31 – Luo Hong’s Request
“Luo Hong’s aura is rather odd…” Walking at a fast pace, Xue Qilin suddenly felt something and asked Ye Zhen.
If a Heaven Realm expert intentionally hid their aura, then even martial practitioners with higher cultivation bases wouldn’t be able to sense them. As such, Xue Qilin didn’t find it strange that she only sensed Luo Hong’s aura when the latter was already close to the Merak Palace. Instead, she found strange that Luo Hong’s aura was vague, as if it was obscured by a fog.
“He comes from the Shadow Gate, so he’s very adept at controlling his aura.” Ye Zhen’s answer came from behind her, and Xue Qilin adopted the “so that’s the case” expression.
“Young Ancestor, Palace Master, Vice-palace Master!” A cry came from not far ahead. Looking up, they saw a middle-aged man running towards them.
“Who’s that?” Xue Qilin slightly tilted her head sideways and quietly asked Qi Qiqi standing nearby.
“That’s Elder Yang Yuening.” Qi Qiqi’s tone changed, and she uttered, exasperated, “That said, you don’t have to remember everyone’s names, but you should at least recognize all the Elders, alright?”
“Yes, yes, yes.” Xue Qilin agreed casually.
At this time, Yang Yuening has reached them. He cupped his hand towards Xue Qilin, which was regarded as a greeting.
“You let Luo Hong in? Why didn’t you stop him?” Ye Zhen asked about Luo Hong.
Luo Hong didn’t deliberately hide his aura. And although the senses of Earth Realm experts weren’t as sharp as those of Heaven Realm experts, but since Qi Qiqi has sensed Luo Hong, the other Earth Realm experts should have also perceived his aura.
“He has Elder Luo’s sword, and…” Yang Yuening suddenly stopped talking.
Does this guy like to keep people in suspense? A little impatient, just as Xue Qilin wanted to inquire, Ye Zhen spoke first, “And what? Elder Yang, if you have something to say, just say it.”
“… he carries a coffin.”
Coffin? Little Qing’s sword? Don’t tell me… an ominous premonition welled up in Xue Qilin’s mind, and her eyes widened. Then, as if an eagles flapping its wings, her big sleeves flapped urgently, and she catapulted out.
Everything in her field of view quickly elapsed, and she jumped up, then with a light tap of her feet, used the ledge of a wall to propel herself forward. In a flash, the main hall was before her eyes. She pulled the brakes in front of the main hall, and before her center of gravity could adjust, she stumbled into the main hall.
Wearing a weird mask, Luo Hong stood inside the main hall, and a coffin laid beside him.
… the coffin left Xue Qilin unsettled.
She staggered up to the coffin and, using all her strength, pushed the lid of the coffin open only by a little. Her heart racing, she was afraid to open the coffin, afraid to see a person sleeping inside.
Why deceive yourself when the facts are right before your eyes?
“You don’t dare to look inside? Then let me help you.”
Before Xue Qilin could react, the lid was gone. The coffin was opened by Luo Hong.
… the cyan figure finally came into her view, is was Luo Qing.
She slept inside the coffin. Her expression serene, she looked as if she was really just asleep.
But will she really wake up? Xue Qilin wanted to believe that she was just asleep. However, the pallid tender face, still chest, and body without vitality gave Xue Qilin no room for doubt.
She was dead.
Staring at Luo Qing’s pale face with a dull look in her eyes, Xue Qilin extended her trembling hand and stroked the serene face.
… it was cold, bereft of warmth, bereft of human warmth.
Unwittingly, the corners of her eyes moistened.
Xue Qilin looked vacantly at Qi Qiqi standing aside.
As if restraining something inside, Qi Qiqi bit her lower lip. After biting for a long time, she bit through the skin, and blood oozed from her lower lip.
Then, Xue Qilin looked at Ye Zhen standing half a step behind Qi Qiqi. His face was expressionless. At first glance, his deep eyes looked still and serene, yet an indistinct sorrow permeated them.
