A long parade was marching on the street. It consisted the soldiers from the City Guard, subordinates of Scouting Office, and men from Imperial Family Court who Yu Xuan brought together. They were marching along the main street located in the center line of Ji City, and very soon, the long parade had arrived at the front gate of the Great Yan Dynasty's Palace.
Yu Xuan stepped out and called at the gate, asking to be let in. The gate to the Great Yan's Palace was 120 feet tall and 6 feet thick, and was extremely heavy. Slowly, it opened from the inside, revealing a long, dark passage behind it. The wall on both sides of the passage rose to 210 feet in height, yet the width of the passage was only 24 feet. While walking along this dark passage, the lightning bolts and the roars of thunder above had given everyone an oppressive, menacing feeling, and extreme pressure.
Every three hundred feet was an overhead bridge was built across the top of the wall. Not only did it serve as a path for the soldiers to move between the two sides of the wall, it was also a very strong defensive measure. By just deploying a team of archers on the bridge, together with the soldiers stationed on top of both side of the walls, they would be able to greet the enemy in the passage with an all-angle assault.
The sound of clopping echoed in this dark passage, as the oppressive atmosphere was getting stronger. They traveled along the passage for another seven miles, went past another thick and heavy alloy gate, and finally came to an open area filled with numerous magnificent palaces. On top of a solemn looking, pyramid-shaped stone stairs, layers upon layers of dark green grand palaces were stacking up. From the lowest layer to the topmost layer, there was altogether nine layers of palaces.
The palaces on the top were nearly one thousand feet above the ground. The dark clouds were hanging just inches above the roof of these palaces, and it seemed like the thunderbolts were streaking across the glazed black tiles before shooting down to the ground. It was as if these palaces were built in the heaven, barely visible in the dark clouds and thunderbolts, giving it them a touch of mystery.
Within Wu Qi's line of sight, he noticed these palaces had occupied a land of five miles from east to west. The nine layers of palaces reached the height of over one thousand feet, and all the towers and pavilions made up to a possible number of twenty to thirty thousand. The style of these palaces looked rather simple. Basically, they took the same courtyard design of three, six or nine rooms, together with an arched eave. Yet, when so many buildings were clustered together, the air it gave forth was still indescribable in words.
After stepping into Xiantian realm, the divine sense for a warrior would become hundred times more sensitive than ordinary warriors. In addition to that, as Wu Qi had merged with many soul particles before this, which had greatly strengthened his soul, his current divine sense could even be compared to those Reverend of the Embryonic Breath tier.
Wu Qi could sense countless fierce murderous auras hiding within the clusters of palaces in front. In his divine sense, he could clearly feel there was at least tens of thousands of elite experts hiding in these huge palaces. Among them, more than one thousand were emanating with the aura of peak Houtian, while there was more than one hundred of the Xiantian realm. But that was not the only thing he found. He also sensed some subtle, unmeasurable auras hiding among these experts. Wu Qi dared not to reckon what realm these mysterious existences were at.
A thunderbolt as thick as a water bucket rumbled out ferociously from the dark cloud. With a loud boom, it struck right onto a golden statue erected in the open square in front of the palaces.
Facing the palaces of Great Yan Dynasty was an enormous open square, five miles in width and length. In the center of this near perfect square field, a total of sixty-four golden statues, each standing more than one hundred feet tall, was erected in a formation of 8 x 8. The appearance of these statues was identical. They were all mighty warriors who were clad in a heavy armor and carried a longsword in their hand.
The thunderbolt struck onto one of the golden statues. The raging electric current flowed through it, making it glow with a dazzling blue light. The massive electric current kept rocking and rushing through the statue, stimulating it and causing more than thousands of palm-sized runes and symbols to emerge on the surface of the statue. These half-transparent, azure blue runes were spinning and wiggling on the skin of the statue, emanating a powerful aura that spread across the surroundings, making one feel it hard to breathe.
It was a mighty and formidable defensive formation. Wu Qi drew in a sharp cold breath and looked at these golden statues with awe.
Under the lead of Yu Xuan, the long parade rode around the palaces, using another main street on the side, and came to a garden behind the palaces of Great Yan Dynasty. In this place, Wu Qi witnessed the heart of Great Yan Dynasty in its true sense.
