Chapter 46 – A Human is a Human
Why is it that right before a storm approaches, it is always gloomily tranquil?
The sky was so clear it seemed as if it had been washed. The sheet of blue stretched on for ten thousand li.
There was no storm. The storm was in the hearts of people.
This type of storm was the most terrifying of all.
Out in the hallway, it was so quiet that the sound of Wang Dong’s breathing could be heard coming from his room. His breathing was deep and heavy, and he actually seemed as if he was asleep. It took true skill for someone to be able to sleep in such a time.
Guo Dalu and Yan Qi’s whereabouts were unknown. In the eyes of other people, the actions of newlyweds always seem a little mysterious.
Only Hong NiangZi was keeping Yu LingLong company.
Two lonely people. Two broken hearts.
Yu LingLong stared numbly off into the distance. There was nothing in the distance. There was nothing in her eyes. Her entire being seemed empty.
Out of the blue, Hong NiangZi suddenly gave a sigh. “I know you were lying just now.”
“Lying?” Yu LingLong responded blankly.
Hong NiangZi: “You came here this time not because you wanted revenge and not because you wanted him to get on his knees and beg you.”
Yu LingLong: “I don’t want it?”
“In the past, you might not have been willing to be the Lin family’s daughter-in-law, but now, you are willing to be Lin TaiPing’s wife. I can tell.” Hong NiangZi exhaled a long breath. “But I do not understand. Why won’t you tell him?”
Yu LingLong was biting down on her own lip. “If you can tell, he should be able to as well.”
Sighing, Hong NiangZi told her, “You still do not understand men, especially his particular type. He may look like he is very frail, but in reality, he is stronger than anyone.”
Yu LingLong: “Oh?”
Hong NiangZi: “But the strongest people will oftentimes be the most fragile of people. Others only need to hurt him in the smallest of ways, and his heart will break.”
Yu LingLong: “You think I hurt him?”
Hong NiangZi: “You should not have said those words to him. You should have been honest with him, told him the feelings you have for him now, and let him know your sincerity. Only then will he be sincere to you too.”
Yu LingLong gave a forlorn smile. “I understand what you mean. I had originally wanted to do as you just said, but unfortunately…” Her head lowered until it was hanging very low, and she continued in a soft voice, “Regardless of what I do now, it is too late…”
Hong NiangZi looked at her with tender compassion in her eyes. She seemed to see her own reflection in this stubborn, lonely girl. It was true; it was too late now. Once an opportunity is missed, it will never come back again.
Forcing a little laugh, Hong NiangZi comforted, “Maybe it is not too late. Perhaps you should use some sort of scheme on him. Sometimes when you are dealing with men, you need to scheme a bit. As long as he takes you as his wife, you will be the Lin family’s daughter-in-law, and then, Terrestrial Dragon King will not…”
Yu LingLong lifted her head unexpectedly and cut off her sentence. “You do not need to say anymore. I already have my own plans. No matter what, Terrestrial Dragon King is also a person. Why must I be afraid of him?” Although her expression was still sorrowful, stubbornness and pride had filled her eyes. She had always been one who was unwilling to bow her head.
Hong NiangZi had lowered her head now. She knew there was no need for her to say anything else, nor could she say anything else.
All of a sudden, Yu LingLong clasped her hand. “No matter what,” she said gently, “I am still just as grateful to you for your kind intentions.”
Hong NiangZi: “I know.”
Yu LingLong: “But there is one thing you do not know.”
Hong NiangZi: “You can say it.”
Turning her gaze to Wang Dong’s window, Yu LingLong said quietly, “You truly are able to understand people, but yet, why is it that you cannot understand him?”
Hong NiangZi smiled. It, too, was a very desolate smile. A long time passed by before she responded in a quiet tone, “Perhaps it is because he really is not a person; otherwise, how could he sleep right now?”
Was Wang Dong really sleeping?
Why was there no longer the sound of his breathing in the room?
Terrestrial Dragon King leaned sideways on his soft, tiger-skin bed and stared at Wang Dong as if he wanted to pierce two holes into Wang Dong’s face.
Even Wang Dong felt as if his face had had two holes bored into it. Never before had he seen such eyes. Never before had he seen such a person. The Terrestrial Dragon King of his imagination did not look like that.
What kind of person should Terrestrial Dragon King have been?
