TPT 1 – The Descending Star

As the youth walked towards him, the soaked old man trembled, his heart went cold, while his pupils shrunk. His forehead and back had drops of water, though if it was water or sweat, that was hard to tell.

………….

A few minutes ago, the old man was fishing at the Crystal Lake as always. Clouds floated, a cool breeze caressed him and relaxed his mind. As he caught a lot of fish, he felt immensely happy. With water as clear as pure crystals, the lakes name was not in vain.

The old man wore white robes, had a goatee, a few wrinkles on his face, combed white hair, and bright and foxy eyes. Leisurely catching fish, the old man suddenly felt danger. Immediately, the old man stood up and jumped back a few meters. For an old man, the speed he displayed was something that no ordinary person could achieve.

As soon as his feet touched the ground, the old man started to look all around with vigilance, yet he found nothing. At that time, his ears twitched as he picked up a faint sound of air getting torn. As he heard that sound, the old man looked upwards. As soon as he looked up, his eyes went wide, and his mouth gaped.

A bright star descended with high speed. The old man could tell it wasn’t going to be anything good. He could determine that running away was the wisest decision. But he couldn’t bring himself to move anymore. The moment his vision laid on the star, the old man’s body was no longer under his control.

Even if he wanted to escape, there was no more escape. At that time, the only thought he had was, ‘Ah! Li’l Chong. It seems Grandpa won’t be able to bring you out to play today!’ The old man wasn’t a delusional man. He knew the impact would unquestionably kill him. On top of that, the star was falling right where he stood. His survival was impossible while his death a foregone conclusion.

He closed his eyes and said his prayers. As for trying to run away, his body still stood there, unmoved. He felt his heart want to worship the star and pay obeisance with his death. He gave up and accepted his death. He had always wondered how he would die, and today, he knew how! It was certainly not going to be a heroic death.

As the old man had closed his eyes, he didn’t see the star shift its trajectory and slow down a lot. Instead of colliding where the old man was the star fell in the center of the lake. Though the star’s speed reduced a lot, the impact still caused a massive amount of water to flood out of the lake. The water flooded all directions and even impacted the still standing old man.

Getting flooded by water, the old man certainly didn’t feel great. But at least, he was still alive. The water smashed the old man into a tree large tree in the distance. The tree was around 15 meters in circumference and over 40 meters in height. Though the water smashed with force, it wasn’t too much by the time it reached the tree.

After the flood passed, the old man finally got to stand up. His body ached, while his old bones creaked. All the joints in his body hurt, while his flesh wriggled. His stomach churned, and after a moment, the old man threw up blood. Cleaning his lips with his wet sleeve, the old man straightened his back and walked forward a bit.

Looking towards the tumultuous waves rising on the lake’s surface, and all those fish flapping and jumping on the ground, the old man felt his luck was great. Though he suffered a lot of internal injuries and many of his ribs broke, at least, he was still better than those fish.

The old man slowly walked towards the tumultuous lake. With every step, his face grimaced, but he didn’t give up and kept on moving forward. By the time he was halfway to the lake, the old man suddenly saw a spectacle that would stun anyone. The rising waves and the roaring lake instantly calmed down. The water once more became still.

If not for the scene of devastation all around the lake, everyone would believe the lake was just an ordinary and calm one. But the old man could tell that he wasn’t having a dream nor was the lake calm. Something went wrong just now. It was impossible for the lake to calm like that after such an impact.

On top of that, the lake wasn’t calm like it was ordinarily. Instead, the lake appeared to have stagnated. As the old man looked towards the stagnated lake, his pupils constricted as the lake, in just a moment, froze. But that wasn’t the biggest shock he received. The biggest shock was the man in the center of the lake.

In the center of the lake, a young man stood on its frozen surface. Looking all around, the young man locked his vision onto the old man. As he was stared at by the man in the distance, the old man felt as if the God of death locked onto him.

As the young man walked towards him, the old man started to tremble, his heart went cold, while his body began to sweat even though it wasn’t hot. As the old man looked towards the man in the distance, he heard a voice, “Where is this place?”

As soon as he heard those words, the old man’s mind went blank as he fell to the ground, trembling even harder. He didn’t drop because the voice scared him, he was scared because that man now stood before him. He appeared out of nowhere and asked him a question.

His voice, when he asked, was ordinary without any threat. The man wore black armor covered in glittering symbols. His handsome face was as pale as snow, and his pitch-black, waist-long hair was tied neatly. As he stared at the old man, his abyssal-black eyes had no whites. A faint stream of golden stars passed through his eyes now and then.

After staring at the trembling old man for a bit longer, the man spoke again, “Too weak. Merely at the Mortal Lord Stage. Old man, I asked you where this place was? Why haven’t you answered yet?”

Still trembling, the old man dared not answer, “Sir, this… this place is the Crystal Lake in the heart of the Eastern Forbidden Forest! The Eastern Forbidden Forest is at the border of the Golden Sun Kingdom and the Red Sky Kingdom! I am from the Ding Family of the Golden Sun Kingdom…” “Stop.” Before the old man could give out his entire history, the young man put a stop to his words.

Listening to his word, the old man immediately shut down. In his heart, the old man prayed that the man had a good temper. From his appearance and those words ‘Merely at the Mortal Lord Stage,’ the old man could tell the man was much stronger.

After looking all around, the young man closed his eyes, opening them after a few moments, “Bring me to some human settlement!” He commanded to the old man. The old man stood up with great difficulty and bowed to the young man before him, gesturing him to follow.

With that, the old man started to walk towards the forest. But as he walked, his face showed pain, his breathing became ragged, while his walking slowed. Looking towards the condition of the old man, the young man waved his hand and released invisible energy.

As the energy invaded his body, the old man thought the man was going to kill him. But after a moment, he realized that not only had all his internal injuries from before, and bones recovered, even the traumas he had from the past disappeared as well. He felt rejuvenated and younger.

Not only did he feel young; he became young. The wrinkles disappeared, and his skin appeared softer. His speed also increased while his breathing stabilized. He didn’t stop moving though. The two, one old and one young ran through the forest.

On their way, the old man felt strange. When he came here before, there would always be many Demonic Beast going all around. Though he was stronger than any Beast in the forest, he wasn’t strong enough to scare them away. So he knew the Beasts were frightened by the man behind him.

He didn’t see the man do anything, but the Beasts still hid away. The old man’s body was still trembling, but it was much better than before. After running for an hour, the two finally left the dark forest. Once out, the old man stopped and breathed in air greedily. After all, on the way, he had run with his full speed. If he didn’t run with all his might, it would have taken more than 2 hours to exit the forest.

The old man didn’t want to waste too much time for the man behind him. He just wanted to get rid of him as soon as possible. Who knew what kind of temper the man would have? What if he got annoyed and killed him? That would be a tragedy after he survived with such hardships.

After the old man breathed in for a few moments, the man behind him spoke again, “Lead me now.” “Yes!” The old man started to run again.