“The Emperor is very wise.” Xuanyuan smiled and bowed to show his respect. The Emperor certainly lived up to his reputation, and Xuanyuan admired his personality.
“It’s all thanks to Princess Shiguan. Her generous attitude moved me. It’s very hard to find such a person in any race. As the leader of the Northern Dynasty, it is my desire to accommodate all races and nationalities. If I’m prejudiced, I am not fit to rule. While I may not be the Great Emperor, I will learn from their example.” The Emperor slowly said, his purple Qi roiling around him.
“Thank you for your cooperation. I hope that our Mo Land and your Northern Dynasty can take this opportunity to learn about each other and coexist peacefully. I heard that when the ancient emperors ruled the world, all the races peacefully coexisted with each other. I hope that one day you will be able to achieve the same unity of races. Your name will resound through the heavens, and your legacy will be the benchmark for all future emperors.” Shiguan gently said, her voice chiming like a bell.
Cheng Yin didn’t expect such a result. He knew the Emperor better than anyone else. Otherwise, there was no way he could act so recklessly, and still be supported by them. They all had the same desire to conquer the world.
“How is it possible? Why would father agree to her requests?” He kept repeating this to himself, trying to figure out why his father, the ever-domineering emperor, would suddenly change his tune. Suddenly, he came to a realisation.
“Shiguan came to the Northern Dynasty to seek peace, and compensate the Northern Dynasty. Everyone knows of this by now. If father had recklessly turned her away, he would be seen as a war-mongering emperor. Father wants to put on a show for the rest of the world.”
He slowly plotted, “Xuanyuan, you have proven that you are cunning. While I may not be able to kill you, I can kill those close to you. Mochou, Shiguan, Yin Zhenluo, Bai Youninag and Fang Yuyou, I won’t let any of them go. I’m curious to see what kind of expression you’ll have on your face when you hear they are dead.” Cheng Yin sneered. Xuanyuan had destroyed everything he had worked for all these years. His position dismissed, his army ruined, and his gambling house in shambles, he couldn’t just let Xuanyuan get away with it.
“Haha, how can I compare to the great emperors? I hope that the Mo Land and the Northern Dynasty can cooperate and participate in the upcoming grand event.” The Emperor laughed, and was pleased by her words. However, his words had a different meaning. Since ancient times, all the emperors competed to become the next great emperor, and the Emperor of the Northern Dynasty was no exception.
“Since the emperor of the Northern Dynasty has agreed, I will take this seriously. I shall be leaving immediately to plan everything.” Shiguan was overjoyed. Her beautiful smile lit up her face, attracting everyone who looked at her. Her beauty stood in sharp contrast to Yin Zhenluo’s. While Yin Zhenluo had the beauty of an untouchable rose, surrounded by thorns, Shiguan was like a beautiful flower, floating in the wind.
“I’ll leave the details to the Emperor of Mount Tai. Work out the details with him.” The emperor said with a smile.
“Haha, very well. I shall leave with them and handle this matter.” The Emperor of Mount Tai laughed and left with Xuanyuan and the others.
Ever since Xuanyuan and the other had left, the officials were in an uproar, still arguing over whether or not they should go ahead with the plan. Finally, the Emperor spoke up.
“This world belongs to the commoners. Whether or not we can coexist with the Mo Clan is up to them, not us. All we can do is make a gesture. If our people can peacefully coexist with the Mo Clan, existence such as Shiguan and the Lady of the Nine Heavens can settle disputes. If we could actually return to the state of peaceful coexistence, like it was during the age of the ancient emperors, that would be the best thing.”
Saying this, the Emperor left. Cheng Yin was slapped with a harsh reality when he heard his words. His father was not just putting on a show. He actually intended to forge peace between the two races after being moved by Shiguan’s actions.
In the palace of the Emperor of Mount Tai, the four of them were talking in the Lark Garden.
“Little Princess Shiguan, I admire your courage. While I have discussed the matter previously with the Emperor, without your show of sincerity, it would not be possible to change his mind. However, what about your people? Will they agree to the terms you set out? After all, this is a long standing grudge between our races, and it won’t be easy to move past it.” The Emperor was in a good mood. He had tried to dissuade Shiguan before, but seeing her managing to convince the Emperor made him feel proud.
