IWOL Chapter 319: I’ll Wait for You

The armored black mist seemed to be completely focused on him. No matter how much he tried to throw it off, it could find Cui Zuojong’s exact location after a short period of time. The church had a total of three floors. Using the stairs on both sides and his own speed, he was only able to buy himself five minutes before the armor found him again.

The sight of Wang Que’s tragic death was a heavy weight on Cui Zuojing’s heart. He didn’t know how his teammates were doing. Even up to now, he still hadn’t met any of them. This box was definitely a trap the heirs had prepared for them.

He walked the second floor of the church, and when he passed the corner, he suddenly felt a faint chaotic force, slowly seeping through the gap in the wall.

Nana?

Cui Zuojing stopped. The power of time and the power of chaos echoed each other, allowing him to judge the exact direction at once. Behind the wall, there was a secret room.

He seemed to have found the place where Nana was held, but he couldn’t feel happy at all.

The power of chaos came from behind a wall covered by a large cross. The door was locked with an ingenious mechanism. Cui Zuojing studied it for a while. Before he could figure out the lock, the armor was on his tail again. He could only put aside the work at hand and once again try to throw it off.

In the second visit, Cui Zuojing stood in front of the secret door with a lighted candle in his hand, which he brought back so he wouldn’t have to worry about trying to find a light source.

Cui Zuojing covered his mouth and coughed twice. Then he stretched out his hand to touch his swollen lymph nodes.

Thinking about the rotting corpses and the baby who died in his arms, Cui Zuojing’s heart was inevitably heavy. He still didn’t know when he would meet up with Victor. But he was an adult, so even if he got sick, it wouldn’t set in too quickly, right?

Time was urgent. Cui Zuojing thought about it carefully and managed to successfully unlock the mechanical lock. He pushed open the small hidden door, lowered his head, and walked in. The candlelight illuminated the paintings along the wall of the narrow dark passage. As he looked at the paintings, Cui Zuojing was stunned.

Memories from ten years ago roared into life. The scenes in the paintings were all the scenes he’d seen in the boxes he’d entered when he came to the Pure White Realm for the first time.

Him, Fu Zhe, Victor, Luo Yan, and Nana once walked through these scenes, helping each other through difficulties, starting as newcomers who knew nothing and growing into legends.

He held the candle and moved forward step by step. Each painting was a box he had entered in the past. Even now, he could still clearly remember many details inside.

The sounds of his footsteps echoed in the cramped room, and Cui Zuojing looked away from the high tower of the ancient city in one painting to the painting next to it.

He saw himself.

He was 16 years old and he had a long knife in his hand and blood stains on his face. He was wearing a blue and white dress. Cui Zuojing frowned. He clicked his tongue and moved the candle down until it illuminated the small, black word “Dolly” in the lower right hand corner of the painting.

The queen’s handwriting.

Just like Dong Zheng had guessed, Cui Zuojing didn’t react much. He just admired the painting indifferently, rolled his eyes, and looked at the next one.

It was an empty canvas with nothing on it.

But the power of chaos was coming through it, and Cui Zuojing knew at once that Nana was inside.

The empty canvas corresponded to chaos.

“Nana?” Cui Zuojing asked softly, “Are you inside?”

No answer.

In this place, he had to guard against the Queen’s heirs. It likely wouldn’t be easy for him to rescue Nana with his strength alone. First, he needed to meet up with his companions and join power with Victor.

He didn’t move forward any longer. The armored black mist was still after him. If it blocked the door of the secret room, it would be troublesome for him to escape. Cui Zuojing turned around to leave.

Just when he was about to walk away, a hand stretched out from behind the painting and gripped his wrist.

——

“Dong Zheng?”

Someone seemed to be impatiently shouting his name through a fog. Dong Zheng slowly opened his eyes and saw that a long-haired girl sitting beside him, shaking his shoulder.

Recognizing Luo Yan, Dong Zheng was shocked and immediately sat up. It had been eight months since they met Cheriyu Nana in the Endless Sea. In that period of time, Luo Yan had not looked for him or anyone else in the team again, which had made everyone faintly suspicious.

