Translated by ethidda of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
His Highness Xiaoshen was really too playful.
When there were still several hundred li to go until the Rong Nation’s capital, he had already started yelling that he wanted to go to the ground and play in town. Nobody could do anything, but as there was still enough time, they could only acquiesce.
Xiaoshen transformed into his human form, and told them to disguise themselves as his servants and guards. He even mischievously wanted Shang Jiyu to disguise himself as a woman. Shang Jiyu really was going to change, but without changing his height. Did Xiaoshen want to walk around with a woman a head taller than him? Only then did Xiaoshen back off.
Before now, Xiaoshen had not visited the places where humans gathered and lived that many times. Moreover, ten thousand years ago, he mostly stayed under water, and hadn’t even met more than a few humans.
He looked around, and found everything he saw new and exciting. He even bought many human trinkets – it was actually Yun Ziran who told him that they had to be “bought”. With money.
Xiaoshen saw a human bake sesame seed-coated cakes 1 , and thought it looked interesting, so he bought one as well. He then became doubtful after just smelling it. But since he was curious about how it was made, he still took a bite, and then instantly spat a few times.
Bai Cangnian laughed quietly.
Xiaoshen turned to glare at him. “Sesame seed-coated cakes are gross. Make a record.”
Bai Cangnian, “Huh?”
Xiaoshen even pulled up Bai Cangnian’s outer shirt. “Hurry, record this!”
Bai Cangnian couldn’t help it, and said, “Your Highness, this is a record of the dragons’ history.”
It wasn’t just his shirt!
Xiaoshen, “That means this cake is so gross it will be infamous throughout dragon history!”
Bai Cangnian, “……”
Bai Cangnian had his own ethics. He didn’t want to just scrawl whatever on the clothes. He could put up with writing bad poetry, but he had to write even this?
Xiaoshen smiled savagely, and made his wicked consort hold down Bai Cangnian. Then he took the pen himself to write on his clothes.
Bai Cangnian, “…Your Highness! Your Highness!”
Even though he was a white sea turtle, how could he physically fight His Highness the Dragon King? This was not within his right as his minister. Besides, even the consort was aiding and abetting the dragon.
Xuan Wuzi and the others felt horrified.
They suddenly realized that the way Brother Xiaoshen treated the water species was even more outrageous than how he treated them, without any restraint or respect. They shouldn’t have said that Brother Xiaoshen was tyrannical before.
Xiaoshen would never be as reserved as Bai CangNian. He took the pen and wrote a line of large characters on his clothes. Without much thought, he made it so the little human cake would be known for hundreds of millions of years.
The older man who sold the sesame seed-covered cake had a dark expression. He saw that they had many people, though, and didn’t dare to swear at these foreigners.
Another few steps further, Xiaoshen saw humans’ printed books. He chuckled, and wanted to say something memorable again.
How could just these sorts of things compare with the works of the two great literary masters of Yuling Sect? But not only did Xiaoshen have things to say, the Yun historian who casually looked through the books also cleared his throat.
Therefore, Bai Cangnian was held down again so he could write.
And for unknown reasons, Xiaoshen wrote it all in human language.
This went on all the way down the street. Originally, the Yuling disciples all envied that Bai Cangnian’s writing would be displayed on a long shirt. Yet it was now mixed with large writings of “sesame seed-covered cake”, “ugly”, “bullshit” and other such words.
The chest which he had purposely left empty was now filled with: “Those who like to carve things on tourist sights have poor morals”……
The white haired, red-eyed youngster could be seen stumbling about, out of sorts. The Yuling disciples felt he was truly pitiful.
There was a human saying, “Nothing is more important than taking the correct seat 2 . No ceremony is more grand than a change of dynasty.”
At the human emperor’s coronation, they must make offerings to the heavens, the earth, and the ancestors. They must announce it to the world. And for the next Rong Emperor, because he did not get the throne in an acceptable way, he wanted to have extra grandeur for his ceremony, so that him taking the throne would seem more acceptable.
