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    Chapter 112 - Station 23: The Proverb

    Climbing over the broken slate hills, Ming Yiyang limped toward the staircase where countless fragments were converging.

    Soon, he noticed that the wind around him was intensifying, and his heavy, almost immobile body was being lifted as if inflated by some unseen current of air.

    It was like the precursor to a typhoon.

    The closer he got to the eye of the storm, the more his instinct for survival pulled at him, urging him not to step into that clearly abnormal atmosphere.

    This was an animalistic intuition that had saved his life on numerous occasions.

    Yet, Ming Yiyang resisted the impulse to turn away, stepping fearlessly into the perilous realm with a sense of unwavering determination.

    He knew he was behaving as the protagonists in emotional novels often did, driven by a loss of reason.

    There was a sort of brainstem-erased aesthetic to his actions.

    But he couldn't help himself; he was powerless to resist.

    This matter.

    He would regret it if he did it.

    He would also regret it if he didn't.

    He could only choose one path.

    At this moment, he relied on some childlike intuition.

    He was convinced that Yan Qiling wouldn't really harm him; the swift healing of his wounds was evidence of that.

    So many injuries had healed in just one night without even leaving a scar. Was that possible?

    Moreover, this wasn't the first time.

    Back at the Ararat Hotel, the long cut on his waist had rapidly returned to its original state after Yan Qiling dressed it.

    Ming Yiyang had found it odd back then but had never delved deeper into it.

    Yan Qiling was not someone who did unnecessary things, but he always invested too much energy into Ming Yiyang, to the point of causing one to mistakenly believe in a deeper connection.

    The young man limped away from the flying debris, his left leg still bleeding despite the artery being stanched. Ming Yiyang wasn't sure if he was just being overly sentimental.

    He had tried to embrace and kiss that person, drawing them into the realm of his touch.

    He could sense Yan Qiling's hesitant resistance, like an iron chain pulling him into an abyss, tightly binding him and continuously drawing him closer to this person's world.

    He wanted to get even closer, even though he had never known Yan Qiling's true thoughts.

    Amidst the scattering debris, Ming Yiyang drew his wooden blade to protect himself, gradually understanding the concern behind Chi Zihe's earlier warning.

    Those three frequently emphasized words, "Wujian Master," were not just a simple title.

    Especially when he faced this terrifying power that seemed capable of rivaling nature itself.

    He suddenly realized that although the Unbounded Rulers and humans appeared to share the same physical form, they were fundamentally detached from humanity. In terms of biological structure, they were worlds apart.

    This meant their modes of thinking transcended the realm of human comprehension.

    Cold bodies, pretended breaths, deceptive skin, and hollow organs — they were still alive.

    But not human.

    Yan Qiling was far from harmless; on the contrary, this person was highly dangerous, willing to use any means necessary to achieve their goals.

    Arriving at this point, Ming Yiyang knew he could turn back.

    Yet, he merely braved the tempest, continuing forward in silence.

    Apart from blind self-confidence, he harbored an indescribable unease.

    For some inexplicable reason, he felt that if he didn't find Yan Qiling right now, he might never have the chance to see this person again.

    The other person would vanish entirely from his life, and they would bid each other a permanent farewell.

    Ming Yiyang imagined that he would have to drain every last drop of blood before he could locate Yan Qiling.

    Just as he was about to sit down due to dizziness from blood loss, countless red threads suddenly appeared around him, enveloping him like a cocoon!

    Ming Yiyang: ?!

    Through the haze, he saw Yan Qiling, his face splattered with blood, devoid of any expression.

    The man lacked his usual insincere smile, resembling an evil white azalea tainted with malevolence. Amidst his purity, there was an indifferent cruelty, exuding an inhumanly enchanting charm.

    He wiped his cheeks with a handkerchief. His gem-like twin eyes, like those of mandarin ducks, first fixated on the young man before him, then turned away as if engaging someone beside him in conversation.

    Subsequently, Yan Qiling neatly folded the handkerchief and tossed it into the air. Instantly, it disintegrated into nothingness, not even leaving a trace of dust.

    He approached the crimson cocoon with an irresistible demeanor.

    A man's pale hand effortlessly pierced through the dense red threads, and Ming Yiyang's previously blocked hearing seemed to sharpen in that instant.

    He cooperatively stepped back, allowing Yan Qiling to smoothly squeeze into this crimson cocoon.

    They were so close that their noses almost touched.

    Yan Qiling, devoid of his previous coldness, looked up at him and asked gently,

    "Why did you come back?"

    Ming Yiyang softly caressed the porcelain-white side of this person's face. His finger paused slightly before becoming increasingly audacious.

    He used his thumb to gently press against the man's chin. The other's eyes shimmered with countless stars, so bright that one would be tempted to pluck them down immediately.

    Accepting this indulgence, Ming Yiyang lowered his head to kiss him.

    The tender affection vanished the moment their lips met, replaced by an intense desire to plunder.

