Everything happened so fast that Song Ci could hardly react. He had not even realized what it meant for him to step into the Yin Yang Time Reversal with the Kunlun Mirror.
Darkness invaded his sight after it engulfed the light around him. He was now in an absolutely quiet and dark place.
Song Ci pinched the fingernail-sized Kunlun Mirror in his palm. The image of Rong Bai looking all pale as he laid on the bed with blood flowing out of his seven apertures1 constantly flashed before his eyes. It was a truly horrifying sight.
The instant his mind wavered, a white light lit up beneath his feet and gradually formed a ring around him. He turned his head and saw a Tai Chi Diagram2 soundlessly appearing out of the white light.
One black. One White. Two extreme poles of Yin and Yang.
The Divine Lord Shangshan had said that no one else had successfully activated this array ever since its creation in the hands of the Devil King. If that was the case, then had the Divine Lord Shangshan and that golden-eyed man managed to activate the Yin Yang Time Reversal Array?
The moment both extremes of the Tai Chi Diagram joined, Song Ci saw Rong Bai in his fluttering white robe standing on the Yang pole opposite him.
“Master Rong?” Song Ci called out tentatively. Although his voice was soft, it was still clear enough in this illusory realm. However, Rong Bai showed no reaction.
“Song Ci.” Instead, a voice calling him by the name rang out from the air. Startled, Song Ci swiveled around and saw fragments of light and shadow appearing out of thin air beside him. It converged together, slowly tracing out the silhouette of a person.
“Who is it?” Song Ci asked.
After light and shadow converged, a familiar face unveiled— Feng Zhuojun.
“Mirror Old Man?” Used to call him as such, Song Ci blurted out his name before he could correct himself. He asked doubtfully, “Why are you here?”
Feng Zhuojun pointed to his hand. “You are holding on to my main body. What’s so strange about my presence here? But you, how did you get into this place? “
Song Ci looked down at the Kunlun Mirror in his palm before he remembered that Feng Zhuojun’s original form was a small fragment piece of the Kun Lun Mirror. He replied, “Someone said that Master Rong’s soul is incomplete, and his end is near. Then he sent me here.”
“Were you forced here?” Feng Zhuojun questioned him.
This was truly a very interesting question. Stumped for words, Song Ci fell silent.
“Song Ci, the Four Great Arrays created by the ancient Devil King are no longer simple spells after years of passing down the generations. Each array has its deadly aspects, both positive and negative. Yin Yang Time Reversal is the one with the most variables among the four arrays, and also the most dangerous. You have to consider it carefully.” Feng Zhuojun’s expression was solemn. “My original form is the Kunlun Mirror. I can ascertain the past and future of all living things in the world. If you have any questions or doubts, I can answer them.”
Song Ci was somewhat frightened by his serious tone. He was not a gutsy person to begin with. And now he had to step into such uncharted territory. These four years he had been a demon, he had been living the lifestyle of a mortal. Not once had he ever thought of understanding the other Five Realms that were still a mystery to the Human Realm.
He had long realized during the time Wen Changchu had been telling him about the Divine Realm that it was not just the Human Realm, but also the Divine and Demon Realms, that had their own kingdom, their own monarch, and even their own longstanding history. And these renowned characters and matters were all known to the Five Realms. Only the Human Realm remained in the dark about it.
It was a story that no mortal had ever known. It was a different kind of civilization altogether.
Perhaps it was because Song Ci had been lost in thought for so long that Feng Zhuojun simply took action. He said, “When you look directly into the Kunlun Mirror, the mirror will answer the question you’re puzzling over the most in your mind. Why don’t you take a look first before you decide?”
With that, his human-shaped silhouette glowed a light shade of yellow as he turned into a small mirror fragment. The fragment became smaller and smaller as it headed towards Song Ci’s hands. Eventually, it turned into a tiny ray of light as it fused into one with the Kunlun Mirror.
The next moment, dazzling light burst forth from the Kunlun Mirror. Song Ci had been looking into the darkness for such a long time that he could not get used to it for a moment. The glaring light forced tears out of his eyes. He closed his eyes to avoid it, opening his eyes again only after the light gradually dimmed. To his shock, he saw a life-sized bronze mirror appearing right before him.
This mirror was not as fuzzy as the previous time. Instead, it reflected Song Ci’s figure so clearly that even the strands of his hair could be seen.
Indistinct yellow light swirled around the bronze mirror as a divine aura came assaulting his senses.
This was the divine artifact handed down from ancient times—the Kunlun Mirror. It was the treasure that the demons and ghosts, immortals and deities of the Six Realms fought to the death for.
Song Ci looked at himself and blinked. Then, the mirror began to blur. A small courtyard appeared in the mirror, with six houses surrounding it, each of them with green tiles and vermillion walls.
