Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
Qingzhou City was in the Eastern Sea region of the Nandou Nation in the Nine States, within the Land of a Hundred Nations.
The island city was as quiet as ever. Although its status within the Nandou Nation was no longer the same as before, it still seemed to exist outside of the world, with very little in the way of excitement.
Within the peaceful island city, Qingzhou Lake was still as beautiful as ever. Pleasure boats crisscrossed the surface of the lake without end, especially just as evening was falling, making the scene much more lively. Many of the people of Qingzhou City were gathered here, enjoying the beautiful scenery.
Two figures were playing chess in front of a residence on the lakeside. They sat in the cool breeze very comfortably. People would occasionally steal glances at them, but they were not disturbed. They had grown used to it.
Father, you made a bad move there. It looks like you will never be a worthy opponent for Uncle Hua, not even in ten years. Beside them, there was a beautiful woman who looked like she was bout 30 years old. Her smile was bright and simple, and the years seemed to not have left their mark upon her.
Haha, Im getting old. Its getting easier and easier to be careless, said Qin Shuai.
So if you werent old, you would be winning? said the middle-aged man across from him with a smile. It was Hua Fengliu. He had a weathered and worn look to him, but you could still see on his face what kind of a hero he had been when he was young.
You are truly ruthless, said Qin Shuai with a smile, putting down a piece as he spoke. The game isnt over yet.
Its been so many years, and you still havent gotten used to it, came a laughing voice. Qin Shuai turned in confusion and saw a boat coming across Qingzhou Lake. A white-robed youth was in it. He stepped ashore and walked towards them.
This man was clothed all in white, and his hair was like silver snow. He seemed to be one with the world around him. It was as if there was nothing unusual at all about him appearing there. He seemed a part of the landscape.
Qin Shuai stood up and stared in shock at the young man who had just appeared. He was even more obviously an outstanding person now, and he seemed even to be otherworldly.
Hua Fengliu looked at him as well. At first, he was stunned, but then he smiled. He looked back to the chessboard and moved another piece. Arent you cultivating far away from here? Why on earth have you come so far? he muttered.
I was afraid that you would have carelessly gotten old. Ye Futian walked to his side and squatted. He looked at the chessboard and said, Its been ten years. Did you not want me to come back.
His trip had lasted ten years.
No, said Hua Fengliu.
A sour look came over Ye Futians face. Hua Fengliu was so unfeeling!
A couple of days ago, someone was chattering about how that rascal Futian had been gone for ten years, and how unfilial that was. He asked my brother to go to the Eastern Barren Territory and see what he could find out. Why is this happening today? A figure walked over, holding a cup. The former foremost beauty of the Nandou Nation was now marked by the passage of time. She was still beautiful, but she had begun to show wrinkles.
Masteress. When Ye Futian saw her, he felt a bit guilty. He had indeed been unfilial.
When did that happen? Why dont I remember it? Hua Fengliu repudiated her.
Nandou Wenyin came over to look at him. Her eyes were slightly moist.
She looked at her son-in-law Ye Futian as her own biological son.
Why are you crying, Masteress? Isnt this a happy occasion? Ye Futian said as he took the cup from Nandou Wenyins hands. Im back.
Im not crying. Its good to see you. Youve made me very happy. Nandou Wenyin reached out and lightly touched Ye Futians face and silver hair.
This man was already one of the most talented youths in the Nine States, but in her eyes, he was still just a little boy.
You lose, said Qin Shuai with a smile. Hua Fengliu looked at the chessboard. It seemed that his last move had been a fatal mistake.
Lets not play anymore. This kid has ruined my mood, and I cant play right, said Hua Fengliu as he messed up the chessboard.
Nandou Wenyin smiled brightly. This guy had said that he did not want Ye Futian to come back, but if that was the case, then why had he played so badly?
Youre right; its all my fault, said Ye Futian with a smile. Ye Futian gave the cup to Hua Fengliu and said, Have some tea.
Hua Fengliu took it, and Ye Futian gave another cup to Qin Shuai.
You still look so young and beautiful, sister, said Ye Futian to Qin Yi.
Qin Yi looked at him, and he saw that she was smiling brightly as well. Her eyes were wet with tears.
