Upon Gu Changge’s words, Xi Yao and Lao Shi remained calm, as if they weren’t at all interested.
Although words regarding the incident six thousand years ago were widely spread as many different factions were all resentful about it, no one knew what exactly happened except for the powerful figures in Demon World. Thus, rumours and defamation towards Xi Yao were only evitable. To them, Gu Changge’s words weren’t unheard of.
“Ah, so what do you think about these rumours, Young Master Changge?”
With her glistening, crystalline eyes, Xi Yao looked at Gu Changge. Although she was currently only a Dharma Body, she managed to retain her noble, almighty qualities as the Empress of the Demon World, who none dared to disobey. Any other young prodigy would be panicked being stared at by her that way.
“As I said, they are merely gibberish. That’s my opinion.” However, Gu Changge spoke with his subtle smile as usual, looking back at her without giving further explanation.
“What do you mean, Young Master Changge?” Xi Yao was somewhat taken aback.
Puzzled, she recalled Gu Changge’s words. [Gibberish? If it was some common young prodigy saying those words, I’d be assuming that they are only trying to please me, but it’s a totally different story with those words coming out of Gu Changge’s mouth. He seems rather mysterious. Did he figure it out, or could he understand my frustrations?]
Truth be told, she couldn’t help but be enthralled by Gu Changge. If it were someone else going on about how great she was, she would have lost her patience before they were finished and might even slaughter them instead of questioning about it further.
Hearing that, the Great Elder and Lao Shi, interested, peered at Gu Changge. Xi Yao’s reputation was universally deplorable, which had already grown into common knowledge especially among the younger generation who had indubitably heard about the chaos in the Demon World.
Furthermore, most of the rumours about Xi Yao claimed how despotic, ruthless, and savage she was. Agonised, the people of Demon World formed an alliance and aggressively rebelled against her, thereby raising individuals such as the Lord of Chaos who was said to be the unwavering executioner of Empress Xi Yao. And so, the rumours went on and on.
At that moment, with all three pairs of eyes on him, Gu Changge slightly smiled and serenely confessed, “To be honest, I was one of those who thought Empress Xi Yao was a despicable tyrant who caused excruciating disasters to those living in the Demon World.”
As he was looking Xi Yao straight in the eyes, he caught a faint change in her expression, after which he smilingly continued, “However, after thinking about it, I realised that no matter how long a sect, a force, a country, or a continent had stood, one thing will never change.”
“Never change?” Staring at him, Xi Yao muttered as she was stunned. She was in dismay, wondering if Gu Changge’s opinion was the same as hers back then.
Gu Changge then nodded. “Yes, one thing will never change. their awareness of how they would have to sacrifice something should they intend to change, and that is the unchangeable price.”
“Six thousand years ago, the Six Demon Overlords rose to power. Wars after wars, those were the true torment to the people, to the extent where exchanging their children for sustenance had become a norm. Since Demons aren’t the same as humans, prenatal development was pretty much non-existent in the regions ruled by those Overlords.”
“If I recall correctly, in the Demon World, Demons of each region dictated by the Overlords spoke completely different languages. And in order to survive, cannibalism had also become a norm. With all sorts of adversities, it wasn’t difficult for Demon World to survive, but if they wished to thrive, they would be dreaming.”
“As the Six Demon Overlords persisted in the old ways, all they cared about was cultivating instead of making a change and taking care of their people. And as time went by, the entire Demon World inevitably deteriorated.”
“Thankfully, after six thousand years of chaos, Demon World finally prospered. As all regions were united, there was nothing but harmony. Demons learned the same language, practising the ways humans do and so on. So, what are these if not the effort of Empress Xi Yao?”
“The world is foolish, focusing only on the flaws but not the contributions, and I think that is unfair to you, Empress.”
As Gu Changge was speaking, his voice was consistently calm and steady all the way, giving off a sensation as though he was a dependent, reasonable man that was unbiasedly describing an idea.
“The world is foolish… Master too mentioned this once…” Upon Gu Changge’s speech, Lao Shi was left dumbfounded and speechless as Gu Changge’s words were still echoing in his mind. He was a formidable expert with countless years of experience and he had provided remarkable assistance to Xi Yao amid the chaos of the Demon World.
Though, he was bewildered by Xi Yao’s actions, and despite years of contemplation, he could never understand her. And although Xi Yao frequently visited him, she never once discussed her motives, and that too baffled him.
And now, all thanks to Gu Changge, he finally found the feeling of how his Master would enlighten him upon a bottleneck during his cultivation. It was a feeling of epiphany.
“So that’s how it has been… I would never have guessed. How blind have I been?” At once, complex emotions gushed in Lao Shi’s eyes. No one other than Gu Changge could ever consider this conclusion.
“This young man’s thoughts are very different from that of ordinary men, but I reckon such an explanation hits very close to Xi Yao’s heart…” The Great Elder, too, seemed complicated, expressing his astonishment. Seeing how Xi Yao was absolutely stunned, as though she was finally understood, the Great Elder immediately knew Gu Changge spoke out her affliction.
