Xi Ling (5)
[TLN: Silent Soul Ridge = Lonely Spirit Ridge]
Translator/Editor: Mr Voltaire
Hearing this sweet, almost ethereal shout, Ling Chen’s body stiffened and he slowly turned around. His senses and alertness were heightened to the extreme. The moment he turned around, he saw the silhouette of a red shadow running towards him. The instant he was able to see her clearly, Ling Chen was momentarily stunned.
It really was a girl…The girl was even smaller than he had expected. At first glance, this young and tender girl only looked twelve or thirteen years old. The young girl’s beautiful face was white as snow. Her large pupils were clear and transparent like glass. Her petite body and slim waist added to her extraordinary cuteness. She wore a princess-style dress and her lustrous, silky hair that cascaded over her shoulders naturally was mesmerisingly beautiful. The girl’s appearance was simply too breathtaking. She looked as cute as a doll, yet looked as delicate and tender as a rose. She stood in sharp contrast to the shadowy forest around her; the contrast was like an anime bishoujo being placed in a deathly cemetery.
“Whew… Big brother, I finally caught up to you.” The young girl ran in front of Ling Chen and gave a long sigh of relief. She lifted her extremely adorable face. Her eyes flashed over Ling Chen’s face, examining him carefully. Wearing a flame-red coloured dress, this young girl gave off a bewitching and flirtatious air that did not match her age. She laughed sweetly, “Big brother, where do you want to go? Why did you come to this place?”
This ridiculously cute girl’s appearance stunned Ling Chen to the point that he almost couldn’t resist picking her up and hugging her. Moreover, while moving closer to him, the girl did not give off even the slightest hint of danger; Xiao Hui did not react differently either. Despite this, Ling Chen’s heart could not relax, so he asked with a frown, “Who are you?”
“Me?” The young girl pointed at herself, her thin eyebrows arching into a curve, “My name is Xi Ling. Big brother can call me Ling Ling!”
Xi Ling? Was that this girl’s name? [TLN: Literally means Spirit of the Evening Tide] Ling Chen gazed at the girl. Her sudden appearance in this sort of setting made him unable to fully let down his guard around this girl. He looked into the girl’s eyes, but only saw sincerity, clarity, eagerness… and a hint of happiness that he couldn’t quite understand. Moreover, he wasn’t sure if it was because of the reflection from her flame-red dress, but the girl’s eyes seemed to radiate with a faint red glow. Furthermore, he couldn’t see any hint of danger from this girl’s eyes.
This girl was…
“How did you come to this place?” Ling Chen continued to ask.
The young girl was shorter than Ling Chen by quite a bit, and so she needed to look up when talking to Ling Chen. Despite this, her smile was just as sweet and lovable. “This question I need to first ask big brother, because big brother should reply first.”
Ling Chen: “… …”
“Big brother doesn’t want to answer? Alright, alright, I’ll say it first. I got lost at this place, and couldn’t find the way home, then I found big brother! Big brother, it’s so scary here, could you please take me away from here?” After she finished speaking, the girl’s crystal clear eyes unblinkingly stared into his.
Ling Chen narrowed his eyes and slightly lowered his head, “Little kids shouldn’t tell lies.” Outside Lonely Spirit Ridge was a dark forest that swallowed all life, how could a little child safely pass through there? Moreover, he couldn’t forget that when he first heard the girl, he couldn’t even sense her presence draw near… She definitely wasn’t a normal girl.
However, no matter if it was the air she gave off, or the expression in her eyes, the girl simply didn’t give off an air of danger…..
The young girl immediately started to vigorously shake her head, “I didn’t lie! I really got lost… Big brother, please take me away from here. I’m really afraid of this place.”
“Then you tell me, where’s your home?” Ling Chen faintly smiled as he asked.
The girl blinked a few times, thought for a few moments, then laughed with a pure and innocent laughter, “Wherever big brother goes, that’s where my home is.”
“……” The girl’s words greatly amused Ling Chen. He laughed and was just about to say something, when the girl suddenly spoke again, “Big brother, I’ve already answered, now it’s big brother’s turn to answer my question from before… Why is big brother in this place?”
Ling Chen thought for a moment, then replied, “I came here to find something called ‘Flaming Black Grass’. It’s a type of grass that looks like a black flame. Have you seen this type of grass around here?”
“Flaming Black Grass?” The young girl’s face revealed a shocked expression, “But, Flaming Black Grass has disappeared from this place for a long time, doesn’t big brother know?”
“There’s no more Flaming Black Grass? What do you mean?” Ling Chen’s heart shook… could it be that what he had suspected was true? The real question was, how could this girl know about this!?
“No more Flaming Black Grass means no more Flaming Black Grass. Flaming Black Grass became extinct a long time ago, and does not grow anymore…”
The young girl stopped speaking halfway through the sentence as she noticed the look of hopelessness and disappointment on Ling Chen’s face. She asked, “Is big brother looking for Flaming Black Grass for a very important reason? Did brother’s friend get poisoned heavily and needs Flaming Black Grass to get rid of the poison? Flaming Black Grass can be used to get rid of a lot of poison, you know.”
