In the end, he hadn’t escaped Ye Rong’s notice.
When he saw Ye Rong holding his phone and smiling, Ye Zichen scratched his head. He didn’t know why, but he felt like a schoolboy again. It was like when his teacher caught him playing with his phone in class.
“A modern cell phone, all the way up here? Is it still usable?”
“How is that possible? You can’t even use the internet here. I just brought it with me from the Modern Realm, and I felt a hint of nostalgia, so I pulled it out to take a look.”
Unfortunately for Ye Zichen, as soon as the lies left his lips, his phone buzzed.
“If you can’t use it, why are you getting message notifications? How about I take a look and see what it says?”
Ye Rong smiled, then swiped to open the message. Then, she saw the messages in the chat group.
Erlang Shen: @Only Idealism, where did you go? We’re still not done talking, are we?
Monkey King: You didn’t run out of power, did you? @Only Idealism
Ultimate Charmer: Don’t worry too much, Zichen. Aunt Ye is gentle and kind. Whatever she decides regarding Xue Mo, it’s sure to be reasonable and well thought out.
Ultimate Charmer: So don’t worry too much, and don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Aunt Ye is acting in your best interests.
Ultimate Charmer: @Only Idealism
“Only Idealism? That’s you, isn’t it?” Ye Rong looked at the messages eagerly, then nodded. “Ultimate Charmer must be that daughter-in-law of mine. As expected of someone I took a fancy to. She’s got a good temperament, and speaks well of me even in private.”
Invincible Adorable Beauty: It’s been so long since he last sent a message. He wasn’t caught, was he?
As soon as Pu Jingwan sent this message, Ye Rong chuckled, then typed a response.
Only Idealism: Hello, everyone. I’m Ye Zichen’s mother. There are some things I’d like to discuss with him, and it’s getting late. Staying up all night isn’t healthy for young people like you, so if you have anything else to say to him, it can wait until tomorrow morning.
Instantly, the chatroom fell silent.
The group crouched outside the pagoda stared at each other, eyes wide. Pu Jingwan in particular covered her mouth, her expression full of disbelief.
“I was right!” She gulped, then she and the others lowered their heads.
Invincible Adorable Beauty: Hello, Aunty. We’ll go back to our rooms and turn in for the night. Enjoy your chat with Ye Zichen.
Erlang Shen: Good Night, Ma’am.
Monkey King: Good night, Ma’am.
Ultimate Charmer: Good night, Ma’am.
Erlang Shen, Monkey King, and Invincible Adorable Beauty have left the group.
In an instant, only Ye Zichen was left. When Ye Rong saw that they’d left the group, she shook her head in exasperation. “I wanted to say goodnight first. I hadn’t thought they’d leave the group so quickly.”
“Mom.” Ye Zichen smiled appeasingly.
“You don’t have to be so nervous. There’s no way I’d really confiscate your phone, is there?” Ye Rong tossed the phone back onto the bed. Ye Zichen hurriedly grabbed it and stuffed it back under his pillow.
“How can you use this sort of chat software up here? Why do you still have an internet connection?”
“I found someone to make some alterations to the app, as well as to re-establish a network,” said Ye Zichen.
“You’ve clearly put a lot of effort into this.” Ye Rong tapped him on the head. “If only you put this much thought into your cultivation. If you did, it wouldn’t have taken you so long just to become a diviner.”
“Heh…” Ye Zichen laughed sheepishly. He scratched his head and licked his lips. “Mom, since you already know, I won’t pretend anymore. I want to ask, can you agree to…”
“Actually, I’m not really inclined to agree,” said Ye Rong. “I know you’re close with that girl, but remember, you are the Emperor Star, and the importance of your starlight eclipses all other concerns.”
“I know what you’re about to say. You’re right, and that’s why I hesitated just now. I have to think this over carefully. Furthermore, even though I trust that the Hermit Emperor wouldn’t share false news just to trick me, I still need some time to confirm everything he told me. Until then, all you need to do is rest up and heal.”
Ye Rong gently caressed Ye Zichen’s cheek, her eyes filled with gentleness. “I’m sure you know this, but I’m doing this for you. Alright then, I won’t keep you up any longer, but it’s getting late. If you have anything to say to them, wait until tomorrow morning. You might seem lively and full of energy, but you suffered heavy injuries only recently. I don’t dare assume that the starlight fixed you completely, or that you don’t have any internal, lingering wounds.”
“Okay.” Ye Zichen watched Ye Rong leave, but just as she was about to step through his door, he suddenly knit his brows. “Mom, there’s something I’d like to ask you.”
Ye Rong turned back around, and Ye Zichen said, “Today, I visited the Xue Family dungeons, and there was a demon expert imprisoned on the third layer.”
“What of it? The demons and yao frequently send people to probe the Divine Mountains’ Holy Lands in search of intelligence. Every Holy Land has dungeons full of captured yao and demon agents,” said Ye Rong.
“I know that,” said Ye Zichen. He nodded, but his brows only furrowed even deeper. “But that demon was so strong, it was a little terrifying.”
“What do you mean?”
“I went to the dungeons to imprison Bai Yulong, the one who hurt Xue Mo. I wanted to give him as vicious a neighbor as I could in the name of maximizing his psychological torture. I went around in circles but didn’t find anywhere appropriate. Then, someone on the second layer said there was someone even more terrifying on the third floor. I wanted to go down, but as soon as I stepped onto the stairs….”
Ye Zichen recounted everything he’d experienced, including the sudden surge of terror, and how he’d frantically escaped.
When he finished his tale, Ye Rong knit her brows. “You’ve seen quite a few imperial-level rulers, including those with enmity towards you. And yet, the energy the expert on the third level released casually, without any ill intent for you specifically, had such an effect on you….”
“I’m curious how such a being wound up in the Xue Family Dungeons. Perhaps this is disrespectful to Great Emperor Xue Yang, but I’m reasonably certain that not even Great Emperor Xue Yang would be a match for whoever’s down there. There’s no way he could capture him alive and throw him in the dungeons,” said Ye Zichen.
“It is rather fishy,” said Ye Rong. “But this is the Xue Family’s business, and we have no right to interfere. You’d best not worry too much about it.”
“Alright.” Ye Zichen agreed, but he was clearly in low spirits.
Seeing this, Ye Rong’s heart ached. “If you’re that curious, I can have someone investigate the demon’s background. But since we’ve still got a fairly harmonious relationship with the Xue Family and Sea of Innocence, we can’t probe too deeply, and there’s a limit to how much information we can find. If you really want to know, you’d be better off starting directly from the Xue Family, but you absolutely can’t let Xue Yang find out you’re prying. Got it?”
“Understood!” Ye Zichen’s eyes flashed with delight. Ye Rong’s meaning was clear; she supported his desire to investigate so long as he was careful.
If the Xue Family discovered he was investigating their highest-security prisoner, it might offend them.
When she saw Ye Zichen’s smile, Ye Rong couldn’t help but smile too. “Hurry up and go to bed. Don’t stay up all night playing with your phone, okay?”
With that, she tossed him his phone.
Ordinarily, she wouldn’t let Ye Zichen get involved in something like this, but the end of the era was imminent. Furthermore, she knew the Emperor Star would grant its bearer vague premonitions. It was entirely possible that Ye Zichen’s encounter with the demon of the third layer was the stirrings of fate!Previous Chapter Next Chapter