    With hands encased in a thin cocoon, he held the other's delicate jaw tightly, disregarding the bloody mess it had become. Ming Yiyang yearned for the repressed, burning desire deep within his heart.

    In the dim, crimson glow, he savored the sweetness that rightfully belonged to him with abandon.

    He had thought that not pushing away was the greatest gain, but to his surprise, Yan Qiling responded to him tenderly.

    Those icy limbs, as cold as a corpse, encircled his neck, trailing downward from the nape of his neck along his scorching skin, like the coldest ice in summer, sending shivers down his spine with delight.

    His kiss deepened, unwilling to let the person before him divert any attention to anything else, even if it was touching himself.

    The fingers, seemingly frozen by snow, pressed against the wound on his lower leg and unexpectedly pierced in without warning.

    Though he managed to control the pressure of his lips, his sharp canines still broke the man's soft lips, letting crimson blood flow down his throat. Ming Yiyang's lowered purple eyes revealed a defenseless confusion.

    Amidst a soft gasp, Yan Qiling exhaled a slightly cool breath,

    "Try to bear it."

    That cold finger penetrated his wound steadily and resolutely. Ming Yiyang arched his back, leaning his head against the man's icy neck, using the coldness to numb the searing pain caused by the tearing of his wound.

    He felt those two fingers, like sharp surgical knives, plunging deeply into the hole in his calf.

    Warm flesh was infused with a chilling liquid.

    Pain transformed into an itchy sensation as wounds healed, and their kiss deepened.

    He knew, Yan Qiling would never harm him, no matter what happened.

    In the brief moment their lips parted, the cold body he held wrapped in his embrace gazed at him with half-lidded peach blossom eyes, his voice as soft as early spring mist:

    "Ming Yiyang."

    "Hmm?"

    "I want your eyes."

    Ming Yiyang's kiss suddenly ceased, only to be replaced by a reckless frenzy moments later.

    The snowman-like warmth in his arms seemed to melt, turning into frigid water that seeped into every corner of his organs and limbs, swiftly invading his entire being.

    The man no longer responded to the kiss but didn't push away either. Instead, he gently cradled Ming Yiyang's face, asking between gasps for air:

    "Do you know what it means to kiss an Unbound Master?"

    Ming Yiyang remained silent, persistently biting the crimson lips before him.

    That cold finger gently pressed against the corner of his lowered eyelid.

    The man offered him a seemingly gentle, yet utterly emotionless, smile like a piece of luminous jade:

    "It means you're allowing Them to take anything from you, even your life."

    Ming Yiyang finally came to a halt.

    His dazzling Yin-Yang eyes, shimmering like diamonds, locked onto the person before him. Seeing the other avert his gaze in discomfort, he asked,

    "Yan Qiling, what do you see me as?"

    The man turned his head back, enduring the piercing pain of facing Ming Yiyang's Yin-Yang eyes, and spoke bluntly:

    "You are part of my plan."

    Countless threads of fate surged forth in that coldly aromatic world, and Ming Yiyang made the biggest mistake of his life.

    He had naively trusted an Unbounded Ruler's compromise.

    And stubbornly believed that he was unique.

    That very notion indicated...

    That he was no exception to the Unbounded Ruler.

    -

    Amidst pavilions and landscapes, a man dressed in traditional Chinese attire with blue eyes toyed with two diamond-like artificial eyes, asking,

    "Are you really going to let him go like this? Aren't you afraid the She family will refuse to help you anymore?"

    The man with black clothes and yin-yang irises calmly poured tea from a teapot into cups and a tray, replying,

    "He'll have to return eventually. It's not a problem for him to stay here."

    "You could just kill him and take the eyes without anyone knowing. When Chi Zihe and the others ask, say that he was killed by accident when he came looking for you, then taken and killed by a Dark Rank Unbounded Ruler. They wouldn't dare not believe it."

    Yan Qiling's dark eyelashes fluttered beneath his yin yang eyes, and when he lifted them again, all that remained was a composed expression.

    "He is a descendant of Mingyuan Zheng. I won't harm him."

    "You won't touch him? Then what is this? A tool?"

    Fifty tossed the artificial eye high into the air before catching it, turning to gaze at the silver-haired youth sleeping in the bamboo basket with narrowed eyes.

    "Wasn't the original plan to simply remove his eye and leave? Now, does the Master have a change of heart?"

    "Isn't his eyeball already in your possession?"

    "That doesn't count."

    Fifty opened his hand, revealing the shimmering artificial eye.

    "It's just extracting his ability. He can still see; what's the point in that? Tell me, do you plan on returning it to him after using it?!"

    "Why not?"

    Yan Qiling nonchalantly brewed tea with freshly boiled water:

    "This thing is not something either of us can use for a lifetime. The Qingdu Ziwu Yin-Yang Pupil Origin is born from the mortal world and isn't tainted by ghostly aura. You'll have to pay a price to use it, too. Holding it, what pleasure would that bring?"

