Chapter 3 – The Silver Masked King of H*ll Part 3
“History of the Kingdom of Yan”:
In the fourth year of Qingzhao dynasty 50,000, Beirong soldiers invaded the Yan Kingdom from the north. General Yan Changqing infiltrated the enemy camp and burned their provisions. Eight thousand black armoured troops under his command raided the enemy camp and captured 10,000 prisoners. He had also shot the commander in chief, Zhu Wutu, off his horse.
The upper ranks were pleased with this outcome and celebrated with a banquet and dance.
It wasn’t until he sat down that Yan Changqing realized that the dance banquet was a bit different this time.
There were many more people wearing Dongyun Kingdom clothes at the banquet than usual. Yan Changqing glanced over, thinking that the person at the head of the table looked quite familiar. When he took a closer look, he saw a pair of dark brown eyes and black hair gathered behind his head casually and handsomely, giving off a noble aura. It was the second prince of Dongyun, Helian Rongchuan. He saw his dark purple shirt slightly open, and his straight and slender legs stretched out. He was looking ahead confidently.
Why did he have to run into Helian Rongchuan once more?
It was that playful and invasive gaze again!
Seeing that Yan Changqing happened to be looking over, Helian Rongchuan triumphantly lifted his chin as a greeting.
Yan Changqing immediately turned his head away, too lazy to respond.
In this battle with Bei Rong, although he won a great victory, the Yan army had also suffered a lot. It took some time to repair things on the journey back.
He didn’t expect to run into Helian Rongchuan again and so soon.
It seemed that this dance banquet was not only to celebrate the victory but also to talk to Dongyun about the business of the temper snow stones.
Everyone in the world knew that temper snow stones were an indispensable and important material for forging a good weapon. As long as enough was added, the weapon forged with the temper snow stone was indestructible. A single soldier would now be able to fight against ten men. However, such important materials were only available in Dongyun Kingdom. Dongyun Kingdom has been hoarding them for this reason, and only sold a small amount to other countries every year.
It was also common for them to abruptly stop trafficking this precious material. The temper snow stones, which were hard to find, made Dongyun Kingdom, which was not good at farming, the most prosperous country in the world. It was this seemingly humble mineral that was the important strategic material that all the Kingdoms constantly fought for. Whoever had more control of the mineral, would have stronger military power.
Yan Changqing knew well that the reason why this battle took so long was related to the poor quality of weapons in the army. If the temper snow stones could be used to create better weapons, the war would have ended faster yielding fewer casualties. Therefore, as the commander-in-chief of the army, Yan Changqing was more eager and thirsty than anyone else to have more temper snow stones.
It’s just that the Dongyun Prince took advantage of their misfortune to rob them on the sidelines. He assumed that the reason why they came to Yan Kingdom was not a simple matter.
Yan Changqing frowned slightly.
The dance banquet was a very high-class affair. They had specially invited Li Ji, the best dancer in the world, to perform singing and dancing. It was truly a stunning and graceful performance akin to a swimming dragon.
After a single dance, everyone applauded to show their excitement, but Helian Rongchuan looked as indifferent as usual. His slender fingers played with the white jade wine glass, seemingly disapproving of how the evening was going.
Off to the side, the minister with the most rigid manners couldn’t bear it. His beard flicked, and he said with reproach: “Why does Your Royal Highness not like our court’s singing and dancing?”
Helian Rongchuan stood up calmly with a small smile on his lips. “Ben Wang was being rude. Ben Wang always had difficulty appreciating girly dances. If there was a sword dance, Ben Wang would definitely look forward to it.”
“That’s simple.” Emperor Yan, Murong Xiu, waved his hand: “Zhen has a favoured consort who is proficient in martial arts. Sword dancing is not a problem. Let her prepare a little bit to cheer you up.”
The one mentioned by Murong Xiu happened to be the Imperial Concubine Ning who had been the most favoured recently.
But Helian Rongchuan didn’t accept it and didn’t appreciate it: “Why bother? Ben Wang once witnessed the swordsmanship of General Yunhui on the battlefield, graceful and lithe, it was unforgettable. I don’t know if the general can lower their honourable presence to compare notes with Ben Wang.”
Hearing that, royalty and nobles all-around had different expressions. Some secretly laughed at this Dongyun kid who was bold enough to dare openly challenge the young and famous swordsman, General Yan. There were some who were angry. They were angry that the Dongyun prince did not even turn to face the emperor…
Murong Xiu on the dragon chair was a little unhappy: “This Prince must have misunderstood. Different countries have different customs, and General Yunhui is the pillar of our country. His swordsmanship is for defending the territory, not for entertainment.”
“Your Majesty’s words are wrong.” Helian Rongchuan said calmly: “Ben Wang was inviting the General to compare notes, not to entertain others or spies. Everyone has heard about the famous General Yan originating from three generations of generals but seeing once is better than hearing. Ben Wang was just hoping the General can enlighten me—— ”
Helian Rongchuan turned around and politely bowed his head to Yan Changqing, with a smile on his mouth: “when Ben Wang goes back, Ben Wang can tell Dongyun generals that General Yan is really majestic and did not just wear a mask to scare people off.”
