The young princess was livid, but she was weak, easily suppressed by Xiaozi.
Fang Yun's expression was dreadful. He could no longer lay a finger on Su Yu.
Xia Linxuan reacted slowly. He cursed him in his heart. The Duke of Xianyu had obviously changed his mind after discovering the talent Su Yu possessed.
"Duke of Xianyu! So it was all a misunderstanding. Since Su Yu did not make any mistakes, we at the martial arts training institute cannot press any charges and should retract the punishment. Su Yu is still a student of our institute." Xia Linxuan was not stupid. He wanted Su Yu back in the institute.
How could the Duke of Xianyu accept such an arrangement?
"No worries. Su Yu will receive much better care and resources in my abode. I will cultivate Su Yu's talent with all my heart. Lord Xia, you do not need to work." What the Duke of Xianyu meant was that the martial arts training institute was not a large enough vessel to cultivate the world-class talent Su Yu possessed. The Duke of Xianyu would not allow such talent to be buried within the training institute.
Xia Linxuan opened his mouth, wishing to protest.
After observing the situation, Su Yu came just in time to cut in. He took a deep bow towards Xia Linxuan and Ye Xuan, then gratefully said, "Thank you, Lords, for your care and concern. I will forever remember this act of benevolence in my heart. However I wish to climb further, towards higher peaks. I hope that the two of you would allow me to do so."
Many in the crowd glanced towards Fang Qingzhou and Qin Feng from time to time.
Su Yu would not be able to find protection in the martial arts training institute. Qin Feng might not be able to exert much influence in the institute, but Fang Qingzhou's father was directly in charge of it!
The audience sighed.
Such a genius, who would be able to claim glory for the institute, was suppressed, and inevitably had to leave. There was no animosity toward his "betrayal", only compassion. Without power and influence, even a genius would find it hard to grow in the institute.
A genius might not be able to make it big in the future. But a genius without power or influence is doomed to be suppressed.
Both Xia Linxuan and Ye Xuan sighed, etching their hatred towards Fang Yun in their bones. A genius with the potential to become the Holy King had been chased away by him!
Feeling the stares of criticism, Fang Yun could not carry himself in the hall any longer. He shot an evil eye at Su Yu, then turned to leave.
Su Yu was surrounded by Black Armor guards, and escorted out of the hall. From that day on, Su Yu was no longer a student, but the consort of the Xianyu prefecture.
Jiang Xueqing stared at the back of Su Yu, her gaze complicated.
Influence. Su Yu had obtained it.
Xia Jingyu was relieved, barely being able to conceal her smile. "The fate between the young princess and Su Yu runs deep. To think that they would become husband and wife. Haha"
Recalling the event between Su Yu and the young princess, Xia Jingyu had to admit that they were fated for each other. Who would have thought that what had transpired in the Twilight Mountains the other day would eventually lead to such a marriage?
The incident in the institute quickly spread throughout the city. The genius that was expelled by the martial arts training institute was to be the son-in-law of the Duke of Xianyu. This became the topic of conversation for many.
Su Yu, as a Silver King, overcame two generations of Gold Kings. He severely wounded Jiang Zhishi with a single blow. He defeated Shao Li, one of the 10 great demon students, in a matter of seconds. These events were unimaginable by the people.
The training institute's loss of a genius to the Duke of Xianyu became a joke to the community for the distant future.
Su Yu lived into the manor of the Duke of Xianyu. The manor was opulent, with an air of royalty lingering in the surroundings. Everyone in the manor, from the duke to the servants, were extremely polite towards Su Yu. Even Li Minghai and Li Jinshan did not dare breathe in the presence of Su Yu.
Su Yu felt that he had made it in life. But Su Yu was not immersed in the feeling; he knew that the influence belonged to the Duke of Xianyu.
One day, in the study of the duke...
"Su Yu, do you have parents at home? We should invite them into the city to discuss the marriage." The Duke of Xianyu was feeling joyful the more he looked at Su Yu.
An incredible talent who had attained the Holy Decree. He had incredible grace and was prim and proper in his appearance. He had a high moral compass. He once saved both his daughter and Xia Jingyu. He was really a dragon among men. One could not have too much of such a talent.
Su Yu shook his head, "I do not have parents. I was brought up by the streets."
Su Yu's parents had died from an epidemic, and he had no family left. Su Yu survived until this day with the help of temples, monasteries and the neighborhood.
The Duke of Xianyu let out a quiet sigh. To think that Su Yu had such a tragic story.
"How about this, I will notify the village of your marriage with Xianer, and exempt them from taxes for the next 10 years, as a sign of gratitude for bringing you up."
Xianer was the given name of the young princess. The young princess's surname was Qin, her full name being Qin Xianer.
"Thank you, my duke!" Su Yu expressed his gratitude.
While Su Yu did not hold special feelings toward the town of Qingshan, it was after all the place he was born. Su Yu was still grateful that the Duke of Xianyu was willing to take care of the townspeople.
"What are your plans for the future?" the Duke of Xianyu asked Su Yu.
Su Yu did not hesitate. He hardened his gaze, "I will devote my life to taking the spot as the Holy King."
In this cruel world, power was the only way to maintain order. Without power, Su Yu could not enjoy his life in peace.
The Duke of Xianyu was pleased with his answer. He was worried that the once poor Su Yu would be satisfied with the luxuries that came with being part of the royal family and lose his way of the Martial Path. From what he had observed, this seemed far from the case.
"Great!" The Duke of Xianyu bared his heart, "In this era, power and influence are fleeting. Only your personal strength is important. For example, if the Holy King was weak, how would he be able to rule over the world?"
Su Yu resonated with the duke's words, accepting his teaching with a bow.
