The Desolate Era - Book 16, Chapter 4 - The Third Sinflame Tribulation
The dimension blew apart, reality shattering into tiny little pieces. The more powerful Immortal cultivators within the dimension roared with fury, seeking to charge out from within it.
“What’s going on?”
Countless mortals were completely dazed and confused. They watched as the world itself shattered…and they were completely unable to resist. The cried out in terror, in pain, in panic.
“Mother, second matron…no…no…” The youth was completely dazed. He watched as the two most important people in his life, his mother and his second matron, be ground apart as the walls of reality itself imploded.
The most important people in his life!
The youth felt unbearable pain. He was filled with hatred and despair…and then, his consciousness went dark.
Ning’s soul was riding with the youth, and the emotions which the youth felt slammed into Ning as well. After riding with the youth for more than ten years, Ning had feelings for the two women as well. He viewed them almost as he would his own mother…and when they died, Ning was filled with boundless anger, regret, and…self-blame! He couldn’t help but blame himself for what had happened.
If…if I hadn’t shattered that Qiankun pearl…how wonderful it would have been…
“That poor child. Those poor mothers…” Ning’s heart had already reached the iceheart level, and so he was able to quickly suppress that thread of self-blame. He quickly and completely escaped from being in the mindset of that youth.
“Listen up! A foolish idiot like you isn’t worthy of my little sister.” A muscular, powerful man was standing on the prone body of a youth. The man was roaring angrily, “If you know what’s good for you, stay away in the future. Don’t you dare get close to my little sister again. Otherwise…next time I see you, things won’t end as easily as they have today. There are plenty of monsters in the deep mountains outside the city; if I were to throw you into the mountains, before a single night is over, you’ll have been completely devoured, leaving behind not even a bone.”
The muscular man gave two more kicks before turning and leaving.
Ning felt pain throughout his entire body. He rose to his feet, his face swollen and his forehead busted open.
“Am I now riding with this youth?” Ning mused to himself.
The youth turned, then hobbled with difficulty towards his own residence.
“Ji.” A maiden stealthily crept in. Upon seeing the appearance of the bedridden youth, she felt such pain that her tears came cascading down. “It’s all my fault. All my fault…”
“Yu Wei?!” Ning couldn’t help but feel shocked when he saw the maiden.
They looked too similar.
Far too similar! In fact, she looked utterly identical to his senior apprentice-sister, Yu Wei. But Ning quickly came to his senses; given that there were ten billion mortals within the Oldjade mountain range, it made sense that there was at least one maiden who looked almost identical to Yu Wei. In addition…after he gave her a closer look, he saw that this maiden appeared simpler and more guileless than Yu Wei; she didn’t have the transcendent aura possessed by an Immortal cultivator.
The maiden helped the youth bind his wounds, applying medicine to him. She had even brought over a meat soup for him to drink.
“We need to be even more careful in the future. We can’t let my big brother see us again, or any other members of my family,” the maiden said hurriedly.
“Believe me, Lotus…I’m definitely going to train to the Xiantian level, at which point I will openly woo you and wed you,” the youth said seriously.
“I know.” The maiden nodded gently.
“You little punk…why don’t you take a good look at yourself? You really don’t know your own limits. You little bastard, you aren’t even a Xiantian lifeform! My little sister is so beautiful, she’s like an Immortal fairy who has descended to the mortal world; she’s one of the most beautiful women of the entire city of Eastring. Plenty of people wish to wed my little sister.” The muscular man was roaring at him. “And you think you can dream of the same? I warned you last time…so don’t blame me for showing no mercy this time! Servants, tie him up and send him to the mountains. Feed him to the monsters!”
“Yes!” Two servants hurriedly assented.
The youth was pressed down against the ground, and his mouth was gagged with a cloth rag. His hands, arms, and entire body were quickly bound. He let out an unhappy groan, but the muscular man just stared at him coldly.
The youth was sent outside the city, deep into the mountains.
