Yan Dan shook his head helplessly as he looked at the back of departing Yue Yi.
He breathed out a heavy sigh, turned to Wu Qi, and said, "Yue Yi is the servant to Great Yan, and so is Wu Qi. As the emperor of Great Yan, I cannot show partiality for either one of you. Duke of Tianyun, Wu Qi, you will follow Chengfeng to the West Field Headquarter, and be in charge of assembling and deploying the military forces in various vassal kingdoms, preparing the army for the upcoming war. I'll now assign you as the Deputy Chief Supervisor of West Field Headquarter, having the title of Vanguard General. Try to do your best."
Wu Qi bowed at Yan Dan, saying nothing at all.
'This is what you mean by not showing partiality for anyone? It is very clear that you're being partial to Yue Yi! Evidently, it is his people that acted recklessly first, yet I'm the one who has to avoid them! If this is not showing partiality, what is then?' thought Wu Qi inwardly. But at the same time, he did understand that actually, Yan Dan had already taken a good care of him by sending him away from Ji City so he could avoid Yue Yi, who was now out in the pacifying campaign, and even given him the title of a general. That was the decision of protecting him. Or else, if Wu Qi had to stay in Ji City, Yue Yi could have countless of ways to secretly scheming against him, attacking him by overt and covert means that Wu Qi could find hard to defend against effectively.
After the unexpected distraction caused by Yue Yi, the secretly fighting five demon kings, Mo Di and Xun Kuang had already retracted their aura, and began to eating and drinking like everybody else. Without the frightening pressure coming from them, the atmosphere in the hall gradually returned to normal. The beating of drums and bells rose again, as groups of dancers floated out from behind the hall, singing and dancing joyously in the center.
Then, Wu Qi and Lu Chengfeng continued their discussion in a low voice again. Word by word, Wu Qi pointed out the key elements of cultivating the body strengthening technique to Lu Chengfeng. After all, it was not an easy task for Lu Chengfeng to absorb and digest 15 kg of flood dragon blood essence in three days. The flood dragon blood essence in the Black Dragon Spirit Ring was the best of blood essence Ying Zheng had gathered after killing many flood dragons in the recent years. Without the detailed guidance from Wu Qi, Lu Chengfeng might run into a wrong path while cultivating the technique. If that really happened, not only would his body not be strengthened, he might even turn into a half flood dragon and half human, which would be a big problem to solve.
While they were having a lively discussion, the first group of dancers was leaving the hall and were being replaced by the second group. Suddenly, a young man clad in a light-green imperial outfit, his face beaming with energy, rose and walked right to the center of the hall. There, he stood, facing Yan Dan and bowed, then spoke out in a clear voice, "Your Majesty, I have words to speak with Duke of Tianyun, Wu Qi."
Yan Dan was surprised to see the young man, while Su Qin immediately coughed out the wine in his mouth. Pointing his finger at the young man, he scolded, "Muye, what are you doing?"
This young man was the youngest son of Su Qin, only 32 years old currently, the editor of national history from Great Yan's Editor Academy, Su Muye. In the eyes of the public, he was a young scholar who spent his days in composing poems to express his feelings, having a great interest in painting and calligraphy. But, only the core members of Great Yan Dynasty, such as Yan Dan and a few others knew that this Su Muye had the title of the Capricious Yin and Yang, a genius who did better than Su Qin in some aspects. However, a genius was always a freak in some way, and undoubtedly, this Su Muye was also one of the freaks.
He was considered a freak for his lack of understanding of the worldly wisdom. For that reason, he had offended many fellow officials in the Editor Academy. As one of the civilian officials in Great Yan Dynasty, Su Muye would frequently punch his fellow officials, and always cursed other people with filthy words. If not because for Su Qin had the status of chief editor of national history, Su Muye would have long been chased out from the Imperial Court by his colleagues.
Upon looking at Su Muye who rushed out like a one-track-minded youth, both Su Qin and Yan Dan were struck with a headache. Forcing a smile on his face, Yan Dan shook his head at Su Qin, then turned to Su Muye and gave him a gentle smile, asking, "Muye, what are you going to tell Duke of Tianyun? Haha, both of you are young talents. You can take this opportunity to start your friendship."
