Chapter 48 – Proposal
The day after his breakthrough, Ye Wei slept very well. The sound of a few quick knocks on the door woke him up early in the morning. “Son, are you awake?” Joe Wan asked soft and gently.
“Mom? What’s going on? Is breakfast ready?” Ye Wei clumsily opened the door and narrowed his eyes to the person who looked like his mom.
Lit by the morning sun, Joe Wan’s kind smile seemed warmer than usual. “You stink, go get changed.” She urged after pulling her son’s robe to her nose, sniffing it then frowning and narrowing her eyes.
“Huh… Why? What’s happening? You look suspiciously excited.” Ye Wei could tell his mom was hiding something from him by looking at her posture and happy face.
“Something great is going to happen! Just shower and get changed already! You are our family’s pride and Master Yi’s legacy apprentice. You have to be presentable at all times!” Though she started to get a little annoyed, the proud mother was still wearing a smile on her face while gently pushed Ye Wei towards the bathroom.
“Okay…” Slightly confused by the intrusion, Ye Wei reluctantly shook his head then took a quick bath.
Ye Wei was a good looking young man, and even more so now that he was in a dashing white robe. “Yea, that’s better!” Joe Wan straightened the creases and made sure the robe was sitting right. She then nodded satisfyingly. ‘I don’t remember him being this tall…’ She was both proud and sad, sad that time flew by and because she knew her son would not need her soon.
“Mom, can you please tell me what’s going on now?”
“We are all waiting for you, just get to the great hall! You will know soon enough.” Joe Wan winked and smiled as she dragged Ye Wei through the corridors.
“The great hall? What’s the occasion?” Obediently he followed his mom’s lead, scratching his head in confusion. It was hard for him to make sense out of anything this morning.
They followed the stone pathway and hallways and ended up at the bottom of a small set of stairs that led to a magnificent building with a symmetrically arched roof. It was supported by thick, sculpted pillars. Ye Wei pulled back his shoulders then followed his mother into the great hall.
The pair of old wooden doors to this spacious great hall were usually closed, and the fact that they were open meant the family had important guests over.
The great hall was crowded and loud for how early it was. The patriarch too was present, chatting with people around him in his designated seat. On his left sat his sons and daughter, they all wore a smile on their faces. On his right sat the guests, all of them were familiar faces.
The ruddy-faced old man with white hair and beard sat directly to Ye Zheng Qing’s left was none other than Joe Zheng Feng, the Joe Patriarch.
The Joe’s and the Ye’s friendship spanned generations. Ye Wei’s mother was from one of the Joe family branches. Ye Wei had seen today’s guests since he was a toddler. However, they stopped associating themselves with the Ye family three months ago when Du Yuan Ming started their campaign.
To the Joe Patriarch’s right sat a boy and a girl, they were both wearing traditional family robes. The boy had a cold look, and he sat as straight as bamboo. This young man’s eyebrows were arching slightly arrogantly, and the confidence and glow in his eyes drew some of the young Ye girls’ attention.
The girl was around Ye Wei’s age, her ear length black hair was luxurious and glossy. The old fashioned family robe contrasted her playful vibe. It was obvious she spent some time getting ready this morning as the womanly features perfectly emphasized her youthful face.
Ye Wei frowned. Under no circumstances will he forget that face, she insulted him twice at South Star Academy, and in their last encounter he was told: “Dragons don’t associate with snakes.”
“What the hell is she doing here?” Ye Wei mumbled and quietly grunted. He couldn’t bare to look at her for more than a second, so he switched his attention to his family. “Good morning grandpa, dad, uncles, and aunt Jing Jing!”
“You can take a seat little Wei!” The proud smile made Ye Zheng Qing look a decade younger. Ye Wei’s aunt and uncles too smiled genuinely at the young talent. The front door-sill of the mansion had been worn down by all the visiting representatives from the different martial families since the duel. Despite that fact that dealing with an endless line of guests was tiring, the family did gain a lot because of Ye Wei.
Ye Wei saw two empty seats next to his aunt, Jing Jing. He realized that this was the first time he got assigned a seat that was so close to the patriarch.
Ye Jing Jing started talking before Ye Wei could sit down. “Little Wei, have you seen how pretty Joe Yin has gotten? She is going to become a very attractive woman in a few years… And I’ve heard she broke through not so long ago! A six star Student at her age! That’s quite something, right? If I remember correctly, you two were like two peas in a pod a few years ago. Do you two hang out at school?” She looked at Ye Wei and Joe Yin alternately while speaking with a cheeky smile.
“Hang out?” Ye Wei sat down and replied with a sarcastic smile on his face. ‘With her mentality, I should not be associated with her! I am Master Yi’s legacy apprentice, and I will overtake her cultivation soon enough!’ The bitterness soon calmed down. Ye Wei replayed the two insulting encounters with Joe Yin in his head countless times since they happened. Although he decided to move on, the memories still bothered him.
A silhouette of a long-haired, slim girl appeared in Ye Wei’s mind. ‘She has nothing on Zi Yan. Talent, personality, appearance and Zi Yan is always on my side even through the bad times.’ Ye Wei suddenly found himself comparing Joe Yin to Lin Zi Yan.
Ye Zheng Qing’s loud laugh snapped Ye Wei out of his imagination. He was chatting with Joe Zheng Feng about their childhood. The fun, nostalgic episodes of themselves growing up together and more recently how Ye Wei had become the talk of the town caused him to laugh loudly.
It was not an interesting conversation for anyone else but the two patriarchs. “Little Wei, why do you think the Joe’s are here with Joe Yin and Joe Pei?” Aunt Jing Jing started talking to Ye Wei quietly.
“Erm… To show off?” Ye Wei answered. It was not a secret that the Joe Patriarch loved bringing the two most talented youngster of his family to social meetings, and that he was very proud of them. He had never come to the Ye Mansion without them on his side after their birth.
Ye Jing Jing laughed: “Ha ha, what bragging rights they have now that you are doing so well! I think they are here for a marriage proposal!” Ye Wei’s face turned ashen white, and aunt Jing Jing patted his back when she saw how nervous her nephew became.
“You can’t be serious?” Ye Wei looked at Joe Yin only to discover her eyes were fixed on him. Her face immediately turned red as she lowered her head.
Joe Yin was extremely frustrated because she despised Ye Wei ever since she started at South Star Academy. When she learned the news regarding Ye Wei’s new master, she spent half a day convincing herself what she heard was not real and the other half cringing in her room. Lin Zi Yan’s insult started to make sense, and she regretted her rudeness. ‘No wonder why he was hanging out with someone like Lin Zi Yan…’
Ye Jing Jing’s assumption was correct. When Joe Patriarch heard Ye Wei had become Master Yi’s only legacy apprentice and how the Runemaster fought off the Du family’s best men, he immediately wanted to befriend the Ye’s again. ‘What can link two families together better than a marriage does?’ With that in mind, the Joe Patriarch had a brief chat with Joe Yin. They established that the marriage would be great for both her and the family, and in the end having a legacy apprentice son in law was the same as having Master Yi in his family. And being Master Yi’s extended family is what many could only dream about.
Joe Yin knew how much Ye Wei always cared for her and liked her; she believed a sincere apology would put her back into Ye Wei’s heart. She was a beautiful girl with a lot of admirers, and she was aware of that, thus assumed Ye Wei would not say no to her.
Although she was intimidated by how close Lin Zi Yan and Ye Wei had become, she was convinced that she could win him back with her charms as spoiled as she was her confidence and arrogance didn’t let her think otherwise.