Nine Astra Skies

Mad Snail

207 Going Together

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"Yay, that's great!" Little Wingsy did not stand on ceremony with Great Emperor Mingwu and grabbed the cup of Turtle Rock Verdant Brush and drank it. This time, he knew to taste it carefully and did not gulp it down at once. Although he drank slowly, in a few seconds, the cup bottomed out again. "Delicious!"At the side, Ye Chen smiled wryly. Little Wingsy ate like Zhu Bajie ate ginseng, not savoring the taste at all[1].

After a while, Ye Chen and Little Tanuki had also finished their tea. Ye Chen felt that his entire body was extremely warm. This Turtle Rock Verdant Spot was indeed good for nourishing meridians!

In the distance, there was a burst of bell-like laughter. Some children were playing in the royal garden. It was a warm and peaceful scene. Among these children, several girls around fourteen to fifteen years old had grown into graceful figures.

Great Emperor Mingwu looked over and showed a rarely seen calm and peaceful smile.

"Are they all Your Majesty's children?" Ye Chen followed Great Emperor Mingwu's gaze.

"Yes, I have a total of six children. The eldest is already fifteen and the youngest is only a month old." Great Emperor Mingwu smiled.

Great Emperor Mingwu only had children when he was in his thirties, but to a combatant with a long life span, it was not too late to have children in his thirties.

The royal family was different to have sixteen children.

"Among my children, Little Zhi is already fifteen. She's blossomed into a slender and elegant woman, and is definitely one of the most beautiful in the Imperial City. Ye Chen, I'll matchmake and betroth Little Zhi to you. What do you think?" Great Emperor Mingwu looked at Ye Chen and said.

"Your Majesty is joking!" Ye Chen did not take him seriously.

"I'm not joking," Great Emperor Mingwu said seriously. Although Ye Chen was not an official and the Ye Clan was not a large family, Ye Chen had enough talent and was qualified to marry a princess.

"No no no, I can't." Ye Chen realized that Great Emperor Mingwu was not joking. His face flushed red as he spoke.

"Do you feel that Little Zhi isn't worthy of you?" Great Emperor Mingwu's expression was stiff.

"No, I'm unworthy of Princess Zhi," Ye Chen said. He finally calmed down after a moment of embarra.s.sment. What a joke. Making him marry a princess he did not know as his wife. How was that possible? Marriage without feelings would end up in unhappiness. Great Emperor Mingwu's aim in betrothing a princess to Ye Chen was mostly an attempt to win him over. It would be fine if he refused.

"You're too modest. Among the younger generation, there's no one more qualified than you…" Great Emperor Mingwu was speaking when he heard a series of rapid knocks on the table interrupting him. He followed the sound and saw Little Tanuki's disgruntled expression, tapping the table with her claws.

The two men chatted away happily while leaving her out to dry. If Ye Chen dared to marry whatever so-called princess… Thinking about this, Little Tanuki's sharp claws appeared with a "shing" sound. Her right claw slowly dragged down on the table, and three deep claw marks as well as many stone chips were left on the table.

Ye Chen looked at Great Emperor Mingwu and raised his hand helplessly after seeing this.

Great Emperor Mingwu's face froze, and he laughed. "Nevermind, we won't talk about this." After all, he was the head of a country. He could not surrender his status and force a princess on Ye Chen.

Seeing Great Emperor Mingwu dropping the subject, Ye Chen sighed in relief. Little Tanuki's expression had also softened.

"Ye Chen, I have a request," Great Emperor Mingwu stopped smiling and said solemnly.

"What is it?" Ye Chen asked. Previously, proposing a marriage with the princess was just a gesture of goodwill. Now, they would be getting down to business.

Great Emperor Mingwu turned his head and ordered, "Fu Quan, call Little Xiang over."

'It won't be another princess, right?' Ye Chen could not help but think.

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After a moment, a dignified and strong looking eleven-year-old young boy walked over. He wore a thin robe and looked vigorous and full of vitality when he walked. It was a little cute.

"In Xiwu Empire, no one is more suitable to go into the Exclusion Zone than I am. The Xiwu Empire has lost so many times in the Exclusion Zone. There must be a person to turn the tide, dead or alive. Although I'm the king of yesterday and tomorrow, the fact is that I'm just an ordinary person. The country has stood for thousands of years. I can't allow the Nanman Kingdom to bully us!" Great Emperor Mingwu was a little agitated but remained composed.

