All the music and dances for the birthday banquet of Lord Luo had been settled, and the musician left after he had taught Ye Futian the songs he was assigned to play. The steward also repeatedly told him some dos and don'ts for the next day.
Ye Futian was left in the palace to rehearse with a group of girls. Their figures and facial features were all top-notch, especially the leader. She was about eighteen-years-old, extraordinarily sexy, but with a face full of the youthfulness of a younger girl. When she was dancing in that dress made of chiffon, it was possible for any man to fall in love with her.
Ye Futian kept his head low while playing the song. A sweet and charming voice suddenly spoke. "Why don't you raise your head?"
A gorgeous face soon appeared in front of him. He smiled and replied, "You are so charming that once I see you, I feel distracted."
"You do know how to compliment girls," she chuckled. Her skirt swung onto the guqin.
"Just come and join us." She started dancing again and seemed to be luring him intentionally. Most of the musicians were just old men, so she was surprised that the assigned musician this time was such a young and pretty boy.
"Sorry Miss, I have a girlfriend," Ye Futian smiled at her. The girl was dumbfounded for a moment, then started chuckling again along with the girls around her.
"What are you talking about? Remember, my name is Yun Rou, and in the future, I will marry a very powerful cultivator. You are too young to pique my interest," Yun Rou made fun of him.
"Nice to meet you. I'm Ye Futian," he replied, and then the rehearsal continued. They told Ye Futian that tomorrow, at the birthday banquet of Lord Luo, there would be many influential people of the City of Donghai attending.
However, these girls didn't have any further information. In this continent, the talents of cultivation determined everything. Even a gorgeous girl who was born to a mundane family could not gain much advantage from her beauty. She might marry a powerful cultivator, but most likely, she'd end up a concubine rather than a wife. Even worse, since powerful cultivators tended to look for younger women, affairs would become an inevitable fate on the man's side of the marriage as time went by.
The next day, the Luo Palace became boisterous in the morning. A lot of servants were busy preparing for the banquet and hosting the visitors.
The rehearsals kept going. After lunch, there started to be more and more visitors crowding into the banquet room.
Ye Futian and the girls were already in place.
The banquet was opulent. The center spot was reserved for Lord Luo, the guest of honor, as he was the one being celebrated. Then, there were seats arranged in rows on both sides of Lord Luo's spot. Apparently, the people who were seated closer to Lord Luo were of higher status in this city.
There was a broad space between these two rows, and behind the seats, there was a stage with a golden carpet. That was where Ye Futian and the girls were to perform. It was designed to liven up the banquet without distracting the guests.
Before the guests were seated, the show had already started. The whole room was filled with laughter. Lin Xiyue and Xiao He were among the first group of people entering the room. While they were getting ushered into their seats, Lin Xiyue noticed Ye Futian and smiled at him.
"Such a pity that you're rarely attracted to a boy, and the one you pick is only a musician," Xiao He joked. Lin Xiyue gave her a stare. "Stop that."
A pretty handsome boy came to them and asked with a smile, "What are you talking about?"
"Nothing, Mr. Luo," Lin Xiyue shook her head.
"Xiyue, people told me that you brought that musician to this place. Is he your friend?" the boy asked.
"We've met twice. He told me that he wanted to come here and broaden his horizons, so I did him a favor. You're fine with that, aren't you?" Lin Xiyue answered.
"It's okay. In fact, if he wants, to, he can stay here as long as he wants." The boy was still laughing.
"Okay, I'll ask him after the banquet is over," Lin Xiyue said.
"Sure. See you later." The boy left. Xiao He whispered to Xiyue: "Young Lord Luo seemed to be attracted to you, girl."
"I already told you to stop." Lin Xiyue felt awkward.
"I'm serious. I know he doesn't look as cute as Ye Futian, but what about his status?" Xiao He didn't want to stop. Lin Xiyue gave up; she knew that this girl liked to joke.
Young girls had all kinds of fantasies. Apparently, Ye Futian did not understand what they were thinking at all.
Suddenly, someone entered the room, walking with majestic steps. He was apparently of high status in this place. People stopped chatting and greeted him, "Happy birthday, Lord Luo."
Ye Futian also raised his head and looked at Lord Luo. He had an absolutely commanding and dignified appearance.
"Long time no see, Lord Luo. You actually look younger than the last time we met," someone walked up to him and said.
"Lord Luo, happy birthday from the Lin Family."
People started to queue up to send birthday congratulations.
"Lord Luo, happy birthday from the Xia Family," a bright and clear voice sounded.
