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The Dragon

The Dragon By Dec 06, 2023 7 Comments
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Previous: Chapter 98

Chapter 99

The weather that day looked gloomy, as if it might rain.

The City Lord’s mansion in Gu City was tightly guarded inside and out by the Dragon Clan cultivators. With the exception of Zhong Michu, almost none of the dragons were known for their gentleness in handling matters. Despite some restraint in recent years, their inherent nature was hard to change.

By the time they arrived, the people in the City Lord’s mansion had already been informed and had gathered cultivators, determined to resist to the end.

Before Si Miao could speak, a Dragon Clan general stepped forward and said to Lu Zhang, “The Biluo Sect has given Gu City to the Dragon Clan. Starting from today, this city will be managed by the Dragon Clan. All cultivators, except those from the Lu family, must leave immediately!”

Lu Zhang protested, “Gu City is the ancestral property of my Lu family. Even though we are under Bi Luo Sect, we did not hand over our city and lives to them. How can they just give Gu City to the Dragon Clan?”

“That’s an internal matter for your sect, and none of our concern.”

The cultivators present were outraged. Some cursed the Biluo Sect for its lack of integrity, while others accused the Dragon Clan of bullying.

The Dragon Clan detested wasting words when acting. They had been reminded twice before taking action, a practice instilled by Zhong Michu’s ‘teachings.’ Otherwise, as soon as they reached the City Lord’s mansion and saw the people ready to resist, they would have attacked immediately. But two reminders were already their limit.

Seeing the people in front of them chattering endlessly, with no one leaving, they took it as stubborn resistance. The Dragon Clan cultivators immediately acted, suppressing the resistance effortlessly within half a day.

Inside the main hall, Lu Yandong sat dejectedly on a chair to the left. He looked much older than he did seven hundred years ago. He looked at his family members being subdued outside and sighed deeply, “Si Miao, I know you hate me. Whatever revenge you wish to take, I deserve it. Please, for the sake of my acquaintance with your father, ask the Dragon King for mercy and spare my family.”

Si Miao knelt on the ground, cradling Gu Huaiyou in her arms, the three-legged crow spoke, “Uncle Shi.”

Hearing this address, Lu Yandong shivered.

“You still remember your acquaintance with my father.”

Lu Yandong remained silent.

“Uncle Shi, you and my father, along with Elder Gu, you’ve been friends for hundreds of years. You’ve shared so many joys and sorrows. Remember how you used to hold me? And elder brother Gu, and little Yi’er too,” said Si Miao, gently holding Gu Huaiyou’s face and looking towards Lu Yandong.

The three-legged crow then added, “Uncle Shi, look at him. You held him in your arms too, taught him techniques. And Ah Man, remember? Every time Elder Gu scolded her, you always protected her. Uncle Shi, do you remember her? When you think of her, do you see her smiling face or her bloodied form at Zhuling Platform?”

Si Miao sneered mockingly, “Uncle Shi, all these people, who were like brothers and children to you, including your own daughter and grandson, were all betrayed by you. You didn’t protect Auntie Lu or Yi’er, but now you’re worried about your family’s safety?”

Lu Yandong’s voice was weak, “It’s not that I didn’t want to protect them, but by the time I could, it was already too late. All I could do was retrieve their bodies from the Zuo family and give them a proper burial.”

“I wonder if Auntie Lu and Yi’er would want to be buried in your family’s grave.”

Silence filled the room.

Holding Gu Huaiyou close, Si Miao leaned her head against his. “Uncle Shi, back then, if you were unwilling to help, unwilling to provoke the Zuo family, we wouldn’t have blamed you. But we never expected you to collaborate with them. Do you realize how hopeful we were when we came to see you? How desperate Ah Man was to meet you, only to have that hope crushed? How much we despised and loathed you for what happened? The Zuo family may have killed people, but you, you killed hearts.'”

Glancing at him with disdain, the three-legged crow asking, “Uncle Shi, all these years, have you ever regretted it?”

Covering his face, Lu Yandong took a trembling breath, “Ever since Huaiyou and Fuyou passed away… every time I close my eyes, I hear voices calling me ‘Uncle Shi’. Shuangqing’s voice, Huaiyou’s voice, Fuyou’s voice, and yours…”

Lifting his eyes to meet Si Miao’s gaze, his eyes red with tears, “I regret it.”

“One cannot live life over again.”

“I understand…”

Suddenly, the three-legged crow on Si Miao’s shoulder flew out, crossing the threshold, soaring towards the sky. Its body grew larger, circling above the hall’s roof, its wings ablaze with roaring flames.

“Uncle Shi, you have let down too many people. A single regret cannot atone for it. On the journey to the underworld, apologize to Auntie Lu, Yi’er, and Elder Gu.”