Ye Chen knew people like Great Emperor Mingwu would never change their minds after making a decision. Great Emperor Mingwu's words made Ye Chen somewhat touched and he fell silent. 

"It's been decades since I, Mingwu, ascended the throne. At that time, the Xiwu Empire was still a mess and the army was disorderly. Although I was a prince, I've traveled to various counties before and have seen too many people suffering. In troubled times, human life is treated like dirt and rogue armies pa.s.s through like a swarm of locusts, eating people like cattle. After I ascended the throne, I devoted all my efforts to rectify the Xiwu Empire. In one year, I ma.s.sacred millions of rebels and killed all who caused trouble! Many Second-rank Princes were destroyed by me and I have also killed countless combatants. I even personally killed many of my own. Many people say that I'm a tyrant. I laugh with a butcher's knife in my hand. So what if I'm a tyrant? I only believe in my martial arts! Even if there are millions of ghosts haunting me, I have a clear conscience!" An aura was released from Great Emperor Mingwu. The sharp killing intent made Ye Chen tremble slightly. In the past, when he fought the Taiyi Sword Sect and the Stalwarts of the Heavenly Stars Sect alone, Great Emperor Mingwu also did not use his full power. People like Dongmen Yingyang could not be compared with Great Emperor Mingwu at all.

Ye Chen heard before that Great Emperor Mingwu had killed a lot of people. After meeting Great Emperor Mingwu himself, Ye Chen felt that he was not as tyrannical as the legends said. Now that he heard these words from Great Emperor Mingwu himself, his heart had a different feeling. In such troubled times, it was completely impossible to frighten the warlords vying for supremacy without using sharp methods. Some extreme measures were inevitable.

"If the Xiwu Empire falls into the hands of the Nanman Kingdom, it'll certainly cause untold sufferings worse than it had been during the war. The last battle of the Xiwu Empire will be ended by my hands, even if the entire Yin Clan of the Royal Tribe is destroyed! The only thing I can't let go of is my wife and children. They say that there are no feelings in the royal family but that's not true. People aren't plants. Who would be that ruthless? If I die in battle, the Empress will die along with all the concubines. As for the children, we can only say that they were born at an inopportune time. Some will die while the rest live. This is the law that no one can escape from," Great Emperor Mingwu said in a hushed voice and looked at the children playing happily in the distance. A trace of warmth flashed in his eyes.

Great Emperor Mingwu's body was full of loneliness and desolation, but since he had made this decision, he did not hesitate and he was determined.

"Imperial Father, this child is willing to die with you," Yin Xiang cried, his tears flowing down.

"Haha." Great Emperor Mingwu smiled fondly and touched Yin Xiang's head. "Death is easy but you must live and preserve the bloodline of the Yin Clan."

Although there were a lot of criticisms regarding Great Emperor Mingwu and Ye Chen did not agree with some of his behaviors, what Great Emperor Mingwu had said still touched Ye Chen's heart. No matter what Great Emperor Mingwu did in the past, to be so steadfast despite facing death, he was definitely a true man. Ye Chen had also made a decision in his heart. After all, the survival of the Xiwu Empire was also related to the safety of the Ye Clan. Although the Ye Clan could hide in the valley but could they hide for a lifetime?

"Please forgive me for not agreeing," Ye Chen said to Great Emperor Mingwu.

Great Emperor Mingwu paused for a long time before smiling sadly and sighing. "Nevermind. I was also being selfish. The reason why I want to entrust Little Xiang to you is because I believe that he'll achieve some accomplishments if he follows you, and the Yin Clan of the Royal Tribe wouldn't sink to dire straits. In that case, I can only entrust Little Xiang to Master Apothecary Xuanyi and send him to an ordinary family in the Central Empire. As for whether he lives or dies, it'll depend on his fate." Saying that, Great Emperor Mingwu fell silent and picked up a cup of tea on the table.

"I cannot help take care of Yin Xiang but if Your Majesty needs me, I can go to the Exclusion Zone with Your Majesty!" Ye Chen said. This was his decision. With his strength coupled with Great Emperor Mingwu's, as long as the Grandruler of the Nanman Kingdom did not come personally, they should be able to leave the Exclusion Zone alive!

[1] An allegory means not appreciating the taste of food or not knowing the value of something

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