Chapter 918 – Speaking of the Past in White Emperor City
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
In the distant western region of the continent was a beautiful yet dangerous world. This world had countless mountains that were capped with snow in all four seasons. It had countless great rivers and countless primordial forests, and in both the bottom of these waters and the depths of these forests, one would find an uncountable number of fierce beasts. This world was what was known to the common people as the land of the demi-humans.
Deep within the land of the demi-humans stood a most grand and wondrous metropolis. It towered amongst the mountains and was circled by the eight hundred li of the Red River. Its walls were built of glossy white stone, and when paired with the clouds that wrapped around it year-round, it presented an indescribably magnificent sight from the distance, inspiring reverence and fear. This grand metropolis did not have the capital's Imperial Design, nor did it have the underground array of the Li Palace. When defending against foreign enemies, it relied on its sturdy walls and the unflinching will and violent temperaments of the demi-humans.
This was the legendary White Emperor City.
It was said that countless years ago, when the Heavenly Tome Monoliths descended on the Eastern Continent and the Human race began to develop intelligence, the demi-humans were also enlightened, developing their own culture. However, because they were somewhat farther from the Mausoleum of Books, their culture advanced at a slower pace than the Human race. Some demi-humans who lived in the wilderness were even now still rather savage.
Before the founding of their country, the Demi-human race had not had a very pleasant experience on the continent on account of their simple natures, suffering terrible discrimination and oppression from the Demon race. The nearly extinct Elves were physical proof of this tragic period of history. Moreover, the role the Human race played in this period of history was certainly not glorious.
Finally, more than a thousand years ago, for the sake of resisting the unspeakably cruel Demon race that was growing stronger by the day, several generations of great leaders from both the Demi-human and Human race spent a great deal of patience and wisdom to finally convince both sides to cast aside their grudges and join hands. This ultimately resulted in the formation of an alliance during Emperor Taizong's reign.
After many years, the hatred between the demi-humans and humans gradually began to fade. However, because of that long-ago period of history and the irreconcilable differences between the two races, they still regarded each other with some hostility and wariness. For example, in the recent war, the human army had fought against the demons on the snowy plain for a whole two years, yet the demi-humans had done nothing other than move two tribes a thousand-some li to the east.
This point had already garnered much discussion in the capital. The ministers and generals of the Human race were worried that the Demi-human race might have other ideas, but the most esteemed Shang Xingzhou remained calm. He had a deep trust in his assessment of the situation, as he believed that he had a deep understanding of Madam Mu's desires.
"In truth, I myself do not understand just what it is I want.
"The identities we live in end up being the roles we play, whether it's princess, empress, wife, or mother.
"But as we act longer and longer, playing more and more roles, we often forget just who we are.
"If you can't even be sure of what role you're playing, how can you determine what it is you want? If we want to a get clear and truthful answer, we have to look back at where we came from, reverse time to where it all began. We have to remember what we first saw when we opened our eyes to this world.
"At the time, I was hugging my father, standing on the shore. The mighty waves were like a turbulent sea of ink, and in it was a dancing white dot. It was very beautiful.
"What about you?"
The eight hundred li of the Red River circled White Emperor City, irrigating the plains on both sides. Countless tribes lived within the lush forests.
In the depths of an extremely well-concealed cliff was a small building that seemed one with the earth.
In front of this building was a meadow, and beneath the meadow was a steep cliff. In the distance was the surging Red River and a magnificent city in the clouds.
A woman stood at the edge of the cliff, gazing at the red river and white city as she slowly spoke in an indifferent tone.
A girl dressed in black stood behind her, a chain tied to her ankles. The other end of this chain extended deep into the ground. Of course, it was the little Black Dragon, Zhizhi.
She looked at the woman's back and very naturally recalled the person she most feared, the Tianhai Divine Empress.
Perhaps it was because this woman also seemed eminent and unapproachable, or perhaps it was because she also had a habit of holding her hands behind her back.
There was only one woman in the present world that could be compared to the Tianhai Divine Empress: Madam Mu, Empress of White Emperor City.
The little Black Dragon seriously considered Madam Mu's question and replied, "I saw a pearl."
She spread her arms out in the air. "It was a pearl about this large."
