Chapter 0204: Among the Princes

The First Princess was clad in an imperial gown of rich brocade, her hair done up with dangling, golden ornaments that flashed and tinkled with each movement of her head.

Her voluptuous chest was the only exception to her otherwise slender figure, although her royal bearing was enough to discourage too blatant an interest in it.

Li Luo had to admit that the First Princess was one of the few in the Astral Sage College who could compete with Jiang Qing'e in looks.

Right now, she was regarding the two of them with a warm smile.

"Greetings to the First Princess."

They bowed.

She exchanged a few pleasantries with Jiang Qing'e, then turned to him with a small smile. "Li Luo's informed about that, I trust?"

He assumed it was about healing the little emperor, and nodded. "I'll do my best, but I hope Your Highness will not get your hopes up too high."

"Have no fear," she said softly, a shadow crossing her face. "That is something I've gotten used to after all these years."

She merely aimed to pull relations with Jiang Qing'e closer, an unspoken understanding that both parties were inclined to.

Li Luo nodded. He knew well enough too, but it was always better to clarify.

"Shall we go in?" The First Princess ushered the two into the building with a smile.

The inside of the building was as bright as day, and the closed walls amplified voices and sounds to create an even livelier atmosphere.

People were scattered in twos and threes across the spacious hall. Each of them represented powerful interests.

"Jiang Qing'e, I didn't expect you two to be in the mood for a celebration, considering the sad state of affairs House Luolan is in." A hostile voice greeted them.

It was none other than the fiery Duze Honglian, with her brother by her side.

"I didn't expect you to be in the mood for a celebration either, considering the one-sided bloodbath in our last fight," Jiang Qing'e replied blandly.

Duze Honglian's jaw muscle twitched.

"Honglian, watch yourself carefully, lest you make a farce of the place we are in," the First Princess said with a small smile.

Even Duze Honglian was respectful to the First Princess. She sheathed her anger and raised her glass. "As wise as you always are, Your Highness."

With a parting look of spite at Jiang Qing'e and Li Luo, she turned and left.

"Duze Honglian has continued to nurse her anger for all these years after you crushed her," the First Princess noted.

"If she loses in strength, then words are all she can fight with. The next time we face off, I will crush her even harder. Perhaps it will register in her memory longer," Jiang Qing'e said quietly.

Well, it looked like the enmity ran fast and free both ways.

She changed the topic. "Many braves are here to win the Golden Dragon Secret Keys. Li Luo, you fit the criteria, and can definitely give it a try."

Li Luo smiled. "It looks like I have stiff competition. I'll give it a crack and see if I'm lucky, I guess."

As he spoke, he suddenly spotted a familiar figure standing in the harsh light up ahead.

A body built like a brute, and as mute as the pillar he stood beside. He spoke to no one, and no one dared to go near him either.

Qin Zhulu.

That guy was invited too? It made sense, given that Qin Zhulu's father was a great general in the Xia Kingdom’s royal court.

Once he spotted Qin Zhulu, Li Luo suddenly realized that familiar faces were everywhere. Schoolmates like Wang Hejiu were also present, and there were also Two Star Hall students.

Like the guy he had met with Jiang Qing'e previously, Ye Qiuding. And another figure scowling at him.

It was none other than the guy who had helped Song Qiuyu back at the Tianshu Province. Mo Ling, was it? From the Inkwater Villa.

Li Luo ignored him.

The crowd parted, and a man walked out, turning heads as he passed.

The man was an impressive figure—none other than Gong Shenjun.

He raised his glass in greeting. "Junior Jiang and Junior Li Luo, greetings."

Both dipped their heads towards him.

"Luanyu, you seem closer and closer with Junior Jiang every time I see you two," he laughed.

"Surely there's no need to envy a relationship between girls?" the First Princess replied sweetly.

Gong Shenjun laughed, then lowered his voice. "There were movements with the royal guards today. Have you brought His Majesty out?"

"Royal Brother, well-informed as always."

"For something so big..." He looked at Li Luo. "Are you planning to let Junior Li Luo give it a try? You could have just invited him to the palace, you know? Well, I won't say too much, since you've already gone and done it. Just be more careful of His Majesty's safety next time," Gong Shenjun reminded.

"As you say, Royal Brother."

Gong Shenjun smiled at Li Luo. "We are in your debt. But no pressure, just do what you can." He smiled at Jiang Qing'e and left.

"Senior Gong Shenjun is truly a shining beacon," Jiang Qing'e said. "The royal court is lucky to have him."

The First Princess did not comment, but smiled lightly as she touched her glass to Jiang Qing'e's.

Li Luo kept his thoughts to himself. Too much greatness was not necessarily always a good thing.

An excited cheer came from the crowd as Yu Hongxi and Lu Qing'er walked in.

Yu Hongxi was leading the way, a middle-aged man by her side. He looked ferocious as a lion, especially with his mane of red hair.

"That's the lord of House Jiyan, Zhu Qinghuo," Jiang Qing'e said in a low voice to Li Luo. He saw that there was another youth by Lu Qing'er's side.

He had a head of red hair too and was a handsome devil as well.

"That's Zhu Xuan, his son. He's a Two Star Hall student, and he leads the Fire Fairy Squad, which is first in the Two Star Hall."

Li Luo's eyes widened. Ah, so this was the leader of the famous Fire Fairy Squad?

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