“So, little Shuangshuang, don’t look so anguished. I will always be with you.” Feng Yixuan started to laugh, puckering his lips. He started inching closer and closer. “Come, give me a kiss.”
The next moment, Feng Yixuan was groaning as he crouched on the ground, clutching his eye.
Qi Aoshuang angrily turned away, flying away, descending from the roof.
Feng Yixuan watched as she disappeared, then stood up. He was smiling, relieved. She finally returned to her lively self, her true self…
Feng Yixuan rubbed his eyes, then humphed. “Come out, how long are you going to wait?”
The surroundings were silent. After a while, Leng Lingyun appeared.
“I’m telling you now, I’ve not leaving you any chances.” Feng Yixuan stared at Leng Lingyun. However, with panda eyes, he didn’t appear threatening at all.
Leng Lingyun remained silent.
“Humph!” Feng Yixuan rubbed his eyes. Ignoring Leng Lingyun, he climbed down from the ladder.
Leng Lingyun stood on the roof alone, silently watching the moon.
Two days later, a party of five left Clearspring Village. This time, the Xi brothers were coming along.
Their destination was one of the two places marked in red.
And so, the five advanced in the desert. The endless desert only sunk their spirits. The scenery never changed: yellow sand, a giant cactus here and there, half concealed skeletal remains.
“Ah! An oasis!” Xi Shaoqi suddenly cried out. After roasting under the sun for so long, it was natural that he would be excited by an oasis. Xi Shaoqi immediately longed for a drink, then a satisfying shower.
“It is Ring Village.” Xi Shaoqi explained, “In the middle is a small lake. The lake’s water source is an an underground spring. This two was born around the lake, forming a circular shape, thus its name, Ring Village.”
“My lady, we should rest now. My butt is already sore from all this riding.” Xi Shaoqi shifted his weight uncomfortably. Riding camelback for so long was indeed unbearable.
“Yes, go and rest. We shall set out again tomorrow morning.” Qi Aoshuang nodded. Everyone entered.
Like all other villages, the small village was surrounded by a high wall of stone. The village had the words “Ring Village” inscribed on a large stone next to the entrance.
There were few people out on the streets, no one paying attention to them. Many travelers passed by to rest, a common occurrence.
“Shaosi, Shaoqi, go find us an inn. We will first take a look around.” Qi Aoshuang handed her reins to Xi Shaoqi.
“Yes.” In the temple of Darkness, the brothers had always ordered others around, but ever since Qi Aoshuang appeared, they had been always ordered around by her. Their divine princess was simply too sinister. Ever since that incident, he never dared to tease her again. He had lost a bet, and the loser was supposed to satisfy one request of the winner. Xi Shaoqi thought it was nothing. It was just one request, right? But after hearing her request, he wanted to kill himself. He was supposed to tell people in the manor he was a pig, a real pig, a giant, stupid pig. Each time, he was supposed to move onto someone else and say the same phrase. Phillips even thought he was being mind controlled. From then on, Xi Shaoqi followed Qi Aoshuang obediently, not daring to ever complain.
Qi Aoshuang, Feng Yixuan, and Leng Lingyun slowly strolled around, observing the passersby. Suddenly, Qi Aoshuang frowned. Feng Yixuan and Leng Lingyun also noticed something was off.
Although these people were walking, they seemed to be mindlessly walking. After reaching the end of the street, they would turn around and walk back, then reach the other end of the street and walk back again! Qi Aoshuang focused on the closest person to her, her heart clenching. Their gaze was unfocused, expressionless. He simply walked.
“Hey, may I ask…” Feng Yixuan grabbed someone passing by, but something strange happened. They continued forward as if they had not heard him. However, after taking a step, they fell down. He had stopped moving, stopped breathing!
Feng Yixuan looked at his hand, then looked at the person lying on the ground, his lip twitching. What was going on? Did he kill someone with a slight grab?
Even more strangely, everyone else continued walking as if nothing happened.
“He’s dead.” Leng Lingyun said quietly, frowning.
