Summoned by Li Hsiao-Yao, Tang Yu-Rou traveled through time and space to the realm of Humans to assist in the search for the missing Evil-Sealing Pagoda. She arrived alone on this strange land, but fortunately, it was not long before she was reunited with her lover — Jiang Yun-Fan.
However, something was different about the Jiang that now stood before her. Tang Yu-Rou could not tell exactly what had changed, but everything about him seemed peculiar — his expression, his sight, and even his tone...
Even though Jiang Yun-Fan’s behavior was strange, she knew he was still himself; therefore, she followed him on his journey in search of the Pagoda.
Thanks to their ability to sense the Pagoda, the two finally located it in the realm of Humans. With help from the Almighty Devil, Chong Lou, the individuals could finally start the magical stage, and the Evil-Sealing Pagoda was sent back to Ancient China. However, transporting the Pagoda had exhausted Chong Lou’s power; they had to find another way home.
From the Cat Duke’s book about the Evil Sealing Pagoda, they learned that they could reopen the passageway of time and space if they found a Runestone of great power in the realm.
The Celestial Master conjured his power and created a crystal capable of guiding them to the Runestone. With the help of the crystal, they could locate their target and return to their time as soon as possible. However, the Celestial Master only had one map of the realm. The individuals from Ancient China had to stay and copy out a map of their own, before they could pick the area of search and plan their route.
After reading the map, Jiang Yun-Fan and Tang Yu-Rou decided to head toward Divine Woodland.
As the two drew their own map, they discussed the route they should take.
All that Tang Yu-Rou wanted to do was to return home soon; after all, the Pagoda had been retrieved, and this realm was not their home.
Tang Yu-Rou: Look here on the map; we can probably take this route. Yun-Fan, what do you think?
Jiang Yun-Fan: This will not work. It is too dangerous to pass through those caves and stuff.
Tang Yu-Rou: But this is the fastest way...
Jiang Yun-Fan: Our priority should be safety! Maybe I should do the planning. I have done this quite often back when I was a bandit.
Jiang Yun-Fan: We are not familiar with this realm after all; we had better be careful.
Tang Yu-Rou: Your plan is indeed better. You know, I originally thought you had intentionally planned a roundabout route on purpose.
Jiang Yun-Fan: Wh...Why would I? I was just ensuring that we can return safely.
Dismay appeared on Jiang Yun-Fan’s expression, as if he was hiding something from Tang Yu-Rou. Though she also noticed the change on his face, she did not intend to linger on it, believing that he had his own plans.
Jiang Yun-Fan and Tang Yu-Rou had different concerns when planning the route in search of the powerful Runestone. Tang Yu-Rou wanted to return home as soon as possible, so she had planned a shorter but more dangerous route; however, Jiang Yun-Fan deemed safety their first priority and hence, his route was more roundabout. Acknowledging that they were unfamiliar with the realm, Tang Yu-Rou agreed to take Jiang Yun-Fan’s route, ensuring their safety.
During their journey, the two conversed on various topics. But strangely, Jiang Yun-Fan never mentioned Ancient China; all he talked about was this realm of Humans. Tang Yu-Rou thought perhaps the difference between the two places had intrigued him so much that he simply did not have the chance to focus on their home.
Then, they arrived at a cave. Tang Yu-Rou remembered that Divine Woodland should be on the other side. But just as she was about to enter it, Jiang Yun-Fan pulled her back.
Jiang Yun-Fan: Let’s take the road outside. We do not know what is in the cave.
Tang Yu-Rou: That does not sound like you. I thought you would have dashed into it and take it as an adventure.
Jiang Yun-Fan: I...Is that so? I am just worried if there would be any unpredictable danger in the cave. We had better be careful!
They took the road outside the cave but it was to no avail as they still came face-to-face with man-eating gnomes...
Jiang Yun-Fan: You take cover; I will deal with them, okay?
Tang Yu-Rou: No way! How can I let you fight alone? We promised to stay together forever!
Tang Yu-Rou: Yun-Fan! Watch out!
Just as they thought they had taken care of all the gnomes, Tang Yu-Rou saw a gnome sneaking behind Jiang Yun-Fan from a bush! Seeing the incoming attack, Tang Yu-Rou threw herself at Jiang Yun-Fan, knocking him onto the ground and thus, dodging the lethal blow. Furious, Jiang Yun-Fan immediately dispatched of the gnome, before dashing over to Tang Yu-Rou and examining her condition...
Jiang Yun-Fan: Darn! Why would I be so careless?! If not, you wouldn’t have gotten hurt...
Tang Yu-Rou: It is just a scratch. I will be fine. You do not need to blame yourself.
Jiang Yun-Fan: ...I did not protect you well!
Jiang Yun-Fan did not hear Tang Yu-Rou’s words. His still-regretful expression left Tang Yu-Rou dejected; she did not understand why Jiang Yun-Fan had blamed himself like this...
During their search for the powerful Runestone, Jiang Yun-Fan and Tang Yu-Rou were assaulted by man-eating gnomes. Jiang Yun-Fan had defeated them with ease, not realizing one had remained behind him, prepared to ambush him. The keen-sighted Tang Yu-Rou saved Jiang Yun-Fan from peril, but she also abraded her hands and knees as a result.
After the accident, Jiang Yun-Fan had become silent. Neither spoke during their trip again. Though she had known him for a long time, Tang Yu-Rou had never seen his expression so severe, affecting the entire atmosphere. Therefore, she approached him, her hands gently placed on his arms.
