The Imperial Forest was actually a connected mountain range, where the ridge lines criss-crossed in haphazard fashion. Compared to the Bipo Mountain Range, it was hundreds of times larger.
Shrouded in immortal fog, the Imperial Forest also had many immortal essences, and many Yan Huang Tribe martial cultivators cultivated in seclusion there. There were even some demons who hid in the valleys.
There were usually quite a few people in the Imperial Forest. Because of the 10,000 Kingdoms Pilgrimage, many were outside watching the festivities, so the Imperial Forest was a little emptier than usual.
The Ancient Soul Tower battle had just ended, and the next day was Emperor Yu's coronation - A series of major events that definitely livened the place up. Therefore, when Wu Yu entered the Imperial Forest, he found it practically deserted.
The ghostly cultivators, demons, and other martial cultivators from all over the Jambu Realm were probably still in the City of 10,000 Kingdoms, discussing Wu Yu, and not wandering about the Immortal's Capital.
For many of the non-Yan Huang Tribe members, the Yan Huang Tribe's choice of Wu Yu as the new emperor was no good news for them.
There were those that were fairly happy. For example, the Dark North Kingdom. Given the relationship between Wu Yu and Princess You Xue, the next generation would probably see a good relationship between the Dark North Tribe and the Yan Huang Tribe. Because of her connection with Wu Yu, Princess You Xue had become the hot favorite as the next Dark North emperor.
She had already reached the Dao Querying Realm. At her age, the other princes and princesses could not compare.
Some celebrated, others commiserated.
Wu Yu entered the misty and desolate Imperial Forest.
"Why would she meet me here?" Suspicious, Wu Yu made his way deep into the Imperial Forest with speed. He was very quickly surrounded by endless mountains and trees.
"She didn't even say where...." The Imperial Forest was vast, so it was indeed difficult to find her.
Just as he was about to ask, he again received a tail talisman, which read: "Head east. I am at Maple Leaf Valley."
Wu Yu immediately headed east upon receiving it. He had never been to Maple Leaf Valley, but it should not be difficult to find.
"Hey, if she told me to head east, that means she knows my position. How could she know that?"
This seemed a little strange.
Too many odd things were occurring recently.
He continued to head east, and looked down from above. He saw an orange-red valley, filled with maple trees. It stood out amidst the clouds.
Wu Yu descended rapidly. His Eyes of Fire and Gold saw through the clouds and swept the valley once. He very quickly found the only life form there, which was Nangong Wei, Princess Phoenix Dawn.
Maple Leaf Valley was considered a rather deep area in Maple Leaf Valley, and would not see much traffic usually.
Wu Yu had no idea why she had him come here.
Of course, this was the Immortal's Capital, the territory of the Yan Huang Ancient Emperor. Wu Yu did not feel that her backer, the Phoenix Supreme, would dare to do anything here.
This was probably Nangong Wei's own idea. Perhaps she just wanted to find a more deserted place.
Maple Leaf Valley was covered in auburn maple leaves. The orange world was beautiful. A stream flowed through it, clear enough that the stream bed could be seen. There were many large boulders in the river that had been polished to a smooth finish by the running water.
In this maple-leaf filled world, on a large stone, there sat a girl with black, waist-length hair and pale skin, in fire-red robes. Her crimson skirt parted to reveal two luscious thighs. Her feet were dipped daintily in the water.
This Nangong Wei made Wu Yu recall the old times, when she was in her teens and Wu Yu had just met her.
Maple leaves, running water, a young girl in red.
This scene brought back many memories. Wu Yu's breath was taken away for just a moment. It was beautiful, a vivid beauty with vitality.
Nangong Wei very quickly spotted him. She was swinging her little legs as she sat on the rock. Wu Yu was already below the rock, and she looked down at him with a neutral expression. "Your status is different now. You're about to become Emperor Yu. Not just the Yan Huang Ancient Country, the entire Jambu Realm will recognize your absolute authority. I thought that you would ignore an insignificant audience like me."
Wu Yu looked up at her. "The great Princess Phoenix Dawn herself. How would she be insignificant? If the Princess wished to see me, I would naturally ride horses to their death to get there."
Nangong Wei rolled her eyes at him. "Enough. ‘Princess’ does not fall naturally from your lips. A far cry from your title of Emperor Yu. Your destiny really changed today. From mortal birth to the son of the Ancient Emperor. The world envies you, and I congratulate you. Not just ascending to become Emperor Yu, but you hooked the Lord of the Four Seas as well. You made it in life, and made it in love. Congratulations, congratulations."
