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Chapter 21: Dark Night

 Chapter 21 Dark Night A

Seven Peaks Tournament was the most important event of Jadeon. Peak of Widows needed to find a place for several hundred additional disciples. If the Bamboo Peak disciples wanted to continue their relaxing day, it would be a silly dream. Except Hidi, the other seven disciples were squeezed inside one room.

In Peak of Widows, it was normally four disciples per room. Three people were sleeping on the floor, it should be enough space for them; however, it would be slightly crowded. Suddenly, someone complained: "Really, you guys kept saying how good the main house is. Now they asked seven of us to squeeze in one room, so stingy!"

"Sixth, stop complaining. If other Shixiong hear this, that will not be good."

"Second Shixiong, you're sleeping on a bed, of course it is comfortable. But I am sleeping on a freezing floor, why don't we switch positions?"

"Zzzzzz...."

"What, you fall asleep all of a sudden, and snore?"

"Zzzzz...."

"Hmph hmph, ah, fourth Shixiong, you are always so handsome, humor, intelligent."

"Zzzzz...."

"What is that, is it really popular to fall asleep instantly nowadays? Eh, Da Shixiong, you are always so kind, how could you let your Shidi-"

"Zzzzz....."

"You--ah, third Shixiong"

"Roar roar"

They were surprised. Suddenly, the wall shook, someone shouted angrily from the next room: "Hey, does everyone in Bamboo Peak snore that loud?"

The room immediately fell silent. After a while, someone giggled. Then, the previous voice began to speak again: "Ah, fifth Shixiong, you..."

"What you, you, you? I am sleeping right next to you. You want to switch places? I don't care. We are both sleeping on the floor, anyway!"

"Ahem, nothing. Alas, the floor is cold which is already bad enough, the worst part is that there is too little space. It's impossible to be comfortable when sleeping. Xiao Shidi is fine, his body is exactly right for the size."

"Sixth Shixiong, why do you talk with your eyes closed? Don't you see a dog and a monkey are fighting for my spot, now? I am the most crowded, yet you still say I am the most comfortable?"

"But I am still-"

"Shut up, sixth!" They shouted all at once.

After dark, many disciples went for a walk, amazed by the beautiful Peak of Widows. But, as it was getting late, many people went back to their room.

As darkness arrived at this sky reaching peak, in the clear sky, the moon shone on the mountain.

Just when Shaw Danon was sleeping deeply, he felt something move next to him. He opened his dreamy eyes and found Ashh and Big Yella were missing. He sat up and saw Big Yella's figure run past the door. Ashh was sitting on his back.

Shaw Danon was curious. He wondered where the dog and monkey were going at such a late hour in the night. He quietly got up and randomly grabbed some clothes. As he went to the door, under the moon light, he saw Big Yella carrying Ashh towards Cloud Sea.

Shaw Danon remembered Xavion had told him that direction was to Peak of Widows' kitchen. Big Yella lived for hundreds of years, already a cultivated dog, but still so greedy. He turned and wanted to go back to sleep; but then, he thought it would be embarrassing if someone saw Bamboo Peak's Big Yella and Ashh went to steal food. So, he decided to chase them back.

Once he had made the decision, he saw Big Yella and Ashh had already become a blurry figure. He quickly chased after them.

He went swiftly and cautiously to avoid disturbing other people. When he got to Cloud Sea, Big Yella and Ashh were already gone. Under the shine of the cold moon, the clouds softly floating, like veins and smoke.

Just when he was heading toward the kitchen, suddenly, there was something that caused his heart to beat heavily.

At the opposite side of the kitchen, between the clouds, there was a slim figure walking to the Rainbow Bridge.

Shaw Danon stared at that figure. Even from far away, that figure had deeply engraved on his heart. He could easily recognize it was Hidi Shijie.

Night, so dark!

Why had she walked out here alone and where is she going?

Shaw Danon stood still. He was not sure what to do. Thousands of thoughts rushed into his brain. He could already guess what it is, but he just didn't want to admit it.

He turned toward the kitchen where Big Yella and Ashh had went. He walked as he kept telling himself: "Shaw Danon, don't step into other people's business!"

Those seven steps, the moon shone down on this lonely youngster; then, he stopped, raised his head and looked at the cold moon. His lips moved. After a moment, he turned back and ran to where the figure had disappeared.

Hidi's figure already vanished within the Cloud Sea. But Shaw Danon ran toward Rainbow Bridge without looking in the other direction. Very soon, he was at Rainbow Bridge. The water rippled on both sides of the bridge and reflected the moon in the sky. All Shaw Danon cared about now is running.

Run, run, run!

As he was running across the Rainbow Bridge, he didn't see anyone's figure. When he reached the end of the bridge, he saw a beautiful figure was staring at the water of the pond. The moon had shone on the pond as bright as day.

A sudden indescribable fear rose in Shaw Danon's mind. He only knew he could not be seen by his Shijie. He found a small grove at the right side of the pond near the bridge. He quietly hid there and watched Hidi from the shadows.

