Within Soulburn Hall, Fang Qingli announced, "Your Eminence, the Heaven and Human Branch sect masters wish for an audience."
"Okay," said a soft voice from within the bedroom. It sounded a little listless and unspirited. Not long after, a girl in a light blue dress emerged. Even a simple dress like that looked like the most precious piece of treasure when worn by her. No matter how down she looked, it didn't take away from her beauty one bit.
"This way, Your Eminence." Fang Qingli followed Feiling to the hall, where only three people were, the two aforementioned sect masters and Xuanyuan Dao, the Earth Branch sect master.
"Your Eminence, we sorted through the reports from our informants concerning the Kilostar Domain. Please give them a look. We can confirm the veracity of the information," Fang Taiqing said with a calm look as he handed them to Fang Qingli, who then passed them to Feiling.
Before looking through it, she swept her gaze at Fang Taiqing and Jian Wuyi, who seemed rather calm, then to the beaming Xuanyuan Dao. Is this good news? I must hold back and show no emotion if I’m to play my role, she reminded herself. Even though she was no longer worried about her identity being exposed, she still had to keep up the act.
Slowly, she threaded her fine, slender fingers through the thick stack of reports. The contents were clear and without any embellishments, and Fang Taiqing had vouched for their truth. Tianming had killed Ye Bodhi, taken the treasures, and shaken the whole Nonahall Divine Realm.
"Now, news of this has been made public. Soon, the entire Flameyellow Continent will know about it. Worship for our imperial son will soon skyrocket. It should further secure our alliance with the other sects and raise our troops' morale," Fang Taiqing said. He seemed far more relaxed after receiving a fresh dose of hope during a time of despair. Fang Qingli, who didn't know what the news was yet, looked at him oddly.
By now, Feiling had finished reading it. She tried her best to control her shaky fingers and regulate her feelings so that she wouldn’t tear up. Big Brother....
Knowing that he was fine was the best news she had heard in a long time. She held her breath, trying her best to not lose control no matter how great the news. She was the goddess. She wouldn't react emotionally like that. Suppressing her turbulent feelings, she calmly looked at the three of them as she handed the reports to Fang Qingli.
After she finished reading them, her face was tense with disbelief. She read through them a few more times, eyes so wide open that her eyeballs seemed like they were about to pop out. "He killed Ye Bodhi...."
Ye Bodhi had made a deep impression on Fang Qingli. Back then, she used to have a disciple who was also a member of the Sterling House of Fang. During the last Number One Summit, that disciple had fought Ye Bodhi in the final round and was defeated in a single move, losing a lifebound beast in the process. Even though the beast was made into a lifebound spirit, the disciple killed himself from despair in the end. Back then, Ye Bodhi was already a nightmarish entity from Nonahall, yet Tianming had killed him ten years later!
Fang Qingli had to admit that her son was right no matter how hard this was to believe. She looked at him and saw the conviction in his eyes.
"Congratulations, Your Eminence! Congratulations to the imperial son as well! The imperial son indeed didn't disappoint Your Eminence's expectations! Not only did he survive and kill a terrifying foe, he even got his hands on treasure that can turn our entire predicament around!" said Xuanyuan Dao. He seemed to be in the best of moods.
"Treasures that can turn the tables?" Feiling turned to the three sect masters and said, "Heed my words."
"Yes!" they said in unison as they knelt on one knee.
"Make sure our informants pay extra care to the developments in the Kilostar Domain. I want the latest updates. Not to mention, gather our elites and make sure they're prepared. Whenever Bi— Tianming has any plans to leave the domain or gets in some kind of trouble, we have to spare no effort to rescue him. The treasures must be claimed at all costs! At the same time, make sure the other three sects have a force ready for Tianming's rescue as well. That way, they'll also get a share of the treasure we get our hands on."
She knew it was a risky move, but it was the only way she could ensure Tianming's safety. She didn't want to miss a chance to protect the one she loved again and helplessly remain in hiding in Soulburn Hall.
"Your Eminence, roughly how many of our elites do you want assigned to this task?" Fang Taiqing asked.
