Returning Soul


“Look into my eyes, listen to my voice, there is nothing to hate, no harm, no betrayal, everything will disappear, only me, believe in me, only me, I will protect you.” Trying to move forward, trying to get closer, the toes of the translucent figure step out circles in the gentle enchantment, creating lively ripples.

Very well, the undead did not offer much resistance, a slight reluctance was inevitable. “Don’t be confused, trust me, no past, no pain, believe in me, only me, in this world, only me, I will protect you, guard you.” The dark blue enchantment flowed slowly with the breath, occasionally revealing subtle restlessness. Reaching out, touching the undead, a faint chill passed through the fingertips, and the undead shivered slightly. In the wary eyes, there blossomed a naked incredulity, as if they thought they could never be touched again, even questioning their own existence. “My pitiable child, with me here, forever, there is nothing else. Forget it all, let go, everything.” Gently and slowly, the undead was embraced, more contact to reassure, to relax, to release the shackles in the heart. “I will always be with you, accompany you on the journey! All things are empty, ultimately nothingness.” The gentle wind swirled and blew, tousling my green hair, scattering the withered and void figure in my arms. “Leave all the resentment to me, go back in peace, return to freedom.”

The wind gradually dispersed, and the enchantment disappeared with it. The surroundings revealed their original appearance—dark and quiet wilderness, the cold night wind dancing in the knee-high grass, creating ripples. The noisy summer insects continued their ignorant praises. Looking up at the vast sky, the endless starry sky, what kind of star am I?

Savoring the recently read grievances: economic bankruptcy, job failure, friends’ betrayal, girlfriend’s abandonment, followed by binge drinking, car accidents, hatred, and moral decline. A deep sigh escaped, just because of these? Humans are truly fragile beings! Is it because of these small twists and turns that obsessions unable to be reincarnated are formed?

“Sasha sasha—” an unidentified object rapidly approached, swiftly dodging to the side to evade the airborne scythe-chasing soul chain. Quickly turning around and leaping backward, I saw the provocative face of the assailant. Fire-red twin ponytails swung high behind her head, her petite and delicate face displaying a spirited and angry demeanor. An enthusiastic apprentice Death Reaper? I didn’t want to bother with her; I was a low-level soul returner. It’s better not to provoke Death Reapers. Even if encountered, I hoped it could be peacefully resolved. But apparently, that was just my wishful thinking. I only defended without attacking, yet she seemed to treat me as a tool for provocation. Calling her an apprentice Death Reaper was far from accurate, judging from the ridiculous black-and-white prisoner-like outfit she wore. Even the killing intent emanating from her was full of loopholes. With a sigh, I swayed with a feigned move, shifted my steps, and, as expected, the apprentice Death Reaper pounced on the grass as if gnawing at mud.


“Sasha sasha—squeak—” Despite a full-force jump, I couldn’t evade the attack, and the frozen-like pain on my left cheek from the wound intensified. It turned out I was indeed the bait; the main character hadn’t even made a move yet. The black-robed garment with white borders made a rustling sound in rapid movement. The apprentice Death Reaper was just a step away from being a full-fledged Reaper, but that step was indeed distant. I tried to increase my speed desperately, still unable to avoid the gradually increasing wounds on my body and the gradual loss of spiritual power. Spotting an empty space, I leaped with all my strength. When facing a proper Reaper, escaping was the only way. However, he clearly didn’t intend to let me go. My keen hearing told me that the sharp, ear-piercing sound behind me was the gradually approaching Soul-Cutting Sword. It was too late to dodge, so I could only brace myself, halt my steps, and face the sword. Underestimating his strength, the soul returner’s blade broke, and I was still injured by the sword wind, retreating several meters and exhaling a few breaths of pure spiritual energy.

