Chapter 242: A Frightening Entourage to Propose Marriage
Since it was a public selection, it was rather normal for several entourages to put in an appearance.
However, Palace Head Ning was quite aware that this so-called “other entourage” was none other than that foreigner Qiao Baishi.
Who didn’t know that this public groom selection was something she had cooked up to advertise the alliance between the Southern and Northern Palace?
She’d also wanted to use the name of the Northern Palace to push out Qiao Baishi, making him realize his situation and beat a retreat in the face of difficulties maintaining his distance from her daughter.
Ning Qingyan’s alluring body shot to its feet. “Is it Baishi? Hurry and show them in.”
Palace Head Ning’s face darkened as she shouted, “Qingyan, sit down! What Baishi or Laishi? There’s only sir Xiao Yu today, here to propose marriage on behalf of the Northern Palace. I will consider no one else!”
Ning Qingyan wore an aggrieved expression. “Mother, are you the one getting married or am I the one getting married? What do your considerations have to do with me?”
“Parents have the final say in something as momentous as marriage.” Palace Head Ning was quite domineering.
She raised her eyebrows and called out, “Go, sweep that brat who doesn’t know how to appreciate a favor out the door. Tell him that the Southern Palace doesn’t welcome him, and that he should give up!”
The messenger stood there a bit awkwardly, not sure whether to leave or stay.
Palace Head Ning’s face froze, “What, are my words hot air? Go and throw them out, get the hell away!”
“Palace Head… this won’t be easy to do.”
“Why isn’t this an easy thing to do?!” Old woman Ning slapped the table.
“There are a lot of your friends in this new entourage.”
“Friends?” Palace Head Ning started. “Who?”
“Elder Fei from the Qingyang Valley, vice head Shi from the Myriad Treasures Palace, vice director Zhou from the Dragonteeth Guard… and Crown Prince Ye Rong. There are also quite a few other nobles and powerful characters.”
“What?” Palace Head Ning’s face was full of astonishment. “What are they doing here? Can it be that they know I am marrying off my daughter and have come to have a celebratory drink?”
“Judging from their posture, they look like they’re part of Qiao Baishi’s entourage.” The messenger had to respond truthfully.
“Impossible!” Old woman Ning shook her head immediately. “Qiao Baishi is just a foreign kid. He can send my daughter’s head spinning with some fancy words, but how would he be able to impose on these characters to come help him propose marriage? He must’ve just so happened to run into them coming to congratulate me. Hmph, swaggering about on borrowed influence, he’s just appearing together with them.”
She then turned her attention towards the senior executives of the Northern Palace, “Please take a seat honored guests; unfortunately, I cannot sit idly by now that so many guests have arrived.”
Northern Palace Head Liu Chengfeng knit his brow slightly. His intuition buzzed; even if this group of people had wanted to come and drink in celebration, wasn’t it too much of a coincidence for them to all come at this particular time?
Although he was a bit taken aback, he still maintained his gentlemanly demeanor. Liu Chengfeng chuckled, “Please do as you’d like, Palace Head Ning.”
Ning Qingyan didn’t need her mother’s summons to follow excitedly behind her.
“Qingyan, what are you doing coming with me instead of keeping the guests company?”
“Dearest mother, I’m so bored inside.”
Palace Head Ning snorted, “Damned girl, don’t blame me for not warning you. If that Qiao Baishi creates a fuss today, I’ll see to it that he doesn’t have an easy time of things!”
“Dearest mother, then I’m also telling you that I’m not marrying if I don’t marry Qiao Baishi!”
“Damned girl, must you really send me to an early grave from anger?!”
The mother and daughter duo had arrived outside the door as they spoke.
Seeing a bevy of familiar faces rather startled Palace Head Ning.
“Valley master Fei, vice head Shi, vice director Zhou, and Your Highness — and who might this young, handsome man be?” Palace Head Ning had never seen Jiang Chen before, and had no idea who he was whilst he was surrounded by the crowd.
“I am Jiang Chen, greetings to Palace Head Ning.” Jiang Chen smiled faintly.
Old man Fei however, immediately started clamoring about with that brass gong like voice of his, “Palace Head Ning, you can’t favor one more than the other! I’ve heard that the entourage from the Northern Palace has long since been sipping fine wine and tea, yet we stand out here suffering from cold and hunger. Not fair, this isn’t fair!”
This old man had always been an expert at quipping and pestering others endlessly. Although it seemed like he was protesting Palace Head Ning’s unfairness with his cries, he was actually conveying an important message that they were here to propose marriage.
Indeed, Palace Head Ning blanked, “Old man Fei, what are you talking about?”
Old man Fei laughed oddly, “Palace Head Ning, I’m really pissed off. The Northern Palace proposes marriage and so has my friend, but I hear that you’ve thrown my friend out and treats the Northern Palace as honored guests. I’d like to listen to your explanation of why a friend of mine is less than a so-called genius disciple from the Northern Palace?!”
Shi Xiaoyao was also someone who enjoyed making a good show even better. He chuckled, “Palace Head Ning, it’s your fault that you treat one side better than the other. Qiao Baishi is also my friend. Why is it that you’d rather select a Northern Palace disciple with absolutely no relationship with your Southern Palace, and not a handsome genius whom your daughter likes?”
