Rong Bai’s Demon King Palace was located behind the Three Rivers and Five Capitals of the Demon Realm. It was not really that grand and imposing. On closer look, it was merely an ordinary, quadrangle courtyard.
However, the walls of this small courtyard were fully and densely inlaid with Light-Bearing Pearls. They looked like twinkling clusters of softly glowing stars when looked upon from afar under the darkness of the night.
This area was a forbidden area in the Demon Realm. No one would dare to intrude at will.
Song Ci had initially thought Rong Bai’s palace to be magnificent and luxurious, so he could not help but be surprised when he saw how ordinary it looked.
Rong Bai pointed to the Light-Bearing Pearls on the wall. He still remembered the promise he had made back then. “Take whatever you want.”
This amused Song Ci, but he did not really start to dig them out. Instead, he followed Rong Bai to the bedroom.
The moment Rong Bai touched the bed, he wanted to lie down. His exhaustion made it harder and harder for him to remain awake. He stretched his waist lazily and yawned.
Song Ci squatted down and leaned over the side of his bed to move close to him. “Are you that sleepy?”
“I can still bear with it.” The smile in Rong Bai’s eyes revealed the extent of his indulgence.
He could keep enduring it even while his body was at its limit, but he would never urge and hasten Song Ci to unseal the last soul for him.
He waited for so long. He could wait a little longer.
Song Ci pulled Rong Bai up into a sitting position and moved his hand next to Rong Bai’s mouth. He said, “There is only this one answer in my heart.”
Song Ci was actually a little apprehensive, because he could not accurately guess what the key to Rong Bai’s unsealing was either. Just the word “cause and effect” alone could take his guess into many different directions.
Rong Bai uncertainly lifted his eyelids.
“Bite me.” Song Ci said. “Bite with all your might. It must draw blood.”
Rong Bai did not understand why, but when he saw Song Ci’s serious expression, he complied and took a hard bite. Sharp teeth instantly left a wound on Song Ci’s fingertip. A plump drop of fresh blood spilled out, and the taste of blood permeated Rong Bai’s mouth. He heard Song Ci say in a low voice, “This is the ‘effect’ you’ve returned me.”
Do you believe in reincarnation?
Perhaps, you could try to believe in it.
Many years ago, Song Ci took a bite of Rong Bai’s fingertip because of ‘cause’. Many years later, Rong Bai took a bite of Song Ci’s fingertips because of ‘effect’.1
The cycle of destiny. Cause and effect in harmony.
A faint light shone on Rong Bai’s chest. At the very instant he lifted his eyes, a drop of tear silently slid down from the corner of one eye. The emotions in Rong Bai’s eyes grew more complex as he looked at Song Ci with deep feelings.
Song Ci was momentarily flustered. He raised a hand to gently wipe away Rong Bai’s tear. “Sorry to have kept you waiting.”
Rong Bai had indeed been waiting for so long that he had even forgotten the reason he was waiting and looking for Song Ci. He looked at the man before him as the memories sealed in his last soul poured into his mind and merged together with his later memories.
Rong Bai extended his hands to take him into his arms. Thousands of words converged into a sigh.
In any case, it was now all in the past.
Rong Bai had to rest for a few days to fuse his soul back. So Song Ci wandered around the Demon Realm during this free time, occasionally buying some toys and gadgets at the market to take back as he waited quietly for Rong Bai’s soul to finish its fusion into a complete whole.
But before that could happen, an unwelcome guest made an appearance.
On that day, Song Ci was sitting on the threshold reading a book. Sunlight in the Demon Realm did not differ from that in the Human Realm—it was just as warm. It happened that there was a big tree at the entrance, and the leaves of that tree were so lush that they provided shade for the upper half of Song Ci’s body. So he did not find it too glaring to read his book.
Just when he was getting engrossed, the sound of something slicing through the wind suddenly rang out. He was quick to react and did not pause for even half a second as he turned to the side into a half-crouch posture, ready to attack and defend any time.
He was just in time to see a sharp blade stab into the spot he had been sitting earlier. It split the threshold into two.
Song Ci stood up and kept the book in his bosom. He warily looked up, only to see a group of white-tailed foxes striding across the clouds towards him. The moment they landed, they turned into men and women of all kinds.
The one at the lead was Tu Shan Lian.
It was when Song Ci saw her that he suddenly remembered what he had forgotten. After taking her to the tiger demon’s palace previously, he had not bothered about her. At that time, his heart was all on Rong Bai. Then, there was the funeral at the Liang Clan to handle. Consequently, he had forgotten all about Tu Shan Lian.
