IWOL Chapter 109: Finally Together

“Are you sure the seal was unlocked?”

The youth with black hair and dark eyes sat on the altar, his feet hanging naturally and swinging back and forth. He was playing with a silver coin with an old man’s head on it.

Domingo stood beside him, looking at the ruins of the temple and the barren forest. “You should know this better than me.”

The moment the first seal was broken, the powerful backlash directly destroyed the western temple, leaving only the most central altar. It was similar to how the northern temple was destroyed by Dong Zheng.

Cui Zuojing tossed the silver coin high. It flipped in the air, reflecting the dazzling light, before it was caught once again.

“This is what you said you wanted to do, now that it’s done, come with me to find my companions.”

Domingo nodded slightly. He turned his head to the fish-form sage, whose hands were tucked into his wide sleeves. “Thank you.”

The fish-form sage waved his hand and said, “This is also to our benefit.”

Cui Zuojing got up and patted the dust off his behind. On his wrist, the line that represented the first seal had already faded to just a vague, nearly invisible mark.

“One more question.” Before leaving, he finally asked the fish-form sage, “If the temples in the four directions on the island have the power to awaken people, then this box has too many opportunities. What is its origin?”

The fish-form sage shook his head and said, “I’m just a small existence in this box and only know a few secret things. How can a creature in the box know its true origin from beginning to end?”

All right. Cui Zuojing originally also had no hope that an answer would be forthcoming. He hummed in acknowledgement and was about to jump down. But he stopped, turned, and bowed to the fish-form sage. “Thank you.”

The fish-form sage also bowed and said with a smile, “I am merely fulfilling an agreement, Your Excellency.”

Cui Zuojing and Domingo left the western temple together, leaving the fish-form sage behind in the ruins. Soon, the sage will return to the sea and join his race in the abyss.

The island wasn’t small, and both sides were constantly in motion. It would be difficult to find the others. Cui Zuojing weighed the pros and cons and decided to go to the Sealed Land in the center of the island, as per the original agreement.

On the way, Cui Zuojing didn’t take the initiative to speak to Domingo. He walked in front, and although he didn’t look back, he could still feel Domingo constantly looking at his back, as if he had something to say.

“You did me a favor. It stands to reason that I should thank you, but there’s nothing to be done about it. I just don’t want to bother with you,” the youth said out loud. He used the sword to push away some branches and added, “Anyway, once we leave the box, there won’t be any intersection between us anymore.”

Domingo laughed in spite of himself, where Cui Zuojing couldn’t see, and said softly, “Yes, when the box is over, you’ll never see me again.”

Cui Zuojing glanced at him. These days, he always felt that every word Domingo said had a deep meaning, which was bewildering.

But whatever.

They didn’t hold each other back and traveled at a very fast pace. Once darkness arrived, they found a cave to rest. In the early morning of the next day, they finally approach the island center.

Cui Zuojing had always been curious about Domingo’s crossbow. A weapon of this quality wasn’t something that ordinary pilgrims could get.

It was a pity that the journey was very uneventful, as if they had memorized the map a long time ago. They never encountered any danger, giving Cui Zuojing no opportunities to witness Domingo using his crossbow and arrow again.

Cui Zuojing chose to wait at the same place where Heinrich had sent the signal previously. This was the only water source nearby. If anyone wanted to enter the Sealed Land, they would definitely stop by this place to replenish their supply.

As they waited for the others, Domingo bathed himself by the water. Cui Zuojing glanced at him and found that there was no scar on his body at all.

It stood to reason that injuries in the Pure White Realm was commonplace. Even Wang Que had a long scar on her arm.

Cui Zuojing remembered this and added it to the growing evidence of Domingo’s suspiciousness.

They waited until afternoon before they finally saw the others.

The first to arrive was Heinrich and his team. Originally, when they set off, they had six people in their group. Now, one member was missing. The Argentine woman, Beverly, was injured and was being carried on Tao Ji’s back.

Beverly was carefully placed on a flat ground. Heinrich’s face was pale as he waved to Cui Zojing, obviously having no extra energy to speak.

The others were also exhausted and were resting by the water. Cui Zuojing looked around, knew that he couldn’t count on Domingo to do it, and so he decided to be a good person. He grabbed Heinrich’s bottle and filled it with water for them to drink.

Beverly was badly injured. Heinrich had been using his ability to transfer the life essence of plants to heal her injuries. Wherever he went, there was no living plants left. He’d been overusing his ability along the way and was nearly running out of strength.

Tao Ji was faring much better. This man’s ability was [Qi], with an extreme defensive power. Ordinary attacks couldn’t hurt him at all. After resting for a while, he helped Cui Zuojing care for the wounded.

