The other great emperors knit their brows. Xue Mo’s final hope, it seemed, was all in Ye Zichen’s hands. None of them would have guessed that Ye Rong would refuse so decisively.
“Ye Rong?” In the face of Ye Rong’s staunch refusal, a curious, questioning light flashed through Xuan Ji’s eyes.
They’d known each other for a long time, and her eyes, Ye Rong had always been the understanding type. Gentle, generous, and not one to get hung up over trifles.
She never acted purely for her own benefit. She always helped those around her. If someone needed something, she helped out.
Her current behavior was decidedly out of the ordinary for her.
Xuan Ji suddenly recalled how she’d been at first, before they brought up the Emperor Star. When it had just been a matter of needing starlight, she offered to help without the slightest hesitation.
It was only after the Hermit Emperor mentioned needing the light of the Emperor Star that she started arguing with him.
The other emperors noticed this too. They all understood….
She didn’t want to risk Ye Zichen getting hurt.
“If you need anything but the light of the Emperor Star, I’ll do whatever I possibly can to help. I can represent the Star Altar in promising you our full support. But if you insist that it has to be the light of the Emperor Star…. There’s absolutely no way I can agree,” said Ye Rong seriously.
“Mom.” Ye Zichen was just about to argue, but she cut him off.
Shut your mouth!” Ye Rong shouted, forcing the rest of Ye Zichen’s argument back down his throat. “I said I don’t agree, so I don’t agree. What, you’ve been on your own for so long that you won’t listen to your mother anymore?”
Now that she’d put it like that, Ye Zichen could only look over the other great emperors. He no longer said a word.
Zhao Qianling tried to say something, but Xue Yang stopped her and shook his head.
“We’re all on the same side. Why are you acting like this?” Chao Feng surveyed the situation, then laughed. “Xue Yang, we’ve been working day and night without rest. I trust all of us are rather tired. As our host, shouldn’t you show some hospitality and arrange rooms for us so we can rest for a while?”
“Great Emperor Chao Feng, you’re right.” Xue Yang nodded. “Qianhe, can you….”
“No need,” said Xuan Ji. “Bi’an and I both have a few empty rooms in the surrounding area. I can just lead them there,” said Xuan Ji.
At the same time, Xuan Ji sent Xue Yang a private transmission. “What are you thinking, sending Qianhe? Are you trying to make trouble?”
When he heard that, Xue Yang’s heart clenched.
She was right!
If he sent Zhao Qianhe, en route, she would definitely keep badgering their guests about the light of the Emperor Star. Given Ye Rong’s absolute refusal, pestering her would only wear down her patience.
“You’re more considerate than me, it seems.”
“You stay here and comfort the Zhao Sisters. Help them come to terms with this. Ye Rong is probably refusing for fear that Ye Zichen will somehow get hurt. I’ll try and work something out. Ye Zichen is willing to infuse Xue Mo with imperial celestial fate, so I trust that in time, Ye Rong will agree too.”
“Going back to rest is a good idea,” said the Hermit Emperor. “Starlight was only a suggestion, so I hope you won’t take offense, Lord of Seven Stars. Take your son to get some rest, and in a few days, I’ll go over and treat his left eye personally.”
“I, Ye Rong, thank you, Hermit Emperor.” Ye Rong cupped her fists in respect.
The Hermit Emperor smiled amiably and nodded. Xuan Ji walked out of the room. Ye Rong had grabbed onto Ye Zichen, but he was hesitant. Before he could make up his mind, Ye Rong barked, “We’re leaving! Argue with me, and I’ll seal your divine core!”
Ye Zichen looked visibly conflicted. Seeing this, Xue Yang said, “Go on. Follow the Lord of the Big Dipper.”
Ye Rong’s insistence told Ye Zichen that, at least for now, it wouldn’t be possible to infuse Xue Mo with his starlight. He pursed his lips and felt deeply conflicted, but there was nothing he could do.
He lowered his head in dejection, but just as he was about to step outside the room, he came to a sudden stop.
