Sixteen men in black court dress stood in solemn silence, like statues that had been withstanding wind erosion for thousands of years. Beside the mysterious carriage black as polar night, an old man bowed slightly, with peaceful expression and impeccable etiquette.
A woman who seemed to walked out of endless darkness came to Lin Xun and Shia Zhi, and took the little hand of Shia Zhi. With her ocean-like blue eyes, she was gazing at the incomparably beautiful face of the little girl. After a long time, a hint of satisfaction came over the corners of her lips.
Shia Zhi was still and held up her head, staring at the woman’s face, with obvious vigilance in her crescent inky eyes.
Yesterday, Shia Zhi felt a trace of agitation which was becoming increasingly intense until today. When she saw the woman in front of her, she finally realized that the woman was the source of that feeling, while Lin Xun had nothing to do with it.
“So, you’ve already guessed I will come?” The woman said in surprise.
Shia Zhi compressed her lips, silent for a moment, and then she said, “Just a kind of feeling.”
The woman seemed to be more satisfied, and in her habitually cold eyes was a tinge of relief. She said, “From today, you will be with me.”
Her voice was calm and emotionless, but with no room for doubt or disobedience.
Lin Xun heard this with a heavy heart. That was an order and its implication was so clear that there was no room for negotiation at all.
It ignited the anger in Lin’s heart again, and his reason almost burnt out.
Just now, Yao Tuohai wanted to detain Shia Zhi, which had made him feel extremely resentful. Now, the mysterious woman who appeared suddenly, also wanted to take her away from him. It seemed that everybody ignored his existence from beginning to end!
“Tell me why.”
Lin’s voice became hoarse, and with his body slightly trembling, he was on the verge of losing control of his anger. However, fear welled up in his heart instinctively when he faced the mysterious woman. Under the impact of this kind of anger and fear, Lin Xun was like a tight bowstring at this moment, which might snap at any moment.
The woman frowned. For the first time she moved her eyes to Lin Xun, while her light blue pupils were already filled with indifference.
In a moment, a terrible sense of oppression overwhelmed Lin Xun. His trembling grew worse and face grew paler. But on his handsome face was firmness and forbearance, which meant he was trying his best to stick to standing there.
Unexpectedly, Shia Zhi said, “I’ll go with you.”
The woman withdrew her gaze, and Lin Xun seemed to be saved from the edge of death in a wink, with his face ghastly pale.
“He is a nice young man, no wonder that you used to follow him.” The woman looked thoughtful.
“To me, he is irreplaceable, while you will be surpassed by me in the future.” Looking directly at the woman, Shia Zhi said seriously.
A touch of meaningful smile rose from the corners of that woman’s mouth, and then she said, “I will wait for that day to come”.
“Aren’t you afraid that I will kill you at that time?” Shia Zhi asked.
The woman looked gentler and she seemed to have a special feeling about Shia, “I can give you three chances to kill me.”
Shia Zhi pressed her lips, “Three chances are unnecessary. Just one chance is enough.”
The woman smiled.
This was the first time she had a smile since she appeared here, as if a magnificent flower bloomed in endless darkness at that moment. Even the universe seemed to be eclipsed because of the smile.
"Remember what you said."
After quite a while, she took Shia’s hand, turned around and went towards the black carriage.
Shia Zhi turned her face to Lin Xun and looked at him quietly. All of a sudden, she said, “Lin Xun, you can’t die until I come back, can you?”
At this point, Lin’s mind went blank. It seemed that all the negative feelings - resentment, fear, unwillingness and frustration, disappeared, and only a trace of unprecedented firmness remained.
“No, I can’t.”
Lin Xun muttered in hoarse and low voice, standing there motionlessly and sinking his head upon its breast, and allowed the woman to take Shia Zhi away. No one saw the two lines of tears running down from the corners of his eyes.
At this moment, this thirteen-year-old young boy, who came from the mine prison, told himself that these were the last tears in his life.
The woman took Shia Zhi into the black carriage, but just before the door was shut, she turned her head, looked at the young boy standing alone in the distance and then came out of the carriage as if something came to her mind.
She came to Lin Xun and leaned forward slightly. Gazing at the handsome face of the young boy, she said, “I have tested your aptitude, and it’s only general. No matter how hard you work in this life, the gap between you and the little girl will just get wider and wider. She doesn’t belong to you.”
Lin Xun kept silent.