“Emperor, thank you for all your help.” Shiguan understood that without the Emperor’s support, her proposal would have met a lot more resistance. After all, a word from a man with the emperor’s stature would go a long way. The emperor was known to be a powerful general who had protected the Northern Dynasty for a long time.
“Haha, don’t thank me. You should thank Xuanyuan. Without his aid, the matter would have gone on indefinitely.”
Shiguan slowly looked at Xuanyuan. Her face was flushed red as her upturned eyes turned to him. She nodded and softly said, “Yes, it’s thanks to Mister Xuanyuan.”
Sensing the change in the air, the emperor left the room, leaving only Yin Zhenluo, Shiguan and Xuanyuan.
“Mister Xuanyuan, thank you for helping me out. Without your help, I don’t know what I would do.” She thought back to the day she met Xuanyuan on the deserted island. Back then, he was a nobody, but he was a hero in her heart now. No one could ever compare to him. He had risked his life to help her, he understood her, and he supported her.
“It’s nothing. Haven’t you helped me time and time again. Don’t thank me for doing the same for you.” Xuanyuan laughed. Shiguan had managed to take the first steps towards her goals. Whether or not it succeeded, she had still put in the effort.
“Mister Xuanyuan, I…” Two splotches of red appeared on her cheeks as she started to say something, but she stopped herself when she saw Yin Zhenluo standing next to him.
She thought to herself, “Shiguan, don’t be greedy. Xuanyuan has done so much for you, and you should be satisfied. After all, he loves his master, and you can’t get in their way. Go back to the Mo Land and find a way to cure the Heart-Devouring Bug.” Admonishing herself, she restrained her feelings and softly chuckled.
“Mister Xuanyuan, I’ll be leaving first. I need to do a lot of things, so I won’t be staying.”
Understanding this, Xuanyuan didn’t try to make her stay, simply nodding.
He wanted to give her some items to protect herself, but he realised that as the third princess, she would already have many weapons to protect herself.
“Well then, Mister Xuanyuan, please take care.” Saying this, Shiguan flew away. Xuanyuan watched her fly away, his eyes filled with warmth. He fondly recollected the memories on the deserted island. Xuanyuan had changed so much, and gotten so much stranger. Shiguan had also gotten stronger, but she was still the same. She seemed to be unaffected by the passage of time, still as gentle and kind as she once was.
“Do you like her?” Yin Zhenluo suddenly asked him, her hair fluttering in the wind.
“Well…” Xuanyuan was surprised, and turned to look at her, a calm expression on her face.
“It’s hard to resist a woman such as Shiguan, pure and selfless. However I do not deserve to love anybody, seeing that I’m plagued by the bug. If I love someone, I want to protect them for my whole life, and make sure they’re never sad.”
Yin Zhenluo sighed sadly, “It’s all my fault. Were it not for me, you wouldn’t have to restrain yourself from loving someone.”
Xuanyuan shook his head, smiling, “Master, how can you say that. Without you, I would not be who I am today. I owe both you and the Yin Family. After all, destiny is predetermined, and it has nothing to do with you. Anyway, now that this matter is over, what do you plan on doing?”
“Still calling me master?”
“Haha, I apologize. Very well, Zhenluo, what’s your plan now?”
“Wherever you go, I’ll follow you. How about that?” Yin Zhenluo smiled clearly.
Xuanyuan slowly replied, a smile gracing his lips. “I’m still used to being by myself. I’d suggest you go by yourself. If you find any difficulties, crush them, and I’ll come to you some day.”
Yin Zhenluo felt an inexplicable pain when she heard Xuanyuan say that he was used to being alone. She understood his suffering. This time, she wasn’t ready to just let him go.
“Isn’t it good to have company?”
Xuanyuan was moved when he heard those words. Greed spoke to him, “Boy, why don’t you let her accompany you? Haven’t you been chasing her all this time? Now that she wants to be with you, why do you not say yes?”
“Old man, didn’t you always look down on her? Now you want me to accompany her? Anyway, the way to dispel the bug isn’t clear, and I want to take care of my own affairs. I don’t want to drag her down. Also, you’re mistaken. She doesn’t like me, she just feels guilty. I don’t want to owe anyone anything. I owed her, and I repaid my debt. I have my own plan.”
