Ba-dum! Ba-dum! Ba-dum!
”…Wh…at? ” A soft, disbelieving voice slowly breathed out this single word.
He Yanglei wrenched his hand out of Lian Yu ’s chest in one smooth, extremely practiced motion, revealing a gaping hole of rent flesh, broken bones, and dripping blood. He held the beating heart in front of him, eyeing it with a smile.
”It is really the Aquatic Dragonborn Heart, ” his voice was filled with amazement as he noticed the sapphire-colored veins twisting within the pale-pink heart that was drenched in crimson blood.
Lian Yu ’s eyes weren ’t wide, or popping, or trembling, or quaking, but steady and fixed on an extremely strange object held by a bloody hand before her. It pumped strangely in that hand as if struggling to live, like an animal begging for mercy.
The sounds of thumping, the rhythm of its beats, and the aura of its physical energies were things she was extremely, distinctively, unfathomably familiar with! She had lived with this sound, this rhythm, this aura for her entire life!
”M…y… ” She felt her body grow slack, her muscles lose their feelings of strength, and her eyelids became extremely heavy. It wasn ’t just her heart that had been taken out of her body, but the thrust had crushed every last one of her inner organs. Her right lung was in bits of pieces. Her spine was severed.
That hand mercilessly eviscerated everything in the vicinity and then some.
Her body was dying…
She was dying…
”Li-Lian Yu. Lian Yu? ” Long Chen stuttered out her name, his mind blank. The image of her gaping hole punctured through her body was ingrained into his mind, heart, and soul in the most permanent manner. He reached out, as if trying to grasp something. Anything.
”No…no, no, no. Lian Yu, no. No. NO! NO!!! LIAN YU!!! ” Long Chen ’s mind slowly came to, finally realizing the reality of the situation. His mind flashed back to Hong Ru ’s death at the hands of that wolf, eaten in half. He recalled the emotions he felt that day, the utter helplessness, the extreme rage, and more. All those negative emotions!
Lian Yu heard this voice, slowly lifting her head to see Long Chen stepping forward with his hands out, his face contorted by negative emotions, and tears forming at the edge of his eyes.
’So that was my heart, huh? ’ Was Lian Yu ’s first fully formulated thought after the fact. It was abnormally strong, vibrant and clear. ’Am I dying? Is this it? ’ Surprisingly, there was a lack of fear in her mind, just a bunch of regret.
She regretted not being stronger.
She regretted not trying harder.
She regretted dying so soon.
She regretted not having children.
She regretted not seeing more wonderful sights.
At that thought, she inexplicably recalled Qing Qiumu ’s stories of Wei Wuyin, that figure she hated on behalf of Long Chen. How he had taken her traveling on Junia, an extremely beautiful planet. They had plans to go there together before…before everything went sideways.
She regretted not going.
’I miss my family. ’ Images of her childhood emerged in her mind. Her mother, father, cousins, and friends. Those rivals of hers in the Aqua Echo Sect. At one point, she had it all. Beauty, talent, strength, and more. She was well-regarded, extremely renowned, and worshipped by countless men and envied by endless women on the Myriad Yore Continent. She had no material wants left unfulfilled, just a yearning for excitement and adventure.
Then she met Long Chen. Like a falling meteorite smashing into her hardened surface, he caused endless changes in her life. These changes were mostly good. And he treated her well. He brought adventure. He brought excitement.
She had traveled worlds, expanded her entire life ’s horizon to encompass more than just a small piece of land in the vastness of this cultivation world. She reached levels that she ’d never known existed. The Astral Core Realm!
She was happy.
She was happy with him.
Despite her thoughts seemingly being complicated, filled with memories and nostalgia, it had all happened in the shortest period of time imaginable. Her heartless body had left He Yanglei ’s grasp, falling towards the ground. When her knees touched the wooden surface, her weak body flopped over, and her head bounced off the deck.
The thudding sound was extremely hollow.
”NO! ” With only this word in mind, Long Chen lunged forward at Lian Yu ’s body, but he found that his astral force was absolutely silent, non-responsive. Unable to consider this development, he ran over with those shackles tied to his arms and legs. He tripped a few feet in, crawling hastily upwards with all his might, and inching forward while kneeling, shuffling with his knees.
It took a while, but he soon reached Lian Yu ’s body. There was a pool of blood beneath her, and those normally lively and radiant sapphire-like eyes had become blank. He reached out to touch her beautiful face, but his hands hesitated.
