Yuhu immortal sect.
Huang Rang changed into an elegant and dignified dress, with her long hair tied up high and no jewelry. She appeared as if she hadn’t dressed up, yet she exuded a fresh and simple charm.
She arrived at the reception hall, where Zhang Shuju’s family was already there, along with Xie Lingbi and Xie Hongchen.
Her presence added a bright touch to everyone’s eyes.
Xie Hongchen gazed at her and felt a hint of involuntary melancholy in her expression.
As Huang Rang approached, she gracefully bowed and said, “Disciple Rang pays respect to Elder Ancestor Xie Lingbi and Master.” Then she turned to Zhang Shuju and continued, “Master Zhang, Madam Zhang, and Brother Zhang.”
Zhang Shuju nodded, genuinely fond of Huang Rang. This child was truly flawless in his eyes.
On the side, Feng Zheng’er was all smiles and said, “I’ve often heard your aunt speak about how lovely you are, and now seeing you in person, I can’t take my eyes off you. You can call me Aunt Feng; I’m Manying’s sister, so I can pretend to be the elder here too.”
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He had never realized so clearly before that the hundred years of warmth and companionship were just an illusion. The distance between them was like a vast sea between high mountains, like dust under a cloud.
Her voice was also soft, like a low hum when thin ice was about to melt in late winter.
Xie Hongchen found himself speechless, unable to say even a word of advice. He could only say, “Take Madam Zhang to see your crops.” Huang Rang bowed to him and said, “As you wish, Master.”
Feng Zheng’er was quite happy and held Huang Rang’s hand, saying, “Let’s go; I also want to take a look. You know, many places are suffering from locust plagues this year. In previous years, the harvest would have been ruined, but the insect-repelling grass you cultivated is incredibly effective…”
With a smile on her face, Huang Rang listened to her as they left the reception hall together.
In the corner of Xie Hongchen’s vision, the golden sunlight drifted farther away from him until it disappeared from sight.
“May this humble woman be so bold as to request that Master accept her as a disciple and teach her the way of the sword. From now on, I shall abandon worldly desires and eradicate injustice like Master.” The voice he heard at their first meeting was sweet and pleasing.
In that instant, he wanted to catch up to her. He wanted to reject everyone else and keep her by his side. But he couldn’t.
He was Xie Hongchen, the Master of Yuhu immortal sect. He couldn’t face the crowd and reveal his despicable thoughts towards his female disciple. He had to cherish his wings, even though beneath those wings, there was already so much dust.
Huang Rang, accompanied by Feng Zheng’er and Zhang Xinbai, went to the Qilu Terrace to see her crops and then toured the Yuhu immortal sect. She spoke with grace and elegance, and Feng Zheng’er couldn’t get enough of her. They all had a great time together.
At the Celestial Court, the Chief was sitting alone, appearing thoughtful.
Deputy Chief Li Lu found it strange and reminded him, “This morning, Zhang Shuju took his family to Yuhu immortal sect. I heard that Madam Zhang got along very well with Miss Rang.”
His words were not an exaggeration—Madam Zhang truly liked Huang Rang more and more as she spent time with her. However, the Chief only made a noncommittal sound and didn’t say anything else.
Had he changed his mind?
Li Lu continued, “I heard that it was Xie Lingbi who invited Zhang Shuju’s family to visit today. I suspect it was Xie Lingbi’s idea. If the Chief has any plans, he should act quickly.”
He spoke cryptically, but the meaning was clear.
Both the Yuhu immortal sect and the Wenxin pavillion were interested in this marriage, and it was probably a perfect match. The wedding would likely happen soon, leaving the Chief with little time.
The chief remained silent, lost in thought.
Li Lu tried to help him come up with a plan and said, “Actually, there are still ways the Chief can handle this.” However, Li Lu was stumped when Chief said, “There are many ways, but they might damage her reputation.”
However, since he couldn’t even meet her now, what else could he do?
With that, Chief gently picked up the green-bordered, green-winged emerald butterfly transformed from a caterpillar and thought deeply.
Finally, he brought the “love bug” and arrived at the Yuanrong Tower.
