It was one of those things he had either inadvertently overlooked or never minded in the past. Maybe that was why it felt especially shocking after Chi Wuyao had dredged it to the surface.
No matter how carefully he examined his memories, he realized that Xia Qingyue hadn’t visited Xia Hongyi even once after she entered Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace at sixteen years old.
It wasn’t like she had never had the chance to step out of her sect. On the contrary, she was considered a special existence in Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace, and she was granted quite an unusual amount of freedom as a result. In fact, she had participated in the Blue Wind Ranking Tournament and his wedding to Cang Yue.
And yet he couldn’t remember a single moment where she had spoken to her father or kept him company.
The entire reason she started cultivating in the first place was to search for her lost family. So why was she so cold and detached toward her own father?
Did the deception stretch all the way to the beginning? Was her reason to pursue cultivation with all her might itself a lie?
“See? You think that it’s bizarre too, right?” Chi Wuyao said while watching Yun Che’s expression closely.
“It doesn’t matter now. All this means is that she was faking from the very beginning.” Yun Che forcefully nipped the thought in the bud before asking, “Did you read Uncle Xia’s memories just now?”
Chi Wuyao’s eyes curled into crescents. “I knew I wouldn’t be able to hide it from you.”
With Chi Wuyao’s devilish soul, it was all too easy for her to read a lower realm mortal’s memories while leaving almost no trace behind at all.
The reason she had read Xia Hongyi’s memories in secret was to verify her suspicions that Xia Qingyue wasn’t Xia Hongyi’s real daughter.
There were countless reasons as to how that might come to be, but the simplest explanation would be that Yue Wugou was already pregnant when Xia Hongyi found her. After they fell in love, Xia Hongyi tried to hide it from Xia Qingyue only to be found out later.
That would explain everything. That would absolve her of her doubts once and for all.
Unfortunately, the results were extremely disappointing.
In Xia Hongyi’s memories, Yue Wugou—she was Dong Xue to him—was a virgin when they consummated their love.
This meant that Xia Qingyue was definitely Yue Wugou and Xia Hongyi’s daughter.
Which brought her back to square one.
There was another strange thing about his memories.
Although Xia Hongyi had been separated from Dong Xue (Yue Wugou) for thirty some years, his memories of her were crystal clear and profound.
However, his memories of his daughter, Xia Qingyue, were strangely simple, sparse and blurry.
His memories of Xia Yuanba showed similar characteristics as well, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as his memories of Xia Qingyue.
Finally, she had a distinct sense that something was wrong with Xia Hongyi’s memories.
Chi Wuyao was unquestionably the woman with the strongest soul energy in the current universe thanks to her Nirvana Devil Emperor Soul. However, she still wasn’t able to identify the source of this wrongness.
“You normally never resort to such methods unless the matter is of critical importance. Is this a matter of critical importance?” Yun Che chided in a helpless tone. Chi Wuyao really was acting a bit too obsessed right now.
“Your Majesty is correct. This queen admits and apologizes for her errors,” Chi Wuyao acted like a scolded child, but the mischief in her eyes and the sudden silkiness in her devilish voice were anything but childish. “If Your Majesty must punish this queen… would you like me and Xuanyin to service you together some time in the future?”
Yun Che immediately turned toward her with widened, bloodshot eyes. “You said it! You better keep your promise!!”
“Heehee!” Chi Wuyao giggled cutely and seductively. “Don’t worry, Your Majesty. I know at least a couple hundred ways to make little Xuanyin submit. For starters, she’s weak to—”
Suddenly, the teleportation formation in front of the Black Moon Merchant Guild flashed, and a couple walked out from the center.
Chi Wuyao immediately stopped talking.
“(╰_╯)#” Annoyed by the interruption, Yun Che glared at the uninvited guests who happened to be familiar faces.
The man at the left was Zi Ji, lord of Black Moon. The woman to the right was Qu Fengyi, former Sovereign of the Seas of Supreme Ocean Palace.
When Zi Ji saw Yun Che, a look of surprise crossed his features before he slowly dropped to his knees. “Zi Ji greets Spiritual Master Yun. I, Black Moon, am infinitely honored to bask in the Spiritual Master’s presence.”
It had been many years since they saw each other. Zi Ji was still wearing his signature purple robes, but he actually looked younger than he was before. The old darkness and sharpness in his intelligent eyes had also been replaced by unusual peace and tranquility.
As for Qu Fengyi...
Qu Fengyi had knelt at the same time as Zi Ji, but she quickly raised her head slightly to sneak a peek at Yun Che. Her eyes contained awe and curiosity, but no fear whatsoever. The dignity she had carried as a Sovereign of the Seas was also completely missing.