Su Muye clapped his hands, smiled and said, "Your Majesty, my father is the Imperial Advisor of Great Yan. But all these years, he had been playing the fool, to the stage he even forgot that he is the Imperial Advisor, which caused me to suffer among a bunch of useless fools in Editor Academy. Then, he always tells me to stay low, to conceal my true abilities. Aye, but since you've personally invited my father to join you on the dais, I think I don't have to stay low now, right?"
Yan Dan blinked his eyes, staring at the one-track-minded Su Muye, and gave a wry smile, "You're right. As the Great Qin is casting their covetous eyes on us, we have to gather all our available strength to fight them. Old mister Su is the Imperial Advisor of Great Yan. Thus, there is no need for him to keep hiding his true identity in the Imperial Court."
Su Muye immediately broke out into a loud laughter, clapping his hands and turning to those civilian officials who sat behind Yu Wende while saying, "Have you guys heard that? Now, you better be polite to me in the future! Remember my face! When I was born, I was already conferred with the title of Marquis! Damn it! I've been holding back myself for a very long time!"
Just like Wu Qi, although he was standing right in front of Yan Dan and facing so many top men of Great Yan Dynasty, Su Muye just cursed out at his will. Su Qin's face turned red with both shame and anger, which made it look like the red buttock of a monkey. However, Su Muye was seen sticking his chest proudly, then turned looking at Wu Qi and said, "Duke of Tianyun, Wu Qi, I have something to discuss with you. Like it or not, you've to agree to it. To make a long story short, I'll marry my little niece to you. Yes, you and no other man."
Wu Qi gasped with astonishment. He wanted to marry his little niece to Wu Qi?!
Lu Chengfeng looked at Wu Qi shockingly, lowered his voice and murmured, "Since when did you have an affair with a girl from the Su Clan?"
Then came the aggressive gaze of Princess Zhang Le from the dais, as she fixed her eyes at Wu Qi's face, eyes flickering with a ferocious gleam. But when she saw Wu Qi's blank and astonished expression, she frowned and pondered for a brief while. In the next moment, the ferocious gleam in her eyes became even stronger, as she turned her eyes over at Su Muye like a she-wolf who was about to go frantic.
Meanwhile, Su Qin slammed his palm on the table and cried out, "Muye, what nonsense are you talking about? Your little niece? Who is that?"
Su Muye tilted his head up complacently, smiled and said, "Who? Of course I'm referring to Little Su. She is fourteen years old now, and it is time for her to marry someone. I've decided to marry Little Su to Duke of Tianyun, as with that, he will no longer be able to keep hanging out with Princess Zhang Le! Haha! For all the young men in Great Yan Dynasty, who can defeat me in terms of talent, character, bearing and appearance? There is no other man Princess Zhang Le can marry except me!"
Su Qin sat on his knees on the dais, his body turned stiff. By the look on his face, it seemed he really wished he could strangle Su Muye now.
Yan Dan was trembling from head to toe. He really wished he could turn his head back and give a loud laugh. But as he was the mighty emperor of Great Yan, he was forced to put up a straight face, holding back the laughter as much as he could.
Jing Ke, Gao Jianli, Tian Guang, and a few other men were looking at Su Muye as if they were looking at a ghost. Suddenly, Gao Jianli shook his head and murmured, "Old mister Su Qin is a great man, but why is this youngest son of his is an idiot? Marrying the youngest niece of him to Wu Qi so that Wu Qi can never marry the princess? What a good strategy, an excellent strategy!"
Tian Guang said in a cold voice, "This is a fundamental solution, an excellent solution."
Yan Dan was barely holding back his laughter, but when he heard the bad joke cracked out by Tian Guang, he could no longer hold it and simply broke out into wild laughter.
All the civilian and military officials in the hall had their eyes rested on the complacent Su Muye, their eyes fixed and their mouth wide opened. Then, they quickly bowed their heads, covered their faces with their sleeves and began chuckling all the way. Both Yu Wende and Yu Qianqian had a strange smile on their face, as they too bowed their heads and chuckled, while sizing up Su Muye from the corner of their eyes.
Wu Qi shook his head helplessly. He rose to his feet, cupped his fist and bowed deeply at Su Qin, then said, "Old mister, Wu Qi has never developed any feeling for your little granddaughter." He sighed, turned to Su Muye, and said, "Marquis Su Muye, what is the basis of your decision that Wu Qi must marry your little niece? Have you discussed this with your father before? And have you asked the father of your little niece, who is also your elder brother, as to what he thinks of your decision?"
