Chapter 313: The Royal Family
While everyone was finding small groups of friends where they could discuss the turn of events, Hui Yue was moving through the room smiling politely as he greeted every guest. He even greeted the ones he had never met before. He showed his thanks to his guest for having shown up to his party, especially considering the short notice he gave everyone.
Hui Yue memorized everyone’s names, their families, and their factions while moving through the room. His tried his utmost to learn every single person and their faction. Memorizing one person after another, Hui Yue’s mind was searching through the knowledge he gained from the memory stones. Greeting everyone had multiple reasons. First, he wished to give everyone a good impression of himself as most were extremely wary of him probably from the rumors that abounded about him. Secondly, he wanted to know who had chosen to come to his banquet. Finally, he wanted to see and meet the royal family. Hui Yue was looking to see whether or not any of the princes and princesses from the royal family or their nobles backers had arrived.
So far, Hui Yue was disappointed. Quite a few nobles who supported the royal family had arrived but everywhere he looked he only saw nobles and merchants, no royalty had shown up. This caused Hui Yue to be slightly disappointed. He wanted to meet the man he had sworn to kill for his friends; he wished to see the man who decided to execute two entire families in cold blood, not sparing their young or old, women nor men.
Although dissatisfaction was growing within Hui Yue, he said nothing about it, and no one could see his real feelings as he hid them deep inside. The only emotions visible were gratefulness and cheerfulness. Although Hui Yue was slightly disappointed, he reached the conclusion that even though he wished to see the prince, Deng Wu would not enjoy seeing the man whom he loathed more than death itself.
Having finished a trip around the banquet hall, Hui Yue greeted and thanked everyone who attended, and he finally returned to the group of friends he came with. Arriving by his friends the atmosphere was far different than the rest of the room. There was no relaxation, indulgence, or drunken behavior to be found; instead, they were all sharp, focused, and alert as they observed what was happening around them. They were watching to see if any of the guests would suddenly turn hostile, or were planning something against their friend Hui Yue. Although an attack at this moment was highly unlikely, neither Hui Yue nor his friends wished to take any chances. Although Hui Yue looked cheerful and carefree on the surface, he was as alert as his friends as he moved around when greeting the nobles he had never met before.
There was currently not any bad blood between him and the nobles, but the merchants were a different story. Zhan Weisheng had not shown up to his banquet, but many of his supporters had. Knowing that the Ma family had chosen to support Hui Yue meant that they were no longer supporting Zhan Weisheng something which could easily cause a feud between the two. Due to this, Hui Yue wished to improve the relationship between him and the City Lord because this would indirectly improve his relationship with the merchants. He had no intention to go against someone as established as Zhan Weisheng. If the two of them were to butt heads, then Hui Yue would not be able to put his full focus on the third prince.
Just as Hui Yue returned to his own group, his servant appeared once more and cleared his throat. Everyone within the banquet hall looked towards curiously the man. For someone to come so late meant that the guest had a high status. Only guests with status would come late as the later one came, the more attention they would gain from their entry. Even Hui Yue had shown up late, and although he was new and the owner of the mansion, he was not the host of tonight’s banquet. The host was the Ma family, and it was customary for him to be the last to arrive.
Hui Yue’s face suddenly stiffened for a moment only to seem far more genuine moments later. His eyes were dark, and if one looked closely, they would tell that his blue eyes had turned a shade darker. His expression was impossible to read, but it was obvious that the young man was thinking about something important.
“His Highness Shiu Kang, Second Prince of the Taiyang Kingdom. His Highness Shiu Ye, Third Prince of the Taiyang Kingdom,” The servant called out then bowed deeply to the banquet hall as the two fairly similar-looking men walked through the entrance. The two men were both black haired. Their hair was long, and it reached their waist and tied up high on their head. A massive golden ring inlaid with jewels was what kept their hair tied up. Their clothes were black with golden embroidery and elaborate patterns adorned their majestic belts. All the embroidery had an incredible amount of jewels inlaid in the fabric. Jewels were used as the eyes of the beasts that were depicted on the black cloaks. Looking at these two men, Hui Yue could see that they were without a doubt brothers.
Both seemed to be around twenty to twenty-four years of age, and their features no longer had a childish air about them that both Hui Yue and Cai Jie still had. Their demeanor was very aristocratic clearly they were both used to be treated with a certain degree of respect. Looking at these two brothers, although they were older and younger brothers, they looked to be around the same age. This was clearly the result from them training incredibly hard to reach the King rank as soon as possible, reaching a level where age had little to no effect on them. Looking at Hui Yue and Cai Jie and seeing their youthful appearances, everyone would be able to tell that they had reached the rank of King far earlier than the two princes, and even faster than the third prince. The prince who was acknowledged to be the genius of the royal family.
