Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Ten years ago Ye Futian had returned to Qingzhou City. Afterward, news about him had come out of Donghai City. When Feng Qingxue had left Qingzhou City and crossed the sea, she had already known of Ye Futian’s fame. She could easily tell what kind of man the Prince of Nandou was. At that time he had been so young and yet was already so famous. She had thought that he would live an even more glorious life.
Although he had forgotten her along with many things from that time, when she thought of how high he had soared she was still gratified. She had no more illusions about one day marrying him. But why did she have to meet him after so long under these circumstances? Why had this impressive figure’s hair turned silver?
At the moment, she finally realized the artistic conception of that melody. There was sorrow within the joy. If she had known that meeting him again would be like this, she would have rather not done so. She never would have dreamed that the handsome white-haired youth who was rumored to be on the shore of Qingzhou Lake was Ye Futian.
What must he have gone through to look like this now? She did not know, but she still felt his pain in her heart. Tears stained her face.
“Qingxue.” Yang Xiu saw the dazed expression on her face. Why did she have such a strong reaction upon seeing this young man? Could it be that they knew each other? Feng Qingxue seemed not to hear him as she continued to stare at the white-haired youth.
Seeming to sense something, the white-haired youth looked up at the small boat that she was in. His eyes were as calm as still water. He smiled slightly as he nodded at her, then turned and left.
Feng Qingxue wanted to say something, but as he left she said nothing. She could not stop the tears from flowing. She was much more resolute now that she was married, she was not the same girl as before. But now, in this situation, it seemed that only tears could express her feelings.
“What has happened to you?” Feng Qingxue whispered to the slowly disappearing figure. She knelt down and wept, seeming to be helpless. How had someone so young and famous ended up like this? He did not belong in Qingzhou City at all.
Everyone fixed their attention on Feng Qingxue, and a strange look came over many of their faces. Feng Qingxue and Yang Xiu were slightly famous in Qingzhou City and knew many people. Why would she be so sad just from a single glance at this young man? Could he be a former lover of hers?
That seemed to be the message of the music that the white-haired youth was playing. If so, would that not be an embarrassment for Yang Xiu?
Yang Xiu kneeled beside Feng Qingxue and whispered, “Is that him?” He had pursued Feng Qingxue for five years. He naturally knew her past, knew that there had always been only one person in her heart; that unattainable genius.
Feng Qingxue nodded slightly. Yang Xiu’s heart was in turmoil. He would never have thought that the mysterious young man on the shore of Qingzhou Lake was the most legendary figure in Qingzhou City. The funny thing was that the people of Qingzhou City had treated him as a joke. If they had known who he was, who knew what they would think?
When the legend of Qingzhou City had returned, he had done so with white hair. Yang Xiu was uneasy. What had happened to him? Feng Qingxue did not spread the news, and so Ye Futian’s peace was not broken. He continued to live every day as usual.
On the next day that he came to Qingzhou Lake, Feng Qingxue was already sitting in a boat, waiting for him with another familiar figure. Qin Yi had been at Qingzhou Academy all along with Feng Qingxue, and she was still single. She was still just as attractive as before, but she was no longer as immature. She was full of heroic spirit, but when she saw Ye Futian’s white hair, it evaporated. Feng Qingxue had told her, but when she saw what Ye Futian looked like with her own eyes, her beautiful eyes turned red. Ye Futian sighed inwardly as he saw Qin Yi. He stopped playing and stepped out onto the front of his boat.
“Qin Yi, Qingxue,” whispered Ye Futian. His silver hair danced in the slight breeze. He was much frailer than before. You could tell his story with a single glance. But he was no less handsome than before and was even better in some respects. But all that Qin Yi and Qingxue saw was the tragedy.
Qin Yi saw him smiling and nodded slightly. She bowed her head as if she couldn’t bear to see him like this. He had come back alone, and with white hair, and that legendary girl from Qingzhou Academy was no longer by his side. She guessed some of what had happened, and her heart ached for him. She was so beautiful and outstanding; the embodiment of perfection. Back in the day, when she and Ye Futian had walked together, they seemed like a couple.
“Jieyu is gone.” Ye Futian spoke as if he was talking about something that had nothing to do with him. His tone was calm. That one sentence seemed to cover everything.
