The dragon qilin was startled to hear this, and the voice sounded familiar too.
Despite that, he didn't dare to let down his guard, immediately transforming himself with a jolt of his body into the form of a sturdy looking youth with a qilin head and a human body. However, he had transformed too quickly and forgotten that Qin Mu was still on his back.
Qin Mu fell off with his limbs tangled, though the dragon qilin quickly caught him and laid him over his shoulder, looking behind the moonlight with caution.
Today was the seventh day of the month. The moon formation usually became a crescent moon on this day, and the rest of the formation would be hidden by the shadows.
The formation was very big and wide, spanning hundreds of miles. The portion blocked by the shadows didn't actually disappear—the formation continued to be in motion, and they were only hidden out of sight.
The formation resembled a moon palace. A palace within the moon was truly a beautiful sight and very pleasant to look at.
"The one who controls the moon in the sky map is definitely a beautiful lady."
The dragon qilin stuck his head out of the shadows only to see that the moonlight was flowing down from where the damage was, resembling a stream of water.
Within the moon was a woman sitting on the peak of the crescent. She was looking towards them as she blinked her eyes.
The dragon qilin was slightly shocked. On his shoulder, Qin Mu was like a marionette without strings. He slid off his shoulder with limp limbs, and his head was bent in a crooked manner.
The dragon qilin hurriedly caught hold of Qin Mu. The woman on the crescent moon walked over and asked in an astonished tone, "What happened to him?"
"Cult Master is injured."
The dragon qilin continued, "His injuries are very serious, but there shouldn't be a huge problem. Cult Master, wake up!"
He shook Qin Mu. Qin Mu's head was shaken about like a rattle-drum, and he immediately opened his eyes. Qin Mu looked at the woman with semi-consciousness. He felt that she was a familiar face, but he couldn't recall who she was.
"Why are you here?" he mumbled before he drifted back into unconsciousness.
"Look, it's not a big problem!" the dragon qilin said confidently.
The woman was, however, very worried. Sending them into the moon palace, she said, "I have just cleaned up the place, you can recuperate here."
The dragon qilin settled Qin Mu down. After diagnosing Qin Mu's injuries, the woman was silent briefly before she went to refine pills and brew medicine for him.
The dragon qilin went forwards, laughing. "Back then, you didn't know anything, yet now you can refine pills and brew medicine already?"
The woman smiled. "After you all left, I had to do everything by myself. At that time, I was still very young, I had to learn everything. It's only natural that I can do all these things after learning so much."
The dragon qilin thought for a while, replying, "Back then, it really felt like a dream. Cult Master, Grandmaster, the chest, and I had so unexpectedly ended up at Hundred Prosperities City. We then disappeared at daybreak. What we went through that night was, however, so strange that one would never be able to forget it."
The woman turned her head to look at Qin Mu, who was sleeping soundly on the bed. She revealed a gentle smile. "It's true. The tens of thousands of years after, I have awoken from my nightmares countless times. Thinking back on that night's experience, it gave me the courage to continue living."
Qin Mu could hear the familiar voice by his ear. He had wanted to open his eyes a few times, but because he was too heavily injured and his origin had suffered damage, he fell back into unconsciousness again.
He had already pulled through the worst, it was mainly that 'Celestial Venerable Yu' was too powerful. In the fight against Qin Mu, he had executed his own ultimate art of entering the path, executing from Dao One to Dao Twenty-Eight. The twenty-eight continuous great divine arts of entering the path had forced Qin Mu to give it all he had.
After exerting his all in the fight, Qin Mu was almost burned out. He had no other choice but to utilize his origin power, using the Anasrava Creation Mysterious Scripture and Three Primordial Spirit Undying God Consciousness to mend his corporeal body and primordial spirit. This led to even greater exhaustion in his body.
Now, he was drifting in and out of consciousness. He felt bitterness in his mouth, and it seemed like someone was feeding him medicine. The spirit medicine entered his throat and turned into a hot stream that flowed into his abdominal cavity. It started to surge around inside of him, flowing into his limbs and his bones.
