Tang Ji spread his arms and raised his head to breathe the cold air. The feeling of power surging through his limbs was so wonderful. He had never…he had never felt better than he did now!
In the past, he’d felt the cold rain dulling his five senses even before it could touch him. Now that it could be blocked by the power of chaos, he was no longer as fearful as he once was. Excitement flashed in Tang Ji’s eyes. He had wanted Cheriyu Nana’s power for a long time. After ten years, he didn’t expect that he would get it so easily.
Once he got news from Chang Hui that Dong Zheng had destroyed Kether, he took on the appearance of one of their teammates to trick Cui Zuojing away. Although the power of chaos was extremely powerful and quite easy to use, Lin Hangzhi was wholly unprepared. Not only that, the cold rain around Chang Hui also suppressed the full strength of the power. These things together made it possible for Tang Ji to succeed so easily.
Tang Ji looked at the girl next to him. Chang Hui only reached his shoulder, and she looked like she was only 13 to 14 years old. But he knew that she was by no means that young. She was like this when he’d met her. Though ten years had passed, time had left no marks on her body.
Chang Hui also raised her head to look at him quietly. The paper umbrella was slanted on her shoulder, and rain fell from the edges of the umbrella in a string. Her shoulder-length black hair outlined her sickly pale cheeks. She wore a short navy blue coat and black trousers and shoes. She looked like a girl who’d just walked out from the era of the Republic of China, looking so quiet and beautiful.
The ecstasy of gaining power gradually calmed, replaced by a kind of fanatical yearning. Staring into Chang Hui’s eyes, Tang Ji took a step forward. He’d held her in his heart for several years now but had never spoken to her about it due to his lack of qualifications. Now he could finally say it.
“Do you think I’m qualified to be with you now?”
The sky was gloomy, filled with thick smoky clouds, and the rain fell ruthlessly. Chang Hui didn’t say anything and only smiled at Tang Ji.
To Tang Ji, this action was an affirmation. He could no longer restrain his excitement. Standing under Chang Hui’s umbrella, he held her cold face with both hands, and lowered his head.
When his lips touched her bloodless lips, Chang Hui did not evade him. Tang Ji’s lips were fresh and warm, and his breathing was hot.
She couldn’t remember how long it had been since she’d felt this kind of warm temperature.
When the blood splashed on her face, Chang Hui was also warmed by this hot blood, and she felt a long-awaited happiness.
At some point in time, the little beast that had never left Chang Hui’s body had moved to stand on Tang Ji’s shoulder. It’s curved claw was now stabbed through his throat. Tang Ji’s snake fell stiffly from the edge of the bush where it had been hiding. It died in the freezing rain.
Exactly like when Tang Ji easily killed Lin Hangzhi, he wasn’t vigilant and the cold rain was also suppressing the power of chaos. So, the tragedy that he casted onto Lin Hangzhi was now repeated onto him.
Tang Ji’s vocal cord was shredded, and he could only make a piercing, wheezing sound. The blood squirting out of his throat splattered on Chang Hui’s face and dripped along her pointed chin onto her pants. Facing the young man’s horrified eyes, she stretched out her hand and gently stroke his cheek. Her blood-stained lips opened slightly, so that her voice reached Tang Ji’s ears as light as a butterfly flapping its wings.
“You can’t even die for me. What’s the use of talking about loving me?”
The gray light rushed out of Tang Ji’s chest, and instantly fell into Chang Hui’s thin body. She grabbed Tang Ji’s wrist, gripping tightly as he tried to retreat with his hand clutching his bloody throat.
This was…how warm it was!
It wasn’t until the heart in his chest stopped beating did Chang Hui finally let go. The teenager leaning on her shoulder was dead. She gently laid Tang Ji on the ground, and when she stood up again, her whole body was soaked with blood.
“Dophie, it’s time.”
The seven-tailed, three-eyed little white beast returned to her feet and whimpered, just as it did in the distant past as it waited for its little master.
Chang Hui looked up at the raining sky and put away the paper umbrella for the first time.
The space power she’d traded from Cerberus, the dream power that Luo Yun had lent her, and the complete chaos power that she had just acquired surrounded her. The lavender, dark blue, and gray blended together into a fantastic wash of color.
The first drop of rain fell on her, bringing deep pain to her bones.
Having finally noticed the long-awaited breath, a black phantom from another world emerged from the sky. It’s greedy whisper was a dull rumbling. Mass of flesh of hundreds of meters twisted and stretched out countless arms, penetrating the interlaced space, and reaching for Chang Hui!
Chang Hui took a step forward.
In that brief moment, the power of space allowed the Pure White Realm to overlap with another world. The dark blue dream power spread out, and the old shadows of the past reappeared in front of her, stretching back time and space.
The mountains were endless, sheltering the village built at its base. Living in one of the old houses in the village was a couple who were well-known to be impoverished.
This couple, who farmed for sustenance, had a daughter. This young child was the only light in their monotonous life of poverty. When the child was three years old, they suddenly discovered that this tiny little girl, who had always been quiet since birth, often fainted inexplicably. Her lips and fingers would turn purplish blue, and while other children run wild in the mountains and fields, this child could barely take two steps before having to stop and rest.
They went to the county town to find a doctor. The moment the result came out was also the beginning of all tragedies—Their young daughter, whom they regarded as a pearl nestled in the palm of their hands, had severe congenital heart disease. Without surgery, the child would not even live to be the age of ten.
But they didn’t have the money for treatment, and even the series of examinations done in the county took up the family’s entire year of hard-earned savings.
So the couple could only return to the village in the mountain with their child.
