Chapter 1021 - The Emperor’s Birthday Feast
As the Ice Wind Empire carried the title of “empire”, it naturally possessed considerable national power. Its territory was even larger than the entire Profound Sky Continent itself, and it was publicly acknowledged as the second strongest country in northern Snow Song Realm, next to the Sacred Amethyst Empire that was at the northern border.
Furthermore, because the two countries were at the borders, they would occasionally have friction between them, but the Scared Amethyst Empire was definitely the stronger party.
However, Mu Hanyi appeared in the Ice Wind Empire, and when the rumours circulated that Mu Hanyi was the most likely candidate to become the next direct disciple of the Realm King, the Sacred Amethyst Empire no longer dared to act arrogantly in front of the Ice Wind Empire. Furthermore, every year of their own accord, they would even dispatch an envoy to cross over millions of kilometers in order to offer Ice Wind Empire a gift.
Because of this, though the Ice Wind Empire’s national power was weaker than the Sacred Amethyst Empire’s, in recent years, there was a faint trend that it would soon become the strongest country in the north. And, if Mu Hanyi was truly going to become the Realm King’s direct disciple, then becoming the number one country in the Snow Song Realm due to their country’s fame was but something natural.
The great hall was crowded. The first thousand years of the Ice Wind Emperor was a considerably huge matter. The people who were seated in the hall were all authoritative figures of Ice Wind, powerful figures following on the profound way, along with envoys from the various countries.
The moment one entered the great hall, the most eye-catching person was a youth dressed entirely in purple clothes. He was seated at the high seats with a vague smile, carrying an extravagant demeanor which he seemed to be born with. Seeing Feng Huita and Feng Hange, who left their seats earlier, return with the Situ Family, Mu Hanyi, and Yun Che, his gaze quickly and meticulously swept across every single one of them. Following after, he slowly stood up with a face revealing a playful and faint smile.
“Oh? Isn’t this Region Lord Situ? I have long heard that your daughter possessed outstanding talent, and was admitted into Ice Phoenix Palace when she was just a young teen, and had been taken in as Fairy Bingyun’s disciple. An achievement truly worthy of congratulations.”
The moment he saw this purple-clothed youth, Situ Xiongying was clearly stunned, as he cried out involuntarily. “T-the Sacred Amethyst Crown Prince!”
This purple-clothed youth was actually the current crown prince of the Sacred Amethyst Empire!
The first thousand years of the Ice Wind Emperor was not a small matter in the Ice Wind Empire, but when it came to other countries, dispatching an envoy to pay tribute was all that was necessary. However, from the Sacred Amethyst Empire, the country with the most national power north of Snow Song Realm, the crown prince himself had actually personally made a visit. His arrival was truly an exaggerated matter, and it was no wonder Situ Xiongying would be this dumbfounded.
The Sacred Amethyst Crown Prince slightly smiled, his gaze shifted towards Mu Hanyi. “Thirteenth Prince, it’s been a long time. It’s been seven years since we last met, and as expected, your present demeanor has far surpassed the past’s. Just by looking at you, I can see that your title of being number one in the younger generation of Snow Song isn’t just an empty rumor. However, it’s truly a little unfortunate that you were unable to become the direct disciple of the Realm King.”
“Other than Prince Hanyi, two other esteemed guests from Divine Ice Phoenix Sect are actually here as well. It’s no wonder Ice Wind Emperor would personally give his welcome. My apologies! It seems the divine sect truly values your esteemed country really heavily.”
The Sacred Amethyst Crown Prince carried a smile and his words were filled with courtesy as he exuded the demeanor of the crown prince of a country. However, not a single person present was a simple figure, so how could they not possibly understand the meaning behind his words? Every single one of his words contained mockery and heart-piercing sarcasm.
He was ridiculing the Ice Phoenix Emperor for often saying that Mu Hanyi would soon become the direct disciple of the Realm King. However, in the end, everything came to nothing. As such, the deterrence towards the Sacred Amethyst Empire that had lasted for many years had naturally disappeared without a trace from that moment.
Not to mention, the sentence, “it seems the divine sect truly values your esteemed country really heavily,” was even more so absolutely clear sarcasm.
Furthermore, earlier, when Ice Wind Emperor Feng Huita received Mu Hanyi’s voice transmission which stated that he was “coming with two esteemed guests from Divine Ice Phoenix Empire”, it was if he had heard a celestial melody and had announced it on-site out of excitement, before bringing along a few people and personally charging out of the great hall to welcome them. This event had even aroused the anxiety, eagerness, and envy of the guests in the great hall… After all, receiving personal congratulations from important figures of Divine Ice Phoenix Sect for a birthday was definitely a great honor.
