Everything was foggy. Xue Wei was lost in a world of limitless fog; he felt like he was floating, and everything passed by him so fast.
Silhouettes and figures appeared by Xue Wei's side. Some flashed by in the blink of an eye, and others moved past at a snail’s pace. However, all of them had one thing in common – all of them were indistinct and impossible to identify.
Xue Wei reached out his hand in an attempt to stop a few of them, but he found that they turned to smoke and dissipated right in front of him as soon as he came into contact with them.
Puzzled, the young man started walking aimlessly within the world of fog, completely unaware of what was going on.
As he kept walking, he had lost all his memories of what had happened to him prior to his appearance in the world of fog.
Here in this world, he felt no pressure; there was nothing urging him to move, but he still felt curious. Just what was the origin of this place? For what reason had he appeared within this location?
Xue Wei was confused as he continued walking, yet even after walking for what felt like an eternity, Xue Wei realized that there was no end to this realm of fog. The only things he encountered in this never-ending world were the silhouettes that appeared from time to time.
Walking in the fog, Xue Wei felt that everything was calm and comfortable. Nothing was getting in the way, nothing was stressing him. In fact, he felt no danger and was at peace with himself.
The more he walked, the more the number of silhouettes appearing around him increased. The further into the world of fog he went, the faster these figures flashed past him.
Some would hold hands, and an echo of laughter emerged from every direction in the world of fog. Child-like silhouettes ran around in groups, and their voices too echoed in the fog.
The silhouettes became more and more realistic the further Xue Wei walked. They turned from mere silhouettes into lifelike figures, their bodies became less transparent, and their faces began to have features that resembled real people.
These people had faces that Xue Wei suddenly remembered. There was the blacksmith of Lingyun Town. He suddenly remembered how he had run errands for his father to the blacksmith on a weekly basis, and that the blacksmith and his wife doted on him as if he was their own nephew.
He saw the faces of the children that ran in the fog, and was reminded of those he used to play with when he himself was a young child.
Where Xue Wei had changed and matured, becoming a young man, these people had not changed a day since the fateful encounter six years prior.
These children were his friends; these people were his kin. Each person he passed by brought with them memories of a time long gone.
Each memory was a treasure that returned to Xue Wei's mind; he felt that something that had been missing for years was returning to him. He felt as if the constant self-doubt he had had was vanishing. The fears he had had about himself were also being extinguished with every memory that returned to him.
Although Xue Wei had been incapable of cultivating, his childhood was filled with heartwarming and comfortable memories, and these memories that started taking root in his mind brought with them a feeling of being good enough.
Xue Wei felt comfortable. He felt as if he was bathed in a soft and gentle embrace as these faces floated through his mind and brought with them everyday memories.
Albeit a small town, Lingyun Town still had a populace of around a thousand. All of them more or less knew each other. And although they were not all equally close, Xue Wei was right now remembering every single person and the encounters and episodes he had experienced with each of them.
The first memories were the faintest. The people he had played with the least, the people he had dealt with the least. However, the deeper into the fog he went, a larger number of memories pertaining to people close to him, good friends and those with whom he had many memories, surfaced and assaulted his mind.
"If I walk deep enough, will I encounter my parents?" Xue Wei could not help but ask himself. As he thought of this, he could not help but feel excited.
Although he had lived six years without even remembering his father, he knew from the moment he entered the apothecary shop that he had once been truly loved by his father.
Reaching this realization, Xue Wei sped up within the world of the fog and moved further and further into its depths, on the search for any of the figures that floated past him and added to his memory as they passed by.
More and more of these memory fragments appeared. The experts who were in charge of training the youngsters in the city also appeared, filling Xue Wei with dread and reverence, a feeling that he remembered from the time he was a small child himself.
Another eternity went past, and fewer and fewer figures appeared. The further Xue Wei walked, the more important the memories he recovered were, but the less frequent they became as well.
Finally, the steady stream of memories and figures vanished and Xue Wei reached the end. There, not one but three figures were waiting for him.
The first one had a gentle, comfortable and familiar feeling to them; the second felt dangerous but also loving; while the third was completely frightening.
Xue Wei frowned. Why on earth were there three figures? Who were they?
He reached out, trying to remember something, and the moment he came into contact with the gentle and soft figure, the first of the three, he was assaulted by memories of his father.
Although he was filled with memories because of this, there were a few things that were impossible to remember no matter how hard he tried to recall them.