Noticing Yun Che’s surprise, Zi Ji said, “As you may have noticed, my wife is no longer the Sovereign of the Seas she used to be. She has sealed her memories after she recovered, and with it all of the honor and disgrace, sorrow and joy, favors and grievances, rights and wrongs of the past.”
“I see,” Yun Che responded indifferently.
Qu Fengyi bowed deeply before saying, “I may not have my past memories, but my husband has told me of your forgiveness and rescue. I will never forget this favor for as long as I live.”
As she said this, she leaned into Zi Ji as if it was the most natural thing in the world. It was the kind of intimacy and dependence that came from the bottom of one’s heart.
Zi Ji shot his wife a look so loving and gentle that it was almost visible to the naked eye. “I never would’ve thought that these years would be the happiest and most peaceful days of our lives, but they were. I have never seen my wife this carefree and free from worry. I love every facet of her current self be it good or bad. I love them so much that I actually don’t want to return to the past anymore. What Supreme Ocean Palace? What Black Moon Merchant Guild? To think that I only realize now that their futures and belonging to them don’t matter as much as I thought.”
Zi Ji’s smile was light and at ease. “Sometimes, I look back to the past and rue my foolishness. To think that I had toiled for half my life without realizing that what I wanted was really this simple.”
Yun Che nodded. “I am glad you both have found true happiness. It is a bit of a shame that this is where both your legends have ended though.”
“Hahahaha.” Zi Ji chuckled a little. “All legends ceased to exist since the moment you ascended, Spiritual Master Yun.”
There used to be Four Sacred Grounds on the Profound Sky Continent. Sun Moon Divine Hall and Mighty Heavenly Sword Region had been destroyed, Absolute Monarch Sanctuary had come under Xia Yuanba’s control, and Supreme Ocean Palace had entered a state of half-seclusion.
It probably wouldn’t take long before the Absolute Monarch Sanctuary, Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace and Divine Phoenix Sect became the only Sacred Grounds left on this continent.
“It is a bit of a sad ending, isn’t it?”
Chi Wuyao whispered after the Black Moon Merchant Guild was behind them.
“Not really, but it does make you think about some things,” Yun Che said. “Some people… actually, a lot of people never know what they really want until they die.”
“In that case, what do you think Xia Qingyue really wants?” Chi Wuyao asked.
“...” Half given-up at this point, Yun Che could only roll his eyes at her.
“How long do you plan to stay on the Blue Pole Star?” Chi Wuyao finally stopped teasing him and asked a less abstract question.
Yun Che replied without hesitation, “A very long time. Xuanyin, Meiyin and Caizhi will be coming soon, and… now that I think about it, I should invite the Witches as well. Even if it’s just for tradition’s sake, they have the right to meet my parents.”
He then put a finger on the tip of his nose and revealed his true thoughts, “Sigh. I just don’t understand why Wuxin wants to see them so much. You would almost think that this is her birthday gift or something.”
A meaningful smile crossed Chi Wuyao’s lips. “What about the Blue Dragon Emperor and Cang Shuhe? The entire universe knows them as your official consorts, you know? Shouldn’t you bring them to meet your parents too?”
“Is that a joke?” When Yun Che looked at Chi Wuyao and realized she was actually serious, he said, “Forget it.”
Chi Wuyao persuaded, “Just because it is a loveless status doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth maintaining. Moreover, the Blue Dragon Emperor is key to the stability of the Western Divine Region, and Cang Shuhe the Southern Divine Region.”
“This is especially true in the case of Cang Shuhe. Mistreating her may turn Cang Shitian from a loyal dog into a vile one.”
“So what?” Yun Che sneered. “When that day comes, I’ll just squash him like the dog he is.”
“Sure you can, but it’s not easy to train up another dog who’s as loyal and useful as him,” Chi Wuyao complained with a worried expression. It actually looked like she was planning a contingency for that possibility already.
“Fine, fine.” Yun Che didn’t want to add more burdens to Chi Wuyao, so he surrendered and said, “I’m still not going to bring them to meet my parents, but I promise to visit them from time to time. Wuxin was asking me to take her to the God Realm anyway. I’ll make the trip when we’re exploring the Southern Divine Region and Western Divine Region.”
“My dear Majesty,” Chi Wuyao exhaled a warm breath against his cheek, “I think I want to etch the word ‘half-hearted’ into your face. This way, everyone will know your attitude toward governing from the get-go.”
“... I’m going to visit Caiyi now.” Yun Che attempted to escape.
“Caiyi? You mean that cute and delicate little jade doll called the Little Demon Empress?” Chi Wuyao raised her eyebrows. “I’m surprised. Every one of your wives and lovers only wish that they can melt into your skin and stay with you forever, but you’re going to pamper her only?”
