“You all really want to stop the war?” asked Princess Longji, surprised.
“Yep, stop the war temporarily. But if you all do anything, we will still carry on,” said Sha Lan.
“Are you all preparing and taking this time to raise more troops, finally delivering the final strike on us?” Princess Longji looked at Sha Lan. Their plan was becoming quite obvious.
“You’re right, that’s exactly our plan. If we keep fighting you all before we’re ready, it will just be a waste of lives and resources. It will just make our finances, people and everything suffer. Our empress would never agree to this,” said Sha Lan. “What? Are you afraid? If you’re afraid, then we shall carry on. Soaring Sky won’t be the only one who sustains losses if this continues.”
“Alright, it’s set then. Let me remind you that you’re not the only ones preparing, us too. We will come take back what’s ours anytime,” said Princess Longji directly.
“I know but that’s none of my business, I’m not in charge of these things,” shrugged Sha Lan.
“Alright, we’ve finished talking about serious business. Let’s talk about other things,” said Princess Longji to Sha Lan.
What? You’re done?
Third Brother and Seventh Brother looked at each other awkwardly. How could these girls talk about serious business so casually? But then again, it seemed that everything that needed to be discussed had already been discussed.
As long as they were inclined towards ending the war. Everyone hoped they would just stop fighting.
“All done? Someone’s not here yet though, although I don't think that relates to you guys,” said Sha Lan.
“Who else?” Princess Longji could not remember the remaining person.
“Me.” They heard a seductive voice as a girl with a killer figure walked into the living room. All eyes were on her.
Although they had never met, they all knew who this was. This was because she was no ordinary person-- rather, she was not human.
This girl was a member of the fox tribe. She was the representative of the beastmen.
“And you are?” Although they knew her as the representative, they did not know her name.
“Athena of the fox tribe. As the representative of the beastmen, I would like to say that we also agree to stop the war because we need time to prepare. When we are ready, you all will know that you should've provoked the beastmen,” said the fox girl.
“Athena? So you’re Athena. This is very interesting,” said Ye Lanyu with a smile. “Everyone here has some sort of relations with my brother.”
“Hey, I have no relations with that guy,” huffed Athena.
“Third Brother, I think we’ve underestimated Thirteen. I didn’t know he had so much luck with girls. I should’ve asked him to introduce a few of them to us.”
“What did you say?”
“Huh, nothing! I didn’t say anything… Ah, honey, don’t do that.”
Just as Seventh Brother teased, his wife heard him. It was going to be a sad day for him.
“Hehe, take care, Seventh Brother!” yelled Ye Lanyu. She grinned. “Little Seven, look around you. There are so many people here intimate with your partner, don’t you think you’ve failed as a wife?”
“What intimate? Who has Ye Lang flirted with? They’re just good friends and the other person happens to be a girl. If only he actually knew about feelings like that,” said the seventh princess.
Yep, all the girls here had relations with Ye Lang but they were all platonic and innocent with no romance or anything else. Everyone outside knew too.
Everyone knew of Ye Lang’s personality. He only had innocent platonic relationships with friends and family. Not romance.
This was coincidentally why the girls here liked him so much. They liked this feeling, they liked spending time with him.
Perhaps some of them here would leave someday to marry someone else. Perhaps they would find the love they sought after. That wouldn’t be surprising at all though, it was all natural.
But would the day really come?
They weren’t sure. Five years had passed but they hadn’t met their soulmate…
Perhaps they knew deep down that Ye Lang was their best home. They didn’t have to marry Ye Lang but being friends was already the best. Everything was innocent, it felt good.
“Ye Lang will definitely marry you when the time comes, don’t worry about anything else,” said Zhen Xiaoyan mildly. Then, she said something that shifted their focus.
“But have you all thought about how Ye Lang and Zhao Yarou are stuck in there alone for ten years? What would happen? Maybe they’ve even…” Zhen Xiaoyan did not continue because she was too embarrassed.
“Even had a child? You’re not wrong, that’s possible. Ten years! Anything could happen. Maybe they already have one now. Then you’ll see a little Ye Lang when they come out,” continued Third Brother. Everyone knew what she meant.
“...” Ye Lanyu and the rest were silent.
This was very much possible. Ten years! Anything could happen. Things happened when a man and a woman lived in the same room for a night, this was ten years!
“Little Seven, looks like your little sister beat you to it…” said Ye Lanyu solemnly.
“If he dares get together with that psycho, I will kill him!” said Princess Longji with a determined face. She did not believe that he would get with Zhao Yarou.
Zhao Yarou was a violent murderer, a person who killed her own family and declared war against Vermilion Bird. This was unforgivable.
