Chapter 138: Disorientation, Between Illusion and Reality

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

Just like that, Rong Ruihan continued to sit passively at the side. The crimson red hue of his eyes had not subsided one bit as a result of the death of his enemies. Instead, as time went by, it only continued to thicken and deepen in colour as they emanated a cold, soulless gleam.

The lady in red remained slumped on the ground. Her breathing grew weaker and weaker. They would be erratic at times, and even pause completely at others. Yet Rong Ruihan did nothing to save her. He simply continued watching her silently at the side. This was a stark contrast from how he had behaved at the very start.

In her previous life, Jun Xiaomo had never managed to learn of the identity of her child’s father, even on her deathbed. Therefore, she was hardly aware of the fact that after she had perished, her child’s father had waged war on the alliance of the eight great sects, massacring all who had been involved in Jun Xiaomo’s death. The entire cultivation world was thrown into chaos, and everyone lived in abject paranoia.

The death of the lady in red was the greatest regret and stumbling block in Rong Ruihan’s heart. He had never understood why he had always had that series of recurring dreams, but he had eventually come to accept that these dreams were a sign or omen of sorts. Therefore, he had resolved in his heart that he would look for that lady in red before the events of his dreams occurred in real life.

Yet despite his best efforts, he could not locate her in reality.

When Jun Xiaomo first appeared in the Mistlands’ illusions, Rong Ruihan thought that he had somehow stumbled upon that lady.

He attempted to draw near to that lady to save her life. But time and again, that lady in red would pass him by after a brief encounter.

It was as though their fates were like two parallel lines – no matter how he tried, he could never properly cross paths with her, and he could only watch on as that she drew closer and closer to her demise.

The Mistlands’ objective was not to fulfill a person’s dreams after all. It was to torment a person by drawing out the most immense despair and despondence within him, and thereby wear down that person’s soul.

With every instance of nightmare that passed, he would always attempt to change that lady’s fate in a different way. But in the end, save for changing the manner in which that lady in red perished, his efforts were completely in vain.

Just like that, Jun Xiaomo had perished before Rong Ruihan’s eyes for twelve times now. Furthermore, each ending she had met with was worse than the preceding one.

On the first time that he witnessed Jun Xiaomo die before his eyes, his emotions surged uncontrollably, and a single notion crossed Rong Ruihan’s heart – he intended to bury everyone else together with her!

On the second time that he witnessed Jun Xiaomo die before his eyes, Rong Ruihan experienced a deep, profound sense of helplessness and guilt, apart from his fury – Is it because I’m not strong enough? Was I unable to save her because I hadn’t been meticulous enough?

On the third time that he witnessed Jun Xiaomo die before his eyes, Rong Ruihan no longer experienced such intense emotions. He only wished that if there was a fourth time, he would be able to successfully rescue that lady in red.


Time and again, the nightmare recurred and replayed before his very eyes. Gradually, his despair and despondence were reduced to nothing more than a languid apathy.

It had to be said that the Mistlands were able to accurately capture the darkest memories buried in a person’s heart that would enable it to draw out the deepest sense of despair and despondence in a person. However, its one-size-fits-all methods were not always effective.

In the end, the culprits behind these illusions were no more than spirit plants with basic spiritual awareness. These plants could never possess the level of logical processes to comprehend the depths and complexities of human emotions.

When the lady in red was in her final moments, Rong Ruihan finally squatted down beside her. He gently passed his hand over her face and shut her eyelids, before muttering softly, “Rest well. It’s not going to hurt anymore…”

As though she were acknowledging Rong Ruihan’s words, the lady in red drew a final breath, before finally passing on.

Rong Ruihan stood up again. He no longer looked upset nor despondent at the way things had turned out.

This was because he had already expected such an ending. When a person becomes trapped in an infinite loop of similar scenarios ending with death, even the dullest of persons would be able to discover something strange or peculiar about it. At the onset of these illusions, Rong Ruihan had indeed been so overwhelmed by his despair and pain that he had failed to see the truth before his very eyes. But now, despite the fact that he appeared to have fully demonized, his mind had never been clearer.

“This is already the twelfth time. Do we still need to keep playing this silly game?” Rong Ruihan stared blankly into space as he remarked.

These words were like a key that unlocked the shackles of the Mistlands. Thick, roiling fog began to fill Rong Ruihan’s surroundings, obscuring his view entirely.

The fog thickened and grew, until it completely enshrouded everything within sight. Rong Ruihan’s field of vision was completely white at this moment. Yet, he remained completely still and calm.

He was waiting for the next instance of this recurring nightmare to begin. Since he was unable to escape from it, then he had decided to accept it and fully embrace it.

In fact, the Mistlands’ illusion had already lost their effects as soon as Rong Ruihan acknowledged and became convicted that everything around him was false. Thus, when the thick, billowing fog dispersed and Rong Ruihan regained his senses once more, he had already left the illusory world and returned to reality.

But Rong Ruihan was still unaware of this.

When Rong Ruihan came to his senses, he discovered that he was now lying among a bed of unknown plants. These plants had long, thin leaves running along their stems, and a bright red flower at its top. There were even a few flowers which were particularly large compared with the rest.

At the same time, some of the larger flowers were drooping as though they were dispirited, while others had even completely withered up.

These withered little red flowers had in fact earlier manifested as the enemies of Rong Ruihan’s illusions. They sought to kill off Rong Ruihan in his most listless and despondent moments, but time and again, Rong Ruihan retaliated and destroyed them.

