Ning Xue stretched out her hand, wanted to wipe off the remaining water drops in the corner of his mouth. This was already something she used to do everytime she fed him the water. Because in the past, everytime she finished drinking water, he would help her wipe the corner of her mouth clean. Ning Xue hand extended out halfway, suddenly she remembered something, like being electrocuted she took back her hand, then nervously asked: “Brother, are you hungry?”
Ning Xue’s hand pulled back too fast, but in a short moment it made Ye Wuchen’s heart feel shocked, his weak breath became more confused, he used his hoarse voice anxiously asked: “Xue-er, let me see your hand.”
At first Ning Xue was startled, then in a conditioned reflex she hid the hand behind her back, her expression became more frenetic, “My…… my hand is quite good, I will not let brother see……”
Her actions made it look more conspicuous, made him realize that it was not a misconception a while ago, he gently and resolutely said: “Xue-er, listen to me, stretch out your hand.”
In front of Ye Wuchen, Ning Xue simply didn’t have the strength to refuse. She finally put out her hands from her back, carefully opened them in front of Ye Wuchen’s eyes.
Although with preparation, but when the moment Ye Wuchen’s eyes focused on her palms, his heart suddenly felt as if being simultaneously pricked by a thousand steel needles, his heartache almost made him suffocate. He even didn’t believe that, are these really Ning Xue’s hands?
The structure of the hands were still perfectly delicate, before he would always hold these two hands in his hands, enjoying such kind of warm feeling. But in comparison to the delicate and flawless hands that he had known before, this time they were covered with thick calluses of all sizes, quite awfully thick, being dark, yellow, even some of them were covered with bloody blisters of different sizes. In the palm and fingers, numerous scars were crisscrossed on them, some of them were already healed, some of them were new, but too many wounds had made the entire palms to be totally refuted. Extending further to the wrists, it were similarly riddled with scars…...
Ye Wuchen looked for a short moment, then closed his eyes, couldn’t look further. He couldn’t imagine that, how much grinding, and how much friction, and through how much pain had to be experienced by her before these factors destroyed the soft and delicate both hands like that. Those wounds crisscrossed in her hands were like several incomparably sharp knives, ruthlessly piercing through the softest spot in his heart, causing him to be so much in pain.
The sight that shocked the eyes, and astonished the heart.
“Are they painful?” Ye Wuchen asked in a trembling voice.
Ning Xue quickly took back her hands, placing them to his body, then anxiously shook her head with all her might: “Not painful, not even the slightest bit.”
“But, it pains me.” Ye Wuchen looked at her gleaming eyes, feeling the heartache that he had never experienced before. Even to compare with the full moon nights before, he never experienced such kind of heartache.
In this world, who else will be more beautiful than his Xue-er. Even to compare with the fairies in heaven, they simply couldn’t compare to his Xue-er by any chance.
Ning Xue arrived again in this mysterious forest, but her mood was already completely different from before, the only same thing was her impatient heart. Ye Wuchen’s awakening made her even wanted to just stay beside him, hoping she could find the fruits earlier, then quickly return to his side. On her way here, she repeatedly cheered in her heart: “Brother is awake! Brother is awake……”
She had came to this forest numerous times, although she never went deeper into it, but she had clearly remembered the exact location of every tree in its border, also familiar with the small creatures that frequently roamed around. This time, her footsteps were more lively than before, when she stepped on a bush, suddenly the bush stirred restlessly, Ning Xue retreated a step back as she was frightened, a startled rabbit jumped out from the bush, as it run ahead at a lightning speed.
Before Ning Xue could regain her attention, that panicked rabbit without determining its right path knocked against a solid old tree with a “thump”, as it laid flat on its back afterwards, its claws and legs twitched for a few times then it stopped moving.
Ning Xue opened her eyes wide, looked at it for a very long time, seeing no further movement on this rabbit, she pat her own chest to calm down her thumping heart then went over there. She sat down, used her hand to carefully touch the rabbit’s body, after seeing it without any response she picked it up, then returned back running.
For the whole two years, she and Ye Wuchen never ate any meat or fish. Because a small young girl like her simply couldn’t hunt for wild animals, even if she catched one she would refuse to kill it. And today this pitiful rabbit had knocked itself to death, was like a gift given to her by the heavens, allowing her to cook it for her brother’s nourishment.
“Brother, look, I catched a rabbit.” Separated by a long distance, she lifted this pitiful rabbit high, swaying it while she gurgled with laughter, for her, this was something quite amazing. Because she ran too fast, she stumbled and fell to the ground, she made her efforts to climb up, but her face still looks excited.
Her laugh had lifted up Ye Wuchen’s depressed and painful heart, his heart was silently thanking this rabbit that fell into her hands due to an unknown reason. For him, Ning Xue’s smile was the most beautiful sight in his life.
Ning Xue ran to his side, happily showing him the fat rabbit: “Brother look, hee hee, this rabbit was so clumsy, it had unexpectedly knocked itself against a tree, really clumsy!”