”…What did you do? ” Long Chen asked, his voice tingled one ’s spine. He lifted his eyes towards He Yanglei, observing his every feature. Asking again, ”WHAT DID YOU DO?! ”
He Yanglei was focused on this Aquatic Dragonborn Heart, not expecting to find such a difficult and rarely produced treasure in the body of a lowly cultivator. It continued to thump under his power, remaining completely alive. His sky-blue eyes shifted to Long Chen.
”I killed her; isn ’t that obvious? ” With a content smile, he treated Lian Yu ’s life as inconsequential. ”But it doesn ’t matter. I ’ll send you along with her in a little bit. To think you ’re so ignorant to place the Endless Oath Shackles on yourself, and not expect this. ” He didn ’t bother explaining what the shackles were to Long Chen.
They were unique treasures of ancient times that restrained cultivators completely, turning them mortal. Furthermore, they established a strange oath that is written, only taken into effect if one willingly puts the shackles on themselves. They even enforced this oath.
It was an oath of complete and total servitude to the one who handed you the shackles. At the moment, if he told Long Chen to…
”Slap her for me, ” He Yanglei smilingly ordered.
Long Chen ’s eyes widened. He was about to speak, his mind nearly collapsed in ungodly madness. If it wasn ’t for his belief in reviving her one day, especially after seeing Hong Ru ’s death, he might ’ve lost himself completely. But he forced himself to retain a sliver of calm.
His eyes grew blank and his hand moved, giving Lian Yu ’s face a vertical slap. But he held no strength, so there was no damage. The act, however, sent him reeling. Why? What? How? Why did he slap her?!
He Yanglei nodded at this sight, beaming. ”To think you have a Seed of Law in you. I can ’t wait to extract it. ”
Lian Yu spat out a puff of air. Her eyes momentarily brightened with life. The slap had awakened her last bit of lifeforce. She saw Long Chen on his knees, slowly shifting those eyes to see Long Chen ’s horrified face that had tears.
’You ’re crying for me? My life wasn ’t worthless then. ’ Her thoughts were simple, slowly forming a smile so beautiful, so soul-shaking, that any man or woman might fall in love with her at this moment. She spat out the last bits of air in her body, ”I-I love… ”
Long Chen responded to Lian Yu ’s awareness. Her soft words shook him out of his horror, shock, and fear. He reached for her, caressing her face. ”You ’re alive. You ’re alive. I won ’t let you die. I promise I ’ll bring you back, no matter what. Even Hong Ru can do so, so can you! ”
He swore to himself, the heavens, the earth, the world, and the gods that he would do so—no matter what.
He Yanglei was about to turn Lian Yu ’s body into a puff of blood out of amusement, but he received a message from the old man watching above. Hastily, he brought out a strange black box with vein-like patterns that gave off a devilishly dark aura. He slowly and carefully stored Lian Yu ’s heart, almost panicking at his carelessness.
But as this happened, a surge of power within Lian Yu ’s body lit. It permeated a strange, silent, unnoticeable force within her. Others couldn ’t sense it, but Lian Yu could. Her body trembled for a moment as she softly said before losing all life: ”…Wei Wuyin… ”
”… ” Long Chen ’s thoughts froze. Everything froze. His breathing, his heartbeat, the air in his lungs, the acid in his stomach, and the blood flowing through his veins.
”What? ” Was all he could say.
He Yanglei grasped towards Long Chen after placing the heart in the strange box. He grasped again, bringing Shui Linghe ’s long since unconscious body towards him also. With a thought, he ignored Lian Yu ’s corpse and flew away.
Long Chen absentmindedly looked at Lian Yu ’s corpse, utterly speechless. Those were her last words? THOSE WERE HER LAST WORDS?!?!
As Lian Yu breathed out her last, in the True Desolate Temple hundreds of thousands of miles away, Wei Wuyin opened his eyes as he peered into the perpetually bright sky. ”The little power I left in her was triggered. She ’s dead? ”
Wei Wuyin ’s Celestial Eyes peered into the trend of this world, locating the trace of Lian Yu ’s presence. When he had saved her, he left a bit of his spiritual strength within her body to negate and hide the draconic bloodline she wielded. He sighed, ”I felt her incoming calamity long before. I warned him; he simply wouldn ’t listen. ”
When he had observed Lian Yu, he had felt an ominous feeling surge around her. That being said, it didn ’t represent that she would die, but that she would suffer some calamity in the future. He had given Long Chen a warning about her weakness and possible fate, solely out of the bond they shared as fellow draconic bloodline possessors.
”Should I make a move? ” He thought deeply for a moment, considering Lian Yu ’s situation and her meaning to him. Besides the Draconic Bloodline, they had no other connection or interactions. In the end, he decided to leave it up to Long Chen.
She was his woman, after all.
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