Chapter 33: The White Haired Youths
Ye Fan looked at the group of ten or more old people with heads full of white hair and did not speak for a long time. Those were his familiar classmates but they had suddenly gone through such an abrupt change. It was simply jaw dropping.
Pang Bo was also speechless and felt trepidation and fear. If he had become like that he would definitely be thinking of dying.
The two people rushed over to check the conditions of each person and they were all breathing, their lives were not at risk.
Pang Bo noticed Liu Yi Yi within the grass and she did not seem to have aged. She was still delicate and pretty although she looked a bit pitiful.
This made Ye Fan and Pang Bo happy as they had always been on good relations with Liu Yi Yi since university. They were filled with compassion for her and did not want anything bad to happen to her.
Below an ancient tree Ye Fan found Zhang Zi Ling and he seemed to have aged to about forty, although he had lost some time he was not as decrepit as Zhou Yi and the rest.
“The handsome Zi Ling has become an uncle.”
“That’s probably better than becoming grandpa Zi Ling.”
Ye Fan and Pang Bo were softly conversing.
It was not long before Liu Yi Yi woke up and upon seeing Ye Fan and Pang Bo she was shocked and her mouth hung loose. After a short period, Zhang Zi Ling woke up and upon discovery of his body’s condition he let out a shout. He had been a youth at his prime, brimming with vitality but had become an honest looking uncle. Anyone put into his shoes would find this hard to accept.
“Zi Ling don’t be too agitated, look at their conditions and you’ll find peace.”
Zhang Zi Ling heard them and looked over at Zhou Yi, Li Xiao Man and the rest and was stunned. He realised that there were no worst misfortune, only more misfortune.
“How could it be like this……” He was stunned and in a daze but at least he was faring better than the despair he was facing earlier.
In the group, Ye Fan and Pang Bo had returned to their youth, Liu Yi Yi had maintained at the same age while Zhang Zi Ling had lost over twenty years. The rest had become decrepit old men and women.
Ye Fan and Pang Bo exchanged glances, the two of them immediately thought of the translucent red fruit. When they ate it they had felt immense pleasure and had quickly recovered their energy. From the looks of it, that fruit was certainly out of the ordinary and could be described as simply miraculous!
Because of some unknown reasons everyone had turned old. Only those who had eaten the fruit seemed to have prevented the erosion of time.
“Exactly what power deprived them of their youth and vigor?” Pang Bo was puzzled and all his doubts were unanswered.
“I think this probably has something to do with the Forbidden Ancient Desolate Land.” Ye Fan conjectured.
Just the name ‘Forbidden Ancient Desolate Land’ made it clear that this place was ancient and it had likely been a forbidden ground since long ago. Even the birds, animals and insects kept away. The land was barren and a deathly aura was heavy in the air, it was definitely an ominous and evil plot of land.
Even so, they had been able to safely walk out without encountering any danger. This did not seem to fit with common sense and this clearly made it seem that the Forbidden Ancient Desolate land did not live up to it’s name.
“That’s right! It must be because of the Forbidden Ancient Desolate land!” Pang Bo also felt that this conjecture was sound.
Based on their speculations, the Forbidden Ancient Desolate land contained a frightening power that had deprived them of their youth and vigor. But why had the symptoms only occurred after they left the area? This was puzzling.
“Maybe it’s the power of a curse, upon entering the Forbidden Ancient Desolate land whether we escape or not the curse would trigger once a certain period of time had passed. There was simply no way to escape.”
Ye Fan and Pang Bo felt very fortunate, if it was not for the miraculous fruit that they had found and eaten, they would have already become doddering old men.
After a period of time people started to wake up one after the other, the mountain peak was filled with mournful cries that let one’s hair stand on end. The “Wu…..Wu….” sound of crying could be heard everywhere.
Aging prematurely, a head full of white hair from an early age, this was the world’s greatest tragedy. Their twenties were supposed to be the prime of their lives but before they knew it, they had all withered and grown a head full of white hair, their emotions were riled and they were aggrieved to the point of wanting to be dead.
