Once Long Chen returned home, he stayed by his parents’ side for the rest of his time. Now that he was about to leave, Long Chen treasured this remaining time all the more.
There was one time when Long Chen and Chu Yao went to visit the imperial palace to see Chu Feng who was just blankly lost in thought when they arrived.
“What, now that you’re about to become Emperor, have you been crushed by the pressure?” teased Long Chen.
Chu Feng was delighted to see the two of them come to visit him. “Brother Long, sister, how did you have time to come?”
“We came to see if this future Emperor was goofing off, and as expected, we weren’t disappointed,” laughed Chu Yao.
Chu Feng reddened slightly and somewhat unnaturally said, “The entire empire is in chaos now. That mess is now all my problem, and now I can’t even sleep well anymore.”
Long Chen saw that Chu Feng’s eyes were a bit redder than usual and knew that the pressure was getting to him. “The best skill of a leader is to know how to use your people. Otherwise, if you do everything personally, you’ll be drained to death. Since the beginning of the time, all smart rulers had a couple of skilled aides, while incapable rulers had disloyal officials. It’s up to you to see through the good and bad in others. You must be perceptive and have a heart that is not easily deceived. In order to control everything, there are times when you must be ruthless and merciless.”
Long Chen’s last words were said with such grim and serious intensity that Chu Yao and Chu Feng were both shaken.
“To be a ruler requires you to be ruthless. Not only must you be ruthless to others, but you must also be ruthless to yourself. Otherwise, it will be extremely difficult to maintain your position,” warned Long Chen solemnly.
“Long Chen, Phoenix Cry is already calm and at peace now. The Grand Xia that was watching Phoenix Cry like a tiger watches its prey has already become a complete mess of internal discord. Phoenix Cry won’t have any more enemies in the future, so why do you have to scare Chu Feng?” Chu Yao grumbled.
“Sister, brother Long is correct. To be a generation’s true ruler is to be ruthless to oneself. This generation of enemies has been swept clean by brother Long and uncle. But once this empire is passed onto my descendants, they will also have to face powerful enemies of their own. If I am not ruthless enough and simply rule lazily, I won’t set a good example to the next generation, and Phoenix Cry will begin to decline starting from me. By the time it reaches my grandchildren, the entire empire will probably collapse. Brother Long, I understand!” said Chu Feng.
“I feel like calling me brother Long isn’t the best appellation. If you address me as your sister’s husband, I will be much happier,” smiled Long Chen.
“Long Chen, you… scoundrel!” Chu Yao was innately someone sensitive and shy. She swatted Long Chen and ran off with a red face.
Once Chu Yao left, Long Chen turned to Chu Feng and said, “Your sister and I are about to leave Phoenix Cry. I came here in order to say farewell to you.”
Pain flickered in Chu Feng’s eyes. “I already know. My sister and I have relied on each other for our entire lives. We were forced to play the fool just in order to survive. But now that we are finally free, we have to part. I know my sister loves you very much. I also know you will treasure her as much as you treasure your own life. So I’m reassured.”
“Yup, don’t worry. I won’t let down Chu Yao,” swore Long Chen solemnly.
When Chu Yao and Long Chen were just leaving the palace, they ran into fatty Yu. He was wearing court robes that made him seem extremely stylish.
“Brother Long, I found you! We’ve prepared a feast to send you off!”
“How do you guys know about that?”Long Chen was stunned.
“Do you even need to ask? There’s not a single person in the capital who doesn’t know about it! Quick, let’s go! You can’t go back home until you’re completely drunk!”
Long Chen and Chu Yao arrived at the Heroic Assembly House. Shi Feng, Shou Hou, and all the others were already there. Once Long Chen arrived, they all stood up to greet him.
“Long Chen, are you really leaving?” Shi Feng was reluctant to part with him.
Long Chen nodded. “I want to go see that wider and vaster sky. Shi Feng, how about you come and take a look too?”
