"Huh…" Tang Shaoyang let out a chuckle, looking Duan Ya in the eyes. It was hard to believe what he just heard. Zhang Mengyao was about to say something, but Tang Shaoyang raised his hand, stopping her to speak, "Tricking Chang Jie? What an intriguing assumption. Is there any reason for me to trick Chang Jie? What does your childhood friend have that I have to resort to such trickery?"

"I don't know what you see in Chang Jie, but I am here to help him to judge whether you have an ill intention or not. I will not let you take advantage of Chang Jie!" Duan Yu was quite fearless even in front of Tang Shaoyang. She met Tang Shaoyang's gaze.

"I see," Tang Shaoyang shook his head, "I don't have time to convince you nor do I have the time for such bullshit. I don't think he is the right person," The last part was meant for Zhang Mengyao, "If he can't even make the decision himself, then he is not the person we are looking for. He will be a headless chicken without the girl."

Zhang Mengyao looked at the stunned Chang Jie, then she shook her head when her gaze met with Duan Ya, "I know you mean well for Chang Jie. But you are hindering Chang Jie's development. Thanks to you, Chang Jie just lost a big life-changing opportunity. You two can leave now."

"Wait! Let me hear it first. I can make the decision myself," Chang Jie snapped out of his trance. He was a little bit confused for a moment because he could not proceed with the conversation in his head. However, one thing is for sure, he wanted to know why he was called, and he would not leave until he knew the reason. That was his instinct kicking in. He turned toward Duan Ya, "Can you leave for a moment, Duan Ya? There's nothing to gain for His Majesty to trick me. That just does not make sense."

Duan Ya furrowed her brow, glancing at Zhang Mengyao. The latter nodded, signaling her to leave. She let out a sigh and nodded before leaving the room with no words.

There was a reason why Chang Jie wanted to hear why he was called here. He hoped that The Emperor would grant his wish. Back then he begged the Emperor to make him strong. He had become a lot stronger for sure, but he felt like it was still not enough. He was hopeful that The Emperor would remember his request and grant his wish now.

Tang Shaoyang glanced at Zhang Mengyao, "I am not sure anymore if we should go with your choice," He doubted that Chang Jie was the right person to receive the Green Dragon Bloodline. He felt like Chang Jie was being controlled by the girl which was not good. Especially when the girl did not like someone who was loyal to the empire. He did not doubt Chang Jie's loyalty to the empire after what Gan Shuo did to him, but the girl was the x-factor that might change everything. From the look of it, Duan Ya seemed to have control over Chang Jie. He did not mean to ruin the relationship between the two, but just like Zhang Mengyao said. The girl was hindering Chang Jie's growth.

"Give him a chance. Let him know why we call him and decide after if he deserves it or not," Zhang Mengyao favored Chang Jie over the other candidates in her mind. The reason was that Chang Jie did not have a bloodline while the other candidates had a bloodline. It would be wasted to use the bloodline on someone with a bloodline already. If they had Chang Jie take the bloodline, it meant they had a new strong individual in their army.

"Alright," Tang Shaoyang put the vial closer to Chang Jie, "I intend to give this bloodline to someone who is loyal and has potential, not just in terms of power but also leadership. Supreme General Zhang recommended you to me, but I am quite disappointed."

Chang Jie's chest tightened when he heard the last part. His eyes kept glancing at the vial, curious, but he was also nervous. He realized the vial might be the chance for him to be strong. It took him a great effort not to snatch the vial, "Please give me the chance, Your Majesty. I will not disappoint you."

Chang Jie fell on one of his knees, asking for a chance. He wanted to be strong; he wanted to have more power, so no one would sacrifice their lives for him anymore. He wanted power to protect his new family. This time, he wanted to protect the people he loved so much instead of being protected. He wanted to have the power to prevent the past tragedy from repeating.

"Check this out," Tang Shaoyang pushed the vial closer to Chang Jie. The latter took the vial and was stunned when the information appeared in front of his eyes.

"I plan to give you the Green Dragon Bloodline. However, you must remember taking the bloodline meaning you will also take bigger responsibility with you. Taking the item means you have to use your power for the empire, not for your individual desire or gain anymore," Tang Shaoyang's voice slowly got deeper as he spoke.

"Are you ready for bigger responsibility? Millions of lives will rely on your protection. You will bear millions of lives on your shoulders. You will fight and die for the empire and our people! Are you ready to take such a big responsibility, Chang Jie?"

Chang Jie swallowed the saliva in his mouth as he got more nervous. He wanted to say yes immediately, because the item in his hand would make him stronger, much, much stronger than the current him. It was not just any bloodline, but a dragon bloodline. He had not heard anyone had the dragon bloodline aside from The Emperor himself. He might not be as strong as The Emperor after taking the bloodline, but would be much stronger than most people. However, it did not come with a price. The responsibility to have such a bloodline was big, and he was unsure that he was capable of bearing such a big responsibility.

He let out a sigh, "I do really want to take the bloodline, but I think there are more people who deserve the bloodline than me, Your Majesty. There are many who are above my rank, and I think they deserve this bloodline more than me."

"It's not for you to decide who deserves the bloodline, but me. I am asking you if you are ready to bear such a big responsibility, not to tell me who deserves to get the bloodline," Tang Shaoyang put more pressure on his words, "What I need is the person who will not crumble under the pressure. Once you crumble, the people behind you will also crumble! I need someone who is strong, not physically strong, but mentally strong! Are you the person I am looking for, Chang Jie?"

Chang Jie closed his eyes as he remembered the tragedy in the past when Gan Shuo protected him. That was Gan Shuo's responsibility, protecting his people. Gan Shuo did not crumble under the strong enemy. He kept fighting against the enemy that was far stronger than him, undaunted in front of his strong enemy.

Chang Jie wanted to be like Gan Shuo, not just because Gan Shuo was his benefactor, but because of how cool Gan Shuo was, and how admirable Gan Shuo was. Fighting for someone he did not know, putting his life on the line for the people he did not know, just like a hero. Yes, Gan Shuo was more than a benefactor to him, but a hero. He was not the only Gan Shuo, but the whole villagers.

Was he ready to be like the person he admired the most? The answer would be no, he would never be ready to sacrifice his life for someone he did not know, and he would never be ready. He was not ready, but he would do it.

"I don't know if I am ready or not, but I will protect my home. I will protect the people I am supposed to protect. I will fight for them with my life on the line just as Uncle Gan Shuo did in the past. Even without the bloodline, I will continue what Uncle Gan Shuo left behind. I want to be a hero just like Uncle Gan Shuo!" That was Chang Jie's answer.