Chapter 255 - Leaning close
A white figure flashed past the horizon, landing on a small hill several miles away from Majestic Fox Mountain, the faint glow flickered for a moment and then dispersed, revealing the Nine-tailed Celestial Fox Xiao Bai.
She gently placed Ghost Li on the ground and then carefully checked, after confirming that he was not having any serious injury, she heaved a sigh of relief and slowly stood up. Her white clothes were spotted with many burn marks, displaying yellow and even black colours, and some of the most badly burned places had holes, revealing her fair skin.
However, Xiao Bai was not concerned at all about her body, after composing herself, she turned and stood, gazed towards the direction where she had came from.
Far in the horizon, the huge fire column left hard-to-remove marks in the air, even from such a distance, Xiao Bai could still feel the heat from the wind, and on that devastated mountain, within the lava which was gradually calming down, strange red light was instead getting stronger, dancing madly in the air, in the depths of it, there seemed to be a blood red figure, continuously laughing.
Xiao Bai quietly watched for a long time, the expression on her face did not reveal any sorrow or loathe, or maybe it should be said, she was only watching indifferently at a scene which might appeared as armageddon to humans.
Behind her, a light rustling sound was heard, she turned around and was surprised, Ghost Li was still lying there unmoving but something under his chest seemed to move and a grey figure crawled out, it was Xiao Hui.
Xiao Bai stared in disbelief and then laughed, clapped her hands and opened her arms, said, “Little fellow, didn’t expect that you are so clever, come over.”
Xiao Hui crouched at Ghost Li’s chest, glanced at its master, scratched its head, three eyes looking around and then [zhi zhi], jumped over and into Xiao Bai’s arms.
Xiao Bai smiled warmly, hugged Xiao Hui and gently smoothed its head, and then discovered a number of wounds on its body, some even had gaping flesh, looking quite serious.
“Ai...” Xiao Bai softly sighed, shook her head, carried Xiao Hui to Ghost Li, found a root and sat down, placed Xiao Hui before herself, took out a small jade bottle, her tone pitying, said, “Xiao Hui, following this unlucky guy, you must have suffered quite a bit isn’t it?”
Xiao Hui’s eyes all blinked at the same time and then shook its head, like a rattle-drum, at the same time [zhi zhi] called out, apparently looking rather indignant and angry, seemed like it didn’t like Xiao Bai speaking bad about Ghost Li.
Xiao Bai rolled her eyes at Xiao Hui, in an annoyed voice said, “Alright, alright, I know, your master is the best.”
Xiao Hui grinned, scratched its head, looking rather happy.
Xiao Bai again hugged Xiao Hui, at the same time poured out a few green medicine pills out from the bottle, crushed with her hands and carefully applied the powder onto Xiao Hui’s bleeding wounds. These powder dissolved upon touching the flesh, making [si si] sounds, immediately Xiao Hui’s wounds stopped bleeding, clearly the medicine had amazing effect on superficial wounds.
Xiao Bai waited again for a moment, until the medicine had completely disappeared into the wounds and then tore a few cloth strips from her clothes and carefully wrapped Xiao Hui’s wounds. Xiao Hui remained very quiet throughout the whole process, allowing Xiao Bai to do what she wanted, most likely it also understood Xiao Bai’s good intention.
Soon, Xiao Bai finished bandaging Xiao Hui’s wounds, Xiao Hui’s chest, right arm, left leg and back of the head were banaged, looking rather like a seriously injured soldier and comical at the same time.
Xiao Hui also did not seem to be used to it, kept looking at itself, at the same time its arms were getting restless, looked like they were about to look at the bandaged wounds, Xiao Bai glared at it and angrily said, “Don’t move!”
Xiao Hui was startled and jumped back, and then grinned and really did not move.
At this moment, Ghost Li’s suddenly moved, a low groan escaped from his lips, both of them immediately looked over, after a moment Xiao Bai softly sighed.
