The breeze rattled the leaves of a verdant bamboo forest.
Su Qingyan had already sent the scampering baby foxes somewhere else. Before long, she’d welcome a highly distinguished guest.
The musky aroma of a scented candle wafted through the forest, its fragrance assailing the nostrils.
Su Qingyan sat, her eyelids closing as she focused on the sound of a nearby creek. When she heard a crisp “thud”, her eyes sprang open and she smiled warmly. She got up and looked down the forest path.
Before long, she heard the sound of steady footsteps drawing closer.
A sharp-eyed, crowned youth was headed her way. He wore a crown on his head, and his body crackled with faint electricity. He seemed majestic, cold, and aloof.
When he entered the thicket, he stopped.
Those sharp eyes looked towards Su Qingyan. He pulled a piece of bamboo and tossed it over. “This bamboo came from your Fox Clan, didn’t it?”
Su Qingyan smiled and picked up the bamboo. She nodded and didn’t deny it. Instead, she pointed to the bamboo table and gestured for the youth to sit down.
The youth was as cold as aloof and ever. He walked over the table, his hands behind his hack, and sat down.
“Why did you invite me here? Empress of the Foxes, you ought to know that my Xiao Family is at odds with the Yao Realm. Although we have no grudge against the foxes specifically, at a time when inter-realm relations are so deeply ambiguous, I cannot stay here for long. If others see me, the new Emperor of the Xiao Family, they’ll be sure to spread rumors.”
This youth was none other than Xiao Yan, the new Lightning Emperor.
After all these years of tempering, he’d gradually shed his youthful gentleness and indecisiveness. His current imposing aura was starting to match his position.
“I naturally invited you here because I have something to discuss with you.” Despite his oppressive glare, Su Qingyan smiled as radiantly as a snow lotus in bloom. She, too, put the other flowers to shame.
This was a beauty that could topple cities. The Fox Empress was an incomparably beautiful flower, but hers was a beauty born of bloodshed.
He indifferently ignored her smile, then narrowed his eyes. “Then get to the point. My Xiao Family has numerous affairs that require my attention. I have no time to chat for long.”
“I know your Xiao Family is busy. You’re responsible for administering lightning tribulations, so you’re naturally far busier than a tiny clan like we foxes. But Emperor Xiao Yan, I’m afraid that you’re only going to get busier!”
“What do you mean by that?” Xiao Yan furrowed his brows.
“You can give me an hour, right? Please settle down for now. If you wait just an hour, even if I let you leave, you might not want to!”
Xiao Yan naturally picked up on the implications. He narrowed his eyes at the Fox Empress but didn’t refuse.
The two of them simply sat and waited for an hour without so much as a single word of conversation.
When the time was up, Xiao Yan immediately said, “Empress!”
“Shhh!” Su Qingyan silenced him. Before Xiao Yan could object, a burst of white light arrived in front of them.
This new arrival was none other than Su Wan, back from her mission. A pale-faced Xiao Hu stood beside her.
“Big Sister.” Su Wan walked right up to Su Qingyan.
Xiao Yan, meanwhile, was looking at Xiao Hu. “Xiao Hu, what are you doing in the Fox Clan?”
“Clan Head!” Xiao Hu’s eyes widened. Blood burst from the wound Xiao Ting had recently inflicted upon him.
Su Qingyan furrowed her brows. She whipped out a handkerchief, blocking the spurting blood. Not even a single drop landed on the ground. “We can’t let this place see blood. Wan’er, didn’t you help him recover?”
“I gave him recovery medicines, but it seems they didn’t have much of an effect. Fortunately, he’s held onto his life. As for whether he’ll survive, well, we can let the Xiao Family look after him themselves. It has nothing to do with us,” said Su Wan.
When he saw Xiao Hu’s heavy injuries, Xiao Yan assumed the foxes had done it.
But when he heard their exchange, it seemed that it wasn’t like that. Xiao Yan took a saint-level medicine out of his spatial ring and fed it to Xiao Hu, then used his own spiritual power to help him refine it.
After about fifteen minutes, Xiao Hu’s pallid face had regained some of its usual color.
Xiao Yan furrowed his brows and said, “What exactly happened to you? Didn’t you say that the former emperor was looking for you? And your wounds look like they were caused by lightning-based attacks.”
Xiao Hu gnashed his teeth, hesitated, then clenched his fists. “It was the former emperor.”
Xiao Yan’s pupils furiously constricted as his eyes widened in shock. Su Qingyan shot Su Wan a glance. She got the signal and chimed in, “Your former clan head is conspiring with demons and yao traitors. Your former emperor steeled himself to kill Xiao Hu. If I hadn’t intervened and saved him, well…”
“That’s impossible!” Xiao Yan roared, eyes wide. Su Wan simply chuckled but said nothing. Xiao Yan took Xiao Hu by the shoulder and said, “Why would my father injure you? Tell me!”
“Clan Head Su told the truth. And that’s not all, the former emperor even told the Demon Emperor and his conspirators about what I discovered in the Outside, as well as our family’s greatest secrets. Family Head, the former emperor…. Might have really betrayed us.”
As he spoke, Xiao Hu lowered his head.
Xiao Yan relaxed his grip on Xiao Hu’s shoulders. His legs went limp, and he stumbled backwards.
He gulped repeatedly. Su Wan and Xiao Hu’s words echoed through his mind.
His father really was consorting with demons!
For the past hundred years, Xiao Ting’s behavior had been strange. Xiao Yan had secretly arranged for investigations into the woman he kept seeing his father with.
The result: she was a demon.
He’d once tried to discuss the matter with Xiao Ting, but got nothing back save for a fierce rebuke and a warning to mind his own business.
Xiao Hu was injured, and he confirmed that Xiao Ting had done it.
Xiao Yan could disregard what the foxes said, but Xiao Hu had devoted his life to the Xiao Family. When bad news came from someone like Xiao Hu, Xiao Yan had no choice but to believe it.
“How is this possible?” Xiao Yan still couldn’t quite believe it. Little did he know, Xiao Hu felt exactly the same way.
He would never forget the moment Xiao Ting decided to kill him or the sight of those lightning-covered hands descending towards him without the slightest hesitation.
He just didn’t understand. Why had the former emperor changed so much?
If Su Wan hadn’t saved him in time, he might have reported to the River Styx already.
It was only natural that Xiao Yan had a hard time believing this. If Xiao Hu hadn’t witnessed it himself or heard the former clan head bare the Xiao Clan’s deepest secrets before demons without reservation, he wouldn’t have believed it either!
“There’s no need for you to stick around. I know you’re busy, so head back home and have a look. Once you’ve settled things back at the Xiao Family, our Fox Clan will welcome you back any time.” Su Qingyan pressed her lips into a smile.
Suddenly, Xiao Yan took out his transmission slip. When he read the message, his expression shifted dramatically.Previous Chapter Next Chapter