Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
Ye Futian and Zhuge Mingyue had come to find Zhuge Qingfeng at his living quarters. Zhuge Qingfeng looked at his two visitors. Tomorrow was the day of Mingyue’s engagement. Had Ye Futian and Zhuge Mingyue come to find him as a final attempt to change things?
“Leave us,” Zhuge Mingyue ordered the attendants in the Qingfeng quarters. Zhuge Qingfeng looked to Zhuge Mingyue with some curiosity, before Ye Futian spoke, “Uncle, I’d like you to hear a song.”
“Is it the Ukiyo Song?” Zhuge Qingfeng chuckled. “I’ve heard it many times recently. It’s a song of an emperor. Its artistic conception is extraordinary.”
“This time will be a little different,” Ye Futian replied.
“Oh?” Zhuge Qingfeng’s curiosity was piqued. “I’ll listen to it then.”
“Could you seal off the Qingfeng quarters?” Ye Futian requested. Zhuge Qingfeng seemed a little confused, but he nodded obligingly anyway. A purple light shot through his eyes, and as he looked toward the sky, an endless surge of Worldly Spiritual Qi flowed immediately, seeming to turn into countless runes that sealed off the area like a boundary.
“I’m done.” Zhuge Qingfeng turned to Ye Futian.
“Thank you, Uncle.” Ye Futian nodded before finding a spot in the quarters to sit down. Sitting cross-legged, his aura became peaceful and tranquil, and the Soul Guqin appeared before him.
Zhuge Qingfeng and Zhuge Mingyue sat aside, quietly watching Ye Futian play. As the melodious strains of music started, the two listened quietly in appreciation, feeling as though they were being drawn into an image. It was an image of two young men setting out to conquer the world, unrestrained and fearless. Zhuge Qingfeng was moved by the music. It led him to think about how the two emperors had walked the earth together since their youth. He thought about the kind of friendship the two men had had, and why Emperor Ye Qing had eventually become a taboo existence.
The music continued, and the feelings it evoked gradually changed as well. The notes rose and fell, becoming peaceful only to become loud and sonorous after. A magnificent image appeared in Zhuge Qingfeng’s mind, and he closed his eyes to listen peacefully. Even for a man of his status and power, listening to the Ukiyo Song was still an enjoyable experience.
Zhuge Qingfeng seemed to be enchanted by the music. After a while, he felt the energy of an emperor surge towards him from within the tune. It was a proud, commanding aura, that of an emperor with a sword in his hand ruling over the Divine Prefecture.
“That’s not right.” Zhuge Qingfeng suddenly felt that something was off as he immersed himself in the music. How could that energy be so strong, even stronger than before?
Opening his eyes, Zhuge Qingfeng saw the handsome young man playing the guqin still. His fingers danced across the strings, and a golden glow seemed to emanate from his being. It was an extraordinary aura that seemed to turn Ye Futian into the image of a young emperor, almost like how the two emperors were in the youth. Back then, when the emperor had composed this song, he had seemed to become one with the music. This artistic conception, then, was not just the artistic conception of the song, but also of the emperor himself.
A dazzling light suddenly emanated from Zhuge Qingfeng. He looked at the surroundings, only to see that the flow of Worldly Spiritual Qi seemed to be under the music’s control. The glow of Spiritual Qi descending around Ye Futian, bathing him in a sacred, colorful light. But Ye Futian continued playing peacefully, the artistic conception of the music growing stronger still. He seemed to be intent on revealing the artistic conception of the Ukiyo Song to the fullest. This song, which was one of the top ten within the Divine Prefecture, seemed to finally be performed in its fullest glory.
Zhuge Mingyue smiled as she watched Ye Futian play. She was not very surprised, as if she had always thought that this was how her Youngest Brother should have been.
The artistic conception of the song grew stronger still. Zhuge Qingfeng did not speak, nor did he interrupt Ye Futian. As he watched the young man who was sitting down cross-legged, he suddenly felt an extremely strange desire to prostrate before him. It was as if the person before him was an emperor himself, or the descendant of one.
It suddenly occurred to Zhuge Qingfeng that he only knew how talented Ye Futian was and that he had come from the eastern region of the Barren State like his daughter. But he did not know where Ye Futian had appeared from, nor did he know why he had this amount of power, comparable to that of an emperor’s. This was very strange indeed.
Finally, the guqin music came to a stop, but Zhuge Qingfeng’s thoughts continued racing. The song seemed to still be reverberating within his mind, and he could not forget the artistic conception he had just experienced.
“Uncle, how did you like the song?” Ye Futian lifted his head, his clear eyes gazing at Zhuge Qingfeng as a gentle smile lifted the corners of his lips.
Zhuge Qingfeng observed the young man before him seriously. Ye Futian was naturally very good-looking. In fact, it was rare to find a person as handsome as he was. His eyes were wide and clear, but one could only guess at what Ye Futian was thinking about behind his gaze.
“It was perfect,” Zhuge Qingfeng replied.
“Thank you for your praise, Uncle.” Ye Futian continued, “This song came from Sky Mountain in the eastern region of the Barren State. The two emperors left behind a song there, the Ukiyo Song. I managed to obtain it.”
Zhuge Qingfeng nodded. He had known about this as well.
“Donghuang the Great had banned sages from the outside world from entering the eastern region of the Barren State. As such, no one has managed to reach the peak of Sky Mountain. Even if they managed to get there, there was no way they could have figured out this song and obtained it. The song is hidden within a snowy mental world, one has to resonate with it in order to obtain the song,” Ye Futian explained, and Zhuge Qingfeng listened quietly without interrupting. He knew that Ye Futian could be about to reveal a secret about the song the two emperors had left behind.
