Chapter Five – Five Centuries Past Is A Long Time

"I don't want to die!" The teenage boy howled, springing up into the air. "I don't want to die!"

And then he fell abruptly into silence.

Silence. The class … was extremely quiet as well. Time seemed to slow down into a standstill.

Breathlessness. Han was thrown into an awkward state of breathlessness. He shamefully looked about the classroom around him … feeling two dozen over stares burning their way through his red hot skin. The boy timidly cast an apologetic look to the class before climbing back into his seat. Deep in the midst of his heart, he silently cursed Alicia for dragging him back into school.

He had finally turned up for classes at Wu Liao College … but dozed off in the middle of math class and encountered a nightmare that he could not recall that vividly now that he thought back to it. All that … for a promise he made with Alicia.

Speaking of that suicidal woman … where was she?

Han yawned deeply and scratched at the back of his head lazily. He quickly wiped at his drool on his notes and turned to a new page. He hated math with all his heart. However easy the teachers tried to make it appear to the students, Han knew solemnly that he was one man destined to never befriend this subject. The rest of his class thought that way as well and had chased away the previous teacher. They had not a replacement for weeks already.

At this point, Han finally to the empty desk at the front of the classroom. At least, he thought it was empty. And he very well, received the shock of his life – so much so that the teenage boy almost tumbled off his chair.

"A-Alicia?" He yelled in disbelief … once more, the class stared at him.

"Address me as Ms Tan, Han." Alicia chirped dangerously.

"Han?" Once again, the class burned their stares into the teenager. "Since when was he called Han?"

"Oh, or should I address you as Jun Tian?" her eyes sparkled playfully.

Right at this moment, the teenage kid, Han, or otherwise known as Jun Tian, knew that he was defeated utterly. The taste of defeat was bitter … distasteful … yet it wasn't like he cared or bothered much about it. He was … bored. He had returned to classes in hope that Alicia's promise ( she promised to make school fun ) would bring about something interesting.

This surprise that she had prepared wasn't interesting in any bit. Not to him, at least.

Jun Tian reverted almost instantaneously from the average college student to Han, the boy whom Alicia had met nights before. His glassy eyes of lifelessness peered through the windows to the cloudy skies outdoors. He slipped a cigarette from his wallets and stuck it to his mouth. With a swift nimble motion, he lighted it with a pocket lighter.

"Don't smoke in school." Jun Tian would have heard Alicia if he wasn't buried in his bleached mind of lifeless thoughts. Sometimes, he had felt that he did not belong here in the mortal realm. He was built for something else ….

Something he could give away his life for.

Faintly, and indistinctively, Jun Tian had this vague notion that his heart was long torn away from his chest … long … long … ago.

He stood up from his seat and made his way to the exit of the classroom, cigarette still plucked in his lips.

"Delinquent, where are you going off to? Lessons are still currently being held …" Alicia had wanted to follow the teenage but was stopped in her tracks when Jun Tian turned around to exhale a series of smoke into her face.

"I came," he started. "only to confirm that school was, is, and will be boring. Goodbye." Jun Tian left the classroom, leaving behind a stunned math teacher and a silent class of students who were only interested in her ( yea, think dirty ).

Wu Ya awoke to the bright light of the midday sun. That, and a stranger in his hotel room. If it were anyone else, he would have been mercilessly beheaded by Wu Ya.

But this man … Wu Ya would never behead.

"Tian Hao." Wu Ya greeted the stranger who stood by the balcony, his back to Wu Ya … the sun casting his familiar silhouette into the immortal's irises.

"Wu Ya." the stranger acknowledged softly. Yet, he did not turn to face Wu Ya.

Right at this very moment, Wu Ya's heart was thrown into a chaotic sea of countless questions. He wanted to ask, to demand an answer – where had Tian Hao been all this while? was he captured? was he punished like the rest? where was Han?

But the very first question that escaped Wu Ya's lips were – how did you know I am here?

At last, Tian Hao turned to face the immortal. The edges of his dark trench coat swirling about his calves.

"Wu Ya. Two nights ago, I breathed in your scent. I could not believe it …. yet … my trusty nose has never failed me …" Tian Hao laughed. A joyful hearty laugh. "Even if it were you, I did not think you would remember me … that you would retain your memories …. But you did. This – this is wonderful."

Wu Ya should be delighted as well. Yet, he shifted uneasily as he sat on his bed. "Your nose? What are you, Tian Hao? Not only did you survive the havoc that we wrought in heaven, you avoided capture and more importantly, you retained your cultivation. My Shen Shi cannot penetrate your mental defenses. That must mean that you, Tian Hao, have a cultivation that is at least on par with mine."

