I heard that I was born on a heavily snowing day.
Due to the sheer coldness of the weather, my mother didn’t survive that winter.
And because I was born prematurely, without my mother’s milk to nourish me, I was sickly.
The first time I saw her was when I followed my father to Medicine Granny’s place. The Medicine Granny that had always been called a godly physician by the people of jianghu.
She was squatting in Medicine Granny’s yard. I saw her the moment I entered. She was fair and tender. Though she wore clothes of coarse linen, it couldn’t hide her vivaciousness.
Father and Medicine Granny entered the house to discuss while I stood in the yard.
She’d been squatting ever since I entered. I was curious as to what she was looking at, so I slowly made my way over.
“What’re you looking at?” At the time I was 8 years old. I was pretty tall for my age, so I blocked out the light by standing in front of her.
She lifted her head and puffed out her cheeks, huffily shoving me away. “What’re you doing?! You’re stepping on my bug!”
I lowered my head. How was that a bug?! It was clearly a scorpion that was preparing to sting me!
“Ah!” I shouted and jerked back, my back drenched in cold sweat.
Having heard the commotion from inside the house, Medicine Granny came rushing out and pulled her by the ear. “Damn girl! This is a guest! Have you been scaring people again? Put that little fellow of yours away right now! Don’t be scaring this little brother.”
She had an aggrieved expression as she spoke, “I wasn’t bullying him.”
Although Medicine Granny appeared angry, she didn’t use that much force. My father later came out and smoothed things over by saying that kids were just kids.
After they entered the house, the little girl immediately got to her feet. She lifted her head and walked past me, stomping on my feet on the way.
I was still frozen from the previous shock, so this caused me to nearly yelp in pain. At the time, I was wondering why this girl was so detestable.
But I didn’t realise that her meanness wouldn’t stop there.
My father let me stay at Medicine Granny’s to nurse my body. And that was the start of my nightmare.
Finding snakes in my sheets when I was about to go to bed, getting stung by scorpions when I was wearing my shoes, finding insects in my meals when I was eating…
Stuff like these happened too often to count.
I found out later on that none of these critters were poisonous—I would’ve been fine even if I had been bitten.
Perhaps having noticed that I’d discovered this, she didn’t use these methods anymore, instead finding other ways to prank me.
One day, another boy around my age was sent to Medicine Granny.
Ever since he came, I found that her focus was no longer on me. She had instead switched to tormenting that other boy.
Back then, I didn’t understand how she could be so nasty.
It was only after a long, long time that I remembered how she suddenly became nice to me when I was about to leave, as if she couldn’t wait for me to go.
She probably thought I was planning on fighting her for Medicine Granny’s love.
She was just 5 back then, the time when kids are most reliant on adults, so it’s normal if she had thought that way.
We didn’t see each other again for 7 years.
While I was away from her, I’d occasionally remember how she pranked me. I always thought that I detested her. She’d bullied me, after all.
When I heard that Medicine Granny had passed away, that was around the time where I led the Demon Sect to escape from our old location.
As the Young Master of the Demon Sect, I had to shoulder the burden of supporting it. I couldn’t just leave then, so I don’t know what she had experienced during that period.
When we finally met again, it was at Jadewater Village.
Oh, that’s not entirely true. I saw her a few times before then, but it seemed like she didn’t recognise me, as if I had been just another stranger to her.
I didn’t know why, but I lost my temper and we fought. Afterwards, I realised that I must’ve been upset because she didn’t remember me.
When I noticed that she wanted to kill me, I was very angry, so I became more unpleasant towards her.
I’d heard some of the rumours about her, but I never believed them. She wasn’t that kind of person.
No one else could tolerate her, so I gave her a safe harbour to return to. That was the only thing I could do for her.
On the trip to Mt. Di, it was completely out of my expectations that she would follow along.
In the end, I was even rescued by her.
My father once said that those things would bring the Demon Sect misfortune. He’d been planning to destroy them back then, but the Demon Sect came under attack before he could do so.
I hadn’t been planning to survive the moment I entered Mt. Di. I didn’t know whether the feeling I felt when I saw the sun again was ecstasy or something else.
I only knew that I liked her.
But it seemed that she didn’t like me.
No matter what I did, she always looked very apathetic.
I thought that it must’ve been because I was too weak, so I chose to go into seclusion to break through the Nether Mantra’s ninth level.
If I succeeded, there’d be no one in all of jianghu who could defeat me.
If I failed…
Then I didn’t have any qualification to stand by her side.
She was so strong, so dazzling.
Before I went into seclusion, I told her that I’d marry her if I came out.
I didn’t even dare to look at her expression back then.
The things I gave her were her old toys which I’d snuck away from Medicine Granny’s place.
But I think she probably doesn’t remember them, because she looked confused when she saw them again.
It’d be lying to say I wasn’t disappointed.
Those memories clearly belonged to the two of us, yet I was the only one who remembered.
To make myself feel better, I comforted myself, thinking that she was too young back then, so it was normal for her to forget.
Breaking through the Nether Mantra wasn’t smooth sailing—I nearly failed several times. But every time, I remembered what I said to her, so I gritted my teeth and persevered.
In the end, I succeeded.
I saw her waiting outside when I left the chamber. But before I could feel happy, she wanted to take my blood.
I knew in my heart that she didn’t like me, but I still couldn’t help but lose my temper.
She wasn’t waiting outside because she was worried about me, but because she wanted my blood.
I guessed it had something to do with her sword, but I didn’t give it to her. I didn’t know whether she’d leave once I did. So I didn’t dare to give her any.
Even if she didn’t like me, I still wanted her to be around.
When I learned that she had someone she liked, I felt complicated.
I had been missing for the greater part of her life. In the end, I wasn’t able to become her most important person.
When she left the Demon Sect, I went to look for her with great fanfare. But I knew…that even if I found her, she still wouldn’t like me.
I don’t know why I was so certain either. An instinct perhaps.
Although the Nether Mantra is strong, it shortens the lifespans of those who practise it. Though I wasn’t really afraid of death, since I couldn’t have the person I liked. I just feared that she’d suffer by herself.
So I asked Ting Feng to invite her back. I’ve always known where she’s been.
I’m very happy that I could see her again before I die.
My only regret is that I was never a part of the most bloody periods of her life, that I didn’t give her someone to rely on when she needed it most, that I never held any weight in her heart.
Wu Zheng, I like you.