As Zichen lay on the bed, his heart shook, but his expression gave nothing away. He kept on playing dead.
Xue Honghong stood by the window. When she saw that Ye Zichen still didn’t react, she couldn’t help but sigh. Then, inexplicably, she smiled.
“A single flirtatious smile could melt your heart. For all their make-up, none of the six palaces’ ladies-in-waiting could compete with her. “ 
The poem seemed as if it had been written about her.
Her smile was playful yet seductive. She seemed veiled in intoxicating mist. A grin tugged at the corners of her pretty little mouth. Her lips parted slightly, as if tempting him to kiss her. This woman was seductive to the bone. Her every motion seized men’s attention.
But despite her bewitching good looks, her face was typically tense. She used sheer power to dominate the entire Skyspan Trading Company. It was only when she was alone that she’d look in the mirror and sigh with appreciation at her own beauty.
“You’re truly an unusual guy, enough so that I’d really like to get to know you.” Xue Honghong completely disregarded Ye Zichen’s feigned slumber. Or perhaps she truly didn’t know if he was faking it or not and was simply watching him as she murmured to herself.
“From a young age, my life hasn’t been particularly joyful. When I was a kid and didn’t know any better, I always wanted to show off in front of adults. All I wanted was for them to praise me, but as I grew up, this turned into a burden.”
“I don’t want to be tied down or constantly monitored and bossed around. I can’t stand it. In order to make them give up on me, I intentionally avoided awakening my bloodline so they’d be disappointed in me. That way, I could finally relax. As expected, when I became an adult without awakening my bloodline, the clan lost interest in me and the elders stopped supervising me. I took the opportunity to ask my dad to put me in charge of the Skyspan Trading Company and escaped the Divine Mountain.”
“The years I’ve spent in the seventy-two districts have been the best of my life. No restrictions, and what I say goes. If things went as planned, I would have spent the rest of my life like this, but……”
“What’s going on?”
Ye Zichen lay on the bed, listening carefully. He suddenly realized he’d taken his act a bit too far.
Whatever! If he’d gone too far, he’d just give in to her. Who made him a man? He’d take responsibility for his actions, as a man should.
It was just…. Based on what this woman was saying….. Her family seemed pretty hardcore!
Also, she was just about to go into the turning point, the thing that changed her life’s course. Was it him? No way!
“But then I met you.”
No surprises there. Just as Ye Zichen expected. She really was about to call him a turning point in her life.
She turned around and looked at him. Her eyes were like deep azure pools, brimming with warmth. When she smiled, they transformed into perfect crescent moons. It was the smile of an angel. It cast away the darkness, allowing sunlight to shine through and light up the night.
“We truly only met by accident, and I know full well that you only said all that in jest. Rather, I know you only said that to infuriate me. I know that, but after what happened in the woodshed, I might have started taking it seriously.”
Ye Zichen could no longer keep up the act. He gulped instinctively. He really felt he’d taken things too far.
Xue Honghong noticed, but she didn’t expose him. She only smiled to herself and said, “when I saw you faint, I truly panicked a little. I felt terror deep within my heart. I was afraid that if you died trying to save me, I’d have a guilty conscience for the rest of my life. I also feared that I might forever be unable to get close to anyone. I need to save you, not just for your sake, but for my own sake as well.”
“I showed Elder Che the power of my king-grade bloodline. This way, he won’t go against my decisions. I sent him to bring back the clan’s best doctor and top-quality medicines to save your life. Once the news of my awakening reaches the clan, it won’t be long before they send someone to evaluate my bloodline.”
“In truth, there’s no need for you to worry. Rather, your worrying won’t help. My dignity won’t tolerate me depending on you, nor will my sect allow me to do so. You ought to be a sky immortal. Perhaps for you, that level of accomplishment is already quite good, but you’re nowhere near meeting my family’s standards.”
“Even though I took everything you said seriously and, as you said, I really do secretly long for you, we’re from two different worlds. We can’t possibly be together.” As she said this, Xue Honghong’s expression was somewhat bitter. She was in her mid-twenties but her heart was stirring for the first time. Unfortunately, it was for someone who couldn’t possibly be a good match for her.
This was especially true considering her bloodline. There was no way her family could let her be with a sky immortal. It wasn’t just that, though. She wouldn’t choose to be with him, either. WIth her king-grade bloodline, she was destined to stand head and shoulders above most gods, at the very pinnacle of the God Realm.
Even if Ye ZIchen was currently a sky immortal, the distance between them would only grow rapidly, and their viewpoints would gradually diverge. Moreover, she couldn’t tolerate her man being weaker than her.
“You’re underestimating me.” Ye Zichen could no longer keep up the act. He suddenly sat up, then realized Xue Honghong was right in front of him. Their noses touched. They were close, they could feel each others’ breath.
Xue Honghong didn’t resist. Instead, it was Ye Zichen who backed away.
When she saw Ye Zichen create distance between them, she felt disappointment deep within her heart, but at the same time, she rejoiced…..
If Ye Zichen really tried doing anything to her, she wasn’t sure if she’d resist or not. But if she didn’t, she’d regret it for the rest of her life.
But at the same time, if he didn’t even have the courage for that, was there any point in even discussing marriage?
He wanted her family’s approval. How difficult would that be?
“You’re awake?” She set aside her despondency and smiled calmly.
Embarrassed, Ye Zichen laughed drily and said, “I admit that I was only pretending to be asleep. But you went too far! From your words, it’s clear that you look down your nose at me!”
“It’s simply the truth. Of course, you can see it that way if you like.”
“You……” He never would have guessed that a merchant like her would be so direct. He let out a few long breaths, then nodded. “Fine, you’re the oldest daughter of a wealthy clan. Looking down on an ordinary person like myself is only to be expected. But I hate nothing more than others looking down on me.”
“Didn’t you just say you were interested in me?”
“I am!” Xue Honghong didn’t deny it.
“That’s perfect!” Instantly, his expression grew solemn once more. “I don’t care how impressive your family is. I’ll make you my woman either way.”
“Okay.” Xue Honghong said, just as indifferently as before.
“But I can’t wait for you forever,” she chuckled. “My family won’t allow it. Ten years. I can only give you ten years. For ten years, I won’t agree to any marriage my family arranges for me no matter what. I’ll reject each and every suitor. Don’t blame me, but if ten years pass and you don’t come for me, I’ll hate you for the rest of my life.”
I’ll hate you for the rest of my life.
Ye Zichen suddenly recalled Su Yan. Instantly, his momentum tapered off. When Xue Honghong saw that, she assumed he was afraid. But just as she felt a surge of disappointment, she heard him say, “ummmm…. I have other women.”
“That doesn’t matter. So long as you come for me within ten years, I don’t care at all.”
Xue Honghong’s father had over a dozen wives. She’d grown up in that sort of environment and had no aversion to it whatsoever. It was only natural that the strong enjoyed special privileges.
“Then…. Please, remember your promise. Ten years! Within ten years, I’ll definitely go to your clan, propose marriage, and take you as my lawfully wedded wife!”
 This is a line from Bai Juyi's "song of everlasting sorrow"Previous Chapter Next Chapter