Unjustly injured, inexplicable anger, nameless fury kindled my courage. “I have no grudges against you; there’s no need for such ruthless actions!” “Lowly creature, do you even understand your own faults? Well, you’re just a creature!” The raised sword showed no hesitation, and the mournful moonlight reflected on its blade, inducing despair. The desire for survival prevented me from sitting idly, and the spiritual power at my fingertips transformed into slender blue needles, creating a rain of attacks that pierced through the black-and-white robe, targeting the red-haired apprentice Death Reaper behind him. Seeing the astonishment in his eyes, I thought I saw hope, but it was just a momentary optimism. The sword spun and flew toward the rear, blocking all my attacks. The claw-shaped phantom in his left hand struck my spiritual source, delivering a fatal blow. Powerless to resist, I closed my eyes in fear and couldn’t witness how Zeyu’s sword saved me. All I knew was that when I opened my eyes, Zeyu, with silver hair and moon-white attire, stood before me, in the stance of a protector, in the flowing and howling wind.

He turned around, looked at me with his silver, clear, deep, and cold eyes, just like before. His lightly firm lips slightly parted, and he said to me, “Let’s go.” Then, I saw that a dozen steps away, the Death Reaper’s right hand tightly gripped his left arm, and beneath the left arm, there was nothing. “Let’s go.” The ethereal sound reached me like a dream awakening. I quickly got up and caught up, and as we walked away, I looked back and saw the two points in the distance, red and black, supporting each other. Looking at Zeyu in front of me, a warm curve involuntarily appeared on my face, tugging at the wounds and leaving a trace of coolness.

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Mbl pzldela qktwal pvsrrle, vwadle yaswde vs zssj yv xl. Xwa lulp xlv, yde xu blyav qsatsv vs clyv qsa y xsxldv. Tl aykple bkp byde, yde clvolld vbl puxxlvaknyz yde pzldela qkdtlap, vblal oyp y obkvl pkzj bydejlanbklq, pzktbvzu czwkpb kd vbl qykdv xssdzktbv. Vyppkdt vbl bydejlanbklq shla xu qynl, R oyvnble Hluw’p nyzx lmralppksd yp kq kd y ealyx, bkp pvya-zkjl nzlya yde dsczl lulp lxcleele kd vbyv bydepsxl qynl, yzxspv ldvaydnkdt xl. Tkp zsdt lulzypblp zsolale, rzynkdt vbl bydejlanbklq kd xu bydep, bl vwadle yde zlqv. R oyvnble vbl zsdt pkzhla byka yde obkvl yvvkal tayewyzzu alnlel, ekpyrrlyakdt kdvs vbl nbkzzu xssdzktbv, prllnbzlpp. R aykple xu byde vs vswnb xu nbllj, clyakdt vbl xyajp sq nsdvynv okvb Hluw.

Rd y eygl, y twpv sq okde pweeldzu obkazle, yde vbl bydejlanbklq kd xu byde oyp qsanlqwzzu rwzzle yoyu. Gqayke vs alpkpv, R bye ds nbsknl cwv vs zlv ts. G osxyd okvb rwarzl byka, olyakdt y rwarzl hlkz, pvsse clqsal xl, rzyukdt okvb vbl bydejlanbklq. Tla lulp, ayekydv okvb ellr rwarzl zktbv, olal qwzz sq kaakvyvkdt xsnjlau. “Ebs yal usw?”

“Gde obs yal usw?” R nyzxzu alvsavle. Tla prkakvwyz rsola oyp vbknj, qya clusde obyv R nswze alpkpv.

“R’zz ypj qkapv.”

“Ckdt Twyd.”

“Hkmkys! R byhld’v blyae sq usw!”

“R byhld’v blyae sq usw lkvbla.”

“Rq usw byhld’v blyae sq xl, usw’al ktdsaydv; kq R byhld’v blyae sq usw, usw’al scpnwal.”

“Fine!—” I restrained myself; I couldn’t beat her. “I am ignorant. Can you return the thing to me?”


“How did you get involved with Zeyu? Tell the truth.”

“I am his subordinate.”

“Then he should wipe your face for you.”

“—-Probably just to show you.” I understood that in a world where power was paramount, self-awareness was an essential element. I never dared to ask for anything. Things that didn’t belong to me could never be wished for. This was a world with dreams, and I didn’t even have the qualification to dream.

“That’s a reasonable statement. Hehe… I’ll let you go this time for being sensible.”

“Can you return the handkerchief to me?”

“This?” She swung it away with a flick of her hand, and the handkerchief was deftly tucked into the wide sleeve. “This is mine now.”