She did not speak neutrally, but resentfully, with a sour tone. However, she had not hidden that, but said it out directly. Which meant that she had thought some things through.
"Did you wish to meet me today to congratulate me?” Wu Yu's eyes met her own.
Nangong Wei cocked her head, breaking eye contact to look at the flowing river. "That's right. And I'm done with congratulations. From now on, we walk our separate ways. You and I are not at all connected anymore. You can go away now. Go away...."
The more she spoke, the more unstable she seemed, until her voice went raspy. Finally, she regained her composure, holding a smile as she faced Wu Yu, indicating that he could go.
Wu Yu sighed.
The Dong Sheng Divine Continent was over. But to meet here again was some sort of strange fate.
She was still not happy, but before Wu Yu, she put up a stubborn front. She wanted to sit on this rock, and look down on Wu Yu. She did not want to show any weakness. Perhaps she wanted Wu Yu to remember her as she was, smiling, and that none of it mattered to her.
Wu Yu did not leave. He thought for a long while, and was silent for a long while.
Finally, he again met the smiling Nangong Wei's eyes, then he looked towards the pattering flow of the stream. He opened cautiously, "No matter what, you should give an account of yourself to the Mizar Sword Immortal. He raised you. How can you make him worry about you every day?"
Wu Yu knew that she had definitely recalled the Dong Sheng Divine Continent. Or perhaps she had never forgotten from the start. She was just acting for Wu Yu. Or perhaps she did not want Wu Yu to know that she knew.
When Wu Yu said this, Nangong Wei hesitated for two breaths of time.
She knew that Wu Yu knew.
But she was not surprised. She maintained her smile, saying, "That’s none of your business. That's my daddy, I already told him I'm safe."
"I see. That's good, then." Wu Yu nodded.
And then he looked at her, still smiling at him. "Anything else to say? All settled, then? We won't see each other again anyway."
It seemed like she was saying farewell.
Perhaps she felt that she should back away. Wu Yu had not needed her by his side for a very long time. He had become Emperor Yu, and had an immortal, the Lord of the Four Seas, to be his companion.
She was not inferior to any woman in this world, save Luo Pin.
She could see that Wu Yu and Luo Pin looked at each other in a special way.
Wu Yu indeed still had many questions. Since she had asked, then he would not hold back.
His gaze did not waver. Nangong Wei continued to smile and meet his gaze in an electric clash. She no longer wanted to hide from his stare.
Wu Yu looked at her and asked, "The fifth platform in the Heavenly Demon Imperial Residence. That person was you, right? I now know it was no illusion."
From the start, Wu Yu had used the Full Moon of Nanshan's own report to infer that that Nangong Wei was fake. And given this current situation, he had to second guess this.
At that time, she had taken off her clothes and asked him if it had still been possible. Wu Yu remembered that scene all too clearly. He had been very shaken but dismissed it after learning that it was an illusion. But if it was truly her....
Nangong Wei replied with no hesitation, "That's right. It was me. What can you do about it? I've already regretted it. I swore to never be so imbecilic or desperate again in this life. Of course, neither do you. So you can forget it all."
This was unexpected. Her flaming eyes were locked dead on Wu Yu. Perhaps there were tears, but they very quickly evaporated. Such a stubborn look intimidated Wu Yu a little.
He had thought she would prevaricate, but she had admitted it.
"Alright. So, is this your work? What does it do? How do I remove it?"
He showed the phoenix insignia on his neck.
Luo Pin had seen it as well. A clear mark of the phoenix, that had to be related to Nangong Wei. But she had noted it without speaking of it. That was Luo Pin's nature, and her presence of mind.
Seeing the mark on his neck, Nangong Wei started and then clenched her teeth. "The last thing I regret. If I could go back in time, I would not do such a stupid thing."
"Elaborate," Wu Yu said.
Nangong Wei's eyes wavered a little. It was painful for her to smile, but she forced it anyway. "That is the Eternal Phoenix Brand. It is a secret technique of the eternal phoenixes. It can only be used once in a lifetime, so it will only be removed with your death. But don't worry. It doesn't compromise you in any way. The only use is that I will know your location. But I swear from this moment never to use it to find you."
No wonder she had found him easily in the second level of the Ancient Soul Tower. No wonder she could tell him to head east.
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