Chapter 1079 - Tragedy
Darkya City was previously an absolute place of danger for Yun Che. He was constantly on edge, moving about as if on tenterhooks.
However, as of now, he couldn’t care less. He disregarded whether the Black Feather Merchant Guild would discover his traces. He released his profound energy to the maximum, sending bright bolts of lightning piercing through the skies above Darkya City. Each bolt brought with it an ear-piercing shrill.
When he had taken He Lin back to the wood spirit secret grounds, he had carefully scanned He Lin’s body for any tracking imprints...
But who would have thought that there was such a thing as the “Ten Thousand Mile Chasing Soul Incense”!
It had to be fake... How could such a thing exist!? It definitely couldn’t!
He sped away as Darkya City slowly disappeared into the distance. He clenched his teeth hard, nearly shattering some in the process.
He had stayed in the secret grounds for about half an hour. From the time he left until now, only three to four hours had passed. If all that had happened was true, then within this time frame...
This had better not be real!
Yun Che charged out of Darkya City like thunder, his speed several times that of when he had taken He Lin back home. He frantically flew southeast heading straight for the thick jungle without stopping for a moment.
Entering the dense jungle Yun Che didn’t lower his speed, he tore through the foliage like a raging tornado, sending wood, grass, and flowers spinning through the sky. One by one, ancient trees, that were tens of thousands years old, were reduced to splinters and dust.
Having already memorized the spot, Yun Che finally arrived at where the secret entrance lay. The row of ancient trees stood before him. He descended immediately and his pupils shrank.
The illusory formation that enshrouded the area was utterly broken. The greenish black vines looked as if a hurricane had swept through and torn them apart. Bits and pieces of vine littered the ground.
The world ahead was a picture of silence, a silence which chilled the bones.
Yun Che’s heart stopped beating for a moment. He fixed his gaze ahead as he felt a cold surround him. He stood there in a daze before slowly advancing forward. The sound of each step he took treading on the broken vines underfoot pierced at his soul.
After stepping through the vine crushed clearing, he came to a halt. His body shook and his face paled as a pained expression swept across his face. It felt as if all the blood had instantly been drained from his body.
What was originally a vast land of emerald and jade flora was now a scene of destruction and despair. Ancient trees were toppled over, wooden houses were collapsed and everything bore the scars of fierce combat. What remained of the picturesque land was now only dried green blood stains and a deathly silence.
One lifeless body after another of the wood spirits were strewn across the blood dyed ground. One particular body closest to Yun Che still had his eyes wide open. The emerald green light had already faded from his eyes, what remained was a look of fear and hopelessness... Even in death, his resentment never left.
Yun Che’s lips were shaking and his pupils dilated in shock, nearly covering the whites of his eyes. Yun Che couldn’t move, as if both his feet were nailed to the ground. His vision started going blurry and the sky around him started to spin.
He grasped his head with both hands, his fingers shaking like that of an old man at the end of his life.
They’re all dead...
Because of me…
I caused their deaths… because of me...
Yun Che took dozens of deep, heavy breaths before both his mind and eyes finally regained clarity.
He slowly stepped forward. Everything was still slightly blurry, but each body, each drop of fresh green blood were imprinted clearly in his soul... Each sight was like a piercing cold dagger, stabbing straight through his soul.
Every now and then, there were traces of the red blood of humans. They stood out like bloody dirty stains which desecrated this now ruined sanctuary.
He took in another deep breath. Color returned to his face and his eyes grew steady once more. He took a step forward, carefully walking across this now ruined world.
A heavily damaged tree suddenly toppled over, revealing a lifeless wood spirit… She was thin and small, her old and wrinkled face bore an expression of eternal calm.
“Granny Qing Ye…” Yun Che whispered. He lifted his head and slowly closed his eyes. He Lin respected her the most. She was the most senior and respected wood spirit in this little world. Just hours before, he had even personally received the Wood Spirit Miracle Dew.
“I’m sorry. I brought this disaster upon you all… Please rest in peace,” Yun Che softly whispered.
The die had been cast for this tragedy and all he could do now was offer a simple apology.
He had calmed down but unease still weighed heavily on his chest. Yun Che flew up into the air and released his spirit perception in the hopes of finding a survivor… hopefully there were fortunate wood spirits… even if there was only one, that was enough.
In front of a ruined hut Yun Che saw a well built middle aged wood spirit. He no longer had life in him. His hand was holding onto a broken spear. The spear was coated in a mixture of green and red blood.
On his back was a large and bloody hole... Because he had fought until the end, he didn’t even have a chance to self destruct his Wood Spirit Orb. Without a doubt, his Wood Spirit Orb had been forcefully taken away after his death.
