The divisive day approached and inevitably arrived. It was the day that caused civil unrest, fierce arguments, and heavy objections: the Ceremony of Acceptance. It was fairly simple, lesser than a wedding, and practiced amongst human societies. It held similar characteristics to a Dao Companion Ceremony, but far more one-sided.
The acceptance of a concubine, man or woman, was done through this method. A gathering, a celebration, an oath, and a kiss. It would all be witnessed by those invited, by the heavens and earth, and by loved ones. During the oath, the concubine in question would swear an oath of loyalty, and this was more traditional and not Spirit of Heaven-based.
In monarchies, it was said that the average Emperor or King underwent three thousand of these in their lifetime. They were typically far less infamous than the one now, where the princess regarded as one of the top beauties of the Country was being married off to an unknown alchemist without any explained reason. Furthermore, the rumors of her unwillingness and forced participation furthered the infamy.
Even now, countless households were looking at their calendars and sighing at the inevitable and pitiful fate of a young princess. Perhaps if she was a Consort, this matter wouldn ’t be as heavily opposed, but a concubine was negatively viewed. They were mistresses of a household. The upcoming ceremony and title felt like a mockery for someone of her beauty and status. Each citizen felt as if someone had spat on their faces.
In the Xue Country ’s Capital, Xue Yifei stood before an oval-shaped full body mirror that levitated slightly off the ground. It seemed tethered to her will as she could control its position with a mere wave of her hand. Reflected in this mirror was her exceptional countenance further accentuated by minimalistic yet artistically placed make-up. Her current attire was a phoenix dress with golden embroidery accompanied by bundled hair with gorgeous accessories.
At her side were two petite and youthful looking girls with bright eyes and puffy cheeks. From their appearance, one could tell they were twins. They were ensuring her dress, posture, make-up, and various other points on her body were absolutely perfect. One of them couldn ’t help but exclaim as she fixed a hairpin, ”So beautiful! Any man would have the fortune of fifty thousand lifetimes to marry you. ”
”… ” Xue Yifei.
After a non-response, and a slight admonishing look from her sister, the girl realized her mistake, her bright eyes dimming as she lowered her gaze. That ’s right. Xue Yifei, this beauty that could make the moon seem pale and the sun lose its light was being sent off as a concubine. A concubine was a woman without status, and this ceremony was merely a means of celebrating and highlighting the other party.
Only kings and emperors would host them to highlight their status, esteem, self-importance, and network with other forces. It was more of an excuse to have a party rather than an official ceremony.
She bit her lips slightly and whispered softly, ”I don ’t like this. It ’s not right, it ’s just not right. ” Her words contained a hint of pity and a depth of emotion that revealed her love towards Xue Yifei. They were her at-birth servant girls, and they had served her since they were born, so to see her given away in this farce truly made her heart feel like it was tearing in two.
”Xiu Yi! ” The other twin, named Xiu Fei, verbally called out. She was stricter and more realistic in her views of the world, capable of keeping her emotions in check and recognizing the situation. Xue Yifei did not need to be reminded of what she likely already knew. Her tears and words would only sour the mood.
Xue Yifei seemed unbothered, her hands waving the oval mirror as she regarded her appearance. She truly could outshine the sun and cause the moon to pale. Her looks were breathtaking and exquisite as the most lovely painting. Now that she was dressed up, very few could claim that she wasn ’t the number one beauty in the continent.
”I ’m sorry… ” Xiu Yi pitifully apologized, unable to keep her tears from falling. Xiu Fei could only helplessly look on at this sister of hers who wore her heart on a sleeve. She moved her hand to brush away those falling tears and sighed deeply in her heart.
”Maybe we should… ” Xue Fei was just about to say something that could be considered treasonous and defiant when Xue Yifei turned her hazel eyes with golden flecks towards Xiu Fei, revealing a calm gaze. She halted her words, and luckily too as one of the hidden auras within this room had fluctuated slightly.
Xue Yifei, having just saved her beloved servant girl from punishment or even death for even thinking of disobeying the king, calmly spoke: ”You think it ’s beneath me to be a concubine of another, right? ”
Xiu Fei and Xiu Yi ’s little faces shook as they looked at Xue Yifei. They softly bit their lower lip in unison, not daring to nod, but their eyes told it all; they truly did not think she should be! In fact, they prayed that that young man who had an unordinary relationship with Xue Yifei would arrive and extricate her from this situation. This was likely the thought of all her supporters and those who were vocal against this union!
Xue Yifei followed up with, ”Then I ask you: If the person I ’m to be given to was Wei Wuyin, the Prince of Everlore, an Alchemic King before fifty, and a Heavenly King of the Myriad Monarch Sect with the ear of a Grand Imperial Sage, would it be beneath me to be his concubine? ”
”…! ” Their eyes widened, disbelief, and uncertain flooded without end. However, Xiu Fei was more quick-witted and answered, ”No. ”
Xiu Yi was taken aback. She was slightly biased and wanted to refute that single word answer of her sister, but even with all her emotions, she couldn ’t formulate a single thought that supported the answer ’yes ’. How could Wei Wuyin, this legendary figure that was likely on par with the King of Everlore, a figure that still defined today ’s era, would be unworthy of her? In fact, perhaps a concubine might be a little much.
