Cui Zuojing flew backward. His feet slid on the ground over a long distance before stopping with difficulties. He gazed at Cheriyu Nana, the hand gripping the handle of his sword trembling slightly. There were varying degrees of wounds on his arms and body, the most serious of which was on his left shoulder. There, the flesh had puckered out, gushing out blood that covered half of his body.
Although he’d unlocked the second seal, he’d had to use a lot of time power to send Dong Zheng back, and so his current strength was not comparable at all to how it would have been.
Cui Zuojing squeezed the Tang sword harder. Only in this way would the shaking of his hand not be so noticeable.
In this pure white nothingness, it was unclear how long they’d been fighting. But he was on the brink of exhaustion. This entire void was nourishment for Cheriyu Nana, and it would transform according to her wishes. Therefore, not only did he have to fight Cheriyu Nana, but he also had to resist the chaotic power coming at him from everywhere and anywhere, wanting to swallow him.
He wouldn’t be able to hold on for much longer.
Cheriyu Nana held a katana in her hand. Cui Zuojing’s blood dripped down the blade toward the tip.
Compared to the young man who was like an arrow at the end of its flight, she was no less relaxed. With these ten moves, she could see that Cui Zuojing had made a lot of progress. Cheriyu Nana raised her hand and brushed back the strands of black hair clinging to her sweat soaked cheek. She said, “You know you don’t have a chance of winning here. What are you still persisting for?”
Cui Zuojing looked at her closely and his voice had a sneer in it as he said, “There is still hope, because I have companions that I trust, unlike you.”
Cheriyu Nana knew that he was talking about Dong Zheng, the man he’d sent back to the past. She shook her head and said, “Even if he went back, he wouldn’t be able to change anything. If he really changes the past, you wouldn’t exist anymore.”
Cui Zuojing sneered and said, “Is that so?”
“I have already made an agreement with the Queen and she’d consented to not kill you. You just need to transfer the powers from you and Victor to the other heirs.” She paused for a moment and whispered, “You two can live, so what is wrong with that?”
“Has what happened not taught you enough? I would never believe any nonsense coming from the Queen.” Cui Zuojing raised his left hand and pointed the tip of his sword at Cheriyu Nana. He said, “Come on then. If you really want my time power, then come and kill me first.”
Cheriyu Nana looked at him and from her eyes flashed a trace of pain. She tightened the grip on her katana and whispered, “I really don’t want to.”
Metals clang loudly as their swords met. When this battle was over, could he still stand as he did now? Cui Zuojing didn’t know, but he knew that if he persisted for a bit longer, if he waited long enough, Dong Zheng would come.
The Tang sword broke with a sharp snap and the clotting wound on his left shoulder broke open again. Blood gushed out. Cui Zuojing fell to the ground, his arm so numb that he could hardly lift it up. Cheriyu Nana planted her foot on his stomach and held her sword at his neck, drawing a thin line of blood.
“Are you going to kill me?” Cui Zuojing laid on the ground in a wretched state, his stomach churning violently. To be precise, he didn’t feel well anywhere on his body.
“I won’t kill you. I’ve said it, I only need your power.” Although the youth seemed to no longer be resisting, Cheriyu Nana dared not relax. She was facing Cui Zuojing, after all. Even in desperate situations, he could still tear out a line of hope.
Cui Zuojing looked at her quietly without speaking, the emotions in his eyes completely unreadable.
Cheriyu Nana whispered, “Who can stay the same?”
“That’s right,” Cui Zuojing agreed. Suddenly, he looked over her shoulder and smiled an incomparably brilliant smile, full of relief and cunning. Cheriyu Nana immediately had a bad feeling. She turned her head to look behind her and saw a pair of hands unexpectedly appear from the void, immediately followed by the person himself.
Cui Zuojing took the opportunity to urge the little time power left in his body. The two seals on his wrists radiated light, and he forcibly and momentarily froze the power of chaos!
The man with smoke-gray eyes threw out a small glass bottle with a dark purple liquid floating inside it. The glass bottle crossed a parabola in the air and was caught by Cui Zuojing. Without hesitation, he pulled off the cork and poured the Demon God’s blood into his mouth!
Under Cheriyu Nana’s incredulous eyes, an immense amount of power erupted from Cui Zuojing’s body, violently crashing into his blood vessels and meridians. The three seals on his wrist lit up one after another, absorbing the power that didn’t belong to Cui Zuojing at all!
Under the powerful fluctuations, Cheriyu Nana had no choice but to condense the power of chaos to protect herself. Meanwhile, the Ω amulet protected Dong Zheng from attack. Cui Zuojing emitted a dazzling light, accompanied by clear and audible sounds. Under the impact of the Demon God’s blood, the final third seal shattered!
Cui Zuojing spit out a mouthful of blood. His eyes glowed orange as an unprecedentedly powerful energy filled his body. All the churning energy inside his body was finally tamed by his final unblocked power.
Now he was no longer a prisoner, but a lord of the Pure White Realm.
The Queen’s seal could no longer bind him.
Dong Zheng tossed the scepter of time at Cui Zuojing, who firmly caught it. The hourglass at the top of the scepter was already broken, and the silver star sands inside were long gone. But the moment he touched the scepter, the silver coin in Cui Zuojing’s chest pocket became burning hot—it was the silver coin the fish-form sage had given him in the Western Temple.
The silver coin rose into the sky, shattered into powder under the power of time, funneled into the hourglass, which began to flow once again. As Cui Zuojing held the scepter in his hand, a Mobius ring rose from his feet and twisted into the shape of a clock, representing a blessing from Ion.
At this moment, he was not a pilgrim, not Cui Zuojing, but a Lord of the Pure White Realm .
