Book 4, Chapter 23 - The Spirit Prince

Faintly lifting the corner of my lips, I smiled at the spirit in front of me. “It is fine if you don’t want to be free. I’d feel better. The Queen at the previous ruin I went to was really kind. She didn’t want to leave me with pain, but... I also didn’t want to see them suffer. Their souls had been sealed in that ruin for sixty years…” I looked around with tears in my eyes. My chest hurt and tears started rolling down my cheeks again. “They couldn’t break free.” 

Just then, the spirit in front of me lifted his finger towards me. Familiar blue light spots were moving in his translucent finger. He touched my tears gently, his face right in front of me. His almost transparent eyes fixed upon my face and I faced him with a smile. “You can look for me whenever you want to be free. I will return. Don’t be afraid. It doesn’t hurt.” I turned away and lifted my gun to aim at the machine again. “God knows how many years it’ll take if you want to break free using this machine. During those years, who knows how many lives this machine will take?”

He stood next to me with his head hung low. He didn’t stop me now. I looked up with a smile and said, “Thank you.” I then pulled the trigger. How many lives has this horrible machine devoured just to satisfy the greed of the Ghost Eclipsers? It is Ghost Eclipsers who are devouring other people’s lives! 

*Hong!* The fireball instantly wrapped around the border wall in front of me. It swallowed the sky above me and made the border wall become more apparent in the bright explosion, shimmering in gold, red and white.

Raffles’ speculation had been verified. Nor had Xing Chuan lied to me. Any explosion wouldn’t be able to enter the place that had been sealed by God. This place had become the safest place for the spirits.  

But they also couldn’t leave this place. 

The spirit still did not leave. He stood next to me and watched the huge but almost silent explosion with me. 

I remembered Ice Dragon showing me the moment Kro had been destroyed. It hadn’t been an explosion but instead glaring blue light. Then, what had followed after had been clouds of dust. There had never been any explosion like what we saw today.

The fireball swallowed the land, leaving behind rolling clouds of dust that covered the sky and the sun in a split second. It took away all the light in this world. From time to time, sparks flickered among the dust. As though the explosions had yet to end but instead continued within that cloud of dust. 

In the world of darkness, the tree trunk began to glow blue while the blue flowers bloomed in the air. 

That spirit looked down, as if he was recalling how the place had been covered in dust too on that day when the end of the world had descended. Intense sorrow radiated from his figure. 

I looked at him and held his arms gently. He was surprised, but then he seemed to realize that I didn’t devour him. He lifted his hands slowly. Then, I let go of his hands and lifted my hand, mirroring him. Our palms were facing each other and there were liquid blue light spots floating between us, like a bond. 

He blinked at me. I nodded at him with a smile and said, “I can control my own superpower. I won’t free you if you are afraid now. I am not a homicidal maniac.” Only if they did it of their own free will, would I be considered to be freeing them. Otherwise, I would just be killing. 

I hadn’t been able to accept it back then because it had been like killing. 

My heart ached a little. I frowned and swallowed the painful tears. There were already so many lives that had been taken by my hands. 

I took my hand back and the blue light spots slowly disappeared into my hands. 

“You killed the spirits in Kro?” Xing Chuan asked but I did not answer. “I won’t ask again if you don’t feel like talking about it. We can’t come in now as the dust is still very dense. I will come and pick you up in about half an hour’s time. You can find some food around if you are hungry.” He was actually concerned if I was hungry.  

“Alright,” I said. I then looked around. “Can I explore around?” I asked the spirit. He should be the owner of this city. Just like the Queen in Kro, he should be the king of this place, the prince of the spirits. 

He didn’t say a thing, only looked at me. 

I threw the gun away. I didn’t want him to think that I was there to rob his place. He let down his guard the moment I threw away my weapon.

I walked up the huge tree trunk, past those beautiful blue flowers. I was the only one left in this peaceful world again. 

“What do you mean by freeing them? You also mentioned that the machine can help them to find relief. Do you know what they are?” Xing Chuan's voice came again. 

“They are humans,” I said softly. There was a long silence. Xing Chuang seemed to be in a long moment of silence.  

The blue Spirit Prince followed me, although he kept a fair distance with me. He climbed onto the vines, immersed in the tree trunks, or leaped between the tree trunks by the side. His gaze never left me.

“They are humans from sixty years ago. They became spirits on the day when the end of the world came about. They have been stuck here forever,” I continued. The spirit prince looked down and leaped before me. He stood straight, the tail of blue light spots fluttering behind him.

