Chapter 111 The capable guards
The hall suddenly fell silent. A drop of cold sweat slipped from Duke Lu’s cheeks and dripped onto the ground making a small sound, but… the person to break the silence first was not a person within the hall.
“Which bastard dares to bully my little apprentice? You better hurry up and beg for mercy, otherwise, this old man will beat you on the face until you bloom. Then you will know why the flowers are so red!”
“Pu…” The mouthful of wine that Xia Yuqing had poured in her mouth when Feng Tingye was unaware spurted out. This provoked Feng Tingye’s secretive stare. She blinked with a guilty conscience, but she felt something was strange. Wasn’t her master doing closed-door training? Why did he run out this time? Moreover looking at the circumstances, he seems to be… looking to pick a fight.
That’s right, the visitor was Xu Lao who had been unable to leave these days. That day, Aunt Meixi sent someone to Xu Mansion to talk about the events that occurred with the little scholar boy who served in the house. The little scholar boy remembered the conversation and cleverly mentioned it to Xu Lao during dinner that day.
When Xu Lao heard the news, he threw down the things in his hand and rushed straight to the palace. His little apprentice had only returned to the palace after a long time, now someone was looking to trouble her? Do they think this master is dead?!
Zhang Sunshi seemed to have expected Xu Lao to rush in at this time, so she had ordered that if anyone saw Xu Lao enter the palace today, no one was allowed to stop him.
Thus, Xu Lao rushed to the place of the birthday banquet unimpeded and was screaming out regardless of what was happening inside.
“Xu… Xu Lao…” While Duke Lu breathed a sigh of relief, he looked at Xu Lao who suddenly rushed in with a look of surprise.
When Mr. Xu heard someone calling himself, he stopped his feet. Following the sound, he saw the happy-faced Duke Lu: “You are… Huo Xiaozi*? Why did you come back?”
* similar to saying little boy Huo
“…” Xia Yuqing’s mouth suddenly became O-shaped. Her master actually knew Duke Lu, moreover he referred to Duke Lu as if speaking to a younger generation, as “Boy Huo”!
“Long time no see, Xu Lao is still like the wind.” Duke Lu naturally knew the importance of the person in front of him, so he hurriedly smiled and tried to get close to the person in front of him. This way perhaps they could help put in a good word for him. Unfortunately, his wishful thinking was destined to be overturned.
“You little kid have gotten quite old.” Xu Lao replied unceremoniously.
Duke Lu was embarrassed, but he did not dare to have the slightest dissatisfaction with Xu Lao. After a pause, he wanted to say a few more words when he saw Xu Lao wave his hand impatiently: “Your business will be discussed later. I’ll look for my little apprentice first.”
“Little apprentice?” Duke Lu was taken aback, a bit of doubt appeared in his eyes. As everyone all knew, Xu Lao was obsessed with mechanisms and did not like accepting apprentices. Only three of them had won his favor. He even heard that the three apprentices were the leaders of a famous killer organization in the area. Now that Xu Lao came here to look for his little apprentice, could it be that this mysterious leader also came to this birthday party?
Xu Lao has always acted casually. When he was low-key, even if someone dug three feet deep into the ground, they wouldn’t be able to find a trace of him. But when he was publicizing and bringing something out in the open, he was able to publicize it to the entire pugilistic world, even the entire country. For Xu Lao, Xia Yuqing was his precious little apprentice that he finally found. She was going to inherit his mantle in the future. If someone discovered Xia Yuqing’s talent, they may snatch her away. This is the so called ‘a person’s talent will arouse the envy of others’ and this is a truth Xu Lao knew better than anyone else.
Therefore, apart from the people in the palace, Xia Mingyuan who accidentally found out, and Xia Yuqing’s senior brother, few knew that they had a master-disciple relationship. Duke Lu lived in his fief for a long time and just finally came to the capital. Naturally, he didn’t know that Xu Lao had taken a little apprentice as a treasure, so…he was doomed to tragedy.
“Brother Xu, I’m here.” Seeing Xu Lao looking around for herself, Xia Yuqing finally couldn’t bear the old man being too tired, so she took the initiative to wave her paw.
