Chapter 822 – Dream Butterfly
“Huh?” Li Qingshan was taken aback. Suddenly, he understood what she meant by “this world is a dream”. He no longer cared if he offended her anymore. “I think you’re actually mad!”
“When you were in your dream, who didn’t treat you as a madman? Tell me, are you mad?”
The Clam King of Mirage Sea grabbed Li Qingshan by the collar and roared at him furiously. Fear suddenly overcame her, and she looked around frantically. She raised her hand and blocked his mouth, lowering her voice. “Tell me, is anyone looking at us right now? If my performance is subpar, will I be killed?”
Li Qingshan instinctively looked around. Abruptly, he came to his senses and pushed her away. “Piss off. If you’re mad, then you’re mad. Don’t pass it onto me!”
“Tell me, what should I do!?” The Clam King of Mirage Sea bellowed out. She gripped the Divine Talisman of Great Creation firmly, and with a crack, it became fractured. Blood oozed in.
“I don’t know!” Li Qingshan bellowed back at her.
“Do you really think just saying you don’t know is enough? You fool!” the Clam King of Mirage Sea called out even more loudly.
“Whether I’m foolish or clever, I follow my own heart. If I will wake up from this dream one day, why must I worry? If this is a dream I can never wake up from, then there’s even less for me to worry about.”
Li Qingshan personally believed he was not a particularly clever person, so if there were any questions he could not think through, he would just stop thinking about them.
“I see… Fools really do have it easier!” The Clam King of Mirage Sea was taken aback, sighing deeply with a wry smile.
“You better watch your mouth, or I’ll give you a beating!” Li Qingshan was furious.
“It’s not like you can defeat me!” the Clam King of Mirage Sea said in contempt.
“Alright, you’ve said what you needed to say. Can we go now?” Li Qingshan felt powerless.
“I’ve thought about it for several thousand years, but I still can’t think it through…” The Clam King of Mirage Sea gazed at the sky blankly. She closed her eyes sombrely and only opened them again after quite a while. She said, “So be it!” She seemed like a burden had been lifted from her shoulders.
At that moment, the world began to shake!
The haze that enveloped the entire city as far as the eyes could see dispersed. The skyscrapers below collapsed, and the crowds shrieked in terror, running around like headless flies as if the world was ending.
A skyscraper a hundred storeys tall collapsed. Many people gazed at the looming shadow and blanked out, forgetting to run.
However, in the moment the skyscraper struck the ground, it silently dispersed as countless colourful bubbles.
Whether it was the steel and concrete or the crowds and vegetation, they all turned into bubbles that surged into the air. In the blink of an eye, only the Clam building remained in the entire city, standing there alone.
From everywhere, bubbles floated and filled the entire world, floating to great heights before all bursting.
The illusion was collapsing…
The blueness of the sky twisted, rippling with colour. Li Qingshan suddenly came to an understanding. They resided in a huge bubble, and outside the bubble, thunder rumbled in the distance.
Li Qingshan was surprised, exchanging glances with Xiao An. “Don’t tell me this is…”
“One last question, Li Qingshan.” The Clam King of Mirage Sea’s figure gradually faded. She asked, “Let me ask you, am I real?”
“I don’t know,” Li Qingshan said calmly. He really found it rather difficult to understand the Clam King of Mirage Sea. The rumbling of thunder drew closer and closer, possessing the terrifying aura that could crush and destroy everything. This was without a doubt the fourth heavenly tribulation!
Her wondering that had lasted several thousand years might have all been for nothing, but even if she could not find the answer, she could always let go of the question.
She began to face the tribulation, either ascending to a new world or being reduced to ash by the tribulation lightning. This was the moment of reckoning.
“Alright then! Remember my name at least. Remember it like how you remember Xiao An and that ox. You might treat me as a stranger, but I will still treat you as an old friend,” the Clam King of Mirage Sea said pleadingly. Her figure became fainter and fainter, just like all the bubbles behind her.
“I will.” Li Qingshan realised something and nodded seriously.
The Clam King of Mirage Sea tossed the Divine Talisman of Great Creation back at him. “Shen Mengdie.”
The moment she said those two words, all the bubbles burst. Every single bursting seemed to repeat the two words, deeply embedding it in his heart.
She smiled and burst just like the bubbles. From the riotous array of colours, a butterfly that Li Qingshan had once seen in the dark dream emerged, dancing with an exuberant blend of colours and circling around Li Qingshan before flying towards the sky.
