His surroundings were completely enshrouded in a thick, stirring mist. Rong Ruihan was unable to tell what entity he was right now – whether a soul; a particle in the air; a gentle breeze; or even a secret observer of all that was around.
The only thing he did know was that he had slipped back into the same, old dream. In fact, this was part of the same dream that he had been having for over twenty years.
It all began when he was six years old. Rong Ruihan slipped and fell from a rock garden and knocked his head on the ground. As a result of that, he was rendered comatose for one day and one night.
During this period of time, he slipped into a long, tedious dream. In this dream, he saw a lady wearing red garbs battling with several fierce-looking men. It was a highly disadvantageous situation where several enemies were grouping up and attacking her at the same time. Yet, a cool and elegant smile was plastered on her face at all times – this lady was clearly filled with confidence.
It was evident that this lady’s techniques did not come from any of the upstanding or reputable sects. She swung her hands about menacingly, sending shockwaves slamming into her opponents who were rushing at her incessantly. These shockwaves exploded on impact, sending blood splattering everywhere. As time went by, this lady’s glowing jade skin began to be covered with splotches of blood as she battled on.
However, the crimson-red colour which was often associated with death did not make this lady look any more fearsome. Instead, the splashes of colour seemed to accentuate her charms and imbue her with an irresistible allure.
The assailants were stunned by this lady’s strength, and they backed off and regrouped, addressing the lady as “Lady Demoness” with a tremor in their voice.
Lady Demoness? Why are these people calling this older sister a Lady Demoness? She’s such a beauty…
Back then, Rong Ruihan was only six years old and still ignorant about many things in the world. Despite that, he had been so captivated by the sight of this Lady Demoness that he subconsciously inched closer to get a better view. But just then, the Lady Demoness turned around sharply and stared in the direction that he was at, as though she were staring straight at Rong Ruihan.
Rong Ruihan’s heart skipped a beat. He did not know how this lady intended to deal with a little peeping tom like him.
Yet the lady in red simply ignored the bewildered Rong Ruihan. Her elegant, almond-shaped eyes dazzled with a cold, clear glimmer, while her lips slowly curled up with a sardonic smile.
Then, she suddenly turned back towards her assailants. This time, the shockwaves that she sent out had turned into invisible blades of wind that cleanly cleaved her assailants into several pieces.
This was when Rong Ruihan finally realized that the lady in red had not noticed his presence at all. His young, tender heart swelled up with a complicated emotion that seemed to be a mixture of disappointment and relief at the same time. Nevertheless, that final smile from that lady in red was like an awl that etched her presence deeply within his heart and soul.
When Rong Ruihan finally came to his senses, he tried his level best to recall that lady’s appearances. Yet despite his efforts, his memory of the lady’s appearance remained hazy at best. In the end, all he could recall was that striking, blood red figure of hers that remained etched in the deepest parts of his memory.
The six years-old Rong Ruihan had thought that this lady was merely a figment of his imaginations that he had seen in his dreams. Therefore, he felt disappointed and frustrated by the fact that he could no longer recall any details about this lady. Unexpectedly, he met this very same lady in his dreams a few days later.
A second time, followed by a third. A third time, followed by the fourth… Rong Ruihan saw the same lady in her dreams time and time again. By the umpteenth time, Rong Ruihan was absolutely certain that he and this lady were to be inextricably intertwined by the cords of fate.
However, if his memory served him well, he had never encountered this lady in his entire life. Additionally, he was certain that even if he only passed her by on the streets, he would never forget that encounter. This was because the lady was incredibly outstanding and possessed a special disposition.
In any event, the dreams that Rong Ruihan had experienced were not all the same. The only common thread running through these dreams were that the lady in red would always be the protagonist of his dreams.
Once, Rong Ruihan had even dreamt about the lady in red becoming pregnant. At that time, the lady in red had collected and repressed that ruthless, vicious aura of hers, and instead become just like any other warm, doting mother in the world. She would gaze softly at her baby bump as the warm glow of sunlight shines radiantly on her body. It was as though that layer of sunlight had become an additional gloss of warmth that embellished that portrait of beauty with love and affection.
Who in the world is this lady?
By then, Rong Ruihan had already managed to link up with the remnant members of the Jiang clan and learnt that his own mother was also a demonic cultivator. Therefore, he began to wonder whether this lady was his biological mother.
Or perhaps, it could be his idea of who his mother was.
Yet as he began to inquire more from the older members of the Jiang clan remnants, their description of his mother seemed to be a complete mismatch with this lady in red. At the very least, his mother hardly dressed herself in red of her own volition. Furthermore, ever since she had wedded with the king of the Inferno Kingdom, she would dress herself with her palace provided apparel which was anything but red.