"I don't care, as long as Tianming is safely returned to us. If the tribulation manna and artifacts fall into enemy hands, our chances of winning will be diminished even further. Tianming has already done his part, so we must take this chance to do ours as well."
"Understood! We will discuss the details with the other three sects. They should have received news of that as well. The allure of the tribulation manna and artifacts is huge. I am sure they will also give us their best effort. However, if we take the initiative to attack, we might leave our sects open to surprise attacks that will result in even more losses to our side," Fang Taiqing reminded.
"It's a gamble we have to make." Feiling wanted to save Tianming too badly, so it wasn't a negotiation so much as an order. "Let's get our forces ready and continue to observe the developments in the Kilostar Domain. He might well be able to do more there. Our time to act will eventually come."
"Yes, Your Eminence. I will get to it immediately. Jian Wuyi and I will be leaving for the other sects, so we will be leaving Xuanyuan Dao to take charge of things here."
"No problem," Xuanyuan Dao said. He hadn't left the Pentadragon Seal Formation for some time, after all.
"If we avoid risk and take a step back, we may end up suffering even more losses down the line. We would rather fight to our deaths than surrender. We must let the enemy know of our might rather than fail our realm. There is only one ending for cowards, and this is our only chance to avoid it. We must march forward boldly, but also carefully." Given her age, it was already impressive enough for her to be able to say something like that before the three sect masters. Without Tianming, she didn't have any mental support. But she wouldn't let the slightest bit of hope slip away from her just like that just because she didn't manage to stand her ground.
"Your Eminence's words are wise. We are thankful for them."
The three set masters left Soulburn Hall.
"You should leave as well. I need a rest," Feiling told Fang Qingli.
"Yes, Your Eminence." She left with her head lowered, still holding the reports.
When she was gone, Feiling stepped down from the throne and entered her bedroom. The chilly wind ruffled her hair, revealing her blushing face and crystalline eyes. They were so clear and sharp that one could almost clearly see their depths. When she reached the entrance of her room, she finally couldn't hold it in any longer and broke down in tears, though she kept her smile in spite of them.
"Idiot... I can't keep crying like this or Big Brother will laugh at me when he gets back. If he returns...."
She hurried into her room, took out a wooden chest, and placed it on her desk as she sat down by it. Then she opened it with an audible click. There were a lot of paper cranes within them, all neatly arranged together and made with immaculate detail. She carefully counted each of them.
"There's exactly a thousand of them." Her lips curved into an alluring smile as her eyes faintly shook. "The nanny in the palace used to say that paper cranes carry the power of thoughts and emotions. If I miss someone, I should fold one each day, and by the thousandth, they’ll convey my feelings to the person I'm missing. I hope they’ll keep Big Brother safe, but I was too hasty and folded too many each day and finished a thousand within two weeks. If my nanny finds out about this, she'll definitely laugh at me. But if I ever get a chance to go back, I’ll tell her about it. It really works!"
She looked at the paper cranes, her gaze filled with wonder. They almost seemed alive to her, each one looking like a lively Ying Huo flying around Tianming's side and protecting him from the pursuit of countless elites until he returned to her side, safe and sound.
"You must come back. Even if it means that I can no longer keep up the act as goddess, I must save you." She tightly clenched her hands and tried to infuse the cranes with her hopes and prayers.
"Your Eminence," someone said from the entrance as she was about to pray.
Now, her face was covered in tears. She couldn't see anyone in this state, but she knew it was Fang Qingli even without looking.
"Didn't I ask you to leave?"
"My mistake, Your Eminence. I shall take my leave now."
"Wait." Feiling stood up and continued, "What is the matter?"
"It is nothing serious. Sect Master Fang Taiqing wanted to ask if it was okay if only the other two sects send their elites over, since those from Pentaphase are occupied with defending their territory."
"That is fine," Feiling said. With the front lines at the Pentaphase Divine Realm, any large troop movements would easily be spotted by the enemy.
"Understood. I shall take my leave now." Fang Qingli bowed and respectfully retreated.
When she was gone, Feiling put her paper cranes away. "You must stay safe."Previous Chapter Next Chapter