Jing Yue would never forget this. When he brought Yi Wang back to the sect back then, Yi Wang told him in a calm voice that he was abandoned in the mountains as a baby and encountered the Nine Star Wolf. Although he survived the catastrophe, his face was disfigured by the wolf's claws.
Yi Wang also mentioned that it rained heavily that night.
Of course, it was impossible for Yi Wang, who was still a baby, to remember anything. He was informed by the person who picked him up later.
No wonder he felt an affinity for the baby for no reason! Jing Yue couldn't help trembling slightly, and said softly, “Is that you?”
Immediately, his tone became firm. “It’s you.”
Jing Yue didn't understand how the illusion created by the Forsaken Flower made him experience Yi Wang's past, and he didn't know what the illusion wanted him to do, but he knew what he wanted to do.
He wanted to save Yi Wang.
Even if it was an illusion, he wanted Yi Wang to be healthy and free from suffering forever.
The Nine Star Wolves seemed to smell the scent of a stranger, and its howls got closer.
Jing Yue quickly looked around, picked up the baby, and rushed into the forest. He remembered seeing a big tree with a hole in its trunk just now.
Not long after, he found the tree. He wrapped Yi Wang up and put him in the hole. Then, he picked up a few stones, tore off a few vines, and ran in the direction of the Nine Star Wolves without looking back.
He must lure those beasts away, at least so that they had no chance to harm Yi Wang tonight. Perhaps everything would change tomorrow.
In the dark mountain forest, the eyes of the Nine Star Wolves were like dim lights, and Jing Yue soon ran into them.
The alpha wolf stepped forward, and the pack of wolves scattered around him. The illusion did not take away Jing Yue's five senses. He could clearly see the nine star-like patterns on the wolf's back, as well as its wrinkled nose and bared fangs.
Hearing the low intimidating growl of the alpha wolf, Jing Yue judged that he could not escape unscathed. He didn’t want to end up as food for the wolves either, even if it was just a little bit of flesh and blood.
Thus, he made a bold decision.
The moment the alpha wolf pounced on him, Jing Yue grabbed a thick branch protruding horizontally and jumped up. He leaped over the pack of wolves in one fell swoop and quickly ran up the mountain.
Enraged, the wolves howled and chased after him. Jing Yue ran like the wind. The rain slapped his face, and the branches and vines in the forest tore through his Daoist robe and grazed his cheeks. But he didn't stop at all and simply rushed up the cliff.
Several times, he could even feel the wolves chasing and biting at his feet. As long as he slowed down, a piece of flesh and blood would be torn off by the Nine Star Wolf.
But he was always calm. To him, these ferocious beasts were only level 2 and could only show their might in an illusion.
Seeing that they could not catch up with Jing Yue, the wolves gradually scattered, trying to surround him from all sides.
But Jing Yue was ready for this. He seemed to be running around without any direction, but his route always gave him the best cover, so he escaped the flanking wolves many times.
Finally, he came to the edge of the cliff.
Jing Yue observed the terrain from the corner of his eye, but his speed never slowed down, and the pack of wolves behind him simply followed.
An inch away from the cliff, Jing Yue stopped suddenly. He turned around and shot the stone he had hidden in his pocket at the alpha wolf.
The alpha wolf was in pain and burst into a rage. The wolves rushed forward and pounced on Jing Yue!
Then, Jing Yue leaned back and fell off the cliff. The alpha wolf couldn’t stop in time and fell with several nine-star wolves!
Of course, Jing Yue would not be so stupid as to seek his death. At this time, he clasped the protruding stone on one side of the cliff tightly with both hands. Vines were wrapped around his waist, and the other end of the vines was tied around a big tree on the cliff.
He guessed that the outside of the cliff would not be smooth based on the terrain, so he decided to take a gamble. Even if he was wrong, the vines would be his last hope.
Obviously, he was right.
The howling of wolves came from the cliff, anxious and sad.
The pack of wolves lost their leader and lost the will to hunt down their prey. They lingered on the cliff for a while and gradually left.
