I Am the Fated Villain Novel - chapter 490
“I promise you I mean Xianer no harm whatsoever, Young Master Changge.” An Yan put up a brave front despite feeling apprehensive as she stood within the majestic but empty palace. She knew why Gu Changge asked only her to stay, and it made her somewhat nervous. His reputation preceded him, and she was certain not many wouldn’t be nervous if they had to be in the same room as Gu Changge alone. What more, when she had an agenda!
Gu Changge smiled but continued to keep his back to An Yan. “What do you want from Xianer, then?”
“I…” An Yan’s gaze turned a little dull, for she knew she couldn’t hide things like these from Gu Changge. She could flawlessly feign innocence and naivety in front of anyone, but such a facade was useless towards someone like Gu Changge.
“Still not saying anything, are we?” monotoned Gu Changge. Yet, it still caused An Yan to break into a cold sweat.
She clenched her hands, then suddenly raised her head in bravery and fixed her gaze on Gu Changge’s back while saying, “Because I want to get to you through Xianer. I mean Xianer no harm, and I’m more than happy to be her friend.”
“Do you now?” Gu Changge remained unruffled. That said, he was rather surprised the young woman would answer so frankly. He had thought she would try to defend herself a little. [It’s good. It’s clear that she’s a smart one, not gullible like everyone says. No doubt, harmlessness is her main facade.]
Suddenly, Gu Changge narrowed his eyes, his interest piqued. [In other words, this young woman has been hiding in the shadows, being prudent in the last twenty-plus years. Born into the Hidden An Clan, the eldest daughter born of the wife at that. Her mother died for an unknown reason, her father cares for nothing but his cultivation, and she’s constantly bullied by a mean older sister. Hmm, such a background structure reminds me of a certain someone…]
“Yes, Young Master Changge. The main reason I approached Xianer is to get to you. I seek something from you. Like many other girls, I want to give myself to the rich and powerful so that I can obtain even bigger power,” said An Yan as she lifted her gaze to look straight at Gu Changge’s back.
She was shrewd. Over the years, she had constantly kept an eye open, made herself invisible, and even put on a gullible facade to lower her intimidation in others’ eyes. Hence, An Yan could also tell, lying to Gu Changge would only displease him. The best thing to do was to be entirely honest with him.
“Bad news, you have the wrong idea,” the man said plainly. “I feel nothing for you even if you approach me.”
He did see Ji Qingxuan in the young woman, though. But compared to the former, An Yan was evidently in a much worse position.
An Yan, on the other hand, wasn’t surprised Gu Changge would say that, but she wasn’t giving up. How could she when this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity had presented itself to her? At that, she gritted her teeth and continued, “I know nothing I have now interests you, be it my power or my looks.”
“Then, why do you still try to approach me?” Gu Changge quirked a brow and finally turned around, scrutinising her.
She was indeed a beauty, but it clearly did nothing for him.
Followingly, he identified An Yan’s Fortuity, which looked common. She couldn’t even be considered fortunate, let alone be a Fortuitous Lady.
“If I don’t even at least try, I will never be able to turn the tides around,” An Yan attested. In contrast to her slightly dim countenance, her gaze overflowed with determination. Before this, she had imagined many scenarios of buttering up to Gu Change, but little did she think the reality would be as such—being absolutely truthful to him. It could be said that all her preparations were for nothing.
“You have a good Dao Heart, I’ll give you that…” Gu Changge looked at An Yan with great interest. Just now, he witnessed the young woman’s Fortuity shoot up for some reason. [So, she’s actually the type whose Fortuity has yet to take shape and is currently accumulating.]
His interest was finally piqued, and he would like to see just how far An Yan could go.
“I’d probably have long given in if my Dao Heart isn’t firm.” An Yan smiled wryly, then adjusted her mood and said somewhat gravely, “Actually, there’s something I believe you should know.”
“What is it?” An inkling suddenly arose within him as he gazed at the young woman.
After one reached his cultivation level, which was so powerful that it was beyond measurement, one could sense some vague threads of cause and effect in a split second, and it seemed that what An Yan was about to say had something to do with him.
“It’s about my sister, An Xi. Some time ago, she saved a man around her retreat, and I happened to overhear her conversation with the stranger one day…” An Yan had regained her composure at this point and honestly disclosed everything she knew about the incident to Gu Changge.
It actually happened not too long ago, when the Upper Realm still hadn’t invaded the Eight Wastelands and Ten Domains, and news of the Boundary Marker Sea drying up still hadn’t travelled. Because of An Xi’s cultivation technique, An Xi’s common place of cultivation wasn’t located within the clan but in a Peach Blossom Village, of a small nation. The Peach Blossom Village was so secluded that it had been ten thousand years since it last contacted the outside world.