Besides inviting a dragon to participate, the Rong Emperor also planned many new acts. The point was to emphasize that he was appointed by the heavens.
The coronation ceremony was happening now. They had rehearsed, and confirmed all the details without error. The only thing they could not confirm was – the Dragon King.
The number of people who knew about this could be counted on one hand. The Rong Emperor of course wouldn’t go around telling the people in the department of ceremonies, ‘When it’s time, the Dragon King will come support me. So all of you get ready’. He could only request that the ceremony be as grand as possible, and to include all the people, to ensure that everybody would see the dragon.
Besides, even the Rong Emperor had no idea exactly when the Dragon King would arrive.
Would it be when they made offerings? Or when the hundreds of ministers would pay their respects and give congratulations? The Rong Emperor hoped that it would be during the day, so the people can see him more clearly.
On the eve of the great ceremony, the Rong Emperor wore his royal robes, paced back and forth wringing his hands. At that moment, he was just a simple and anxious manager. He had invited the most important character in history, but now he worried if the other party would flake on him.
“Zhenren, tell me, has the Dragon King departed already?” The Rong Emperor asked the cultivator, kept by the Rong Empire’s support for the 100th time. He was the very same ambassador who went to Yuling.
The cultivator said helplessly, “Your Highness, I don’t know. How can I possibly know the Dragon King’s whereabouts? But I think, since the Dragon King had agreed, he probably would keep his word, right…?”
He could not be sure either. After all, they were talking about a dragon, who would not keep human affairs at the top of his mind. If he had a last minute emergency and didn’t show up, then what? Would they actually go to the Yuling Sect to argue for their legal rights? Even the promised treasures had not actually been given to the Dragon King. They had agreed that they could take them after he had flown.
“Oh, oh…” The Rong Emperor nodded distractedly. He asked again, “Does that Dragon King fly quickly? He is flying over himself, right?”
Cultivator, “…Very quickly. I’m not sure. He may also ride the clouds or ride on an artifact.”
Rong Emperor, “Would it affect his itinerary if it rained?”
Cultivator, “Your Highness! The dragons walk on rain and set the rain! Besides, the imperial astronomer has already forecasted for you that there will be no rain these several days!”
Rong Emperor, “That’s right.”
The Rong Emperor stared into the distant sky. He held his hands in front of his chest. “Dragon King, oh Dragon King. You and I are both rulers. I hope that you won’t let me down, on my true wish.”
This invitation would have the Rong eEmperor spending all the personal savings he had in his imperial gold vault… but if the Dragon King really came, it would be worth it!
On the day of the coronation ceremony.
The time had arrived. The Rong Emperor sent the officials to the imperial heaven and earth altar. He also changed into the ceremonious outfit of an emperor, to perform the grand sacrificial offerings.
Because of the orders given ahead of time, none of the ordinary people worked today. The bored people stood around on the side of the streets, and watched the officials going to make offerings to the heavens. Every district had organized to distribute food, gifted from His Highness. Of course, there was universal amnesty on this day, for the same reason: it was a celebration for everyone.
The new emperor originally wasn’t an emperor, but the second prince. His older brother should have been emperor, but he had suddenly announced his older brother had gotten sick, and decided to abdicate the throne to him, and instead keep vigil for himself. Among the people, the rumor was that the first prince had already died, that the second prince forcibly took the throne, and so there had been some upright officials who were cursing the emperor the whole time.
But lately, a lot of spies have been arresting people. Most civilians no longer dared to say anything. They could only keep their criticisms to themselves. Besides, no matter what they said, since the emperor was giving out food, everybody still enthusiastically went to accept.
In the street that was more lively than any, a line of people appeared, who attracted a lot of attention. The first reason for that was because they were too beautiful.
