Chapter 660: The Taibai Immortal's Pavilion1!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
In the residence of the Wang Clan, in a room on the northwest corner, all was quiet. A young man of sixteen or seventeen years was currently sitting cross-legged on a bed, his eyes closed in cultivation. Although this man was externally young and handsome, the composure he exuded was abnormally steady, tempered, and firm, like that of a mountain.
White streams of smoke began to emerge from the top of the youth's head, gradually diffusing through the room.
After returning from the reward ceremony, Wang Chong had remained at home, quietly cultivating. Now that he thought about it, it had been a very long time since he had quietly cultivated like this.
As time slowly passed, streams of spiritual energy flowed in from the surroundings and entered his body, gradually strengthening his cultivation.
After some time, a change suddenly occurred. Buzz! A stream of faint red energy had mixed in with the white streams of smoke emerging from Wang Chong's head.
The atmosphere in the room transformed.
Veins as thick as fingers seemed to take on a life of their own as they began to bulge out, creeping out from beneath his collar. These bulging veins were like tree roots, rapidly spreading from his collar to his neck and on to the rest of his face.
Crimson drops of sweat began to seep out from his face. Wang Chong's face began to contort and writhe, forming a most gruesome expression.
Wang Chong's eyes snapped open as he let out a howl of pain. His body tilted forward, a hand stretching out to prop him up on the bed while his chest heaved for air. In the blink of an eye, Wang Chong's robe became soaked, a few specks of blood faintly visible.
Wang Chong's body was trembling, but he said not a single word, gave no more howls of pain.
The room was quiet as those sweat drops tinged with blood merged together on the bed, slowly forming a puddle. After some time, once the pain in his body had somewhat faded, Wang Chong finally clambered off the bed and took off his bloodstained robe. He then took a towel from the corner of the room, dipped it in a prepared metal basin of water, and slowly began to clean his body.
"Let me do it."
A voice came from behind him: cold, yet with an alluring cadence. Wang Chong shook his head, but before he could reject the notion, the slender hand of a woman reached out, took the towel from his hands, and began to wipe down his body.
Wang Chong froze for a few moments, but he decided to say nothing and allow the woman in the room to continue to wipe his body.
The towel dipped into the basin of water time and time again, quickly dyeing the clear water a bloody red.
"What's going on here? I remember that when you went to the southwest, you didn't have this sort of illness. In just seven days, this has happened three times. What in the world happened?" asked Miyasame Ayaka in concern as she wiped down Wang Chong's body. She was dressed in her dark spying outfit.
While Wang Chong was in the southwest, Miyasame Ayaka had stood guard at home. Right now, she had become the shadow of the Wang Clan, and few secrets in the clan could be hidden from her.
"Haha, you don't need to know. In addition, you wouldn't be able to help me," Wang Chong indifferently said.
"You're not willing to say?"
Miyasame Ayaka's hand paused for a moment before continuing to wipe him down.
"You're worried that the Madam will be worried?"
"It's fine if you know, but you can't let Mother know," Wang Chong indifferently said.
At the most intense moment of fighting in the southwestern war, Wang Chong had singlehandedly killed more than ten thousand people, holding the defensive line. All of this had not come for free.
But Wang Chong told no one about the price he had paid.
Tap tap tap!
While he was thinking, he suddenly heard knocking at the door.
"Young Master, the carriage is ready. We are ready to leave for the Taibai Immortal's Pavilion at any time."
"Mm, I know."
Wang Chong nodded.
"Take care of the towels, clothes, and basin. Don't let anyone else know, especially Mother!"
With these words, Wang Chong opened the door to his room and walked out. Boarding the waiting carriage, he set off for the Taibai Immortal's Pavilion.
The Taibai Immortal's Pavilion was a restaurant that Wang Chong had opened. Built in an impressive style, it had gathered many master chefs under its roof. Through the reputation of Wang Chong's three 'Songs of Peace', the Taibai Immortal's Pavilion had become one of the rising stars in the capital.
Coupled with Wang Chong's glorious achievements in the southwest, the Taibai Immortal's Pavilion was now one of the most popular places in the capital. 'If you don't drink the wine of Taibai, you don't deserve to call yourself a citizen of the capital' was a phrase that had widely spread through the capital. As a result, Wang Chong's Taibai Immortal's Pavilion had become an excellent place for scholars and powerful merchants to hold meetings and banquets.
Its renown in the capital had even surpassed the Yao Clan's Vast Crane Pavilion. Each month, it brought in a princely sum for Wang Chong and the Wang Clan, a wealth that Wang Chong had not expected when he first opened the restaurant.
However, a restaurant that had been opened for Wang Chong's convenience was naturally different from other restaurants.
The greatest difference was that the entire top floor of the Taibai Immortal's Pavilion was reserved for Wang Chong's exclusive use. Moreover, if Wang Chong required it, the entirety of the Taibai Immortal's Pavilion could shut its doors and see off its guests so that Wang Chong alone could use it.
