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Chapter 519: Sparks in Darkness

    Chapter 519: Sparks in Darkness

    Translator: flycrane01  Editor: Millman97

    Watched by the hidden crystal cameras, Huangpu Xiaoya took a deep breath and tried to resume her calmness. She bit her lips so hard that blood was zigzagging out the corners of her mouth like crimson snakes.

    She gnashed her teeth. "You are telling me all this because you want me to be more depressed and devastated before I die?"

    Li Yao sneered. "I'm telling you this because I want you to clearly see the reality. 'Survival of the fittest' is the only truth in this dark universe. It is also why I decided to embark on the path of immortality to make myself stronger!

    "As for weaklings such as you, you will always be the prey of the strong. In the end, your body and your Cultivation will be gone, and you cannot even protect your hands!"

    Huangpu Xiaoya was silent. She licked the blood on her lips. It was bitter and unsmooth.

    Li Yao suddenly rose up. He walked to her and, looking down upon her, said disdainfully, "You call yourself an unyielding and unchangeable Cultivator, but just think about it. What did you do in the half a month after you were captured by the Temple of Immortals except panicking, cursing, yelling, and crying? Have you made any endeavors that could help free yourself from the current predicament? No. None whatsoever!

    "You have even forgotten the daily training of your hands, the most fundamental task of every refiner!

    "During the last ten days, you have been lying on bed like a useless bum every day without doing any training. Your hands must have retrograded. I guarantee that your capability is at least 10% lower than before!

    "Let's be honest. Even if an opportunity miraculously presents itself to you, are you even qualified to seize it right now? Am I wrong in calling you a useless weakling?"

    As if somebody had smacked her in the face, Huangpu Xiaoya was dazed and failed to come up with anything.

    Li Yao said coldly, "Yes, your speech is wonderful. You are on the moral high ground, and I'm filthier than a swine. However, words cannot kill anybody! I'm standing right in front of you, torturing and humiliating you. Tomorrow, I'm even going to chop off your hands. But what can you do to me?

    "You said that you would come back for revenge after you died, didn't you? For useless crap like you, you will only fall into the Temple of Immortals' control if you really become a spectral Cultivator after you are executed. Chances are that you will be sealed into some magical equipment by Huangpu Shiyi or me. Haha. Let's see how you can seek your revenge then!"

    Huangpu Xiaoya was dumbfounded. She suddenly felt cold to the bones.

    She was not scared of death. But for Cultivators, death was not necessarily their final destination. If her soul unfortunately lived on after her death and was refined into a devastating soul by the Immortal Cultivators to butcher innocent people, it would be an outcome that she would rather die ten thousand times to avoid!

    Huangpu Xiaoya was immediately breathing heavily.

    Observing her reaction, Li Yao said casually, "Do you regret it now? It's too late!

    "When I was in the Great Horn Exo Society, there was one saying that I heard all the time: if you want to shout, let your weapons be your voice; if you have tears, let your enemies shed them for you!

    "I'll forward the words to you now. Although you probably won't get the chance to use them in this life, you can try to bear them in mind in case you are fortunate enough to be reincarnated into a human again!"

    Finishing his speech, Li Yao retreated. He waved his hands. The barrier in the middle of the suite gradually moved and divided the suite into two separate rooms.

    Before the barrier was fully closed, Li Yao looked at Huangpu Xiaoya, who was deep in thought, through the gap and said, "Sleep tight. Tomorrow, a lot of blood will be shed."

    ...

    The next day, in the early morning...

    The suite had no windows. It was dim and hazy. One could not even see their own fingers. Li Yao was woken up by the noise of the relief of the barrier, only to discover that Huangpu Xiaoya had opened the wall that blocked them.

    Huangpu Xiaoya did not turn on any lights. There was not the slightest trace of rays. Darkness dominated the entire room.

    Occasionally, clusters of spluttering sparks would burst out from Huangpu Xiaoya's direction, which formed elegant yet feeble runes in midair, flashing and vanishing quickly.

    Illuminated by the sparks, Huangpu Xiaoya seemed to be very focused. Her tranquil and solemn face appeared and disappeared in the darkness.

    Although he could only see her briefly, Li Yao sensed that she was vastly different from the previous day. Her softness, hesitation, and desperation were nowhere to be seen.

    "What are you doing?" Li Yao couldn't help but ask.

    "Can't you tell? I'm training myself."

    Huangpu Xiaoya answered peacefully, "Due to the barriers they planted inside my body, I cannot perform higher level training sessions. I can only summon such weak sparks to practice drawing runes. But it's still beneficial for me to maintain the nimbleness of my fingers."

    Li Yao raised his eyebrow. "Why are you training?"

    Huangpu Xiaoya said seriously, "Li Yao, although you are an unforgivable scumbag, the final words you said last night do make sense.

    "Shouts and tears are the most useless things in the world.

    "If I want to shout, my weapons shall be my voice; if I have tears, my enemies shall shed them for me!

    "Over the past ten days, I've let out too many useless shouts and cried too many meaningless tears. I thought that I was brave, but after a night of reflection, I realized that it was simply cowardice in a different form.

