EIF - Book 03 Chapter 077: Husband and Wife
In a palace hall within the imperial palace, the capital of the Qian Heavenly Dynasty:
A group of palace maids and attendants stood outside the palace hall.
“Has the princess slept yet?” an attendant asked one of the palace maids at the side.
[TL Note: The Chinese term for princess here refers to a sort of lower-ranked princess. This term could be used for the daughter of a concubine, a prince’s daughter (hence, the emperor’s granddaughter or the emperor’s niece since the emperor’s brother would be a prince or an archduke, depending on the country.) There is another term for princess in Chinese, usually given to the daughter between the emperor and the empress, or an especially favored daughter of the emperor. This case is slightly special as this princess is Long Xiaoyue’s daughter, so the daughter of a female offspring. The term used here was normally reserved for princesses who hold the same family name as the emperor, as is in this case. The usage of this term does vary between dynasties, with some earlier dynasties just having this term as a blanket term for all princesses.]
“She fell asleep already. It has been very tiring since the princess returned from hunting.”
“Hah. Indeed, it is too tiring. As her subordinates, we all endured her whipping. It really hurts.”
“It serves you right. It’s your fault for not doing as the princess said.”
“That’s not the case. The princess is just too demanding. We already did our best. However, she just beats people up the moment she gets angry, showing no regard for the situation.”
“Just be content. That is how the princess is. She does not give face even to the crown princes, what more, you?”
“Hah. Indeed. Unfortunately, His Holy Eminence favors her and dotes on her. No one can stop her from doing whatever she wants. No, wait, her elder sister can do it.”
“Indeed. The princess listens only to her elder sister, Long Wanqing, no one else, not even His Holy Eminence. Right now, only Long Wanqing can restrain this willful princess.”
“If only the princess were like her elder sister, possessing a great personality. Her elder sister treats people well; she is not only kind and beautiful but also gentle. Her elder sister never put on airs with her subordinates. When the princess beats us up, her elder sister always helps us out.”
A loud sound came from the palace hall.
“What’s wrong? The princess is awake?” The palace maids and attendants immediately felt flustered.
“Sob! Sob! Sob! Elder Sister died! Elder Sister died! Sob! Sob! Sob! Sob! Sob! Elder Sister died!” A girl’s crying came from inside.
“The princess had a bad dream?” The palace maids and attendants panicked.
“Someone killed Elder Sister. Sob! Sob! Sob! Elder Sister! Elder Sister! Don’t die! Sob! Sob! Sob!” The lamentation inside did not stop.
On the White Cloud flying ship, above some desolate plains in the Divine Foundation Royal Dynasty:
Long Wanqing’s souls had scattered; however, one remained connected to her body. This soul looked at the Unborn Man in a daze.
“Long Wanqing, my daughter! My daughter!” the Unborn Man yelled in horror while holding Long Wanqing’s hand.
Long Wanqing unconsciously pushed the Unborn Man’s hand away, saying weakly, “You are not my father. My father is a matchless hero; no one in the world can get in his way. He had to go to a distant place for some reason. However, he will come back one day. If anyone dares to bully the three of us, my father will take revenge for us. No matter who it is, my father will protect us and not let us suffer.”
After Long Wanqing pushed the Unborn Man’s hand away, he stood there, stunned. Long Wanqing’s despairing voice seemed to sap him completely of energy.
My father is a matchless hero; no one in the world can get in his way.
He had to go to a distant place for some reason. However, he will come back one day.
If anyone dares to bully the three of us, my father will take revenge for us.
No matter who it is, my father will protect us and not let us suffer.
Long Wanqing’s words felt like knives stabbing the Unborn Man’s heart.
She doesn’t acknowledge me? Indeed, she can’t possibly acknowledge me.
I killed her. Her father is a matchless hero; no one in the world can get in his way. Am I a matchless hero? Can no one in the world get in my way? Am I? Am I?! Am I one?
The Unborn Man slumped to the deck.
