Blue Wind Imperial City, heart of the Imperial Palace.
Lan Xueruo walked with hurried footsteps, passed through the heavy guard, and headed straight for the emperor’s chambers. All of the imperial guards along the way saluted one after the other.
“Princess Cang Yue, you’ve returned. The emperor has been reminiscing about you these past few days.” At the doors to the emperor’s chambers, a middle-aged eunuch bowed as he welcomed her, “Do you require me to announce your arrival?”
“No need.” Lan Xueruo shook her head and walked directly into the emperor’s chambers.
Cang Wanhe, Blue Wind Empire’s ninety-ninth generation emperor, presided over the land under the heavens, with a prestige that shook the four oceans. He would be fifty-six years old this year; when living in the imperial palace without a worry, at this age, a king should not exhibit signs of aging, but Cang Wanhe was quietly lying on a bed with a dazed expression. Even his gaze was dull and without spirit, and he looked almost like a seventy- or eighty-year-old past his prime.
“Your Majesty, Princess Cang Yue has returned!” His personal eunuch entered with light footsteps, and reported with a happy expression.
Hearing this, Cang Wanhe’s lifeless face revealed a shred of eagerness. His upper body moved, and he stood up with difficulty, “Quick, quickly let her enter.”
Right after he spoke, Lan Xueruo entered. Seeing the enthusiasm in Cang Wanhe’s clearly aged face and gaze, her heart clenched. With quick steps forward, she knelt with both knees in front of Cang Wanhe, “Royal father, your daughter has been unfilial, and has not visited you in a long time.”
“It’s good that you came back, it’s good that you came back, ah.” Cang Wanhe cheerfully nodded. At the moment, his face didn’t have the slightest degree of a monarch’s imposing aura, and only had the love that a normal father expresses towards his beloved daughter, “Get up quickly. It has already been three months since you last returned from New Moon City; during this time We couldn’t eat or sleep well in fear that something might’ve happened to you. Haha, it is good that nothing happened.”
“This time your daughter encountered something trivial, delayed a bit, and has worried royal father.” Lan Xueruo stood up, looked at her father’s appearance, and suddenly revealed a painful look: “Royal father, your condition…. Why does it seem more serious? With Master Gu personally attending to your illness, how could it be like this?”
“Cough cough….” Cang Wanhe wanted to speak, but went into a fit of violent coughs. He gasped a couple of breaths, and answered with a hoarse voice, “Perhaps, We really have become old. Even though this illness is serious, with Master Gu, it still won’t take Our life immediately, but We will die of anger sooner or later because of those unfilial sons… Cough cough, cough cough cough cough….”
After saying those two sentences, Cang Wanhe once again suffered from a painful fit of coughs. Lan Xueruo stepped forward at once and lightly patted his back.
At this time, the eunuch’s voice came from outside the door, “Reporting to my emperor, the crown prince wishes to seek an audience.”
Cang Wanhe’s body stiffened, and Lan Xueruo’s face also turned ugly. Subsequently, a thunderous roar came from Cang Wanhe’s mouth, “Tell him to get lost! We do not wish to see him!”
“Aiyah, what has made royal father so angry. Royal father is currently sick, you must take care of your body and avoid getting angry.”
Along with the echo of the lazy voice, an almost thirty year old youthful man adorned in an attire full of gold patterns, who had both hands behind his back, walked into the room. As soon as he saw Lan Xueruo, he squinted his eyes as he laughed, “My beloved royal sister, just a moment ago I heard from the servants that you had returned, so how could I not immediately rush back. I haven’t seen you for only a couple of months, but I have missed you dearly.”
“You unfilial son, who allowed you enter. Get lost right now!” Cang Wanhe roared furiously while pointing a trembling finger.
“Royal father, please don’t get angry. Be careful not to injure your body, your son only worries about royal father’s illness, so your son specifically came to visit. If royal father doesn’t like my presence, your son will leave immediately.” Prince Cang Lin said while laughing. That lazy expression wasn’t afraid of the emperor’s rage in the slightest, and even more had no respect or fear for consequence.
“Visit?” Cang Wanhe laughed coldly, “Coming to see whether or not We have suddenly died in bed? Let us tell you, as long as We still have a breath of life, don’t even think about getting the title of emperor! And don’t even hope that We will decree the transfer of the title! Get lost right now!”
“Royal father, why must you be so stubborn.” Prince Cang Lin frowned, “What type of existence is the Xiao Sect? Now that I have obtained Xiao Sect’s full support, as long as I ascend the throne, the Xiao Sect will be used by me, and our Blue Wind Imperial Family would only become more prosperous with power that could shake the world….”
“Shut up…. Cough cough, cough cough cough cough….” Cang Wanhe was so angry that his entire face turned red. His chest violently heaved up and down, “The Xiao Sect has lusted after the power of the Blue Wind Imperial Family for very long, but you unfilial sons actually have the nerve to lead the wolf into the house … even if you become the emperor, the thousand year legacy of Our Blue Wind Imperial Family, will lose everything but our name, and we will become their puppet! We have boasted a legendary reputation of martial might, but We have actually raised such a group of unfilial sons! Get lost! Get lost immediately!”
Lan Xueruo also became extremely angry, and tightly clenched both fists. She couldn’t hold back her anger any longer, and said angrily: “Didn’t you hear what royal father said! Get out right now! Royal father and I do not wish to see you again!”
