The halls of the seven schools emptied as everyone gathered at the central square of the main Donghai Academy campus. Ye Futian and Yu Sheng were not among them. They remained in their dorm.
Just then, Headmaster Yi Xiang arrived. He was not alone. Behind him, several people followed. Ye Futian was surprised at the sight but quickly recovered. He walked up to the group with a smile. "Master, Ms. Tang Lan, what are you guys doing here?"
"Tang Wan relayed your message to me. Things are about to change drastically at Donghai Academy. We came because we were curious what will become of the academy," answered Tang Lan. Ye Futian had asked Tang Wan to help relay Headmaster Yi Xiang's message to Tang Lan.
Tang Lan looked over at Yu Sheng. "So, you're my Junior Brother now."
Yu Sheng smiled shyly and greeted her, "Senior Sister."
"Umm..." something felt wrong to Ye Futian. "Our relationship has gotten so complicated. Doesn't this mean that Yu Sheng is technically my senior? This won't do!"
"Forget about that." Tang Lan stared at Ye Futian. "I heard you've been really cocky since you started attending the academy. You crashed the party at the Luo Palace, beat up Zhou Mu as well as students from the Emperor Star school. You even went to the Nandou Palace. Daring fellow."
Ye Futian chuckled. It was only a given that Hua Fengliu and Tang Lan kept tabs on everything that happened at Donghai Academy.
"Did you see your masteress?" Hua Fengliu asked.
"Yes, I did, Master. Masteress hasn't forgotten about you," said Ye Futian. After he replied, he felt a chill. He turned to see Tang Lan smiling at him. He shut his mouth immediately. Life was so hard.
"I'm going to go see your grandmaster," said Hua Fengliu. Ye Futian glanced at Yi Xiang and heard him say, "The Assembly of the Seven Schools is about to begin. I have to head over now, but I'm sure the School of the Emperor Star is already empty. You can take your master there."
"Okay." Ye Futian nodded. He stepped forward to put Hua Fengliu on his back. Wind Sorcery surrounded and carried them into the sky.
In the air, Hua Fengliu questioned Ye Futian again, "Your masteress, is she doing well?"
"Yeah, she just misses you. After meeting me, she said that you have a good eye to pick such an outstanding disciple," Ye Futian replied with a smile. He did not tell Hua Fengliu what Nandou Wenshan had told him. If Hua Fengliu knew that Nandou Wenyin spent the past years like a living corpse he would definitely be very upset.
"You've become more thick-skinned in our time apart. Your masteress didn't kick you out the door for acting this way?" Hua Fengliu made a lighthearted joke. He was already used to Ye Futian's shamelessness.
"Something like that could never happen! Before I left, Masteress even said she would betroth Hua Jieyu to me," said Ye Futian.
"Really?" asked Hua Fengliu.
"Master, do you think I would joke about this matter?"
Hua Fengliu laughed. "I believe you. Love me love my dog. It seems that her feelings for me have remained unchanged."
"What do you mean, "love me love my dog"? Masteress' fondness for me has nothing to do with you. It's because I'm such an outstanding man. What a narcissist you are." Ye Futian had no words for how thick-skinned Hua Fengliu was. "Love me love my dog." Oh please.
"Shouldn't you already know how narcissistic I can get?" asked Hua Fengliu. Ye Futian could only admit defeat. He said, "Master, I don't think I can ever surpass you in this aspect."
By 'this aspect' Ye Futian meant narcissism.
"Don't underestimate yourself like this. You were able to defeat Zhou Mu, which means that I made the right choice to take you on as my disciple. I do have a good eye." Hua Fengliu laughed softly.
"It's not easy to get a compliment out of you. So, does this mean you're happy I beat up Zhou Mu?" chuckled Ye Futian.
"Very happy," answered Hua Fengliu. A huge smile broke out on Ye Futian's face. Although he has yet to make any progress on healing Hua Fengliu, Ye Futian was happy to do at least this much for his master.
When Ye Futian and Hua Fengliu reached Elder Qin's residence within the School of the Emperor Star, they could hear the sound of a guqin. He was playing the guqin by himself. Although all ten of his fingers were calloused, his movements were accurate and clean. The white-haired elder exuded an elegance. Elder Qin did not seem to have noticed them. He continued to play peacefully, completely immersed in the music.
The sound of the guqin was gentle and peaceful. Elder Qin stopped stroking the chords and ended his performance. Only then did he turn his attention over to his visitors. He smiled when he saw Ye Futian and Hua Jieyu.
"Fengliu, you're here!" he said. His smile was kind. With Ye Futian supporting him, Hua Fengliu bent his knees and kneeled down on the ground. His began to bow to Elder Qin. His head met the ground harshly.
When Hua Fengliu lifted his head, his eyes were red. In a raspy voice, he said, "I have been unfilial to you, Master. It has taken me too long to come see you."
Hua Fengliu thought back to when he first met his master. Elder Qin used to be so full of life and energy. Even when he had left, the older male did not look as worn as he did now. Hua Fengliu would never have thought that his master would have aged so much when they met again. It seemed that Elder Qin was closing in on the end of his life.
"Hua Fengliu, get up!" Elder Qin sounded very stern. Hua Fengliu bowed once more before allowing Ye Futian to help him up. Following that, Hua Fengliu said, "Master, I have let you down."
