Bai Xiaochun was currently staring in shock at Zhao Tianjiao. His recent days had been spent in abject fear as he thought nonstop about how to defend himself if the white shadow returned. Having not talked with Zhao Tianjiao about the matter for some time, he'd almost forgotten about the whole situation.
Zhao Tianjiao’s words immediately jolted him out of his reverie. Feeling guilty, he forced a smile onto his face and made a show of calculating some things on his fingers. Then he slapped his thigh.
“Perfect timing!” he said loudly. “Elder Brother Zhao, tomorrow at noon you will confess your love to Elder Sister Yueshan. This is the final move. It won’t be long now before you can take that beautiful woman in your arms and never let her go for the rest of your life!”
Zhao Tianjiao seemed instantly enlivened, and began to pace back and forth in the room, his expression that of both excitement and anxiety. Hands clenched into fists, he seemed to be completely wrapped up in thinking about what was going to happen.
At one point, he suddenly stopped in place. “What happens if she rejects me?” he asked nervously. “What then?”
Bai Xiaochun sighed. “Considering Love Saint Bai Xiaochun’s decades of experience dominating the field of love, I can tell you the main reason why declarations of love tend to fail. They’re too rushed!
“But you’re different,” he continued, gesturing grandly. “You've spent a lot of time with Elder Sister Yueshan, and therefore, what you need to worry about most is your wording. Fear not. I, Bai Xiaochun, am extremely adept at such things, and can definitely provide you with some help!”
Zhao Tianjiao was completely convinced of Bai Xiaochun’s skills, and therefore, would do anything he said. As far as he was concerned, with Bai Xiaochun there to help him, any difficulties he faced would be resolved as easily as a sharp blade could cut through bamboo.
“I’ll help you come up with a comprehensive plan,” Bai Xiaochun said with a calm smile that made him look more enigmatic than ever. Then, he and Zhao Tianjiao spent the entire night discussing the matter. In the morning, Zhao Tianjiao left, in high spirits and brimming with confidence.
Noontime came, and it was a beautiful day. A gentle breeze blew across a calm sea that had only slightly rolling waves. From a distance, the sea almost looked like a huge golden mirror.
Off in the distance were some of the unique seabirds that lived in the Heavenspan Sea, soaring about and letting out occasional cries.
Zhao Tianjiao stood at the prow of the ship, dressed in a long cyan robe and looking particularly handsome. His eyes shone with profound light, and from a distance, he looked as imposing as a mountain. His back was straight, and he seemed to brim with an intense energy that would cause him to instantly stand out in the eyes of anyone who came to look at him.
He was looking off into the distance, his hands folded at the small of his back, his chin raised, his hair fluttering in the breeze. He looked as attractive as a perfectly sculpted statue, seemingly divine and mighty in an otherworldly way.
Of course, no one could possibly know that Bai Xiaochun’s voice was actually speaking in his ear.
“No, no, no! Put your left hand on your hip. Yes. Yes! Hold your chin up as you look off into the distance!
“Keep that same look in your eye. Don’t change it!
“Move your left foot half a pace forward. Mhmm. Yes, that looks good. Wait, you seem too somber. This is a confession of love, not an interrogation. Soften up a bit....”
Bai Xiaochun was tucked away in a nearby corner where he could see Zhao Tianjiao, and was transmitting instructions via divine sense. Whatever instructions he gave, Zhao Tianjiao followed immediately. He was nervous about what was to come, but had complete confidence in Bai Xiaochun, so he simply steeled himself and waited for the moment of truth.
“Okay, that’s perfect. Don’t move. The time you agreed to meet Elder Sister Yueshan is almost here.” Bai Xiaochun was also excited. All of his meticulous plans with Zhao Tianjiao recently came down to this moment. All the preparations were set. It was time for the final move.
“It has to work!” he murmured, clenching his hands into fists. Even as he waited in anticipation, Chen Yueshan slowly walked out from her cabin on deck 2.
She seemed different than normal, and had clearly dressed up a bit. She looked entrancing in her long, cyan robe, with her hair coiled up in braids to reveal her snow-white neck. Her skin was fair beyond belief, and as the noon sun shone down on her, she seemed pure, holy, and dazzlingly beautiful.
There was a bit of a flush to her face, something almost shy. She also seemed nervous, as was evidenced by how she unconsciously fiddled with a jade ring on her finger.
After stepping onto the main deck, she noticed Zhao Tianjiao at the prow, and slowly began to walk in his direction.
Bai Xiaochun ducked his head down and excitedly transmitted the news to Zhao Tianjiao. “She's coming. Don’t look back! She’s walking right toward you!”
Zhao Tianjiao trembled imperceptibly, and did his best to maintain his pose, simultaneously sending some divine sense out to confirm that Chen Yueshan was walking in his direction. Before long, she was standing there at his side, and her fragrance caused his heart to skip a beat before beginning to race.