Zhou Kai also smiled, “Big sister Ning, Qiao Baishi is a fine little fellow. I feel that his future won’t be less than that of the Northern Palace disciple.”
The Crown Prince smiled, “Let’s not stand here and talk in cramped quarters, why don’t we go inside and chat? Everyone’s here to propose marriage; we should have a fair competition, no?”
Since everyone had spoken up and Dan Fei was also here via Jiang Chen’s invitation, she couldn’t stand idly off on the sidelines. He’d accompanied her into the maze realm after all.
She smiled faintly, “Madame Ning, sister Qingyan and little Dan has always been like sisters. I know that she likes Qiao Baishi. Madame, little Dan dares not interfere with your decision, but even the honored tutor rather approves of Qiao Baishi.”
Old woman Ning felt completely ill at ease now.
She’d thought that these people had come to congratulate her. Who would’ve thought they were really here to propose marriage on Qiao Baishi’s behalf!
Her very brain hurt in this moment.
She hadn’t thought that a foreign kid would be able to convince so many great personages to come speak on his behalf!
Just what was going on?
She glanced at her daughter, seeing a smile of extreme joy unabashedly hanging on Ning Qingyan’s exquisite face.
But going back to the topic at hand, even Ning Qingyan had no idea what Qiao Baishi had done to have so many dignitaries come speak on his behalf.
One had to know that any one of these people could be considered a heavyweight of the Skylaurel Kingdom, playing momentous roles with all their decisions. Their combined influence was absolutely stronger than the Northern Palace’s entourage!
“The man whom I’ve selected will never let me down. Baishi, you’re the best!” Happiness and contentment was written all over her face as she looked at Qiao Baishi.
At the moment, Qiao Baishi was neither overly cocky nor too reserved.
“Palace Head Ning, although my birth is not as illustrious as that of a Northern Palace disciple’s, I firmly believe that no one can measure up to my genuine heart for Qingyan. After much contemplation, I also feel that as long as I work hard, my future accomplishments will absolutely not pale to those of a Northern Palace disciple.”
Old woman Ning had to reevaluate Qiao Baishi in this moment. She’d realized that since Qiao Baishi was in the habit of keeping a low profile, she’d really underestimated him before.
To be able to mobilize so many great characters, this man truly wasn’t simple. Regardless of what reasons lay behind all this, one thing was certain, and that was even Xiao Yu wouldn’t have so much face to invite so many to come make a case on his behalf.
Dan Fei’s last bit of words in particular made old woman Ning feel a bit panicked.
“Even the noble tutor knows Qiao Baishi? Exactly how deeply have I underestimated him before?”
Palace Head Ning clearly knew that it was not an easy thing to leave an impression in the noble tutor’s heart. It was even more difficult to receive a word of praise from the old tutor.
Regardless of whether Dan Fei’s words were true or false, her attitude more or less represented the noble tutor’s sentiments. Palace Head Ning had to treat this declaration seriously.
No matter what, she would be denying these people face if she swept Qiao Baishi out the door today.
Any of these distinguished individuals were people that the Southern Palace had no wish to offend!
If she offended these people as well, it would be immensely difficult for the Southern Palace to ally with the Northern Palace in the future.
“It looks like I must set my prejudices aside and view this matter seriously. I must give Qiao Baishi a fair chance. An alliance with the Northern Palace pales in value when compared to the consequences of offending these people.”
Palace Head Ning had rather let go of things when her thoughts traveled down this path.
“You are all luminous characters within the Skylaurel Kingdom. I am already beyond honored to have you come personally. The entourage from the Northern Palace has already arrived, and I have noted your sincerity. I won’t voice platitudes of being caught between two sides. Why don’t we let the two men engage in fair competition?”
“Please come inside.”
After all, Palace Head Ning was in charge of one of the four sites, she still possessed this bit of appropriate bearing. She welcomed them all inside when she thought through the matter.
The two entourages sat on two opposite sides, with no particular conflicts between them.
However, when Northern Palace Head Liu Chengfeng saw so many people surge in all of a sudden, he was privately on his guard. Although he greeted everyone cordially, his hackles were absolutely raised on the inside.
He had absolute confidence in the success of this marriage alliance and didn’t want anyone to ruin it.
Liu Chengfeng caught a whiff of danger when so many people suddenly appeared, all on Qiao Baishi’s side.
“Liu Chengfeng, don’t you exchange empty pleasantries with me. This old man is saying this today, my brother Baishi will be taking the girl home today!”
“Brother Baishi?” Liu Chengfeng and Palace Head Ning both started.
Although they knew that old man Fei had no compunctions about restraint and often shocked those present with his words, his eyes were also placed on top of his head and was quite particular. How would he call Qiao Baishi his brother?
“Indeed, Qiao Baishi is my good friend of many years, comparable to even blood brothers. Although your disciple is not bad, but save your efforts if you want to compete with my brother. Liu Chengfeng, I’d recommend you go home early and avoid making a fool out of yourself.“ Old man Fei said strangely.
Liu Chengfeng was displeased. “Old man Fei, even if your old man came, there’s no way my Northern Palace would give way in front of your Qingyang Valley, much less a random brother.”
Liu Chengfeng knew that he had to take a tougher tone at this time.