Duck Emperor Chronicles – Chapter 4


    [Author – Blurry]

    [Proofreader – Samael]

    — — —

    Chapter 4: Unfamiliar Bonds; My Duck Mother?

    As the Duck Lord sat comfortably in the arms of a beauty, who is also apparently his sister, he began contemplating and reflecting upon how exactly his life had become so utterly ducked.

    Ducky brows furrowed in deep thought, as he munched on the tasty snacks his sister(?) had brought.

    ‘An entire family of ducks. Fascinating. It absolutely shreds my world view.’

    Ya Jiao’s investigation had confirmed her unbelievable words to be true. The young lass whose name he still did not know possessed an innate Qi that was extremely similar to his own in both the present and the past life.

    And the reason for his amazement came from the ironclad fact that the Heavenly Realm of his past had no Duck Clan nor Family, to the point where he himself held the title of the only duck that has ever attained humanity. 

    He continued munching on the rice crackers.

    ‘Cultivation is something intrinsically linked to humans. The first—wow this tastes great—immortal was originally a human, after all. It makes sense that the arts passed down by them would be best suited to nurturing human immortals—this snack has an exquisite texture.’

    The truth of why every beast race desired to obtain a human form laid here. The ancient cultivation arts favoured humans, so the beasts tried their best to mimic them, eventually turning this necessity into a tradition.

    A tradition that then morphed into an obsession. 

    Changing one’s own meridians to suit the arts of humans. Transforming one’s own body to fit the image of a human, moulding one’s mind to conform to the rules and laws of humanity…

    Even if there were now many arts dedicated solely towards the cultivation of each beast race, the archaic tradition of ‘humanity’ was not something so easily washed off.

    He himself had once sought humanity, much like the others.

    This was the crux of the problem. Ducks were not meant to be humans. They, like other beast races commonly known as ‘critters’, were not very compatible to form human bodies. Moreover, they also did not possess an ancient art of transforming like the Tigers or Eagles, the ‘apex’ races.

    And though the myths did speak of an old Primordial Duck Sovereign. . . 

    In his youth-driven search lasting a thousand years, Ya Jiao had received but these two snippets of vague information, hidden within a tattered and broken scroll.

    Implications about their lost Ancient Art, and theories about a missing Sovereign.

    The current Duck Lord had basically given up on this fruitless mission.

    But it seems life always finds a way.

    Scarfing down the last of the crackers, Ya Jiao awakened from his thoughts. It was just in time to see a massive grey fortress appear before his very eyes. A reinforced stone residence measuring roughly hundreds of meters wide and long. 

    ‘Oho? My Duck Family looks quite accomplished?’

    However, upon closer inspection, the Duck Lord was able to make out some of the finer details. Like how the stone was chipped and cracked in multiple places without any signs of repair. Or how their soil and mud pathway to the fortress contained several indents, as if someone had stolen their tiles from right under their noses.

    Ya Jiao’s face turned slightly gloomy.

    It seemed all was not well in Duckland. 

    “Xiao Shou, Xiao Tou! I have returned!”

    The young lass carrying a duck did not sense this shift in emotion, and simply proceeded as is, yelling loudly at the outpost nearest to the gates. 

    Two sets of footsteps hurriedly approached as heads popped out to observe the scenario. One lean, one chubby, the guards seemed to heave a sigh of relief when they finally saw them.

    “Young Lady, thank goodness you are back!”

    “We’ll open the gates immediately!”

    Various clanking and clanging sounds rang out. The gate shuddered, before raising itself bit by bit.

    The duo of guards quickly appeared. They looked haggard and unkempt, as if they had been skipping sleep for some days, their eyes painted black like pandas. The lean guard stumbled forwards and did what Ya Jiao could only describe as a winning candidate for one of the worst bows in existence. 

    On the other hand, the chubby one was still panting heavily at the gate. Ya Jiao was almost glad the round man did not come forward as well, or he feared the earth might cave in from the impact.

    “Y-young Lady! Madam has been searching everywhere for you!”

    The out-of-breath, gasping man pitched in.

    “Master is in a foul mood!”

    The young lass carrying a duck seemed rather surprised. Her mouth opened slightly, before her brow scrunched up in confusion, all while Ya Jiao watched her reactions in earnest.

    “Mother and Father? Why? I wasn’t gone for very long though. . .”

    The first guard hesitated, but continued..

    “The Huai Family. . . came for negotiations.”

    That made the girl’s expression instantly shut down, turning cold. Her delicate and charming features suddenly turned chilly and devoid of warmth, covered in frost like a mountain in winter. She looked angry enough to kill someone. 

    A good number of someones. 

     “Those bastards. I need to see Father.”

    The two guards hastily moved to block her.

