The Human Emperor - Chapter 124: Change in the Yuzhen Palace!
Knowing how harsh his conditions were, the gray-robed middle-aged man didn’t carry too much hope for the youngster before him.
He didn’t expect that this young man would agree to his conditions.
“Madness! What in the world is this fellow thinking? How can he agree to such terms?”
Does he have too much money?”
“Even so, he shouldn’t waste money on trash like him!”
“Furthermore, does he even know that fellow’s background?”
The mercenaries behind Wang Chong and the others found this sight inconceivable. A hundred gold taels was sufficient for one to hire an expert, yet this youngster chose to spend five thousand gold taels on this unreliable man.
More importantly, he didn’t even know the other party’s background!
Such actions were totally incomprehensible!
“So, what is your decision?”
Wang Chong smiled. Throughout the entire conversation, his face remained composed, as though the requests of the other party were insignificant.
The gray-robed middle-aged man stared at Wang Chong in astonishment. For the first time, he found himself unable to see through the young man before him.
Just when Wang Chong was waiting for the other party’s reply, a voice suddenly sounded.
“If you wish to take this much money, you need the capability for it. Young master, I’ll test him for you! ——”
A sonic boom burst in the air, and a powerful fist shot out from beside Wang Chong. Carrying rampaging wind alongside it, it flew straight for the gray-robed middle-aged man.
There was even vague white ripples in the surroundings of the fist. This was a mark of an Origin Energy Tier 9 expert, ‘Ripple Rings’.
“Shen Hai, don’t! ——”
Wang Chong’s face changed and he immediately moved to stop Shen Hai, but it was already too late. A cold harrumph sounded by his ear, and at the next moment, Shen Hai fist abruptly came to a stop several cun before the gray-robed middle-aged man, as if it had struck a wall.
“Hmph! Arrogant fool! ——”
In the blink of an eye, a composed but slightly displeased voice sounded in everyone’s ears. In the next moment, a powerful aura burst forth as though a storm from the seemingly unimpressive gray-robed middle-aged man.
An earth-shattering explosion sounded, and massive winds generated within the teahouse, causing everyone’s robes to flutter wildly. At the center of this ravaging wind, Shen Hai was knocked back like a rubber ball by a sudden burst of strength. Boom, he knocked into the wall on the other end of the room.
The wind slowly died down, and as though a sharp sword drawn from a sheathe, the gray-robed middle-aged man slowly stood up from his seat. At the opposite end, around ten zhang away, Shen Hai slowly stood up as well. Surprisingly, he was completely unharmed.
In this instant, everyone seemed to have went dumb. Standing beside Wang Chong, Meng Long stared at the sight with a dumbfounded expression.
Even though ‘Home of the Adventurers’ was a teahouse for hiring martial artists, it was one of the lower tiered ones.
No one could have imagined that such an incredible expert would be hidden within the teahouse. The other mercenaries who had been with him for several months were even more so astonished.
“Given how he is able to exert his internal energy, that person must be at least a True Martial Realm expert. Furthermore, judging from how casual his movements were, that wasn’t the true extent of his strength. He is much stronger than he looks.”
“Furthermore, given how he is able to knock Shen Hai so far without injuring him, his control over his strength has reached the level of a true master. This person must be at least of True Martial Realm 6-dan!”
Looking at the gray-robed middle-aged man before him, such thoughts flew past Wang Chong’s mind. As the Great Marshal of the Central Plains in his previous life, his eye of such stuff was top-notch. However, due to his limited cultivation, he wasn’t able to accurately peer into the other party’s strength.
As such thoughts flashed across his mind, Wang Chong swiftly stretched out his hand and shook the gray-robed middle-aged man’s hand.
After paying five thousand gold taels, Wang Chong learned that the name of the gray-robed man was ‘Li Zhuxin’. As for his history, Li Zhuxin refused to speak a single word on it.
After receiving the five thousand gold taels, just like what Li Zhuxin said, he immediately disappeared.
Shen Hai and Meng Long felt dismal upon this sight, but Wang Chong paid it no heed.
Wang Chong didn’t know much about Li Zhuxin, but he knew that he was a trustworthy person. He would definitely accomplish the tasks that he gave his word for.
If he wasn’t even able to do that, a king of the Great Tang wouldn’t have kept him by his side as a personal bodyguard.
“I can finally cultivate Might of the Barbaric God at ease now.”
Standing beside the carriage outside the Home of the Adventurers, Wang Chong heaved a sigh of relief. With an expert of Li Zhuxin’s caliber beside him, Wang Chong had found himself another layer of protection.
He could finally train in the mountain forest at ease to raise his cultivation.
With a bellow, the carriage started galloping toward the distance. However, instead of returning to the Wang Clan, it was headed to the mountains beyond the city gates.
Just when Wang Chong headed to the mountain forest every day to cultivate, a huge storm was brewing in the Great Tang royal palace.
“Your Highness, King Song has sent a letter! ——”
A hoarse voice sounded, and soon, an old nanny whose face was even more crumpled than the skin of an aged orange appeared with an envelope in her hands. She walked into the beautifully-furnished and grand Yuzhen Palace.
In the red tent, a crisp smack sounded. The infuriated voice of Consort Taizhen sounded from within.