One hour later~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~•

Diving forward, cross-blade, thrown off, knocked down, getting up, supporting with one hand, bouncing up, rushing forward, transforming claws, flashing blade, knocked back, getting up, leaping kick, shaken back, somersault, transforming whip, swinging, mid-air turning claws, tearing apart, struck by a palm, spinning, propping up, half-crouching.

“You’re really fighting me with all your might?” Zixiao shouted at me, her voice hoarse. Her hair was disheveled, stuck to her forehead with sweat, and a small piece of the purple veil was torn off by me. The arrogance from before was swept away, replaced by complete disarray, truly comical.

But I couldn’t laugh. Nearly twenty wounds on my body were depleting my spiritual power. I knew she didn’t want to kill me; she hadn’t even drawn her sword. She was just playing with me. However, I wasn’t playing. The handkerchief was a gift from Lord Zeyu, and what he gave was faith. How could I let it go? Looking at the handkerchief in my hand, everything became blurry. The faint spiritual power in my body could no longer support my consciousness. Falling down, at this moment, it was a fatal temptation for me.

There was a hint of reluctance and pity in her eyes as she looked at me. Who was responsible for me ending up like this?


“Is everything you’re doing worth it?”

Worth it? It wasn’t a matter of worth or not. I had to carry out every order given by Lord Zeyu, protect everything belonging to Lord Zeyu, do my best, and give my all. I knew this wasn’t a matter of worth or not.

“What do you think you can gain? Is it worth risking so much for something that’s destined not to belong to you?”

“No, I—” It’s not like that. I never hoped for any miracles that didn’t belong to me. Before finishing my words, a pill-shaped object bounced into my mouth, and I instinctively swallowed it.

Zixiao’s anger on her face immediately eased, transforming back into that annoying arrogance and self-satisfaction. “I, Huan Yemo Zixiao, don’t bother arguing with petty people like you.”

I felt like someone had just confessed without being forced to.

She turned around, perhaps thinking she looked beautiful, and patted her sweaty hands—what I thought—and disappeared into the morning light. I, too, collapsed as planned, transforming into my true form, intimately embracing the earth, vanishing into the thick grass.

Sucking in the energy of the earth and sunlight, my wounds gradually healed in the circulating flow of spiritual energy, leaving only faint traces.

Indeed, I am a creature of magic, a low-level one at that, wandering on the edge of life and death. I destroy those lingering spirits, unable to move on due to their obsessions, allowing them to return to nature, to nothingness. I have never felt inferior because of this identity; the perceived evil of magical beings is just the irrational prejudice of the divine and human realms. I am a magical being, and I am not evil. Lord Zeyu is a magical being, and he is not evil either. Even the girl I met yesterday, despite mentioning her arrogant attitude, is not truly evil.

Though I am a magical being, my interactions with other magical beings are limited. I occasionally encounter them during missions, but magical beings are not social creatures. I am content with the quiet. Typically, I still enjoy grounding myself in vast grasslands, absorbing the sun and nutrients from the earth, much like when I was a little sprite. Magical beings are not as terrifying and wicked as the world perceives; they are, in fact, quite simple.

Unconsciously, my thoughts turned to Lord Zeyu again. Lord Zeyu is my lifelong aspiration—powerful, noble, and flawlessly divine. It was he who led me out of the misty Enchanted Forest, shrouded in fog all year round, taught me the art of spirit returning, and transformed me from an ignorant sprite into a true magical being. He entrusted me with tasks to help those pitiful spirits, leaving a trace of my existence in the mortal world. He gave me everything; he is my god.

In the depths of the forest, rays of sunlight pierced through the gaps in the trees, creating delicate silhouettes on the thick ground. Squinting my eyes to feel the flow of the forest’s breath—squirrels, birds, big trees, little grass—the sturdy branches of the trees curved just right, providing a stable surface for me to lie on. Lord Zeyu went to the human realm again, and I had no choice but to stop the meaningless follow. He was always busy shuttling between various realms, dealing with affairs unknown to me. From the sleeves of my green cloth, I pulled out a snow-white handkerchief, soft and smooth, washed clean with the pure spring water in the mountains, revealing its original elegance, just like its previous owner. Thinking of the movements of the girl named Zixiao when she received the handkerchief, lightly raising her hand, the gathered spiritual power slowly infused into it, revealing a bright red glow, displaying the hidden inscription “Blue Sea, Clear Sky.”