That man clearly was still unconscious but he was still calling that name out from his lips:
Xiao Bai stood up, walked a few steps out into an opened ground, gazed over to Majestic Fox Mountain, behind her, Xiao Hui scratched its head and followed, caught hold of Xiao Bai’s clothes and clambered up, sat on Xiao Bai’s shoulder.
Xiao Bai’s eyes had a faint sorrow, stretched out her hand and gently smoothed Xiao Hui’s body, before them, that mountain had vanished forever from the world, leaving only a terrible huge abyss, and in that abyss lava continued to flow, and that red light above it.
“Xiao Hui, what to do?” Xiao Bai softly asked, even though she was asking Xiao Hui but it seemed more like she was asking herself, her brows gently frowning, there seemed to be inexplicable grief and tenderness, “Biyao has left, I am really afraid he... will not live on.”
Xiao Hui did not speak, only staring dumbly at Xiao Bai, its three eyes turning slowly, not knowing if it understood, Xiao Bai smiled faintly, with some bitterness, turned around and looked at that breathing but as if no longer had any vitality man.
“What should we do, looking at him like this, it is also hard for me...”
Xiao Hui suddenly [zhi zhi] called, Xiao Bai glanced at it sideways and then with a bitter laugh, shook her head and carried Xiao Hui down, embraced it and softly spoke, “Go home? Seems not bad but...” she glanced at Ghost Li, shook her head and gently said to Xiao Hui, “Does he have a home?”
Xiao Bai for some reason, felt a pain in her heart, looked over blankly at Ghost Li’s face, not knowing since when, the sides of the man’s hair, already had grey hairs.
Some said, vicissitudes of life can be thousand ten thousands years but it can also be in a blink of an eye, just that in this mortal world lifetime, who could define it clearly?
Xiao Bai feeling lost, sank into faint thoughts, until moments later, alerted by Xiao Hui’s movement and cries. She shook her head, made a bitter laugh, this time, it was herself, it had been so many years already but she was still sentimental.
Following which, she turned and looked at Xiao Hui, Xiao Hui leapt down, stood on the ground and gestured, at times pointing towards north, [zhi zhi] calling non-stop.
Xiao Bai watched for a while, her brows slowly frowning, after a long time, she suddenly said, “You mean, we should go to his earliest home?”
Xiao Hui nodded unceasingly.
Xiao Bai glanced at Ghost Li, saw him still unconsciousness, was silent for a moment, sighed and said, “We can only do this, let’s go, anyway no matter what, it is better than staying here.”
Xiao Hui grinned, Xiao Bai stretched out her hand, Xiao Hui leapt up and soon was at her shoulder, Xiao Bai then walked towards Ghost Li, crouched down, looked at him for a moment and gently said, “Alright, let’s go home.”
A white light, suddnely lit up on this small hill, charged up into the clouds, determined and without any regrets, towards north.
The mountain breeze, blew over on the earth, the heat still within it, like a warm hand, gently consoling the wounded earth. And far away, the huge abyss, still shrouded in the red shadow, facing the living things on earth, twisting unceasingly, as if demonstrating its might, and yet like laughing.
Central Plains, Qing Yun Hill.
At the foot of Qing Yun Hill, it was still lush, exuberant scene, everywhere was green green grasses and thick forests, deep within the trees, pleasant cries of birds could be heard frequently, although it did not have that celestial air like Qing Yun seven mountains but it had the warmth of the mortal world.
At a stretch of thick brambles and wild vegetation area, devasted buildings and ruins quietly standing there, this was once the place called ‘Grasstemple village’, and now things had already changed with time.
Light breeze blew over, lush grasses swayed, carrying the fresh fragrance of the grasses.
White light slowly descended from the sky, before Xiao Bai could stand firmly, Xiao Hui had already jumped down from her shoulder, rolled viciously a few times on the ground, happily calling out, seemed extremely excited.
