Xuan Ming scowled and bellowed in aggressive tone. She frantically swung her hands as the blue glow in her eyes dimmed down. “I’ll kill you! I’ll kill you, Boy!”
Qiao Xue, panting, was finally in control of her body again. The melancholic aura in the formation receded.
“Xuan Ming, what happened? Ah, you wouldn’t dare!” Ru Shou began shaking as Cheng Yan returned.
Zhu Rong went up in flames as he made one last ditch effort to try and keep Lie Shang in his grasp.
Hou Tu still reigned over Xiang Nan. Cornered, he fronted with a chortle. “Xiang Nan’s sorrow isn’t so easy to resolve.”
Mu Yu’s eyes flew open. Seeing Qiao Xue’s face so close, he turned his head and noticed Xiang Nan. He wasn’t as close to Xiang Nan as he was to Qiao Xue, nor did he know much about Xiang Nan’s past. As such, he was at a dead end.
As the formation neared completion, the text imbued itself within the quintet’s bodies, suppressing the opposing energy inside them.
“Xiang Nan, snap out of it! Ignore those memories! It’s all in the past! You have us with you now!” yelled Cheng Yan, futilely.
Boom! The formation rumbled. The spiritual carvings shattered into speckles of light raining down into Vacant Spirit Grounds’ formation. By the same token, the five elements Xie Bulao refined returned to their rightful places. Ku Mu exited Nine Heavens Demon Sealing Formation. Feng Haochen opened his eyes.
Xie Bulao turned to his two allies. “Mr. Love God One and Two, can I kill him yet?”
“Hahaha, Nine Heavens Demon Sealing Formation didn’t seal me but sealed the kid’s consciousness, instead. I could drag him out, though. I’d love to see you butcher him,” taunted Hou Tu.
Hou Tu returned inside and brought Xiang Nan out. Xiang Nan looked downhearted. Instead of gambling and re-entering the reincarnation cycle that could take up to a century for him to be reincarnated, he decided to bet on them not killing Xiang Nan. As long as they didn’t kill Xiang Nan, he could recover his full power in a few years as opposed to putting up with an arduous wait. Once he had his full power, he could control Xiang Nan’s body without a hitch.
Xiang Nan knelt before Feng Haochen and raised his chin, revealing his face smothered in tears. “Shifu, I am sorry! I was too weak. Please kill me!”
Nobody knew what happened to Xiang Nan. Mu Yu, for one, never thought Xiang Nan had any woes. He just assumed his senior was a lazy, sleepy, dull and happy-go-lucky senior brother with no goals. What none of them knew was that those actions were a form of avoidance, avoidance of his miserable past.
“I shall grant your wish!” Xie Bulao threw a palm strike Xiang Nan’s way.
“Stop! You’ll have to go through me first if you want to kill him!” Feng Haochen cut in and declared.
Mu Yu and his seniors stood between Feng Haochen and Xie Bulao.
“Shifu, I have let you down.” Xiang Nan bowed his head to the ground.
Feng Haochen pulled Xiang Nan up. “Just because you can’t put a memory behind you, that doesn’t mean you deserve to die. I took you in to lead you onto the path of righteous, not to kill you.”
“Sword Shadow, are you going to cross my bottom line as Ku Mu did?” questioned Xie Bulao.
“I won’t allow you to kill those I trust.”
Mu Yu was glad to hear both of his teachers would defend him with their lives.
Xie Bulao’s churned up more evil qi. He lowered his shaking hand and stated, “Fine, I’ll spare him out of respect for you. That said, I have a condition. He must not leave Twenty-Five Kilometres South Garden and must remain under my watch. If I notice Hou Tu taking control, I won’t allow accept any objections.”
Sword Shadow Dust Gale always had a rationale and purpose behind his decisions. It wasn’t his disciples who knew him best but Xie Bulao.
There were no objections to Xie Bulao’s demand. Xiang Nan wouldn’t be bored, and Hou Tu had less chances wreaking havoc under Xie Bulao’s surveillance.
Everyone was curious what Xiang Nan’s past was, but they resisted the impulse to pry.
“Sorry, if I didn’t collapse under the pressure, I wouldn’t have caused you trouble,” expressed Qiao Xue.
“I knew this would happen; it’s not your fault,” stated Xiang Nan.
Vacant Spirit Grounds returned to a serene state. Everyone but Xiang Nan no longer needed to fret over losing control, yet nobody could find it in them to celebrate given Xiang Nan’s pickle.
With four spirit lords sealed, the elemental demons only had one leader if a war would break out.
Mu Yu avoided making eye contact with Qiao Xue on the way back. He constantly questioned why he impulsively kissed Qiao Xue when he was just trying to give her a shoulder. His feelings toward her were ambiguous, but he was aware he still liked Tian Ran. At the same time, he didn’t want to hurt Qiao Xue’s feelings. He was cognisant of the fact there would come a day he would have to make up his mind.
Upon returning, Qiao Xue went to Mu Yu’s room to confront him. In a soft voice, she broke the silence, opining, “Let’s pretend it ever happened. I am grateful you helped alleviate the pain. My mother passed away long ago. My father labelled me an unlucky existence. The woman you saw was my stepmother. She treated me very kindly. I wanted to protect her.”
Mu Yu bashfully smiled. “I won’t tell anyone what I saw. Still, I want to stress that there are lots of kind humans here.”
Qiao Xue looked into Mu Yu’s eyes. The awkwardness was gone. She laughed. “I know. I’m looking at one right now.”