Turning over, sitting up straight: breathing in and out, circulating spiritual energy, swirling around in cycles—this was the method of spiritual energy cultivation. Was it really meaningful? But I had my own way of cultivating spiritual energy; did Lord Zeyu think I was too weak? Well, if it’s the method bestowed by Lord Zeyu, then I’ll practice it. Lord Zeyu naturally knows what’s best for me; it’s not self-importance but a complete lack of necessity for him to harm me. In relation to Lord Zeyu, perhaps I’m just like a tiny speck of dust, not worthy of his attention.

After a few months, the organization’s actions grew larger, and conflicts with the Shinigami became increasingly abrupt. Even simple tasks required careful consideration, and powerless lower-level magical beings like me could only shrink back at the main camp, relegated to taking on tasks as a recognition of ability. For me, it was just a form of hope.

Upon meeting again, warm rosy hues filled my eyes as Lord Zeyu’s figure gracefully and soothingly traced a perfect and beautiful arc in my line of sight. Quietly following, we crossed the hazel grove that provided us with shade and stepped onto the knee-high grassy field where Lord Zeyu had saved me that day. This was a high-risk area for missions, where those pitiful spirits unable to move on were tempted by the invitation of darkness, yet still couldn’t bring themselves to let go of the past, succumbing to their own descent. The demonic realm was not their destination; those who couldn’t find their proper place were destined to return to nature, disappearing into the vast expanse of the azure sky.

A sharp sensation emanated from the ankle. Looking down, I gripped the icy pale hand bone around my calf, which even had some nauseating orange-colored flesh pieces and wriggling maggots attached to it. Raising my head, Lord Zeyu’s graceful figure had vanished, leaving only the night wind tearing through the dry hay with a rustling sound. Was it my mission? Thanks to my profession, I didn’t let my body tremble at the sight of it.

Bending down to the wrist of the bone I held, I provided a point of support for it to emerge from the soil. As the pressure on my hand increased, the black fragmented skull gradually revealed itself. Worms snaked through the not completely decomposed brain matter, and as it tilted its head to look at me, yellow meat stains oozed out of the two giant black holes, where maggots wriggled. The decaying skeleton climbed up my thighs, leaving streaks of blood on my pale blue clothing. The unmistakable shivering sound of bone and cloth friction reached my eardrums, and it—it was my mission. Suppressing all the nausea, fear, and frenzy, I told myself it was a task entrusted by Lord Zeyu.

I revealed a smile, putting my arms around—the term for this body, I was unsure—its double arms and lifted it gently. I embraced it, and spiritual energy created a barrier that isolated us from the outside world. In this dreamlike softness, melting into every seam and breath, there were only you and me in the world within the barrier. It wouldn’t betray, couldn’t betray. Our world consisted only of you and me. Those malicious humans carrying the name of betrayal would eventually receive punishment for everything they had done, punishment from demons, punishment from hell.

Tearing apart the woman’s face, stripping off her alluring but foul exterior, making her endure the world’s viciousness, making the traitor kneel and lick my dirty toes, crying and begging for my forgiveness. And I, I would never forgive them, never. Leave them, live a good life, carry the little baby in my womb, find a warm place, as warm as this embrace, live quietly, grow old slowly, then watch my child grow up, get married, and smile. After that, find a warm place, as warm as this embrace, rest quietly, for eternity. Everything would disappear, then quietly return to nature, return to the world, return to that warm place, like this warm embrace. As if after a long and distant period, everything seemed to have faded away.

The dark autumn night was quiet on the wild plain, and the knee-high grass danced in the chaotic wind. Everything felt so real and familiar, yet insanely familiar. Perhaps something was forgotten, what exactly it was, no, maybe it didn’t matter anymore. Everything was no longer important; having gained everything, there was no need for further aspirations. Forget it, let the wind dance and surround, let it scatter everything.

“All is emptiness, ultimately returning to nothingness.” The warm wind rose, twirling towards the distant horizon, dissolving the skeleton in my arms, the yellow sand in my embrace, the sadness and despair in my embrace, and dispersing the world’s cold betrayal. Only warmth remained, leaving behind warmth.