Xiao Bai revealed a smile and then carefully supporting Ghost Li to lean against a broken wall. Ghost Li had came out from his unconscious but looking at him, he seemed to look even worse before he fainted.
His face extremely pale, almost without any colour, his eyes although opened but looked vacant, without any expression, did not move and also did not blink, he looked more like a zombie rather than a living person.
Looking at Ghost Li like this, Xiao Bai looked rather anxious, actually Ghost Li had already woken up few days before they arrived but from the moment he woke up, he had been like this, there was no change at all, Xiao Bai tried all ways and talked her mouth dry but it was still to no avail.
Xiao Bai even once doubted, her numerous gentle persuasions and heartfelt words, actually were never heard by Ghost Li at all.
However, even she understood but she never expected, Biyao’s departure would cause such a great hurt to Ghost Li, other than crying, she was also helpless, though she was a Nine-tailed celestial fox with thousand year of cultivation but towards humans’ emotions, what could she do?
Beside her, Xiao Hui leapt and jumped into the nearby forest, after a while again ran out, a few wild fruits in its hands, ran over and [zhi zhi] passed to them. Seemed like it was very familiar with the surrounding territory, Xiao Bai glanced at the grey monkey, sighed and took a wild fruit, with a rather bitter smile said, “Xiao Hui ah, you are still the best, always so happy the whole day, if your master could also be the same like you, then...”
She shook her head gently, did not speak anymore, bit into the fruit and tasted the sweet juice, it was delicious.
Xiao Hui grinned at Xiao Bai, again presented the fruit to Ghost Li but Ghost Li was still that look, Xiao Hui waited for a while and seemed to know Ghost Li would not take it, only shrugged its shoulders and placed the fruits on the ground, grabbed one and snuggled up to Ghost Li, ate with big mouthfuls.
It happened to be noon, two people and one monkey in this dilapidated village, sat quietly like that, Xiao Bai did not speak anymore and Ghost Li was still the same, naturally would not speak too. As for Xiao Hui, after eating some wild fruits, leaned its head against Ghost Li’s legs, its four limbs wide opened and slept soundly.
Time, unconsciously silently slipped away, the sky changed, in the blue firmament, white clouds drifted, one after another, gentle breeze blew past, the green grasses making [hua hua] light sounds, rustling the clothes and hair, carrying a feeling of slugginess.
The sun headed to the west, the sky gradually darkened.
As the night descended and the moon just appearing, still far above in the horizon, a few stars have started to twinkle, watching another night in this mortal world.
Xiao Hui was snoring softly, flipped over and continued to sleep, in its dream, its face seemed to be still smiling, not knowing if it was because it easily forgets its worries and sadness and only remember the happy things?
Under the faint moonlight, Xiao Bai quietly stood up, she looked up at the moon, seemed to be contemplating something, after a long time, she turned back and glanced at that unmoving figure which had already merged into the darkness.
She softly sighed, strided out, the night breeze blew gently, her white clothes fluttering, walking solitary under the moonlight, that beautiful and full figure, just like an ancient beauty, drifted off.
This night, the moon was especially bright.
Qing Yun Hill Small Bamboo Valley, Lu Xueqi stood by herself before the window, her white clothes like snow, bright like frost, reflecting her beautiful face. Moonlight, spilled down from the sky, onto her at the window, like water ripples.
Countless of such nights, she sat quietly before the window, watching the night sky full of stars.
Brightly illuminating the lone figure, reflecting the sympathy of the moonlight chill.
From far, bamboo rustling sounds were still heard, that was the wind blowing past the bamboo forest at Small Bamboo Valley, under the moonlight, light breeze also blew over here, quietly into the window, fluttering a very small corner of her clothes.
Tianya, quietly leaned against the side of the window, like it beautiful owner, moonbathing the cold clear moonlight, watching the horizon.
