The moon hung high in the sky as everyone finally began to wake up one by one.

Bian Qingxuan sat on a rock, watching the still-sleeping Shi Luoyi with an inscrutable expression. Her gaze swept across Luoyi's flushed cheeks then landed on her rosy lips, and her eyes turned cold.

Bian Qingxuan was in a terrible mood, wearing a scowl that seemed to be directed at everyone.

Shi Luoyi was the last to wake up. She had a splitting headache and a dazed expression. Han Shu supported her, checked her pulse, and said soothingly, "It's okay now."

Shi Luoyi sat dazedly in place for a while, only then realizing that this wasn't a dream. They hadn't been killed by the Untransformed Toad, but instead, they had been saved.

Han Shu couldn't explain what had happened. "Perhaps it was already dead at that time, and the thin mist was the shattering illusion sending us out."

After saying this, Han Shu frowned, glancing at Bian Qingxuan and then at Bian Lingyu. Although her cultivation was far from matching her peers, Shi Huan and the head of the Hengwu Sect, she wasn't a dull person. She always felt that there was something strange about the Bian siblings.

Bian Qingxuan's pills that didn't match her cultivation, Bian Lingyu's boldness in coming to Qingshui Village to exterminate demons, and the Untransformed Toad being mysteriously defeated... all of it made her wary.

Despite Han Shu's explanation about the mist being an illusion breaking apart, Shi Luoyi felt otherwise.

In front of them were green hills and clear waters, the air was fresh, and despite the loss of the dragon vein, Qingshui Village and Cangshan Village still retained their original landscapes.

Shi Luoyi noticed something in her arms. Looking down, she found it was a colorful butterfly kite.

The exquisitely beautiful paper kite lay intact in her palm.

Shi Luoyi was stunned, and suddenly remembered that when she was young, Jiang Yan was pinned to the ground by the elders of his sect and forced to kowtow to her, but he stubbornly refused to apologize. Before leaving with his head full of blood, he did not forget to ask her with a smile.

"Next time I see you, shall I bring you the finished paper kite?"

Of course, Shi Luoyi never saw him again, nor received his paper kite. Shi Luoyi looked back at Qingshui Village, which had been razed to the ground, with nothing left.

Snowflakes melted into water, flowing into the pond. It was the resting place of her first childhood friend.

He would never come back, but he left her a paper kite.

She gazed at the butterfly kite for a long time before finally putting it in her Qiankun bag.

In her past life, her world was black and white, but now she realized that the world wasn't just about right and wrong. Some things linger between right and wrong, becoming more and more mottled over time.

After putting away the paper kite, she still felt a bit groggy, so she planned to go wash her face in the stream.

Bian Qingxuan slid down from the high rock and landed beside Bian Lingyu. Seeing him watch Shi Luoyi put away the kite, she maliciously sneered, "What? Regretting not destroying what Jiang Yan left for her?"

Bian Lingyu shot her a cold glance but remained silent.

Although Bian Qingxuan was forced to be wrapped in the lotus leaf at the time, she wasn't completely unconscious. Her spiritual consciousness was stronger than the others, so she was aware of roughly what was happening.

Bian Qingxuan thought that Bian Lingyu would throw away the paper kite. But she didn't expect that when the little peacock hugged the kite, he let her hold onto it just because she felt aggrieved.

She hated how Bian Lingyu would suppress himself and give in to Shi Luoyi. He had never treated her like that. But what bothered her even more was that her cultivation was now starting to weaken.

Just look at Xue An and some of the disciples, they were already showing signs of breaking free from her control.

Bian Qingxuan felt afraid. She had sacrificed so much to gain her current power, she would rather die than lose it easily.

She anxiously looked towards Wei Changyuan, hoping he wouldn't disappoint her.

Nowadays, she was constantly worried about two things: Why hadn't Shi Luoyi developed a heart demon and broken down yet? And how long does Bian Lingyu have to persist before giving up.

She comforted herself, thinking that once Wei Changyuan went to break off the engagement, Shi Luoyi would lose her last remaining family member and her inner demons would surely resurface, driving her to madness, right?

Shi Luoyi looked at her own reflection in the stream under the moonlight and hesitantly touched her face.

