IWOL Chapter 108: Young Ion

Waiting for me?

Cui Zuojing immediately looked at Domingo, suspiciously and guardedly. His first thought was, Not good. I’ve been tricked.

Domingo seemed to know what he was thinking. He quietly pressed down on Cui Zuojing’s hand on the handle of his sword and said quietly, “Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you.”

“Why should I trust you?” When Cui Zuojing heard him speak, he became even more vigilant. He had nothing to do with Domingo. They’d only known each other for several days. Why would he say that he wouldn’t hurt him?

The fish-form sage said, “Your Excellency, don’t panic. If I read it right, in your body, there is the power of the Master of Time, right?”

Cui Zuojing narrowed his eyes. He looked at Domingo, who was still always so calm, and asked again, “Who are you?”

As an NPC in a box, it wasn’t surprising that the fish-form sage would know that he was the Master of Time, but how did Domingo know? No other pilgrims should know that the Afternoon Tea Party members were selected by the five elements.

“You’ll know in the future.” Domingo looked into Cui Zuojing’s eyes. Thick clouds surged in his gray eyes, and he said solemnly, “This is not the time to doubt me. Time is running out. Everything needs to be completed as soon as possible.”

Cui Zuojng furrowed his brows in confusion. Logic told him not to believe Domingo. This person was likely planned on uniting with the NPC to harm him. With the prisoner link between him and Dong Zheng broken, no one would know if something happened. But, there was a voice in his heart, telling him to trust Domingo this time.

Seeing the stalemate, the fish-form sage said, “For the time being, there is no harm in believing me. Your strength during those years when you faced the queen should be more than enough to deal with the two of us.”

Cui Zuojing took a deep breath. He wasn’t the same as eight years ago. Even though he’d been back for several months, his current strength wasn’t on par with how it’d once been at its peak. However, in the Pure White Realm, gambling was very important.

Just as Cheriyu Nana had once said when she taught him her thousands of skills, everything was a gamble.

He decided to bet on it.

“What do you want me to do?”

Seeing that Cui Zuojing had relented, the fish-form sage breathed a sigh of relief and smiled. “Please come up. I have something to give you.”

Cui Zuojing glanced at Domingo and, without saying a word, he finally stepped onto the altar.

He stood beside the fish-form sage and noticed that there was a pattern of a clock carved on the altar.

He suddenly asked, “I previously came across the bones of many fishes on the east coast. What happened to them?”

The fish-form sage said, “The last time the demonic energy leaked, I had many companions on the lower level of the evolutionary spectrum who were corroded by it. They rushed up from the sea floor, eager to outdo one another in order to access the source of the demonic energy. But, because they had not evolved enough to breathe on land, they died directly. At that time, I was not in a good state and tried to avoid it, until a group of people temporarily boarded the island and destroyed the demon seed.”

This answer was reasonable. Cui Zuojing nodded and said, “What are you going to do to me?”

“If I guessed correctly, the power of time never really belonged to you.”

Cui Zuojing was still guarding against Domingo and said in a low voice, “Yes, the queen set a triple seal and a curse so that I can never master the power of time.”

“Then please stand on this. I have a way to undo your first seal.” The fish-form sage pointed to the clock pattern on the floor.

Cui Zuojing moved to stand in the center of the clock. The fish-form sage gave him the black scepter. He also took out a heavy brass key from the pocket of his robe and placed it in Cui Zuojing’s hand.

Once done, he took a few steps back to the edge of the altar and whispered a spell.

The pattern under Cui Zuojing’s feet glowed a bright orange. The dial of the hour hand, which pointed to the east, began to slowly rotate. The force that Cui Zuojing couldn’t be more familiar with rose up. It was the power of time, which had been with him for eight years but was something he had never been able to master.

A black snake swam out and, as they watched, it slithered up the altar. After circling Cui Zuojing’s feet a few times, it climbed up onto his body.

The cold scales slid across his skin with a slightly sticky sensation, which made Cui Zuojing frown. He threw up his guard, ready to fight back the moment anything seemed off.

The snake wrapped around his body, with the triangular head paused at his shoulder. It flicked out a forked tongue, and Cui Zuojing couldn’t help but tilt his head to the other side, wanting to get away from it.

“What is this?”

“A necessary step in the ceremony.” The fish-formed sage formed a strange seal with his hands. “If Your Excellency is ready, we will officially start.”

Cui Zuojing wasn’t appreciative. “You need to explain it clearly first, or I won’t cooperate.”