He opened his eyes and could faintly see a familiar-looking woman opening her mouth and spitting out a spirit bead.
The spirit bead spun around him, and it made his primordial spirit and damaged divine treasures feel an indescribable comfort.
Qin Mu drowsily fell back asleep. By his ear were the sounds of the woman and the dragon qilin having a conversation. It seemed that the dragon qilin and the woman were very familiar with each other.
After an unknown period of time, the voices of other people reached Qin Mu's ears—they sounded like Woodcutter or Heavenly Teacher Zi Xi, and it also sounded like Di Yiyue and the others were there.
He couldn't hear what they were saying, then it quieted down.
Qin Mu was asleep. In his dreams, he felt like he had returned to the days of his childhood. Time seemed to be reversing, and he was back in the Disabled Elderly Village, training diligently under the supervision of Old Ma, Butcher, and the others.
Time reversed even further in his dreams, he was now a baby lying in a small basket. His hands and legs were stretched outwardly as he wailed, looking at Granny Si and her outstretched arms with his bright eyes.
Granny Si was very ugly, yet her gaze was gentle as she carried him out of the basket.
Beside her was a stone statue, and beside it was a similarly gentle-looking Old Ma.
The scene in his dream retreated, and time seemed to have reversed again, though he was still in the basket. He saw a girl who was carrying a basket and was fearfully hiding in the raging river from the gods and devils chasing after her.
The massive black water rolled up everything. Qin Mu looked at that girl from inside his basket. She was fighting against the gods and devils with all her might, protecting him.
She was covered in wounds and was thoroughly exhausted.
The swaddled baby raised his short little arms, trying to touch her face, yet he couldn't reach her.
Qin Mu had never found the memories of him leaving Youdu and being left in the Great Ruins. He was too young. Earth Count had sealed him, and then his mother handed him to Aunt Ping'er, who had escorted him out of Youdu and into the Great Ruins.
Aunt Ping'er had died in the river to protect him, and Granny Si had saved him when the darkness arrived.
This memory was a blank to him, yet in this dream, he could actually faintly remember it.
In the darkness, the black waters of the raging river surged and shrouded them. There were vicious-looking gods and devils chasing after them in the water and on both sides of the river. Aunt Ping'er's injuries were getting worse, and it was difficult for her to protect him anymore.
At this moment, the Qin Mu in the dream recalled a snow-white fog moving towards them.
Aunt Ping'er carried the basket and dashed into the fog with unsteady movement.
The pursuers too ran into the fog.
When the fog dissipated, there was a radiant sun in the sky. The sunlight shone so brilliantly that the swaddled baby shut his eyes and hid his face inside the cloth.
Aunt Ping'er had blood flowing out of her mouth as she continued to run unsteadily. She covered the basket with her palm, humming a folksong to coax the baby to sleep.
"Tall reed, long reed, playing hide-and-seek in the reed marshes. How many powerful and famous people were once the cowherds of the past.
"Tall reed, long reed, looking at each other across mountains and across seas. On this side of the reed is the hometown, on the other side of the reed is the sea.
"Tall reed, long reed, weaving by the reed marshes. When the weave is done, it is rolled into my bag, it accompanies me on my journey thus on to afar.
"Tall reed, long reed, the reed flute tune is melodious.
"The cowherds are in a distant land, always on the minds' of their father and mother..."
Qin Mu listened to it in a daze, wanting to sing along. However, in the dream, he was just a baby of two to three months old, so he wasn't able to.
The pursuers were on their tails, the gods and devils vicious and fierce.
At the source of the raging river, in her despair, Aunt Ping'er saw a woman washing her sword by the river.
Qin Mu saw that the sword washing woman had a familiar face, she looked like the girl who was feeding him medicine. Aunt Ping'er asked for help, and the woman pulled out her sword. The sword was like a dragon dancing in the air, it could enrapture an entire city and be lauded in nine prefectures.
