Summoned by Li Hsiao-Yao, Jiang Yun-Fan traveled through time and space in search of the Evil-Sealing Pagoda. In the realm of Humans, he had an unexpected encounter with Tang Yu-Rou, who had already perished. The Tang in front of him now was summoned from before her death; her memory was not intact, and she did not know that she will someday sacrifice her own life to save Jiang Yun-Fan.
With their ability to sense the Evil-Sealing Pagoda, the two finally located it in the realm of Humans. There, they met the others from Ancient China, including the Almighty Devil, Chong Lou. Unfortunately, he had exhausted his power sending the Pagoda back, compelling the others to find another way home.
From the Cat Duke’s book about the Pagoda, they learnt that they could reopen the passageway of time and space if they found a Runestone of great power in the realm.
After reading the map, Jiang Yun-Fan and Tang Yu-Rou decided to head toward Divine Woodland. Before they embarked on their journey, the Celestial Master conjured his power and created a crystal, which would guide them to the Runestone. During their journey, Jiang Yun-Fan silently peered at the map, his mind involuntarily struggling with one another.
Jiang Yun-Fan: ‘We have to return to Ancient China. It is our home after all...’
Jiang Yun-Fan: ‘But, if we do return, Yu-Rou will...Am I supposed to suffer this loss yet again? Fate has granted me this rare chance to be with her...’
She is the love of his life — separated by the barrier of death; but now, she stood before him, so close that he could touch her. Jiang Yun-Fan closed his eyes, before folding up the map in silence. Walking beside him, Tang Yu-Rou could not help but ask with a smile:
Tang Yu-Rou: Mm? What is wrong? Not looking at the map, huh? Are you not afraid of getting lost?
Jiang Yun-Fan pointed at his brain before smiling:
Jiang Yun-Fan: Have you forgotten? I was a bandit once! Simple things like maps? I can remember them after a single glance.
Tang Yu-Rou nodded, still smiling; he gripped her hand, and the two walked side by side with fingers interlocked. The warmth coming from her hand was concrete, prompting him to subconsciously tighten his grip. However, before he took her hand, he had already slipped the map and crystal into his pouch, his mind devising a scheme...
The Cat Duke’s book stated that if the individuals found a Runestone of great power in the realm, they could reopen the passageway of time and space to return to Ancient China. Jiang Yun-Fan and Tang Yu-Rou chose to carry out their search in Divine Woodland. However, he had hidden the map and the crystal that could guide him there.
When he had lost Tang Yu-Rou in the past, the pain shattered his heart; it was as if every breath reminded him of the tedium in life that awaited him. But to his surprise, a miracle happened in this realm of Humans — Tang Yu-Rou stood before him, alive.
How could he lose her again? Jiang Yun-Fan lied to her about remembering the map. His actual intention was to prevent her from finding the right path; that way, their search for the Runestone would never end, and death would not do them part.
However, despite claims to the contrary, when they took the roundabout route, danger still came in their way. When they arrived at a cave, Jiang Yun-Fan lied to her with claims of the dangers in the cave, since he knew that Divine Woodland was just on the other side of the cave. They then continued their journey outside the cave, but to his surprise, they encountered man-eating gnomes in the forest...
Hungry Gnome: Humans...you look delicious!
Jiang Yun-Fan: You want to eat us? I do not think you are quite powerful enough.
Jiang Yun-Fan: Darn, those yaoguais were easy to deal with! I was hoping to get some exercise.
Jiang Yun-Fan defeated the gnomes with ease, but just as he was reveling in his self-satisfaction, a gnome hidden in the bush snuck up, about to attack him from behind!
Tang Yu-Rou: Yun-Fan! Watch out!
Tang Yu-Rou threw herself at Jiang Yun-Fan, pushing him onto the ground. But the latter merely asked in worry:
Jiang Yun-Fan: Yu-Rou! Are you okay?
Tang Yu-Rou: I am fine...How about you? Are you hurt?
Jiang Yun-Fan angrily approached the gnome and gave it a severe beating, before he examined her condition. Fortunately, her injuries were superficial, but still, they were enough to prompt an ache in his heart, as memories of the moment he lost her surfaced.