It was a small green field that spanned across a few acres. A few twisted and tilted old pine trees were growing across the field. Right in the center of this green field was a small cottage. It was built using wood logs and weed as its roof, a small cottage of merely one hundred feet width and length. With this cottage as the center, eight smaller lodges were built in a square formation around it.
The cottage in the center was rather primitive and crude, but the eight lodges around it were better-built. Although they adopted the same simple and primitive style, at least the materials used were bricks, clays, and woods, and the roof was made of glazed tiles. With this, at least they didn't have to worry about being blown away by strong winds.
A sudden thunderbolt streaked across the sky, brightly illuminating the dark night. Within the light, Wu Qi saw a plaque on top of the cottage, and the calligraphy of 'Yan Feitian' written on it. He had no idea who wrote this calligraphy. The style of writing was aggressive, each stroke looking like they were about to soar into the sky. It was as if they were a real divine bird that was ready to ride the wind in nature and fly into the heaven.
The thunderbolts came one after another, and the light green calligraphy of 'Yan Feitian' kept flashing in front of everyone's eyes. Wu Qi and few others who had attained a certain degree of cultivation, they could still stand straight, but once the others stared for too long at this calligraphy, their body started to tremble and barely stand on their feet. There were even a few men who fell off to the ground in a sorry state.
Yu Xuan was carrying an umbrella full of holes and stood in front of the cottage, staring blankly at the large calligraphy on the plaque.
"Two thousand years ago, it was at this place… The founding ancestor of our Great Yan Dynasty, together with many of his hanger-ons and people, they built this meeting hall, using one wood log at a time, one handful of weed at a time. Two thousand years have passed, and now we, the Great Yan Dynasty, have millions and millions of people. We rule countless cities and boundless territories. Yet, this place is still the true heart of Great Yan Dynasty!"
Using a nearly fanatical tone and a religious attitude, Yan Bugui slowly uttered out the words to Wu Qi, Lu Chengfeng, and Tie Yuewu. Not only him, even for Yan Jiuhui, Yan Bugui, and the others had their back straightened when they were looking at this crude weed cottage, and a sacred and solemn expression was brought to their faces.
Two thousand years ago, the emperor of Yan Dynasty, Yan Dan brought a couple dozen of his hanger-ons and tens of thousand of his people and built the first crude weed cottage at this place. Using this as their starting point, they endured the hardship of being the pioneers. Using one wood log and one handful of weed at a time, they established the current Great Yan Dynasty. As one of his people, as his direct descendant, in this place which almost like a holy land of a religion, Yu Xuan had temporarily forgotten all the golds, silvers, and jewelry.
Two thousand years ago, this place was a meeting hall for Yan Dan and his people. As for the present time, it was used as the office of Imperial Family Court, used by Great Yan Dynasty to manage everything that was related to Imperial Family and the vassal kingdoms.
Suddenly, Qin Qingshui spoke. His words immediately disturbed the atmosphere that felt like some kind of religious ceremony. "Duke Yu Xuan, please carry on with your business. Qingshui will take a leave from here, and I'll not interfere with what happens next. As for the fact that the prince hostage of Xian Kingdom, Taba Qingye, was killed tonight, I hope Duke Yu Xuan can give me your words later."
Yu Xuan snorted coldly and gazed at Qin Qingshui, waved his hand and made no comment.
Qin Qingshui took a deep look at Lu Chengfeng and Wu Qi, snorted coldly before bringing all his subordinates and striding away. What happened tonight was not fully settled yet, at least, he still needed to return to the crime scene and cover everything up.
Yan Jiuhui let out a loud laugh and said, "Eh, Ji City is not under the authority of West Wind Guards. Hehe, so we have nothing to do with this matter now. We were just here to be a pleasure-seeker. Hey, Lu Chengfeng, before you testify your identity, let me call you a 'kid' for a few more times! Haha, haha!"
Yan Jiuhui was laughing satisfyingly, yet, Yan Bugui had a rather weird expression. He was staring at Lu Chengfeng from top to bottom, and suddenly breathed out a sigh. Wu Qi nodded his head and smiled at Yan Bugui, but Yan Bugui only returned a listless smile, and again kept looking at Lu Chengfeng using the same weird glance.
