Chapter 1899 - Journey (3)

On the third month of their journey, Yun Che took Yun Wuxin to her very first king realm, the Ten Directions Deep Sea Realm.

Obviously, the Deep Sea God Emperor, Cang Shuhe, was waiting for them when they arrived.

“Welcome Your Majesty and Your Highness,” she said with a voice as gentle as autumn water while curtsying gracefully.

Yun Wuxin returned the gesture. “Greetings Auntie Shuhe, I’m Wuxin.”

Yun Che had told her briefly about Cang Shuhe a long time ago. Maybe it was because his explanation was too simple, but she couldn’t help but stare at her for a moment.

Of course, Yun Wuxin knew that her father’s consort would be an incredible beauty. That was one thing she didn’t even need to think about.

However, Cang Shuhe’s beauty went far beyond just a pretty face. Her liquid eyes, soft lips, delicate eyebrows, snow white hands, cascading black hair; everything about her called out to one’s desire to protect.

She was like a catkin in a tornado, a feather on the sea.

If Yun Che hadn’t told Yun Wuxin about her, she would never have believed that Cang Shuhe was a god emperor who ruled a king realm. She was also certain that no one who saw her for the first time would ever be able to make the connection.

Cang Shuhe shot Yun Wuxin a beautiful smile and said, “My apologies, Wuxin. I should have prepared a first meeting gift for you, but I was only informed of your arrival four hours ago. As a compromise, I offer you anything that is to your fancy within the Ten Directions Deep Sea Realm.”

It wasn’t just her countenance and temperament. Her voice was velvety in a way that tickled the soul, and every word she spoke was soothing like the breeze of a deep valley. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that it was a luxury to be able to hear her speak.

“Thank you, Auntie Shuhe.” Yun Wuxin saluted her again before blurting out, “You’re so pretty, Auntie Shuhe. Your voice is… incredibly melodious as well.”

She didn’t know why, but she had been filled with the desire to praise Cang Shuhe from the moment she saw her.

Cang Shuhe responded with another smile before saying, “You are the one who’s cute and pretty, my little princess. No wonder His Majesty pampers you so.”

Although Cang Shuhe had shown up in person to receive Yun Che, she was only accompanied by her personal attendant, Rui Yi. The Sea Gods and Divine Envoys were nowhere to be seen. Also, Rui Yi had been keeping her gaze trained on the floor and kept silent the entire time.

Not once did she look at Emperor Yun or hide the overflowing indignance in her half-lidded eyes.

“You don’t have to receive us yourself. As the Deep Sea God Emperor, you must be busy with work.” Yun Che said in an indifferent tone, “The Blue Silent Sea lies northside of this star realm. I plan to take Wuxin there on the Blue Sea Fierce Shark.”

The Blue Sea Fierce Shark was the largest profound beast ever captured in the current universe and the Deep Sea God Emperor’s exclusive mount. Naturally, Yun Che wouldn’t miss the opportunity to show it to his daughter.

“~!@#¥%...” Rui Yi finally looked up. If eyes could shoot fire, Yun Che’s face would be engulfed in flames already. 

She had thought that Yun Che had finally found that non-existent conscience in his heart and decided to visit Shuhe… but no, the sonuvabitch only came to borrow the Blue Sea Fierce Shark!

Cang Shuhe replied in her velvety voice, “Your Majesty and Wuxin have visited multiple star realms before coming here, right? Why don’t you take a short break before continuing on your journey? Your Majesty may not feel fatigue from the journey, but Wuxin is still a young woman. She won’t be able to enjoy her trip to the fullest if she is tired.”

“I have already prepared some snacks. Why don’t you give them a try?”

“That sounds great!” Yun Wuxin exclaimed before Yun Che could give his response, “I want to see Auntie Shuhe’s place anyway!”

“... very well.” Yun Che had no choice but to accept.

Almost two years had passed since that fateful battle, but the Deep Sea God Realm remained deeply marred by the scars it left behind.

In fact, to this day, some of Yun Che and Long Bai’s energies still hadn’t faded.

As a result, the Deep Sea Capital had been temporarily located to the east. Over there, things were looking much better and improving.

“Considering the scale of the battle back then, it is impressive that the Deep Sea God Realm has restored so much in such a short time.”

Yun Che praised—or was he?—as they made their way toward the capital city. 

