"What's the matter? Senior Sister, please don't hesitate. Feel free to express yourself," Tie Bu Tian was very grateful to her Senior Sister. So, she frankly urged her to express herself.
"Can I ask… what does the father of this child look like?" Yang Ruo Lan's voice somewhat trembled.
Tie Bu Tian tenderly looked at the sleeping baby. Then, she pursed up her lips, and said with a smile, "Senior Sister, why bother asking? The baby's face looks almost the same as his father's. There's no difference."
"There's no difference?!" Yang Ruo Lan's voice trembled. A thunderclap had seemingly rung in her heart. [Does it mean that I found the wrong person last time?]
Her body shivered, and was on the verge of collapse. She had been taken back by Tie Bu Tian's reply.
Suddenly, she had a crazy thought in her mind. [Could it be that… that man… is my son? And, this is what makes me feel related to this little boy… Is he my own grandson???]
She clearly knew that she was indulging in wild fantasies. She was being unrealistic. She was speculating too much. However, she couldn't help but repeatedly think about it. And, she couldn't control herself from making deductions. She couldn't stop herself from longing for her son…
Yang Ruo Lan's face became deep red for a moment. But, it changed to deathly pale the next second. Her complexion was changing again and again. And, the sound of her heartbeats had become like that of drum. In fact, the sound was so loud that even Tie Bu Tian could hear it clearly.
"Senior Sister, are you okay?" Tie Bu Tian anxiously asked.
However, Yang Ruo Lan had turned a deaf ear to her. Then, she suddenly said in a rough voice, "Is he surnamed Chu?"
Tie Bu Tian nodded while being puzzled. She thought in her heart, [This is supposed to be a secret. However, shouldn't you already be aware of this?]
"Is he named Chu Yang?" Yang Ruo Lan further questioned.
"Yes," Tie Bu Tian replied.
"How old is he?" She again asked.
"He should be eighteen… or nineteen?" Tie Bu Tian said with some uncertainty.
"You don't know how old he is?" Yang Ruo Lan opened her eyes wide.
"Well, I've heard that he's an abandoned child… So, he doesn't know about his past…" Tie Bu Tian pondered for a while, and then replied.
A strange groan was issued from Yang Ruo Lan's throat… as if she was struck by lightning. She felt weak in her heart… as if it had been stung by a red-hot steel needle.
She felt dizzy.
Her body swayed for a while. Then, she finally composed herself with difficulty. But, she found that her cheeks were already streaming with tears.
[Doesn't know about his past!]
These few words were enough to make her entire body ache. Her insides seemed to be churning up the pain at this moment. Everything turned black before her eyes due to the intense pain. And, she almost lost consciousness.
She felt as if her soul would leave her body and fly away. She wasn't in her right mind. She only heard herself asking, "He's an abandoned baby? Doesn't know his past? Doesn't know his age…?"
"Um, yes…" Tie Bu Tian's voice seemed to have drifted over from the clouds. "His master had taken care of him since his childhood. Empress Wu Qian Qian is his Senior Martial Sister. I don't know much about his past."
"Empress Wu Qian Qian is… his Senior Martial Sister?" Yang Ruo Lan only thought about all the difficulties that she had had to go through in order to find Chu Yang. Her body was sweating profusely. And, she didn't have even a little bit of strength left in her. So, she sat down steadily and calmly on the edge of the bed.
[His master had taken care of him since his childhood…]
[Doesn't know about his past…]
[This baby and his father look exactly the same. His face looks like that of his father…]
Yang Ruo Lan's mind was lost in thoughts. She had a lifeless expression in her eyes. Only teardrops could be seen in them. Tie Bu Tian called out to her several times. But, she didn't hear any of her calls. Her mind was lost in her fantasies.
"His master?" Yang Ruo Lan finally remembered this detail. This was undoubtedly an important trail. Yang Ruo Lan was somewhat biased towards her intuition. So, she believed in her own wishful thinking.
"What sect does his master belong to?"
"Beyond the Heavens Sect!"
"Who is his master? What's his name?"
"I've heard that his name is Meng Chao Ran. He's the youngest junior disciple of the previous generation of Beyond the Heaven Sect," Yang Ruo Lan's questioning was getting quicker and quicker. And, Tie Bu Tian was also able to answer fluently, and more and more quickly. However, she began to faintly feel that there was something wrong. She became somewhat scared and flustered. She also had a vague intuition…
And, this vague intuition made Tie Bu Tian's face turn deathly pale. Then, her face became red. She became somewhat cautious and solemn as she answered Yang Ruo Lan's questions …
[It can't be… I, I… It can't be, right… It can't be so coincidental, right…? Chu Yang is an abandoned child… I've heard that Senior Sister and her husband had also lost their son eighteen years ago. And, they haven't found him yet…]
Tie Bu Tian panicked all of a sudden. And, a feeling of embarrassment rushed in her heart.
[This… can't be… so coincidental. My goodness…]
[If this… if this… this is really… I…]
This Emperor… who had always been strong, wise, and farsighted… who was the peerless overlord who ruled over several billion commoners with an iron fist… who was the first Emperor of this new empire… Suddenly became panic-stricken!
Then, the two women's flustered eyes met.
There was doubt in Yang Ruo Lan's eyes. There was doubt… doubt… doubt… but then, there was also hope…hope…hope…
There was surprise, shame, fear, and uncertainty in Tie Bu Tian's eyes. She had a vague understanding… And, strong feelings of shame and distress were also mixed in with that vague understanding…
"You…" Yang Ruo Lan said in a daze.
"You…" Tie Bu Tian stared blankly, and said.
The two simultaneously opened their mouths, and then shut them. They silently sized up the expression on each other's face for a moment.
