Chu Yang quietly considered for a moment before speaking, "I know about Senior Du's disappearance."
Tie Bu Tian's face paled. He already guessed and sensed this. But at this moment, when Chu Yang said it with his own mouth, he was shocked!
Tie Shi Cheng smiled with satisfaction and said, "You only know about it?"
Chu Yang remained silent for a bit and answered, "I only know about it. I did not expect that Senior Du would disappear so soon and at such a coincidental time."
In the end, Chu Yang still hid certain details?
"Senior Du has once said that staying in Iron Cloud is most dangerous for him." Chu Yang said casually.
"Right." Tie Shi Cheng and Tie Bu Tian, standing behind him, both nodded softly.
Tie Shi Cheng laughed and said, "With Du Shi Qing healing me ten years ago, even Tie Bu Tian understands. His remaining here is indeed the most dangerous."
Chu Yang was startled as he looked at Tie Bu Tian; and Tie Bu Tian looked back at him with a conflicting gaze.
So Tie Bu Tian had known about this already! And yet he was still able to control himself and allow Du Shi Qing to treat his father... The pressure he had to bear was truly unimaginable.
Du Shi Qing had already done it once; how could Tie Bu Tian know he would not do it again?
"Continue." Tie Shi Cheng's mind was currently at its maximum excited state.
"Your Majesty's condition could not be prolonged much longer. Senior Du had once said that even if he used all of his efforts, your life could only be prolonged for another two months... And at that time, Du Shi Qing would have to die." Chu Yang said frankly.
"Yes, at that time, whether it is Bu Tian or Diwu Qing Rou, he would not be spared!"
With these words of Tie Shi Cheng, Chu Yang could not help but look at his opponent attentively. This bedridden emperor had already seen this finally long ago.
"If the prince does not kill Du Shi Qing, he would not be able to answer to Iron Cloud. But if he kills Du Shi Qing, the consequences would be dire. Du Shi Qing's death would help Diwu Qing Rou gather a great force! That force is the culmination of Du Shi Qing's lifetime of work as a physician!"
"I have received information that if Your Majesty dies, the time of your funeral will be when Diwu Qing Rou initiates his grand design. At that time, Iron Cloud would be in chaos, and Diwu Qing Rou would have a great chance of success! Even if he does not succeed, Iron Cloud would suffer great injuries."
Tie Shi Cheng pondered for a moment and said slowly, "Yes, time is indeed against us, and the only way to deal with this is if I die early. Unfortunately... I have told Bu Tian this many times, but he would not listen."
"Now that Senior Du has disappeared, and everyone is taken by surprise. While I have been mentally prepared for this, I still feel surprised." Chu Yang said quietly, "However, after this happened, I discovered that even though we are surprised, Diwu Qing Rou is even more surprised!"
"Well said!" Tie Shi Cheng praised, "I am now completely at ease!" He paused a little and said sternly, "Bu Tian, no matter what happens in the future, you are not allowed to trouble Minister Chu with this matter! Minister Chu is a deep thinker with great foresight; he will absolutely be your greatest help!"
Tie Bu Tian sadly closed his eyes; a long while later, he gently nodded in reply.
"After I got injured, I wanted to end my own life. But Bu Tian was still young at the time; I was worried about him, and tried to live... Later, I wanted to die, but I could not!" Tie Shi Cheng said happily, "Now that Minister Chu is here, I am relieved! I have waited for this day for more than three years... I... I am truly very tired..."
"I am very tired... very tired..." Tie Shi Cheng's gaze was sorrowful as the pink glow on his face gradually disappeared. The potency of Dragon Spirit Fragrance was clearly fading.
Tie Shi Cheng continued to recline like that as his eyes became dreamy. Within them, a trace of longing and unspeakable love showed; he muttered, "My empress, I will come to see you... All these years... Do not blame me..."
"Lian'er, Meng'er, Qing'er..." Tie Shi Cheng murmured called out the wife and daughters that he had killed with his own hands. He suddenly cried out loud and called out, "I want to die! I want to die! I want to..."
Chu Yang sighed internally. As a ruler, everyone only saw his nobility and majesty. But who knew what cruelty a ruler had to endure? The pain in the heart of this ruler, a commoner would probably not dare to imagine.
"If there is another life..." The light in Tie Shi Cheng's eyes grew dimmer and dimmer; he murmured:
"The long road is divided in blood,
the nation remains in the heart,
helplessly and tearfully swung the saber,
wife and daughters turned into spirits;
in this life, death has divided us;
in the next life, I vow to discard all wealth
and not walk the cold path,
be a free person of the mountains and the rivers!"
"Ha ha..." Tie Shi Cheng laughed weakly and said, "Child... don't make same mistake as me..."
His eyes suddenly emitted a brilliant light. There was joy, happiness, elation as if he could see his beloved standing there waiting for him in the afterlife...
Then the light was abruptly extinguished...
This ruler maintained his position as before, but life no longer existed in his body.
Today, Iron Cloud Nation's ruler, Tie Shi Cheng had died!
"Father!... Don't leave me!" Tie Bu Tian mournfully shouted. His eyes were filled with hopelessness as he rushed forward and held tightly onto Tie Shi Cheng's frail body. He desperately pressed his cheek against his father's as if he was trying to transfer his warmth to his father...
Then, he suddenly spat up a clump of blood and fell down. His eyes closed as he became unconscious...
Chu Yang sighed. Seeing this ruler's life end, he did not know how he felt.
He recalled the words that Tie Shi Cheng just said: "When I was eighteen, I ascended to the throne as emperor. In a few years, I built up a powerful military! We were an unmatched power! South and north, wherever we went they all surrendered! In five years, we expanded Iron Cloud's territory by a third! At the time, I was ambitious. I felt as if this whole world was in the palm of my hand; this whole world was for me to unify!"
"Wherever we went they all surrendered!"
How powerful and majestic? How arrogant? Looking at the pile of bones now, the strong contrast pained people's hearts.
Could it be that the greatest pain in this emperor's heart was the fact that he killed his wife and daughters with his own hands? Until now, he still remembered...
But why was he so cruel then? The reasons, he still did not reveal even at his death. If this was a secret, then Tie Shi Cheng had taken it to the grave with him.
"In this life, death has divided us; in the next life, I vow to discard all wealth and not walk the cold path, be a free person of the mountains and the rivers!"
A ruler of a nation, and the words he spoke before dying were "be a free person of the mountains and the rivers." This truly made people sigh. This emperor's throne, so many people in this world dream of sitting on it. But the one that actually sat on it, left such an emotional desire at his deathbed!
This was a colossal irony.
Before dying, this ruler of Iron Cloud Nation had surprisingly not called any officials in to leave his last will; surely, he felt very assured with Tie Bu Tian. Plus, by him not doing so, his thoughts were made extremely clear...
Tie Bu Tian, from now on, the world will be yours!
Chu Yang quietly backed out. On the way, no one hindered his path. Chu Yang knew that Tie Bu Tian needed someone to comfort him, but that person was not Chu Yang!
Tie Bu Tian could not hate him enough right now!
He could only wait until Tie Bu Tian got past this difficult time.
But no matter what, Tie Shi Cheng's death was about half a year earlier than the previous life. Plus, winter was coming, the borders would be peaceful for some time.
And given this weather, Diwu Qing Rou would not be able to do anything. In other words, the greatest threat to Iron Cloud had silently disappeared.
However, along the way, Chu Yang still felt burdened as if he was carrying weights; he was not the least bit happy.
Once out of the royal palace, Chu Yang was filled with worries when suddenly sensed a cold feeling on his face.
"It's snowing! It's snowing already..." A surprised voice called out from somewhere.
Chu Yang looked up to see gently falling white snow filled the sky. Within moments, heaven and earth fell into a dreamy state.
They were at the end of autumn; winter was not for another two days. The first snow of Iron Cloud Citadel had unexpectedly come to earth early.
Chu Yang quietly walked down the road. His body gradually became covered with snow. The ground was also blanketed in white. The first few snow flowers quickly melted, but the later ones quickly covered any traces of them leaving the ground with only a white color.
All of heaven and earth became a world of snow after about an hour.
Chu Yang breathed in the icy cold air. The hardened thoughts in his mind seemed to become more active. He turned his head and looked at the majestic royal palace standing tall in the middle of the world of snow. He remained silent as if mourning the emperor that just passed.
No matter what, this world has finally entered a new era! Chu Yang told himself. Then he picked up his steps and quickly headed in the direction of Heavenly Armament Pavilion...
White snow fluttered, and Chu Yang's mind became empty. It was as if they followed those fluttering snow flowers and disappeared into the endless sky.
Crunchy sounds rang out beneath his feet. Chu Yang suddenly remembered: In the previous life, Qing Wu loved the falling snow most. Each time the snow fell, she quietly held her umbrella and silently stood in the snow wearing a red outfit. This was also the most beautiful memory in Chu Yang's mind.
That kind of perfect grace, Chu Yang's heart quivered each time he reminisced about it.
Qing Wu, what are you doing right now?
Chu Yang's figure finally disappeared in the falling snow...
While Tie Shi Cheng was bedridden, and the people of Iron Cloud had long been prepared for his death, when he passed, all of Iron Cloud was still in shock.
At this very same time, as if by appointment, news was sent from the border that Great Zhao's General Dong Wu Fa (TLN: Not the injured Yin Wu Fa.) had ordered three armies to mobilize and attack Iron Cloud at the same time!