Cang Shuhe replied, “The Deep Sea was severely damaged by that battle, but its roots were ultimately untouched. Given proper care, it is only a matter of time before it regains its former glory.”

“I don’t sense a new Sea God either,” Yun Che added.

“Your concern soothes me, Your Majesty,” Cang Shuhe’s smile was as smooth as silk, and her voice as soft as cotton. “It is true that we lost a lot of Sea Gods and a large majority of our Divine Envoys, but Your Majesty now holds the universe in his palm, and we are under your protection. If no enemy will attack us while we are weak, then we may as well nurture our talent patiently and with consideration for the future. It is better to be slow than to make a regrettable, potentially irreversible decision out of haste, no?”

“...” Yun Che looked at her. “You are quite the rational and patient god emperor. Your style is vastly different from your brother’s.”

Cang Shuhe replied, “My brother may look wild and unruly, but he really possesses a sharp and abstruse mind. I don’t deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as him.”

“I won’t deny that. A man who is praised time and again and entrusted with a most important position by the Empress herself cannot be simple.”

Suddenly, Yun Che’s tone took a change, and his black eyes turned a few shades darker. “Your humility is excessive, however. You have only been god emperor for a year, but you already have the entire Southern Divine Region under your control. Quite a few god emperors would have words with you if they knew about your judgment of yourself.”

Cang Shuhe shook her head. “I was plagued by a grave illness and lusted after by the Southern Sea. For half my life, I didn’t even get to see the sun and moon above my head. What could I do to stave off the boredom and loneliness? I read the letters, studied the ancients’ wisdom, learned from my ancestors’ mistakes, perused the happenings of the realms, and observed the changes of the world.”

While saying this, she caught a single flower that had somehow attached itself to her sash and released it so it might continue drifting to the vast unknown, alone.

“Before I knew it, ten thousand years had passed me by, and the nine thousand star realms of the great Southern Divine Region have become as natural as the inner workings of my own mind.”

Yun Che: “...”

“What I have is knowledge and only knowledge. In terms of the ability to rule both Man and the world, I would not even dare to compare myself to my brother, much less accept Your Majesty’s praise as the truth of my abilities.”

“In summary, the Ten Directions Deep Sea Realm is doing well only because I am Consort Grace, and because my brother’s influence when he was still the god emperor hasn’t yet faded completely.”

For a time, Yun Che was actually lost for words.

As it turned out, Cang Shuhe’s terrifying hoard of knowledge was built atop an unimaginable period of bleakness and loneliness. It was ten thousand years of confinement where she couldn’t even view the sky itself.

The image alone was so heavy it was suffocating.

Why did she try so hard to live even though her life could only be described as a little hell of her own? It was simply because she didn’t want to betray everything Cang Shitian had done for her.

Yun Wuxin looked back and forth between Cang Shuhe and her suddenly quiet father. She was self-aware enough to know that the junior shouldn’t say anything in this situation.

After they arrived at the capital, Cang Shuhe led them straight to her bedroom instead of the main hall.

The bedroom was warm, comfortable, peaceful and quiet. The attendants within the palace and the divine envoys outside the palace had already been sent away.

“I have sent the servants away knowing that Your Majesty has little love for conventional formalities and noise.”

Although Cang Shuhe had been his consort for over a year, this was the first time he had entered her bedroom.

For a king realm god emperor’s bedroom, its decor was unbelievably simple. The ornaments were plain, and the colors were monotonous. However, there definitely existed a form of elegance in this plainess that would put many people’s senses to shame.

“I see you are as simple as Cang Shitian is lavish,” Yun Che commented casually.

Considering Cang Shuhe’s past, he understood why she would prefer this style.

“In that case…” Cang Shuhe stared into Yun Che’s eyes as her lips curled into a beautiful smile. “Which one do you prefer more, lavishness or simplicity?”

“I choose whatever I want at the time.” Again, Yun Che spoke casually while taking a seat, “Does there exist another answer for me?”

“Tsk!” At the back, Rui Yi hid a disdainful click of the tongue.

Cang Shuhe chuckled. “You are the only one who’s qualified to give such an answer, Your Majesty.”

“Ah!”

Suddenly, Yun Wuxin let out an exclamation of surprise.

She had been exploring the bedroom since they came in, and right now she was standing in front of a wooden table and staring at a spread open painting.