    "I don't like others touching what I've touched," Fifty said haughtily. Suddenly, its legs gave way, and it plopped to the ground, prostrating itself solidly in the direction of Yan Qiling!

    Yan Qiling didn't spare it a glance, his tone indifferent:

    "You swallowed an Immortal-level Boundless Ruler, and you think you can be reckless in front of me, is that it?"

    "I...I dare not."

    "Keep your mouth shut."

    The man's icy cold voice was as frigid as ice:

    "There's no need for me to teach you what you should or shouldn't say. Whether these eyes stay or go depends on my will. Anyone who stands in the way of my plans, you know the consequences."

    The previously brazen Fifty suddenly paled, and he forcefully banged his head on the ground twice, causing blood to flow from his scalp.

    "I understand! Master, I won't say another word!"

    "Leave."

    Fifty didn't argue and was about to leave when he heard Yan Qiling say,

    "Leave the eyeballs behind."

    Although Fifty was reluctant to part with the eyeballs he had already pocketed, he knew he had no grounds to resist.

    Hence, he obediently handed over the two prosthetic eyes and quickly made his escape.

    In the bright sunlight, the prosthetic eyes shimmered with dazzling light, their glow tinged with faint rainbow hues, creating a mesmerizing spectacle against the flame's radiance.

    Yan Qiling picked one up for closer inspection.

    Indeed, from the beginning, he had been captivated by Ming Yiyang's Qingdu Ziwu Yin-Yang Pupils.

    Whether it was showing vulnerability, agreeing to enter the Realm of Chaos, or even presenting the Spirit Binding Rope, all of these were opportunities to him.

    Ordinary Yin-Yang Eyes, if he liked them, he could simply take them out.

    But these eyes possessed a natural spirit, moving at the will of their owner. Attempting to seize them forcefully would only result in a hundredfold backlash.

    Initially, he had merely intended to give it a try. If it didn't work out, after obtaining the Manifestation Pearls, he could return through an illusory form to snatch these eyes.

    After all, the principle behind the Manifestation Pearls was to draw power from the Master of the Realm of Chaos to create a "real" illusion within that world.

    Given that the Qingdu Ziwei Yin-Yang Pupils can only penetrate all "realities," the Manifestation Pearl has an excellent deceiving effect on these eyes.

    However, the young man's mood shift was unexpectedly swift.

    He had clearly been utterly disgusted just moments ago, but in the blink of an eye, he abruptly drew near with an enthusiastic fervor, like an exuberant Great Dane.

    He did not intervene.

    This was beneficial to his plan.

    Since there was a shortcut through cunning persuasion, there was no need for him to resort to force.

    But as 50 had said.

    He now found himself reluctant to see this person harmed.

    People often hesitated in the face of vulnerability. Yan Qiling used to be such a person, until he suffered a significant loss.

    It wasn't until he realized that there were things one had to accept rationally, even if emotionally they couldn't bear it. One must cut ties decisively, even if it meant regret later on.

    The artificial eye in his hand shimmered brightly. When he clenched it in his fingers, there was a barely noticeable sting.

    This indicated that the owner of the Yin-Yang Eyes had developed feelings.

    Despite having his ocular powers seized, he still restrained himself from causing any harm.

    Yan Qiling didn't care about owing others favors.

    He was no longer human. Only the remnants of a century-old etiquette in dealing with people maintained the facade of a normal individual. In reality, he never hesitated to break promises or go back on his word when faced with inconvenience.

    Yet, as he gazed at this sleeping youth with his guard down, for some reason, he recalled a distant afternoon when his mother had similarly nestled in a rattan swing in the garden, her handheld fan having slipped from her grasp as she slept soundly.

    Upon seeing this, his father didn't wake her. Instead, he picked up the fallen fan, crouching down to gently sway it before his mother's slightly sweaty forehead.

    Unconsciously, Yan Qiling withdrew a white paper fan from his sleeve and softly fanned the youth twice.

    As his hand moved away, the paper fan hovered in mid-air, mimicking the rhythm of his previous fanning, tenderly sending a soothing breeze to the slumbering young man.

    The wind brushed through the youth's silver hair, revealing a broad expanse of forehead.

    Gentle light interwove with the fine sheen of sweat, forming shimmering particles that clung to Yan Qiling as he crouched beside the bamboo and wood hammock, his gaze lingering for a long while.

    Then, he turned over the ticket on the youth's right arm.

    The man extended his pale index finger, examining the ticket as if sketching it, gently tracing along the red border in a downward motion.

    Wherever his fingertip touched, the red ink seemed to be erased like an eraser.

    Eventually, under this tender caress, the entire ticket vanished, leaving no trace behind.

    The young man's right arm was unblemished.

    He had attained what most could only dream of: henceforth, he would neither fall into the abyss nor be confined in a sealed prison.

    In life, we seldom meet again, moving apart like the stars Capella and Shang Yang, never to align.

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