This scene was pretty familiar. Song Ci frowned. A moment later, it came to him that this was the inn not far from the City of Le Yu. Back then, Sun Yunniang had lurked there to stir up trouble. It was also the place where he had first encountered Rong Bai and Lu Shaoqing.
White clothes flashed past in the mirror. Then a man dressed in a snow-white Daoist robe appeared. With his face slightly turned to the side, he stopped at the door of one of the rooms, looking lethargic and tired.
It was Rong Bai.
“Can you still push on?” A familiar voice rang out from the side, and Lu Shaoqing appeared in Song Ci’s vision. There was no trace of the usual frivolous smile on his face; instead, he looked somber.
“I won’t die for the time being.” Rong Bai looked somewhat fatigued. He rubbed his eyebrows and said, “At least, not until we retrieved the Devil Seal.”
Lu Shaoqing frowned. “Do you have to do this?”
“What joy is there in living? And what pain is there in dying?” The corners of Rong Bai’s lips curled up in a faint, mocking smile. There’s no meaning to living like this day after day. I might as well disperse my soul and reincarnate into the Human Realm. Experiencing birth, death, illness, old age, joy, anger, sorrow, and happiness, will be much more interesting than it is now.”
Hearing this spoken so clearly in such a flat tone felt like a jolt to Song Ci. He was stupefied.
So, Rong Bai had been willing to disperse his soul because he had found life boring? He had nothing better to do after eating his fill?
“Master Rong, Brother Lou’s3 return to the world today is not the same as before. And there are so many eyes on him. You’re the heavyweight in our gang of villains. If you leave, then what’s going to happen to us?” Lu Shaoqing said helplessly. “I won’t necessarily be able to protect this piece of fragment.”
Rong Bai cast a glance at him. “If you can’t protect it, you can slit your own throat to atone for it. If you want me to leave even earlier, then go ahead and continue pulling at me to harp on it.”
“Fine, fine, fine. Venerable one, please take a rest. I’ll call you when the time comes.” Lu Shaoqing waved his head and turned away to leave with a sigh.
Rong Bai walked into the room.
Song Ci recalled that he had indeed knocked on this door that day. But then, Lu Shaoqing had knocked him unconscious for no apparent reason. Now that he thought about it, it was because Rong Bai was having a rest inside.
As he thought about it, he frowned. A question formed in his mind. Lu Shaoqing obviously knew that Rong Bai was the Demon King, and he was aware that the scimitar that had appeared beside him was Rong Bai’s weapon. Yet, he did not correct him and had instead gone along with the mistake and duped Song Ci into clinging on to Rong Bai. What exactly was his motive?
The Kunlun Mirror caught a glimpse of his doubt and turned fuzzy once again. It did not take long for another scene to appear. Two men were sitting in a quaint room with white smoke spiraling upward.
“Your Excellency Lu, why did you have to send him to the King?” Hua Wu sat all prim and proper with a solemn expression. His entire posture conveyed his respect for Lu Shaoqing.
“Considered him our hope among hopelessness.” Lu Shaoqing narrowed his eyes. “Rong Bai is of extraordinary birth. In the entire world, only that lad with the surname Song has exactly the same blood as him. Rong Bai should hold him pretty dear.”
It dawned on Hua Wu upon hearing this. “Who would expect the king to usher in a joyous occasion4 for once in his entire fox life after all?”
Lu Shaoqing nodded as well. “I hope he won’t let us down. He’s Rong Bai’s only salvation…”
Song Ci subconsciously touched his neck, feeling the throbbing pulse on his neck. He had always thought that the blood he had merged was that of the cruel and tyrannical Demon King. Now that he knew that it was Rong Bai’s blood running in him, he felt very ambiguous.
So, it turned out that he had been plotted against all along?
Other than their first encounter being accidental, everything else that happened after had been deliberate. Rong Bai was aware of his motive all along, but he had remained silent about it. Then, what was his motive?
Although another question had popped up in his mind, the Kunlun Mirror showed no reaction. Instead, there was a flash of light, and the mirror before him vanished. Feng Zhuojun reappeared before him and asked Song Ci, “Do you understand now?”
Song Ci nodded his head a little.
“As you know it now, whether it was Rong Bai or Lu Shaoqing, they were all making use of you. Even…” Feng Zhuojun paused mid-sentence for a moment before continuing, “Even that man out there is the same. I’m not stopping you from doing anything. I just feel that you have the right to know all these before you make a decision.”
“Is it really dangerous?” Song Ci asked after a moment’s thought.
“That was an era when the deities were fighting for supremacy. The New Divine Realm had yet to be fully established, and the divine clans in the Old Divine Realm were arrogant. It was chaos in the lower three Realms, much more chaotic than they are now.” Feng Zhuojun concluded, “So, yes, quite dangerous.”
