In the City of Donghai, Donghai Academy had been turned upside down. The academy was no longer what it once was. Many people left the academy. With their families and their own disciples, even many of the official personnel left. However, there were still those who chose to stay.
Year 10000 of the Divine Prefecture Calendar was a year of rebirth. The School of the Emperor Star held the power and the School of the Treasury Star assisted. The time when the seven schools stood equal was a time of the past now. But no one knew whether this rebirth was going to lead the academy to become more powerful or to its demise.
In this year, Donghai Academy was the home of a student who arrived suddenly like a shooting star in the sky. He managed to make himself known to the entire academy in an extremely short time. However, he left the academy along with the headmaster of the Finance Star school and his master, Hua Fengliu, before he spent a full year at the academy.
Presently, no one at Donghai Academy could imagine what lied in the future of this young man, who shined so brightly at the academy. However, anyone in the audience during the Assembly of the Seven Schools would have realized that if the young man had continued at the academy, he would have become someone of extreme importance in the Nandou Nation. There was no question about this.
The new year was nearing, and the Nandou Nation was filled with a festive air. Many people returned home for the first time in a long time. Every prefecture and every city became lively as they prepared for the new year.
Things were no different in the Imperial City. Many people already began to celebrate. Every house was decked out in new year's decorations. Inside the most magnificent building in the Imperial City, the Imperial Palace, a festive air also existed. Though, in comparison with the outside, the palace still felt cold and uninviting. The aura in the Imperial Palace matched that of the royal family.
At this moment, a figure was seated on the throne in a large hall within the Imperial Palace. He wore a crown on his head and a purple and gold robe on his body. He radiated a domineering aura from head to toe. This person was the most powerful man in all of the Nandou Nation. He was the emperor, Emperor Luo. Standing in front of him was Minister Zuo.
"Do you know why I have summoned you today?" Emperor Luo asked Minister Zuo.
"No, Your Majesty." Minister Zuo shook his head.
"The Crown Prince heard that you bestowed the Decree of the Minister upon a young man and wanted to see this young man for himself. He even personally went to Donghai City. You really do have a sharp eye. Like always, this young man you found is incredibly gifted, the best of the best," said Emperor Luo.
Minister Zuo knew that something was wrong. The Crown Prince personally went all the way to Donghai City just because he found out about a young man that he favored?
"Indeed, he is a brilliant young man, but isn't it too much for the His Highness to go all the way to the City of Donghai for such a thing? Your Majesty should persuade the Crown Prince to not to waste his time on this matter," suggested Minister Zuo. He was trying to alleviate the situation.
"It seems that he has learned some things from this trip. Maybe it's not so bad for him to travel outside. By the way, how is that young man's fortune?" Emperor Luo asked nonchalantly.
"Your Majesty, you should know that I no longer tell the fortune of others casually. Letting people know of their fortunes may influence their actions and in turn, change their fates. That would be going against the will of the heavens and I will be punished for doing so." Minister Zuo bowed apologetically. What he said was not a complete lie. He did not dare to tell the emperor that he had indeed told Ye Futian's fortune. If his fortune was exposed, it would affect Ye Futian's fate and could result in his fate being changed. That would definitely not be good. This was also the reason why astrologers tended not to live long lives.
"You rascal have so many excuses. Didn't you say before that it'll be fine as long as we go with the flow?" Emperor Luo stood and laughed. "Then, what about the young miss of the Nandou clan? What does her fortune say? After you returned to the Imperial City, you seemed to be very busy. I know I shouldn't ask but I can't help my curiosity."
Minister Zuo's heart clenched. He never thought that his every move was being monitored by the emperor and the Crown Prince. At the thought of this, he began to regret agreeing to Nandou Tai's request of telling Hua Jieyu's fortune. Of course, when he agreed, he never expected her fortune to be so shocking, and he would never have guessed she was related to Ye Futian in any way.
"Your Majesty," Minister Zuo put his hands together in front of himself and bowed to the emperor, "I am grateful to have met you and been allowed to follow under your leadership for all these years. I never dared to slack off and have always done my very best to discover new talent for our nation."
"Of course, I know all of this, you rascal." Watching Minister Zuo, Emperor Luo couldn't help but shake his head and let out a laugh. At this moment, he did not seem like an emperor but an older brother.
"Over the years, I have been increasingly cautious in the use of my powers as an astrologer and have explained my reasons for doing so many times. On my most recent trip to the City of Qingzhou, I passed by the East Sea Prefecture and met an interesting young man and also told a fortune for someone. Both of these people are very lucky people and will influence the luck of the nation. This is why I've been busy paving the road for the two, wanting to do something for them," explained Minister Zuo.
Emperor Luo lightly nodded his head and smiled. "I appreciate your thoughtfulness and have no worries about you. Also, that girl is too naughty, so please be tolerant of her. If she does anything to offend you, don't be afraid to teach her a lesson. There is no need to take it easy on her for my sake."
"Although the princess is a little willful, her gift and personality are both very good," said Minister Zuo.