“Well, time to go greet the royal family,” Hui Yue mumbled to himself as he started moving towards the two of royal blood who were both looking over the many guests at the banquet. Neither of them seemed impressed by what they saw. “Your highnesses, I would never have dared to believe that such esteemed personages such as yourselves would grace me with your presence!” Hui Yue said while bowing deeply to the two princes. His heart was beating rapidly as his eyes were stuck to Shiu Ye. Deep inside Hui Yue’s anger was raging but using the blue cloud he was strangled it and managed to keep it down. He ensured that no matter how much he wished to kill the prince right now he restrained himself. He kept the anger on the inside locked away while being polite on the outside. He was polite, friendly, and supportive; the perfect subject to such esteemed princes.
Both of the princes seemed pleased with the words spoken by Hui Yue and many nobles within the banquet hall nodded in approval. The royal family were after all the leaders of all nobles, and showing the royal family respect meant one respected all the nobles present. There was, however, one person in the room who was seemingly not pleased. While he wasn’t happy, you couldn’t say he was mad either, just thoughtful. The City Lord was seated at the table with food on his plate and a glass in his hand. His fingers were slowly rolling the wine in his hand, and his eyes were like a fathomless deep pit while a small smile could be seen on his face. But past his fake smile, he was clearly frowning. Hui Yue noticed his behavior and his smile increased further as he walked towards the two princes. Looking at the princes, it was obvious that they were not friendly towards one another. They were looking anywhere but at each other, and there was a distance between the two of them. They were each scanning the banquet hall, one after another.
“Please enjoy your time at my mansion. I hope that some of the delicacies will match your taste. Please mingle with the crowd and should you have anything to complain about please do not hesitate to voice your concerns. The Ma Family will do anything in their ability to right the wrongs.” Having invited them like this, the two princes nodded absentmindedly as they each headed towards two groups of nobles, groups belonging to their own supporters. Although they came late, they were more than curious to hear what had transpired before they arrived, and the only men they truly trusted were the ones who had sworn their allegiance with a blood oath. Only their pillars of support would suffice.
Seeing their highnesses do this, Hui Yue was pleased with how he had personally introduced himself to everyone who had shown up at the banquet. Looking around, Hui Yue was however confused as to why Zhan Weisheng had not shown up. He highly doubted that the merchant would arrive now, although he was of high standing he was not a noble and appearing after the royal family meant that he saw himself more important than them.
“I better visit him tomorrow,” Hui Yue mumbled to himself as he slowly inched closer to the table where he saw the City Lord standing alone. He was still clearly deep in thought, and no one had dared talk to him now to see what exactly his thoughts were.
“Was it that shocking?” Hui Yue asked with a quiet voice as he stood right behind the City Lord. His voice dragged the thoughtful man from his trance and looking happy to see Hui Yue his previous frown completely vanished, “I don’t know what you mean,” He said, and Hui Yue could not help but chuckle slightly. “It seemed like you were deep in thought, was something wrong?” He continued as he and the City Lord slowly moved away from the table towards the doors leading to the park behind the mansion. The park was lit with torches throughout the area so guests could use the park to sober up before continuing the banquet. Hui Yue headed outside because he wished to have a quiet conversation with the City Lord without allowing for others to listen in on what he had to say. This conversation could in many ways send Hui Yue to jail, but the young man was willing to gamble; he was certain that even if he ended up in jail, he would have a way out.
As they reached the park, Hui Yue walked down a trail that led away from the well-lit grounds. He was curious if the City Lord wished to follow him but his doubt was quickly erased as the burly man followed him with no signs of thinking about his decision. Walking for some time, the two reached an area where no others would arrive, not even by mistake. “We walked this far. I am sure you have something important to say,” the City Lord sighed as he saw Hui Yue turn around towards him. His white teeth were shining in the moonlight which cascaded down upon them, and Hui Yue could not help but use the blue cloud to calm himself. His entire body was alert, ready to defend himself should the conversation not go as planned. “I am sure that you and Zhan Weisheng are quite unhappy with me taking Gao Yan and the Ma family away from your,” Hui Yue started and the City Lord nodded his head impatiently. Although this was important information it was something that anyone would know, it was not something he needed to comment on. “I just need you to know that I have no interest to go against either you or Zhan Weisheng.” Hui Yue continued, and now the City Lord raised an eyebrow. He was suddenly curious about what the young man had to say, “I am sure you are aware that Deng Wu and Wang Ju Long are both my friends. They are not only my pillars of support; they are my martial brother and sister. Now, I am certain that you are aware of what happened to my dear friends and their family. So tell me, what do you think I want? Fighting the two of you is pointless to me when I could be fighting someone who seems to be troubling both of us, don’t you agree?”