Now, Qi Aoshuang was aboveground.
Everyone surrounded her.
"Shuangshuang*, what happened to you just now?" Feng Yixuan asked worriedly. "I saw that you weren't moving, and I wanted to go down, but I was also afraid of disturbing you." Feng Yixuan's worry was not unfounded. Often, outside disturbances could be fatal.
*It's a common way to nickname someone double of a Chinese character in their first name and is supposed to be cute, like calling a cat kitty or dog puppy, etc. and is a form of endearment, like calling someone "little [insert Chinese character from first name]" in Chinese.
Qi Aoshuang looked up to see the barrier had disappeared. She immediately understood that her conjecture had been correct. However, could someone tell her why she had a connection to the disk now?
"This was the spiritual Eye." Qi Aoshuang brought out the small disk. "It is called the Rainbow Inkstone."
"Rainbow Inkstone?" Everyone was skeptical.
"How do you know what it's called?" Xi Shaoqi stared at the Rainbow Inkstone. What a pretty little thing.
"She told me." Qi Aoshuang put it away.
"Liar!" Xi Shaoqi jumped up and down. How could objects talk? Clearly she was lying to him again.
"Let's first kill the spellcaster." Feng Yixuan rubbed his hands together, gnashing his teeth.
"Yes, yes, let's go kill him. If he runs away, we won't be able to." Xi Shaoqi also gnashed his teeth.
"He should have run away by now," Qi Aoshuang said quietly. "He should have sensed when the barrier broke."
Everyone's heart sunk. They understood clearly that perhaps, there was an even greater danger waiting for them.
Now that the spell was broken, their true foes could finally come.
"What do we do about this place? I don't want to stay the night here, but I don't want to die either." Xi Shaoqi frowned as he scanned the deathly silent village. He would rather camp in the desert than stay in the eerie village.
"These bodies will rot sooner or later. There might be an outbreak of disease, however." Xi Shaosi stroked his chin thoughtfully. "Many people will come here for water. If the water is contaminated, it will be terrible. We don't know where that underwater spring is connected to either."
"Let me." Leng Lingyun stood up, making various symbols with his hands as he muttered an incantation. Instantly, his hands emitted multiple dots of light. Each speck split apart and descended upon the entire town. The moment they touched a corpse, the corpse would start to become transparent, then disappear. Soon, the streets were empty. Xi Shaoqi turned to look at the room beside them and found that the people there were also starting to dissipate. Just like that, the entire village became deserted, not a shadow of a figure left remaining.
"What spell was that?" Feng Yixuan frowned. He felt extremely uncomfortable.
"Yeah, what kind of magic was that?" Xi Shaoqi asked with wide eyes. "It's so creepy." A sudden chill rose in his heart.
"It is exclusive to the Temple of Light." Leng Lingyun responded faintly with no intention of saying more. He walked over to the the camels, ignoring Xi Shaoqi's continued questioning.
Qi Aoshuang eyes flashed with understanding. The Temple of Light must have used this magic to hide many bodies, which was why Leng Lingyun hadn't been willing to give specifics.
"We need to be careful now. There might be more assassins than just this one." Xi Shaosi also walked over to the camels. He kept on feeling a sense of unease.
They left the village, traveling the entire night. They finally stopped after they were far away.
Qi Aoshuang brought out tents from her interspatial ring. Xi Shaoqi and Xi Shaosi started to build the tents.
The bonfire started to crackle noisily, driving away the bitter cold.
Feng Yixuan wholeheartedly roasted meat, calculating which portion was the tastiest. He would give that to Qi Aoshuang, and give the nastiest piece to Leng Lingyun. Meanwhile, White Emperor and Black Feather crouched on each side of his shoulder, waiting for the meat to cook.
Qi Aoshuang inspected the small disk in her hand, her thoughts confused. The item was very mysterious. Who was that little girl who was last in the illusion? Was the little girl the Rainbow Inkstone? Qi Aoshuang shook her head, then noticed Leng Lingyun eyes filled were with grief. She followed his gaze to a sealed, small box. Leng Lingyun gently caressed it.
"Leng Lingyun, is that..." Qi Aoshuang regretted from the moment she spoke. What else could it be that could cause Leng Lingyun such grief?
As she anticipated, Leng Lingyun responded in a low voice, "This is Xuanxuan's ashes. She always said that she wanted to live in a pure white, perfect world. I wanted to bury her in such a place, but I haven't found it yet."
Qi Aoshuang fell silent, a strange feeling arising in her heart.
"Have this. Put Xuanxuan's ashes in a safe place. We'll find the place you're looking for and then bury her there." Qi Aoshuang fished out an interspatial ring and handed it to Leng Lingyun.
"Interspatial storage ring?" Leng Lingyun exclaimed in a hush voice.
