In the Nine Heavens, Shun Tao’s brows twitched. For a moment, he really contemplated throwing the whole scroll of fate. In the end, he caught himself though, took a deep breath, and just picked up his brush.
He couldn’t be careless. Even though it was only making trouble, this scroll was still precious. Nothing could happen to it. Anyway, even if this Zhong Jing Yi had somehow, inexplicably managed to turn things around at the last second, it wasn’t like he didn’t have any more options. And a person that had only stepped onto the path of cultivation was still easier to deal with than somebody who had attained a higher level. There was still a chance to turn things around.
Shun Tao narrowed his eyes and then swung his brush, pinning down another attempt at a gruesome end for Jing Yi: Having escaped death by relying on spiritual energy, Zhong Jing Yi soon feels the backlash of using an amount energy far surpassing his current limit. He struggles to continue onward and is finally hit by a tree that is uprooted by the storm.
Shun Tao nodded to himself. There. It wasn’t quite as good as the previous attempt since Zhong Jing Yi wouldn’t have any time to reflect on himself and what he had done to amplify his regret but it was still better than nothing. Anyway, as long as he died, it was good enough.
He happily put down the brush and then just watched as things unfolded in the mortal realm.
Jing Yi was still rushing through the forest, trying to get as far away as possible from the place where he had nearly died. Somewhere deep down, he knew that what he was doing wasn’t smart.
He had only ended up in that situation because he was stumbling through the darkness and finally ended up missing the pit in front of him, falling right into it. Right now, it would be best to find a safe spot, sit down, and wait for the sun to rise again. Then, he could go and look for Liu Cheng or try to trace his steps back to the clearing where they had rested before.
Unfortunately … his heart was still beating madly, his breath irregular. He wanted nothing more than to put as much distance between him and that place as he could. Naturally, he did not stop to think. He just followed his instinct.
Having run for several minutes, Jing Yi had trouble breathing and his surroundings seemed to sway. He finally slowed down and reached out, holding onto a tree next to him. Closing his eyes, he took a few deep breaths to get back his bearings.
When he slowly calmed down, he finally thought about what he was doing as well. Realizing that he was being irrational, Jing Yi reached up and rubbed his forehead. “I’m an idiot. Just as much of an idiot as I was when I was younger.” Why did he never learn?
This time, he had only escaped because of a stroke of luck. But how could that happen every time? He needed to be more careful. After all, there were still things he needed to do.
Thinking of that, he crouched down next to the roots of the tree, sidling up as close as he could to the trunk. The rain was still hammering down on him but at this place, it was slightly less than back in that pit. He should probably count himself lucky for having found a passable shelter for the time being. If it just wasn’t for the wind …
Jing Yi closed his eyes and tried to just ignore the weather as well as he could. He did shiver in the cold though and couldn’t help but try to pull his clothes tighter around him. Touching the wet fabric, he grimaced. Well, obviously, there was no warmth to be had from this.
Once again, he couldn’t help but think of Qiu Ling. Back when they had traveled together, there had never been such bad weather. And even when it was slightly chilly like on top of the maintain, Qiu Ling would just pull him into his arms and warm him. Only now that he thought about it, he realized how nice being with him had been even in regard to these small things.
Just when Jing Yi smiled to himself, wrapped up in these fond memories, the wind picked up, and somewhere close by, a deafening crash sounded. Jing Yi was startled but before he could find out what had caused the sound, there was a rustling coming in his direction.
His eyes widened in the dark and he reached for the tree in his back, trying to get to his feet. Just when he stood, something hit his shoulder and then his face, and suddenly, he was pressed down by a heavy weight, slamming into the ground. His breath was pressed out of his lungs and his limbs hurt from the impact. He groaned and tried to turn around but he was trapped.
He took a painful breath and tried to orient himself to figure out what had happened. Something was on top of him but he couldn’t see and one of his hands was trapped below his body while the other was … somewhere. To be honest, he didn’t even know where was what. Everything hurt. That was the only thing he could say for sure.
Without any other choice, he only continued to lie there, waiting for the pain to die down. When that happened, he would slowly figure out how to get out of this situation.