“How can you be so stupid. Did you know that emperors have upwards of 3000 wives? Do you know how many confidants they have…” Greed kept emphasizing the concept of having three thousand wives, and Xuanyuan slowly tuned him out.
“Yes, don’t blame us for your impotence.” The pig said indignantly.
Xuanyuan just ignored their words. He calmed down and looked at Yin Zhenluo, chuckling. “Haha, Zhenluo, let me tell you a story. There once was a young beggar and an old beggar. The little beggar was ignorant and the old beggar worked hard to raise the little beggar, saving money for him so that he wouldn’t have to be a beggar once he grew up. But one winter, he froze to death and the little beggar felt as if his whole life had collapsed. While it’s good to have someone to depend on, you can’t imagine the pain of losing someone like that…” Xuanyuan thought of the old beggar. In his previous life, the thing he regretted the most was not being able to feed the beggar a whole meal. He had taken care of him his whole life, and there was nothing he could do to repay him.
“It’s true, in the beginning I always liked master, because you are the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. You are gentle, and you taught me many things. No one would value me that much. I knew that master had your own troubles. I had to get stronger until finally, one day, I could face your troubles with you. I wished I could stop your tears, and that I could protect you.”
“However, when I finally met you, I understood that many things were out of my reach. I finally understood that it was my own strength that was the most important, and I was still weak. the only thing I could do was help cure your father’s disease, and it made me feel embarrassed and useless.”
Xuanyuan laughed bitterly as he mocked himself.
“You are not useless at all! You make me feel more at ease than anyone else. You even saved my fathers life. I can’t let you be by yourself, especially since you helped us. I will find a way to cure your ailment.”
Yin Zhenluo felt hurt when she heard Xuanyuan mock himself. She didn’t like seeing him like this. She had always known that he was chasing her, but her entire mind was consumed with saving her father, and she had no time to care for Xuanyuan. However, when she heard that her eldest brother had sent assassins to kill Xuanyuan, she was furious.
“Zhenluo, let me ask you something. If, one day, the entire world turns against me, what will you do? If everyone from your family wants to kill me, what will you do then?” Xuanyuan slowly asked her. He knew that his body type meant that the other dynasties would all band together to kill him. He couldn’t hide it forever.
As he slowly learned more about his body, he instinctively understood his ultimate fate. Xuanyuan gradually understood that only strength was real, and only once he was strong enough would no one oppose him. Only then could he have what he wanted. Otherwise, everyone close to him would be harmed. Guxing, Su Mei, and Ziyun had died because of him, and it had hurt him and Mochou a lot.
Moreover, he didn’t want to face the same end as the Devouring Emperor. It was such a sad end, to be betrayed by the woman you loved. Even if Greed and the pig didn’t say anything, he understood. Otherwise, how would the Devouring Emperor die. With his strength, if he wanted to escape, he could. Why else would he fight to die?
After going through so many things, he had figured out where his destiny would lead him. With his strength, it was arrogant to say that he would break his destiny. First, he had to overcome the Heart-Devouring Bug.
When Yin Zhenluo heard his words, she couldn’t help but hold her breath.
“That will never happen.”
“I’m just saying in case. What if, like the Devouring Emperor, I’m hunted down. What would you do then?” Xuanyuan smiled gently.
“He had the body of all creation. You have the body of the Five Elements. While he had to be hunted down, that won’t happen to you. How can you compare yourself with him?” She couldn’t understand why Xuanyuan would make such a metaphor.
“Only power is certain, only power is the law and truth. One day, you will understand what I mean. Now, I must leave to find a way to rid myself of the bug.” Xuanyuan sighed. In the end, Yin Zhenluo was still bound by her shackles. He didn’t want her to fall into pain, torn between her duties and her loyalty to him. He didn’t want to expose the true nature of his body to anyone, not even Yin Zhenluo.
Yin Zhenluo felt flustered. Xuanyuan left a transmission charm on the table before saying one last thing.
“Emperor, I must leave now. I have some things to take care of.”
“Haha, come to my mansion or to Tianshuang city for a drink sometime.” The Emperor laughed heartily.
“Haha, once I deal with the Heart-Devouring Bug, please prepare enough wine for me. I’ll meet you then.”
“Haha, of course. Stay safe, Xuanyuan.”