Under the lead of Yu Xuan, the group changed into clean and soft straw sandals which had been prepared in advance. Then, they entered the weed cottage. According to the status of each individual, they sat down on the mat made from the same weed as the cottage.
Not long after that, rapid sounds of footsteps came from outside of the cottage. Old men who looked of a similar age as Yu Xuan arrived one after another. Without saying anything, they changed into clean straw sandals and entered the cottage, bringing themselves to the mat placed on both sides of Yu Xuan.
The Imperial Family Court of Great Yan Dynasty only had one Grandmaster, and this position was held by Duke Yanxing, Yu Xuan. Besides him, it also comprised of forty-eight Imperial Elders, and all of them were the members of Imperial Family who had a seniority similar to Yu Xuan in the clan. A few of them came from the maternal clans, such as Ji Clan, Gao Clan, Tian Clan, Le Clan, and Qin Clan, and all of them were wealthy and influential clans. These men formed the Imperial Family Court, and essentially, they had the final saying in all affairs related to the Imperial Family of Great Yan Dynasty and the vassal kingdoms.
After briefly introducing Lu Chengfeng's identity, Yu Xuan immediately urged the members of the court to follow the laws of Great Yan and begin the procedure of 'Blood Paternity Test'.
Yan Buji had left behind a generous legacy, and it was a legacy coveted by many. With regards to this legacy, if the Imperial Family Court didn't manage it properly, it would perhaps cause more serious troubles. As a result, the Imperial Family Court simply came out with a cold approach - any descendant that Yan Buji produced in the outside, regardless of his origin or current background, the first one who arrived at Ji City would be his rightful inheritor.
All the Imperial Elders at the scene were the men who approved of these terms. Therefore, although they were curious why Yu Xuan summoned them to the Imperial Family Court in the middle of the night, since a descendant of Yan Buji had arrived, it was inevitable that they had to work in this small hour. If they didn't let Lu Chengfeng go through the Blood Paternity Test now, and if another love child of Yan Buji came to them, that would be a nasty problem to solve.
No one had any objection. Following the predetermined procedure and under the monitoring of all Imperial Elders, Yu Xuan opened up a secret door that led to the underground of Imperial Family Court. From a secret room protected by countless defensive mechanisms, he took out a transparent tube made using white crystal.
The crystal tube was half-filled, and the content was a potion concocted using the essence of Yan Buji's blood and flesh.
Under the tight monitoring of forty-eight Imperial Elders, the Grandmaster of Imperial Family Court - Yu Xuan, together with Yan Jiuhui, Yan Bugui and a few Scouting Officers, Lu Chengfeng stretched his arm out. Using a blade, he carefully made a cut on his wrist and dripped three drops of his blood essence into the crystal tube.
The light red potion inside of the tube suddenly turned into a dark green color, and started to glow with a dazzling gold light.
Yu Xuan sprung to his feet, clapping his hand forcefully and said, "It is done. The reward of a province... Duke Yan Le's title of nobility and the position of West Supervisor are now taken!"
The other few veteran Imperial Elders were also clapping their hands and laughing. "He is the son of Maiden Rongyang. Thus, he must have received a good education since he was young. He is from a noble family as well. A perfect candidate to inherit Duke Yan Le's title of nobility!"
These Imperial Elders had made themselves clear. Lu Chengfeng was the son from a noble family. Thus, they had no objection in letting him inherit Yan Buji's legacy. If the first love child of Yan Buji who arrived at Ji City was someone who came from a family of low social status, it was possible that they might have a different opinion.
Nevertheless, in case of a love child who Yan Buji had with an ordinary civilian, how could he learn the news about Yan Buji's death?
The bloodline was verified. The blood took a hue of light green and was emitting a dazzling golden glow. This was the proof that Lu Chengfeng was indeed the child of Yan Buji.
Yan Jiuhui's expression changed instantly. After hesitating for some time, he finally came in front of Lu Chengfeng, who was having a wild joy on his face, bowed his head and greeted.
"The twelfth generation grandson of Great Yan Imperial Family, Yan Jiuhui, greeting upon the Master of our clan, Duke Yan le!"
Yan Jiuhui raised his head, turned to Wu Qi and gave him a strange smile. His lips moved, uttered some words soundlessly.
"All the ancestors!"