“I was able to resonate with that world and had become one with the will of Sky Mountain once, killing many people whose planes were higher than mine on the mountain.” Ye Futian continued, “Uncle, do you know where I am from?”
“I only know you came from the Cottage in the eastern region of the Barren State,” Zhuge Qingfeng answered.
Ye Futian then said, “Before I came to the eastern region of the Barren State, I lived somewhere even further away. My hometown was an island city somewhere within the vast sea, and there was little to no contact with the outside world. But something big happened there ten years ago. I’m not sure if Uncle has heard of this before, but it is said that the last statue of Emperor Ye Qing appeared in that city, with a giant Snow Ape standing guard over it. Donghuang the Great sent people over to destroy it afterward.”
He continued slowly, “Uncle, do you know that I am friends with Yuan Zhan, who has a staff technique that I taught him? I learned this staff technique from the Snow Ape.”
“You are a descendent of Emperor Ye Qing?” Zhuge Qingfeng’s heart thumped wildly at the revelation. There was no saint in the Barren State, and people of the Saint Plane were basically non-existent. The bloodline of Renhuang was an even greater existence than the two, which made those related to Emperor Ye Qing practically godly.
Right now, what Ye Futian was sharing with Zhuge Qingfeng was a secret about Emperor Ye Qing. But Ye Futian shook his head, and said, “I don’t know who I am either. But I’m sure about one thing. I’ve said this to you before, Bai Luli’s abilities cannot compare to mine. It doesn’t matter if he’ll be able to make it to the Saint Plane, I will definitely be able to do so.”
Zhuge Qingfeng stared at Ye Futian. He had to admit, he was completely taken in by Ye Futian right now. If Ye Futian was someone who possibly was related to Emperor Ye Qing, then even if the Saint Plane was but a legend as of now, Zhuge Qingfeng could believe that Ye Futian would eventually reach it one day. Furthermore, just like he had said, his abilities were definitely a cut above Bai Luli’s.
“You’ve basically handed your life over to me, haven’t you?” Zhuge Qingfeng mused. Regardless of who Ye Futian was, Emperor Ye Qing was still a taboo figure within the Divine Prefecture. Should someone catch wind of the fact that Ye Futian had ties with the emperor, he could get into big trouble. Furthermore, Zhuge Qingfeng was now in a position to capture Ye Futian and turn him in. Perhaps that would bring him a huge reward.
“I have no enmity with you Uncle. Furthermore, why would you want to harm me, given the ties I have with Second Older Sister?” Ye Futian explained. “Why is it that you agreed to this marriage, Uncle? Your first reason was that your teacher wished for a saint to appear in the Barren State. Secondly, it would be good if this saint had a good relationship with the Zhuge Family. Well then, a saint will appear in the Barren State even without this marriage, so you’re not exactly going against your teacher’s wishes, Uncle. In any case, I too am a disciple of the Holy Zhi Palace. Furthermore, would Uncle prefer the contrived relationship between Bai Luli and Second Older Sister or the friendship Second Older Sister and I share?”
As Ye Futian spoke, Zhuge Qingfeng watched him. Many thoughts surfaced within his mind. Ye Futian had given him a difficult issue to chew on.
“Yu Sheng’s abilities are also stronger than Bai Luli’s,” Ye Futian added before he stood up and said, “Uncle, I’ll take my leave now.” He then turned to leave. Zhuge Qingfeng was a great man. One didn’t have to make things too clear to him; he would think for himself.
If it wasn’t for the fact that Ye Futian had no choice, he would not have told his secret to Zhuge Qingfeng. After all, with one more person let in on the secret, there was one more source of danger to Ye Futian. But within the current situation, Zhuge Qingfeng was the only one whose will could possibly influence the outcome of everything. The other alternative was the Holy Zhi Palace. But those representing the Holy Zhi Palace were from the Holy Sage Pavilion, and the Assistant Palace Lord Liu Chan was Bai Luli’s teacher. He didn’t know these elders from the Holy Sage Pavilion well, and thus he didn’t dare to risk it.
“Father, with this, Youngest Brother has handed over his life to you, as I have,” Zhuge Mingyue said to Zhuge Qingfeng before she left as well.
Is your father that terrible to you? Zhuge Qingfeng wondered calmly as he watched the two leave. On the contrary, his mind was a mess.
Two generations of geniuses had appeared within the Palace, which was already a handful itself, but now things had gotten even messier. Perhaps the Palace had indeed been too hasty in its decision. Now that the arrow was already on the bow, there was no choice left but to fire it. Zhuge Qingfeng could already see how these talents from two different generations were going to face off in the near future. It made him worried.
Ye Futian and Zhuge Mingyue went to rest after returning to their quarters. Tonight, the lights of Xuanwu City would stay lit till dawn. It was set to be a sleepless night.
The lightening of the night sky marked the start of the next day, and Xuanwu City grew lively. It was the day when Bai Luli and Zhuge Mingyue would get married. Many people had been waiting eagerly for this day, and it had finally come.
It was still early morning, and the air was still chilly. A figure in white stood on a lonely mountain peak next to Crouching Dragon Mountain, gazing into the distance. From here, he could see the hustle and bustle of the activities happening on Crouching Dragon Mountain. He held a letter in his hand, which had a line of words written on it, as well as one shockingly red word written in blood. He had stood here for one night already, thinking. His teacher had once said that the world was ruled by reason and that there was always a rule to everything in this world. But right now, he realized that his teacher had not been entirely right. When it came to things like love, there was absolutely no rhyme or reason to it at all!