All was left was a pile of white bones.
"You're good at cooking." Xue'er commented as they returned to the cottage.
"Thank you, I put a lot of effort for many years before it became this good." Gan Tian Chi said seriously.
They silently walked along the unmarked roads, but somehow made it back to the cottage.
Along the way, Xue'er was wondering why a man as powerful as Gan Tian Chi would always prefer the simple lifestyle of commoners. He would walk when he could get there in a short while, by using his lightness skills, he would cook food when he did not really need it for subsistence.
He was a profound mystery to her.
But, what she did not understand was that he did everything to feel closer to the lifestyle that had already past. He wanted to have that feeling of the fragility of life, it had been so many years, he was tired of remaining unchanged.
That was something a child her age would not understand.
"Hmm… Not bad." Gan Tian Chi said as he ran his fingers across the walls and looked at them.
There was not a speck of dust to be seen.
It was as if he was judging the previous cleaning task he gave her.
She did quite well.
"You can sleep here." Gan Tian Chi pointed at the left room, while he took the one on the right.
[Is there any difference?] She wonders as she walks into the left room, preparing to settle down.
As she walked in, she saw this room for the first time, as she did not take a close look at it while she had been cleaning. It was a small, but spacious room, with a wooden bed, a table, along with many, many shelves that were empty.
It seemed that this room had never been used before. She soon began pondering what she could store on the shelves. After all, there was a lot of space.
She took off her bag and unpacked all of the herbs she had picked along the way, placing them in the shelves after she had sorted them based on medicinal properties.
When she reached the last medicinal herb in her bag, there was only one thing left inside…
The bronze token.
Thinking about it, she had taken this from the army camp a year ago. She felt extremely guilty for causing any unnecessary troubles to that boy, but she really wanted a keepsake from the first time she was away from the forbidden ground and the token was the first thing that caught her eyes.
She opened a drawer from the table and placed it inside.
This bronze tablet will only serve as a memory from now on.
She looked toward the wooden bed, that had a thin blanket. Xue'er didn't care, as she laid on top of the bed, deciding that she would follow Gan Tian Chi's way and do things calmly, in a simple lifestyle.
She would quickly fall asleep. Her dreams was a nothingness in a vast empty and empty space. It did not feel like a dream, but there was some familiarity to it. For a second, she did not know what to make of it, but a thought came to her mind.
This felt somewhat like the underground maze that she had spent a year in.
She immediately searched for the waterfall that she had yearned to see. Who knew how many twists and turns she had to go past, before she made it to the place she remembered.
There it was, the beautiful and majestic waterfall that stood hundreds upon hundreds of feet in the air, up beyond the eternal darkness of the underground maze.
In truth, no one knew how tall the waterfall was, as the underground maze was quite spacious, who knew if it was a place that existed in a world of its own, cut off from the mortal world. Who knew how many other realms there were, all existing together, but cut off from each other to ensure peace and balance.
Xue'er smiled, as she ran towards the large lake that was below the waterfall, that area was always concealed by the heavy mist from the waterfall. It was very cool when one stayed near it, even colder when one touched the water.
She jumped into the lake without hesitation. Once her body fully submerged into the water, there, she could feel it, the bone-chilling water surrounded her. She resurfaced and let out a breath, which was like the breath of an ice dragon that lived within these types of cold, misty waters
It was strange, on the outside she never felt cold, even if she were to wear nothing in the coldest winters of the north, but here, just touching the water could make her soul go cold.
She was treading the water, she tried her best to use her internal energy to suppress the coldness in her body.
Soon, she swam to a rock that was beneath the waterfall. The rock was weathered down from the countless years of the water dropping down on it. Perhaps there was a time when it was jagged and uneven, but now, it was as smooth as a freshly peeled egg.
Xue'er hoisted herself up on the rock and arduously made her way to the center of the waterfall, where she sat in a crossed legged position.
This was no easy task, as the pressure coming from the waterfall was immense.
As she sat there deathly still, allowing the heavy pressure from the water to hit her entire body.
It felt as if heavy rocks were falling onto her and crushing up her bones.
It was worth it, as there was a cool refreshing feeling that came afterward, it was an indescribable feeling, that she very much enjoyed, she was willing to suffer through all the bone-crushing pain, just for the feeling of relief afterward.
[Even if I cannot go here next year.
At least I can still go there in my dreams.]