Amidst the intense blizzard, Chengfeng and Yuehan were both turning blue from the cold, trembling at their hands and feet.
Ordinarily, Chengfeng would not be afraid of such wind and cold at all. He could rely on his internal strength he had cultivated since childhood, and the immortal power in his body.
Similarly, as a thousand-faced demon, Yuehan would also have been unfazed by the cold.
But as it stood, the both of them were seriously injured after the intense happenings in the grotto of the mines and the bloody battle with a Grand Uncle from their own Hidden Sword Court. The two of them were lucky enough to have escaped with their lives, but their strength had now been greatly reduced.
If it weren’t for the heavy snowfall, they would not have endured the intense pain to rush home. Rather, they would have chosen to rest outside for a bit to regain some strength.
The two of them were extremely exhausted now. Once they entered the house and shut the door, shutting out the wind and snow, they collapsed in the room. Chengfeng fell straight down onto the floor, gasping for air as he laid on the ground. Yuehan sat down softly while leaning against the door.
Their bodies now felt heavy, every bone in their body was sore and creaking, and every muscle was sore and felt like they would burst. They did not even have the strength to lift one finger.
“T-this...h-has definitely...been m-my most...tiring day.” Chengfeng said weakly, “I...I need a moment to sleep. Don’t interrupt me, I...I can’t...too tired…”
Chengfeng could feel his eyelids get heavier as they drooped slowly over his eyes, but he heard Yuehan call to him, “Young master, you mustn't sleep! If you must then you have to get in bed first!!”
“Don’t...don’t disturb me and let me sleep for a while, I’m too tired!” Chengfeng said as his eyes lowered. His body was at its limit, and he began entering a state of self-recovery.
Right as he finished speaking, he began snoring. He had already fallen into a deep sleep.
Yuehan smiled bitterly at Chengfeng who was snoring. She had to endure the severe pain and extreme fatigue. She gritted her teeth and leaned back against the door, pulling herself to her feet.
She knew during this time, Chengfeng would enter into a deep hibernation. He wouldn’t be aware even if a blade was stuck into him, nor would he be bothered by the lightning outside.
At this moment, the immortal qi within Chengfeng’s body was now activated to repair and heal the wounds that had been inflicted on him. However, because he had collapsed on top of the cold hard floor, the freezing temperature of his surroundings would enter his body as it was healing. This would mean that the freezing temperatures would easily be brought into his body, destroying and complicating his cultivation techniques.
Yuehan struggled to Chengfeng’s side.
Gritting her teeth, she dragged him to the repaired bed, moving him onto the bed little by little. After pushing him onto the bed, she panted as she leaned against the side of the bed.
Yuehan tilted her head and glanced at Chengfeng who was out cold. Although she was extremely tired, a faint smile formed across her lips.
After awhile, there was a whirring sound outside the door. This sound reminded Yuehan, and she signed a mudra with her hand, pointing to the unlit stove, lighting it.
For a while, there was at last light in this dark, cold, and silent room. The swaying candlelight brought a homey warmth to those within.
The warm fire shining on Su Yuehan's face outlined her pretty face, half of her cheek was in the warm light, with a gentle and peaceful smile, it gave a peaceful and gratifying feeling. But the other half of her face was hidden deep in the shadows, where there were still corners that could not be illuminated by the light, radiating darkness and gloom.
Looking at Chengfeng’s face, Yuehan felt a warm and fuzzy feeling in her heart. It felt like her lost heart was coming back to her.
Yuehan recalled something her mother told her when she was very young - when flesh starts to grow back on your wound, it would feel itchy and fuzzy, just like this.
Yuehan looked at Chengfeng blankly, every small memory of him coursing through her mind. However, as she reminisced, older memories started to resurface as well.
As someone who had been roaming the world for so many years, she herself could not recall how many names and identities she has sifted through, and the roles she played during those times. It was because of this she was dubbed the “Thousand-Faced Demon” by the rest of the world.
