Chapter 118: Amethyst Heart Orchid and Sky Spirit Abalone
Translator: OnGoingWhy Editor: Vermillion
On Xiao Yue's handsome face, those pitch-black pupils resembled twinkling stars in the night. They were blooming with dazzling splendor while staring straight at Ji Chengxue.
Ji Chengxue was stunned when he heard Xiao Yue's words. His dashing eyebrows furrowed together and almost touched each other as they continued to approach. He sucked in a deep breath of cold air and then exhaled a white cloud of hot breath, dispersing the falling snowflakes.
"What's the meaning of your words?" Ji Chengxue asked with a tone that was slightly colder than before.
He had always been unable to understand why Xiao Yue would harm his own mother, Ji Ru'Er. Even though Xiao Yue was deeply immersed in the art of the sword before the incident occurred, he did not display any signs of going too far...
The incident three years ago when Xiao Yue stabbed his mother and shattered her heart with a sword strike was even more bizarre and difficult to understand than Xiao Yue's desertion and later admission into the Void Sword Pavilion.
There was a time when Ji Chengxue was enraged because Ji Ru'Er was his biological sister and his closest relative within the imperial palace. She was someone he had always depended on, a haven where he could receive comfort whenever he suffered a grievance.
During that time, when Ji Ru'Er was getting married, he even held a sword against Xiao Meng's chest and had him swear an oath. Even though this was an action that appeared childish, it clearly showed the importance of his elder sister in his heart.
After his mother passed away, Ji Ru'Er became Ji Chengxue's most important loved one.
Three years ago, when Ji Chengxue found out that Ji Ru'Er had fallen into a coma after Xiao Yue struck her down, he chased after Xiao Yue with a sword throughout the night with the intention of killing him. Even though he did not succeed in the end, this was a clear display of his feelings for his elder sister.
On the last expedition against the sects outside of the border, Xiao Yue was the one who took the initiative to pay Ji Chengxue a visit. During a dangerous moment, he rescued Ji Chengxue and saved his life.
This was the reason why Ji Chengxue was puzzled and needed Xiao Yue's explanation.
"My dear uncle, you might not believe my explanation. However, what if I told you that mother did everything for your sake as well as the sake of the Xiao family?" Xiao Yue let out a soft sigh. His eyes slightly lowered and revealed a faint sadness.
"Father's cultivation level is unrivalled. A seventh grade Battle-Saint is already unequalled within the imperial city. If he really wanted to kill me, I wouldn't be able to resist at all... However, I am still alive and well. Do you know why?" Xiao Yue said. At that time, when he fought with Xiao Meng from Fang Fang's Little Store to the imperial city. There were several opportunities for Xiao Meng to directly slay him, but he still stayed his hand in the end.
Xiao Yue understood that his profoundly powerful father must have discovered something.
Ji Chengxue's eyes slightly narrowed as he beckoned Xiao Yue to continue. Perhaps, this might be the moment his doubts would be completely dispelled.
However, Xiao Yue did not say much and did not give Ji Chengxue any detailed explanations either. He turned his head toward Ji Chengxue and said, "Mother had always hoped that father would support you. After His Majesty passed away, she hoped you would become the next emperor."
"Unfortunately, father refused. He refused to support any prince because he only wanted to serve the true emperor. Mother said father was being too honest... that he might cause a calamity to befall the Xiao family."
Ji Chengxue's eyes narrowed as he meaningfully looked at Xiao Yue and discovered the latter's expression remained the same.
"What does all these have to do with you stabbing your mother's heart? After saying all of this, what are you trying to tell me?" Ji Chengxue's gaze was sharp as a sword as he pressed Xiao Yue to continue.
Xiao Yue turned his head and said, "She just wanted to fulfill you as well as protect the Xiao family... You should understand the meaning of having meritorious deeds that eclipse one's master. If the reigning emperor was still Emperor Changfeng who inspired awe throughout the empire, the Xiao family would naturally be safe. However, once Emperor Changfeng has passed on, the new emperor would never let leave Xiao family be. Whether it's the crown prince or King Yu, the Xiao family would be a thorn in their side once they ascended the throne. You're the only one who might refrain from destroying the Xiao family because of mother's sake."
"As expected of my elder sister, she has always been exceptionally intelligent. She thoroughly understood the situation. So, she made you shatter her heart in order to understand the way of the sword, and then forced you to rebel against the empire and join the Void Sword Pavilion? What's her objective?" Ji Chengxue asked.