Domingo said, “Legend says that Cronus divided time into past, present, and future. There was another god of time whose control of time was infinite and eternal. His name was Ion. In Dionysus’ secret ceremony, Ion was a teenager standing in a Mobius ring, holding a scepter, a key, and a lightning bolt. There was a snake born of chaos entwined around his body.”

He looked up at the youth on the altar and said, “And you are carrying eternal time.”

Eternal….time?

Cui Zuojing thought about his words. The queen’s curse had frozen his time on the last day of his sixteenth birthday. This could be regarded as a kind of eternity.

He didn’t know what else Domingo didn’t know. This man was too dangerous, and he was obviously carrying many secrets on his back. After thinking about it carefully, it seemed that many of Domingo’s actions had a strong purpose.

He rescued himself from the ruins of the northern temple. Who knew if he did it deliberately for this purpose?

“All right.” Cui Zuojing glanced at the snake on his shoulder with disgust. He raised the scepter, and said, “I’ll just stand still. Do I need to say something?”

“Your Excellency, just try to stay sensible as much as possible.” The fish-form sage’s hands produced hand seals at fast speed. The clock under Cui Zuojing’s feet turned faster and faster. Gradually, a ribbon-shape phantom spiral upward, twisting and connecting from end to end, trapping Cui Zuojing inside.

Countless lines of seals rose up from the Mobius ring that signified the law of time, calling out the silent power residing within the youth’s body.

The energy that the seal had forcibly suppressed within the depths of his body gradually awakened and began to stir. The top of the black scepter in his hand glowed orange and the key in his palm became hot, attracting thunder and lightning from the sky.

All three seals on the inside of his wrists glowed as a familiar and unfamiliar power surges across his limbs. Cui Zuojing couldn’t help trembling. At this moment, he felt as if he was incomparably powerful.

Had Fu Zhe and Uncle felt like this back then?

Everything in front of him was washed a brilliant gold. He felt as if his body belonged to himself but was not his own. His pupils reflected the clock as he looked at Domingo, and he suddenly felt an incomparably familiar fluctuations coming from him.

Just as he was on the brink of finding out where this familiarity came from, the snake on his shoulder opened its mouth, and it’s sharp fangs plunged straight into his neck.

Cui Zuojing groaned and immediately lost consciousness.

*****************

Dong Zheng finally struggled to crawl out of the rubble.

He had a splitting headache. After managing with difficulties to pull his legs out from underneath the temple’s column, he no longer had any strength left and laid on the ground, breathing hard.

He must have fainted because he felt someone shaking him, speaking in a voice that was both near and far away.

“Are you hurt anywhere?”

“How strange. He doesn’t have any wounds on his body, not even a bruise. If he was hit directly, he wouldn’t be so intact.”

“…….”

Dong Zheng’s fingers twitched, and he struggled to open his eyes.

The first thing he saw was the white cat’s pink nose. Seeing that Dong Zheng was awake, Victor’s amber eyes lit up. He let out a long sigh of relief and removed his front paws from Dong Zheng’s chest. “As I said, he should be fine.”

“Brother, how are you?” Dong Linhai asked, concerned. After seeing Dong Zheng, he had immediately moved him away from the ruins. There seemed to be some kind of beast nearby, and it would be dangerous if the monster saw him.

“I’m okay.” Dong Zheng frowned. His entire head felt uncomfortable. Seeing Dong Linhai and Victor again and seeing that they looked pretty good, he should have been happy. But all Dong Zheng felt was anxious.

He could no longer sense Cui Zuojing’s existence, and there was no one in the prisoner’s space.

He looked around and saw that his kernel world was still in chaos. When Dong Zheng saw the inside of the temple and realized that something was wrong, he immediately threw a protective shield over himself so he wasn’t too affected by the collapse.

When he saw that Arabidopsis was still growing quietly, not disappearing nor withering, Dong Zheng was relieved.

The prisoner link was probably temporarily broken due to excessive mental disruptions. Cui Zuojing should be fine. Dong Zheng believed that, with Cui Zuojing’s strength, his situation was probably better than his.

When the temple collapsed, the powerful spiritual force automatically protected Dong Zheng, so that he did not suffer any injuries.

“How did you find me?”

Dong Linhai told Dong Zheng about their experience after they were all separated. The door imprinted with Bes’ magic gemstone was a teleportation point. Dong Linhai and Lin Hangzhi were teleported to the east, where they had first landed.