He was just like he had been in the past. Other than the fact that his aura was more imposing, it was like he had not changed at all.
Knock! Hua Fengliu rapped his knuckles on Ye Futians head and said, Youre acting like your father-in-law doesnt exist.
Im sorry, said Ye Futian with a sour look.
Everyone laughed, even Hua Fengliu.
Time healed all wounds. Hua Fengliu had made progress over the ten years, and now Qin Yi was like his daughter. She would often spend time with him and Nandou Wenyin.
Lets go to the lakeside. Hu Fengliu stood up and walked towards Qingzhou Lake. Ye Futian walked by his side.
The evening was falling, but Qingzhou Lake was becoming more and more lively. There were more boats upon it, and whenever anyone would see Hua Fengliu or Qin Shuai, a look of respect would come over them. But no one disturbed them.
Some people payed attention to Ye Futian. They could not help but stare at him. He was so imposing that even if you only got a glance of him, you would never forget him.
However, it had been ten years, and the people at the lake at that moment were young men and women. None of them knew what the appearance of this silver-haired youth meant.
After all, ten years in a small city was a long time.
Where are you cultivating nowadays? Hua Fengliu said lightly as they reached the lake. Nandou Wenyin was standing beside him calmly, and Qin Shuai and Qin Yi stood on the other side.
The Crimson Dragon Realm. I just returned to Emperor Xias Realm for a time, so I came to see you and the Masteress, said Ye Futian.
A Realm, huh? murmured Hua Fengliu. That must be far away.
Mm. Ye Futian nodded. Very very far.
What level have you cultivated up to? asked Hua Fengliu.
Im a Saint, answered Ye Futian. Hua Fengliu nodded.
Saint had once been the highest level that anyone in the Nine States had reached. He understood what it meant for Ye Futian to have reached that level.
But when he thought of the statue of Emperor Ye Qing, the Saint level must be far away from his goal.
You must have gone through so much over the years, Futian. We want to hear all your stories, said Nandou Wenyin softly.
Alright, then Ill tell you. Ye Futian nodded slightly. And so, before he left, he told them everything.
He talked about Emperor Xia and Xia Qingyuan, as well as the Imperial Adviser of the Dali Dynasty and the Crimson Dragon Realm.
The breeze picked up, and fireworks cracked above Qingzhou Lake. They were extremely beautiful.
As Ye Futian spoke, the whole group was sitting on the lakeside. Hua Fengliu and the others listened quietly. Ye Futians voice was the only sound on the wind.
Every story seemed to have taken place over an entire lifetime. Even though they had not experienced it themselves, Hua Fengliu and the others still felt the thrill of these experiences. They were scared for Ye Futian sometimes, and happy for him other times.
The Imperial Adviser is worthy of respect. He is even more worthy than I am of being called master, said Hua Fengliu.
The masters that I have met at every stage have been the best ones possible. They are all worthy of respect. But you were my first master, and you are my father-in-law, so you must be the best of them, said Ye Futian.
I see you havent lost your skill for sucking up, said Hua Fengliu. Then he thought of something and said, This Princess Qingyuan seems pretty impressive.
Ye Futian looked at him in surprise, but Hua Fengliu smiled and said, Emperor Xia would be a good father-in-law as well.
Ye Futian saw that smile on Hua Fenglius face. He knew his teacher was being sincere. He wanted to say something, but he did not open his mouth. He wanted to tell him the news that Jieyu might still be alive, but he was afraid that this faint hope would be extinguished, which would only increase his teachers sorrow.
Thus, in the end, he said nothing. He looked out over Qingzhou Lake.
Many pleasure boats appeared before him. A small boat was coming towards them, with many people on it. It was very light.
There was a young woman of 18 or 19 on the boat. She was as beautiful as a jade statue, and all the youths around her were looking at her.
This woman was the foremost beauty of the city of QingzhouMu Shiyu of the Mu House.
She seemed to see all of them, and the boat came over towards them. As it drew near, she saw Ye Futian, with his handsome, unblemished face, his imposing manner, and his silver hair. He was clearly full of stories, and his eyes were dazzling.
She had had many suitors and had seen all the heroes of Qingzhou City. But with a single glance at the young man before her, her previously calm heart began to flutter.