While she was a princess, while she was a beauty, their status wasn ’t just a simple comparison of heaven and earth. Her lack of talent was renowned, and her status was built on another man, and while she was beautiful, did this starfield lack beautiful women? Talented beauties? Beauties with better status, better talent, and cleaner relationships?
Wei Wuyin might ’ve risen just a few years ago, but his influence, estimated net-worth, status, and potential went beyond most in this starfield. Of course, this excluded strength and cultivation. After all, he was less than fifty
”But how could someone like that be compared to that mysterious alchemist? He ’s nothing! ” Xiu Yi tried to explain the difference. However, Xiu Fei seemed to realize something as her eyes flashed with disbelief. When she saw the calm look on Xue Yifei ’s face, she couldn ’t help but be startled. Was it really so?
Xue Yifei turned away, her eyes looking at the mirror. Despite her words, she knew that today was not going to be a peaceful day. While this unexpected event had likely been a massive benefit to her, and while she wasn ’t typically one to agree with the lifestyle of ’riding the lap of a dragon ’, this was her chance.
’He won ’t accept this. He ’s in love with me, and we ’re bonded. We ’re fated, right? But are we? ’If this was a year ago when her feelings and belief of her future was cemented, she might ’ve accepted it, but a massive boulder hit the road and forcefully made a forked path.
Should she continue the path of her current destiny and follow him silently, lovingly, and supportingly or take the other path. Whether it was a blessing or a curse, it created another direction of destiny that allowed her to exert her will, one that she could actively have a say in.
In life, one believed in fate and love, and when grasped, it can become one ’s sole purpose for existence. She was destined to be a support, to stand behind him as he excelled at limits unknown. However, she was never given the option of being the leading character of her own path, choosing her own love. Concubine? That was a fancy word of being a man ’s woman, and it could easily change with a smart and intelligent mind.
In a year, a decade, a century, she might be able to obtain the title of Consort or even Wife. She believed she could.
When Wei Wuyin entered her life, she saw him as an opportunity to stand on her own platform. No longer relegated to a supporting character, and becoming an elite amongst the world, renowned not for her relationship, but for her name—not his. This required exceptional strength and the Dao of Alchemy was the heaven-defying means to gain it! It could modify talent, it could promote cultivators beyond their means!
Look at the King of Everlore. In his era, he had acted as a supporting role to many leading, era dominating characters. This included the Founders of all the current hegemons, and even the current overlord of the Tri-Vision Starfield, the San Clan, was only where it is because of him. No one considers the King of Everlore an expert, his legacy in alchemy, but countless refer to these experts and founders, they established thousands of years of long histories.
The Divine King Han Xei overthrew dragons that once dominated the starfield! The Grand Monarch Wu Yu ruled the entire starfield at one point! The Demonic Abyss Mountain ’s Abyss Master created a planet for demons, and it thrived to this very day! It was his actions that allowed demons to safely cultivate, propagate, and become a top-tier species!
They were all kings of their generations who had performed actions that rippled endlessly outwards. But who remembers the women that stood behind them? The strong ones that supported them, bore their children, and loved them silently?
They faded away and died, hoping their children can match their fathers. Unfortunately, without the King of Everlore ’s support, that was utterly impossible!
She knew this important truth, and she did not want to settle like those women had. Especially if she had a choice! And now, like a honey pie falling from the sky, Wei Wuyin had arrived and casually desired her.
This was her opportunity!
This was why she never said anything about the ceremony, the forceful means of her father, or anything else because it doesn ’t matter. After Wei Wuyin ends his incognito vacation, she would be known publicly as his woman, and her status would inevitably rise. Who would think her pitiful then?
If they truly fell in love, wouldn ’t her life be like a shining star that stretched through the ages? The next Divine King Han Xei? The next Wu Yu? The next Abyss Master? It would be her descendants that would rule this starfield!
She took a deep breath. Her eyes soon regained a serene calm after those thoughts caused her heart to race. With a somewhat flushed face, she smiled brightly in the mirror. Her appearance truly was breathtaking, especially at this moment.
While her ambitions and dreams were near actualizing, a hooded figure arrived that sought a different outcome. Dressed in a tattered black robe that seemed as if it had seen a thousand battles, he walked forward with exceptional momentum. Beneath his hood were irises of two distinctively different colors, one crimson like blood and the other was black as night.
His fists were clenched tightly while those eyes stared at the Royal Capital ’s Ceremonial Grounds.
”I ’ll never let you be used like this, Fei ’er. Wait for me. ”
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