Knocking itself against a tree? Ye Wuchen felt somewhat ridiculous then he yelled in his heart “no wonder”, then in his mind he couldn’t help but remembered a story that was called “Staying by a Stump Waiting for More Hares”.
“Brother, let’s just eat this clumsy rabbit, okay?” She laughed happily, then immediately she remembered something, she flattened the corner of her mouth, then became somehow anxious: “But, there’s no fire here, how can we cook the rabbit……”
Ye Wuchen moved the finger in his left hand: “Xue-er, come here, I have fire here, also the stove, everything that we need. Xue-er, you forget already?”
The ring of the God of Sword was flickering white light on his finger, it had been filled with the element of fire, the matchbox to be used for lighting up fire, pot, ladle, stove, in a complete gamut, even so many excess firewoods which they didn’t use up before. These, were things that they brought on their way to the Heavenly Fire Volcano, also used them during the journey, all were still kept inside his God of Sword’s ring. Aside from these, their beds, tents, also some of the unconsumed food were inside. Taking out these things from the God of Sword’s ring only needed his thoughts, without exerting any strength.
Everything before their eyes looked quite familiar, after Ning Xue’s delightment, her nose started to turn sour. She missed those times when she would just lazily sleep in her brother’s arms, she missed Tong Xin, missed too many persons…… But, in this life she might never be able to see them again. The Death Abyss was too deep that it had separated them from the outside world, having an indefinite time to meet them again.
Ning Xue quickly lighted up the fir, she had finally seen the color of the fire again. Under his feet was the meadowland, she would not worry that it will trigger big fire. But after lighting up the fire, Ning Xue held up the rabbit again not knowing what to do, because whether it will be roasted or boiled, she would need to peel off the rabbit’s skin first, Ning Xue had never done it before, and almost couldn’t do it. Although she would be able to savor it, but everytime when Ye Wuchen peeled off the skin of an animal, she simply wouldn’t dare to look at it.
Ye Wuchen immediately guessed her thoughts, he pitifully said: “Xue-er, let’s eat this rabbit after I regained my strength, okay? I have pastries here that we can eat.”
Ning Xue thought for a while, yet she slowly and resolutely shook her head, with one hand holding the rabbit, the other hand was lifting up a small knife, then she proceeded beside the creek.
When she put the small knife towards the rabbit’s body, she hands trembled repeatedly, she wouldn’t dare to let it drop down. After a very long while, she clenched her teeth, firmly pierced it with the knife, then rigidly closed her eyes…...
“I’m sorry, little rabbit, for brother’s body nourishment, I have to sacrifice you……”
“I’m sorry, little rabbit, really really sorry……”
Relying on her own perception, the small knife peeled the rabbit’s skin, but after experiencing the unbearable and the fear, her heart had finally calmed down a bit, but her hands were still shaking continuously, several times the knife almost cut her hands. Her mouth was whispering something, saying “sorry” to the small rabbit in her hands repeatedly, only through this way, will her heart feel somehow at ease.
Hearing Ning Xue’s whispers, Ye Wuchen’s heart was also calling out Ning Xue’s name. If it wasn’t for him, she would never allow her hands to be stained with blood, even if it was already a dead rabbit.
After handling that rabbit, Ning Xue’s head was already full of sweat, she put the rabbit inside the pot, then filled it up with the creek water, with Ye Wuchen’s guide she put in all sorts of condiments, when the fragrance of the cooked meat came through, Ning Xue was already drooling, incessantly holding it back, but still a drop of sparkling and clear saliva fell out of from her mouth, it was already a very long time ago that she had tasted meat.
“Brother, do you think that Sister and Sister Tong Xin are okay? Are they missing us?” Ning Xue asked as she tried hard to restrain herself from drooling.
Ye Wuchen smiled and said: “They must be missing us the way we missed them. Your Sister Tong Xin is quite powerful, no one would ever hurt them.”
Thinking of them, Ye Wuchen’s heart became heavy again. The actual situation, he will be unable to predict it. That day when they jumped into the Death Abyss, Tong Xin’s breath was similarly as weak as his. She and himself were the same, being in the middle of the life-and-death struggle. Her enemy was so powerful that she wasn’t able to contend against.
Would she be similar to him, being compelled to a difficult situation. And waiting patiently in the Gale Nation, what would have happened to Ye ShuiYao…...
Thinking of these, his heart was greatly confused. He tried to think of the person who would have compelled Tong Xin to a difficult situation. Who that person was, and what kind of strength he would have. And precisely with this person’s appearance, it had forced Tong Xin to leave Ning Xue, causing Ning Xue to be kidnapped by the Gale Nation, and changed everything that followed.
That person, who was it? Among the Heavenly Star Continent, would there be anyone else who have such terribly great power?
Perhaps, that person…… simply didn’t belong to the Heavenly Star Continent. With this thought, Ye Wuchen’s heart was shocked, another possibility became clear in his mind.