Chapter 1377 - Xuanyin
The group was greeted by a blast of cold, snowy wind the moment they entered the Snow Region of Extreme Ice, a land that was covered in wind and snow most of the time. Some time ago, the Little Demon Empress and Xuanyuan Wentian’s battle had wiped out Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace and the accumulated snow in this region. But a few years’ time was all it took for for nature to cover this place in thick snow once more.
In the distance, Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace looked like a true “asgard” of the snow. It gave off a fantastical, godlike impression even from this far, and it was able to drive away all blasphemous thoughts and human presence just by existing.
In fact, Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace had ascended to the head of the Profound Sky Continent’s Four Great Sacred Grounds after it was rebuilt. Countless profound practitioners had come to the Snow Region of Extreme Ice just to worship it from a distance, but none had dared to take even a step closer to the building.
Feng Xian’er’s eyes flashed scarlet before a near invisible red shield suddenly appeared around Yun Che, keeping the cold away from him. Meanwhile, Yun Wuxin was running toward Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace like an excited bird and crying out in a sweet voice that seemed to liven even the snow around her, “Mom, Auntie…”
The sky of the Snow Region of Extreme Ice was pure white. Standing above a snowy cloud, a pair of eyes penetrated the thick layers of snow and fell on Yun Che and the snowy region itself.
“That, is Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace…” Mu Xuanyin muttered to herself. She knew that Mu Bingyun had built Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace here after she had lost both her powers and her memories. She had left behind the Ice Phoenix God Investiture Canon even after she had regained both. Moreover, she had missed Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace dearly despite having returned to her true home.
This was the first time Mu Xuanyin had seen Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace with her own eyes.
Mu Xuanyin didn’t know why she had come to this world in secret again. She had sworn to Mu Bingyun to forget about its existence and never visit it...
But in just a few months, that promise had already been...
“It always snows when I come here. I could almost believe that they’re welcoming me,” Yun Che said narcissistically while raising his hands to feel the wind and the snow.
Feng Xian’er pursed up her lips and smiled, “Everyone knows that young master is the reason why Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace became a sacred ground. Naturally, it’s the world’s duty to welcome young master.”
“Haha,” Yun Che laughed loudly, “you’re getting better and better at praising, Xian’er… No wonder my mother won’t stop asking me when I’m taking in a new concubine.”
Feng Xian’er turned red and bent her head downward instantly.
A girl’s excited voice came from the sky, and Yun Che looked up to find Murong Qianxue descending from the sky while holding hands with a very young girl.
The little girl looked about the same size as Yun Wuxin, except her clothes were old and her eyes were slightly messy. However, her eyes looked as pure as crystal. When Murong Qianxue touched down in front of Yun Che, the girl immediately hid behind her back in fear.
“Senior Master Murong,” Yun Che nodded before shooting a glance at the little girl, “is she your new disciple?”
“Reporting to Palace Master,” Murong Qianxue said respectfully, “we found her in the northern regions. Her parents perished during a profound beast rampage, and she has nowhere to go. I noticed that she was extremely talented, so I brought her back here for Ling Yu to raise.”
“Oh, I see.” Yun Che nodded before his tone suddenly turned helpless, “I told you many times already that I’m not your Palace Master, you don’t have to act so respectfully around… Sigh, forget it. Just do what you want. I’m sure you all wouldn’t listen even if I were to repeat this another ten thousand times.”
A faint smile crossed Murong Qianxue’s face before she pulled the little girl gently into the open, “Xuanyin, this here is our Great Palace Master—”
Yun Che trembled violently all of a sudden before blurting, “What… what did you call her!?”
Yun Che’s drastic reaction and changes in expression caught Murong Qianxue completely off guard. The little girl was so frightened that she hid behind Murong Qianxue’s back again.
“Reporting to Palace Master,” Murong Qianxue replied hurriedly, “this girl was born on a profound moon, and I happened to find her at the second Palace Mistress’ birthplace, who was named Qu Aiyin. That is why I’d named her ‘Qu Xuanyin’... Is there something wrong with this name?”
“...” Realizing that he had lost control over his emotions, Yun Che inhaled slightly before shaking his head with a smile, “No, no, on the contrary, it is a very… very good name.”
Murong Qianxue, “...?”
Yun Che bent down to his knees and stared seriously at the timid, fearful girl. Then, both his eyes and his voice turned very gentle, “Little… Xuanyin, You must have had a difficult time, haven’t you? But everything’s fine now. There are no bad guys here, and no one will ever bully you again from here on. And even if there is someone… come to me, and I’ll teach them a lesson for you! So don’t be afraid. Okay?”
Murong Qianxue raised her eyebrows slightly in surprise.
His gentle voice and gaze seemed to wipe away the fear and panic in the little girl’s heart without a sound. She stared at Yun Che before nodding very slightly.
After that, Yun Che got up and said, “Senior Master Murong, I… don’t think you need to pass her to Ling Yu. My suggestion is for you to take her in yourself. What do you think?”
Murong Qianxue was surprised yet again, but she replied immediately, “If this is the Palace Master’s orders, then I shall take her in as my direct disciple. She may not have any foundation whatsoever, but her talents are among the top. I’m sure that her future will not disappoint.”
“Mn,” Yun Che nodded. His heart and soul had been filled with a different kind of emotion since hearing that name, so he half-turned away and said, “Take her back to the asgard.”
“Palace Master, what about you…”
“I need to think on some things. I’ll come over shortly,” Yun Che replied.
“...Yes,” Murong Qianxue answered before sending a sound transmission to Feng Xian’er, “Sorry to trouble you, but please protect our Palace Master, Miss Xian’er.”
