Neither Ning Que nor Sangsang closed their eyes. They became increasingly closer to each other and almost melted into one.
Starlights vanished and reappeared in Sangsang's eyes, then turned into frustration.
Although everything was going according to her plan, she could not help but feel frustrated at the moment because she did not resentful towards Ning Que for being intimate. It was a very annoying fact. She clenched her fists, looked at Ning Que and felt the disgusting moisture coming from his lips. Her divine body tightened as rock, and started trembling.
Ning Que woke up from the mysterious state of mind. When he was sober, he realized what he had been doing — he was kissing her. That was because he saw her as Sangsang, but now he was afraid. The fear made him rigid and tremble.
They were cuddling and kissing in bed. Their trembling lips consistently rubbed against one another. Even their teeth slightly bumped together and made some clicking sounds.
That was the quake.
Ning Que cuddled Sangsang and trembled even more violently. His bones and joints were clapping, and she trembled until her green flowery dress started to rip. It sounded like something was about to collapse while their trembling intensified. Then, bang.
The bed beneath them collapsed.
Ning Que and Sangsang fell, holding each other, to the solid ground of the Divine Hall. The ground quaked and spread waves of vibration that cracked the pillars of the Divine Hall.
The solid walls of the Divine Hall looked like they were eroded by biting winds through tens of thousands of years. The coat of the walls cracked down together with stone chips and hit the ground. It sounded like someone was clapping, or something similar.
The unimaginable quake spread immediately from the Divine Hall of Light toward every direction in the world. The accumulated snow in the terrain was shook off into delicate snow falls. The frozen peach blossoms burst from the frost and swung in the biting winds.
Along the coastline of the Song Kingdom, the grotesque rock drums by the thousand mile long dam started jumping up and down, smashed countless reefs and splashed a mass of black sea mud. The black sea water was boiling. The darkest clouds were rolling above as if they were being wrung by some massive angry god.
In the Mogan Mountain at the Great River Kingdom, water splashed from the Ink Fountain. Mo Shanshan watched the restless water and wondered what was happening. She felt lost. Looking back at the celebrating lanterns along the foot of the mountain and around their cottage, she could not help but grieve and started to weep.
The Great Swamp was also shocked. The white reeds seemed helpless in the wind. The water from the lakes flew backward to rivers, and flooded the City of Linkang. Ye Su gathered hundreds of poor men to rebuild the waterways. Seeing that the dirty water had brimmed over their feet, he looked to the Divine Halls of West Hill far away and mused.
In Ye Su's shabby cottage, Tang Xiaotang sat at the edge of the bed and was about to deliver some well-cooked chicken soup into Cheng Pipi's mouth. The soup started to ripple on the spoon.
The entire human world quaked. Several waves of quakes took place in Haotian's realm. They did not destroy many houses or kill many people, but everyone felt them.
Being in the center, people in the Divine Halls of West Hill in Peach Mountain experienced the quake most distinctively. Thousands of divine priests and deacons rushed out of their residences in nightgowns, and looked at the Divine Hall of Light with dread. Tens of thousands of followers in the villages at the foot of the mountain were awoken by the quake. They rubbed their eyes, held each other's hands and came out of their houses. They felt confused as they looked at the Divine Halls.
The Hierarch, Ye Hongyu, Zhao Nanhai and some others came to the front of the Divine Hall of Light. They looked serious but no one dared to step into the Divine Hall.
The worldwide quake vanished gradually. The eaves of the Divine Hall of Light collapsed. The pillars cracked and seemed shaky but held on. It looked like a havoc after a hurricane.
Inside the Divine Hall of Light, silence took over again.
Ning Que lay in the debris of the bed cuddling Sangsang. Their lips and bodies were not trembling like they had previously and turned into a tender breeze that lingered around each other.
Like embracing a comforting and refreshing breeze, Ning Que felt increasing peace in his mind, while Sangsang's eyes became more yielding. He found himself indulging in the most desirable warmth, like drifting on a summer sea. She felt that she was embracing the most genuine warmth, like the sea enfolding the glory of the sun.
When Ning Que reached his Initial Awareness State, he saw an ocean. Now he realized that when he meditated and felt the ocean, it was because he was holding the infant Sangsang.
Now that he had regained the embrace of that warm ocean, he would never leave again. He held his arms around her, kissed her lips tenderly and did nothing else.
The two of them were cuddling. Cold winter winds came from her lips into his lips because they breathed each other's breaths. The warmth of life passed from her body onto his, thus they felt each other's heart beats. He had no one but her in his world, and likewise for her.