“Where is this?” Dong Zheng looked around. He was still in a church, though it was obviously not the same church. Dim lights broke in through the shattered windows, barely able to illuminate the walls and the stone slabs on the floor, which was dirty with black blood stains. The rotten smell was nauseating. A cross hung slanted on the wall and a crow stood upon it, while rats scampered out from dark corners and walked undaunted among the piles of corpses.

“1349, France,” Luo Yan said. “In your dream.”

The sight in front of him made Dong Zheng realize that this was the time when the Black Death was raging across Europe. In just three years, the plague spread by rodents had nearly destroyed the entire European continent. People begged the omniscient and omnipotent God, confessed their sins to Him, flogged themselves for Him, but to no avail. They could only try their best to prevent the disease from spreading. From then on, the surviving Europeans began to doubt the existence of God, and only then did the Renaissance emerge.

The situation in the box was similar to it. It was just that this pestilence was replaced with a more concealed and difficult-to-prevent meme, obviously aimed at Victor.

After all, since he was the Master of Body, they needed to use a source of infection that he could not actively fight against.

Luo Yan pulled Dong Zheng up, stepped over the pile of corpses, and walked outside into the faint morning light. Dong Zheng followed her and looked at the dead all around the withered forest.

“They moved faster than I thought. I didn’t anticipate this. She unexpectedly held this information from me,” Luo Yan said. “The Queen has been looking for my whereabouts. For my own safety, I had to stay away. But now, Wang Que is dead.”

“What?!”

“Wang Que is dead, your brother is dead, and the doctor is dead. Now, the girl with the power of speech is also dead. The only ones still alive are you, Victor, and Ah’Zuo. But Ah’Zuo is in great danger. He’s infected.”

…What?

Everyone…dead?

Darkness swung in front of Dong Zheng’s eyes. For a moment, his body became unstable and shook. For one brief moment, he was almost certain that Luo Yan was the new heir; otherwise, why would she say something like this? She was definitely lying to him, wanting to interfere with his mentality. Yes, this must be it!

But Dong Zheng couldn’t deceive himself like this. Rationality and cold pragmatism told him that Luo Yan’s words were the truth.

It had only been two hours since they entered the box.

How could this be possible?!

Luo Yan didn’t want to see Dong Zheng’s reaction. Looking at the withering trees, she quickly said, “You met Cheriyu Nana in the Endless Sea and she told you that the Queen has a new heir, right?”

Dong Zheng pulled his mind back from this horrific news. His voice trembled uncontrollably, and he barely managed to squeeze out an answer, “Yes.”

“The new heir isn’t me. You’ve been deceived.” Luo Yan turned to look at Dong Zheng. “This exceeded my expectations; they wanted to catch you all at once.”

“I really wasn’t concealing this from you. Please believe me that I will never harm any of you.”

“If you believe me, hurry and find Ah’Zuo. He’ll be drawn to the gallery on the second floor, where Cheriyu Nana will be waiting for him.” Luo Yan waved her hand and the power of dream flowed and shaped into a scepter that Dong Zheng recognized at a glance.

He was surprised. “This is—”

“You’ve seen it, right?” The scepter melted and changed into an Ω shape object. “If Ah’Zuo made the same decision as I thought he would, then this…is our last hope.”

The scene in front of Dong Zheng suddenly blurred, as if a highly myopic person suddenly took off his glasses. Only Luo Yan’s voice echoed in his ears. As Dong Zheng was thrown from the dream world, it turned into a whispering murmur:

“…You’ve guessed it a long time ago, didn’t you?”

Dong Zheng’s eyes snapped open.

He was in the hallway of the church, and Victor was clutching him hard. Seeing that he was awake, Victor let out a sigh of relief. “Just now, you were walking and suddenly fainted.”

“Luo Yan found me.” Dong Zheng grabbed Victor’s arm, his fingers nearly digging into Victor’s flesh. With his last sentence, everything became clear in an instant. “The new heir is Cheriyu Nana! We’ve all—”

Boom!

A horrifying force burst out as the power of time and the power of chaos clashed, becoming more intense as time stretched on. They fought as if intent on destroying everything in their wake, so strong that even Dong Zheng could sense them.

“Ah’Zuo!” Dong Zheng threw himself forward and used all his strength to run upstairs at the fastest speed.

