Song Ci did not know that Mirror Old Man had been used to waiting in vain for a long time.
He did not even know what the light in Mirror Old Man’s eyes represented when he received a response to his feeble cry of “Little Lascivious Demon”.
Finally, Mirror Old Man wiped away his tears and said, “It’s true that I’m nothing good. I know you aren’t willing to be a demon, but I keep pleading with you repeatedly before you leave to come back and rescue me…”
Song Ci only partially understood the meaning of his words. When he left the dungeon with Rong Bai, he was even more determined to save Mirror Old Man.
A gentleman makes good on his promises, he thought.
In the next few days, Song Ci did not dare to show himself. He confined himself to his bed and feigned illness, for fear that Elder Qingyuan would brazenly search for those who broke into the back mountain.
But the strange thing was that Qingyuan did not make any ruckus.
Rong Bai went out early and came back late, still busy hunting for the fragment. While Wen Changchu had never appeared once, his life and death remained unknown. Instead, it was Zhu Yishu who had come once to visit him, even sending some medicine with the instructions to take it.
Song Ci found that among all those elders and disciples he had met so far, only Zhu Yishu seemed to be the most normal. He had a mild temper, unlike the others who wanted to kill at the slightest provocation.
After feigning sickness for a few days, Liang Jiujiu brought him some outside news. Apparently, a demon had been creating havoc in some city, and that city had sent a message to request aid from Mo Yao. Most disciples from the School of Ping Luan had left together for the city early this morning to subdue the demon.
On hearing this, Song Ci’s eyes brightened. Remembering that Dai Yanxing was in charge of the School of Ping Luan, he hurriedly asked, “Did Li Yan Zhenren go too?”
Liang Jiujiu replied, “Well, no. Li Yan Zhenren was supposed to go, but something had cropped up these two days, so he got Li Jie shizhang to go in his stead. However, Li Han shizhang had a soft spot for Li Jie shizhang and was worried that he would be hurt, so he went with them too.”
Song Ci was momentarily befuddled after listening to him before he remembered that Li Jie shizhang and Li Han shizhang that Liang Jiujiu had mentioned should be the schoolmasters of the School of Shou An and Jing Si, Wang Jie and Du Hanyan.
He raised his eyebrows and wondered, “How do you know Li Han has a soft spot for Li Jie?”
Liang Jiujiu scratched his head rather sheepishly. “I heard it from others.”
“That is to say, the ones left to handle matters in Mo Yao now are Li Yan Zhenren and Elder Qingyuan?” Song Ci asked.
“Yes.” Liang Jiujiu said, “The sect master is still traveling, and Elder Qingyi is still in seclusion.”
He was truly down on his luck. The two people who were of a threat to him had to be the ones to remain in the sect.
After listening to Liang Jiujiu’s bad news, Song Ci dejectedly lay like a corpse on the bed for a very long time. It was only when he had the urge to pee that he slowly climbed off the bed.
When he came out of the latrine, he bumped into a person.
That person was a handsome man who looked at Song Ci with a shadow of a smile on his face. “I finally found you, little one.”
Song Ci’s eyelids twitched. He twisted around to make his way back into the latrine. The moment he extended his head in, someone grabbed him by the back collar and hauled him out. “Where are you going?”
“Li Yan Zhenren, please spare me. I already said I saw nothing that night. I don’t know anything.” Song Ci thrashed his limbs around and struggled to beg for mercy.
This person was Dai Yanxing.
“It’s too late. Who asked you to run around at night? I can’t feel reassured knowing how much you know.” Dai Yanxing shook his head almost regretfully. “You are such a good child. What a pity…”
“You were the one who told me! I didn’t ask!” Song Ci reasoned with him angrily.
“So you’re blaming me for this mouth of mine?” Dai Yanxing gripped Song Ci and walked for a distance before putting him down. He smiled and said, “It’s a pity that you are too weak to even defeat me. You can only let me clean up your ears.”
The more Song Ci looked at him, the more he felt that Dai Yanxing’s smiling face deserved a beating. But he put up with it to fawn on him with a smile, “I have taught my own ears a lesson. Zhenren, please forget about this incident. I really didn’t say anything to anyone.”
As if coaxing a child, Dai Yanxing said, “Don’t be afraid. It will pass in the twinkling of an eye. It won’t hurt at all.”
“I’d be insane to believe you!” Song Ci swore and turned around to run again. Dai Yanxing had already steeled himself to silence him. It was useless to say anything more!
But Dai Yanxing did not give him the opportunity to escape. He reached out a hand to hold down the top of Song Ci’s head, and his palm glowed with a ray of blue light. Song Ci shrank his neck back and blurted out, “Master Rong, save me!”
Then, everything turned black as he lost consciousness.
Song Ci came to a place where there was nothing but chaos around him. He saw himself on the ground, lying silently in a pool of blood.
Trembling, Song Ci walked over and saw his wide-opened eyes. His skull was crushed, and blood was streaming out of the cracks, staining more than half of his body red.
He went weak in the knees and collapsed powerlessly to the ground, unable to believe what he saw.
Just as he was panic-stricken, a cold laugh rang out from behind him. “So you’re not dead yet.”
Flustered, Song Ci turned back and saw Dai Yanxing with a bloodied hand standing a distance away. As he met his eyes, Dai Yanxing suddenly leaped and struck his palm out towards him with a vicious look on his face.
