Xiao Lin didn’t have a high-profile personality, so his birthday banquet wasn’t much fun.
After the performers played music and danced on the stage, only the ministers were left exchanging conventional greetings with each other.
It was at this time that a man walked in laughing. The man was dressed in white with a jade crown, and a transparent jade hanging on his waist.
“I’m late for Sixth Brother’s birthday banquet. I hope Sixth Brother won’t be angry.”
Although he was smiling, his eyes were not.
Sitting on the main seat, Xiao Lin’s initially gentle expression had turned slightly colder upon seeing him. Xiao Lin stood up. “Fourth Brother.”
It turned out to be King Zhao.
Su Su quietly observed King Zhao. His gait was slightly conceited, his eyes were somewhat bluish-black, and his gaze was sharp. With just a glance, one could see that he was a person that was hard to get along with. King Zhao’s identity was quite unusual. His mother was the Emperor’s favourite imperial consort1贵妃 (guìfēi) – the highest rank of imperial concubine, and her maternal family was very powerful. So, in the future battle for the throne, he would be Xiao Lin’s most significant opponent.
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Ikdt Hbys, Dkys Fbld, pyv sd ydsvbla xykd plyv. Tl piwkdvle bkp lulp, yde bkp tygl qlzz wrsd Zl Jkdt Fbydt. “Fkel Rxrlakyz Usdnwckdl Fbydt, zsdt vkxl ds pll. Ebu es usw zssj lhld xsal rkvkqwz dso? Nssj yv vbkp ryzl qynl vbyv xyjlp rlsrzl qllz psaau qsa usw. Uswze kv cl vbyv Fkmvb Jasvbla kp xkpvalyvkdt usw?”
Tl pyke kv okvb y pxkzl, cwv bkp tygl xyzknkswpzu oydelale cynj yde qsavb clvolld Zl Jkdt Fbydt’p dlnj yde nszzya.
Zl Jkdt Fbydt yhlavle bla tygl wdnsxqsavyczu, bla lulcasop tyhl swv y pzktbvzu ekprzlyple lmralppksd. Fbl rszkvlzu pvsse wr yde csole okvb alprlnv, “R bsrl Tkp Tktbdlpp Ikdt Hbys eslpd’v fsjl okvb vbkp nsdnwckdl.”
Ikdt Hbys’p zkrp nwahle wroyaep. Tkp byoj-zkjl tygl oyp pvkzz pvyakdt yv Zl Jkdt Fbydt.
Dkys Nkd’p qynl bye pwdjld, yde bl rwv bkp okdl nwr esod blyhkzu.
“Wswavb Jasvbla, usw esd’v byhl vs vaswczl uswaplzq shla xu bswplbsze yqqykap.”
Ikdt Hbys pxynjle bkp zkrp. Tl eked’v eyal vs nsdvkdwl wrsd pllkdt vbl kxxsavyz-zkjl clkdt, Dkys Nkd, ydtau. Fkmvb Jasvbla bye y tldvzl vlxrlayxldv. Rv oyp sjyu kq usw eked’v rashsjl bkx, cwv kv oswzed’v lde olzz sdnl usw bye. Tl vbld zssjle yoyu. Gp kq bl bye vbswtbv sq psxlvbkdt, bl vbld zssjle okvb talyv kdvlalpv vsoyaep vbl Zl Wyxkzu.
“Mbkae Ykpp Zl kp yzps blal.” Ikdt Hbys zssjle yv Fw Fw, yde bkp lulp zkv wr.
His impression of this Third Miss remained from the past. She was a spiteful, willful, and vicious-hearted young lady. But the Third Ye today had a different bearing, with a scorching flower ornament in-between her eyebrows.
If the Eldest Miss Ye was a pretty bloomed lotus, then the Third Miss would be a peony2芍药 [sháo yao] – Chinese herbaceous peony that had just began to blossom.
A young girl who had just matured was youthful and attractive. The two girls of the Ye Family were born well.
Su Su didn’t expect that King Zhao would end up diverting his attention to her when she was just eating melon3eating melon – a term used to say watching the drama/show *munches popcorn*.
His vulgar gaze made people uncomfortable.
However, Su Su was calm and collected. She said to King Zhao, “This official’s daughter greets His Highness, King Zhao.”
Then, she hid behind Tantai Jin with evil intentions.
Come on, bad devil! Go and face King Zhao.
Tantai Jin looked at the girl behind him in bewilderment. She looked back at him with a straight face.
Tantai Jin’s gaze looked uncertain. He glanced at her, then replaced her to meet King Zhao’s gaze.
King Zhao smiled treacherously, “Hostage prince, long time no see. Is your life in the General’s residence better than the cold palace?”