Looking at how aggressive she looked, she had likely gone back to Tushan after recuperating to call for backup.
Song Ci glanced at the people behind her. “Are you in such a hurry to die?”
Tu Shan Lian sneered. “Song Ci, since your blood has been merged, then you should return us Tu Shan’s blood from the heart. It’s not something you should have.”
“Since it fused into my body, then it’s mine.” Song Ci was calm.
He was now no longer the kind of person who could be easily intimidated by these immortals and demons. His growth wasn’t just about growing a few tails.
“Bah! Stop being so shameless! You stole our Tu Shan treasure. If you don’t return it now, then we will teach you a lesson!” The man behind Tu Shan Lian rebuked.
Song Ci would not trade abuse with him, but he lifted his hand to conjure out Du’e in a dagger form. The glint on the tip of the blade was just like the icy aura emanating from all around him. Imitating Wen Changchu, he spoke harshly, “Take it back yourself if you can.”
Tu Shan Lian flung out her whip, intending to gang up on him. “Let’s attack together!”
The few of them spread out, as if thinking of deploying an encirclement formation to trap Song Ci within.
Song Ci was not afraid of this. He was now becoming more proficient in manipulating the power in his body. He was no longer the weak man who relied on his instincts to preserve his life, neither would he go easy on people who harbored evil intentions. Azure blue washed over his eyes, masking his ink-black eyes. This was the sign before an imminent attack. But just before a fight broke out, a man suddenly strode across the threshold.
“What’s with this commotion at the entrance?” Rong Bai walked out under the sunlight with the inherent laziness of a fox. There was a slight trace of a smile in his eyes, just like the first time they met.
Song Ci retracted his attacking stance and smiled, “Are you done resting?”
Golden specks of light glittered like stars on Rong Bai’s smiling face, adding a touch of sanctity to his handsome appearance. He swept a glance across Tu Shan Lian and the others. When his eyes fell upon Song Ci’s face, his expression turned as soft as cotton. “Sorry to have kept you waiting.”
Song Ci took two steps over to him in a welcome. “As long as you’re out.”
“Rong Bai-gege!” Tu Shan Lian was still putting on the appearance of a vulnerable and pitiful younger sister when she saw him. Come to think of it, it seemed as though she was always putting on such a display when she appeared before Rong Bai. Perhaps she had no idea that Rong Bai had long seen through her true colors.
“Return home with us. Now that evil-doers have caused the death of Father, our Tu Shan needs you!” Tu Shan Lian said, “As long as you can retrieve the blood of the heart, you will naturally be the alpha of the pack when you return to Tu Shan. No one will ever force you to do anything again.”
Rong Bai looked at her with interest. “So, in your eyes, I’m such a pitiful character?”
Tu Shan Lian’s expression froze.
“You and your mother were the one pulling the strings behind everything my mother had to suffer and endure. You think I don’t know?” A hint of a smile lingered at the corners of Rong Bai’s lips. “From the day I extracted the blood from my heart and left Tu Shan, I have forsaken the surname of Tu Shan. Furthermore, I’ve said before that if you dare to appear before me again, I won’t show mercy.”
Tu Shan Lian did not look too good after having been refuted and humiliated right in public. Normally, Tu Shan Lian would not dare to say a word. All she could do was to continue exploiting her own delicateness to her advantage.
But according to news in the Six Realms, Rong Bai’s life was continuously slipping away after he scattered his soul, and now, he was nearing his end. So when she brought help this time, she had naturally factored Rong Bai into her plan.
She immediately tossed out her long whip, “Since you want to do it the hard way, then don’t blame me for not taking our brother and sister relationship into consideration!”
Song Ci scoffed and blurted out, “Since when have you ever given it any consideration?”
He pointed at Tu Shan Lian and said, “You are a wicked woman!”
“Attack!” Tu Shan swung up her whip in fury. “Dig his heart out and extract the hope of Tu Shan!”
Tu Shan Lian’s expression could be indeed said to be savage. But just as she was about to lash out, Rong Bai raised his left hand. Blue flame ignited from his fingertip and enveloped his entire hand.
An indistinct arrogance lay under the laziness in his eyes. It was as if he did not give a single damn about Tu Shan Lian. Blue flame blazed in his palm into the shape of a fireball the size of a palm. Rong Bai clenched his fist. The instant he crushed the fireball, a powerful blue flame instantly went assaulting right towards her.