But this is only what the world remembers her by. But no one knows, her real title is the “Thousand-Faced Heartless Demon”.
When you have played too many roles, you will eventually lose your ‘self’, and when you have experienced all the vicissitudes of the world, you will lose all sincerity.
Yuehan is a heartless demon. Ever since she had experienced betrayal, she no longer believed that anyone in this world would lay down their life for a demon, and so she set a curse on herself. It was precisely because of this curse that she lost her heart forever, but gained the ability to change her appearance at will and to live forever.
Yuehan was determined to be a demon that subverted all living things. She wanted to take revenge against all the cold-hearted people in the world.
But, no matter how deep the hatred, it will eventually fade in time. In the hundreds of years that Yuehan has experienced, she realised that she was now extremely exhausted. Just like her empty heart, she could no longer feel love nor hate.
Yuehan was filled with regret, she regretted placing such a curse on herself that her heart would never again be complete! She wanted to live a normal life, she was tired.
But, it was all too late.
She had too much blood on her hands, though she believed those she killed were deserving of death, it would not make the blood she shed any lesser. What she did had already been carved in stone, and the blood on her hands was tainted with hatred.
She could neither recover the pure and innocent heart she once had, nor could she dispel the grudges of this bloody hatred!
Yuehan couldn’t imagine, when the sun rises and when she could no longer hide her true identity, how would she face the man that made her heart grow once more?
Would he betray her too? Would he leave her? Would he die a painful death right in front of her for all the bad deeds she had done?
None of these questions had an answer that Yuehan could bear.
Thinking of this, Yuehan helplessly teared up, the teardrops falling like broken pearls, the pain in her heart overcame the fuzziness she felt earlier like her heart was stabbed.
She stretched out her hand and gently stroked Chengfeng’s cheek, feeling the rough shape of his face and his slightly shaved beard and stubble.
Instead of him eventually betraying her or him leaving her one day, and instead of the chances for him to die because of her one day.
It would have been better to leave while it was still early, for either of their sakes.
The bonfire in the house was burning, the light of the fire warmed Chengfeng's body, but gradually cooled Yuehan's heart.
As she gazed upon the snow that was falling gently from the door, she thought to herself, ‘This is a cold day to part. Some people may be destined to leave each other, that someone and their bright smile; maybe we are destined to never see each other again.’
Yuehan struggled to her feet as she repeated to herself in her heart, “Just leave like this, this is for the best, for the sake of the both of us.”
Maybe, you are in each others’ hearts, but if you stay with him, it will be to his detriment, because he is too weak, and he can neither protect himself nor you. Needless to say, he still has to protect his family.
Yuehan wiped her tears, and she carefully covered Chengfeng with the quilt she had brought from his home, tucking him in. She helped him take off his boots, except for his dirty jacket.
When she was about to leave, she gazed at Chengfeng longingly, as if her feet were growing roots. She greedily watched his face that once made her angry, made her laugh wildly, and made her heartbeat, as if to imprint him deeply in the deepest part of her mind.
Hang on, wait, he’s still recovering right now. I’ll leave later, and help treat his wounds with my spells for now.
Yuehan watched as countless small grasses in the house wandered into Chengfeng’s body like a snake while she tried to comfort and lie to herself.
The same deep starry arch, but tonight would never last. For whom is this midnight vigil in winds and dews?
[TL note: This is a sentence from an old chinese poem 似此星辰非昨夜，为谁风雪立中宵, which means that today would be different from yesterday, why do I stay for someone that would bring me sorrow?]
Just like that, she stood there until dawn. Until the wind and the snow outside had stopped and the sound of birds singing came. Like returning from a dream, Yuehan woke up. She noticed the surrounding grass had turned into withered black ash. Chengfeng’s cheeks were ruddy and he was breathing steadily, apparently completely fine.
Yuehan smiled sadly, she leaned in and kissed Chengfeng on the lips gently, then she turned around, opened the door, and stepped into the vast snowy white world alone.
In this snow-white world, a petite figure stepped out of the house, standing alone.