Chapter 56 — Ning Chen.
Ning Chen remembered Tang Yuehua asking what he was going to do next after finally graduating.
He started explaining his plans and it was him most likely participating in the spirit continental tournament. He even proclaimed that he was going to beat everyone there easily.
Tang Yuehua laughed at Ning Chen's being overconfident and thought he was merely exaggerating. However, she nodded and promised to watch him fighting.
Ning Chen was immediately happy, wanting to hug her again, but realized it wasn't right and controlled himself. He forced a smile and bid his goodbye to Tang Yuehua.
His study under her was truly bountiful and an amazing experience. He was now even able to grow comfortable in wearing noble expensive suits and each of his actions contained an imposing, majestic manners.
However, it doesn't entirely mean that Ning Chen gave up on wearing the simple unique clothings. It was a part of him, causing him to decide to wear it only when he was alone and he was fine with that.
Ning Chen was about to leave the Moon Pavilion, but he encountered Xue Qinghe and Xue Ke after walking out.
Xue Qinghe's eyes contained a subtle chillness to it as he stared calmly at Ning Chen.
He had seen him acting so affectionately with Tang Yuehua and it made him feel slightly irritated. However, Xue Qinghe soon thought he was thinking of foolish things, causing his gaze to return normal, nobody noticing it.
"Ning Chen, congratulations on graduating from the Moon Pavilion. I'm sure your own prestige and status has rose significantly."
Xue Qinghe said with a large smile, while clapping his hands lightly.
Ning Chen nodded faintly and replied, "Thank you."
Xue Ke walked closely toward Ning Chen and handed him something while looking a bit embarrassed.
"Ning Chen, please take this handmade chocolate from me. Your performance earlier was amazing." She praised with a somewhat reddish complexion.
Ning Chen's eyes sparkled, seeing the chocolate and he quickly grabbed it from her.
"Thanks for this precious gift, Xue Ke. This is simply the best since chocolates are my favourite." Ning Chen said gratefully, patting Xue Ke's head.
Xie Ke smiled joyful, feeling glad that Ning Chen loving the gift she specially prepared with her own hands.
And the reason she knew why Ning Chen liked chocolate was because they hang out a lot at various place like a cafe after their class ended.
Xue Qinghe felt slightly upset and regretted that he didn't brought a gift for Ning Chen like Xue Ke.
Ning Chen noticed him acting depressed and he quickly smiled, reassuring Xue Qinghe.
"Don't worry too much. Just you coming to watch my performance was enough to make me happy."
Xue Qinghe simply nodded as a response, but he was still inwardly feeling not satisfied.
"I have some matters to attend back at the academy, so I'll take my leave now," Ning Chen said toward them apologetically.
Xue Qinghe and Xue Ke didn't minded that and quickly nodded with understanding.
"Xue Ke, make sure to study very well even when I'm not around now, okay?" Ning Chen said before leaving.
"Okay! I'll study hard to make you proud!" Xue Ke clenched her fist determinedly.
Ning Chen smiled in satisfaction and soon separated from them while waving his hand as a goodbye.
The two of them waved their hand back and quietly stared at him fading to the horizon.
(A/N: Drama Alert XD)
Afternoon, Imperial Academy, Emperor Palace.
Ning Chen arrived at the emperor palace and was surprised to see the Emperor Team gathered inside the living room, discussing over something important.
He looked around, but strangely couldn't fine Bai Chenxiang among them. It was weird, making him feel something bad happened.
Ning Chen approached the emperor team and they quickly welcomed him back. Now, the people close to Ning Chen were already used to seeing his handsome appearance, making him not received extreme exaggeration compared to before. However, that was only if he didn't went all out.
He was now able to precisely control his charm and charisma, making him have the ability to contain it.
"Why are you guys gathered here without Bai— Yu Feng? Did something happened?" Ning Chen asked curiously.
Dugu Yan looked at him seriously and answered. "It's actually about Yu Feng. He's been inside his own room without leaving it, as if he doesn't want to go out. He won't answer and eat either. We're now very worried about what's happening to him."
Ning Chen quickly frowned and felt his that his bad feelings became true, even though he clearly didn't wanted it to happen.
He haven't been in the imperial academy for several days because he had stayed at the Moon Pavilion, preparing himself throughly for his solo graduation ceremony and didn't know what was happening in here.
Ning Chen approached Xie Lingling and whispered something.
"Do you know what happened to Bai Chenxiang?" He asked quietly, but only to see Xie Lingling shaking her head.
Ning Chen sighed, thinking that he could only ask Bai Chenxiang herself. He have some faint guess over it, but he sincerely hoped it wasn't that case.
"I will try to talk to him personally." Ning Chen said to the emperor team with a very serious expression.
"Wait, we will come with you too." Yu Tianheng said, but Ning Chen quickly denied him.
"I know you guys are worried about him, but it's better for just one person to talk to him, making him feel less pressured and afraid." Ning Chen explained to them.
They could only agree to Ning Chen's word helplessly, feeling it was the correct choice.
