"Why are you crying?" Nianyu asked Ye Futian softly, as tears covered his face. She reached out with her little hand to wipe away the tears on his face.
"Because I'm so happy to see Nianyu, and couldn't help crying out of happiness," Ye Futian said softly.
Nianyu nodded innocently, just like a porcelain doll. Her big eyes looked at Hua Jieyu. She asked, "Fairy sister, what is your name? How come I feel like I know you?"
When she heard Hua Nianyu's childish remarks, Nandou Wenyin burst into tears and walked toward the two of them.
Hua Jieyu looked down at the little girl in front of her. Even though she had been indifferent until now, she stooped down at this moment and answered softly, "My name is Hua Jieyu."
"Hua Jieyu." Nianyu repeated after her, then looked up at Hua Fengliu and Nandou Wenyin, who were coming toward them. She looked at Hua Jieyu again and whispered, "Are you my sister?"
Hua Jieyu looked at the girl with a strange look, then nodded gently, "Mmm."
Nianyu opened her little arms, then stepped forward to hug Hua Jieyu gently around the neck. She said in a low voice, "Sister, why did you just now come back to see me? Father and mother missed you so very much, and I have been wanting to see you."
Hua Jieyu's arms stiffen a bit, but then she hugged the girl gently.
"Jieyu." Nandou Wenyin came over and knelt down, hugging the two sisters tightly. Just now, Hua Fengliu had told her through voice transmission that Hua Jieyu had suffered amnesia. Nandou Wenyin found this an unbearable reality, but when she thought about the fact that Jieyu had returned alive, she was happy.
At the time, they had watched Jieyu disappearing in front of them. The pain was unforgettable, and not a day had gone by that they didn't think of it. They never expected that Jieyu would come back one day.
Tang Lan also came out, standing a distance away and watching them; her heart felt their pain.
Over the years, she knew how Hua Fengliu and Nandou Wenyin spent their days. Only after having given birth to Nianyu did they have a new human being upon which they could focus to relieve the pain of the past. But like a thorn at their side that would not be forgotten, they could only pretend that it didn't exist.
They had even told Nianyu that her sister had gone to a faraway place.
Now, it was great to see the family reunited.
She wiped the tears away from the corner of her eyes. They should all be happy today.
"Auntie Tang." Ye Futian smiled and called out to her when he saw Tang Lan.
"Mmm." Tang Lan nodded and said softly, "I'm going to cook now."
The small town was very quiet. As Ye Futian settled down in Qingzhou City, many who learned of his return would come over and watch him from afar from time to time. After all, he was Qingzhou City's very own legend.
Ye Futian kept his aura in check, so that he appeared just like any regular person, chatting with the master and playing chess every day, living simply and quietly.
Hua Jieyu's demeanor was still cold and aloof, but occasionally, when she interacted with Nianyu, there were moments of tenderness.
However, it was not possible for her to call Hua Fenliu and Nandou Wenyin
"Mom and Dad."
Hua Fengliu and Nandou Wenyin had accepted that and thought nothing further. For them, they had once thought that Jieyu left them forever, now felt truly blessed as long as they were able to see her there every day. To them, this was simply a wish come true.
As long as they could see her.
Outside in the yard, Ye Futian and Hua Fengliu each sat on a wicker chair, on each side of the doorway, lying there lazily like two door guards.
"When do you plan to leave?" Hua Fengliu asked softly.
"You are not coming along?" Ye Futian looked at Hua Fengliu beside him and asked.
"It'll be good for us to stay here with Nianyu. It's better for her to just be an ordinary person, much simpler." Hua Fengliu whispered, "We won't worry as long as we know that Jieyu is well. When you have time, just bring her back to visit us."
After having been through so much, Hua Fengliu's mentality was very different from the one he had in the past. He now preferred simplicity and quietude, and even hoped that Nianyu could live out her life in simplicity and happiness.
"It's not so simple." Ye Futian said, "I have enemies, and they have found me at the Barren State. For you to stay here may not give me peace of mind."
Hua Fengliu was stunned. Had they already chased him to the Barren State?
He rubbed between his brows and felt a little helpless, saying, "Since accepting you as a disciple, there hasn't been a day of peace. I don't know what evil I did in my previous life to deserve this."
"No matter what, your disciple is now a Renhuang, can you please give me a break?" Ye Futian replied with some resignation.
"Renhuang," Hua Fengliu murmured. This was the first time he heard Ye Futian talk about his realm, but he still appeared quite casual. He looked at Ye Futian and asked, "Is it very extraordinary?"
He didn't seem to understand the concept of Renhuang.
"Not really." Ye Futian felt completely deflated under Hua Fengliu's gaze. He figured that even someday, when he became an emperor, it would still be the same in front of this man, who had never spared him any dignity.
It was pretty soul-crushing.
"Master, don't worry, if something happens, I will send someone to escort Nianyu, Master, and Masteress out of there as soon as possible," Ye Futian replied.
