Ji Ning understood that this green-robed woman in front of him should be Princess Xiyue. From this first glance… Ning felt an inexplicable sense of familiarity and closeness towards her.
“My respects, Princess,” Ning said.
“Sit.” Princess Xiyue spoke out.
Only now did Ning take a seat.
Princess Xiyue, however, remained standing. She waved her arm, and a series of formation flags began to fly out, emanating a gray, rippling power. These nine formation flags penetrated into the wooden floor, and a series of ripples began to emanate from the formation flags, quickly covering the entire residence. A series of Dao-seals began to flow atop the surface of the residence, instantly and completely severing it from the outside world.
“Now no one can spy on our conversation,” Princess Xiyue said. “This is a magic treasure which Grandpa gave me; upon hiding within it and retracting one’s aura, even Celestial Immortals would find it difficult to detect you.”
“Princess, you are doing this because…?” Ning was puzzled. The Heavenly Treasures Mountain publicly proclaimed that they would never spy on the conversations of their customers. The Heavenly Treasures Mountain relied on the faith of its customers; unless they were willing to pay a truly high price for it, there was no way they would eavesdrop on the conversation of two guests.
Their sterling reputation had been built up over the course of countless years. The Heavenly Treasures Mountain wouldn’t dare act rashly in matters that would affect it.
“I have to be careful.” Princess Xiyue looked at Ning. Ning felt his heart clench; it seemed as though Princess Xiyue hadn’t just invited him for a simple meeting.
“Ji Ning, I ask you this.” Princess Xiyue looked at him. “Your mother was Yuchi Snow? You are a descendant of the Yuchi clan?”
Ning frowned. He wasn’t willing to discuss his mother with others. “Princess, the Youngflame clan is pursuing me because they believe me to be one of the surviving spawn of the Yuchi clan. Although this information is quite well hidden, for someone like you, Princess, it shouldn’t be too hard to acquire this type of report.” Ning was rather displeased.
Princess Xiyue, however, revealed a look of delight. She could already tell the truth from Ning’s reaction. She immediately said, “Actually, I found out about it long ago, and I even sent people to your West Prefecture City of Swallow Mountain to investigate. Only, I still couldn’t quite believe it, so I had to ask you myself.”
“Oh?” Ning, surprised and puzzled, asked her, “Princess, you sent people to Swallow Mountain to investigate? Dare I ask, why did you seek me out, Princess?”
She was so cautious, and her words gave no clues at all. What in the world was this princess up to?
“Ji Ning.” Princess Xiyue began to feel rather nervous. Looking at Ning, she said, “Actually, actually, I, I…”
Ning just looked at her.
“Actually… you are my little brother.” Princess Xiyue finally said the words.
“Little brother? My mother only had one son; me.” Ning immediately shook his head, refuting these words. However, in his heart, a different idea came to Ning’s mind… little brother? Could it be that this Princess Xiyue was the cousin which his mother had always been thinking about, the final successor to the Yuchi clan’s lineage? [1. Chinese lineages are patriarchal; because Ning’s lineage was through his mother, he is not a ‘real’ Yuchi clan member, and is considered a ‘Ji’ clan member. Xiyue’s lineage, however, is from her father, and so she is a ‘real’ Yuchi clan member. Alas, because there are no male Yuchi clan members left, technically speaking, she is the ‘final’ one of this line.]
“You are my younger cousin. I’m your older cousin.” Princess Xiyue said, “My father’s name… was Yuchi Mount!”
Ning was stunned.
Although this thought had flashed through his mind earlier… when Princess Xiyue said the words, Ning was still rather stunned.
“But… you are a princess. A princess of the imperial clan of the Grand Xia,” Ning said.
“King Yan is only my maternal grandfather; my mother was of the Xiamang clan, but I am a true heir of the Yuchi clan. My true name is Yuchi Xiyue.” Princess Xiyue looked at Ning.
Ning’s heart was in a state of chaos now. In the past, Ning’s uncle, Yuchi Mount, had given up his life in order to block the forces of Snowdragon Mountain and protect his pregnant little sister, Ning’s mother. He had been the strongest one of their group, but he had died. In doing so, he had allowed Ning’s parents, Ji Yichuan and Yuchi Snow, to escape with their lives. The bitter seeds sown in that year, however… had caused his parents to only live for a fairly brief period of time. Ning’s father had always felt guilt towards Ning’s uncle, and even more guilt towards his daughter, whom they had never seen before.
