Nie Shen never expected that he would have a chance to survive.
He opened his eyes from the long and muddled chaos, looked around, and realise that his white misty form, which was supposed to be as light as tulle had turned grey, with an ominous aura.
— It was the resentful energy, and it had become extremely thin.
He looked up, and saw that within his reach were a few green leaves, and they were excluding a weak light amidst the darkness of the night.
It was a little like a poplar tree, but the leaves were much bigger, and one could catch the occasional glimpse of bright yellow flowers
Nie Shen looked at the surrounding area, somewhat in a daze, and his mood was unexpectedly calm.
He vaguely remembered the years that he had spent with the resentful energy as they tried to kill each other, until later when everything had become muddled and chaotic, and he didn’t know whether he was still himself or not. It was then that he finally and slowly fell asleep.
He had accepted all the karma that belong to the resentful energy, and for a while after he woke up, he couldn’t tell who he was.
His eyes were open, yet he was in a daze, and after a long time, he realised that there were several thick layers that separated him from the outside world.
Those layers were full of cracks, and at a speed visible to the naked eye, they became whole again, without any trace of what happened.
Nie Shen raised his hand and gently pushed the layer in front of his eyes.
Then, his whole world shook gently and made a crisp jingling sound, like the sound of a wind chime.
He was locked up.
In the midst of his trance, Nie Shen recognised this.
He slowly withdrew his hand, went around his small little world, and after some time, remembered something someone had said to him before —[From the west city of Qingqiu Country, about six hundred miles to the south, there is a place called the Relaxed Emperor’s Valley. If you have nowhere to go, you can go there.]
Nie Shen was confused for a long time, staring at the branch that he was hanging from, and the calm lake of his heart felt as if it had been lightly touched by a dragonfly, circle of circle rippled on his tranquillity, setting off little waves after waves.
This was the Relaxed Emperor’s Valley.
He’s not dead.
He actually came here.
Nie Shen couldn’t remember much of what happened in those last moments, but he knew that the reason the resentful energy was thin now, was because he had been placed next to Di Xiu for so many years.
But now, there was no one else in the Relaxed Emperor’s Valley other than him.
Di Xiu’s original body was here, quietly stretching across this vibrant valley. His ears could hear the sound of running water, the whispering of the plants and trees, and the gentleness of the wind swaying him as it blew.
But Di Xiu’s soul wasn’t here.
Nie Shen laid down in this small world, and through layers and layers and branches and leaves, and when the wind blew, he could vaguely see a glimpse of starlight.
The light of the sun and the moon in the Great Wilderness are fake.
The light of the sun and the moon first fell into the Central Plains, then entered into the Great Wilderness from it.
Daytime in the Great Wilderness wasn’t as bright as the Central Plains, and the sky was always covered in a light reddish mist, and beyond the mist was a ball of fire burning fiercely; that was the sun essence that was projected from the Central Plains.
The sun essence fell into the Great Wilderness, cultivating the Great Wilderness into an abundant place that the Central Plains couldn’t be — blooming greens, abundant spiritual energy, and everywhere was full of opportunities capable of creating miracles of life.
Once the reddish mist burned out, they would be able to see the slightest bit of blue skies before night fell.
The blue would fade away, and the silk-like sky would be saturated with black, and there would be countless of moon essence falling in from the Central Plains, nourishing the Great Wilderness over and over again, giving the many creatures of this land the conditions for survival.
Nie Shen looked at the flittering light filling the sky, and countless of moon essence fell into the valley, and together with the Di Xiu’s tree which was shining brightly, it looked like a romantic summer night where the fireflies would gather.
He waited quietly, in a daze, looked at countless cycles of day and night, and finally remembered a lot.
There were places where the skies weren’t covered in red.
He remembered that the luan phoenix had said, the Marsh of Dreams’ sky was always a beautiful shade of light blue and turquoise.
It was a colour that seemed to have soaked up the mountains and rivers.
But that was after his father had accidentally strayed into the Great Wilderness, and broke into the Marsh of Dreams in a panic.
Before that, the Shen had never cared about what colour the sky in the Marsh of Dreams was.