“And there’s one thing you need to understand.” Feng Zhuojun’s eyes were heavy. “The Rong Bai tens of thousands of years ago is not the same Rong Bai who treats you so gently now. He is an honorable deity whom the Divine Realm reveres and holds in high esteem, and he is also the demon who massacred half of the Demon Realm. He is the real Tu Shan Rong Bai.”
Song Ci clutched his chest and pursed his lips. “Don’t scare me.”
“I’m telling you the truth.” Feng Zhuojun said.
Song Ci fell silent. He shifted his glance elsewhere and begun to mull it over seriously.
Feng Zhuojun knew that Song Ci was timid, and he was especially afraid of death. After analyzing the pros and cons of it with him, he was definitely in favor of Song Ci aborting this mission.
In fact, Feng Zhuojun had his own selfish reason for doing so. After all, Song Ci was a friend he had made. He had no wish to watch someone, who had been doing fine all this while, jump into a fire pit.
Besides, even if Song Ci went back to the past through Yin Yang Time Reversal, he would not necessarily be able to do anything to change history.
After considering for a while, Song Ci said to Feng Zhuojun, “I’ve decided.”
He looked at Song Ci and waited in silence for his answer. That pair of bright and determined eyes took him by surprise.
“I’m going.” Song Ci said in a resolute voice.
Feng Zhuojun sighed. “Have you really thought it through?”
Song Ci nodded. There was no look of righteousness on his face, but his words were steely, without the slightest bit of hesitation.
“The reason being?”
“Didn’t Lu Shaoqing say it?” Song Ci turned to Rong Bai, who was still standing on the Yang pole. “I’m his only salvation. How can I feel at ease if I shrink back out of fear and leave Master Rong high and dry?”
“Fine. Since you have already made your decision, then I won’t say a word more.” Feng Zhuojun said. “I’ll go with you.”
Song Ci asked in astonishment. “What are you going for? You should be accompanying Jiang Liang. “
“His soul is still cultivating in the Underworld, I’ve been idling my day away every day. Besides, I know the past like the back of my hand. I know much more than you do. With me by your side, you will be safer.” Feng Zhuojun said, “At the most dangerous juncture, I can merge back into the Kunlun Mirror and bring you back.”
Song Ci looked skeptical.
Feng Zhuojun repeated, “Believe me. You will be much safer with me by your side.”
Only then did Song Ci nodded his head and agreed to it. After all, he had no clue what to do either.
Seeing his agreement, Feng Zhuojun said, “Keep the Kunlun Mirror well. Never let it leave your sight.”
Song Ci did not dare to make light of it upon seeing how severe and stern Feng Zhuojun’s tone was, so he hurriedly tied the red string with the Kunlun Mirror on it securely to his neck.
Without saying a word more, Feng Zhuojun transformed into a ray of light and entered the Kunlun Mirror.
There was only Song Ci left now. He let out a breath and looked up at that ethereal figure. His gaze deepened as he stood motionless and stared at Rong Bai.
After a moment of silence, the huge Tai Chi diagram began to turn slowly, looking as if it was contorting Heaven and Earth. Song Ci stumbled. The diagram turned even faster, making him so dizzy that he fell over backward.
To his surprise, he did not fall to the ground. Instead, he hit something hard and fell to his butt on the ground with his head spinning.
Then, the light in the sky broke. As if Song Ci had been pulled out of it, the sounds of the wind, humans, leaves, and a mix of many other voices instantly drilled into his ears. He heard Feng Zhuojun let out an “oof” as he dropped beside him and said, “Here we are.”
Song Ci shook his spinning head and opened his eyes to see that the thing he had hit earlier was a massive bodhi tree. Supporting himself against the tree, he rose to his feet and asked in puzzlement, “Isn’t this still the Bodhi Capital?”
Before Feng Zhuojun could answer, an icy cold blade was propped against Song Ci’s neck. Someone rudely pinned his arms and pressed him against the tree right in the face.
A man bellowed in a low voice. “Don’t move!”
Credits: Many thanks to saed (@saedee_) for the grammar correction! ♥
- 七窍 the seven apertures of the human head, i.e., the eyes, ears, nostrils, and mouth
太极图. Tai Chi or Taiji Diagram, also the Yin and Yang symbol.
- 魔尊楼慕歌 Mo Zun Lou Muge. Mo Zun, or the Devil Lord, is Lou Muge’s title. He is not the Devil King of the Devil Realm. Also, he has his own (BL) story in the author’s latest novel, 《魔尊今天也在逃命》 , literally translated as ‘The Devil Lord (Mo Zun) is Fleeing For His Life Again Today’.
- 喜事 a joyous occasion and/or a wedding