Over the years, many princes and princesses had already adapted to the Hui Snake Blood Poison and left the Yuanrong Tower one after another. However, there were still some who remained, experiencing fluctuations in their conditions.
This time, because there were sixty twin-snake fruit trees, more than eighty princes and princesses managed to survive.
Qiu Shengbai still prepared medicines every day and had no intention of leaving this place. When he saw Di Yiqiu, he couldn’t help but frown and ask, “What happened?”
The Chief first handed over the green-bordered, green-winged emerald butterfly, saying, “Doctor Sheng, can you help it transform into a human?”
“Um, it already has a solid foundation, so transforming is not difficult.” Qiu Shengbai glanced at the butterfly, knowing that this thing held grudges. Di Yiqiu said, “Please help it with the transformation and also prepare some medicine for me.”
“Medicine?” Qiu Shengbai furrowed his brows. “What kind of medicine?” The Chief smiled and remained silent.
In the afternoon, Xie Lingbi personally escorted Zhang Shuju’s family down the mountain.
The group seemed to be chatting happily, and Feng Zheng’er held Huang Rang’s hand, beaming with joy, as if they were about to celebrate something.
However, just as they reached the mountain gate, they saw many people waiting outside. “What’s going on?” Xie Lingbi frowned and asked.
Although there were many people outside, it was eerily quiet. Various large and small boxes were piled up on the ground. As soon as Xie Lingbi asked, a person stepped out from the crowd.
“Elder Ancestor Xie Lingbi!” The person wore a purple official robe, black official boots, and a jade belt around his waist with a gold fish pouch hanging below. It was indeed Di Yiqiu. He respectfully bowed deeply to Xie Lingbi, tears glistening in his eyes, displaying an unusual piety.
Xie Lingbi took a step back, feeling a sense of dread. Di Yiqiu was not someone to be underestimated.
He spoke in a deep voice, “So it’s the Chief. The Chief has come from afar and arranged such a spectacle before our mountain gate. What is the purpose of this?”
Xie Lingbi’s face didn’t look good, but that was to be expected. The Celestial Court and the Yuhu immortal sect were not exactly on good terms. Moreover, in recent years, the Celestial Court’s influence has been growing, showing some signs of provoking the Immortal Sect.
Yet, Di Yiqiu completely ignored his gloomy expression. His voice was clear and resounding as he said, “Please have mercy on me, Elder Ancestor Xie Lingbi!”
“Mercy…Mercy…” Xie Lingbi took a step back, feeling horrified. “What are you talking about?”
Di Yiqiu spoke sincerely, saying, “Elder Ancestor, I hope you understand. When I was young, I had a childhood sweetheart. We were deeply in love, and we even had a child together. Unfortunately, she passed away. Since then, I have been suffering from love sickness and have never remarried. Until I met Miss Huang Rang, I found that she resembled my childhood sweetheart in both appearance and voice.”
He clasped his hands together and continued, “Since then, I have been restless day and night, tormented by dreams. I beseech Elder Ancestor to have mercy on me and agree to the marriage between Miss Rang and me!”
As he finished speaking, a child suddenly rushed out of the crowd.
The child looked about eight or nine years old, with a high ponytail on his head. He had small, chubby eyes. He wore a silver necklace around his neck and a longevity bracelet on his wrist. He disregarded everyone else and ran straight to Huang Rang, grabbing her leg tightly.
“Mother! Please don’t leave the child and father…” He began to cry loudly. Everyone present was shocked.
“The Chief’s words are too abrupt!” Xie Lingbi had not reacted yet, but Xie Hongchen’s words were cold. He raised his hand, signaling his disciples to step forward and take the child away.
However, Di Yiqiu said, “Master Xie, I have a sincere love for Miss Rang. How could it be considered abrupt?” Zhang Shuju’s family frowned, but it was not the right time to say anything.
Di Yiqiu immediately approached Huang Rang, and their eyes met. She saw the bloodshot eyes and the faint stubble on his chin. After many years, this man reappeared in front of her, looking particularly haggard. She wanted to say a few comforting words but hesitated in front of the onlookers.