Yun Che explained seriously, “Caiyi may look that way, but she’s really a violent and stubborn girl. She must’ve built up a lot of frustration after missing me for so many years, and she couldn’t exactly beat the crap out of me in front of Wuxin and the elders. If I don’t head over soon, I’m afraid that the stress will actually get to her.”
“Oh? Frustration, is it?” Chi Wuyao shot him a look that was both charming and disapproving at the same time. “You really should get that all out of her. Otherwise, the servants are going to complain about broken beds and whatnot.”
“Ahem, see you later.” Not giving Chi Wuyao another chance to make fun of him, Yun Che cut open a spatial rift and teleported straight to the Little Demon Empress’ side.
A long time after Yun Che left, the Empress finally let out a quiet sigh. “Do you really think I’m immune to jealousy, you sinful man?”
After she recollected herself, Chi Wuyao released her spiritual perception until it stopped at a frozen land.
It was where Xia Qingyue used to cultivate. It was where her former master, Chu Yueli was staying.
Her conversation with Chu Yuechan last night and her meeting with Xia Hongyi today had actually worsened her doubts instead of alleviating them.
And with that… came a sense of unease that she couldn’t describe.
To the north of Blue Wind Nation, the Snow Region of Extreme Ice, Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace.
“Thank you for telling me all this.”
As expected, the information she got from Chu Yueli wasn’t that much different from Chu Yuechan’s. She did have a different request though.
“I would like to visit Xia Qingyue’s old room and cultivation grounds.”
However, Chu Yueli shook her head and said, “That won’t be possible.”
“Why is that?”
Chu Yueli faced toward the ice buildings of Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace and said, “The Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace you’re currently seeing isn’t the original Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace. The original was completely destroyed by the battle between Xuanyuan Wentian and the Little Demon Empress, leaving little to no trace behind.” 
“This new Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace was rebuilt after Xuanyuan Wentian was destroyed with the help of Palace Master Yun. Naturally, you won’t find Qingyue’s room or cultivation grounds here.”
“Little to no trace, huh…” Chi Wuyao muttered to herself before asking, “What about a possession then? Did she really leave nothing behind at all?”
Chu Yueli nodded with a lonely expression on her face.
“That is a true shame,” Chi Wuyao muttered to herself again.
Some time later, Chi Wuyao returned to Floating Cloud City. But instead of dropping by the Xiao Clan, she traveled to a long-empty courtyard instead.
It was the birthplace of Xia Qingyue and Xia Yuanba, the residence of the Xia Family.
This place was left mostly empty since Xia Hongyi had moved to the Black Moon Merchant Guild. It was only guarded by one or two middle-aged servants who had followed Xia Hongyi since the early days.
An idle servant was given the shock of his life when Chi Wuyao appeared seemingly out of nowhere from the sky. He cried out, “Who are…”
His voice suddenly became caught in his throat. Then, his expression faded into dumb blankness as well.
Chi Wuyao scanned the surroundings while walking toward the servant. She asked, “Tell me, which room was Xia Qingyue’s bedroom?”
The servant dumbly raised his hand and pointed at the innermost bedroom.
The Empress’ figure blurred, and she appeared inside the room without ever touching the door.
There was a high quality oaken bed with a dark purple see-through curtain hanging above it.
There were tables and chairs that were made of the same wood, a bronze mirror for grooming purposes, and a firmly shut cabinet. It was empty.
That was everything.
There were no clothes, no cleaning tools, no tea sets, no jewelry, no cosmetics, nothing. She couldn’t even find a trace of someone having lived here.
She had stolen the servant’s soul, so there was no chance he could be lying to her. This was definitely Xia Qingyue’s bedroom for sixteen years until she left.
Did… Xia Qingyue really take everything with her after she went away?
Chi Wuyao left the Xia Family courtyard and floated high up in the sky where she couldn’t be seen. There, she stayed silent for a very long time.
She hadn’t left anything behind at her birthplace.
She hadn’t left anything behind at the original Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace either because it was destroyed by the Little Demon Empress and Xuanyuan Wentian’s battle.
The Moon God Realm was literally cosmic dust right now.
To think that the deceased Xia Qingyue would leave no traces behind in this world whatsoever.
Assuming that the memories of her were wiped, then she might as well not have existed in the first place.
“I give up.”
A long time later, Chi Wuyao finally let out a powerless whisper.
“She’s dead. Everything is as good as it can be. There is no need to look into something so meaningless.”
The mystery that only seemed to deepen with every attempt to uncover it, the vague unease that seemed to nestle uncomfortably in her heart...
She gave up.