Shi Feng’s eyes brightened but that light faded quickly and he shook his head. “Ah, forget about it. With just my little capabilities, it’s not even close to enough.”
“How are you so modest today?” laughed Long Chen.
“Haha, brother Long, Shi Feng isn’t being modest. He’s just unwilling to leave the capital. He’s unwilling to part with a beauty,” explained Shou Hou.
“Long Chen, don’t listen to their nonsense.” Shi Feng actually turned red.
“Brother Long, Shi Feng is your brother in the sense of friendship, but now you’ll have another relation too!” laughed another person mysteriously.
“What relation?” Long Chen became increasingly curious.
“Hehe, in the future, you two will be brother-in-laws!” Fatty Yu laughed mischievously.
Long Chen and Chu Yao were both startled. They hadn’t heard anything about this before.
“Hehe, the crown prince has already played the matchmaker for the second princess and Shi Feng. In just a short while, Shi Feng will be able to bring a beauty back home.”
Long Chen and Chu Yao exchanged a glance. He could see the trace of astonishment and helplessness in the other’s eyes.
The first and second princesses weren’t on good terms with Chu Feng. But in order to pull in the talented Shi Feng, Chu Feng had used the second princess as a bargaining chip.
This was something that a ruler had to be able to do and was completely normal, but Chu Yao still felt a bit uncomfortable inside.
Long Chen tightly held her hand beneath the table. “Chu Feng understands how to protect himself. Isn’t this a good thing? We can leave reassured.”
Chu Yao nodded. Long Chen was right. If Chu Feng didn’t understand such tactics, she would be even more worried.
Chu Yao suddenly smiled and looked at Long Chen. “Long Chen, once I’m in the Skywood Palace, you have to promise to visit me often. You can’t let anyone else run off with me.”
Long Chen indignantly said, “Who dares run off with my woman? I’ll knock some sense into their heads. Let me see just who isn’t afraid!”
Although she knew he was purposely putting on an act for her, Chu Yao still laughed, her eyes filled with warmth.
Knowing that Long Chen was leaving soon, everyone drank as much alcohol as they could hold. Long Chen’s tolerance for alcohol was high, and in order to stay on the same level as everyone else, he drank directly from the jugs while they drank from the cups.
Everyone laughed heartily, also crying occasionally. Other than Shi Feng, everyone here had had a dreary past.
Now that Chu Feng was about to ascend the throne, these people who were friends with Long Chen were all favored and given illustrious statuses.
That was all bestowed upon them due to their relationship with Long Chen. They all knew that once Long Chen left this time, they might never see him again in their whole lives. Once they were drunk, they were even less capable of controlling their emotions. Tears and laughters intermingled.
Long Chen was also like that. Thinking back to his many years of bitterness and the still unknown future before him, all he could do was drink as much as possible.
He knew that in the future, he would step onto a path that he couldn’t return from. That path would be filled with blood. Perhaps he would never again have a chance to drink and forget his worries like this.
Only once everyone had collapsed, completely drunk, did Long Chen carefully bring Chu Yao back home, doddering and stumbling the entire way.
Over the next few days, Long Chen never left his home, just staying the whole time by his father and mother’s side. But on the seventh day, news came from Tu Fang’s side that they were prepared to leave.
They had finally figured out how to distribute the spirit stone mine’s resources as well as set up a couple of people to oversee the whole matter.
In order to avoid affecting Phoenix Cry’s ordinary operations, they would extract the ore as fast as possible. It was estimated that they would be able to finish mining within half a year. But as for how exactly the ore would be distributed, no outsiders knew.
But they were sure of one thing: the Bloodnet Sect that tried to secretly monopolize the spirit stone mine, thus violating their agreement and causing the others sects to become infuriated with them, would be unable to obtain anything from the spirit stone mine.
