Si Xi only had a cottage in Pu Ban City, while Si Wen Ming simply lived in the Magi Palace, which meant, neither of them had a decent property to entertain their guests at a banquet. Therefore, Ji Hao took the responsibility of that. The gate of Fine Jade Palace opened widely, and all servants and maids began working. Tens of thousands of earls and marquis and over a hundred thousand of their guards and assistants all gathered in Fine Jade Palace, enjoying a banquet and drinking freely with a great joviality.
Jade coins flowed like streams of water, trading for countless vats of fine wine and raw lambs, beef and geese; the thick scent of grilling meat transformed into dense smoke reaching straight to the sky. The aroma of great wine and grilled meat spread out for hundreds of miles, making people drunk even without drinking.
Ji Hao grinningly followed behind Si Xi and Si Wen Ming, exchanging cordial greetings with all earls and marquis who were invited here by Si Xi and Si Wen Ming. Meanwhile, Ji Hao silently memorized all information about them, such as their positions and backgrounds, the locations of their territory, the names of their clans, the numbers of young Senior Magi of their clans.
These were connections, the most precious thing that was the hardest to obtain.
Si Xi and his son, Si Wen Ming, were both fair, just and patient, and they had been kind and generous to people. Si Xi was in charge of the constructions of all river engineering projects, while Si Wen Ming was managing the Magi Palace. They worked with earls and marquis that came from all large clans all year round. Therefore, they both had good relationships with those earls and marquis.
Normally, Ji Hao couldn't possibly know so many earls and marquis. Firstly, he didn't have the time to travel around, and secondly, even if he did have the time to visit those earls and marquis one by one, at most, these earls and marquis would say some nice things to him, but would never truly accept him as a friend. After all, he had just attained the title of Earl Yao for a few years, and neither did he have any great background, nor influence in Midland.
But this time, he embarrassed Wuzhi Qi, that old beast, in front of all these earls and marquis, and forced Gong Gong Wuyou to seal Wuzhi Qi with dark ice himself. This allowed those earls and marquis to witness Ji Hao's 'power' and 'bravery' themselves.
It was no big deal about being 'brave'; in the four wastelands and the Midland, brave young men with boiling blood were countless, that even Junior Magi dared to pull their weapons out and challenge non-humankind Magus Kings. Therefore, those earls and marquis never lacked nerved and brave warriors under their commands.
Nevertheless, in addition to the bravery, Ji Hao also had the power that was enough to embarrass Wuzhi Qi, and even made Gong Gong Wuyou run fast away with a darkened face; this did make it worth for those earls and marquis to look at Ji Hao with respect.
Added with the recommendation that came from Si Xi and Si Wen Ming, the help given by Zhu Rong and Candle Dragon Gui, and moreover, Ji Hao's palace in Pu Ban city, Fine Jade Palace being chosen to be the venue of the banquet, Ji Hao had managed to achieve the most favorable timing, the best geographical convenience, and good social relations. For the above reasons, earls and marquis who attended this banquet truly accepted Ji Hao as a friend, and all exchanged special magic talismans with Ji Hao for contact.
Ji Xia stayed by Ji Hao's side while Si Wen Ming introduced him to batches of earls and marquis over and over again.
Ji Hao's father, the blood father of Earl Yao, this identity made Ji Xia respectable for those earls and marquis. He was Ji Liao's direct descendant, who had merged with his power-inheriting magic bead; Ji Liao, who was a Master Supreme Magus and a well-known general under Emperor Xuan Yuan's command. After merging with Ji Liao's power-inheriting magic bead, Ji Xia became a nine-star Divine Magus within one night. In the future, with the power contained in Ji Liao's power-inheriting magic bead, he could even break into the level of Supreme Magus!
This legendary story added an even brighter glow to Ji Xia, which made many earls and marquis feel respect towards Ji Xia immediately after they heard the story. They stood up, greeted Ji Xia, and proposed toasts to him one after another. After hearing Ji Xia's story, these earls and marquis valued Ji Xia and Ji Hao even more than before.
All large clans in this world regarded bloodlines and power inheritances as rather important, as well as the background and origin of a clan.