When Dong Zheng reached the hall where the hidden room was located, the armored black fog was already at the other end of the hallway, dragging its giant sword as it walked forward. The faint candlelight in the secret room was so dazzling that Dong Zheng could see Cui Zuojing at once. His body was being dragged into the canvas, his power of time bursting out as he struggled desperately to free himself. But he was unable to escape.

“Ah’Zuo!” Dong Zheng rushed forward and grabbed Cui Zuojing’s hand that was still outside the canvas.

Victor noticed the violent power of chaos in the canvas and finally realized what was happening—

Cheriyu Nana had said that she hadn’t fully grasped control of the power of chaos, but this display clearly showed that at least two of her seals were unlocked.

As Dong Zheng said, she was the new heir!

The armored black fog rushed forward, its huge body firmly blocking the only entrance, ready to behead the two sinners Dong Zheng and Cui Zuojing.

Victor and Dong Zheng grabbed Cui Zuojing’s hand together and tried to pull him out. But as more time passed, Cui Zuojing’s complexion gradually became pale. He gripped Dong Zheng’s hand and struggled to say, “…We were fooled!”

“Hold on to me!” Dong Zheng tried his best, but the suctioning force coming from the canvas was simply too strong. Even if he and Victor were both pulling with all their strength, Cui Zuojing was still sucked in little by little.

Cui Zuojing fought hard to resist Cheriyu Nana’s power of chaos, refusing to be swallowed. He gritted his teeth and asked, “Where are the others?”

Dong Zheng’s red eyes were answer enough. Cui Zuojing understood everything from his expression. Sweet, coppery blood rushed to his throat in an instant, and he sprayed out a mouthful of blood.

“Ah’Zuo!” Victor sent his power of body into Cui Zuojing’s body, quickly healing his meme-damaged body.

Cui Zuojing gritted his teeth and persisted. He knew that with his current state, and with only Victor and Dong Zheng, they were no match for the current Cheriyu Nana.

Was he going to die?

Die at the end of his pilgrimage? He clearly…clearly had already walked out of this place!

A thought rushed to Cui Zuojing’s mind. Under the demon god’s bat wings, the man with the sad blue-gray eyes stood straight like a cedar tree. All mysteries were solved; there was…one last hope!

“Dong Zheng!” Cui Zuojing immediately gave up confronting the power of chaos. Instead, he concentrated on mobilizing all his strength into one concentrated place. On the inside of his wrist, the first seal emitted a dazzling light, illuminating his pale face.

Young Ion, entangled by a snake and holding a scepter, key and thunder, stood in the middle of a mobius ring, in charge of unlimited time.

Victor understood his plan the instant he sensed the gathering power of time in Cui Zuojing’s body. Without hesitation, he grabbed Dong Zheng’s arm and injected his power of body into Dong Zheng!

“Ahhhh!”

Victor let out a roar of pain as purple light surrounded his body and the white hair on his cheeks and arms stood upright. With the inpouring of strength, the temple in Dong Zheng’s kernel made a buzzing resonance as the second floor that hadn’t yet fully developed filled with a power that didn’t belong to him. A small explosion burst in his kernel as the tyrannical mental power spread out, directly blocking and scattering the armored black fog at the door.

The pain was like having his bones pulled apart.

Dong Zheng’s body strained under the brunt of the excessively large amount of power that didn’t belong to him, and blood oozed from the pores of his skin. At the same time, his face gradually changed. The bridge of his nose rose taller, the outlines of his face deepened, and his black eyes turned into the color of a cloud-covered sky. Within a few breaths, his black hair and skin tone lightened until they took on the typical Slavic appearance!

The last force entered Dong Zheng’s body. Victor let out a scream, abruptly turned into a cat, and fell toward the ground.
Only Cui Zuojing’s upper body had yet to be completely swallowed into the canvas. He stared at his already completely different lover. Those blond hair and gray eyes, the tears in his eyes and those trembling lips, all of it were so familiar and yet so strange.

The last remaining power of time left Cui Zuojing’s fingertips and wrapped around Dong Zheng. The violent fluctuations of time ripped through space, and Dong Zheng’s figure began to fade. The hands gripping Cui Zuojing’s hand was losing temperature, as if they were no longer in the same time and space.

Tears blurred his vision. Right before he was completely swallowed into the painting, Cui Zuojing smiled at Dong Zheng and took the initiative to release his hand.

