'The Forgotten Realms' had returned to peace, or rather, terrible silence.
Hundreds of cultivators of low cultivation base gathered on the land, all filled with worry and sadness. That caused the whole area to be enshrouded in dark clouds.
Standing at the beach, Yang Chen had his head lowered. His eyes were glassy, as though he was thinking about something.
The cold seawater drenched his shoes and the leg of his pants, but he was unaware of it.
Without him knowing, Rose silently walked toward him and pulled his hand.
“What are you thinking about? You seem so focused,” she asked while smiling.
Yang Chen slowly raised his head and asked in a breathy voice, “Darling, do you… think I did the right thing?”
Rose was stunned for a while. As she had known him longer than the other women, it was clear to her what he was referring to. After contemplating for some time, she said, “If you’re being serious about making a decision, you never ask us for our opinion. Why did you ask me this time?”
Yang Chen gave a sardonic smile. "Yeah, hemming and hawing isn't my style, but this decision affects you and everyone else. That's why... I'm troubled."
Rose chuckled. “How about this, Hubby? Why don’t I ask you a few questions?”
“Okay… Are you afraid of the Gods? Including Athena.”
“No.” Yang Chen shook his head. “I can be honest with you. I wouldn’t be able to survive till now if I don’t have a few trump cards up my sleeve. Even though I might not win against them, it would be hard for me to lose.”
“If you don’t go, would you regret it for the rest of your life?”
“Regret…” He seemed a little lost. “I don’t know.”
“What if you regret it? Will you be able to accept it?”
Yang Chen frowned. “Of course, I don’t want to have regrets. But no one can live without regrets in their lives. I would rather have you all stay safe.”
"Do you really believe you'll be able to remain out of it if you don't willingly join the conflict between humans and Gods?"
Yang Chen was struck dumb. “What do you mean?”
Rose sighed. “You can be apathetic towards other people’s condemnation and ignore their hatred, but everyone is different. Other than you, everyone here is a human, including Lanlan, your biological child. This time, it’s a battle between the Gods and humans. And you’re the key to the fate the humans will face. No matter who wins the war, you’ll be hated by any party if you stay out of it. If the Gods lose but you never side with the humans, you’ll be at fault. If humans lose and are enslaved or slaughtered, they will regard you as the culprit. Because they would assume that you could’ve turned the tables, yet you sat on your hands and watched them lose.”
Yang Chen opened his mouth but could not speak. Indeed, he had not considered things in that aspect.
Although Rose did not finish her explanation, he knew what she was getting at.
Because of his unique identity, he couldn't extricate himself from the matter.
Even though he couldn't care less about the Gods and the humans’ hostility toward him, his family and friends would still be implicated.
Whether it was the Gods or humans, he would never be able to stop them if they decided to vent their anger on his friends and family.
The simplest example of such danger would be the annihilation of the Yangs in China by any random cultivator. Would he have to bring them to the island and protect them there?
Seeing the grim expression on his face, Rose smiled and held his arm. In a firm tone, she said, “Don’t worry. No matter what decision you make, we won’t blame you nor will we care if you’ve made the right or wrong choice. After all… you don’t get to decide how things go down, am I right?”
“No!” Yang Chen blurted out suddenly and raised his head.
His hawk-like eyes blazed with emotion as he declared, “Rose, you’re wrong this time. I never liked not being in control…”
Rose felt something stirred within her soul and could not react to it. It felt as though Yang Chen’s raw nerve was struck.
“I can’t tolerate this ridiculous situation from going on. No matter how grave it is, I have to stop it if it implicates my people. No one can stop me!”
Then, he pulled her into his embrace and kissed her ear before whispering, “Thank you.”
In the next second, he disappeared from the beach and reappeared outside the castle.
Lin Ruoxi was going to enter the castle, clutching Lanlan's hand. They and the other women were perplexed when they came to a halt in front of him.
Yang Chen took a deep breath, bent down to embrace his daughter, and nuzzled his cheek against hers.
He then stood up and said to Lin Ruoxi, “Dear, I—”
“Don’t you dare go!”
Before he could speak, she interjected with a shout.
Her face was grim, and she looked livid at the moment. With a gaze as cold as ice, she resembled the goddess of winter.
Her countenance and shout frightened the others, but they soon caught on and looked at him in shock.
Yang Chen gazed at his wife with an unfathomable look in his eyes. A sorrowful smile touched his lips as he said, “I haven’t said anything…”
“I know what you’re planning to do even if you don’t tell me. I forbid you from joining the war,” she replied in a tone that left no room for negotiation.
Yang Chen frowned. Even though he would usually listen to his women, no one could stop him if he made up his mind. Thus, he said forthrightly, “Lin Ruoxi, I’ve made a decision. Take care of Lanlan. I’ll come back as soon as possible.”
Lin Ruoxi trembled over, but it was hard to tell if it was due to rage or grievances. All of a sudden, she took a step forward and grabbed his wrist.
“Don’t go, please. Stay for my sake and our child’s sake…” she pleaded with her head lowered. It was as though she dared not meet his gaze.
Lanlan watched them innocently while biting her lip. Seeing that they were about to quarrel, she did not dare to say a word.
Yang Chen let out a self-deprecating laugh and said, “I have an ounce of hesitation earlier on, but now… I think I must go. I have to face some matters sooner or later…”
Lin Ruoxi’s hand that was holding his wrist trembled, and she loosened her grip gradually.
He exhaled and voiced, “I have to go… Take care of Lanlan at home.”
Then, he shook her hand off and vanished from outside the castle.
Her arm dropped. From behind, she seemed so helpless and desolate as though she had let go of everything instead of her beloved man’s hand.