The dark dreams and illusions withdrew from the stage, and the night’s radiance reflected on the silver dancing long hair approached me. Lord Zeyu stood quietly in front of me, looking at me with an expressionless face, and even in his silver eyes, I couldn’t see a trace of emotion. “You’ve progressed quickly,” a clean and refreshing tone accompanied the subtle movements of his cold lips, overflowing through a certain trembling heartstring.

“Yes.” Stupid and unsure how to respond to Lord Zeyu’s unexpected praise, I could only awkwardly reply. After all, I had only started mastering the illusions two days ago.

“The Shinigami have been very active lately. I may not be able to look after you anymore. Be careful on your own.” The face showed no change as he spoke those caring words, making me uncertain which one to believe was true.


“Yes.” The life and death of a small magical being like me shouldn’t be Lord Zeyu’s concern. Was there some hidden truth that I didn’t know about, or was I truly a different existence to Lord Zeyu? Heh, mocking myself in my heart, unfounded thoughts are always the guide to despair. I shouldn’t entertain such an unrealistic fantasy. I know your words are just a task that needs to be carried out. I know, I shouldn’t think. I don’t want to think. I shouldn’t think. But, Lord Zeyu, can you tell me the reason? I don’t want to, can you tell me?

“You are special, take care of yourself, give it your all.” It felt like my heart had stopped beating, afraid to hear a single word wrong. In the vacuum of the world, I couldn’t breathe. Was that a confession? Did it acknowledge my place in your heart? Was it a denial of my wishful thinking? Would there be a different outcome in the future? Could I enter your orbit? Could I get closer to see you? Was it real?

I was truly awake, everything vividly etched into my mind.

The faint goose-yellow moonlight spread across the open wilderness. The lush old tree standing alone in the center, and the chaotic dry grass drawing ripples in the flowing wind. The wind, accompanied by Lord Zeyu’s warm breath, rushed towards me. The silver arc swayed between us in our short distance. Insects chirped, the wind whispered, everything was peaceful and quiet, making me want to tremble. Something unknown filled my heart, wanting to explode, overflowing with a joy that couldn’t be expressed, sweeping through my poor nerves. Everything happy became so unfamiliar that it was terrifying.

“Yes.” The same response, but it seemed no longer as fearful and rigid, carrying an unknown meaning.

A tilt of 1° downward, and I knew that was a nod.

Still a distance between us, but it felt like no longer just observing from afar; it was getting closer. Perhaps one day, I could really get closer, really have that sacred feeling.

Knowing it was wishful thinking, knowing it might lead to despair, I watched myself jump into the black hole without hesitation just because you said, ‘You are special,’ special.

A crescent moon curved, revealing the ultimate beauty. Under the serene sky, a desperate and tragic scene unfolded. The black fire filled the sky, the Shinigami’s organization’s cleanup had gloriously entered its final act. Because we were magical beings, reasons weren’t questioned. There was only killing, clearing out. The night was even darker due to the raging hellfire, turning the wooden houses into “pi po—” sounds of scorched wood. Dirty, foul-smelling ash rained down, turning the entire headquarters into a terrifying demon slaughterhouse. The black fire engulfed the entire world, sweeping through everything in the sky and on the earth. We were trapped in the once solemn headquarters. The once obedient magical beings erupted into chaos when faced with death, even resorting to cannibalism. The blue-tinted barrier exuded the scent of death, and any magical creature that touched it exploded on the spot. Unable to escape and unable to survive inside, it was a relentless extermination.

Why? Why were we, as magical beings, destined to be senselessly wiped out? Why did the stingy light even deprive us of darkness? If we were considered a wrong existence, why did we exist at all? Were we wrong from the beginning? Even worse than undead? At least they once lived in the world so brightly. And us, were we a mistake from the start? The hissing sound of burning souls, the sharp screams tearing through the throat, the huge impact sound of soul explosions, mixed with the smell of decay and scorching, reflected the cold, arrogant, and hypocritical faces outside the barrier. Everything assaulted my spiritual body; I couldn’t control the uncontrollable shivering. The spiritual energy in my body was in chaos and uncontrollable, as if wanting to break free from the body’s constraints, away from all the dirty noise.