Yet this condition not only did not attract any displeasure from the patrons, it made crowds rush to gather around the restaurant. After all, Wang Chong himself was the greatest attraction of the Taibai Immortal's Pavilion. Everyone wanted to get a look at the hero of the southwest, the youngest marquis in the history of the Great Tang Empire.
Wang Chong's carriage had just gotten close to Taibai Immortal's Pavilion when it immediately caused a stir within the gathered crowd.
"Look over there! The Young Marquis!"
"Wah! It really is the carriage of the Young Marquis!"
"Out of the way, out of the way! Let me see! I've been waiting here for seven days already!"
"I hear that the Young Marquis is only seventeen and still doesn't have a marriage partner. If he sees me, I might be able to marry into the Wang Clan and become partners in love with him!"
"Get out of here! You're more than twenty years old, even older than the Young Marquis, you auntie! Wang Chong, look at me, look at me!"
Crowds thronged around the gate to the Taibai Immortal's Pavilion, men, women, the old, and the young tightly surrounding Wang Chong's carriage. And young, unmarried woman were the largest demographic in this crowd.
Wang Chong was only seventeen, born of a clan of ministers and generals, a hero of the empire, and a rising star in the world. Although he was still no general, many people in the capital were already hailing him as the empire's 'Eighth Great General'.
An unmarried young man like this had become the dream lover for countless young girls of the capital.
Wherever Wang Chong went, a throng of girls would appear.
This was one of the important reasons for Wang Chong's prolonged cultivation in his residence.
"Young Master, we can't move," the driver of the carriage said. The girls on the street were too frenzied, with teenaged girls seizing the reins of the carriage and blocking its path.
Wang Chong slightly furrowed his brow. Fame had its own problems, and he really had no way to deal with this problem.
"This is all I can do."
Wang Chong pushed open the carriage window. Clap! The window opened and his figure shot out. His right hand lightly pressed against the roof of the carriage and pushed. As the crowd gasped, he took off like a hawk, leaping straight to the top floor of the Taibai Immortal's Pavilion.
"Heheh, the grand Young Marquis of the Great Tang, the Son of Heaven's disciple, is actually forced to exit a carriage through the window. If this is spread around, it would make people laugh their heads off."
Giggling came from nearby. Zhao Yatong with her characteristic red-tasseled spear was leaning on a cinnabar pillar, her face beaming.
"Hmph, who told him to be so welcoming to girls. Serves him right!" a voice dripping with envy said. Huang Qian-er, dressed in yellow, her trademark silver sword hanging from the sheath on her back, glared venomously at Wang Chong.
Wang Chong was deeply embarrassed. In this period of time, these girls had made him the butt of quite a few of their jokes.
"Yatong, Qian-er, please stop making jokes about me," Wang Chong said with a bitter smile.
"That's enough. Seeing the Young Marquis who can command troops on the front lines like a god appear so beaten was worth the trip. Sisters, let's not make things any more difficult for him. Wang Chong, hurry. Everyone is already here; we're just waiting on you now."
Nearby, a large, round, sandalwood table had been placed at the top of the Taibai Immortal's Pavilion. Familiar figures were seated all around the table: Guo Feng, Chai Zhiyi, Zhuang Zhengping, Chi Weisi, Zhao Jingdian, Xu Gan, Fang Xuanling, and also Marchioness Yi, Bai Siling, and Xu Qiqin.
Bai Siling was seated on a spacious armchair and looking right at Wang Chong with a smirk on her face.
At this moment, everyone else at the table had their heads turned the other way, perhaps pretending to be drinking tea or pondering some deep matter. Each of them had all wisely pretended to see nothing.
Bai Siling, Zhao Yatong, Huang Qian-er, and Xu Qiqin… these four girls all had a rather ambiguous relationship with Wang Chong. Only a fool would attempt to get between them at a time like this.
These four were renowned beauties of the capital, and when girls of such talent got angry, not just anyone could bear their rage. In fact, there were times when everyone at the table sympathized with the four.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I've kept you waiting."
After playing out a comedy for the assembled party, Wang Chong only needed to smile and shake his sleeves a little to regain his composure. Striding forward, he seated himself between Guo Feng and Chai Zhiyi.
Upon seeing the seat Wang Chong had chosen, the eyes of the girls flashed and the mood instantly softened.
Guo Feng and Chai Zhiyi gave Wang Chong looks of praise.
"Brother Wang, why did you call us all here today?"
In the end, it was still Fang Xuanling who broke the silence.
It was only this morning that they had all received Wang Chong's invitation and rushed to the Taibai Immortal's Pavilion. Although they had originally thought that this was just an ordinary gathering, once they saw that Guo Feng and Chai Zhiyi were present, they immediately knew that this gathering was not as simple as they imagined.
Wang Chong had always done things with an objective in mind, but with the war over, no one knew what Wang Chong was planning on doing next.
1.Taibai, 太白, or 'Great White', was the Chinese name for the planet Venus.↩