EIF - Book 04 Chapter 060: All Eaten
The Qian Heavenly Dynasty’s envoy would arrive in Major Metropolitan City soon.
This news quickly spread throughout the city. Discussions took place in various restaurants, inns, and taverns.
“What? Gu Hai is among the Qian Nation’s envoys? That vile person?”
“Vile person? How do you know that Gu Hai is a vile person?”
“Master Xi Kang already wrote about it, don’t you know? ‘The Army Returns on Arriving in the Han Nation’!”
“Ah? That vile person is Gu Hai?”
“Indeed. Master Xi Kang is a pillar of the calligraphy Dao, filled with noble spirit. How could he lie? Azure Foundation City, Mending Heaven City, and ten other cities were already my Yuan Nation’s in the first place. That Gu Hai took advantage of the war between the Qian Nation and the Yuan Nation to attack from behind. Isn’t this the action of a vile person?”
“That’s right. I heard that they even caught two scheming, vile people in Five Sacred Mountains Academy. Apparently, they are Gu Hai’s friends.”
“Birds of a feather flock together. Indeed, this Gu Hai is a sinister, scheming, vile person!”
Discussions about Gu Hai arose in various places.
In a private room on the upper floor of a restaurant:
Archduke Xi Kang showed a faint smile as he sat in that private booth. A group of white-robed men sat at the side.
“Archduke…,” one of the white-clad men said.
“Ha! This is not the capital. There is no need for these formalities.” Xi Kang shook his head.
“Yes, Principal. Word has already spread. Right now, the entire city is talking about it,” that white-clad man said.
Xi Kang nodded. “Gu Hai? That is the only loss my Northern Expedition Army suffered. With Gu Hai’s notoriety, it will make it easy for my Yuan Nation to take those twenty-four cities in the future!”
“Principal works hard for the Yuan Nation. With Principal in charge, my Yuan Nation is blessed,” that white-robed man said with a smile.
“Sharing His Reverence’s burdens is part of my duties,” Xi Kang said, smiling back while shaking his head.
“Principal, what are we going to do about those two?” that white-robed man suddenly asked with a frown.
“Huh? Purple Subtlety and Longevity?” Xi Kang asked.
“Yes. Since we captured them, we have kept them in Five Sacred Mountains Academy. Although this disciple does not deal with internal affairs, I heard from the people of the internal affairs department that these two eat a lot. We…,” that white-robed man said with a frown.
“Eat?” Xi Kang said, feeling puzzled.
That perplexed white-robed man explained, “Yes, the steward in charge of food complained to me a few times already. However, I also don’t know what to—”
“Absolutely disgraceful!” Xi Kang’s face sank.
“Huh?” Everyone immediately fell silent.
“The one in charge of food is Li Gang, right? Does he think that I don’t know about the small tricks he has been playing over the years? I only tolerated him because his father was a lecturer in my Five Sacred Mountains Academy in the past. To think that he dares to complain about providing food to two people?” Xi Kang’s expression turned cold.
“Oh.” Everyone nodded.
Indeed. How is this a major matter? If the two want to eat, then let them eat as much as they want. How much can two people eat? This Li Gang is becoming increasingly outrageous.
“These two vile people—Purple Subtlety and Longevity—will be useful in a few days. I will be depending on them to vent my Yuan Nation’s frustration. Don’t cause any trouble. If they eat a lot, just let them eat as much as they want. Also, don’t report this kind of trivial matter to me. I need to deal with the matters of Five Sacred Mountains Academy and the government’s affairs. You actually came to me about the food of two people? Do you think I have nothing better to do than to manage the food of two people?” Xi Kang said coldly.
“Yes!” That white-robed man immediately nodded in embarrassment.
“Keep watch at all times. When the Qian Nation envoys arrive, bring them to Five Sacred Mountains Academy,” Archduke Xi Kang said seriously.
Twenty days later:
The Qian Nation’s group finally arrived in Major Metropolitan City.
Gu Hai’s and Li Shenji’s flying ships stopped at a distance from Major Metropolitan City. Then, everyone looked at the city together.
Standing on the deck, Gu Hai narrowed his eyes. “So, this is the blessings cloud sea of an imperial dynasty?”
Gu Hai saw a huge city more than three times larger than Chaoge City. The white city walls seemed to extend infinitely.
The blessings cloud sea churning above Major Metropolitan City covered the entire city, appearing vast and boundless as it shone with golden light.
There was at least tenfold the amount of blessings the Han Royal Dynasty had.
However, there was something above the blessings cloud sea that the Han Royal Dynasty did not have—a five-thousand-kilometer-long golden dragon.
The gigantic dragon lay on the blessings cloud sea, apparently asleep.
