Chapter 520: Determination
Huang Luan held Jian Chen tightly in a quiet but comforting embrace. No words had been voiced, but the feelings and thoughts that had welled up inside her had finally exploded out. Just like a volcano erupting after a period of buildup, the resulting momentum was both fierce and hard to control.
Jian Chen was dumbstruck. His entire body had gone rigid without moving for a long period of time. Even with memories from two worlds, he never remembered being hugged by a female before, so this was the very first time he had experienced the warmth of one.
This was not a woman with a beauty that could bring the downfall of a city, but a woman with a beauty that could bring an entire kingdom to its knees.
Time in this dubiously quiet place slowly passed by. A beautiful moment was fleeting; this one was no exception.
Huang Luan and Jian Chen had remained together for an unknown amount of time before Huang Luan finally loosened her grip on Jian Chen. Slowly standing up, Huang Luan looked up at Jian Chen with her bashful eyes. Then, tilting her head down, she slowly began to smooth out the wrinkles in her messy robes. Both of her cheeks had gone red in the prominent display of a shy girl.
This appearance of hers had caused Jian Chen to be dumbfounded. From the very beginning of when he came to know Huang Luan, she had given Jian Chen the feeling of being icy cold and habitually silent. There was never a time where she had revealed such a shy expression.
Is this the same Huang Luan I first came to know? Jian Chen couldnt help but question himself. In his mind, the Huang Luan he knew and the one in front of him were two completely different people.
Jian Chen sucked in a deep breath and was hit with the sweet-smelling fragrance coming from Huang Luans body once more. His entire mind had been intoxicated by it, this scent combined with her throwing her arms around him was as good as a bewitching medicine concocted against a man. If it were not for Jian Chen being a Heaven Saint Master with an impressive willpower and mind, then it would be very likely that he would have lost all self-control.
Slowly bringing himself back to a calm, Jian Chen stared at the nearly-touching Huang Luan with a complex stare. Hesitantly, he opened his mouth to ask, Miss Huang Luan, are you alright?
Huang Luan shook her head slightly and slowly brought her head up to look at Jian Chen. After a brief period of time, the expression on her face had finally returned to normal. Although there was still the remains of a blush on her cheeks, it had enhanced her charm by quite the amount.
But seeing the handsome and stalwart face of Jian Chen, Huang Luans eyes had gradually reverted back to a blur. A face like his had been like an increased dosage of Yang qi after half a year of not seeing him.
Jian Chen had felt goosebumps arise on his skin from Huang Luans stare. Unconsciously, he had retreated several steps as if he was afraid of this look. Jian Chen wasnt a naive three year old, he knew just what that stare had meant in Huang Luans eyes. But this had given him an extreme amount of trouble in his heart. He was already shouldering an extreme amount of worries with him, and although it seemed that Jian Chen was a person with a far future, he was still just a Heaven Saint Master in strength while also being an Imperial Protector for the Qinhuang Kingdom. Jian Chen was fully aware of how much pressure the future had in store for him, so today, he wanted to spend all of his efforts on improving his own strength. There was simply no time to even think about settling down.
Jian Chen. From our departure in Mercenary City to now half a year later, have you thought about me? Huang Luan whispered to Jian Chen with a soft voice. Right now in terms of emotions, Huang Luan was far more honest than before. She was no longer the secretive, daredevil, and heroine figure from before. Compared to You Yue, they were as different as black and white in personality.
Eh. Jian Chen hadnt thought that Huang Luan would actually ask a question like this. In his period of distraction, Huang Luans temperament had suddenly flared up in way that Jian Chen felt had contrasted quite heavily with her usual icy expression.
But Jian Chen had quickly recovered. Still slightly stupefied, he answered, I have!
Hearing this, Huang Luans face had broke into a happy smile. Unknownst to her, Jian Chens thoughts of her was completely different than what she had thought of him. When Jian Chen had said that he had thought of her, he had only thought of the occasional times where he thought of the past, but there was no longing in them.
Yet, this smile of Huang Luan did not last long. Her face had quickly grown dark; a concentrated amount of sadness and worry was mixed into it.
Seeing this expression of hers, Jian Chen had disregarded the abnormality of Huang Luans previous actions. Jian Chens heart had dropped, he could already tell that Huang Luan had perhaps came across some sort of trouble.
Miss Huang Luan, are you fine? Jian Chen asked again. When Huang Luan had first hugged Jian Chen, he had a strange feeling in his heart. And now this worried expression of Huang Luan had brought him to an indescribable level of anxiety. Right now, Jian Chen himself wasnt sure if this anxiety was because of Huang Luan or not.
Huang Luans reluctant eyes lingered on Jian Chens handsome face and the chest where she had buried herself into. With a soft sigh, she slowly turned back to the windows so that she could stare out of it with a despaired look.
In the split second when Huang Luan had turned around, Jian Chen had caught a glimpse of a teardrop beginning to fall from Huang Luans eyes.
Jian Chens heart had immediately grown heavy for some reason. He didnt know why, but this sight of Huang Luan had caused his own heart to hurt. Just faintly, he could sense that something terrible had happened to Huang Luan.
After a long while, Huang Luan finally opened her mouth, Jian Chen. Did you know, my father has already betrothed me to the second young master of the Huanggu clan. Huang Luans voice had been weak and without strength. There was pain to be detected in her voice, and just a slight amount of a sob could be heard as well.