My body couldn’t move freely, pushed by the chaotic magical flow to the corner of the wall. I was indeed too weak; even the impact of emotional fluctuations was hard to calm. Going on like this, there was only a dead end. Fine, they never intended to give us a way out. Suddenly remembering Lord Zeyu’s words, “You are special, take care of yourself, give it your all.” Give it my all to protect myself? Was there still a way? Looking up at the sky, the thick layer of black and gray outside the blue barrier didn’t seem too distant.

Suddenly, a silver lightning bolt streaked down from the sky, striking directly on the azure barrier. The ground and walls began to shake violently, and a surprised smile spread across my face; it was Lord Zeyu. Lord Zeyu’s arrival brought a glimmer of hope for life. Several silver lightning bolts struck down, and the barrier was no longer intact. Waves of magical creatures attacked the weak spots, and soul explosions could still be heard, but the breaches in the barrier grew larger. Escaping was the current theme of the battlefield.

Unable to move freely, and no one would come to help. I struggled to circulate my breath, trying to slowly move the spiritual energy within my body, but there was no improvement, not even a slight one. Sweat seeped from my hair, forming droplets, and my forehead twitched, veins bulging, as spiritual energy flowed slowly and tediously within me. It gradually grew, as if drawing more power from the veins it passed through. However, my body still couldn’t move an inch.

When the spiritual energy circulated to two-thirds within my body, it had grown to 5 or 6 times its previous size, surprisingly overcoming the bottleneck. Helpless, I smiled bitterly. My body had normal reactions, but the magical beings in the headquarters had already disappeared, leaving only Lord Zeyu fighting against the group of Shinigami. So, I still didn’t dare to move, as any move from them could be enough to kill me several times.

I had never truly witnessed the strength of Lord Zeyu’s power, far exceeding my meager imagination. Silver blades, silver hair, a moon-white robe emitting a silver glow, fluttering freely and splattering blood. The outcome didn’t need to be discerned; looking at Lord Zeyu, just looking at him like this, I felt at ease and satisfied. Everything was enough; I didn’t need anything else.

The dark blue arc moved toward Lord Zeyu at a speed I couldn’t react to. Quickly bouncing away, I maintained a safe distance from the Shinigami. Five elderly men with white hair appeared among the Shinigami, and the Shinigami immediately orderly retreated behind the old men.

“Oh, their leader is actually you?” An elderly man with a wooden cane spoke. He was nearly bald, but his beard was unusually lush, completely covering his mouth.

“Grandpa Guqia.” A slight bow, a melodious and cold voice, forever aristocratic and icy.

“Ha ha ha ha, I’ve known since you were a child that you wouldn’t be a well-behaved master. How? Managing magical beings, opposing Grandpa Guqia?” The intense laughter seemed to shake his skeleton, but his voice remained loud.

“Not opposing, just doing things I like.” Clear and cold tone, forever declarative.

“Like? Has Zeyu nephew found something he likes?” Completely ignoring the group of Shinigami, the old man with the white cane chatted casually with Lord Zeyu.

“Clearing trash.”

“Ha ha ha ha, Zeyu nephew has become a janitor? What a good son Qiu Lou has raised!” 

“I handle my own matters.” Obvious cold light flashed in his eyes.

“Ha ha ha ha, handle your own matters, handle your own matters. I want to ask, what is considered trash?”

“Dirty souls.”

“What about magical beings?”

“Equally dirty.”

“Is that so?” Still a faint smile, a tone of plotting and negotiating. “Then you don’t need to show up. Let the magical beings be exterminated by us, and we’ll help you sweep away the magical beings. Isn’t that in line with your intentions? Without any evidence of you in the magical realm, you naturally won’t come back to save those dirty things, right?”

“I’m afraid you might harm what I left in the magical realm.”

“Maybe we were too reckless.” There was even an apologetic tone in his words. “Zeyu nephew, you see things too absolutely. Those lost souls may no longer be clean, but they are not necessarily dirty. The distinction between the magical realm, the human realm, and the divine realm is just a limit on the level of the soul. Those lost souls did not choose the magical realm, which means they belong to the human realm. You don’t have the right to deprive them of the right to reincarnate.”

