A bad feeling crept into my heart as I turned around. There, on the circular pedestal, stood my father, with hands behind his back which was facing me.
I've read enough light novels to understand what might occur next, but I did not want to accept it.
"O-oi, old man, it's time to go. Why are you still standing there like an idiot?" I tried probing.
My father was silent. Then he sighed and replied, "Son. You must understand. One day everyone must part. Just like your mother, the Xiong Clan, and maybe someone you love in the future, but son, you must hold strong. Do you understand?"
"N-n-no. This son doesn't understand. So, father, can you please come with me? You can slowly explain it to me after we smash the dog emperor together alright?" I replied as I felt a sinking feeling in my heart.
"Mmm, no need for that. Father will explain it right now. You see this maze? You probably already noticed all the formations in this maze. Have you ever wondered where its power source is? Well, it's this precise room. As for the power source, it's the key in your hands," my father explained.
I was silent as I waited for my father to clarify his main point. It can't be what I'm imagining.
"Without the power source, this maze will collapse within minutes as the formations holding the maze together will be deactivated. Therefore, in order to keep the maze afloat until everyone gets out, a power source must be used as substitute. My soul holds that power, and it is my duty-" my father continued, but I cut him off as I rushed over with the sword.
"Alright, no need to say anymore Father. I'll put the power source back in, then we can leave. Easy as that!"
I tried inserting the sword back into the pedestal, but no matter how hard I tried, there seems to be an unknown force rejecting the sword. I desperately kept trying to pierce it. Please, just please god d**n go in!
"Son, there's no need. After the sword is pulled out, it will not be able to be placed back in. The maze already has been set to destruction mode. Son, you don't have much time now, you must leave," my father glances down at the desperate me who is still trying to insert the sword.
I ignored what he said, I know that I can put this in. I'm the protagonist, I can do anything! As I continued to jab the f**king sword into the hole, a warm hand suddenly reached over and stopped me. A warm drop of water leaked from my eyes as I was forced to accept the truth.
"That's enough son. Father is happy that you care for father. Your mother will also be happy for giving birth to such a filial son. Father only wishes that you will not be blinded by revenge, that you will live a happy life from now on. Your mother probably wishes the same thing," father said as he warmly smiled at me.
A silky line slowly extended from my eyes to my throat as my throat clogged, disabling my ability to speak. I stared at that warm, smiling face. The one who had personally delivered me away from death when I was born, with the same smiling face.
"Good son, don't be so sad. This is a good thing. Your mother is very lonely on the other side. Your father can finally go accompany your her," my father said as he turned away from me and looked up into the sky.
I staggered backwards and fell to my knees as I stared at that figure whom I've only met twice in this life, yet it's a figure who holds one of the important spots in my heart that cannot be replaced. In the silence that followed, the clear dripping sound of water onto hard ground could be heard.
My father sighed and then said in a hoarse voice, "Remember this, no matter what you do or where you go, you will always be the proud son of Xiong Xia Long and Shen Bai Xue. Now, go. The world is awaiting you my son. Don't disappoint your father and mother, live the life that we weren't able to."
I stared at my one and only father with my blurred eyes. I cracked my best smile, and then I did the first thing I desired. I bowed and slammed by head onto the ground for a kowtow.
*BAM* This one is for being the reason I was able to be born into this world as part of this warm family. Without you and mother, I would not have known the beauty of this world.
*BAM* This one is for giving me chance at life at the cost of your own. Even the heavens can't deny that you delivered me away from death with your gentle hands.
*BAM* And this final one ... is for showing me the boundless fatherly love that I had missed out upon all these years. It is more than enough to fill my heart to the brim.
I swear, I shall never forget that I am the son of Xiong Xia Long and Shen Bai Xue.
After slowly getting up, I wiped my tears and picked up my sword. I gave one last longing look at that venerable figure, who I will now part with ... forever, and I swerved around, taking powerful strides through the path paved for me by my father without turning back. I can faintly hear my father looking forward to the reunion with mother, and I grinned as tears streamed down my face once more. Father, mother, I shall make you proud, I promise.
The tunnel collapses behind me as I stepped out of the maze. I breathed in the fresh air as the tears dried on my face. I watched as smoke rose to the air in the distances and smiled as wind carried the sounds of fearful screams in the city into my ears. Father, mother, I'm sorry. Although you want me to live a path away from revenge, I can barely be able to hold myself back for you two. Even if it's my sisters that raised me, I may still be able to hold back. However, I will never be able to forgive myself if I do not seek justice for Ling'er. Forgive me, but since I am already walking this path, it's my duty to see it through. Just let this unfilial son disobey you once and walk the path he desires. I headed off in the direction of the palace, where my enemy awaits.
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