The luan phoenix had never seen Nie Shen’s father before, and only heard the Shen occasionally say a couple sentence about it.
Nie Shen’s father had died before he was born, because originally, his body wasn’t that good, coupled with his inability to adapt to the strong spiritual energy of the Great Wilderness, and couldn’t handle such strong nourishment, so, he died before long.
Before he died, he had weaved a somewhat wonderful world for the Shen.
He said that the sky should be blue, there should be a ferry in the water, and there should be cranes and herons.
He said that this marsh was too silent, and there should be the lively sounds of birds.
So the Shen covered the sky in the Marsh of Dreams with blue, placed a boat and ferry near the marsh, and protected many unnecessary creatures.
She was the only monster in the Great Wilderness that could be called ‘benevolent’.
She didn’t go out, but she was willing to accept the people who broke into the Marsh of Dreams.
She turned the Marsh of Dreams into the ‘paradise’ that the human man said, and thought that if such fate was left unfinished, then perhaps, in the long future, there would be a human that could weave wonderful dreams and stories that broke into the Marsh of Dreams while panicking again.
But it was a pity that she didn’t manage to wait for that time, and even the child that she held in her heart couldn’t grow up as peacefully as she wanted.
Nie Shen remembered something about his childhood again.
The time he spent with his mother couldn’t be called short.
But their species, which could be called a miracle — their growth rate was really too slow, slow enough to be comparable with those sacred trees.
After a few hundred years, he was still the same little brat that followed behind his bother.
In his memories, his mother had once said tenderly yet helplessly that he was unwilling to grow up, and the him who had never seen the world outside the Marsh of Dreams, and was always with his mother, didn’t understand why he had to grow up.
With his mother here, why would he need to grow up?
The him in his memories had said so.
And his mother had hugged him, and said that there was nothing wrong with that.
With her here, there was no need for him to grow up.
Nie Shen had always subconsciously skipped over the things that happened later, and didn’t want to remember.
Those weren’t pleasant memories, and even until now, he had no intention of digging them out again.
The daylight had turned dark once more.
The wind brought along a little noise, and when it entered his ears, it seemed particularly noisy.
Nie Shen sobered up from his memories and turned to look at the direction the sound came from.
The wind chime shook and made a few crisp noises.
Both monsters that stepped into the valley from the outside were stunned, one of them shove all his bags into the arms of the figure next to him, and ran over at full speed.
He stood under the tree, looked up, then asked, “you’re awake?”
Nie Shen looked at the figure under the tree, thought for a long time, before finally remembering his name, “Lin Mu.”
The little Relaxed Emperor under the tree smiled, along with the same sweet dimples in his memories, and all the memories that had followed after this voice was filled with content that made him relaxed and happy.
He heard Lin Mu said, “you’ve been asleep for seven hundred years.”
Nie Shen froze.
Lin Mu turned his head and asked Di Xiu, who hadn’t changed in hundreds of years, if Nie Shen could be let out.
Di Xiu still looked like his gentle self, and while using his original body to take down the small wind chime which had been hanging on his branches for hundreds of years, he said, “the resentful energy is almost gone. In the future, do more good deeds to accumulate merits.”
He easily opened the cube in his hand, watched as the grey weapon inside come out, then slowly turned into human form.
“This thing should be told to Yan Xuanjing and the rest right?” Lin Mu said.
Di Xiu nodded, and took out something that Nie Shen didn’t recognised, and it seemed that he had notified the nine-tailed fox.
The changes Lin Mu had from the one in his memories was really small, if he had to say what the biggest change was, it would be the power on him.
He was so strong he barely seemed like a half-monster.
A sacred tree like him who was beloved by the world, even if he was a half-monster, he would be much stronger than ordinary monsters.
Lin Mu reached out with his hand and shook it in front of his eyes, and asked, “do you want to go out and have a look? The Great Wilderness has changed a lot.”
Nie Shen paused, “changed?”
“Yeah, you might be really shocked.” Lin Mu said, reached out, and took Nie Shen to the top of the mountain next to them.
The translator has this to add:
Next up, 700 years worth of history.