Di Yiqiu gazed at her, tired but serious in tone. “I am Di Yiqu, and my heart is devoted to Miss Rang. Today, I swear by the heavens and the sun to make an everlasting promise.” He solemnly bowed and said, “I implore Miss Rang to accept.”
Her heart was moved by the intensity and sincerity of his gaze. In this life, she had devoted herself to Xie Lingbi and Xie Hongchen but missed the best person.
However, there wouldn’t be any marriage. Di Yiqiu, if I agree now, it will only bring you more criticism and trouble.
Why must you come to muddy these waters with your hundred years of solitude?
“Thank you for your sincere feelings, but…” she hesitated to speak, still considering refusal. At this moment,Di Yiqiu suddenly covered his mouth and began to cough. Then a stream of blood flowed between his fingers.
“Di Yiqiu!” Huang Rang couldn’t think too much at this moment. She hurried forward to check on him.
Xie Hongchen acted swiftly and blocked her, saying, “Rang! Di Yiqiu is not feeling well; the Celestial Court and the Imperial Court will take care of him. You don’t need to go.”
He believed he was doing this for Huang Rang’s sake, but she pushed him away.
Her push was forceful, and Xie Hongchen was caught off guard. He staggered back, completely stunned.
Huang Rang rushed to Di Yiqiu’s side and saw the red flush of illness on his cheeks, with blood dripping between his fingers—a terrifying sight. “Di Yiqiu!” At that moment, Huang Rang couldn’t discern her own emotions. She couldn’t hide her concern and asked repeatedly, “What happened to you? No, it shouldn’t be like this.”
Had the Di Yiqiu outside the dream also suffered such injuries? Huang Rang couldn’t recall.
Beside them, the chubby little boy was teary-eyed as he spoke, “Mother! Father has been suffering from lovesickness for years, and his health has been unstable. A few days ago, while he was in seclusion cultivating, he suddenly heard that you were going to get married, and… and he started coughing up blood! Waaah…”
He held onto the edge of Huang Rang’s dress, crying loudly, “Mother, now that father is so sick, you can’t leave us!”
Zhang Shuju and the others could only watch this pitiful scene coldly. It was truly heartbreaking.
Xie Lingbi’s face turned iron-green, and he shouted, “Since the Chief is seriously ill, don’t delay any longer in Yuhu Immortal Sect. Go back to the Celestial Court for treatment and rest!”
After saying that, he gestured to his disciples to help support Di Yiqiu.
The chubby boy was also lifted up, but he resisted and kicked his legs, wailing, “Mother, I want my mother!”
As the two were helped away from the mountain gate, Huang Rang’s gaze lingered.
After Xie Lingbi sent Zhang Shuju and his family away, he turned to Huang Rang and asked with a stern tone, “Aren’t you leaving yet?” His words carried a sense of reprimand.
Huang Rang had no choice but to return to Emerald Peak.
Xie Lingbi sneered and said, “From what I see, her concern for Di Yiqiu seems to exceed her concern for you!” He naturally directed this comment at Xie Hongchen. Xie Hongchen did not respond.
The push she gave him just now was indeed unintentional. However, because it was unintentional, it carried genuine emotions. Why did she care so much for Di Yiqiu?
Xie Hongchen thought back, realizing that the two of them had only met a few times. In the past, although Di Yiqiu visited Yuhu Immortal Sect every half a year or so, Huang Rang had never actively sought him out. Can these few meetings really compare to a hundred years of companionship? Xie Hongchen didn’t believe it.
But because of the concern she showed for Di Yiqiu after seeing his injuries, she pushed him aside.
Within the Yuhu Immortal Sect, the disciples were filled with speculation.
However, because Di Yiqiu repeatedly claimed that Huang Rang looked exactly like his childhood sweetheart, the matter didn’t affect her much. Some people even mocked the Chief for his sentimental feelings.
Others felt sorry for him. Of course, for the Chief, this idle gossip didn’t matter. He had thick skin and was not affected by a few stray words.
As for the Wenxin Pavilion
After Zhang Shuju and his family returned home, their expressions were solemn.
Feng Zheng’er said, “The Celestial Court is really well-informed. We just arrived at Yuhu Immortal Sect, and Di Yiqiu came to cause a scene.”