The one in front was a young man who wore azure clothes, and had thick and long black hair. His skin appeared snow white in contrast. His eyes looked as if wrapped in fog. His facial features were delicate and beautiful, as well as royal. Of the people following him, some wore black, some wore white, and some wore black and white… This line of people were all elegant and graceful beyond compare.
The second reason was because amongst the group of followers was a young man who wore a long shirt. He looked delicate and handsome, but on his clothes many illegible characters had been written. There was only talk of people who embroidered flowers or wrote poems on clothes. Nobody had ever seen anybody write something like “sesame seed-coated cakes are gross” or “those who like to carve things on tourist sights have poor morals” and similar phrases… If you weren’t careful, you might even mistake it as just “poor morals” and wonder what mistake he made.
Sigh. They were so beautiful that nobody dared to question them.
Because they lived in the capitol, these civilians were actually quite brazen. Some even started chatting up the young man, “Little cutie, which family are you from?”
This young man was of course Xiaoshen, who had come to the Rong Empire to fulfil his promise. He didn’t put on any airs, and answered, “I’m not from around here. I came especially to see the coronation.”
The citizens around them talked in an uproar. He might be royalty from another land. No wonder his actions were so high class!
“Aiyo, then you should walk faster. It’s still a long way to the palace grounds from here. Why didn’t you arrive ahead of time…” Some people really believed it. After all, they couldn’t have known that those who were really invited to observe the coronation couldn’t have waited until today to arrive.
“Alright, thank you.” Xiaoshen had already spent a lot of time enjoying himself, shopping at Rong Empire’s street market. He had arrived at the capitol last night, and was mostly finished exploring now. He told the others, “I’ll find a place to fly over and do a couple of circles. Then I’ll get the treasures and we’ll meet outside.”
Jin Qianzi couldn’t stand to look him straight in the eye. What a great ruler, but he was going to go collect his own remuneration… and he couldn’t even scold him.
“Quick. Find some good spots to wait and watch Our dashing appearance.” Xiaoshen looked impatient already.
At this time, the Rong Emperor was making offerings to the ancestors, looking completely filled with filial piety. Yet, his throne was won completely against his father’s orders.
Now, his older brother and the ministers of the old court whom all he had put under house arrest were loudly cursing him. They thought if the heavens were watching, he would definitely be stricken by lightning into smoke.
As for the palace servants who were watching the Rong Emperor making offerings, nobody knew what they were thinking.
The Rong Emperor was just about to fervently bow down in worship, when suddenly——
In the sky, a dragon appeared!
It was a palace servant who first noticed that there seemed to be something long flashing through the clouds. He looked closer, and it came out of the clouds, covered with azure scales. It was actually a dragon!
He remembered that there was a rumor recently that a real dragon appeared at the border of some country to the east, and defeated the evil Jiao for the local people. The palace servant yelled, shocked, “Dragon! There’s a dragon!”
At this time, nobody would complain that the palace servant talked out of turn. Everybody raised their heads to look, and were awed beyond awe. There really was a real azure dragon circling the skies, and it was flying lower and lower.
From within the palace to outside the palace, those who clearly saw the dragon started wildly cheering. They ran after it, shouting. Some even started bowing and praying right there.
At this moment, here, it was actually the Rong Emperor who was the most calm, even though he was actually also very excited that the Dragon King really did keep his promise.
The Rong Emperor walked to the palace entrance, and raised his head to look at the dragon. He said evenly, “The azure dragon appeared. This is an auspicious sign for the country.”
His closest minister regained his focus. He immediately knelt and said in a quivering voice, “Today is the day of His Highness’s coronation, and an azure dragon came to celebrate! His Highness has the heavenly mandate. Our Da Rong nation is destined for a long dynasty!”
Those palace servants who had been in a furor all sincerely knelt down, shouting loudly that His Highness had the heavenly mandate and was the destined emperor.
There were no doubts. With such an auspicious sign, even if the Rong Emperor took the throne by force, now everybody still felt that it was fated to be. The Rong Emperor taking the throne was only straightening the chaos and returning the world to its rightful way.