Proud and self-satisfied, Su Muye pulled out a fan and began waving it slowly, then he said, "First, why must you marry my little niece? Because we, the Su Clan, have proposed a marriage to you. Just with the mighty reputation of my father, Su Qin, when we, the Su Clan, want to marry off a daughter, who dares to reject her?"
He chuckled, then continued, "As for your second question, for all these years, my father had never paid any attention to the affairs of our clan. The few elder brothers of mine have devoted all their heart and soul into secluded cultivation, studying the Dao of transforming in the Yin and Yang. I'm the only person who manages all the affairs of the clan. We are just marrying off a little niece. Of course, I can be the one who makes the final decision!"
Wu Qi clenched his jaw tightly and kept shaking his head. He did not even have the strength to laugh anymore. This Su Muye might be a genius, but a genius who seemed lacking any worldly wisdom. For a man like this, one could never be serious with him. Wu Qi had also lost the mood of arguing with him, but just kept shaking his head and sighing, then returned to his seat.
With a strange expression in her eyes, Princess Zhang Le was looking at Su Muye while sitting on the dais. "Su Muye, why should I marry you? Also, even if your little niece does agree to marry Wu Qi, put aside whether he would accept it or not, why are you the only man I can marry after Wu Qi marries your little niece?" She cried in a cold voice.
Su Muye looked at Princess Zhang Le astonishingly, then asked, "Who else can Princess marry if that person is not me? Throughout the entire Great Yan Dynasty, apart from Wu Qi, who is more handsome than me? Who is more talented than me? I'm a gentleman endowed with both beauty and wit. I come from a good clan, and am the one and only Su Muye! If Princess does not marry me, who else could that be?"
Princess Zhang Le breathed out a long and heavy sigh, took up a wine pot and gulped down all the wine in it.
When faced with someone like Su Muye, even the arrogant and imperious princess had given up on throwing her temper.
Meanwhile, Su Muye was still boasting himself, "In the past, it was all because of my father that I was forced to stay low, to conceal my real ability, as I could not expose the background of Su Clan. I could not show off before everyone that my father is the Imperial Advisor of Great Yan Dynasty. I could not show off that I was already a Marquis right at the moment I was born. Therefore, Su Muye had been staying very, very low, not revealing to anyone that I'm actually a cultured man full of talents, a man who can write the most splendid articles and poems."
He paused, breathed out a deep sigh, and continued, "However, since it is His Majesty himself who revealed the real identity of my father, then, don't blame me for speaking in such a lofty tone. I want to say this here: besides Duke of Tianyun, who has the ability to compose flowery poems and good paintings, all the other youths in Great Yan Dynasty are just rubbish in my mind! Except me, no one deserves Princess Zhang Le!"
Wu Qi raised his head and gave Princess Zhang Le a smile, while she winked her eyes at him charmingly. Both of them kept exchanging glances of silent understanding and paid no attention to Su Muye.
Upon seeing this situation, both Yan Dan and Su Qin sighed at the same time. Su Qin had his face turned red with shame, and was about to rise and scold Su Muye. But suddenly, a loud and clear voice rang out, "Brother Muye, you're wrong. Do you really think there isn't any talented youth in the Imperial Court of Great Yan Dynasty? Princess Zhang Le is a fairy to me, yet you are just a pedantic scholar. Do you really deserve her?"
A young man clad in qilin war robe walked out slowly from the crowd while emitting an intense killing intent. His visage could not be considered extraordinary, yet his bearing was fierce and malicious
Right after this young man came out, another youth rose amidst the crowd and cried, "Tiger Qin, Pedant Su, none of you deserve Princess Zhang Le!" Then, it was followed by sounds of deep and heavy footsteps. A young man standing about ten feet tall strode out like an iron pagoda. He came before the dais and dropped to his knees, saying, "Your Majesty, please allow Fan Jinlin to become Princess Zhang Le's husband!"
Wu Qi was looking coldly from the sidelines at these three men, and was about to say something when suddenly, the five colored divine ray behind Princess Zhang Le's back began to rock and roll. In the next moment, a round of thunderbolts streaked down from the ceiling and smote onto the three men, filling the hall with blinding flashes and deafening roars of thunder. In an instant, three men were thrown to the ground as miserable shrieks came spewing out from their mouths, causing a great commotion in the hall.