"Alright, go on now," said Emperor Luo. He patted Minister Zuo on the shoulder. Minister Zuo put his hands together and started to back out of the hall. Only when he was completely outside did he turn his back to the emperor.
Beads of sweat rolled down Minister Zuo's forehead. As an astrologer, he had to act with caution. There were many things he could not say. If he were to expose anything, it would be his demise. For example, Nandou Nation's fate or the Crown Prince's fortune.
Minister Zuo hoped that his efforts would bring good results.
What Minister Zuo didn't know was, after his departure, two people entered the hall. It was Luo Junlin and Minister Hua.
Emperor Luo was writing something at his table. While writing, he spoke, "Minister Zuo said those two were people of great luck and can change the fate of Nandou Nation. If so, then I plan on following his wishes."
Minister Hua and the Crown Prince did not say anything. They waited quietly. They knew that Emperor Luo was writing an imperial order.
Moments later, he put down his pen. At the wave of his hand, the golden scroll floated towards Minister Hua.
"Take this," Emperor Luo ordered. Minister Hua reached out to receive the scroll. He took one look at the order and was shocked. His Majesty was indeed the emperor of an entire nation. His order was to allow Minister Zuo to keep his pride but at the same time, get rid of any worries.
"Even though I believe in astrology, it can't be fully trusted. Fates can be change but one thing I'm sure cannot be. Under this sky and in the Nandou Nation, my will is the will of the heavens," said Emperor Luo. "Minister Hua, go take care of this personally. I know that it's already the end of the year but I'm still going to have to ask you to take this trip. And the Crown Prince, you should stay in the palace and focus on cultivation. One thing that Minister Zuo said was correct. To you, besides the throne, nothing is of importance to you."
"Yes, Father," nodded Luo Junlin.
"I will hurry to Donghai City, but Your Majesty, what should I do if someone refuses the imperial order?" asked Minister Hua.
"I have already asked you to do this personally, is there any need to question further?" asked Emperor Luo. A wave of realization hit Minister Hua. He finally understood what the emperor meant. If it was simply to relay the imperial order, he could have sent anyone. That was the emperor's reason for asking Minister Hua to personally take this trip to Donghai Cityto prevent anyone from objecting. Who would dare object the imperial order in the presence of a minister?
'Under this sky and in the Nandou Nation, my will is the will of the heavens.' The attitude behind these words was already very clear.
"I will be excused now," said Minister Hua as he bowed to leave.
Ye Futian had no idea what was going on in the Imperial Palace thousands of miles away. There were only to two days until the end of the year. He still had no idea where his parents were. Were his aunt and uncle doing well? What about Ye Xiaoqin and Ye Mo, were they okay? After the year ended, he would be leaving the City of Donghai and headed for the Imperial City. His days wandering the world with Hua Jieyu were going to be very interesting.
In the courtyard, Ye Futian watched as Yu Sheng and Yi Qingxuan stuck to each other like glue. He was hurt.
"Yu Sheng," he called. Yu Sheng lifted his head with a look of confusion.
"Cultivate properly! Stop sticking with your girlfriend everyday." Ye Futian sounded very serious.
Yu Sheng was dumbfounded. Yi Qingxuan laughed and said to him, "Yu Sheng, someone is being envious because Hua Jieyu isn't here."
"Yeah. Back in Qingzhou City, I cultivated while he and Hua Jieyu were attached at the hip every single day and then they became a couple." Yu Sheng nodded.
On the side, Ye Futian stood up after being ignored. "You two are awful people." He spun around and left. He arrived at another part of the residence. Not far ahead was a white-haired elder, sweeping the courtyard.
"Grandpa Yu!" Ye Futian stepped forward. The elder lifted his head and smiled. "Young Master Ye."
"Grandpa Yu, it's almost the end of the year, aren't you going home to celebrate?" Ye Futian asked. These days he often came to chat with the older male.
"I don't have a home to return to." The elder shook his head, looking very sad.
"What do you mean you have no home to return to? Where are you from?" Ye Futian continued to ask.
"I spent some time on an island of the East Sea. You've probably never heard of it before. Then, I ended up here in the City of Donghai. I can't go back there anymore," the elder said, feeling melancholy.
"Grandpa Yu, at your age you must have experienced a lot. Would you mind sharing some of your stories with me?" Ye Futian asked with a smile.
"What kinds of stories would a person like me have? I spent my life serving others. I used to have a master who treated me very well, then trouble came knocking. But of course, Young Master Ye, you treat me very good as well," the elder said to Ye Futian, full of gratitude.
"Don't mention that. Grandpa Yu, you have to take extra good care of yourself at your age," said Ye Futian.
"Okay, okay. Young Master Ye, you should go about your own business now. You don't have to stay here with this old man," laughed the elder.
"Alright, then I'll leave now. I will come see you when I have time," Ye Futian said. He turned to leave and his eyes were shifting back and forth as if he were in deep thought.
Could it really be his imagination? How come he felt distant but at the same time so familiar every time he got close to the elder? It was so difficult to comprehend these feelings!