Mistress Zahara watched Shirley utter some nonsense with such confidence, causing her to become shocked. Even though she understood the gist of it, she was having trouble processing the information.
She and Yeyin were close? From a young age, she had never seen Yeyin other than her image in Imagery Stones, so how exactly were they close? The first time she ever saw her face was when they gathered at the easternmost branch of the Aurora Cloud Gate, and the moment she laid her eyes on Yeyin, she instantly knew it was her little sister.
She couldn't help but wryly smile.
"Well... I won't deny that we are sisters from different mothers..."
Shirley giggled lightly before she returned to browsing the contents of the treasury. There were many useful treasures for them, but she also figured the scenarios they would end up using them were rather limited now that they had a powerful protection like the Aurora Cloud Gate.
However, she saw that their visibility was limited to the Late Immortal King Grade Treasures. Any further, it was just blank, unable to be seen.
Mistress Zahara also returned to browsing the treasure list. Soon enough, she found a useful cultivation resource but lacked the contribution points to buy it. Noticing this in the corner of her eyes, Shirley couldn't help but blink.
"Mistress Zahara, have you not joined the Everlasting Phoenix Alliance?"
Mistress Zahara pursed her lips and shook her head, "I won't join this alliance as I have already exited the clan once. It makes no sense for me to rely on them again, especially when they don't care about someone like me in the first place."
'Until I became relevant by joining here, that is...' She lowered her head as her eyes gleamed.
Only after Shirley came here did the Fire Phoenix Clan even react to her presence in the world. Until then, she was good as thin air to them.
"Are you resentful?" Noticing the strangeness, Shirley became worried.
Mistress Zahara shook her head. She was particularly angered, but it didn't feel pleasant either.
"In fact, I'm even thankful that they left me alone, so I didn't have to deal with the clan's internal affairs and other difficult tasks. I got to enjoy life with Asra and my elders as I grew up, unbound by nothing- Uhm, as long as I remained within my mansion. In any case, I don't plan on tying myself to the Everlasting Phoenix Alliance, even if I am looking for an alliance. That's for sure."
Shirley smiled in response to Mistress Zahara's words. She was assured that the other party hadn't taken steps to deceive her or anything of that sort. The Fire Phoenix Mistress she knew wasn't that type of person, and she believed that this person who had their memories altered was also the same.
As they conversed, Schleya decided to exchange the ten thousand immortal crystals she had for five thousand contribution points, which she then used to buy some blood-attributed resources that would be useful to upgrade her Crescentblood Twin Blades.
Soon, Shirley received the heavenly resources in jade containers and left. The formation outside made her feel strange for a moment, but that was it. The others also experience a similar feeling before brushing it off, like hair flailing from the wind.
"Wait... we still haven't talked about the matter of you returning to the Fire Phoenix Clan."
As Shirley was about to take her to leave, Mistress Zahara stopped her, appearing slightly concerned.
"Sigh, it's not about returning or siding with enemies to betray one's origin. It's about loyalty, sincerity, and reciprocation. As long as we have a good cycle of karma, tell the Fire Phoenix Clan that there's no need to worry about my loyalty to the clan, but for that to happen, they must first apologize and cease trying to get me into their power, to get me under their control. I prefer staying by my husband's side, so if they insist, no matter what, tell them that we can only be enemies. That's my final answer. Any more acts of trying to convince, and I will consider that harassment and deal with it as a cultivator would, which of course, is by killing."
Shirley spoke without a stop as her eyes turned sizzling cold at the end.
Those piercing eyes made Mistress Zahara feel somewhat excited as she could feel her blood from the other party. It seemed to have completely accepted Shirley for what she could understand, which meant that it had gained her approval or suppressed, but Shirley didn't look like someone who would do the latte.
Besides, if her blood was suppressed, she would be able to feel it. Instead, her blood was like a dense liquid mixing with water clearly. There was no resistance whatsoever that she almost mistook the other party as also one of her sisters from another mother.
But with the way the other party was acting, not to mention her different origin, it didn't feel like the case.
"I guess that's not going too far when you're already married." Mistress Zahara nodded, "Please don't mind the Fire Phoenix Clan's offense. It is clearly written in our commandments that we must respect our virtue and other's love life. However, that doesn't include respecting the rights of the one with higher responsibilities as there are many things that they must carry for their clan, and because of this, even powerful elders don't have more than two wives, and even that is only possible when they receive permission from their first wife."
"That's why they're being harsh on you, and for one example, my father had his duty towards my mother but went on to lay a hand on another woman from the Ice Phoenix Clan. Although I heard that it was mutual and it wasn't any different from the affection my father displayed towards my mother, one is not right and irresponsible, and since Yeyin's mother was from the Ice Phoenix Clan, it caused my father to be exiled and his whereabouts unknown ever since."
"That's why they think that since you're their Young Inheritor, you have merely taken a misstep, and it is necessary to bring you back to make you understand. They think that your husband has manipulated you."
Suddenly, Mistress Zahara's gaze flickered before she shook her hands.
"But, of course, don't misunderstand me. One of you is right, and the other is wrong. As for what is right, I barely know you or Feng- Davis Alstreim, so I can't say anything. Only time can tell."
"Time?" Shirley's lips curled, "Forget the future. Even if I didn't have much time, I would still live my last moments with my husband. This has nothing to do with the fact of whether I could successfully reach the apex or not. The path of cultivation is always one of roses and thorns. If I want to grasp the roses and admire them, I should take the thorny path of the forest first, and only then can I experience what bliss is."
"..." Mistress Zahara was taken aback for a moment before she gently smiled, "Princess Shirley is wise."
"I'm not wiser than you, Mistress Zahara. I'll never disrespect you, so please don't stand in a position that's hostile to me."
Shirley spoke with humility and a soft voice, causing Mistress Zahara to be dumbfounded again. The latter couldn't understand why the former would treat her with so much care. It didn't feel like she was dealing with someone unknown or simply a middleman. Instead, it felt like they had some real connection, making her inwardly perplexed.
The other party also got her blood within her, which she badly wanted to how but Shirley's lips were closed tight. Even if she asked, she knew the other party wouldn't answer, but she was told to keep this matter a secret.
"That's right. If Mistress Zahara doesn't mind, can you tell me where your mother is?"
"My mother...?" Mistress Zahara blinked at Shirley as she came out of her reverie, "She has also gone missing in search of my father, apparently being unable to forget him."
A sorrowful glint appeared in her eyes as she shook her head, "They left me all alone..."
"I shouldn't have asked. I apologize."
Shirley wryly smiled while Mistress Zahara shook her head, but in truth, Shirley wondered how much of that was the truth and how much of it was altered memories.
Clearly, Shirley knew that Flamerose and Frostrose were twins, so they had the same mother, but here, it was rewritten that they were born from separate mothers.
She couldn't help but think someone went out of their way to place Frostrose in the Ice Phoenix Clan, but for what reason exactly? She couldn't tell as there were not enough clues. Although she may have a clue or two of who it was, as she felt that person could be related to Lereza and the Fifty-Two Territories Grand Formation, the puzzle was still big enough to confuse her.
A few moments later, they left the floating island and parted ways amicably, promising to meet again soon if the opportunity presented.