The three-legged crow flapped its wings, sending flames flying to the eaves of the roof. Like flowing water, the flames quickly spread, covering the entire rooftop.

Lu Yandong, seated in his chair, remained motionless and asked, “Si Miao, everything that happened back then was my decision alone. The people in the mansion couldn’t defy my orders. Several of them even spoke out for you… just spare them…”

The three-legged crow retorted, “The dead cannot decide for the living.”

With another flap of its wings, the entire room was encased in flames, with the temperature rapidly rising.

Lu Yandong, seeing that Si Miao was not leaving, only held Gu Huaiyou tighter, kneeling down, “Si Miao, aren’t you going to leave?!” He had thought Si Miao intended to burn only him.

The three-legged crow said, “Uncle Shi, it’s time for you to go. Don’t keep them waiting too long.”

Lu Yandong, stunned, sat back down.

From outside, Lu Zhang cried, “Father!” struggling unsuccessfully against the grasp of the Dragon Clan cultivators.

The Dragon Clan cultivators, seeing Si Miao not leaving, were uncertain of her intentions and called out, “Miss Si Miao.”

Suddenly, a white figure descended from the sky, looking at the burning hall and asking, “What happened?”

A general bowed and reported, “Your Majesty, Miss Si Miao took Lu Yandong into the hall. We don’t know what was said, but suddenly, the three-legged crow flew onto the roof and started this massive fire.”

Zhong Michu, realizing Si Miao’s intentions, exclaimed, “Si Miao, don’t do anything foolish.”

She gestured, and frost formed around the hall, extinguishing the fire in front, “Ah Man is still waiting for you to return.”

The three-legged crow said, “Ah Man has always known this day would come.”

The roof was burnt through, tiles falling, flames spreading inside the hall.

As the flames twisted the air, Zhong Michu saw a smile form on Si Miao’s face, one of apparent relief.

The three-legged crow said, “Senior Sister, let me go.”

“I don’t want to keep him waiting.”

Zhong Michu, shaken, paused with her hand extended in mid-air. She had promised Gu Fuyou to take care of Si Miao, but was saving Si Miao, keeping her alive, truly what she wanted?

Si Miao nestled her face against Gu Huaiyou, holding him close, smiling serenely as she closed her eyes.

After a long moment, Zhong Michu’s hand slowly dropped.

The three-legged crow, now a blaze, let out a long cry and plunged into the hall. The flames exploded in an instant, blooming like a red lotus.

Flames engulfed the surroundings, and the Dragon Clan general quickly shielded Zhong Michu, “Your Majesty.”

Zhong Michu stood still, unable to look away from the flames, her heart filled with indescribable bitterness. After what felt like a long time, she let out a gentle sigh, overwhelmed with helplessness and fatigue.

The fire ignited by the three-legged crow burned rapidly, reducing the hall to ashes in moments. The ashes floated into the air, covering the sky. The drifting ash, like cotton, slowly fell. Zhong Michu caught some in her hand, cold to the touch.

“It’s snowing.”

Zhong Michu clenched her hand, staring at the dark sky for a while. She instructed the general, “Assign some cultivators to guard Gu City an and watch over the Lu family. The rest of our clan should return to the Eastern Sea.”

“What about Your Majesty?”

“I’m going to the Thirty-Three Skies.”

“Understood.”

The wind swirled, mixing the ashes with snowflakes. Looking up, they appeared indistinguishable in color.

Gu Fuyou lay at the edge of Zhuling Platform, her legs dangling outside, swinging in the clouds.

The Thirty-Three Skies had burned, most of it gone. The Lihen Tian above had also been scorched by her flames, sparing only a few palaces built from spirit stones and this Zhuling Platform, made from jade.

The ground was littered with debris, ashes blocking the sun. Wind blew them upwards, only for them to slowly fall back down.

Gu Fuyou caught a piece of ash, rubbing it between her fingers. Cold and crisp, it wasn’t ash, but snow.

She gazed at the sky, her pupils dilating, softly murmuring, “The sun rises in the east, the moon sets in the west, longing for each other, yet forever apart, leaving a heart torn in two.”

Seven, standing by, inquired, “What did you say, my lord?”

“Nothing.” Gu Fuyou responded lazily, rolling onto her side, her hand cushioning her head. Lying there, visibly bored, her fingers traced the golden cloud patterns on the ground.

“I wonder when Zhong Michu will return.”

This time Seven heard her clearly, “Your Majesty mentioned that after you’ve conquered the Thirty-Three Skies, she would return. She must be on her way now.”

“What about the Zuo family?”

“Following your orders, they’ve been imprisoned in the dungeons of Lihen Tian. As for those who escaped, Elder Brother Feng and City Lord Xiao are leading a hunt. We should hear from them soon.”

Gu Fuyou stood up and stretched, instructing, “Take all those people to the central courtyard.”