Feng Yixuan also frowned, then looked up. Suddenly, he cried out, “No! We’re in a trap!”
Qi Aoshuang’s flashed with realization, but something strange was already overhead!
A bright light flashed overhead. The sky darkened slightly. A translucent barrier appeared! Sunlight could come in, but they could see their reflections in the barrier! It was like a mirror. They could see the outside faintly, but the village underneath could be seen more distinctly. The entire village was covered by the barrier.
“These people have been dead for a while already!” Feng Yixuan’s expression was serious.
“How magnanimous, killing all the people in the village just to trap us.” Leng Lingyun’s expression also darkened. Although he wasn’t nice enough to care for the world, he was still angered seeing so many innocents killed.
“What kind of barrier is that?” Qi Aoshuang coldly eyed the barrier overhead. It was the first time she had seen such a barrier.
“My lady! What’s going onnnnnnnn?” Xi Shaoqi dashed over. “Why is this village like a ghost town? What kind of barrier is that?”
Shi Shaosi also made his way over, his expression grave.
“My lady, everyone is dead.” Xi Shaosi said in a low voice. “But they seem as if they’re continuing what they did before they died, doing the same action over and over.”
“Creepy, too creepy!” Xi Shaoqi shuddered. He had never seen something so strange. At most, he had seen people mind controlled, but that was someone alive. He had never seen dead people controlled.
Suddenly, a strange voice spoke. “Cute little lambs, have a nice rest in here.” Their tone of voice was quite pleased.
Everyone looked up, then saw a strangely dressed person flapping his arms atop the barrier, his hair a mess. His clothes seemed to be patched from many different ones, colorful. He had one large spike of hair in the middle of the top of his head.
“Who are you?” Xi Shaosi asked coldly.
The strange person raised both of his hands, making a ring with arms in front of his chest, then raising them towards the sky. Everyone felt a wave of disgust. The strange person finally replied, “People about to die don’t need to know my name. All you need to know is that your lives are worth a lot of money, especially the girl, she’s worth an entire city, hehe~”
Before anyone could say anything, the strange person cried out weirdly. With a tap of his feet, he left up and flew away, disappearing out of their gazes.
“The Temple of Light?” Feng Yixuan frowned as he watched the strange person disappear.
“No.” Leng Lingyun shook his head. “Not this time.”
“You mean to say…” Xi Shaosi frowned.
“He could have been hired by the Temple.” Leng Lingyun’s expression darkened.
“Let’s leave first.” Feng Yixuan looked around their surroundings. “The entire village seems to be surrounded by this barrier.”
“Let me see if I can read its resonance.” Qi Aoshuang approached the barrier, gently reaching out to touch it. However, before she could touch it, the barrier suddenly responded faintly, brushing Qi Aoshuang’s hand away.
Hmm? Qi Aoshuang tried to reach out again, but the barrier was the same. A soft force pushed her hand away.
“What’s going on?” Feng Yixuan came close, also inspecting the strange barrier.
“I can’t get close.” Qi Aoshuang frowned.
“Just break it open.” Xi Shaoqi humphed. He brought out his scepter, already starting to chant.
Qi Aoshuang silently mused, the barrier’s force just now was a bit strange. But what was it?
Xi Shaoqi already finished changing. With a wave of his sceptor, a bolt of black light attacked the barrier.
“Wait!” Qi Aoshuang shouted. She finally realized what the repulsion force was similar to.
“Ah?” Xi Shaoqi blinked, not understanding why she would suddenly tell him to wait.
The next moment, Xi Shaoqi understood why. Just when the bolt of black light was about to touch the barrier, it suddenly went backwards the same path it had traveled! Xi Shaoqi hastily erected barrier to block the arrack. The black bolt of light slammed heavily against his barrier, causing the barrier to shudder. His heart also shuddered. He almost killed himself!
“W-why didn’t you say that ealier?” Xi Shaoqi patted his chest, trying to calm down his heart.
Everyone’s expression sharpened as they finally understood how the barrier worked.