"Su Yu, do you still love me?" Jiang Xueqing had a smile on her face. She widened her eyes, staring into Su Yu's starlike gaze.
"I already have a fiancee." Su Yu replied directly. He did not want any feelings of affection to arise between Jiang Xueqing and himself; that would be letting down Xianer.
Jiang Xueqing kept her smile. Su Yu's answer was of no surprise to her. She was not disappointed, for she had not expected much. But, still, she involuntarily sighed. "It looks like I no longer exist in your eyes and your heart."
She once again leaned on Su Yu's shoulder. Jiang Xueqing felt a sense of closure, but also a sense of longing. A bitter tear dropped from her eyes, stopping at the corner of her lips. Her expression displayed a mixture of sadness and happiness. Her smile was pitiful, "Su Yu, I'm sorry I regret everything"
A word of apology and regret; these were Jiang Xueqing's heartfelt words.
A once proud and materialistic youth had learned life's true lessons and now felt grief and regret.
Su Yu's heart shuddered. He genuinely felt sorry for her after hearing such a pitiful voice. Jiang Xueqing was only fourteen, an age of cluelessness and ignorance. She had made a mistakecould he forgive her and give her a second chance?
An image of the adorable and playful Xianer crossed his mind. The lovable figure made Su Yu shake his head.
He could not let Xianer down.
"There are no opportunities to revisit mistakes made in life, but life can still continue. Qing-er, you have to look out for yourself" Su Yu calmly lectured.
Jiang Xueqing's petite frame shuddered. Her final shred of hope had been extinguished.
She felt an intense pain pierce her soul. She hugged Su Yu tightly, unable to control her shuddering.
She suddenly remembered what she thought she had lost the day Su Yu smashed their token of love on the ground. She finally understood that, what she had lost, was life's most treasured, sincere, and irreversible true love.
"Brother Su Yu" Jiang Xueqing's petite body convulsed. She choked as she called out to Su Yu, as he had called out to her in the past when she had admired him.
But, she could never go back to the past.
At the manor of the Third Prince, Jiang Xueqing was brought to her room to rest.
Before getting off their horse, Jiang Xueqing had gazed once more at Su Yu.
Once he had returned to the hall, Su Yu immediately paid his respects to the Duke of Xianyu.
The two had survived many crises and had much to talk about.
"Father, if the opportunity arises, I will definitely help you find a medicine that can regenerate your lost arm." Su Yu had made up his mind.
The Duke of Xianyu had a benevolent smile as he rubbed Su Yu's forehead. "Silly child, the immortal elixir that can raise the dead is but a legend. Where are you going to start searching?"
Su Yu did not answer, but his gaze was resolute.
After some hesitation, the Duke of Xianyu stared deeply at Su Yu and solemnly ordered him, "Yu-er, I know that you are diligent in your cultivation. When you enter the Sanctuary, you must work even harder. Before that, do not attempt to search for Xianer."
Su Yu raised his eyebrows, "Father, why is that? Today you have cleared your innocence and once again stand at the helm of the Xianyu prefecture. We should naturally go to Fenghuang Valley to fetch Xianer back, so we may be reunited."
"Xianer's mother was the daughter of the head of the Fenghuang Valley. She escaped the valley to be with me and the valley still does not know of Xianer's existence." The Duke said bitterly.
"Now that Xianer's existence had been known by the Fenghuang Valley, as well as the fact that she carries her mother's blood, they will definitely nurture and protect her with everything they have. Why would they return her to me?
"So Su Yu, if you wish to fetch Xianer back, you have to get stronger, fast. Otherwise, you can forget about getting Xianer back. Your life may even be in danger," The Duke of Xianyu spilled out the shocking truth.
Su Yu had a brief moment of shock but he quickly returned to his senses. "Father, what exactly is the Fenghuang Valley? Just how powerful are its fighters?"
The Duke of Xianyu shook his head, "I don't know. I only know that it is very mysterious, so mysterious that nobody in the Fenghuang empire dares say its name. Its existence is taboo."
Taboo? Su Yu's breathing sharpened.
Su Yu thought of Xianer's voice and appearance and made up his mind, "Xianer is my fiancee, no one can take her away from me. If they wish to deal with me they can bring it on! I, Su Yu, fear no one!"
Fenghuang Valley, a taboo existence!
His current abilities were not enough to face such a formidable foe!
"You live up to the reputation of my son-in-law, great! I, in my entire life, will only recognize you as my son-in-law. Anybody else can forget about gaining my recognition!" The Duke of Xianyu laughed heartily.
The two talked until late at night. Before they parted, the Duke gave Su Yu a final reminder, "Yu-er, practice hard. Do not try to find out about Fenghuang Valley, especially in the Sanctuary. Given the relationship between the two countries, getting information in the Sanctuary would do you more harm than good."
The Fenglin empire and the Fenghuang empire were far away from each other, and their relationship was neutral. The Sanctuary was also very foreignreckless curiosity could bring Su Yu trouble.
Su Yu took his leave and returned to his room to rest. Tomorrow he had to leave with Qiu Changjian for the Heavenly Sanctuary. What kind of world was that?
As he entered his room, Su Yu smelled a fragrance.
He looked to his side. At the corner of the wall, there was a pink incense which spread a red glow.
Su Yu did not pay much attention to it. He knew that servants lit incense every day to purge the room of any weird smells. Though, this smell was slightly different than regular incense. But would any thieves dare infiltrate the manor of the Third Prince?
Su Yu took a deep whiff of the fragrance before he stripped out of his robes and went to sleep.
He dreamed of a female figure leaving a wet kiss on his cheek.
"Brother Su Yu, if time could rewind, I really wish I could be that innocent girl once again. I would always be by your side, laughing as we looked at the sunset, silently listening to the flute, watching the vast ocean and endless fields...
"But, I can only return to the places of the pastnot the past itself. Brother Su Yu, this is goodbye."
The first rays of sunlight the following day were soft.
Su Yu opened his eyes in a daze; his mind felt heavy.
The previous night was hazyhis memory of it somewhere between a dream and reality.
He looked around. As he glanced at the bronze mirror, he saw remnants of a red lip print on his cheek.
"Jiang Xueqing..." Su Yu understood. He got dressed and searched for her in the manor.
But, she was gone. She had left the Third Prince's manor alone at dawn, her whereabouts unknown.
Su Yu had a bitter frown and felt a sense of emptiness. Goodbye, lover of the past.
The hour to leave for the Sanctuary had arrived.
Su Yu bade his farewells to the Third Prince, the Duke of Xianyu, and Xia Linxuan.
After saying their goodbyes, Su Yu and Xia Jingyu left for a new stage.
Back at the Third Prince's hall, Lin Xiao was confused, "Master, you sent someone to tail Jiang Xueqing and figure out her whereabouts. Why won't you tell Su Yu?"
The Third Prince fixed his gaze on the horizon and lightly sighed. "Jiang Xueqing had guilt in her heart and did not want Su Yu to find her. Su Yu also has someone else in his heart and cannot give Jiang Xueqing a future. Their fate together is over. They should not meet again in the future."