Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Xia Qingyuan glanced over there coldly, a faint look of unhappiness on her face. Then she averted her gaze.
The carriage continued forward, and then landed softly in front of the platform.
Upon the platform, the host of the feast, Old Man Xiao, smiled. The people around him all bowed and said, “Welcome Queen, welcome Princess.”
The people here were all Queen Xiao and Xia Qingyuan’s elders, but they still had to show courtesy to them. That was proper etiquette.
“Father, I have come to celebrate your birthday.” Queen Xiao stepped out of the carriage with Xia Qingyuan following behind. Everyone’s eyes were suddenly drawn there. Just her silhouette was enough to give them an idea of her beauty.
“Grandfather!” called Xia Qingyuan. Their guards presented their gifts. Queen Xiao smiled and said, “These are from the Emperor.”
“Excellent, excellent. We are honored by the Emperor’s graciousness.” Old Man Xiao was all smiles. Renhuang had personally sent him gifts, the Queen and the Princess had come to his feast, and the top forces of Emperor Xia’s Realm were all there. At this moment, the Xiao clan was the most glorious place in all of Emperor Xia’s Realm, save Emperor Xia’s Palace itself.
Below them, many people from the top forces in Emperor Xia’s realm sighed slightly. The Xiao clan itself was very powerful, but it did not stand at the top of Emperor Xia’s Realm by itself. At the very least, Xuanyuan Palace, Lihen Heaven and Divine Cloud Valley could all threaten them.
However, ever since Queen Xiao had become queen, the Xiao clan’s destiny had become brighter, and they had started on the path of glory, ascending to the peak of Emperor Xia’s Realm. Countless people had come to their door seeking to enter their household.
Now, the Xiao clan had the most favored queen and the best loved princess. This was truly a grand time for them.
Moreover, with Queen Xiao’s wisdom and Xia Qingyuan’s talent, as long as the Xiao clan did not actively seek their own destruction they would continue to move forward, becoming more and more prosperous.
After all, with Queen Xiao’s cultivation her looks had not deteriorated from age. And Emperor Xia had said that Xia Qingyuan’s talent exceeded his own. If there were no major changes, then the Xiao clan’s prosperity would be ensured for hundreds of years, or even longer.
“I welcome you, my Queen.” A middle-aged man to the side smiled. It was the Queen’s brother, Xiao Qianhe.
“No need for such courtesy, brother,” said Queen Xiao with a slight smile.
“Please sit,” said Old Man Xiao with a smile. Everyone nodded. Queen Xiao turned around and swept her gaze across the vast crowd of people. She stood there casually, with an air about her like she was the mother of the entire world, and extremely noble.
Countless eyes fell upon her, including Ye Futian’s. She wore a phoenix crown and an embroidered tasseled cape. She was noble and graceful, and exceedingly beautiful. As she stood there it seemed like she was the only person in the world, and even the sun and moon lost their brilliance.
This was a woman so beautiful that people would not even dare open their eyes around her. Any who stood before her would feel their inferiority. This was Emperor Xia’s woman.
“Greetings, Queen Xiao,” said everyone in the crowd with a bow. No matter what social position they held, was there anyone in Emperor Xia’s realm who would not bow before the Queen?
“Today is my father’s birthday feast. There’s no need for you all to be so polite, nor so ill at ease.” There was a slight smile upon Queen Xiao’s beautiful face. After saying this she sat in the second seat of honor upon the platform, leaving the main seat for her father. Xia Qingyuan sat beside her.
“It is an honor to have you all here. Please be seated, everyone,” said Old Man Xiao with a smile as he waved his hand. Everyone bowed and took a seat.
Ye Futian also found an inconspicuous seat amongst the crowd.
At a feast filled with people of the younger generation he would not have to care about anyone, but many of the people here were elders of powerful forces. This was not his turn to seek the limelight. There would be time for that later.
Yao Xi still sat beside him, which made him feel strange. He said, “Should you not be following your elder?”
“Right now the only people here from Yaotai Divine Palace are me and a few others. None of our elders came,” whispered Yao Xi. She looked at Ye Futian with her beautiful eyes, and there was a sense of charm in them.
Ye Futian nodded and said nothing. He could not shoo away a beauty sitting next to him.
Moreover, she was quite interesting to talk to. There was never anything improper about her. She was like a fairy. Her charm was obvious with every action she took, and in reality there were no problems with her sitting there.
“I think the Princess is looking at you,” whispered Yao Xi.
“You must be mistaken,” answered Ye Futian.
“The Princess wears men’s clothing, but she can’t hide her beauty. If she went back to wearing women’s clothing, I’m afraid she would make everyone faint,” whispered Yao Xi as she looked at Xia Qingyuan.
Ye Futian did not say anything, but he thought that if Xia Qingyuan wore women’s clothing, her beauty could compare to that of Yao Xi.
At that moment the great figures at the feast were chatting casually, mostly polite formalities. Many serving maids weaved through the crowd, serving good wine and delicious food. It was truly a grand occasion.
The people from the various forces offered their gifts in succession, but the gifts from the top forces were all just formalities. With the Xiao clan’s current glory, what use were common gifts?
When it came to Divine Cloud Valley, they presented a divine weapon was their gift.
“How has Brother Gongsun been doing recently?” Old Man Xiao asked a middle aged man from Divine Cloud Valley. It was Gongsun Jing, the second generation leader of Divine Cloud Valley. As for the most important figures of the top forces, they had not come. For those who stood at the top it was enough to just send some of their subordinates. It was only a feast after all.
