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"This person actually seeks wealth. However, the amount he seeks is huge! By no means can we consider this normal since such an astronomical figure can easily shake one to the core!
"It's possible that some trouble may arise since members from each of the great families will be gathered there. In fact, I fear that this man might deliberately manufacture an incident if nothing happens. He may try to take advantage of the confusion that may ensue after an incident… He may then try to make a move favorable to him using today's conflict as cover!" The Emperor stood up, and paced back and forth for a while. He then sighed deeply and mumbled, "If only this talented person were working for me… such a pity… "
"Although this man is smart, but he still needs the backing of those three families. In fact, it will be very difficult for him to stir any storms without a proper support from the Jun family, Tang family, and the Prince Equivalent." The man in snow-white clothes offered his comforting words.
"I am also worried about the point you've just now highlighted; it's vital. This man has somehow persuaded these three families to help one another; it is clear that these three families have friendly relations. Moreover, their friendship seems strong. There was a rumor earlier which said that this idea to sell wine originated out of a bet. The Young Master of the Jun Family, Jun Mo Xie, and General Dugu Wudi made a wager on the quality of this wine, and the price it could sell for… It is said that this strategy was actually devised by Jun Mo Xie. Though, I am somewhat unconvinced by that. However, if it really is that debauchee's doing… then I shall truly regard him in a new light."
The Emperor laughed gently for a little while. However, he couldn't conceal the color of worry over his eyebrows, "This plan is certainly made by someone else!
"Whoever this man is, he is extremely dangerous and talented! His action will spell chaos regardless of what the motive behind them is!" There was a deep scowl on His Majesty's face for a while. Then, his expression changed, and he suddenly smiled, "In any case, this will be a very amusing auction. Would you be interested in accompanying me to that hall Mr. Wen?"
"Your Majesty is tempted to go?" The white-robed Mr. Wen raised is head to look at the Emperor. The expression in his eyes was extremely clear; like a deep lake whose bottom could be seen easily because there was no impurities in it. His skin seemed… smooth like the skin of a new born baby.
"It is an interesting matter. Moreover, there is a talented and dangerous person there; why shouldn't I be tempted?" The Emperor narrowed his eyes, "How can I not go to this lively event when this matter will have a profound and far-reaching effect on the Capital's state of affairs? And it's always good to get new experiences; I also want to taste a wine which costs over 10,000 taels per bottle!"
Mr. Wen stood up in a free and easy manner as the hint sincere of smile surface on his infant-like face. He gently chuckled, "In that case, please allow this old man to accompany Your Majesty on your trip."
"With you by side, I'm certain to succeed!" The Emperor smiled and got up. He spoke as they walked out, "However, first we need to look for somebody who has an invitation since we don't… "
"The three princes and Princess Ling Meng have received the invitation cards, if one is to believe the reports. Therefore, is Your Majesty thinking of following the princess?" Mr. Wen winked; the two men smiled in a tacit understanding.
"I can also conveniently check up on my three sons as they fight and scheme against each other; it ought to be quite amusing. What could be better?" The Emperor smiled in a profound manner. However, there was still a wrinkle of worry on his smiling face, "Has brother Zhu eaten anything in the past few days? I haven't heard much about it."
Mr. Wen was walking abreast with the Emperor. He smiled as he said, "This problem of his should be dealt with. However, that grandson of Tang Wang Li is too… immature; there's no hope for his future. He scared that cleanliness-obsessed man by disseminating his bodily wastes on him. As chance has it, little Zhu had stepped forward just then… And though he had managed to stay clean for so many years now, the poor man's spout was filled with… "
He referred to Zhu Zhu Zhu as "Little Zhu." That man's status was seemingly higher than the people from Zhu Zhu Zhu's generation. Though, it would seem that he was even younger than Dugu Wudi. In fact, he looked closer to Jun Wu Yi's age by his facial appearance.
It was very strange.
"Ha Ha… " The Emperor burst out laughing. He turned his face towards the side, and addressed an Old court eunuch as, "Have the imperial kitchen find a good remedy for eunuch Zhu. Ask them to concoct some kind of mixture to whet his appetite, and then feed him something. He doesn't eat anything at all nowadays; how is that good?!"
The Old eunuch solemnly and respectfully accepted his orders. He was quite close to the Emperor, and had served him for over thirty years. Wen Xian Yin was also aware of this; the idea behind this order was clear. On one hand, Zhu Zhu Zhu's matter required his personal presence. But, His Majesty couldn't drop from his status in order to sort such trivial matters either.
A smile spread across the Emperor's face as he watched the eunuch leave; it seemed as if he was reflecting on something from the past, "I, however, haven't found it easy to go outside the palace; those days… I truly cherish them a lot."
"That ingenious person will not be able to hide himself now that your majesty has personally set-out to uncover his secret plan!" Mr. Wen smiled gracefully, "Or perhaps Your Majesty may acquire a very talented person because of this action. Wen would like to congratulate Your Majesty in advance… "
"I hope so!" His Majesty the Emperor smiled faintly, while the expression in his eyes fluctuated; he seemed to be harboring some doubts. He was constantly mouthing a name, but hadn't mentioned it loud. If one were to look closely, they would realize that he was constantly trying to say three words: Jun Wu Yi.
A cold ray of light flashed in his eyes.
As the sun rose gradually in the sky to mark daybreak, the last of great families started to arrive.
