Chu Yang could no longer sit still. He raised the curtain to jump-off the carriage. However, he was surprised as he lifted the curtains. In fact, he couldn't believe his eyes.
[It's obvious that I'm still at Beyond the Heavens Sect Mountain Range. There's no doubt about it. But, where's the army?]
[I clearly saw the Iron Cloud's army rushing ahead like a raging tide last night. So, where have they all disappeared? Was it a dream?]
The surrounding mountain-forest was still burning and belching smoke. The flames seemed weak at some places.
There was a simple-looking carriage next to his carriage. The two carriages had two drivers. He was sitting in one carriage, while Tie Bu Tian was riding in the other.
So, there were only four people in total!
No one uttered a sound. One could only hear the sound of the wheels turning rapidly.
"What's going on?" Chu Yang couldn't help but ask out loud, "How come we are only ones here?"
The two drivers had a serious look on their faces. They didn't speak. They seemed to be minding their own business. It seemed as if they didn't even hear Chu Yang's words.
"I asked you something… you know," Chu Yang said in an angry manner.
"Shut up!" the driver retorted.
King of Hell Chu was stunned by the driver's reply. [How's this carriage driver so flamboyant?]
Suddenly, Chu Yang floated out and stood on top of the carriage. He occupied the high ground and looked around. This affirmed his guess, [The army has indeed disappeared.]
He shrank his head backwards and stuck-out his tongue… as he saw the two drivers. [If I'm not mistaken… these must be Tie Bu Tian's two shadow experts. They are like Tie Bu Tian's inseparable shadows. Their duty is to stay by his side at all times… to protect him.]
[F**k! No wonder they are so intrepid!]
Chu Yang had seen the true appearance of these shadows for the first time. He felt as if they had been made by using molds. They were tall and skinny; they were clad in gray robes. They looked like bamboo poles covered with clothes. They had high cheekbones and deep eye-sockets. There was barely any trace of meat on their bodies.
They both seemed to be in their fifties or sixties.
Chu Yang didn't say anything else. However, the shadow didn't let him off for some reason and spoke, "How are you feeling now? I didn't expect to see you jumping around so early? It seems that you've recovered really fast. The luck is on your side… I suppose."
Chu Yang felt strange as he heard these words. He looked curious from his appearance. He couldn't help but ask, "What's going on?"
"What's going on… you ask?" The shadow couldn't control his anger and said, "His Majesty took an army of five-hundred-thousand soldiers, and came out of the mountain-pass to save you. Now, the mountain-pass is being targeted by the enemy's army unit… that army unit comprises of over a million soldiers. So, our troops had to rush back to provide support. We're the only ones who stayed back. Do you understand now?"
"What?" Chu Yang felt a jolt in his heart. [I could never imagine that Tie Bu Tian would take such a huge risk for my sake. This is almost like weighing the fate of the whole nation against mine on the scales. Moreover, my weight was obviously heavier.]
[This is a huge risk!]
He felt moved as this thought crossed his mind.
Chu Yang said in his heart, [No wonder Tie Bu Tian seemed so annoyed. So, that's how it is. He has put the entire Iron Cloud Nation in danger for my sake. Anyone would be in a bad mood because of that…]
The two shadows were surprised. [Chu Yang's lust poison has been detoxified. But, it should still be impossible for him to jump like that. He had fallen into a comatose state after sustaining serious internal injuries. He shouldn't be able to walk… let alone jump. But, he appears completely relaxed and at ease right now.]
[Isn't this kid's vitality way too strong?]
No sound could be heard from Tie Bu Tian's carriage. He seemed to have fallen asleep.
These three people didn't know that Tie Bu Tian was lying in the carriage. Her entire body was paining. She was covered in sweat, and her complexion was pale. Her clothes were drenched in her sweat.
Chu Yang's lust poison was extremely potent. Moreover, Tie Bu Tian didn't have any prior experience with it. How could she have been able to withstand such a high-intensity of brutal intimacy? She had been left breathless countless times during the detoxification process. She had suffered a lot throughout the process; she had even come close to being exhausted to death a few times...
Luckily, Chu Yang was unconscious and was moving only subconsciously. So, the magnitude of his movements wasn't high. Tie Bu Tian was the one taking the lead most of the time. Therefore, she hadn't lost her life...
Now, Tie Bu Tian felt as if her entire body was being ripped apart by severe pain. She somehow managed to hold herself when she had gotten-up to have a look at Chu Yang and see if he was okay...
"Minister Chu, this old man is a lot older than you. But, he may not know if it would be proper to ask you this. But, may I ask you something?" a shadow asked.
"Please go ahead, Senior. You can ask anything," Chu Yang replied with a smile.
"Minister Chu wouldn't have a wife at this young age… correct?" the shadow had put it as a question, but it sounded more like a statement.
"I don't have a wife yet," Chu Yang answered frankly.
"Ah… So… if a woman falls in love with Minister Chu… and is sincerely willing to devote herself to him… would Minister Chu be moved by her dedication?" The shadow's voice revealed a vague sullenness as he spoke, "This old man will gladly act as a matchmaker..."
"Shadow!" Tie Bu Tian's angry voice sounded from the nearby carriage, "How can someone force marriage on Minister Chu?"
The shadow touched his beard in embarrassment. He didn't say anything further.