Of course, he would certainly be a very tall, well-built man, very mighty-looking, extremely majestic and powerful, red-faced with a long beard, and have a lion-like nose and mouth like the ocean. Perhaps there would be white hairs covering his face, but his waist would be perfectly straight when he stood, just like the gods that you see in paintings. When he spoke, his voice would undoubtedly be like a mighty bell or a great drum, and it would have the ability to shake your ears until they tingled numbly. And when his anger was about to explode, the best thing you could do was to get far, far away from him. Wang Dong had even prepared himself to listen to his roar of anger.
But he was mistaken.
As soon as he laid eyes on Terrestrial Dragon King, he knew that regardless of who wanted to provoke him into anger, it would absolutely not be an easy thing to do.
Only the ones who never grow angry are the ones who should truly be feared.
His complexion was pale, his hair was very thin, and his beard was not long. His hair and beard were groomed so that they were clean, shiny, and neat, and his hands looked very well taken care of so that it was difficult for anyone to believe they had ever taken someone’s life. His dress was simple for he knew there was no longer any need for him to use resplendent attire and precious jewels to flaunt his status and wealth.
He had not stood when Wang Dong entered. No matter who came in, he still would not stand. No matter who it was, no one would blame him.
Because he only had one leg!
Terrestrial Dragon King, the one who had did as he pleased, completely unhindered in the world, who showed disdain for all the heroes of the martial world, was actually a cripple with only one leg.
Inside that enormous tent, it was silent. Besides the two of them, there were no other people.
Wang Dong had come inside the tent for a long time now, and, in a respectful tone, had only said four words: “I am Wang Dong.”
Terrestrial Dragon King had not even said a single word in return. Any other person would have thought that he had not heard what was said.
But Wang Dong did not think that. Wang Dong knew that only after he had decided on what to do would he open his mouth to speak.
There are some people who never say a single wrong sentence. He, very obviously, was one of thsoe people. Strangely enough, though, for these kinds of people, even if 10,000 of their sentences were wrong, it still would not matter.
Wang Dong was waiting, standing there waiting.
At last, Terrestrial Dragon King stretched out his arm and pointed at a wolf-skin cushion. “Sit.”
Wang Dong sat down.
Terrestrial Dragon King pointed again, this time at the gold goblet on the small table beside the wolf-skin cushion. “Wine.”
Wang Dong shook his head.
Terrestrial Dragon King’s eyes were clear as he assessed, “You only drink wine with your friends.”
Wang Dong: “Sometimes there are exceptions.”
Terrestrial Dragon King; “What sort of times?”
Wang Dong: “When I just want to be cursory with a person. But I do not want be cursory with you.
Terrestrial Dragon King: “Why?”
Wang Dong: “Because I will never act cursorily towards someone who is worthy of my respect.”
Terrestrial Dragon King stared at him. Another long while passed until he gave a sudden laugh and said, “You came early.”
Wang Dong: “My intention was never to come here to drink wine.”
With a slow nod of his head, Terrestrial Dragon King agreed, “Naturally it was not.” He raised the jade cup before him and sipped slowly from it. All of a sudden, like the blade of a knife, his gaze whipped back towards Wang Dong. “You are looking at my leg?”
Wang Dong: “Yes.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “You must be puzzling over who would actually be capable of chopping off my leg.”
Wang Dong: ‘Yes.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “Do you want to know who it is?”
Wang Dong: “No.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “Why not?”
Wang Dong: “Because, no matter who he may be, I would think he is certainly long dead by now.”
Terrestrial Dragon King gave an unexpected laugh. “It appears you are not a person of many words.”
Wang Dong: “I am not.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “I like people who do not speak much. The things they say are usually quite reliable.”
Wang Dong: “Usually they are, yes.”
“Good. Now, you might as well tell me what it is you are here to do.” He did not wait for Wang Dong to open his mouth as he added, “It will be best if you only use one sentence to say it.”
“You cannot kill Yu LingLong,” Wang Dong stated.
Terrestrial Dragon King’s face hardened.“Why not?”
Wang Dong: “If you want Lin TaiPing to continue living, then you cannot kill Yu LingLong.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “If I kill Yu LingLong, Lin TaiPing will die for her?”
Wang Dong: “You do not believe it?”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “You believe it?”
Wang Dong: “If I did not believe, I would not come here.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “You believe that there are people in the world who are willing to die for someone else?”
Wang Dong: “Not only that ‘there are people’ but that there are many people.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “Name two for me to hear.”
Wang Dong: “Lin TaiPing. Me.”
Terrestrial Dragon King laughed.
Wang Dong: “You do not believe it?”
