In the beginning, everyone thought Soaring Sky was operating according to Zhao Yarou’s plan, she was the one who wanted to conquer the whole world. After that, they realised that the long-dead Soaring Sky Emperor was actually alive and was the one who provoked a major conflict against Vermilion Bird. He was the one who set his beady eyes on the entire mainland.
It was human nature to act as if they had no greed under regular circumstances, yet when presented with an opportunity, one’s personality could take a full turn and all desires would be shown to the world.
The Soaring Sky Emperor was wild and ambitious, he would never miss this opportunity. When he knew of Zhao Yarou’s plan and saw that Soaring Sky was attacking various nations, he did not stop it but instead continued it.
His worst mistake was putting the blame all on Zhao Yarou, so she would bear the blame for all the destruction. No one knew it was he who launched the attacks against Ye City and the rest of the powers.
It was a shameless act, very political of him. This was a problem to many officials who were still loyal to him, they had now shifted to Ye City because Zhao Yarou killed him.
Now, to the public, it looked like he was attacking his loyal subordinates and Ye Chengtian’s family (who used to be close to him) in the name of conquering the world. It was utter betrayal.
He should have publicly announced and explained himself, perhaps no one would be as disgusted. Unfortunately, he was forced out of the shadows by someone else and still refused to admit that this was all his doing. Till the end, he still put the blame on Zhao Yarou.
He might be able to lie to the civilians to gain their support but not Ye Chengtian and the rest. Ye Chengtian and the rest were very disappointed, treating him as if he had died and this was another person.
The emperor’s actions were perhaps quite normal, there were many people who would’ve done what he did. But from Ye Chengtian’s perspective, it was also quite difficult for him to forgive such crimes.
“I did this for the empire, who wouldn’t want their own empire to rule the entire mainland? Vermilion Bird, Ai La, anyone else would’ve done the same!” said the Soaring Sky Emperor.
“I do not feel like talking about this now. Just let us take Ye Lang home, will you?” The seventh princess did not want to talk now. Right now, she feared Soaring Sky might have certain traps and plans to capture Ye Lang or maybe even herself.
“You know that if you all bring that kid home, he will ruin Soaring Sky’s plans. Your younger sister has understood this a long time ago, that was why she locked him up for ten years! I just can’t believe she was crazy enough to enter with him,” said the Soaring Sky Emperor. Although he did not answer her question, his intentions were obvious.
“She might be crazy but I think it’s a little cute now! At least she dared to love and to hate, she was brave enough to do whatever she wanted in her own name, not like some people,” said Long Anqi now. She seemed to be praising Zhao Yarou-- not just her, other people now had a good feeling about Zhao Yarou.
“It’s true. Just as Ye Lang said, although she’s crazy, she was still a good empress…” said Ye Lanyu.
“...” The Soaring Sky Emperor was silent. He felt it too. The civilians loved and respected Zhao Yarou more than himself.
“Stop talking, it’s going to open soon!”
Sha Lan spoke up so everyone focused on the empty space before them. There was a special space mechanism hidden here, it was also the spot where Ye Lang and Zhao Yarou disappeared.
Everyone waited anxiously, also vigilant of anyone choosing to attack them at this moment.
Most people would choose to eliminate threats that made them uncomfortable. The Soaring Sky Emperor’s intentions were clear. He would never let a threat like Ye Lang live.
At this moment, Li Yue sent people to surround the area so no one could enter, including the people of Soaring Sky. Only Li Yue and Sha Lan were inside the circle.
After a long time…
“Why haven’t they appeared yet?” Li Yue turned to Sha Lan.
“Don’t look at me, I don’t know either. The Tiangongyue people made this, I haven’t fully understood it yet. Many the mechanism isn’t working properly, that’s why their arrival is delayed…” Sha Lan shook her head.
“Maybe it’s for the best. If they don’t come back, I will throw you into the next cell,” threatened Li Yue coldly. She was still holding on to this grudge.
Sha Lan smiled bitterly, “What has this got to do with me? It’s not my fault!”
“I don’t care, all I know is you’re the one who put them inside!” said Li Yue mildly.
“...” Sha Lan was frustrated.
No one there dared to anger Li Yue, including Sha Lan. Li Yue was secretly the top fighter in Soaring Sky. Three years ago, she had defeated the former First Swordsman effortlessly.
Perhaps it was because Li Yue had spent ten years here, immersing herself in cultivation as there was nothing else to do. She made significant progress so no one could catch up to her level now.
At the same time, Li Yue was in control of the military in this area. She was basically the owner of this piece of land, even the emperor would not be able to suppress her.
“Miss Li Yue, can you let us in too?” Tigress asked. She did not want to wait in the outer circle.
“Yes but you cannot attack the emperor.” Li Yue nodded, offering one condition.
“Alright!” answered Tigress, appearing next to Li Yue in a flash. No one could stop her with such speed and power. Her question was just out of respect for Li Yue.
After her, the rest of the girls entered too. Li Yue did not object!
As for the Soaring Sky Emperor and the rest of the Soaring Sky people, Li Yue stopped them from entry. This upset them, questioning why Tigress was allowed inside.
Li Yue said, “They will keep their word, I trust them!”
She implied that Soaring Sky wouldn’t keep their word!
“Haha, Your Majesty, you should just wait outside. We’ll be outside too,” said Ye Chengtian. At this moment, he and Long Anqi were waiting outside too, the ones who entered were just the girls.
“We’ll wait here, it’ll be the same!” said the emperor.
They waited and waited…
A long time passed. It had been three hours since the expected time of arrival!
Some people were starting to get anxious, while the rest were happy. The anxious ones were afraid the two might never come back, the rest were praying the two would never come back.
Just this moment, the space above ground contorted and two silhouettes appeared on the ground.
“Oof, thank goodness we made it in time. Zhao Yarou, how could you have forgotten about the time?”
“How could you blame me, you forgot too! And you were playing with the baby.”
“I’ve never looked at the time, you know that!”
“I know, but I’m blaming you anyway!”
There was silence as everyone watched them bicker, stunned. Joy, shock and solemn expressions appeared on different faces…
These two were obviously Ye Lang and Zhao Yarou. Although it had been ten years, it seemed as if nothing had changed for them!
Ye Lang was still clueless, Zhao Yarou was still petite and adorable…
But to everyone’s surprise, there was a baby in Zhao Yarou’s arms.
Did the two of them really do it in there? Was this their child?
Ye Lanyu smirked teasingly while the rest had very strange expressions…
“Eh? Why are there so many people here? Little Xin! My darling Little Xin is here too…”
No one expected Ye Lang to greet his Little Xin first before all the people here.
Little Xin immediately appeared next to him when he summoned her, as always, silently protecting him. She did not show any expression or made any unnecessary movements.
“You little troublemaker, don’t you see anyone else here?” scoffed Princess Longji.
“I see you, Tigress, Fatty, you’re all here…” greeted Ye Lang.
“...” Hey, I’m speaking to you, why did you greet the,?
“Alright, let’s not talk about that first. Why are there so many people here? Are you all waiting for us or are you going to do something to us?” said Zhao Yarou mildly. Her mind was as sharp as ten years ago.
The moment she exited, she sensed something wrong with the situation!
“We’re waiting for my brother, not you! As for your father, he’s probably waiting for you.” Ye Lanyu knocked Ye Lang’s head because he hadn’t greeted her despite her being so worried for him.
“Oh, you’re out? You seem to have gained full control of Soaring Sky. Then this means there’s nothing for me in Soaring Sky anymore.” Zhao Yarou looked at him as if this was all very normal.
“You don’t care?” Zhao Yarou’s calmness was shocking.
“Why would I? All this wasn’t even what I wanted, I just wanted to prove it to someone,” she shrugged.
“Prove… You mean, you did all that for him?”
Everyone knew she was talking about Ye Lang. They also knew that all she did was for him to see.
Zhao Yarou did not answer them, instead played with the baby in her arms!
“Hey, what happened between you two? Why is there a baby? Is that my grandchild?” Long Anqi suddenly appeared next to Zhao Yarou and pointed at the baby.
Everyone had speculated that this would happen, but they didn’t know they would actually appear with a child.
“Yep, I had a child with him! The baby’s so cute!” Zhao Yarou said with a smile.
“What?” Ye Lang was checking Little Xin, touching and feeling here and there. He looked like a pervert.
“Oh, you’re talking about the baby? She’ll be Mom’s granddaughter,” said Ye Lang casually.
“Oh, she’s a girl! Wait, tell me, what the heck happened? Why do you have a daughter with Zhao Yarou?” Long Anqi carried the baby over, she looked very happy.
“What? Who had a daughter with who?” Ye Lang asked, stunned.
“She’s talking about you! There were only the two of you inside,” interrupted Sha Lan. She was sure there were only two people inside. This cell hadn’t been activated for ten thousand years, how could anyone survive in there?
“Of course that daughter’s not mine. We weren’t the only ones in there, this little baby was there too,” he pointed, shaking his head.
“What? Wait, this girl is a little different…” Sha Lan finally noticed the baby was a little different from humans.
“She has markings on her forehead… It’s from the Tiangongyue tribe… You mean…”
“Yep, this is a baby of the Tiangongyue tribe, she was sealed in the cell. I only found her recently,” Ye Lang said with a nod.
The tribe had placed a baby inside in hopes that their tribe would live on.
Based on the ancient ruins, Ye Lang told them that the tribe had faced a huge disaster that threatened the lives of the entire tribe. They then decided to seal a portion of the tribesmen in various places. This girl was one of them.
As for what disaster and where the rest were, there were no records anywhere. It would forever be a mystery.
“What?! Tiangongyue tribe?!” Everyone was shocked as they stared at the baby in Long Anqi’s arms. Other than peculiar markings on the forehead, and slightly different facial features, she was quite similar to humans.
“Thank goodness she’s not theirs, I thought I just lost to my sister.” The seventh princess patted her chest. She was not interested in what the history of the baby was.
