Chapter 399: To the Palace
Standing in the doorway for some time with the woman he loved in his arms and his head resting on the top of her hair, Hui Yue felt true bliss in his heart. Though, at the same time, he also felt the utmost guilt about what had happened with Sha Yun. Letting go of Wang Ju Long while sending a smile her way, he finally let her free and started moving towards his own room. He still needed to wait for the princess to summon him.
He had previously sent a letter to her, stating that he wished to meet her. However, it was one thing to wish to meet someone from the royal family, and quite another to be granted an audience. When one wished to meet the royal family one would have to wait for them to set the time and place.
Although Hui Yue was aware that the princess would send an invitation to him fairly soon, he also understood that he needed to wait. Despite his impatience, he spent the time learning more and more Wu Wei martial arts.
By now he had perfected the Direhound's Immortal Strike, the Vigorous Emerald Dragon's Roar, and the Wingless Butterfly's Retreat. The latter a Wu Wei art which formed a butterfly from Wu Wei. This butterfly could fly at a speed that even Hui Yue was unable to reach even pushing Velocity Flow to its limits. The butterfly would then suddenly shed it wings which would spiral around like two fans. They would cut anything they came into contact with. This attack was incredibly beautiful and deadly as the two wings circled around each other chopping heads, limbs, plants, beasts, and anything else within their range.
Their attacks would continue as the wings constantly became smaller and smaller as they used up the Wu Wei that fuelled them. Eventually, would they come to a standstill as the last of their energy had been used up.
Hui Yue choose this attack as it was capable of attacking without the need of him to focus on it. Therefore, he could use other abilities while his opponents.
It took Hui Yue a week to perfect this ability, and at that time he finally received the invitation he had been waiting for. A smile appeared on his face as a guard from the royal palace appeared in front of his mansion with an invitation to meet with the princess in a few days.
Smiling, he accepted the invitation and then went back to his room. The two days passed in a blur as he did nothing but focus on improving his control of the soul copy and metal body.
As the sun rose on the third day, Hui Yue had a large smile on his face as he said goodbye to Wang Ju Long and happily left the mansion. Outside the gate was a carriage driven by guards from the royal palace. They had been sent by the princess to ensure that the young guest arrived on time, and he quickly accepted the gesture of goodwill.
Although it would have been quicker for him to go to the royal palace on his own, he did not say anything and sat in the carriage which slowly made its way through the busy, bustling streets filled with commoners, merchants, adventurers, and mercenaries.
Looking out the window, Hui Yue saw small children running behind the carriage, playing with one another. He saw maids walking on the side of the road glancing at the carriage full of curiosity, and even merchants would call out for the "young master" who rode in the carriage to purchase their goods.
The guards at the side of the carriage showed no signs of stopping, no matter how many people looked at the carriage or called out to them. The carriage slowly inched closer and closer to the royal palace. The closer they came to their destination the smoother the traffic was. There were no longer merchants calling out or children running behind them. There were still a few maids looking curiously, but mainly the thing Hui Yue saw on the roads were guards patrolling in groups of four.
The royal palace soon appeared in front of Hui Yue, and he could not hide the smile on his face as the carriage he was seated in went under the massive wall surrounding the palace. Guards could be seen everywhere as they stood aside so that they could easily pass through the gate. The carriage he was seated within was the princess' personal carriage and the guards controlling it were all her personal guards.
Traveling through the palace ground, the guards led him towards the palace of the princess. While they drove around, Hui Yue observed everything he could to understand how he was going to move after he finished his conversation with the princess.
He hoped that the princess did not insist on driving him home as that would limit his movements noticeably. 'Oh well, we cannot guess what will happen afterward, so all we can do is prepare ourselves and improvise.' Hui Yue sighed to Lan Feng, and the phoenix just grinned in reply. Today they would not be able to plan too much ahead. They had to take it as it came, but they still had to ensure that they were successful. They only had one chance for victory.
The carriage came to a halt, and a guard opened the door. Leaving the carriage, Hui Yue looked at the massive mansion in front of him. It had a small lake to the side and white birds were standing in the shallow water. Lotuses could be seen in a small garden behind the mansion with two guards standing watch.
"Come along," The guard said to Hui Yue as he got out of the carriage. He was not overly respectful, nor was he insulting. He clearly did not care too much about Hui Yue only fulfilling his orders given to him by his superior.
"Master Hui!" A soft voice called out from the garden, and a breathtakingly beautiful woman appeared by Hui Yue’s side. Her black eyes glistened in the sunshine as a soft, gentle smile played on her lips.