“Why did you want to see me, Elder Brother Zhao?” she said softly, clutching at the insides of her sleeves with her delicate hands. For some reason, she found this version of Zhao Tianjiao to be somewhat strange, and yet at the same time, attractive.
Bai Xiaochun’s eyes widened as he looked on, nervous that a mistake might be made.
Zhao Tianjiao slowly took a breath, but didn’t turn to look at her. Instead, he kept his gaze fixed on the sea beyond, quickly reviewing the words Bai Xiaochun had instructed him to speak. Suddenly, he pointed up into the sky and said, “Yueshan, see how pure and blue the sky is? My feelings for you are just like that, pure and free from the contamination of the mortal world. Eternally unchanging.”
In response to his words, Chen Yueshan looked up at the sky, and her heart suddenly began to beat a bit faster. Even her breathing turned a bit ragged.
Bai Xiaochun couldn't help but praise Zhao Tianjiao inwardly. At long last, he was finally getting into the swing of things. From Bai Xiaochun’s perspective, his wording just now had been perfect....
“It took me a long time to come up with that,” Bai Xiaochun thought, feeling very pleased with himself. However, in the same moment that Chen Yueshan looked up at the azure sky....
The muffled rumble of thunder could be heard as, for some unknown reason, the weather suddenly changed. In the blink of an eye, dark clouds began to form, and before Bai Xiaochun could even react, more thunder echoed out. As of this moment, the sky was no longer blue, but rather, had been contaminated into a grayish black color.
Bai Xiaochun’s jaw dropped, and Zhao Tianjiao’s eyes went wide. Even Chen Yueshan seemed taken aback.
“What’s... what’s going on?” Bai Xiaochun thought, gasping. Something about the situation definitely seemed strange.
Zhao Tianjiao didn’t say anything, and even Chen Yueshan appeared to be at a loss for words, and even a bit embarrassed. After a long moment passed, Zhao Tianjiao gritted his teeth and decided to proceed.
“Yueshan....” With that, he raised his voice and pointed out at the sea. “Look at how calm the sea is. It is like my heart, now that I have you in my life. Henceforth, I swear to the mountains and pledge to the seas that you and I shall share both honor and disgrace. Not a single woman in the entire world could ever cause my heart to even tremble in the slightest. It is just like this endless, tranquil sea, unmarred by the slightest wave!”
A tremor ran through Chen Yueshan as she followed the line of Zhao Tianjiao’s finger to look out at the sea. However, even as the words left his mouth....
More thunderous rumbling echoed out from the clouds, and huge raindrops began to fall, splashing down noisily onto the ship and the sea alike. Suddenly, huge waves appeared on the water, which was no longer calm at all....
Bai Xiaochun almost leapt to his feet, and was instantly covered in cold sweat. The events of the day were far too strange, and had Bai Xiaochun’s mind racing with all sorts of crazy thoughts about what was causing them.
“Could it be that I misjudged the destiny of these two lovers...?” he thought in surprise. Zhao Tianjiao was on the verge of tears; it was almost as if heaven and earth were directly opposing him, and intentionally turning his words against him. His fury began to mount, and yet, it was in that moment that Chen Yueshan suddenly laughed softly.
She was beautiful to begin with, but when she laughed, her eyes turning into twin crescent moons, she was even more exquisite. Reaching out her delicate, jade-like hand, she clasped Zhao Tianjiao’s hand in hers, and immediately, her feelings were made clear.
Zhao Tianjiao shivered as his eyes met hers, and in that instant, a memory was created that would last for all eternity.
Chen Yueshan had fallen in love with Zhao Tianjiao long ago, back when her father had first taken him in as an apprentice. She had always been charmed by how bumbling and inarticulate he was in daily life, only to become a fierce tiger in critical moments.
She had even tried to get close to him in the past, but Zhao Tianjiao had never seemed to respond to her. He spent most of his time in training, and eventually, Chen Yueshan got disheartened, and buried her feelings away. Occasionally, she would think back to those emotions and sigh.
After the journey on the battleship began, and she saw Zhao Tianjiao walk out in a pink outfit, she had been shocked. Then, everything that happened after that had seemed something like a dream....
Bai Xiaochun let out a long sigh. Seeing what was happening now between Zhao Tianjiao and Chen Yueshan, he mused that even if he had misjudged their destiny, there was nothing he could have done differently. Chuckling, he reveled in his status as a love saint, and then stuck his chin up and assumed the pose of a lonely hero. Waving his sleeve, he murmured, “With the snap of a finger, I, Bai--”
However, even in that moment of self-satisfaction, and before he could finish speaking, the thunderous rumbling in the sky grew more intense, and several figures appeared, all of them flying at high speed toward the battleship.
At the head of that group was none other than that three-eyed Chen Hetian!Previous Chapter Next Chapter