Chapter 120: The Allure of A Faint Dream (1)

“You keep on saying that this Fourth Young Miss of Wei is the only candidate that’s currently suitable for my Ming Xia, but why continue denying all of my approaches, ah!?”

The Grand Elder, due to his excessively heightened emotions, ultimately broke into a great fuss.

Faced with the impressively painful pressure brought by Tian Ming Xia’s marriage, the elderly man had begun to hyperventilate.

“Because your approaches towards this matter are far too brusque and barbaric, ah!?”

Feng Yu Xin cried out in response, an equally awkward expression decorating her charming countenance.

The Empress of Great Yong pinned the Grand Elder onto the stone, glaring fiercely into Tian Mu’s eyes with a fearsome expression.

“I’m warning you as a friend, not to adopt such measures. Your Ming Xia’s contract by itself is already so fearsome and cruel towards a young maiden, why must you adopt such barbaric approaches to completing such a matter? You’ve never learned the principles of ‘give and take’, even after so long!?”

Tian Mu stroked his beard in thought after receiving the empress’ irate chastising.

Ultimately, the old man broke out into a shameless smile, his wizened countenance splitting in joy.

“Then Yu Xin, ah, you’ve actually decided to betroth that Young Miss to my Ming Xia?” the Grand Elder clapped in jubilation, his wrinkled hands stroking the absent stars of the sky with a loving caress.

“That’s right; though that Wei Xuan would never permit others to do such a thing, I am indeed the Empress of Great Yong,”

Feng Yu Xin revealed a consoling smile towards the rejoicing Tian Mu.

The empress reached over to pat the Grand Elder on his back, eventually calming the elder down to a calmer state of mind.

“The idea of cooked rice is indeed not a bad idea; it was just that your application was morally horrendous and condemning of the Heavenly Sword Sect. Instead, having an Empress bestow the Young Miss in an equal marriage of the first wife of the Heavenly Sword Sect’s treasured young genius, how would that Wei Xuan find any methods to refute?”

All in all, regardless of how treasured an official was, he still would not overshadow the indomitable presence of an Empress, be it in the public’s sentiment, or that of the emperor himself.

The smile of pure shamelessness and relief flooded the Grand Elder’s heart, and he excitedly opened the paper scroll, revealing the contents within.

“Yu Xin, look,” Tian Mu gushed, pointing towards the final sentences of the scroll’s contents.

“That’s Ming Xia’s signature. All we need to do is add the name of the Young Miss with spiritual essence, and the Soul-Binding Contract will thus become effective immediately.”

Feng Yu Xin took back the scroll from the Grand Elder’s hands, her bewitching eyes scouring the paper scroll to its maximum depths once again.

Eventually, the empress raised her fingertip to rest above the space directly below Tian Ming Xia’s signature, but paused as her lips pursed in resignation.

“That girl, however quiet and reserved, was a little too pitiful to look at…” the woman murmured, before pointing at the scroll with her fingers.

“Tian Mu, bengong shall sign on behalf of little Wei’s daughter if you amend the scroll a bit. I shan’t touch the important portions that protect your third great-grandson, but the young girl should similarly receive protection as well, ah.”

The Great Elder nodded his head with the force of a war drum, his beaming countenance not flickering in the slightest.

To ensure the safety of his Ming Xia, there were no depths he would not hesitate to stride towards, nor would he hesitate to maim himself.

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“Speak! I’ll amend the Soul-Binding Contract as you say your terms.”

“Then that’s fine,” Feng Yu Xin smiled, her countenance gradually turning stern as she pondered for a brief moment.

“The contractor shall possess attraction and affection only towards the contracted; the contractor, with heaven as witness, shall not partake in any interpersonal acts with another female without the contracted’s express permissions.”

“Additionally, the contracted may not suffer abuse nor harm from the contractor or his allies, enemies, or passerby’s in any shape or form, with heaven as witness and presiding judge. Finally, the contracted and contractor share an equal and mutual relationship, and neither may oppress the other.”

The Grand Elder shook the paper scroll twice to remove any residue from the surface, before handing it over to the empress to observe.

Reading the scroll that continued to reveal a brilliant trace of spiritual essence, the empress rubbed her chest in relief, having rid herself of any lingering guilt she had experienced within the few moments that she had blurted An Fei’s identity to the Grand Elder of the Heavenly Sword Sect.

