War had been waged between the righteous and the demonic faction for a long time with neither giving in, both committing atrocities that would frighten even those that had experienced the cruelty of life. Her own family had been killed by demonic practitioners, massacred even, and she knew that others hadn’t been any luckier. She had seen it with her own eyes after becoming a disciple of the Jian Chu Sect. To say that she hated them was not wrong.
Yes, the war back then might have been even worse than the one they were currently fighting. Even though the current war was no joke either, at the very least, the common people did not get implicated any longer. Back then, that had not been a given.
Not to mention that, right now, they still had a chance to win. They were hard-pressed, yes. They didn’t know what the other side was planning and they always seemed to be one step behind but, at the very least, they were catching up to them one step at a time and they were slowly uncovering secrets that the other side knew nothing about. They could still win and hopefully do so without too many casualties.
At that time though, things had been different. There was no way to sugarcoat it: They had been on the losing end. In fact, on that day, she herself had thought she might not survive.
Blue butterfly’s brows drew together. It was all still there: She smelled the smoke lingering in the air, heard the roars and the screams from around her, and felt the disgusting, sticky sensation from the blood that still hadn’t dried on her fingers.
She was not used to fighting with weapons and had always preferred cultivation but on that day, even she had picked up a sword. It was useless though. Her grip on the hilt of the weapon had slipped several times. The next time, it might be her end.
She glanced over to where Tong Chen was still whirling through the ranks of their enemies, each strike, each slash bringing death with it. “We’re not going to make it.”
Tong Chen once again slashed at one of the demonic cultivators in front of him as if he had not heard her. Among the people present, he was one of the few that were still going strong.
Not far from blue butterfly, Yan Jian Hong looked up. He didn’t look much better than her. The black hair was sticking to his forehead, a few drops of blood smearing his already pale cheeks.
He was only supposed to give support from the sidelines. That was what the disciples of the Zhen Yan Sect excelled in, after all. But on that day, he wasn’t. He was right in the thick of it, holding a pair of blades and trying his best just like all of them did.
Blue butterfly stared at him and for a moment, an ugly thought shot through her mind. He is going to fall even before me.
The next moment, there was the clang of steel on stone next to her and Shang Qiang gave her an angry look. “Don’t just stand there!” He clenched his hand into a fist and greeted the demonic practitioner that had just tried to kill blue butterfly with an uppercut that knocked him back.
Tong Chen turned around at the sound and rushed back toward them. “Keep together, we can get through this.”
Blue butterfly shook her head and turned around, her gaze brushing over their surroundings while she brandished her sword again, defending in that direction. “I don’t think we can. It’s not looking good. If nothing happens, we’ll die here today.”
The others had stayed silent and she glanced over her shoulder at Tong Chen in-between fighting. Her brows had furrowed. “Have you seen something?”
Tong Chen shook his head. “I can’t see as much if it concerns us. You also know that. I simply … believe in our strength. We’ve been together for so long. I don’t think we will fail.”
The four of them drew further together and Yan Jian Hong lowered his voice. “I don’t know about you but I don’t think I can continue much further. I … I don’t feel so good.”
Blue butterfly and Shang Qiang looked at him and took note of the multitude of small cuts on his body. For him whose blood held a blessing for others, it was a curse to himself. If things continued like this, he really wouldn’t make it.
Shang Qiang cursed. “You shouldn’t even be here!”
“And just leave you alone?” Yan Jian Hong shook his head. “I am a disciple of the Zhen Yang Sect, a cultivator of the righteous side. It is also my duty to be here and help. I just … I wish I could have done more.” He lowered his eyelids, his fingers clenching tightly around the blades.
Blue butterfly turned to look at Tong Chen. “I could take him into a dreamscape for a while but we’d both need to go and …” And it wasn’t easy to enter. Not at such a place and not in a short time.
Tong Chen shook his head in response. “It won’t help. The time Ah Hong would need to get back his strength is too long. We simply don’t have it.”
“Then what should we do?” Blue butterfly didn’t want to watch her friend die. These three … they were the closest to a family she had had since hers was killed. No matter whether it was Yan Jian Hong, Tong Chen, or Shang Qiang, she didn’t want to lose them.
Tong Chen kept quiet and finally pressed his lips together. “There might be a way.”
The other three looked at him, alarmed by the way his voice sounded at that moment. They had guessed that it would be bad but they never could have imagined just how bad it could get. But what finally followed was precisely the event that had caused the southern chasm to form.