Terrestrial Dragon King: ‘You believe it?”
Wang Dong: “Why don’t you make a wager with me?”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “What are we betting?”
Wang Dong: “My life for Yu LingLong’s life.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “And how will this bet work?”
Wang Dong: “If Lin TaiPing is not willing to die for Yu LingLong, you may take my life at any time.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “Otherwise?”
Wang Dong: “You will be free to leave. Therefore, regardless of win or loss, you have nothing to lose.”
Terrestrial Dragon King gave a cool laugh. “Nothing to lose?...... The ones who think that way must still have two legs.”
Wang Dong: “Even if someone chopped off one of my legs, I would still only seek him out, not his daughter.”
The look from Terrestrial Dragon King’s eyes grew even sharper. After a long time, he finally said unhurriedly, “You are able to prove that Lin TaiPing would die for her?”
“I cannot; you can,” Wang Dong replied. In a slow tone, he continued, “But I believe that he will be here very soon.”
Sure enough, someone else showed up.
It was not Lin TaiPing who came; it was actually Hong NiangZi, Guo DaLu, and Yan Qi. When they entered, Wang Dong was no longer inside the tent. From the expressions on their faces, it was apparent that they were just as astonished as Wang Dong had been a moment ago – nobody, regardless of whom it was, would have imagined that Terrestrial Dragon King was such a person.
Their purpose for coming was the same as Wang Dong’s because they had the same feelings and confidence in their friend.
“Confidence” is indeed a very amazing thing. It seems as if it forever will not disappoint – friendship is also the same.
Lin TaiPing did not disappoint them.
Terrestrial Dragon King leaned sideways on his soft, tiger-skin bed and stared at Lin TaiPing. This was his biological son, his only son. It had been nearly fifteen years since he had last seen him. But when he looked upon him, it was no different than when he was looking at Wang Dong.
A long time went by before he stretched out his arm and pointed at the wolf-skin cushion that Wang Dong had sat on a little while ago. “Sit.”
Lin TaiPing did not sit. His body had grown stiff – cold and stiff – but his eyes seemed to have moistened. He was facing his father, the father he had not seen in fifteen years. It was already not an easy thing that his tears had not fallen yet.
Terrestrial Dragon King’s face was still void of expression, but it seemed as if a few wrinkles had suddenly formed at the corners of his eyes. At long last, he exhaled a sigh and said, “You have grown-up, and it appears that you very much have a mind of your own.”
Lin TaiPing’s lips were tightly closed.
Terrestrial Dragon King: “If you are not willing to speak, why did you come?”
Lin TaiPing was quiet for another long moment before he responded, “I know you have never liked listening to useless words.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “Yes.”
Lin TaiPing: “Is it a must that the entire Yu family is completely exterminated?”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “Yes.”
Lin TaiPing: “There is only one person left from the Yu family now.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “Yes.”
Lin TaiPing’s hands were balled tightly into fists, and he spoke each word clearly: “If you kill her, then I must kill one person from the Lin family as well.”
His face hardening, Terrestrial Dragon King asked, “Who do you want to kill?’
Lin TaiPing: “Myself.”
As Terrestrial Dragon King stared intently at him, the lines by the corner of his grew deeper. This was his son – the bone of his bone, the blood of his blood. The blood that flowed in this young man’s body was the same blood as his own, just as stubborn, just as proud. Nobody could change this fact; even he, himself, could not. Heaving a deep sigh, Terrestrial Dragon King told him, “You should know that the words spoken by members of the Lin family can never be amended.”
“I know. That is why I would say that.” He suddenly added, “I also know that there is no grudge or hatred between you and her, and she has never even seen you before.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “And who is she to you? Why is it that you insist she must continue living?”
Lin TaiPing: “Because only if she lives can I continue living.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “The feelings between the two of you are so deep already?”
Biting down on his own lip, Lin TaiPing answered, “At first, I did not know either…”
Terrestrial Dragon King cut off his words as he asked, “When did you know?”
Lin TaiPing: “When you wanted to kill her – will you truly be happy after you have killed her?”
Terrestrial Dragon King was silent.
Lin TaiPing: “You are not certain yourself, right? But I can guarantee that after you have killed her, you will be even unhappier than before you had killed her.”
Terrestrial Dragon King’s face grew became stony. “You really are willing to die for her?”
Lin TaiPing: “Dying is not easy but neither is it a very difficult thing to do.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “What about her? Is she willing to do the same thing for you?”
Lin TaiPing was quiet.