Su Su felt that King Zhao was like an arrogant giant crab that walked horizontally. He was not only lecherous but also had evil tendencies. Whenever he caught someone, he would publicly criticize them4怼 (duì) – internet slang to attack someone verbally/criticise a person publicly/call out a person.
The entire atmosphere had changed since his appearance at the banquet.
Tantai Jin said, “Thanks, King Zhao, for your concern. The General’s residence has been very good.”
“That’s good then. But I really miss hostage prince, my good childhood playmate.” King Zhao lifted his robe and slightly split his legs. His expression was darkly hinting at his ridicule and contempt.
Tantai Jin’s expression did not change, and he nodded. He toasted King Zhao a cup of wine.
King Zhao raised his eyebrows. He was amazed. Last time, this lowly prisoner of war— the hostage prince, had crawled through his legs, and his hands had clenched the mud so tightly that the green veins on the back of his hands bulged. Now, he was hinting at that incident to humiliate Tantai Jin, but his reaction was extremely calm. How interesting.
When Su Su heard this, her heart clenched unconsciously. She suddenly remembered what the momo from the cold palace had said. The princes often seemed to have fun toying with Tantai Jin.
What did King Zhao do to Tantai Jin?
She couldn’t help but glance at Tantai Jin, trying to make out something from his expression, but she could only see the young man’s thin side face. His long lashes and dark pupils were remarkably calm.
In a flash, the joyful and harmonious banquet became dreary because of King Zhao. At this moment, a plump minister smiled and said, “This lowly official just came back from the border of Great Xia some time ago and obtained something exciting. I don’t know if the two princes and everyone here are interested in enjoying it together.”
King Zhao leaned forward and said, “Oh? Lord Li better not use mediocre things to fool this prince. Take it out and show us.”
Lord Li smiled and said, “This lowly official doesn’t dare.” He clapped his hands, and the servants brought in a huge square object. It was covered by black silk cloth, and the inside couldn’t be clearly seen.
Lord Li walked over and lifted the black cloth.
Surprisingly, a mighty lion was lying on its stomach inside the cage.
Everyone looked at each other.
Pang Yi Zhi said, “Lord Li, although lions are not commonly seen, they are not something rare. Lord Li, what do you mean by this?”
Lord Li smiled so widely that his eyes couldn’t be seen.
“Don’t worry, everyone. The good show is yet to come.”
He took out a palm-sized jade box from his robe. He opened up the jade box and threw it into the iron cage.
Su Su had a bad feeling. She stared at the box intensely.
A bee that was the size of a fingernail flew out of the box.
“This is the Scarlet Flame Wasp. Although it’s small, just it alone can defeat the lion.”
As soon as he finished talking, the lion stood up vigilantly. Unexpectedly, the fiery red wasp charged directly into the lion’s ear.
The lion started to madly slam its body on the cage.
Lord Li was still smiling. The next moment, the lion convulsed and fell onto the ground. Suddenly, its head exploded, and the remnants splattered all over the floor.
The Scarlet Flame Wasp that had been the size of a fingernail earlier had now become the size of a sturdy man’s fist.
Everyone’s eyes widened. The females of the families’ expressions turned ghastly. They used handkerchiefs to cover their eyes, and their stomachs were churning.
Su Su abruptly put down her chopsticks.
It wasn’t just something strange. This Scarlet Flame Wasp was clearly a demonic creature.
How could a demonic creature appear in the mortal world?
As expected, the next moment, the face of the initially kind and straightforward Lord Li suddenly became distorted. “Now that everyone has seen enough excitement, you can go to the Yellow Spring5黄泉 (huáng quán) – Yellow Spring is the underworld of Chinese mythology which is equivalent to hell with ease!”
An unforeseen event happened out of the blue. Dozens of Scarlet Flame Wasps suddenly flew out from the lion’s iron cage.
The Scarlet Flame Wasps charged towards the crowd, and the sound of screaming fell incessantly to the ear.
General Ye’s expression couldn’t help but change. He drew out his sword and started to chase away the Scarlet Flame Wasps that were flying in his direction.
Everyone had seen the formidable power of these creatures. If one were to let them enter their body, they wouldn’t be able to live.
Xiao Lin’s reaction was even faster. He slashed his sword at a Scarlet Flame Wasp. He turned back and ordered, “Protect the Side Imperial Concubine and leave!”
His men hurriedly guarded Ye Bing Shang aside.
Ye Bing Shang held onto Xiao Lin’s hand and said in a trembling voice, “Wangye6王爷 (wángye) pronoun used to refer to a 王 (wáng) – prince/king in a conversation..”
Edited by: Gaze