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Chapter 868: Bows

Jiang Yucheng and Shangguan Wan had already walked over and were standing right in the middle of the square. All chatter ceased as everyone focused on them.

Shangguan Wan was exquisitely dressed today. A long red phoenix tail trailed behind her for miles, and the gold thread woven into the material glistened when she moved. As she was still wearing a veil over her head, nobody could see her face. Still, this set of attire looked very luxurious on her.

What the couple needed to do next was walk up the nine flights of stairs and pay their bows in front of Lang Kun Hall. By right, the Emperor should be waiting in front of Lang Kun Hall, but this procedure was omitted because he was currently still in an unconscious state.

Standing side by side with their hands tightly clasped together, Jiang Yucheng and Shangguan Wan looked like a match made in heaven.

“Wan’er, let’s go.” Jiang Yucheng turned his head slightly, speaking gently with a smile on his face as if the woman standing next to him was the love of his life.

Shangguan Wan nodded, but nobody could see the expression she was currently wearing.

The two walked forward hand in hand, with Shangguan Wan taking the lead to step onto the first step. Jiang Yucheng deliberately slowed down a little in a show of respect to her.

In terms of the way he spoke and acted, nobody could find any fault with him.

Shangguan Wan continued to walk up to the second flight of stairs. Here, they could feel the faint pressure that was coming from Lang Kun Hall, but this was nothing to them.

As they progressed on though, the pressure on them became heavier and heavier. Each time they took a step, they would need to use more force to withstand the increasingly heavier pressure.

Thus, Shangguan Wan felt a little drained by the time they reached the seventh flight of stairs. She wasn’t as strong as the beginner stage-seven warrior she should be since she just healed her Yuan meridian, so her body felt as heavy as lead.

Jiang Yucheng soon sensed that something was wrong with Shangguan Wan. As he had previously resorted to using tricks to recover his cultivation level to the peak of the seventh stage, he was faring slightly better than her. Still, the pressure coming out from Lang Kun Hall couldn’t be underestimated, so he secretly channeled his force to push her up the eighth flight of stairs.

Shangguan Wan’s legs shook, and her body swayed a little.

Frowning slightly, Jiang Yucheng quickly supported her and went up the stairs with gritted determination.

Standing here, they got a clear view of Lang Kun Hall’s open doors, which were usually closed and only opened at times like this with the joint efforts of the royal family elders. Once the barrier was opened, the Tianling Power Staff’s aura spread everywhere.

This was the reason why they felt the terrifying pressure. In fact, the closer they got, the heavier the pressure was.

Everyone in the square was currently staring closely at them. Some of the people’s expressions changed slightly when they saw Shangguan Wan’s unsteady step.

Someone from the crowd asked, “Did Her Highness lose her footing just now?”

Despite being covered by the phoenix coronet, scarf, and her long skirt, many people saw her swaying just now. Hence, someone refuted it uncertainly. “Surely not… If she can’t even make it up the stairs, how is she even going to lift the Tianling Power Staff?”

There had been people who were unable to lift the Tianling Power Staff in the past. Four of them, in fact. Without exception, those four people were stripped of their right to inherit the throne and no longer had the chance to try again.

Even though they were still members of the royalty and could still enjoy the same privileges they had before, this was a great shame and humiliation that followed them for life. Among the four people, two couldn’t withstand the pressure of the failure and chose to commit suicide, while one went berserk from cultivating too much and eventually died from slitting his vein. The last one, on the other hand, never set foot outside the palace again and died of depression in less than three years.

This showed how important it was for the successors to lift the Tianling Power Staff. Thus, the emperors would exercise extra caution when selecting their heir and would tend to start assessing their talents from a very young age. Those who were found to be talented would be groomed, and once they were grown up, the most outstanding one out of them would be selected to be the heir.

Shangguan Wan was never the chosen one though. Firstly, her mother was of low status, so she grew up being neglected. Secondly, she was overlooked as she had never once displayed remarkable talent.

Most importantly, the Emperor decided right on the spot that Shangguan Yue would be the heir when the latter was found to possess a Tianjing Yuan meridian upon birth. He never considered anyone else for the position, which was only normal given how rare it was for a Tianjing Yuan meridian to come by.

Alas, nobody foresaw Shangguan Yue dying before her wedding.

During the past two years, Jiang Yucheng and Shangguan Wan joined forces and slowly took control of the court. And now, nobody was more suitable than Shangguan Wan to succeed to the throne.

The countless eyes staring at Shangguan Wan were akin to knives stabbing at her back. Knowing that any mistake she made at this critical moment would be magnified exponentially, she clenched her teeth and started channeling even more of her internal force to try and make it through the last flight of stairs.

However, her lead-laden legs just refused to cooperate. This made her panic as burning anxiety coursed through her. If I can’t even get through this stage, how am I going to handle the subsequent—

Right at this moment, Jiang Yucheng injected force into her body through her palm.

Feeling much more relaxed, Shangguan Wan hastily took another step with Jiang Yucheng following closely behind her. With their hands tightly clasped together, the two finally conquered the last flight of stairs, arriving one after another.

Shangguan Wan heaved a sigh of relief when her feet touched solid ground.

Standing in a line in front of Lang Kun Hall, six elders of the royal family patiently waited for the newlywed’s arrival. There should’ve been eight of them standing there, but only six of them were left because both Elder Qiu Xi and Elder Duanmu Chun had died in Dahuang Swamp.

The elder standing on one end took a step forward, allowing his qi to sink into his dantian as his voice echoed. “The first bow to heaven and earth!”

Shangguan Wan and Jiang Yucheng turned around and bent at the waist.

“The second bow to Tianling!”

The two turned around once more and bowed toward Lang Kun Hall.

“The third bow to each other!”

As they stood facing each other, Shangguan Wan’s mind suddenly blanked.

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