Yin Biyue and Duan Chongxuan had yet to reach Lake Qiu when they bumped into Luo Mingchuan .
When Luo Mingchuan found them, he sighed openly in relief, “It’s good as long as you two are alright . That gust of wind just now has suspicious origins . ”
In actuality, his Jia Lan Pupil Arts already saw the immense shadow above the clouds; it was a mystical beast of at least Greater Vessel stage . But as the storm passed, it appeared that the mystical beast did not come with the intentions to destroy Ye City .
Duan Chongxuan turned his head to glance at Luan-er hiding behind him .
Luan-Er let out a low coo and stepped out, its eyes rippling with unshed tears . As if it knew that it made a mistake, its expression spoke that it was extremely wronged .
Luo Mingchuan spoke in great shock, “It was this?”
“Luan-Er, this is Luo-Shixiong . Say hi . ”
The blue-winged luan’s slender neck bent down, rubbing its crown feathers on the side of his hand .
The soft and fluffy feeling shocked Luo Mingchuan
His hand is being rubbed on by a Greater Vessel blue-winged luan .
Yin Biyue felt even better now .
This kind of experience that shattered the three views cannot be had by him alone .
It was a shame this world had no huskies, and Luo-shixiong couldn’t experience the full extent of Luan-er’s puppy eyes .
Taking the opportunity given by Luan-er selling meng, Duan Chongxuan began to explain, “It’s not that I hid it on purpose, it’s just that my family’s circumstances are a bit complicated…”
Luo Mingchuan uncharastically interrupted him, “You don’t need to say these things . I’ve taken you as my shidi, this is something that will not change . ”
Duan Chongxuan smiled, “I must take a trip home now . I’ll leave Forth-Shixiong in your hands . ”
Yin Biyue felt there was something wrong with this sentence .
But he saw Luo Mingchuan nod seriously, as if there wasn’t anything wrong after all .
After Duan Chongxuan finished speaking, they saw that Ye City attendant bring Wang Xi to walk over .
His expression stilled, and even the aura surrounding his entire body became different .
After the head of the palace guards, who was a half-step into Great Vessel stage, finished negotiating with the city lord’s mansion and thereafter also acquired Duan Chongxuan’s permission, he entered the city after surrendering his saber .
Now, he stopped three feet away and bowed in greeting, and it was the grand greeting of the northern imperial capital . He kneeled on the ground, near prostrating on the ground, and said,
“Respects to Your Royal Highness . ”
Except for Duan Chongxuan, everyone else retreated a step, avoiding this bow .
Yin Biyue sharply noticed something . Clearly the Chatterbox’s posture only changed imperceptibly, but he seemed to be standing atop a towering platform, worshiped by thousands .
Duan Chongxuan did not say anything .
Thus the middle aged general clad in silver armour continued to kneel .
The air suddenly became stifling .
The Ye City attendant took their leave first, and both Yin Biyue and Luo Mingchuan also felt like they should retreat .
Yet Duan Chongxuan shot them a meaningful glance, hinting that there was no need .
After a time, he indifferently said, “Rise . ”
“Thanking Your Royal Highness . ”
Only after Wang Xi rose, did he dare to walk forth three steps and with both respect and caution, spoke, “This general came this time by the intent of His Majesty . ”
He glanced at the two outsiders present, and hesitated to speak .
Duan Chongxuan didn’t care for his misgivings, and only said two words, “Just speak . ”
The blue-winged luan stood beside him, its eyes scarlet and expression matching- cold and lofty .
Yin Biyue felt that he was probing the other man . In other words, he didn’t trust this Wang Xi, even if it felt like he was humble and respectful without a single flaw .
He has never seen a Duan Chongxuan like this . However, just like what Luo Mingchuan has said before, no matter who he was, he was still his shidi no matter what .
The middle aged general clenched his fist, the blue veins on his forehead swelled, clearly experiencing a great battle of beliefs in his head .
At last, he clenched his teeth, and said ten words, “His Majesty is ill, he wants to see Your Highness . ”¹
Duan Chongxuan’s eyes remained unchanging; he asked, “Where is Bai Chongling?”
“At Guang Yao Palace leading the defensive troops, blocking all communication, preventing the rebels from invading the palace . ” Wang Xi suddenly dropped to his knees, and viciously kowtowed into the ground, “Entreating Your Royal Highness to depart immediately and return to the palace with this general!”
Duan Chongxuan didn’t say anything .
Wang Xi continued to kowtow, without a trace of core energy protecting him . This cultivator already half-step into greater vessel stage kowtowed until his forehead turned red .
After a long while, Duan Chongxuan spoke, “Wait for me outside the city . ”
He didn’t say how long to wait, nor when they will be departing .
Wang Xi suddenly raised his head, his eyes shining with thankfulness . It was as if Duan Chongxuan agreeing was already a great favour .
Without asking anything, he stood and replied, “Yes, your highness . ”
Then, bowing, he retreated three feet, and only then did he turn and left .
Yin Biyue and Luo Mingchuan were deeply and incredibly moved .
The Chatterbox was still immersed in that same aura . It wasn’t until the general’s back was only barely visible did that pair of a human and a luan relax all at once .
He felt for his fan and swung it fiercely, even ruffling Luan-er’s feathers . “Troublesome; how troublesome…”
Yin Biyue asked, “is this person trustworthy?”
Chatterbox, with a bitter expression, “Pretty much trustworthy . ”
Yin Biyue suddenly remembered, on the shores of the Fu Kong Sea, that child who delivered the cards asked on behalf of the Director, “How is your esteemed father?”