Everyone was filthy with grime, and Domingo continued to act as a background board. Cui Zuojing asked, “What did you encounter?”

“A few strange monsters, but it was the fierce wolves Hati and Skoll who made us so miserable. In Norse mythology, these were two brothers who wanted to swallow the sun and the moon. As children of the gigantic arch-wolf Fenrir, they were difficult to deal with. We ended up losing a man and even Beverly was seriously injured. But fortunately, we were able to finally kill them.”

“Were you able to get anything from them?” Cui Zuojing asked. Knowing that Heinrich would likely not reveal too much information easily, he added, “At that time, Dong Zheng and I met Hydra. After killing her, we found a ruby on her body.”

“So did we.” Heinrich took out two gems, one blue and one green, from his pocket and showed them to Cui Zuojing. “We got these from their mouths.”

“These should be things we’ll need at the last juncture.” Cui Zuojing nodded his head.

Heinrich looked around. When he didn’t see anyone aside from Domingo, he asked, “Where are your teammates?”

“We got separated. I’m here to wait for them,” Cui Zuojing said. “I thought that since there’s a water source here, they’ll definitely come here.”

Heinrich said, “We’ve already gathered all the items on our codex. If everyone else also managed to complete their tasks, we can set off directly for the Sealed Land.”

Everyone was very tired and didn’t want to talk, particularly the two who’d lost their teammate. Their mood was even more depressed. Cui Zuojing didn’t talk much and went to find something to eat.

The link with Dong Zheng had been silent for two days. Having lost his connection to that person in the past two days, Cui Zuojing felt unaccustomed to it.

Soon, other people came over one after another.

Night slowly fell.

In the wild, it wasn’t very safe to remain close to the water’s edge. Many wild animals would come for a drink, but everyone was unafraid. Instead, they grabbed a poor deer who’d come to find water as supper. With the campfire burning, it became more obvious in the night, which was very convenient for driving away beasts and drawing people.

Dong Zheng and his party arrived at the water’s edge at nine o’clock in the evening.

After finding Dong Zheng, Victor took them to the place where he’d left Allen and Wang Que. The two had moved around, but they didn’t go far. The Wonton Insurgency had reconvene, though without Cui Zuojing.

Afterward, they made their way toward the Sealed Land. It was inconvenient to move in a hurry after dark. They’d originally planned to find a place to rest but saw the light in the distance. Therefore, they decided to take a risk and push through the darkness toward it.

Cui Zuojing was sleeping lightly, leaning on a tree with the sword in his arms. Suddenly, that feeling that had disappeared for the past two days slowly returned.

He quietly opened his eyes, got up, and took two steps in the direction of the sensation. Domingo, who was on night watch, noticed his behavior and asked in a low voice, “What’s wrong?”

“Someone’s coming.”

Cui Zuojing brushed away the leaves that were obstructing his vision and walked around the tree that was in front of them. He raised his eyes just in time to find himself face to face with an approaching Dong Zheng.

They looked at each for a few seconds. Cui Zuojing saw his own silhouette and the sparkling flames behind him reflected in Dong Zheng’s eyes.

Seeing that the man looked pretty well, with no physical problems, Cui Zuojing couldn’t help but secretly admit to himself how greatly relieved he was. He raised his lips but said in a tone of complaint, “So slow.”

“We got delayed on the road a bit.” Dong Zheng took a few steps forward toward Cui Zuojing and looked at him from head to toe. “You’re okay?”

“Don’t worry. What can happen to me?” Cui Zuojing felt that Dong Zheng seemed to be different from before. This was probably due to his ability having evolved.

He tilted his head and looked at the other people approaching from behind Dong Zheng. His gaze paused for a moment on Dong Linhai’s face and he deliberately said, “You’re still alive, little brother.”

Unexpectedly, the gunpowder barrel didn’t explode. Dong Linhai was in a good mood and he replied, “Yeah, I didn’t get hurt much.”

Only then did Cui Zuojing really confirm that this child, who was initially ignorant and annoying, had begun to grow up.

Okay, pretty good. Cui Zuojing shrugged. The longer he stayed close to Dong Zheng, the stronger the sensation in his heart.

“What should I do?” he asked.

“Give me your hand.”

Cui Zuojing shifted the sword from his right hand to his left hand and extended his right hand to Dong Zheng. The man held the youth’s hand in the center of his dry palm.

At the same time, in the center of kernel, Dong Zheng’s fingertips touched Arabidopsis’ leaves.

Data streamed across, and the mysterious and inexorable law returned, restoring the blood contract.

The coat of arms on the back of Dong Zheng’s hand flashed, indicating that the blood contract had been successfully restored. However, he didn’t immediately release Cui Zuojing’s hand, but asked, “Do you want to go back and rest now?”

