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Chapter 39: “The Royal Court (2)”
Wu Wang felt all the hair on his back stand as the invisible pressure piled on him under Lin Wang’s glare. This was the first time in his life he had felt so threatened. He’s been around for over sixty years and during this period, Lin Wang’s awe inspiring name have resounded far across the borders of Qi State and he certainly felt the reason why first hand.
He involuntarily let out a gulp in an attempt to calm his own nerves.
“Matters regarding my Lin Palace are of no concern to you. Do not trouble yourself to worry about it.” Seeing the surrounding ministers all laughing nervously, he finally retracted all the bloodlust and the pressure released.
“Well, I was worried about the matters of our kingdom.” After Jun Xian retracted all his bloodlust, Wu Wang concluded one thing – Jun Xian has become a toothless tiger. Now that he is old, he had lost his former courage and did not dare to act too brazenly.
“Oh, I’ve heard that the Little Miss hasn’t stepped out of Lin Palace for quite some time? She’s still young, even if she and our Xuan Fei are not meant to be, she doesn’t need to be so sad. She should come out and get some fresh air, it’s not good for a young girl like her to be cooped up at home all day!” Thinking that Jun Xian was no longer the fierce tiger of the past, Wu Wang carried on mocking Jun Wu Xie after talking about Jun Qing.
Jun Xian glared at Wu Wang.
Wu Wang smiled and said, “It’s the Crown Prince’s birthday next month and His Majesty has left the birthday celebrations for me to handle. Since your Wu Xie has not been out for so long, let her join this celebration to lift her spirits. His Majesty also said that he felt bad with regards to what happened with the engagement and has specially extended the invitation to your Wu Xie.
“Fine.” Jun Xian did not want to waste anymore of his precious time with these geezers as he flicked his sleeves and walked away.
Wu Wang laughed gleefully as he watched Jun Xian’s retreating back and ‘defeated’ demeanor.
“Still putting on such an arrogant front? Does he still think that he is the Lin Wang of the past?” Wu Wang scorned as he put on his trademark greasy smile as the other ministers laughed along.
“Lin Wang is unable to accept hard reality and his head is still living in the clouds. That Jun Qing is not able to live much longer and with him gone, Lin Palace is only left with that waste. Let’s see how long the Rui Lin Army can last.” Another minister sneered with a smile.
“Hmph, he still thinks himself as a Great General commanding an entire army but all he has accomplished is losing his two sons.” Wu Wang and the other ministers continued on their banter.
None of them had noticed that once Jun Xian had turned his back on them, there was a glint in his eyes and as he walked away, his ‘retreating back’ lost its former vicissitudes and he strode on with vigor, no different from when he was commanding the entire army, reverting back to the very same hero which made the Kingdom of Qi today.
As he entered Jun Wu Xie’s courtyard, he could smell the familiar scent of herbs.
Jun Wu Xie was holding two pots of herbal concoctions as she slowly stepped out of her pharmacy when she saw Jun Xian.
“Grandfather.” She called out gently as he acknowledged her with a warm smile and nod.
“You are still fiddling around with these? Don’t you feel bored staying at home all the time? Next month the CrownPrince will be having his birthday celebration, I’ll bring you along.” He gave her a loving smile.
“Alright.” She didn’t give it much thought in her reply.
Jun Xian smiled and patted her on the shoulder, without saying another word, he went back to his room.
Jun Wu Xie stood rooted to the spot as she watched his disappearing back. Only after his back view was no longer visible, she then continued on her way to Jun Qing’s room.
“Meow” the little black cat was playfully rubbing itself against Jun Wu Xie’s calf while walking.
[Grandfather’s expression was a little off.]
“Mmm.” Jun Wu Xie had noticed that as well.
[Is it related to the Crown Prince’s birthday?]