In his last sentence, the brazenly blatant negative remark mentioned to agitate him exactly underlined Yan Changqing’s flaws. Everyone in the world knew that the Yan Kingdom had produced an invincible General Yan who could make the enemy retreat without a fight. However, there were many rumours in the streets: the reason why the famous General Yan always wore a mask and rarely showed his true colours was because he was actually an ugly monster who was proficient in sorcery. As soon as he took off the mask on the battlefield, the enemies would be so frightened that they could only pee themselves and cry out to the King of H*ll for mercy. The timid ones would be even scared to death.
Although it was nonsense, it had somewhat got to General Yan.
Yan Changqing sat as usual, with no expressions visible under the mask, only a pair of clear eyes quietly greeted Helian Rongchuan’s gaze: “It’s all right to compare notes, but in accordance with the customs of our country, we have to have a prize.”
“If I win, I will ask the prince to increase the share of temper snow stones purchased by our country by 30% and reduce the price by 20%.”
Dongyun Kingdom had always only exported a very small amount of snow-hardened stone. Increasing it by 30% was a very difficult thing, not to mention the price cuts. The ministers who were familiar with the situation shook their heads and smiled. This arrogant General Yunhui was just looking for an excuse to refuse to accept the unreasonable provocation of a Dongyun person. So no-one expected that Helian Rongchuan would simply smile and say: “Deal.”
Yan Changqing: “…”
Everyone was quiet. Many princes and nobles dropped their jaws and murmuring spread across the room: “Is this Dongyun Prince a fool?”
Helian Rongchuan pretended he didn’t hear anything, turned around and raised a playful eyebrow, “And what if Ben Wang wins?”
Yan Changqing took two steps back in a hurry, holding a pair of swords horizontally in his hands: “Your Royal Highness can’t win.”
The silver sword was unsheathed.
The brilliant winter light reflected on the bright silver sword in an awe-inspiring lustre.
Yan Changqing jumped up, holding a silver sword in each hand in all his glory. His swords mimicked swimming dragons, fast as lightning, they moved smoothly and naturally. His strikes were ruthless and went straight for the other party’s vital parts.
Dongyun’s entourage could not help but secretly squeeze out a drop of sweat for their master. Gods help him, coming into someone else’s territory and trying to provoke the beast.
But after watching for a while, they were a little confused. How come their master, who knows nothing but extortion, looked presentable?
They only saw Helian Rongchuan’s defensive air. And although all his moves were defensive, he was not in a sorry state. He actually looked confident and at ease.
His entourage sighed in relief. The Yan Kingdom was really a country of exceptional etiquette. Even in the face of blatant provocations, they would still save their master’s face and secretly throw the game. They actually did it so exquisitely too!
Yan Changqing naturally didn’t know these thoughts of the entourage. During the match, he only acutely became aware of the fact that his opponent did not use his full strength. However, he was the most concerned about the cultivation of the sword. He didn’t want to ponder more about it. His left hand lifted upwards and when Helian Rongchuan blocked it, his strong waist turned, and the silver sword in his right hand was already in front of Helian Rongchuan’s throat.
Yan Changqing said, his voice as calm as ever.
Helian Rongchuan smiled slightly. He approached Yan Changqing’s ear, and softly said a sentence that only Yan Changqing could hear.
“I didn’t lose either.”
Yan Changqing’s heart suddenly sank.
The long sword held by Helian Rongchuan gleamed in the sun. No one saw that there was a very thin strand of jet-black hair on the sword’s edge.
With a soft sound, Yan Changqing’s silver mask fell on top of the golden bricks of the main hall.
As the mask fell, the hall plunged into silence.
The eyes of low-rank princes and nobles who had never seen Yan Changqing’s real appearance flashed with shock.
No wonder he had to wear a mask – no way such a young and beautiful face could frighten thousands of soldiers.
Helian Rongchuan’s sight wandered over to Yan Changqing.
This was an extremely handsome face, a beauty bestowed by God himself. It was also a very young face, with a bit of childishness still in the corners of the eyes and eyebrows. Maybe it was the match just now, but a few strands of fine hair stuck to his slightly sweaty forehead. It looked a little messy but terribly sexy.
Looking lower: his white neck, those graceful lines bringing out a bit of pride.
Even lower: the meticulous collar that blocked Helian Rongchuan’s sight from what hides underneath.
“Heh, I didn’t expect that General Yan, who was brave and exceptional at fighting, was actually a little beauty.”
A bold and forward sentence. Yan Changqing frowned slightly. His beautiful pupils were like black mercury looking back coldly at the fearless Helian Rongchuan. Then, after a long while, he put down the silver sword that lay against his neck.
Dongyun’s entourage all breathed a sigh of relief.
“I lost. The prize is yours.” Helian Rongchuan smiled indifferently, “However, I also have a small presumptuous request.”
The aloof Murong Xiu’s face had sunk immediately. “What is the prince’s request?”
“This, Ben Wang must think it through first before reporting to Your Majesty.”
Helian Rongchuan smiled casually, but his eyes were locked on Yan Changqing’s straight back.