Lan Mei Xian said with a smile, "Don't worry… your master knows the gravity of this matter. This secret won't go out."
"No one must find out." Tie Bu Tian seemed resolute and decisive as she seriously said, "This disciple will take the pill as long as Master promises this. However, I'll commit suicide… in case you speak about it, and someone else finds out… Promise…"
Lan Mei Xian aimlessly took two steps. Then, she said hesitantly, "I promise you… as long as you promise to practice the Icy Heart Jade Bone to the peak."
Tie Bu Tian opened the purple crystal bottle without the slightest hesitation, and took out the pill from it. She then stuffed the pill into her mouth without even looking at it. Her vision became brilliant, "Master, don't forget your promise!"
"I won't… But, you too can't go back on your promise to your master!" Lan Mei Xian wasn't aware that her disciple had charmed her with this promise. She quickly supported Tie Bu Tian who was about to get up. She supported the middle of Tie Bu Tian's back with one hand, and braced her heavenly spirit with the other. Then, she said, "Get rid of all distracting thoughts. Circulate your martial power so that you can digest the efficacy of this medicine. Don't think about anything else."
Tie Bu Tian was about to speak when she suddenly felt a heat rising in her Dantian. Then, the pain in her body disappeared without a trace in the blink of an eye. And, a feeling of utmost comfort simultaneously disseminated in all of her limbs and bones…
Moreover, a spiritual power surged up violently from the middle of her back. It then went forward, and penetrated into her Dantian. Then, it spiraled along with the spirit energy within the Dantian. The Heavenly Spirit had wrapped the spirit energy from top to bottom. The three powerful energies came in contact with each other. Then, they suddenly scattered into myriads of spirit energy streams, and started to flow everywhere within her body…
Tie Bu Tian immediately felt minor changes occurring in her body. Then, all the minute changes converged together, and developed into a drastic change…
A long time passed. Suddenly, Lan Mei Xian fainted, and collapsed with a thumping sound.
The fact was that she had exhausted all of her martial power in order to help Tie Bu Tian change her physique. She wouldn't have been able to pull this off if she hadn't cultivated her spiritual essence in the last couple of months.
Tie Bu Tian was sweating all over with a fragrance. Her body felt soft and smooth. She didn't know what greasy substances had seeped out of her body, but it had left her to feel as if her body had completely recovered. In fact, her body felt as light as feather… as if she would fly. Moreover, she felt that she had gained many mysterious realizations in her mind…
She took support to stand up. But, she realized that she had become completely healthy.
Most of the hot water prepared for the childbirth had been used during the birth. So, she issued an order to bring-in hot water. Then, she properly cleaned her body. After that, she stood up, and felt that she was substantially different…
Lan Mei Xian leisurely woke up. She felt physically weak at the moment. But, she was in high spirits. She grabbed Tie Bu Tian's hand, and examined her. Then, she laughed heartily in relief and said, "Very good! Very good! I, Lan Mei Xian finally have my successor. Your meridians are completely connected now. And, your Dantian has become bluish-green like the ocean. You possess an exquisite Icy Heart and crystal clear Jade Bone… all gathered in one!"
Her vision became brilliant, "Tian Tian, you must practice attentively from here on… Now, all of your practice obstacles have basically been removed. Now, you stand at the highest possible starting point for someone that practices Icy Heart and Jade Bone Saintly Technique. You must not let it go to waste. This is a gift from the Heavens."
She paused for a second. Then, she continued, "You'll be able to protect your child better… if you become strong. You're the Emperor of the Lower Three Heavens… However, you must keep the Upper Three Heavens in mind as well… not just because you're an Emperor, but also for how much you'll need to protect your son…"
Tie Bu Tian's heart trembled. She said, "This disciple understands."
Lan Mei Xian smiled in gratification and said, "I'll go back to the Upper Three Heavens with Qian Qian after the child will be one month old. You nurture your child well, and practice properly. Then, you must come up to the Upper Three Heavens at the appropriate time. Upper Three Heavens is the place where your talent truly belongs."
