What Long Chen had never expected was that that final bit of information was the pill formula for the Alioth Pill. That naturally made him wild with joy.
The Alioth Star was the second star of the Nine Star Hegemon Body Art. It was located in the center of the right palm, the opposite location of the FengFu Star in the left foot.
In other words, Long Chen could now cultivate the Nine Star Hegemon Body Art’s second level. His FengFu Star had reached perfection now, giving Long Chen great confidence in himself.
If he could open up a second star, that would be equivalent to having two Dantians, allowing him to increase his speed even faster.
Just the single FengFu Star had already allowed Long Chen’s combat ability to soar. If he could also succeed in condensing the Alioth Star, then with the superposition of both stars, just how terrifying would his power become?
Thinking back to his dream and that powerful man who possessed the huge divine ring and the nine stars in his eyes, Long Chen’s heart wildly beat. Perhaps there would really come a day when he was also that strong.
“Wait, what?” Long Chen couldn’t help jumping in shock when he looked over the pill formula.
“Flame Lizard Horn, Ice-Cold Python essence blood, Qilin Fruit, Nine Flavor Kuding, Immortal Chrysanthemum…” Long Chen was shocked to find that the Alioth Pill’s formula required over thirty rare and precious medicinal ingredients.
Amongst them, the Qilin Fruit medicinal ingredient was the most difficult to find. It had practically become extinct in this world.
Even if he had somehow managed to luckily obtain a couple Qilin Fruits, that would still be nothing in comparison to the total amount he needed if he assumed an accordingly high consumption as he had required with the FengFu Star.
The flame of his excitement was immediately doused by icy water. This was something that was impossible to accomplish.
He then thought of something that absolutely chilled him.
The Nine Star Hegemon Body was a technique that had circulated down from ancient times. That meant that its pill formulas were based on medicinal ingredients from that time.
But in the current era, many of those ingredients had already become extinct. Just how was he supposed to find them?
Not only did he have to find them, he needed to collect an absolutely massive quantity of them. That was practically as difficult as ascending the heavens. It was too discouraging, enough to cause him to despair.
After just running into the second star, he had already run into this huge problem. Then what about the third or fourth star?
But then thinking about, Long Chen laughed, telling himself he had been too pessimistic. So what if Phoenix Cry didn’t have them? That didn’t mean there weren’t other places they did exist.
Although he didn’t want to admit it, both the Huayun Pavilion’s Bai Ling and that white-robed man had considered this to be an uncivilized land, the latter even considering him to be a frog at the bottom of a well.
Then why shouldn’t he go out to take a look into that vaster space? Furthermore, he also had to go see his future wife. After all, if too much time passed, perhaps she would forget about him. That would be tragic.
He also remembered the Pill Valley tablet grandmaster Yun Qi had given him. He truly wanted to know what that place which was considered a holy land in the hearts of pill cultivators was like.
If he could enter that holy land, then wouldn’t it be possible for him to easily obtain even more precious treasures that would make cultivating in the Nine Star Hegemon Body Art more doable? Then wouldn’t all his problems be easily resolved?
Thinking of all this, Long Chen couldn’t help feeling as if the clouds were finally parting and he could now see the clear, blue sky. His mood immediately became much more relaxed.
At this moment, the door to his room was slowly opened and a young woman quietly brought in a basin of fresh water for him. There was also a towel soaking in the water.
“Are you being this quiet to not wake me?” Long Chen couldn’t help laughing.
That graceful, pretty woman’s long hair flowed past her shoulders. She had clear, limpid eyes, and eyebrows like crescent moons. She was Phoenix Cry’s third princess, Chu Yao.
She shook and looked at Long Chen’s bed. Seeing the laughing and teasing Long Chen, her pretty face turned completely red.
“You’re up! I’ll wash your face.” Setting down the basin, she picked up the towel and twisted it a couple times before lightly walking over to Long Chen. Blushing, she gently and carefully wiped Long Chen’s face.
Smelling her faint fragrance and feeling her heartbeat, Long Chen felt a burst of warmth. He reached out his hands and tightly embraced her slender waist.
Chu Yao was immediately pulled in Long Chen’s embrace. Resting her head against his chest comfortably, her heart beat affectionately.
Feeling her lying in his embrace, Long Chen felt an unprecedented level of peace. Neither of them said anything, simply silently sensing the other’s heartbeat. All words were simply superfluous.
After an unknown time, Chu Yao reached out her hand and stroked Long Chen’s cheek. Roving her gaze over his face, she faintly said, “Long Chen, how about we stay like this for the rest of our lives? We’ll never have to part again.”
His heart jumped. Those words immediately caused him to think of a certain maiden. Although she wasn’t too beautiful, her bright eyes were filled with love.
“I just hope that when you look upon this necklace in the future, you’ll remember that there was once a girl… whose heart… yearned to go hunting with you… and make babies.”
Rubbing the necklace on his neck, Long Chen couldn’t stop himself from sighing. His thoughts landed on that small village. Just how was she now?
“What’s wrong?” Chu Yao sensed Long Chen was thinking about something else.
Long Chen told her everything from beginning to end. The chase from Marquis Ying, almost dying near some isolated cliffs, being saved by Xiao Hua.
“Long Chen, that Xiao Hua is just a kind and honest girl. Why would you reject her?” A feeling of intense pity filled Chu Yao’s heart when she heard the story of Xiao Hua.