"I am already satisfied to be able to see my disciple again before I die. There is no need to speak of such things," said Elder Qin. He was smiling again. "Besides, I am very fond of Hua Jieyu and Ye Futian. These two youngsters are both very good. Ye Futian is even more gifted than you."
Hua Fengliu laughed. "This rascal's gifts are alright but he is too mischievous. I hope he didn't do anything to offend you, Master."
"There's no way! His personality is better than yours," replied Elder Qin. He looked at Ye Futian and smiled. He continued, "He and Hua Jieyu are well-matched. You and Nandou Wenyin have to support them. Don't let them walk down the same path as you two."
"I understand, Master," Hua Fengliu nodded. He eyed Ye Futian who stood off to the side. When Ye Futian sent a proud smile his way, Hua Fengliu gave him an icy glare in return.
"Futian," called Elder Qin, "I am so old now. There are many things I am now unable to do. Regarding your master's injury, I can only count on you."
"Don't worry, Grandmaster. As long as I'm alive, I will find a way to heal Master," said Ye Futian seriously.
"Silly child, don't talk about the negative things. You'll live a long, happy life," Elder Qin said to Ye Futian.
"Whatever you say, Grandmaster," said Ye Futian with a smile. "You also have to take good care of yourself so you can be a witness for the wedding ceremony when Jieyu and I get married."
"Yes, yes..." He could not stop nodding his head. Elder Qin looked extra happy.
"Master, you've probably suffered here at the School of the Emperor Star all these years. Why don't you leave with me?" Hua Fengliu asked.
"Oh, Fengliu. I've spent more than half my life here. No matter how this place changes, I will always be a part of this school. I already have one leg in the coffin, where else would I go?" Elder Qin shook his head with a soft smile on his face.
"Grandmaster, things at Donghai Academy won't be the same after today. Do you really not want to consider leaving?" Ye Futian tried to persuade the elder as well.
Hearing his words, Elder Qin looked into the distance. Even though he has not stepped foot outside of the School of the Emperor Star, he knew what was going on in Donghai Academy. He could not help but sigh.
At the same time that the three chatted at the School of the Emperor Star, everyone was gathered at the central square of the Donghai Academy campus. It was extremely packed as the surrounding observation decks filled up with people. Officials from the seven schools sat at the center in front of their respective groups, where they stood out the most. Besides them, representatives from the clans of the City of Donghai were also present.
Anyone qualified to sit up front with them definitely had an extraordinary background. But it did not matter who they were because at this moment, almost everyone's attention was focused elsewhere.
In the direction where the officials of the Emperor Star school were seated, a figure walked up to the main seat of the assembly. He stood there nonchalantly but exuded the gracefulness of royalty. He took one look into the crowd as if he were overlooking the world. Beside him stood Minister Hua, the headmaster of the School of the Emperor Star, and Chief Xia Feng of the East Sea Prefectures.
"Is that the Crown Prince? He looks like an exceptional young man, born to be emperor." Everyone whispered about Luo Junlin. He possessed an extraordinary aura. An aura so strong, it would feel burdensome to get close to him.
The people got up one after another and bowed in his direction. "Greetings, Crown Prince. Greetings, Minister Zuo."
Luo Junlin watched this scene calmly and spoke, "Sit." He then turned to take his own seat and only when was he seated everyone took their seats as well.
Everyone knew the young man seated at the center of the square was to become the emperor of the Nandou Nation. He was going to control the world. Not only was Luo Junlin a person of great importance, his aura, his looks, and his gifts were also outstanding. Many of the young women watched him closely, seeming to all be expecting something outrageous.
"The Crown Prince's aura is so much stronger than that of Zhou Mu's," muttered Xiao He. She stood beside Lin Xiyue and the rest of the Lin family. The Art Saint's disciple, Zhou Mu had been the most outstanding young man she had ever seen.
"The Art Saint is over there and so is Zhou Mu," Xiao He continued. She was looking in the direction of Vice Headmaster Han Mo. Standing beside him was the Art Saint and Zhou Mu stood behind his master.
However, Lin Xiyue was looking into the crowd, seemingly in search of something. She could not find the young man she was hoping to see. He was a student of the School of the Finance Star but was not amongst the students seated here.
At this moment, seated amongst the officials of the School of the Emperor Star, Vice Headmaster Han Mo stood up. He walked to a spot up ahead and held both of his arms up to the sky. In a split second, everything went quiet.
"The Crown Prince and Minister Hua have blessed the academy with their presence today. Donghai Academy has not experienced such great honor in its 300 some years of history. I am sure that what happens here today will be recorded in the history books for the people even a thousand years from now," Han Mo said loudly. "The Crown Prince and Minister Hua have high hoped for our academy. So, we would like to take this chance and have students of each school demonstrate their abilities for them here today, during the Assembly of the Seven Schools.
A light flashed through everyone's eyes. They were all conflicted. All those days ago, before Ye Futian defeated the students from the schools of the Emperor Star and the Treasury Star, they constantly picked fights with students of other schools to exert their dominance. But they never thought that their plans could be ruined by Ye Futian.
Presently, the School of the Emperor School used the Crown Prince and Minister Hua as an excuse to hold this assembly. Their intentions were no secret to everyone.
However, to be able to prove one self's worth in front of the Crown Prince was a one in a lifetime chance. Some people began to explore the idea. After all, it didn't really matter to ordinary students whether or not the seven schools of Donghai Academy were separated or united.