"You speak first."
"You speak first."
They again spoke in unison, and then again became silent at the same time.
"I'm listening to you…"
"I'm listening to you…"
Both of them were stuck at the same starting point… as if they had been bound by some spell. They opened their mouths at the same time, and then closed them at the same time. They said the same words at the same time, and just sat there in a daze.
"I will speak first then…" Yang Ruo Lan sighed, "I and your… brother-in-law… brother-in-law…" Suddenly, Yang Ruo Lan found the words 'brother-in-law' hard to speak for some reason.
Tie Bu Tian's white face turned a deep shade of red… It seemed as if it had been set on fire. She deeply lowered her head. And, her heart beat wildly with thumping sounds.
[Such a coincidence isn't possible… What if it turns out that she's my mother-in-law…] Tie Bu Tian wished for the ground beneath to crack open and swallow her whole if this turned out to be true. She felt ashamed to death…
Yang Ruo Lan finally cleared her throat and said, "Eighteen years ago… we lost our child… in the Lower Three Heavens. And, he hasn't been found yet. Tian Tian, you look at my husband… see… do you see any… resemblance with your… cough cough?"
Yang Ruo Lan looked at Tie Bu Tian with eyes filled with hope while coughing.
Tie Bu Tian stammered. She felt as if her body had caught fire. She was trembling all over.
She had seen Chu Fei Ling just a while ago, and had thought that he looked somewhat familiar… as if she had seen him somewhere. Moreover, she had felt as if she knew him well. However, she had clearly met him for the first time. Furthermore, it was the husband of her Senior Sister…
However, she finally realized who his brother-in-law looked like after Yang Ruo Lan mentioned this at this moment – He looked like Chu Yang… that one man she yearned for day and night…
"They look a little bit alike…" Tie Bu Tian's voice had become as feeble as that of a mosquito.
"Only a little bit…?" Yang Ruo Lan dug deeper.
"Yes… Quite a bit…" Tie Bu Tian covered her face with her hands. She lowered her head. And, a swan-like graceful nape was exposed. But, it had turned red out of shame.
Yang Ruo Lan suddenly became excited, "Tell me more about him… It would be better if you told me in detail."
Tie Bu Tian foolishly and pitifully looked at Yang Ruo Lan. Then, she said while stammering, "Senior Sister… Senior… Sister… um… you see…"
The pitiful monarch of this generation had felt this embarrassed for the first time in her life. She was so ashamed that she was unable to show her face. She turned her head, and looked at her son. She suddenly had a feeling, [I wish I could grab this little guy, and stuff him back into my belly…]
Yang Ruo Lan looked at Tie Bu Tian with deep anxiety and hope in her eyes. Tie Bu Tian had a lifeless look in her eyes. She started to tell everything while stuttering.
"How did you two meet?"
"What happened at that time?"
"What did he tell you?"
"How did he…"
"How did he…"
"How did you two… have this child?"
Yang Ruo Lan asked questions in quick-fire succession. The questions pounded one after the other on Tie Bu Tian's head, and made her head spin. Her head felt heavy. She felt overwhelmed and dazed.
This peerless monarch who was able to face countless armies unfazed… was behaving like someone with a stuttering condition at this moment. In fact… she was behaving like a criminal who was stuttering while being interrogated…
She lowered her head, and answered… It seemed as if she was pleading guilty to a crime.
It seemed as if the honorable judge was asking about all the facts related to the crime with keen interest… as if the judge was being very patient to dig every little detail…
[I'm done for…] Tie Bu Tian had this feeling when Yang Ruo Lan asked the last question.
She told Yang Ruo Lan the entire story.
"Is it over?" Yang Ruo Lan sighed with a desire to keep going on.
"Yes…" the Emperor's voice had become feeble like that of a mosquito.
"Been through a lot of hardships… poor child…" tears dripped from Yang Ruo Lan's eyes as she said these words.
Yang Ruo Lan naturally didn't dare to dig any deeper. But, she had become vaguely sure in her heart. [This King of Hell Chu is the real King of Hell Chu. And, the one I had met was definitely a fake.]
[And, there's an 80% chance that this King of Hell Chu is my lost son.]
"And… as for the things before he arrived in the Iron Cloud Nation… you must ask Wu Qian Qian… she's in the imperial palace at this moment," Tie Bu Tian said in broken sentences.
She had hurriedly shifted the task to Wu Qian Qian. [Take my place, and share this burden with me. Younger Sister, I can't endure it anymore…]
"You're right! How could I forget her? That girl was his Senior Sister after all." Yang Ruo Lan was full of enthusiasm. And, there was a red glow spread across her entire face. She stood up and said, "I'll go and talk to her now."
"Yes… yes… Senior… please do as you wish…" Tie Bu Tian couldn't speak the whole thing. She nodded and bowed as she said.
"Very well, you take proper rest," Yang Ruo Lan bent over the sleeping Tie Yang, and looked at him. But, her way of looking at him was completely different this time.
"I'll see you off…" Tie Bu Tian hastily jumped up to attentively flattered her in a diligent manner.
"No… you've just given birth to a child. You must take proper rest," Yang Ruo Lan hurriedly placed her hand on Tie Bu Tian's shoulder.
Tie Bu Tian looked at Yang Ruo Lan going away with a whooshing sound. Her face had blushed hard. She sat down on the bed while being in a daze. She felt a burst of cold heat all over her body… as if she had caught some disease. A long while passed. Tie Bu Tian suddenly and weakly groaned. She fell on the bed, pulled the blanket, and covered herself with it…
[Oh God… please let me die…]
[How can this be happening? Boohoo…]
[What would I do… if by any chance… all of this is true?]