Duke Lu was just thinking about it, when he suddenly heard a familiar female voice behind him. His figure suddenly stiffened, he turned to look at the voice’s master in disbelief.
When Xu Lao heard Xia Yuqing’s voice, his eyes lit up. He ignored everyone else and rushed towards Xia Yuqing: “Hahaha, little apprentice, you are finally back. Brother Xu missed you so much.”
“Hmm, miss me? I don’t believe it. I’ve been back for so many days, but Brother Xu have you ever come to see me? Yet, you say you miss me? Alas, now that you have senior brother, you don’t need this little apprentice.”
Xia Yuqing raised her head at a forty-five-degree angle with bright, sad eyes. The people on the side were shaking with goose bumps, while Xu Lao faced his weakness. He immediately took Xia Yuqing’s hand to confess: “Little apprentice, Master didn’t mean it. It’s just that when you came back, I just figured out a problem that had entangled me for a long time. I was so ticklish…little apprentice, please forgive me. Please forgive me this one time.”
The flattery almost frightened Duke Lu and his eyes almost bulged out. Is that man really Xu Lao who even the first emperor had to give three points of courtesy to? He must be old and dazzled…
Feng Tingye glanced at Xu Lao’s hand who was holding Xia Yuqing tightly, his face was slightly dark. He stepped forward and took the hand off Xia Yuqing’s body without a trace and smiled lightly: “No matter what, in the eyes of Xu Lao, Ai Fei is ultimately no match for those mechanism skills. Ai Fei must not be sad, Xu Lao does not want you, but there is still Zhen. In Zhen’s eyes, Ai Fei is always first place.”
“Oh~” Once again the group of people couldn’t bear it and wanted to vomit on the spot. Even Xia Yuqing, who was under fire with those sugar-coated shells, couldn’t help shaking. Why didn’t she know that the Ultra Seme Lord had such a nauseating side before? It’s really… horrible, please let me go!
Xu Lao touched his right hand that turned red from being smacked. When he heard Feng Tingye’s words, he couldn’t help but shout: “Feng boy, you despicable villain, you trying to sow discord?”
Didn’t he just touch his little apprentice twice? This petty guy, who doesn’t even understand respecting elders, how dare he sow discord in front of him. This is an outrage, unbearable!
“Xu Lao’s remarks are wrong, Zhen just told the truth. Loyal advice jars on the ears*, if Xu Lao doesn’t want to listen, that’s fine. Ai Fei, could it be….”
* It means that good advice often conflicts with our opinions and thus, may be difficult to accept
“Little disciple, don’t listen to his nonsense! You must believe in master.”
“Eh…” Xia Yuqing looked at the two people staring at her from left to right and couldn’t help but feel awkward. Why is it like this? I just wanted to pretend to be a young literary and sorrowful youth, how did it trigger the war of the century? This is not rational!
“Ahem…” Unable to see Xia Yuqing in a dilemma, Zhang Sunshi coughed lightly and reminded the two of them, “We can talk about that later, let’s talk about the problem before us first.”
Problem?! The faces of Duke Lu and Huo Feiyan were a little ugly. Is their existence just a problem in the eyes of these people?
With the words of Zhang Sunshi, Xu Lao finally remembered his intention. Catching Xia Yuqing looking up and down for a while, he asked: “Little apprentice, where did you get hurt? Tell Brother Xu, which soul is it? Who dared to bully my little apprentice?”
Duke Lu’s face suddenly paled. Feng Tingye glanced at his mother thoughtfully. After seeing the smile on the corner of Zhang Sunshi’s lips, something in his eyes flashed. So that’s it.
“Speaking of who wants to bully your apprentice, isn’t it the person Xu Lao you just greeted?” Zhang Sunshi’s timely addition of adding fuel made someone’s heart tremble. His face became very ugly.
“The person this old man said hello to?” Xu Lao was taken aback. He turned his head quickly and faced the pale face of Duke Lu.
Lu Rui received a look from the Queen Mother and hurriedly stepped forward and added: “Yes, Xu Lao, you have been in closed door training these days, so you might not know. But, this Duke Lu brought his granddaughter to the capital and said his granddaughter is the best choice for queen. For this reason, when the empress dowager just said that we should bestow Niang Niang the title of queen after giving birth to the prince, Miss Huo verbally abused our Niang Niang. She said that our Niang Niang had taken her place. She even said she was a fox spirit, hurting our Niang Niang deeply.”
