Chapter 169 – Decisive Departure
“Ah?” Yun Che’s abrupt words startled Lan Xueruo for a good while. Then, she immediately nodded. “If you’re willing, then of course you can. After all, no matter the outcome, participating in the Ranking Tournament is a good experience, and you will create a good foundation for your participation three years later. It’s just that, the Imperial Palace is only allowed to send three people to participate. These three people will have to be selected from a fair competition, and I do not possess the absolute right to make the decisions either. So, if Junior brother Yun really wishes to participate in this upcoming Blue Wind Tournament, within half a year, you have to enter the top three placings of the Inner Palace Heavenly Profound Ranking.”
Currently, Yun Che had taken over Murong Yi’s position in the Heavenly Profound Ranking, and was ranked seventy-third. To step into the top three places from the seventy-third place in half a year, no one would believe it would actually happen if they were to hear of it… nor would they believe that the seventh place, Xuelang, or the thirty-sixth place, Feng Baiyi, of the Heavenly Profound Ranking had already died at Yun Che’s hands.
In other words, with the strength Yun Che currently possessed, he was at least at the seventh placing or above.
“I know.” Yun Che nodded. His gentle yet firm gaze looked towards Lan Xueruo. “I will strive to obtain the qualifications to participate in the Ranking Tournament, and in this tournament, I will not be going there for the sake of experience; rather, I will be participating in it seriously… So, Senior sister, after this, I will be leaving for a period of time.”
“Leave?” The light in Lan Xueruo’s eyes stirred, and she hurriedly grabbed onto Yun Che’s hand. “Where are you going? Why do you have to leave?”
Yun Che took Lan Xueruo’s small hand and held it, and said gently, “Senior sister, do you remember the things I told you that night? I said that I would give you a shoulder that you can lean on and rely on, and that I would take on that unimaginable heavy burden in your stead… It’s just that, even if I have the resolution to do so, with the way I am now, I am still too weak; I basically do not possess that sort of shoulder. The things you’re bearing, I don’t even have the strength to get involved in them. If I were to step into these matters with the way I am now, not only will I not be able to take them on for you, I will also become your burden and a source of your worries. I might even become your weakness.”
“Back when I received invitations from the Crown Prince and the Third Prince at the same time, Instructor Qin had advised me to take the initiative to distance myself from you, because only doing that will be best for you, and it will be a sort of protection for myself as well. But something like that, is something I will never ever do. As to how to deal with the invitations from the Crown Prince and Third Prince, I have pondered about it these few days. In the end, after taking into consideration the things I currently possess, no matter how resolved I am, no matter how arrogant I am, I cannot deny that the current me, does not have the ability nor the qualifications to get involved in the turbulence within the Imperial Palace, and neither am I able to carry even a portion of your burden. At least, if the Crown Prince and Third Prince were to wish for my death, it is something that can be easily fulfilled for either of them.”
“So, regarding their invitations, I am unable to choose. Since I can neither decide on either, nor can I choose both or decline both at the same time, the only thing I can do, is to choose neither, and silently leave.”
This was the choice Yun Che made after ruminating on it for the last few days.
As the Crown Prince and Prince of an Empire, they have many subordinates, and the number of experts within this number was not something a regular person could imagine. After leaving Floating Cloud City, he had been spending his time mingling with the younger generation, so he was still able to excel to a certain degree. However, the battle within the Imperial Palace simply could not compare to battles within the younger generation circle. Just by the number of practitioners, among the Crown Prince and Third Prince’s subordinates, experts in the Earth Profound Realm number not less than a hundred, and experts at the Sky Profound Realm definitely existed as well. There might even be numerous Sky Profound Realm practitioners who were close to the Emperor Profound Realm serving under them. No matter who Yun Che chose, he would be dragged into this circle. With such weak profound strength within that circle, he would not even be able to influence the entire situation in the slightest. The only thing he had was influence over the younger generation. If he were to step into the turbulent situation within the Imperial Palace the way he was now, other than increasing Lan Xueruo’s worries and concerns, what wave of changes could he bring about?
And regarding all these, as an Imperial Princess, Lan Xueruo was even clearer on these issues than Yun Che.
Her lips had moved quite a few times, but she could not bring herself to say anything. In the last few days, she had been worried that Yun Che would be dragged into her affairs, and him leaving, was definitely the safest option available to him. However, she simply could not bear to have Yun Che leave, because she could no longer imagine a day without him. She did not know when it started, but Yun Che had already become the supporting pillar in her heart, as well as her sustenance. If he were to leave now, she would be at a loss of what to do.
Finally, she chose to nod and softly said. “Leaving is good as well… No, it’s for the best. If you were just a regular Inner Palace disciple, they would still try to win you over, but it wouldn’t be that urgent and fierce. However, your current influence over the Imperial City is too strong. Your choice will definitely sway the inclinations of the younger practitioners to a very large degree. So, no matter who you choose, it will definitely plunge you deep within. At the same time, you will suffer the hatred of the other party… and you might even be assassinated.”
“These few days, I had wanted to advise you to temporarily leave the Imperial City as well… Yet, I couldn’t bear to part with you. In this Imperial City, my heart has never been able to calm down. If you were to leave my side as well, I… I…” Lan Xueruo bit her lip, and tightly held onto Yun Che’s hand.
Yun Che shook his head, and said, “Senior sister, you don’t have to worry. I will only be leaving temporarily, and I won’t be away for a long time either. Actually, escaping the invitations of the Crown Prince and Third Prince is merely one of the two reasons why I wish to leave the Imperial City. The other reason is that I wish to head out to train. The Blue Wind Profound Palace is indeed a place where countless of practitioners wish to train in, but this place is too comfortable. There is pressure, but it isn’t forceful. You will receive injuries, but they won’t be life-threatening. I require a place that can push me even further, so as to provide you a shoulder that you can lean on as soon as possible. Half a year… Senior sister, give me half a year’s time. After half a year, I will definitely come back much stronger than before.”