As it inhaled while it slept, boundless blessings rushed into its nose. When it exhaled, surging blessings spewed out.
As the dragon lay there, it exuded a majestic might, appearing like it was heaven looking down at everyone.
“That is the blessings golden dragon that an imperial dynasty has. It absorbs the essence of the world and guards the imperial dynasty’s providence. When a golden dragon appears, an imperial dynasty is formed,” Bing Ji explained.
Indeed, compared to the Yuan Imperial Dynasty, the Han Royal Dynasty still had a long way to go.
“It is indeed majestic.” Gu Hai nodded.
“It is far from comparable to the Qian Heavenly Dynasty’s blessings.” Long Wanyu’s lips curled up.
Gu Hai looked at Long Wanyu with a faint, bitter smile.
A royal dynasty could not compare to an imperial dynasty in blessings. Naturally, an imperial dynasty could not compare to a heavenly dynasty in blessings. The situation appeared different from different perspectives.
“Mister Gu, you should send a messenger to Major Metropolitan City. We’ll wait here for them to open the gates wide and welcome us,” Li Shenji said from the other flying ship.
Gu Hai looked at Li Shenji and nodded.
Suddenly, a white-robed man flew over from the distance when Gu Hai was about to give some instructions.
“Might I ask if you are the Qian Nation envoys?” the white-robed man asked.
“That’s right. We are the ones!” Long Wanyu immediately yelled.
“Everyone, please come with me,” the white-robed man said seriously.
“Oh?” Long Wanyu appeared slightly confused. As she was about to call someone to pilot the flying ship to follow the white-robed man, Gu Hai suddenly stopped her.
“Hah! The Yuan Imperial Dynasty? Imperial Emperor Xi Yu is putting on such great airs, sending a nobody like you to receive the envoy’s group?” Gu Hai said with a cold smile.
Li Shenji also looked at that white-robed man coldly.
Clearly, this did not conform with customs. Furthermore, such a cold welcome was a severe slighting of the Qian Heavenly Dynasty.
“Everyone misunderstood,” the white-robed man protested with a smile.
“Oh?” Gu Hai said coldly.
“His Reverence is currently in closed-door cultivation, so he did not receive word of your visit. As a result, my Yuan Imperial Dynasty’s ministry of rites took responsibility for receiving everyone. We have been preparing for many days, and most of the officials are already waiting at Five Sacred Mountains Academy to welcome the Qian Nation envoys with a grand banquet. This humble one is only the guide,” the white-clad man said with a smile.
“Oh? Welcome us with a grand banquet? Ha! Why not at Major Metropolitan City but at Five Sacred Mountains Academy, outside the city?” Gu Hai asked seriously.
“Archduke Xi Kang said that since His Reverence is currently in closed-door cultivation, everyone can only be housed at the embassy. The embassy is quiet and secluded, incomparable to the Five Sacred Mountains Academy’s cultured air. We have already designated the best area for the Qian Nation envoys to stay at as a welcome.” The white-clad man smiled.
Gu Hai looked at Li Shenji.
Li Shenji frowned at Gu Hai.
Eventually, the two nodded.
“Lead the way, then!” Long Wanyu called out.
“Alright. Everyone, this way, please.”
Guided by the white-clad man, the two flying ships headed towards a foggy region north of the city.
That place was a mountain forest shrouded in fog, appearing indistinct like it was paradise.
The flying ships entered the fog and went straight to the summit of a large mountain, which had a large plaza with many buildings.
At this moment, many officials were waiting in the plaza.
However, Gu Hai could tell that these officials had rushed over. Some of their clothes were still untidy.
“Ha!” Gu Hai did not point this out, letting the white-robed man lead the flying ships to the plaza.
When Gu Hai looked over to the officials in the plaza, he found that he recognized three of them.
Mo Yike, Qin Zibai, and Chang Sheng? All three of them are here?
However, these three were standing behind a man in official robes with golden thread embroidery.
That man at the very front showed a faint smile.
However, Gu Hai felt that this person was hiding something behind that smile.
“Yuan Imperial Dynasty’s Xi Kang, leading the Yuan Nation’s officials, greets the Qian Nation envoy!” Xi Kang smiled after taking a step forward.
“Alright, alright! You may dispense with the formalities. Rise!” Long Wanyu said.
Xi Kang’s smile froze. Did I say the wrong word earlier? I said greets, not salutes. Rise? Do I need you to permit us to rise?
If Long Wanyu were another person, Xi Kang would teach her a lesson. However, she represented the Qian Heavenly Dynasty, so he could only pretend not to have heard it.
Led by Gu Hai, Long Wanyu jumped off the flying ship. Sima Feng and Li Shenji also followed.
