The second prince of the empire, Wu Zhuo, wore rich purple robes, though they had no runic marking or decorative lines on them. His hair was tied together in a braid behind him, and the smile on his face was curled upwards in a gentle smile. Combined with his calm demeanor, Bai Yunfei would've assumed this was a scholar who did nothing but read rather than a prince.
The prince didn’t look hostile either as he approached Bai Yunfei and Zheng Kai. Rather, he approached the two looking more like he was a friend coming to say hello.
Zheng Kai, as it appeared to Bai Yunfei, respected the second prince quite heavily. Giving Bai Yunfei a quick look, he stood up to bow and greet the man, “Your Highness the Second Prince, what brings you here to this place?”
He was familiar with the prince it would seem.
Wu Zhuo shook his hand to wave the proprietor away. Smiling, he greeted Zheng Kai, “Ah, Zheng Kai! It’s been a long time since I saw you. I only just came back from the White Stone Province. I heard you and Huang Bin came across some trouble yesterday night? Are you alright?”
Zheng Kai smiled. “Thank you for your concern, Your Highness, but it was nothing more than a minor inconvenience. Our houses are taking care of it. Please, Your Highness, please have a seat.”
Wu Zhuo sat in the seat next to table to look at Bai Yunfei, “And you are….?”
A flicker of uncertainty crossed Zheng Kai’s eyes, but he answered Wu Zhuo straight away, “This is my friend, Bai Yunfei, student of the Crafting School.”
He was unsure if Wu Zhuo knew about the fact that Bai Yunfei hurt Wu Yang or not, but it was best to establish Bai Yunfei’s identity and status as quickly as possible, for Bai Yunfei’s own sake.
Bai Yunfei nodded towards Wu Zhuo, “It is an honor to meet you, Your Highness.”
“The Crafting School?” Wu Zhuo replied with raised eyebrows, “Bai Yunfei? Are you perhaps….the new disciple of headmaster Zi Jin mentioned several years ago?”
Bai Yunfei blinked, he hadn’t thought that his name would be known even here—was he really that famous?
Zheng Kai replied on his behalf, “That’s right. Bai Yunfei is the newest prodigy from the Crafting School and the very same person who helped stop the soulbeast wave in Praestia Pass.”
Another flicker of light crossed Wu Zhuo’s eyes as he regarded Bai Yunfei with more admiration than before, “How unexpected to meet you here, brother Bai. Your feats in Praestia Pass made its way to even here. I thought you’d find your spot among the Ten Prodigies, but when you disappeared after that, I felt it quite regretful….”
He shook his head with a sigh, “My brother’s loss by your hands isn’t a bad one. If it’s you, he lost to a worthy opponent.”
His words caused Bai Yunfei’s heart to skip a beat—Wu Zhuo knew about the trouble that happened between his brother and Bai Yunfei!
But it seemed that he didn’t really care about revenge. How strange.
Somewhat embarrassed, Bai Yunfei spoke, “Th—this one really didn’t know it was His Highness the Fourth Prince. If this one may beg for pardon for harming your brother….”
Though he knew he did no wrong, Bai Yunfei tried his best to sound as honest and modest as possible so he could resolve the situation quickly.
“Haha, don’t apologize, brother Bai. I know my fourth brother, he must’ve been the one to start causing trouble. You teaching him a lesson will let him realize there are people outside his sphere of influence. I hope he’ll learn from this and be less arrogant.”
Wu Zhuo’s words were noticeably surprising to Bai Yunfei. How was this man so ‘reasonable’? How was he so completely different to his younger brother!
“I came across my younger brother earlier, he told me he was defeated in one blow by someone of his age and was with Zheng Kai. I was curious so I came over to investigate, but I admit, I was surprised to find it’s you, brother Bai.”
As if suddenly thinking about something, he spoke, “Brother Bai, you are senior Zi Jin’s disciple and strong enough to defeat Wu Yang, your arrival in the Capital….must be the Crafting School’s wish? Is Tianhun Academy planning to open up a section on crafting, and….taught by you?”
The look on Bai Yunfei’s face grew even wider—just how did Wu Zhuo know all of this?!