They took care of their daughter more carefully and did not dare to let her have any form of strenuous exercise. Every day, they carried their precious daughter in a bamboo basket to the farmland. While they were busy, the girl would sit on a bench under the shade of a tree and look at the figure of her toiling parents. She was very sensible and would only ever cry quietly.
When she was seven years old, she found a white newborn pup in the corner of their backyard. She took the dying puppy home, named it Dophie, and took care of it like her parents took care of her.
So from then on, there was a little white dog jumping beside the girl who was waiting for the couple under the shade of a tree. With its company, she no longer felt lonesome.
As she grew older, it became more difficult for her weak heart to provide oxygen to her growing body. The distraught couple consulted a doctor in the county and made a simple respirator with a rubber tube connected to an inflatable air bag. Every night, when the girl went to bed, the tube would be inserted into her mouth, and her parents would take turns sitting next to her bed, holding the airbag and squeezing it regularly, so that their little girl wouldn’t die from asphyxiation in her sleep.
They did this every night, and their daughter shockingly lived to the age of thirteen.
But by this time, the girl could hardly hold on anymore.
She lost her breath several times a day, her lower limbs gradually swelled up, and her pulmonary circulation caused her to repeatedly and easily catch colds and infections. Finally, in a high fever, she ushered in a most terrible complication—pneumonia.
In the middle of the night, she burned to a full forty degrees and almost lost consciousness. The desperate couple carried the child on their backs, took the fully grown white dog, and embarked on a path up the mountain with a lamp to light their way.
There was a local legend that, in the deepest part of the mountain, there was an ancestral hall where unknown gods and Buddhas were enshrined. As long as one was sincere enough, one’s wish would be satisfied.
They took turns carrying their unconscious daughter, with the dog leading the way. No one had ever dared to set foot in the mountains in the middle of the night, not even the best hunters, for countless beasts would stare from the shadows.
But they didn’t care. After walking for a whole day and night, they finally located the legendary ancestral hall deep in the forest.
The abandoned ancestral hall was covered in dirt, and the statues of benevolent gods stood high, looking down on the people kneeling below. The couple held their child, and they cried and begged the gods for help.
—Please save her, save our only child.
They knelt on the ground and knocked their foreheads bloodied on the floor. The only sound in the ancestral hall was the muffled sounds of their foreheads hitting the floor and the girl’s painful coughs. The mother held the girl’s hand tightly, feeling as if her daughter’s hand was already curling up.
—If you really are gods, please save our child!
It was unknown how long they prayed and begged, but the couple suddenly heard a voice. The deep voice seemed to have come from another world, ringing in their ears.
To save her, are you willing to give up everything?
—Willing! As long as we can save her, we are willing to give up everything!
They expressed their utmost sincerity to the statue. If their daughter could be saved, they were willing to become its most devout believers and to bow down day and night to it.
So the god saved her.
While wrapped in her mother’s arm, the girl’s breathing gradually became normal. The terrifying heat in her body subsided, and her muffled cough was gone. Her pale lips became slightly less pale, and although her heart, which was so weak that it might stop at any time, didn’t fully recover, it still continued to keep working.
The couple’s eyes were full of tears, but before they had time to be happy, the whole ancestral hall exploded.
The benevolent gods shattered. Bricks exploded, exposing the family of three to the sky. Clouds gathered, and a cold rain began to fall. A huge black shadow rose from the sky, standing hundreds of meters tall. Countless arms stretched out from its body, and with a roar from its mouth, the arms shot toward them.
It turned out that there had never been any gods or Buddhas. It was a ferocious demon who had answered their prayers.
He saved her, but the price of salvation was that she become his bride.
A rain so cold that it chilled the bones locked the bride’s breath.
Chang Hui still remembered that when she opened her eyes from her deep fatigue, what she saw was her parents holding her tightly in their arms, using their own body to block the rain and to protect their newly awakened child.
The freezing rain filled with the will of the evil god was absolutely deadly to ordinary people. Their flesh and blood began to melt little by little in the rain. Chang Hui heard her own heartbreaking sobs as her parents’ blood began to flow onto her face. It was as warm as the eternal hugs they offer her during her most painful and uncomfortable moments.
The grown-up little white dog, her best playmate, was writhing in pain in the rain. It wiggled so much that tails grew one after another. Its blue eyes became blood-red, and a crack appeared in the center of its eyes. When it opened, it was revealed to be a third eye.
The rain continued to fall. The evil god searched for traces of his bride, until—a ray of light rose from the couple as their dense and boneless bodies began to merge.
A miracle that was difficult to describe in words happened at this moment. Their broken bodies slowly floated up and blended with each other. Their bones became umbrella bones, and their flesh turned into an umbrella face. They made themselves into a paper umbrella, forever keeping their daughter safe from the cold rain.
The scene created by the power of dream was so real that the evil god in the sky continued to look for his bride. Chang Hui saw herself sobbing underneath the umbrella. At some point, Dophie had crawled to her side and was licking the tears from her cheeks.
Chang Hui stepped into the void, and rain fell on her. The evil god finally found traces of his bride and stretched out his greedy arms. But now, she was no longer afraid!
She’d spent thirty years wandering in various worlds, trying every means to get as much power as possible, just for this day!
From that point onward, she no longer cared about anyone’s love, because two people had loved her more than life itself.
The terrifying power of chaos condensed in her hands. In the role of the Master of Chaos, she made a sharp blade hundreds of meters long. In the cold rain, Chang Hui rushed to the evil demon in the sky, tears finally spilling out of her eyes.
“My mom and dad… give them back to me!!!”
Xixi: Tang Ji is probably the shortest holder of the power of chaos ever. Also, I love how Chang Hui doesn’t want romantic love; she just wants to be a boss and fight her own demons.