“It’s not neccesary, I’m fine.” Cui Zuojing loosened his grip but couldn’t withdraw.

Cui Zuojing:?

He pulled his hand again and was finally released.

Wang Que’s expression on the side went subtle for a moment. She looked at Cui Zuojing and Dong Zheng, raised her hand and roughly rubbed her face, holding back some special interest that was out of date.

Cui Zuojing and the other straight steel men didn’t notice at all. After everyone finished their greetings, they went back to the pool of water and saw that Domingo was there. Dong Zheng’s face changed slightly. He placed one hand on Cui Zuojing’s shoulder. In a voice that only the two of them could hear, he asked, “Did you two come here together?”

“He found me in the ruins of the northern temple, and then something happened. Wait until no one’s here. I’ll tell you more.”

Dong Zheng nodded. Heinrich woke up when he heard the movements. He was surprised to find that Dong Zheng’s entire team had arrived safe and sound.

Soon, they’ll head to the Sealed Land. In all likelihood, they’ll engage in a fierce battle. Therefore, it’s definitely a good thing to preserve as much strength as possible.

This also illustrated the strength of Dong Zheng’s team. Heinrich thought that his team was quite strong in District XII, but they still suffered considerable losses anyway.

Of course, it also had something to do with the people in Dong Zheng’s team. Regardless, it still faithfully reflected Heinrich’s vision of the group to a certain extent. If the Wonton Insurgency could be pulled into his organization, it would be a huge profit.

Everyone had rushed the road for a whole day, and they were exhausted. After a short greeting, they sat down together to rest.

Everyone present were pilgrims who’d experienced a variety of things on the cruise ship and knew that Cui Zuojing was Dong Zheng’s prisoner. As a result, Cui Zuojing didn’t hide and directly went into the prisoner’s space, where he told Dong Zheng about everything that had happened since being picked up by Domingo.

“He helped you unlock the first seal?” Dong Zheng said in disbelief. There were two points that seemed impossible to comprehend. One was how Domingo knew how to unlock the queen’s seal, and the other was how he knew that Cui Zuojing bore the power and curse of time.

“Yes. Although I’m not very good at using it now, the seal seems to have really been unlocked.” Cui Zuojing paused and added, “By the way, do you know what his ability is? Did he ever mention his ability?”

“He did. It seems to be the ability to deform objects.”

“When?”

“In the canyon, I don’t remember the specifics. Anyway, that’s what he said.”

Cui Zuojing murmured, “Even if he deliberately lied, there’s no way to verify it.”

They didn’t speak for a while. From the very beginning since meeting Domingo, Dong Zheng had felt a sense of crisis, though this feeling was mostly coming from his emotional intuition.

“Enough about him. How about you? How are you? If I’m not mistaken, your abilities had evolved?” Cui Zuojing no longer wanted to think about it. There were so many things worth thinking about that there was no need to spend too much time on one Domingo.

“There is a temple in my kernel. I haven’t been able to visit it yet. It’ll probably take a while for this to happen.”

Cui Zuojing said, “When your mental energy broke out, I knew that you had an awakening. I remembered that Fu Zhe’s own evolution was also quite scary. He was able to directly hypnotize all the creatures in the dungeon, including the monsters and NPCs.”

With the prisoner link in place, Cui Zuojing could get information from the outside world through Dong Zheng’s eyes and ears. Dong Linhai and Allen were sleeping together. Meanwhile, Lin Hangzhi took Victor over to heal Beverly, and Wang Que was sitting by the pool of water, washing her hair.

Knowing that Dong Zheng must be very tired, he stopped talking and just said, “You take a rest. The other people will probably arrive tomorrow. After confirming the completion of the codex, we’ll directly set out for the Sealed Land.”

Dong Zheng agreed. He was really tired. He adjusted himself into a comfortable posture and laid on the grass to rest. But, before closing his eyes, he glanced in Domingo’s direction and saw that the other person was also looking at him from a distance.

Dong Zheng ignored him. His kernel was still a bit disturbed and needed to rest, so he went to sleep on his own.

It was a dreamless night.

After a night of rest, everyone’s spirits improved by a lot. They exchanged a few words with each other briefly, selected a few people to find food, and packed the rest to prepare to go to the Sealed Land.

More people arrived intermittently. By noon, a total of ten people had arrived. Dong Zheng’s team, who went north, still had all five people. Heinrich’s team, who went south, had five people. Three survivors returned from the east, while four people came back from the west. Then, there’s a single Domingo. Everyone had completed their tasks according to the codex.

