In the Nine Heavens, Shun Tao knocked his forehead against the table, groaning. Why was this always happening to him? “For Heaven’s sake, if I say a tree hits him, then I obviously mean it hits him and then he’s dead! What’s so hard about killing this boy?!”
He sat up straight, glared at the scroll of fate, and picked up his brush. “Hmph. We’ll see how you get away this time!”
With a flourish of his brush, another two lines detailing Zhong Jing Yi’s fate were pinned down: Lightning strikes and a fire breaks out, soon engulfing half of the forest. Being trapped below the tree, Zhong Jing Yi is unable to flee and burns to death.
Shun Tao gave a smirk at that but did not put the brush down again. Apparently, he had to keep a close eye on the situation and swoop back in as soon as something changed. Now, that Zhong Jing Yi had managed to gain a trace of spiritual energy, he would be even more likely to diverge from the pre-written path. He had to be careful!
Back in the mortal realm, Jing Yi was still lying under the tree. The branches were poking his ribs and his legs felt like they might break from the weight on top of them but he still endured. He had managed to escape death once. He didn’t think he would be so unlucky to die just half an hour later.
Trying to look at the bright side, he at least wasn’t hit by the rain any longer. The ground below him might be drenched but after lying on the same spot for a while, it was also bearable. Anyway, he just had to lie here until the next morning.
He was sure that Liu Cheng would come to look for him when he returned to their camp at the clearing and couldn’t find him. Even though his impression of the demon hunter had gone down after he killed Yawen, he still thought that he was a decent person. As long as the one he had to deal with wasn’t a demon, he would never let them get hurt. At the very least, that was what he thought.
Some time passed by. The storm hadn’t subsided at all. Instead, the clouds above seemed to have become even darker and the rumbling inside them, as well as the lightning strikes that lit up the sky every now and then, were making Jing Yi’s hair stand on end.
He gulped and wriggled around once more. Unfortunately, he was tightly lodged below the tree. Well, once again looking at the bright side: Thanks to the lightning, he had finally managed to see that this was, indeed, a tree. It seemed he had once again gotten unlucky that exactly one of them so close by had fallen. But then again, who knew how it looked in other parts of the forest?
Jing Yi couldn’t help but worry at that. Liu Cheng had left the camp a long time ago. Who knew how he was doing? Maybe he had also been caught in an unfavorable situation? And who would he wait for then? Liu Cheng definitely wouldn’t expect him to be able to save him. But, well, maybe he didn’t need to. A demon hunter would likely be resourceful enough to save himself, right?
Jing Yi sighed. While he was positive that he should be right with that, he still felt that it wouldn’t be good to just rely on Liu Cheng. He had to help himself.
Looking down and using the short moments when lightning illuminated the forest, he finally managed to get a grasp on how he was wedged in-between the branches. Thankfully, it had only been the treetop that hit him instead of the trunk. Otherwise …
He shook his head, refusing to think about it any further. He should use that time and energy for finding a way to get out of his predicament.
There was no way to move the tree. With a bit of luck, he could maybe free one hand but that was it. The other was firmly pressed onto the ground. Still, it was worth a try. After getting out one, he might be able to do more.
Jing Yi waited for the next bout of lightning and then slowly pulled his arm, twisting his wrist to the side to wriggle out between the twigs. The sharp edges scratched his skin, making him wince, but he still continued to pull. A few of the smaller twigs cracked, finally allowing him to pull the hand out completely.
He heaved a sigh of relief and just lay on the ground for a moment, staring up at the sky that was still flashing with lightning every so often. He hadn’t achieved much but he still felt as if it had been straining. As it turned out, just moving your body could be hard in this kind of situation.
After another moment, Jing Yi exhaled and then raised his now freed hand and turned to look at the other side. Maybe now, he would be able to free his other hand as well. He reached over and scraped at the ground, pushing some of the muddy earth to the side. The branches rustled with each of his movements but he tried to ignore them, just focusing on the ground around his other arm. As long as he managed to dig out enough of the earth, he should be able to pull it out, right?
He finally managed to create a small trench, making him heave a sigh of relief. Reaching below his other arm, he scraped at the earth directly below it. The pressure from the branches above slowly eased and finally, Jing Yi pulled out his arm, his lips curving into a happy smile.
Then, lightning struck the tree next to him, making splinters shoot into all directions, half of the treetop crash down and slamming into the ground next to him and the broken trunk catch on fire.
Jing Yi stared at it dumbfounded. This … Was this level of bad luck still normal?