“You miss him when he’s away, but you’re overwhelmed when he’s with you…”
At Vulture Peak, Nezha looked upon the clear sky, mumbling what Moonlight Immortal had told him.
Nezha and Dipankara retired in the Heavenly Kingdom after the war of the Gods’ Investiture. When life was going on as usual, the encounter with Moonlight Immortal caused a ripple in Nezha’s mind. Whenever he was alone, he couldn’t help but ponder about the ripple, and also the one who caused this ripple——
“Master...Dipankara…” Nezha murmured. While he was reminiscing, he glimpsed at an old man rushing into the abbey. Knowing that something must have happened, Nezha stepped on his fire wheels to catch him up…
“Dipankara! Dipankara! Help me! Something big happened!” Taiyi Zhenren called out loudly, but no one responded. Leaving dejectedly, he almost bumped into Nezha.
“Whoa, it’s lotus boy. You scared the hell out of me,” said Taiyi Zhenren, calming himself down. Rolling the eyes, Nezha was impatient for his drama.
“Master is fighting demons with Celestial Goldfish in the mortal realm. He won’t be back soon. What’s the matter?” Nezha crossed his arms.
“Something went wrong with the Eight-trigram Crucible. This morning, it froze the whole workshop, and the ice is unusually hard for us to break it. That’s why I came here for Dipankara, but...Wait! You know how to use pneuma-powered flames too! Please, help us!” Taiyi Zhenren begged sincerely.
Nezha heaved a sigh as he couldn’t bear to be pleaded by Taiyi Zhenren, and he said, “I help you only because you created this lotus body for me. Then we’re even”
Later on, Nezha was led to the frozen workshop. The azure halo illuminating from the ice block made the whole scene look stunning from afar. The workshop was surrounded by Xians, but none of them could settle it.
“Everyone step aside!” As Nezha dispersed the Xians, he spread all 6 arms to ignite the flame. With a swing of Red Armillary Sash, a fire tornado was launched at the ice, burning a hole out of it.
In the nick of time, Nezha sped up his fire wheels and flew into the hole. Before the other Xians could catch up, the hole closed immediately.
“Do you really think you could trap me down here? Naive!” Grumbled in disdain, Nezha wasn’t intimidated at all. Instead, he lit up the workshop with his flames. Very soon, he found the Eight-trigram Crucible glowing in blue ahead.
Right before he started walking, a shadow swept across in front of him. When he finally got a clear image of that shadow, he whispered in surprise, “Master!”
“No...it’s just a phantom made by the Eight-trigram Crucible,” Nezha thought as he squinted. The Dipankara here was translucent. Meanwhile, more phantoms popped up in the image of demons, thrashing swords into Dipankara. Shredding blood, Dipankara fell down powerlessly.
“Bastard! Stop this despicable trick!” Despite the knowledge of the phantoms, it still hurt Nezha to see such a scene. Enraged, he yelled to the surrounding, “get out and fight me like a man!”
“...I don’t want to fight you,” said a vague voice. Coming out of the Eight-trigram Crucible, a blue haze then gathered into a human shape.
“I just want to make your wish come true.”
“Humph! I didn’t know that my wish was being trapped in an ice block!” While Nezha was being sarcastic, the blue shade shook its head slowly.
“I ain’t afraid! I...Hmm…” Dizziness hit Nezha out of the blue; he tried to suppress the feeling, but everything he saw started to spin.
“Of course you are. You’re afraid to see your master being slaughtered by the demons...So I’ve got you a plan. Bring your beloved master here and leave the rest outside. No one can come in and you two will stay happily ever after.”
“Ever after…” Distracted by the shade’s words, Nezha didn’t notice that he had already been shrouded in the blue haze.
The blue haze kept messing up his mind; as the fire was burning out, Nezha’s consciousness started fading.
“Right...I never understand why does master risk his life for the mortals...Why can’t he just stay with me? If I can...be with him forever...that’s actually nice——”
“Nezha! Pull yourself together!”
A powerful slap brought Nezha back to reality before he lost himself. The 4 arms made by Dipankara came into his sight; while one of the arms had slapped him.
Shocked at first, Nezha then smiled.
“Master, you’ve always guided me, even now.”
Standing back up, Nezha said to the shade, “maybe...sealing master here could keep him safe, but it’s nothing but a tragedy for everyone...And I’ll never hurt master!”
Nezha then made a seal with all arms; the pneuma-powered flame was ignited to burn the whole workshop. Meanwhile, the blue shade vibrated and distorted.
“Why...Why don’t you accept me...No...If refusal is what I got, then I’ll destroy you!”
More blue haze was spilled out of the Eight-trigram Crucible to cover Nezha’s fire, turning the situation into a tug of war. As the wrestle went on, Nezha was gradually burning out. When frostbite was all over his body, he eventually bent his knees.
“Master...Looks like I can’t serve you anymore…” Nezha thought as he shivered. At this moment, an ablaze phoenix flew to him, warming up his frozen body.
“Nezha!” A tanned man Dipankara rushed to lift him up.
“You stubborn kid! The Eight-trigram Crucible is an exceptionally powerful device built by all grand masters, yet you’re fighting it alone! Are you trying to get yourself killed?”
“...I ain’t alone. Aren’t you here for me now?” Nezha disapproved with a grin.
First silenced, Dipankara then shook his head and said, “I assume you’re alright if you can make fun of me now. Let’s clean up this mess together.”
Dipankara was shocked by the hysteric shade up front. Meanwhile, the blue shade groaned, “damn it...I loved you so much...and you broke my heart in return...NOOOOOOOO——!”
A chill went down Nezha’s spine as he felt the tremendous hatred of the shade. Exchanging a gaze with Dipankara, the two of them spoke nothing but spread their arms. At the same time, the Xian power surged, covering the whole workshop with fire. Before long, the azure ice was all melted.
The pneuma-powered flame ignited by them lit up the whole Heavenly Kingdom. It was bright enough to be visible even for mortals, but Nezha and Dipankara wouldn’t have known.
The two of them laid down out of exhaustion as soon as they stepped out of the workshop.
“Whoa. So it all started with a drop of tear. The chaos happened because a Xian dropped a tear inside during the process. Thanks for the help.”
Dipankara avoided when Taiyi Zhenren was patting his shoulder excitedly.
“Now that it’s settled, excuse us if you don’t mind,” said Dipankara. He stood up and looked at Nezha with a smile.
“Nezha, let’s go.”
Coincidentally, the setting sun was shining behind Dipankara. The twilight made him look like a guiding lamp, leading Nezha to move on. Somehow, Nezha was touched by this scene. Holding back his tears, he caught up with Dipankara’s pace and walked beside him.
“Sure,” Nezha replied.
“Possessing master is not what I wanted. I just want to be his support in this chaotic time…”