“No, they—”

“No, you—You’re talking nonsense, you’re talking nonsense!” Unable to accept it, it wasn’t true, all fake, all fake. They were lying to me. Lord Zeyu said they couldn’t be reincarnated; they only had pain in the world. I was helping them transcend. We were helping them. I was helping them.

“What are you still doing here?”

“Tell me they’re talking nonsense, it’s all fake, right? They can’t be reincarnated, we’re just helping them escape from suffering, right? Tell me what you said is true.”

“Come here, don’t retreat.” Unconsciously, when facing Lord Zeyu approaching, I took a step back, just didn’t dare to get closer, afraid of discovering unwanted answers.

“You tell me, tell me! What you said is true, I didn’t harm them, I’m just helping them, right?” Unable to control the retreat, don’t hear what I don’t want to hear, I know Lord Zeyu won’t lie to me.

“Are you deceiving people?” A playful and mocking tone, “It’s really lacking in style.”

“Shut up!” Turning around, “You come here.”

It turned out to be true. I killed them. I sent those poor and pathetic lost souls to eternal destruction with my own hands. It’s me, it’s me, I’m filthy, I’m dirtier than them, dirtier than those rotting corpses. My hands buried so many unjust souls. They would hate me. No, they were gone, non-existent, completely disappeared, and even the chance to hate me disappeared with them. It’s me, it’s all me. Chaos once again swept through my body. Spiritual energy, like a blade, cut through my skin, carrying my light green blood, flying towards the sky.

Only death can atone for sins.

The spiritual energy was suppressed, and external forces attempted to compress them back into my body, but still failed. The compressed spiritual energy gathered around me, cutting my skin even more.

Finally, Lord Zeyu helplessly gave up, picked me up with one hand, and pulled out the soul chain emitted by the old man.

“Zeyu, come back with me. You’ve been wrong too many times.”

“Humph, wrong? Who do you think you’re talking to? Go with you? Depending on you?” With a swing of his wide sleeves, a violent wind blew.

“Eat it.”

“I won’t eat it!” Using all my strength to push away the hand trying to stuff medicine into my mouth.

“Do you want to die? What are you being stubborn about?” Forever declarative tone, unchanged by anything.

“Don’t touch me! I’m dirty!” Not only dirty but also disgusting and venomous.

“What are you thinking?” The icy voice carried the chill of a freezing winter, piercing into the bones.

“Ha~~~ Are they dirty?” What is dirty? “Are they dirty? At least they didn’t harm others. Don’t you think we, who casually destroy lives and even souls, are dirtier than them? We are the dirty ones, dirtier than them, a hundred times dirtier, ten thousand times dirtier.” A hoarse and desperate roar, exhausting all strength, almost on the verge of collapse.

Perhaps frightened by my momentum, Lord Zeyu was momentarily unable to speak.

With a flicker in his eyes, Lord Zeyu suddenly picked me up, leaped quickly, and a deep blue arc flew towards us. At that moment, I was struggling hysterically with blood rushing to my head. Unexpectedly, I actually managed to break free from Lord Zeyu’s grasp and fell straight to the ground. In the split second before the impact engulfed my consciousness, I only saw Lord Zeyu’s face staring at me in shock and dismay, as if it were right in front of me, just like the perfect face it used to be. There was also his hand covered in silver blood, hanging desolately in the air, pointing in my direction.

“Why did you want to kill me?” A blurry mass of flesh leaned towards me. “Why hurt me?” A blood-stained little hand reached out to me. “Isn’t everything I’ve endured enough?” Sharp nails scratched her face covered with sores. “How can you spare me? Spare me?” Gray and decaying bones broke through the ground, trying to pull me down. “I want to leave, forget all this. Why won’t you give me a chance?” A head full of maggots circled around me. “I want a future, give me a future—”

Suddenly, I opened my eyes, drenched in intense sweat, and the voice from the dream remained vivid, as if it wanted to tear my soul apart. “Are you awake?” Blank walls, dim room, unfamiliar smell. “Where is this?” Struggling to sit up, I understood where I was when I saw the person sitting at the table—the realm of the Shinigami, the territory of the Shinigami. “How did I end up here?”