“Why did I become like this?” Zhou Yi trembled as he lifted out a hand, feeling the wrinkles on his skin and pulling out a few strands of his white hair. He bellowed angrily in an archaic voice: “Why?!”
By the side, Wang Zi Wen was also shivering uncontrollably as he inspected his body. His eyes were cloudy and his eye bags were the size of pigeon eggs seemingly ancient and said in a trembling voice: “I don’t believe it……”
“Aaahh…” Lin Jia was on the verge of breakdown, her sharp cry filled the air and all the birds in the area flew away in fright.
Looks were a woman’s priority in life, this was especially so for beautiful woman who paid more attention to their looks. Lin Jia who was naturally enchanting was born with beauty and sex appeal, suddenly she found her snow white skin had lost its radiance and become rough and wrinkled, this feeling was simply worse than death.
On the other side, Li Xiao Man was in a similar situation as she was in such pain that she really contemplated suicide. If it was said that previously she was a lotus flower that had just come into full bloom, right now she could not even be compared to the dried up leaves on the lotus flower. Her fine black hair had all turned to white, dull without any lustre like dried up grass. Her skin was wrinkly and loose and her eyes were cloudy, her face was similarly wrinkled.
Seeing Ye Fan walk over, Li Xiao Man suddenly screamed: “Don’t come over!” She used her hand to cover her face as she cried while also burying her head between her knees.
Ye Fan did not go over in fear of upsetting her and loudly consoled the group: “Don’t fall into despair, this world even has gods, what can’t happen. There must be a way to solve this problem.”
On the mountain top, the atmosphere was dismal and many people were in emotional distress. This was even more so when they saw that Ye Fan and Pang Bo looked as though they were only eleven or twelve making the shock even more intense. A large majority of the group had become old and decrepit but the two of them had actually returned to their youth, this comparison made many people’s hearts bleed.
“Oh my god, Jesus…… Your grand uncle!” Carter was furious and spoke in a mix of english and chinese to portray his incomparably grieved feelings.
“Devil, don’t be so agitated.” Pang Bo walked over and sincerely patted his shoulder saying: “To grow old with one’s loved one is the world’s most romantic thing.”
Carter cried on the spot like a child “Wu….Wu….Wu….” and said: “My girlfriend…. isn’t even here. How can this be in any way considered romantic.”
Pang Bo was stunned as he glanced at Li Xiao Man but did not say anything more and walked to the others in the group.
“Ye Fan, why didn’t you guys turn old?” Zhou Yi was the first to calm down as he firmly stared at Ye Fan and Pang Bo, his cloudy eyes shot forth two rays of light.
The others also kept their feelings of agony in check and looked over.
Pang Bo heard Zhou Yi’s words and felt very uncomfortable as he sincerely said: “I’ll say Zhou grandpa, you can’t possibly be suspecting us of foul play. If we had such mystical powers, we might as well have become gods already, why bother being normal humans.”
Lin Jia stopped crying as she looked at Ye Fan and earnestly pleaded: “Ye Fan, tell me honestly, how do I return to my youth? What did you guys do?”
Ye Fan could only console her and give her hope. That mysterious red fruit had long been consumed and there were simply no other methods.
“Let’s leave this place and …… head to that celestial palace!” Zhou Yi shivered and swayed as he stood up, his hand pointing to the distant tall mountain. The halls (of a palace) seemed to extend forever into the distance and appeared to have descended from heaven itself. Although his body was decrepit, his mind was still clear and understood that currently this was their only hope. If there were immortals there, all this could be solved in an instant.
The group helped each other as they continued trekking the mountain. Many people had aged and their movements were sluggish. Ye Fan, Pang Bo, Liu Yi Yi and Zhang Zi Ling were busy as they ran to and fro to support each person in the group.
