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Chapter 591: Battle of Two Women
Stunned, Jian Chen stared at Huang Luan. She was standing by the gates and then his eyes swung to You Yue standing right next to him. He felt the complaints inside his head grow so huge that they would take off his head. Not once did he ever think that Huang Luan would take the initiative to find him, especially when his fiancée was right next to him.
One woman was someone he had some feelings for and once had a very close relationship with. The other woman was his fiancée that was known throughout the Gesun Kingdom. Jian Chen didn’t even know just how to treat this matter since this was the first time these two women had come into contact.
Ming Dong clearly understood just what sort of trouble Jian Chen was in, but he had no intentions of helping him at all. Instead, he chuckled, “Brother, I have some things to take care of, so I’ll be leaving first.” Ming Dong hadn’t really meant what he said. He turned around just a few steps away to observe Jian Chen, You Yue, and Huang Luan with a smile on his face as if he was taking pleasure in the crisis befalling Jian Chen.
Forcing a smile, Jian Chen asked Huang Luan, “What brings you here?”
Today, Huang Luan was wearing a white-colored robe that accentuated her picture-perfect figure that only the devil could offer. Her figure possessed an allure that could seize the hearts of anyone with just a single motion.
Her clothes were on point with how they had been tied. Not a single part of her robes was messed up. Compared to the clothing she had worn as the golden daughter of her clan, she looked like a heroic woman ready for travel.
The icy-cold demeanor on Huang Luan’s face had instantly softened the moment her eyes fell upon Jian Chen. Smiling, she said, “Are you not going to welcome me in?” Her voice leaked a feeling of close friendship.
The forced smile was still on his face when Jian Chen addressed Huang Luan, “Of course I will welcome you in. Please, come in and we can have a chat.”
Giving a sweet smile to Jian Chen, she tossed down the reins in her hand and followed him in.
The guards at the gates were members of the Flame Mercenaries, so they immediately rushed in to take the mount away.
Stopping in front of Jian Chen, she eyed his handsome face with a tender-hearted smile. She was just about to say something when, all of a sudden, she realized that there was another beautiful woman standing right next to Jian Chen. Eyeing her with some confusion, she asked, “Jian Chen, who’s this?”
“Hello, I am You Yue!” You Yue answered first. There was a smile on her face, but in her heart, there was a sour feeling. The feelings Huang Luan had for Jian Chen were obvious to see. Hence, she was able to infer that the connection between the two was close.
“You Yue? Could you be the grand princess to the Gesun Kingdom?” Huang Luan asked her in shock.
She nodded in response, “Correct, that is I. Might I ask who you are?”
The light in Huang Luan’s eyes changed when she regarded You Yue now. There was a darker tint of light that seemed to contain some jealousy just barely hidden in them, “I am Huang Luan, a member of the Huang family.”
“Ah, miss Huang Luan, which kingdom are you from? I have heard of the Huang family before, but which clan it is, is something I know not.” You Yue smiled softly.
“I’m afraid to disappoint the princess, but my Huang family is affiliated with no kingdom. We live in the mountains and rarely encounter the surrounding kingdoms or any other family that might share our surname.” Huang Luan replied.
Sensing the hidden steel to their tones, Jian Chen felt his headache grow bigger and bigger. “Why don’t we walk inside first and continue our talks there?” He pressed.
Jian Chen, You Yue, and Huang Lan were all seated around a circular table in a splendid and magnificently decorated room. Huang Luan was excited to see Jian Chen, and talked to him nonstop about the Flame Mercenaries with great curiosity. Whenever she asked another question, Jian Chen answered truthfully without leaving any mystery behind.
Huang Luan’s eyes brightened at this moment as if she had remembered something. Looking to Jian Chen, she said, “Jian Chen, I’ve something to tell you. I’ve become the student to the patriarch of the Huanggu clan. They’re even willing to teach me their Scriptures of the Aqua Sunflower, a Saint Tier Cultivation Method!”
“What? A Saint Tier Cultivation Method?” Jian Chen was astounded. Although cultivation methods weren’t as wanted as a battle skill, a Saint Tier one was priceless despite that. Extremely rare and sparse, only the most isolated of hermits would have these cultivation methods.
“It is a cultivation method for those with the water affinity — something I coincidentally possess. Because of this, I learned it and cultivated the cultivation method for a small moment. In just two months, I was able to bring up my power so fast that I went from a First Cycle Earth Saint Master to a Second Cycle Earth Saint Master! It won’t be long until I become a Third Cycle Earth Saint Master, and with this rate of progress, becoming a Heaven Saint Master won’t even take too many years.” Huang Luan’s face was filled with unrestrained excitement.
You Yue felt shock grip her heart right by Jian Chen’s side. She had not thought that this wildly-dressed Huang Luan would be an Earth Saint Master despite the close similarity in age to her own. Not only that, she too did not expect to hear that she was learning a Saint Tier Cultivation Method, something that was only mentioned in legends.
