Moonlight tumbled in through the opened door of his chamber onto Bai Xiaochun as he stood there in a daze for a very long moment. Finally, he sighed, his life seemingly devoid of meaning.
“If I’d known this was going to happen, I wouldn’t have pissed off so many women….” Depressed, he couldn’t help but think that having one wife was definitely the best thing. Two was incredibly annoying, and three or more… was simply too dire of a situation to even think about.
“Xiaomei used to be great, but now she’s been led astray by the other two.” He had originally wanted to focus on meditation, but now simply couldn’t focus. Eventually the sun began to rise. At that point, he looked down at his bag of holding and thought about the collection of love letters that had once been his pride and joy, that he had so often poured out of his bag of holding to dramatic effect, evoking looks of envy from onlookers.
But now his love letters were gone. Feeling miserable, he flew out to Gongsun Wan’er’s secluded meditation facilities. He could sense that she was inside practicing cultivation, and he was tempted to just go in. But he knew that she was at a critical juncture, and that he shouldn’t disturb her.
After a moment, he sent his divine sense out into Arch-Emperor City, hoping to find someone to talk to. He saw Big Fatty Zhang, who was meditating. He saw Xu Baocai, who was in the middle of dramatically boasting to a group of friends. And he saw Master God-Diviner, lounging in the midst of a group of concubines….
He saw Patriarch Spirit Stream, sadly looking at the command medallion of a dead disciple. He saw Li Qinghou off in the distance, holding a handkerchief in his hand.
He even saw Shangguan Tianyou, who had once been so spectacular, but who was now quiet and reserved. He still looked like an unsheathed sword, but now he sat alone, quietly drinking and muttering about Zhou Xinqi.
As he looked out at all the familiar faces, his expression suddenly flickered as he realized there were two auras in the city that were somewhat familiar, but that he hadn’t encountered for a very long time.
“Those two….” he murmured. With that, he vanished, to reappear outside of a mansion somewhere in the city. It was a two-story building, with a fragrant osmanthus tree in the courtyard. As he stood beneath that tree, he looked up at one of the windows in the building, which was lit with lamplight, framing the silhouette of a graceful woman.
Perhaps she sensed that something had changed outside, as the window slowly opened, and a beautiful face appeared.
When she looked down at the osmanthus tree and saw Bai Xiaochun, her eyes widened, and mixed emotions played out on her face. Instead of clasping her hands in greeting, she simply looked at him.
“Chen Manyao….” he said softly. All of a sudden, he realized that he had not been paying attention to who had arrived in the new Arch-Emperor Dynasty. For one thing, he had been very wrapped up with worrying about the balance of power with the Vile-Emperor and the Saint-Emperor, and for another, he had been very focused on his unborn children.
He wasn’t sure when Chen Manyao had come, and had it not been for his frustrated, fidgety mood, he wouldn’t have sent his divine sense out to check on everyone.
Presumably the Grand Heavenmaster knew that Chen Manyao was here. After all, she was his apprentice. And the fact that he hadn’t said anything to him was very telling.
The Grand Heavenmaster had lived for many years, and had a lot more life experience than Bai Xiaochun. Obviously, he didn’t want Chen Manyao causing problems in the imperial harem…. 
When Chen Manyao heard him say her name, she bowed her head. A somewhat blank look could be seen in her eyes as she thought back to events of the past, but after a moment, she sighed, and gave him a curtseying bow.
“Greetings from a humble commoner, Arch-Emperor!!”
Her form of greeting instantly caused the gap between them to widen.
The two of them stood there quietly for a long moment before she quietly closed the window and blew out the lamp, casting her room into silent darkness.
Bai Xiaochun stood there under the osmanthus tree for a while, unsure of what he was feeling. Finally, he sighed and vanished, reappearing outside of the Spirit Advent King’s official residence.
The second familiar aura he had detected earlier came from a woman named Xu Shan.
Years ago, she had been like an explosive dragon, and after becoming completely infatuated with him, had chased him relentlessly. Although she was still beautiful, she was now visibly older than before. She was unaware of his arrival, and he didn’t speak to her. He just watched her for the time it takes an incense stick to burn, then left.
All of a sudden, there was one person in particular that he realized he missed dearly.
“Du Lingfei….” he murmured. He left Arch-Emperor City, to fly on a quick tour of the Arch-Emperor Dynasty’s immortal domain. However, no matter how he searched with his divine sense, he couldn’t find any clues as to Du Lingfei’s whereabouts.
It was not his first time looking for her; he had searched on numerous occasions. The Eternal Immortal Domains were vast, but no amount of searching had led him to even a single clue.
According to what Daoist Heavenspan had said, he had also searched for her, to no avail.
The night passed quickly.
Eventually, the sun began to cast its rays out onto the lands. As Bai Xiaochun hovered there some distance away from Arch-Emperor City, he looked around at the world, and realized that he had once again grown up a bit.
As the dark of night was slowly driven away, the world seemed calm and peaceful. Bai Xiaochun sighed, his breath turning into a cloud of steam.
“I just hope everyone can be happy, for all eternity….” He was the only one who could hear his murmured words. Unfortunately, he knew that the peace and quiet of the moment were only temporary. Inevitably, something unexpected would happen, and the calm would be shattered.
It could all happen very quickly. If the Vile-Emperor or the Saint-Emperor made a move on him, they would quickly realize that he didn’t have any Archaean Luminescence.
And if that happened, then the only thing which awaited him would be the dark of night. And the Arch-Emperor Dynasty would go with him!
“I have to become a real archaean! Only then will I truly qualify to contend with the other imperial dynasties!” Slowly, his heart began to grow calm. He knew that wasting time complaining about his situation would do no good. And there was only one thing he could do. “Practice cultivation!”
Looking up, he vanished, to reappear in his private meditation chamber in the imperial palace. Settling down cross-legged, he closed his eyes and immersed himself in cultivation.
He had reached a stage where he couldn’t simply practice ordinary breathing techniques to advance his cultivation. That was especially true considering that his Time Immemorial Codex had not yet been completed.
Unfortunately, the Daoist magic that came with the third level of the codex, which he called the Future Will, continued to slip out of his grasp.
Not even using his sovereign aura had helped; he had been missing some form of enlightenment. But now, his thoughts and emotions were calm, and as he worked, the Future Will began to slowly take shape. It was almost like augury, and yet, not.
As his spiritual power coursed through his energy passageways, the Future Will began to grow clearer, and he felt more free and clear than ever. He even started to form a strange resonance with the world around him.
He wasn’t sure how much time passed. Perhaps days. Perhaps months. He lost track of the flow of time. Unfortunately, he was stuck in an endless, dead cycle, and he couldn’t complete the final step to create Future Will.
But then, one morning at dawn… he heard the sound of a baby crying. It broke his concentration as it echoed through the imperial palace, causing him to shiver. Despite the fact that he was immersed in cultivation, he couldn’t miss the fact that a new life had come into the world, a life that was connected to his own blood!!
In that very moment, the dead cycle he was stuck in quivered. The birth of his child seemed to represent a limitless future, causing his heart to shiver and his mind to spin…. In that very moment, everything clicked!
The final level of the Time Immemorial Codex, the Future Will, was a success!