Vic was drifting in a sea of consciousness for a long time. Despite dying, he didn’t enter a cycle of reincarnation or entered the afterlife. He started sleeping for an unknown amount of time.
He was in a state of a deep slumber. With no dreams and nightmares, or any signs of delirium and no signs of cultivation enlightenment.
He didn’t know how long he was in this state when his awareness has returned. The hazy darkness of his mind finally started clearing.
"So this is an afterlife?" As he started thinking where he was, he felt a stinging pain.
Through the enveloping darkness, he saw white cracks of light. The lighter the dark became, the more pain he felt. And his pain only grew stronger.
Regaining his feelings more and more, he felt that the pain was coming from his abdomen.
"Am I alive?" He tried to move around, but his body was enveloped in what felt like a ton of cotton. "What happened?"
He didn’t know what to do in this situation, the pain he felt didn’t let him fall asleep, and he couldn’t move his body. As he was no rookie when it came to feel pain, he felt something different this time. He went through a lot of gruesome battles and always used the most painful methods to cultivate and achieve his goal.
His body was torn like an old rag getting revitalized the very next second. His mind was slashed and diced like a cabbage on a chopping board as he was forced to combine it in one piece. Even his soul, the most important part of humans that could ascend towards godhood, wasn't left untouched. But right now, he felt like it was the first time he got hurt.
"I should preserve my consciousness."
He tried to endure this feeling, and soon he noticed that he felt something else. Another source of pain came from his head, splitting his mind in two.
The last thing he heard was a woman's voice, crying two words. "Young master!"
Two maidservants were walking in the grand mansion. As they carried laundry, they were quietly whispering among themselves.
"I heard that they still didn’t catch the one who poisoned young master."
"How come? This mansion was built for a young master, so there are lots of guards."
"Yes, one of them said this to me." one of the maids gestured to the other to be quiet. "And he also said that it was a direct order from the clan head."
"That’s why he still hasn't been captured."
"But how can he do this to his own son!"
"No one will want a cripple in his family." Maid shrugged.
As they talked, they didn’t notice how another maid flew straight to them.
"Listen, young master just woke up and tried to kill himself with a knife."
"What?!" two maids were shocked as they heard this news and one of them even dropped the laundry.
"Yes, I was attending him with his personal maid when he woke up. At first, we were glad that he was safe but then he asked for a knife and tried to stab himself." she took a breath after saying everything in one shot.
"And what happened next?"
"His personal maid covered him with her body and started crying for him to come to his senses, and I went to look for a doctor. I thought that I should tell you if something happened to the young master we will likely be sent back to our homes."
"And what did the doctor say?"
"I don’t know, I was asked to leave the bedchamber. But I think that the rumors are true, why else would young master want to kill himself?"
"And what are these rumors?" a male voice startled three of them.
"Ah, head butler Zan!" the three of them hurried to bow down.
"I asked what kind of rumors have you heard?" He harrumphed as his eyes were staring at them without blinking with displeasure clearly etched on his face.
"No, it's nothing head butler Zan should take the notion of."
"It's about my sister's relationship with one of her customers."
"Yes, we were talking about what her father thinks about this."
The three young maids quickly crafted a lie that would've been believable. To an outsider that is.
As Gu Zan, was the head butler of the mansion, he clearly understood how fast the rumors were spreading. The fact that he couldn't hide such big news was as shameful as it was annoying.
"If you want, you can talk all you want after leaving this mansion once and for all. Now you should scram to do your work!"
"Yes!" All of the maids shuddered at the sudden shout and answered in unison.
They hurried to go out of the sight of head butler Zan, and the very next moment they did it they started talking about rumors once again. Which in turn evoked a deep sigh from Gu Zan. Not only this secret was out, but it has also started to transform already. Like all rumors did.
He was one of the most prominent youths in the whole Gu clan. In the beginning, son of a simple smith, he was adopted by one of the elders of the Gu clan. Soon with the resources of the great clan, that clan Gu was, he exceeded in cultivation, that's why he showed an unquestionable loyalty to the family that brought him up.