"I appreciate it, Lord Xia," Lord Luo replied with a smile. The title of Lord Luo was merely conferred without substantial authority. In fact, Xia Feng, the head of the Xia family, was the most powerful man in this city. Still, there were some other people almost equally dignified in this city, such as the head of the Nandou Family, the supervisors of schools at Donghai Academy, and a few others.
Behind Xia Feng, there was a young man who bowed slightly to Lord Luo. "Greetings, Lord Luo. I'm Xia Fan."
"Mr. Xia Fan, you have grown up!" Lord Luo complimented.
"Don't praise him, Lord Luo. He's been dawdling all the time. With your compliment, I'm afraid it's going to be worse," Xia Feng joked.
Coincidently, Ye Futian raised his head at this moment, and soon noticed Xia Fan. The moment he saw Xia Fan, he gave him an icy glare.
After Xia Feng and Xia Fan were seated, Xia Fan started enjoying the show. When he saw Yun Rou, he felt very attracted to this beautiful girl. However, soon he noticed that Ye Futian was sitting behind her, playing. He frowned and felt very confused.
How could Ye Futian be here?
How had he survived after jumping into the canyon? Had the ferocious Snow Ape just let him go?
Ye Futian was also looking at Xia Fan. They stared at each other, and Ye Futian perceived the contempt in Xia Fan's eyes. Xia Fan had believed Ye Futian was just a nobody, someone that Xia Fan did not care was alive or dead.
Xia Fan was the young Lord of Donghai Province. He could entirely ignore Ye Futian due to their vast gap in status. He knew that Hua Fengliu, the only patron of Ye Futian, was now crippled. The only thing he felt frustrated about was that his uncle had died at the hands of the Snow Ape in that fight.
"Who are you looking at?" Xia Feng asked.
"Nothing. I just saw someone interesting," Xia Fan responded. It was extremely interesting that the disciple of the Guqin Devil was now serving in this room as a musician.
Ye Futian became peaceful and kept playing. He wasn't worried about running into Xia Fan at this place. He was already a student of Donghai Academy, so no one would be allowed to try to kill him this time, no matter how powerful they were.
"Happy birthday from the Nandou family," another congratulation came. Lord Luo looked at the person approaching and started laughing. "Long time no see, Mr. Nandou."
There were two men from the Nandou family. One was middle-aged, and one was young. They were Nandou Wenshan and his son, Nandou Kai. They had come here on behalf of the Nandou family. Since they were the leaders of the Nandou family, attending this banquet represented the respect they held for Lord Luo.
"Long time no see, Lord Luo," Nandou Wenshan replied. Lord Luo ushered these two into the seats closest to himself.
"So, Wenshan, you do come here," another voice said, and Nandou Wenshan stood up from his seat to greet the new group of people that had just entered the room.
"Why did you come here together?" Nandou Wenshan laughed.
"We met each other on the way here." One of them had a complexion as clear as jade. He was casually dressed for this banquet, but it was obvious that he was not someone common. The other one was an old man, but still in good shape. He laughed at Lord Luo and greeted him. "I am here on behalf of Donghai Academy."
"Thanks so much," Lord Luo replied with his body slightly bowed down. He then ushered these two men into their seats, also the ones closest to him.
This group of people was now having a conversation. They were among the most influential people in the city.
"Mr. Art Saint has been friends with Lord Luo for a long time. He's attended his birthday banquet every year."
"It's said that Mr. Art Saint has reached a higher plane than he was in last year. The person who is with him actually runs the School of the Emperor Star at Donghai Academy."
"I believe the young man behind him must be Zhou Mu. He is already a Five-star Glory Plane invoker, a true genius. People say that Art Saint is trying to form a political marriage between Zhou Mu and the daughter of the Nandou Family."
"I think Art Saint is trying to make up for his mistakes of the past. I'm afraid that this job is not going to be easy. The princess of the Nandou family is supremely gorgeous, talented, and so treasured by the Nandou family that they don't want to trade her for political interest," people were whispering to each other.
They lowered their voices to avoid being heard, but Ye Futian still learned a lot of information from all the talk. He looked at the middle-aged man with the bright complexion and realized that this man was Art Saint, who had destroyed Hua Fengliu's natal spirit.
He soon understood why Tang Lan had told him it would be impossible to ask for help from Lord Luo. Lord Luo was long-time friends with Hua Fengliu's nemesis.
He felt upset, as it seemed that his attempt to get help was all in vain.
However, he had obtained a lot of information about the political situation in the City of Donghai.
He was still curious about the relationship between Hua Jieyu and the representative of the Nandou family.