Tie Bu Tian felt that her voice was choking with emotion. She quickly coughed a few times to clear her throat and said, "Minister Chu, you must understand that there was no other way."
"There was no other way?" Chu Yang gave her a mirthless smile.
Tie Bu Tian felt as if her heart was being torn apart. But, she suppressed her feelings, and smiled gently.
Meanwhile, Wu Qian Qian lowered her head in sadness. She also felt infinitely bitter in her heart. She didn’t know whether she was feeling bad for Tie Bu Tian… or for herself…
"Where’s she buried?" Chu Yang took a deep breath and asked, "I'm going to offer my prayers." There was strange sadness in his smile, "It doesn’t matter who she was… or what she looked like… this woman was my first woman in this life!"
[The first woman in his life?]
Tie Bu Tian’s eyes lit up. She then said, "We were stuck in the turmoil and chaos of war back then. The entire mountain was burning. Moreover, there was a fear of being ambushed by the Golden Horse Riders Department any moment, so…"
"I understand." Chu Yang gently nodded and then turned away. He put his hands on his shoulders, raised his head to look up at the starry sky. Then, he murmured in a low voice, "Little Tian Tian… Oh Little Tian Tian… I will never forget you in my entire life!"
The three people remained silent for a long time.
"The war for Lower Three Heavens has ended. Iron Cloud will soon dominate the world. I guess it’s time for me to go," Chu Yang’s tone was somewhat melancholic. He had been looking forward to leave for the Middle Three Heavens rather eagerly. However, he felt a sharp ache in his heart for some unknown reason.
"You're leaving?" Tie Bu Tian and Wu Qian Qian raised their heads to look at him, and asked in unison.
"Yes." Chu Yang didn’t turn around as he replied softly.
The two women felt a pang of frustration. They couldn’t even speak for a long time. They knew this day would come sooner or later, but they still bewildered at the last minute. They were packing in their hearts, while their minds had gone completely blank…
"Your Majesty, I request you… please take good care of Qian Qian!" Chu Yang spoke-up in a muffled voice without turning back.
"You can rest assured about that!" Tie Bu Tian clenched her teeth, and sucked in a mouthful of cold air as she said, "I shall ascend the throne of the world, and make Qian Qian my Empress!"
"Empress?!" Chu Yang was startled in his heart. He turned around like a whirlwind, and looked at those two with disbelief in his eyes, "You..."
A tragic smile appeared on Wu Qian Qian’s face, "So, you don’t need to be worried about me…"
Chu Yang profoundly looked at her for quite some time. Then, he finally heaved a sigh of relief. But, he didn’t know why he was having these complex feelings in his heart. Eventually, he reluctantly spoke-up, "Such being the case, I… can rest assured."
Wu Qian Qian was experiencing heartache. She said in a soft voice, "When are you leaving? I will come to see you off."
"Why do you wish to see me off?" Chu Yang solemnly said, "That’s unnecessary."
"No, I must see you off." Wu Qian Qian firmly shook her head. She felt heartbroken as she said, "I’m going to shoulder the position of King of Hell Chu after you leave. And, now you – the real one – is leaving. So, how can I – the fake one – not bother to see you off?"
"King of Hell Chu... Ha ha ha..." Chu Yang let out a hoarse laughter. He spoke after a while, "I will leave tomorrow morning. I will first go to Beyond the Heavens Sect to say my prayers for Little Tian Tian since she sacrificed everything for me… and then, I will head out straight for the entrance to the Middle Three Heavens from there…"
"Tomorrow morning... so early…" Tie Bu Tian’s body shook a little.
"Ha-ha..." Chu Yang laughed somewhat solemnly, "What’s there to yearn for in the Lower Three Heavens?" He shook his head, and forced a smile, "There’s none. There’s none..."
The two women experienced heartache at the same time. They also had a burning sensation in their noses. [There’s nothing to yearn for? Is there really nothing? Do you even realize… what you’re throwing away? What you are leaving behind…?]