Tie Bu Tian showed neither approval nor disapproval. She just stared blankly…
A long while passed. Then, Tie Bu Tian slowly said, "You let Qian Qian come in. I want to have a chat with her."
Lan Mei Xian nodded, and went out.
Wu Qian Qian gently walked in after some time, "You asked for me?"
Tian Bu Tian looked at her with a complicated look. Then, she said after a very long while, "Have you decided?"
Wu Qian Qian lowered her head, and whispered, "Yes!"
Tie Bu Tian heaved a long sigh of relief. Then, she said, "Good! I will issue an imperial edict tomorrow that Empress Wu Qian Qian has died because of difficult labor… the entire nation would mourn…"
Wu Qian Qian remained silent for a good while. Then, she softly said, "I don't feel relieved…"
She sighed and said, "I don't feel relieved at all…"
Tie Bu Tian gently smiled and said, "You don't feel relieved… he-he… Qian Qian, don't tell him at any cost… if you see him," her expression became serious after she was done speaking.
Wu Qian Qian bit her lip. She bit her lip until it turned deathly pale. She only replied after a long while had passed, "Yes!"
Tie Bu Tian smiled, "Qian Qian, what do you think… how about we name this child Tie Yang?"
"Tie Yang? 'Yang' meaning 'sun'? Wouldn't that be a duplication of name?"
"Tie Yang…'Yang' meaning the 'Poplar Tree' that pierces the sky… a steel-like heaven-piercing poplar tree! It doesn't have any branches. It grows straight. It bathes in sunshine… and, goes straight up to the ninth heaven!"
Tie Bu Tian slowly stated in a heavy tone, "Tie Yang will be the only heir of my Iron Cloud Empire. He'll become a crown price someday. And, he'll become the overlord of the world in the future."
A light flashed in her eyes, and they emitted the brilliance of a monarch that reigned over the world. Then, she said in a heavy voice, "I'm going to establish an iron-solid regime over the world for my son… for hundreds and thousands of years to come!"
Outside… Yang Ruo Lan was holding the baby. She adored him too much to part with. There was a warm feeling of sorrow in her heart, and it was growing more intense with each passing second. The feeling that they were connected by blood made her hug this child tightly. And, she was unable to let him go.
"This is the first time I'm seeing you adore someone else's child so much," Chu Fei Ling said with a smile.
"You hold him, and have a look." Yang Ruo Lan's heart shook as she abruptly said.
Chu Fei Ling took the child very carefully. And, he held that warm and soft little body in his bosom. The baby opened his mouth, and smiled joyfully. And, Chu Fei Ling was conquered by this smiling expression almost-instantly. However, a bizarre feeling suddenly struck his heart like a lightning bolt.
Chu Fei Ling's body shuddered. Then, he muttered, "This little guy is very adorable… However, I feel as if he's someone from my Chu Clan…"
Yang Ruo Lan's body fiercely trembled, and she opened her beautiful eyes wide. Then, she said in a trembling voice, "You… you also feel this way?"
Lan Mei Xian walked over at this moment, "Ruo Lan, this Old Lady will stay for a month before going back. You and Fei Ling can go back if you have something to do."
"It's alright, Master. We'll stay with you. We will go back together after one month," Yang Ruo Lan hurriedly responded.
"Very well," Lan Mei Xian nodded, "I'll take some rest. I have to restore my elementary strength. I have emptied it for my disciple today…"
She went away minding her business after she said this.
Yang Ruo Lan felt choked by the emotions in her heart. [I have this feeling. My husband also has this feeling. However, what does this feeling mean?]
[Why do we have this feeling?]
She stood there in a daze.
Tie Bu Tian walked out. She took the child from Chu Fei Ling's arms, and then thanked with a smile, "Thanks a lot, Senior Sister. Thanks a lot, Brother-in-law. I've troubled you both. Thank you for your patience."
"How come you walked out now?" Yang Ruo Lan anxiously asked.
"I'm fine," Tie Bu Tian chuckled, "Senior Sister and Brother-in-law, how about you both stay here with me for a few more days if you don't have any other thing to deal with?"
"Alright!" Yang Ruo Lan didn't wait for Chu Fei Ling to reply to this request. She readily agreed.
