Finally. Everything Commences. (Part 2)
Like it or not, time waits for nobody. Whether or not the significance of the date was in their favour or not, the thirteenth finally came around.
Emperor Yuansheng watched the march of dawn besiege the stars and sun rise from his window. Contrary to the sun’s victorious rise, Emperor Yuansheng’s mood was still in the same darkness he gazed at all night.
Notwithstanding Emperor Yuansheng’s desire to call his sons back to the capital in hopes of preventing the ominous prophecy from coming true after Orange Prince’s act of treason, he had yet to bring it to the table for discussion because the network of people and things that the decision would impact was enormous.
Emperor Yuansheng was committed to ending to the Seven Champion White Princes’ reign irrespective of what came between him. It certainly would scar his heart to put away Green Prince if the latter truly ventured to Huzhou as part of a maleficent ambition, nevertheless.
“Lyu’er… Do not let me down.”
“Master, it is time,” Dugu reported in synchrony with the first golden ray to shine through the window.
“… All right. Where is Constable Ming?”
“Present, Your Majesty,” Ming Feizhen responded.
“What is the plan for today?”
Ming Feizhen answered, “We are ready for a fight or a competition of wits. We can play dirty or bludgeon them.”
Emperor Yuansheng inhaled confidence: “What is the probability of winning?”
“Ten out of ten.”
“What makes you so confident? Wudang’s elder, Shandong’s famed broadsword wielder and Kunlun’s patriarch are on their side, while we only h-”
Ming Feizhen elevated the corners of his lips: “You will find out.”
“Master, let us be on our way. Let us lose quickly, so we can buy the ingredients and open the inn for business in time,” Long Zaitian commented.
“Long Zaitian, what are you insinuating with that speech of yours? You trying to jinx us?” Ming Feizhen admonished.
“Should I copy you, then, blowing his trumpet as loud as he can and then coming back in a stretcher? Your help from Wutong Jin Yuxuan and Tang Ye only make two fighters. Don’t screw with me.”
“Don’t worry. You’re first… to die.”
“How are we going to win when we’re already fighting amongst each other? Put a lid on it.” Emperor Yuansheng stepped out of his room and announced, “Move out.”
After both parties talked it out, Long Zaitian and a team of artisans constructed a small pavilion at the desolate, empty plains that innocents wouldn’t pass through. Even though the fiery ball in the sky could provide some degree of warmth during the day, the heavens didn’t blow so mercifully.
Under Ming Feizhen’s command were Su Xiao, Tang Ye, Long Zaitian, Dugu and Tie Hanyi. The reason the others didn’t attend was because they weren’t street hooligans. In these sorts of clashes, only those commentators and referees were permitted if they weren’t competing. Of course, if Emperor Yuansheng’s side played the thug game, then Yi Wangyou would’ve returned the favour in kind.
Yi Wangyou was already furrowing his brows in the pavilion because of Green Prince’s wilfulness prior to Ming Feizhen’s arrival. Lie Shang gave everyone on the opposing side a smile but never took his eyes off Tang Ye. Nobody had any trouble recognising Elder Shou from his affable smile, but nobody, besides Ming Feizhen, recognised the other fragile-looking elder with no internal energy signal to speak of. Little did they know the elder had recently become one of the most revered individuals within Luo Clan, the adept among adepts, god among men, Empyrean Zha!
“How do you do? You’re quite early,” Green Prince condescendingly greeted upon setting eyes on Ming Feizhen.
“We left early since we didn’t want to be late, yet you still arrived before us,” Ming Feizhen replied.
“Really? I haven’t left this place since yesterday.”
“Hahaha, why are you so nervous? Hahaha, with Elder Shou, Hero Lie and Patriarch Yi on your side, you have the win already.”
“You also have great men, hahahaha.” As he was confident, Green Prince saw no point in wasting his breath on Ming Feizhen and went up to Yi Wangyou: “He seems as cool as a cucumber. Are you sure your reports are true?”
“You sure those unorthodox groups suspecting Dragon Phoenix Inn of stealing their weapons will be here to pick a bone with them?”
“They have already arrived. See?”
“Oh, haha, nice.”
The throng strutting over to Ming Feizhen were armed and spat on the ground as one would expect of uncouth villains. They lined up in front of the maiden behind Ming Feizhen and bowed: “How ya do, Big Boss Sis?!”