"The auspicious pair, a match made in heaven, pay their respects in the Jade Hall. The crowd fights to get a glimpse of the delicate bride and the dapper groom. The marriage is so loving that the couple had the leisure to play with parrots. They play the mouth organ, attracting the attention of phoenixes. During the family reunion in the month of flowers, the gem-lined fan is removed. The slim and graceful lady takes on a new shape. Rumor has it that she bears an heir. The days of bliss continue." The Prefectural Magistrate of Luoyang, Song Gongming, congratulated the old general, Ye Zhengru, for the marriage of his son.
"Guests get drunk on exquisite wine during the delightful banquet. The luan and the phoenix soar above the houses in this magnificent nation, bearing witness to the beautiful cooperation of two families. They reflect the laughter and kissing in the newlywed home. The newlyweds play the mouth organ in bliss while mimicking Xiaoshi. They raise the platter of food as high as Meng Guang raised his eyebrows. They sing pieces from the Book of Song in the evenings to express their good wishes. May the Three-life Stone be carved with the wish that their feelings last." An official from the Department of State Affairs also congratulated the old general, Ye Zhengru, on his son's wedding.
"This happens to be the precisely auspicious year for weddings. Family and friends strive to matchmake a good marriage. The perfect pair has feelings as sweet as honey for each other. The sea warns, the mountain pledges, and the stone competes over strength. Warm and agreeable sisters-in-law are the result of a refined mother-in-law's teaching. The parents-in-law see that the daughter-in-law bears a heart filled with reverence. All of her philosophical teachings have come to fruit and all she needs is to learn to manage human relationships." The Crown Prince's Grand Tutor, Zhou Gongtai, congratulated the old general, Ye Zhengru, on his son's wedding.
It was just after 9 am.
The entrance of the General's Manor was as busy as the marketplace with noble guests coming one after another. This included the Grand Tutor and the Prefectural Magistrate. Nearly half of the imperial court had come. It was said that the Second Prince would personally take charge of the wedding.
Such a show clearly indicated the influence of the General's Manor. It was also a testament of the old General Ye's conduct.
The truth was that even if no one in the court had close relations with the General's Manor, the officials would still come. They didn't dare to do otherwise. Never mind other factors. The Ye family's 200,000-strong army, the army that Ye Zhengru personally trained and led through decades of war, was enough of a reason to come.
It was now 9:45 am.
Over at the west gate of the Luoyang City, an enormous bride-fetching procession entered the city amid the ringing of gongs and drums.
Ye Yunhai, mounted on a white horse from Northern Liang, led the procession. He wore a crimson robe with a strip of golden silk cloth tied around his waist. His black hair was styled into a tall bun that sat under a green jade-colored hat. His slender back was perfectly straight. His handsome and refined looks emanated a hint of innate nobility.
Eight famed generals from the General's Manor, as well as eight close friends and fellow White Horse Academy students, trailed behind Ye Yunhai. They were all lively and full of enthusiasm, mounted on large horses and dressed in luxurious clothing. Following behind them were the bride-fetching procession beating gongs and holding up damask silk fans. Naturally, the one in the middle was the bride's marriage palanquin. The procession involving a whopping eight famed generals of the Ye family's army was an impressive sight.
Eight carriers hoisted the palanquin steadily and reliably.
Lin Mei'er had lost her mother at a young age and had neither siblings, cousins, aunts, nor uncles. Thus, the one sending her off was naturally Lin Shan himself. It was an act of social climbing for a Jianghu man to marry his daughter into the General's Manor. In his eyes, it was a significant event like no other. It wasn't an exaggeration to say that this marriage would bring honor to his ancestors. He would personally come here today, no matter what. For this, he had discussed this with Lin Mei'er beforehand and concluded that she could skip the first return to her parental home. Both ceremonies would be conducted together with the two families splitting the responsibilities.
"The liveliness also proves that our family attaches great importance to this," was what Lin Shan told his daughter. However, he knew best that his daughter wasn't the only reason. He also wanted to meet someone, someone that he should have met 18 years ago.
He had yearned for that person day and night and suppressed that longing in the depths of his heart. Despite how much he yearned for that person, he never dared to show even the slightest hint of his feelings.
Lin Shan knew that she had been staying in that courtyard all along but he didn't dare to go. It wasn't until today that he managed to drum up his courage. He also finally had enough of a position and background that allowed him to openly walk past that manor's doors, enter that courtyard, and see that person. If nothing untoward happened, he would likely be able to exchange several words with her.
When the bride-fetching procession walked past the western gates, Ye Que entered the city through the southern gates.
Ye Que had gone to the Extinctive Sword Manor House early this morning, though the route he took differed greatly from the one Ye Yunhai took. He had set off from the black market all the way to the Manor House.
On his way there, several hundred medicinal pills were hidden in his sleeves. When he returned to Luoyang City, his sleeves were empty.