“Senior Qing Mu…”
Yun Che gently mouthed his name, both of his hands trembling, fists clenched.
All around him lay the larger portion of the middle aged wood spirits. Each body was filled with signs of bloody battle and battle scars. All of their eyes were wide open, filled with expressions of fear, hopelessness, and hate... None of them were shut.
Yun Che continued flying silently. Further ahead in this little world, he saw one wood spirit child after another. Some were hugging each other, some were hugging the old… and the youngest, his soft little body was run through… A long black bladed knife was lodged in his body.
Yun Che found it harder and harder to breathe. He struggled to move his gaze, when he caught sight of the large garden where he had spent the most of his time on his first journey here.
Thousands of flowers were scattered roughly on the ground. There were no more butterflies...
At the end of the flowerbed, two girls were hugging each other tightly. Though their bodies bore no scars or wounds, they held no life within them.
Death by self destruction of their spirit orbs.
Yun Che landed and stared blankly at them, “Fei Yan… Qing He…”
Outside the flowerbed lay a fallen youth. His body was full of scars, evidence of the brutal wounds he had suffered in battle trying to protect the two girls behind him.
The strong sense of suffocation which was finally receding came back full force once more, flooding his entire soul, stronger than before.
“...I wish I could see the outside world for myself…”
“I always thought that humans were scary. I never would have thought that Big Brother Yun Che would be such a strong and likable human!”
“This is a charm I made with my own hands, it will keep you safe…”
“Big Brother Yun Che… Will you come back often to visit us...”
Qing Zhu… Fei Yan… Qing He...
One hand clutching his head, the other over his heart, he slowly crouched down. His heart felt as if it were pierced by thousands of poisonous needles. His body trembled in pain uncontrollably.
Just hours before they had looked at him in wonder, with such pure and eager eyes. They held onto every word that he’d said, as if they feared missing out on even a single one of his words. He had clearly felt a deep desire of hope and yearning in every one of their souls.
Fate had been far too cruel to them. What was the norm for others at a similar age, was but a dream for them. They were in the prime of their youth, but now...
“The… the one… who… caused all this...”
“Was... was me...”
His heart was convulsing and his teeth were chattering. He dug into his head with all five fingers, digging into his flesh, yet he felt not an ounce of pain.
This was the second time in his life he had felt like this.
The first time was when he was in the Azure Cloud Continent. He had lost his master, he had lost Ling’er. He no longer had anyone to hold onto him nor anyone to hold onto. Under his rage and anguished madness, he had utilized the Sky Poison Pearl and took all the lives within an entire city...
After his rash act, an immediate endless and unbearable amount of guilt descended upon him, driving him to the brink of despair...
At that time, he had killed millions of people, most of whom were innocent and had neither hatred for nor ties to him.
This time round, one hundred wood spirits had perished. Although not by his hands, he still felt the same strong surging pain as back then.
Why did this have to happen...
What were these innocent wood spirits guilty of!?
Was it only because they were too kind and weak?
No… It was because of me. If not for me… this cursed jinx, how would they have met with such a disaster?
It’s all because of me!!
If it wasn’t because I just had to look for a Wood Spirit Orb, if it wasn’t because I showed mercy and brought He Lin back here, this wouldn’t have…
Wait a minute… He Lin!?
As if a cold bucket of water was poured over him, Yun Che lifted his head and immediately stood up. What about He Lin? He Lin wasn’t among these dead bodies. Where had He Lin gone?
Yun Che started flying and once more released his spirit perception as fast as possible, covering the entire wood spirit secret grounds. He scanned every inch of soil, every blade of grass, every wood spirit corpse.
He didn’t detect He Lin at all.
His mind rapidly cleared up. He expanded his spirit sense to the furthest he could spread it to and still he didn’t find the corpse of He Lin. He Lin could still be alive… No, this was definite. He Lin was definitely alive!
Those people knew that He Lin was a royal wood spirit, they definitely wanted him captured alive. And He Lin being the only wood spirit that had a royal bloodline, even if he stepped into the most dire and desperate circumstance, he would never allow himself to die! Yes, he was definitely still alive!
The highest possibility right now was that he had been captured and taken away.
The blood on the ground hasn’t dried yet, they couldn’t have gone far.
Yun Che flew higher into the air and closed his eyes. He gathered every bit of concentration he could master… I have to find him. I must find him!!
Towards the east, he sensed traces of footsteps making a path through the jungle. He closed his eyes and explosively released his profound energy, streaking towards the east like lightning.