The fortress ship carrying the First Prince Wang Fei moved slowly farther down Yan River before disappearing.
Since Xiao Chen already made a promise to his martial nephew, he would not give chase.
At the riverside, Ling Yu no longer showed any signs of life.
Naturally, one sword could not kill a Sovereign Personage. However, if a Sovereign Personage wanted to die, even a deity could not save them.
Xiao Chen knelt down. As he looked at Ling Yu’s still warm body, he remained silent.
“He broke his heart veins himself, seeking death. Even if we wanted to save him, it would be hard to do.”
Su Ye showed a sorrowful face. The expression in her eyes appeared complicated, hundreds of emotions mixing in her heart.
There was no lack of highly skilled healers in Yan City. They could restore a person’s youth or even pull one back from death.
Although it was difficult to save someone like Ling Yu, who died recently, it was possible. One just needed to pay the price for it.
However, if the dead person sought death, showing no desire to live, saving him would be impossible even if one gathered all the great healers in the world.
“Fool! Why are you so stupid, getting agitated into committing suicide with just a few words from others?! Didn’t I pull through despite suffering so much all these years?”
Su Ye watched as Ling Yu’s body grew paler. Her eyes turned somewhat moist, and her voice choked up.
“Don’t blame him. He just did not want me to take risks for him. His heart ached for us more than it did for himself. He…was not living happily,” Xiao Chen said softly as he held Ling Yu’s hand. His voice was soft and gentle, as though Ling Yu were still alive.
Xiao Chen felt somewhat self-reproachful. Had I not brought him to the Soaring Dragon Great Realm back then, he would not have met Ling Long. Everything might have been different.
Ling Yu was still young. He advanced to Sovereign Personage before he reached forty. Given time, he definitely would have grown further.
However, there are no what-ifs in this world. If I were that young and had to face the pressure from the First Prince by myself, could I have endured it?
Xiao Chen remained silent in his heart. He could not answer that question. Perhaps he might not have been able to.
Sometimes, Xiao Chen wondered why he showed such exceptional care and concern for his little martial nephew.
Many times, it was actually because he saw his past self in Ling Yu.
A meeting with Ling Long but there was no end. While there was no end, Ling Yu did not feel regret.
Even if Ling Yu had a chance to choose, he would not regret meeting Ling Long.
Suddenly, Xiao Chen thought of something. Then, he rummaged in his storage ring for a long time.
After a while, Xiao Chen took out a pearl.
“What is that?”
Xiao Chen replied, “This is a Soul Gathering Pearl. It can prevent his soul from scattering for seven days. I really did not want to use this unless I had no other choice.”
Back when Xiao Chen was in the Kunlun Realm, he received this Soul Gathering Pearl during his King conferral ceremony from the Ghost Race’s Qing Cheng.
“What happens after seven days?”
Xiao Chen said pensively, “That is why I did not want to use it. I have no idea what happens after seven days.”
“Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!”
Someone was coming. Xiao Chen and Su Ye raised their eyebrows, turning their heads to look at the same time.
The two saw an unkempt figure moving swiftly like a swallow, rising and falling in the air. One moment ago, the figure was extremely far away. In the next moment, that figure arrived before Ling Yu’s body.
It was the beggar. His hair was messy, and his face was dirty, which obscured his expression.
“I only made a quick trip to the Hidden Spirit Temple… This time, Big Brother is unable to save you.”
Surprise filled the beggar’s eyes. He appeared sorrowful and helpless.
Before Xiao Chen or Su Ye could ask anything, the beggar seemed to recall something. Then, a light flashed in his eyes as he quickly left.
Su Ye stepped forward and shouted a few times in the direction of the beggar’s departing figure.
The beggar did not even turn his head back. After a while, he vanished from the two’s sight.
Su Ye appeared somewhat disappointed, showing a sad expression.
The two were not stupid. They naturally could tell that the beggar possessed great skills and was not weak. However, they did not know exactly how high his cultivation was. Even so, they could not help clutching at some faint hope.
Xiao Chen said softly, “Let’s go back. If he can save Ling Yu, he definitely will do something.”
Five days later, the blazing sun hung high in the sky of Yan City. There were no clouds in the blue sky for five thousand kilometers around.
Such good weather was rare in Yan City.
Many people said that even heaven was cooperating, blessing the First Prince’s wedding with headliner Ling Long. The entire imperial capital was in a celebratory mood, showing a festive atmosphere.
That was right. Today was the wedding day of the First Prince and headliner Ling Long.
After its announcement one and a half months ago, the news had spread throughout the world; everyone knew about this grand wedding. This day finally arrived.
The entire city rejoiced, and the atmosphere seemed lively.
Before the wedding, the Smiling Daughter Pavilion had already worked with all of the Pleasure Quarter Alliance’s headliners to parade in the streets for three days, fanning the excitement to the peak.
Such a scene was still incredibly shocking in the most bustling city in the world. It had never been seen before.
This resulted in everyone discussing the wedding. Everyone in the city anticipated the wedding taking place.