After seeing Long Wanyu, Xi Kang looked at the people behind her and suddenly noticed Gu Hai.
Xi Kang suddenly revealed a faint smile. “This must be the Han Royal Emperor, Gu Hai, right? Indeed, a young hero!”
Gu Hai smiled faintly. “Archduke Xi Kang is too polite. Right now, I am just the Elite Hall Master, here to accompany Princess Wanyu.”
As Gu Hai spoke, he looked at the crowd.
“Ha! Mister Mo, it has been a long time!” Gu Hai skipped past Archduke Xi Kang and looked at Mo Yike.
Mo Yike showed a faint, bitter smile. Right now, it is Archduke Xi Kang welcoming the envoys. I cannot overstep the host. By greeting and asking after me, Gu Hai is digging a trap for me.
Mo Yike just gave Gu Hai a slight bow but did not say anything.
“Archduke Xi Kang? I recall that you wrote a poem about Hall Master Gu?” Li Shenji interjected with a smile.
After speaking, Li Shenji turned to Gu Hai, waiting to see Gu Hai’s reaction. He wanted to start a conflict between Gu Hai and Archduke Xi Kang.
“Poem? Yes, I did write a poem. Ha! Since Lord Li already knows about it, Mister Gu should know about it as well, right? I wonder, what does Mister Gu think of my clumsy work?” Archduke Xi Kang said as he looked at Gu Hai.
I called you a vile person. What do you think about that? Archduke Xi Kang showed a faint, cocky smile.
Gu Hai turned his head to look at Archduke Xi Kang.
“Clumsy work? Ha! Since Archduke Xi Kang called it a clumsy work, then I won’t evaluate it,” Gu Hai said, smiling as he shook his head.
Everyone spoke cordially. However, Gu Hai’s words made Archduke Xi Kang feel stifled and flustered.
Calling my poem clumsy work was just being humble. Did you really take it as clumsy work?
“That’s right. I heard the guide say that Archduke Xi Kang had been preparing for many days and planned to welcome us with a grand banquet. Haha! I can see that some of the officials…” Gu Hai looked at a particular official.
That official might have come in a rush; he was wearing his official hat backwards.
Clearly, there would have been time to prepare if they had welcomed the envoy group at the city gates. However, they welcomed the envoy group at Five Sacred Mountains Academy. When the officials received the news, they had to rush over. As they had done so in a fluster, they messed up.
Archduke Xi Kang’s face sank as he glared at that official.
“That’s right. I have indeed prepared for many days. The Qian Nation envoy is here. How can my Yuan Nation not observe etiquette? Naturally, the welcoming banquet will be grand. Set up the banquet!” Archduke Xi Kang called out.
Silence answered Archduke Xi Kang.
Archduke Xi Kang waited for a while, but there were still no movements.
The officials behind also appeared confused. The archduke and we did just arrive, but Five Sacred Mountains Academy should already have an organized system. How could they be slow with such a thing?
After there were still no movements for a while, Archduke Xi Kang felt depressed. “Li Gang, get out here!”
Soon, a white-robed man approached with a bitter expression.
“I told you to set up the banquet. Did you not hear me?” Archduke Xi Kang said coldly.
“I heard…I heard it!” Li Gang said bitterly.
“Then, why are you not doing it?” Archduke Xi Kang asked, feeling depressed.
Archduke Xi Kang knew that this Li Gang was not reliable, but even so, Li Gang should not have dropped the ball on such an important occasion.
“We can’t set up the banquet,” Li Gang replied bitterly.
“Huh? What do you mean we can’t set up the banquet?” Archduke Xi Kang asked with raised eyebrows.
After this is over, I can’t keep this troublemaker around anymore. This is outrageous. To think that you dare to talk back to me at this time? Don’t you see that we have foreign envoys here?
“Those two ate everything here. There is nothing left for setting up a banquet!” Li Gang explained bitterly.
Archduke Xi Kang could not wrap his head around that explanation.
He only understood after a while. “What do you mean ‘ate everything’? Those two? How did they eat everything? You are speaking nonsense!”
“I’m not. I’m not at all. Archduke, you said to let them eat as much as they wanted, so I did. They ate everything. They really ate everything!” Li Gang complained bitterly.
“What do you mean ‘ate everything’? All the food in my Five Sacred Mountains Academy is not sufficient for the two of them?!” Archduke Xi Kang shouted.
“It really was not enough. We even went to Major Metropolitan City to buy a lot more, but they still ate everything up,” Li Gang said bitterly.
“How impudent!” Archduke Xi Kang appeared skeptical.
“It’s true! Those two are glutton spirits! Archduke, there really is nothing left!” Li Gang felt like crying.
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