Monarch of Evernight - Volume 10 - The Flag of Evernight (1183-) Chapter 1299: Fated yet Not Destined
After a good while of silence, Zhao Jundu broke the tense atmosphere. “This matter is too important. Let’s report back to the Unending Palace and let the Imperial court decide. Defeating the demonkin is the more important mission. We’ll deal a heavy blow to them no matter what they’re planning.”
Song Zining said after some thought, “It’s decided then! We rest one night and set out the next morning!”
At dawn the next day, the Imperial army moved out and advanced toward the demonkin door.
Imperial Capital, the Pointer Monarch’s study. The monarch lifted his weasel-hair brush and wrote down a powerful word, “Yuan.” Ji Tianqing was standing nearby. She muttered the word a couple of times, her heart filled with so many emotions that she didn’t know what to say.
The Pointer Monarch glanced at the word from different angles and said in great satisfaction, “Ji Yuan. Not bad, right? A single word encompassing the laws of the entire world.”
Ji Tianqing sighed. She was clad in plain attire, and her body had returned to its former shape.
The Pointer Monarch smiled while stroking his beard. “Lil’ Yuan is a blessing. I used to be indignant before, but the moment I saw Lil’ Yuan, I understood that everything that happens in this world is fate.”
Ji Tianqing seemed a bit frustrated. “Then there’s no need to do anything, just sit around and wait for fate.”
“That’s not true, either. Sometimes, you need to fight for your fate. It’s yours if you fight for it, it’ll be someone else’s if you don’t.”
“That explained nothing!”
The Pointer Monarch broke into a laugh. He said while shaking his head, “Little brat, how come your temper worsened after getting a kid? You even dare criticize me now.”
Ji Tianqing said, “So what? It’s not like I wanted her!”
The Pointer Monarch stroked his beard. “Then bring her to my place. I’m getting old now, so I can look after her when I have nothing to do.”
“That won’t do!”
Ji Tianqing said after a moment of hesitation, “What do we do about that side?”
Ji Tianqing said through clenched jaws, “What else? That… about the new world.”
“I heard Jundu and Zining are making great progress. The young sure are capable. This old man will just wait at the Imperial capital, ready to take on a couple of moves when the old monsters from the other side throw away their face and attack.”
Ji Tianqing stomped her feet. “Not them!”
“Who else if not them?” the Pointer Monarch asked despite knowing full well who she was referring to.
Ji Tianqing’s voice turned soft. “It’s… about Qianye…”
“Oh him!” The Pointer Monarch feigned a sudden realization. “Isn’t he doing well? A whole drove of aristocratic families are betting on him! Even the Yin and Kong families couldn’t stay out of it, bringing out their hidden stashes.”
Ji Tianqing said hurriedly, “They’re useless! That’s not what I’m talking about.”
The Pointer Monarch finally replied in a serious tone, “Of course I know what you’re talking about. I’ve already read that letter, but why should our Ji family help him just because of that one letter?”
“Sousa is a great dark monarch, how can Qianye repel him?”
“He can choose to do things he isn’t capable of. Speaking seriously, his expansion efforts are for his foundations. He’s not contributing to the Empire at all. It’s his problem if he provokes characters he can’t afford to.”
“But he pushed back the werewolves of Moorland. That’s beneficial to the Empire, is it not?”
“Among the four major races of Evernight, the werewolves are already on the decline. From what I know, they didn’t even have a part in the opening of the new world. That’s why their operations in the new world don’t affect the situation at all. Jundu and Zining are facing the demonkin, and it’s very likely that the old fellow from the Masefield family will act. He’s quite difficult to deal with, so I need to keep an eye on that side.”
Ji Tianqing sighed. “I know you’re angry because of that letter.”
The Pointer Monarch replied calmly, “I’ll be frank since you’ve brought the topic up. Your background, talents, ability, and looks, what about you isn’t worthy of him? What happened in the Great Maelstrom is fate, let it be, but you two have Lil’ Yuan now. Even if he doesn’t like you that much, shouldn’t he think about the kid at least? Does he need to write such a stiff letter? And he’s asking for help no less!”
Ji Tianqing said, “You can’t blame him, he only found out later.”
“Do you not understand? His writing is so formal because he still has that Nighteye in his heart.”
“I know, I’ve always known.” Ji Tianqing’s voice was fairly lighthearted.
The Pointer Monarch snorted coldly. “That Nighteye isn’t simple at all. Her escape from that death trap was my first failure in a long time.”
Ji Tianqing trembled. “What? Y-You went out to kill her!?”
“That was a good opportunity, what a pity.”
“This…” Ji Tianqing went pale.
The Pointer Monarch said, “The matter is of great importance. Nighteye’s fate is closely related to the bigger picture, not something children’s romance can control.”
Ji Tianqing’s vision went dark for a moment. “I understand. I take it you’re not going to help Qianye, is that correct?”
The Pointer Monarch didn’t comment.
Ji Tianqing said, “Then I’ll go.”