Tu Shan Lian and the rest were completely engulfed within the flame. The scorching heat turned the peaceful afternoon into one of restlessness. Shrill shrieks and screams rang out amid the sound of the violent wind. For a moment, waves of grasses surged, and tree leaves rustled.
Song Ci watched the scene before him and let out a satisfied smile.
Tu Shan Lian’s clothes were almost burned away by the time the wind scattered the flames. Her exposed skin was severely burned, and the black blisters all over her were badly mangled. She was still hanging on by a breath as she glared at Rong Bai with eyes full of hatred.
“Even if I…” Tu Shan flow Lian shouted in a hoarse voice, “Even if I turn into a malicious ghost, I won’t let you off!”
“If I were afraid of malicious ghosts, I would have died in your hands a long time ago.” Rong Bai walked up to her and looked at her from above. “I’ll let you die a quick death out of kindness.”
Tu Shan Lian gnashed her teeth and shouted, “Tu Shan Rong Bai! You deserve to die just as much as that repulsive Rong Sang! How hateful! Do you know that when you stole out of Tu Shan back then, I followed you all the way from behind and watched as you wandered around like a fool among the flowers. I was the one who led your mount away. Once I returned, I told daddy about how Rong Sang had secretly let you out.”
“Before your mother died, she was still begging daddy to send someone to look for you. Hahaha!” Tu Shan Lian was near insane. Her contorted face was like an evil ghost who could not take it lying down; it brimmed with the satisfaction of having taken her revenge.
On hearing this, Rong Bai’s eyes turned cold. He looked down at her.
Song Ci knew that Rong Bai’s heart had always been hurting over Rong Sang’s incident. He hurried to his side and took his hand. “Don’t listen to this crazy woman. Kill her quickly.”
“You’re just as stupid as your mother!” Tu Shan Lian glared fixedly at Rong Bai with bloodshot eyes.
Ice settled in the depths of Rong Bai’s eyes as he lifted the corners of his lips. “I changed my mind.”
He raised his hand, and white light spread out from his palm. It enveloped Tu Shan Lian and seeped into her body. The next moment, Tu Shan Lian let out a frantic, blood-curdling scream as her body burned up until it was near paralysed. Twitching and spasming, she began to roll on the ground, “AH—!”
The bones in her body seemed to shake as they arched up under her skin and dislocated.
Tu Shan Lian used her badly burned and bloodied hands to claw at her body. She let out an instinctive howl, like a wild beast on the verge of death.
A ray of golden light materialized from her chest as if it was being forcibly dragged out by the white light. The moment it left Tu Shan Lian’s body, it condensed and congealed into the shape of a white-colored bone until it was all pulled out. It was about the length of a forearm, with a warm, glowing luster. Rong Bai took it in his hand.
It was then Tu Shan Lian stopped screaming and raised her head weakly as though the fight had gone out of her. Terror filled her face when she saw the object in Rong Bai’s hand. As she struggled to paw at Rong Bai’s shoes, she cried and shouted, “Return it to me… Return it to me!”
Rong Bai clenched his hand, and blue flame devoured the bone bit by bit. Tu Shan Lian wanted to leap up to snatch it back, but her body was already at its limit and could no longer move. Her eyes were so wide-open they were almost splitting at the sides. Her shrill screams made one’s hair stand on end.
But still, she could only watch helplessly as the bone was completely burned away into nothingness.
Rong Bai said coldly, “I’ve extracted your divine bone2 and disabled your divine powers. Enjoy the rest of your life.”
He raised and waved his hand to send a battered and almost dead Tu Shan Lian to a random corner in the mortal world.
Seeing the gloom in Rong Bai’s expression, Song Ci retracted his fingers and comforted him in a gentle voice, “Rong Bai, it’s all over.”
Rong Bai turned to look at him. After looking at each other for a moment, he turned a step to the side and planted a kiss on Song Ci’s lips.
“I know.” He said.
Seems like we are coming to an end soon.
This is the end of Song Ci’s arc. The closing arc starts the next chapter!
- Recap in Chapter 85. 因果 karma, also known as cause (因) and effect (果). 果 also means fruit, or the result or consequences of something. To understand the action Song Ci did back then, you can see it as Song Ci planting a “seed” in Rong Bai’s body, and wanting Rong Bai to return the “fruit” of it to him the next time they meet.
- Recap: it’s the same as Fu Chi’s divine bone in the Mo Yao Arc.