A long pause followed. Then, Chu Yang turned around and said, "Take care you two, ha ha ha..." Then, his body floated away like a cloud. His black robe danced in the ice-cold wind, and made a fluttering sound as he flew down from the summit.
He quickly disappeared in the night sky.
From beginning to end… he didn’t look back!
~~The next day… early in the morning… right before dawn~~
Chu Yang’s black robe fluttered as his well-dressed figure went out of the military barracks. He was carrying a small package in his hand. He looked back, and felt a bit nostalgic… Endless bitter feelings surged in his heart.
He didn’t know why this was happening…
He finally chuckled, and shook his head before he walked forward in a calm manner.
He suddenly gawked when he arrived in the valley area.
He saw four people mounted on four horses waiting up ahead. These were Tie Bu Tian, the two shadows, and Wu Qian Qian.
"Is Minister Chu ready to leave?" Tie Bu Tian’s asked in a shaking voice. She had tried her best to control herself, but she still hadn’t been able to help it.
Wu Qian Qian looked at Chu Yang emotionally… as if she were watching a daydream. Her tears simply wouldn’t stay-put, and continued to roll down endlessly. However, she was reluctant to wipe them-off… fearing that Chu Yang might disappear if she blinked…
Not knowing when they would meet again…
"Ha-ha, now I truly understand the debt of gratitude coupled with the duty to avenge. I’m hitting the road with that in mind." The moment Chu Yang said ‘debt of gratitude coupled with duty to avenge’… the sky – that had turned bright merely a while ago with the break of dawn – suddenly turned dark for some reason.
This darkness was short-lived, and remained for a mere half-a-minute. It then disappeared. However, these five people faintly realized, [the sky seems somewhat different.]
Chu Yang’s heart was filled with emotions.
[It feels as if... my mission of going against the heaven’s will, and changing my fate has been accomplished…? Or is it possible that I’m once again caught in the grasp of unknown future?]
Chu Yang suddenly became very eager to be at Mo Qing Wu’s side.
"I'm leaving," Chu Yang spoke in a soft voice.
"Take care on the way!" Tie Bu Tian’s entire body shook uncontrollably as she looked deeply at Chu Yang. She then spoke in a soft voice, "Minister Chu, you have given me so much in the last more-than-a year’s time! I will remember this phase of time my entire life…"
She paused for a moment, and then continued in a warbling tone, "This more-than-a year’s time was perhaps the happiest time in my life…"
Chu Yang couldn’t help but be deeply moved when Tie Bu Tian revealed his true feelings, "Your Majesty, there’s no need to be so emotional… There will be ample time for that later. This isn’t the day to say goodbye forever."
"The day to say goodbye forever…?" Tie Bu Tian’s eyes lit up, "Minister Chu, what do you mean..."
"Perhaps... I'll come back," Chu Yang quietly replied.
"Minister Chu, take good care until we meet again." The two shadows cupped their hands together in obeisance, "We will always remember your kindness in our hearts. That’s all we have to say."
"Yeah, I hope you two take good care of His Majesty," Chu Yang smiled and said.
"That's a given." The shadow took a deep breath and replied… almost as if they were taking a pledge, "Minister Chu can rest assured! We won’t allow anyone to lay a finger on His Majesty and Young Miss Wu as long as we live!"
"Chu Yang ..." Wu Qian Qian slowly walked up to him; there was a parcel in her hand.
Tie Bu Tian and the shadow heaved a deep sigh. They then moved a step back.
"This parcel contains black robes which I’ve sewn for you with my own hands. There are a total of nine of them." Wu Qian Qian nearly choked with emotions as she said, "You take them along with you. Each strand of these robes has been personally contrived by me. I remember that you had once said that you like black robes… correct?"
"Yes..." Chu Yang had a feeling of congestion in his chest, but he still spoke-up with difficulty, "Thank you... Qian Qian."
