The music and dancing marked the true beginning of the banquet. All kinds of delicacies were brought up, and fine wine filled their cups.
However, although this wine was also excellent and made by the Wine God Palace’s disciples, it was just ordinary wine to them. It didn’t contain any realm within it.
To Long Chen, Xia Yunchong, and Xia Youluo who had drunk those disciples’ best wines, it tasted more like water.
But the Grand Han’s people were immediately filled with praise as they drank it. At this time, Li Wanji returned, much calmer than before. But she still didn’t dare to look at Long Chen.
The Wine God Palace offered some of their wine for the Grand Xia’s national events to entertain guests. But this wine could not be sold or bought, it could only be gifted.
But there was no way the Grand Xia would gift the Grand Han any of this wine. Considering their tense relationship, just giving them some to drink right now was not bad.
That was why the Grand Han’s people found it almost impossible to taste the Wine God Palace’s wine. The majority of these people were tasting it for the first time. Now, they were doing their best to fill their stomachs with as much of it as possible, as if drinking just a little bit more was benefiting them.
Long Chen even saw someone stealthily put a half-full jug of wine into their spatial ring.
However, just a bit later, one of the attendants who came to fill up their wine saw that one of the jugs was missing. According to the rules, they had to replace the old jug with a new jug. All the jugs were counted.
The Wine God Palace’s wine jugs were special. They could be considered similar to medicinal cauldrons. The longer they were used, the more effective their sealing effect grew and the more precious they became. So the Wine God Palace had to take back their wine jugs.
The two maidens were holding new wine jugs. They looked at the two men of the Grand Han. For a moment, they didn’t know what to say. Without the wine jugs, they couldn’t give them new wine.
“What are you looking at? Someone already took away our wine jugs just now. Hurry up and pour us the new wine.” The man who had stolen the wine also felt something was off, and his embarrassment became anger as he shouted.
He didn’t know that while he could drink this wine, he couldn’t take the wine jugs. They were even more precious than the wine, and losing one or breaking one was a huge crime.
The two attendants’ expressions became unsightly. They didn’t know what to say and just lowered their heads, not saying anything. They didn’t leave, but they also didn’t put down the wine jugs in their hands.
“What do you think you’re doing? Are you saying I stole your wine?!” raged that man.
“Brother, you misunderstand. They don’t want your wine, they want that wine jug. If they’re missing a wine jug, they’ll at least be kicked out of the imperial city. A heavy punishment would be imprisonment. You can keep the wine you took, but you should hand over the wine jug. Do you have to make things hard on these two palace maidens?” said Long Chen, unable to keep watching.
“What nonsense. Aren’t you still saying that I stole the wine?!” raged that person. He had decided to refuse to admit it no matter what, because there was no way for him to admit to it. If he did, it would be too embarrassing.
“Youluo, now you see. The real Grand Han’s men aren’t refined gentlemen. After taking things, they refuse to even admit to it. Now they want two pitiable palace maidens to take the blame for it. I trust that even a child of the Grand Xia wouldn’t do such a shameless thing.” Long Chen looked at Xia Youluo helplessly.
Xia Youluo looked from this man to Han Wenjun. A distant expression appeared in her eyes. It seemed her beautiful dreams about the Grand Han’s arrival this time had been shattered.
“Pu Bucheng, shut your mouth. Hand it over, or I’ll immediately kill you,” ordered Han Wenjun, his expression dark.
That Pu Bucheng fellow immediately turned listless. He could only take out the wine jug from his spatial ring.
“I’m sorry everyone. This wine is just too good, and I wanted to leave some behind for my father. My apologies,” said Pu Bucheng extremely ashamedly.
This game again. Who do you think you’re fooling with such a thing? What a grand excuse to mask your own selfish desires. But seeing Xia Youluo’s anger fade, Long Chen knew that this foolish girl had fallen for it.
“Leave. From now on, you’re no longer a member of my Grand Han,” said Han Wenjun coldly.
“Grand prince, please give me a chance…” Pu Bucheng turned pale, his voice trembling.
“Pu Bucheng was simply doing his filial piety. It can count as forgivable. Prince Wenjun, you should be lenient,” said Xia Yunfeng.
As the host, he should do something as his guest beat a nobody. Otherwise, he wouldn’t appear magnanimous enough.
“Hmph, shouldn’t you thank the crown prince?” snorted Han Wenjun to Pu Bucheng.
Pu Bucheng immediately kowtowed and said a thousand thanks to Xia Yunfeng. Just like that, his offense of trying to steal the wine was excused, and he even received a name for being devoted to his father. Long Chen grumbled inside over how ridiculous that was.
After this, the atmosphere once more grew a bit awkward. The banquet ended in that awkward atmosphere, and everyone moved on to the Grand Xia’s Heavenly Cloud Platform.
This Heavenly Cloud Platform was also called the Star Peering Platform. Not only was it the tallest building in the Grand Xia, but it also possessed great historical significance.
It was a soaring tower that pierced the clouds. From the top, it was possible to overlook the scenery of the Grand Xia. It was the best observation tower in the Grand Xia.