Even more people traveled the streets near the Smiling Daughter Pavilion, appearing like mountains and seas.
The imperial ancestral temple had to send out experts to guard against unexpected danger.
However, no one would probably be reckless enough to do anything. Neither the First Prince nor the Pleasure Quarter Alliance was a pushover.
Furthermore, the two parties were now working together.
Everyone knew that soon, the First Prince would ride an auspicious beast in a grand procession to go to the Smiling Daughter Pavilion to pick up headliner Ling Long. Then, they would return to the prince’s residence to perform the wedding rites.
[TL Note: Traditional Chinese weddings involve the groom going to the bride’s house in a grand procession, with people playing loud music and performing as they walk. They then pick up the bride and bring her back to the groom’s house, where wedding rites take place. A simplified version would be just three kowtows: one to parents, one to the deities, and one to each other. Then they offer tea to the groom’s parents, and the groom’s parents offer their blessings. The bride’s side of the family has less involvement, as the Chinese idea of a wedding is a daughter leaving her family to join the groom’s family. During the whole process, the bride wears a red veil that is not lifted until it is time for the consummation. There are many more elaborate traditions and ceremonies.]
All the good viewing spots in the buildings lining the streets were occupied long ago.
Before the wedding procession arrived, the cultivators in the buildings were already engaged in excited discussions.
“The First Prince is genuinely incredible. With the succession race at hand, he grandly marries a wife and allies with the Smiling Daughter Pavilion. His popularity immediately surpassed the Eighth Prince’s and the Thirteenth Prince’s. I heard that two-thirds of the one hundred eight feudal lords rushed over to attend this wedding.”
“Haha! This is natural. We are just joining the excitement. However, the feudal lords see it differently. Initially, the three hot-favorite princes had roughly equal trump cards. Now, the First Prince obtained the Pleasure Quarter Alliance’s assistance, immediately leaving the other two in the dust.”
“That is not all. The Sword God’s Noble Clan was maintaining its neutrality all the while. However, they finally made a decision and placed their bet on the First Prince. This is incredible.”
“This should be a chain reaction. Without this wedding, there would not be so many feudal lords coming to offer congratulations. The neutral Su Clan would not have made a decision. I can only say that the First Prince marrying headliner Ling Long is a good move.”
“Indeed. Although Luck is said to be indiscernible, everyone in the world knows about this wedding. Everyone has probably decided which prince they want for support to be the crown prince. These declarations will invisibly increase the First Prince’s Luck.”
“Hehe! As for the succession race, we can only discuss it. Only the major characters can participate; we can only watch the excitement. I heard that the Smiling Daughter Pavilion would bring out all the Azure Lotus Sword Fairies to celebrate the First Prince’s wedding at his residence.”
“Hah… How unfortunate! The price of a wedding invitation has already reached astronomical levels. It is not something we can afford. I really want to see the fairies dancing.”
“After missing out on this opportunity, who knows when we can see the Azure Lotus Sword Fairies again?
The atmosphere in the buildings reached its peak. The discussions never stopped.
However, seated in groups of three to five, the people around did not notice two people showing calm yet helpless expressions at a table facing the window.
One of the two held a folding fan. The other person wore a hood, not showing anyone his face.
These two were the Heavenly Book Scholar and the Ninth Prince Wang Yan. As they watched the crowd below and listened to the discussions, the two appeared in low spirits, unlike everyone else around.
“Is Brother Xiao still unwilling to meet guests?” the Ninth Prince asked softly from under the hood as he picked up a cup of wine.
The Heavenly Book Scholar nodded and said, “The Misty Rain Pavilion has already been closed for five days, and it is tightly guarded. I had to go and ask for him several times before I was allowed to enter. Even so, I only met Pavilion Master Su and did not get to see Xiao Chen. This is really worrying.”
The First Prince forcing Ling Yu to commit suicide was originally a secret. However, the Heavenly Book Scholar had peered into fate. He saw a star fall in the night, divining that someone by Xiao Chen’s side died.
Previously, when Xiao Chen promised the Ninth Prince to aid him in the succession race, the condition he set had something to do with Ling Yu.
Once the Ninth Prince came to know of this death, he did not dare to be slow.
After Wang Yan asked around from many sources, he got a rough outline of the situation. He found this incident a great pity.
Initially, he wanted to go and console Xiao Chen. However, he had not managed to meet Xiao Chen even now. This made the Ninth Prince even more worried.
Now that Xiao Chen’s martial nephew was already dead, would he continue to stand up for his martial nephew?
From a benefits standpoint, it naturally would not be worth it. Ordinary people definitely would not do it. However, if it were Xiao Chen, he might not care.
The two watched the bustling festive scene. They felt some sorrow in their hearts but were not willing to voice it.
In the end, the imperial capital Yan City was not Ling Yu’s city. At the very least, no one would care about an insignificant person’s death at this moment. Practically no one knew about it.
The people all craned their necks, waiting for the First Prince to appear, to show them the grandest wedding of the dynasty’s history.
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