"I’m just hoping to make your journey safe and comfortable…" Wu Qian Qian replied emotionally. She seemed obsessed as she looked at his face. She went up to him, tidied-up his collar, straightened his robe, and the hem. She reorganized each spot with her own hands…
Clusters of sparking and crystal-like tears fell to the ground.
Chu Yang was holding the parcel, but felt as if he was holding the heart of a pure and innocent girl. It suddenly felt as heavy as a mountain. He already had 6 or 7 such black robes in the Nine Tribulations Space. All of them had been sewn by Wu Qian Qian.
He was deeply touched by this. So, he took a deep breath and said, "Qian Qian, you shouldn’t act like this… you will become the Empress of the world in the future. People would laugh at you if they saw you like this…"
Tie Bu Tian had seen how Wu Qian Qian’s infatuated eyes had gazed at Chu Yang while she had sorted his clothes… like a wife grooming her husband’s clothes before sending him on a long journey. A strange look appeared in Tie Bu Tian’s eyes.
It was jealously…
"I'm leaving." Chu Yang controlled himself from holding Wu Qian Qian into his arms. After all, Tie Bu Tian was still standing nearby, and Wu Qian Qian was soon going become his Empress. Therefore, Chu Yang moved a step back.
However, Wu Qian Qian suddenly stepped forward, and hugged him. She buried her head in his chest, and began to sob tears of silence. Her hug was so tight, and so hard… that it seemed as if she would never see him again if he left today…
The soft spot in Chu Yang’s heart had been stirred by this. He couldn’t help but raise his head to look at Tie Bu Tian; he was looking at Wu Qian Qian. However, Chu Yang noticed a particularly strange expression in Tie Bu Tian’s. It seemed similar to the look of… endless jealously…
This look suddenly stirred Chu Yang’s heart. [There’s a strange look in his eyes... don’t tell me that he’s jealous because I am hugging his future Empress?]
Wu Qian Qian continued to weep silently for a while. She then suddenly pushed Chu Yang away. She lowered her head, and drew back two steps. Then, she spoke-up in a warbling voice, "You go now… go… just go..."
She suddenly turned around like a whirlwind, covered her face with her hands, and bolted away frantically. However, she turned around to look at Chu Yang after she had rushed out for several feet; her eyes were blurred with tears. Her tender body was trembling. She felt more and more powerless. She finally squatted down on the ground, and covered her face with her hands.
Chu Yang felt bitter pain in his heart. He finally cupped one fist in the other hand in respect, and resolutely spoke, "Take care, everyone!"
His feet trod back while he continued to face everyone. His body floated back like a lightning. He went back a considerable distance like this. Then, he suddenly turned around, and flew up to the top of a big tree.
"Chu Yang!" Wu Qian Qian let out a painful shout, and suddenly rushed back in a frenzy.
Chu Yang was standing atop the tree with his back facing her. He stood still, but his body was shaking. It seemed as if he would turn back… but he didn’t in the end. A clear whistling sound reverberated as his body darted away like lighting; it only left afterimages behind. His figure then vanished in the mountain forest.
"Chu Yang!" Wu Qian Qian poured her heart out in this one last shout as her crazily bolting body suddenly came to standstill. She then paused as she stood in a daze…
Tie Bu Tian had been enduring this entire time. The tears she had been holding back finally burst out like ‘an uncontrollable river from a broken dam’ as she watched him disappear. Her entire body shivered like a withered leaf in the wind…
A long passage of time elapsed. She eventually pulled back her vision from the direction in which Chu Yang had disappeared. She then squatted down, and stretched out a finger towards the spot where Chu Yang had left two clear footprints.
She sentimentally looked at his footprints, and tears began to fall down…
[Chu Yang, you will come back, right? You are in the Lower Three Heavens… you are here… in my heart. You have left such a deep impression in my heart. How can you just leave like that?]
[How can you just leave like that when you are in so much debt?]