Strictly speaking… although Ning also carried the blood of the Yuchi clan in his veins, he was a child of the Ji clan! Only his older cousin… only she, and she alone, was a true member of the Yuchi clan!
“Your name is Yuchi Xiyue? Your father was Yuchi Mount?” Ning couldn’t even believe it.
“Yes.” Princess Xiyue nodded heavily.
“Princess… it’s not that I don’t want to believe you. However, this matter is of tremendous importance to me. We have to test our blood together.” Ning’s heart was filled with excitement as well. Actually, upon Princess Xiyue saying that she was the daughter of Ning’s uncle, Ning had already been mostly convinced. This was because… very, very few people knew about Ning’s uncle. As for the fact that Ning’s uncle had a daughter, even within the Ji clan, only Ning and his parents knew about it. His parents had already passed away. No one else could possibly know.
Ning himself had never before revealed this to anyone. And so, this Princess Xiyue who stood in front of him was indeed quite possibly his own cousin, who he had never seen before!
“Alright. Let me test our blood.” Princess Xiyue immediately slashed out with her fingernail, using it as the tip of a dagger to prick her own wrist.
Swish. Instantly, fresh, scarlet blood flicked out.
Ning stretched out his own wrist, using his own finger to cut it as well. After he cut his own wrist and the blood flew out, the wound on his wrist instantly healed.
Those two drops of blood flew towards each other in midair, forming into two small spheres of blood. These two spheres of blood swiveled around each other, and as they did, Ning executed a technique that would cause blood from the same lineage to resonate with each other. Instantly, golden runes began to flash atop the two spheres of blood. Whooooooosh. Slowly… strands of golden blood began to appear above the two spheres of blood.
The two strands of golden blood quickly began to ravel around each other, forming into one. There was no way to tell them apart now.
“It’s true!” Ning was stunned.
“It’s true. It’s true!” Princess Xiyue revealed a look of excitement and joy as well. Although she had engaged in deep, thorough investigations, those couldn’t compare to testing their blood lineage.
“Cousin…” Ning stared at Princess Xiyue, still in a shaken state. This news had simply arrived too quickly. He had truly been caught off-guard.
“Little brother. Little brother.” Princess Xiyue excitedly stretched her hands out, clutching at Ning’s own hands. Because she had mentally prepared herself over the course of the past year, she had been desiring to meet Ning this entire time. She simply hadn’t been able to find him.
“My cousin is Princess Xiyue? A princess of the imperial clan of the Grand Xia?” Ning still couldn’t believe this was happening.
Princess Xiyue let out a long sigh, then said, “What’s the point of being a princess? It’s all too late… Grandpa came too late. If he had come a bit earlier, then my father, my mother, and even Aunt… none of those tragedies would have occurred.”
“What happened? The exalted King Yan just allowed his own daughter and son-in-law to die, without even responding to it?” Ning couldn’t help but say these words.
“You don’t understand the situation back then.” Princess Xiyue said slowly, “Grandpa was of an extremely distant branch of the imperial clan of the Grand Xia. Even though he worked hard and trained to become a Void-level Earth Immortal, all he received was a few treasures from the imperial clan that were mandated by the rules. Every single person who became an Earth Immortal would be bestowed those treasures. That was it; just a few treasures. After that? They no longer paid any attention to my grandfather. His status within the imperial clan of the Grand Xia remained low.”
Ning nodded. He could understand. Just look at the Ji clan; the Ji clan had only been within the Swallow Mountain region for a comparatively short period of time, but the number of clansmen it had was truly astonishing.
The imperial clan of the Grand Xia had begun to establish itself as soon as this major world had been born. From then til now, countless, unfathomable numbers of eons had passed. The passage of so much time had caused the imperial clan of the Grand Xia to possess an utterly breathtaking population; just the number of people with the surname of Xiamang was beyond number.
As for Earth Immortals and Loose Immortals? Within the Black-White College, they might be major figures.
Within the Youngflame clan, they might be considered fairly powerful figures.
But within the imperial clan of the Grand Xia? They’d just be given a few treasures, and then let loose to live or die on their own merits. If they were to fail their tribulation and perish, the imperial clan of the Grand Xia wouldn’t even notice! Only those who succeeded in overcoming their tribulation… only then would they suddenly ascend to the heavens in status. The imperial clan of the Grand Xia would immediately bestow all sorts of treasures, estates, and guards to them, treating them with incomparable importance.
