Chapter 1020: Ice Wind Emperor
“...Lanlan!?” At the same as when Mu Xiaolan shouted, the people on the profound ark looked in their direction. The couple of two in front were joyfully surprised as they simultaneously flew off of the profound ark and arrived in front of Mu Xiaolan. The ice boat stopped soon after.
These two were none other than Mu Xiaolan’s parents, the region lords of an independent domain in the eastern area of the Ice Wind Empire, and the current heads of the famous Situ Family of the Snow Song Realm—it was Situ Xiongying and his wife, Madam Situ.
“Lanlan, it truly is you?” The Situ couple excitedly greeted them as they arrived on the boat and quickly grabbed Mu Xiaolan’s hands, disbelief in their eyes.
“Lanlan, why are you here?” Situ Xiongying’s face was calm, but he couldn’t hide his own excitement.
“I came along with Senior Brother Hanyi. Master specifically allowed it so that I could come and reunite with mother and father.” As Mu Xiaolan spoke, her eyes grew red. From her youth, she had grown up under the immense love from her parents. However, because she had entered Divine Ice Phoenix Sect, it had been several years since she had last seen them.
“Senior Brother Hanyi?” This name caused Situ Xiongying’s gaze to suddenly turn as his originally calm expression abruptly changed. “Perhaps, could you be…”
“Ah! Let me introduce everyone to mother and father. He is Senior Brother Mu Hanyi. Mother and father have probably heard of him before.”
“Mu Hanyi?” Sure enough, the moment Mu Xiaolan’s words faded, Situ Xiongyang and his wife both immediately turned and looked at Mu Hanyi. Their eyes were full of approval, and even a little bit of excitement and surprise. Situ Xiongyang hurriedly took the initiative to walk several steps forward as he praisingly said, “So you are the esteemed prince Mu Hanyi of the rumors. It is said that your highness is unmatched not only in looks and grace, but also in talent. After meeting you today, it seems like the rumors cannot compare. It is nearly impossible to believe that your profound strength has reached the middle stage of the Divine Tribulation Realm at such an age.”
“Being able to personally meet his highness today is my good fortune.”
As an older cultivator, each and every one of Situ Xiongyang’s words carried a deep admiration and shock. His wife stood beside him nodding in agreement, her eyes lighting up as she observed Mu Hanyi. This was because the person in front of them was the prince of the Ice Wind Empire claimed by many to be the most handsome hero within the Snow Song Realm.
“Senior Brother Hanyi has cared for me a lot within the sect, and has helped me greatly on several occasions. I was only able to come back to the Ice Wind Empire and meet mother and father this time because of Senior Brother Hanyi.” Mu Xiaolan said.
As the Situ Couple heard these words, they became even more excited… and surprised. Situ Xiongyang cupped his hands and said, “Your highness Hanyi, this Situ Xiongyang is immensely grateful for the care you have shown for my daughter. That my daughter can become so close with his royal highness is her greatest fortune.”
“Indeed.” Madam Situ slightly chuckled as she nodded and said, “To be able to receive his highness’ care, my daughter is indeed lucky. Us being able to reunite as a family is also due to his highness’ kindness. We truly do not know how we can demonstrate our gratefulness towards your highness.”
Mu Hanyi humbly replied, “Auntie and Uncle, how can you say such things. As a senior brother, I naturally have to care for the junior brothers and sisters… and I barely did anything this time.”
Situ Xiongyang shook his head as he once again praised, “Your highness’ birth, appearance, and talent, as well as your highness’ incredible achievements are all unparalleled, yet your highness is so modest and courteous, without a hint of arrogance. It is no wonder everyone praises you so. This one is afraid he will never be able to see anyone like his highness again.”
“Lanlan, there is still one person you haven’t introduced yet. Who is this?” Madam Situ asked as she turned her attention to Yun Che.
Mu Xiaolan stood beside Yun Che as she excitedly said, “This person is Junior Brother Yun Che…”
“Yun?” Mu Xiaolan had just finished saying Yun Che’s name when Situ Xiongyang’s brows furrowed and he asked, “This family name is quite rare. If I remember correctly, it only exists in the Great Blue Snow Region. Perhaps?”
Yun Che stepped forward as he politely said with courtesy, “Auntie and Uncle, this junior Yun Che, is not from the Snow Song Realm, but from a lower realm.”
“A lower realm?” Situ Xiongyang slightly nodded, his expression indifferent. “So it was like this.”
“Although Junior Brother Yun Che was born in a lower realm and has only entered the sect for less than four months, he is still incredibly strong. He’s…”
Mu Xiaolan hadn’t finished speaking when she was interrupted by Situ Xiongyang, “It is too cold atop this ice boat. I don’t wish for my Lanlan to be frozen to death here. How about we step onto the profound ark before continuing… Your highness Hanyi, if you do not mind our profound ark for being too simple, why don’t you also come along and travel with us?”