Terrestrial Dragon King: “You are not sure yourself either, yes?”
Lin TaiPing said slowly, “Maybe it is because the people in her family do not want to kill me and did not take the grudges of the previous generation and place it on the shoulders of us, the next generation.”
There was a glint in Terrestrial Dragon King’s eyes as he suddenly gave in, “Fine. I will agree to what you say, but I have one condition.”
Lin TaiPing: “What sort of condition?”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “If she is willing to sacrifice herself for you, then that will prove that the feelings between the two of you are deep enough, and I will let her go.”
Lin TaiPing: “Otherwise?”
In a chilly voice, Terrestrial Dragon King answered, “Otherwise you should know then that she is not worth you dying for her.”
Lin TaiPing clenched his fists together even tighter. “Are you making a bet with me? Using her life as a wager?”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “At least the bet is very fair because win or lose, it is herself that decides it.”
Lin TaiPing: “How will I know it is fair?”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “I guarantee that you will be able to watch everything, but you must promise me something also.”
Lin TaiPing was listening.
Terrestrial Dragon King: “Before victory and defeat has been decided, you are not allowed to interfere – no one, no matter who it is, is allowed to interfere.” With a stare like a blade’s edge, he spoke each word clearly: “Otherwise, you will be considered to have lost this bet.”
At the back of the tent, there hung a heavy curtain. It was extremely dark, and there was no way that one could see into there from outside. But the people on the inside of the curtain could see out to what was happening before them.
Wang Dong, Hong NiangZi, Guo DaLu, and Yan Qi were already there, and they had heard every sentence, every word spoken by Lin TaiPing. They felt very comforted because Lin TaiPing had not disappointed them.
But what about Yu LingLong? Right then, not only was she holding her own life in her hand but Lin TaiPing’s as well. This was Lin TaiPing’s own decision, and it was obvious that he had that same confidence in her. Would she disappoint him?
They heard Terrestrial Dragon King ask another question. “Do you know what kind of person she was before?”
Lin TaiPing’s answer was very simple: “That is something that is already in the past. Even if I knew, I have already forgotten.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “What kind of schemes did she employ that would cause you to trust her in this way?”
Lin TaiPing: “She used many schemes, but there was only one that was effective.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “Which one?”
Lin TaiPing: “She told the truth.”
For some reason, when Hong NiangZi heard this reply, she suddenly lowered her head.
And then, Lin TaiPing walked in there as well. As he looked at each of them, his gaze was flooded with gratitude. His friends had not disappointed either.
Eight people sat quietly in front of that tent, so calm that they seemed like eight stone statues. They were Terrestrial Dragon King’s ‘Eight Divine Dragon Generals’ and each one of them by himself was enough to shake-up a part of the world with his might.
Yu LingLong’s eyes, though, did not even seem to notice them. She was still dressed in the dark cloth garments of the flower-vendor girl. With her head held high, she walked between them and into the tent. Her expression was very serene, but her eyes carried determination.
And then, she saw Terrestrial Dragon King.
Terrestrial Dragon King did not tell her to sit, but the gaze he placed on her was cutting.
Yu LingLong did not wait for him to open his mouth to speak before she said loudly, “Do you know who I am?”
Terrestrial Dragon King gave a nod of his head.
Yu LingLong: “I am the last descendant of the Yu family. You only need to kill me, and then you will have achieved your desire.”
Terrestrial Dragon King remained silent for quiet some time before he finally responded unhurriedly, “That is not my desire.”
Yu LingLong: “It is not?”
“That merely is something that I said,” Terrestrial Dragon King told her in an indifferent tone.
Yu LingLong: “Everything you have spoken, you have accomplished.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “There is only one that I have not accomplished.”
Yu LingLong: “Perhaps you may be able get it done very soon now.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “Perhaps?”
Yu LingLong: “ ‘Perhaps’ means that it is uncertain.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “Don’t tell me you dare to exchange blows with me?”
With a cold smirk, Yu LingLong retorted, “Why wouldn’t I dare? Do you really think that you are very incredible?” She did not allow Terrestrial Dragon King to respond as she continued quickly, “If a person does not even have the ability to look after his own wife and son, no matter how amazing he is, it still would be limited.”
Terrestrial Dragon King was not angered by her words. “They are able to take care of themselves,” he replied dispassionately.
Yu LingLong laughed coolly, “That is their own business. What about you? Have you fulfilled your responsibilities? If the fathers and husbands in this world were all the same as you, I am afraid the women and children would nearly all be dead by now.”
