Accompanying the Phoenix/ The Prince is Here by Jiu Lu Fei Xiang
《与凤行/ 本王在此》 作者: 九鹭非香
Editor & Translator: Sonrisa t.n.t
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The blood in Xing Zhi’s mouth kept gushing out. He covered his mouth and wanted to push Shen Li away, but his hands were so weak that before he could push her away, he fell over sideways, lying on the ground, vomiting big mouthfuls of blood. In this moment, his spotless white clothes, his slender fingers that were always clean, and his face that always wore an indifferent smile were all stained with blood.
“Xing Zhi…” In a daze, Shen Li called out to him. Emotions she never had before, fear and panic, gripped her heart. She practically knelt down next to Xing Zhi’s side, holding him in her lap. Her fingertips and lips were trembling more than Xing Zhi was, “Why…” She reached her hand out to wipe the blood from Xing Zhi’s lips, but immediately thereafter, blood gushed out, staining her sleeves red with wetness, “Aren’t we already out?” Her voice trembled beyond recognition, “He took my place and got buried in the Ruins of Heavenly Poles… He…” Shen Li choked with emotions, “Why are you still like this?”
As her ice-cold hands gripped him tightly, Xing Zhi’s eyes looked calmly at Shen Li. Those calm unwavering black eyes seemed to contain the power to calm people down. Even as he swallowed the fishy-smelling blood that was surging up in his throat. Even though his breathing was weak, there was no weakness in his expression: “Deities… Have no reason to exist anymore.”
With the disappearance of the Ruins of Heavenly Poles, the Outer Bounds of Heaven would disappear along with it. There would no longer be anything that could threaten the survival of the Three Realms. There would no longer be a need for a power that could oppose the Heavenly Laws to exist between heaven and earth. It was time for deities to step down from this position formed by heaven.
“Even if deities have no reason to exist anymore, so what?!” Shen Li held his hand tightly, her voice cracking, as if it was being squeezed out of her throat, “Xing Zhi has a reason to exist! Not as a deity, just you, just Xing Zhi. You still have so many reasons to live…”
“If it’s possible…” Xing Zhi smiled, “The only reason for me to live is you, Shen Li.”
As the Ruins of Heavenly Poles trembled violently in the sky, the scope of darkness gradually narrowed. No matter how hard Xing Zhi gritted his teeth, the blood still overflowed from the corners of his lips. He felt Shen Li’s hands trembling non-stop, completely flustered unlike her usual majestic self.
“Shen Li, you’re this thing that doesn’t know how to take care of yourself… That doesn’t know how to love yourself…” Xing Zhi coughed, “If it’s possible, I want to take care of you for you, and love you for you…”
Shen Li’s heart ached sharply, as if her blood vessels had been crushed into pieces: “Then why don’t you do what you promised?!”
Xing Zhi smiled, shaking his head. Suddenly, he coughed violently. There was so much blood that Shen Li could barely hold onto his hand. Perhaps because her expression was too sad, Xing Zhi smiling said, “Each word dripping blood… Today, I will persevere until the very end. Also, at last, I can be a cuckoo for once, be part of the same species as you for once.”
* cuckoo – this type of bird has a beak that is a bright, blood-red color
Shen Li gritted her teeth: “At this time, only you can make such a joke…”
Just with this one phrase, it brought back so many memories of the past; even Xing Zhi became silent. After a long silence, he grinned, carrying some degree of groaning and helplessness that was mixed with a bit of begging: “Then, Shen Li, you should just smile.”
As her tears fell down onto Xing Zhi’s face, the warm teardrops ran across his blood-stained cheeks, making a pale trail. Shen Li smoothed her lips into a smile.