Otherwise, why would an azure dragon just coincidentally appear when the emperor was making offerings to the ancestors?! This was the dragon telling the world that they must not resist the mandate of heaven!
As if to encourage this excited uproar, the azure dragon shook its head once, and the sky actually opened up to a drizzle.
All the people were extremely excited. It was a sweet rain from the sky after a drought. Everybody raised their heads to welcome it, and let the raindrops hit their faces. They knelt on the ground, with prayers for their new emperor and the azure dragon.
In that moment, the Rong Emperor went from a debatable ruler to the emperor beloved by all the ministers and the people.
This wasn’t some man-made lucky sign, but a real live azure dragon!
After the azure dragon circled twice and brought rain, it lowered its head towards where the palace was. It made a long howl in the direction of the palace where the Rong Emperor was.
Even though nobody understood its meaning, they still listened respectfully.
The Rong Emperor also kowtowed and said solemnly, “We will definitely live up to your Dragon Highness’s expectations!”
Actually, he didn’t know what the Dragon King said either. But he paid for it, so he could respond using his own understanding.
The azure dragon seemed very satisfied, nodded, and disappeared into the clouds.
The others were almost ready to rub the top of Rong Emperor’s head and pray to him 3 . His Highness could actually converse with the azure dragon… If he didn’t have the mandate of heaven, then who did?
Even though the azure dragon was already gone, the cheering in the city continued. The Rong Empire was a nation favored by the azure dragon!
The entire city was wildly celebratory.
And the azure dragon who had successfully played his part made another circle in the clouds. He had already hidden his body, and flew towards the palace where they had agreed to pay him. He landed and took on his human form.
The cultivator who had been the ambassador stood waiting on the outer edges. He didn’t dare to disrupt. He only had to make sure that no outsiders discovered this scene here.
All sorts of treasures from the Rong Emperor’s personal vault was placed in the open space here, into a little mountain. Ordinary humans weren’t as powerful as the cultivators, but after he became the emperor, there were of course countless people to do his bidding. They searched and collected enough treasures and oddities to even satisfy cultivators.
Xiaoshen squatted down and casually looked through. He wasn’t just any cultivator. These weren’t that interesting to him. He just casually put them in his sleeves.
Xiaoshen stood up and turned around in surprise. Bai Cangnian stood close by with his hands behind his back, watching him silently.
He glanced at the words on Bai Cangnian’s body saying “gross” and such, and Xiaoshen said with a bad attitude, “Sea turtle historian, why didn’t you make any noise? I’ve collected the treasures, so let’s go. Where are the others? I wanted to go walk around the North Sea.”
Bai Cangnian chuckled. His slightly red eyes curved. His originally gentle and graceful air suddenly disappeared. He smiled evilly, “Husband, where to?”
Xiaoshen had already turned, but now his foot froze. He slowly turned to look at Bai Cangnian. His deep green eyes also squinted, and he assessed him coldly, without any sign of surprise.
Bai Cangnian’s eyelashes twitched. His entire face blurred. And then he changed.
His white hair and snow white skin darkened, into a head full of ink black hair and dark pupils. His nose was tall and straight, his lips pink. His body seemed to lengthen even more. His shoulders broadened, from the look of a boy to that of a youth. His features were delicately handsome, especially the lower half of his face, and seemed familiar.
He raised his hand and waved the clothes that Xiaoshen had drawn messily all over. His tone loving, and half grievous and half seriously said, “Look at this getup you made… My husband, not only have you embraced another pipa 4 , that little starling also really made me miserable! Now, where are you going to trick me into going?”
- Maybe easier to just say “coronation”. The saying comes from Mencius: http://www2.iath.virginia.edu:8080/exist/cocoon/xwomen/texts/mencius/d2.6/1/0/bilingual
- As one would for a buddha
- pipa = a woman abandoning her husband and marrying another