Against the Gods

Chapter 1887 - Father of Xia (2)
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Chapter 1887 - Father of Xia (2)

“It seems that something regretful has happened between you and Qingyue,” Xia Hongyi commented ruefully.

Yun Che had addressed him using a different appellation. He also seemed to be much more distant than before. Finally, he had avoided saying Xia Qingyue’s name at all, referring to her as “she” or “her” only.

The odd behavior hadn’t escaped Xia Yuanba or Xia Hongyi’s notice.

“Five years ago, we ended our marriage and relationship because our ‘beliefs’ were misaligned. Moreover, I wasn’t able to notify Uncle Xia about it sooner due to the circumstances that were in play at the time.”

Yun Che explained in the most indifferent and reserved tone he could muster.

“I see.” Xia Hongyi shot Yun Che a long look, but didn’t press him to explain what exactly he meant by “misaligned beliefs”. Instead, he moved onto a different topic.

“Che’er, I would be lying if I said that I’m not curious about what really happened between you and Qingyue, but I’m aware that some things are too private even for an elder to ask about, so I won’t. Instead, I will ask you to tell me the whole truth about another matter.”

Yun Che knew what he wanted to ask about. “Ask away, Uncle Xia.”

“Five years ago after you left for the God Realm, you apparently told Yuanba that Qingyue had found her mother… was it true?”

For the first time, there was a slight tremor in Xia Hongyi’s voice.

Yun Che nodded without hesitation. “That is correct. In fact, she found her not long after she was teleported to the God Realm by accident. Since then, she stayed by her side.”

Xia Hongyi unconsciously leaned forward as if he was afraid to miss a single word. His larynx started trembling non-stop, and his peaceful gaze suddenly turned chaotic. “Is… is she doing okay?”

Chi Wuyao: “…”

The sudden loss of self-control, the heartbeat that sounded like it might jump out of his chest at any moment… he hadn’t even mentioned Yue Wugou’s unfortunate passing yet, but Xia Hongyi’s reaction was already a million times greater than it was before!

Surprise flashed in Yun Che’s eyes, but he continued to tell the truth, “Unfortunately, she passed away as early as eight years ago.”

Buzz

For a second, it sounded like someone had brought a sledgehammer to Xia Hongyi’s heart. Then, his heart stopped beating as if the organ had experienced a total failure.

Chi Wuyao: “…”

A deep frown crossed Yun Che’s features as he asked the stiffened Xia Hongyi, “Uncle Xia?”

Xia Hongyi’s lips turned from pale red to deathly white in just a moment. His complexion was whitening at a terrifying rate as well.

“Dead… dead… dead…”

He sounded like he was in complete despair. He crumbled from his seat as if his bones had been plucked from his body.

Yun Che immediately caught him with a gentle gust of profound energy. He also injected some soul energy into the old man’s body to soothe his collapsed mind.

“Uncle Xia, she has been in the world of ultimate bliss for eight years. Please don’t be too sorrowful,” Yun Che consoled. He still didn’t know how to address Yue Wugou, so he didn’t try.

“Dead… dead…”

Contrary to popular belief, a person was incapable of tears when they were mired in such deep sorrow that they lost feeling in their facial features and even the faculty of their minds. In Xia Hongyi’e case, Yun Che’s consoling words might as well have gone right through his ears. The man had been reduced to little but glassy eyes and heart-wrenching murmurs.

He had never let go despite thirty some years of separation.

His sorrow and misery had never faded, only hidden behind a calm and elegant bearing.

Chi Wuyao’s devilish eyes flashed black, and Xia Hongyi’s mind was put back together by force.

Even then, there was nothing she could do about the shocking amount of sorrow that was ravaging his insides.

When Xia Hongyi’s eyes had regained their focus, and feelings had returned to his facial features, tears started pouring down uncontrollably. The man hurriedly straightened his posture and looked away to hide his appearance. “I’m fine… I’m fine… I’m sorry you have to see me like this… ss!”

“I’m sure… she has seen your deep love for her from the other side,” Yun Che squeezed out some more consoling words that even he found inadequate.