Not too long later, You Yue managed to restrain her emotions and maintain her calm demeanor. From what she heard, this Huang Luan was definitely someone high in status and was possibly one of those golden daughters belonging to a tremendous family. Not only was her talent at cultivation higher than her own, Huang Luan was already an Earth Saint Master at her age while You Yue wasn’t. Lastly, Huang Luan had managed to find a teacher that imparted a Saint Tier Cultivation Method onto her. This meant that she was practically superior in every single aspect, and even with You Yue’s status of a princess, she paled in comparison to Huang Luan.
Jian Chen noted the change in You Yue’s demeanor with some concern. He immediately broke off the conversation, and called for someone to prepare Huang Luan and room. He then dismissed everyone.
Even after leaving the room, You Yue felt extremely depressed. Walking by herself to her own room, she sat on top of the bed and stared despondently at the wall across from her.
The doors to her room slowly opened to reveal Jian Chen gently making his way into the room. Jian Chen felt his heart clench when he saw how You Yue was faring.
Closing the doors behind him, Jian Chen walked over to You Yue and sat down beside her. Studying her face with great concern, Jian Chen was about to say something, but then he realized he had no idea just what words he could possibly use to comfort her.
He sighed. Jian Chen was not someone who understood how to speak with flowery speech, and in a situation like this, he was utterly powerless.
There was a gleam to her eyes when You Yue turned to look at Jian Chen with a miserable expression, but it was because of the reflection of the light on the layer of water that was welling up in her eyes. At last, two teardrops formed just enough to flow down her beautiful face before they splashed on the ground.
Jian Chen panicked at the sight of her teardrops, but before he could speak, You Yue beat him to the punch. “Jian Chen, tell me. Were your words before about you having no time for women a lie? You were unwilling to wed me before, was it because there was already another woman in your heart, a woman who is far superior than I am?”
She was heartbroken, and her voice was threatening to break into a sob. In all honesty, her heart felt nothing but love for Jian Chen, and that’s why she found it heartbreaking to be in such a situation. When Huang Luan showed up today, the deep feelings she felt for Jian Chen were completely obvious, visible even to the naked eye. Combined with the fact that she was superior in every way to You Yue, the princess felt this other woman’s presence as a tremendous threat that could steal away the man she loved.
Pulling at You Yue’s hands, Jian Chen clutched them with great intimacy as he softly said, “You Yue, it isn’t what you think it is. The reason why I wasn’t in a hurry to wed you was because I wasn’t ready to settle down. I have not yet resolved the problems that weigh on my shoulders, and if I don’t resolve them before I start a family, then it will only bring everyone harm.”
“I won’t hear this! I don’t want to hear these lies; just how many times have you said these words?” You Yue began to cry.
At a loss for words, Jian Chen looked at You Yue. From the very start of their relationship, You Yue had given him the feeling of someone that was always calm, but this was the very first time he had ever seen You Yue cry her heart out. This was something he felt a great deal of pain over.
He sighed once more. He had to be honest with You Yue, else he would only hurt her more.
“You Yue, although it may seem as if I am invincible on the surface as a Heaven Saint Master and an Imperial Protector of one of the Eight Great Powers on the continent, my life is not as relaxed as you think it might be. I have many, many enemies that pose a threat to me still.” Jian Chen suddenly spoke before segueing into the hidden story of his life to her.
You Yue paused temporarily in her tears to fixate her eyes on him.
“In my years roaming the Tian Yuan Continent, I offended many families, and although some of them were killed off, there are still plenty of hidden factions that I have no way of fighting against. Among those families are the Shi family and the Jiede clan. These two factions are hermit clans on the continent with a vast amount of strength due to the fact that they have Saint Rulers ruling over them. Only death would absolve the grudges between those factions and me. If I am alive, they will not rest, and if they are not dead, I will never be safe. It is likely that those two clans have been searching for me ever since, and even if there is a long distance between the two of us, it is only a matter of time before they arrive here. The very moment they find out my identity, being the Imperial Protector of the Qinhuang Kingdom won’t be nearly enough to help me. Thus, I must improve my strength as much as I can. If I do not, then when the Saint Rulers come for me, I will die a pauper’s death along with the family I have.”
Aside from those two, there is still the Sect of Dragon and Tiger from the Heavenly Eagle Kingdom. They are a powerful sect to contend with, and their patriarch is a Saint Ruler that heavily desires a treasure of mine. Me being an Imperial Protector of the Qinhuang Kingdom has beaten them back temporarily, but they will not stop at that. It remains to be seen just what sort of tricks the Saint Ruler might come up with to harm me.”
Staring solemnly at You Yue, he continued, “You Yue, do you understand the overwhelming pressure that weighs upon my shoulders now? The enemies I’ve made are people of the Saint Ruler realm. As I am now, I stand no chance against them. Even escape is an impossibility. With how the odds are stacked, I have no idea just how much time I have left to live.”