Cui Zuojing waved his scepter, and though his voice was not loud, it rang clearly in everyone’s ears, “Go back.”
Cheriyu Nana’s eyes widened in disbelief. She finally broke free and stepped forward, swinging her sword at Cui Zuojing’s arm. But right before she managed to touch the young man, her body began to move backward.
Not only she, but Dong Zheng also began to move in reverse, retreating outside the canvas. As the power of time spread to envelope everything, time began to run countercurrent—Dong Zheng’s eyes and hair turned black again; the cat’s stiff body became warm and soft again; the tightly closed walls moved away, the doctor held the death card; the girl pinned to the wall fell to the ground and blinked suspiciously; the festering bloodied flesh on the youth’s body healed, and a girl with short hair crawled out from the depths of a dark cave.
Meanwhile, the power of body gushed out from Dong Zheng’s kernel and entered Victor, who shifted from a white cat into a blonde Russian man. The brand of sin on Dong Zheng and Cui Zuojing’s face disappeared, and the scenes in front of everyone became blurred.
The world’s time was reversing, opposing the course of entropy. Death and life, hope and despair interweaved as the power of time turned everything backward.
During this entire process, Dong Zheng felt a dizzying blur. Something seemed to have passed through him, seeming to affect him.
It seemed that a long time had passed and that only seconds had passed. When Dong Zheng’s vision was clear again, he realized that he was standing in the old castle. And not only was it just him, Cui Zuojing, Victor, Dong Linhai, Wang Que, Lin Hangzhi, and Xia Qiongyun…all members of the Wonton Insurgency were there.
Dong Linhai stared down at his hands in disbelief. His last memory stopped when he turned his wrist guards into a gun and sent a bullet into his mouth.
“This is…What happened?”
The door to the study room opened and Fu Zhe rushed out. He looked down at the group standing in the living room, and the moment he met Cui Zuojin’s eyes, he understood what had happened.
Cui Zuojing held the light scepter and dropped his hand. He said solemnly to Fu Zhe, “Nana is the new heir and Rose Church was a trap the Queen had set for us.”
Fu Zhe tightened his grip on the railing. But at this moment, it wasn’t Cui Zuojing’s words that caught most of his attention. As he rushed down from the second floor, his eyes swept across everyone’s faces, and finally he looked at the calendar on the wall.
It was the day the team went to the Rose Church.
“I’ve turned back time,” Cui Zuojing confirmed Fu Zhe’s conjecture. He was extremely calm as he said, “Except for Dong Zheng and Uncle, everyone had died in the Queen’s trap. I was caught by Cheriyu Nana and pulled into the realm of chaos. At the last moment, Uncle and I sent Dong Zheng back in time.”
Fu Zhe looked at Dong Zheng and murmured, “You’re Domingo.”
Dong Zheng nodded. He looked at the squad with a strong sense of unreality—A few minutes ago, under the protection of the amulet, he returned to the gallery of Rose Church and discovered Victor’s ice-cold corpse underneath the canvas that was exuding a strong chaotic force. Cui Zuojing was inside, struggling to withstand Cheriyu Nana’s attacks. Holding the broken scepter and the blood of the Demon God, he’d forcibly broken in.
After that…everything returned back to the point where nothing had happened yet.
“What are you going to do now?” Fu Zhe asked.
“Continue to enter the Rose Church. I must end this.” Cui Zuojing’s tone was extremely firm. He looked at everyone, and everyone who’d died tragically in the box were full of incredulousness and unconcealed terror. They’d endured death and extreme suffering. But now, these tragedies have yet to happen.
“Are you still willing to go again?”
Victor took the lead and said firmly, “Of course.”
Dong Linhai swallowed. Up to now, the pain from the ulcerations and internal bleeding still lingered in the depths of his soul. But he still said, “If this is the only most useful method now, then of course it would be fine.”
Wang Que clenched her fists, and remembered how her hands were pierced through. “I think I would like to avenge myself.”
Lin Hangzhi held the Tarot cards tightly and couldn’t help but murmured, “The Tarot Death card is sincere and does not deceive…”
Xia Qiongyun asked, “Is it too late?”
Time in the entire Pure White Realm had been reversed, but they still had their memories of the past. This would likely include Cheriyu Nana in the void. This being the case, she would definitely leave that place, unwilling to wait for Cui Zuojing to exact his revenge. But what Cui Zuojing wanted to accomplish was far more than just vengeance.
The moment the third seal was lifted, he had spied the truth about the box. Now what he wanted was not simply to clear the Rose Church box, but to enter the real world behind the box.
After telling the others what he wanted, Cui Zuojing finally said, “It will be incredibly risky, but with Dong Zheng, the chances of success are still great. If we succeed, this will be our final fight.”
“I believe you.” Dong Zheng stretched out his hand and said first, “I also believe that it is possible.”
Cui Zuojing put his hand on top of Dong Zheng’s hand. After that, Victor, Dong Linhai, Wang Que, Lin Hangzhi, and Xia Qiongyun put their hands on top one after another. Fu Zhe finally stretched out his hand and said, “Although I can’t take action, I will always be here to back you up. If there are any dangers, immediately come with a key. Don’t be afraid that the castle will be invaded.”
They all raised their stacked hands, each shouting, “Come on!”
The experience of dying, the lingering haze of death, and the fear of the unknown had all turned into courage and confidence. They had struggled again and again and again, so how could they not dare face it now.
They briefly talked about what they had encountered in Rose Church and discussed preliminary countermeasures. They needed to be expedient. If they delayed too long, the box was likely to be closed by the dangerous Kether. So, no more than ten minutes later, the team left the castle and went to the living room of the apartment. Once more, they re-entered the box with the rose and cross pattern.
Xixi: Due to a family tragedy, I won’t have time to post as often, at least for the next few weeks.