The Pointer Monarch frowned. “How will that help?”
Ji Tianqing replied, “The Empire never treated Qianye well, but he has always kept the Empire in his heart! Now that he has encountered the Moorland werewolves, he would never sit by and let the enemy march into the new world unchallenged. He’ll surely encounter Sousa sooner or later, there’s no avoiding it!”
The Pointer Monarch replied, “Then there’s no helping it.”
“I don’t care about the grand scheme of things or whatnot. If you’re not willing, I will go and help him. The Ji family is powerful enough, anyway, Lil’ Yuan will never be bullied.”
With that, Ji Tianqing turned around and left. She had just taken a single step, however, when her entire body went numb. Her origin power had been sealed, and she could no longer move.
The Pointer Monarch summoned some maids, saying, “Take care of her. She is not to leave the residence without my order.”
Seeing that the Pointer Monarch was angry, the maids didn’t even dare breathe heavily as they carried Ji Tianqing away.
When the study was empty, the Pointer Monarch glanced at the word he had written. “This Nighteye must die. Lil’ Qing, you and that person are fated but not destined.”
The Imperial palace. Empress Li, who was reading a book in her room, stood up and summoned Eunuch Liu. “I have the sudden urge to take a stroll outside. I wonder if you have the time to accompany me?”
“I obey.” Eunuch Liu never asked where they were headed.
Empress Li and Eunuch Liu drove into a large estate in the city. Moments later, an unassuming vehicle left the estate from the rear gates and exited the city. Empress Li and Eunuch Liu had changed into casual attire, but the simplicity of the garments could hardly conceal the empress’ beauty.
The car drove a great distance and arrived at an unremarkable courtyard. After getting off, the Empress said, “What do you think of this place?”
Eunuch Liu opened his sleepy eyes and glanced around. “Good, a fine place indeed. There’s nothing special about it, it’s just good.”
Empress Li sighed. “There’s no helping it. Who knows how many eyes are on that child? We went through a great deal to find this place.”
“Since that’s the case, I think I should leave.”
“Eunuch Liu is a pillar of the Empire, there’s no need to hide this from you. Actually, I brought you here because I wanted you to take a look at the child and see what his future holds.”
Eunuch Liu said after some thought, “I obey.”
The courtyard didn’t seem very big at a glance, but it ran fairly deep inside. They had to pass through two courtyards to arrive at the rear garden. Here stood a warm chamber, and despite the marks of the passing seasons, one could feel a gush of gentle warmth after walking in.
Empress Li and Eunuch Liu took off their cloaks and went up the stairs. They had just turned a corner when they heard the cry of an infant. There was a crib at the center of the room, and Li Kuanglan was rocking it gently.
She was in women’s attire at the moment, her every movement filled with grace and beauty. Those eyes of her were full of love as she gazed at the crying baby.
It was a dry cough from Eunuch Liu that woke her up from her daze. Only then did she greet the two guests, “Sis, Eunuch Liu, how come you’re here?”
“The baby is a hundred days old, so I wanted Eunuch Liu to assess him.”
Li Kuanglan made way, albeit with some hesitation.
Eunuch Liu glanced at her. “Don’t worry, Young Master, I won’t harm the young lord.”
Eunuch Liu addressed her as Young Master Kuanglan out of habit, prompting her to turn away with a blush.
Empress Li picked up the baby and Eunuch Liu placed his right hand on the child’s forehead, his eyes closed. Moments later, a wisp of green energy rose above Eunuch Liu. The old man’s forehead was covered in sweat, and his pale hands were trembling. Empress Li couldn’t help but clench her fists in anxiety. Li Kuanglan was trembling all over, unable to contain her nervousness.
Eunuch Liu had assessed the young princes and princesses before, but he had only taken a moment for them. The process had never once taken that long, nor had it ever involved that much effort.
The child broke out in a sudden loud cry, with a sound akin to roaring metal. Nine beams of light shot out from the infant’s body and filled the room with radiance.
Eunuch Liu retracted his hand and said weakly, “I’ve succeeded.”
Empress Li was delighted. “Please give us some pointers.”
Eunuch Liu spoke more than usual, “The child’s talents are one of the highest I’ve ever seen. If I must compare, it’s on par with the twin paragons of the past generation, Jundu and Zining of the present. His origin nodes are all open from birth, so cultivation shall be incomparably smooth for him. But…”
Empress Li became tense at this point. She tugged on Eunuch Liu’s sleeves, saying, “But what?”
Eunuch Liu said, “I fear he may lack tempering if things go too smoothly.”
“We understand, thank you, Eunuch Liu.”
The old man said, “I know a bit about the child’s origins. If I may ask, Empress, you went to such great lengths for this child. What do you expect of him?”
Empress Li led Eunuch Liu to a seat, saying, “By inviting you here, I also wanted to reveal some of my thoughts. I’m just a woman, and it’s only natural that I have my motives. My wish is to see the Li family rise to the rank of a major clan before I die, and this child is the key.”