The woman lifted Lin’s chin with her long white fingers and said, “I can clearly feel that you are filled with anger and hatred. It doesn’t help, but I can give you a chance - bear in mind that I’m from Heiyao Shrine. My last name is Liulan, and first name is Ji’nian. You will see me only when you are strong enough.”
The voice was husky with a unique charm. Before her voice had died away, the woman turned away and boarded the black carriage.
Shia Zhi sat quietly with her usually tranquil look in the carriage, while her crescent eyes gradually became indifferent and cold.
When Lin Xun raised his head, the black carriage had gone away into the distance.
“Liulan... Ji’nian... I'll keep it in mind.”
He murmured, and coughed up a mouthful of blood. The whole world in his eyes couldn't stop spinning and later he lost consciousness completely.
“What a poor child! He has to accept the cruel fate at such a young age.”
After a sigh, an old man, who had just showed up with that peculiar team but did not leave with it, clasped Lin Xun's fallen body in his arms at this moment.
He held Lin Xun as easily as he held a mass of air and maintained an impeccable standing posture.
With a mild and benevolent countenance, the old man in a black court dress, bearing himself erectly, looked up at the high platform and asked, “How was the child's performance in the County Test?”
This question broke the dead silence, and all the people in the square were bewildered because they did not see what had just happened.
It was like having a dream. When they woke up from the dream, darkness was the only scene recalled, leaving only an old man on the spot and Lin Xun in his arms, while that strange team disappeared totally.
Nobody knew what had just happened, but in their hearts raised an uncontrollable fear. The power was so fearsome that it could block and influence all their minds and feelings unconsciously.
Yao Tuohai's face turned pale and he stood still in silence. He did not know what had happened, either, but he was sure that the big shot did all this.
“Your senior…he was...he was…”
At this time, in the face of the old man's question, Yu Canglin stuttered on the high platform, with sweat all over his face, unable to speak clearly, and lost previous dignity.
Wu Chaoqun and the others all sat on pins and needles. Their facial expressions changed drastically. Up to now, they had known neither the antecedents of that strange team, nor the identity of the old man in the distance.
But the qi of old man already made them feel chilly and realize his powerful background.
When the old man saw this, he bowed slightly and said gently, “Please give this child a chance for the supplementary text.”
Then he turned away with Lin Xun in his arms and disappeared instantly, as if they evaporated in the air.
At this point, everyone in the place could not help but breathe a sigh of relief, as if this trace of fear in their hearts vanished as the old man left.
However, on the high platform, the faces of Yu Canglin, Wu Chaoqun and others became uncertain and afraid. What had happened just now?
Where did that special team come from?
Why did he rescue Lin Xun?
As for the beautiful little girl, where did she go?
No one knew!
They only knew that Yao Tuohai had just taken action, trying to capture Lin Xun and the little girl in person, but what happened then? Nobody could tell.
That was terrible!
As for the practitioners who participated in the test in the square, they were even more embarrassed and all looked lost, like they just woke up from a dream.
“Continue to test.”
For a long time, Yao Tuohai came to the platform like a walking corpse and sat down again numbly.
The purpose of his visit to Donglin Town was to get in touch with that big shot, but the result made him palpitate with terror.
Yao Tuohai couldn't imagine how such a thing could happen even if he tried his best to think it out!
“Excellency Yao, what about Lin Xun's test result...” Yu Canglin asked hesitantly.
Yao Tuohai frowned and recalled the old man and the big shot behind him. He was deeply disturbed. After a while, he sighed and waved his hand, “Allow him to pass!”
Yu Canglin and the others were all in a trance and their expressions drastically changed. This was the County Test. They had shown a firm attitude and made it clear that Lin Xun was not allowed to pass the test just now. If Lin Xun was permitted at this moment, it would cause numerous rumors when this new spread.
Yao Tuohai was too exhausted to explain this. He kept thinking. Did the big potato come here for that little girl?
“You don’t deserve what you shouldn’t have by your power.” The husky and magnetic voice echoed again in his mind, which made Yao Tuohai tremble and palpitate with fear. Was this the means of the Queen in Heiyao Shrine?
It must have something to do with that little girl!
It took Yao a long time to be sure that. When facing the little girl, he was even couldn't restrain his desire for possession. It was conceivable that the power of that little girl was unusual.
And that big shot beat him back just for that special girl. Yao was lost in thought.
Yu Canglin, Wu Chaoqun and others dared not disobey Yao Tuohai's will, and they finally allowed Lin Xun to pass the test.
Before long, the County Test continued.
But everybody in the place became absent-minded after the series of affairs and the atmosphere seemed strange and dull.