Unable to bear the thought of losing Tang Yu-Rou again, Jiang Yun-Fan had planned to use the excuse of “failing to find the Runestone” to spend the rest of his life with his love. However, running into man-eating gnomes during their journey had left Tang Yu-Rou wounded. This had reminded Jiang Yun-Fan of his pain when he had lost her, prompting self-blame from him for failing to protect her.
Since then, Jiang Yun-Fan had become quiet. Tang Yu-Rou was not used to the sudden silence; he had always been talkative and optimistic, but now he was unusually silent, and his expression was stern. She searched her mind but could not find a clue of what could have caused this.
Tang Yu-Rou: Is there something bothering you?
Jiang Yun-Fan merely gave her a glance without saying a word.
Tang Yu-Rou: Is it because we got lost? I would not mind if you read the map again...
Jiang Yun-Fan: ...No, we are not lost.
Then, he became silent again.
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...!
The emotion, having been long-repressed, suddenly erupted, leaving Tang Yu-Rou too shocked to react. It was not until then did Jiang Yun-Fan realize that her hands were trembling; regret immediately surged. He wanted to protect her, but instead, had caused her pain; he hoped to treat her better, but had actually brought her sadness.
Tang Yu-Rou: I am sorry...
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!
Jiang Yun-Fan realized that he had said the unspeakable. Tang Yu-Rou looked at him in shock, but his silence further proved that he was neither joking nor lying. Even after the passing of several moments, Jiang Yun-Fan’s expression remained one of embarrassment for he lacked the ability to explain. It was then Tang Yu-Rou asked:
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?
Jiang Yun-Fan looked into Tang Yu-Rou’s large watery eyes; she was seeking an answer she could already guess at, and was simply waiting for Jiang Yun-Fan to give her an honest explanation. His eyes drifted; deep within him, he was pondering whether he should tell her everything...
Agitation had led Jiang Yun-Fan to misspeak, inadvertently leaving clues for the clever Tang Yu-Rou to guess her own future. He wondered whether he should tell the truth: if he confesses, would it mean that she will not sacrifice herself to save him in the future? Or would it still end the same way? Or, would an even worse ending await? Just then, his thoughts were suddenly interrupted by a charge of raging elves and monsters...
Flower Elf: Darned Humans! Don’t intrude and profane the Divine Tree!
Jiang Yun-Fan: ‘Divine Tree? Could that mean the powerful Runestone is near?’
The number of elves and other monsters seemed endless. No matter how many Jiang Yun-Fan defeated, more would fill their places.
Continuing the fight would not be beneficial, so he grabbed Tang Yu-Rou’s hand and ran into the depths of the forest.
The two kept running until they were sure there were no pursuers. Just as they were catching their breath, the crystal in Jiang Yun-Fan’s pouch radiated with green light. It turned out that they had inadvertently arrived at the Divine Tree. Jiang Yun-Fan and Tang Yu-Rou looked each other in the eyes. They can return home as long as they reach out their hand, but both of them hesitated.
Jiang Yun-Fan’s expression was one of sadness; he knew clearly that touching the Runestone meant that he had to return to the world where Tang Yu-Rou had already perished. Just then, the Tang standing before him smiled. Jiang Yun-Fan looked at her with bemusement.
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 the Tender Rain: 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...
Tang Yu-Rou’s smile eased Jiang Yun-Fan’s heart. Life and death does not matter — wherever they are, as long as there is each other in their heart and memory, love always goes on. A smile finally spread across Jiang Yun-Fan’s face; he could not help admonishing himself for forgetting this important principle of love.
They interlocked their fingers as they stretched out their other hand to the blinding Divine Tree. The two’s figure gradually faded and before they completely disappeared, Jiang Yun-Fan looked at Tang Yu-Rou:
Jiang Yun-Fan: Yu-Rou, I love you.
Tang Yu-Rou smiled and said something, but Jiang Yun-Fan could not hear her clearly. They were then dragged into the passageway of time and space, and returned to Ancient China. When Jiang reopened his eyes, the love of his life was nowhere to be seen. He raised his head to the sky and smiled; he knew that even if they were separated by the barrier of death, their love did not falter.
He believed that one day, regardless of the years he had to wait, they would once again encounter each other.