Xin Lan continued forward, flying further and further to the north, up the mountain, resisting the cold and icy wind, not caring about the fact that every bit of life was slowly left behind.
Jin Ling tried to keep up with him for a while but finally couldn’t take it any longer when he had reached halfway up the mountain. He cursed and hovered there for a moment longer but in the end, he couldn’t go further. Ah, maybe this wouldn’t have been impossible if he hadn’t searched around in the Yun Zou Sect. Maybe, he could’ve gone just a little bit further. Maybe Jinde was up there somewhere, waiting to see him. Maybe right now, he was giving up his last chance to find him.
He turned back, returning to the foot of the mountain and sat down. He closed his eyes and started to meditate. Never mind. Even if he couldn’t go up right now, he would do so later on. There was no way he would turn back when Jinde might be right in front of him. He would scale this mountain and he would enter the High Heavens, searching every last look and cranny of it if that was what it would take to find Jinde.
Meanwhile, Xin Lan smiled with satisfaction. He had known that Jin Ling wouldn’t follow him forever. This was a place that almost nobody would ever enter. Not if they liked to keep their lives at least. He had come here already back when he was young, unafraid of everything.
He still remembered that day. The way the dragons watched him leave the capital, everyone whispering around him, wondering if he would return after he had made his announcement. The way the gods looked at him when he passed through their territory, even those in the last few villages standing outside of their doors, pointing at the dragon flying through the air. Nobody had been able to believe it. Who would dare to challenge the ruler of the High Heavens, the sovereign of all realms? Who would have the guts to challenge him? Nobody. Nobody but him.
Unfortunately, he hadn’t been able to win. He had managed to reach the top of the mountain and enter the High Heavens but he hadn’t been able to win over Tian. In fact, he had been pathetically defeated. He couldn’t even get up at the end anymore.
Maybe this was the result of being spared from Tian’s curse. Maybe he was arrogant because of that, feeling that there was nobody else in the world that would be able to win over him. Or maybe this was his anger. Anger for this person taking the chance at a normal life from him. Who wanted to be special? Who wanted to be the only person in a whole race of cursed ones that would be able to freely fall in love? Who wanted that freedom? Surely not him.
Xin Lan closed his eyes and took a deep breath. That time was long past. There was no need to think about it any longer. He should just concentrate on the issue at hand. He continued on, making it a point not to change into his other form even when he had to slow down when approaching the top of the mountain. He might not be as strong as Tian but at the very least, he was the strongest person in the dragon race. He didn’t have to use his other form just to scale this mountain. He wouldn’t let Tian see any kind of weakness in him.
Finally, he reached the top and landed on the ground again, looking into the distance.
The High Heavens were a strange place. This mountain would actually bring you to what could be called the center. In all directions, a plain spread out into the distance, the ground uneven and ragged this close to the mountain but the farther one came the more it looked like what one might see in the mortal realms.
Back then, he hadn’t paid much attention to his surroundings but now, he took a closer look and couldn’t help but sigh. This place … It really made him realize just how badly he fit into all these places. He wasn’t like the other dragons, he wasn’t like the other immortals, he certainly wasn’t like a mortal. But even so, there was no place for him in the High Heavens either. This place was only for Tian, this place’s ruler. Even though they were both different from all the others, they weren’t the same kind of person either. They would never be. Somehow this was ironic.
He shook his head and then crossed the bridge from the mountain to the plain, walking further toward the capital where Tian should be staying. He couldn’t help but think that this was a waste of time. This capital city of the High Heavens was exactly at the place where the capital city of the Nine Heavens was as well. In that case, why was the only place where somebody could enter the High Heavens this far away? Couldn’t he have made an opening at the River of Forgetfulness or something?
Xin Lan continued to fly for what seemed to be a long time until he finally saw the gates in the distance. He sighed and landed in front of them, waiting for the person to appear. Back then, Tian had waited for him not far from the mountain. Now, he had actually let him walk right up to the gates of the capital. Don’t tell him that guy was suddenly getting amicable? Tsk. He certainly wouldn’t believe that.
Nothing happened inside the city until Xin Lan finally didn’t feel like waiting anymore. “Tian!”
Inside the city, Tian raised his head. That guy … He hadn’t gone to throw him right back out and now, he actually had the cheek to stand out there and call for him to come over? Did he need to? He was the owner of this place. Whether he wanted to go out or not wasn’t that his decision?
Tian ignored the person outside and just continued to sit on his seat. If Xin Lan really cared, he would come over to see him. It was just a question of time. And he certainly had more than enough of that.