This was almost as it was eternity!

Under the moonlight, near the green pond, that young lady had a bit of sorrow, a bit of loneliness. Her eyelashes were dropped. She appeared to be waiting. The wind passed by next to her, blocked the breath, stopped the sound, waved her lapel and hair.

In the depths of Shaw Danon's heart, there was a gentle feeling rising. It seemed like the lady there was the person whom he should protect with his life. He would do anything for her without hesitation and regret.

That moment, he wished it could be eternity.

"Ling'Er Shimei!" Suddenly, a call came from Rainbow Bridge. Hidi turned, her eyes were filled with happiness. Her lips smiled.

"Qi Shixiong, you are here."

Shaw Danon's heart felt like it had broken, but he didn't feel any pain. The entirety of his heart was empty but repeated the words "Qi Shixiong, Qi Shixiong, Qi Shixiong."

He turned his head toward the Rainbow Bridge. A person came down. It was Kevern.

Kevern walked quickly to Hidi, gently said: "Sorry. My Shidis love to fool around, so they went to sleep really late; made you wait a long time."

Hidi held a bit of anger in her heart. But, as she saw Kevern, the anger was gone. She shook her head and smiled: "Doesn't matter, I didn't wait for long." She stopped, looked at the pond, said: "But why do we need to meet here? Today, Master Spirit suddenly got mad. I am still a little afraid of him."

Kevern laughed: "That was nothing. I heard my master say Master Spirit was just playing, everything was alright. Compared to this morning, isn't it much more quiet at night?"

Hidi blushed, lowered her head: "We secretly meet like this. I don't know if this is alright?"

Kevern looked at her beautiful face, softly said: "Ling'Er Shimei, from two years ago when we first met, I kept thinking about you. It made it difficult to go to sleep. My mind was filled with your figure."

Hidi bit her lip. Her face was getting more red. She didn't seem angry, but sweet.

Kevern said again: "Ling'Er Shimei, I..."

Hidi suddenly raised her head, said: "Qi Shixiong, you can call me Ling'Er." Then, she lowered her head, whispered: "My, my dad and mom call me that."

Kevern seemed like he didn't believe his ears, then he asked: "Really, Ling, Ling'Er?"

Hidi took out a small box. She stared at the ground. It seemed like it took all her courage to quietly say: "I had carried this 'Refresh Bead' with me for the past two years."

She didn't dare to look at Kevern. But after a long time, Kevern didn't say anything. Hidi was curious and peeked at Kevern. He was smiling, with an indescribable happiness.

They looked at each other for a long time; then, they opened their arms and embraced.

The moon shone upon them, shone upon the bushes, but couldn't shine upon the dark corner.

The couple were whispering some sweet words until Kevern said the moon had passed the east sky, then he said: "Ling'Er, it's late now. We better return. If people found out we were here, it won't be good."

Hidi nodded. They looked at each other and smiled. Kevern took Hidi's hand and slowly walked toward Rainbow Bridge. The moon shone on the couple. After a while, they disappeared on the Rainbow Bridge.

The night; it became more sorrowful.

Within the bushes, within the shadow, Shaw Danon slowly came out, stared at the pond. Watching the moon in the water, swaying with the waves of water.

He wanted to cry.

But, in the end, he didn't. The pain in his heart like a mad beast ramming wildly, creating wounds everywhere.

However, he grit his teeth, didn't say anything.

It was like back to five years ago. That time, he lost everything, except Baye by his side. The world had completely changed.

Tonight, at this moment, only he alone was facing it all by himself.

Chapter 21 Dark Night B

"Roar." A low roar, like the snore of a beast, came from behind. Shaw Danon was awoken from his mixed feelings. He turned and was frightened by what he saw.

The Jadeon's celestial beast, "Master Spirit," the giant Water Kirin silently appeared very close behind him. It lowered its head. Its eyes almost touched his body. Perhaps Shaw Danon was so dead that he didn't notice it.

Shaw Danon saw Water Kirin's mountain sized body was in front of him. Its fangs shone under the moonlight. He stepped back and tripped over a rock.

His clothes were already messy. Something fell out from his clothes when he tripped.

Both Shaw Danon and Water Kirin looked down. In between them, a black "fire stick" was laying on the ground peacefully.

The eyes of Water Kirin reflected Shaw Danon and the ugly fire stick. Shaw Danon's mind kept shouting: "Run, run, hurry!"

But in front of the Water Kirin, no matter how hard he wanted to run away, his pair of legs were like they did not belong to him. It sat there and did not move. Water Kirin looked at Shaw Danon for a moment, then it turned its attention to the fire stick. The giant beast fixed its eyes on the dark fire stick. Its eyes examined the stick from top to bottom. Its large head turned in circles but still couldn't figure anything out. Then, it carefully touched the fire stick with its front claw.

Shaw Danon was stunned by what he saw. Although he was still scared by the giant beast, he was curious, did "Master Spirit" go crazy due to its thousands of years of age, or is it just like Big Yella, still an old child, and was interested in a fire stick?