After a pause, the Duke of Xianyu asked, "How big do you think the Xianyu prefecture is?"
Xu Yu was a little shaken. "Large without boundaries, an area of countless square miles. There were as many cities as there are hair on a cow's back, with a population of tens of thousands. I, since birth, had never stepped out of the Xianyu prefecture."
The area of the Xianyu prefecture was larger than that of Ancient China.
The Duke of Xianyu gently shook his head. "In your eyes the Xianyu prefecture is huge. But do you know that the Xianyu prefecture is but one of 13 prefectures in the Fenglin Empire, and the smallest one at that?"
Su Yu was overwhelmed. The area of the Xianyu prefecture was larger than that of Ancient China, with enough area to include 34 districts. Yet it is the smallest prefecture in the Fenglin Empire? If we add up the area of the 13 prefectures, wouldn't it be larger than the entire planet?
"The world is a big place. If you wish to become a man above men, you cannot just be satisfied with conquering the Xianyu prefecture. You should set your sights on the entire empire! That is your true stage!" the Duke of Xianyu said.
Su Yu toned down his shock, a sense of heroism welling within him. The world is large and vast. How could I, Su Yu, be satisfied with what I have now?
Su Yu thanked the duke, "Thank you, my duke, for your teachings! I, Su Yu, will work even harder, and make my name heard throughout the empire!"
"Great! I admire your spirit!" The Duke of Xianyu was unbelievable comforted, praising Su Yu deep in his heart. The duke had not judged Su Yu wrongly. Su Yu was not just a fish in the sea.
"Well then, I shall give you an opportunity to propel you to a greater stage!" The Duke of Xianyu had made up his mind to gift Su Yu an opportunity.
Su Yu abruptly lifted his head, "A greater stage?"
The Duke of Xianyu laughed, "That's right! A month from now is the Fenglin Empire's Holy Meet. Demon students from all 13 martial arts training institutes and the royal family will enter a contest and compete to claim the title of the Holy Talent. I, as a duke of a prefecture, have the right to nominate a person to represent my family. Do you wish to accept this offer?"
All 13 prefectures, which meant talent from all over the world, in a sparring contest?
Su Yu was shocked. "I, Su Yu, will never forget your gracious offer!"
A person who had originally should have been suppressed by Fang Yun and the Duke of Qin. A person who's future should have been totally destroyed. In his darkest hour, he had gained the admiration and protection of the Duke of Xianyu. Now he was given the precious opportunity to advance to a greater stage.
This was undoubtedly the turning point of his life.
Even though the Duke of Xianyu had a part to play in his expulsion from the institute, he understood that without power and influence, he would be buried within the institute. Fang Qingzhou and Qin Feng would do their all to keep him down.
The Duke of Xianyu was relieved. He propped Su Yu up, casually laughing, "I have no sons. Xianer is playful by nature, and has little interest in the Martial Paths, which is the only regret of mine. The heavens saw this and gifted you to me. This life had been worth living!"
However, there was something stuck in Su Yu's heart. "I will never forget the benevolence you have shown me. However, I would feel uncomfortable until I speak my mind."
"Haha, there is no harm in sharing!" the Duke of Xianyu said.
Su Yu slowly shared, "I have only met the young princess once, and I can tell that she has no feelings for me. Wouldn't this engagement be unfair for her?" Su Yu did not want to force the young princess into something she wanted no part of.
"So, this is it? I thought that you were insecure about your past status." The Duke of Xianyu stopped laughing. To think that Su Yu was worried about this matter.
He regained his smile. "You do not have to worry. She naturally has to follow her parents' say in her marriage. Furthermore, Xianer is not pining for anyone. Even if she does not marry you today, she would have to marry someone else some other day. That is the way the royal family works. Xianer, being part of the royal family, is clear of this. You worry too much."
An offspring of the royal family cannot decide on their own marriage. This has been instilled in them since they were young. Su Yu's concern was unwarranted.
She was not pining for anyone? Su Yu heaved a sigh of relief. If there was someone in the young princess's heart, Su Yu would have stolen the love of another person. Su Yu could not bring himself to do that.
If that was the case, then it was of little concern. Similar to how the young princess did not having any feelings for Su Yu, he did not have many feelings for her either. This way, no one was at a disadvantage.
"If that is the case, then I am relieved!" Su Yu laughed wholeheartedly. He then cupped his hands, "If there is nothing else, I am going to practice. The battles today were enlightening and I want to take the opportunity to practice. I think that my abilities will improve soon after."
The Duke of Xianyu smiled kindly. "Then child, haha, go and practice."
Watching Su Yu hurriedly rush to practice, the Duke of Xianyu was satisfied. He even felt a tinge of regret, for Su Yu wasn't his biological son. But thinking that Su Yu would soon to be his son-in law, he put it behind him.
He leaned back on his chair and rested for a moment. The Duke of Xianyu ordered his servant, "Prepare the invitations. I want the engagement ceremony between Su Yu and Xianer to be done well and respectable."
The servant rushed to prepare, and according to instructions, put together a large list of attendees. The Duke of Xianyu dropped his gaze to the words "First Prince, Second Prince, Third Prince" and let a crease form across his brows.
"The Second Prince and Xianer grew up together, and he had feelings for Xianer outside of brotherly love. I do not wish for him to do anything funny during the ceremony." The Duke of Xianyu rubbed his brows, frustration rising in his heart.
In the past, marriage within the royal family had been common. For a royal prince to take a young princess as his wife is common within the Fenglin Empire.
The Second Prince had multiple times come to ask for Xianer's hand in marriage, but was always rejected by the Duke of Xianyu. For one, Xianer was still not of age then. Also, the second prince was of questionable character.
Today, he had betrothed Xianer to someone else, and he hoped that the Second Prince would behave himself.