Mu Hanyi calmly and politely accepted, “Hanyi graciously accepts this offer.”
Situ Xiongyang sincerely invited Mu Hanyi, but didn’t even show the slightest intention of asking Yun Che. In fact, after Mu Xiaolan had introduced Yun Che, Situ Xiongyang had not looked at Yun Che again.
With his profound energy aura of the first level of the Divine Origin Realm and the lack of a “Mu” surname, as well as Mu Xiaolan’s introduction of him as junior brother… In Situ Xiongyang’s eyes, this only meant that Yun Che’s status was much much lower than Mu Xiaolan’s in Divine Ice Phoenix Sect. Moreover, he had been born in a lower realm, lowering him yet another level.
“Good good! I have missed our family’s profound ark since long again.” Overjoyed with reuniting with her family, Mu Xiaolan was completely ignorant of what was happening as she exuberantly made her way onto the profound ark. Yun Che wrinkled his nose as he silently followed behind her.
Although small, the decorations within the profound ark were indeed quite luxurious. Moreover, the auras of the servants and guards standing on the sides were all quite dense, demonstrating the considerably large strength of the Situ Family. Of course, if the Situ Family were not so strong, they probably would not have been invited to the Ice Wind Emperor’s Thousandth Birthday Celebration.
Having boarded her own family’s profound ark, Mu Xiaolan felt like she had returned home as she became exuberant and energetic. She naturally pulled on Yun Che’s sleeve, smiling as she said, “Even though the sect’s ice boat is quite powerful, it is not as comfortable as my family’s profound ark. When I was young, mother and father would use this profound ark to take me to cool places. Yun Che, were you ever able to board a profound ark like this in your lower realm?”
“Although the profound arks in my realm were slower, they were otherwise practically the same,” Yun Che casually replied.
When Situ Xiongyang, who was conversing with Mu Hanyi, glanced over and saw how Mu Xiaolan was pulling on Yun Che’s sleeves with a joyful smile on her face, his expression immediately darkened as he hurriedly went over. He placed his hand on Yun Che’s shoulder as he said, “Junior, I remember you are called… Yun Che, right? Come, let us walk and talk.”
“Ai? Father, what are you going to talk with him about?” Surprise emerged on Mu Xiaolan’s face.
“...I’m just going to ask him about some minor matters. You do not need to worry about it.”
As he said those words, Situ Xiongyang had already forcefully half dragged Yun Che to the side.
“What advice does uncle have for me?” Having observed Situ Xiongyang’s expression, Yun Che had pretty much guessed what he was about to say.
The moment he was only facing Yun Che, Situ Xiongyang’s expression had abruptly darkened as he said, “Earlier, it was mentioned that you had only been in Divine Ice Phoenix Sect for four months right? However, seeing how familiar you are with my Lanlan, she must have cared for you quite a bit?”
“...Yes. Senior sister Xiaolan has cared for me a lot,” Yun Che answered politely as he courteously nodded in response.
“Hmph!” Situ Xiongyang abruptly sneered as his brows deeply furrowed, “Lanlan’s character is pure and kind, but she is nonetheless my only daughter, and the only disciple of Fairy Bingyun. Her status is something you cannot compare with, and her future accomplishments are things which you can never hope to achieve. You better not have any laughable, nonsensical ideas!”
“...” Yun Che slowly exhaled as he replied, “Uncle, have you misunderstood something?”
“Misunderstanding?” Situ Xiongyang sneered, “Hmph. Boy, I am more than ten times older than you. Do you really think that your thoughts can be concealed before my eyes!? You are someone who has just entered the sect. With your low profound strength and your status as someone born in a lower realm, for you to have come here with Lanlan, what reason could you possibly have outside of trying to follow her?”
“You should quickly stop dreaming about things you shouldn’t dream about. Lanlan is someone you will never be able to be worthy of. Otherwise… when the time comes, do not blame me for not having warned you!”
Situ Xiongyang sternly glared at Yun Che before turning and leaving.
Yun Che stood where he was, completely speechless.
Situ Xiongyang had impatiently warned Yun Che not because of his words and deeds, but because Mu Xiaolan had so naturally pulled on Yun Che’s sleeve… this subconscious act of intimacy had clearly been an omen of danger for Situ Xiongyang.
As it had been a long time since they had been together, Mu Xiaolan and her mother had much to say to each other. Meanwhile, Situ Xiongyang, after pulling Yun Che to the side and reprimanding him, spent the rest of his time fawning over and conversing with Mu Hanyi as the profound ark quickly moved forward into the territory of the Ice Wind Empire and the palace at its center.
“Yun Che, what did my father say to you just now? It seemed to be really mysterious,” Mu Xiaolan secretly asked Yun Che through a sound transmission.
“Ah, your father said he wished to betroth you to me,” Yun Che said weakly.
“You… even after becoming the sect master’s direct disciple, you still say such nonsense. I’m too lazy to bother with you, hmph!”