Earlier, her headache was too severe for her to notice the odd marks on her face, but now under the clear moonlight, she saw the obvious marks on her skin.

Her fair complexion made the faint finger marks on her cheeks, and the slightly reddened area around her lips, stand out.

Although it didn't hurt, it looked too strange.

She couldn't help but wonder, what had happened during the time she was unconscious? Did Jiang Yan hate her so much that he had to slap her even before he died?

But the paper kite in her arms told her it wasn't like that.

Jiang Yan was dead, so she might never know the answer. As the moonlight gently spilled over her, Shi Luoyi finally felt a sense of relief.

Han Shu had really survived.

Didn't this mean that Huixiang could also change her fate, and she herself could live well too?

The next day, everyone set off to return. After several days of rushing on the road, they finally arrived at Hengwu Sect at dusk.

The emergence of the Untransformed Toad was a major event, so Han Shu went to report to the sect master.

After listening, the sect master said meaningfully: "It seems there were still some demonic beasts that slipped through the net when the younger brother sealed them back then."

Han Shu frowned slightly. The sect master's words carried a hint of blame towards Shi Huan, which made her feel strange. It was as if it was Daojun's fault that all the demons were not eradicated.

But soon the sect master praised her with a kind expression and lamented, "It's a pity for the child from the Jiang family and the disciples who sacrificed themselves this time. They fell in Qingshui Village at a young age. Dying at the hands of the Untransformed Toad, even their bodies couldn't be kept intact."

He waved his hand and said to a disciple, "Tell the Jiang family about the situation in Qingshui Village. It's a case of a white-haired person sending off black-haired ones. I hope they can find solace in their grief."

The disciples left to carry out the order.

Not long after, the disciple who went to deliver the message returned from the Chuanyun Sect. He reported that when the sect master of Chuanyun Sect learned that Jiang Yan had fallen and that even his body couldn't be recovered, he only coldly said, 'Got it.'

A new year had begun in the mortal world, and it was also a new year in the immortal mountains.

Every year around this time, the sect master would allow the disciples to relax for a few days, without having to practice. Those who had families either in the mortal world or within the sect could return to spend time with their loved ones.

Huixiang eagerly said, "In a few days, it will be Miss’ birthday. Young Master Wei is finally on the mountain this year. He will definitely pick up Miss to go to the Wei family to celebrate together."

That's how they were when they were young. On Shi Luoyi's birthday, Wei Changyuan would prepare a gift early on and spend it with her on the Perpetual Bliss (Buye) Mountain.

Later, after Shi Huan fell into a deep sleep, Wei Changyuan started taking Shi Luoyi to the Wei family to celebrate.

Gradually, as he got busier exterminating demons, he had no time to spare. It had been two years since he missed her birthday.

Huixiang was especially looking forward to this year.

She chattered, "Miss is already an adult. If Young Master Wei is sincere, this year’s gift for Miss should be his spirit jade. If Miss becomes his Taoist partner, she won't have to suffer like this anymore."

Shi Luoyi used to be just as naive.

When she returned from Qingshui Village, Han Shu's death dealt a severe blow to Shi Luoyi. For a long time, she lived in a daze, waking up from nightmares of the scene where Han Shu sacrificed herself to save her.

Even though Shi Luoyi noticed that something was wrong with Wei Changyuan, she still hoped he would lend her a hand to pull her back, tell her not to be afraid, just like when they were young.

But what she got was Wei Changyuan breaking off the engagement.

Her inner demons grew stronger, and she couldn’t control her anger and despair. Rebellious to the extreme, she stubbornly refused to submit. Her inner demons ran rampant, making her hate her senior brother, hate everyone, and even attacking Wei Changyuan and injuring him.

Wei Changyuan stood there in silence, merely watching her as her silver sword pierced through his shoulder.

When Shi Luoyi's sword drew blood, her consciousness gradually cleared.

She threw the sword away and hid in the back mountain, trembling.

The second appearance of her inner demon seemed to foreshadow her tragic fate. She thought her senior brother also blamed her for being useless and causing Elder Han Shu's death. She felt sad and scared in her heart. Even though it was her birthday, she finally allowed herself to show vulnerability. Shi Luoyi hid in the mountains and cried all night, but unexpectedly, she received a belated birthday gift in the early morning.