They found the cave where they’d stayed the first night on the island. Thinking that it might be related to the canyon entrance, they explored it in depth.

The cave led to a hill, where they met with the other team that was charged with going east. They traveled together through the hills, and during the exploration, Lin Hangzhi received a divination card.

Dong Linhai also received a happy encounter, which allowed him to finally master the summoning beast contract with Victor.

Victor nodded and said, “Linhai summoned me. I was originally with Allen and Wang Que. Before being called away, I specifically told them not to go too far and that I would come find them with Linhai.”

Dong Linhai said, “Then, when passed by the northern temple to find Brother Allen, we found you lying in the ruins.”

The two were silent for a few seconds. Dong Zheng said, “Cui Zuojing and I saw something in the temple, causing my ability to undergo some kind of evolution. The resulting energy fluctuation shattered the temple and broke the prisoner link between me and Cui Zuojing. Now, I can’t feel his existence.”

“Huh?” Dong Linhai was taken aback. “You can do this? Did you two stay together? When we found you, we searched all over but didn’t see him.”

“He probably left already. At least for now, I know that he’s quite safe.”

Victor comforted, “Something unexpected probably happened and that’s why A’Zuo left alone.”

Dong Zheng nodded. His kernel world had already calmed down significantly, but that chaos had not completely subsided. He didn’t dare to manipulate anything and could only guide it little by little.

In the sky, the golden temple had already finished construction. He’d spied a small section of it.

It was a strange world.

But now, the stairs had disappeared, and the doors were no longer opened to him. He needed to wait for another opportunity in order to glimpse it again.

This was probably a kind of awakening ability.

“You’re awake.”

A voice came from afar. Lin Hangzhi, who had not been there until now, hugged a small handful of wild fruits as he walked out of the small forest. He grinned and said, “I couldn’t find any water and could only find these fruits. Improvise and drink these to quench your thirst.”

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Anonymous
Anonymous
2 years ago

Thank you for the chapter~

Phew, the team is coming together again and Dong Zheng's fine~ I don't know if I should trust Cui Zuojing's intuition with Domingo or suspect that Domingo's out to do something that'll be inconvenient for everyone >.< I mean, he might not hurt Cui Zuojing but who knows what all surprises he'll spring that might harm the others? I'm looking forward to Cui Zuojing undoing his first seal though 😀 I bet he gets cooler~

Anonymous
Anonymous
2 years ago

Thanks for the chapter!

I wonder if Domingo is somehow related to the Master of Time? Or maybe, he just came fro! the future or something? He's a bit sus though, but we should trust him for now.. I wonder how the team would react when they hear that A'Zou unlocked his first seal?

Dreamer
Dreamer
1 year ago

You know… With Domingo being 85% future Dong Zheng… Then Cui Zuojing with his time powers…

In the distant future did Cui Zoujing send Dong Zheng to the past??? *Gaaaaasp*

Anyways… LETS GOOOOOO! CZJ unlocked his first seal! And it was done in such a ritualistic way as well. It’s almost like they were worshiping a god and I’m here for it.

Hmmm many questions keep arising. Like how does the fish man sage know CZJ? Why does he want to help him gain back full control of time? Isn’t he an NPC? The other NPCs we met who seem to have the ability to act on their own or retain their previous memories as a pilgrim are the clown and Miss Deer. Is the fish man sage one of them? Curiouser and curiouser

yel
yel
1 year ago

now i’m getting more convinced that domingo is connected to dong zheng in a way, or maybe he is dong zheng’s future self. there’s just too much coincidence that pointed in that direction. maybe his situation of travelling from the future to the past is related to the mobius strip. cui zuojing’s first seal would only unlocked if the future dong zheng went back in time to help him.

Nezunezu
Nezunezu
6 months ago

Let’s see, Domingo is DZ from future… He’s back in time to help A’zou to unlock the seal, but from when in the future he came is probably when a’zou had died or is on verge of dying so DZ is back to help him lift the seal so he’s no more in danger in the future?! *Thinking deeply*

P.s: did i think too much?!

MiiMii~
MiiMii~
5 months ago

Ahhhhh is Domingo the the supposed to be 31 pilgrim, if so everything kind of make sense, he’s the future DZ so he might be the one that killed the first pilgrim to not make anyone suspects him? He can’t attend the restaurant in the beginning because of his “status” as the future DZ who is not supposed to be in the past, so he became the extra 1 pilgrim? I guess his mission is to help the past MC