Point of Balance
“I can’t do it. I don’t want to see Tian Ran lying in a puddle of her own blood even if it’s just a dream.”
“She’s not real!”
Unable to separate himself, Mu Yu lowered his dagger. “Gramps, how did you escape your illusion?”
Ku Mu turned to the fake Mu Yu. He took in a deep breath and shut his eyes. He plunged a dagger into the fake Mu Yu’s chest. The fake juddered and then stopped moving. “Understand now?”
A sickening feeling visited Mu Yu’s stomach; it felt as if he was the one who was stabbed. Grey qi leaked from the chest wound. As life left the fake, the death qi devoured him.
Tian Ran, eyes teary, asked, “Brother Mu Yu, are you really going to kill me?”
Mu Yu embraced Tian Ran. Her heartbeats were too real. He plunged it into her heart, yet it stung him. The scenery shattered similarly to fragments of glass and disappeared. The appearance of the world changed slightly. The only real difference was the black and white qi no longer crossed over. The two stayed in their own lanes; they reversed the direction they drifted once they reached an invisible border.
Ku Mu and Mu Yu were on the white side. Mu Yu inhaled and held his breath to recollect himself. Alas, he couldn’t pretend as if he didn’t just kill Tian Ran.
“You want to know why I killed you and not Yumiao or Bingxue?”
“… Because they’re more important than I am. I don’t mind,” lied Mu Yu, contradicting his true thoughts.
“I don’t want to see any of you suffering. I killed you because, admittedly, I worry for you the most. Yumiao may be held captive, but her life isn’t in peril. Xue’er is also safe. You’re the most impulsive one and ranked on Ultimate Immortals Rankings. You might have Ju Mang’s powers; however, Third Heaven Palace won’t let you grow because you’re Sword Shadow Dust Gale’s disciple. They’ll do whatever they can to circumvent you becoming one of the final nine. Thus, you’re in the most danger. To break free of illusions, you must face your most terrifying fear. My greatest fear is you dying. Your greatest fear is Tian Ran meeting with mishap. That’s the only difference.” Ku Mu pursed his lips, recalling the illusions he conjured not long ago.
Every person had different ways of breaking out of their illusions. Ku Mu had an easier time breaking free of his demons because he had been through more than Mu Yu. Thus, Ku Mu was able to imagine the worst and face it.
“… Haha, I’m almost moved to tears, Gramps.”
“Stop pretending. If you could cry, elephants could climb trees!”
“Oh, I see how it is. I won’t cry when you’re on your death throes in the future, then.” Mu Yu pulled a funny face prior to querying, “Gramps, you still haven’t told me what you illusion was.”
“You want to know?”
“Yeah. Was I part of it?”
“Yes, and you were in a lot of scenes.”
“Really? Was I a peerless hero?”
“No, you were just a panda.” Ku Mu cracked a smile upon recalling what he saw.
“Heartless old man… Anyway, we’ve found the balance point. How do we split them?” Mu Yu stepped into the death qi. A cold sensation wreathed around his leg, triggering a natural response to jerk it back.
“How do you know where the balance point is if you don’t step into the death qi, imbecile?”
“Stepping to death qi reminds me of the awful despair. It sends chills down my spine.”
“You’re supposed to have half of your body on each side so that you have both emotions at once. You then need to learn to master your emotions. Once you can be indifferent, you’ll figure out how to disconnect them.”
“I thought only monks could attain that level of thinking…” Mu Yu grumbled as he walked into the death qi again.
Mu Yu strived to strike the balance between optimism and pessimism, resulting in him swinging back and forth between extremes. To describe it as strange was an understatement. The flash of facial expression changes would’ve made a fine comedy performance.
“Did your shifu teach you Dustfallen Mental Cultivation or whatever? Isn’t that designed to help you calm your mind? Use it.”
Ku Mu immediately started running Dustfallen Mental Cultivation. Spiritual energy circulated to all of his meridians, slowing his breathing and clearing his mind. Gradually, he was able to pull himself out of the two extremes.
Mu Yu commenced his search for the point of balance. The black and white eventually calmed down as his emotions did.
Ku Mu sensed a change. Hence, he waited for the right timing to jump into the intersection point. His conscious, in the meantime, returned to his body. Feng Haochen and Xie Bulao detected the potent qi. The two dragged Ku Mu out of the room. Xie Bulao covered the walls in red formation patterns, separating the energies.
The black and white leaf in Mu Yu’s hand started combining. The stirring qi started roiling once the balance between black and white fell off the wayside. The two energies raced off in opposite directions to occupy the room. Within moments, it began spreading to the entire continent.
Mu Yu’s black and white eyes made another appearance. Qi ejected from his body, while life qi and death qi discharged from his eyes, converting everything in the room to one or the other!