Two imperial edicts were issued in the Iron Cloud Nation the next day. They shocked the world at once.
The Crown Prince of the Iron Cloud Nation was born. The Emperor had personally bestowed him the name 'Tie Yang'. He was bestowed the position of the Crown Prince upon birth. And, it was sealed that he would be the successor of the Iron Cloud Empire. Moreover, a general amnesty was proclaimed for the entire empire. The entire nation was joyfully celebrating.
The Empress of the Iron Cloud Nation — Wu Qian Qian — went through a very difficult labor. And, she passed away. She was bestowed the title of a loyal, diligent, benevolent, righteous, and indomitably chaste Empress. She was titled as the only 'Mother of the Nation'. Her funeral was on the seventh day. And, she was finally buried in the Emperor's tomb on that day. The entire nation was in grief.
These two news — one happy and one sad — shocked the entire nation!
Then, another saddening news was spread in the Iron Cloud Nation after half-month.
The Lord of the Bu Tian Pavilion, King of Hell Chu had succumbed to an old injury. He had died despite having received medical help day and night. He was bestowed the title of the 'First Nobleman' with a different surname. The entire nation mourned.
No one knew that Tie Bu Tian had stared blankly at this third imperial edict after she had lifted the imperial jade seal. However, she hadn't been able to stamp it for half-day.
Two drops of tears had fallen from her eyes when she had finally stamped the edict with a loud rumble…
Time passed day by day. The baby's skin had started to stretch out. The baby's body had become as soft as water, and looked rosy-white. It made everyone dote on him.
Yang Luo Ran would go to see him several times every day. And, the more she looked at him, the more wildly her heart throbbed. In fact, she couldn't even contain it…
In addition, the facial features of the child had started to become clear. And, the more Yang Ruo Lan looked at the baby, the more it matched with the images of her son in her memory. She had obviously been recalling her only son every day over the years. She would even dream that she was holding her son in her bosom once again. So, how could those memories not be profound?
A miraculous glow flashed in Yang Ruo Lan's heart on this day. She recalled that she had taught a lesson to 'King of Hell Chu' in the Middle Three Heavens. She faintly felt that something was wrong. But, she couldn't find out what…
Finally, that day…
Yang Ruo Lan murmured, "I'll go and ask Junior Sister… if this is truly King of Hell Chu's child. I've met King of Hell Chu before. But, his appearance is completely different from that of this baby…"
"Different?" Chu Fei Ling was reading something. So, he had replied rather indifferently.
But, Yang Ruo Lan suddenly stood up. The absent-minded Chu Fei Ling almost jumped in fright. He lifted his head, and looked at the round eyes of his wife. Then, he muttered, "Different? Why is it different? This child has inherited his appearance from his mother. However, his sword-like eyebrows and his bulgy nose are masculine characteristics. They've obviously come from his father."
"But… why are they different?" Yang Ruo Lan's body shivered. "Why does he look different?! Why?!"
Chu Fei Ling groaned. He sat back in the chair and thought. [The thoughts of our son are driving Ruo Lan crazy. Someone else's son doesn't look like his father… What does it have to do with us…]
However, Yang Ruo Lan had stood up, "I'll go and look for Junior Sister."
"Hey… it's already very late at night!" Chu Fei Ling hurriedly tried to stop her. But, Yang Ruo Lan turned a deaf ear to him. She soon went far away. Chu Fei Ling forced a smile. He looked at the light and shade of candle flame, and thought in his heart, [We must redouble our efforts to search for our son after we go back. Because… I feel worried looking at my wife's condition.]
Tie Bu Tian had already breastfed the baby that night, and had made the little guy fall asleep by now. So, she hastily went to receive Yang Ruo Lan after hearing the report of her arrival.
The royal children were originally fed by wet nurses. However, Tie Bu Tian had firmly rejected this. She wanted to raise her child on her own. Yang Ruo Lan also approved of this decision.
"Tian Tian… can… can I ask you something?" Yang Ruo Lan came over, and looked at the baby sleeping soundly. Her heart was beating wildly and anxiously, and she could feel her lips becoming dry. She then asked somewhat nervously.