Xue Wei could not remember the face of his father. Every memory he recovered was filled with love and tender care, but his father’s face was blurry and impossible to see in each one.
Grumbling, Xue Wei wondered what was happening. Even the members of the village that he had never had much to do with were now a clear memory in his head; he could remember every single hair on their head. However, he could not remember his father, the one who he had spent the most time with out of all of them?
This was truly a difficult situation for Xue Wei, and he paused to think about what to do for a moment. He was frustrated because of the inability to remember, his feelings were chaotic for a moment before they finally calmed down once more.
"Since I can't remember Father fully, why don't I try the other two?" he muttered to himself. However, the moment he reached towards the two figures, he heard a screech similar to that of a bird, followed by a high-pitched laughter, and then the fog that had surrounded him for what felt like an eternity suddenly vanished.
Xue Wei felt as if he was falling into a big black hole, and his world became unstable, but he remembered everything that had happened as his eyelids twitched. After a few moments of helplessness, he felt that light had returned to his world and he could open his eyes.
The world of fog and memories was completely gone. Xue Wei instead looked up at a stone ceiling, and he had a puzzled look on his face.
"Where am I?" he muttered to himself as he propped himself up on one arm to get a better look at what was happening around him.
He was located in a small cave. He was laying on a stone bed, and there were stone chairs and tables not far from it.
Hei Gou was standing not far away, looking outside with solemn eyes. He had clearly not noticed that Xue Wei had awoken.
Xue Wei’s body felt as light as a feather He felt invigorated and energized, and even his mind felt much clearer than it had been before, but he was still puzzled regarding his new environment and the stream of memories he had seen.
"I remember everything apart from Father and those two figures," he muttered to himself, finally causing Hei Gou to look behind him as he heard the low voice.
Hei Gou's handsome face was haggard. His eyes had dark circles beneath them and he had lost weight.
"Thank god you woke up!" he exclaimed excitedly. Xue Wei, who felt bad about Hei Gou’s exhausted appearance, nodded his head with a smile on his face.
"Sorry, how long was I out for?" he asked. Based on what Hei Gou looked like, Xue Wei had a feeling he had been out for quite a while. The black dog quickly answered, "You were out for three weeks." There was relief in his voice.
"I was worried that you might die!" When he said this, Hei Gou's voice trembled slightly. "You might not know this, but although we met each other a rather short time ago, I feel that you are very important to me. You are my brother!"
Xue Wei's heart turned soft when he heard this. He nodded his head. "Why don't you go rest for a bit?" he asked gently. "I will keep watch. I am sure that you have not slept or rested for these three weeks. If you continue like this, you will collapse!"
"I will," Hei Gou did not attempt to pretend that he was okay. The moment Xue Wei got off the stone bed, Hei Gou laid down, almost collapsing to the floor. Within moments, his eyes closed and he managed to fall asleep.
His breathing was steady and calm, and his entire body seemed as if it was on the verge of collapsing. Xue Wei smiled gently when he saw this and sat at the entrance to the cave where he had a good view of everything that happened outside, without the outside being able to look inside the cave.
"So I can't remember my father," Xue Wei muttered to himself. "I don't remember anything about his death, and I do not remember his face. I can remember all the experiences we shared, but when it comes to his death, it is as if something is blocking me. It is the same with his face."
Xue Wei pondered on the issue for some time while stroking his chin. "There were two other figures. Both of them felt incredibly dangerous, but whereas one of them also had a loving and comfortable feel, the other was cold as ice."
"These two people were shown at the very end together with my dad. They must be very important."
Xue Wei muttered to himself as he continued to ponder in silence about what had happened. "Since they give me a dangerous feeling, I guess they have something to do with the death of Father."
"Could it be that someone does not want me to remember?" Xue Wei suddenly had the feeling that there was something deeper than just having forgotten his father's face.
"Now I can remember the food my father gave me. All the lectures, the discussions we had, and the love he shared with me. But although I remember all this, I do not remember his face. It is as if something is blocking it."
Xue Wei was deep in thought when he saw that a group of people suddenly flew past the mountain.
Xue Wei paused his thoughts, held his breath, and observed the group that was flying through the area.
"Why are there so many Heavenly Warriors here?" Xue Wei muttered to himself. "And why are they all moving in a particular pattern. Are they looking for something?"
Suddenly it dawned on Xue Wei what was going on. "Dammit," he cursed, "I was too slow in waking up – they are going to systematically scan the area to find traces of me and Hei Gou. They caught up too fast!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter