Chapter 312: Welcome to the Banquet
After the walk through town, they finally arrived at the mansion. Looking at it, it seemed familiar to Hui Yue. In the front was a beautiful staircase leading from the golden gate towards a pavilion-style mansion. Light shone through the open doors, and the windows as cheering sounds and clattering voices floated into the crisp evening air. Looking at the mansion it was clear that the banquet had already started and that the guests were enjoying the time. Ma Kong had spent the day and gotten help from his family to prepare the banquet, and currently, his father was standing in the castle welcoming everyone. He was their host and ensured that all glasses were filled, that the trays were always full, and that the many families were thoroughly enjoying themselves. Everyone was very curious when the owner of the mansion would appear, and while waiting they chatted with one another; everyone was in a great mood.
Arriving at the gates of the mansion Hui Yue nodded politely to the many guards standing outside, who all bowed deeply to Hui Yue. Although he had purchased the mansion only a short time ago, his appearance had already been etched into the mind of every servant in the mansion as they had been provided with a memory stone containing information about their new master. Seeing the white-haired young man in real life, they all instantly recognized him as their new employer and showed him due respect.
As Hui Yue walked closer and closer to his new mansion the many sounds of glass clattering, chatting, laughter became louder and louder, and as the sound rose so too did Hui Yue’s confidence. A small smile spread across his lips as a knot untangling itself inside his stomach, “How many have been invited?” He asked curiously as he listened to the many faint voices which became clearer as he neared the open doors.
“I invited anyone who has even the slightest influence in Muchuan City.” He said smilingly, “Including of course the third prince, the City Lord, and Zhan Weisheng.” Hearing the names of some very important people living in the capital, Hui Yue could not help but hope that they had accepted his invitation. The City Lord and Zhan Weisheng were two men he wanted to get closer to so they could eventually form an alliance, while for the third prince it was because he wished to see the man he had sworn to kill. Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer was a saying he knew well from his old world. If he had a way to convince the third prince to offer him his friendship, Hui Yue would be elated. The butterflies within his stomach grew, and he was filled with expectation for the night.
Soon they reached the doors and inside was a servant waiting for guests to arrive who was surrounded by guards. This servant was the one who accepted invitations, and the guards were to ensure that no uninvited guests made their way to the banquet. Seeing Hui Yue, all of them bowed deeply while the servant rushed in front of them walking towards the banquet hall. Entering he cleared his throat, and the action caused everyone to look at him. The nobles and merchants within the hall were all curious to see who the next celebrity who made it to the castle was, but this time, they grew silent as they saw the group of people who were approaching the open double doors leading to the spacious banquet hall. In the middle was Hui Yue, a strikingly handsome young man with snow white hair, porcelain skin, and deep ice-blue eyes. At his side was the stunning Deng Wu with hair as blue as the clear sky., and on the other side walked the celestial Cai Jie.
Behind these three young men were Gao Yan and Ma Kong. Both had on black clothes. As everyone glanced over them, the Ma family crest was clear for all to see which made people take note of Ma Kong. The young genius of the Ma family was well known within the capital for his hard work and ability to gain the best deals for his family which made the nobles take focus on Ma Kong. On Gao Yan’s clothes was his family crest as well; a crest he fashioned himself for his family. Although he was not a noble, but instead a commoner, his emblem was in no way less known than the one of the Ma family renown for their Black Market Auction House. Everyone knew what the black lion on his chest symbolized. He was Gao Yan, the man who knew everything; the man who no matter what you needed to know could get you the answers. He was respected greatly because he knew secrets of many families, and while some of these secrets were not for sale, no one dared slight him as they feared that their darkest secrets would suddenly surface.
While these two experts were quite well known, Xu Piao, on the other hand, was entirely unknown to the guests present. No one had seen the man before who stayed in his office labeling and sorting sensitive information, but despite this, he was in no way less astounding than the rest. He walked at the back of this group of experts emitting a shocking aura. He was tall, and his entire stature was one which demanded respect from those around him. Having been the leader of the Merchant Guild back when he was in the Dungeons of the Divine had given him an aura he could not get rid of, an aura of authority and strength.
Seeing this group of cultivators all talk in the room stilled and no one dared say a word. The servant introducing the group cleared his throat a few times as he felt sweat spring forth on his forehead and he tightened his hands to avoid them from shaking, “Let me introduce Lord Hui Yue, the owner of this mansion and host of tonight’s banquet. Along with Lord Deng Wu, Lord Cai Jie, Lord Ma Kong, Lord Gao Yan, and Lord Xu Piao.”
