Within the imperial palace’s garden, there was birdsong and fragrant flowers, rock gardens and flowing water, as well as small pavilions elegantly placed in various locations. The scenery was so beautiful it looked like the work of a god. This scene had a special kind of feeling to it.
“Long Chen, thank you!”
Xia Youluo was walking alongside Long Chen. Her face had recovered a bit of its past rosiness, and her eyes contained a particular expression now.
However, she no longer had her old mischievous and unruly air. It was as if in a single night, she had matured to the point where Long Chen wasn’t accustomed to it.
“There’s no need to thank me. After all, we are battle companions, and our accomplishments, whether it be fighting in the Four Nations Ancient Remnant or swindling wine in the Wine God Palace, are not things ordinary people can compare to.” Long Chen smiled.
Xia Youluo also smiled slightly. She thought of when she had first accompanied Long Chen to swindle wine from the Wine God Palace. That day, there had been crying and laughing, as well as fighting. Now thinking about it, she felt like it had been a lifetime ago.
“Long Chen, was I really dislikable back then?” sighed Xia Youluo sadly.
“What are you talking about? It’s not like you’re very likeable now either.” After saying this, Long Chen immediately felt things were different. According to Xia Youluo’s old character, she should have immediately flown into a rage and started beating him. But now, she simply lowered her head and didn’t say anything. He awkwardly said, “Girl, if you’re going to be like this, I won’t joke around with you any longer.”
Long Chen still preferred the previous naive and simple Xia Youluo. Although that Xia Youluo had been unruly, willful, and somewhat violent, those were her characteristics.
She was like a newborn baby, and whatever she did, she had no schemes or other intentions. Everything she did was instinctual.
But after experiencing what she had, it was like she had matured overnight. But by maturing, she was no longer the old Xia Youluo.
Maturity did not depend on age, but on experience. Only by experiencing pain would a person mature.
That was because they had no choice but to mature then. Now she knew her own responsibility and how she was supposed to bear it. Once a person matured, they naturally had to lose some things. Perhaps that was the price of maturity.
“Long Chen, can you still hold my hand as we walk?” Xia Youluo was a bit red, and her voice all quivered slightly, but there was hope in her eyes.
“How could I do such a thing? Do you think I’m the type to take advantage of others like that?”
Although that was what came out of Long Chen’s mouth, he had already taken hold of Xia Youluo’s hand.
Xia Youluo smiled. Feeling the warmth of Long Chen’s hand, she felt an unprecedented sense of peace.
Walking while holding Long Chen’s hand, she said, “Long Chen, you’re a good person.”
“Thank you, but you absolutely can’t say such a thing.” Long Chen shook his head.
“Why not?” asked Xia Youluo.
Long Chen looked up at the sky and worriedly said, “People who often say things that go against their conscience will be struck by lightning.”
Xia Youluo laughed and lightly hit him. “Don’t tease me. I’m being serious.”
“I’m also being serious. Do you not hear those people shouting at me to leave Grand Xia City? How could a good person be treated like that?”
Xia Youluo covered her mouth and chortled, “Don’t think I don’t know that you and brother Yunchong are up to mischief. Those people shouting are all your people. You’re just taking their money.”
“It’s not mischief. One side wants to beat others, while the other side wants to be beaten by others. Both sides are getting what they want. At most, this could be called cooperation. Yes, this is a mutually beneficial cooperation,” said Long Chen.
That righteous expression of his made Xia Youluo laugh once more. Her face was rosy, and a faint sheen covered her nose. Combined with her laughter, it was a picture of lively vitality. This appearance couldn’t be called peerless beauty, but it was extremely infectious, enough to make anyone feel like smiling.
“You should know that this wasn’t your fault. There’s no need to take all the blame for it. If you want to blame someone wrongly, you can blame me instead. But then it wouldn’t be wrong.” Long Chen smiled.
It could be said that Long Chen was partially at fault. The Pill Tower, ancient races, and Bloodkill Hall all wanted to kill him. This scheme had been to target him.
“My father already told me everything. Only then did I realize he loves me. And my brothers, my mother, they all love me, but my own willfulness blinded me, making it so I couldn’t see that. I was full of resentment and dissatisfaction with reality. So I felt like the scenery on the other shore would be much more beautiful, without any flaws, and so I willingly sank into other people’s lies. Long Chen, tell me, don’t you think I’m very foolish?” asked Xia Youluo.
“Can I not answer? I don’t want to be beaten,” said Long Chen worriedly.
“You… you’re asking for a beating!” Xia Youluo hit Long Chen.
“I just knew this would happen. In truth, I don’t feel like you’re that bad, or that foolish- Hey, don’t hit me. I’m telling the truth. In truth, it was because of your innate pure heart and your father… he pampered you.”
In truth, Xia Yuyang hadn’t particularly pampered her. But he had known that there would be a tribulation in her life that she couldn’t escape. It was fated.
