Chapter 990 - Jie

When Tianming spotted him, the man walked toward Yuehe and supported her as she walked away.

"Ah, I haven't seen Brother Jie for a long time. He looks as good as ever," Huiye Shi said dreamily. Winking, she turned to Tianming and said, "Before I got to know you, I was his number one fangirl! My biggest dream was to get married to him!"

"Jie?" That seemed to be the youth's name.

"That's right. He’s Granny Yuehe's grandson. Not only is he a hexabane, he also has the rare Bloodmoon Talent, making him basically akin to having six-and-a-half bane-rings, only one half fewer than Sovereign Xi!"

"Is he really powerful?" Based on his instinct, the youth did feel really impressive.

"Of course! He became an ascendant long ago. Now he's only in his forties, but he's already reached the Quadseal Sky level. Some say he may even be at Pentarcanic Sky! Huiyue Yu can't possibly compare to him. It's said his talent should be among the top three of all youths in the Divine Moon Realm. Not to mention he's quite the looker, too."

"Pentarcanic Sky, huh? Not bad." Given the man's current age, he should have been around Tianming's level in his twenties. Traversing through the Ascension stage was akin to attempting to ascend to the heavens. The common saying of a task being as difficult as trying to scale the heavens was related to the difficulty in advancing during the Ascension stage.

While Huiyue Yu was at the first level now, he might not even reach the third level by the time he was Jie's age. Tianming got a grasp on what counted as a true genius after seeing Jie. They were far more powerful than what anyone on the Flameyellow Continent could possibly imagine. Even so, it definitely wouldn't compare to the celestial orderians, who had access to nova source.

......

The soft night breeze carried the fragrance of flowers and tea through the courtyard. Yuehe was lying in her reclining chair with her eyes closed, enjoying the breeze's gentle brush. Beside her was the red-eyed youth, currently making tea.

Moon tea was a specialty of the Divine Moon Realm. It could nourish the body and extend lifespan to an extent. No doubt it would be treated like precious treasure on the Flameyellow Continent. For the divine moonrace that was fussy about all things refined, premium moon tea was a necessary component to supplement the night's ambience.

After the youth was done brewing the tea, he handed it to Yuehe. "Granny, please enjoy your tea."

The old woman took a light sip and turned to look at the youth. "What's on your mind, child? Tell me."

"Granny, I’ll be fifty in a year." The red dots under his eyes seemed to shine bloodily in the night, making him look even eerier.

"I know. I’ve been counting," she said as she stroked his head gently.

"By then, I’ll be sent to live at Xi Palace and won't be able to see you any longer."

"Do you not wish for that to be the case?"

"I don't. It isn’t my desire to go to Divine Moon Skycity."

"Being able to serve Sovereign Xi is something most people can only dream of, you know."

"But I'll lose my freedom and self. I'll be reduced to nothing but a servant, a plaything. In the past few centuries, many have been sent to Xi Palace. They can never leave and have to stay deep within its confines all their lives."

"I'm sure all that's just an excuse. The truth is, you've fallen for someone, right?"

"I have indeed."

"How could any girl possibly compare to Sovereign Xi? You've seen her before. She's the most beautiful woman in the Divine Moon Realm. Even her age doesn't taint her beauty. Even now, countless people are mesmerized by the sight of her visage. Is the one you fancy remotely comparable? Even with her many partners, just being able to spend a single night with her would be paradise."

"Sovereign Xi... is indeed beautiful, while the person I like is normal, exceedingly so. Yet I want to spend my life with her. I want to serve Huiyue City. I want to have my own life, not serve someone else with it."

"I understand how you feel. However, the Huiyue Clan has no way to refuse Sovereign Xi's will. Do you understand?" Yuehe said with a sigh.

"I do. But everyone knows this, right? The divine moonrace from other branches, and even genius humans of other races that she takes in all eventually turn dull and boring. Some even develop mental afflictions and waste away until nothing more is heard of them. They’re as good as dead. Who knows what Sovereign Xi did to them? I feel like this is a ploy to cull potential from everyone else to make sure that their branch alone is powerful! I heard an uncle of mine, your most talented son, went to the sovereign. Did you ever get to see him again? Do you even know if he's still alive? Is Sovereign Xi truly a sovereign, or is she a demon in disguise?" he said passionately.

"Nonsense. Make sure you don't utter these words to anyone but me. It’ll only bring trouble, understand?" The mention of his uncle brought back old wounds in her.

"Yes." He closed his eyes. "Granny, in the past two centuries, all the male geniuses that stick out and have six or more bane-rings can't escape fate's judgment, right?"

"Yes. This is the reality we have to live with," she said melancholically.

"But today, I think I figured out a way to change my fate."

"What is it?"

"Someone who's only seventeen, but managed to defeat an ascendant and also looks decent. Doesn't this youth show much more promise than I?"

"Are you talking about Li Tianming?"

"Yes. I heard that Sovereign Xi also loves the rootbeast race a lot. She's sick of young divine moonrace men."

"That is indeed the case. She has proclaimed that she wants a genius from the rootbeast race. Her past hundred concubines have all been from the divine moonrace."

"Not to mention, he’s far too young. We all know that Sovereign Xi likes them as young as they come. Seventeen sounds like an age of innocence and purity. We can give it our all to nurture him and spread word of his miraculous feats to draw her attention. Then I'll find a chance to ruin one of my totems so that I'll be considered a pentabane. That way it won't be too obvious, right? She'll have the perfect replacement for me, too."

Yuehe pondered in silence.

"Granny, I don't wish for a life like that. I'm terrified. Please, save me," the youth said as he kowtowed.

Yuehe breathed a deep sigh.

"Granny—"

"Your plan is sound. It's too bad that Li Tianming is rather young, and the talent he shows is really odd. It's hard to judge his full potential. If he can defeat you and even be the one to destroy one of your totems to make you a pentabane, that would seal the deal. Otherwise, Sovereign Xi will see through all of it. If that causes her to turn her wrath on the Huiyue Clan, we’ll be in deep trouble."

"It'll be fine! He still has time, so let him try! I might not even need to be defeated as long as he can show overwhelming talent, right? If Sovereign Xi really does fall for him, I might not even need to cripple myself, right?"

"Let me talk about this with your father."

"Please do!" He clutched the old woman's hands tightly. The only reason everyone told him that earning the sovereign's attention was the best thing that could happen to him was because they didn't dare to say that he would be in for an eternal nightmare. Even his father didn't dare to mention it and had to maintain the facade of this being a blessing. After all, if he was the slightest bit unhappy or unwilling to enter the palace, someone had to pay the price.

"Granny, I want to provoke Li Tianming," Huiyue Jie said.

"Why?"

"To make preparations, so that he can one day destroy one of my bane-rings and crush my genius. That is how I'll be liberated from unending suffering," he said with a heavy look.

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