His reaction was more than enough for Wu Zhuo to confirm his doubts, “Don’t be alarmed, brother Bai. The Royal Family met with the chairman before on this issue before to request for the Crafting School to open a section in Tianhun Academy. It’s not a widely-known fact, only I and a few select others know.”
Bai Yunfei was still surprised, “I see. You are correct, Your Highness, the academy is opening a section for crafting this time, and my master has ordered me to stay here and teach. I am unsure of my success, but it is my duty to try my best.”
“Haha, brother Bai, you are quite harsh on yourself. I’m sure you’ll do excellent and look forward to your work.” Wu Zhuo smiled, “If there’s anything you might need in the future, the academy and Royal Family will not hesitate to support you in your endeavors.”
Wu Zhuo and Bai Yunfei continued to talk a little more after that, exchanging pleasantries and other talks. In Bai Yunfei’s opinion, Wu Zhuo didn’t seem to hold himself like a prince much, but he was a great man nonetheless.
After a while, Wu Zhuo finally bid farewell and left.
After he left, Zheng Kai slammed his palm onto the tables in delayed surprise, “Brother Bai! What was that you said earlier? You’re going to be teaching?! A section on crafting?!”
He hadn’t been talking much when Wu Zhuo was here and was deep in heavy thought the moment Wu Zhuo even mentioned the ‘course on crafting’. But when Wu Zhuo left, he immediately started to speak to Bai Yunfei impatiently.
“Yes.” Bai Yunfei sighed. “I didn’t even know about it until I went to meet chairman Mo Huangkong. My master had orders for me to teach a class here about the art of crafting.”
“.....” Zheng Kai was speechless. A commotion would surely rise up among the Capital and academy if people were to learn about this.
“Does that mean…..you’re going to be an instructor for the academy?!” Zheng Kai suddenly realized.
“I will be, yes.”
“I….” Again, Zheng Kai was speechless, but only for two seconds. “Does this mean I’ll be lower to you in rank?! I’m only a student, but you’re an instructor. You’re going to be higher in rank than me in the academy?!”
“Er….” A sweatdrop rolled down Bai Yunfei’s face. He didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at his question, “Well, why should we really care about that? You wouldn’t think me of an instructor anyways, so let’s stick with calling each other brother.”
“That works,” Zheng Kai sighed, “Haha! What a development this was, you came to the Capital and will start class here as a….an instructor, haha! How envious, I actually wanted to be an instructor too you know, but the chairman said no. I don’t want to leave the academy, so I stayed as a student. You’ve it good, you’re the only crafting instructor the academy has….tsk tsk, an instructor. Every single female student will want your ‘guidance’.....Teacher and female students…..class is over and they stay behind for one-on-one special tutoring….”
After finishing lunch, Zheng Kai took Bai Yunfei around the academy for a quick and easy tour. The Capital was large enough to need at least half a month to really get to know, so it was best that Bai Yunfei get acquainted with the place closest to him.
They returned to Zheng manor by the time it was dinner—though it was Zheng Kai who was ‘reluctant’ to return. Bai Yunfei himself had enough for one day, so he declined Zheng Kai’s proposal to stroll the night market and return for the night.
It was on their through the corridors of Zheng manor when Zheng Kai spoke up, “Why don’t I take you to North Eleventh Street tomorrow and show you where students like to hang out around most. There’s plenty of…”
“Haha, thank you for the idea, brother Zheng, but I need to prepare for my classes in the next two days. I need time to prepare.”
“Ah, I see….that’s too bad then. I’ll take you another time then.” Zheng Kai spoke a little crestfallen.
His reaction was a little surprising to Bai Yunfei. Zheng Kai clearly wanted to go to that place to play around, so why did he need Bai Yunfei there for, would he not go there by himself normally?
Bai Yunfei himself didn’t know, but Zheng Kai really didn’t want to go if he didn’t go.
Huang Bin, Chen Qiantan, and Jin Manlou were all busy with their family ‘forbidding’ them to go out in the meanwhile.
Zheng Kai would’ve suffered the same fate if not for him divulging Bai Yunfei’s identity to his head of house. Then under the pretense of helping Bai Yunfei with his affairs was he able to head out. If Bai Yunfei didn’t go, then Zheng Kai wouldn’t be able to leave either….