It was also a grand place for cultural exchange. There was a huge stage at the front. Long Chen and the others sat down, and the dancers began to put on a beautiful show.
Once this grand dance was finished, the true cultural exchange between the two nations began. Beautiful women from the Grand Han also went onto the stage and danced.
Then they showed all kinds of different talents and skills. Once one side was done, the other side started. This was Long Chen’s first time seeing such a display.
Very quickly, the Grand Han began to show their opera skills. An intense and passionate melodramatic love story unfolded on the stage.
Within the story, the male lead was a rich young prince, while the female lead was a lowly farmer girl. A coincidental meeting caused the sparks of love to fly between the two of them without any reason.
The sparks grew brighter until it was blinding. In the end, due to the difference in status, the male lead encountered all kinds of obstructions and pressures. Just at that moment, a woman even more beautiful than the female lead appeared, one who was even more talented and did her best to pursue the male lead.
But the male lead only liked the farmer girl, and he went all-out to bring her into his circle. Then all kinds of bad people appeared in his circle and targeted the farmer girl.
Another grand prince also appeared by the farmer girl’s side, one who also liked her. The farmer girl had to go through all kinds of contrived melodrama in order to end up with the male lead.
To sum it up, there were always some unsolvable misunderstandings between the male and female leads. Whenever they were about to get past their problems, they would be interrupted.
The bad people were always smart, while the good people were always kind and foolish. The bad people were constantly causing trouble for the good people, but the miraculous thing was, the good people still managed to end up together, while the bad people either ended up reformed or shooting themselves in the foot, killing themselves.
In order to study the Grand Han’s culture, Long Chen watched seriously. In the end, the male lead and female lead finally ended up together, and the male lead said, “After thousands of bumps, after all these twists and turns, I finally reached today.”
Hearing this, Long Chen almost shit himself.
Fuck, you were clearly the stupid one who jumped into the obvious traps over and over again. You couldn’t tell between the good and bad people, and you simply repeatedly trusted the bad people, harming the good people.
This kind of brainless and contrived plot could only pique the interest of those children who lived a far too peaceful life. If such characters were placed in the merciless struggle of the cultivation world, Long Chen swore he would change his name if they could live to adulthood.
What made Long Chen speechless was that Xia Youluo was constantly wiping away tears, clearly completely enthralled in it. He had an urge to slap her. Had she gone completely brainless to believe such a melodramatic story?
He saw several other princesses quietly sobbing as well. He supposed the Grand Han’s ability in this regard did impress him. Looking at the men from the Grand Xia, he saw quite a few of them with tears in their eyes as well.
But that wasn’t from being moved, but from yawning. They were bored. This kind of plot made them incredibly sleepy.
“Long Chen, what’s with that expression? Don’t you feel like it was very moving? It was so difficult for them to get past all those setbacks and enticements. But they still unwaveringly trusted each other. This trust makes the perfect love,” rebuked Xia Youluo upon seeing Long Chen’s disproving expression.
“Love shouldn’t be an intense oath. In truth, it is as simple as quiet companionship. Perhaps that’s different from your ideal dreams, but you should try comparing reality to dreams. True love should be simple. Both sides guard over each other, occasionally fighting and bickering. They are all parts of love.” Long Chen shook his head.
The only kinds of people who loved such melodramatic things were people who had gotten used to peaceful lives and wanted stimulation.
As for Long Chen, he was the opposite. He was normally so stimulated that he was on the verge of dying, so stimulated that it drove him crazy. He longed for a peaceful life. He wished he could go live in the secluded mountains with his lovers without worrying about anything.
But people like Xia Youluo who lived peaceful lives felt their lives to be boring, and they wished for a romantic yet also thrilling love.
But in this world, being able to escape from peril every single time like that only existed in stories. She would never realize the price for true stimulation. It was a case of someone ignorant not knowing fear.
“Hmph, you’re too old to talk to.” Unable to reach a consensus with Long Chen, Xia Youluo left him and ran over to chatter with the other princesses.
After this play was over, the cultural exchange continued. One of those was chess. Seeing the chess pieces, Long Chen’s expression became odd. He also sensed Han Wenjun glaring at him, his eyes as sharp as blades.
He was still engrossed with the ‘your father is like me, I am your father’ story. Long Chen ignored him. If he came over, he wouldn’t mind telling an even more marvelous story.
The Grand Xia and Grand Han’s people displayed their singing and poetry, their skills in Go and chess, their scholarly knowledge, etc. Long Chen was watching with interest, as this kind of cultural inheritance was enthralling. When he encountered a marvelous experience, he would also clap along.
Some people from the Grand Han began to challenge Long Chen. Other than chess, they challenged him to an exchange of pointers. But Long Chen ignored them. The main thing was that Long Chen had no skill in those things, and he wouldn’t give them a chance to slap his face.
“I have some insignificant skill in the zither, and I heard that mister Long Chen is very skilled in musical theory. I hope mister Long Chen can grace me with his wisdom.” Suddenly, a red-robed maiden appeared on the stage, holding an ancient zither. She directly started to target Long Chen.Previous Chapter Next Chapter