She might be a princess, but she also knew that in this world where the strong were revered, men dominated most of the world. Having multiple wives and concubines was more common than not.
She had never thought to monopolize Long Chen’s love for herself. She couldn’t help feeling pity when hearing of his bitter encounter with Xiao Hua. But at the same time, she also began to feel some fear that the miserable situation with Xiao Hua would repeat itself with her.
Seeing Chu Yao’s expression change to become that of a frightened rabbit, he lightly kissed her on the forehead.
“Have you forgotten our promise to each other?”
Chu Yao’s eyes blurred as she once more remembered the Phoenix Cry Lantern Festival. She softly said:
“The Dragon swims across the four oceans; the Phoenix flies throughout the nine lands. Seas of blood may block us, but we will never give up our path; Dragon and Phoenix will both live to old age!”
“Long Chen, can we really grow old together?” Chu Yao didn’t know why, but she was filled with grief and distress after repeating their promise to each other.
“Of course. We will forever be together.” Long Chen gently rubbed Chu Yao’s cheek.
“But, but, I’m afraid I’ll end up the same as Xiao Hua.” Chu Yao’s tear streaked across her face, making Long Chen feel heartbroken.
“It won’t be the same. Xiao Hua had many things she wanted to protect. She couldn’t let go of her feelings towards the village. I am also the same; I also have something I must protect. That thing is you,” smiled Long Chen.
“Hey, who is a thing?” Chu Yao’s face reddened and she hit him lightly. Despite knowing Long Chen was joking, her face still reddened.
Long Chen laughed mischievously. Chu Yao’s feigned anger was extremely cute, letting him forget his melancholy.
The current Chu Yao was like a fairy freed from a curse. She no longer had to pretend to be someone other than who she was.
Her tenderness completely entranced Long Chen. Hugging her waist, Long Chen wished time would freeze forever at this moment.
But he knew that although the Long family’s crisis had finally been resolved, that didn’t mean everything was over. There were still many more things to do.
“Long Chen, who is Meng Qi?” suddenly asked Chu Yao.
Long Chen stumbled, not knowing how to reply for a moment.
“I… I don’t have any other meaning, I just want to know a little bit about big sister Meng Qi. I hope that in the future… we can get along well,” Chu Yao hastily explained when she saw that Long Chen was speechless.
Long Chen thought about it for a moment and immediately realized his mother had carelessly leaked this gossip, otherwise Chu Yao wouldn’t know about Meng Qi.
“Thank you.” Long Chen suddenly thanked her.
“Why are you thanking me?” Chu Yao was puzzled.
“As an empire’s princess, I really have made it hard on you.” Long Chen knew that for Chu Yao to call Meng Qi ‘big sister’ meant she was saying she was willing to not be the first, main wife. For a woman, that was definitely an extremely great sacrifice.
Chu Yao shook her head. “I don’t feel wronged. Actually, I feel quite blessed. I’ve always felt like I was under a curse to forever be a trapped little bird. It was you who changed everything for me. I don’t know why, but the very first time I saw you, I immediately felt a strange feeling. Now when I think back to it, I feel like it was perhaps simply fate.”
“Yes, it was fate. That was also the first time I was trussed up like a fish in a net and almost turned to paste.” Long Chen laughed.
“You… didn’t you also hit me back then! Scoundrel!” Chu Yao gently gave him a pinch, her face as red as a ripened apple.
Thinking back to the first time they had met, they looked at each other and suddenly laughed, tightly snuggling against each other.
Long Chen told Chu Yao everything that had happened with Meng Qi. He also told her about the matter of Meng Qi sending him a Scarlet Flame Snow Wolf
“Long Chen, you’re a good person.” After hearing him speak, Chu Yao gently caressed Long Chen’s cheek.
Since meeting Long Chen, Chu Yao had learned all about his past. She knew Long Chen had suffered much pain, much more than she ever had.
But even so, Long Chen still didn’t harbor the slightest grudge against Meng Qi for breaking off their engagement. He even went out of his way to consider what she wanted. In Chu Yao’s eyes, Long Chen was truly too kindhearted.
But no matter how thick Long Chen felt his face was, he couldn’t help turning flushed from that. That kindness hadn’t exactly been pure.
Back then he had only done it like that in hopes that Meng Qi would think better of him. Frankly speaking, that was just a high level technique to pick up girls. It was a perfect technique he had only used because he had realized Meng Qi was a truly kindhearted woman.
A beauty was now in his arms praising him because of his technique to pick up girls. Long Chen was too embarrassed to show his face.
But while everything was perfect with Chu Yao, he didn’t know just what he should do about Meng Qi. He had no idea whether it would be easy or difficult for her to fall for his charms.
Although Meng Qi was kindhearted, that didn’t mean she would accept having to share his love with another woman. There were some women who were highly opposed to that. Furthermore, even Long Chen himself wasn’t sure whether their relationship truly had any love or romance to it. That was because even up to this point, it had always been a one-sided love on his part.
Thinking of that, Long Chen once more felt a headache coming on. Having just resolved the Long family’s crisis, even more matters came up like a flood.
Suddenly footsteps rang outside, scaring Chu Yao from Long Chen’s embrace.
 玉衡 Yu Heng: The name of a star in the Big Dipper constellation, Epsilon Ursae Majoris, also known as Alioth. It is the brightest star in the Ursa Major constellation. The first character 玉 means jade and the second character 衡 means to weigh or balance.
 Kuding is a bitter type of tea.