“If Her Majesty and Ye Lang are happy together, how could you all object to it? Don’t think that Her Majesty likes him less than you,” said Sha Lan. She sounded wistful, everyone slowly digested her words.
“Why would you say that? Do you think that perverted madwoman Zhao Yarou has romantic feelings towards my brother?” said Ye Lanyu.
No one really knew what happened to Zhao Yarou. They didn’t know why Zhao Yarou had disappeared with him.
Everyone thought Zhao Yarou must’ve dragged him inside, so she could lock him up at the expense of her own freedom.
That was why they did not think too much into it.
“Perverted? She’s just a little peculiar, not perverted. There are millions of other people more perverted than her. As for emotions, she does not have fewer emotions than you and I. She knew she would be trapped for ten years and yet chose to be locked up with him. If that were you, would you do the same?” asked Sha Lan.
“Of course I’ll be with him,” said Ye Lanyu without thinking.
The seventh princess and the rest nodded. It was obvious they would do the same. On the other hand. Princess Longji and Athena would not. They had to reconsider.
There were many other matters for Princess Longji to consider. Athena did not have a deep connection with Ye Lang like them so she wouldn’t do such a thing unless absolutely necessary.
But that situation would have to be extraordinary.
“You… I really don’t understand why you’re all so nice to that jerk, he’s not that good of a person.” Sha Lan was stunned. Although she knew some of them would do it, she didn’t expect so many.
If she were to ask them for their reasons, they would all be different…
Ye Lanyu: “Because he’s my brother.”
Seventh princess: “Because he’s my fiance.”
Zhen Xiaoyan: “Because I’m his cook, I want to cook for him…”
Xuan Yuanbing: “Because we cannot be separated, he’s the most important person to me…”
Little princess: “Because he’s my Big Brother, I like being with him…”
Fei would be surprised at her own answer. “Why? Maybe my brain is just overheating.”
“Why? I don’t know. All I know is that if I were there, I would go with him.” Coldblood Five couldn’t think of a reason but was sure she would do it.
Some things did not require reason.
“Let’s not talk about this. Do you mean Zhao Yarou didn’t drag Ye Lang in but went crazy and jumped in with him?”
“Went crazy? I guess. If not, why would she hop inside? At that point, that jerk had already been locked up. He wouldn’t be able to escape already. She just couldn’t bear to be separated from him or wouldn’t have jumped in,” said Sha Lan.
“Zhao Yarou jumped in voluntarily? What? Why would she do that?” Third Brother, who was about to leave, decided to stay behind to listen to them.
“At the time…”
Sha Lan did not hold back, describing every detail to everyone. Every scene made them understand Zhao Yarou’s inner dilemma to make a decision to lock Ye Lang up for ten years, yet couldn’t bear to be apart for such a long time.
They realised Zhao Yarou must have feelings towards him. It was an inexplicable feeling, but must be a deep one.
However, they didn’t understand why she would want to be his arch nemesis if she liked him so much. Why was she always trying to kill him?
Wait, kill him? Although it looked like she wanted to kill him, she never succeeded. Or rather, she never even reached that step.
Although those incidents seemed real- or maybe they were- no matter what, in the end, Ye Lang did not die and she decided to get locked up with him for ten years.
What happened between Ye Lang and Zhao Yarou? Was this feeling from before or after she killed her father?
Ye Lanyu and Sha Lan had the same questions. Everyone wanted to listen to the answer because someone here should know.
“I don’t know, Yarou used to hang out with us for a while but after a while, she didn’t spend any more time with us. At that point, Ye Lang thought she was very annoying…” The seventh princess tried to recall when she saw their begging faces but couldn’t think of anything significant.
“Did she used to…. Always follow Ye Lang around?” asked Sha Lan suddenly.
“I don’t know about that, she liked to follow me around… Unless the person she was following was Ye Lang?” The seventh princess paused for a moment. She hadn’t thought about this. At that point, she was always with Ye Lang.
It looked like the problem stemmed from this. Perhaps Zhao Yarou used to like Ye Lang, not the seventh princess. Everyone thought she was following her sister around.
“That’s not possible, she was so young. How could she have feelings towards him already?” The seventh princess shook her head. Zhao Yarou was only five or six. They were so young, how could she develop feelings already?
“Why not? Feelings between children are very innocent, not the complicated kind. Or she just treated him like an elder brother, like the little princess. The most innocent feelings are the most memorable and affect a person the most,” said Princess Longji mildly.
“I guess it's because of Ye Lang that Zhao Yarou became who she is today. If that’s true, then Ye Lang is the largest idiot in the world.” Princess Longji shook her head.
Everyone thought it was possible. Zhao Yarou’s insanity and perversion maybe stemmed from the things Ye Lang did to her when she was young.