First to arrive was the Dugu Family. This family had the reputation of being one of the premiere great families of the capital. They had showed initiative by arriving with eight major members from their Family. They came in riding atop big horses; all of them gallant and full of spirit. Dugu Wudi had arrived along with his seven burly nephews, 'Heroes and legends bravely rushing forward'. They were crowding around a small green palanquin. They appeared similar to eight majestic black bears which had become exhilarated by the scent of good honey.
This brigade of men and horses finally stopped in front of the main door. One command sounded, and they positioned themselves in uniformity. The door of that small green palanquin opened, and one graceful, fair, and pretty figure came out. Her eyebrows were like distant hills, her almond eyes were joyful, while her cheeks were like peaches; her face was simply picturesque. All kinds of charms… immense loveliness and sweetness poured out of this youthful girl. She seemed very fresh, pure and delicate.
Dugu Xiao Yi, one of Tian Xiang City's peerless beauties, had arrived.
Jun Mo Xie's eyes would've pop-out if he were there. In front of his eyes would be this gentle and beautiful woman, who had undergone a miraculous transformation. She was no longer that violent girl who yelled at him, fought with him, and beat him up every day!
A major member from the Jun Family showed-up to welcome the Dugu Family, upon their arrival.
Jun Wu Yi, the Third Son of the Jun Family, waited for them at the end of the flower-flanked path; he sat perfectly straight on his wheelchair. He was dressed in clean black clothes. His facial features seemed sharp, as if cut by a knife. Nevertheless, there was a faint smile on his face, which enhanced his graceful bearing. A white clothed youngster was unhurriedly pushing his wheelchair.
"Elder brother Dugu," Jun Wu Yi cupped his hands, showing a trace of a genial expression, "you have arrived."
"Younger Brother Jun," Dugu Wudi jumped down from his horse, and took large strides forward. "Jun Family is opening a major business. So why wouldn't older brother come-over and show his support? Why have you toiled to receive us personally? I, your older brother, could've walked-in myself; we are no strangers to you."
"There's no harm in greeting people. But elder brother is the only one in the City who actually deserves such importance. Therefore, how could I ever neglect my duties if my brother arrives here?" Jun Wu Yi smiled. Then he gestured with his hands as an expectant look in his emerged eyes, "Elder brother Dugu, please enter!"
Dugu Wudi immediately looked up, and his eyes were immediately rapt with layer-upon-layer of happiness. "Third brother Jun, please!" He reached and positioned himself behind Jun Wu Yi. He then nudged the white clothed youngster who was standing behind the wheelchair to the side as he laughed loudly, "You take a break; I will push my third brother inside."
Jun Wu Yi's body leaned back comfortably so as to allow Dugu Wudi to push the wheelchair. They chatted as Jun Wu Yi showed the way forward. The atmosphere had suddenly become very harmonious, and it seemed as if both sides were a bit emotional.
Could it be that the years-of-the-past had returned once again?
Dugu Wudi was laughing loudly; he was elated from the bottom of his heart. He quietly wiped the tears which appeared in his tiger-like eyes; he couldn't help but sigh in happiness, [today this younger brother has forgiven me… he called me elder brother once again… I'm so happy; I have no regrets anymore].
Ten years of suffering and silence, and no mention of the events that had occurred. But it had all been melted away by these few words!
The two men seemed extremely happy, and talked cheerfully. However, it seemed to everyone else that these two great generals were still enveloped in a thick layer of sentiment owing to that bloody-event from the past!
There was strange connection between these two iron-blooded soldiers.
Jun Wu Yi had dispelled the sword of resentment with his smile!
Ten Years of conflict and hatred had been obliterated with just a smile!
This opportune moment had announced the end of the uneasiness these two great generals had been carrying in their hearts for a decade!
The Dugu Family's seven burly and ox-like individuals remained silent, contrary to their usual personality. They understood the importance of this moment, and deliberately modulated their breathing for the fear of disturbing the two brothers whose bond had been molded over the course of numerous battles.
They had carried the glory of the entire army and the entire of Tian Xiang Empire on their shoulders!
Dugu Xiao Yi's eyes became red as she sobbed quietly. She was admittedly too young to properly appreciate the special camaraderie between these two men. However, as his daughter, she had always known the matter which had troubled her father's heart from the beginning!
Dugu Wudi had been a straightforward man throughout his life, and had never felt the need to regret. However, there was one matter he had always vaguely regretted.
Jun Wu Hui!
Dugu Wudi would get drunk every year on Jun Wu Hui's death anniversary. He would inevitably burst-out crying even though he was an extremely tough and strong warrior. Moreover, he wouldn't even try to cover-up his loud crying; …he would cry his guts out.
Dugu Wudi had never in his life shed tears so many times. And all of this happened because the person who had died was his sworn brother.
Dugu Xiao Yi had often seen her father enter his study in the middle of the night. He would sigh endlessly as he would stroke the sword which Jun Wu Hui had gifted to him.
Today however, Jun Wu Yi had eliminated this hard-to-dispel conundrum in Dugu Wu Di's mind with just a smile! How could Dugu Xiao Yi not be pleased? How could she not cry? How could she not be moved to tears?
Following after the Dugu Family, came another important one; the Song family. The Tang and the Meng Family arrived successively, in accordance to the appointed time.
The Magnificent Jewel Hall which was in close proximity across the street had also received an invitation card. Xiao Han and Mu Xue Tong were clad in white like always; they arrived accompanying the flower-like Han Yan Meng.
And at that moment…
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