Chapter 172: The Ranking that Caused Everyone’s Mouth to be Agape with Shock
“In third place of this year’s gift segment - the Yellow Dragon Watching the Seas Painting.” All was calm before Dan Fei opened her mouth -- everyone present was flabbergasted after she’d spoken.
The Yellow Dragon Watching the Seas Painting?
Everyone was stunned. The Yellow Dragon Watching the Seas Painting was third? Wasn’t there something wrong here? Had Dan Fei gotten the order wrong?
Even first prince Ye Dai, for all his shrewdness and the effort he spent to display the gracious demeanor of someone who left matters of gain and loss up to fate, his face stiffened and lost all color when he heard these words.
“How is that possible?!” Lu Wuji couldn’t help but yelp. “The Yellow Dragon Watching the Seas Painting is only third? Sister Dan Fei, have you read out the placings in the wrong order?”
Lu Wuji thought the same as everyone else, that sister Dan Fei must surely have read the order out incorrectly. No matter how they looked at it, the Yellow Dragon Watching the Seas Painting easily surpassed all the other gifts.
It ranked only third? That meant there were two others in front of him!
Even Ye Dai’s first thought was that something was wrong with these results, not to mention Lu Wuji’s complete inability to accept them.
The others also wore a look of unimaginable queerness. Although they had continued to participate in the competition, but they had long since resigned themselves to fate. They felt that since the Yellow Dragon Watching the Seas Painting was surely first, they could only be able to vie for second and third.
Therefore, when they heard that the Yellow Dragon Watching the Seas Painting was third, these people were shocked but also delighted in the misfortunes of others. At the same time, some ambitious thoughts arose in their hearts.
“The Yellow Dragon Watching the Seas Painting is third? Doesn’t this mean I have a chance to fight for first? Perhaps the lordmaster hasn’t seen my gift before and particularly admired it?”
Many people had these notions in their minds.
“Sister Dan Fei, are you sure you aren’t mistaken? I can’t think it through. Everyone has seen these gifts, and what could better than the Yellow Dragon Watching the Seas Painting?” Ye Zheng also stepped out to protest against the injustice on Ye Dai’s behalf.
Dan Fei said faintly, “Ye Zheng, are you doubting the lordmaster’s eye?”
Ye Zheng suddenly felt flustered and hastily waved his hands, “I didn’t mean that at all. I was just wondering if you mixed up the order when you wrote down the rankings.”
Dan Fei flicked a glance at him, but her gaze was a bit remote.
This rather meaningful glance caused Ye Zheng to shrink into himself and shut his eyes quite appropriately.
Ye Dai’s mouth was full of bitterness. He saw all of sister Dan Fei’s reaction. This obviously wasn’t a mix up, but an indication that he really had ranked at number three.
And, by how sister Dan Fei was acting, it was apparent that she wasn’t even going to give him an explanation!
Ye Dai was dejected to the point of going crazy. He truly didn’t understand why this was happening!
Except, he also clearly understood that if he made a scene now, his image in Tutor Ye’s heart would likely take a huge hit.
He smiled wryly and retreated, bowing slightly, “Ye Dai thanks the honored tutor for his favor.”
Dan Fei nodded slightly and pitied him somewhat when she saw that he did not lose his composure. She wanted to explain as well, but how could she explain?
Tell him that this was a forgery? That would be an even greater blow than not explaining at all. A vaunted first prince gifting a forgery to the honored tutor, wouldn’t that be a great humiliation?
Therefore, the best decision was to not explain.
From Dan Fei’s eyes, Ye Dai seemed to see several hints that she couldn’t bear the situation, and so he felt a bit better. It was a good thing that sister Dan Fei was still nostalgic and valued old relationships.
Dan Fei composed herself and her bell-like voice sounded again, “In second place, the Swordteeth Flying Fox cub.”
Ye Rong was both startled and overjoyed when he heard this. He was happy that his ranking had been greater than first prince Ye Dai’s.
He was startled in that, he wasn’t first either?