Xing Zhi turned his head away and closed his eyes. He sighed: “It’s really… A horrible-looking smile…”
Just after saying this, Xing Zhi’s face suddenly turned really pale and his muscles suddenly tightened. At the same time, the Ruins of Heavenly Poles trembled violently and sounds of shattering came from the sky. Distractedly, Shen Li turned her head to take a look. She saw that the black space in the sky shattered like porcelain by an invisible force. When the shattered pieces turned to ashes, even the demon beasts sealed inside, regardless of their ambitions, all disappeared without a trace with the passing breeze, Then the sun penetrated the miasma, shining on this land that was covered by the gloom of the ruins for the past millennium, sweeping away all the darkness.
In the scorching sunshine, Shen Li seemed to see a cluster of weak flames dancing in the air. Like leaves, the flames were slowly floating down, sinking into the ground.
“Shen Li.” She heard Xing Zhi ask her softly, “Is this the sunshine in your dream?”
When Shen Li looked at him, she no longer saw any blood gushing out from the corners of his lips. However, for some unknown reason, she became even more frenetic, “No, it’s not.” She said, “It’s not it. You have to accompany me to find that kind of sunshine, that kind of scene.”
“It’s such a pity… But… I believe that you will find it in the future…” He slowly closed his eyes as if he was utterly exhausted. “That kind of sunshine.”
Xing Zhi’s hand that was holding onto Shen Li’s palm gradually lost strength. Shen Li lowered her head, holding the back of his hand against her cheek: “You bastard…” She said in a hoarse voice, “You know perfectly well that the one I’m looking for, the one basking in that kind of sunshine is you, Xing Zhi… You bastard.”
Tell her, where could she possibly find another Xing Zhi?!
Alas, there was no longer anyone else to give her an answer.
Out of nowhere, an endless golden brilliance fell down from the sky. The golden brilliance was like the heavy snow in the middle of winter, cloaking the sky and covering the earth in its entirety.
Quietly standing nearby, the immortals looked up at the sky. Suddenly, someone shouted: “It’s the divine light! It’s the divine light of the Divine Sovereign Xing Zhi returning to heaven in death!” Abruptly, all of the immortals knelt down in unison. They bowed their heads and gave a kowtow, “Respectfully sending off the Divine Sovereign.”
“Respectfully sending off the Divine Sovereign Xing Zhi.”
The last deity in this world had disappeared.
Did the Heavenly Laws finally recognize him, therefore, he left the world with the identity of a deity? Did the Heavenly Laws finally allow him to become a wisp of vitality among heaven and earth, existing with all things, benefiting from the same lifespan as heaven and earth…? Then as for her, even in reincarnation, she would never be able to see Xing Zhi again.
Shen Li raised her head to look at the golden light that filled up the entire sky. In that radiant brilliance, all of the light in her eyes gradually dimmed.
There would no longer be such a person anymore…
In her arms, she embraced the body that was gradually becoming cold. She gently pressed her cheek against his cheek, as if she wanted to die together with him, with his last breath.
It was unknown how long it took, but someone walked up and called out softly: “Azure Sky King.” Shen Li did not respond. For a moment, that person paused, but then proceeded to say, “Azure Sky King Shen Li, the Divine Sovereign has returned to heaven in death. His divine consciousness is no longer present. His body can’t stay in the lower realm arbitrarily. In all successive generations, after the deities return to heaven in death, they will all pass through the True Fire of Samadhi and transform into something intangible. Azure Sky King, please hand the Divine Sovereign Xing Zhi over to me.”
* the True Fire of Samadhi – a type of fire that burns really fast and cannot be extinguish by wind or rain
Only then did Shen Li raise her head to look at the person. It was actually the Heavenly Emperor himself. He came to the Demon Realm to take Xing Zhi away. She lowered her head and resumed that same posture of pressing her cheek against Xing Zhi’s cheek: “No way.”
The Heavenly Emperor’s face changed slightly, but seeing Shen Li like this, he did not even get angry. He only said: “The honorable body of the Divine Sovereign can only be cremated with the True Fire of Samadhi. Only then can we ensure the greatest integrity in the world.”