Chatterbox said many things in a single breath, but basically meant that the body was healthy and his spirit was high; eats well, sleeps well, and entirely untroubled .
At the time he just felt it was odd but didn’t think too deeply on it . But now that he thought about it, could it be that at that time, one of the six Sages in this land under heaven, His Majesty the Northern Continent’s Emperor, was already starting to become ill? Else wherefore would the question be asked?
Duan Chongxuan gave it a lot of thought, and in the end said, “Going to the Northern Imperial Capital this time, I’m probably going to stay for a long while . ” He turned to Yin Biyue, “Fourth-shixiong, please ask after Shixiong and Shijie for me . ”
Yin Biyue knew this could be counted as a farewell, because it’s possible that this time, Duan Chongxuan will ascend the throne, and will henceforth find it difficult to return to Cang Ya Mountain .
He didn’t reply to the request directly, and instead said, “Take care on this journey . Asking after Shixiong and Shijie, I can’t do it for you, you’ll have to ask for yourself . ”
Duan Chongxuan froze, and solemnly said, “I will return . ”
Yin Biyue nodded .
The road ahead is difficult to fathom, a hundred phrases and a thousand words were useless no matter how much was said .
Luo Mingchuan said, “No matter how it is in the end, Cang Ya Mountain will always be there . ”
Duan Chongxuan knew, this was a path of retreat that was ensured— even if the situation changed, and he was no longer the crown prince, and the Northern Continent no longer had a place for him, there was still Cang Ya to protect him .
“I’ll take care . I heard Fourth-shixiong say you guys were heading to Xingshan Temple . You also need to be careful . ”
Afterwards he continued, “Since I’ve already decided to go back, the earlier the better . I’ll be off . ”
There wasn’t anything else said .
One person and one bird turned to walk towards the city gates .
In the rays of the setting sun, their silhouettes pulled long against the sky .
Duan Chongxuan didn’t turn back, he only raised his hand and waved a little .
Yin Biyue and Luo Mingchuan stood under the sunset watching him disappear into the distance, rushing towards an unclear future .
Ye City has already entered autumn for many days . A cold wind rustled through, scattering the parasol tree courtyard with dried leaves .
The second day after Duan Chongxuan left, it started to rain .
One spell of rain carried in autumn’s chill, falling till the third day . The demonic cultivator hiding in Ye City was arrested, and detained for questioning in the city lord’s manor .
Before that, the Qing Lu Sword Sect elders and the Ye City attendants cornered him to the edge of Lake Qiu .
The lake’s waters were stirred by the storm, mist settling above the waves .
Luo Mingchuan joined the battle, Chen Zhou pierced through the black robe, and pinned that person by their wrist . In the howling squall, Yin Biyue saw the darkened bloodstains washed away by the rain, flowing into the swelling waters of Lake Qiu .
Then the news came out; that demonic cultivator self-detonated in the city lord’s mansion . Fortunately, there were no casualties, and it was concluded he had no compatriots .
Yin Biyue thought it was possible that a soul-searching spell during interrogation .
After the rain stopped, the earth and sky had been washed anew . The autumn air was clear, and the western wind whistled through .
The citizens in the city donned their light jackets, the wine shops switched out their rice wines for stomach warming liqueur, the streetside lianggao and cold noodles became piping hot mutton soup . ²
Life continued forwards as always, and the matter of the demonic cultivators was quickly forgotten .
Qing Lu Sword Sect sent out a group to leave Ye City after the rain stopped . Song Tang’s party of three came to bid Yin Biyue and Luo Mingchuan farewell before they left .
As before they didn’t have much to say . They only dispensed well wishes .
That night, Yin Biyue bought two jars of wine, and sat on the roof to drink with Luo Mingchuan .
Too many things have happened recently .
“Shixiong, we should be going tomorrow too . ”
“Yes . We’ll go south, towards Xing Shan Temple . ”
Yin Biyue raised his head and saw the bright autumn moon; his eyes lowered and landed on the shores of Lake Qiu . The blood from that day have been washed clean by the rain, yet it seemed as if it flowed before his eyes still .
He still remembered that demonic cultivator’s gaze .
Bloodthirsty like a tyrant, without a trace of humanity .
On Panlong Mountain he met mountain bandits, below Chongming Mountain he fought atop an arena .
But in reality, this world’s underworld was enormous .
Yin Biyue took a sip of wine, a million regrets but without a shred of dread .
The last time they drank here, there were three people . In the courtyard beside there were still Cang Ya disciples immersed in sweet dreams .
Then Chatterbox right now… should be crossing the ocean .
He knew that the friendships between cultivators of this world were like this; meeting by chance for a thousand cups of wine and parting with a single word .
He thought, Song Tang, Zhong Shan, and Cheng Tianyu, they could all be considered their friends now . Though they’ve never drank together, when parting there would still be a word .
Luo Mingchuan’s voice floated in the autumn wind,
“The coming and going of people has no constant . In cultivation and life, it has always been the matter of an individual . No need to cling to remembrance . ”
Luo Mingchuan shifted his gaze to look into his eyes, “I won’t . ”
If the sun, moon, and stars still remain the same, I will never leave you .
1) The original was 8 words, 陛下病重，想见殿下 . Of course, it was changed to 10 for uh… English .
2) A series of foods: 凉糕 is literally “cold cakes” and is a general term for cold desserts . 羊杂汤 is a soup made from the discarded parts of sheep, but I used mutton so as to make it more concise .Please download our sponsor's game to support us!