“My grandfather had average talent, and trained very slowly,” Princess Xiyue said slowly. “There are very few members of the imperial clan of the Grand Xia who are viewed as important. Grandpa wasn’t one of them… and so he went out to adventure, tempering himself between life and death, striving to encounter a major twist of fate. In fact, he even trained in some evil, demonic secret arts.
“Evil, demonic secret arts?” Ning was amazed.
“Right. When facing the Three Calamities and Nine Tribulations, he even activated his evil demonic arts to voluntarily draw more demonic mental attacks to himself, causing them to grow even stronger,” Princess Xiyue said. “The more powerful those demonic mental attacks, the more his own Dao-heart could be tempered and the stronger it would grow.”
“He’s an absolute madman.” Ning was utterly astonished now. The Three Calamities and Nine Tribulations… all Immortal cultivators were terrified of them and wanted to come up with ways to weaken them. But this King Yan actually came up with a method to cause the demonic mental attacks to become even more powerful, so as to temper himself? Yes, this did indeed have the effect of strengthening his Dao-heart, and it was astonishingly effective, but… if he failed, he would’ve died.
“Once, Grandpa was successfully enticed and seduced by the demonic mental attacks. That was incredibly dangerous,” Princess Xiyue said. “In fact, he completely transformed into a crazed demon, and he began to torture and rape women with wild abandon.”
Ning was secretly speechless. Be driven into an insane state during the Three Calamities and Nine Tribulations? That virtually guaranteed death. Many of the major demons and vile figures were born after having been driven into an insane state. They would die in their insanity, unless some sort of a miracle occurred, allowing them to reawaken from their crazed state.
“Afterwards, a miracle occurred and Grandpa came back to his senses. The process of entering an insane demonic state and then recovering was tremendously beneficial to Grandpa. Afterwards, he endured all sorts of trials and tests, and in the end he actually overcame the Celestial Tribulation, becoming a Celestial Immortal.” Princess Xiyue sighed with emotion. “After becoming a Celestial Immortal, he could sense those of his bloodline. He could sense that he had family still alive, and so he began to search. In the end… he found me.”
“My grandmother… she was one of the countless women who he raped in the past. After being raped, Grandma gave birth to Mother. Because this was an out-of-wedlock birth, they were all viewed with contempt by the other clansmen on our island. They shunned the two of them… and in the end, Grandma died in depression.”
“Then Father arrived on our island. He had grown weary of fleeing. He wanted to live permanently on this island. He wanted to take Mother as his wife, and continue the lineage of our Yuchi clan. Father and Mother joined together… and in the end, I was born.”
“Those were the happiest years of my life.”
“Father was an Immortal cultivator, and would often fly out of the island to other places. However, he would always come back very quickly. One day, Father said that his little sister and his brother-in-law wanted to leave the Darknorth Seas and return to the mainland. Father said that his little sister was pregnant and that he was worried about her, so he was going to personally escort them.”
“But… when Father left, he never returned. The life-tablet he left at home shattered. Mother couldn’t bear this mental blow, and filled with both grief and agony, she perished as well.”
“I lived by myself, there on that island. Afterwards… Grandpa came.”
“Grandpa had already become a Celestial Immortal by then, but he had no family members of his own. All of his closest family members had died. I was the only family member left, his one and only granddaughter.” Princess Xiyue continued to speak slowly.
As for Ning, he was silent.
The path of Immortal cultivation was a lonely one. Although King Yan was a member of the imperial clan of the Grand Xia, generally speaking, after five or six generations of separation, one couldn’t truly be described as ‘family’. King Yan’s parents and brothers had died long ago. As for family, only one was left; his one and only granddaughter.
“I came with Grandpa to the imperial capital. I investigate and discovered that our Yuchi clan had been annihilated by the Youngflame clan.” Hatred was in the eyes of Princess Xiyue. “From that day forward, I swore an oath that I, Yuchi Xiyue, would definitely take revenge. I would definitely destroy the Youngflame clan! And, I’m going to re-establish the Yuchi clan, fulfilling my father’s dream! This was what my father had always dreamed of… and I am definitely going to accomplish it!”