“Leave him here. Soon, he’ll be eaten up.” The two servants tossed him down to the ground.
The bound youth landed on the ground, covered with rocks and stones. One protruding stone stabbed deep into his chest. The youth immediately spat out a mouthful of blood, rolling around in agony on the ground.
“Am I going to die? Die here?”
The youth’s heart was filled with terror.
Time passed on…
Rustle, rustle, rustle…
Sound rang out. The youth’s heart clenched; had a monster just arrived? Forget about monsters; even ordinary animals would be able to effortlessly eat him right now.
“I’m absolutely sure that he’s over here.”
“You led us astray earlier. If you are wrong again, you can go die with that brat.”
“Earlier, I led you the wrong way because it was dark. This time, there’s no mistake at all.”
Alongside the voices…
A muscular man appeared, leading two servants.
“Urrr. Urrr.” The youth’s mouth remained gagged; he was unable to speak, but he stared towards the three with surprise and anger.
The muscular man was so angry, he laughed. “You didn’t die. Your luck really isn’t bad! I really wonder what you did, you little brat, to make my little sister so besotted that she threatened suicide. Bring him back!”
Only later did the youth discover…
Lotus, upon learning that Ji had been sent to the deep mountains to be fed to monsters, had been stunned. And then…this girl who had always been innocent, pure, and obedient…went berserk. She threatened suicide: “If I don’t see Ji before dawn, I’ll go join him.” The girl had pressed a sharp knife towards her heart. In the past, she had always been very obedient towards her peak Xiantian father, but this time, she wasn’t willing to compromise at all. “Father, you might be able to take away my knife and tie me up, but if I want to die…you won’t be able to stop me.”
In the end…her strong, domineering father had bowed his head.
After this, Lotus’ father and elder brother no longer tried to prevent the two from being together. To the contrary, they began to train Ji, providing him with good cultivation techniques. Thanks to the help of Ji’s father-in-law and brother-in-law, he truly did break through to become a Xiantian lifeform.
“What?” The youth used his Xiantian energy to probe Lotus’ stomach. He revealed a look of delight. “This, this is…”
Lotus laughed as well.
“I’m going to be a father. Hahaha, I’m going to be a father. Wonderful! Ahahahaha…”
The youth was wildly overjoyed. Lotus, however, just quietly smiled.
“Lotus, I, Youngflame Ji, swear that I will definitely take good care of you and our son.” The youth said excitedly, “My son, in the future, shall become a truly formidable figure. In fact, he’ll be one of the most formidable figures of our entire Youngflame clan.”
“Right.” Lotus nodded gently as well.
Ning’s soul was riding with the youth. He had a very strange feeling in his heart. Lotus looked almost identical to Yu Wei. The excitement which Youngflame Ji had felt when he had discovered that Lotus was pregnant…
Ning had a strange feeling. It was as though he had completely become one with Youngflame Ji, as though he and Yu Wei were about to have a child together.
“I, Youngflame Ji, swear that I will definitely take good care of you and our son.” When Youngflame Ji said these words…Ning felt a powerful sense of responsibility.
A husband’s…a father’s…
“Can it be that they are also going to…” Ning could vaguely see their future, a future that caused Ning’s heart to feel pain. This girl looked identical to Yu Wei. She was simple and honest, but her heart was whole-heartedly with her man. Ning truly didn’t wish to see Lotus die.
Time passed, one day after another.
Lotus’ belly grew bigger and bigger. The young Youngflame Ji was working hard to acquire all sorts of treasured herbs, which he gave to Lotus to eat. “My child must be born with the best of talent. In the future, he will definitely become an important person.”
Each time Youngflame Ji had that eager, excited look on his face, Lotus would laugh as she looked at her man.
This was bliss.
“Everyone in the city is to be evacuated!” An ancient voice echoed throughout the city. Youngflame Ji, who had been holding his pregnant wife’s hand and accompanying her on a stroll, was startled.