He pinched the pills into fine powder and scattered them in the air, beginning from the black market in Luoyang all the way to the Extinctive Sword Manor House. Then, he infiltrated the Manor House and found their sword-forging smelting furnace. He threw almost one hundred pills into the furnace.
The pills disintegrated the moment they became bathed in fire and turned into green smoke. The green smoke of medicinal Qi wafted through the air.
Its aroma could be found within 50 kilometers of the Manor House!
However, humans were unable to smell this aroma. It was evident only to demons.
In the Demon World, such pills were called Beast Spiritual Pills. The ingredients needed for production weren't at all uncommon but its refinement technique was peculiar, making the success rate low. Thus, very few of these pills exist and the rarer something was, the more valuable it was. Naturally, these pills became something a rare item deeply coveted by the demons.
Moreover, the Beast Spiritual Pills was a medicinal pill essential for a demonic beast's transformation.
The transformation of a demonic beast was equivalent to a cultivator entering the Psychic Realm.
It went without saying how important this was.
The fact that the aroma had been fermenting in Luoyang for quite some time meant that the demons nearby Luoyang City had long had their eye on the Beast Spiritual Pills. The clues all led to the Extinctive Sword Manor House. Then there was also the ground powder scattered in the air as well as the aroma coming from the furnace inside the Manor House thanks to Ye Que.
This was akin to tossing dynamite onto a fire spark.
The explosion would be instantaneous!
Not long after Ye Yunhai's bride-fetching procession left, nearly a thousand demonic beasts of every shape and appearance emerged from all directions of the Extinctive Sword Manor House.
If Ye Que was there, he would certainly recognize them.
There was Lihao with a face like that of white ears and a body that lay prostrated as it walked; Zhesu, with a body that resembled both a horse and a deer and a scarlet tiger-like tail, Fuchi, with its sheep-like body, nine tails, four ears, and eyes on its back; Qujiao, with its three-foot body and human face, whose cry was taken to be its name...
There were more than ten young men riding on the Three-eyed Bloody Wolves behind these herd of demonic beasts. Their features were clearly defined and their wild nature was blatant for all to see.
The moment the firecrackers went off in front of the General's Manor, the herd of demonic beasts outside the Extinctive Sword Manor House also charged down from the hill.
"The auspicious time has arrived!"
"Will the bride please get down from the marriage palanquin!"
Following a loud and clear cry, Ye Yunhai personally pushed aside the beaded curtains of the palanquin for Lin Mei'er and supported her through their stroll into the General's Manor. The bride-fetching procession as well as the team that sent off the bride filed into the General's Manor as well.
Lin Shan wasn't in a rush to move forward and entered only after the group of youngsters did. Today, he was Ye Yunhai's father-in-law and the in-law of the general's family. Naturally, there was a particular servant welcoming him in. Honored guests were always the last to go on stage, after all.
Perhaps the two families' ostentation had gotten a little out of hand. The number of guests present at the wedding was overwhelming. For a moment, he wasn't able to enter through the main entrance.
With his waist bent, Steward Sun addressed Lin Shan next to him and said loudly, "Manor Master, it's a good thing, it's a good thing that there are so many people. This sure is amazing; as expected of the General's Manor!" In such a crowd, speaking in a soft voice was as good as not speaking at all.
"Of course, it's great. You have to see who's the bride." Lin Shan laughed heartily.
Out of the blue, two youngsters walked over to Lin Shan with a smile on their faces. They acted so familiarly that from afar, they looked like they were his family members.
The youngster who stood a little ahead of the other suddenly asked, "Do you have to be that happy over marrying off a daughter?" He finally turned his face to Lin Shan. It was Ye Que.
Even though there was so much noise around and Ye Que's voice wasn't loud, his words reached Lin Shan's ears as clear as day.
"Have you ate well this morning, Manor Master Lin? Is there still space in your storeroom to keep your piling weapons? You're sure ruthless; you can even imprison your disciples in the dungeon. Aren't you worried about people stabbing you in the backbone? But the way I see it, it's not like you made a mistake. Everyone already knows that the sabers and swords that your Extinctive Sword Manor House produce aren't even as strong as paper. You might as well just give them away, lest they cloud your mind!"
Ye Que spoke leisurely without a change in expression. He was still smiling.
"So you're the one behind all these!" Lin Shan's expression fell and his anger instantly flared up.
"Correct," Ye Que replied frankly. He then pointed to the cutouts of the word "happiness" pasted on the doors of the General's Manor. "This word is written really beautifully!"
"You brat! Have you gotten bored of living?" Lin Shan asked fiercely. However, he swiftly suppressed his anger. Today was his daughter's wedding. He mustn't cause trouble no matter what.
Regardless if he won or lost this argument, he would be embarrassing both himself and his in-laws.
"Vent your anger while you still can. You won't have the time to do so later."
Ye Que had just finished speaking.
A paper sword suddenly appeared!
The sword broke through the air!