Jing Yue understood the habits of nine-star wolves. He knew they’d return to their lair and find a new alpha wolf through fighting, but they’d not appear again tonight.
After waiting for a while, he climbed back to the cliff again, lying on his back gasping for breath. The thunder in the sky had died away, and the rain drizzled gently.
When Jing Yue returned to the tree hole again, he didn't hear the baby's cry. His heart tightened, and he hurried to the edge of the tree hole, only to see the baby lying inside.
Jing Yue breathed a sigh of relief and took the baby out. The other party's dark eyes were still teary, but he giggled upon seeing Jing Yue.
The baby seemed to know that he shouldn’t cry loudly and attract danger, and also knew that the danger had passed, so he smiled again.
Jing Yue stretched out his hand and poked his soft face, and was taken aback. His finger was cut at some point and left a bloody print on the baby's face.
At this time, the world spun around him again, and he returned to reality.
Not far ahead, a purple flower slowly appeared in the void as if blooming in the netherworld.
Jing Yue looked around subconsciously. Everyone stood on a Forsaken Flower, motionless as if they were in meditation.
Jing Yue retracted his gaze, recalling what had just happened.
Unlike the previous life, he remembered everything that happened in the illusion this time.
Was that really just an illusion? Or the past? Or a projection of the current world? Jing Yue couldn't figure it out and finally shook his head.
When he was about to step on the second flower, he suddenly stopped.
He remembered why the baby's face looked familiar. Although the facial features were still immature, there was a shadow of Qin Yanzhi.
The speculation from many years ago came to mind again. Jing Yue looked at Qin Yanzhi who was not far away with mixed feelings. He then lowered his eyes slightly and stepped onto the Forsaken Flower.
This time, he appeared in a bustling town.
Surrounded by pedestrians and peddlers with merchandise on poles, everything seemed no different from other towns, until Jing Yue saw a crooked ancient banyan tree in front of him.
The tree was huge with dense aerial roots hanging down to the ground like an old man’s beard. Red silk hung on the crown of the tree, dancing in the breeze and injecting a different vitality into the scene.
Jing Yue remembered this place, and would never forget it.
More than 10,000 years ago, he took the young Yi Wang away from under this tree.
There was a sudden noise ahead, and a group of children chased a little beggar to the tree.
The beggar accidentally fell, and the children immediately surrounded him. But before they could strike, a young man in a Daoist robe squeezed between them and hugged the beggar in his arms.
When the children saw an adult stopping them, they immediately dispersed, laughing and running away.
Jing Yue looked down at the person in his arms, but he could only see the top of the person's jet-black hair, which was covered with dust and hay clippings.
He could feel that the other party was very thin, and the shoulder bones pressed against his chest, causing him some discomfort.
Jing Yue's heart ached. When he picked up Yi Wang back then, Yi Wang had already been beaten half unconscious by these children, his scarred face covered with blood. When hugged by Jing Yue, his eyes were full of indifference and caution.
But at this moment, the other party just lowered his head, and even leaned against him lightly, as if he trusted him.
Jing Yue took a deep breath and raised the little beggar's face. Immediately, he saw a dirty but familiar profile, exactly the same as the little Qin Yanzhi on Flying Blossoms Mountain.
The guess that bothered him for many years finally came to fruition. It was a bit unexpected but within reason. While Jing Yue was disappointed, he was even more at a loss.
Qin Yanzhi was Yi Wang. Although he had had his guesses, there were many doubtful points. Before anything was confirmed, he could treat it as non-existent, and Qin Yanzhi could be regarded as another person completely.
But now, how should they get along with each other? After all, they were master and disciple.
Even if a cultivator was not restricted to the love between men and women, would no one care about a relationship between master and disciple?
And until now, he couldn’t figure out why he didn’t feel the master-disciple connection toward Qin Yanzhi. This didn’t make sense at all.
But circumstances didn’t allow him to think about it now, because the person in his arms passed out again, and it was obviously due to hunger this time.
Jing Yue hugged Yi Wang by the waist, and they gradually disappeared into the noisy market.