To a cultivator, ten thousand years was like the blink of an eye, but to a mortal, it meant hundreds of generations. Thus, Peach Blossom Village was serene, undisturbed by the outside world. There was only one river that came from far away and branched out to various places.
One day, An Xi’s handmaiden found an unconscious man streaming down the very river. He seemed to have sustained severe injuries as he had drifted alone in the river for a long time and remained unconscious the whole time.
Oddly though, there weren’t any wounds on him, or more accurately, the injuries he sustained some time ago had healed on their own. Moreover, many beasts roamed around in these rivers. Not even cultivators dared to wander these places alone for the sake of their lives.
However, no beasts dared approach the man who had no cultivation at all, and the discovery led An Xi to save him, assuming he possessed some kind of treasure or had a unique constitution.
Gu Changge had a good idea who the man was. Back then, outside of Vermilion Bird Empire, he sent his men to hunt down Jiang Chen, Niu Tian, and others who teleported over from the Lower Realm. In the end, only Jiang Chen and Niu Tian escaped.
Though he had done it intentionally, he didn’t think Niu Tian would give him such a surprise. [Forget about Jiang Chen, the Fortuitous One, reincarnation of the Artifact Spirit of the Celestial Boat of Creation. Looks like his friend also has a unique constitution or bloodline.]
“That man never woke up. After my sister took him back to the clan, she sought a doctor to give him medical attention, only to discover that he has Hidden Celestial Bloodline. Later, she learned of the stranger’s feud with you,” said An Yan, then glanced at Gu Change, feeling apprehensive seeing that the man wore no expressions on his face.
The issue wasn’t significant, but at the same time, it wasn’t minor either. Either way, the thing that had her genuinely feeling her sister was digging her own grave was that she helped the stranger with his cultivation, to have him at her disposal in the future. She did not seize him even after knowing his feud with Gu Changge.
The Hidden Celestial Bloodline was no simple bloodline but a mysterious one. However, no one was certain just what kind of constitution it holds. That said, there were many myths revolving around the Hidden Celestial Bloodlines in the Upper Realm. For example, those with the constitution would obtain the powers of an Immortal. Though it wasn’t to the level of a genuine Immortal, it should be enough to fight one. Hence, it was only named Hidden Celestial Bloodline.
Of course, there were far too few cultivators with the bloodline, for the consequences of nurturing them were too terrifying, beyond one’s imagination. In fact, only a handful with the Hidden Celestial Bloodline had ever appeared in the Upper Realm in the past aeon.
As for why the An Clan would have such an in-depth understanding, it was because an Ancestor was one of those who had a Hidden Celestial Bloodline.
“Hidden Celestial Bloodline, huh? Looks like I shouldn’t have let him go back then.” Gu Changge smiled plainly, looking unbothered. If anything, he was a little surprised at how blind he had been not to notice Niu Tian’s bloodline.
That said, he had planted a contingency plan for the matter back then. The Fruit of Knowledge Niu Tian and the others had eaten wasn’t simple. It wouldn’t be difficult for Gu Changge if he wanted to find the man.
“This is all I know about what’s between my sister and the stranger. I swear I didn’t hide anything from you.” An Yan was bewildered by Gu Changge’s unruffled expression.
“Got it.” Gu Changge nodded, then gazed back at An Yan with great interest. “So you want me to help you fight your sister. Is that what you want?”
An Yan’s thoughts were a no-brainer to him. The fight for the positions in powerful families like the Hidden An Clan was a grave one, and An Yan’s current position in the clan was very sensitive. If she wanted to reign victorious, then she would need outside support.
The way An Yan saw it, An Xi’s unwise decision would only lead to her demise with him as she still saved Niu Tian despite knowing she would piss Gu Changge off. Thus, he was the perfect candidate, be it from the reason to step in or influence alone.
“Does not what An Xi did bother you, Young Master Changge?” An Yan felt somewhat apprehensive. Though this was her aim, she wasn’t certain, judging from Gu Changge’s expression. If the man could side with her, then her position within the clan would certainly shift greatly. Not only wouldn’t the Elders dare belittle her and make nothing of her anymore. She would gradually have a voice in the Hidden An Clan. With time, she’d be able to reclaim everything that was hers.
“Are you sure you haven’t thought too highly of your sister’s ability? Do you think the Hidden An Clan will dare cross me for a stranger? Especially when he’s just someone with an undeveloped Hidden Celestial Bloodline. Who knows how many resources your clan will have to invest in him for him to grow? Do you think they’ll find the gamble worth it?” Gu Changge smiled plainly, certain the Hidden An Clan wouldn’t cross him for Niu Tian.