“Yes.” Seven hesitated for a moment before asking, “My lady, what are you planning to do?”

Gu Fuyou glanced back at him. Seeing her look, Seven lowered his head and decided not to pry further. “I’ll get it done right away.”

“Also, call Scholar Zhai and Yi’er to Wankong Hall.”

“Understood.”

Stepping off the Zhuling Platform, Gu Fuyou walked among the remnants of what were once magnificent palaces. The trail of ashes had stained the green bricks black, contrasting sharply with her pale feet.

Wankong Hall was relatively intact and located near Lihen Tian’s kitchen.

Gu Fuyou made her way to the kitchen, rolling up her sleeves along the way.

Since Scholar Zhai and Yi’er hadn’t achieved the state of not requiring food, and needed to eat like ordinary people, the Thirty-Three Skies were stocked with ingredients. Seven assigned slaves to start the fire and cook.

These slaves were the lowest in cultivation and rarely had the chance to be near Gu Fuyou. Seeing her suddenly appear today, they were so flustered they didn’t know what to do with their hands and feet, hastily bowing, “Ma—Master, no, my—my lady, greetings…”

Gu Fuyou walked straight in, commanding, “Stand up and come help.”

The group, feeling both shocked and honored, scrambled to their feet and approached her, replying nervously, “Yes, yes.”

She had originally come to cook, and to everyone’s surprise, she was incredibly skilled—more so than any of them. They watched in astonishment as she deftly prepared an array of dishes, superior to anything they could produce.

After preparing a full table of dishes, she ordered them to be set up in the Wankong Hall.

She then went to the bathhouse, burned incense, and bathed.

After changing into new clothes and humming a tune, she made her way to the Wankong Hall.

The slaves had already set the table, chairs, wine, and dishes. She sat down, waiting for Yi’er and Scholar Zhai to arrive.

Seven had already taken all the prisoners from the Zuo family to the central courtyard. He was in the process of sending someone to fetch Yi’er and Scholar Zhai when he spotted a cloud rapidly approaching from the sky.

His eyes lit up, and he went forward to meet them.

Upon landing, Zhong Michu surveyed the landscape of ashes and the blackened world around her. For a moment, she didn’t recognize it as the Lihen Tian and paused in astonishment.

Seven said, “Your Majesty, the lady was just talking about you.”

Upon hearing this, the corners of Zhong Michu’s lips turned up in a faint smile. But recalling something, her smile faded, and a tender look appeared in her eyes. She softly inquired, “Where is she?”

“The lady is in the Wankong Hall.”

As Zhong Michu passed by the prisoners from the Zuo family, she halted her steps and asked Seven, “Who are these people?”

“They are the captives from the Zuo family. The lord instructed that they be brought here.”

Looking at them, Zhong Michu saw pairs of tired eyes, sunken sockets, bloodshot stares full of wariness and fear, all directed at her. She took another glance around at the surroundings, she frowned, fell silent for a moment, and then headed to Wankong Hall.

By the time Zhong Michu arrived, neither Yi’er nor Scholar Zhai had shown up.

Upon entering the hall, Gu Fuyou, expecting Scholar Zhai, looked up. Instead, she saw the face of the person she had been thinking about. For a split second, she believed she was hallucinating, and that the person before her was just an illusion.

Noticing Gu Fuyou’s stunned expression, Zhong Michu chuckled lightly, “What’s the matter? Have you forgotten me just because I was gone for a while?”

“Oh, Zhong Michu.”

Gu Fuyou, in her haste to get up, knocked over her chair and hurried towards her. Unable to contain her joy, the corners of her lips curled up as she spoke, “Let me touch you to make sure I’m not dreaming.”

Without waiting for a reply, she reached out, pinching Zhong Michu’s cheeks.

Then wrapping her arms around Zhong Michu’s neck, hanging on her, she laughed, “It’s real.”

“Have you ever encountered a fake me?”

“The ones in my head… they’re all fake.”

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Previous: Chapter 98

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Shakthivel
Shakthivel
7 months ago

Thanks for the chapter…

Otaku046
Otaku046
7 months ago

*crying and bawling over Si Miao’s death*

Doom
Doom
4 months ago
Reply to  Otaku046

And extra sad when her beloved crow dived into the fire to be with si miao 😭

dadin
dadin
7 months ago

then yei-er witnessing her mothers flirting

Khriss
Khriss
6 months ago

What does she see? Only the ghost of youuuu

I love the prophecy of the 3 legged crow coming true, it’s so bitter it burns :sob:

Kat
Kat
1 month ago

Dang that’s so poetic. The prophecy of the three legged crow actually came true. I’m sad for si miao. 🙁

Hatimo
Hatimo
19 days ago

Si miao..I know she need that…
I hope nothin happen to yier and scholar zhai..
Hope Fuyou can still have some hold back from killing