It was quietly placed beside her—a clay figurine of a red-eyed rabbit. It was filled with spiritual power that could break through the barriers.

She hesitantly picked it up, and the spiritual rabbit radiated warmth. Shi Luoyi finally stopped shivering.

At that time, Buye Mountain had already fallen into the hands of the Hengwu Sect Master. The original mountain-protecting formation set up by Shi Huan was replaced with one left by the Sect Master. No one could go up the Buye Mountain anymore, including Shi Luoyi.

The Sect Master publicly claimed that he would guard Buye Mountain well for his junior brother and niece, earning himself a good reputation.

Shi Luoyi wanted to go back home, but she couldn't break through the barrier. She had already vaguely realized that the Sect Master would never let her return.

Receiving the clay rabbit that could take her home, she thought it was a reconciliation gift from Wei Changyuan. Despite being injured by her, her senior brother still remembered her wish to go home. Shi Luoyi believed Wei Changyuan had a change of heart, giving her hope of overcoming her inner demons, so finally she wasn't as heartbroken.

But in this life, Shi Luoyi's mind was clear. She vaguely felt that the clay rabbit wasn't from Wei Changyuan.

Since returning from Qingshui Village, Wei Changyuan had been so distracted. He might have even forgotten her birthday, which was why he chose that special day to break off their engagement.

Otherwise, even if Wei Changyuan no longer loved her, he wouldn't deliberately hurt her on her birthday.

Moreover, something with spiritual power strong enough to break through the Sect Master's barrier couldn't have been made by someone weaker than the Sect Master. Did such a person exist in the Hengwu Sect?

Could it be one of her father's hermit friends who pitied her after the broken engagement so he gave her a clay rabbit to help her go home?

Shi Luoyi pondered over this possibility. If it was true, she intended to find this senior and personally thank him. She would also take the opportunity to ask the senior for advice on how to awaken her father. 

She had searched for countless methods in her past and present lives, but none could wake her father up. Perhaps this senior with advanced cultivation might have a solution.

On the day before her birthday, Shi Luoyi planned to go to the foot of Mount Buye and dig out the token buried under the peach tree.

Since she had already made up her mind to break it off, she would never get entangled with Wei Changyuan again.

Fortunately, the Sect Master didn't have any interest in this peach grove, so the mountain-protective array was not so overbearing as to cover the foot of the mountain.

Although she couldn't climb the Buye Mountain, she could dig out the token.

There was only this peach forest on Mount Buye that would bloom. Shi Luoyi found the peach tree with the mark made years ago, dug into the soil, and took out a jade box from it.

Inside the jade box was a jar of "Daughter's Red" (nu'er hong) wine brewed by Daojun and the princess themselves, as well as a pair of Mandarin Duck stones with her and Wei Changyuan's names carved on them. As long as the mandarin duck stones were not broken, the engagement would remain intact.

Shi Luoyi thought it was time to end it all.

This time, she would find another way to deal with her inner demons and would break off her engagement with Wei Changyuan. She glanced at the Daughter's Red wine, which was a custom of Nanyue Kingdom. Her father, the great Daojun, loved her mother so much that he clumsily learned to brew wine to celebrate the birth of their precious daughter.

Inside was the best spirit dew in the world, a nuptial-cup ceremonial wine prepared by Daojun for their daughter, the immortal fetus's, Dao Couple Ceremony.

Originally, Shi Luoyi planned to bury the Daughter's Red wine back, but after some thought, she took it out again.

She was in dire straits. If she found that senior, she could offer the spiritual dew to him. After all, it wouldn't be used for the wedding with her senior brother anymore. It would be better to help extend the senior's cultivation by sixty years instead.

Having settled everything, Shi Luoyi waited for her birthday to come.

She took out the Mandarin Duck pendant. Just to be safe, she decided to follow the original plan. After all, the senior must have pitied her to send the clay rabbit.

So, she needed to act heartbroken over the broken engagement.

She wanted to meet that person and hoped the senior wouldn't take offense. She would return the Mandarin Duck pendant to the Wei family afterwards.

But since her rebirth, many unexpected changes had occurred. Would the person who sent her the clay rabbit appear again this time?


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