However, the two people dressed in the snow robes of Divine Ice Phoenix Sect next to Mu Hanyi were not only extremely young, their profound strengths were both merely at the Divine Origin Realm as well. How could they possibly be important figures? They were just two disciples, and furthermore, disciples of a low rank.
Dispatching disciples that were far from being comparable to Mu Hanyi to participate in the birthday feast… This was simply carefree to the point of being beyond carefree itself. It was akin to not dispatching them in the first place.
The people in the great hall personally witnessed these two “esteemed Ice Phoenix guests”, and their eagerness and envy instantly turned into shock and disappointment. Furthermore, a few of the envoys and lords from other countries were sighing inwardly, and even secretly laughing to themselves.
When the news of Mu Hanyi failing to become the direct disciple of the Realm King spread, the national might of the Ice Wind Empire had already worsened greatly. Additionally, in this Thousandth Birthday Celebration, Divine Ice Phoenix Sect actually dispatched two low ranking disciples … If this piece of news were to spread as well, the national might of the Ice Wind Empire would undoubtedly fall once more. There was even a possibility that they would become a laughing stock.
In the past few years, because of Mu Hanyi, the Sacred Amethyst Empire had significantly shrunk back in the face of the Ice Wind Empire. But now, the Sacred Amethyst Empire dispatching the crown prince himself, was most likely in order to bear witness to the laughable state of the Ice Wind Empire. In the eyes of the crowd, the ridiculing he did earlier was more than just plain unscrupulousness.
Mu Hanyi returned a courteous bow as he carried an elegant smile, as though he was completely unaware of the ridicule behind those words. “Many thanks to the Sacred Amethyst Crown Prince for your praise, Hanyi is humbled by them. The immense love the sect master has towards our Ice Wind Empire is something we cannot hope to repay. To have the Sacred Amethyst Crown Prince personally make a visit today, Hanyi is truly pleasantly surprised beyond words. After this feast, we must have a small chat for old times sake.”
“Hahahahaha.” The Sacred Amethyst Crown Prince laughed out loud. He slowly returned to his seat and no longer spoke a word. However, he continued to carry that seemingly meaningful smile on his face.
Though Feng Huita was angered in his heart, he kept his feelings in check on the surface and raised his hand. “Hange, bring Region Lord Situ’s family to their seats, this…”
Facing Yun Che, Feng Huita’s voice stopped. Earlier, because he was overwhelmed with disappointment, so he did not exactly pay attention to Yun Che’s name. At this moment, he was actually having trouble remembering it, but fortunately, he quickly changed his way of addressing him. “This esteemed Ice Phoenix guest, why don’t you have a seat with Region Lord Situ and his family?”
Before Feng Huita’s voice completely fell, Situ Xiongying had already turned around, seated himself at the seat motioned to by Feng Hange, picked up a cup, and drank the contents entirely… Clearly, he was rejecting being seated with Yun Che.
Due to the awkwardness, for a moment, Feng Hange did not know if he should call out to Yun Che to take up his seat. Then, he heard Mu Hanyi’s voice. “Royal Father, it is slightly inappropriate for Senior Brother Yun Che to be seated with Region Lord Situ.”
As he spoke, he reached out his hand. “Senior Brother Yun Che, please take the high seats. If you have any requests, simply let Hanyi know.”
The direction Mu Hanyi’s hand was facing was actually next to the throne—the seat next to Ice Wind Emperor Feng Huita!!
His action and words stunned everyone present. Feng Huita was immensely shocked, and then, he alarmingly said, “Hanyi, you… earlier, you addressed him as… senior brother?”
It was unclear if there were any intentions behind it, but Mu Hanyi displayed a look of sudden realization right at this moment. “T-this… It’s been a long while since this son has returned to the country, and was too overwhelmed with joy when seeing Royal Father. I have actually forgotten about such a huge matter.”
He stood next to Yun Che and said with an incomparably stern look, “Royal Father, Senior Brother Yun Che isn’t just my senior brother. Royal Father must be aware that the Realm King has just taken in a new direct disciple half a month ago, and this direct disciple is precisely Senior Brother Yun Che.”