Ning Chen thanked them and soon went toward Bai Chenxiang's room. He took a deep breath, pondering on what words to say.
He couldn't afford to say the wrong words after all.
However, nothing really came into his mind. Nothing, but only to comfort her.
Ning Chen knocked loudly at the door and said clearly, "It's me, Ning Chen. Open your door and let's talk it out."
Unfortunately, he wasn't able to receive a reply. He didn't feel upset nor discouraged, but just continued, hoping his words can reach her.
"You don't need to worry, it's just me outside here, so let's talk about what your currently going through."
Ning Chen still received no reply, but still persisted.
"Please talk to me. What happened to you, Bai Chenxiang?" He asked with his voice laced with deep concern.
Ning Chen was now feeling that something bad might have happened to Bai Chenxiang beyond the door in front of him.
However, this time, he received an answer and it made him feel relieved.
"Leave! I don't want talk with anyone, so just leave me alone..."
Ning Chen was able hear Bai Chenxiang's dry and cracked voice, causing him to feel worry.
He would normally respect her words, but at the very moment, he felt It wasn't the best choice to leave her alone. He would definitely come to regret it.
It was because Bai Chenxiang haven't ate anything for three days and based on her cracked voice, Ning Chen felt her current condition was bad.
Her life might be at stake here...
"I will apologize in advance, but this is for your own good!" Ning Chen said resolutely, drawing his sword out.
His sword destroyed the door knobs, making the lock get destroyed.
Ning Chen quickly opened it and entered inside Bai Chenxiang's room.
Bai Chenxiang was stunned to see Ning Chen forcefully entering her own room, but she quickly grew angry.
"You! I said to leave me alone! Why won't you understand those simple words!" She exclaimed loudly, but she showed signs of lacking energy.
"..." Ning Chen stayed silent, looking around her room which was dark with all the lights currently turn off and the windows completely closed.
Although it was dark, Ning Chen was able to discern the state of the room. It was messy and disorganized. There were also signs of destroyed things, possibly made by Bai Chenxiang herself.
Ning Chen closed the door and quickly opened the lights.
The dark room soon got illuminated entirely and Ning Chen was now able to see Bai Chenxiang.
Bai Chenxiang wasn't looking good with her complexion being extremely pale and also very dry, as if all of her energy and life were all drained out.
Her clothes were also messy and dirty, not completely covering her body which showed some self harm.
Ning Chen was worried seeing her state being like this, especially when he saw her eyes which lost its energetic shine.
Her brownish eyes were instead completely bloodshot and very puffy. A deep black shade were also underneath her eyes, showing how exhausted and pitiful she was.
"You... What happened to you...?" Ning Chen asked while gulping down his saliva.
Bai Chenxiang didn't replied to him. She was silent with tears threatening to spill out from her eyes.
Ning Chen looked around and spotted an opened letter placed above her table. He took it and slowly started reading it.
He then dropped the letter in disbelief and looked at Bai Chenxiang. He came to realize she was expelled from the Emperor Team and also the imperial academy.
The board of education somehow managed to learn that Bai Chenxiang was from the speed clan and also the deep meaning of her walking down the path of strength configuration.
It meant she couldn't advance pass the rank 38.
However, the academy was lenient and kind enough to let Bai Chenxiang cultivate at the academy because there was still a possibility for her to advance, but after months without making progress, they came into a final decision.
It was to expell Bai Chenxiang, but there was still a hidden side to their decision.
It was better for Bai Chenxiang to return back toward her clan and use their secret technique to reset her cultivation and spirit rings since she stopped at rank 38.
They thought it was the best option for Bai Chenxiang to reset everything because restarting meant her future potential would no longer be limited.
In fact, it was the speed clan that gave the academy about Bai Chenxiang's information.
Ning Chen didn't know anything about the speed clan's secret technique, but he grew infuriated reading this letter.
He quickly started tearing the letter into pieces and said with great anger.
"What're they thinking? There's still hope for you to breakthrough, but they have already gave up? I know you deeply, stronger than the other who already reached rank 40, while still being rank 38! Your talent and determination are enough to defy your fate!"
Bai Chenxiang lowered her face, not being affected by Ning Chen's anger.
"Don't blame them, it's my fault in the end, not being able to surpass rank 38 like what I promised. I was just naive and foolish, thinking that I can be different and defy our detestable fate." Bai Chenxiang ridiculed herself. "I wasn't good enough, maybe It was really impossible since at the start of my path and all my efforts were for nothing, a futile attempt of dreaming grand and differently."
Bai Chenxiang's gaze soon became focused and sorrowful at the same time, surrendering to her own fate at the end.
She started wiping the tears forming on her eyes on her sleeves.
"I will return to my clan and start anew using our clan's secret technique that can reset the cultivation completely. With that, I will start as a new better me that only focused on speed and no longer pursue foolish dreams." Bai Chenxiang forced herself to smile, staring sorrowfully toward Ning Chen.