Nearby, Venerable Liu Nian, Huangfu Chaoge, and Mu Chenfeng flew back while pressing their hands against their wounds and vomiting blood.
“Venerable, you said that the Unborn Man is Long Wanqing’s father? How can that be? How could it be possible? How is he worthy? Was Xiaoyue blind back then? To think that she fell for him?” Huangfu Chaoge frowned.
“Someone killed the previous hall master, but he ended up working for that person? He is not worthy, not worthy at all,” Mu Chenfeng said, feeling anxious.
“I remember that hairpin. Xiaoyue would take it out at every zither convention and look at it. I asked her about it several times, saying that this hairpin was very ordinary and asking why she liked it? If she liked it, why did she not wear it? However, Xiaoyue would just shake her head and smile. Then, she would carefully return the hairpin to the box,” Huangfu Chaoge recalled.
“The Unborn Man? He is not worthy! Xiaoyue thought only of him. However, he left Xiaoyue for some nonsensical dream. Xiaoyue went to the Southern Sea’s Purple Bamboo Forest and knelt there for three months, begging for the Heavenly Sage Fetus Protecting Water. Lifespan cultivators do not have descendants. Even if they could induce pregnancy, the fetus would not survive. In order to protect the fetus, she put in a lot of effort, begged many people, and knelt to many people. Although it was delayed for centuries, she eventually gave birth.
“Xiaoyue told me that she had his daughters. She begged me not to tell the Unborn Man about them so as not to affect his nonsensical dream. She said to wait until he accomplished great things before telling him.
“However, that day never came. Xiaoyue did not survive to that day. Xiaoyue birthed two daughters for him, not even telling him when she died. How could I go against Xiaoyue’s wishes? How do I say it?
“At first, at the life-and-death Go puzzles at Nine-Five Island, Long Wanqing’s life hung by a thread. However, the Unborn Man just stood by and watched with others from outside. He never bothered to help at all. If not for Gu Hai, she would have died.
“Then, the Unborn Man actually wanted to kill her along with me at Love Flower Valley because she tried to protect me.
“Finally, he made his move. He killed Wanqing.
“He is not worthy of knowing who Long Wanqing’s father is because he simply is not worthy. Not worthy at all!” Venerable Liu Nian said sorrowfully.
The Unborn Man slumped to the deck on the flying ship. As he looked at Long Wanqing’s body, with black energy covering it, and listened to Venerable Liu Nian speak, he felt entirely powerless.
“Indeed. I’m not worthy,” the Unborn Man said in despair.
Gu Hai had been sent flying by the Unborn Man earlier. Now, he flew back and hugged the dazed Long Wanqing once more.
“Wanqing, you will be fine! You will be fine!” Gu Hai cried as he grabbed Long Wanqing’s arm.
Long Wanqing’s left arm turned into black energy and slowly scattered. Her physical body would scatter, leaving her without a corpse?
“Unborn Man! Senior Unborn Man! Save Wanqing! I beg you, save Wanqing!” Gu Hai yelled in horror.
“No one can save the people I killed. No one!” the Unborn Man cried out mournfully in despair.
Venerable Liu Nian, Mu Chenfeng, and Huangfu Chaoge boarded the White Cloud flying ship and looked at Long Wanqing anxiously.
“That’s impossible! Aren’t you a lifespan cultivator? What about the means of a lifespan cultivator?! She is your daughter! Can’t you save her?!” Huangfu Chaoge roared while glaring.
“Of her three spiritual souls and seven physical souls, her seven physical souls are already destroyed. That cannot be reversed. Her earthly soul went straight into the cycle of reincarnation, not to the nether realm first. She directly entered the cycle of reincarnation. Her mortal soul was shattered. Only her heavenly soul remains. Only this heavenly soul remains!” the Unborn Man said in pain.