Qi Aoshuang remained silent.
"No, such a precious item..." Leng Lingyun gently shook his head.
"Crack!" A sound suddenly caught the two's attention.
The two turned to see it was Feng Yixuan. He had split one of the skewers into two.
He glared at Leng Lingyun. Leng Lingyun's gaze also darkened. He wouldn't shy away.
"Grown up men still squabbling like kids? My hand is about to be frozen solid, are you not going to take it?"
The two fell silent. In the end, Feng Yixuan turned away and immersed himself with cooking.
Leng Lingyun turned to look at Qi Aoshuang with surprise. His gaze met her clear eyes, then his beautiful face subsequently broke into a faint smile. He reached out and accepted the interspatial ring, dripping a drop of blood on it to claim ownership.
Under the moonlight in the boundless desert, they sat in a circle around the bonfire eating roasted meat. Xi Shaoqi kept on chattering on, telling poor jokes that no one found funny. Meanwhile, in front of Feng Yixuan, White Emperor and Black Feather were having a tug of war over a piece of meat. All was well.
During the day, they would travel on camelback. At night, they would set up camp. It would take a few days before they could reach the next oasis.
The night descended. Xi Shaoqi was once again telling poor jokes in front of the bonfire. Everyone yawned continuously.
Qi Aoshuang was teasing White Emperor and Black Feather, who were once again fighting over food.
Suddenly, Qi Aoshuang raised her head, her expression darkening. She turned around with cold eyes and did not move.
Xi Shaosi noticed that the kettle was shaking ever so slightly.
"A herd of horses are on its way here, and they are traveling quickly," Xi Shaosi said calmly.
"They're fully armed." Feng Yixuan added. If the riders were not fully armed, then the horses' galloping would not be so heavy nor so irregular.
"Are they here for you, my lady?" Xi Shaoqi watched Qi Aoshuang with wide eyes.
Unexpectedly, Qi Aoshuang nodded. "Yes."
"How do you know? Isn't it a bit too early to tell?" Xi Shaoqi humphed.
"Because those are the holy knights from the Temple of Light," Qi Aoshuang said certainly, her voice soft. She was so casual, it was as if she was saying, good morning.
"How do you know?" Xi Shaoqi humphed. How could she tell from just the horses' galloping who the riders were? The Miss was definitely tricking him.
"Because I saw them." Her even more casual reply left Xi Shaoqi shocked. He turned around and saw the riders approaching thunderously. Their silver armor and pikes glistened under the moonlight. The insignia of the Temple of Light on their chests could not be more conspicuous.
Xi Shaoqi's mouth twitched. He resentfully stood up and faced the advancing knights. Secretly, he was glad he hadn't made a bet with Qi Aoshuang. If he did bet, then he would have lost too pitifully.
But how did the Temple of Light know their whereabouts? Xi Shaoqi's expression darkened, immediately recalling the strange person who had erected the barrier at the village. The information definitely came from that strange person.
Leng Lingyun slowly stood up, his eyes without any emotion. Feng Yixuan stood up, cracking his knuckles with a cold expression. Xi Shaosi and Xi Shaoqi brought out their magic staffs, their expressions as calm as water as they prepared for battle.
Qi Aoshuang only watched calmly as the holy knights approached closer and closer. She did not have any particular expression, nor did she move.
Rumble. The holy knights soon arrived before them. When the leading knight saw the silver haired, violet eyed Leng Lingyun, his expression changed greatly, overjoyed. It was the precise person they had been looking for. Furthermore, among these people was the one they had vowed to destroy no matter the cost! The vile witch!
"Divine Prince!" the leading knight dismounted from his horse. He kneeled, hitting his chest squarely with his right fist to give a solemn knights bow. The other knights followed suit, dismounting from their horses.
The next moment, everything was silent.
Xi Shaosi and Xi Shaoqi continued to squeeze their magic staffs tightly as they watched the holy knights. Feng Yixuan's lip twitched, but he did not say a word. Qi Aoshuang's eyes were still emotionless as she sat silently.
"Carter, I am no longer the Divine Prince." Leng Lingyun's voice was devoid of warmth. Xi Shaoqi and Xi Shaosi raised a brow. It seemed they were old acquaintances.
"Divine Prince! Has your highness truly been bewitched? She is depraved, black haired black eyed, the symbol of evil.
Your highness, please awaken and return to our side. Fight with us again. The benevolent goddess will excuse your momentary befuddlement. His Holiness and her highness are both waiting for your return expectantly!" said the leading holy knight called Carter. His expression was grieved as he earnestly pleaded. The holy knights behind him had similar, grieved expressions. Their gazes toward Qi AOshuang were even more venomous. It was this evil woman who had bewitched their noble, honorable Divine Prince.