Chapter 1: The Beginning of an End (3)
Zhou Qing nodded, his voice rough and raspy. “It is indeed a treacherous thing. The Wu Family, in order to take away and see the downfall of my Zhou Family, endured silently and patiently for several hundreds of years before making a move. Then suddenly without notice, they unleashed their hidden powers. I thought all they wanted was to see us fall and replace us but I would never have thought that they wanted you, Yuan’er.
“I remember it all too clear. On that day, after besieging the capital city of Zhou, the Wu Family entered the city with thoughts of enthroning the Wu Emperor. Hundreds of millions of people in the capital city of Zhou watched helplessly. At the same time, they wanted to take away the Sacred Dragon.
“The Wu Family’s biggest conspiracy, the one they’ve planned for over a hundred years was to steal the luck, power, fate, and destiny of you, the Sacred Dragon!”
Droplets of tears dyed bloody red flowed freely like droplets of water as Zhou Qing recounted the memories of his past.
“Your Majesty, let this Old Man explain.” Master Qin said, his voice also brimmed with bitter sadness. “On that day, in order to protect His Royal Highness from Emperor Wu, His Majesty fought against Emperor Wu with all his might under the Zhou Mountain. However, things had not proceeded the way His Majesty had expected it to. Not only did he lose against Emperor Wu, his arm was cut off in the process. Were it not for the underlying fear that His Royal Highness’ destiny would’ve been affected by His Majesty, then this Old One was afraid that His Majesty would have fallen to his death.
“In order to ensure that His Royal Highness’ Sacred Dragon’s luck and destiny was completely taken away, Emperor Wu decreed a vow that the Great Wu Family would not step foot once again nor attack the Zhou Family for a hundred years from the moment the vow was set into motion.”
The dreadful scene of the past plagued the depths of Qin Yu’s mind. She ran straight towards Zhou Yan’s body, her arms tightly wrapped around him as she cried and cried, her heart splitting into pieces.
“Yuan’er… Yuan’er mother is very ashamed of herself! Mother is sorry!”
The cruel memory of that year tore her apart. She remembered her newborn son, Zhou Yuan, innocent, tender, and puerile taken from her embrace and placed above the altar arranged by Emperor Wu the day of his birth.
On the other altar were also two pairs of newborn children.
One was destined to fall and two destined to rise and soar high above the heavens.
She watched her newborn deprived of his fate, forcibly taken away, helplessly watching her child suffer endless pain on the cold icy altar.
This sort of weakness, powerlessness, helplessness as she vividly recalled watching her beloved child endure aching sufferings broke her, almost fainting and losing consciousness. She watched the cries of the serpent and phoenix rising from the city walls towards the heavens, the majestic sun shone its brightest rays, watched the woeful cries of the dragon slowly vanishing into smoky nothings, quietly dispersing in thin air.
Qin Yu’s cheeks grew paler, streaks of blood found on the corner of her lips as she spurted blood, dying Zhou Yuan’s hair red.
“Mother, what’s wrong?” Zhou Yuan’s brows tightened. Concerned over the well-being of his mother, he hurriedly helped her up.
Master Qin who quietly stood from the side quickly came up, placing the palm of his hand on Qin Yu’s back, gently exuding a gentle qi, distributing his spiritual energy throughout Qin Yu’s body, helping her to stabilize the flow of her blood.
Master Qin took a short glance at the ever weak and pale Qin Yu before sighing deeply. “Your Royal Highness, this Old One pleads that you do not blame His and Her Majesty for failing to protect you. His Majesty tried his best to stop Emperor Wu but in doing so nearly lost his life. And Her Majesty had been injured to a certain point, paying a great price for her life. Every year after you’ve been deprived of your luck and fate, the Sacred Dragon taken away from you, Her Majesty had been transfusing her own blood so that His Royal Highness can still live to this very day. In the past twelve years, Her Majesty lost thirty-six years of her life, her vitality greatly injured. Your Royal Highness, Her Majesty only has less than ten years left to live.”
“What?! What did you say?!”
When Zhou Yuan heard of the sudden revelation, lightning struck his body, his eyes bloodshot crazy. He’d never had such strong emotional fluctuations occur till this moment, not even when learning of his own luck and fate deprived and taken away. He never felt the strong sense of connection with the Sacred Dragon. Such things happened at the time of his birth, the time when he did not know anything, when he could not remember.
Even after learning of the Wu Family’s secret scheming, plot, and ploys lasting over a hundred years, he was only shocked. Although his heart wavered back and forth, Zhou Yuan was nevertheless able to suppress it but to think they’d forced his mother whom he loved dearly, an unstoppable killing urge appeared from the depths of his heart for the first time.
“So that’s how it is… That Emperor Wu, to use such vicious schemings… to dare harm my mother!”
Zhou Yuan could no longer maintain his calm composure when learning of the sufferings his mother had gone through. Blood rushed to his brain, his delicate, tender face heating up.
“Wu Jia, you dare do this to my mother! Damn it, damn it, damn it!”
Zhou Yuan’s body trembled not due to fear but out of anger. His heart clenched, tightening itself, a welling sense of deep-rooted anger all the more ready to burst through.
Zhou Qing gently picked up Qin Yu’s pale and weak figure, allowing her body to rest on the jade couch. Zhou Yuan looked at the back of his father and he thought that his dignified and majestic aura seemed to have disappeared.
“Between the heavens and earth exists fate and luck. The Wu Family wished to build their own country, their generations living prosperously, deterring all enemies on all four corners of the continent, one must have sufficient fate and luck. Yuan’er, your fate, and luck is the best thing.
“Emperor Wu seized hold of your fate, your luck, and your destiny, bestowing it to his son and daughter. Since then, the Great Wu Dynasty has the protection of crouching tigers and hidden dragons. The prosperity of the Great Wu Dynasty is all because of you, Yuan’er.
“The luck and fate of your Sacred Dragon which you were forcibly deprived of, taken away, plundered by the serpent and phoenix produced a strong sense of vengeance.
“Emperor Wu intentionally sealed the vengeance and resentment in your body thus forming the Dragon’s Venom. It swallows your blood and vitality, growing and maturing with the passing of time. One day, it’ll erupt and Yuan’er, you’ll be completely devoured of life.
“The roots of your Sacred Dragon is damaged and your Eighth Spiritual Meridians disappeared. To this day, the Eighth Spiritual Meridians has yet to reveal itself. The road you tread on is a long and difficult one.”
Zhou Qing spoke, his voice bleak.
On that day, outside the walls of the city, the serpent and phoenix echoed their blissful joy under the shimmering sun as they soared high above the heavens.
On that day, the Sacred Dragon mourned it’s last breath, slowly dispersing into smoky nothings.
On that day, the serpent and phoenix swallowed the dragon.