Chapter 1019 - Heading straight to Ice Wind Empire
In the vast region of Ice Phoenix City, snow was flying and falling in all directions.
When Yun Che left the Sacred Hall area, he saw the figure of someone awaiting him in the distance. His aura was completely restrained as he stood quietly without making any noise. It was easy to tell he had been waiting for a long period of time by the thickness of the snow that had fallen on him.
Seeing Yun Che come out, the person immediately approached him while bathing in the snow that was pouring down ceaselessly. With a smile, he performed a standard salutation towards Yun Che. "We meet again so soon, Senior Brother Yun Che."
"Senior Brother Hanyi, I apologize to have made you wait this long." Yun Che said as he returned his salutation.
Mu Hanyi shook his head and said with a wry smile, "Hanyi really doesn't deserve to be called the senior brother, so I ask Senior Brother Yun Che not to address me in such a manner. Otherwise, I would be in a state of sustained uneasiness."
"Hahaha," Yun Che laughed. “Alright. Now that I'm going to the Ice Wind Empire, I'd have trouble Junior Brother Hanyi to take care of me."
Mu Hanyi promptly shook his head. "Senior Brother Yun Che, what are you talking about? It is a matter of unprecedented happiness and glory to Hanyi, Royal Father, and even Ice Wind Empire that you're coming personally to participate in Royal Father's Thousandth Birthday Celebration. I am simply undeserving of such a favor from the Sect Master, and truly unable to ever repay."
"Unprecedented?" Yun Che felt a bit curious. "Something like this has never happened before?"
"It has been quite a short while since you've come to the Snow Song Realm. Otherwise, there's no way you would've asked such a question." Mu Hanyi sighed. "Hanyi has always been proud to have been born in the Ice Wind Imperial Family, but... the birthday celebration of a monarch is quite a low level occasion for a Sect Master's direct disciple to attend."
"Hanyi has yet to inform Royal Father about this matter. I'm afraid the moment Royal Father hears of this news, he would find it too exciting and joyous to believe." Mu Hanyi said in all sincerity. "If the countless other nations and sects of the Snow Song Realm were to know about this, they would probably feel like dying of envy, haha."
"...I see." Yun Che nodded slowly. The identity of a Realm King's direct disciple was anything but ordinary. Even if no more than a few months had passed since he entered the Snow Song Realm, the identity he had attained far exceeded the status of a monarch. It was perhaps the most exaggerated leap in identity, in the history of Snow Song Realm.
"You said that you've yet to inform your Royal Father. Does that mean you came to know to about this matter just a while ago?" Yun Che asked all of a sudden.
"Yes." Mu Hanyi nodded in agreement. "Hanyi was supposed to set off yesterday, but suddenly received a direct order from the sect master, right at the moment of departure. So, Hanyi was waiting until now, completely unaware that it would be such a gargantuan pleasant surprise."
Yun Che smiled, "Honestly, I also received Master's order just now. Seems like Master has always been somewhat concerned about Junior Brother Hanyi."
Mu Hanyi raised his head, and it was not possible to make out his expression. But his tone was clearly shaking with excitement. "That's why Hanyi said that it doesn't seem viable to return such a favor. Senior Brother Yun Che might not know that this act of kindness would not only benefit Hanyi, but also enormously change the standing of Ice Wind Empire in the Snow Song Realm."
Yun Che, "..."
"Oh! What am I doing? I was so immersed in excitement that I almost forgot something so important." Mu Hanyi took out a shining and dazzling Sound Transmission Jade. "I'll inform this matter to Royal Father at once, so that he will be able to make sufficient preparations."
"Wait." Yun Che stretched out his hand. "It'd be better to avoid informing about this matter to your Royal Father in advance. I've been nominated by Master to go to congratulate him after all. If he were to make too many preparations to welcome me, I'd end up becoming the focus of everyone, which would be contrary to the reason behind this trip."
Mu Hanyi was slightly astounded. Then he put away the Sound Transmission Jade, and said sincerely, "Senior Brother Yun Che not only possess immensely astonishing talent, but is also so broad-minded that Hanyi can't help but admire. Since that's the case, Hanyi will gladly accept your advice. Giving Royal Father such a huge pleasant surprise also sounds like a good idea."
Yun Che smiled as he said, "If it's broad-mindedness, I'm far worse than you."
Mu Hanyi smiled with a faintly stiff expression before sighing lightly, "Senior Brother Yun Che, Hanyi doesn't possess a heart that can accommodate everything. Frankly speaking, I'm very envious... No, jealous of you to be exact. I even held resentment towards you for several days."