But she had not come for Ye Futian. She turned her gaze towards Hua Fengliu and bowed slightly. Greetings, sir.
Miss Shiyu. Hua Fengliu nodded politely.
I request that you take me as your student, even if you only teach me to play chess or music. Please take me as your disciple. Mu Shiyu bowed again, showing the utmost courtesy.
Hua Fengliu was a legend in Qingzhou City. Nine years ago, he had looked with favor upon an ordinary youth, who had then left Qingzhou City. He returned a year later and was already a Noble level cultivator.
A special man like this was a treasure. However, after returning, his first act had been to go to Hua Fenglius residence to pay his respects and give his thanks.
The people of the City of Qingzhou looked upon this conversation with approval.
Miss Shiyu, Ive already told you that I wont take you as a disciple, answered Hua Fengliu.
Then might I be your servant? Mu Shiyu was still being polite.
Hua Fengliu shook his head. Please leave, Miss Shiyu.
A disappointed look came over Shiyus face. At that moment, Ye Futian spoke up, saying, Lets go back, teacher.
Mm. Hua Fengliu nodded. The whole group of them left.
Mu Shiyu was stunned. She looked at Ye Futian, but the silver-haired youth did not so much as glance at her. It seemed that her beauty was not that enticing to him.
She looked a little disappointed. He wouldnt take her as a disciple?
And why had the silver-haired young man called him teacher?
Ye Futian and the others returned to the house. Hua Fengliu said, Alright, its time for you to be going.
Teacher, you dont need to be in such a hurry to see me go. Are you so cold-hearted? Ye Futian was almost speechless.
Im old. The masteress and I like our peace and quiet. We dont like people watching us, said Hua Fengliu lightly. Ye Futian had shown his face, and the people of Qingzhou City would soon come around to see him.
Ye Futian sighed inwardly. He stopped walking. Hua Fengliu and Nandou Wenyin both looked at him.
Alright, then Im off. Master, Masteress, said Ye Futian.
Nandou Wenyin had tears in her eyes, but she still nodded.
Ye Futian bowed to them, then waved to General Qin and Qin Yi. He turned, and his figure flashed as he shot into the sky, becoming a star.
Hua Fengliu looked up at him, watching the rapidly dimming starlight. His eyes were a bit moist, as well.
Hes gone. Soon, that little bit of light had disappeared completely. Nandou Wenyin took Hua Fenglius hand and looked into his eyes. Youre being so open and unrestrained. Why are you crying?
Its just the wind. Its irritating my eyes. Hua Fengliu led Nandou Wenyi back into the courtyard. Qin Shuai and QIn Yi watched the two of them as they walked away. Even though they were smiling, their eyes seemed a bit wet as well. They turned and left.
Back on Qingzhou Lake, Mu Shiyu was sitting dumbfounded in her boat. A middle-aged man was waiting by her side. When he saw the disappointment in her eyes, he said, Were you refused again?
It seems that he really wont take me as his disciple, father, whispered Mu Shiyu.
His daughter was also once the most beautiful woman in Qingzhou City. If you keep going back, he will accept you eventually, said the middle-aged man with a smile.
But there was already a young man there who called him teacher, said Mu Shiyu.
A young man? What young man? The middle-aged man frowned.
A young man with silver hair. He was incredibly good looking and had an imposing manner about him. Ive never seen such an outstanding young man. He was not the least bit disturbed when he saw me. He did not even spare me a second glance. He is different from other people. Her mind was filled with the image of that young man. For someone like that, even after a single glance, it would be impossible to forget his face.
Silver hair, an imposing manner, he called him teacher The middle-aged man was trembling. Then he turned, and in a shaking voice, said, Quick! Go back to Teacher Huas place!
Whats wrong, father? This was the first time Mu Shiyu had seen her father like this.
His whole body was trembling. His legs seemed like they would not support him.
The middle-aged man looked at her and held her face with both hands. Shiyu, he said, the silver-haired young man that you saw is probably the legendary King of the Nine States!
When Mu Shiyu heard her fathers words, it was like she had been struck by lightning. She began to tremble slightly as well. She turned and looked in the direction they had come from.
The legend circulating through the City of Qingzhou had seemed so distant, but now it seemed so close.
He was the figure from that legend!