“Focusing only on the flaws but not the contributions, such is the foolish world…” After a long silence, Xi Yao suddenly revealed a smile towards Gu Changge as a different sensation surged in her eyes. In that instant, as though her sky was brightened up, hers wasn’t a courteous smile, but a genuine one.
“Oh, Young Master Changge, are you criticising the world for its ignorance in my stead?” She gently smiled and affectionately continued, “All these years, I’ve never expected you to be the first person to understand me, and I’ve never expected anyone to have the same mind as me.”
At that moment, she felt as though looking at Gu Changge, a Junior by multiple millenniums, was like looking into the mirror. For more than six thousand years, he was the first to recognise her heartache. Deeply touched, she was in disbelief, as if she was living in a dream, as if her encounter with Gu Changge today was predestined.
Even her closest subordinates couldn’t comprehend her actions and strategies. The people of the world perceived her as cruel, but they never once thought about the numberless contributions she made for the Demon World and the effort she put into restoring the boundaryless peace and prosperity in the Demon World today.
Nonetheless, after Gu Changge straightforwardly laid down the facts and cursed at the people of the world in her stead, Xi Yao could no longer bring herself to calm down.
Retaining his smile, Gu Changge continued, “Perhaps it was due to your position as Empress that none dared to misbehave. At the end of the day, your contributions aren’t invisible. However, the discussion of it comes about after the fact, without consideration of the situation at the time.”
“Come after the fact?” Xi Yao was stunned once again. Peering at Gu Changge, she curiously asked, “Oh? What do you think then, Young Master Changge?”
Upon asking the question, she immediately regretted it since opinions varied by different people. She could have asked someone else, her Master for instance, yet she decided to ask Gu Changge. After all, at their first encounter, it might be rude for her, as the Empress, to speak mindlessly and thereby stain her elegance. Nevertheless, for some reason, Gu Changge’s perception towards her suddenly meant a lot to her.
Though, honestly, not just Xi Yao, but Lao Shi and the Great Elder was curious about how Gu Changge thought of her as well. Judging by his words, he should be able to understand Xi Yao’s intentions.
“Oh, what do I think?” Gu Changge seemed rather taken aback, but instead of rejecting, he started to ponder.
With that, he turned over to the rest and gave a clear answer. “In my regard, Empress Xi Yao’s actions are legendary, and I believe Demon World perceives it that way too.”
[Legendary?] In that instant, Xi Yao, Lao Shi, and the Great Elder were all stupefied and shocked. ‘Legendary’ was quite a notable praise, as they were aware that Gu Changge meant it figuratively rather than literally. Be it ‘legendary’ or ‘prestigious,’ those words meant a lot to Xi Yao.
“Legendary…” Xi Yao muttered. The word thundered in her mind like the strike of a giant bell, leaving a petrifying ring in her head.
Nonetheless, she was no ordinary woman as she developed her mind to the perfect state along her six thousand years of cultivating. Therefore, she quickly regained her composure.
“You’re flattering me, Young Master Changge.” Despite saying that, she carried a beaming smile, feigning her delight.
Prior to that, she faced countless bootlickers who would gratify her with cringey compliments. Besides, she was aware that those compliments were only said out of fear, unlike Gu Changge who leisurely voiced his opinions.
After all, he had no need to fear her.
“Well, you asked for it, Empress,” Gu Changge replied with a smile.
Although he was a Junior to her, he wasn’t exactly behaving like one. There wasn’t the slightest trace of dread on his face, as if he was already good friends with the Empress.
Since Xi Yao was used to ingratiating words, she wasn’t at all bothered by Gu Changge’s speaking mannerisms. Instead, she found a relaxing sensation from him, as if she was looking at her own reflection in the mirror.
“Legendary, huh? To think that I hold such significance in your mind, what a surprise.” Xi Yao chuckled.
Casually, Gu Changge replied, “To be frank, I always wanted to see a wondrous woman like you, Empress. But now that I have, I figure it’s not too late after all.”
Essentially, if pleasing words could build fondness, Gu Changge, naturally, wouldn’t refuse to say them. Regardless of their positions, everyone loved hearing praises. As he possessed an extraordinary identity and an appropriate way of speech, all it took to move someone’s heart was a few compliments, and even the Empress herself wouldn’t be able to resist the sentiment.
Moreover, judging from Xi Yao’s luck, she must possess abundant Fortuity. Her actions six thousand years ago left him wondering whether her large amount of Fortuity, which made her a Fortuitous Lady, stemmed from her relationship with him. Regardless, he should be wary of any possible occurrence of the ‘killing-the-fiance’ cliches.
“Is it not late?” Xi Yao was dazed, peering at Gu Changge with an inexplicable expression. No matter what, he was merely a Junior of hers, and she was at least six thousand years older than him. Although age didn’t matter in the world of cultivation, she couldn’t help but feel disappointed.
All these years, she finally found someone who could understand her, only to discover he was a Junior. As such, she felt as though her destined other half was out of her time. Nevertheless, the feeling swiftly disappeared.