If a clan had a powerful ancestor, the other large clans dared not to look down on it even if it was temporarily declining. As long as the blood and inherited power stayed, this clan still had the hope of rising.
Ji Xia and Ji Hao's ancestor was a powerful general under Emperor Xuan Yuan's direct command and was a Master Supreme Magus. Because of this, both Ji Xia and Ji Hao were largely different in the eyes of those earls and marquis; this also proved that Yao Mountain territory, which was still a bit weak at present, had a great potential of thriving in the future!
The level of Supreme Magus…
In these days and among the entire humankind, everybody knew that clans which still had Supreme-Magus-level old masters were only a few large clans that shared bloodlines with the legendary three human emperors.
In the future, if Ji Xia truly became a Supreme Magus, Ji Hao's Earl Yao territory would be able to be mentioned in the same breath with those few large clans that had the bloodlines of the three legendary human emperors. Therefore, once Ji Xia's identity was disclosed, all those earls and marquis turned even friendlier to Ji Xia and Ji Hao.
Soon, a few earls and marquis who came from the few large clans and had ancient and powerful bloodlines walked over one after another and took the initiative to start conversations with Ji Xia. Some of their ancestors were generals who fought side by side with Emperor Xuan Yuan as well, speaking of which, Ji Liao and their ancestors were true comrades in arms, who could really trust each other with lives!
Because of the relationships between ancestors, Ji Xia and the few powerful earls and marquis quickly became close friends. They laughed loudly together, talking about their ancestors and about the current situations of their clans. They praised Ji Hao for his impressive actions of slapping Wuzhi Qi's old face. Naturally, a friendship emerged between them.
More and more earls and marquis heard the news and arrived. The wine stored in the cellar of Ji Hao's Fine Jade Palace was already finished up. Therefore, he hurriedly sent people to purchase more good wine.
Ji Hao roughly estimated and found out that at least eighty percent of earls and marquis who came to Pu Ban city to attend this ten-year-meeting with Emperor Shun had gathered in Fine Jade Place. Ji Hao couldn't help but be shocked by Si Xi and Si Wen Ming's charisma, that they could actually invite so many earls and marquis, who came from different parts of the Midland.
After walking around and meeting countless earls and marquis, Zhu Rong abruptly grabbed Ji Hao's sleeve and dragged him out of the main hall, going into a woods of Prunus Mume.
"Ji Hao, my real body had already returned to Southern Wasteland, and I will now take this clone back as well. Before I leave, I want to say something to you."
Zhu Rong took Ji Hao and walked under a thousand-year-old Prunus Mume tree. The branches of the old tree were thick and twisted, seeming to be really strong, and were all covered in snow. Under the tree, Zhu Rong Tianming was standing there, his face filled with a smile. Abruptly, Zhu Rong Tianming's smile froze briefly upon seeing Ji Hao, then quickly grew even bigger and warmer.
"Tonggong has been focusing on his cultivation lately, and he is about to make a breakthrough. I have to help him, and in the meanwhile, there're some things back in Southern Wasteland have to be handled by myself." Zhu Rong stood in between Ji Hao and Zhu Rong Tianming and said gently, "Man Man will be under your protection. You shall take good care of her…Do not let that old bastard, Candle Dragon Gui's, disciple bully her. You cannot be fair… you have to take better care of Man Man."
"Someone from Zhu Rong family has to stay in Pu Ban City. If anything happens, our voice has to be heard by the world. Tonggong is concentrating on his cultivation now, and cannot come out. Therefore, I let my seventh son come. From now on, you two will be like brothers. Ji Hao, you should help him as much as you can… after all, this is the first time for him to leave the Southern Wasteland."
Zhu Rong then knocked Zhu Rong Tiamming's head and continued, "His mother passed away when he was a child, and he is not so close with his brothers either. Therefore, Ji Hao, you two should be nice to each other and help each other."
Zhu Rong then turned to Zhu Rong Tianming and said, "Seven, Ji Hao has made much greater achievements than you have done. In the future, if any problems occur, you shall consult Ji Hao."
Zhu Rong Tianming gave a big grin while nodding and saying 'yes' ceaselessly.
Ji Hao smiled embarrassingly, looked at Zhu Rong Tianming and helplessly nodded, responding with a 'yes' as well.