressing table.
It was clear that someone would clean this place frequently. There was a string of naga pearls on the table, likely to calm the soul in this person’s body. The owner of this place was a knowledgable person and bookshelves filled the entire wall. The bookshelves were divided into three layers, with a horizontal panel separating each layer. Ancient books lined the shelves in an orderly manner. Her soul roamed around the bookshelves and noticed that these books were extremely profound. The owner of this house must be a genius.
The woman who lay on the bed was extremely frail and Wuyou was worried that Xiao Qi would eat her if this woman died. She hoped that Qin Lengyue would recover soon but at the same time, she was afraid that once Qin Lengyue awakened, as the soul trapped within the mortal body, she would fall into deep slumber. She was afraid that one day, Qin Lengyue would take control of her soul and she would forget her identity, hatred she harbored for those who annihilated her tribe, uncle Jiefei and her lover Xu Linghe. In the middle of the night, Wuyou sat by the pond and contemplated. Each time she wanted to recall something, her mind was a blank. She had forgotten the people most important to her. She was sure that Xiao Qi had wiped her memories.
Each time Xiao Qi visited every two days, she would hide within Qin Lengyue’s body like a well-behaved child. Wuyou was curious to know what was Xiao Qi’s relationship to the owner of this body. She had been afraid that this was Xiao Qi’s wife and each time Xiao Qi visited, Wuyou would become extremely nervous, afraid that his intimate actions would embarrass her. After she realized that Xiao Qi would always stand outside a pearl curtain each time, she relaxed.
Sometimes, Wuyou was curious to know the identity of the woman lying in bed and was curious to know how this frail body was able to trap her soul. Although she had lost her three immortal souls, uncle Jiefei had used his spirit power to protect her. Therefore, mere mortals would not be able to contain her soul.
Sometimes, when she was bored, she would poke around the room, searching every nook and cranny for more information on Qin Lengyue.
She could feel the morning wind through the sheer gauze and a scent of chrysanthemums wafted into her dream. Qin Lengyue slowly awoke from her slumber and stretched as she got out of bed.
The furnace in the room burned brightly and a set of winter clothes was placed next to the bed. Qin Lengyue glanced at the pink colored winter clothes and her maid quickly helped her into it. Wearing pink during this weather lifted her spirits and made her feel better. Qin Lengyue smoothed the white flower on her collar and felt her spirits lift. Her mother had sewed this outfit for her and the naga pearls on her sleeves were a gift from the Immortal Sect Leader Peng Peng. Her mother had always carefully kept them away when she was younger and only took them out when the time came to sew this winter outfit. She could not bear to wear it and a few years had passed by this time. The needlework on this outfit was precise and exquisite and Qin Lengyue could feel her mother’s love for her as she touched every thread on the outfit.
Qin Lengyue remembered that her father had thrown out her expensive clothing and her mother had killed herself in anger. Her father did not love her more after her mother passed away and when she was 16, Qin Lengyue found herself homeless and she found hope in Xiao Qi. She fell in love with him when she was 16 and if not for the events after, Qin Lengyue would be a healthy woman and might even be considered a rare talent in martial arts.
The world loved to deal those who were filled with hope with a death blow. Qin Lengyue still remembered the sunny afternoon when she had worn a yellow muslin skirt and nad specially plucked a bouquet of gardenias from the mountain. The lovely scent of the white gardenias lifted her spirits and she waited for Xiao Qi to return him, her heart full of love.
The Heavenly Court had been quiet and she only had the warm sunlight to keep her company. Qin Lengyu’s heart raced as she waited but she did not see Xiao Qi.
While Qin Lengyue had been waiting blissfully for him, instead of Xiao Qi, she encountered his enemy. When she was sixteen, Qin Lengyue was thrown into the bottom of the abyss and by the time Xiao Qi found her, she was barely alive. Xiao Qi had used his spirit power to rescue her but she was so seriously injured that she remained in a coma. Xiao Qi had hidden deep within the mountains to evade those who were out to kill him.
As she hid within Qin Lengyue’s body, Wuyou could sense her sorrow. This woman had led a tragic life – she had been abandoned by her father and was now in such a miserable state. Wuyou was lucky as compared to this woman, at least Uncle Jiefei doted on her. As for Qin Lengyue, the only person who doted on her was her mother and she had died when she was young. All Qin Lengyue had left was Xiao Qi.
Wuyou knew that Qin Lengyue loved Xiao Qi but he did not love her. In the past month, Xiao Qi had always been the perfect gentleman and had never once crossed the boundaries between a man and a woman. She guessed that they were not lovers.
She felt Qin Lengyue’s heartbeat. The woman reflected in the mirror was at the prime of her life, her eyes were tender and she used her hands to gently put on some rouge on her cheeks. She used her hands to shyly pat her cheeks, then she stood up and twirled around until her maid was about to go cross-eyed, only then did she stop. Wuyou pitied Qin Lengyue. Qin Lengyue had lain down her pride and still loved this man despite knowing that he did not love her. Wuyou hoped that she could give this woman some courage and hoped that she would be able to obtain the love she craved for.
It was already late autumn and the lotus leaves in the lotus pond were already starting to wither. Qin Lengyu slowly walked and as she walked, her pink skirts covered her feet. After a few steps, dust had gathered by the corners of her skirts.
Wuyou could sense Qin Lengyue’s fear form her footsteps which alternated between fast and slow. The sunlight had bathed the corridor golden and this was the first time Qin Lengyue had been to Xiao Qi’s yard. The cobbled roads weaved toward the depths of the forest and chrysanthemums grew alongside the road. Qin Lengyue felt that it would not be appropriate to pick these flowers and her hands gently brushed past the flowers full of dew. This timid girl was probably worried that she would not dare to face Xiao Qi. It was midafternoon and Wuyou was growing even more anxious than Qin Lengyue. Qin Lengyue raised her hand to block the afternoon sun and as she looked at the mountains that Xiao Qi had flattened, she could not help but marvel at the gap between them after three years.
She still remembered that this was the yard where Xiao Qi collected ancient manuscripts on how one could cultivate spirit. Xiao Qi had told her that only the strong could have the authority to take pity on others. Qin Lengyue had turned herself into a frail woman in hopes that she could earn Xiao Qi’s pity. She had naively thought that this way, Xiao Qi would never leave her.
In the spiritual barrier, the king’s aura surrounded Xiao Qi’s body and this was when Qin Lengyue realized that Xiao Qi wanted a comrade-in-arms, and not someone who was as weak and frail as her. Qin Lengyue’s eyes did not leave the man in front of her in the spirit power, there was no other man like him.
“Could you teach me?”
Qin Lengyue slowly walked over and Xiao Qi opened his eyes within the spiritual barrier.
“I’m afraid that your body might not be able to withstand the stress of cultivating spirit power. If you wish to learn, why don’t you learn some defensive techniques?”
Xiao Qi flicked his spiritual finger and a ray of flowing light burrowed between her eyebrows. The clever lotus landed between her brows.
“From now on, I shall be your mentor.”
Qin Lengyue’s fingers twisted in her skirts and Wuyou could sense her helplessness. In this world, only love could force a person to change. When he heard Lengyue call him ‘mentor’, Xiao Qi felt relieved. He did not want to hurt this woman at all. Her life had been pitiful and had even slept for one year and six months because of him.
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