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Chapter 227 There’s someone here!
There was light, water, wind, plants, animals. If you didn’t look up at the sky, it would be no different from the purest of nature. But the dark sky told them that this was another world completely. There was no sun, no moon, no stars. Where the light came from and where the water flowed from was unclear. There was no night. The only way to tell time was from instinct, and Nan-er’s reminders.
Judging from the width and length of the Death Abyss, this world shouldn’t be that big, perhaps only a few thousand meters. Although there were animals, there probably wouldn’t be people here. He didn’t believe that anyone could have fallen down here like he and Ning Xue did and survive. Plus, in such a small world, if there was really someone here, two years would be far too long for them not to have discovered him and Ning Xue already.
The world was so big that it held every wonder. That was what Ye Wuchen thought as he observed this world.
Two years. Ning Xue hadn’t grown taller, fatter or thinner. Even her white hair hadn’t grown longer. The dress she wore was still that same mysterious white princess dress, without a speck of dust or signs of wear and tear. He no longer had doubts about her true identity, but he was unwilling to care. No matter who she was, how much her other identity was shocking, she would always be his Ning Xue.
“Perhaps it’s not so bad to be here forever. That way I’ll never have to worry about someone taking her from me. I don’t have the strength to protect her any more.” Ye Wuchen told himself. Ning Xue’s other identity meant that certain things he didn’t want to see occur would eventually happen. If anything, this world was the perfect hiding place from all that.
Thinking about this, he quietly tightened his arms around Ning Xue. Ning Xue also responded in kind.
Before them was a forested area. Each tree’s trunk was incredibly thick. Occasionally you can see several fruit trees sprouting fruits that couldn’t be found outside. This was also where Ning Xue picked fruit every day. Ye Wuchen felt the skinny little shoulder supporting him start to tremble, her breathing became heavy. He hurriedly lightened his weight and said with concern, “Xue, let’s go sit in the woods for a bit.”
The moment he stepped into the woods, Ye Wuchen’s body stiffened. He stopped dead.
“Big bro?” Ning Xue looked up, confused. He was staring straight ahead, unresponsive.
After a long time, he finally spoke. “Take me over there so we can sit down.”
The two of them sat down, leaning against a big tree. The short walk left Ye Wuchen sore and weak. Taking a few deep breaths, he called out softly, “Xiang Xiang, come on out.”
A light streaked past, a small figure appearing within the white light and floating near Ye Wuchen. Standing on his shoulder, she began to murmur in high-pitched “yi-ya-yi-ya” tones, words that neither of them could understand.
“Go pick a fruit, a blue one.” Ye Wuchen extended his finger to poke her, giving her a direct order. This being with a terrifying history, terrifying strength, enough to defeat even Tong Xin, had now fallen to the point where she could only help pick fruit. She had helped out with work like this quite a few times in the past few days.
The tiny girl scrunched up her mouth and made some dissatisfied sounds, but couldn’t disobey her master’s orders. All she could do was bottle up her poutiness and follow the scent. Her current power had dropped to the lowest level. Although she could still pick up a fruit as large as her body, that was about all she could accomplish.
“Xue, have you been to the opposite side of these woods?” Ye Wuchen suddenly asked.
“The other side?” Ning Xue shook her head, “I haven’t. I’ve always been afraid of getting lost, so I’ve been too scared of walking too far. Did you find something there, bro?”
Ye Wuchen nodded and sunk into thought. Ning Xue opened her small mouth, but didn’t disturb him.
“Naner, have you felt something?” Ye Wuchen closed his eyes and asked with his mind.
“Huh? No.” Naner responded quickly enough.
“Really?” Ye Wuchen’s brows furrowed in confusion.
Naner was silent for a moment before speaking again with certainty, “There’s nothing special here. Have you found something?”
“I haven’t.” Ye Wuchen said. His eyes flashed, “But something has discovered me.”
“Ah?” Naner was completely befuddled.
“Yiya! Yiya! Yiya…”
Right then, Xiang Xiang flew back. In her voice was an obvious note of panic. Ye Wuchen and Ning Xue turned their heads at the same time and found that she was flying through the air frantically. On the ground behind her chased a wild boar.
Xiang Xiang could fly in both her miniature female form and her dragon fox form, but could go no higher than two meters. After the huge drop in her power, she wasn’t quite as daring as usual…or perhaps she was already cowardly and was frightened often. When a scary boar appeared in the middle of the road, her first reaction was to turn tail and run. Seeing Xiang Xiang trying to escape, the boar had chased after her, mostly out of animalistic instinct.
