Hearing Tong Chen speak up, blue butterfly couldn’t help but inquire further. “What is it? If you thought of a way to solve this, then better say it immediately! I don’t think we have much time left.”
Tong Chen’s brows had furrowed but he still sighed in the end. “Remember that time when we went to the northern plains and got trapped in that palace one of the ancestors left behind?”
Blue butterfly kept quiet even though she remembered very well. It was just that she suddenly had a rough guess what Tong Chen was getting at. “No.” She shook her head vehemently, not even wanting to think about it.
The other two hadn’t caught on yet and felt that she had to be unable to remember what he meant either.
“I do. Qiang was looking for the ice jade and there was supposed to be a vein there. In the end, it turned out to be a rumor used to lure in cultivators.”
Tong Chen nodded. “And how did we get out? Do you remember that?”
Yan Jian Hong fell silent, now also understanding what Tong Chen meant. “That … we can’t do that, can we? I mean, Shu Fen never tried it again afterward. And even … even if she could do it at once, do you have any idea how many lives that would cost?”
“I know. I saw.” Tong Chen fell silent again after that, just focusing on deflecting the next attacks of the demonic practitioners.
A battlefield was hardly the place to have this talk but it wasn’t like he could drag the others to the side to have this conversation. Every person was needed. If they left or got too distracted, they might not only cause their own deaths but also those of hundreds or thousands of others. Unfortunately, he still couldn’t help but bring up this idea.
On the other side, Shang Qiang gritted his teeth. “We are going to die if we don’t do it. Our sects … our sects aren’t going to make it either. Shu Fen, you have to!”
Blue butterfly hadn’t responded. The others couldn’t understand. Shang Qiang’s ability allowed him to defend himself, Yan Jian Hong’s ability could save the lives of others, and even though Tong Chen’s ability wasn’t as straightforward, he had still used it to warn others of impending calamities. Her ability though? It couldn’t benefit people in the same way. At least it never had. And on that day when they went to the northern plains, she found out how terrifying it could actually be.
She had not known but, in fact, other than traveling through those dreams, she could impose the dreams on reality. She could cut through the space that was the real world and rip it apart, no matter what was in the way.
Back then, she had done it in a panic, saving their lives when they had been in a pinch because she couldn’t watch her friends go down. But she had never forgotten the look on that woman’s face when she died, her body — or whatever had been left of it — a bloody mess.
She did not want to repeat that.
Tong Chen still kept silent, probably having known quite well that he couldn’t force her. She needed time to think this through and make up her mind so rather than distracting her by trying to talk her into it, it was better to give her time. Blue butterfly had also understood why he was doing this.
On the other hand, Yan Jian Hong somewhat seemed to get her dilemma. “Ah Chen, is there no other way? That … that matter wasn’t easily accomplished. With the state we’re already in …” At that point, he stopped. “I guess you want me to heal her beforehand.”
Tong Chen finally gave a hum. “If you still have it in you. Also, we’d need to rely on Qiang to stop it from spreading out. He’s the only one who could do that.”
Blue butterfly had gritted her teeth. Deep down, she knew that there was no other way and that the sacrifices this required would need to be made. But she still refused to accept it. She still wanted to fight it, to find another solution. “He can only be at one place at a time. So in the other direction, there is no way to stop this from spreading.”
Tong Chen nodded. “Yes. We will need to make some preparations.”
Blue butterfly took a shallow breath and closed her eyes for a spell. She didn’t dare to take long though and hurriedly opened them again, hacking at the demonic practitioner in front of her. “I do not want to do this.”
“I know.” Tong Chen still didn’t try to persuade her. In the end, she was the only one who could do it so it had to be her decision.
Blue butterfly’s gaze flitted about, touching upon the other disciples and Elders from their sects. There were many she knew, many that she didn’t. No matter what they all had one thing in common: they looked like death.
Those pristine white robes had been sullied with blood and dirt, the billowing sleeves cut into strips. Many had long since fallen, their bodies mere obstacles in the path of either side.
The ones fighting and also the ones left would be lost together if she did this. She couldn’t control it. She knew that. That was why she had never wanted to do it again, why she had never even attempted to do it again. She just … just didn’t dare to put this on her conscience.
But now, what choice did she have? If she didn’t do it, they would all die in the onslaught of the demonic practitioners that seemed ceaseless. If she did do it, there would be casualties — many of them even — but they could also save many of their people if they went about it the right way.
In the end, blue butterfly gritted her teeth while her eyes were swimming in her eyes. “Prepare then. But save as many as you can.”