At last, Terrestrial Dragon King’s face hardened as he asked in a low voice, “You came here just to say these words?”
Yu LingLong: “I am simply reminding you that you still have a wife and a son. It would be best if you did not forget them because they also have not forgotten you.”
His voice was cool. “You have reminded me now.”
Yu LingLong released a long breath. “Yes. What should be said has all been said.” Suddenly throwing her shoulders back and cupping her fist, she said, “Please.” She knew perfectly well that she was facing the one who was umatched beneath Heaven, Terrestrial Dragon King, and also clearly knew that outside the tent, there were those Eight Divine Dragon Generals who struck awe in all the world with their might, but yet there was not even a trace of fear in her expression. Although her body was delicate and slender, she was filled with determination and courage. Right this moment, the motion of throwing back her shoulders and cupping her fist seemed to faintly give a sense that she could stand up to Terrestrial Dragon King as an equal.
Terrestrial Dragon King gave an unexpected chuckle. “How old are you this year?”
Though Yu LingLong did not know why he would suddenly ask this, she still answered, “Seventeen.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “At what age did you start practicing martial arts?”
Yu LingLong: “Four.”
Terrestrial Dragon King’s smile was cold. “You have only practiced martial arts for thirteen years, yet you dare fight me?”
Responding with a cold smile of her own, she said, “Even if I have only practiced for one day, I would still contend with you just the same to determine whose skill is higher. And even if we of the Yu family cannot compare to you in martial skills, our bones are always hard [saying that means someone is unyielding].”
Terrestrial Dragon King suddenly laughed long and hard. “Good! So hard are those bones. So great is the courage.”
Amid the sound of his lengthy laughter, his body suddenly soared upward from where it had been lounging on that slanted soft bed, as if there was a pair of unseen hands supporting him from beneath him. Yu LingLong could not help retreating back half a step. She recognized this stance to be the first stance of the legendary “Divine Dragon Eight Stances” called “Submerged Dragon Ascends into Heaven”, but she had never imagined that anyone’s lightness kung fu could reach this level of attainment.
Who would have thought that while Terrestrial Dragon King’s body was flying up into the air, he was still able to open his mouth to speak? In a low voice, he warned, “Beware your right and left ‘Qing Ling’ acupoints.”
The Qing Ling acupoints are located on the inner one-third of the upper arms, and if struck, a person will not be able to raise his shoulders. However, if you do not lift up your arms, people will have no way of hitting those two acupoints.
Smirking coldly, Yu LingLong thought to herself, “Even if I am not your match, it still will not be easy for you if you want to seal my Qing Ling acupoints.” She was determined that, no matter what the situation was, she still would not raise her arms up. Given Terrestrial Dragon King’s status, since he had already stated clearly that he was going to strike her Qing Ling acupoints, he of course would not attack her anywhere else.
It was at this moment that Terrestrial Dragon King arrived right before her. A powerful rushing sound of wind shook her so that her clothing billowed upwards. She spun her body around. Just as she wanted to use that momentum to dissipate away the force, she heard two “pa pa” sounds, and then she could no longer lift her two arms. Looking back at Terrestrial Dragon King again, he had already gone back to his soft bed at some point in time, and his manner was just as leisurely as before. No one would have been able to tell that he had struck out in attack just an instant ago.
Yu LingLong’s entire face was flushed red from fury. “You attacked my ‘Jian Jing’ [Shoulder Well] acupoints, not my Qing Ling acupoints,” she accused loudly.
Terrestrial Dragon King replied indifferently, “I do not need you to remind me. I am still able to differentiate between the Jian Jing and Qing Ling acupoints.”
Yu LingLong: “Who ever would have thought that a grown man such as you would not keep his word?”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “When did I say I was going to seal your Qing Ling acupoints?”
Yu LingLong: “You said it very clearly just a moment ago.”
“I merely wanted you to pay attention to them. In a fight against someone, every acupoint on your body should be paid attention to.” His voice was unconcerned as he added, “Furthermore, in the way of martial arts, the ability to adapt when facing an enemy, resourcefulness, and flexibility are always crucial. If I cannot seal your Qing Ling acupoint, naturally I should go attack your Jian Jing acupoint. Since the result is the same and you would have no way of raising your arms anyhow, why then must I strike the Qing Ling acupoint? If you cannot even understand this principle, then even if you train for another 130 years, you still will have no way of becoming a high level fighter.” He carried on and on, like a shifu teaching his disciple or a father or uncle teaching his son or nephew.