Everything was pointing to one thing…
Feeling like her heart was gripped by a hand, a strong sense of suffocation made her dizzy. She forced herself to stand still, to not fall down, but she couldn’t suppress the shudder that pervaded her body.
Some intense dark emotions sprang up inside her and threatened to devour her mind.
Xue Qilin looked up at Luo Hong.
A pair of empty eyes died golden were reflected in his eyes, showing no emotion, no expression.
What surprised her the most was that she actually smiled. It was a light smile, a smile that thirsted for something.
Is this me? She asked herself in her state of blurred consciousness. But…
It doesn’t matter. Xue Qilin gave up thinking about it.
“Was it you who killed her?” Her tone was as calm as still water.
For some reason, Luo Hong closed his eyes and revealed a consoling smile, “… Xue Qilin, Luo Qing had something she wanted me to tell you.”
Just this simple sentence dispelled the intense dark emotions coiling around her heart.
As if seeing a ray of light in the dark, Xue Qilin’s eyes refocused and focusing on Luo Hong’s face.
“… what?” Xue Qilin asked impatiently, afraid that she might not be able to hear the answer.
“She said…” Luo Hong’s eyes looked far into the distance, “sorry, I won’t be able to accompany you.”
Then why didn’t you live on?
Xue Qilin lowered her head, and let the shadow of her bangs conceal the expression in her eyes, “… who killed her?”
“Hua Tianji… she could have escaped, but she didn’t.”
Xue Qilin raised her head in a daze and asked in a quivering voice: “Why?”
“She said that it was an atonement for her crimes. As for what crimes she meant, you should be clear about that.”
Saying this was the same as saying that Luo Qing was responsible for everything. Otherwise, what other crimes would there be?
But Xue Qilin wasn’t angry, nor did she harbor any rancor.
Although there was only a shallow relationship between the two of them, but Luo Qing’s smile and her concern made it so Xue Qilin was unable to hate her. If she did hate Luo Qing, then it would be akin to denying these things and labeling them as fake. That would be really disconsolate.
Xue Qilin would rather believe that she herself had her own problems, so she didn’t care that Luo Qing harmed her and caused her to be captured by the Heavenly Sword Gate.
Now, all she wanted to know was…
“You knew it beforehand, didn’t you?” Xue Qilin took a step forward, her fists clenched tight.
“Then why didn’t you stop her… stop her from doing such a stupid thing?”
“She was determined to die. How do you stop it?”
Xue Qilin opened her mouth, yet she had nothing to say.
Why did Luo Qing want to die… Xue Qilin had a rough guess without having to ponder about it.
It can be resumed with – she harmed Xue Qilin, harmed the people of the Merak Palace, and so couldn’t get over herself.
She was too foolish, to self-righteous. But alas…
That little knot in her heart could only be untied by the person herself.
Xue Qilin sighed. She didn’t know how to express her current mood except for sighing.
“… I’ve delivered her to you, and relayed her words to you, so now there’s nothing else for me to do here. However, I do still have a presumptuous request. I want to ask for your help, Senior Xue.”
Seeing Luo Hong’s firm expression, Xue Qilin was silent for a moment, and then asked: “… with what?”
“She has saved my life, but now I can no longer repay her… yet there is still something that I can request of you for her… no matter what Luo Qing did, whether you approve of it or not, but…” Luo Hong stooped forward, cupped his hands, and uttered sincerely, “please forgive her.”
After a long moment of silence, Xue Qilin spoke woefully: “If she was still around, I’m afraid I’d scold her, but now that she’s dead… what is there to forgive?”
“Then I feel relieved.” With that, Luo Hong adopted a cold expression once more. He nodded at Ye Zhen, and then started to walk away.
“… Luo Hong.”
Luo Hong didn’t answer, but he still stopped, waiting for Xue Qilin to speak.
Xue Qilin hesitated for a moment, and then said gratefully: “Thank you for bringing her back.”
He still didn’t answer. His figure soon disappeared from her sight.