Half a year’s time, was indeed really short as a practitioner’s training duration. As to why Yun Che would shorten the time imposed on himself to such an extent, was firstly because the Blue Wind Ranking Tournament would take place in half a year. However, the most important reason was that he was afraid some sort of huge change would occur in the Imperial Palace when he wasn’t by Lan Xueruo’s side if the duration was too long.
“Then… Where will you be going to for the next half a year? Have you decided?” Lan Xueruo asked worriedly.
“Not yet. But I believe that I will be able to find a place immediately after leaving the Imperial City.” Yun Che said with a relaxed expression.
With great effort, Lan Xueruo suppressed the unwillingness that was surging in her heart, and said gently, “Half a year isn’t that long either. Since you have already decided, I… I will stay in the Imperial City, and calmly wait for your return. But, no matter what, do not give yourself too much pressure, and even more so, do not expose yourself to danger… The reason why I am still staying in the Imperial Palace, is because I simply cannot leave my father behind. Yesterday, I personally visited the Black Moon Merchant Guild… But, even the Black Moon Merchant Guild has never come to possess a Burning Soul Flower before. If this is my father’s fate, then, when father passes away, I will give up my identity as a Princess, and go wherever you go… Both the struggle within the Imperial Palace, as well as my hatred towards the person who killed my father will no longer be important. I only wish to have you in my entire life, and that alone will be enough. That’s why, you must definitely not force yourself too much, alright?”
Yun Che’s heart shook violently from these words. He stretched out his arms, and hugged Lan Xueruo tight… These words alone, were enough for Yun Che to never turn his back on her for his entire life.
However, to Lan Xueruo, and to Yun Che, their greatest pressure was never the struggle within the Imperial Palace, but rather, Fen Juecheng from the Burning Heaven Clan!
“Junior brother Yun, when are you planning to leave?”
“I will not give up my identity as a Blue Wind Profound Palace disciple. As for Palace Chief Qin and Yuanba, Senior sister, please help me relay my decision to them… Half a year later, I will return… I will definitely return!”
Bringing all his belongings and with Lan Xueruo sending him off with teary eyes, Yun Che quietly left the Blue Wind Profound Palace, as well as the Blue Wind Imperial City.
“Why did you make such a sudden decision?” Behind him, Little Fairy’s fleeting, cold and tranquil voice resounded.
Little Fairy once again took the initiative to converse with him, causing Yun Che’s heart to feel at ease. “It’s not really a sudden decision. The thought of leaving came up quite a few times in my mind the past two days.”
Although he had thoughts of leaving, he had been extremely hesitant. He definitely would not tell Little Fairy that the reason why he would suddenly make such a decisive situation… was due to the declaration she had made about Xia Qinyue, which had roused him greatly.
“Then, where have you decided to go?”
Yun Che gazed towards the northeast, and slowly said, “The place where rampant profound beasts live… The Wasteland of Death which spans nine hundred and fifty kilometers!”
The name “Wasteland of Death”, was actually able to cause even Little Fairy, whose strength was half a step away from the Emperor Profound Realm, to hold hints of shock in her voice. “You’re actually going there to train? That place has been termed as the heaven for profound beasts, and the hell for practitioners. Countless of practitioners die in there every year.”
“I know, I have heard of it from my grandfather when I was really young. But I did not expect that there would come a day when I would have to step into it. I believe that within the entire Blue Wind Empire, there is no better place to train.” Yun Che said calmly.
“Since you have already decided on a destination, why did you not tell her?”
Yun Che faintly sighed. “The Wasteland of Death is one of the three most dangerous places in the Blue Wind Empire. The number of profound beasts that reside within it is at least a hundred times more than the Ten Thousand Beast Mountain Range. If I were to tell her this, she would definitely worry about my safety every day and night, and cause her sleepless nights and a loss of appetite.”
Little Fairy no longer said anything.
Yun Che carried the heavy sword on his back, took out the map he had bought earlier and glanced at it. As if he was flying, he sprinted towards the north and quickly disappeared at the end of the road, leaving Blue Wind Imperial City, which was swarming with movements from the shadows, far behind.
He was arrogant, but definitely not blind.
A temporary retreat, all for the sake of returning stronger than ever before!
Ten days later.
The Wasteland of Death was one of the areas within Blue Wind Empire which had an impeccable reputation of being dangerous and brutal. Spanning nine hundred and fifty kilometers long and eight hundred kilometers wide, countless of profound beasts roam the wasteland, and these profound beasts were mostly wild and ferocious. Along with its reputation, its dense population of profound beasts attract large numbers of practitioners and treasure hunters. However, every year, deaths of practitioners within the area number more than a hundred thousand. Hence, from this, the place was named “Wasteland of Death”.
The bright moon hung high up in the clear night sky, enveloping the city nearest to the Wasteland of Death with a sublime atmosphere. From afar, the drawn-out roars of profound beasts could be constantly heard, one after another.
Each of the countless inns situated in the city was filled with practitioners from all around. The Wasteland of Death was just fifteen kilometers away from the city, and all the guests in the inns were people who wished to challenge the Wasteland of Death.
Under the night sky, being drawn in by the sublime atmosphere, a calm-looking youth carrying a heavy sword on his back slowly walked over.
“I’m finally here.”
Looking at the light shining from the inns’ windows and hearing the profound beasts’ intimidating roars coming from afar, the youth stopped and looked towards the distance as he muttered to himself.