“Hehe, sis, are you scared? Although we don’t have a kid, I know I’ve won…” Zhao Yarou chuckled. No one knew what she meant, if she was telling the truth.
“What? Have you two… Whatever, we’ll talk about this later. We still have many problems here.” The seventh princess thought it was most important to solve their most urgent problem first.
“What problem? Based on how you’re acting, you’re all still enemies. You guys haven’t managed to conquer the world yet?” asked Zhao Yarou.
Zhao Yarou thought there was something wrong. She expected Soaring Sky to have conquered the entire world by now. These people should be on the same team now.
But they seemed to be at each other’s necks.
One could say they were of different political parties within the same empire but if the Soaring Sky Emperor was their emperor, they shouldn’t be this bold either.
The only explanation was that both sides were still at war! They hadn’t merged into one empire yet!
“We haven’t, there’s still a long way to go…” said the emperor. “We really need you now!”
“Impossible, my plans were enough to conquer the world. Even if there were accidents, that should not affect the entire plan. How could the results differ so much?!” said Zhao Yarou. “If you all haven’t conquered the world, then Ye Lang and I would’ve waited in there for ten years, for nothing!”
“...” The people from Soaring Sky were all silent.
“Actually, we did follow your plans in the beginning, we could have… but…” A young man from Soaring Sky spoke up. He had been silent all this time, seemingly an unimportant character.
However, everyone here knew that he was a very important person. He was a general of the Soaring Sky Empire, the best war strategist of Soaring Sky and famous throughout the lands.
“You mean I’ve been too nosy and ruined your plans?” The Soaring Sky Emperor frowned.
“I would never!” said the young man.
In reality, it was true that the Soaring Sky Emperor had been too nosy. Zhao Yarou’s plans were all interconnected. When he inserted his own plans, the entire thing fell apart.
It was because he did not understand her plans at all and decided to do everything according to his own. That was also why they had a temporary ceasefire. Zhao Yarou’s plans did not include that. The Soaring Sky Emperor was the one who wanted time to prepare. He felt like all he needed was more alchemy weapons and the world would be his.
“But that’s none of my business. Whether you get your land or not, is your business! But I advise you to stop all of this. Negotiations would be the best way to proceed,” said Zhao Yarou mildly. She no longer cared about the outcome, despite having spent so much time and effort in planning this.
Now that Ye Lang was back, Soaring Sky’s advantageous position was no longer the reality. With so many forces attacking them at the same time, the original nations would definitely take their land back sooner or later, maybe even encroaching into Soaring Sky’s land.
“Negotiations? Yarou, it’s not like you’ve never been the empress before. Do you think that’s possible?” demanded the emperor.
“It is possible! As long as you understand what the outcome of continuing the war will be,” said Zhao Yarou. “If I were you, at this point, I would give up!”
“...” He was silent.
“Can’t you help us?” the emperor asked after a long pause.
“I am now on my brother-in-law’s side. If he says to help you, I’ll help you!” Zhao Yarou hugged Ye Lang’s arm happily. Many people wanted to shoo her away from Ye Lang instantly.
But Ye Lang still had his eyes on Little Xin…
“What? Don’t help them, we do not help bad people! Little Xin, you’re so lucky I am now here to make modifications for you. Maybe you’ll be able to talk. What do you think? Are you happy… Nod if you’re happy… Mm, I knew you would nod your head.”
“Shut up! You’re controlling her! Of course she’ll nod when you tell her to!” huffed Zhao Yarou.
“Our hearts are connected, you wouldn’t understand,” said Ye Lang seriously.
“Then would I understand?” said Xuan Yuanbing.
“...” Ye Lang was stunned for a moment. “Uh, let’s go back now. It’s not fun here. Little Zero’s waiting in the sky, right?”
No one cared that Ye Lang was attempting to change the subject. They answered him and asked how he knew.
“Because Little Xin can control that flying boat!” said Ye Lang casually.
“?!” What did he mean? Was the boat made for Little Xin?
He seemed to sense everyone’s confusion so he explained. “Oh, haven’t I told you before? Little Xin can control all alchemy items. You only need one Little Xin to defeat any alchemy item. Little Xin, blow up the alchemy weapons pointing at us!”
In response to his words, the weapons brought by Soaring Sky aimed at them from afar exploded. The people nearby were thrown backwards from the blast.
There was silence. They didn’t know the key to victory was actually with them all along!
If they had known about Little Xin, Soaring Sky would’ve collapsed a long time ago for sure.
“You little troublemaker, you’re always surprising everyone! I don’t know whether to laugh or cry!” Princess Longji said, exasperated.
“Ye Lang, you… what are you?!” Sha Lan was already shocked by Ye City, now she was speechless after looking at Little Xin.
So what if she was the best at alchemy? Ye Lang could defeat her with just one Little Xin. Even worse, his alchemy skills were as good as hers.
They could not believe he would have something to control alchemy items like that…
“I’m a prodigal son!” said Ye Lang.
The entire world knew he was a prodigal son, but he was a very strange prodigal son. If only their children could be prodigal sons and daughters like him...
[Countdown to finale chapter: T-4]