Despite Xia Hongyi’s claims, it would take him a lot longer before he finally managed to rein in his tears and quell his sorrow to a manageable degree. A long, deep sigh later, he asked, “Can… can you tell me why she passed away, Che’er?”

His voice continued to shake violently despite his best efforts to control himself. The fingers clenching the arm rests looked bloodless and warped.

Yun Che had intended to tell Xia Hongyi the complete truth, but it had become clear that that was no longer an option. So, he forced himself to lie, “I was told that she had a weak body that was prone to sickness. Despite the best attempts to prolong her life, she ultimately succumbed to illness and passed away in the Moon God Realm.”

It would’ve been senselessly cruel to tell Xia Hongyi that Yue Wugou had committed suicide to join her husband, Yue Wuya, in death.

“She… her daughter was right by her side when she passed away. She buried her with her own two hands.”

He had said this in hopes of alleviating some of Xia Hongyi’s sorrow, but he still refused to say the name “Xia Qingyue”.

“Is that so… is that so…” a weeping Xia Hongyi murmured, “I had thought that she would finally be cured if she returned to that world… I didn’t mind enduring eternal loneliness if it meant her good health…”

“But… to think that it was all meaningless in the end…”

He sucked in another deep breath. He had become too pained to speak any more than that.

Some sorrows couldn’t be resolved by another’s consolation. Yun Che knew this better than most, so he shot Chi Wuyao a glance before rising to his feet and saying, “Please take good care of yourself, Uncle Xia. No matter what happens, please don’t forget that Yuanba still needs his father.”

“I’m sure that a big-hearted man like Uncle Xia will be able to walk out of his sorrow quickly. We shall be taking our leave now. Yuanba and I will visit you together some time later.”

Xia Hongyi had lived his whole life as a businessman, so it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the concept of hospitality was in his very marrow. However, his sorrow was so great that he couldn’t even go through the usual motions. He simply waved his hand and said powerlessly, “Goodbye… tell Yuanba that he doesn’t need to worry about me.”

Yun Che nodded and prepared to leave.

Suddenly, Chi Wuyao surprised him by saying,

“If you don’t mind, I have a question to ask you, Mr. Xia.”

“?” Yun Che stopped in his tracks.

Chi Wuyao hadn’t imbued her voice with soul energy, but it was still far beyond the ability of Xia Hongyi to resist. The old man slowly looked up and said, “Please, ask away.”

Chi Wuyao began, “When was the last time you met your daughter, Xia Qingyue?”

Xia Hongyi replied without hesitation, “I have not seen her since the day she completed her wedding with Che’er and traveled to Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace.”

“Now that I think about it, it has been over two decades since that day, hasn’t it? Sigh. Who would’ve thought that that day would be our final day together?”

Yun Che’s eyebrows twitched, but he didn’t say anything.

“…” Chi Wuyao nodded and said, “Thank you.”

Yun Che and Chi Wuyao stepped out of the Black Moon Merchant Guild together, but they chose to walk aimlessly instead of tearing a spatial rift and returning to Floating Cloud City immediately.

Chi Wuyao’s crescent eyebrows were locked together in a deep frown. It was a strange sight because there were very few things in the world that could puzzle her for long. Yun Che looked like he was carrying a heavy burden in his mind as well.

“Strange, strange, strange, strange…”

Chi Wuyao repeated to herself.

“What is bothering you?” Yun Che asked absent-mindedly.

Chi Wuyao shot him a look before answering, “Xia Hongyi’s reactions toward his daughter’s death and his wife’s death were like night and day. Even as distracted as you were, I refuse to believe you didn’t notice it.”

“I don’t want to talk about her,” Yun Che said.

Chi Wuyao smiled and said in a lazy, silky voice, “You realize that you’re just making it worse, right? If you’ve truly moved on from her, you wouldn’t be bothered by her being mentioned at all. The more you treat her like a taboo, the deeper she will become entrenched in your mind, and the harder it will be to let go of her.”

“… say whatever you want. I just don’t want to talk about her,” Yun Che replied expressionlessly.

Chi Wuyao continued as if she hadn’t heard his reply, “People are creatures of duality. It isn’t contradictory or a mistake to cherish someone for their kindness, and hate them for their cruelty at the same time.”

Yun Che massaged his temples and replied in a helpless voice, “You’re doing it again.”