"She wanted me to support you as a representative of the Xiao family," Xiao Yue serenely said. His state of mind was like a well of water without a single ripple.
"Ridiculous... What would a woman like her know! Does she think that I need her to sacrifice herself? How dare she make such a decision without first discussing things with me! Did she never think about how upsetting her current situation would be for me? And you, why are you causing trouble with her?"
For the first time, Ji Chengxue lost his refined attitude and became somewhat hysterical. His eyes were red as he angrily scolded Xiao Yue while pointing at him, one sentence at a time. After a long while, he finally became tired.
"Now that father has passed away from his illness, you've come to endorse me as the next emperor? I can't compare against my elder brothers and you can't represent the entire Xiao family either... How am I supposed to compete with them? What she did, only made herself suffer." Ji Chengxue let out a sigh.
He always thought Xiao Yue's ambition caused Ji Ru'Er's coma. He had never anticipated that everything was part of his own elder sister's plan for him to become the next emperor.
As he recalled his childhood and his elder sister's gentle gaze whenever he suffered a grievance, Ji Chengxue's desire to compete against his elder brothers over the throne became even stronger. He was not doing it for any other reason, but for the sake of his elder sister's good intentions.
The winter night arrived quickly, and the snow had stopped. In the starry night sky, two crescent moons were calling out to each other and releasing a chilly radiance.
The store's opening hours had ended and Bu Fang was starting to put the door boards back in place. Blacky, who was lying at the entrance, widely yawned and mumbled to itself for a moment before going back to sleep.
Giving Blacky a glance, Bu Fang broke into a grin. This lazy dog was still as lazy as ever.
Suddenly, a series of footsteps came from the alleyway and a figure gradually appeared from the darkness.
Bu Fang puzzledly looked at the somewhat familiar figure. He wondered why this person would come to the store at such a time.
"Owner Bu, are you closing up for today?" Xiao Yue hoarsely asked while faintly smiling at Bu Fang.
Bu Fang expressionlessly gave him a glance before he replied, "The business hours are over, so I am naturally closing up."
Xiao Yue nodded. Suddenly, with a flash of light, a sandalwood box appeared in his hand. The exterior of the box was gorgeously decorated and a rich medicinal fragrance was wafting out from within.
Xiao Yue solemnly looked at Bu Fang and gravely said, "Owner Bu, I... have a humble request. The effect of your elixir cuisine, the Sage Herb Phoenix Chicken Soup, was astonishing. Are you capable of cooking other types of elixir cuisine as well?"
"As long as the ingredients are provided, I can," Bu Fang confidently replied before he curiously looked at Xiao Yue. Could he be requesting him to cook the elixir cuisine?
"This is the sixth grade spirit herb Amethyst Heart Orchid as well as the fifth grade sea spirit beast Sky Spirit Abalone. I hope Owner Bu can use them to cook an elixir cuisine... I am willing to pay a heavy sum as remuneration," Xiao Yue earnestly said as he looked at Bu Fang with expectation.
Bu Fang raised his eyebrows as he glanced at the abalone that was the size of two palms and sucked in a breath of cold air. He did not anticipate that Xiao Yue would be able to obtain such ingredients that were truly hard to come by.
Bu Fang seemed to be able to feel Xiao Yue's sincere gaze. Even though he did not know what Xiao Yue was planning to do with the elixir cuisine, he could tell from the ingredients that it was meant for saving someone.
Bu Fang did not refuse. He nodded as he accepted the ingredients. After storing them into the system's storage space, he said, "Since you only brought a single portion of ingredients, I can't guarantee success. If I fail... I won't collect remuneration."
Xiao Yue was startled for a moment and then nodded. He understood that cooking an elixir cuisine was very difficult, so he did not insist on a guarantee. However, the ingredients were truly difficult to find, so he could only prepare a single portion.
"Then I shall thank Owner Bu in advance. If you succeed, when should I come to collect the elixir cuisine?" Xiao Yue asked.
Since Bu Fang had already collected the ingredients, he did not say much. After placing the last door board in place, his voice came from behind the door board, "If there are no accidents, come back in three days."
Xiao Yue nodded, turned around and left.
There was only three days left until the emperor's funeral...
 having meritorious deeds that eclipse one's master () - When a subordinate has so many achievements that their superior are worried about their own position.