“I brought you back. Don’t you remember?” It was the powerful old man with the white beard.

How could I not remember? I just thought I would be soul-destroyed by a blow. “Where’s Lord Zeyu? Did he escape?”

“Heh heh heh heh—what a child full of affection! Didn’t you shake him off? Heh heh heh heh!” The old man’s eyes almost squinted as he laughed. “That child, I’ve handed him over to his father. Better worry about yourself, little one.”

Me? What do I have to worry about?

“Your situation is not a piece of cake. Soul fracture from the inside out, do you really want to seek death? Ah~~~ Children these days don’t cherish life at all.”

“Cherish life? Shouldn’t I be the one to die?” Those souls that I erased, the guilt of causing their disappearance, what right do I have to cherish my own life?

“Heh heh heh heh—are you feeling guilty?” Completely unaffected by my concealed emotions, the old man still laughed carefreely.

“Is guilt useful?”

“Hehe, then is death useful?”

Death is not useful; death cannot bring back everything I harmed.

“Silly child—only by living can you atone!” 

Living? Atonement? How to atone? Can those lost souls be recovered?

“All that has passed is irretrievable. You can only face the future and atone with the future.”

Atone with the future?

“Child, do you want to atone?”

“I do.” If there’s a chance to atone, why seek death?

“Heh heh heh heh—” The old man laughed strangely again. “Well, then, follow me.”

“Are you in pain? Where does your pain come from? Do you remember? Remember? Is it from that golden sea of flowers? Those golden sunflowers, facing the sky, gazing at their dreams. So, do you remember the youth in that sea of flowers? That clean, sunny, and brilliantly smiling youth, the one who walked with you through the entire flower field. Do you remember?” The warm and gentle warmth surrounded the palm, bringing back the fragmented and chaotic body to the depths of her memory. “Do you remember? You were a good little girl, shyly smiling at him. Your azure dress was so dazzling in the golden sea of flowers that it attracted everyone’s attention, including his, that clean young boy. You planted sunflowers together, picked them together, played by the stream together. He picked the largest sunflower in the entire garden, expressing his green admiration for you. Do you remember those beautiful moments?”

Half kneeling on this dirty land, the fragmented body in my arms gradually calmed down, and a smile from the heart appeared at the cracked corners of the mouth. ‘Yes, everything was so beautiful, beautiful enough to erase all the sorrows. Just like this, leave with a smile.’

“All living beings, guide them on the right path. Goodbye, beautiful girl.” The dormant soul quietly bound to the soul-carrying bead on my wrist, and the green bead reflected a peaceful light under the moonlight. Next, all that needed to be done was to send her back to the cycle of reincarnation.

Humans, always filled with various emotions: love, hatred, annoyance, joy, the cycle of life and death, gain and loss. They experience everything in their brief lives that I cannot obtain, embracing fortune while also accepting misfortune, gaining while also destined to lose. That flower field was the place that bore the most brilliant moments of her life, but it was also the place where she experienced the most tragic death and buried her maimed body. The clean boy who gave her the most brilliant and beautiful love was also the terrible demon who tormented her life and even left her body unburied. Reality is always cruel, providing both sides, and we have to endure both.

A black-robed gown with white borders, once the attire I feared the most, unexpectedly became something I got used to one day.

A gentle smile, gazing upwards.

Looking at the new moon, still floating in the clouds, unchanging for thousands of years.

It’s time to go back.

The Flower Field Highway swayed with the movement of a small car, and the flashing car lights revealed the face I had just seen. That face from the girl’s memory, only now it was filled with exhaustion and weariness, with bloodshot eyes, and the forehead emitted a black glow, a sign of impending death. Sensing the aura, I looked towards the empty space on the other side of the flower field, nodded slightly as a greeting to a companion, the endless cycle of cause and effect, ultimately facing retribution.

Looking at the new moon, after a hundred years, will my karma and my entanglements also have an understanding?

In the vast expanse of the world, with silver hair fluttering and long sleeves billowing in the wind, that familiar figure, never unfamiliar, walked towards me.

In those silver eyes untainted by worldly affairs, I saw warmth.

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Mily [Translator]

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