Tang Yu-Rou: Is there something bothering you?
Jiang Yun-Fan still remained quiet, prompting greater bemusement from Tang Yu-Rou.
She was becoming increasingly worried about his peculiarity...
Tang Yu-Rou: Have we gotten lost? Maybe we should take a look at the map...
Jiang Yun-Fan: ...No, we have not.
Tang Yu-Rou: Do not worry. We will be able to get back soon...
Jiang Yun-Fan: You have no idea what’s going on...!
Tang Yu-Rou thought back to everything that had happened during their journey, but failed to identify anything that could have caused his current eccentricity and unfamiliarity. Perhaps she had done something that had angered him. When her thoughts drifted in this direction, Tang Yu-Rou felt as if her heart shattered, and she trembled in sorrow.
Tang Yu-Rou: I am sorry. I had better be quiet.
Jiang Yun-Fan: I am sorry, too. This was not my intention.
Tang Yu-Rou: I should be the one apologizing. You have a lot of worries, but I am not aware of any of them...
Jiang Yun-Fan: No, that’s not it! I am mad at myself!
Jiang Yun-Fan: I have once experienced the pain of losing you; and yet, when I have a chance again, I still failed to protect you from harm!
Although Jiang Yun-Fan had stopped talking immediately, the careful Tang Yu-Rou had realized he had revealed something he did not want her to know. She herself was also left in shock, and failed to react to his sentence. She did not understand a part of his words, and asked airily:
Tang Yu-Rou: You...Did you just say that you have experienced the pain of...losing me...?
Jiang Yun-Fan: I...
Tang Yu-Rou: In the world that you know, do I no longer exist?
Tang Yu-Rou’s pressed on, but this was already accompanied by growing pangs of insecurity...
Tang Yu-Rou had always thought the Jiang Yun-Fan before her now was peculiar. Tang Yu-Rou had left it be until she heard from Jiang Yun-Fan that he had once lost her. This prompted her to contemplate everything that had happened on their journey. He immediately stopped speaking, but she could not suppress the urge to probe further.
Upon hearing the questions, Jiang Yun-Fan’s eyes drifted, and he stuttered as he answered. Tang Yu-Rou realized that he was struggling, and was trying to avoid mentioning something unspeakable. Although she had no idea what he was hiding, she knew he was doing it for her own good. If he was not telling her, it was because it was something she should not know. However, her thoughts were suddenly interrupted by a charge of raging elves and monsters...
Flower Elf: Darned Humans! Don’t intrude and profane the Divine Tree!
Tang Yu-Rou: ‘Could it be that Yun-Fan has chosen a roundabout way because he wants to lengthen the search for the Runestone and thus, the journey home?’
Tang Yu-Rou and Jiang Yun-Fan had defeated many elves and other monsters, but they still swarmed with unending numbers.
Hence, Jiang Yun-Fan grabbed Tang Yi-Rou’s hand and ran into the depths of the forest.
They did not stop running for a long time. When they finally paused to catch their breath, the crystal in Jiang Yun-Fan’s pouch suddenly radiated with green light. Although he had thought of every way to stall their return, they had inadvertently arrived at the Divine Tree where the powerful Runestone was held. It was as if this was arranged by fate, and none could hinder its progress.
A thought suddenly struck Tang Yu-Rou; if all those from Ancient China who had come to this realm were from a different time, this Jiang Yun-Fan could be one from later than her in the timeline. Then, his peculiarity was explainable.
Tang Yu-Rou had long realized that she would pass away soon. Maybe the time he belonged to was one where she had already perished and hence, he had inadvertently revealed information about her death and tried to stall their own journey. Sorrow emerged; Tang Yu-Rou could not imagine the enormity of Jiang Yun-Fan’s pain.
Tang Yu-Rou could finally understand how he felt. However, no matter how reluctant they were, all of them had to return to their own time and space. She took a deep breath to calm her mind. The unfamiliar seriousness of Jiang Yun-Fan’s expression prompted Tang Yu-Rou to laugh, deeming the look unbefitting him:
Tang Yu-Rou: You look really strange now. This person before me is not the Jiang Yun-Fan I know.
Jiang Yun-Fan: You are only saying that because you know nothing...
Tang Yu-Rou: Maybe. But I do know that Jiang Yun-Fan is a happy and optimistic person.
Tang Yu-Rou: No matter what problem stands in his way, he can solve it without hesitation.
Tang Yu-Rou: I might not know what has happened, but I do know that I would give anything for you.
Tang Yu-Rou: My heart will always be with you...
A smile finally spread across Jiang Yun-Fan’s face. He had once again become the happier version of himself Tang Yu-Rou had known, bringing much comfort to her heavy heart.
Although she might not be able to accompany him for the rest of his life, she knew her heart will always stay by his side. They interlocked their fingers as they stretched out their other hand to the Divine Tree. The radiance on the Tree gradually intensified. Tang Yu-Rou looked at Jiang Yun-Fan; but his figure began to fade, and had almost disappeared...
Jiang Yun-Fan: Yu-Rou, I love you.
Tang Yu-Rou: Even though we are separated, my love will always be with you.
The two were dragged into the passageway of time and space, traveling back to their own worlds. When she had returned to Ancient China, Tang Yu-Rou treasured each and every moment she spent with Jiang Yun-Fan, and awaited her destiny...