Water Kirin's claw touched the fire stick, then immediately took its claw back. It seemed like Water Kirin was really afraid of the stick. The fire stick rolled a little, then stopped. It lay there peacefully.

Water Kirin was puzzled, but still not giving up. Its head suddenly turned to Shaw Danon. A low roar came from its mouth. Shaw Danon was surprised and his muscles were tightened. He immediately held his breath.

But that was only for a second, its head turned back to the fire stick again. This time, it even lowered its head and sniffed the fire stick. Shaw Danon's heart was beating hard; however, watching this beast's weird behavior, he realized it looked precisely like Big Yella. If he was not extremely nervous, he would have laughed already.

After a while, clearly Water Kirin didn't discover anything. It raised its head. Its large head looked around and was still puzzled. After a moment, it gave up. Water Kirin snorted and glared at Shaw Danon. Again, Shaw Danon was frightened. It walked to the pond and dived in.

Shaw Danon put himself together and slowly got up. He felt the back of his clothes were all wet. The sweat on his forehead was like rain drops. He picked up the fire stick and saw nothing weird. He complained loudly: "God!"

Suddenly, the water sprayed out from the pond. The giant tail of Water Kirin appeared on the surface of the pond.

Shaw Danon quickly put the fire stick back into his clothes. He ran away as fast as he could. He could hear the sound of water behind him, but he didn't have the guts to look back. All he wanted was to get away from the beast as far as possible. He got on Rainbow Bridge and kept running until he could hear the sound no longer. When he finally reached the end of the bridge, he stopped and panted.

Shaw Danon's breathing was back to normal. He was tired. He lowered his head and saw, under the moon, a lonely shadow was following him.

He raised his head, looked at the sky, the cold moon hanging in the sky. He watched it, blankly.

※※※

Dawn, everyone woke up.

Amandla kept rubbing his back, complained loudly: "Really, my back is almost broken for the whole night; how am I going to participate in the contest?"

Fifth Ludaxin frowned: "Sixth, don't yell. I don't feel anything on my back."

Xavion said: "Right, sixth, you complained for the whole night, still not enough? Didn't you hear fifth and Xiao Shidi say nothing?"

Amandla rolled his eyes, said: "Fifth Shixiong has hard muscles and skin. Ask Xiao Shidi, look at him. Hey, Xiao Shidi, why are your eyes all bloodshot? Last night you really didn't sleep well?"

Shaw Danon finished packing up the sheets and sat in the chair next to the window, staring at the sky. Big Yella lay next to his feet. Ashh was searching for fleas in Big Yella's fur.

Amandla walked to him and slapped Shaw Danon's shoulder heavily. Shaw Danon was surprised. Ashh and Big Yella were surprised by him. Shaw Danon said: "What, what is it?"

Amandla frowned: "Xiao Fan, why are you absent minded? You really didn't sleep well last night?"

Shaw Danon was startled: "No, nothing."

Amandla said: "Then why are your eyes bloodshot?"

Just as Shaw Danon was about to reply, He Dazhi cut in: "Sixth, don't step into other people's business. It does not matter if Xiao Shidi didn't sleep well. Today, he doesn't need to duel. However, you, on the other hand, if you don't hurry and get ready, don't blame anyone else if you are late."

Amandla could no longer worry about Shaw Danon. He dashed to the other side of the room and took Ludaxin's basin, washed his face roughly, murmuring: "Hmph, Xiao Shidi has such a good life, look at his half-dead sleepy face. Really, fifth Shixiong, give me back the basin, it's late for me!"

"Bah, I haven't washed my face, yet!"

Shaw Danon was tired of his Shixiongs fighting over the basin, so he walked outside. Xavion asked him from behind: "Xiao Shidi, have you washed your face, yet?"

Shaw Danon turned and answered: "I did, Da Shixiong."

Xavion nodded: "That's good. It is fine for you to go for a walk, but remember to go to the dinning hall to eat breakfast, got it?"

Shaw Danon replied: "Yes." Ashh jumped on Shaw Danon's shoulder. Big Yella saw Ashh was leaving, it got up and followed lazily behind them. Shaw Danon saw the busy figures of Jadeon's disciples in the corridor. After a while, Shaw Danon unwittingly arrived at Cloud Sea.

The day was still early. Only a few disciples were walking around Cloud Sea. The cool wind came by, passed Shaw Danon's cheek. It was cold.

It just like last night!

His heart hurt. He was already sixteen years old. For five years at Bamboo Peak, the love for his Shijie was already deeply rooted in his heart. Last night, he saw Hidi secretly met Kevern with his own eyes. His mind was in a state of chaos.

His mind was flashing the images of last night that pained his heart to death. His entire body was wandering aimlessly.

"Eh?" suddenly an exclamation came from behind. It surprised Shaw Dannon. He saw a young Jadeon disciple was standing next to him. In his hand, there was a golden fan with mountains and rivers drawn on it. His bright eyes didn't look at Shaw Danon, but stared at Ashh who was sitting on Shaw Danon's shoulder.