"I am so happy that you had the time to meet with me today. Cao Min thank you for bringing him here; you can return now," She said to the guard who bowed deeply before turning around and leaving.
"Master Hui, come with me to my garden. I would love for you to see the scenery there," The princess said with her enchanting voice as she gently took Hui Yue by the hand leading him to the garden where she had come from.
Following a small stone trail, they walked through the beautiful garden with many different kinds of flowers. A soft and gentle aroma filled the air and enveloping Hui Yue and the princess.
"When I met you for the first time you said that women could become queens and control kingdoms." She said casually as she sat down on a chair with a small tea table next to her filled with sweets and tea. After which she gestured for Hui Yue to do the same.
"At first I never thought it was possible for a woman to become the leader of a kingdom, however, the more I thought about it, the more I started asking myself, “why not?”
"A woman is just as good as a man when it comes to controlling a kingdom, but, sadly, I am far behind the others brothers in terms of people who support me. I mentioned to my father that I wished to become the heir, but he just laughed at me. Although the king dotes on me, he does not believe that a woman is anything more than someone to marry off."
Pausing for a moment, the princess sipped her tea while peeking at Hui Yue who was leaning back in his chair with a smirk on his face.
"You have been busy recently," She suddenly commented. "You managed to get the support of quite a few Saints within Muchuan City. You have also managed to get the Black Lion and Master Gao to support you as well as the Black Market Auction House and the most skilled spiritual blacksmith in the city."
"Thought, I am sure that is just the surface of the support you have, but I am greatly shocked to see you have such allies in such a short time. Currently, you have not thrown your weight on anyone's side, but everyone assumes that you are supporting my third brother." She continued, constantly observing Hui Yue to see if he reacted in anyway to what she was saying. Hui Yue’s face was unchanged from before as if he didn’t hear what she had said, smirking the whole time.
"Although most think you will most definitely support my third brother, my intuition tells me that he is someone you would never supporting in your heart. As you are not willing to support him, why don't you become my very first ally?" She asked as she leaned forward towards Hui Yue with a bewitching smile on her face.
"If you become my ally I will give you many benefits. I know how to reward those who support me when we win the war. If I have the support of the Grand Marshall of the Shenyuan Beast Army, I am certain that others will also come to my side. Then I will no longer be any weaker than the princes."
Pausing for a moment, she pursed her lips in a mesmerizing way and leaned back in her chair. The whole while her eyes constantly observed every single expression of Hui Yue’s. Lifting the teacup to his lips, he took a sip. Hui Yue said nothing as he contemplated how to respond. Though, he was quite shocked that the woman had sensed his true intentions towards the third prince.
Hui Yue was uncertain of what to say. He was afraid that if he showed his displeasure with the third prince, the princess would be capable of guessing that his timely death would be related to Hui Yue, but at the same time, he knew that he should not lie to the princess.
Smiling, Hui Yue placed the teacup on the saucer, and the smile on his face grew increasingly dazzling. "I could consider your offer… " He finally said, "But before I give you my support, I would need to speak with my friends. Making a decision without speaking with them first, would make them quite unhappy," He smiled trying to bide his time, and the princess, clearly aware of what he was doing, nodded her head.
"I, excitedly, await your decision and am sure you will realize it is worth it," She finished, and Hui Yue guessing that she had said what she wanted to say, nodded his head. “I will definitely consider it,” he promised her, “but, alas, it is a major decision, and I cannot make it on my own. I truly value our friendship, and I should be returning with good news soon.” Hearing his words, a smile appeared on the princess’ lips.
"Please borrow my carriage to return home," She said while waving her hand, and Hui Yue bowed deeply as he stood up and slowly walked towards the end of the garden. As soon as he turned away from the place where the princess was seated, and entered a part of the garden where thick trees made it difficult to see him, Hui Yue slowly slid into the shadows. He jumped up to the tops of the trees and ensured that he was hidden from sight.
In front of him a metallic figure suddenly appeared, and closing his eyes, he created a soul copy which went into the metallic figure. Afterwards, another Hui Yue appeared next to him. This person jumped down to the ground and with a glance at his surroundings he disappeared towards the carriage waiting for him outside. No one said anything, and the copy of Hui Yue slowly entered the carriage. With all of Hui Yue's focus on this body of his, he experienced how it slowly left the royal palace. He was driven through town and finally arrived at his mansion. Leaving the carriage, the copy of Hui Yue entered his room, closed the door, and sat down on his bed.
The moment it landed on the bed, the figure no longer looked like Hui Yue, but rather it took on its former metallic appearance.