"I love someone," Chu Yang sounded grateful for the kindness of the offer. But, he neatly refused it, "I love her very much. I wish to treasure her all my life. I don't wish to have anyone else in my life."
The shadow had been stopped by Tie Bu Tian. So, he didn't wish to speak any further. However, Chu Yang's reply sent him into a rage. He couldn't suppress his temper any longer. He snapped, "Someone wants to devote herself to you, and you don't seem to care at all. How can you be so indifferent?"
"Someone wants to devote herself to me... but that doesn't mean that I should cease to be faithful… right?" Chu Yang looked at the old man jokingly. Then, he asked out of curiosity, "So… who exactly is this 'someone' that the Senior is talking about?"
"Humph!" the shadow snorted angrily and turned his head away. He wasn't paying attention to Chu Yang anymore.
Suddenly, Chu Yang had a spark in his mind. He had a realization as to who it could be. [This old man is probably talking about Wu Qian Qian. After all, she has been staying in the Iron cloud during my absence. She must've been in touch with these two old men. It seems like they want to play matchmaker between Wu Qian Qian and me.]
Chu Yang couldn't help but sigh as he thought of Wu Qian Qian.
[How could I not know that Wu Qian Qian is passionately devoted to me? But, I've already devoted my whole life to Qing Wu. Mo Qing Wu is the only one for me. I just can't be unfaithful to her. There can be no one else.]
Wu Qian Qian was a stunning beauty. And, she was extremely talented. She wasn't just smart… she was extremely skilled as well. There couldn't be a better choice than her. However, Chu Yang's heart was already tied to Mo Qing Wu's. The huge regret from his past life had left a knot in his heart.
No one in this world could untie this emotional knot besides Mo Qing Wu!
Chu Yang had never thought of Wu Qian Qian in that way. He had never even had such a thought about her.
It was even more improbable for other women.
Tie Bu Tian felt dejected in the other carriage. She heaved a sigh of self-pity in her heart. [As expected, Chu Yang likes someone. Such being the case… burying this matter here-and-now is the best choice, isn't it?]
[Moreover, even if there was no one in Chu Yang's heart… so what? I can't marry him and be his wife while carrying the identity of the Emperor of my nation… can I?]
Tie Bu Tian seemed to have reached a conclusion; it relieved her of all her anxieties. However, two strings of tears trickled down from her eyes and soaked the pillow. She gently reached out to wipe-off the tears, but they kept pouring-out. But, she continued to wipe her tears...
[Let me cry this once.]
[While he's still beside me.]
[Even though he doesn't know…]
There was a strange silence. It made Chu Yang feel constrained. It was the kind of feeling where he didn't know what might happen the next moment.
Tie Bu Tian's weary voice came from the other carriage after a long time, "Minister Chu's body recovered really fast."
Chu Yang chuckled and said, "That's because I'm rough and tough."
Chu Yang was no longer cold towards Tie Bu Tian since the earlier misunderstanding had been cleared.
"Um... last night, I threw Minister Chu's black clothes into the fire and burned them." Tie Bu Tian slowly spoke, "But, I felt that something was wrong after they had burnt down. Minister Chu, was there some precious item hidden in your clothes? Maybe some important secret…?"
"Some precious item…? Important secret…?" Chu Yang stared blankly. It seemed if he was wracking his brains to find an answer, "What exactly do you mean by that, Your Majesty?"
"Haha, I feel relieved that there was none." Tie Bu Tian laughed and spoke, "That's because the smell of burning hair was rising from your clothes as they burned. So many hairs couldn't have fallen off from Minister Chu's body... Haha, I guess I was just overthinking."
Chu Yang smiled and said, "Your Majesty probably doesn't know, but my clothes had been contaminated with too much blood and fragments of enemy's flesh. So, burning those clothes would've naturally given-off that kind of smell."
Tie Bu Tian smiled and said, "Maybe you're right. It's not something I'm too familiar with." He was still somewhat puzzled in his heart since that smell wasn't the same as that of burning flesh or blood. However, he didn't pursue this topic any further.
"Minister Chu... you and I don't appear like the monarch and his minister… nor do we seem like colleagues..." Tie Bu Tian weighed his words carefully and said, "Minister Chu has a brilliant future waiting ahead. And, I'm sure that you won't be limited to this insignificant Lower Three Heavens. Then… let me ask you something. What status do I — Iron Cloud's Emperor — hold in Minister Chu's heart?"
Tie Bu Tian had spoken this slowly, but there was a vague sense of urgency in his tone.
"Haha..." Chu Yang smiled in an awkward manner as he touched his nose. He found it difficult to answer this question.
Tie Bu Tian didn't urge him to reply, and quietly waited on the other side.
"Your Majesty… and me. Well, I don't know what to say." Chu Yang calmly smiled, "We were doomed to be in a cooperative relationship from the beginning. Our common goal is to beat Diwu Qing Rou. That is the true foundation of our association."
"I admire Your Majesty's character. I've developed a very good impression of Your Majesty in our numerous recent collaborations. Thanks to those — we've connected at a deep level with each other..." Chu Yang gathered his thoughts and spoke, "Considering all that… I would say that we are like brothers. However, I wouldn't dare to raise myself to such a high level. I guess that saying that we are 'friends' is entirely possible."
"Friends... friends?" Tie Bu Tian's voice was very low. He seemed to be at a loss.