“Zhou grandpa, Wang grandpa, let me support the two of you as we go.” Pang Bo walked in the centre and supported them with his left and right hands. Wang Zi Wen laughed bitterly at Pang Bo’s antics while Zhou Yi remained expressionless.
It was unknown why Li Xiao Man chose Ye Fan to support her, on the way nothing was said as her tears continued to flow. This continued till the point where she almost fainted from crying.
“What’s going on? How can there still be a mountain between us and the palace?”
Ye Fan and the rest felt that something was amiss, the celestial palace had only been a mountain away but after struggling to traverse another mountain they found that they were still the same distance away, as though they had never moved.
“Since a while back no matter how much we progress it seems that our distance to the celestial palace has not changed one bit. What is going on?”
They attempted to get closer again as they crested another mountain but the result was the same. At this moment everyone understood that there was simply no way to get closer.
“It’s time for us to make a decision, maybe we should stop advancing in that direction. It seems that the mysterious palace is a place that we will never be able to reach.”
Suddenly, there was a stench that assailed their senses. The trees began to tremble as a tall black five metre vicious looking man-beast jumped towards the group, its sharp claws flashing. Its body was covered in black fur and its length was at least half a Chi. It was awe-inspiring, its body was like an orangutan but its head was weird, there was a one Chi long beak on its face and it seemed to be a bird demon that managed to attain a human form. They had simply never encountered such a vicious beast before.
A majority of the group was filled with terror and two people even feebly fell to the ground. Such a sinister looking huge creature suddenly jumping at them, if its claws struck, one would certainly be rended apart.
“Ye Fan, be careful!” Pang Bo shouted as Ye Fan was in front of the group and Pang Bo nervously wielded his bronze plaque and rushed forward.
Ye Fan shoved the two people by his side as he charged forth while brandishing the Vajra he took from Liu Yun Zhi in his right hand.
The Vajra came into contact with a sharp claw and caused the black beast’s hand to bend in a weird shape, it was clear that the bone had snapped.
Everyone was stunned and believed that this was the power of the Vajra. Only Ye Fan knew that the last divine power had been used up by Liu Yun Zhi and what happened was solely due to the immense strength within his body!
He was startled, if this was the previous him it would have been impossible to have such strength. After returning to his youth he felt that his body was surging with energy and could seemingly tear apart tigers & toss elephants with his divine strength.
The huge beast let out a shrill cry as its beak opened and it ruthlessly pecked at Ye Fan while its other sharp claw also attacked.
Ye Fan’s actions were unbelievably fast as he dodged with an incredible speed and arrived at the back of the huge beast. He then forcefully wielded the Vajra and smashed it on the beast’s back. Sounds of bone shattering could immediately be heard.
It was difficult to imagine how large the force was as the five metre tall black beast seemed like a puppet and was flung eight to nine metres away. It landed heavily on the ground and after struggling for a moment its movements ceased.
The group was speechless, the scene that had played out in front of them was simply unbelievable. The barbarian’s body had become smaller like an eleven or twelve year old and seemed to be gentle and delicate but the strength and speed he exhibited was so astounding that it made them simply shocked.
Everyone had been filled with fear but no danger had come to pass as they finally let loose a breath. Thereafter they furtively discussed as they had no idea why Ye Fan had such divine strength and their hearts were filled with envy and jealousy.
The sky was gradually turning dark and finally the sun had completely set. The group was set on crossing another mountain but found that the celestial palace was still separated by a mountain and the distance had not changed.
At this moment, everybody had thoroughly fallen to despair and decided not to continue in that direction.
At this instant, there was a bright light over the horizon like a rainbow cutting across the sky, in the dark sky it was especially eye-catching.
Everyone was startled, there was actually a figure of a person within that rainbow. To one’s surprise that person could move unhindered in the skies and travel through the air, this was definitely not an ordinary person!
The rainbow abruptly changed its direction and headed towards them. The speed was astonishing like a rainbow cresting the horizon, arriving in the blink of an eye.