“Ah—!” Song Ci sprang up from the bed with a loud cry. He was about to brandish his arms when he found that someone had been holding on to his wrist.
Like a startled bird, he threw a glare over and saw Rong Bai.
Rong Bai was sitting calmly on the edge of the bed. He lifted his eyelids to look at Song Ci. “What’s wrong with you?”
“It’s you.” Song Ci patted his chest to comfort his rapid beating heart, then wipe an entire head of cold sweat. “I thought I was dead.”
Rong Bai sat with his hands in his clothes and curled his lips into a light smile. “I’m still here. Who could kill you?”
“Dai Yanxing, that old fogey, has found his way here.” Song Ci exhaled and replied.
“He wasn’t thinking of killing you.” Rong Bai said, “I have cast a spell on you. I can sense it when someone makes a move on you. When I came earlier, he had already left.”
“Oh.” Song Ci responded and lowered his eyes to contemplate something. After a while, he asked, “Then, what did he want to do to me?”
“Think about why he wanted to attack you.” Rong Bai said.
Now that Rong Bai had mentioned it, Song Ci was astonished to realize that he could not remember the reason. He ran it over in his mind, but he could not recall when he had offended Li Yan Zhenren. He felt as if he had never seen him again after that day he met him in the assessment hall. He voiced his doubt, “Right. Why did he want to attack me?”
His face was full of confusion.
Rong Bai gently pointed a ray of white light in the middle of Song Ci’s brows. “Because he erased some of your memories.”
Song Ci felt as if a force had ripped off the blindfold over his memory. The memory of that night gushed forth all at once. He frowned for a moment and asked in puzzlement, “He told me of his own accord, then chase after me to wipe my memory. Is he crazy?”
Apparently, Rong Bai was not inclined to guess what an outsider was thinking and simply said, “I found that fragment.”
“Where?” Song Ci was glad. “Did you get it? Can we leave now?”
Rong Bai replied, “I’ll get it tonight. You just need to sleep. We can leave tomorrow.”
Song Ci was so happy he nearly leaped for joy. All he needed was to take a sleep, and he could suavely swing his sleeves and leave this rotten place when he opened his eyes tomorrow morning. He no longer had to continue to live in constant fear in Mo Yao Sect.
Feeling delighted, his eyes sparkled with traces of a smile as he said to Rong Bai, “Then go, Master Rong. I’ll obediently wait for your return.”
Rong Bai did not respond and threw a deep questioning gaze at Song Ci.
However, Song Ci was in such high spirits that he did not notice this. All he could think about was the scene of them leaving tomorrow. He was eager to fall asleep quickly and wake up to a new day tomorrow when he opened his eyes.
After sitting for a while, some youths returned to the room and began to chat as they washed up. Song Ci lay motionless under his quilt like a stone, trying his best to fall asleep.
But whether if it was because he was too excited, his eyes were still wide open in a stare even in the middle of the night. He looked around; the others were all sound asleep.
Song Ci carefully turned to the side and saw Rong Bai’s peaceful sleeping expression.
It was a wholly different sight with that handsome face swathed in tranquility. It made one’s heart stirred.
Of course, Song Ci’s heart would not stir for men; it was only because Rong Bai held a high position in his heart. At this moment, this layer of serenity was even bathed in a sacred light.
If only he could be as powerful as Master Rong one day.
Song Ci thought, if he could be like him, he would no longer need to fear the predatory glances of other demons, and he would no longer need to flee when he ran into people. Compared with the misery of fleeing in all directions, he would rather be able to deal with those who harbored evil designs on him.
There would also be no more need to fear that notorious Demon Lord and the Demon Capital where dangers lurked in all corners.
Being powerful could really solve many of his problems. So even if Song Ci knew this was just his wishful thinking, he still hoped in his heart that his dream would come true someday.
As Song Ci thought about it, he closed his eyes and fell into a deep sleep.
But what he did not expect was that this hopeful and optimistic night turned out to be a long night.
When he woke up again, it was because he felt someone pushing his shoulders. As his consciousness pulled out from his dream, Song Ci opened his eyes and saw a person who was not supposed to be here.
“Mirror Old Man?” Song Ci sat up and exclaimed, “Why are you here? You should still be in that prison!”
“I found you by following your scent. I didn’t expect you to be asleep at this time!” Mirror Old Man looked anxious as he pulled at Song Ci’s arm to haul him off the bed. “Come with me quick!”
“Where are we going?” Song Ci turned his head to look and saw that the beddings around him were all empty. He followed Mirror Old Man off the bed in a daze and put on his shoes.
“Get out of here! I’m afraid we’ll die if we stay here any longer!” Mirror Old Man was in a state of agitation.
“What do you mean?” Song Ci pulled him back in bewilderment. He was still baffled. He could not understand how something big could happen when he had been asleep for only a while. “Tell me first, how did you get out of prison?”
“A large batch of demons has launched an assault from Mo Yao’s main gate! They killed everyone from Mo Yao on sight. It’s now a mess in here. I don’t know who unlocked the door to the demon sealing dungeon. I just seized the opportunity to flee. I detected your scent earlier elsewhere and hurried over to find you.” Mirror Old Man yelled. “Hurry and run! Any later, and we will lose the chance to escape!”
He had only just finished saying so when the deafening toll of a bell rang from the horizon a distance away. The sound spread so far and wide that Song Ci’s startled heart skipped a beat.