"With my talent and the effort you taught me, I will become the fastest spirit master and surpass the current foolish me."
Ning Chen widened his eyes largely, realizing something.
Such an amazing technique couldn't possibly have no drawbacks.
"That secret technique, there's a side-effect on using it, right...?" Ning Chen asked reluctantly, feeling afraid of what he was gonna hear from her next.
Bai Chenxiang's smile stiffened, her eyes growing somber.
"Hahaha, you really are perceptive, but I wish you didn't have to find that out..." She started laughing quietly, but it was unpleasant with her voice cracking terribly.
Despite that, Ning Chen didn't minded it and just strongly grabbed into her hands.
"Tell me! What will happen to you!?"
Bai Chenxiang's eyes averted from his menacing, interrogating gaze. She felt more sorrow and pain from just looking at it.
"My memories will get reset... along with my cultivation..." She bit her lips hardly, blood slightly trickling down it.
Ning Chen's grip lost their strength, as he blankly stared toward her face. Still, he continued to blaze with hope and determination.
"Then don't lose your hope yet! If you can't defy your fate by yourself, I will help you! Even if I am not enough, there's still the other Emperor Team that will help you! So please don't forget about us..." Ning Chen hugged Bai Chenxiang tightly, afraid she will go away and leave them.
Bai Chenxiang couldn't help but finally let all of her emotions out. Her tears streaming down her eyes, unceasingly falling down toward Ning Chen's shoulder.
She sobbed and even snots came out, but both of them didn't cared about such a small thing.
"I don't want to forget! I want to keep teasing Dugu Yan, bicker with Osler, talk with the twins, hang out with Xie Lingling, laugh at Yu Tianheng and train with Hao Beng!" Bai Chenxiang exclaimed loudly, but all she felt was hopeless in the end and she came to accept.
It was painful to see her like this, but all Ning Chen could do was embrace her and let the torrent of tears soak through his shirt.
He could feel her clenching her fists and him not knowing whether to encourage her or to give up hope all together.
Ning Chen could hear her silently screaming, suffocating with each breath she took, holding onto her hope, but to no avail. He then ran his fingers through her dry, sticky hair, time and time again, in an attempt to calm the silent war within her mind.
It was all he could do.
Bai Chenxiang calmed down, she caressed Ning Chen's cheeks and two looked at each other complicatedly.
"I don't want to forget my precious memories, especially you. I don't ever want to forget about you, It will still torment my heart even if I forget everything." She said, but she pushed Ning Chen away and backed away from him, walking toward the window.
"But It's time for me to leave everything behind and you should do the same. I promised to surpass rank 38 at age 14, but I failed. I won't accomplish anything unless I restart everything." Bai Chenxiang opened the window, the caramel-like sunlight covering her body, as large wings unfolded behind her.
14 years to reach surpass rank 38 was a short time. However, she promised to return at this date because the older she was, the harder it will get to cultivate even if she was to reset.
Bai Chenxiang stared at Ning Chen with a smile, as she finally came to accept everything.
"Please say goodbye to the others on my behalf." She was afraid of meeting them with her current state.
"And I'll always miss you, even if I forget everything, my heart will not."
Ning Chen looked silently toward Bai Chenxiang and wondered if It was right to let her go.
A memory crawled from the deepest part of his mind and soon played inside his head.
'You're right and will always be right. It's better to not regret...'
Ning Chen's amethyst eyes released a stream of golden light, as golden waves expanded everywhere.
He slowly walked toward Bai Chenxiang and uttered gently.
"I will not allow you to surrender to fate."
Bai Chenxiang froze completely, feeling her spirit trembling with awe. However, she grew complicated.
"Just forget about me, Ning Chen..." She said bitterly, seeing him still not giving up on her when everybody already gave up, including herself.
"You're awful, saying your heart will never forget about me, but it's also the same for me," Ning Chen suddenly pulled Bai Chenxiang to his embrace, not planning on letting her ran away from everything.
He stared deeply into her eyes, a charming smile forming on his face as he uttered passionately.
"We can grief and weep, but you shall never regret anything in life, so don't run away and face what's ahead."
Bai Chenxiang averted from his gaze, feeling weak with her heart being influenced by Ning Chen's speech.
"I can't do anything, I'm just a helpless bird who can't soar high." She said weakly.
Ning Chen held Bai Chenxiang's chin and made her looked toward him.
"Then pledge your life, your trust — your everything to me and I shall do the same!" Ning Chen roared imposingly. "Let us both see the end and witness the glory that awaits your path! I will stay beside you, always and forever to defy our fate."
The golden light emitting from Ning Chen's eyes grew intense and stronger, resonating with his boiling blood.
"I'll ask you again and again, will you be brave enough to stay beside me and conquer this impossible fate together?"
He was not a conquerer of kingdom nor a world, but he will always conquer every challenges and fate that he faced.
xD what did I just write?
(Not a confession, something required for his second ability to activate for those he have no bloodline connection with.)
Her spirit is actually not decided cause I'm having a hard time thinking...