It was a familiar sword light. The sword techniques were evolved from Qin Mu's sword techniques, and it carried the essence and spirit that protected ordinary people in the apocalypse.
"What is his name?"
The sword washing woman came to Aunt Ping'er's side, looking at the baby inside the basket.
"His name is Qin Fengqing."
Aunt Ping'er looked at the baby in the basket with a gentle gaze as blood spilled out from the corners of her mouth. "I have to send him to a safe place, I cannot let those gods and devils harm him. But I can't go on anymore, I wish to entrust him to you..."
The sword washing woman shook her head. "My name is Bai Qu'er, I am one of the remaining survivors of High Emperor. I am hiding from the pursuits of my enemies and have already killed a group of pursuers. Leaving him to me will only endanger him further. I can protect you for some time, but it cannot be for too long."
They moved along the river, the radiant sun hung in the skies to the West. Aunt Ping'er hummed a nursery rhyme as the sword washing woman listened on quietly. After walking for an unknown distance, the sound of the nursery rhyme suddenly stopped.
The sword washing woman looked towards Aunt Ping'er. She had already stopped breathing, and her eyes were lifeless. She continued to walk along the river carrying the basket as a walking corpse.
The extremely strong attachment allowed her to continue moving forwards, to stubbornly continue to find a safe place for this swaddled baby, and to find someone she could entrust him to.
The sword washing woman was in a daze, yet she didn't take the basket away from Aunt Ping'er's arms. She wasn't someone who should be entrusted with the baby.
She could only protect this stubborn corpse, protecting her until she found someone.
She hummed the nursery rhyme that the girl had hummed before she died.
"Tall reed, long reed, playing hide-and-seek in the reed marshes. How many powerful and famous people were once the cowherds of the past..."
Aunt Ping'er's corpse followed the song and walked forwards with a smile on her face.
They continued along the river, and she didn't stop humming.
Finally, the skies started to dull, and the darkness was about to arrive.
"...Tall reed, long reed, the reed flute tune is melodious. The cowherds are in a distant land, always on the minds' of their father and mother..."
The sword washing woman sang the nursery rhyme as darkness and fog surged forward, drowning Aunt Ping'er behind her.
The sword washing woman walked into the fog, watching as Aunt Ping'er sank into the waters. She was still holding the basket up high.
The river gushed and carried them downstream.
'Don't go outside when it's dark.'
In the far distance, a voice could be heard from the village by the river. "Everyone, listen! A child is crying outside!"
"Impossible. You must be hearing things... Eh, there really is a baby crying!"
In the fog, the sword washing woman watched as a hunchback old woman carried the baby out of the basket before she gradually retreated.
"I've used the Boundless Calamity Sutra, entering the path through dreams to help him trace his origin and preserve his soul. At present, his life is no longer in danger."
Within the Qin word land, the old Buddha who had always been asleep had landed suddenly, speaking to Heaven Duke, Earth Count, and the others. "I originally intended to impart my Boundless Calamity Sutra to him, but he didn't have the fate for it. At present, helping him to enter the path through dreams within his dream, and through remembering his past, his comprehending of my Boundless Calamity Sutra is only a matter of time."
Heaven Duke replied, "Fortunately, old Buddha woke up in time. Otherwise, even if he survived, I fear he may have suffered great losses to his cultivation."
At this very moment, Qin Mu gradually woke up, and a familiar nursery rhyme could be heard by his ear.
"Tall reed, long reed, the reed catkins resemble snow. The reed knows best of the violent winds, the reed knows best of the raging rain.."
He struggled to get out of bed, following the sound of the song and walking outside.
The song made him feel like he had returned to his days as a cowherd. By the reed catkins, the sound of the reed flute was clear and melodious, and the snow-white reed catkins fluttered about in the wind.
He walked outside. The moonlight was brilliant, and a familiar-looking girl sat in the moon palace, humming the nursery rhyme as she looked down at the mountains and rivers of Eternal Peace.
She turned her head around, giving him a peaceful and shy smile.
The dragon qilin was startled to hear this, and the voice sounded familiar too.