Yu LingLong was so enraged her face was alternating between a burning red color and pale white. Gnashing her teeth, she said, “Fine. Kill me.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “You do not submit to this in your heart?”
Yu LingLong: ‘Even if I die, I will not submit.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “Fine.”
The word, “fine”, had just left his lips and then, all that could be heard was a whooshing sound. Something unidentifiable was released from his hand and struck her “Shen Feng” acupoint. Yu LingLong only felt a force on her chest that spread out towards her four limbs, and instantly, her arms were able to move again.
“Sealing Acupoints Through the Air” was already an extremely rare top-tier martial art. Who could have imagined that this Terrestrial Dragon King could actually “Unseal Acupoints Through the Air”?
Yu LingLong was gritting her teeth together. Even though she knew that her opponent’s martial arts were fathomless and immeasurable, she was still prepared to go all out and fight him.
However, her body had just swept upwards and she had not even executed a single stance yet when she suddenly felt a warm wind blowing towards her. Her left and right “Qing Ling” acupoints tingled. Then, her body was falling back to the ground and once more, she was unable to raise her two arms.
Turning her eyes to Terrestrial Dragon King, she saw that he was again reclined on his soft bed. His expression still remained relaxed, as if he had never even moved.
Yu LingLong’s face was the color of ashes. Even if she was more proud, she could still tell now that if Terrestrial Dragon King wanted to take her life, it would be as easy as lifting his hand. In front of Terrestrial Dragon King, her martial arts, which had amazed other people before, had become something where she did not even have the opportunity to strike.
Terrestrial Dragon King looked at her. “Will you submit now?” he asked unemotionally.
Breathing out a long sigh, Yu LingLong admitted, “Yes.” She gave an unexpected laugh and very quickly added, “But what I submit to is your martial arts ability, not you as a person.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “Oh?”
Yu LingLong: “Even if your martial art is unmatched beneath Heaven, as a person, you are a petty and bigoted scoundrel. Even if you crushed the bones of every one of us in the Yu family and scattered the ashes, still no one would submit to you.”
Terrestrial Dragon King’s face darkened. “Little girl, very sharp a tongue you have. You would actually dare act so audaciously in front of me.”
With a cool smile, Yu LingLong replied, “Why wouldn’t I dare? I am not even afraid of death; what else do I have to fear?”
There was a glint in Terrestrial Dragon King’s eyes. “Yes,” he murmured softly. “If a person knows perfectly well she is going to die, what would she not dare do and what would she not dare say?” The hint of an unusual smile appeared on the corner of his lips as he continued, “But what if I agree to not kill you?”
Yu LingLong paused a moment in surprise. “What… what did you say?”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “Not only will I not kill you, I will not even injure a single hair of yours. The gratitudes and grudges between my family and yours will also hereafter be written off in one stroke.”
Yu LingLong: “Rea… really?”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “When have I never kept the promises I stated?”
Yu LingLong suddenly felt her body go weak so that she nearly could not remain standing. Just a moment ago, she had faced a powerful enemy of unprecedented might. Even when she knew it was certain death, she had still fearlessly held her head high. But now, when he promised not to kill her, her legs actually went weak instead. Only at this instant did she discover that she actually did not want to die.
If a person has the chance to keep on living, who truly would want to die?
Terrestrial Dragon King’s sharp, piercing vision seemed to have seen into her heart. He carried on slowly, “So long as you promise me one thing, I will immediately let you go, and henceforth, will never seek you out again.”
Yu LingLong could not help asking, “What is it?”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “So long as you do not bring up the arranged marriage between yourself and my son and so long as from this day onward, you will never see him again.”
The look on Yu LingLong’s face transformed again. “You… you want me to never see him again?” she quavered.
“From now on, you will simply pretend as if there was never such a person in this world. You will act as if you had never before met him. You will still be able to live just as well as before.” He gave a sudden laugh and told her indifferently, “There are many men in the world. Perhaps you will very quickly forget about him.”
Yu LingLong’s face was pale, and her body was starting to quiver again. “What if I do not agree to this?”
In an unconcerned voice, Terrestrial Dragon King responded, “Why wouldn’t you agree to it? After you are dead, isn’t it true that you would not be able to see him anyway?”
Slowly, Yu LingLong shook her head. “It is not the same… not the same at all.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “How is it not the same?”
With a sad smile, she told him, “You would not understand. People like you will never understand.” Though her smile was sorrowful, her eyes seemed to be filled with happiness.