Ning Que and Sangsang entered a wonderful state of mind for an uncertain amount of time. She shuddered and so did he. No one had won in this battle between Heaven and human, woman and man. After rounds of caressing and torturing, they finally reached a harmonious state of life.
The front part of Divine Hall of Light crashed. Dust surged up towards the night sky and covered the bright moon.
The divine priests and deacons of the Divine Halls of West Hill turned extremely pale upon the loud crash. Thousands of people rushed towards the Divine Hall of Light, and stopped anxiously in front. The Hierarch looked more severe, but he did not dare to do anything. It seemed profane to even to try to figure out what was happening.
At dawn, Ning Que finally woke up from that mysteriously wonderful state of mind. He realized what had happened over the night, looked at Sangsang's face in front of him, and kept silent.
The reason for his silence was a bit different from that of when a man woke up from a sexual intercourse. He was rather precautious than embarrassed. He was not sure what to expect after this, since there had been rounds of caressing and torturing previously.
Suddenly he heard beautiful sounds from within his body. They were sounds of melting-snow water flowing over rocks and clouds floating over mountains. It was the most beautiful sound in nature. Then he realized that his Mountain of Snow and Ocean of Qi were finally released after last night!
A night with Haotian came with such a rewarding consequence! He looked at Sangsang's face and could not stop smiling. It must be the best deal in the world to be married to such a wife, he thought.
Sangsang was still sleeping, like a real human with her eyes closed and her breath profound and subtle. One would have mistaken her to be breathless if one had not observed very closely.
Then her profound and subtle breath suddenly became rapid.
She opened her eyes and stared at Ning Que. Roaring waves occurred in the ocean of innumerable starlights deep down in her eyes, where endless and everlasting divine power was stored.
"You can coun…"
Ning Que was after all an ordinary human. He could not stop feeling worried about what he had done to Haotian. He tried to find some excuse but could not even finish the first few words.
A furious yell bursted from Sangsang's throat that sounded like the most horrifying wind whistling through a dead bull's bones in the Wilderness.
Ning Que's arms were immediately broken into twenty pieces, representing the twenty years they went through together. By destroying those twenty years, she slipped them from her memories and he could never hold her again with those arms.
A bout of horrifying power swirled throughout the Divine Hall like a tornado. Before he could even react, Ning Que was hurled away dozens of meters and plonked onto the wall of the Divine Hall.
The walls used to have paintings of ancient legends that were passed on in the teachings of Divine Halls of West Hill. After the quake last night, the paintings were severely damaged and paled. Upon Ning Que's plonking onto the wall, pieces of the paintings fell over and became stained with blood. The legends became sanguinary.
Ning Que sat by the wall with his legs reaching out, coughing blood and looking wretched.
Sangsang drifted to him, revealed no emotions but looked extremely pale.
Ning Que beamed at her, with blood over his teeth. It seemed as if he had taken a good bite out of her plump figure, yet he looked frustrated and disappointed.
Chilling winds swirled in the Divine Hall of Light. He sensed a distinctive ruling power penetrating his body with those winds as if they were trying to lock up his Mountain of Snow and Ocean of Qi again.
So nothing has changed after all?
Ning Que finally understood what the empress went through during the last few minutes of her life. He stared at the pale Sangsang, with his frustration and disappointment replaced by extreme tranquility and determination.
"You were my handmaiden, but I never enslaved you." He stood up slowly and smiled at her. "Therefore I am your slave no more."
With another blast of wind, he erupted the Haoran Qi and transformed his distorted body into a wretched shadow, then rushed toward the terrace of the Divine Hall that faced the cliff, leaving a distinctive line of blood behind.
His steps on the terrace smashed the newly accumulated snow in the morning. He rushed to the edge and pounded on the handrail to leap over.
With that pound, he cut off his journey to the Heaven.
With that pound, he cut off his journey with Sangsang.
He jumped over the handrail and off the cliff.
At the same time, Sangsang came to the terrace.
She was not able to stop him from jumping off, as she did not predict that. The Heaven could not predict his actions because he was never her disciple or her slave.
She stood by the handrail and looked at him falling through the clouds. He looked back at her through the fog. They stared at each other with life and death in between. Time seized at that moment.
"You just couldn't wait to kill me?"
Sangsang looked at the falling Ning Que and felt a pain in her chest.
She thought it was an injury from last night. However, it was not.
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