On the outskirts of the capital were enormous Magical Beasts lined up side by side. Their auras were terrifying, and each of their roars shook the sky.
Long Chen, Chu Yao, Wilde, and Little Snow were standing at the city gates, while Long Tianxiao and Mrs. Long were standing atop the city walls. Mrs. Long was tearfully waving goodbye to Long Chen.
Chu Feng was wearing imperial robes. A golden crown rested upon his head. That crown should have only been worn after the official coronation, but Chu Feng had said that he wanted his sister to see what he would look like as Emperor.
“Let’s go.” Hua Yu pulled away Chu Yao, bringing her atop a huge, bright sparrow. That bright sparrow spread its huge wings and flew high into the sky.
Chu Yao’s tears streamed down. She continued waving her hand to Chu Feng until her figure completely disappeared into the horizon.
The others all stepped atop their own mounts, leaving one by one. In the end, only Tu Fang’s Iron-Winged Arrogant Eagle remained.
Tu Fang looked at Little Snow behind Long Chen and nodded. “It really is unexpected that you have a Scarlet Flame Snow Wolf as a companion. Then I don’t have to be worried about you.”
Hearing him say that, Long Chen immediately sensed that something was off and said, “Little Snow still hasn’t matured and isn’t that heavy. Your mount can definitely carry all of us.”
Tu Fang shook his head. “First of all, although my mount is a third rank Magical Beast and can hold all of us, a Magical Beast will not let other Magical Beasts climb on top their backs. That violates their natural instinct.
“I am not a Beast Tamer and cannot completely enslave a Magical Beast. Thus, I cannot let your Magical Beast come up.
“Secondly, according to my Xuantian Monastery’s customs, any disciples who wish to take the test to join the monastery must cross the wilderness on their own and reach the Xuantian Monastery within a set amount of time. This is also a part of the test.”
Tu Fang saw that Long Chen’s expression was rather unsightly now and he hastily said, “You don’t have to be worried. There’s still more than a month’s time until the formal assessment. That’s more than enough time for you. Here is a map detailing how to get to the Xuantian Monastery.”
“So then the three of us will have to travel to the Xuantian Monastery on our own?” Long Chen couldn’t help but feel indignant. Then why had they had to wait for them to leave?
“Not three, but two. Wilde will go to the Xuantian Monastery with me. As for why, you already know.”
Long Chen cursed inside. This was a bit too unfair, wasn’t it?! But he could only endure it.
Only when the Magical Beast had taken off and was high in the air did Wilde suddenly ask, “Wait, why isn’t brother Long with us too?!”
Tu Fang, who was standing at the front of the Magical Beast’s back, stumbled and almost fell. He looked back at Wilde with a disbelieving expression, not able to say anything for a long time.
Seeing that Tu Fang had already flown away on the Magical Beast, Long Chen rubbed Little Snow’s head and bitterly laughed, “Looks like the two of us are just going to have to work for it.”
“Huh? You don’t want to lose to them? Then let’s compete!” Long Chen laughed and jumped atop Little Snow’s back. Little Snow roared and turned into a ray of snow-white light that charged towards the distance.
Long Chen turned to look back at those figures on the city gate who were becoming increasingly small. When they finally faded away, he promised with a voice choked with emotion, “Dad, mom, take care of yourselves. I will definitely return to see you again.”
At the same time, his heart was filled with a yearning for the future. Outer world, I’m finally coming. From now on, this world will now shake because of me, Long Chen!
Seeing Long Chen’s figure fade away, Mrs. Long fell into Long Tianxiao’s embrace and burst into tears.
“It’s okay, our child has grown up. It’s time for him to spread his wings and soar into the sky.” Long Tianxiao comforted his wife.
He knew that Long Chen’s path would be filled with thorns and calamities. But as long as he didn’t fall, he would definitely stand at the peak of the world one day.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
This is the end of Volume 1: Dragon Soars From the Shallows!
Hope you guys enjoyed it!