The moment Xuefeng passed through the door, an instant regret filled his mind, realizing what he actually did.
'Xuefeng, you need to leave the passage quickly before you activate its defenses,' Ling warned right away, saving the scolding for later. 'No one below God Realm can enter Heaven Realm. We will be punished.'
Xuefeng got uneasy, knowing he messed up for real with her confirmation and looked around. The place was filled with blinding light but he could see another exit above him. He immediately looked down and only relaxed when he saw the door was still there with the view of the Palace below it.
'Is the other exit leading to Heaven Realm?' Xuefeng asked in his mind but he didn't receive an answer as Jiao scolded him first.
"Xuefeng! Why did you follow me?! You can't ascend with me!" She cried out in panic, lowering herself to look at his face. Her expression showed genuine concern as she knew Xuefeng's real stage.
Her worry wasn't baseless as at the same time, an explosion resounded throughout the passage.
They looked at the direction of the sound and saw a white chain heading straight towards their direction.
"Watch out!" Xuefeng shouted as he pushed Jiao away from danger and dodged the chain by lifting his legs in the last second.
'Xuefeng! Leave now!' Ling ordered sternly, her voice showing no playfulness anymore. 'Don't worry about her, the chains are aimed at you!'
Unfortunately, it was already too late to exit the passage on his own accord.
Two more chains were sent out from two different directions, even faster than the first one. He swung his wings, flying higher yet the chains chased after him, catching up in no time and wrapped around his legs like two snakes.
Immense pain caused Xuefeng to scream his lungs out. The sounds of his leg bones cracking and muscles twisting filled the passage, only slightly masked by his screams.
"Xuefeng!" Jiao screamed terrified, tears gushing out uncontrollably. "I told you to leave! Why do you care so much about me?!"
Xuefeng would love to reply but the pain he felt was too much. He gritted his teeth, trying to battle it when a sudden relief filled him, coming from the inside of him.
'Thank you Ling...' Xuefeng muttered in his mind, finally regaining some clarity but Ling only scolded him, 'Go settle your matter with her fast! I will try to keep you alive!'
The chains kept pulling him down in the direction of the door so he swung with his wings to keep balance. Thanks to Ling, at least he didn't feel any pain as she ran their Regeneration Ability on full mode.
Xuefeng ignored Jiao's silly question and asked her what he came here for, "Why didn't you tell me anything? Are you going to leave just like that?"
He already went this far, so he didn't plan to leave without getting his answers. Xuefeng knew that Jiao reached a Monarch stage already but he didn't expect she would just Ascend without saying goodbye.
Another chain blasted from the wall, joining the other two before Jiao could even reply and caught onto his thigh, smashing it to bits. It regenerated quickly but the pulling force made it harder to stay in the air.
"I can't stay here any longer... Quick, tell me." Xuefeng commented, talking through the pressure. He could see Jiao suffered just by watching him receive so much pain.
"I-I didn't know what to tell you..." Jiao stuttered, guilt all over her face. "You told me to think of what I want and I finally realized what it is. Only by leaving I can accomplish it. I never thought you will chase after me like that..."
'You have around a minute! Those chains increase in power!' Ling warned, finding it hard to deal with them which Xuefeng felt through the pain returning to his legs.
"Couldn't you just tell me first?" Xuefeng asked with a disappointed look. "I thought we are friends..."
When he heard yet another explosion, Xuefeng was already prepared for the pain to come. When Jiao heard him grunt and saw as he spurt blood from his mouth when a fist-sized chain pierced his stomach, she finally broke.
"Xuefeng!" Jiao cried out and caught him as he started falling and called out emotionally, "I don't want to be just friends with you!"
She hugged into his chest and added in tears, "Your scolding cleared my mind... I wanted to receive a place in your heart without putting much work, thinking my beauty was enough to take over any man's mind. I was wrong... Without ambition and hard work I became like an empty vessel, practically useless."
"I never said you were useless..." Xuefeng commented weakly, tasting his own blood on his tongue.
"Of course you didn't. I just discovered the truth. The current me never deserved your feelings. If I told you my plans, I don't think I would be able to leave. Because of that I shamelessly thought it would be best to just leave. I'm sorry... I regret it now," Jiao confessed, squeezing him without realizing she was hurting him.
"Cough, cough..." Xuefeng almost choked of blood and commented sarcastically as he pulled her away, only using her as support, "I think you forgot I have a chain stabbed through my belly..."
They were already closing in towards the exit which was probably the reason why no other chains attacked him anymore. Their main task seemed to be throwing any intruders outside the passage.
"I'm sorry... It's all my fault you suffered so much..." Jiao apologized again but Xuefeng pinched her cheek in return, using the pitiful strength he had left.
"Stop apologizing... I came on my own," Xuefeng commanded before slowly letting go of her, allowing the chains to pull him down freely. "Go on and fulfill your goals. You have my blessing."
"No!" Jiao tried to catch him but his hand slipped from her fingers. The chains finally launched him out of the passage and only her voice reached him when he was falling towards the palace.
"In Heaven Realm! I will find you again! Stronger than ever! I promise!"