Boom—

The silent sound directly burst across Dong Zheng’s eardrums. For a moment, the world became quiet and nothing at all could be heard. Everything seemed to be warping around him at fast speed, even as the power of body enveloped him, protecting him from being torn apart by the powerful, chaotic force of time and space. He disappeared. Victor hit the ground, and Cui Zuojing completely disappeared into the painting.

At the last moment, Dong Zheng finally understood the words on Cui Zuojing’s lips.

–I’ll wait for you.

The world went dark.

It seemed that only a second had passed, and it seemed that several years had passed. The concept of time blurred. All Dong Zheng knew was that, when his vision finally cleared, the first thing he saw was the Endless Sea outside the window.

He collapsed to the floor as his kernel shook uncontrollably, exuding a strong mental fluctuation. Pain tore through Dong Zheng’s head, and though he didn’t have any obvious wounds on his body, blood continued to gush out from his pores, dripping onto the floor.

The temple and his kernel tried their utmost to digest and integrate Victor and Cui Zuojing’s powers to Dong Zheng. After a full 20 minutes, when everything finally stopped, the neat floorboard beneath Dong Zheng was covered in his blood.

The power of body healed his injuries in the next moment. When Dong Zheng was finally able to struggle up to his feet, he suddenly found that there was a person lying flat on the bed. The person’s eyes were closed, his nose and mouth were covered in blood, and he was dead.

His brain had been completely destroyed by Dong Zheng’s kernel, and he’d died without even realizing it.
He had seen…this scene before.

Dong Zheng staggered and rushed to the window. The luxury cruise ship was cutting through the Endless Sea. The water reflected the dazzling sunlight, and everything was peaceful and bright.

So…familiar.

Dong Zheng looked back at the pilgrim on the bed who’d died because of him. He should be sorrowful and repentant, but at this moment, he had no more sorrows to squander.

His brother and his companions were dead, his lover was dragged into the chaos to face the Queen’s new heir, and he bore the weight of everyone’s strength and hope and returned to the past.

Dong Zheng entered the bathroom and stood in front of the mirror. He turned on the faucet and slowly washed away the blood on his face and hands.

As the pink water flowed into the drain, Dong Zheng stared at the blond and gray-eyed man in the mirror, and the person in the mirror quietly stared back at him. Two years ago, he’d met a Spaniard named Domingo.

And now, he was Domingo.

—Volume 14: Rose Church [Ends]—


Xixi: So Nana was the one killing everyone off, such as moving Dong Linhai from the secret room, directly killing Wang Que, trapping Lin Hangzhi in the death room, and grabbing Xia Qiongyun. Makes perfect sense now, since the box is her home, and with her power of chaos, she’s the boss of it. It was probably Wang Que’s death that caught Luo Yan’s attention.


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Allison
Allison
1 year ago

Finally dong zheng is domingo!

Kimberlee
Kimberlee
1 year ago

This story is destroying me right now

Nabong_uwu
Nabong_uwu
1 year ago

Nana’s betrayal hurts so much.

Lounaya
Lounaya
1 year ago

betrayal hurts 🙁

Mememe
Mememe
1 year ago

That was literally the most tragic thing I’ve read in a while goddamn

yel
yel
1 year ago

why am i not suprised at nana’s betrayal. if she was a character that was with us for a long time, i would have felt betrayed too. but since she had been missing for a long time and we really didn’t know her at all, i kinda expected her betrayal. and now, domingo is going to save the day. so the reason why domingo stayed in the dusk island back then was to defeat the creature that represents the chaos??

bmb
bmb
11 months ago

I liked nana more than luo yan so this hurts damn!

Ritsuka
Ritsuka
10 months ago

Ohhh so i had thought maybe Domingo came from another failed timeline but i guess asian people just love the cycle of time concepts.Its all gonna be in the same timeline

I dunno
I dunno
10 months ago

So…yeah…pretty much what I’ve anticipated…nice

nico
nico
7 months ago

her betrayal is even more painful to me than if it was actually LY, especially when zuojing talked abt her. this is really fucking painful and i can’t stop crying bc i can feel the pain they transmit, the pain of betrayal, the pain of death, the pain of everything mixed up..it really hurts a lot

theeggmonger
theeggmonger
1 month ago

So much pain and so much revealed. Thabk you for the chapters