Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
Tomorrow was the day that Bai Luli and Zhuge Mingyue would get married. People from all over the Barren State had already arrived at Xuanwu City. This city, which lay to the north of Zhongzhou City, had not experienced such excitement for many years. The hype surrounding the event could even rival that from the time Zhuge Qingfeng took over as the head of the Zhuge Family back in the day.
In the bamboo forest within Mingyue’s quarters on Crouching Dragon Mountain, the sounds of a guqin being played could be heard. Ye Futian was still playing the guqin, and he was still playing the Ukiyo Song as well. Right now, Ye Futian’s eyes were tightly shut, as if he had entered a state of intense concentration. The Worldly Spiritual Qi in the space seemed to have stopped moving, and everything became clearer than before.
Zhuge Mingyue walked behind Ye Futian. As she looked across the space, she could sense the change in the Worldly Spiritual Qi here. She then sat quietly on a bamboo bench in the forest. She liked listening to her youngest brother play the guqin, especially when he played the Ukiyo Song. That song had a very deep artistic conception. The song evoked feelings of watching the world from above, painting an expansive image of that vast world through music and bringing about a sense of great heroism. Though she didn’t have such lofty ambitions as a woman, hearing her youngest brother play brought her a sense of comfort. Rising to the top was something her youngest brother should do, just like in the image the song evoked.
Within Ye Futian’s mind, everything in his surroundings seemed to become even clearer. The various elemental Spiritual Qi did not even seem to be Spiritual Qi anymore. Instead, they were almost like actual wind, fire, lightning, among others. The elements had their own rhythm, which formed a part of the larger world. He seemed to see the shape of the wind, which blew in irregular wavy lines throughout the space. He seemed to see the color of lightning. It was almost as if he was in a different world.
Right then, Ye Futian got the feeling that if he redirected his will, he would be able to change the trajectory of the wind, or the intensity of the lightning. The world he perceived right now seemed to be clearer than the one he had known.
The sounds of Ye Futian’s guqin playing did not stop. The Worldly Spiritual Qi around him came surging crazily towards him, and his Spiritual Energy stretched out even further, seeming to project the guqin music further as well.
Zhuge Mingyue, who was next to Ye Futian, lifted her head to look at him. Her eyes glittered before she broke out into a dazzling smile. More than half a year ago, Ye Futian had become an upper-level noble at Alchemy City, and now, there were signs of him breaking through to the next plane with his Spiritual Energy. He would soon officially become a Grade Two Noble. Over the past month, Ye Futian’s Spiritual Energy had grown stronger through him playing the guqin every single day.
Finally, the guqin playing stopped, and the Worldly Spiritual Qi in the surroundings stopped flowing as well. Ye Futian opened his eyes to reveal an extreme calm. There was no hint of any joy at breaking through yet another plane. Tomorrow was the day his Older Sister would get engaged to Bai Luli, and up until now, he still didn’t have any idea as to what to do. There had also been no news from Third Older Brother, even now.
“What’s up? Isn’t breaking through to the next plane supposed to be a happy thing?” Zhuge Mingyue asked, smiling.
“I’ve broken through a plane with my Spiritual Energy and become a Grade Two Noble, but what use is that now?” Ye Futian replied, smiling bitterly at Zhuge Mingyue. Before, he would have been overjoyed at this development, considering how this breakthrough did not just result in stronger Spiritual Energy, but also in him obtaining greater understanding in perceiving the natural laws. He was so close to his goal, and he had gotten much stronger as well. But it wasn’t enough. This turn of events had occurred too quickly, and Ye Futian was not prepared for it.
“Second Older Sister,” Beitang Xing’er called out, walking towards the two. Zhuge Mingyue and Ye Futian turned to look at her.
“What’s the matter, Xing’er?” Zhuge Mingyue asked.
“Someone sent over a letter for Youngest Brother,” Beitang Xing’er replied. For someone to send a letter all the way up to the Zhuge household on Crouching Dragon Mountain addressed to Ye Futian was interesting indeed.
“Let me have a look at it.” A sharp glint flashed past Ye Futian’s eyes, and he walked over to Beitang Xing’er’s side to take the letter from her.
The letter was sealed, and when the person had tasked the guard with getting the letter to Ye Futian. The Zhuge family guard had not dared to open it. After all, Ye Futian was a well-known figure in the Barren State now, and everyone knew that he was the younger brother of the Second Young Mistress. As such, the letter reached Ye Futian easily, without much trouble.
Ye Futian opened the letter before seeing a line of elegantly scrawled words on it. But when he read the contents of the letter properly, his heart skipped a beat and he felt an immense unease. The contents of the letter were simple. The person had written, “I’m sorry, I won’t be able to fulfill the promise I made to you in the past. Please live well from now on.”
There was a single word at the end of the line: “Gu.”
Ye Futian knew that this wasn’t a letter for him, but for Second Older Sister. And the person who wrote this letter couldn’t be anyone else but Third Older Brother. He had come, but he was not preparing to ascend Crouching Dragon Mountain.
Why is he doing this? Ye Futian wondered before a thought popped into his head. What happened to Third Older Brother?