“Tut tut, why must you be like this.” Cang Lin shook his head slightly, then grinned while saying, “Royal father, you have already been the emperor for many years; you ought to give it up. Even if you are unwilling, sooner or later it will fall into my hands. So what if my beloved royal brother Cang Shuo has become affiliated with the Burning Heaven Clan? In my eyes, he was never a contender… My beloved royal sister, I’ve heard that these two years you haven’t stayed at the Blue Wind Profound Palace, but rather, you’ve run around outside. Could it be you are urgently looking for a spouse? I, your royal brother, have plenty of young and talented men. Do I need to request a meeting for royal sister?”
“Out!” Lan Xueruo clenched her teeth as the rage in her heart reached its boiling point.
“Hahahaha! Then your son will leave.” Cang Lin let loose a fit of wild laughter, and casually strolled out with both hands behind his back.
“This group of unfilial sons…. unfilial sons!!” Cang Wanhe entire face was red with anger as he shook from head to toe.
“Royal father, they have already gone mad, they are not worth getting angry over. Your body is more important.” Lan Xueruo patted her father’s back whilst trying very hard to quell the rage in her heart.
After being silent for quite a while, Cang Wanhe finally seemed to calm down. He laughed bleakly and said, “Up until now, We have always thought that We had always been raising seven tiger cubs. To think that Our seven sons… were actually a group of wolves. It is fortunate that the heavens took pity on me, and let Us have you for a daughter. It is too bad that you are a girl, otherwise, We would directly bequeath you the title of Emperor… But if We really did this, it would burden you… Cang Lin and Cang Shuo, these two unfilial sons; one is colluding with the Xiao Sect, one is colluding with the Burning Heaven Clan. Ah… no matter which one eventually succeeds, our Blue Wind Imperial Family will become their puppets… The heavens are without eyes, the heavens are without eyes, haah.”
“Royal father, you do not need to be too worried. I will definitely use my all stop them.” Lan Xueruo bit her lips, and a faint layer of water could be seen from both eyes.
Cang Wanhe laughed while shaking his head, “These seven unfilial sons are split into two factions, and the authority of the court are also basically in their hands. With the Xiao Sect and Burning Heaven Clan hiddenly assisting them, what could you possibly do to stop them? We just hope that when that day comes, you will leave the imperial city; the farther you hide, the better. I’m afraid that these unfilial sons will use you as a pawn to gain favor… If that happens, then We will actually roll over in Our grave.”
“That won’t happen, royal father. With Master Gu here, you will definitely recover from your illness and live to be one hundred.” Lan Xueruo said while trying to resist her tears, shaking her head very hard.
“Heh heh,” Cang Wanhe laughed bleakly. He was the most clear about the condition of his own body. He had suspected the entire time, was this inexplicable illness the plot of Cang Lin, or Cang Shuo? He closed his eyes and said disappointedly, “We have been emperor for nineteen years, and only at the very end did We find out that We are actually a failure of an emperor. Other than having raised these unfilial sons, my first wish the year We ascended the throne was to have our Blue Wind Imperial Family wash away our humiliation at the ‘Blue Wind Ranking Tournament’, but, during these nineteen years, all We have received, time after time, was never-ending humiliation… As the imperial family of the majestic Blue Wind Empire, we unexpectedly, never had anyone enter the top hundred. Time after time, we have become the laughingstock of the world, and was never able to raise our heads in front of those sects. What kind of sorrow is this!”
Lan Xueruo’s eyes flickered and Yun Che’s image floated into her head. A warm feeling came from her heart, and calmed her greatly. She gently replied, “Royal father, this wish will definitely come true. These two years, your daughter has passed through many large profound palaces, and used the Monarch Heart Secret Arts to look for that kind of a person. Your daughter’s efforts were not in vain; just half a month ago, your daughter has found such a person. This person has also been brought to Blue Wind Profound Palace; your daughter will use all methods possible to make him enter the Blue Wind Ranking Tournament as the next representative of the Imperial Family… Your daughter believes that he will definitely be able to enter the top hundred, fulfilling royal father’s wish and washing away the imperial family’s humiliation.”
“One after the next… I’m only afraid that We can’t wait until then, cough cough, cough cough cough cough…” Cang Wanhe once again burst into a fit of violent coughing; his breathing had also become more ragged.
Lan Xueruo knew that with her father’s current condition, he was unable to speak too much. She helped pull a quilt over her father, and said softly, “Royal father, rest well. You must take care of your body. Your daughter still has something she needs to attend to, I will come again tomorrow to visit royal father… Uncle Dong Fang, you must protect my royal father.”
As soon as Lan Xueruo finished speaking, an old voice came forth from the chambers, “Have no worries Your Highness. With me here, no one will be able to touch a single hair on the emperor’s head.”
Lan Xueruo gratefully nodded her head and left the emperor’s chambers.
No one knew that this princess was also the Blue Wind Emperor’s youngest daughter, and just how much pressure her frail back carried; or how many serious hesitations she buried within her heart…
Blue Wind Profound Palace’s Central Plaza was enormous, and since today was the last day of the year they were recruiting students, it was completely packed with a thick crowd of people. More than half of which were young profound practitioners who were being tested, the other half were Profound Palace disciples who came to watch the excitement.
Although it was already the final day of examinations, the number of young profound practitioners being tested was still very large. The entire exam was split into three hundred groups and with Qin Wuyou’s interference, Yun Che was directly placed into the ninety-ninth group.
The test was split into two parts, and were respectively the Profound Strength Assessment and the Combat Strength Assessment. Even though they sound similar, the form of examination was fundamentally different.
(TL note: All of the ‘We’ and ‘Our’ spoken by the emperor here is the ‘royal we’, a singular pronoun referring to himself as the emperor.)