“What?” Xu Lao had his eyes wide open with anger when he heard Li Yuan interject, “No, Xu Lao you don’t even know. This Miss Huo was so imposing. As soon as she entered the palace, she lashed out at Niang Niang out of nowhere. She even threatened her to make preparations for when she enters the palace. Niang Niang has not been having many good days.”
“What? Where did this wild bird come from to dare snatch my little apprentice’s position?! She even dared to threaten my little apprentice?! Does she not want to live anymore!?” Li Yuan’s words were tantamount to adding oil to the fire. This made Xu Lao jump up as if shocked by lightning and pounce towards Duke Lu.
Xia Yuqing was about to watch a good show when she suddenly heard an aggrieved voice from her side: “Why does Nu Bi not know that Niang Niang has seen this fat bird?”
Xia Yuqing trembled. As soon as she turned her head, she made eye contact with Lu Rui and saw two resentful eyes with two noodle tears floating out.
How did she forget that in order not to be lectured, she concealed the fact that she had met Huo Feiyan. As a result… waahhh, Xiao Yuan, I’ve been played by you!
“Where did this old man come from? How dare you treat my grandfather like this! My grandfather is Duke Lu who was bestowed the title by the previous emperor! Let go, let go!”
Xia Yuqing was faintly worried when she heard Huo Feiyan’s scream. Her jaw dropped immediately.
“Bad old man? Haha, bad old man? You called me a bad old man?” Xu Lao took the collar of Duke Lu and stopped. He stared at the arrogant Huo Feiyan beside him and kicked out.
“Ah…you old man, dare to hit me? Do you know who I am? You…” Huo Feiyan screamed and shouted while clutching her kicked abdomen.
Xia Yuqing glanced at her embarrassingly. She was not afraid of opponents like gods, but teammates that were like pigs. Didn’t this fat swallow see her grandfather’s appearance in front of Xu Lao? An ordinary person would have long seen that this person can’t be offended and would be silent.
It’s just that this fat swallow was a weird thing. It even scratches the beard under the tiger’s mouth… Tsk Tsk Tsk, her master hates others for calling him old. Sure enough…there are always people in this world that even if others don’t trouble them, they will continue to ask for trouble. Commonly known as looking for death!
“What’s wrong with hitting you? I’m telling you now, I am going to beat you today! Heh heh, I don’t care who you are, this old man hasn’t been afraid of anyone in his life! Even if you are the king of heaven, I will still beat you. “
Huo Feiyan was frightened by Xu Lao’s cruel appearance and screamed: “Grandpa…Grandpa save me. Empress Dowager, you are not going to handle this? It was prophesied that I will help the emperor benefit the country and dominate the world! I’m his lucky star! If you miss out on me, you will definitely regret it.”
“Prophecy? Lucky Star?” Xu Lao’s action stopped.
When Huo Feiyan saw this, she thought Xu Lao was listening and immediately felt confident. She snorted coldly: “That’s right, don’t let me go, otherwise…”
Duke Lu covered Huo Feiyan’s mouth and smiled. “Xu Lao, do you still remember the emperor’s fifth birthday, when the Qin Tianjian used a hexagram for the emperor. The hexagram showed that if the emperor can meet his destined person, he will be able to succeed in this life, open up the frontier and expand the land, achieving ultimate success and great achievements. That person…”
“You aren’t going to tell me that that person is the wild girl in front of me?”
“Exactly. Huh…” Wild girl? Duke Lu seemed to notice something was wrong. He raised his head to meet with Xu Lao’s sneer.
“When you said that, I recall it now. But with such a wild girl, how could she be the mother of the world? How could she be comparable to my little apprentice?”