They had therefore withered up and become dispirited.

“Martial brother, come quickly! There seems to be somebody lying over there!” Jun Xiaomo’s sharp eyes allowed her to quickly discover an anomaly with the bed of flowers that Rong Ruihan was lying in. She had noticed that several flowers had peculiarly withered up.

When Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen first arrived beside Rong Ruihan’s physical body, Rong Ruihan had still been trapped within the illusions. Therefore, they were unable to see or detect his presence. Nevertheless, Jun Xiaomo had managed to ascertain the location of his physical being using her earlier formation array. Then, a glint flashed across Jun Xiaomo’s eyes as she thought of a simple yet practical solution – harvesting.

The root cause of these illusions was none other than the harmless-looking little red flowers growing on the flowerbed. That being the case, if one wished to rescue someone from the midst of these illusions, the best way would be to uproot these flowers.

In fact, Jun Xiaomo had earlier managed to wrestle Ye Xiuwen from the illusions precisely because she had coincidentally harvested the little red flower that had been responsible for Ye Xiuwen’s illusions.

But alas, her luck had run out. Jun Xiaomo and Ye Xiuwen spent a good amount of time uprooting the little red flowers to no avail. In the end, Rong Ruihan had successfully escaped from his recurring nightmares on his own strength.

The only lingering effect was that Rong Ruihan had been so disoriented by his recurring nightmare that he could not tell that he had already returned to reality. He had thought that he was still dreaming.

When Rong Ruihan finally came to his senses, he happened to hear Jun Xiaomo’s exclamation to Ye Xiuwen. That voice was clear and crisp as flowing waters and pleasing to the ears. It resonated lightly on Rong Ruihan’s eardrums; and it also resonated with the depths of his heart.

This is…a young lady’s voice?

Rong Ruihan furrowed his eyebrows. When he lifted his hands, he had discovered that his clothes were full of dirt on them.

Rong Ruihan was not paranoid about cleanliness. At the very least, he was not as particular as Ye Xiuwen was with cleanliness. That said, his aristocratic and palatial upbringing meant that he was nevertheless particular about keeping his appearances presentable before others. And this was his habitual practice, even though he was trapped in his dreams.

Therefore, Rong Ruihan sat up, patted off the grass and dirt from his body, before he slowly rose to his feet.

In that moment that he stood up, the first thing that entered Rong Ruihan’s vision was that same familiar face. This face had appeared countless times in his dreams, and he had on innumerable occasions covered her eyes when she had lost her life.

But this time, this lady looked slightly different from before.

No, perhaps she could not be called a lady; it would be more appropriate to refer to her as a young lady instead. After all, her features were still evidently immature and tender.

The young lady was not wearing red, but green clothing. Her hair was tied into a bun, and she barely looked like a young lady at all. In fact, she looked more akin to a suave and charming young man.

But Rong Ruihan knew that the person before his very eyes was a young lady and not a young man. She had appeared far too many times in his dreams now, and her appearance had already been etched deep within his heart. Even if he closed his eyes right now, Rong Ruihan would certainly be able to recreate a flawless reproduction of her image in his mind.

Rong Ruihan looked placidly at Jun Xiaomo. He was not particularly surprised by her appearance right now.

Rong Ruihan had still thought that he was trapped in that recurring nightmare of his. In other words, this lady before his very eyes was not going to be able to escape certain death no matter how hard he tried.

Since that was the case, then what was the point of struggling against the nightmare?

Rong Ruihan chuckled at himself. He had developed such unnecessarily intense emotions for that lady in red just because of a series of dreams that he had been having since young. Yet he barely even knew whether the person of his dreams was real to begin with!

And if that person was indeed real, then why was it that he still had not encountered her after so many years had passed?

And this time, he had even fallen into a series of recurring nightmares as a result of this lady in red. The more he thought about it, the more he found himself to be laughable.

Hmm, if I ignore her and keep my cool regardless of the situation, then I wonder if I will be able to finally break free of these recurring nightmares… Rong Ruihan thought in his heart.

Rong Ruihan glanced over at Jun Xiaomo coldly. Then, he turned around and left without hesitation.

“Ah…hey! He…he…why did he leave just like that?!” Jun Xiaomo never expected such a reaction from Rong Ruihan. She looked at Ye Xiuwen dumbfoundedly as she pleaded for his assistance.

Ye Xiuwen walked over and patted Jun Xiaomo’s shoulder helplessly as he explained, “Xiaomo, your present appearances are no longer influenced by your Alteration Talisman.”

In other words, she was no longer Yao Mo. How could she expect Rong Ruihan to recognize her?

Given Rong Ruihan’s vigilance and guarded personality, it was already a miracle that he had not immediately attacked her. Did she really expect him to greet her with such joy as though a blissful reunion?

Jun Xiaomo smacked her head as she exclaimed, “Argh! I’ve forgotten all about that. No wonder, no wonder…Rong Ruihan, wait for me! I’m Yao Mo!”

Jun Xiaomo shouted at Rong Ruihan as she ran after him.

Rong Ruihan immediately paused in his steps and turned around suddenly –

“You’re Yao Mo?!”

Rong Ruihan stared straight at Jun Xiaomo with his bloodshot eyes, as though he was scrutinizing Jun Xiaomo from top to toe.

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