Because she had loved.
This type of feeling could neither be replaced by anything nor could it be snatched away by anyone! Regardless of whether her love was bitter or sweet, at the very least, she was much more blessed than those people who had never loved before.
As Terrestrial Dragon King looked at her expression, his countenance also seemed to change. From a jasper pot, he suddenly poured out some bright green wine and said in a serious tone, “If you truly will not agree to it, drink this glass of wine. Hereafter, you will have no more worries.”
Yu LingLong’s gaze was fixated on that cup of poisoned wine as she spoke each word clearly: “I can only promise you one thing.”
Terestrial Dragon King: “What is that?”
Turning her eyes to look off at some place in the distance, she replied, “I cannot forget him, and I will not forget him. Regardless of whether I am dead or alive, he will forever be in my heart. No matter how great your abilities may be, you still cannot do anything about this.”
All of a sudden, she darted over and drank that glass of wine.
And then, her body immediately crumpled to the ground.
But the corner of her lips still showed that mysterious, blissful smile. It was because she knew that from now on, whether in the Heavens or beneath the earth, no one would be able to tell her to forget him…
Terrestrial Dragon King seemed to be stunned.
The world really did have such people, such love. This truly was something he would never be able to understand.
Lin TaiPing had rushed over and thrown himself on top of Yu LingLong’s body. Terrestrial Dragon King did not look at him, could not bear to look at him.
They did not know how much time had passed when Lin TaiPing finally rose to his feet. His face had drained of all color, and his eyes were bloodshot as he glared at him and cried hoarsely, “You promised me…”
Terrestrial Dragon King could only exhale a long sigh. He seemed as if he, too, did not know what he should say.
Lin TaiPing: “You promised me that you would be fair, but now…”
Cutting him off, Terrestrial Dragon King admitted, “I know this was not fair, but there are many things in the world that are not fair. If a person wants to continue to be alive, he must learn how to put up with these types of things.”
“I won’t be able to learn it, never will I be able to learn it.” The look on his face suddenly grew very mysterious, very peculiar, and it almost seemed that on his lips, there was a trace of that same smile as Yu LingLong's. Slowly, he said, “I only know that no one in the world is able to make her forget me, and no one is able to make me forget her…”
Hearing this and seeing the expression that was on his face, Guo DaLu could not contain his own hot tears from brimming over his eyes and flowing like a stream. He understood people like this, feelings like this. He knew Lin TaiPing did not want to live either, and he could not help leaping to his feet and wanting to charge out there.
But for some reason, Wang Dong pulled him back and said softly, “Wait a little longer.”
“What are we still waiting for?” Guo DaLu hissed back.
Light glinted in Wang Dong’s eyes. “Just wait a moment and you will know.”
At this moment, though, Lin TaiPing had already drank the entire jug of poisoned wine. “I, too, had made a promise to you that if you killed her, I would kill someone from the Lin family.”
He had killed himself.
He also collapsed to the floor, falling on top of Yu LingLong. Two people, the corners of their lips showing the same smile – a smile that was blissful and mysterious…
Guo DaLu’s eyes had reddened, and he was about to grab Wang Dong by the collar and demand to know why he had to wait. However, in that instant, a mysterious and alluring voice was heard. “You have lost.”
A person, tall and graceful and with outstanding elegance had suddenly appeared within the tent. Shockingly, it was Lin TaiPing’s mother, “Madam Wei.” Her lips were turned up in that same mysterious smile.
Guo DaLu had paused in surprise again. How could she see her son lying dead before her and still be able to smile?
The look on Terrestrial Dragon King’s face was very unusual also. Was it joy? Or pain? Smugness? Or disappointment? After a long time had went by, he finally nodded his head slowly and exhaled a long sigh. “Yes. I have lost.”
Madam Wei: “You should know now that not everyone is like you and only lives for themselves. Now you should realize that this world has many things that are more important than your own life.”
Terrestrial Dragon King lowered his head. Suddenly, he smiled. “At least I have not realized this too late.”
Her eyes looking intently at him, Madam Wei repeated, “Not too late?”
Terrestrial Dragon had lifted up his head again to gaze back at her. “Not too late.”
A very peculiar emotion surged from both their eyes as they suddenly looked at each other and smiled. Their many years of misunderstandings and grudges seemed to have transformed into the spring breeze with that one smile. He had always been deeply ingrained in her heart and unforgettable to her, so how could he truly do anything that she could not forgive, not understand? But her son…
Terrestrial Dragon’s eyes were still on her. Smiling, he said, “He has already drank the most bitter cup of wine of their entire lives. Now, you should let them have a drink of one that is sweet.”