Finding her harbor, Xiang Xiang dove into Ning Xue’s arms, not daring to stick her head out again. The boar also came to a stop at a distance, glaring at them.
Most of the animals in the border area of these woods were small and weak. Rarely were there ever boars. Ning Xue had glimpsed them once or twice. Unlike this encounter, each time Ning Xue hadn’t even been scared away when the boar itself was already fleeing. Ning Xue sheltered Xiang Xiang in her hands, whispering to her, “Xiang Xiang, don’t be afraid. The boar won’t bite you.”
Only then did Xiang Xiang peek her tiny head out of Ning Xue’s hands, peering at the boar nervously. How the mighty had fallen; in the past, she’d be able to kill even a fearsome tiger from a hundred meters away.
Ye Wuchen’s situation wasn’t so different from hers.
After a moment of stillness, the boar saw that they weren’t moving and began to step forward with its short little legs. It approached a few steps and, seeing that they hadn’t moved, pawed its front leg in a threatening motion, hot air spurting from its nose. Approaching bit by bit, it was prepared to attack at any moment.
Ning Xue immediately got nervous. She leaned instinctively closer to Ye Wuchen but remembered his physical condition and stood in front of him instead to protect him. Ye Wuchen extended a hand to block her off, shaking his head. “Go, Naner,” he said in his mind.
A bright golden light shone from between Ye Wuchen’s brows, the Nan Huang sword shooting out in the light, making a golden arc in the air before landing before the boar. It jumped back, yowling, and immediately turned to run away. Just like that, it disappeared.
Only then did Ning Xue and Xiang Xiang sigh a breath of relief. Ye Wuchen took the sword back, raising his head and laughing at himself, “Never thought I’d be backed into a corner like this by a wild boar.”
“Big bro, you’re going to get better. You’ll be as strong as you were in the past,” Ning Xue comforted him in a soft voice, leaning against his shoulder. Back then he walked alone amidst armies of hundreds and thousands, dyed with the blood of countless, suffering heavy wounds. Yet she hadn’t been hurt at all. Back then they were surrounded by the flash of swords and spears, but she wasn’t afraid at all. His arms were always the safest, warmest place for her. Even when they fell down the abyss, she remained safe by his side.
When he could protect her no longer, she would use her own two hands, her own skinny shoulders, to protect him instead.
After a long rest, Ye Wuchen finally managed to recover a tiny bit of strength. He stood up, one hand against a tree, “Xue, let’s go inside and take a look.”
“Inside?” Ning Xue was surprised at first, but came to his side without hesitation. With all the strength she could muster, she helped him along. The two of them, one tall and one short, started to walk into the woods one step after another.
As he walked forward, the subtle sensation he had felt earlier came closer. He became more and more certain that it wasn’t just his imagination.
What could it be?
Could it be…
Even with Ning Xue’s support, Ye Wuchen would start panting after just a hundred meters of walking. Although his body was mostly healed already and wasn’t wounded much inside or out, his current situation was even worse than someone who had just recovered from a terrible disease. Nevertheless, he persisted. The two of them rested and walked, approaching the depths of the unknown bit by bit.
One day, two days…
Their speed was basically glacial. A turtle could probably make more distance than they had in three days. At the two day mark, they had made almost ten li in the forest, but were still trapped inside of it. They hadn’t encountered any threatening beasts. The biggest one they met was still the boar from two days ago.
The sensation was getting closer and clearer.
“Hold on, Master. Stop walking!”
Ye Wuchen frowned, stepping back, and pulling Ning Xue back as well. Ning Xue glanced up at him. Eyes narrowed, Ye Wuchen asked, “What’s ahead?”
“It’s a transparent single-direction energy barrier, very strong. If you go in, there’s no coming out.” Naner shouted.
“Energy barrier? What’s it made of?”
“I don’t know. There shouldn’t be anyone here. How could there be such a neat barrier…ah, there’s someone there! Someone there!” Naner started yelling, shocked. Just as she began to shout, Ye Wuchen saw that not too far away, there was a figure, most of its body blocked from view by the overlapping shadows of trees.
There was someone here…at the bottom of Death Abyss! At the bottom of a fall that would shatter even a god’s body, there was someone living here!
In that moment, Ye Wuchen’s heart was filled with tumultuous waves. Ning Xue’s mouth was open as well, full of surprise.