“Ahhhh there’s GHOSTS!!!!” After staring blankly for a while, the brawny man suddenly screamed at the top of his lungs. By now, even the little fox wanted to slap him silly, to say nothing of Qing Yu boiling over with rage.
“Why are you holding me back?!” She shook with fury. “Don't tell me that you haven't been able to see that this bastard shares the same blood as the old version of you. Perhaps they’re father and son!”
Father and son!
Lu Yun didn’t respond; he looked at the man hanging off of the tree with very complicated feelings. This brawny man may be the son of Earth’s Lu Yun, but this bully had nothing to do with him. He'd long since reincarnated to the world of immortals and become the headmaster of the Dao Academy.
But in Qing Yu’s eyes, if her beloved’s fate hadn’t changed all those years ago, then the old man would very likely be him right now, a poor soul abused by his own son!
Lu Yun stretched out a hand and gently rubbed her head, calming her down. Meanwhile, the little fox jumped in front of the brawny man and carefully looked him over, trying to find anything of note about him.
The disturbance attracted a crowd and many people tried to rescue the brawny man when they saw him hanging from a high branch. However, Qing Yu had been truly angered earlier and placed him at the very top of the tree.
“There’s nothing special about him, he’s just an ordinary person,” the little fox said with resignation as she jumped back onto Qing Yu’s shoulder.
“Come on, let’s follow the other me and get some answers,” sighed Lu Yun.
“Don’t you want to teach that new son of yours a lesson so that he becomes a properly filial son?” Qing Yu half rolled her eyes and snarked with a bit of jealousy.
Lu Yun chuckled ruefully. “What new son? If you want a son… how about the two of us make one?”
That made Qing Yu blush furiously. “Dream on.”
“He’s not me, he’s just a substitute for me, one that’s living out my destiny on Earth.”
Just moments ago, Lu Yun had confidently proclaimed that he’d never end up in this sort of straits if he’d continued to remain on Earth. But when he saw the old Lu Yun’s son, he suddenly realized that no, this really would have been his destiny.
“Are the fates of all living beings predetermined?” Lu Yun thought back to everything he’d seen and heard in the great wilderness. Leize, Fuxi… and even existences such as Hongjun, Pangu, and God—they’d all entrusted their hopes to the future. They seemed to believe that such was their destiny, that the future they knew would be the one to come to pass.
“No!” Qing Yu shook her head slightly. “There’s no such thing as destiny and nothing in life is predetermined. I firmly believe that even if you hadn’t reincarnated into the world of immortals, you would be just as brilliant and great a personage on the ancestor planet as well!
“This is his fate, not yours.
“And, the great gods that you speak of also didn’t believe in fate or submit to their so-called destiny. Why else would they painstakingly set up plans in that far off age? They could’ve just admitted defeat, or done nothing at all and just waited for eventual success.” Qing Yu’s eyes sparkled brightly and she looked unblinkingly at Lu Yun with great conviction.
Lu Yun smiled back at her. “Let’s go and see what’s up with the old version of me. How could I possibly have led such a crappy life as this?!”
He wasn’t the sort to give up or throw in the towel. He didn’t believe in destiny either, not before his reincarnation, nor after.
The feeble Lu Yun rode his dilapidated rickshaw to an extremely crude wooden shack. He moved the bags of trash down from his vehicle and placed them in a corner of the shack. Then, he took the watery waste that was the remnants of washing ingredients and dishes, and poured it into a sticky pot.
“Who are you?” Lu Yun revealed himself at this time to question the Earth version of him.
The old Lu Yun shoved a few sticks into a cooking stove and started a fire.
“Am I not you?” Earth’s Lu Yun stood up and responded haltingly. “You went to the world of immortals as my substitute, and I came here to be yours.”
“You’re the governor of Dusk Province in the world of immortals??” Lu Yun shook violently.
The Tome of Life and Death had sent him to the world of immortals and helped him become a native life form. Though he still possessed memories from Earth, he had truly become Lu Yun of the world of immortals through the power of reincarnation.
But at the same time, a Lu Yun had existed in the world of immortals. He’d arrived on Earth, also thanks to reincarnation, and carried his old memories with him. However, the old Lu Yun of the world of immortals was a hopeless degenerate. He was still the same after traveling to Earth, hence his current ignoble circumstances.
Lu Yun carefully sized up the other version of him and shook his head. “No, you must have another identity apart from being governor of Dusk. Why would you take care of my master’s grave otherwise?”
“Want some?” Smiling with self-derision, Earth Lu Yun pointed at the bubbling waste in the pot.
Lu Yun ignored the words and raked the old version of him with a sharp look. Earth Lu Yun didn’t seem to sense the attention and ladled out a bowl of sticky goop, bringing it up to his mouth for a sip.
Lu Yun slapped the bowl out of his hands.
“I’ll die of hunger if I don’t eat this.” Earth Lu Yun looked down at the ground. “I don’t want to die…
“When I first came to in that ice-cold tomb, I wasn’t angry or resentful. I was grateful for my escape! I could finally leave that damned Dusk City and never have to spend my days in fear again. I didn’t have to worry about Ge Long looking to take his revenge or Xue Lang out for my head. I would never have to be afraid that House Ge or the other houses in the city would suddenly erupt in open hostility and tear me to pieces!
“I don’t want power or cultivation, I just want to live!
“I inherited your memories, so I knew the reason why things happened this way. I’m actually very thankful to you, so I’m willing to live out your life for you on this place called Earth and do what you’re supposed to do.
“But I’m not you… I don’t know how to raid tombs and don’t know how to survive in those dark worlds…”
Lu Yun sighed and gently patted the elder’s shoulder, injecting a current of pure life energy into the feeble body. He smoothed over all of the injuries afflicting the old man and even reconnected his broken right leg.
Earth Lu Yun began to look much younger.
“I… I don’t want to leave with you. I just want to live here quietly for the rest of my ordinary days.” Earth Lu Yun lifted his head, understanding what the other Lu Yun was doing—compensating him.
“I’m afraid that won’t be possible.” Lu Yun shook his head. “I don’t know who you are, but you know the ins and outs of everything. You also know about the power of reincarnation, so you can’t be any ole mundane person. If you don’t come with me, there will still be others who swing by to scatter you, body and soul.”
Two pillars of black flame ignited in Lu Yun’s eyes.
“Flame Emperor, please stay your hand. He lacks one more reincarnation cycle before he can reform his soul.” A wizened voice suddenly sounded by Lu Yun’s ear.Previous Chapter Next Chapter