Madam Wei’s voice was soft. “Everyone should drink some sweet...” She suddenly turned her head back to smile at Guo DaLu and the others, who were still behind the curtain. “All of you should now understand what is going on. Why are you not coming out to have a cup of sweet wine?”
Guo DaLu still did not understand; Yan Qi, however, did.
“The first one who made a bet with Terrestrial Dragon King was not Wang Laoda,” Yan Qi explained. “It was Madam Wei.”
Wang Dong added, “For her son’s happiness, she was willing to seek out Terrestrial Dragon King and make this bet.”
Yan Qi: “Her wager was the same as ours. She knew that there are many people in the world who are willing to sacrifice themselves for someone else. That is why she has won.” She was gazing at Guo DaLu, her eyes filled with tenderness.
Taking her hands lightly in his own, Guo DaLu said gently, “Yes. People who understand this principle will never lose.”
Wang Dong: "The wine that Terrestrial Dragon King gave them to drink was of course not poisoned wine.”
Of course it was not.
Because Lin TaiPing and Yu LingLong had risen to their feet now and were wrapped tightly in each other’s embrace. Now, nobody in the world was able to separate them because they had possessed the courage to drink the bitterest cup of wine of their lives.
Bitter wine, but not poisoned wine.
Did you know that there is a very mysterious wine in this world that allows someone to escape from the mortal world for a short while and then come back to life again? Did you know the world has many mysterious things that exist specially for people who are sincerely in love?
Guo DaLu turned to Wang Dong. “You pulled me back just now. Did you know ahead of time that it was not poisoned wine?”
Wang Dong: “I did not know – but I did know that there is not a single father out there who could harden his heart to poison his own son. I believe that, so long as you are human, you will have human nature in you.
Guo DaLu: “You had faith?”
Wang Dong: “Yes!”
With a sigh, Guo DaLu remarked, “No wonder you never lose as well.”
The only ones left behind the curtain were Hong NiangZi and Wang Dong.
Hong NiangZi’s head was lowered. “They are all waiting for you outside. Why aren’t you going out yet?”
Wang Dong: “What about you?”
Hong NiangZi: “I… I am not good enough to be with all of you.”
Wang Dong: “Why are you not good enough?”
Tears shone in Hong NiangZi’s eyes, and her head still hung low. “Because I was the same as Terrestrial Dragon King. I had never understood that true love does not need to be gained through scheming. If you want to have a person’s love, you can only use your own genuine love and exchange for it. There is absolutely no other method.”
Wang Dong: “But now you know?”
Hong NiangZi nodded.
Wang Dong: “If you know now, then it is still not too late.”
Hong NiangZi head whipped up suddenly and she looked deeply at him with eyes filled with hope. “It is still not too late?”
Wang Dong was gazing back at her, and his voice became warm and gentle. “Not late. As long as you are able to truly understand that principle, it will never be too late.” He reached out and held her hand in his as tenderly, he said, “Therefore, we should go out now to drink a sweet cup of wine with them. We have drank too much of our own bitter wine already.”
The wine was sweet – sweet and beautiful. Only people who can persist through the tests and endure the obstacles can drink this type of wine. And only they are worthy of drinking it.
With a golden goblet in hand, Terrestrial Dragon King looked at his son and daughter-in-law. “I have treated you both unjustly. I should make up for it. Whatever you wish for, I will give it to you.”
Lin TaiPing: “We do not want it.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “Why not?”
Lin TaiPing: “Because what we want, no one can give to us. Even you cannot.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “Even I am not able to give it to you? Who can give it to you then?”
Radiance glowed from within Lin TaiPing’s eyes. “Ourselves. Only ourselves.”
Terrestrial Dragon King: “What is it that you both want?”
Lin TaiPing: “What we want, we already have now.” He held onto his wife’s hand, his eyes filled with joy and contentment. The freedom, love, and happiness they desired, they now all had. This certainly was not something given to them by someone, nor was it something that could be given to them.
If you also wish to have freedom, love, and happiness, then you can only use your faith, determination, and courage to exchange for it. Apart from this, there is no other way.
Absolutely no other way.
They understood this truth, and therefore, they were able to attain it. Hence, they forever were very happy.
Who said heroes are lonely?
Our heroes are happy!
<to be continued>