Having spoken all the names clearly, the servant bowed deeply to the room filled with guests, and he made his retreat to the front door where he hoped that no more prominent guests would appear. No one more guests who would leave him shocked and fearful. Thinking of how his new master looked there was unrest in the servant’s heart, but he quickly shook his head and pushed it down.
Within the banquet hall, Hui Yue noted the silence of everyone as they openly stared at him and his friends. This caused a wide but very polite smile to spread across his face as he took a step forward. “My dear guests! It is a pleasure to see that so many of you made your way to my humble mansion,” He began before he took yet another step forward, “I have invited everyone within Muchuan City on this fine night to get acquainted with you. I have traveled the world and seen various things, yet I have no place to call my home; no place where I truly belong.”
“I hope that this evening will allow me to become more familiar with the beautiful city of Muchuan, more familiar with the amazing people who help make this city as outstanding as the world knows it to be. Hopefully one day I can be as well known and renown as the esteemed guests who have honored me with their presence.”
“Today I want to thank my good friend and martial brother Ma Kong, along with his Ma family for helping to put together and host this banquet. They have been a great support, both for organizing this evening and for all their help to me in the past; something I will never forget and cherish in the years to come,” Hui Yue stated while praising his lifelong friend. His words and the obvious meaning behind them made the nobles within the hall all widen their eyes in surprise. Some guests became slack-jawed while others almost snorted in surprise. The Ma family had been supporting Zhan Weisheng for years now, but with the words spoken by Hui Yue alongside the fact that their young master was standing behind him was enough for everyone to know that this family had changed factions. What this implied was of enormous consequence, and even though it was known to all that Ma Kong was not going to inherit the patriarch’s position, he was still respected just as highly as his older brother, and his words would definitely move the whole Ma family into action.
“Ma Kong is not my only martial brother,” Hui Yue continued, “Gao Yan is also my childhood friend, and he has supported me greatly since I arrived at the capital. In the future, he will be one of my pillars of support.” Once more the words spoken caused turmoil to appear in the hearts of the many nobles present. Gao Yan had never supported anyone before; he had decided to trade to anyone who had coin and not discuss or participate in any particular faction, yet here he was, saying that he was backing the newly arrived Hui Yue.
“My martial brothers also include Deng Wu, of the Deng family, Wang Ju Long, of the Wang family alongside Xu Piao, an adventurer who has seen and experienced places that you cannot even dream of,” Hui Yue finished ending his speech but saying nothing about Cai Jie. The young man who stood silently by his side smiling widely the whole time. The lack of introduction made him seem even more mysterious than he already was.
Hui Yue nodded to his many guests and with his friends following behind the white haired young man entered the room. A genuine and very warm smile was on his lips, and he nodded politely to everyone they went past. The young man made his way towards the City Lord. Reaching the large burly man, Hui Yue clasped his hands and bowed fractionally before he straightened up. “It is a great honor to see that you accepted my invitation,” He said politely and to his relief, loud laughter escaped the large man’s body, “I will always attend an invitation to a banquet. A free meal, especially one with constantly replenished food such as yours, is a feast that I would rarely say no to, so for the invite thank you.” He laughed as he looked at the table filled with delicacies alongside the many servants moving around offering drinks to the guests. They served fresh glasses of wine to those who had finished theirs already, and in general behaved perfectly well.
“I was grateful for the invitation you extended us last time. I hope to be invited to any other dinners that you might feel like holding,” Hui Yue commented with cheerful laughter. At the same time, the other guests slowly resumed chatting once again. Some of them were whispering to one another, but soon the whispers became stronger and stronger and quickly clamoring voices could be heard once more.
The conversation within the mansion shifted from curiosity about the Grand Marshall of the beast army to shock and disbelief about how the Ma family, Gao Yan, and the Black Lion were supporting this young man who had appeared from the debris of the Siban Empire. A young man backed by the magical beasts of the world, backed by the Black Market Auction House, and backed by the Black Lion the biggest intelligence network in the Taiyang Kingdom. This man, whom they had dared not look down upon from the very start, had proven to be even more dangerous than they had expected.
This young man obviously did not just appeared within Muchuan City, the capital of Taiyang Kingdom, for the sake of living a peaceful life. His debut into the social life of the upper class had brought with it a new, powerful faction. This faction was backed by two incredibly strong forces from the city, not even mentioning the entire beast army of Shenyuan.