Upon hearing his question, Tian Hao's smile abruptly faded away. What remained, was a sorrowful smirk. He looked away from Wu Ya.

"I'm sorry, Wu Ya. But if I reply that … we can no longer be friends."

"Why?" Wu Ya demanded. He was standing up now. "Why? Do not keep it from me …"

"I really cannot tell you." was Tian Hao's cold and brief reply.

"Why not? We are blood brothers. You, me, and Han. We swore, we promised, we pledged our lives together as one! We have been through what no one can ever be through … Nothing can stop the three of us …"

"You are still the same, Wu Ya." Tian Hao sighed deeply and softly. "But I, my friend, have changed. Too many things have changed as well. Wu Ya, five centuries, is a long time. A time long enough for everything past to disappear – to be replaced."

"Not our friendship, Tian Hao. We are immortals … were immortals … the passing of five centuries is but a slight milestone compared to our lengthy lifespan."

"But I am no longer immortal!" Tian Hao howled all of a sudden. His clenched fists punched through the concrete walls of the room in anger.

"Impossible … you have at least attained a cultivation of Fen Shen … how could you – how could you not be an immortal? unless …"

Wu Ya cast a look of disbelief at Tian Hao's frame. His friend's nod only confirmed the fear within Wu Ya's heart.

He weakly squeezed out a reply. "You are – a demon?"

Once more, Tian Hao nodded.

And silence, blanketed the room. For a while, the friendship between the two was tried … tried … and tried again … Immortals and demons were sworn enemies. Could their friendship withhold this challenge?


It did.

Wu Ya had finally gathered his thoughts in order. He licked his lips dryly and spoke. "What happened, Tian Hao? Whether you are a demon or immortal, it does not matter. Tian Hao, it does not matter. What matters is that we are friends. But what had happened?"

Tian Hao shook his head bitterly. "What happened?" He repeated beneath his breath before continuing. "Remember how Han was massacred by the thousands of fiery arrows from the Heavenly Imperial Battalion? After his mortal body was burnt to soot and his Yuan Ying captured by their General, all of us were frantically retreating …"

Wu Ya nodded as he recalled. "We were pretty sure that we could have won that battle. Yet, things did not go as planned. But even so, we should have made a clean escape. Why didn't we?"

"None of us knew. None of us, but Han. But he's dead. And swiftly thereafter, you were caught by the heavenly troops and slain as well. The remaining immortals we had brought with us were mercilessly slaughtered."

"What about you?"

"Me? I managed to escape back to the earthly realm. But my mortal body was thoroughly and severely damaged – to the point that I had to discard it. I freed my Yuan Ying from my body and fled with the heavenly army fast on my tracks."

"What happened next?"

"Even if my Yuan Ying was intact, it was too weak after the battle in heaven. I had expended too much of my Qi and had insufficient Shen left to recreate a whole new body. It was even insufficient for my Yuan Ying to latch onto a human. Now that I recall, there wasn't any corpse available in the vicinity any way."

Wu Ya nodded. "For you to latch onto a human, it must first not be occupied by any soul. In addition, it must be within three days after its death."

"Yes." Tian Hao continued. "I had to do something fast. My Qi and Shen was decreasing drastically considering that I have to steer my Yuan Ying and fly it through the air away from the heavenly troops. Not to mention that it was severely wounded as well." Tian Hao shuddered even as he recalled the incident five centuries past. "The only corpse available was that of an adult wolf."

"Wolf." Wu Ya sputtered. "So you were from then on, trapped in the body of an wolf. And there was no other way but to cultivate within its body."

Tian Hao nodded. "And as you do know, humans and animals have the universal right to cultivate for a path through the Heavenly Gates to the heavenly realm. However, the path of cultivation for animals are much tougher and cruel than that of the humans."

"In addition," Wu Ya added, "humans who are cultivating are referred to as immortals. But animals who have cultivated are referred to as demons. The animals do not share the moral values we humans possess … hence they murder and wreck chaos on earth among humans carelessly. Immortals and demons have been, for millennia, at loggerheads."

"You can put it that way. But not all of the demons are like this. As time passes, they themselves have developed an understanding for humans."

"Tian Hao, that is wrong. Do you not remember? My family, my ancestral clan was wiped out by demon!"

"Then I ask you, Wu Ya. Look at the world about us. Take a look at it! Use your Shen Shi! Your Shen Shi is at the tenth level already. You should be able to track and spot the locations of each and every immortal below the cultivation of Fen Shen."

Wu Ya coughed dryly. He had already tried the previous night.