Rather than offend Imperial Censors Zhang or Luo who could singlehandedly force Lu Jing Yi to demote her to that of an imperial concubine, she would much rather offend Wei Xuan, for he, no matter how much Lu Jing Yi trusted him, was no more than a third-ranked Defense Minister…

“Tian Mu, you must remember that by all means, before you bring the Young Miss to the Heavenly Sword Sect, you must, you absolutely must, bring her to the Taiyi Sect, even if it means that she only took a single step into the grounds. Otherwise, your old friend here would not be able to retain a peaceful or safe life…”

The Empress covered her right index finger with a delicate sheen of scarlet light.

The fingertip descended onto the proffered sacrifice of a Soul-Binding Contract, to write three fragile and fragrant words.

Wei. An. Fei.

The instant her finger seared the young girl’s name onto the paper scroll, the scroll burst into a countless number of sparks of multicolored light that scattered away into the atmosphere with the gentle but conclusive spring midnight breeze.

The Grand Elder burst into euphoric tears, his heart fully at peace.

“Mm, I got it! Yu Xin, you’ve helped this old sack of bones, ah! Remember that I owe you an earth-shaking favor!”

He would need to offer that young girl all the pampering and familial affection she demanded, in order to ensure that she followed him to meet with his Ming Xia!

Tian Mu quickly fled from the scene, but did not head into the gathering to greet his disciples, instead dashing into the depths of the forest.

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The empress walked into the imperial carriage with a freshened smile that quickly morphed into a helpless grimace and a slap to her forehead.

The young girl had not retained enough clarity to reattach the incense burner to the surface of the table, but the sachet of scarlet silk had mysteriously vanished.

Since the girl had heard enough of their conversation, how was she now supposed to explain to Wei Xuan when she returned?

And how did a young girl who hadn’t progressed beyond the Body Tempering Realm sneak up on two cultivators, one of the Peak Core Formation Realm and the other a Peak Nascent Soul Realm, without divulging her presence?

Feng Yu Xin revealed the longest sigh of ever yet, sinking into the soft and comforting couch with an audible groan.

Forget it, since this trip was going to take at least twelve months to complete, she had sufficient time to construe a plausible excuse. If not, she could always dawdle on her return journey.

After all, she was the one reporting the results to Wei Xuan! She could delay for as long as she wanted, as long as that girl took a step into the grounds of the Taiyi Sect!

The forest that the Empress’ convoy had paused to take a rest was unusually solemn and melancholy.

As An Fei raced past the various trees and tall grasses, the young girl could hardly sense any of the overpowering vitality she had glimpsed during daytime.

However, since the melancholy and comparably depressed forest did not posses any of the creatures that Feng Yu Xin had cautioned about, at least not yet, the young girl could hardly care any less about her observations.

Right now, she had to run!

Run away from the imperial carriage, from the empress, and the rest of the convoy. Most particularly, An Fei had to flee from the Grand Elder of the Heavenly Sword Sect.

She, under no circumstances, wished to be roped into an arranged marriage!

“Hah…”

The young girl released a huff of breath, a faint sheen of sweat dotting her brow. The night weather of the forest was unusually cold, causing her to become thankful to Wei Xuan for the linen coat.

The thick layers warmed her body during cold temperature, and brought forth a cooling and refreshing sensation during hotter weather.

Furthermore, it didn’t restrict mobility in any major fashion…

An Fei grit her teeth, her hands curling into tight fists underneath the sleeves of the coat.

Taking in a deep breath, she began to run once more, her body quickly lapsing into an unnatural yet surprisingly effective rhythm.

A high-speed dash that bypassed any large obstacles, a fast jog whenever she could see a straight path, and random insertions of walking.

Although the girl constantly complained of her weakened physique compared to her state within the Sanctum, An Fei had already covered several kilometers in the past hour.

Unfortunately, she still didn’t feel any safer!

“May the Young Fellow stop to talk for a moment?”

An old, hoarse voice rang from beside her ear, causing the young girl to shriek in surprise.

Unconsciously, An Fei drastically increased her speed, breaking into a beeline towards the depths of the forest without concern for any harm that lay before her.

Whoosh!

A weightless sensation suddenly overtook the young girl, instantly halting her sprint towards the mottled mesh of trees.

The mysterious force easily suspended her body and placed her onto the ground, the momentum from her breakneck sprint evenly dispersed into the atmosphere without a single trace.

“Young Fellow, may we talk?”

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