333 Desire to Burn

    Despite the howling wind, the girl's whispering was heard clearly. When everyone heard Deng Ximei, an alarm rang in their mind. Gu Jun snapped into focus. His heart shook and instantly turned to say, "Ah Mei, don't! Suicide is not going to stop the ritual... It'll only make things worse because one of the more important steps to this ritual is your death..."

    Suicide? Wu Siyu and the rest also panicked. Uncle Dan rushed forward to stop the girl.

    "Death will not solve anything..." Gu Jun said with difficulty, "Only in life can we have hope..."

    "Guys, I'm not going to kill myself." Deng Ximei raised a smile at them. "But I do wish to interrupt this ritual. This ritual is connected to Lydia and so as long as Lydia is present in this world, the ritual will continue. But I am not Lydia, I am Deng Ximei." The others had no idea what she was saying but Gu Jun thought of another possibility immediately. "No, Ah Mei!"

    The anxiety was like a key, and it unlocked some memories... from his childhood. A group of children was running around. He saw himself playing lego blocks with a thin-looking little girl. They were building a castle... He remembered saying he would do anything to protect her...

    "I was once a prisoner!" Deng Ximei widened her eyes as she walked towards the hill. Her thin body moved straight like a rod. Gu Jun knew that she was going to shatter her Spirit Barrier! Uncle Dan and the rest were not clued in. They saw the changes to Deng Ximei's expression, like a flower, it bloomed and then wilted.

    "Even today, I came with shackles around me..." Deng Ximei said. Some images flashed across her mind. When she was a toddler, she was trapped inside buildings; then when she was a child, she was trapped inside forests. She saw many horrible deaths, indescribable madness, deep fear and stark horror... She saw a little girl materializing imaginary friends for company, she saw how a young woman created an imaginary life around her. She saw herself construct the layers of spirit barriers around her heart. The barrier protected her but also buried her.

    "But now I am going to shatter all these shackles." Deng Ximei raised her hands. She stared right into the dark night of her memory. How she used the thick rope to end the lives of the two individuals most closely related to her. Enormous pain overwhelmed her and her mind wavered. But she swore to face her real self no matter how ugly it was. She was Deng Ximei, and not Lydia. She might be born in sin and grew up in darkness but she was willing to burn like the sun.

    With a buzz, the barrier collapsed. Deng Ximei's knees buckled. Endless memories crowded her mind. The past became so clear as it attempted to swallow her present. With a determined heart, she shouted, "This is another play, its name too is Man!"

    Ah Mei... Gu Jun could tune into her mental explosion. At this moment, she was suffering the complete collapse of her mental world. This destruction severed her special connection to Lydia. Deng Ximei was not Lydia, Lydia did not exist in this world. A stronger gale picked up on the plains but strangely enough, the wind appeared to slow everything down...

    The flesh monster shrieked and several of them burst open on the spot. Using this opportunity, Bill Grant and the other leaders opened fire with both Ancient Seal and bullets. Black smoke rose from the peppered flesh. The table was turning. Deng Ximei's action weakened the ritual.

    "I... I'm fine now..." The strange pain disappeared from Wu Siyu's face. Her face had returned. Gu Jun had his consciousness stabilized, and the view of the hill blurred away.

    Around the stone plaque, the cultists panicked. Even the chanting had stopped. The people in red robes frowned. They did not anticipate the weak-looking girl could cause such a huge damage, they had greatly underestimated her...

    At the same time, Deng Ximei teetered and fell. Uncle Dan and Peacock rushed forward to hold her. Her face was purplish, her normally clear eyes were bloodshot. Her consciousness was slipping away.

    "Miss Deng, hang in there!" Uncle Dan called as he applied emergency rescue. After Xue Ba, another member of Phecda fell.

    "Ah..." Gu Jun tried to channel his focus to regain control of his body. He too needed to break through these shackles... But at that moment, the scene on the hill clarified again and the voice returned. 'You children surprise us... But have you forgotten you are all our creation... All of you are created from common power so how could you fight against the real power of the Great Ones... And no, we are not talking about us...

    'It doesn't matter that Lydia is no longer with us because we still have the Son of Misfortune. Once the abyss arrives, death is nothing but an overridable concept!'

    Gu Jun saw the cultists walk into the dark whirlpool of the stone plaque. A few red robed individuals joined them. They were increasing the sacrifice to strengthen the ritual. His mind was suppressed once more... He found himself stuck inside a swamp. The black decayed bodies inside the swamp dragged him down into darkness. The dark forces within him boiled.

    Death... Misfortune... Aren't they things of beauty... Aren't they a type of ascendancy that can end all banality...

    The large stone plaque started to bleed red. The redness seeped into the ground. At the same time, over at the plains, more black-robed individuals materialized. They all held Carlot Scalpel. The mood darkened and Lou Xiaoning cursed, "Fuck, these things can't ever really die..."

    The new arrivals removed their hoods. They had wilted faces that bore eerie resemblance to Gu Jun's face. An epiphany hit Gu Jun like a thunder. The wilted face was the face of the Son of Misfortune, it only appeared so misshapen because it was forcibly placed on the skull of homo sapiens. Afterlife Cult, this organization...

    "Oh, Great Son of Misfortune." The voice said, "You should have known this already... We are your servants, we have been serving you since the days in the foreign world. Freud Landon, it was you who showed us the miracle of reincarnation, it was you who visited destruction on Carlot Academy. It was you who told us to abandon the Goddess of Hope, it was you who showed us the face of real divinity. It was you who showed us the way to other worlds and it was you who wanted us to summon you here. We are apostates but we have never given up on faith."


    Read about the latest state of this project here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/47226334
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