“Since her mortal soul shattered, piece it back together. If her earthly soul went into the cycle of reincarnation, then find it. No matter who she reincarnates into, find it. You have to find it. Her heavenly soul is here. That makes her three spiritual souls; that is already enough. Her seven physical souls are gone? Then, reconstruct them. Can you do that? She is your daughter! Your daughter! Can you?!” Gu Hai roared at the Unborn Man while glaring at him.
The Unborn Man trembled. “That’s right. My daughter! My daughter! So what if she reincarnated? I have to find her! I have to!”
The Unborn Man stood up quickly.
He extended his hand, and a jade box appeared in front of him. He opened the box and extremely carefully placed the fragments of Long Wanqing’s mortal soul into it.
“Gu Hai,” Long Wanqing’s remaining heavenly soul said weakly.
“I’m here. I’m right here.” Gu Hai carefully picked up Long Wanqing, whose body continued to give off black energy.
Long Wanqing opened her eyes in a daze, looking at a blurry Gu Hai. She revealed a sorrowful smile as she caressed Gu Hai’s face with her right hand.
“Wanqing, you will come back to life. Don’t worry. I will save you. I will bring you back. One day, you will come back to life!” Gu Hai cried as he hugged Long Wanqing.
“I’m dying. Gu Hai, I have something to ask of you.”
“Speak. Tell me.” Gu Hai’s voice quivered.
Venerable Liu Nian wiped his tears. Mu Chenfeng and Huangfu Chaoge appeared sorrowful. The Unborn Man stood at the side, no longer showing his previously ferocious aura. He shrank back, not daring to look at Long Wanqing.
“I have a younger sister who is like a thoughtless child. Previously, I have been protecting her from bullying. Now, I can no longer protect her. She is going to get into trouble. She is my only family in this world. Now that I am no longer around, there is no one to take care of her. Help me take care of her, alright?” Long Wanqing said weakly as she looked at Gu Hai.
“I will take care of her. No one can bully her. Don’t worry. With me around, no one will bully her,” Gu Hai said while crying.
“She is very headstrong and has a temper. However, she is actually a kind person. You just have to be a little more tolerant,” Long Wanqing said weakly.
“I will. I will take care of her. We will wait for you to come back. She is waiting for you to come back!” Gu Hai choked up.
It seemed like this promise took a load off Long Wanqing’s mind; a smile spread across her face.
Long Wanqing gently caressed Gu Hai’s face and said softly, “Stop treating yourself badly. I’m leaving now. Take good care of yourself. If Chen Xianer knew how you treat yourself, she wouldn’t be happy, either. The way you are now breaks my heart.”
Gu Hai had red eyes as he held Long Wanqing’s right hand. He said with a somber tone, “Before heaven with the sun and moon as witnesses, I, Gu Hai, take you, Long Wanqing, as my wife on this day. For all our lives and even beyond, we will be husband and wife.”
“Husband and wife?” Long Wanqing looked at Gu Hai in a daze.
Gu Hai held back his tears, and he kissed Long Wanqing on the lips.
The two’s lips met, promising never to part. Gu Hai’s tears fell on Long Wanqing’s face.
Long Wanqing smiled in bliss.
“Wanqing, I will bring you back. I will. I definitely will!” Gu Hai cried.
Most of Long Wanqing’s body scattered in the blink of an eye; only a small portion remained.
“Husband, don’t treat yourself badly anymore. After I leave, if you find someone who loves you, don’t reject her. Treasure her. She will love you in my place. She will love you in Chen Xianer’s place. Don’t reject anyone else. Don’t…”
Long Wanqing’s body completely turned into black energy and disappeared.
“Wanqing! Wanqing!” Gu Hai now held nothing. There was nothing in the surroundings. Long Wanqing turned into black energy and vanished.
At the side, the Unborn Man stretched out his hand before closing the jade box.
The Unborn Man stored Long Wanqing’s heavenly soul in the jade box.
Gu Hai slumped to the deck, unable to grab anything. No matter how he tried to grab, there was nothing. Long Wanqing had vanished, not even leaving a corpse.
“Aaaah! Aaaah!” Gu Hai roared in pain. His voice echoed in the sky.
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