So he hadn’t been willing to scold or beat her. Even when Xia Youluo went too far sometimes, thinking of her fate, he hadn’t been willing to punish her.
The Grand Xia’s fortune-telling arts with their dragon vein were extremely powerful. Those arts could be traced back to an extremely ancient era. Although they couldn’t be compared to Heavenly Fate Island’s fortune-telling arts, they practically never made a mistake when it came to the Xia family’s fortune.
But because of Long Chen’s arrival, those calculations had grown muddled. Even the Grand Xia’s fate had become covered in mist, and it was impossible to calculate anything even with the dragon vein.
“So what happened is also partially your father’s fault. What shape a tree grows into is definitely dependent on the gardener. There’s a good proverb: a person should suffer as soon as possible. The earlier a person suffers, the more it will temper their will. Grass that grows in the wild has to endure the tempering of wind and frost as soon as it’s born. The reaping of blades, the trampling of horses, it goes through cycles of growth and decline in order to survive. But a flower raised in the imperial greenhouses for eighteen years will wither upon a single night’s frost.
“As for you, you were sheltered from a young age, then you suddenly encountered such a huge setback. Let alone you, even I probably wouldn’t have been able to bear such a thing. So don’t think that you’re to blame. Who wouldn’t have made the same mistake? Experts have to learn through their mistakes and grow through their struggles.”
Xia Youluo knew Long Chen was saying that her suicide was the act of a weak person trying to skirt responsibility. Suicide only passed on the pain and sorrow to others. That was the least responsible way to act.
Before her suicide, she felt like she had let down her big brother, she felt herself to be foolish, and she felt like she had caused the deaths of so many warriors of the Grand Xia. She had thought that only her death could wash away this stain on the Grand Xia.
But once she woke up, she realized how foolish she had been. She began to blame herself even more, but now she was also full of warmth and emotion. She knew that everyone around her loved her.
After speaking with Long Chen, she felt much better. She grew cheerful once more. “Long Chen, how do you know so much? I feel like a child in comparison.”
Although Long Chen was only a few years older than her, he was much, much more mature. She wished she also had the same ability as him.
“Isn’t it because I had no choice?” sighed Long Chen.
Martial strength wasn’t the only requirement to live happily. A person needed to be skilled in all kinds of areas to be able to resolve various problems. Long Chen sometimes felt the heavens were forcing him to become skilled in every area.
“Long Chen, can you tell me some of your stories?” asked Xia Youluo eagerly.
“What’s the point of such immoral stories? There’s no brilliance to my stories at all. Let’s go to the Wine God Palace instead.” Long Chen didn’t want to talk about himself. He felt like his cultivation path was nothing more than a rain of blood.
Since the knot in Xia Youluo’s heart had already been undone, he pulled her toward the Wine God Palace. He had learned that some of the Wine God Palace’s disciples had already finished making new medicinal wines with his formulas, while others were still in the testing phase.
Every few days, there would be a disciple who succeeded. Under the glorified pretense of appraising their wares, he would drink and take all they had. Then, he would point out a few flaws, causing those disciples to almost view him like a god. Other than the High Priest, he was the one they revered the most.
Once the two of them left the imperial palace, midway, they heard a group of over a million people shouting their slogan:
“Long Chen, scram from Grand Xia City!”
“Long Chen, scram from Grand Xia City!”
“Long Chen, scram from Grand Xia City!”
Xia Youluo’s expression changed. This phrase was irritating, and she icily stared at those people.
Those people also sensed something was wrong. They gradually quieted until they were silent, looking awkwardly at Long Chen.
“Don’t stop shouting. After taking their money, you have to do your work. Otherwise, if we were to take their money and not do what we were paid to do, it would harm the prestige of the Grand Xia’s people!” called out Long Chen.
Long Chen didn’t mind. If they wanted to shout, then fine. He would just chop off some more of their fat. As long as their cursing didn’t target his reverse scale, it was fine.
“Ah, that’s right, the money! It’s about time for us to go back and raise the price! Let’s go!” cried out one of them suddenly.
As a result, this group of over a million people surged out of the city like an angry dragon, instantly disappearing. Even Long Chen was struck dumb.
Xia Youluo was laughing, holding Long Chen’s waist to keep herself standing. The people paying for all this were probably going insane.
It seemed the wages of those shouters had already risen over ten times. The price for a million of them had to be frightening.
Long Chen was calm toward this. Everything was within Xia Yunchong’s control. After all, was this supposed to be a joke? This was his home, his domain. If the other side intentionally came to do business, who else would he con?
Long Chen and Xia Youluo arrived at the Wine God Palace. The days passed very contentedly. Those sects sucking up to the Pill Tower were feeling the pain of paying this price. Even dozens of them were unable to bear such high expenditure. In the end, the Pill Tower sent out orders that there was no need to continue shouting. They were gathering hundreds of experts from their sects to speak with the Grand Xia’s emperor.
But at this time, a piece of news spread, dumbfounding the Pill Tower completely.Previous Chapter Next Chapter