Her words were full of anger.
Zhang Shuju advised, “Madam, don’t be upset. Di Yiqiu is not an unreasonable person; he must have his reasons for this action.”
“What reasons? He just covets Huang Rang’s beauty!” Feng Zheng’er slammed the table with force, shaking it.
Zhang Shuju said, “In my opinion, it may not be so. Have you noticed that when Huang Rang saw him looking haggard, she was genuinely concerned? It seems that the two of them might have a connection.”
Zhang Xinbai, who had been listening to his parents, couldn’t help but ask, “So, should we still propose to Miss Rang?” Feng Zheng’er pondered for a moment and said, “Ultimately, it depends on Huang Rang’s intentions. Let’s wait for now.” Zhang Shuju naturally followed his wife’s decision and said, “Madam is wise.”
So, the Wenxin Pavilion temporarily stood still and did not go to propose to Huang Rang.
Xie Lingbi was burning with anger but had no solution. They were all dignified people, and as the elder on the woman’s side, he couldn’t actively mention this matter. However, marrying Huang Rang into the Celestial Court was absolutely impossible. He could only order Xie Hongchen to find another suitable husband for Huang Rang.
If we talk about suitable husbands, there are quite a few within the immortal sect. Xie Hongchen looked at the list on the page, and every word felt like a sharp knife.
Celestial Court, Vermilion Bird Bureau.
The Chief sat at his desk, and on the desk sat his chubby and grown-up eldest son.
He had an unhappy expression on his face and said sourly, “Ha, I’ve been cultivating the foundation for so many years, and Dad never helped. Now that Mother is about to get married, Dad suddenly remembers that he still has a son like me.”
“Shut up!” Di Yiqiu was also puzzled. This guy wasn’t his biological son, but the way he talked and acted was so much like him. How could that brat stop talking? He said, “I wasn’t even given a proper name. Hmph, I’m not really your biological son.” “…”
The Chief was annoyed by his pestering and casually said, “Huang Yang.” Unexpectedly, the brat immediately said, “Ha, thank you, Dad, for giving me such a perfunctory name.” The Chief began to find sarcastic people annoying.
But luckily, even though his eldest son, Huang Yang, was annoying, at least he didn’t cause any trouble. He said, “Dad, you should go see Mother in person.” “Hmm,” the Chief agreed.
However, his eldest son, Huang Yang, quickly glanced at him again and said, “But the Yuhu Immortal Sect has strict restrictions. With Dad’s abilities, how could he get in? Sigh.” The Chief suddenly understood a saying: Why filial sons often appear under the rod.
That afternoon, the Celestial Court’s spies reported another piece of information: Yuhu Immortal Sect sent people to Wu Zichou’s home, seemingly interested in a marriage alliance with the Wu family. Wu Zichou, the head of the Ancient Fist Sect, had two sons.
However, he was ugly, and although he had married a beautiful wife, their descendants were only slightly improved in terms of looks. Both of his sons were mediocre in appearance among the immortal sects, which was looked down upon.
But Madam Wu raised her children well. Although the two sons of the Wu family were ordinary in appearance, they had upright characters and decent cultivation, ranking among the best in the immortal sect.
Ancient Fist Sect.
Wu Zichou was cooking, and Madam Wu accompanied him while holding a folding fan. A disciple came in, not finding him in the main hall, and casually walked into the kitchen. The disciple handed over a letter, which Madam Mu received and opened, looking both happy and puzzled.
“What’s the matter?” Wu Zichou asked.
Zai Wushuang said, “It’s a letter from Yuhu Sect, inviting our whole family to visit Yuhu Immortal Sect.”
“Xie Lingbi?” Wu Zichou raised an eyebrow as he chopped the filling: “I heard a few days ago that he invited Zhang Shuju’s family. Why is he thinking of us today?”
Zai Wushuang said, “It’s probably for Huang Rang’s marriage.”
“Huang Rang?” Wu Zichou rolled his eyes and looked fierce. “Then let the two stinky boys prepare quickly!” Zai Wushuang said angrily, “The letter only invited Wu Wentao!”