A little while later, Mu Xiaolan sent him another sound transmission, “Eh? I just realized that I forgot to introduce your status to my mother and father. Such an important matter…”
“It would be the best if you didn’t,” Yun Che replied weakly, “I’m afraid for your father’s heart.”
Mu Xiaolan, “???”
As the wind howled outside, the profound ark arrived above the palace. Glancing outside, one could see hundreds of people standing in front of the main entrance, surrounding a figure in silver clothes with a golden crown on atop his head… it was clearly the current Ice Wind Emperor himself—Feng Huita!
Situ Xiongyang was stunned for a moment, but then he quickly smiled towards Mu Hanyi as he said, “The emperor must be incredibly eager to see you for him to personally welcome you after hearing of your highness’ return.”
Mu Hanyi smiled, but didn’t reply. In his heart, he knew that the reason why his royal father had personally come to welcome them was because he had told his father about the two esteemed guests of Divine Ice Phoenix Sect he was coming with.
As the profound ark descended, the Situ couple walked out from the profound ark and then simultaneously saluted. “Situ Xiongyang greets his majesty, the Ice Wind Emperor. We wish for your majesty’s continued longevity and pray for the increased prosperity of your majesty’s empire.”
Although Situ Xiongyang was an independent ruler of a territory, as his territory was ever so slightly bordering the Ice Wind Empire, he still had to pay some respects.
“So it was Region Lord Situ. Come, come.” Feng Huita personally stepped forward as he beckoned for the couple to rise.
“Ice Wind Emperor,” Situ Xiongyang smiled as he stood up, “see who has arrived.”
As he spoke, he slightly moved his body, revealing Mu Hanyi, Mu Xiaolan, and Yun Che, who were all currently exiting the profound ark.
“Yi’er!” Upon seeing Mu Hanyi, Feng Huita’s voice immediately became joyously surprised.
“Royal Brother!” Behind Feng Huita, a youth similarly dressed in silver clothes with a royal aura also shouted out. It was none other than the crown prince of the Ice Wind Empire, Mu Hanyi’s elder brother—Feng Hange.
Mu Hanyi quickly stepped forward as he kneeled heavily on the ground and said, “This son greets Royal Father and Royal Brother! It has been a long time since I have paid respects to both of you, Hanyi is ashamed and sorry.”
“It is enough that you have returned. It is enough that you have returned.” Feng Huita stuck out his hand as he slowly pulled Mu Hanyi up off the ground. As he looked over Mu Hanyi, the eyes of the emperor became slightly moist.
Mu Hanyi’s head still hung low as he said in shame, “This son was completely focused on cultivating to try and become the direct disciple of the Realm King to bring glory to his homeland and Royal Father, and thus didn’t return home for a long time. However… I am too useless. I have failed, and have shamed Royal Father.”
“Ah, how can you say such things.” Feng Huita gently shook his head, “Even if our child is not gifted enough to become the direct disciple of the Realm King, you are still much better than hundreds of thousands of men in the Snow Song Realm.” Feng Huita looked behind Mu Hanyi towards Mu Xiaolan and Yun Che, who were similarly dressed in the attire of the Divine Ice Phoenix Sect as he asked, “These two… they are your precious guests from Divine Ice Phoenix Sect who came with you?”
Mu Hanyi quickly retracted his emotions as he replied, “Indeed. It is these two.”
Before Mu Hanyi could introduce him any further, Yun Che had already taken the initiative to step forward as he said, “Ice Phoenix disciple, Yun Che, greets the Ice Wind Emperor.”
“Ah…” Mu Xiaolan hesitated for a moment before quickly following up, “Ice Phoenix disciple, Mu Xiaolan, greets the Ice Wind Emperor.”
As he sensed the auras of the two, Feng Huita was incredibly dismayed in his mind. The two were indeed from Divine Ice Phoenix Sect, but how could they be considered esteemed guests? It was clear that their statuses were much lower than Mu Hanyi. If he had know earlier, how could he have personally come to welcome them in such a manner of expectancy and fear?
Nonetheless, he did not show any of his dismay as he slightly smiled and said, “As you have come from Divine Ice Phoenix Sect, you are naturally esteemed guests of my Ice Wind Empire. Region Lord Situ, if I have not guessed wrongly, this Mu Xiaolan must be your daughter?”
Situ Xiongyang laughed as he responded, “You are correct. No wonder you are the Ice Wind Emperor, your eyes are indeed able to see through everything.”
“So so young, yet she has been able to gain the Mu surname. Her future is truly limitless.” Feng Huita smiled as he said, “Region Lord Situ, you are blessed to have such a daughter. Enter, enter.”
With the personal welcome of Feng Huita and Feng Hange, the group of people entered the palace.
Because Mu Hanyi had left a day late, by the time they arrived, the birthday celebration had already gone on for two hours. Thus, the main hall was already filled with guests. Moreover, as these guests had all been invited, they were naturally all great figures within the Snow Song Realm.