But at this moment, it didn’t matter whether he was first or not. In either case, he’d suppressed first prince Ye Dai and thus he’d succeeded this time.
As he recalled the humiliation he’d suffered from the first prince just now, Ye Rong felt a surge of anger. He smiled faintly and completely ignored Ye Dai’s hostile gaze, bowing to Dan Fei. “Ye Rong feels deeply honored to receive the revered tutor’s favor, and many thanks to sister Dan Fei.”
Lu Wuji still didn’t want to accept things. “The Swordteeth Flying Fox is but a toy. To think that its ranking is higher than the Yellow Dragon Watching the Seas Painting, what’s with this ranking? Ai, I don’t understand it.”
Although he was murmuring under his breath, everyone present could hear him.
Dan Fei’s gaze was cold as it shot towards Lu Wuji. “And what the heck are you? Who are you to question something that the lordmaster has decided? Get out if you speak another word!”
Dan Fei had followed Tutor Ye since she was young. Even though she held no power and influence in her hands, no one within the entire Skylaurel Kingdom would dare treat this woman lightly.
This was because they all knew that this woman represented Tutor Ye!
Lu Wuji was a premier noble in the Skylaurel Kingdom, but he had absolutely no qualification whatsoever to behave atrociously at this sort of occasion.
To take a step back, even first prince Ye Dai was vastly unqualified to do so!
“Wuji, do not act wildly.” Although first prince Ye Dai rather admired Lu Wuji’s daring and brash style, the necessary pleasantries still had to be observed at an occasion like this.
Lu Wuji backed down with some embarrassment and a darkened face.
He couldn’t accept things at all, and felt that the first prince had been treated unfairly.
When Dan Fei was in a rage, she had her own allure, making the hearts of the young men present pound fiercely, as if a monkey was scratching at them.
“Alright. I now announce the gift that ranked first amongst this year’s gift segment -- the Nine Magnificence Dew Wine.”
Dan Fei also knew that if she just said the Nine Magnificence Dew Wine, these people probably wouldn’t even know which one it was. So she picked up that unassuming wine jug and held it in her hand, shaking it slightly to indicate the winner.
Dan Fei also felt this scene was a bit comical. After all, when this wine jug had been offered, it had elicited a round of laughter at the scene and everyone had treated it as a colossal joke.
And now, the item that had been like the ugly duckling had turned into a most stunning swan with a shake of its body, and become the jewel on a crown!
When her thoughts traveled here, even Dan Fei couldn’t help but cast a look of interest behind Ye Rong.
She was quite curious too, just where had Ye Rong found such an odd young man? And how had this young man taken out something that caused even the usually calm honored tutor to be a bit moved?
The Nine Magnificence Dew Wine? Dan Fei had no recollection of the existence of such a wine in her memories. She also knew that the old tutor would sometimes partake in some wine when he was bored and had nothing else to do.
However, the old tutor had never mentioned the Nine Magnificence Dew Wine.
Even Dan Fei, someone who’d been mentally prepared, felt that this was a bit surprising. Then, it went without saying that the reactions of those beneath the stage were in even more of an uproar.
Ye Dai hadn’t even known who had offered the gift when he first heard the words Nine Magnificence Dew Wine. But who wouldn’t recognize the wine jug in Dan Fei’s hands?
The gift that had just been an embarrassment and source of much mockery was now ranked first?
Was this a dream?
Ye Dai almost suspected that something was wrong with his eyes. He blinked, took a closer look, and discovered that there really was nothing wrong with his eyes.
It was indeed the shabby wine jug that Jiang Chen had carelessly taken out and offered just now.
People might have made a mistake if it had been anything else. But this wine jug, with its ridiculous appearance and unique design, was absolutely one of a kind.
No one would be able to imitate it even if they wanted to.
Lu Wuji’s eyes were as wide as saucers at the moment. He had an expression of someone seeing a ghost. At this moment, he was the biggest disbeliever of all.
A shabby wine jug had won first place. If he hadn’t been hectored by Dan Fei earlier, he almost wanted to hop out to question this decision and rain down a torrent of abuse.