He even had a chance to contest for the seat of the head elder in the future. That was until the head of the family had his third son. His first and second son were both the brightest stars that could've ever be born. However, this wasn't the truth for his third son.
He was born with an innate inability to cultivate, and though the family patriarch spent exuberant amounts of wealth to heal him, nothing could've been done to help him.
Young master Gu Kun, lost his mother early and was a quiet child since he was born. While the first son was scholarly and knew the ways of the world, the third son, who spent most of his time daydreaming or reading poetry, couldn't boast about his knowledge.
And that was when the loyalty of Gu Zan became the biggest burden to him. A huge collar was put on his neck while all of his body was bind with chains. The wings that he wanted to spread and use them to shield his clan from the disasters were cut off.
He was appointed as the personal butler and guard of the third young master. However, when everyone thought that he would at least be able to help from within, he was sent out of the capital city along with the third son.
Sent to the tiniest city with appropriate name Last Dawn, at the corner of the Kingdom of Thousand Thunder Strikes. It was literally throwing him down to the bottom of the well with a huge boulder tied to his legs and no means to climb back up.
And the worst thing that could ever happen to him has happened. The sole purpose of his existence in this mansion that was built to hid the third young master from the world will soon become a waste.
He failed his task at protecting Gu Kun.
After talking with the head of the guards to look through every nook and cranny for the perpetrator, he quickly went back to the room where his master was lying in a sickbed.
As he silently opened the doors, he entered the room of the third young master. Though the room was spacious and even had a courtyard, there was surprisingly a little number of things in the room.
A tiny flower garden in the courtyard. Few chairs and a bookshelf with a few scrolls and books. And lastly, a large bed made from the best wood there is in the whole kingdom.
In such a huge yet hollow room, a young boy was lying down. His hair became the color of the ash, while his face had sickly yellowish pale color, his eyebrows creased from the pain. Near him sat a young girl, who was one step away from becoming a woman.
She was tall and had her back straight as a spear. Her long black hair was covered with a shawl, and her clothes were a step above from those that maids usually wore.
Wang Xifeng was the personal maid of the young master, however, she didn't come from the main house. In fact, the patriarch of the Gu family has arranged a number of servants for his third son long ago. Along with his personal maid.
Yet when they entered the Last Dawn city, Wang Xifeng soon became the personal maid, replacing the one who was placed there by the head of the family. Usually calm young master started arguing with his servants for the first time in his life so that Wang Xifeng would be as close to him as it's possible can be.
Thus, the young girl who was at first hired to do rough work like mopping the floor or washing the clothes of the guards rose in power tremendously. Basking in the affection of the young master, she as well invoked hatred from the servants who thought that she used forbidden bewitching techniques to ensnare the young master.
Nevertheless, no matter what Gu Zan thought of her, she was the only one who managed to calm down the young master after he started raging.
"Have young master woken up once again?" He walked towards the bed and scanned the body of the young master. Tiny vestiges of energy deep inside of his body were still rumbling.
The girl shook her head gently. "Young master Kun fell into a deep slumber." as she said this she adjusted the quilt over the body of her master. "He has calmed down." her voice was soft and stricken with grief.
After looking at the body of his master Gu Zan started walking away, leaving a harsh remark "You better take care of him. If something happens to the third young master, both of our heads would fly away."
"You better find out who is the culprit then." which got him an unbelievably cold answer, no one would believe that this young girl could exude such an attitude. No one except for Gu Zan.
The more power Wang Xifeng got, the more her attitude changed towards Gu Zan. As a head butler, he had the most amount of power in the mansion except for the young master.
"While you look for a scoundrel who did this, I would continue to look after the young master." her cold attitude and a hard stare that was designated towards Gu Zan warmed up and softened as she once again rearranged the quilt of her master. "I won't let a single hair fall from your head, Gu Kun." her eyes were full of care as she said this, yet there were other emotions deep down.
"Impudent! Addressing to the young master with his name!" regrettably, the head butler could only think such things in his head. Every time Wang Xifeng would argue with him and show him her true colors, she would run away with eyes full of tears towards her master and end up getting what she wanted.