Qin Yi’s tears continued to fall. She still did not look at Ye Futian but wiped away her tears. After taking a moment to compose herself, she turned to him and nodded, taking in his eyes and his white hair. There was a faint smile in his eyes, but they were still so sad.
Qin Yi knew that anything she said would be meaningless, and so she said nothing. She just walked forward and embraced Ye Futian. Ye Futian was stiff at first, but he smiled and hugged her back. Her body was warm. For some people, no longer how long they had been apart, a single glance, a greeting, or a hug, and time would seem to go back. Their relationship seemed to have never changed.
“How long are you planning on staying in Qingzhou City?” Qin Yi asked softly.
“I don’t know,” said Ye Futian with a smile. “Maybe for the rest of my life.” If he was buried here, it would count as the rest of his life.
“Well, no matter how long you stay, I’ll be here with you,” said Qin Yi.
Ye Futian smiled warmly. Qin Yi was still the same old Qin Yi. She had not changed a bit.
“You’re still the same. You haven’t gotten married yet.” Ye Futian was feeling a little better, and so he made a joke.
“Then I won’t get married,” she replied with a smile.
Everyone who witnessed this scene was moved. Qin Yi was even more famous in Qingzhou City than Feng Qingxue. She was not only the Vice College Chief of Qingzhou Academy, but she was also the daughter of General Qin. Many men had pursued her over the years, but she had ignored them all. But now she was hugging that white-haired man in the boat.
Feng Qingxue also seemed to have an uncommon relationship with him, but Yang Xiu did not seem to mind. This was simply strange. Everyone tried to guess who this white-haired man was.
Soon there was shocking news. Someone finally recognized Ye Futian. This handsome white-haired youth who had lived by Qingzhou Lake for the past few days was the all-powerful Ye Futian. The legend had returned, but his hair had turned white. People gasped incessantly at the news.
This shocking news swept through the city quickly. Many people guessed that something must have happened. He and his white hair had returned to Qingzhou City and taken up residence beside the lake. Many people speculated that he had met with disaster in the outside world, had been defeated by someone stronger and had thus been driven out. Others thought that it had something to do with Hua Jieyu, who they had not seen yet. Could it be that he had met a powerful foe?
Some malicious people even speculated that someone had stolen Hua Jieyu away from him because she was so beautiful, which had led to Ye Futian’s current depression and to the deterioration of his cultivation. This had caused his white hair. The hero had entered the twilight of his life and had returned home.
Most people did not believe these speculations, except for the fact that Ye Futian had abandoned his cultivation and thus was at the end of his career. As for Hua Jieyu, if something had happened to her, then that may indeed have caused Ye Futian to be like this.
Ye Futian did not pay attention to any of their speculations. He didn’t care. Perhaps he had already developed a habit. He lived his life in a regulated manner, repeating his monotonous pattern every day. However, every day, when he went to Qingzhou City to play the guqin, Qin Yi was there. Sometimes Feng Qingxue would go as well, along with General Qin and Uncle Feng.
Of course, more and more people were coming to listen to him play on the shores of Qingzhou Lake. They all wanted to see the former legend. But because it had already been ten years, some of the younger people only knew of his legend from the stories that their elders told.
Time passed by without anyone noticing, until one day Ye Futian’s peace was shattered. A brilliant sword will descended into the courtyard of the house where he was staying. A divine sword appeared with the College Chief on it as well as two other figures—Yu Sheng and Loulan Xue. They had come with the Village Chief.
Hua Fengliu gazed at the Village Chief. Since Yu Sheng and Loulan Xue had left the palace, what about the palace itself?
“Emperor Xia summoned all the Saints who were there that day, and they all got to meet with him. I was there as well,” said the Village Chief. “The ban has been lifted. All the Saints of the Nine States can act freely.”
Ye Futian frowned, and a strange look came over his face. Could the ban have been so silently lifted? Then what about him?
“Emperor Xia ordered that the people who were at the palace that day must not let a single word get out. Otherwise, their holy land will disappear, just like Zhisheng Cliffs. Same with the palace,” said the Village Chief.
Now, all the Nine States were inquiring after news of the battle. But Emperor Xia’s order had completely locked down all news. If the news got out from one of the holy lands, Emperor Xia would send people to wipe them out.
The people of the Nine States knew the outcome of the battle, but they did not know the process!