The light of the countless stars of the night sky was dazzling to behold. Throughout the three Upper Realms, countless stars heeded the Four Great Auxilary Stars’ call. They linked their starlight with the surrounding stars, forming an absolutely stunning diagram of the Milky Way.
Billions of cultivators looked up and gazed at the Milky Way. It was so beautiful, it shook them to the core.
In a certain barren wasteland, everything was yellow and desiccated. The earth was dry and covered in winding cracks.
The north wind howled across the landscape. This place was empty and lifeless, with no signs of civilization. Despite this, a single tiny, unassuming tent was pitched on the ground, complete with a campfire. As the wind blew, the flames bent and distorted.
There was an iron teapot over the flames, and smoke gushed out from within.
An old man sat atop a stone by the fire. He carried a ceramic bowl, and was using it to scoop up and drink the freshly boiled water.
“The Emperor and Auxiliary Stars have caused quite the commotion,” said the old man as he looked up at the diagram overhead, a delighted smile tugging at his lips. “All of the eighty-eight celestial doors have opened. I haven’t seen anything like this in quite some time. The last time I saw this was….. Little Yi, do you remember?”
“It was back when the Master of the Stars of the ancient era was still on the throne,” said the stalwart man beside him. He had a bow and arrow on his back.
“In the blink of an eye, a hundred million years slipped by. In this era, the heavens chose two emperors. It seems that this one, the Emperor Star with the Four Great Auxiliary Stars by his side, is the one destined to transcend,” chuckled the elder.
“Unless something unexpected happens, yes. The Four Great Auxiliary Stars wouldn’t all mistakenly choose the wrong masters.” The man with the bow and arrows nodded.
“Gather up our things, then let’s head back. A certain lovely lady is back in the clan waiting for you,” said the old man, finally looking away from the stars.
“Back then, it was just one of my incarnations, a piece of my soul. Our relationship doesn’t amount to anything. I only brought her back to the clan because I felt sorry for her; please don’t overthink it.” The stalwart man’s gaze was as cold as ice. “The star bearers we sent out on a mission still haven’t returned.”
“They won’t be coming back,” said the old man with an indifferent laugh. “I knew they wouldn’t be coming back when I sent them on their mission. It’s for the best; they aren’t of our race. Furthermore, by perfect coincidence, their failure to return also proves our conjecture.”
With that, the old man rose from his rock, then put his cup over the teapot. His hand titled, and the still-blazing campfire shot into his sleeves.
“Let’s go back. The north wind is chilling these old bones. I’m afraid that if I stick around, my illness will flare up again.”
The stalwart man nodded, then placed the teapot and their other items onto his back.
The old man put on long, loose robes, and his turbid eyes glanced up at the starry diagram overhead once more. Finally, he shook his head and set off on foot across the arid wasteland.
Starlight poured into their bodies.
Xue Mo had been placed beside Ye Zichen, so starlight infused her as well. The light emanating from her was no longer simply silver; it also contained faint hints of gold.
In just a few breaths of time, Xue Honghong gently pushed her younger sister into the formation. Xue Yang and the Zhao Sisters rushed over.
Although the imperial starlight had only poured into Xue Mo for a moment, they could already sense it flowing through her.
The black marks spreading from her wounds reacted as if they’d encountered their natural enemy. Everywhere the starlight touched, the marks retreated of their own volition.
The spot between her eyes and the wound over her heart burst with golden light.
“Little Mo.” Zhao Qianling’s eyes watered with tears. Xue Mo’s condition seemed to have finally taken a turn for the better. Zhao Qianling couldn’t help but dry her tears.
The Hermit Emperor walked out into the formation, then examined Xue Mo. “Bring her back to her room. Her condition has already completely stabilized.”
When they heard that, Xue Yang and the Zhao Sisters rejoiced.
Now, when Zhao Qianling pressed him for answers, Xue Yang revealed their back-up plan: trading blood.
They would have taken all of his blood essence and transfused it into Xue Mo. Given Xue Yang’s imperial-level strength and regeneration, he could reforge Xue Mo’s severed meridians. However, the price would have been Xue Yang losing his cultivation and nigh-immortality. Furthermore, there was a chance that Xue Mo’s body would have rejected his blood.
Without Ye Zichen, they really might have gone through with it.
Fortunately, they’d obtained imperial starlight. Even though it was just a little, it had been enough to completely stabilize Xue Mo’s condition, and she seemed to be headed towards recovery.
Zhao Qianhe carried Xue Mo back to her room. The light of the stars was still dazzling to behold. The Emperor Star’s starlight was as dazzling as the Milky Way. Its radiance poured down from the heavens, infusing Ye Zichen in the center of the Four Great Auxiliary Stars.
An hour passed….
The starlight seemed endless. Two hours had passed, but imperial starlight was still infusing Ye Zichen. His aura was starting to change. His former amiability contained a newfound sense of authority, but his former ferocity was gone too. Just being near him was as pleasant as a spring breeze.
He now had an aura more befitting of an emperor, and his emotions were difficult to discern on the surface.
His changes were clearest to Su Qingyan. To her shock, just sensing his presence put her on edge.
This was the Emperor Star, the ruler of the countless stars of the night sky.
“Hello.” It was then that Xue Honghong suddenly appeared before Pu Jingwan and Xiao Yumei.
The two of them had heard every sweet nothing she’d whispered to Ye Zichen. Not even a single word had slipped past them.
Anyone who was paying attention could tell that they had a deep relationship with Ye Zichen.
“What are you doing?” Pu Jingwan glared and took a step forward. Xiao Yumei was gentle and conflict-averse by nature. Pu Jingwan, conversely, was unable to turn a blind eye to even the slightest inconvenience.
She might have let what happened in the skies earlier pass without comment, but now, Xue Honghong had walked right up to Yumei.
Was she trying to show off or something?
“You are?” Xue Honghong said softly.
“I’m Yumei’s dear friend. What of it?” Pu Jingwan glared at her.
“I just want to talk to her for a bit.”
“Talk? You’re pushing your limits. Our Yumei is kind, benevolent, and tolerant. She doesn’t want to take you to task for all that stuff you said to Ye Zichen, but don’t think that means you can just push us around. Yumei doesn’t want to compete with you, but I’ve got nothing but free time. Want to try me?” said Pu Jingwan. She rolled up her sleeves, ready and raring to go.
“You’ve misunderstood me,” said Xue Honghong with a bitter laugh. “We’re both Fated Stars, so what’s the point in ‘competing’? I’m here because we’ve never met, and I thought my sudden appearance might cause some misunderstandings. Actually, I’m here because someone asked me to be here. They informed me of trouble here, and told me I could fix it.”
“Someone informed you of this?”
“That’s right. I was in seclusion just now when a certain senior appeared out of nowhere and told me what was happening outside. He said Zichen needed a Fated Star to guide his starlight. Presently, the only Fated Stars here are me, my little sister, and Yumei.”
Xue Honghong smiled warmly. “You’ve already seen my sister’s situation, and Yumei is clearly too overwrought with passion to stay calm, so that senior decided to come looking for me. We’re all Fated Stars, which means our lives are intertwined with the Emperor Star’s. We’re sure to meet again more in the future, so I thought I’d come over and greet you.”
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