The moon, slowly shifted to mid-sky, Lu Xueqi still quietly watching, between her brows, pining and sadness causing her brows to be slightly locked.
“Are you still doing well?”
Almost inaudible, she whispered, gentle moonlight but without any ripples, still quietly sprinkling.
The pining on her beautiful face, seemed to increase.
Suddenly at this moment, she seemed to sense something, her brows frowning, her body which was leaning slowly sat straight up, both of her eyes glittering brightly, looked away from the horizon and towards outside of the house.
Outside the house, not far from it was a small stretch of bamboo forest, under the moonlight, the slender bamboos cast thin shadows on the ground, right now among the shadows, there was an indistinct human figure.
Lu Xueqi’s countenance changed, stood up and coldly spoke, “Which master is it, please show yourself!”
Bamboo shadows swayed, that figure seemed weightless, stood at the thin bamboo branches, after a long time, suddenly with a deep sigh and then someone faintly said, “Even I can’t help being attracted upon seeing, no matter whenever I look at you, you are always this stunning.”
Lu Xueqi’s eyes turned cold, looked deep into the forest but for some reason, the intruder’s voice was gentle and pleasant and very familiar, heard it somewhere before. While trying to recall, her face was still as cold as frost, Lu Xueqi said, “Who is it?”
A breeze blew over, the bamboos suddenly shook strongly, disturbing the shadows on the ground, a white figure similar to Lu Xueqi floated out, it was Xiao Bai.
Under the moonlight, her face like a painting, her skin glittering and clear, a faint coquettish look indistinct between her brows, her beauty not inferior to Lu Xueqi at all.
Lu Xueqi was surprised, unexpected that it would be Xiao Bai, asked in stunned, “Why is it you?”
Xiao Bai smiled faintly, said, “Naturally it is me, why, can’t?”
Lu Xueqi was silent for a moment, said, “Are you here to look for me, what is the matter?”
Xiao Bai glanced at her, smiled, said, “Now it is so late in the night, you are not sleeping, leaning against the window and staring at the moon, wonder who are you thinking of?”
Lu Xueqi’s fair face blushed and then she humphed, sternly said, “This is none of your business, what exactly are you here for? This is our Qing Yun sect Small Bamboo Valley territory, if you do not explain clearly, don’t blame me for being rude!”
Xiao Bai slowly spoke, “Oh, really? Then alright I will say it, actually the person who you are thinking of, it is because of that person I am here.”
Lu Xueqi’s body shook, looked up at Xiao Bai, saw her still smiling but without any mockery, hesitated and slowly said, “He...he what happened to him?”
Xiao Bai said, “He is now at the Grasstemple village below the mountain.”
Lu Xueqi shook, agitated emotion flashed past her face, even the jade-like hands clutching the window tightened. The next moment, a faint shadow shrouded her face, she quietly said, “I will not go.”
Xiao Bai was surprised, asked, “What?”
Lu Xueqi was quiet for a moment, slowly looked down and said, “Our sect is in a mess right now, teacher, elders are all troubling over it, and furthermore his current identity...if I go to him I will be defying the sect rules, breaking commandments, and even if I meet him, what will it do?”
Speaking these, she seemed emotional, her teeth biting gently onto her lower lips, inhaling deeply, as if she was trying to compose herself, who knows after a period of silence, a rush of emotions still poured from the depths of her heart, until it filled her entire body, she couldn’t restrain herself, burst out, “Is...is he still doing well?”
Xiao Bai did not speak, quietly watching her.
Lu Xueqi felt a wave of uneasiness, like a shiver, ran through her body.
She looked deeply at Xiao Bai, held her breath.
Xiao Bai, after a period of silence, quietly said, “Biyao left.”
Lu Xueqi like being struck by lightning, stood dumbly, her mouth ajar but could not speak a word, her mind ringing and in a blank.
Xiao Bai faintly said, “You and him, are not considered outsiders, he is now...”