After that, Murong Qianxue left Yun Che with the girl. However, she was feeling far, far more puzzled than when she had first arrived.
“Palace Mistress…” The little girl asked carefully in a small voice, “Who is he?”
Murong Qianxue said, “Have you heard of the name Yun Che?”
The girl’s eyes lit up before she nodded strongly, “I have. Daddy and mommy used to say that he is the greatest man in the world, and that he’s the one who saved our country.”
“That’s right,” Murong Qianxue nodded slightly, “Your parents are right. He’s still the greatest man in the world even after he had lost his powers.”
“From here on, you won’t be calling me Palace Mistress any longer. Just call me Master.”
“Did you know?” Murong Qianxue turned to look at the little girl before whispering, “Thanks to what he had said earlier, you’ll never be bullied again for as long as you live.”
The little girl’s lips parted in confusion and helplessness.
Qu Xuanyin… Murong Qianxue thought quietly to herself: Why had the name triggered such a large reaction in him?
Meanwhile, Yun Che was sitting on the snow and staring at the seemingly endless world of white. For a long time, he just stayed there unmoving.
“What’s wrong, young master?” Feng Xian’er asked softly.
“...” Yun Che looked dazed and not entirely present, “I’m… starting to miss… Master…”
Will we never meet again during this life...
“Mas… ter?” Feng Xian’er looked even more confused. It was because there was no one in her memory who was deserving of that title from this man.
Up atop the clouds, an icy blue figure turned away from the scene with slightly trembling shoulders, unable to stop herself until a very, very long time later… In the end, when the wind started growing stronger and stronger, she finally went away in silence.
Time passed quickly, and a couple more months passed by in the blink of an eye.
Western Divine Region, Dragon God Realm, at the Forbidden Land of Samsara.
“So, there has been no progress whatsoever?”
Shen Xi asked as some of the most common words spilled out of her lips. However, it didn’t change the fact that her voice was the most intoxicating and uplifting voice in the world.
The Dragon Monarch was standing next to her with his brows tightly furrowed. Although the Evil Infant Disaster had started at the Eastern Divine Region, it was such a terrible threat that no star realm could choose to not get involved with it. The fact that the Dragon Monarch had shown up meant that he was going to lead, and no one else.
“No matter how perfect a concealment is, it must leave some traces behind,” the Dragon Monarch said. “However, not only has she not shown up at the God Realm of Absolute Beginning since the day of the sighting, we haven’t found even a trace or aura. Moreover, those primordial beasts are more sensitive towards darkness profound energy than us, and yet none of them have shown any signs of disturbance thus far.”
“...” Shen Xi said softly, “You mean?”
“I’m suspecting that she hasn’t entered the God Realm of Absolute Beginning at all.” The Dragon Monarch continued, “It is very likely that the traces she left behind back then were just something to lead us astray.”
Shen Xi, “...”
“All three divine regions have laid down the order to every star realm to seek out any presence of darkness profound energy,” the Dragon Monarch said with cool, dark eyes. “Moreover, the search isn’t limited to just the Eastern Divine Region. The search will extend to the Southern Divine Region, the Western Divine Region, and even the lower star realms which number the greatest. Anyone who discovers any trace of darkness profound energy will be rewarded handsomely.”
“You’re suspecting that the Evil Infant is hiding in the lower realms?” Shen Xi asked.
“It has almost been a year since the Evil Infant escaped,” the Dragon Monarch said heavily. “A year is enough time for her to recover much power and grow even deadlier. Right now, we are not in a position where we can afford to let slip any possibility at all.”
“What does the Heavenly Mystery Realm of the Eastern Divine Region say?”
The Dragon Monarch shook his head, “Even if we suppose that the Evil Infant has only recovered a miniscule amount of strength, it is still an existence higher than even the heavens. There is no way the Heavenly Mystery Three Elders would be able to find anything even if they were to exhaust all of their lifespan.”
“I understand,” Shen Xi nodded. Since she lived in the Forbidden Land of Samsara, most of her knowledge of the outside world had come from the Dragon Monarch, “It looks like you’ll not have a day’s peace until the Evil Infant is eliminated… You may go.”
After the Dragon Monarch had left, Shen Xi looked towards the distance and said to herself, “The crimson crack, the emergence of the Evil Infant, and ‘his’ appearance… Will the world’s fate be shuffled once more…”
"Mother, mother.” It was at this moment a childish voice reached Shen Xi’s ears and heart, “Is he a bad person?”
Shen Xi smiled, “Of course not. He’s the best of our clansman, and his heart is firmly in the right place. Besides that, he respects me highly and would never do anything to hurt me. So how can he possibly be a bad person?”
“But if that’s the case, then why do you always tell me to stay quiet every time he shows up?”
Still wearing her smile, Shen Xi replied gently, “It is because he holds a certain desire he shouldn’t have towards me. He cannot let it go even though he knows that it is impossible, and he himself isn’t demanding it.”
“Once upon a time, this wouldn’t have mattered to me in the slightest. But after I’d gotten to know your father… Mother has no choice but to consider it seriously.”
“That is because a person’s nature and heart are unpredictable,” she said quietly.
“...A person’s nature? Heart? I don’t understand.”
“You’re still young, of course you don’t understand,” Shen Xi looked down at her belly. The gentleness and love residing in her eyes were wonderful enough to make the entire world succumb for eternity, “Mother will be free in another eight years. When that happens, I’ll be able to give birth to you. When that happens, Mother will reward your patience with everything that is beautiful in this world, so please wait for another eight years, okay?”
“Mn! I will listen to Mother and learn all of the ‘knowledge’ you want to teach me before I’m born.”