They talked about their respective experiences. Allen, Wang Que, and Victor were all teleported to the entrance of an underground cave, where they soon met Argos the Hundred Eyes giant. Wang Que called out the insects hidden in the forest to cover its eyes, while Allen circled around and attacked it. After a fierce fight, they successfully defeated it and got a black gem from its chest.

The teams returning from the east and west also brought back a gem taken from a monster. These, combined with the ruby from Hydra, totalled to exactly six gems.

This box was extraordinary. If Cui Zuojing was right, every temple could be used as a place of awakening, and everyone else had their own adventures.

After exchanging information, the team that had shrunk by a half took the trophies obtained from exploring the island, and they headed to the Sealed Land marked at the beginning of the codex to complete the final task of destroying the magic seed.

The Sealed Land was in a rift valley in the center of the island, not too far from the rest area. After walking for about two hours, they could vaguely see the continuous building in the valley.

They descended into the valley. This building couldn’t be considered a temple and was even a little crude in comparison.

Tao Ji walked in front to explore the way. If there was any sudden attack, his defensive ability would prevent him from being killed immediately.

After passing through the slightly dilapidated foyer, in front of them was a long and straight corridor. Nearly a thousand meters later, their field of vision suddenly opened up. At the same time, a heat wave rose from the pavement.

Cui Zuojing couldn’t help taking a step back. They were in the stomach of the valley, and the road in front had shrank forward into a narrow pass. It was so narrow that only three people could pass side by side. In the past, it would be very easy to defend.

Under their feet was a two-meter-wide road paved with cobblestones that lead through the pass.  Thick, red magma hugged both sides, churning with bubbles and exuding billowing heat waves.

In the magma pool at the gate, there was a stone platform. A monster with a crocodile head, a lion’s upper body and a hippo’s lower body was squatting on it, watching the intruders.

In front of it was a huge balance scale.



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Anonymous
Anonymous
3 years ago

Thank you for the chapters~

Wang Que is probably the first one in the team to guess Dong Zheng's attraction to Cui Zuojing XD I wonder how much of Dong Zheng's caution towards Domingo is because he thinks he's a love rival and how much because he's suspicious. I bet Cui Zuojing would never have even imagined at the beginning that he'd one day actually feel relieved to be bound to Dong Zheng~ It was unexpectedly nice of him to thank the fish-form sage so seriously. I wonder what Domingo meant by they'll never meet again out of this box O.O Is he planning on heroically martyring himself? Things are getting tense now >.< I wonder how many new hurdles they'll have to pass before clearing this box.

Anonymous
Anonymous
3 years ago

Thank you for the chapter!

Btw, I guess Wang Que is gonna become a materialization of us Dong Zheng and Cui Zoujing shippers, lol �� She's soooooo gonna be one of the first few people to notice things, ship them both and accept them loooooool �� Victor and Fu Zhe will probably be second or third ���� I can't wait to see Wang Que shipping them again amd again lmaooooo ����♥️♥️

Nabong_uwu
Nabong_uwu
3 years ago

The balance… Maybe like in egyptian mythology they have to go through the judgment and measure if their hearts are as light as a feather…? Just guessing XD

Toast
Toast
3 years ago

It’ll make so much sense if Domingo is the future version of Dong Zheng.
1) Explains the familiarity between Domingo and Cui Zuojing (and Allen).
2) Explains the instinctive trust Dong Linhai had in Domingo (brotherly trust)
3) Explains Domingo’s wide knowledge (Dong Zheng’s ability is like a database, I feel he could easily remember/know a bunch of info)
4) Explains the crisis Dong Zheng feels (Might be a bit far-fetched this one but I think it’s due to the feeling of seeing another you in the same area.)
5) Explains Domingo’s familiarity of the cave and such.

Dreamer
Dreamer
2 years ago

Why is it always the female to first notice the feelings of the main couple AHAHAHA Maybe Wang Que could even help Dong Zheng pursue CZJ

That statue at the end of the road with a crocodile head and a lion upper body and hippo lower body is definitely a deity from Egyptian mythology. I can’t remember who with my limited knowledge.

Qi Qi
Qi Qi
2 years ago

Wan Que is aboard the ship and became one of us, let’s goo! ^o^

Ketkai
Ketkai
2 years ago

‘Holding back some special interest that was out of date’
Hahaha so you’re a person of culture as well ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Seedling
Seedling
2 years ago

“special interest that was out of date”?
Is this special interest something we all here have in common ;)?

Neo
Neo
1 year ago

What exactly is this place? Mythology info dumps??? How many countries myths are in here jesus Christ

Elea
Elea
7 months ago

I keep feeling like Domingo is DongZheng, its like another novel I’ve read – Escape the Infinite Chambers, the mc comes back from the future to complete a task