Later, Rong Ruihan even managed to obtain a portrait of his biological mother. With that, he finally ascertained that his mother was not the same person as that lady in red.
Once he learnt of this, Rong Ruihan heaved a sigh of relief in his heart.
That’s right – even though Rong Ruihan was uncertain of who he had hoped this lady in red to be, he secretly knew in his heart that he did not want this lady in red to be his own biological mother.
This sense of bewilderment stayed with him until he was fifteen years-old. That year was when he had his first wet dream.
The dream was charming and gentle, yet vivid at the same time. In fact, it was so vivid that it almost felt that it had actually happened in real life.
Rong Ruihan furiously embraced that lady in red. That aura of fragrance emanating from her body assaulted his olfactory senses as the heaving and sighing of their breaths blended together in perfect harmony. The lady’s face was even flushed with a red hue as though she were slightly intoxicated.
He savored her like how he would enjoy the best wine in the world, as he left his mark on every part of the lady’s body. The lady held him close in a tight embrace, enabling and encouraging him. Her soft, luscious lips opened slightly ajar as they let out bewitching moans.
However, what the lady called out was not his name. Instead, it was a name that he had never heard of before – Lingyu.
“Who’s Lingyu?” Rong Ruihan jolted to a halt. He tugged at the lady’s chin and questioned her with a fiery tone.
This lady was a person who killed her enemies without batting an eyelid – and even with a smile on her face at times. Right now, she laid under his body, but her eyes were no longer filled with that frigid and decisive intent. There was only her hazy, intoxicated eyes and cloudy pupils.
With half-closed eyes, the lady continued calling out that stranger’s name – Lingyu.
In the next moment, Rong Ruihan suddenly understood that the man whom the lady was looking at was not himself. He was invisible to her, while she had been calling out the name of a man whom he had never even heard of.
Infuriated, Rong Ruihan no longer treated the lady with the tender loving care as he had done before. Instead, with rough and gruff actions, he had his way with the lady. Then, he left in a huff even before the first light of day had hit the earth. All that was left was the chaotic aftermath of their tussle in bed.
This wet dream had hardly been a good experience for Rong Ruihan. Rong Ruihan sincerely felt that he must be the first once since time immemorial who had, on his first wet dream, dreamt that the lady whom he was fond of had perceived him to be another man.
He simply could not understand what this dreamt was supposed to mean, or whether he was supposed brush it off and treat the dream as though it had no symbolism or meaning, and that the lady in red was a mere figment of his imagination.
In particular, Rong Ruihan strongly resisted the notion of the latter.
Tonight, Rong Ruihan slipped back into the same series of dreams that he had partaken over the last twenty years again. He found himself walking forward the amidst thick, stirring mist. He walked on and on, until the mist finally thinned out in front of him and his surroundings became visible once more.
This scene was completely new to him. This was a new “incident” that he had never encountered in this series of dreams before.
“Where is she? Have you located her?” Rong Ruihan heard himself speaking in a hoarse voice. It was as though he had just experienced a traumatic incident.
This question of his had been asked completely without any pretext or context. Yet for some reason, Rong Ruihan could somehow tell that the “her” he had earlier referred to was in fact that lady in red.
“Responding to master, we’ve located her. She has been captured by the eight great sects and locked up in the dungeon under Desolate Peak.” A subordinate half-knelt on the ground as he respectfully reported.
“Dun-…geon?!” A profound sense of fury erupted from the depths of Rong Ruihan’s heart. He flicked his sleeves in his anger, and the subordinate was immediately sent flying as he spurted out a mouthful of blood. Then, his subordinate slammed back to the ground. This subordinate had been reduced to such a sorry state that he was barely hanging onto his life.
“Haven’t I instructed all of you to protect her properly? How did she end up being captured and thrown into the dungeon?!” Rong Ruihan walked over menacingly towards his subordinate. His ferociously billowing aura weighed down so strongly that his subordinate’s bones had even started to make cracking and popping sounds.
Two years ago, Rong Ruihan faced an imminent breakthrough in his cultivation level and thus hastily entered a period of closed-door cultivation. But before he entered his closed-door cultivation, he had particularly instructed his subordinates to discreetly protect and watch over that lady in red.
This lady in red was indisputably strong. However, this did not change the fact that there were a multitude of cultivators who wanted her dead and would actively make attempts at her life. No matter how strong she was, there was no guarantee that she would not slip up one day.
“Mas-…Master…your humble servant is too weak…already tried my best…” The subordinate who had been half-kneeling on the ground was now completely lying prostrate on the ground. He had not hesitated to plead for mercy because he was afraid that Rong Ruihan would squash him like an ant in his fury.