Ling Chen dumbly nodded his head… If what the girl said was true, then he had endured so many things to reach this place for nothing! Could it be that the Azure Dragon’s Mayor’s quest… was a troll quest that couldn’t be completed?!
“Hehehe… Big brother, I tricked you!” Seeing Ling Chen blankly nodding his head, the young girl’s lips curved upwards and smiled, “Flaming Black Grass hasn’t become extinct; I saw some just then.”
“Really?” Ling Chen hurriedly asked, “Where did you see it?”
“This… It’s a secret for now. If big brother promises me something, I’ll bring some Flaming Black Grass for big brother. If you don’t promise me, big brother will never find the Flaming Black Grass.” The girl’s eyes sparkled as bright as stars. Her beautiful eyes glittered with eagerness and hope, something that Ling Chen was completely unable to understand.
“What promise is it?”
The girl immediately replied with a sincere tone, “I want to follow big brother. Wherever big brother goes, just take me as well! Ok?”
“Why…..” Facing this mysterious girl’s incredibly strange request, Ling Chen became utterly confused. In the terrifying environment of the Dark Forest, a beautiful girl had appeared, and had requested to follow him without any reason… These things combined together made him feel like he was in some sort of dream.
“Because… Because…” The young girl tapped her lips with a thin, delicate finger. After thinking for a while, her eyes shone, and sweet smiled at Ling Chen, “Because I like big brother!”
Ling Chen: “……”
Ling Chen didn’t think he was ugly, but… his looks shouldn’t be able to mesmerise a girl so much that she would practically cling to him and beg him to let her follow him.
“Then it’s settled! Big brother can’t break his promise!” Without even giving Ling Chen a chance to reply, the young girl brilliantly smiled while making his promise for him. “In that case, I’m going to go find some Flaming Black Grass for big brother… eh?”
The young girl was just about to run off when she saw Xiao Hui standing next to Ling Chen’s feet. This place was covered in a thick grey fog and because Xiao Hui was completely grey and so small, the girl almost didn’t see him. She immediately ran to Xiao Hui, squatted down and reached out with her tender hands that were white as snow. She held Xiao Hui’s head with her hands while happily exclaiming, “Wow! What a scary little doggy! Little doggy, what’s your name?”
“He’s called Xiao Hui.” Ling Chen had to answer for Xiao Hui in his stead, then explained, “He’s not a dog though.”
“But he’s so cute like a little doggy…” The young girl gave a slight smile. She patted Xiao Hui’s head, “So you’re called Xiao Hui, your name is as cute as you are. Xiao Hui, let’s play again later. I’m going to get some Flaming Black Grass for big brother. I’ll be right back!”
“Big brother, you need to keep your promises! If I can bring back some Flaming Black Grass, you need to let me follow big brother. Wherever big brother goes, I’m going as well… No take backs!”
She stood up, lifting the hem of her dress and lightly ran off. A short while later, she had disappeared from Ling Chen’s line of vision and her footsteps gradually became fainter.
Ling Chen was speechless.
After being petted by the young girl, Xiao Hui revealed an expression of happiness and enjoyment. Ling Chen knew that Xiao Hui was very sensitive to dangerous situations and beings. The reaction he displayed to the girl proved that the girl truly didn’t have any ill intentions and would not bring to them any danger.
The “scary bastard” that had been guarding something at Lonely Spirit Ridge for 10,000 years had killed countless lives that had wandered close to Lonely Spirit Ridge. He was definitely not a kind person. This meant that the young girl probably wasn’t the “scary bastard” that Qian Gun Gun had mentioned. Moreover, the monster that had been guarding something in this Lonely Spirit Ridge for more than 10,000 years. It definitely wouldn’t be such a young and cute little girl.
However, the circumstances surrounding this girl’s appearance was too strange. Her actions, as well as her determination to get Ling Chen to agree to her request were all things that he simply could not comprehend. What was going on with this girl, Xi Ling? And could she really find the Flaming Black Grass?
Ling Chen didn’t leave, and waited with Xiao Hui for the girl to bring back the Flaming Black Grass. The whole time, he struggled to ponder the origin of this girl, searching for and guessing at various possibilities.
While he was still deep in thought, Ling Chen suddenly heard a howl that was close to becoming a roar… This some unbelievably came from Xiao Hui.
The state Xiao Hui was in gave Ling Chen a fright…. His four legs were firmly planted on the ground, and his body was so tense that it began to distort. His grey fur stood on its ends, looking like strands of steel needles on his body. His opened mouth revealed rows of teeth that were savagely gnashed together. Xiao Hui’s eyes released a boundless killing intent directed at the dusky sky.
At the same time, a wave of terrifying aura that felt bone-numbingly cold descended from the sky, making Ling Chen feel as if he had fallen into a bottomless abyss. Within a few seconds, cold sweat had drenched his clothing.
The sky gradually darkened, the chilling wind stopped blowing. Everything had fallen into a deathly silence that was more terrifying that hell itself.