Only a small half of the painting had been completed. It portrayed simple scenery with simple creatures—birds, fishes, and insects—in it, but the art was so masterful it gave the observer the illusion that they were inside the painting itself. Yun Wuxin felt like she was actually inside that tiny corner of the painting listening to the wind and watching the flying birds and insects.

Even greater was the mood that was beyond any adjective to describe flowing out of the paper.

Feng Xue’er loved calligraphy and painting, and Yun Wuxin sometimes practiced them when she wasn’t cultivating. However, the art before her had surpassed everything she had ever seen in her life.

It had surpassed even her understanding of “art” itself.

All this from a single piece of unfinished painting.

“Auntie Shuhe,” it took a long time for Yun Wuxin to finally move her gaze away from the painting, “did you… draw this?”

This was Cang Shuhe’s bedroom. Naturally, it could only be her work.

She just couldn’t quite believe it.

“It is a leisurely work I painted some time ago.” Cang Shuhe turned to look at Yun Wuxin. “As you can see though, it remains unfinished. If you like it, I can gift it to you after I’ve completed it. Just be sure to hang around until then.”

“R… really?”

Yun Wuxin could barely say a word right now. To a person who had no interest in art, it was at best the artwork of a god emperor. To an interested person though… even this incomplete painting was a treasure they wouldn’t trade for all the gold in the world.

“Thank you, Auntie Shuhe! I will definitely cherish it!”

Yun Che was astonished. It was rare even for him to witness such a joyful Wuxin. It was to the point where he was feeling slightly jealous of Shuhe. “I didn’t know that you possessed such a skill.”

“Hmph! This is nothing. This is but one small facet of the young miss’ talents!”

Rui Yi interrupted before Cang Shuhe could voice a reply, “The young miss is equally peerless in calligraphy, engraving, zheng, qin, di, xiao [1], embroidery and more! The guy who married her must have cultivated ten thousand years of good karma to be this lucky!”

“Rui Yi!” Cang Shuhe reprimanded. “You will speak gently in front of His Majesty, and you will not forget your manners.”

“...” Rui Yi turned away and pouted. It was obvious that she was dissatisfied about something.

She also seemed used to addressing Cang Shuhe as “young miss” instead of the more appropriate “god emperor” in a private setting.

Cang Shuhe smiled. “Ten thousand years is a long time. When my boredom reaches an unbearable level, I will practice some hobbies to pass the time. They are unworthy of Your Majesty’s attention though.”

“Auntie Shuhe is that amazing?” Yun Wuxin might’ve thought that Rui Yi was exaggerating before she saw the painting, but now she couldn’t help but believe the attendant. The painting really was that amazing.

“Of course!” Rui Yi replied immediately and with great pride. “I have served the young miss my whole life. I know better than anyone just how amazing she is. If I have to praise only one of her skills though, then it would definitely be her cooking skills!”

“It is rumored that the best food in the entire Southern Divine Region is the Rippling Heart Jade Soup of Pavilion of Delightful Dreams from the Seven Star Realm. Hmph! They say that only because they aren’t blessed enough to taste the young miss’ delicacies!”

“You can criticize that Ripple Heart Jade whatever as crude, and it will still be an affront to my young miss’ dishes!”

Yun Che raised his eyebrows slightly. He wasn’t unfamiliar with the name Rippling Heart Jade Soup.

Before the great war against the Western Divine Region, Shui Meiyin had dragged him to Seven Star Realm on the pretense that she wanted to taste the so-called best food in the Southern Divine Region. It was none other than the Rippling Heart Jade Soup.

However, they weren’t able to sate their appetite that day ironically because of the northern army’s mass relocation to the Southern Divine Region. The Pavilion of Delightful Dreams had skipped town all the way to the lower realm in fear of their lives.

Earlier during the journey, Yun Che had purposely visited Seven Star Realm again because he expected the Pavilion of Delightful Dreams to have returned now that the situation had stabilized, and peace had returned to the Southern Divine Region. He was right. Both he and Yun Wuxin were able to enjoy the Rippling Heart Jade Soup Shui Meiyin thought so highly of.

The outcome didn’t disappoint him either. Not only did the delicacy deserve its fame and Shui Meiyin’s strong recommendation, he would even say that it had surpassed his expectations.

Naturally, Yun Wuxin also felt like her taste buds were about to explode from sheer pleasure.

That was just a month ago.


1. (T/N: all four transliterated words are a form of Chinese musical instrument)

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