Yun Che, "..."
Mu Hanyi shook his head with a forced smile, "Perhaps, Senior Brother Yun Che has heard about the two things Hanyi has longed for in the sect over these years. First, to become a direct disciple of Sect Master; second, to win over Junior Sister Feixue's heart. However, in the end..."
"That day when Hanyi lost to Senior Brother Yun Che at the Netherfrost Heavenly Lake, Hanyi was self-aware that it was a crushing, fair and square defeat. But I still harbored grudge in my heart and felt depressed for several days. And half a month ago, when the Sect Master granted Junior Sister Feixue to Senior Brother Yun Che..." Mu Hanyi closed his eyes at this moment. Although he looked quite calm, but the tone of his voice and the expression in his eyes reflected the unrest in his mind and heart.
He didn't continue to speak any further, and instead gave a wry smile, "I definitely embarrassed myself before Senior Brother Yun Che."
"No," Yun Che said, "If the two most important things in your life were to be snatched away by someone else, even a legendary True Saint would likely find it impossible to get rid of those negative emotions with ease. I can only feel gratefulness and admiration towards you, for being willing to tell me your thoughts so calmly."
But Mu Hanyi shook his head, "Senior Brother Yun Che's profound power might be low at the moment, but Hanyi is no match when it comes to talent. It was natural that the Sect Master would choose Senior Brother Yun Che as her direct disciple. Junior Sister Feixue is a fairy-like person, and only of someone with Senior Brother Yun Che's caliber deserves her in the entire Snow Song Realm. My feelings towards her were no more than one-sided infatuation, and Hanyi is in fact already well aware of it all... It was just that Hanyi was still depressed, it was difficult to feel at peace. Now that Hanyi has confessed everything before Senior Brother Yun Che, Hanyi's heart is in a lot more comfortable state than before."
"Senior Brother Yun Che," Facing Yun Che, Mu Hanyi said with an incomparably sincere gaze, "Hanyi would like to shamelessly beseech you of a thing."
"The cultivation of a Ice Phoenix woman would become a lot slower after losing her vital yin. And, Senior Brother Yun Che himself possesses an extremely high talent," Mu Hanyi took a light breath, "So, there will come a day when Senior Brother Yun Che's cultivation will surpass Junior Sister Feixue. I only hope that... Senior Brother Yun Che could always treat Junior Sister Feixue well."
It hadn't been made known publicly that Mu Feixue was rejected by Yun Che. In addition, she rarely made an appearance in the Sacred Hall during this period of time. Therefore, everyone in the sect firmly believed that she was serving Yun Che at the Sacred Hall, except for a few people... It was ordered by the Sect Master herself during the Great Sect Assembly after all.
"..." Yun Che nodded, "Don't worry, I'd never let my woman suffer grievance."
Having finished his words, Yun Che turned away from him. He looked to the vast, white sky in the distance as unusual streaks of light flashed through the depths of his eyes.
"In that case, Hanyi can also put his mind at rest, feeling no regret at the outcome." Mu Hanyi sighed.
"Oh right, Master said that there's someone who will be accompanying us." Yun Che said. "Does Junior Brother Hanyi who it is?"
Mu Hanyi shook his head, "I have no idea, but..."
He turned his body to look sideways, in the opposite direction. Very soon, a ice boat appeared in the vast expanse of horizon, traveling through the snow as it made its way over to them. On the ice boat, there were figures of two women clad in blue.
It was actually Mu Bingyun and Mu Xiaolan.
A cold gleam flashed, after which the ice boat had already stopped right in front of them.
Although Yun Che hadn't seen her for many days, she still seemed as usual, like a fairy that had descended to the world of mortals. Her absolute beauty contained flawless chilliness, rendering others unable to harbor dirty thoughts towards her. Mu Xiaolan could be seen behind her, dressed in a blue robe, and excitement was evident on her tender and pretty face.
"Palace Master, could it be that the person accompanying us to Ice Wind Empire is..." Yin Che said with a surprised look.
"Right, it's me." Mu Xiaolan walked forward with a proud smile on her face. When she turned to Mu Hanyi, her attitude became a lot more respectful, "Senior Brother Hanyi, I'd be troubling you."
"Yun Che, Hanyi," Mu Bingyun said, "Xiaolan's parents would certainly go over to attend the celebration of the Ice Wind Emperor’s thousandth birthday, which just happens to coincide with your trip this time. So when you get there, do let her have a reunion with them. Also, make sure to keep her from harm on the way."