The world around them changed.
Youngflame Ji and Lotus had arrived within a pocket dimension which was filled with countless people.
“Lotus, are you alright?” Youngflame Ji was extremely worried.
“I’m fine. But…but where are we?” Lotus, rather worried as well, clutched at Youngflame Ji’s hand.
“Don’t worry. I’m here.” Youngflame Ji vigilantly scanned their surroundings.
Not too long afterwards…
A second round of teleportations. This time, they were moved to Old Demon Windraiser’s pearl, and the population became even denser.
“No…” Ning’s heart was filled with regret. He truly didn’t want to see this…this scene of utter despair.
The world broke apart.
Screams of terror…rage…despair…
Countless people began to die within the shattering dimension.
“No, no, no…” The youth was completely dazed. He stared in terror at the surrounding world. He had sworn an oath…he was going to protect his wife! “What should I do? What should I do?!” He was blaming himself over and over; he would rather die than let his beloved wife die! He couldn’t forget how they had met…the countless hardships they had experienced together before they had finally been able to be together…
“Lotus…” The youth looked towards the girl, his tears falling down.
He truly was helpless!
“It’s good that we’re together…our entire family is together…” Lotus tightly clutched her man with one hand while gently touching her stomach with the other.
The shattering dimension showed no mercy at all. As the cracks in reality swept towards them…the man, the woman, and the child in the woman’s belly all perished.
The dimension was completely destroyed.
Ning even ‘saw’ that giant golden palm appear in the outside world. It was this golden palm that had shattered the Qiankun pearl, causing the three of them to all perish.
And that giant golden palm…was Ning’s palm.
“Why? Why wasn’t I just a bit more careful…why did I have to destroy it?” Upon seeing Lotus die, he couldn’t help but feel as though Yu Wei had just died in front of him. The agony which Youngflame Ji felt was sent straight to Ning’s own heart, causing him to feel pain as well.
“It was my fault.”
“I shouldn’t have.”
Ning had reached the ‘iceheart’ stage. Although he felt regret …in the deepest recesses of his heart, he was still able to maintain his state of cold transcendence. He was still able to completely control the emotions he felt regarding what had happened in the outside world, causing it to be unable to shake his inner heart.
One story after another.
Ning’s soul rode with one individual after another. For some, he only spent a few months with them; for others, he spent more than ten years. Each person was the type which Ning absolutely wouldn’t have been willing to kill…and in fact, many of their stories resonated with him. This sort of soul-riding felt almost like a form of rebirth. However, because Ning had reached the ‘iceheart’ level, he was able to separate all those emotions from his inner heart, causing it to remain unshaken.
However…the more Ning saw, the more he felt a certain desire in his heart…
If only I hadn’t shattered that Qiankun pearl, how wonderful things would be!
Although Ning felt this desire…he also understood that there was no way to change things. He couldn’t take it back.
This sorts of feelings continuously accumulated within his heart. Suddenly…
“Mother! Second matron!”
“I don’t want to die!”
“My baby! Aaaaaaaah!”
In that instant…
Ning had experienced all sorts of powerful emotions over the course of riding with a thousand lives. All sorts of resentment, anger, pain, embarrassment, agony…they all suddenly gathered together. Before this, although Ning was deeply impacted by the emotions he felt when riding with one of the victims, the emotions came in a single, sudden rush. This time, however…all of the emotions came crashing upon him at the same time. The self-recrimination he felt came crashing down upon him like a wave, instantly drowning him within its waters.
“It was all because of you. You!”
“Why did you break it? Why?!”
“You should be damned.”
“If you die, you’ll be free.”
A flood of emotions…countless voices…they completely buried and smothered Ning. In fact, they were even able to breach Ning’s ‘iceheart’ and completely fill every inch of his inner heart.
This was the most difficult tribulation of the three tribulations of the ‘red dust tribulations’…the ‘thousand lives heart-tribulation’!