160 Chapter 160 Ritual
Inside Lin Xulian's consciousness, images of Feng Jun Yi, from the first time they met until her life in the palace continuously appeared. The scene started normal and sometimes happy. Everything is like a dream playing right in front of her. But all she could feel is pain. It feels like a hand is grabbing and squeezing her heart.
But she noticed that the pain correlates to how extreme her feelings are during the scenes. Whether it is happiness, anger and of course sadness. She tried to circulate her internal energy and remembered the cultivation method that her great granduncle taught her to expand her qi sea before the start of the ritual. She remembered him saying that once the pain starts, she needs to start cultivating and never waste time.
So despite the distracting scenes popping in her mind, she concentrated and focused most of her attention in cultivating. But her concentration broke when the scene changed into that day in her chambers in the Phoenix palace. The moment when she opened her eyes and saw the anger, pain and disappointment in Feng Jun Yi's face.
It was as if she was brought back on that day. The hazy and dreamlike scene also became vivid. With these changes, she is starting to get confused whether the scene is still a memory or reality. All that happened that day replayed as if she is experiencing it for the first time. His words and acts never failed to hurt her more.
And when she heard Feng Jun Yi's words "I lied", Lin Xulian completely lost it. At this point she already forgot that she is in a ritual. In her mind, she is still on that chambers in the Phoenix place trying to convince him that she is innocent. That she never cheated on him.
She then told him that she was poisoned by Gu and the culprit is Xing Baihe. But his reply is still the same hate and pain filled eyes as if saying that he doesn't believe her. She explained non-stop and even screaming desperately. But he never replied a word. She is totally unaware of a red monarch butterfly hovering around and observing her.
"Princess! Remember why you are here. Why you want to undergo this ritual. Remember your promises and determination. Take your sanity back!" Lin Xulian suddenly head a voice of a man. She found it familiar but she can't remember whose voice was it. Looking around, she noticed a scorpion on the floor. It seems the voice is coming from it. But oddly, she wasn't surprised. His words even got her thinking.
"Why am I here?" Lin Xulian asked herself. "I am here because I am the empress of this country. This is my home. I am here because I married the emperor. The man who treated me well and spoiled me endlessly. He gave me everything I asked. All the herbs I want. Even the impossible ones." She replied in confusion."He always believed and trusted me. I didn't need to ask him in all my decisions. He would wordlessly agree and support. He would only smile genuinely at me. But now he won't listen. Why won't he listen!? He even said he loves me. But it was a lie. He lied to me!" Lin Xulian is starting to cry hysterically. Even the scorpion's words telling her to wake up couldn't get through to her.
"Lin Xulian! You are no longer the empress of Gonglu country. You are the Princess of Qiangdu country." Lin Xulian stiffened after hearing another man's voice. Then beside the scorpion a centipede appeared. "These are not real. It all happened long ago. He is not here. Think hard where you are, what are you doing and why are you doing all these. Princess, please take back your sanity."
As if waking up from a long dream, Lin Xulian's consciousness finally returned. Looking at the scorpion and centipede on the floor, she also remembered their voices. The scorpion is Clan head Gu Lingdao and the centipede is Gu Rin. She also remembered that she is currently undergoing a ritual.
"That's right. I am in a ritual to receive a royal Gu. I am doing this to cure myself, have my revenge and also to prove my innocence." Lin Xulian told herself. Then she finally noticed the red monarch butterfly hovering above her. She reached out her hand towards it. And the moment she touched it, the environment changed into pure black. But her body and the butterfly, now enveloped in a purple glow, is still visible.
The butterfly's glow intensified until it is completely shrouded. Then without a warning it struck her forehead like a beam of light. She got disoriented for a few seconds until the sudden and extreme pain spread throughout her body. But this time the pain is not only in her head and chest.
The pain crawled from her forehead towards her limbs and entire body. She felt like she is burning from her skin, towards her muscles and even seeping through her bones. However, because there is no images and scenes distracting her, she is able to focus on the pain. And since she is clear headed this time, she is able to concentrate in cultivating despite the intense pain.
Gu Rin and Gu Lingdao heaved a sigh of relief seeing that Lin Xulian is finally stable and cultivating properly. Gu Lingdao panicked when he saw Lin Xulian trashing and screaming earlier. Her qi also turned chaotic and is leaking out. If that goes on, she would fail the ritual and she would suffer a permanent damage in her head.
So even if he never tried it before, he intruded her consciousness during the ritual through the path opened by the butterfly Gu. When he entered her consciousness, he found out that she got trapped in the memory triggered by the Gu. He repeatedly asked her to wake up but she refused to listen.
The sight of his father sweating profusely while performing a mind intrusion and Lin Xulian trashing about greeted Gu Rin when he entered the cave. He would come weekly to check on the situation and inform the King and Lin Xulian's family who came days ago. Seeing this, he hurriedly followed his father.And when Gu Rin entered Lin Xulian's consciousness, he saw a man with his eyes filled with anger and pain, looking wordlessly at her. Lin Xulian on the other kept desperately telling him that she is innocent. And despite all her explanation, he only showed a face that tells her that he doesn't believe her. Seeing this, Gu Rin had a realization on what exactly happened and the reason why Lin Xulian shows a sad expression every time she mentions the Gonglu country's emperor.
Luckily, before Lin Xulian's sanity completely shatters, she was able to hear his voice and regain her consciousness. If not, then no one could tell how much damage it would cause her. With the matter finally settled, Gu Rin and Gu Lingdao left her consciousness.
"Father, do we have to mention this to the King?" Gu Rin asked his father.
"Of course. That way they can also prepare themselves in case that caused a little change in the Princess's attitude. No one can tell until she is done cultivating." Gu Lingdao replied solemnly. "But do not mention what you saw in her memory." He followed.
"I understand father. I have no intention to do so anyway. I already know that the Princess doesn't want to share this information." Gu Rin said seriously. Gu Lingdao only nod in acknowledgement.
"No one could tell when the Princess will wake up from cultivating. It only depends on her will from this point. I never encounter this case personally before. I can only rely on the records handed down by our ancestors. Fortunately, they have some records of the process." Gu Lingdao said with a sigh.
Hearing his father's words, Gu Rin decided to leave. "I will now report to the King, father. I just hope the Princess won't take long. The prince is hard to deal with when he is worried. Luckily he can't catch up to me yet or else he would intrude this place without warning."