Wu Wentao was their eldest son, and Wu Zichou had a second son named Wu Lue. At this moment, Wu Zichou said, “Take them both and let Huang Rang choose. They’re about the same age.”
“What nonsense!” Zai Wushuang tapped him with the folding fan, showing a blend of anger and coquetry. “I heard Manying say that Huang Rang is charming and extraordinary. In that case, Xinbai’er, Feng Zheng’er’s son, would be a better match. Their family has been rejected, and I’m afraid our family won’t be of much help either…”
As she was speaking, suddenly someone outside said, “Master, Madam! The Chief Celestial Court is here, requesting an audience.”
“Celestial Court?” Wu Zichou and Zai Wushuang almost said it simultaneously.
At the main hall.
Sure enough, the Chief was waiting there. Wu Zichou walked in, smelling of chives.
“Chief ?” He was taken aback even before he got close. Di Yiqiu looked haggard, with bloodshot eyes and a red face, appearing seriously ill. Wu Zichou immediately asked, “What happened?”
Di Yiqiu’s voice was hoarse as he said, “Elder Ancestor Xie Lingbi has the intention of marrying Huang Rang. Have you heard about it, Lord Wu?”
How could he not have heard? Wu Zichou said, “I just heard. But what does that have to do with the Chief?”
The Chief immediately said, “Lord, you don’t know. When I was young, I had a childhood sweetheart with whom I had a son. Later, my childhood sweetheart passed away, and I suffered greatly. Later, I saw Miss Rang, and she looked exactly like my old love, in both appearance and temperament. I was moved for a moment, having longed for her for a hundred years. Now that I know that Xie Lingbi wants to marry her to someone else, how can I not feel heartbroken…”
His words were full of sorrow, and Wu Zichou was very surprised but also at a loss, “But… if the Chief has such intentions, you should go to Yuhu Immortal Sect and talk to Xie Lingbi about it. What I’m afraid of is that I won’t be of much help in this matter.”
However, the Chief didn’t care about that.
He said, “I heard that Xie Lingbi intends to choose one of Lord Wu’s sons for Miss Rang. I felt sorrowful and distracted for a moment, so I came to the Ancient Fist Sect.” “Then you were distracted for quite a long time. The Ancient Fist Sect and your Celestial Court are probably hundreds of miles apart…” Wu Zichou inwardly commented, but he only said, “Chief is truly a person of enduring affection.”
Of course, Di Yiqiu said, “If Xie Lingbi insists on marrying into the Wu family, and Miss Rang is willing, then naturally, I cannot say anything against it. But I request Lord Wu to consider my sincere heart and accept this small gift.”
After saying that, he waved his hand, and people started carrying boxes of items into the main hall.
“What is this, Chief ?…” Wu Zichou casually opened one of the boxes, and goodness gracious, it was filled with valuable items like gold, pearls, and precious stones. The Chief, with tears in his eyes, said, “After the matter is settled, please treat Miss Rang kindly, Lord Wu. Once the child is born, I will send a monthly support fee to express my intentions…”
… Wu Zichou’s eyes widened in anger. What nonsense is he talking about? If the Celestial Court’s Chief sends thick gifts and a monthly support fee for the child, rumors will surely spread like wildfire!
Wu Zichou was furious: “Chief, do you not fear the criticism and ridicule from the immortal sects and the court for saying such absurd things!”
“I don’t care!” The Chief grabbed his hand with a deeply affectionate expression and said, “I only wish for Miss Rang’s safety and happiness. For this, I am willing to sacrifice my reputation and endure infamy!”
You shameless person! What did my Ancient Fist Sect do to deserve this? But such shameless actions could only be done by Di Yiqiu.
Wu Zichou even felt sorry for Huang Rang. He pulled his hand away and said, “Chief, stop joking and leave quickly!”
After saying that, he left the main hall without looking back.
If this shameless guy really follows through with his words, who would dare welcome Huang Rang into their home?
The result is predictable: only Wu Zichou from the Wu family went to the Yuhu Immortal Sect. He went alone without bringing his family along, which clearly shows his attitude.
Clearly, this marriage proposal has been rejected again.