"It's up to you then," Hua Fengliu said with resignation. Since Ye Futian had already said as much, he could only go along with it. Even though he liked the peace and quiet at present, in reality, he was still worried about Jieyu. If Jieyu really were to come back once several years, he would certainly miss her very much.
Both he and Nandou Wenyin wanted to watch over Jieyu, regardless of whether she would ever remember him as her father.
Of course, there was also Ye Futian.
Although he had never spared Ye Futian in words, his true feeling about Ye Futian was well-known to those who were around him all these years.
Since many years ago, the two of them—master and disciple—had depended on each other. When Ye Futian walked out of Qingzhou City, carried him on his back, they were already like father and son.
Over the years, Ye Futian had had many masters, and every one of them had treated Ye Futian very well. But the one that he was truly close to was Hua Fengliu because he was the only one he could communicate freely.
At this time, Nianyu came over with Hua Jieyu, asking Ye Futian, "Big brother, I will take you and my sister out to play."
"You take me?" Ye Futian looked at Nianyu.
"Yep." Nianyu blinked her big eyes and nodded earnestly, "Qingzhou Lake is beautiful at night, and every day there are many pretty girls on the boats."
"Nianyu has the best ideas." Ye Futian squeezed Nianyu's face and nodded with a smile, "However, you should call me 'brother-in-law.'"
"Nianyu likes to call you' big brother,'" Nianyu said with a chuckle.
"Fine, whatever you like." Ye Futian got up and picked up Nianyu, saying, "Let's go."
Hua Fengliu looked at the three of them leaving. Ye Futian, carrying one in his arm and holding hands with the other. A smile radiated from his slightly aged face.
Eyes closed, he was enjoying the sunshine quietly, with a smile on his face.
For this quiet little town, Qingzhou Lake was quite lively.
The temperament of Ye Futian and Hua Jieyu easily attracted attention, not to mention there was a girl next to them who looked like a porcelain doll.
"What a handsome pair and what a beautiful child." Many people exclaimed silently, and they smiled when they walked by Ye Futian. Such a beautiful picture lightened up the mood of many.
This must be a very happy family.
"Look at how clean and nice other children are, and then look at you." Someone behind them reprimanded a little boy who was six or seven years old, dirty, and obviously naughty.
"Why don't you look at that big brother and sister? It's obviously hereditary, what can I do?" the little boy retorted.
Ye Futian smiled warmly when he heard the voice behind him. Clearly, many people had mistaken Nianyu as his and Jieyu's child.
Of course, there were resemblances.
Hua Jieyu felt strange when she heard this. Ye Futian looked at her, and realized he kind of wanted a child.
At this instant, he somewhat understood what the master was feeling.
After experiencing so much in the outside world, sometimes this kind of simple happiness was really wonderful.
The shore of Qingzhou Lake was a familiar place with familiar scenery.
Ye Futian put Nianyu down, holding her with one hand and Hua Jieyu with the other, and said softly, "Jieyu, this is where we held hands for the first time."
With nightfall approaching, there were more and more boats. Looking at all this, Hua Jieyu, too, felt that it was a very beautiful sight.
"Big brother, shall we go on a boat?" Nianyu looked up at Ye Futian.
Ye Futian stooped down and said to Nianyu, "Nianyu, would you like big brother to play guqin for you?"
"Sure, my dad likes to play guqin too." Nianyu nodded happily.
"Let's go then." Ye Futian took Nianyu's hand and walked to the shore of the lake. They found a place to sit on the ground, and a guqin appeared in front of him; it was the famous guqin that once belonged to the String Emperor at Taixuan Mountain.
Nianyu sat quietly next to Ye Futian, holding her little head in her hands, extremely adorable. Everyone around them was looking at them.
At this time, the sound of the music moved slowly.
The moment the notes started, the crowd quieted down involuntarily.
This was a very beautiful tune. With the beating of each note, brilliant lights flashed around Ye Futian, surrounding him.
"What beautiful music."
On Qingzhou Lake, many people on the boats looked toward the lake's shore.
The white-haired young man, a girl that could only be from a fairy tale, and behind them, a goddess-like beauty.
Of course, there were those who recognized Ye Futian, and while they were excited inside, they didn't go up to disturb him; they just listened quietly.
The sound of guqin gradually became louder, like a phoenix singing, with an even more brilliant light now surrounded Ye Futian. Under the night sky, a radiant divine bird slowly took shape.
"Look, it's a phoenix," someone exclaimed, and all eyes were on Ye Futian. The sound of guqin sounded like phoenix singing, and around Ye Futian, a pair of phoenix flew around him, a rather dreamlike sight.
At this moment, many women on the ships could not help but look intently.
Nianyu also stood up. She came to Ye Futian and watched the phoenix flying around him, a bright and innocent smile on her face. She extended her hand, wanting to touch the phoenix, and saw that the phoenix now flew and danced around her.
"Big brother, they are following me." As Nianyu began to run, the phoenix trailed around her. The girl smiled brightly, and her laughter rang under the night sky by Qingzhou Lake, made everyone smile.
This was such a heartwarming event.
Hua Jieyu watched all this with undivided attention, and a smile actually appeared on her face.
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