“What happened to him, how is he now?” Lu Xueqi as if suddenly shock awake, her face pale, repeatedly asked, looking like she could no longer stand firmly.
Xiao Bai was silent and said, “He is not very well now, I am at lost too, that’s why I came to look for you.”
Lu Xueqi’s elegant brows frowning tightly, deep worries etched on her face, she who had always been cold and composed, right now was at a lost. She panted lightly, as if a heavy burden had suddenly pressed onto her chest, suddenly, she looked up and stared at Xiao Bai.
Xiao Bai did not speak, only lightly nodded.
The window before Lu Xueqi fell apart, her white figure caught hold of Tianya, swept out and charged up the sky.
What sect rules, what commandments?
In her eyes, there was only sparkling tears and unsuppressable full of yearning.
Dashing up into the sky, flying as swift as the wind!
A gale like knife blew onto her face, yet it could not extinguish the fire which tonight had finally burned fiercely after suppressing for so long.
How was he? Biyao’s departure, what kind of hurt it would be, ten years of time and it seemed only she could truly understand this man!
She flew against the wind, determined and obsessed, not turning back once. In the dark late night ahead, was that darkness shrouding him, was that terrible chill invading him?
She wanted to fly, to his side.
And be with him!
Under the moonlight, leaving a shadow.
Xiao Bai slowly walked to the ruined window, watched for a long time and then slowly looked up, the moonlight spilled down silently, illuminating her body.
She closed her eyes, slowly, slowly let out a long breath, revealing a smile.
Faint and with some degrees of bitterness, yet it also had some joy...
The bright moon high up, scant stars in the cold night.
The night wind carrying some chill blew over, the wild grasses in the abandoned Grasstemple village appeared undulating in the moonlight, swaying like the waves in the sea. The vast late night was silent, only deep within the grasses, from somewhere, cricket cries could be heard at times.
In the dark corner, Ghost Li was still in the same position, sitting against the wall unmoving, Xiao Hui was sleeping against him, the night breeze blew past, it seemed to feel chilly, murmured and turned, rolled up, even its tail was also pressed in tightly, continued to sleep.
Suddenly, in the clear moonlight, a white figure swiftly landed, her speed was so fast that when she reached the ground, the surrounding grassess with a [hua] sound, flattened outwards, after a long while, slowly recovered.
The white light scattered, revealing Lu Xueqi’s anxious face, her gaze swept past the ruins, nothing had really changed, other than a few empty spaces illuminated by the light, the rest were much in darkness.
She did not see anyone.
She stood for a moment and slowly strided out, walked into the abandoned ruins.
Behind every wall and under every building, maybe there was a story, there was once families’ happy laughter, grief and sorrow, all buried under the mud, and now, under the cold moon and cool wind, there was only sadness left.
Tianya in Lu Xueqi’s hand, softly emanating faint glow, light and darkness flickered, as if it knew its owner’s complicated emotions. The white figure, traversed among the ruins.
Suddenly, under her feet among the wild vegetation, a small sharp cry was heard, in this quiet night, it was especially shrill. Lu Xueqi turned pale, her body froze and then a field mouse scurried out from her feet and into another thick patch of grasses.
Lu Xueqi was stunned for a moment and then let out a long breath, right now her emotions were highly strung, the things she would not bother usually right now made her trembled. Just that this sudden sharp cry, although gave her a small scare but at the same time awoke the monkey who was sleeping soundly.
Before it woke up, its ears were already turning, the next moment, Xiao Hui’s three eyes blinked opened.
Footsteps sounds, came from the other side of the ruins.
Xiao Hui crawled up, looked around and discovered Xiao Bai missing, the monkey immediately became alert, stood for a while, glanced at Ghost Li but its owner was still the same. And then Xiao Hui turned and crawled up the wall that Ghost Li was leaning against and looked towards the sound of the footsteps.
In the darkness, the golden eye on its forehead slowly lit up.
