There were only two days left of the Divine Calendar's first millennium. Donghai City grew more and more festive.
Many people were in the Guqin Gardens where Hua Fengliu stayedYe Futian, Yu Sheng, Yi Qingxuan, Yi Xiang, Tang Lan, and Tang Wan.
"Tomorrow is the last day of the year. After tomorrow, I'll see you all off," Yi Xiang said.
"Why the hurry?" Yi Qingxuan asked.
"Haven't you realized that people are watching the Guqin Gardens these days?" Yi Xiang said. "They haven't done anything so I ignored them but it's better to be safe than sorry. As the saying goes, the longer the night, the more nightmares you may receive."
The School of the Emperor Star definitely held grudges against him and Ye Futian but hadn't made any moves. Perhaps they had their own concerns but Yi Xiang didn't care. The sooner he got Ye Futian to the Imperial City the less he worried.
"Senior Yi, you are right." Sitting on the side, Hua Fengliu nodded.
"You get to see her tomorrow. Are you excited?" Tang Lan smiled at Hua Fengliu. Last time, Hua Jieyu had said that Nandou agreed to let Ye Futian and Hua Fengliu spend the New Year with Nandou Wenyin. It was a concession on the Nandou clan's part.
"No way. I want to be with you all," Hua Fengliu said, laughing.
"Really? Then let Futian go by himself," Tang Lan smiled and said.
Hua Fengliu's expression was a bit awkward. He shot a glance at Ye Futian, seeming to want Ye Futian to help him out.
"Master, you decide." Ye Futian looked away. He couldn't help his master now. There was no loyalty at times like this.
Hua Fengliu glared at Ye Futian. How could his disciple and future son-in-law be like this?
"Tang Lan, I do want to spend it with Jieyu," Hua Fengliu finally said with a wavering smile.
Tang Lan smiled thinly and said, "Fake." With that, she turned around. As she left, she said, "I'll have the servants prepare the New Year dinner. We'll celebrate beforehand."
"We can do that?" Ye Futian looked at Tang Lan's back, impressed at her decisive actions.
"Come here," said a cool voice. Ye Futian turned to see Hua Fengliu smiling at him. He shuddered at the strange smile and walked over to massage Hua Fengliu. "Master, how may I help you?"
"How can I ask you for help?" Hua Fengliu said coldly.
"It's my duty to help my master," Ye Futian said earnestly. "Oh right, I recognized Masteress as soon as I saw her last time. Only you can win the heart of someone as beautiful as her."
"Of course." Hua Fengliu smiled proudly. Back in the day, he had so many competitors. The Art Saint was the strongest one but he still won.
"Masteress is so beautiful now; I can't imagine what she looked like before. I'm sure your looks were comparable to mine," Ye Futian continued.
Hua Fengliu was honestly impressed at how his student had successfully changed the topic.
After a while, the banquet was ready. Everyone chatted and enjoyed the atmosphere. While they were gathered like a family, a group of powerful men descended from the sky outside the Guqin Garden's gate.
The leader was the chief of the East Sea Prefecture, Xia Feng. Xia Fan was beside him. They had come with powerful men and a powerful aura. Xia Fan's eyes flashed dangerously.
"Enter." Xia Feng waved. The group instantly shot into the sky like heavenly soldiers and stepped into the garden.
Inside, Yi Xiang first felt something wrong. He frowned slightly and looked towards the outside of the garden. Then everyone else followed his gaze. A moment later, they saw the malevolent group appear in the air.
"Xia Feng, what are you doing?" Tang Lan scanned Xia Feng coldly and asked.
Xia Feng's eyes glinted coldly. The group landed and walked toward the people enjoying the banquet. Beside him, Xia Fan glared coldly at Ye Futian. This was the lowly figure he once thought of as an ant he could play with but Ye Futian had almost killed him. Now, the tides had finally turned a bit.
Ye Futian looked at Xia Fan with similar coldness, murderous intent flashing past his eyes.
"Sorry to disturb everyone. I am here today under an order. It is good news, so let me congratulate you first." Xia Feng smiled but everyone at the banquet frowned. What order was he talking about? He did not interact with the royalty of Nandou. How could he receive an order? A bad premonition grew within them.
"Ye Futian." Xia Feng's gaze fell on Ye Futian. Everyone's eyes turned towards him. Had the emperor given Ye Futian an order?
"The emperor proclaims that due to the extraordinary talent of Ye Futian of the East Sea Prefecture, he is given the title of Study Attendant of the Crown Prince. From now on, he will accompany the Crown Prince in his studies and cultivation."
Xia Feng smiled at Ye Futian while speaking. That day at Donghai Academy, Ye Futian had rejected the Crown Prince's invitation to be the minister. He could have gone straight to the top but he did not know what was good for himself. Now, the Crown Prince was probably angered. He had the Emperor pass the decree and sent Minister Hua to collect him from Donghai City. What this implied went without saying.