"Have you not noticed it yet? There are no immortals in this world anymore! No one left … but you! And the heavenly realm has not been intervening in the mortal realm for centuries already. If what you said about demons is true, human civilization would have long been reduced to ashes."

Wu Ya longed to deny this fact, but he knew that it was right.

"But definitely." He argued. "There must be evil ones."

"Definitely, yes." Tian Hao agreed. "But currently, the demons are cleanly divided into three factions. Those that choose to wrought havoc amidst humans. Those who choose to live peacefully among them. And those who are only focused on their cultivation."

"You are of the second faction."

"Yes." Tian Hao nodded. "Of course, I would never be the first. And I didn't want to be of the third faction either. I wanted to wait for you … for Han … Demons … they have ten levels of cultivation. Currently, I am of the eighth level … ready to advance to the ninth at any point of time. But I have been fervently delaying the arrival of the ninth level. Why? Because I have been waiting for you, Tian Hao. You and Han. If I proceeded on to the ninth level, there would be no way I could slow down my pace of cultivation. I would no doubt advance to the tenth level in a millennium at the most and enter the heavenly realm. But what do you reckon if the deities discover my true identity in Heaven? They would most certainly destroy me."

At this point, Tian Hao looked to Wu Ya. "What of you, my brother? For the past five centuries, I have tried to track your existence down. With the body of a wolf, and with the enhancement of the effects of my cultivation, I can instantly pinpoint the location of anyone around the globe through my sense of smell. But never once have I discovered you."

"Around the globe?"

"Earth is spherical."

"I thought it was a piece of flat land …"


Jun Tian paced slowly through the streets. He was bored. So he made it a point to step onto all the dead leaves strewn about the streets. The crisp leaves made a delicious and delicate sound as he crushed them beneath his sneakers.


It was almost past. Though Jun Tian loved the beauty and darkness of the summer night, he definitely welcomed the autumn night. After all, autumn nights were longer than summer nights.

And colder.


Only at some times, Jun Tian could not comprehend himself. Once in a while, he would sink into long drowsy moments of bitterness, sorrow, boredom, and more importantly, dissatisfaction. But for what, he did not know.

He wanted to know. During these times, he had this definite feeling – a feeling that tugged at his heart, trying to remind him of something he should remember.

Of what – he could not recall.

But he knew it was painful.

"That's all." Wu Ya concluded.

"That's all?" Tian Hao frowned. "You were animals for two hundred incarnations? No wonder I couldn't track you down. Your smell wasn't human. You know, I've eaten countless of eagles and rats in my life as a wolf as I struggled to live in the wilderness, while I was still in the first few levels of cultivation, that is. I could not assume the form of a human until the third level. I wonder …"

"You wonder?"

"If I could have eaten you at any point of your incarnation …" Tian Hao smiled playfully.

"Bastard." Wu Ya cursed. For a while, the hotel room was filled with hearty laughter. Finally, the two settled down and Wu Ya continued. "Did you find out what happened to Han?"

"It's better that you do not know." Tian Hao muttered beneath his breath.

"I want to."

"He has been human for sixty odd incarnations."

The smile was instantaneously wiped from Wu Ya's lips.


"Human. Man. Mortal." Tian Hao repeated softly, his voice deep and solemn.

"But why? How could he avoid punishment?" Wu Ya's blood was beginning to boil. How could Han have not been punished? How could he be human … while all the while … all the while the two of them, him and Tian Hao, were living a cruel and bitter life ( lives for Wu Ya )?

"Perhaps," Tian Hao answered. "Perhaps, she begged of the Jade Emperor to spare Han."

"She? After she had broken Han's heart mercilessly?"

"Yes. But trust me, Han did not avoid punishment." Tian Hao sighed as he looked to the clouds from the balcony. "He did not – that, I assure you. For sixty over human incarnations, he lived each to the fullest. That is, he lived the maximum lifespan most men could ever hope to. But in his long life, he lived each and every moment with regret, pain, and most of all – boredom."

"Boredom?" Wu Ya asked. His anger was receding fast.

Tian Hao nodded. "Do you even think that Han could forget her? Even after drinking Meng Po's soup, he could not. Even without his memories of her, her place in his heart could never be moved. Do you, Wu Ya, do you recall his very words that he mouthed when he learnt the truth about her?"

"Do you mean …" Wu Ya allowed his voice to trail on …

"The very moment after he had attained the eleventh level of cultivation – He Ti, he visited the heavenly realm. You do know that at the eleventh level, one is allowed to visit and roam the outer skirts of the heavenly realm and at the twelfth and finally level, one can walk throughout the plane of the heavenly realm."

Wu Ya nodded.