If she was not exaggerating, then this pearl's size was truly rather absurd.
The little Black Dragon said, "Mother told me that when I was born, I loved to cry, and I wouldn't stop no matter how much they tried to amuse me. It was only when I hugged this pearl that I would be quiet."
Madam Mu asked, "Presumably, it was the legendary Mermaid's Tear?"
The Dragon race inhabited a region in the distant reaches of the Southern Sea. The Great Western Continent was also an ocean-faring country, so the two had similar legends and the pair could understand each other somewhat.
The Black Dragon added, "Later on, at New North Bridge, Scholar Wang took it away."
Madam Mu said, "Only knowing how to bully a little child like you, Lord Wang can't be considered much of a hero."
The little Black Dragon approved of these words, saying with an innocent expression, "Empress is an extraordinary person, so don't bully a little child like me."
Madam Mu denied, "I'm no hero, only a woman."
Feeling wronged, the Black Dragon asked, "Then how long does Empress plan to jail me?"
Madam Mu replied, "I am not Lord Wang, nor am I Tianhai. I have no interest in imprisoning you."
The Black Dragon fell quiet for a while, then asked, "Then when do you intend to kill me?"
"The Demi-human race was able to establish this country solely because of your Black Frost Dragon tribe. If I do not want to earn the contempt of the entire Demi-human race, I will not kill you."
Madam Mu gazed at the massive white city on the other shore of the Red River and calmly said, "Moreover, although you have not fully recovered your strength, you are still not easy to kill. If not for the fact that your soul had been pulled out once, I would have found it very difficult to silently capture you."
Upon hearing this, the little Black Dragon recalled those scenes from New North Bridge, especially the pain from when the Tianhai Divine Empress pulled out her soul, causing her face to turn pale. And when she remembered the pain from when her Deep Freeze Dragon Breath had been extracted out of her body by this woman a few days ago, her vertical pupils constricted, a hint of loathing flashing through them.
She stared at Madam Mu and asked, "Just what do you want to do?"
Madam Mu did not turn around as she softly said, "I should be the one asking you this question. In the battle in the mountains, His Majesty the Demon Lord would naturally spare you out of respect for his friendship with your father, but you decided to fake your death and sneak into White Emperor City. Just what did Chen Changsheng want you to do?"
The little Black Dragon said nothing.
She had received Chen Changsheng's order and come to White Emperor City primarily to meet the White Emperor, but the White Emperor was in seclusion to recover from his injuries. As a result, she could only think of a way to meet Luoluo, but before she could enter the palace, she realized that something was wrong. By the time she was preparing to leave, it was too late, and she ended up being captured by Madam Mu.
Chen Changsheng had explicitly stated that whether she met the White Emperor or Luoluo, she had to hide it from Madam Mu. Anyone could see the problem between the Imperial Court, the Orthodoxy, and White Emperor City, but she had not expected Madam Mu's stance to be so unyielding. Just the silent agreement between her and Shang Xingzhou was far from enough to explain such a stance.
She suddenly thought of a possibility, and said in a somewhat low voice, "Could it be that the people of the Great Western Continent want to stir a storm on this continent?"
Madam Mu faintly smiled. "We've been preparing for centuries. Is just one storm enough?"
Her speculations had been confirmed, causing the little Black Dragon to fall into a long period of silent thought. Finally, she said, "Have none of you realized the true reason for Mu Jiushi's exile from the Li Palace? The Pope has always been wary of you. There are still many more people that are wary of you, have not forgotten you."
Madam Mu slowly turned around, her smile slightly fading. "And so what?"
The Black Dragon stared into her eyes and answered, "I don't know what you're scheming, but I know that someone died yesterday while Chen Changsheng is still alive."
Millions upon millions of people lived on the continent. Many people were dying in every moment for various reasons.
Just the death of a normal person naturally would not draw her attention, much less be brought up.
Experts of the Divine Domain shared a sort of spiritual connection. Although her cultivation had suffered a severe decline, she had not lost this connection.
She had clearly sensed that an expert of the Divine Domain had returned to the sea of stars yesterday.
She was unaware that this expert of the Divine Domain was the Imperial Uncle of the Great Western Continent.
But Madam Mu did know, and the last hints of a smile evaporated into nothing.
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