    "I was merely resorting to shouts and tears to avoid the real fight!"

    Li Yao blinked his eyes and said, "So?"

    Huangpu Xiaoya continued her explanation solemnly. "So, after I realized what I've been doing, I decided that I would stop shouting and crying, and I should dedicate myself to a real fight until my blood runs dry like any righteous Cultivator would.

    "As a refiner, I am not good at waving weapons. Thus, I simply consider the training of my hands a special fight!

    "You were right about one thing. I wasted too much time after I was captured. My hands are much less deft than before. Thank you for pointing that out. After drawing runes for an entire night, they have recovered a lot."

    Li Yao smiled. "You are going to die today. What difference does it make?"

    Huangpu Xiaoya said, "If one understands the great Dao in the morning, they can die peacefully at the end of the day. Even if I am going to be killed tonight, I am still alive at this moment.

    "And if I am alive, I will have to fight. One more second of life means one more second of fighting.

    "If I turn into ghosts after I die, I will continue fighting. If I fail and fall into your hands, and you turn me into a devastating soul, then so be it. At least, I've fought the good fight.

    "However, don't expect Huangpu Xiaoya to surrender! Human or ghost, I will always be an outright Cultivator, and I will never demean myself by joining you unscrupulous Immortal Cultivators!"

    As if intimidated by her rectitude, Li Yao laughed weirdly and yet failed to respond.

    Huangpu Xiaoya kept on training. Tiny sparks were bursting out of her fingertips nonstop.

    However, the majority of her spiritual energy had been sealed. After a night of hard training, she was over-exhausted. The sparks on her fingertips were getting weaker and weaker. In the end, they only shone for 0.1 seconds before they were swallowed by darkness.

    After breathing heavily for five seconds, she summoned new sparks on her fingertips which blinked stubbornly and vanished into darkness again.

    Inside the darkness, Huangpu Xiaoya suddenly asked, "Do you think darkness and darkness are the same?"

    This time, Li Yao really failed to understand what she meant. Pondering for a moment, he asked, "Can you explain?"

    Huangpu Xiaoya's voice was somewhat enticing, filled with a sense of mystery, as she said, "There are two identical rooms with no windows or doors. Inside the rooms is absolute darkness. Some creatures are locked in the two rooms.

    "One of the rooms is always filled by absolute darkness. There has never been any light before, and there will never be any in the future.

    "In the other room, a tiny, feeble, and short-lived spark will burst out occasionally after a long time. The spark will illuminate a limited space very briefly and leave a message about brightness in the heads of the creatures inside the room.

    "But eventually, the spark will be gone, and the room will be embraced by darkness again. Another tiny spark that can burn for only one second might not show up again until a hundred years or even a thousand years later.

    "Do you think the first darkness and the second darkness are the same?"

    Li Yao was silent for a long time.

    In the darkness, he glanced at the last detectaphone in a corner of the room, while he exhaled and said, "Are they not?"

    Huangpu Xiaoya laughed, in great relief and satisfaction, as if she had completely comprehended something. Her belief turned firm, thorough, and unshakable.

    "They are not."

    She replied confidently, one word after another. "Maybe they are the same for you Immortal Cultivators. But for us, the true Cultivators, the two types of darkness are different!

    "Even if this universe is truly nothing more than a brutal, bloody, shadowy forest, we Cultivators will burn all that we have just to give off a single weak flickering spark in the darkness!

    "No matter how weak each spark is, how short-lived, how small... As long as the sparks flow unabated, then one day, one of those sparks will light some tinder, and that tinder shall light some fallen branches, and those branches shall set ablaze each and every last tree of the forest!

    "In the end, even the smallest sparks will eventually set the shadowy forest ablaze and illuminate the whole world!"

    Taking a deep breath, Li Yao said drily, "Igniting the entire forest with a flickering sparkle? What are the odds? One thousandth? One millionth? One billionth?"

    Huangpu Xiaoya said softly, "One billionth is still not zero!"

    Li Yao was dazed.

    The sentence sounded rather familiar. He must've heard it somewhere else.

    Pondering for a while, he finally remembered it.

    Back when he selected the Grand Desolate War Institution in his hometown Floating Spear City in the Heaven's Origin Sector, he had challenged Deep Sea University, the 'Holy Land of Refiners', in front of everyone.

    Xie Tingxian, a professor of Deep Sea University, had asked him whether or not the odds of him defeating Deep Sea University could reach one billionth.

    It was exactly what he had said at that time.

    "One billionth is still not zero!"

    Li Yao stopped talking and turned on the illumination rune arrays in the room.

    Dazzling brightness immediately sprayed out and shattered the darkness like countless light swords!

    Li Yao warmed up his fingers, his bones uttering cracking noises as if blades were colliding.

    Storms and thunder were brewing under his fingernails, which were about to explode!

    Taking a deep breath, he smelled the scent of sparks in the air. His every nerve couldn't be more sharp and excited!

    The day of the final battle had come!
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