If that was the case, then he was the culprit of today’s chaos and was the largest idiot in the world.
Meanwhile, what were they doing? After being transported to the Tiangongyue prison, what happened?
We have to go back to the moment they first arrived…
“Where is this? A paradise?”
Ye Lang looked around, confused. He didn’t really need an answer, it was just an expression of astonishment.
Before him was an expansive sky and a lush, green world. Everyone would suspect that this was an other-worldly paradise.
He had forgotten that he was still in the ancient ruins, about why he was here.
“It’s not an other-worldly paradise, just an other-worldly prison,” said Zhao Yarou gently. She too was stunned by its beauty but not completely mesmerised.
“Prison? Right, why are we here?” He suddenly remembered he shouldn’t be here.
“Because I wanted to lock you up for ten years. So that when you come out, you’ll see that the entire world belongs to me, and you were the one who was stopping me, the only obstacle I had,” said Zhao Yarou gently. She held his arm while staring at the unbelievable beauty.
“What? What are you talking about? Ten years? Why am I an obstacle, what are you talking about? Also, I just want to know how I got here.” Ye Lang was very blur, he didn’t understand what she meant.
“...How could you be so clueless? But you’re the only idiot who can ruin all my plans. I had no choice but to lock you up,” huffed Zhao Yarou.
“Alright, I’ll explain. We’re now in a prison built by the Tiangongyue tribe. They lock criminals up here. You can’t use alchemy and magic here…” said Zhao Yarou.
“I know, I’ve read about it in their records. I wasn’t able to find the place before. I initially wanted to lock you up inside. It’s good now that you’re here, at least you won't’ hurt anyone outside.” Ye Lang was indifferent about this outcome.
“...Don’t you think you should be upset?” asked Zhao Yarou, surprised. She didn’t expect this reaction at all.
“Why should I be upset?” asked Ye Lang.
“Don't’ you know that we won't’ be able to escape? No matter how good you are at alchemy, you still can’t escape,” said Zhao Yarou.
“I know.” He nodded.
“You do? Then do you know that you can’t go back outside for the next ten years?” Zhao Yarou thought Ye Lang might not understand his situation.
“I know that too,” he said with a smile.
“You do? Then why are you so calm? Don’t you hate me?” She didn’t understand at all.
“Why would I hate you? Aren’t you in the same situation as me? You’re also going to be here for ten years, aren’t you?” he said with a smile as he took in the scenery.
“Huh? Ah…” She did not expect him to say this. “I’m here but I was the one who caused you to be here for ten years, why aren’t you angry?”
“What’s the use of being angry? I can’t change anything. But this isn't’ too bad either. Just as I said, keeping you here is a good thing so you won’t hurt anymore people,” he said in a carefree manner. Not sure if he was faking it or it was his personality.
But what was the use of faking it? They were alone here. And he did not like lying. He was always honest and direct.
He really wasn’t upset and naturally accepted his fate. Going with the flow was probably his greatest strength. He never blamed the heavens and or anyone when he was put in a situation. He could let go.
Yep, let go. At this point, he didn’t know how he could defeat Zhao Yarou. He knew she would cause complications to the political situation across the mainland and it could be disastrous.
This was great. If Zhao Yarou was here, the world would be a little more peaceful. He didn’t think about anything else.
He didn’t have to think about defeating Zhao Yarou, a problem he hadn’t been able to solve. It felt as if a burden had been lifted.
If only he knew that even without Zhao Yarou, wars still erupted and blood still flowed. What would he think?
Ye Lang would say it was the best-case scenario, that if Zhao Yarou was outside, the situation would be worse.
Itw as true. If she wasn’t here with him, there wouldn’t be a meeting after five years. Zhao Yarou would have defeated all the human powers.
Vermilion Bird and Ai La would not have time to catch their breath. Then, the beastmen would fall too.
Of course, the losses sustained by both sides would be a lot more too. Zhao Yarou did not care for the cost of her endeavours. This was the part that distinguished her from the rest.
Ye Lang described it as ‘a river of blood’.
“I don’t hurt other people…” muttered Zhao Yarou.
“How could you say that? I’m a good example- you’re the one who made me get locked up here,” said Ye Lang.
“Didn’t you say you weren’t mad?” said Zhao Yarou weakly.
“I’m not mad, but that doesn’t mean this situation isn’t because of you.”
“Ye Lang, tell me why aren’t you angry? Why haven’t you killed me by now? You had so many chances to kill me, like that time, you could’ve chosen not to save me…” She blushed when she remembered the time he kissed-- no, saved-- her in the water.
[Countdown to finale chapter: T-8]