    “Young Lady, we don’t think that’s a good idea right now.”

    “The Master is currently meditating in his room.”

    A momentary pause. Her eyebrows smoothed into a line of determination. The Young Lady released a blast of Qi that knocked them both back, creating a deep groove in the dusty soil path. 



    She spoke.

    “It doesn’t matter. If it really is ‘that’ Family, then I must see him.”

    Ya Jiao became intrigued. Was the Huai Family a part of this mess? How coincidental. Furthermore, the power this young girl exerted had at last triggered his cultivation sense, allowing him to deduce her cultivation realm and level.

    That Huai Dan from before didn’t have any cultivation, so he was not able to gain an understanding of the village’s average range of cultivation realms until now.

    ‘Silver Mind, Peak Stage.’

    It was the second-lowest realm in the Mortal Coil, being above only ‘Bronze Body’, the lowest realm. His thoughts shifted drastically, though his expression remained calm. The Duck Lord realized he was no longer in the Heavenly Realm. 

    ‘There are people with limited to no cultivation in the Heavenly Realm, sure, but for the Young Lady of a clan to possess such a weak force? Impossible.”

    Even the lowest of trash in the Lower Clans had long surpassed the threshold of the Mortal Coil. Having a cultivation like so in the Heavenly Realm was no different from being a cripple!

    Ya Jiao’s eyes shone darkly in the cool shade.

    There must be stronger cultivators in Jiang River Village, such as their Elders and Family Heads, but if the younger generation were limited to just the realms of the Mortal Coil. . .

    He could perform a massacre here with his physical strength alone.

    “Bring me to Father—but before that, why are you two not greeting the Young Master?!”

    The Young Lady’s softening tone soon took a turn for the worse, becoming even more imposing than before as she questioned both guards.

    Ya Jiao smirked. To see two grown men balk at the sharpened tone of a wee lass was humorous, but aren’t these guards a little too incapable? Bronze Body, Initial Stage. No better than a mortal.

    Lean and Chubby’s faces paled. They bowed towards Ya Jiao, afraid to hesitate even for a second.

    “Greetings, Young Master!”

    The two chanted uniformly. But Ya Jiao did not miss the underlying resentment there.

    Of course. The previous owner of this body was a cripple, so being trampled on and humiliated made a whole lot of sense. However, for mere guards to have these thoughts. . . tsk, tsk. 

    ‘Ya Jing’ might not have that good of a relationship with his family.

    The Duck Lord simply ignored them. A slight was a slight, but family was still family. He could feel the same blood coursing through their veins, albeit less concentrated, like watered down wine.

    The girl’s expression had eased up a lot more. 

    “Good. As guards, you must not forget propriety. Now bring me to my—” 

    “Ah Xiong? Ah Xiong, is that you?”

    Everyone stilled, caught off guard by the sudden intrusion of another person. Ya Jiao was puzzled as well. How did he not sense someone coming? The presence had manifested out of nowhere, and he had not realized it until the last moment! 

    It should have alarmed him. A situation like this should have rang dozens of bells in his head. Danger was the unknown, after all. But the alertness, and the wariness, were not present. He instead felt a tingle in his stomach. A warmth. An emotion that he did not know, drawing him closer.

    Ya Jiao hopped out of his sister’s hands without thinking, and then waddled over to the source of the voice. He jumped up, even though there was no place to land, his head lowered as he snuggled into an embrace that he did not even think existed.

    Yet it did exist. 

    Soft hands that wrapped almost reflexively around his feathered body. Slender arms that gave him a place to land on. A smile and a hug that was warmer than the sun itself.

    ‘What? Huh? What am I—?’

    Had he gone mad? He was already the “Mad Duck” though, so how could he get even madder? The Duck Lord’s thoughts soon melted away as a chime-like voice spoke in his ear.

    “Ah Jing, you’ve finally come home. . . I was really worried about you!”

    Ya Jiao’s thoughts swirled in his head, an incomprehensible mess.

    “You’ve been away from home for so long—are you hurt anywhere? Are you hungry? Oh, my poor son, you must be hungry.”

    “I’ll go cook some food after this, alright? Your favourite meal. You won’t be leaving my sight until you finish every last bite! My poor baby boy. . .” 

    ‘Son? My favourite meal? So this is, so this must be my—’


    Crack. A splitting headache. It felt as if his head was breaking apart. Pins and needles inside his brain. The pain grew and compounded, as if an unseen force was trying to pry open his very soul. His body felt illusory, like desert mirages. Ya Jiao was slipping in between the cracks of his own mind.

    He was losing control.

    Something else was wrestling with him for control.

    Not something.


    ‘Get out of my body, you thief!’

    — — —

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