Jian Chen had been startled to hear this. Although not a single woman had ever crashed their way into Jian Chens mind before, when he heard Huang Luan speak, Jian Chens heart couldnt help but grow heavy. Perhaps it was because of Huang Luans current state, but Jian Chens heart had begun to bubble with a strange sensation. He certainly did not wish for a beautiful woman to be betrothed to a man she did not love.
Restraining the emotions in his mind, Jian Chen asked, Huanggu clan? Could this be another strong clan that can rival your Huang family in strength?
The Huanggu clan is incomparably strong in comparison to my Huang family. The Huanggu clan is a family that has stayed in insolation similar to my Huang family, the Shi family, the Jiede clan, and the Dugu family. Families that have stayed in isolation like ours have several thousand years worth of history, a Saint Ruler appearing from it, and have unbelievable strength. Huang Luan explained.
Isolated families? Does that mean every Saint Ruler has come from a clan or family that hide itself away? Jian Chen asked curiously.
Thats not it. A family in isolation and a family that isnt are different. To be called an isolated family is to be in an isolated state and to not have contact with the outside world. Only by doing that can a family be said to be isolated. Our Huang family for example has been stationed deep within the mountains for many years without many of our disciples exploring the outside world. That has led to only a small amount of people knowing who we are. The other isolated families are like this as well.
I heard about what happened with the Saint Rulers skeleton from uncle Feng and uncle Yun. If it werent for the fact that the Qiangan Kingdom had found and leaked the news of a Saint Rulers skeleton to us, our Huang family would never have stepped a foot out into the outside world unless for something important.
On the outside, there is still many other strong powers that overwhelm those isolated families like mine. For example the Eight Great Powers and the Three Great Empires. There are also the ancient clans whose strength outstrip the isolated families and are a part of everyday life where they are located at. Amongst the isolated families, there are only an extremely small few that can even compare in strength to the Eight Great Powers or the ancient families. As for the Three Great Empires, we are still an era behind. Only the mysterious ancient families would be able to contend with them.
Jian Chen had felt like he was another step closer to understanding the strength of an isolated family after Huang Luan had explained it to him. But he hadnt thought that above these isolated families would be the even more gigantic ancient clans.
How strong are these ancient clans? Jian Chen asked curiously.
You cannot even imagine! Huang Luan spoke. Ive only read about the ancient clans in the ancient records of my Huang family. Ive never heard anyone talk about them before though, so I only know that these ancient families have existed for tens of thousands of years and more. Although theyve existed on the continent, no one knows where.
But the records had it written that unless something major happens on the Tian Yuan Continent, these ancient clans wont appear at all. That is because they are a true clan that lives in isolation.
I had no idea that the waters of the Tian Yuan Continent would be that deep. Jian Chen spoke. His perspective of the Tian Yuan Continent had changed quite a bit.
Along with the progression of his strength, his domain of understanding had increased as well. At the beginning, he had only been at Wake City to hunt for monster cores to cultivate. A lowly third-rate city where Great Saint Masters were considered far and few and Earth Saint Masters to be the apex of experts and had the power to call the wind and summon the rain. As for Heaven Saint Masters, whether it was the Blue Wind Kingdom or the Gesun Kingdom, they were highly respected almost like gods. Heaven Saint Masters represented a kingdoms strongest source of power, and in a war, an individual like a Heaven Saint Master was the same as several million elite soldiers.
And now that he had came into contact with a major family like the Huang family, Jian Chen felt as if he had stepped into a whole new domain where the pinnacle of power was no longer a Heaven Saint Master. There was an even higher levelthe Saint Rulers who comprehended the mysteries of the world. A Heaven Saint Master was nothing more than a median of strength.
Jian Chen tilted his head down to think, Miss Huang Luan, Ive heard of the predicament your Huang family faces from your ancestor. Your betrothment to the Huanggu clan is surely because the Huang family wishes to tie in the Huanggu family behind your family banner.
Your guess is correct. Although it seems quite calm and quiet on the surface of our family, the core disciples are all aware of how bad the predicament is for our family. If we do not find any outside help, then Im afraid the remaining days for our Huang family will be numbered. The hatred between the Huang and the Hongfu clan has gone on for generations now, there is no other way to resolve this bitter hatred now. From our two families, one of us has to die. With the power of the Hongfu clan, they can control our Huang family now. It is only by uniting with the Huanggu family that we stand a chance against them. They will think twice about attack, and I, I will be offered to the Huanggu family as the only present. Huang Luan spoke.
Jian Chen had nothing to say after Huang Luan spoke. He just stood there in hesitation for a long timehis eyes sparkled with a light that seemed as if there was some sort of internal conflict in them.
After a while, Jian Chen bit his lips and finally thought of an idea. If I am able to find some help for your Huang family, would that be enough for your betrothment to the Huanggu family to be annulled?
Huang Luans body shook violently for a moment before slowly turning to meet Jian Chen. Looking at the earnest face of Jian Chen, Huang Luans own face had not a happy smile on it, instead, there was a helpless and mourning expression.
Jian Chen, I know that you are the Imperial Protector of the Qinhuang Kingdom, presumably not for too long either. That means your position within the kingdom is still unstable as well. This betrothment was the proposal of my father and has the support of the ancestor. The two of us alone are unable to do anything, so it is best you not get involved. Otherwise, there will be even more trouble for the Qinhuang Kingdom and the other men of power within the kingdom will no longer agree to let you do as you please.
Huang Luans face had grown helpess beyond helpless. Both eyes looked to Jian Chen with a shallow smile, Actually, to be able to hug you at this moment and leave behind my fragrance on you is more than enough for me.