Mu Hanyi’s words instantly silenced the entire great hall. The words “Realm King” and “direct disciple” had especially shocked everyone as if lightning had suddenly struck down from clear skies, their faces paling.
As the emperor of a country, even Feng Huita was stunned for a long while before regaining his senses. The face that was filled with valiance and might earlier was instantly covered with fear. Even his body, which carried the prestige of an emperor, hurriedly bent down, as he spoke with sincerity and fear. “Y-young Yun… So you’re actually… We… Ah, no, this little king did not have the eyes to recognize Mount Tai. Not only was I unable to welcome you from afar, I have several times displayed such misconduct. I hope Young Yun can forgive… forgive my sins…”
Feng Huita was a little incoherent with his words due to fear. Before he had even finished speaking, the back of his head was already drenched in cold sweat. His gaze shifted away, and with a blaming tone, he said, “Hanyi, Young Yun is an esteemed guest of heavenly capacity, h-how… how can you not inform us of this matter at all?”
If he had known that the Realm King’s direct disciple would visit, not only would he have personally welcomed him, welcoming him from ten thousand kilometers out was the least he would do.
Mu Hanyi smiled and said, “Royal Father, it is not this son that’s unsensible. Though Senior Brother Yun Che has an esteemed status, he is modest and kind, and he has never bullied others with his status. In fact, he has always thought of others. He was afraid informing you prematurely would overwhelm and influence Royal Father’s birthday celebration so did not want me to inform you beforehand. Senior Brother’s order is something this son can’t disobey… However, due to excitement, I was unable to inform Royal Father quickly about Senior Brother Yun Che’s status. This is indeed my mistake, and I am willing to be punished by Royal Father.”
Yun Che courteously said, “Ice Wind Emperor, there’s no need for such formalities. This junior is here to congratulate you in my Master’s name. Behaving in such a manner would instead make this junior uncomfortable.”
Though Yun Che was simply doing a junior’s courtesy bow, it had stunned Feng Huita to take a step back as he returned the bow in a fluster. “Y-young Yun, how can that be? It was this little king… who did not provide a good reception, come quickly… please take the high seats, take the high seats.”
Feng Huita’s head was still sweating. His voice and body were still trembling as before. It was not because his mental fortitude was weak, rather… the person in front of him was the direct disciple of the Realm King! The lord of a country was indeed a respectable status, but compared to the direct disciple of the Realm King, that was simply an existence of another plane. In front of the direct disciple, he could merely be addressed as a “little country lord”.
Forget about the first thousand years, even the celebration of his first ten thousand years was not an event someone would dare think of having a person of such status to attend. If a hall master were to visit, it could already be considered to be a heavenly gift. Agitation, shock and fear were but a small part of what he was feeling, as he was mostly overwhelmed by a sense of loss and utter disbelief.
Feng Huita was not the only one who was shocked and at a loss. Crown Prince Feng Hange looked as if he had been petrified, as he stood there, not daring to move nor speak. The guests in the great hall had all long since stood up, their eyes towards Yun Che all carried deep fear and respect.
The news of the Snow Song Realm King taking in a new direct disciple had long spread throughout the entire Snow Song Realm. They did not know his name, but they were aware that he came from the lower realm and that though his profound strength was merely at the entrance of the divine way, he possessed talent that could be said to be unprecedented. He completely defeated Mu Hanyi and Mu Feixue in the test, and his future was limitless… However, never ever did they expect, nor did they dare to believe, that he would actually attend an emperor’s birthday feast. Furthermore, he was even standing before their eyes.
The Sacred Amethyst Crown Prince had also stood up as well, but his face no longer even carried the slightest bit of his delighted smile from before. His face with handsome features had turned deathly pale, and under immense fear, he had completely lost the might and demeanor of a crown prince. Every single hair of his body was covered in a bone-piercing chill.
No one could possibly forget the arrogant ridiculing remarks he made right in front of Yun Che earlier.
“He’s… actually… the direct disciple of the Realm King from the rumors.” Madam Situ’s mouth was agape, and she finally managed to close it after a long while. “We actually made him walk behind us earlier, that’s truly… an immense misconduct. Eh? Xiongying? What’s wrong?”
Situ Xiongying’s body was straight and stiffened, yet his face was as pale as paper. The pupils in his eyes enlarged and then contracted the next moment. His entire body trembled like a sieve, and the wine cup his hand had unconsciously held tightly onto had long drenched his body with wine from the trembling, but he had yet to realize this matter.
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