"Understood, Hanyi guarantees with his life that I'll keep Junior Sister Xiaolan safe and sound during this journey to and from the Ice Wind Empire. I ask Palace Master to be at ease." Mu Hanyi respectfully said in a serious tone.
"Yes." Yun Che responded as he groaned inwardly: I'm going to the Ice Wind Empire in order to take care of an important matter! Right now, I don't even know how to get my hands on the halidom, and you're actually handing over such a drag to us...?
"Hanyi, you should've set off yesterday, and waiting up to now has delayed your journey by a bit. If you ride on this ice boat, you should be able to make it in time." Mu Bingyun got off the ice boat, and glanced at Yun Che with a meaningful look in her eyes.
The ice boat began to float up into the sky before streaming past with a speed that appeared as fast as light, heading straight to the north.
"Yun Che, how do you feel about becoming the Sect Master's direct disciple?" Mu Xiaolan looked totally curious. "Is Sect Master... very strict with you?"
"Of course, she is." Yun Che let out a long sigh. "Palace Master Bingyun is still the most gentle and soft person."
He might have said so, but his heart had been shaking and rippling all this time. Mu Xuanyin obtained Golden Crow's Record of the Burning World from for his sake, and she wanted an intact heart of horned dragon for none other than him. When she thought of rapidly increasing his profound strength, she didn't hesitate to sacrifice the vital yin of a large number of Ice Phoenix women, which should be an unprecedentedly huge price anyone was willing to pay in the history of sect. Even if she succeeded in gathering all the ingredients for a heaven defying thing like Universe Pentajade Pellet, it would certainly require the consumption of a great amount of resources... But Mu Xuanyin didn't hesitate to carry out something as demanding as that.
Why does she treat me so well?
Is it really just because I've become her direct disciple, as well as saved Mu Bingyun's life?
"Hey! You can't put it like that!" Mu Xiaolan jumped a bit in fright. "You would end up tragically, if the Sect Master heard your words."
"Yes, yes, I'll seriously obey Senior Sister Xiaolan's instructions." Yun Che said in a helpless tone, constantly thinking about ways to bring up the matter of Qilin horn after arriving at the Ice Wind Empire.
"Hmph! Even if you have become a direct disciple of the sect master, you should still listen to the words of your Senior Sister." Mu Xiaolan slightly puckered up her lips. "If you truly feel grateful to Master, then let's see whether you do as you said when we return to Ice Phoenix Palace. Don't just use your mouth and show it in your attitude."
"Yes, yes, yes." Yun Che nodded like a machine.
Mu Hanyi looked at them with a face full of surprise; he was clearly shocked by the way they addressed each other. Soon after, he sighed with emotion, "Senior Brother Yun Che is truly a charming person."
"Tch." Mu Xiaolan made a small sound of dissent before refuting his words, "Senior Brother Hanyi is only saying that because of not being aware of his awfulness... Hmph! He is just a bad person, nothing more than that. Fortunately, Senior Brother Hanyi is a man. If you were a woman, you would need to be a lot more careful around him."
"Hahahah," Mu Hanyi laughed aloud, and then the expression in his eyes turned distant, "A man should be amorously romantic, otherwise, wouldn't it be a waste to spend a dull life. However, Senior Brother Yun Che has Junior Sister Feixue now, so I'm afraid it might be impossible for any other woman to catch his attention."
"Hmph! He must be feeling super complacent." Mu Xiaolan lowered her head unconsciously as she said in a very low voice.
The ice boat was flying against the wind, traveling at a speed that seemed fast as light. On the way, Mu Hanyi explained the history, local conditions and customs of the Ice Wind Empire, and the time passed pretty quickly.
Within a day, the ice boat had finally entered the territory of the Ice Wind Empire. Afterwards, it quickly approached the center of the imperial city.
At this time, Mu Hanyi took out the Sound Transmission Jade to directly message the Ice Wind Emperor. "Royal Father, your son is close to the imperial city now and will arrive in a short while. There's also two honored guests from the sect along with me."
Today, Ice Wind Imperial City was particularly bustling with activities and traffic due to their monarch’s Thousandth Birthday Celebration; countless guests were arriving from places quite a bit far away. A wide difference could be observed in the atmosphere of the entire imperial city.
Just as Mu Hanyi put away the Sound Transmission Jade, he saw a small-sized profound ark flying over at an extremely fast speed. It drew closer and closer, also heading right towards the center of imperial city.
Mu Xiaolan raised her head. When she got a clear view of the two figures standing at the forefront of the small profound ark, her beautiful eyes widened abruptly. She let out a shaky cry that was both pleasantly surprised and excited. "Father... Mother!!"