“Li Chengqi, you are going too far! Don’t you think that you have humiliated me enough? To think that slandering me in the royal court with the other officials wasn’t enough, you even had to send letters to criticize me. How in the world have I offended you for you to have to insult me like that!”
If there was a single person she hated among the entire royal court, it had to be King Song Li Chengqi. If not for him, she would have already been with the Sage Emperor.
It was because of this Li Chengqi that she was brought to the center of the vortex, criticized by the entire royal court. How could she not feel hatred toward him?
Given the deep prejudice Li Chengqi held toward her, it was clear that this envelope was filled with insults toward her.
“Your Highness, what should we do with this envelope?”
“Do I even have to tell you what to do? Burn it!”
Consort Taizhen uttered coldly.
“Yes, your humble servant will have it settled now!”
Coldness welled up in the body of the old nanny as she hurriedly lowered her head and left.
In the vast and radiant side palace of the Yuzhen Palace, a teenage palace maid was currently kneeling on the floor, lighting a fire. On a table beside her was a pile of beautiful clothes.
Before long, blazing flames crackled in the room.
In the royal court, the old clothes of the consorts and concubines couldn’t be thrown away. They had to be burnt so as to prevent anyone from defiling them.
And the place where it was done was called the Clothes Incineration Section.
“Take this envelope. Her Highness has ordered to have it incinerated.”
The old nanny threw King Song’s envelope on the side of the table, and before the palace maid could react, the old nanny had already left. There were many matters to attend in the royal palace, and it was more than sufficient to leave these young palace maids to deal with the minor matters.
Experienced old nannies like her had more important matters to manage.
The young palace maid stared at the back of the departing old nanny blankly. After a moment of silence, she picked up the envelope on the table and opened it. She had a habit of looking at the exquisite possessions in the royal palace before incinerating it.
However, upon seeing the content of the letter, the young palace maid was stunned.
Consort Taizhen felt that the atmosphere in Yuzhen Palace had been bizarre recently.
Whenever those young palace maids delivered clothes to her, they would always secretly examine her from outside the tent. It was the same for those who sent pastries as well; even though she was already done eating, they would be staring at her with those empty plates on their hands. This peculiarity seemed to be contagious, and before long, even the older nannies were acting in the same way as well.
In Consort Taizhen’s palace, one could occasionally hear someone reciting something about clouds or flowers.
Initially, she didn’t think much of it. However, in the next few days, not only did the bizarre atmosphere not disappear, it became even more severe.
Eventually, even the Chamberlains of Imperial Insignia stationed at the corners of the tent started to act peculiarly as well.
“What is going on?”
Eventually, when a palace maid accidentally dropped the plate of pastries while secretly peeking at her, Consort Taizhen couldn’t take it any longer.
“Your Highness, please forgive me! Your Highness, please forgive me!”
The palace maid kneeled the floor as she begged with a trembling body. No matter how ignorant she was, she knew that it was a grievous crime to drop the pastries His Majesty sent to Her Highness.
“Xiao Yue, what’s wrong with you recently? Why do you seem so distracted? What are you up to?”
Consort Taizhen’s voice sounded from the tent.
“Your Highness, I’m sorry. Your humble servant only happened to hear a poem praising Your Highness’s beauty so I couldn’t help but take a peek at Your Highness.”
Kneeling on the floor, the palace maid answered fearfully.
“A poem praising me?”
Consort Taizhen was stunned. Her anger abruptly vanished.
“Indeed, I’m not the only one. Xiao Ying, Xiao Mei, and the others were talking about it as well. Everyone has been saying how ravishing Your Highness must be for someone to write such a beautiful poem. That’s the reason why I couldn’t help but peek at you.”
Knowing that she had committed a grievous crime, the palace maid quickly said everything that she knew.
“Bring Xiao Ying, Xiao Mei, and the others here!”
This time, Consort Taizhen was truly intrigued.
In just a moment, everyone in the Yuzhen Palace had been summoned over. The palace maids, old nannies, and even the eunuchs were brought over. A huge crowd kneeled outside the tent.
All of them said that they couldn’t help but peek at her because they thought that she was beautiful. This made Consort Taizhen even more curious.
However, something even more bizarre happened when Consort Taizhen asked about the poem. Even though everyone said that the poem was beautiful, no one remembered the entire content of that poem. Everyone only knew bits and pieces of it.
Someone said ‘the cloud toward the rain’, some said ‘the cloud reminiscent of the flowers’, some said ‘the spring wind blew strongly’, while some said ‘the dews were pretty’. All in all, no one recalled the content of the poem.
For every single verse, there seemed to be many different versions.
This left Consort Taizhen even more perplexed. But one thing she could confirm was that there was indeed such a poem, otherwise it wouldn’t have caused such a huge uproar in Yuzhen Palace.
“Tell me who did you all hear this poem from?”
Eventually, Consort Taizhen thought of a method to trace down the origin of the poem.
Tracing all the way down, the poem came from someone that no one could have imagined.
“I heard it from Xiao Zhu of the Clothes Incineration Section!”
When Xiao Zhu of the Clothes Incineration Section was brought over, she immediately kneeled to the floor trembling. Consort Taizhen received an answer that she could have never imagined.
“Your Highness, please forgive me! I saw this poem from the letter King Song sent!”
Consort Taizhen was dumbfounded.