“How did you find out?” Xing Chuan asked gently.

“The Queen of Kro showed me.” 

“Kro did once have a female mayor.” 

“She had beautiful silver long hair.” 

“That’s right. It was her. I believe you. So, you can kill all the spirits in the ruin?” 

“Not killing!” I got agitated. I stopped and clenched my fist tight. “I won’t kill them for you!” 

“I’m sorry.”

The Spirit Prince stopped in front of me. Then, he turned to look at me. 

I raised my trembling hands, my breathing shaky and out of control. 

“It must be very painful for you to help relieve them,” Xing Chuan said softly again. 

I took a deep breath to calm myself down. Looking up, I saw the Spirit Prince before me. He blinked and turned to walk forward again.

“They are human. You can knock on the door first if you wanna enter the ruin safely.” I looked at the Spirit Prince’s back. “They are willing to help us because they are our ancestors.” 

“Knock on the door first,” Xing Chuan repeated. 

I followed behind the Spirit Prince. He seemed to want to show me around. 

He stood in front of a tall building painted with a weird face. The colorful facades showed that the people in this city had loved colors. 

He walked through the wall while I pushed the colorful door open. Blue flowers inside started to bloom, lighting up a passage that connected to a mysterious garden.  

The Spirit Prince walked among the flowers. Leaning forward, he touched an orchid, a smile crossing his quiet face. He liked these flowers. He continued to walk forward, his light body drawing a beautiful blue line in the dark. Then, he stopped in the middle of the hall.  

Branches began to move away from the walls. All around us were now exquisite paintings!

“These are the paintings of the Valley Dust Ruins! This is an art gallery!” Xing Chuan said excitedly. 

Those paintings emerged under the blue lights, showing scenes from years ago of people who were happily singing and dancing cheerfully. There were also magnificent mountains and rivers. 

I stood in front of a huge mountain and river, feeling as though I was standing above the Yellow River in my original world. The river water was endless, the sky met the water on the horizon, the forest on both sides was lush and green, and among the greeneries stood a huge blooming snow-white rose. 

“It is the Garden Library!” I recognized that white rose building. 

The Spirit Prince hopped to my side and glanced at me with surprise. 

I looked at the other side. That painting was modern art, showing a silver building with the curves of a beautiful enchanting woman, just like a melodious tune that had been transformed into a visual. 

“This is Kro!” I looked at him. He watched me with his head crooked to the side. “Are you afraid that I am lying to you?” 

He kept quiet and hopped to the deep end of the art gallery. The tail of blue light followed him, lighting up the paintings one after another. 

I looked through the paintings one by one, just like how I’d viewed the changes of Blue Shield City with Pink Baby back then. The paintings documented the buildings, the humans, the beauty, and the romance that had once been in this world. 

In a huge painting, a pair of lovers were embracing each other in a bright red rose. Before art, your heart was pure. The handsome man was hugging the beautiful woman from behind. Both his hands were wrapped around the woman’s fair chest. The woman’s long hair entwined around her body while she raised her arm and circled it around her lover’s neck behind her. 

The painting recorded the love and excitement between man and woman. 

Next to them was a clear smiling face. A pure world showed in her big black eyes. The cute little girl was smiling. Her smile was so pure and innocent, her curly brown hair framing her face like chocolate rolls. 

“Luo Bing, I am here,” Xing Chuan said. “Tell them to not attack me,” he said with a tone of command. 

The people from Silver Moon City are arrogant and think of themselves as nobles. They never knock on doors no matter where they go, just like how they entered Noah City without so much as a by-your-leave. 

“Say ‘please’. They are your ancestors,” I said sternly. Although it was merely a sentence and I could easily show respect when I conveyed the message, I wanted to stand firm and not compromise for once.

Xing Chuan said after a long pause. “Please tell them to not attack me because I want to bring you home,” he said slowly and softly. He didn’t sound like he was being forced. I’d thought he would be clenching his teeth like he wanted to kill me when he saw me.

I looked towards the Spirit Prince in front of me and said, “The robot came to pick me up. I have to go now. Please don’t attack him, I will be back again.” 

The Spirit Prince did not say anything, only watching me from far away. 

I turned and ran out while he kept pace not too far away, leaping between the tree trunks. The tail of blue light behind him trailed across the dark like a beautiful blue ribbon. 

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