All the colour from the burst bubbles gathered on the butterfly, forming a long tail and bursting through the largest bubble of them all, the one called the Mirage sea.
The illusions collapsed and disappeared…
The scorching lighting filled the surroundings, but it was still unable to drown out the streak of magnificent colour.
Li Qingshan and Xiao An flew off into the distance, only to see the butterfly fluttering around gracefully in the lightning, as light as a dream. It seemed extremely frail, but when each bolt of tribulation lightning landed on her, she would surge with riotous colour and dye the lightning with the colours of the rainbow.
The butterfly constantly fluttered upwards, and the entire sky was dyed with a dream-like colour by her as if she was constantly asking, Am I real? Am I real?
Across the nine provinces, numerous figures all stopped what they were doing, gazing off in the direction of the South sea. Their faces were all different, some jealous, some in thought, and some wary.
The Great Banyan Tree King thought, He actually ascended. Has he finally solved question that kid Si left for him? Fortunately, the two of them are fine. Originally, I thought that they were my fate, but I didn’t think they’d free him first, or should I say her?
The King of Southern Yue thought, Even among the Seventh-two Daemon Kings of the past, the Clam King of Mirage Sea was among the strongest of the strongest. The emperor of Xia came up with a scheme and trapped him in the Mirage sea, preventing him from ascending for all this time. He’s finally ascended now, but it probably won’t affect the general situation.
The master of the sword pavilion sighed. The fourth heavenly tribulation truly is powerful. Even from so far away, it leaves me in awe. I wonder when I can take that step as well.
Quite a while later, when the final rumble of thunder echoed off into the distance, the silver moon hung quietly over the sea.
Li Qingshan’s mind was still fixated on the colourful sky, gazing at it for all this time. He sighed, perhaps over the might of the world, or perhaps over her. It might have been both too.
“She succeeded,” Xiao An said calmly.
Li Qingshan was about to speak when a familiar voice rang out from beside him. “I’ve flown so high!” He suddenly looked over, only to see the Clam King of Serene Sea, Shen Mengdie, shielding her eyes and gazing into the horizon as if this had nothing to do with her.
Even Xiao An who never reacted to anything was stunned.
Li Qingshan glanced at the sky before looking back at her. He said in surprise, “Didn’t you…”
“What a fool! The one that ascended was clearly a butterfly. I’m known as the Clam King of Serene Sea. Do you really think a clam and a butterfly are the same thing?” Shen Mengdie said in disdain.
“Why aren’t you-”
“We live in a dream. Who knows how it’ll be like after you ascend. They say there are the six realms of saṃsāra, but it might just be one big lie. What if that guy having the dream doesn’t dream of a world beyond the nine provinces? That would be a dreamless region of nothingness, so wouldn’t I be done for? How can I take a risk like that!?”
Shen Mengdie explained seriously. Suddenly, she frowned. “No, I can’t say that. That’s far too disrespectful!” She knelt down at the sky and said with utter devotion, “Great lord of the dream, I am your loyal servant. Please forgive me for my rudeness. You trash, idiot, fool, why don’t you finish me off if you have the balls?”
After saying that, she looked around extremely cautiously, except the sea breeze was steady and the moonlight was gentle. Nothing happened at all.
Her lips curled into a complacent smile. Her smile gradually grew wider, until it turned into hysterical laughter. She leapt up and waved her hands about as she leapt and skipped across the water surface. “Hahahahahaha! I’m the smartest! I’m the strongest! You’re all big fools!”
Li Qingshan had finally confirmed one fact. She really was crazy!
However, he was uncertain whether what he saw right now was just an image she had left behind, or perhaps the butterfly that had flown away had always been a dream of hers.
Regardless, she had indeed undergone the fourth heavenly tribulation, and she was no longer bound by the Mirage sea. Just the thought of a “super madman” like her was terrifying.
After having her fun, Shen Mengdie arrived before Li Qingshan again. She tread across the waves, refined and serene, as beautiful as a dream, which made it difficult for anyone to imagine how she was like when she was crazy. She said, “I’m going.”
“Where to?” Li Qingshan asked instinctively, but he regretted it the moment he asked it. What did it have to do with him?
“The Dragon province. I still have a debt to settle,” Shen Mengdie revealed a chilling, sunken smile, but before Li Qingshan could say anything, her figure bursted like a bubble and vanished. She only left behind a final statement, echoing through the sea, the moon, and his heart.
Don’t forget about me.