Ye Futian had to go.
"It is not the end of the year yet," Xia Feng continued. "His Majesty allows him to wait until the year passes. We will embark on the first day of the new year."
Everyone at the banquet stared at him. The Study Attendant of the Crown Prince was an opportunity that many dreamed of. There was a chance of extreme success. However, it was not a good thing for Ye Futian, especially since he'd just politely rejected the prince. Now, the Emperor had sent this direct order without giving any way to back out of it.
Ye Futian's eyes flashed; he was angry inside. At the Assembly of the Seven Schools, the Crown Prince had asked if he knew the consequences of disobeying the crown's orders. He was not the Emperor but he was the Crown Prince.
The Emperor's order was here.
For the first time, Ye Futian experienced the power, aggressiveness, and coldness of the crown. There was no respect for himthere was no need to respect him. Minister Zuo had wanted him to attend the Tingfeng Banquet in the Imperial City. He'd planned on leaving after the New Year but he never thought that a decree would order him to go.
"The Study Attendant?" Ye Futian asked coldly. They wanted him to accompany the prince? Right now, he was even wondering if there was still a need to attend the Tingfeng Banquet. Minister Zuo had thought so highly of him but had probably not thought of this result.
Ye Futian could feel that this was not Minister Zuo's idea. Minister Zuo had been very friendly toward him and would definitely respect his opinion. He would not force him to the Imperial City in this way and would definitely not have Xia Feng do it.
"Got it," Ye Futian said coolly.
Xia Feng's eyes sharpened and focused on Ye Futian.
"This is the Emperor's decree. Ye Futian, watch your attitude," Xia Fan said in a frigid tone.
"The Emperor gave me the title of the Crown Prince's Study Attendant. He's not punishing me so what's with your attitude?" Ye Futian sat there, staring at Xia Fan. These men had broken into the Guqin Gardens to announce this as if he was a criminal.
Xia Feng sneered inwardly. He realized that Ye Futian knew he had angered the Crown Prince and was being taken forcefully. Minister Hua was the one in charge and Ye Futian obviously knew what this meant.
Xia Fan narrowed his eyes and then laughed. He said, "Very good. I'd like to see how much longer you smile for. I forgot to tell you that Minister Hua is going to the Nandou clan today with another decree."
The moment he finished, Ye Futian rose. He stared daggers at Xia Fan. "What decree?"
"Guess." Xia Fan smiled and said, "It's related to your girlfriend."
"Okay, is this your business?" Xia Feng said indifferently. Faced with a group of cold glares, he said, "Sorry for the disruption. I'll be waiting outside and we'll go as soon as New Years is over."
With that, Xia Feng waved and they sauntered off.
Ye Futian and the others stared at the backs of Xia Feng's group. They still had not recovered. The happy atmosphere was completely gone with gray clouds over their heads.
Ye Futian and Hua Fengliu were especially unsettled.
. . . . . .
At the same time that Xia Feng announced the decree, Minister Hua had arrived at the Nandou clan. Nandou Tai, the clan leader, welcomed him personally.
Seeing him, Minister Hua smiled and said, "Brother Nandou, congratulations."
"What do you mean?" Nandou Tai was confused.
"It is great news. His Majesty has a decree. Is Hua Jieyu here?"
Nandou Tai's eyes flashed. He didn't understand why Minister Hua would need Hua Jieyu. Was the Emperor's decree related to Jieyu?
Had Minister Zuo said something to the Emperor? But then why would Minister Hua be here?
"I'll call her over now," Nandou Tai said.
"No need. I'll go personally so please bring me to her," Minister Hua said with a smile.
Nandou Tai was even more confused but he nodded and said, "Alright. After you."
With that, the group started off and arrived in Nandou Wenyin's residence. After hearing the news, she and Hua Jieyu came out and stared at the newcomer in confusion.
Minister Hua gazed at Hua Jieyu and smiled. "As expected, you are a beauty. No wonder you have an extraordinary fate."
"Minister Hua, please enlighten us," Nandou Tai said. Had Minister Zuo really said something about her fate? But an astrologer always kept fates a secret, especially one like Jieyu's. Nandou Tai did not dare publicize it and not even anyone in the clan knew. He was worried that revealing it would affect Jieyu's fate.
"The Emperor has proclaimed Hua Jieyu as the Crown Princess. She will travel the palace in the year 10001 of the Divine Calendar for the title ceremony," Minister Hua said. He thought, No wonder the emperor is the emperor. With these two decrees, Minister Zuo isn't put in a difficult position but the fatal problems are solved. Since these two will influence the nation, then give them riches and keep them where they can be easily controlled.
If anyone had any objections, he could make a prompt decision. Fates could be changed but the royal order could not be disobeyed!
To Hua Jieyu, this order was like a bolt from the blue!