But, reason told him that if he stepped out now, Dan Fei wouldn’t mind in the slightest if she threw him out. That would be the greatest loss of face.
Lu Wuji’s face was beet red as it flamed. He’d completely lost face. He really wanted to find a hole to crawl into. When this jug had been offered earlier, he’d been the one who jeered the hardest, and mocked that the sender was an uncommon, unique fool.
The truth had proven that he was the fool instead.
Ye Dai was also quite infuriated. He had never thought that the winning gift would be the wine jug.
He had been shamelessly boastful just now in requesting Dan Fei to remove this jug of wine, in case it left a bad impression and adversely impacted everyone’s mood.
This was practically the biggest joke. At this moment, he, Ye Dai, had thoroughly and utterly become a background, the background that proved to be the foil for this first place gift.
“Heh heh, big brother, to think that your eye for assessment would be wrong this time.” The person speaking wasn’t Ye Rong, but second prince Ye Qiao.
Ye Qiao was extremely hostile towards Ye Dai. When he wanted to offer his gift just now, he’d been rather embarrassed when the first prince had purposefully cut him off.
Now that he saw this opportunity, how could Ye Qiao let it go?
“Number four, I hadn’t thought that your schemes would be hidden so deeply. The saying goes well and speaks straight to your second brother’s heart. The outside is good jade, but the inside is rotten materials. Indeed, those that look nice and fancy aren’t necessarily good. On the contrary, those that don’t look like much may be the good items. I’ve learned much, truly learned much. I’ve really gained much knowledge this time. Number three, what would you say?”
Second prince Ye Qiao was undeniably a smooth talker. He’d embroiled his three main opponents with a small snippet of speech. He’d made a dig at the first prince and slapped his face, picking at Ye Dai’s scabs. On the other hand, he’d purposefully complimented Ye Rong to enflame the first prince’s hatred towards Ye Rong.
He’d also laughed at third prince Ye Zheng for good measure.
After all, when Jiang Chen had offered this jug of wine just now, third prince Ye Zheng was the one who’s raised the greatest fuss, voicing idiotic words like how the jug insulting the eyes and ears of others.
And now, it’d become the honored tutor’s hand-picked gift of first place. Wasn’t this the greatest slap in the face for Ye Zheng?
Ye Zheng’s face was full of dejection as he was speechless. He could only mutter, “And what are you so proud about? It’s not a gift that you offered.”
Ye Qiao laughed heartily, “Number three, everyone can admire a nice item together, why allocate responsibilities so clearly? You, ah, you, you’re just so impulsive and unreasonably offended by the smallest things.”
Fourth prince Ye Rong had finally recovered by now. To be honest, he’d been slightly disappointed when he learned that he was only in second place.
But when he heard that Jiang Chen was first, his entire being felt as though he was spontaneously flying into the sky. The great ascents and falls of his life had simply come too quickly.
He’d been the same as everyone else, and would’ve never thought that that uninteresting wine jug would become the gift that won first place.
His words in rebutting the first prince that the outside being good jade, but the inside being rotten materials had actually been to hint obliquely at the first prince himself, but who would’ve thought it would’ve turned out to be a prophecy that came true.
There truly was no way for the jug’s exterior appearance to be uglier, but who would’ve thought that what was contained inside would be such precious nectar that the honored tutor would hail as first place?
Feeling the gazes from all sides center in on him, Ye Rong had the feeling of exaltation upon fulfillment. He’d been suppressed by the first prince for so many years but had finally seen the day in which he experienced the sweet thrill of being the main character.
Despite the fact that it’d been Jiang Chen who’d brought this emotion for him, Ye Rong did not mind in the slightest. This was because at the moment, Jiang Chen was keeping quite a low profile in standing behind him and had absolutely no intention of stealing his thunder.
In this moment, Ye Rong felt very gratified and proud of himself. To think that he would unwittingly receive such rich rewards after traveling such a distance to the Eastern Kingdom, going out of his way to enlist the services of a talented and learned man, and recruiting Jiang Chen!
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