Third Older Brother was not a coward. People from the Cottage and even the eastern region of the Barren State all knew that Gu Dongliu, the third disciple of the Cottage was a man who would refuse to back down even in the face of the toughest challenges. But now, as the engagement day of Bai Luli and Ye Futian’s Second Older Sister approached, his Third Older Brother had left a letter like this instead.
Seeming to notice Ye Futian’s change in expression, Zhuge Mingyue asked, “Youngest Brother, who is the letter from?” As she asked, she began to walk over as well. Ye Futian’s hands trembled just the slightest. He really did not want to show his Second Older Sister the letter. But he couldn’t hide it from her either.
Finally, Zhuge Mingyue read the contents of this letter as well. In that instant, Ye Futian could clearly sense a coldness emanate from her being.
Zhuge Mingyue suddenly laughed. Ye Futian did not know why she did, but it was in no way a normal laugh.
“Is the person who sent the letter still around?” Zhuge Mingyue asked Beitang Xing’er.
“They say he still is,” Beitang Xing’er replied.
Zhuge Mingyue did not say anything further. She put a finger to her mouth and bit through the skin before writing a single word on the letter: “Alright.”
“Older Sister.” Ye Futian’s heart trembled at the sight of that word written in blood. He had no idea what Second Older Sister was thinking, nor would he be able to find out. But he could sense that this letter from Third Older Brother had been an incredibly cruel move to her. No matter what had happened, he should not have sent a letter like this.
Ye Futian thought that his Second Older Sister was right. Maybe Third Older Brother really was daft.
“Give this back to him,” Zhuge Mingyue requested calmly before she walked away. She did not speak another word, nor did she reveal any hint of sadness. She was so calm it was frightening.
Beitang Xing’er was taken aback. She looked at Zhuge Mingyue before looking towards Ye Futian.
“I’ll deliver this,” Ye Futian offered, before leaving the bamboo forest with Beitang Xing’er. They headed to the base of Crouching Dragon Mountain to meet the person who had delivered the letter. He was a common man with a very low level of cultivation.
“I’m the Ye Futian this letter is addressed to, please take me to see the sender of this letter,” Ye Futian requested.
“Master Ye, he said that if anyone followed me, he would not appear,” the person replied.
He’s even avoiding me as well, Ye Futian wondered to himself, thinking about what could have happened for Third Older Brother to avoid them so deliberately and only send a letter, an incredibly heartless one at that.
The man delivering the letter evidently had no clue as to what was going on. He didn’t even know who he was delivering the letter for, and Ye Futian was sure that if he were to follow the man, Third Older Brother had the ability to hide from him.
After a short silence, he handed the letter over to the man and said, “Tell the owner of this letter this: She has already waited for you for close to six years. We don’t ask anything else of you other than to come here.”
“Understood, young master.” The man took the letter and left. Ye Futian looked at the disappearing figure before taking a deep breath. He could only leave it to Third Older Brother to evaluate things for himself now.
Back at Mingyue’s quarters, Xue Ye, Luo Fan, and the rest had been alerted, and they appeared before Ye Futian.
“Third Older Brother could be in some trouble,” Ye Futian said to them. If Third Older Brother was refusing to visit the Zhuge household or see them, it was definitely not because he was afraid something would happen to him. There was only one possibility leftthird Older Brother was doing this out of consideration for Second Older Sister.
Whatever trouble Third Older Brother was in could be huge if he was concerned about dragging Second Older Sister down. Xue Ye, Luo Fan, and the rest did not say anything, not knowing what to say. This matter was already enough of a headache as it was. And Third Older Brother had finally appeared only to send a devastatingly heartless letter.
“I’ll go look for Second Older Sister,” Ye Futian said, before heading over to where Zhuge Mingyue lived. Standing outside, he called out,” Second Older Sister.”
“Youngest Brother, I’m resting now,” Zhuge Mingyue responded.
“Second Older Sister, this is very important,” Ye Futian said. There was a moment of silence before Zhuge Mingyue appeared, wearing a simple white gown. There was still no hint of sadness in her expression.
“Older Sister, you know I have some secrets that could be related to my own background, but I must be careful about who I tell because my identity could be a serious matter,” Ye Futian began. Not many people knew about his secrets. Some of the Cottage disciples knew, but even then, they didn’t know the complete truth.
“Can Uncle be trusted?” Ye Futian asked. From the last conversation he had with the man, while Ye Futian didn’t completely agree with everything he said, he still had a rather good impression of Zhuge Qingfeng. However, he still didn’t know for sure what kind of person Zhuge Qingfeng was. Zhuge Mingyue was his daughter, so naturally, she would know him better.
“What are you planning to do?” Zhuge Mingyue looked at Ye Futian. “If this is going to put you in danger, then don’t mention this ever again.”
“But under these sorts of circumstances, if we really are to go against the wishes of all these people, wouldn’t we still be in danger anyway?” Ye Futian urged. Zhuge Mingyue stared at Ye Futian. She chuckled. “I think he has his faults, but at least his character’s fine, and he still cares about his daughter’s life.”
Ye Futian understood what Zhuge Mingyue meant by her words, and replied, “Thank you, Older Sister. Let’s go then.”
“Alright,” Zhuge Mingyue replied, walking up to ruffle Ye Futian’s hair. Ye Futian pouted silently, and the two left the place together.