Although everything had come to an end, Xia Qingyue continued to occupy a space in Chi Wuyao’s mind. Yun Che knew that very well.

She was the bearer of the Nirvana Devil Emperor’s soul, and her ability to judge a person’s true nature was, without exaggeration, the best in the entire universe. And yet, Xia Qingyue had fooled her completely.

Xia Qingyue was the only person she had ever misjudged, and the error had nearly cost her her dearest. In hindsight, it was no wonder she was unable to let go.

Although she might always lower herself before Yun Che, few were as prideful as her.

“He was way too indifferent toward Xia Qingyue’s death.”

Chi Wuyao ignored Yun Che’s grimace and continued, “Xia Yuanba is the bearer of the Tyrannical Emperor’s Divine Veins and a firm mind, and he can barely control his pain after hearing the news.”

“On the other hand, all I felt from Xia Hongyi was a flash of pain. In fact, I felt more shock and pity from him. He reacted how a person would when they heard of their neighbor’s daughter’s death.”

“You are a father with only one daughter to your name. You know better than me how unusual his reaction was.”

“…” Yun Che still didn’t say anything in response, but he didn’t try to cut her off a second time.

Chi Wuyao’s smile faded as she continued voicing her thoughts, “He is no profound way fool or cold-blooded ruler, but he could be emotionally detached by nature. That is the only other possibility I can think of anyway. People like that do exist. Like a person who is born without an arm or a leg, some are born without the seven emotions and six desires that drive us all.”

“However, his extreme reaction towards Yue Wugou’s death contradicted that completely.”

“Which brings us back to the question, ‘Why is a man this passionate reacting so coolly and rationally toward his daughter’s death?’ There was barely any sorrow at all.”

Chi Wuyao pressed a finger to her glabella. She had come seeking answers today, but her brief interaction with Xia Hongyi only produced more questions and confusion.

Yun Che replied, “She was always cold and indifferent to an extreme. She barely even stepped out of her bedroom. Maybe the lack of frequent interaction with her father is why he reacted like they were strangers.”

“Do you really believe that?” Chi Wuyao raised an eyebrow at him.

Yun Che did the same and shrugged uncaringly.

“This isn’t even the strangest thing.”

Chi Wuyao’s charming eyes abruptly narrowed into a pair of abysses. “Last night, I spoke to Chu Yuechan about Xia Qingyue and learned basically everything there is to learn about her life on this planet.”

“And?” Yun Che turned to look at Chi Wuyao. He could sense that this was really bothering her for some reason.

“Do you still remember why Xia Qingyue was obsessed with cultivating the profound way?” Chi Wuyao asked.

“Yes,” Yun Che replied. “Long story short, she wanted to find her mother and reunite her family.”

He had heard it from Chu Yuechan first, but Xia Qingyue had told him the exact same thing later on.

She had thought she could reach her mother if her cultivation was high enough… that she might be able to reunite her family if her cultivation was even higher…

“That is correct,” Chi Wuyao agreed. “This tells us that she was a woman who cherished familial bonds deeply. At the very least, she was someone who gave it her all just to seek out a mother she barely remembered.”

Yun Che: “…”

“Equal in weight to that value was her love for you. Chu Yuechan told me that she nearly lost her life when she saved you from the secret realm of Heavenly Sword Villa… she had even cut her hair when she got word of your apparent death.”

Chi Wuyao whispered, “If he is no longer in this world, then may my hair accompany him to the after life, my emotions be forever severed, and my heart be eternally frozen… that was what she said to Chu Yueli and Chu Yuechan back then.”

Yun Che staggered and lost control of his breathing a little.

All he had left for her was hatred… so why did it still hurt so much?

“So far, everything I heard matched perfectly with the Xia Qingyue I saw through Mu Xuanyin’s eyes back then.”

“So why…” Chi Wuyao paused for a second and frowned deeper than ever before, “Why did a woman who values love and familial bonds so, so much… not visit her father even once after she married you and traveled to Frozen Cloud Immortal Palace?”

1. This foreshadowing first appears on chapter 239

2. (As overused as it is in anime, cutting one’s hair is a very symbolic thing since ancient times)

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