Lu Xueqi walked for a while, although not long but in her heart, it seemed like a thousand year, everywhere was empty and dark, her heart full of anxiety, and now fear, could it be in this short time Xiao Bai was not around, he by himself, would do silly things?
Her face pale again, her steps subconsciously quickened, as if she had seen her heart about to explode with the deep anxiety, just when she made another two steps, she suddenly stopped.
On a broken wall ahead, a golden spot lit up but that was not a firefly, it was an eye and watching her.
The moonlight ahead shifted a little, illuminating the shadows, a grey monkey with three eyes was seen on the wall, its body bandaged with some cloth looking comical.
Lu Xueqi’s heart immediately pounded, almost without any thoughts, she swept over, her figure casting a faint shadow under the moonlight, like the last flower disappearing in spring.
Xiao Hui saw Lu Xueqi swiftly moving over, scratched its head, seemed hesitant. Among the women its owner were close to, Lu Xueqi was the most unfamiliar, the other ladies like Xiao Bai, or Xiao Huan etc, all smiled happily and embraced Xiao Hui, or smoothed it or made jokes, only this lady in white was cold like frost, never interacted with Xiao Hui.
But even though it was so, Xiao Hui also clearly knew, this woman had a different relationship with its master, watching her coming close, Xiao Hui did not make any reaction.
Though the monkey did not but Lu Xueqi did, she caught hold of the monkey with an anxious face, did not see that person other than the monkey, her voice started to tremble, said, “Where...where did he go?”
Xiao Hui held up in the air by Lu Xueqi, though the hands were the same fair and beautiful but the owner of the hands did not care about being polite, subconsciously increased in their strength, Xiao Hui feeling annoyed, gestured, [zhi zhi] called out. But without waiting for it to display its protest, Lu Xueqi already looked over, saw deep inside the darkness, a figure quietly sitting there.
The monkey who was protesting suddenly lost its support, fell down, seemed like it landed on one of its wounds and Xiao Hui immediately bared it teeth, jumped up and hatefully pulled a long face at Lu Xueqi’s back.
Lu Xueqi slowly went around the wall, walked to Ghost Li, before her, was a body that seemed to have lost its life, empty listless eyes staring ahead, not knowing which place he was looking at, the entire face wan and sallow, a faint decay smell wafted from his body, making one mistake that this was already a corpse.
[Dang!] Tianya fell from her hand and onto the ground, she did not look at it once. She slowly, crouched down before Ghost Li, two glittering tears, rolled down her face.
Ghost Li’s body, suddenly moved, as if this familiar name touched him somewhere deep inside his heart. But the next moment, he resumed that lost look, like a tired bird, rather hid in its own invisible nest and not wish to see the outside world.
Trembling, Lu Xueqi stretched out her hands, slowly held his face, that familiar face, etched in her heart, the person whom she pine for numerous nights, her lips trembling, her voice choked, said, “Xiao Fan, I am here, it is me, I am Xueqi...”
He did not move, his face expressionless.
The cold night blew past, the vegetation made disturbing noises, the grey monkey crouched aside, watching them. Under the cold light, who would pay attention to this insignificant corner, the couple struggling with the mortal love?
Clear tears, fell from her face, onto Ghost Li’s face, wet and containing warmth. Lu Xueqi sat beside Ghost Li, where she touched, were coldness like ice.
“Don’t be afraid, don’t be scare...” On Lu Xueqi’s face, behind the tears, determination and courage appeared, she gently embraced Ghost Li’s face, using the warmth of her chest to warm that body which was about to collapse from losing hope.
She tightly embraced that man, refusing to let go again, slowly looked up at the horizon, that bright moon, bright and clear.
“Xiao Fan, don’t be scare.”
“It will be alright...”
“Everything will be alright!”
She softly spoke, her voice gentle yet determined.
The moonlight like water, spilled into the world, gently illuminating the figures which were leaning close to each other.
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