Where am I?...Ouch
Xin Fan opened his eyes to see the light shimmering of the blue and red stars overhead. As he attempted to get back up, he felt his entire body in a state of pain. He touched the sides of his body and felt the soft sensation of woolen bandages. The top half of his robe appeared to be ripped off in order to attend to his wounds. His body ached as if he had gone through an intensive exercise regimen. His skin felt tougher and his muscles tighter.
The girl dropped her book and rushed over to help set him upright. She made sure not to touch the places that had been patched up. A boy walked over to him avoiding his gaze.
"How long was I out for?"
Tianfei looked at a small clock. She stared at it for a moment before responding.
"Around 10 hours."
Xin Fan stared at his body. He had no idea how he was injured. It was quite a frightening feeling. One moment you were in perfect condition and the next you are injured beyond repair.
"How...did this happen?"
Tianfei looked at Xin Fan in surprise.
"You mean you don't remember?"
Xin Fan knew he entered the primal state but that was it. Unlike last time, he couldn't even experience what his body felt. There was no feeling of a loss of control. It was just black for him. Xin Fan put his hand to his forehead but still couldn't remember anything.
"The turquoise aura! You defeated Death all by yourself! Xin Kong! That's what you called yourself!"
'What is this about?'
Xin Fan yelled at Xin Kong in his mind. His mind was racing. This changed everything. Xin Fan thought back to the day he first released primal essence. The thing in his body back then. That probably was Xin Kong. At least, partially as Xin Kong was still part of him back then.
'It just happened I guess. You started to scream in pain and before I realized, I was in your body.'
"I believe you owe me an explanation."
Tianfei looked resolutely at Xin Fan. She wanted answers. However before Xin Fan could speak, Chilong spoke up. He had a solemn expression on his face. There seemed to be a trace of pain behind the look he had on Xin Fan.
"You have two minds inside, don't you?"
"It is impossible to have consciousness while releasing primal essence unless you do. And by impossible, I mean it. It is the laws of nature itself."
"Wait what is this about two minds?"
Tianfei looked panicked at the two boys staring at each other. There was none of the usual friendly air between them. Xin Fan paused for a moment. He seemed quite hesitant about it. However after a small moment of deliberation, he responded.
"Yes...His name was Xin Kong."
'Xin Fan. This is revealing a bit to much.'
'This needs to be done. We won't go anywhere if it isn't.'
"I see...who was the one?"
"Who was the one who was sacrificed!"
Chilong's arms extended out gripping Xin Fan by the neck. He wasn't putting any force behind it. At least for now.
"I vowed...I shall not forgive myself...nor would I forgive anyone else who does...Just like that man..."
Xin Fan felt the grip slowly tighten around his throat.
"What do you mean sacrificed, no one died..."
Xin Fan was calm. He had no strength to resist. Even if he did, he understood. He understood that this topic was a taboo. After all, if the state was without sacrifices, Chilong wouldn't be the only person who could enter it. Xin Fan felt the grip slowly loosen as Chilong's hand retracted.
"W...What do you mean?"
Xin Fan rubbed the spot around his throat. Chilong looked at Xin Fan with a doubtful expression. It was unclear whether it was about himself or Xin Fan.
"Xin Kong...Is me. I am Xin Kong. He appeared sometime last semester. My soul was breaking. It split into two. That offshoot is Xin Kong."
Tianfei looked at Xin Fan with a look of worry as a memory was evoked. Chilong also started to recall some scenes.
"Wait...back then! You had headaches a lot."
"That time you collapsed. I had to apply herbal balm on you...all that time."
Xin Fan nodded without speaking a word. He looked at Chilong with a deep expression. He thought about their exchange from earlier. The words, 'Why do you never tell us anything?' still rung through his head. He was hesitant about this. He knew that everything about this was a bad idea.
"You may be wondering, how I survived."
Tianfei and Chilong watched Xin Fan intently. They innately knew that Xin Fan was uncomfortable speaking up.
"My ability is Rice."
"Yes we understand it's a rice grass. To be honest, I am surprised that you are so strong."
Xin Fan shook his head.
"No you do not understand. My ability is rice. The Ultimate Rice System granted me this ability. My spirit item is not a plant. It's a domain. The rice field."
Tianfei stared at Xin Fan in shock. Chilong on the other hand was more confused.
"Domain...the legendary domain. The most powerful spirit ability."
Xin Fan didn't understand her shock but still nodded.
"The domain is besides the point. The Ultimate Rice System. It does things I guess. It modifies my body, teaches me things. I train by planting rice. Every harvest I get stronger. It gave me a chance. A chance to live."
Xin Fan became silent. Chilong and Tianfei were also quiet. They didn't know what to do. They had many doubts and questions but couldn't voice it out aloud.
'Xin Kong, do you blame me?'
Xin Fan felt silence in his head for a while before hearing a response.
'No...I don't. You are me and I am you.'
Xin Fan nodded his head in satisfaction. He took out a small stove from his inventory and placed it on the middle of the circle. A small pot materialized as he poured some Earth Spirit Rice in it. A bit of water was added before he placed the lid on top and turned on the fire.
"So what about you?"
Xin Fan stared at Chilong while waiting patiently.
"What do you mean?"
'I am simply returning the question. Why can you use primal essence?"
Chilong was hesitant in responding. The fire flickered as time slowly passed.
"Chilong and Chitian...those are our names."
The tone of Chilong, no Chitian's voice switched. It was a strangely familiar tone.
"Xin Fan...Bai Tianfei...I think you would remember me Tian Hei."
Tianfei shook for a moment. Xin Fan however was unfazed. There always was an underlying thought that this was how it was. To him, it wasn't much of a surprise rather than a confirmation. Chilong began to recite his long but tragic tale.
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