Only at a holy ceremony put on by Emperor Xia himself would all the top figures of the realm come together.
“My father is well. He has been painstakingly researching armoring, hoping to better himself in that respect and contribute more to His Majesty,” replied Gongsun Jing politely. The leader of Divine Cloud Valley had once been Emperor Xia’s armorer.
“That is so good of him. With Brother Gongsun looking out for him, His Majesty can surely rest easy,” answered Old Man Xiao with a smile and a nod.
“Divine Cloud Valley only has a meager amount of power. The ones who truly protect His Majesty are the Eight Divine Generals. It is said that there have been some disputes in recent years with Emperor Li and the Demon World,” said Gongsun Jing.
Of the three thousand realms of the Great Path, Emperor Li’s Realm and one of the Demon Worlds were adjacent to Emperor Xia’s Realm, so there was occasionally friction between them.
“Disputes are inevitable amongst the Three Thousand Realms of the Great Path. But things are much better than they were three hundred years ago,” said Old Man Xiao with a smile. Three hundred years ago had been the age of the Twin Great Emperors’ unification.
“The Swordmaster of Lihen has been away for many years, travelling around the Three Thousand Realms of the Great Path and improving his swordsmanship. I have no idea how high he has cultivated now.” Old Man Xiao looked towards the cultivators from Lihen Heaven. There was a Saint among them.
“The Swordmaster of Lihen’s whereabouts are uncertain, so we from Lihen Heaven also do not know how high he has cultivated,” answered the Saint.
“Ah.” Old Man Xiao nodded. “I hope that all of us cultivators in Emperor Xia’s Realm can continue to get stronger.”
“That is something for His Majesty to worry about. No need to trouble yourself over it, father,” said Queen Xiao with a smile.
“Indeed. We are all old men here. We should be watching the next generation make names for themselves,” said Old Man Xiao.
“Father, Qingyuan is very talented, even unparalleled in this world. Are you really so worried about the next generation?” said Xiao Qianhe with a smile.
“Indeed. The Princess’s talent it without equal, and she has been personally trained by His Majesty. Plus she had trained very hard. In the future she will certainly become an assistant to His Majesty,” many people below them praised her one by one. Xia Qingyuan was already quite outstanding, and with her status as the Princess, it was only natural that everyone would praise her so much.
Xia Qingyuan seemed to be quite used to such occasions, and so she seemed very calm. She also did not seem too pleased with herself due to their praise. She accidentally glanced towards Ye Futian once again.
The people there probably did not know that among them was one who had defeated her.
Even if that man was a scoundrel.
Ye Futian did not see her looking at him. He was casually chatting with Yao Xi. Since he had been invited, he could eat and drink in peace. As for him not bringing a gift, Old Man Xiao did not seem to notice.
“You are all flattering her too much,” said Queen Xiao with a smile. “Where is Xiao Sheng?”
She looked into the crowd and saw a figure stand up and bow. “Here I am.”
Queen Xiao looked at Xiao Sheng, then at the beautiful woman beside him. She suddenly understood. “Is this the daughter of Divine Cloud Valley?”
“Greetings, My Lady. I am Gongsun Ni,” said Gongsun Ni.
“Excellent, you are truly worthy of being a junior of Divine Cloud Valley,” Queen Xiao praised her. “And you have grown up, Xiao Sheng. I’m sure you will both soon enter the Saint plane. You should consider cultivating together.”
“The path of cultivation takes a long time, so I would not like him to put too much energy into his feelings for a girl. Moreover, he is going to serve His Majesty in the future,” said Xiao Qianhe.
“That is no problem. If he finds a suitable partner to cultivate with he can bring it up with me and I will make a request to His Majesty to let them marry.” Queen Xiao was very wise. XIao Sheng was moved by what she said. She understood what he wished for, and desired to help him, presenting her offer of help like a gift to his father.
“If I find a suitable partner, I will certainly tell you.” Xiao Sheng bowed to Queen Xiao. Everyone looked at him in awe. To have the Queen arrange a marriage for you was a great honor. As a relative of Queen Xiao, Xiao Sheng had been born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
The Xiao clan and Divine Cloud Valley would probably form a marriage alliance. This would make the Xiao clan even more glorious.
Moreover, according to Xiao Qianhe’s words, it seemed that he was planning to have Xiao Sheng enter Emperor Xia’s service. It seemed that the Xiao clan’s prestige would become even higher.
The people from Divine Cloud Valley also naturally understood what Queen Xiao’s words meant, and had no objections. This would bring these two forces closer.
“This is also a generation of great talent for Divine Cloud Valley. Gongsun Zhong is but a half step away from the Saint plane, and in a few years he will have a chance to get there. Lihen Heaven has Wang Chuan, Xuanyuan Palace has Xuanyuan Ao, and even more powerful characters appear at Jiutian Temple from time to time. Everyone is looking forward to this next generation of heroes.” Old Man Xiao could naturally not only praise his own Xiao Clan, he also had to praise the others.
“You are still missing one person, Elder Xiao,” said Fengxiao with a bow.
“Ah, who do you mean?” Old Man Xiao looked towards the people from Lihen Heaven.
“Not long ago, someone boasted that he was unparalleled below the Saint level. By himself he was able to sweep away everyone from Lihen Heaven who was not a Saint,” said Fengxiao coldly. Ye Futian, who was sitting there quietly, lifted his head and stared at Fengxiao with cold eyes!