"Yet, when he went to the heavenly realm, to meet her at last after centuries of longing, waiting and cultivating … she had forgotten him? What had he furiously cultivated for? What was the purpose of Han torturing himself and casting his desires of Hong Chen aside? For her! For her! Yet in her eyes, he was only a mortal – a lowly being that she had merely toyed with centuries ago. After Han was chased from the Heavenly Gates back to the mortal realm … he changed."

Wu Ya remembered of the past. "Yes, Tian Hao, our friend changed. And I recall his words clearly. That a man's heart is like that of glass – it can only be broken once. Only once."

"Yes, Wu Ya. And for the next sixty incarnations of human, our brother Han, he lived through each incarnation, forgetting her … and yet at the same time … remembering her place in his broken heart. Imagine … how bleak his life must be … yet he cannot die … he cannot escape the countless cycle of incarnation … he had not only lost her … he had also lost his memories of her … life to him … was no longer meaningful, even after he had drank Meng Po's soup."

"I see." Wu Ya clenched his fists angrily. He was furious – furious not at Han, but at Heaven and the fate it had assigned to them, the earthly beings. "I see. Han has not avoided punishment. In fact, his punishment was even more cruel and bitter than ours."

Tian Hao nodded. "Currently, he is living out his sixty-third incarnation as a man with the name Jun Tian. Right now, he is seventeen years of age and a student at Wu Liao College – that although he skips school regularly. His IQ is above average but he is definitely wasting it away through the poison he inhales."


"Cigarettes, our dear brother, Han, is smoking." Tian Hao laughed. "That must be good … he can die faster …"

"What do you plan to do now, Tian Hao? What do you plan for us to do now?" Wu Ya asked. He was lost. All of a sudden, after receiving information of how his two close friends had lived out their punishment … he was …

"I don't know. Wu Ya." Tian Hao sighed as he shrugged. " I don't know."


And even more silence. It was deep, so deep that the two almost drowned in it.

Abruptly, Wu Ya's hands found their way to Tian Hao's shoulders and he shook the demon so hard that Tian Hao swore that his bones would have turned into dust.

"I have an idea …"

"What?" Tian Hao could tell that his friend was extremely excited. Faintly, he felt the same as well.

"If my theory was correct, that about the antidote that King YanLuo had made me drink … then I have a way to restore and recover Han's memories."

"How so?"

"Do you remember the sword that Han wields?"

"Do you mean the Feng Long Jian?" Tian Hao rubbed at his chin.

"Yes, my friend. It is a mystical sword of heavenly origins. It cuts through only what the wielder wants to."

"I do know that, but I do not comprehend what you are trying to …"

"Think through it again, Tian Hao. The antidote that I drank was a dosage of two hundred times … the medicinal effects should still linger in my soul for quite a while. Using the Feng Long Jian, I could tear apart a vein in my soul and let out the blood …"

There was a faint sparkle in Tian Hao's eyes. He continued excitedly. "I get it … I get it! If Han drinks the blood of your soul … he would receive the effects of the antidote as well. There are two problems though …"

Wu Ya agreed. "One, only Han himself can wield the Feng Long Jian."

"And two." Tian Hao added. "Whether restoring his memories is the right thing we should do."

"The first problem …" Wu Ya felt the stubble on his chin as he thought deeply. "Is easy. All we need to do, is to ask Jun Tian to wield the sword. But the second issue is …"

"Let me ask you. What do you think of his name?"

"Jun Tian?"

"Yes, Han's name – Jun Tian."

"What do you mean?" Wu Ya frowned lightly.

"If you revert it around …"

"Tian Jun!" Wu Ya exclaimed excitedly. "Tian Jun! Heavenly Ruler!"

Tian Hao nodded. "It seems that he is destined to recover his memories, after all."

"What are we waiting for then? Let's go restore Jun Tian's memories!" Wu Ya shook Tian Hao's shoulders violently once more.

"Han's memories." Tian Hao corrected him.

Author's Notes:

Two changes made to this story. One, I edited the summary. Two, I recategorized it from Manga to Fantasy. The reason behind this, is that I no longer feel that this story is what I had planned it to be initially.

Anyway, I hope this chapter wasn't too bad. Really, I hope it isn't.

Tian Jun - 天君

It means heavenly ruler. Or Universal Master. Or Supreme Lord. Whatever it is, it is the reverse of Han's name in his current incarnation - Jun Tian.

Ah. And Tian Hao - 天豪

Hmm. I don't know what I had intended it to mean. But if i brutely and forcefully translate it, it would mean "Pride of the sky."

Hope you liked this chapter. And yep, review. Thanks.