An Yan was taken aback. The possibility had crossed her before, of course. However, the Hidden An Clan was now under An Xi’s reign, and a lot of times, she had the final say in the clan’s decisions. That said, not even her sister could convince the clan to fight Gu Changge for a stranger.
“You’re right. I expected too much.” An Yan’s gaze dimmed.
If Gu Changge really wanted, all he needed to do was speak up, and the Hidden An Clan would likely hand Niu Tian to him on a silver platter. He wouldn’t even need to get himself involved in her feud with An Xi at all.
“Actually, I can help. But you have to show me you have what it takes to receive my aid.” Gu Changge’s voice travelled to An Yan’s ears just when the young woman was downcast, causing her to look up in stupefaction as surprise enveloped her silver eyes.
“Show my worth?” An Yan repeated with a shaky voice. At that, she took a deep breath to calm herself down before continuing, “I know I’m nothing to you right now, Young Master Changge. But if I can become the head of my clan, then all of the Hidden An Clan shall be at your disposal. I’m willing to serve by your side.”
However, Gu Changge frowned and shook his head. “It seems that you’ve misunderstood the worth I’m referring to.”
He wanted An Yan to show him what she was worth now and not in the future, which An Yan very quickly realised too. She knew her promise was tantamount to an empty one, and Gu Changge wanted to see what she had to offer on the table.
Hence, she gave it some thought and said, “Actually, it wasn’t me who overheard what I said earlier but the spy I planted by An Xi’s side. I even know she would head towards the ancestral planet to retrieve blood to aid in the stranger’s cultivation.”
The blood An Yan mentioned was no simple blood but one of the three drops of True Blood from an ancient Ancestor also with Hidden Celestial Bloodline. They were extremely precious and contained fragments of Immortality. Not even a Sacred Emperor Realm expert would dare absorb it, for it would risk shattering their soul.
Her dear older sister had paid a high price to recreate another one with Hidden Celestial Bloodline.
An Yan calmed down and fixed her gaze on Gu Changge. “I will find a way to steal that drop of True Blood for you.”
“Hidden Celestial Blood, huh? Sounds good. To think your clan has three drops of True Blood.” Gu Changge gazed enigmatically at the young woman, then smiled. “But one drop isn’t enough. I want all three.”
Gu Changge had been worrying about the lack of cultivation resources lately. If all three drops of True Blood contained fragments of Immortality, then it would help him breakthrough.
Of course, An Yan naturally undoubtedly agreed to the request. The three drops of True Blood were very precious to the clan. Even An Xi spent a lot of time and effort convincing the elders before being permitted to retrieve one of them from the ancestral planet. However, since Gu Changge wanted her to show her worth, she would seize the blood if it even risked exposing her years of disguise.
Followingly, An Yan left the palace. Compared to earlier, she now had an inexplicable confidence, and the confidence stemmed from successfully seizing the opportunity right before her eyes. As long as she could gain Gu Changge’s support, her unfavourable position today would overturn in an instant.
All the years of prudence and hiding in the shadows would all be gone soon, and the large and powerful Hidden An Clan would eventually become hers.
Inside the palace, Gu Changge smiled as he watched An Yan leave and only withdrew his gaze after the young woman was out of sight. “I, on the one hand, would like to see the surprise you can give me, Fortuitous Lady who has yet to take shape…”
He would deal with Niu Tian even if An Yan said nothing. What was more, it had been a while since he had ‘watered’ Jiang Chen. It was time to see how this ‘leek’ was doing now that he was done dealing with the Eight Wastelands and Ten Domains.
Also, Xiao Ruoyin, who had teleported from the Lower Realm with Jiang Chen, Niu Tian, and the others, still hadn’t shown any signs of regaining her memory.
Gu Changge ordered Yan Ji to keep an eye on Xiao Ruoyin’s changes, and Yan Ji would report the changes over time.
The notion had Gu Changge wondering if something had gone wrong with Xiao Ruoyin’s soul because of the severe injuries she suffered or how could she not regain her memories when she was the High Priestess of Destiny who controlled the Celestial Boat of Creation. She used to be able to revert time, and could not be stained by karma?
[Could it be that Yan Ji didn’t discover it because she was still merging or maybe she’s hiding it?] Gu Changge made a mental note. He intended to check it out after returning to the Upper Realm.
Later, Gu Changge said with a plain smile as he looked towards the space behind him. “The Upper Realm will invade Sky Deer City in a few months. Are you not going to make some preparations?”
The next second, the Sky Deer Goddess’ emerged in a flawless white dress and an expressionless countenance.