The pressure continued to build up, and the subordinate was at his limits. Then, just when he thought that this was the end for him, the pressure on his body suddenly vanished.
“Rally the troops and follow me to the Desolate Peak. If we still don’t manage to rescue her, then you know what to do.” Rong Ruihan coldly ordered, before he flicked his sleeves and left in a huff. The subordinates behind him immediately responded affirmatively in unison.
Then, as Rong Ruihan and his troops finally made their way to the Desolate Peak, they noticed from afar that a pillar of crimson-red light shot burst straight through the cloud and into the skies. This column of red light glowed with an ominous foreboding, and anyone who saw it would immediately think of it as death’s omen.
Moments later, the entire Desolate Peak tremored with a thunderous crackle, following which the entire mountain peak was swallowed by a massive sinkhole. As a result of that, the innumerable formation arrays that had been set up around Desolate Peak to fetter and bind the lady in red were also instantly destroyed.
Rong Ruihan’s heart palpitated with immense alarm, while the bulging veins on his head throbbed uncontrollably.
The lady in red has met with a calamity!
His intuition declared a grim prognosis of her fate, and he rushed headlong towards the Desolate Peak with reckless abandon. Along the way, he encountered several guards and patrolmen who were guarding the Desolate Peak, but their resistance proved to be futile as he destroyed each and every single one of them with a ferocious swipe at them.
It was just like how that lady in red did in the past.
Rong Ruihan was covered with blood by the time he finally arrived at the foot of what used to be the Desolate Peak. Yet in its place was a massive sinkhole which was filled with stone debris and rubble which were strewn about haphazardly. Despite that, one could still tell that this place used to be a dungeon for chaining up “criminals”.
Rong Ruihan knew that he could not split and dig through these stone debris and rubble with his powerful talismans because he was afraid of hurting the lady. Therefore, he imbued himself with an augmenting talisman, got on his knees, and began digging with his bare hands.
In fact, with the aid of his talismans as well as his entourage of subordinates, their digging proceeded very quickly. But even then, every single second that passed by without results seemed to be an eternity of anguish to Rong Ruihan.
Finally, their digging bore fruit, and they managed to uncover the lady. However, the lady was already dead through and through. Furthermore, he nearly fell apart when he saw the extent of the torture this lady had been put through just before her death.
The lady’s spiritual roots had been severed; her cultivation was crippled. Both her eyes had been gouged out; and she was so malnourished that she was no better than a piece of shriveled skin wrapped around a bag of bones.
Of course, the most important part of her body was her belly, because that was where she bore their child. But when Rong Ruihan sent his spiritual energy probing about the remains of her body, the only things he saw in her belly were the indelible scars of a devastating trauma.
Their child must also be gone…
Slowly but surely, Rong Ruihan’s eyes began to be dyed a deep, crimson-red colour, and the demonic energy he had repressed and kept under restraint for so long began to roil and churn as it marked the advent of a massive superstorm.
“Master! It’s getting dangerous, wake up!”
“Master! get a hold of the demonic energy in your body! You’re losing control soon!”
Their subordinates began to call out from a distance away, but their cautionary words were nothing more than feeble attempts at suppressing the incoming tempest. Right now, Rong Ruihan’s heart was obsessed with one thing, and one thing only – revenge.
After Rong Ruihan lost control of his mind, he experienced an immense surge in his combat abilities in exchange for the loss of his rationality. The hidden experts and sect elders from all eight great sects of that cultivation world were slowly felled by him one by one. He passed through the cultivation world like a malevolent, raging storm of devastation – leaving only blood and death in the wake of his path.
Rong Ruihan even managed to track down that lady who had murdered his child, as well as the entourage of lackeys who recognized her as matriarch. As they gazed at Rong Ruihan in absolute horror and terror, he proceeded to crush and split each of their heads without mercy.
However, losing control and entering that state of maddened frenzy was a double-edged sword – the backlash to the cultivator was extremely great as well. Therefore, by the time Rong Ruihan managed to get the vengeance that he had set out to achieve, he had already been reduced to nothing more than an arrow at the end of its flight.
In his final moments when he collapsed to the ground, Rong Ruihan’s head momentarily cleared up once more.
Even though this moment of clarity was nothing more than a split second, it was sufficient time for a single notion to flash across his mind with pristine clarity –
If he could be reborn, he hoped that the lady in red would love him instead, and not that person named Lingyu who did not reciprocate her love.
The dream faded into darkness; while Rong Ruihan roused from his deep slumber and returned to reality.
Rong Ruihan’s face felt cold and chilly. He touched his face, and he noticed that two damp streaks of tears ran down his cheeks.Previous Chapter Next Chapter