“A smooth life opening up the frontiers, expanding the land, and making great achievements? What a laugh. Where does this wild girl come from that she thinks she has the ability to help Feng Xiaozi open up the frontiers and expand the land and achieve great achievements. Even if there is such a person in this world, that is sure to be my little apprentice. If nothing else, just look at my little apprentice’s talent for mechanical skills. Hmm, I heard that the dam built on the Huai River wasn’t there a while back. But, once the dam was built, the floods raged by the Huai River all year round was stopped. The relief given caused all the people to rush to praise the kindness of the person who built it. Well, the drawings of the dam were carefully completed by this old man and this young apprentice.” Xu Lao’s two moustaches on his mouth moved. With an unusual expression on her face, Xia Yuqing had no doubt that if he had a tail, it would have been pointed up to the sky!
Hearing this, there was a little clarity in Zhang Sunshi’s eyes. Under Xia Yuqing’s instruction, few people knew that she had participated in the drawing of that dam. Zhang Sunshi only knew that Xu Lao met Xia Yuqing by accident and discovered her talent and accepted her as a disciple, but she didn’t know why. Now it turned out to be like this. The gaze towards Xia Yuqing became more satisfied.
“She…” Duke Lu was also taken aback. He didn’t expect that this weak girl could be so surprising.
“Now you know that my little apprentice is amazing? That she is actually benefiting the people? But, look at your granddaughter, how dare she say that she can help Feng Xiaozi? What can she do for him? Help him dig a corner? Hmph……” Old Xu snorted coldly, “Huo Xiaozi, I know what you have calculated in your heart. Don’t think about things that don’t belong to you, otherwise…you will pay an unimaginable price.”
Finished, Xu Lao didn’t want to talk to the two of them anymore, he happily asked his little apprentice to comfort his injured soul.
Xu Lao’s words were tantamount to breaking off Duke Lu’s last plans. The empress dowager and Xu Lao, one had absolute authority in the harem, while the other had an irreplaceable position in the court. If the empress dowager refused to agree and Xu Lao was on his side, he still had an opportunity to have Xu Lao help him contact those old courtiers to put pressure on the harem and the emperor to fulfill his own goals.
What Duke Lu never expected was Xu Lao to care about this. Xu Lao was fascinated by mechanisms all his life, so he never cared about politics. He even thought these things were the biggest nuisance. Moreover, Dule Lu was one of the people he looked down on the most. So he was doomed… to tragedy. However, this is also the reason why the empress dowager called Xu Lao to support the scene.
Looking at Huo Feiyan, who was still at a loss and Duke Lu who collapsed on the ground, frustrated, Zhang Sunshi’s eyes flashed a little: “Duke Lu probably already knows the result. In that case, since Qing Er is pregnant and your granddaughter really doesn’t understand the rules, you should choose a date and take your granddaughter back to the fief early.”
“Emp…” Duke Lu wanted to say something, but suddenly he heard Zhang Sunshi continue to speak: “Ai Jia can tell that Duke Lu’s granddaughter’s expression isn’t right and being that it isn’t early, Duke Lu please take her back to the house to rest.”
Duke Lu’s face changed slightly. Knowing that the empress dowager was starting to chase off guests he knew that the matter really seemed to be irreversible. He could only bow and retire with a pale face. Pulling the yelling Huo Feiyan, he got up and left.
“I won’t leave, I won’t leave, why let me go? I am the future queen of Ye Kingdom, the future empress of Ye Kingdom, you b**ches. When I become the queen of Ye Kingdom, I will definitely make you… Hmm …”
Huo Feiyan’s yelling voice gradually faded away, the initial tranquility in the hall was restored.
Xia Yuqing held a half-eaten pear in her hand. She was stunned for a while before she realized it.
Huh, that fat swallow was dragged away like that? The show is over? Hey, she hasn’t watched enough yet, why is it over?! Anyways, it should have lasted until the banquet was about to end! This kind of magical thing that ends midway is simply unfinished, it will make the audience throw rotten eggs and tomatoes!
So, the most powerful thing about a truly awesome person is not how awesome she is, but if she has a bunch of capable guards backing her up, guarding her to prevent her from any harm.
Feng Tingye looked at Xia Yuqing’s dazed appearance. He smiled, and silently reached out to take her hand from under the table. This person only needs to have a carefree and happy life under their protection. As for those two people, he would treat them well.
The atmosphere in the hall gradually returned to peace since the people who got in the way left. Gradually, people started to talk and laugh. But they did not notice that a figure slowly moved out of the hall and walked in the direction where the two left.