“What else is there for me to do now? I only wish that you’d spare the people and kill fewer after you infiltrate Sky Deer City,” pleaded the goddess. She had long figured out that her choice to be at Gu Changge’s disposal was tantamount to doing the impossible. Hence, there would be nothing she could do if Gu Changge did nothing and cared nothing for Sky Deer City and her pleas.
It was a massive gamble in the first place. During this time, she had also done all she could to show Gu Changge her commitment. She took part and played a significant role in obliterating the Nine Great Mountains and the defeat of the Eight Wastelands and Ten Domains Army at the Aether Abyss. However, she wasn’t sure what Gu Changge made of it. Thus, she could only gamble that the man would eventually be moved by her.
“It’s elementary, really. You just have to show up and ask Sky Deer City to yield. No doubt your status will play a significant part. Didn’t you say you don’t want a bloodbath? I assure you, this is more useful than any other plan.” Gu Changge smiled plainly while caressing her cheek.
At that, the Sky Deer Goddess grabbed his hand, looked at him, and said softly, “Young Master Gu, I’m sure you know the Sky Deer City isn’t the only city in the Eight Wastelands and Ten Domains. They will likely only get angrier and resentful if I show myself. By then, the war will be ceaseless.”
Gu Changge no longer restricted her personal freedom at this point, and she could actually return to Sky Deer City if she wanted to. However, she didn’t, for if she did, all the efforts she had made before this would be for nothing. Besides, there was nothing she could do to turn everything back around.
The Upper Realm was far too powerful. The Eight Wastelands and Ten Domains stood no chance in this battle, and the Sky Deer Goddess knew Gu Changge understood the point well. Thus, he wasn’t worried she would escape at all.
“Well, that’s too bad. I can tell my men to spare as many as possible, no problem. But the other forces might not listen to me. I’m afraid that’s as much as I can help with.” Gu Changge sighed with regret.
But of course, the Sky Deer Goddess knew what was in Gu Changge’s head, and her expression changed multifold. Given the man’s power and influence, the Upper Realm Army would listen to his every command, so how could someone, be it a Sect or a Family, not heed his order!? Evidently, he had only done so to force her.
“Is your heart made of stone, Young Master Gu?” The Sky Deer Goddess drooped her eyelids, her voice oddly plain. She thought she would have gotten much closer with Gu Changge during this time. The two even nearly slept together, but who’d have thought he was still as impassive as when she first met him.
“How can you say that?” Gu Changge smiled without a change in his expression and pulled her into his arms. “I’m just worried for your future. Unless you want to live in the shadows forever. You’ll have to reemerge into the world sooner or later. By then, what identity will you introduce yourself as?”
The Sky Deer Goddess was the Sky Deer City’s guardian, after all. She had an incredibly noble status and was well-respected by all. If she showed up before the Sky Deer City had been infiltrated, it would be a massive blow to the Eight Wastelands and Ten Domains. Furthermore, Sky Deer City’s barrier and its Array Cores had everything to do with her.
Indeed, Gu Changge had given Lin Wu six months’ time, but everyone knew it would be nearly impossible to break down the barrier outside of the Sky Deer City during the first siege. That was why, if it did go down, it would be tantamount to giving the citizens of Sky Deer City a message—the Sky Deer Goddess had yielded to the Upper Realm, so what more the other ancient beings!?
One should know that the world never lacked those afraid of death and much less those who were distrustful.
“Got it.” The Sky Deer Goddess drooped her eyelids, her gaze as placid as still water as she leaned in Gu Changge’s arms, not actually agreeing with him. She knew the man had other plans, but she had no other options but to yield.
A few days later, an incident that shook the many forces of the Upper Realm happened, and all the ancient beings were rendered stupefied, their heads blank, unable to register what they heard—the Sky Deer Goddess, the guardian of the Eight Wastelands and Ten Domains’ Sky Deer City was now standing next to Gu Changge!
The news came like a sudden hurricane, shocking everyone, and the sensation caused was tantamount to a meteorite crashing into the ocean.
One should know that only the high-ranking members of the Immortal Gu Family knew about this before it became public, and now everyone, be it the young or ancient, was beyond shaken with incredulity when the Sky Deer Goddess made her public appearance by Gu Changge’s side.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say the Sky Deer Goddess was highly noble and well-respected in the Eight Wastelands and Ten Domains. She was the guardian of the Sky Deer City, a True Daoist who, back in the day, had slaughtered an Ancient Royal Family member to oppose the Upper Realm just in front of Sky Deer City. Her powers were beyond terrifying.
So, why would she be standing next to Gu Changge now, and what did it entail?