“Ye Zichen!” Ye Rong berated him.
“Mom, you don’t have to be so protective. I’m not about to give Xue Mo my starlight.” Ye Zichen sighed, then turned to Xue Yang. “Great Emperor Xue Yang, do you by any chance have a dungeon here? Are there any empty cells?”
“Of course,” said Xue Yang.
“Could you lend me one?” asked Ye Zichen.
“Of course. That’s no trouble at all.” Xue Yang didn’t know what he wanted a cell for, but he agreed without any further questions. “I’ll have Beibei lead you there.”
“Sorry for the trouble.”
“Zichen, you’re really a disobedient child!” Ye Rong thought he was still being stubborn. “What do you want to go to jail for? Hurry up and follow me!”
“Enough, Ye Rong. It’s not like you don’t know your son’s personality. He said he won’t do it, so he won’t. There’s no way he’d lie to you. Besides, we’re staying in the Xue Family home too. If he really tried to pull one over on you, you’d find out right away, wouldn’t you? Let him go. Once he’s attended to his affairs, he can come find us,” said Xuan Ji comfortingly. She clutched Ye Rong’s hand. “After going through so many trials, he’s not a little kid anymore.”
Ye Rong stared for a while, then sighed. “Try any funny business, and I’ll seal your divine core!”
“Come on already, let’s go!” Su Qingyan, Chao Feng, Bi’an, and Xuan Ji all left the room, dragging a visibly furious Ye Rong with them.
Shortly after they left, Beibei dashed over. When she saw the great emperors, she bowed slightly at the waist and waited for them to leave before coming inside.
“Beibei, take Ye Zichen to the dungeons,” said Xue Yang.
Ye Zichen cupped his fists, bidding the rulers still present farewell, then left.
“What do we do about Little Mo?” Once there was no one else in the room, Zhao Qianling lost control of her emotions. Tears streaked down her face.
Ye Rong’s staunch refusal had extinguished her daughter’s last hope. How could she not be distraught?
“Qianling, the Lord of Seven Stars is acting like this because she doesn’t want her child to get hurt. Little Mo is our daughter, so she’s our responsibility. Ye Zichen is her child, so he’s her responsibility. We don’t understand starlight or the relationship between the stars, but as the Lord of the Seven Stars of the Big Dipper, she knows. That’s… That’s why she’s refusing,” said Xue Yang in an attempt to comfort her.
“But that was Little Mo’s last hope.” By now, Zhao Qianling was so choked up, she could barely speak.
“Xuan Ji said she’d try and convince the Lord of the Big Dipper. I can tell that Ye Zichen wants to help us save Little Mo. There’s still a chance. Don’t be too pessimistic.”
“Didn’t you see her determination? Does she seem like we can convince her?” cried Zhao Qianling.
“Ahem.” The Hermit Emperor couldn’t interject. “If you want to argue, please do so outside.”
Zhao Qianling, still sobbing, got herself back under control; she didn’t want her emotional outburst to influence her daughter. Xue Yang wiped away her tears, then looked at their daughter.
“Even if the Lord of Seven Stars still refuses to risk damaging her son’s imperial celestial fate, Little Mo still has hope,” said Xue Yang. When the Zhao Sisters heard that, their gazes grew serious, and the Hermit Emperor’s expression turned solemn.
“Have you thought this through?” he asked. “This method is based purely on a hypothesis, and the odds of success are less than ten percent. The way I see it, infusing imperial starlight is still the best option.”
“What exactly are you saying?” Zhao Qianling knit her brows.
Neither Xue Yang nor the Hermit Emperor responded to her question. Finally, Xue Yang laughed calmly. “If the Lord of the Seven Stars of the Big Dipper refuses, isn’t this the only other way?”
“But whether this method succeeds or fails, you’ll lose all the cultivation you’ve built up over your lifetime.”
“So be it. At least…. I can buy Little Mo a chance to live on,” said Xue Yang. He glanced at his daughter, still lying on the sickbed, and his eyes filled with tender affection. “No one forced us to be parents, did they?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter