Chapter 1131 – Time
Gu Yanying said to Si Bao, “Bao’er, take this child of his home first.”
“Alright.” Si Bao arrived before Li Qingshan and extended her hands towards Tigress. “Come with big sister!”
Tigress glared at her.
“Go find your mother.”
Li Qingshan handed Tigress to Si Bao with great reluctance and watched them leave.
“Let’s talk elsewhere!” Gu Yanying said.
Li Qingshan furrowed his brows firmly. He could feel a storm building up.
“The east, the Cloud province!”
“Don’t we need helpers? I don’t think featherfolk are an easy opponent to deal with.”
Li Qingshan never expected Gu Yanying to be so resolute, even though he was in a hurry to go to Clouded city, beat up the whole lot of them there, and teach these damn kidnappers just how “death” was spelt.
“It’ll be very difficult to resolve this matter through strength alone!”
“So it’s still because I’m not strong enough!” Li Qingshan said.
His feats in battle could be regarded as glorious, yet the featherfolk were still bold enough to do something like this.
“You could put it that way.” Gu Yanying soared higher, merging with the sharp atmospheric winds. Li Qingshan followed close behind. “The thing you want my help with is related to the featherfolk, right?”
“More precisely, it’s related to the Featherfolk King.”
The further east, the thicker and heavier the clouds in the sky became, eventually forming an endless mass. The clouds piled up like mountains, sometimes crackling with lightning and booming with thunder.
Bai Jie travelled through these cloud mountains with Li Fengyuan.
“Why does your king want to see me?”
Li Fengyuan tried to break free, but the white ribbons were even tougher than he imagined them to be, and they firmly sealed up his powers.
“You’ll know once you get there,” said Bai Jie.
“Do you know who my father is? His surname is Li…”
“And his name is Qingshan.”
“Otherwise, why else would I say like father, like son? Legend has it that the phoenix has five virtues, benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, and trustworthiness. You speak so rudely, which is improper. You ask such foolish questions, which is a lack of wisdom. You agreed to go to Clouded city with me, yet you try to escape, which is untrustworthiness. You can only barely be considered to possess a bit of benevolence and righteousness.”
“Even if I’m improper, unwise, and untrustworthy, that’s still better than your shamelessness!”
Bai Jie snorted coldly. With a tremble of the white ribbon, Li Fengyuan fell into the rumbling black clouds below. By the time she hoisted him out again, all of his feathers were standing on end, but he continued to call out, “Shameless! Shameless! Shameless!”
“Call me whatever you want. I can’t be bothered with stooping down to your level.”
“Shameless woman, you’re in big trouble now!”
After flying for who knew how long, a city suddenly appeared between the clouds. The lofty, white palaces seemed to be forged from clouds, shining with white light under the sunlight.
But at a closer glance, only the largest, highest palace in the very centre was truly pure-white. All the palaces around it paled slightly in comparison. They gradually became milky-white or greyish-white, except they all possessed the texture of clouds, floating gently in the sky.
Featherfolk spread their wings as they soared and played between the clouds, all beautiful, dressed neatly, and elegant in their actions. They gave off an aura of tranquility and peace.
“This is Clouded city,” Bai Jie said proudly.
“What’s so impressive about it?” Li Fengyuan said in disdain.
A pair of tall, clouded pillars served as the gates. The pillars were covered in engravings of clouds. On the very top stood a strange statue with the face of a man, the body of a bird, and a sharp crown on its head.
The moment Li Fengyuan crossed through the pillars, he felt like he had entered another world. The tranquil, peaceful atmosphere seemed to seep into his body.
“Bai Jie, do not be so disrespectful to our guest. Release him this instance.” A clear, grand voice rang out from the largest palace.
Having arrived in Clouded city, Bai Jie was no longer afraid that Li Fengyuan could escape, so she removed the white ribbon around him.
Li Fengyuan stretched his arms and legs and said with composure, “Come. Let me see your king.”
The elegance and dignified demeanour he had inherited from the phoenix’s legacy was on full display, and he demonstrated the courage and resolve to face anyone and anything at the same time.
Bai Jie was rather surprised, feeling slightly ashamed. This must have been the demeanour that a phoenix was supposed to possess!
On the speckless, pure-white streets, the featherfolk lined the streets to welcome him, sprinkling flowers and playing music as if they were really welcoming an important guest.
Bai Jie also retreated behind him, allowing him to enjoy this glory alone.
Li Fengyuan stood on the soft clouds and made his way forward calmly and gracefully.
Phoenixes never lacked glory, nor did they ever need glory.
This continued until he reached the large hall in the very centre. Two pillars also stood on the square before the hall, both with similar sculptures on the very top. There were only subtle differences in their expressions. As he made his way across the square, he felt like they were staring at him the entire time.
Climbing up the tall steps, Li Fengyuan looked up, only to see three large words “Divine Feather Palace” shining gloriously under the sunlight.
“Please come in.” The clear, grand voice rang out from the hall once more.
Li Fengyuan ignored it. He looked around and studied the engraving on the door to the hall. Bai Jie had to extend her hand and push him into the hall.
The intoxicating smell of incense filled the hall. Crane-shaped censers gently curled with white smoke.
Warm sunlight poured in from the windows that reached from the floor to the ceiling, which only made the place seem even more spacious. A figure stood among the smoke, fading in and out of sight.
“Welcome, divine bird phoenix.”
A handsome, bright man stood up from the white jade throne and spread his arms. His pure-white wings were originally furled up behind his back, but they abruptly spread out with his movements, blowing the smoke away. He shone brilliantly, making even the sun dim.
“I’m Li Fengyuan!”
“The Featherfolk King, Bai Chen.”
“You’re going to die soon,” said Li Fengyuan.
“What did you say?” The Featherfolk King was unfazed. He made his way down from the throne, and his long, white robes dragged on the ground behind him. He smiled. “Who can kill me?” In terms of both authority and strength, he stood at the apex of this world.
“Time,” Li Fengyuang said.
“Oh?” The Featherfolk King looked down.
“No matter how thick the incense is, it can’t hide the stench you give off.” Li Fengyuan wrinkled his nose. Actually, it was not a smell, but more like an instinct. It was the aura of decline and age. “Maintaining a youthful experience is just an attempt to deceive others, as well as yourself, let alone the way you talk, which is just like how a poser talks. You aren’t the light of dawn, but the shade of dusk!”
“You truly are the divine bird, the phoenix. Not all lives can enjoy eternity like you. Even celestials have times when they decline and decay. However, please maintain some respect. That will benefit both of us.”
The Featherfolk King’s face sank. As he frowned, wrinkles began to spread across his face. Even his voice became deeper and huskier, like a senile old man.
Li Fengyuan immediately felt breathless. He was clearly so old, yet also so powerful, vast and mighty like the sky. With a glance, he suddenly noticed a smear at the ends of the Featherfolk King’s pure-white feathers. It was a dark azure, yet it surpassed all of the other pure-white feathers. It made him feel a sense of closeness. He raised his head and asked, “What do you want from me?”