Staring up into the darkness, Jing Yi’s breath quickened. He just realized now in what a situation he was. This really was serious! It wasn’t just a matter of finding Liu Cheng again to make sure everything was alright or returning to the capital city as soon as possible. No, this time, it concerned whether he would be able to return at all.
He gulped and turned in a circle, hoping to see something in the darkness around him, to get any kind of inspiration on what to do to get out of this situation. He had to save himself! He couldn’t die here.
He reached out to the wall again, trying to dig his fingers into the earth and climb up that way but the mud slipped away and dropped into the water at his feet with a splash.
Jing Yi flinched and backed up against the wall. He hugged himself, biting down on his lower lip until it started to bleed to hold back a scream. He wanted out of here!
Was there really no way to do that?
Despite the dark, he closed his eyes, trying to shut everything else out to calm down. It didn’t help though. On the contrary: He felt the water brush against his legs, the rain prattling onto his head and shoulders, the wind roaring above his head, making the droplets hit him like projectiles.
He took a shaky breath, tears gathering in his eyes. “Qiu Ling …” He hoarsely called out but, of course, there was no answer.
He was alone. Not only that, but Qiu Ling was also far away. He could not help him this time. There was nobody that could save him. He would have to save himself if he wanted to get out. It was just … He was too weak. He couldn’t do anything. He could only give in and hope that maybe, by some stroke of luck, he would be saved after all.
He continued to press himself against the wall in his back, clutching his shoulders while he trembled in the cold. The water to his feet rose further, soon reaching his hips.
Jing Yi bit his lip again, holding back his sobs. He did not want to die. He was only fifteen! He shouldn’t die already. There were so many things he still wanted to do. And how could he leave everybody behind? He still hadn’t made sure that Qiu Ling was alright, he hadn’t managed to say goodbye to Shao Hai and Xiao Dong before leaving the Yun Zou Sect, he hadn’t been able to accompany his mother or fulfill his father’s wishes for him. How could he just leave like that?
Tears rolled down his cheeks, gathering on his jaw before dropping down into the water, the faint sound inaudible in the roaring wind and rain.
Jing Yi opened his eyes, looking up at the sky. The wind was still getting stronger just like on that day on the mountain. Just that this time, there was nobody controlling it. This was just nature. This was just fate. It was just his bad luck.
If only … if only he at least hadn’t been alone. If there had been somebody to accompany him, maybe he wouldn’t be so scared. But then, he would not want anyone to suffer through this together with him. He just wanted … a bit of comfort if it had to end like this.
Jing Yi turned to face the wall, clinging to it with tears still hanging onto his lashes. With no one around, he could only reach out to the one thing that felt familiar to him in this environment he hated, the one thing that reminded him of Qiu Ling’s reassuring strength.
He sensed for the energy of the air around him, trying to envelop himself in it just how Qiu Ling had enveloped him in his embrace.
Who knew if it was because of the state he was currently in or if, after practicing for so long, he had gained the understanding Qiu Ling had told him about but this time, the spiritual energy actually started to gather around him.
Jing Yi didn’t notice though. He just continued, feeling a bit better now that he felt this familiar sensation. It gave him the illusion of still being in control, of still being able to do something. He was not completely helpless. Even though he couldn’t save himself, he could at least do something to calm himself and look death in the eye with a bit of dignity.
Jing Yi continued to gather the spiritual energy, making it turn denser and denser until finally, it coalesced at the tip of his fingers, quietly entering his body.
Jing Yi’s eyes sprang open at the unfamiliar feeling but before he could understand what was happening, the spiritual energy that had gathered around him started to shift, whirling around him in a vortex.
Jing Yi stared into the darkness wide-eyed, unable to understand what was happening. The energy rushed toward his hands, entering his body through his fingertips, making his skin tingle.
“Spiritual energy …” Jing Yi exhaled in surprise. Spiritual energy … This …
He didn’t have time to marvel at his achievement. He didn’t even dare to think. Just by relying on his instinct, he pushed out his hand and a strong force flew out, crashing into the wall in front of him. The earth was blown away in all directions, hitting his face and body, splashing into the water and exploding outside.
Jing Yi screamed and tried to duck away, almost falling backward because of the force. He gritted his teeth and then pressed forward though. With half of the wall in front of him blown away, he finally managed to pull himself out of the hole, stumbling back onto even ground and then running on, only trying to get as far away from this place as possible.