Yet the thing that trouble Gu Zan was that she was the one who calmed down the young master while he couldn't do a thing. If she didn't cover him…
He shuddered, thinking of what would happen to him.
As the mansion was in an uproar, Vic was on edge of consciousness and unconsciousness. He couldn't understand the feeling he was going through. Through all the years he has cultivated, he has seen the things that would qualify as miracles many times.
He saw the darkest and sinister techniques this world could probably produce, an omen of gods, and even ascension to the godhood.
He should've long ago grown numb to any kind of miracle, yet what he felt right now turned all his world upside down.
Bits and pieces of someone's life were flowing into him. In the beginning, he at least felt pain, yet it was soon changed by darkness that engulfed all of his being not letting him understand what was happening.
Then the darkness flickered, allowing him to see the birth of a child. The faces of many elderly-looking people, as well as a robust man with a small well-combed beard.
One more flick, he saw a young girl talking to someone while sitting in the garden.
And once again, it changed. Now it was showing two boys ten years of age, talking about something.
The voices all felt like they were saying something backward. While the images that he has seen, it was like he was the one living through all of this.
It was akin to torture to Vic as he couldn't, understand what was happening, nor how much time has passed.
The picture-like memories started to entwine, cycling around, changing into a whirlpool. The current, so strong, sucking him into the center, tearing the remnant of his life, his memories and mind, mixing it, combining it like it was minced meat that was stuffed into a dumpling.
"AAAAAGHH!!!" He sat up, feeling excruciating pain from both his head and stomach. As he looked around with bloodshot eyes, he understood where did he open his eyes. Vic felt like if it was one day ago, he wouldn't understand what was happening and would think that this was an afterlife meant for him.
Yet right now, he could understand everything, he knew what was this room, and to whom it belonged.
"Young master!" Wang Xifeng, who stood at the door, talking with someone. After hearing his scream, she immediately walked towards him.
He shouldn't know who was this girl, yet oddly enough, he knew her.
"You all should go and notify head butler that the young master has woken up." She hastily commanded the maid who was still stupefied from the sudden scream.
Vic fitfully was looking around, his hand flapping towards the small table. His body was trembling hard from the pain, but he knew what to do to stop this.
The small table near the bed had a letter opener on top. In a few minutes, he would finally rejoin with his parents, brother, and wife.
"NO YOUNG MASTER!!!"
Even though the knife was blunt, it was still sharp enough to pierce his chest and end this torture. Vic tried to move fast, but his body was too weak for this.
"YOUNG MASTER!!! NO!!! LET IT DOWN!!!" with a shrill scream Wang Xifeng hugged his frail body, shielding his vital points.
Vic wanted to scream, to let him go, to let him end this, but he couldn't do it. He wanted to plunge his knife into the girl, the girl that treacherously hindered his reunion with those he loved. But he couldn't do it.
He couldn't harm the Girl he loved.
Fate played a trick upon him once again.
Once a boy without even a surname, now reincarnated as Gu Kun, a young master of an illustrious family.
Gu Kun was probably dead, poisoned by someone, yet his dying flame was used to rekindle the pyre named Vic. Vic inherited his memories and his life, his troubles and happiness, and he inherited his love.
"YOUNG MASTER!!! IF YOU ARE DISSAPOINTED WITH THIS SERVANT, YOU BETTER KILL THIS SERVANT!!! hot tears soaked into the chest of Vic, who now should be named Gu Kun. "I CAN'T BEAR TO LIVE IN A WORLD WITHOUT YOU!!!"
The hand that was holding the knife trembled and fell down.
"Young master!?" She hastily lifted up her face and looked into the eyes of Vic.
Mustering up all the strength that was left in his body Vic finally opened his dried-up, cracked lips.
"I'm tired, Xifeng… I want to sleep…"
Hot tears once again spilled from the eyes of Wang Xifeng. "Yes, yes, sleep well young master, I will take care of everything." as she was talking, she choked from crying.
"I'm going to see you… tomorrow…"
Vic closed his eyes, yet it wasn't intending to die.
"Grace, wait for me a little bit longer."