"Ling! Where are you!?" Xuefeng stood up abruptly, not knowing on what ground he stood at when everything was filled with darkness.
He was sure he heard her voice from the distance but he couldn't discern where it came from.
Ling called out again.
This time he was listening in full focus and quickly turned to the source of her voice, running without a care what he could potentially face. Ling was more important to him.
"Ling!" He cried out once again, seeing how his surrounding started changing, gaining a bit of colour with each step he took.
"Xuefeng... I'm scared..." Ling's voice was becoming clearer the closer he was to the colourful lights. It didn't seem like she could hear him but that didn't stop him from trying.
"Ling! I'm coming! Stay where you are!" The desire to meet him was sipping through her voice which gave him even more power to reach her as soon as possible.
He could hear her cries from the distance, coming directly from a round ball of light that was the source of all colours in the darkness.
"You promised you will keep hugging me..." She continued softly, sounding sadder with each word.
He reached the ball and quickly embraced it, wanting to enter it to help her but no matter what he did, nothing worked.
"Sniff... where are you...? You promised you won't leave me..." Ling asked through her tears. "Xuefeng... Come back to me... Please..."
"I'm here!" He shouted even though he knew it wouldn't work and began scanning the whole ball of light yet he couldn't find anything that could help her.
"Just let me in... I will help her..."
Xuefeng didn't know who he was asking but there was no other way.
"Please... Don't leave me..." Ling begged one more time and Xuefeng tears began gathering once again.
He tried so hard to break into the ball yet nothing worked.
"I'm sorry Ling... I tried everything... But I won't give up... I will never leave you..." Xuefeng vowed as he pressed his forehead against the ball and a single tear finally fell, streaming down on his nose before dropping into the light.
His eyes were closed so he didn't see that his single teardrop created a miracle, melting the barrier around the light which soon engulfed him completely.
"It's suddenly warm..." He muttered when his body sensed the change and his eyes unconsciously opened, revealing new surroundings to him.
He appeared in what looked like a palace room, with many luxurious decorations and skillfully engraved furniture.
He entered inside. This was his first thought and he immediately looked around, searching for Ling. Just as he turned his head, she saw her sitting on her bed, wearing her usual white dress while hugging her knees with the face buried inside.
He wanted to call for her yet his throat was too dry to say anything. Ling didn't notice him yet and continued to mutter to herself.
"Xuefeng... Don't leave me..."
He swallowed his saliva, wanting to finally call out to her.
Xuefeng didn't know if that was just a mirage or if his eyes were playing tricks with him yet he didn't care. He wanted to embrace her tightly and never let go.
Fortunately, it wasn't any of those and Ling was actually in front of him. Hearing his voice, her body shuddered and her head lifted. She looked at the source of the sound and sobbed with her smile forming on its own.
Her pleas were finally fulfilled.
"Xuefeng!" She cried out as he body jolted out of the bed, jumping out with all the strength she had left.
He caught her, barely keeping balance, yet it didn't matter to him if he fell, as long as Ling was safe.
"Ling..." He squeezed her slim body, softly calling out her name as if he didn't believe it was her.
Ling returned the hug, hanging on him like a bear without letting go.
"You came... I thought you left me..." Her fingers caught onto his hair when she embraced his neck, brushing through them with care and bliss on her face. "I'm glad..."
He let her do whatever she wanted as long as she didn't leave his embrace. He was afraid she would once again disappear from his arms.
"Dummy... I would never leave you..." His voice softened as he loosened her hug a bit, wanting to look at her face and kiss her yet again.
She didn't resist at all, letting him savour her however he wished. Though, Xuefeng was more willing to learn what exactly happened, bringing her to safe place first instead.
Pulling away from their kiss, he reached with one hand and wiped her tears away. She has been crying for a while which caused her eyes to redden.
"Mhmm... I knew you would come to save me." Ling replied with a bring smile, no longer shaking or upset. She was at peace knowing he was there for her.
"Tell me, what happened? You didn't die...? Right? Are you safe now?"
Xuefeng wanted to confirm with her first.
"No, no, I didn't die..." Ling quickly denied, finally assuring him but then she buried her face into his chest and blamed herself. "I'm useless... I made you worry..."
"It's okay... I'm relieved you are safe." Xuefeng assured her as he hugged and patted her head, kissing the top of it in between. "Where are we?"
They were in some kind of palace and now that he looked around, it strangely looked similar to the design she used for her own palace.
"We are inside one of my memories..." Ling whispered quietly, shivering as if she was scared. "This was one of the reasons you thought I died... It's cause I have to digest all my memories before I finish my breakthrough..."
"Hmm, is it hard?" He asked worriedly and received a shy nod.
"I have to go through them all else I will be trapped here forever..." She added and before he proposed, she asked while looking up at him.
"Can you help me...? I don't think I can do it alone..." Her glass-like eyes were ready to shed tears in case he rejected her.
Naturally, Xuefeng wouldn't be himself if he did so.
"Of course. You shouldn't even ask. You are my woman already. I promised to take care of you." Xuefeng gave her another kiss, pulling her closer to himself before asking warmly. "Shall we go and face it together?"