“Hmph.” Shen Li sneered, “When he was still alive, no matter what, you all wanted him to defend the integrity of the Three Realms and protect all living things. Now that he’s died, you all can’t even spare his bones. You all even want his corpse to make a contribution in keeping the peace in the Three Realms?” As her hands that were embracing Xing Zhi tightened, her eyes flashed red, and a strip of barrier burned in front of the Heavenly Emperor. The raging fire was so scorching hot that it burned away a few strands of hair from the Heavenly Emperor’s temples, forcing the Heavenly Emperor to take a couple of steps back.
“If you all have the ability, then snatch him from this king’s hands.”
As the Heavenly Emperor’s eyes sank, he heard Shen Li say once more: “If you all actually snatch him away and burn him today, then in the future, I, Azure Sky King Shen Li, will definitely attack the Nine Heavens, and undoubtedly will burn down your Heaven Realm without leaving a single scrap of armor behind!” Her voice was not loud, but the decisiveness in her words made everyone present feel terrified.
Across the flaming barrier, all the immortals saw Shen Li’s bloodshot eyes staring at them coldly. During this deadlocked moment, You Lan suddenly walked up to the Heavenly Emperor and bowed: “Heavenly Emperor, the Divine Sovereign Xing Zhi had been shackled by all living things in the Three Realms for all of his life, at least right now, he should gain his freedom.” She knelt down and bowed, “I, You Lan, beg the Heavenly Emperor to be lenient.”
“Heavenly Grandfather.” Fu Rong Jun also lifted his robes and knelt down beside You Lan, “Even though the Divine Sovereign had returned to heaven in death, everyone here with eyes could still see that the Divine Sovereign wanted to be with the Azure Sky King. Heavenly Grandfather, you respect the Divine Sovereign very much, so at this time, why not give him a little more respect and leniency. I, Fu Rong Jun, beg Heavenly Grandfather to be merciful.”
Seeing the two juniors like this, the Heavenly Emperor frowned. Suddenly, behind him, there were sporadic sounds of kneeling and scattered voices of pleading were heard. Stunned, he turned around and saw that all the immortals present were bowing their heads and kneeling down on their knees, begging him. The Heavenly Emperor’s gaze swept around. He sighed and turned his head to look at Shen Li, who was behind the flaming barrier. Finally, his gaze landed on Xing Zhi’s face with his peacefully closed eyes: “Forget it!” He released a deep sigh, “Forget it, forget it!” After saying that, he turned away and abruptly left.
Only then did Fu Rong Jun and You Lan get up. They glanced at Shen Li behind the flaming barrier, and left without saying a word. The other immortals also followed them and gradually departed.
It was not until everyone was gone that Shen Li withdrew the flames. As she embraced Xing Zhi, she sat quietly: “You’re free now.” She said hoarsely, “You see, no one will use the identity of a deity to imprison you anymore.”
However, Xing Zhi could no longer give any sort of reaction. Shen Li embraced him, burying her head in his ice-cold neck, inhaling the faint fragrance on his body, and imagining that he would get back up in the next moment.
When all of the golden lights in the sky disappeared and the trails left behind in the yellow sand were all blown away by the wind, it was unknown how long Shen Li sat there until someone called out to her from the distance: “My lord!”
It was the people from the Demon Realm, who came to find her. Shen Li looked up and saw that the first person in front was the Demon Sovereign. She was not wearing her mask, so she did not transform into a man’s figure. She came over eagerly. She looked at Shen Li in silence for a long time. Finally, she crouched down and looked into her eyes. She said soothingly: “Silly child, it’s time to go home.”
“Master…” Shen Li raised her head to look at her, her eyes completely lost the radiance of the past, “I lost two people who should not have been lost.”
Her voice was so hoarse beyond recognition that it made Shen Mu Yue’s heart soften when she heard it: “Ah Li…” She did not know what else to say; she just paused for a while, and finally said, “Let’s go home first.”
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Enjoy your reading pleasure!
Please do not copy my English translations. You are welcome to link back to my website. Much appreciated.
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