Chapter 140: Minister Ning
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
10 soldiers at the Completion of the Black Realm carried five boxes of treasure and brought them into the Minister's Mansion.
The Yunwu Commandery Prince and Zhang Ruochen had arrived at the side hall. They waited patiently for Minister Ning to receive them.
About an hour later, an elderly butler came into the hall and whispered to the Yunwu Commandery Prince in low voice.
He nodded, stood up, and spoke to Zhang Ruochen, "Son, I'm going to meet Minister Ning. Wait for me here and don't wander around."
The Yunwu Commandery Prince made his entrance into the grand hall of the Minister's Mansion together with 10 soldiers clad in armor, who were carrying the five boxes of treasure earlier.
Although it was just a hall in the Minister's Mansion, it was taller and bigger than the Palace of the Yunwu Commandery. The floor was covered with jade stone and supported by 36 thick copper pillars. Two rows of pretty maidservants were seen standing next to the pillars.
The Yunwu Commandery Prince greeted Minister Ning from afar. Smiling, he clasped his hands in greeting and said, "Greetings to the Minister. Here are some gifts prepared by the Yunwu Commandery. I hope the Minister will like them."
Minister Ning, who was sitting in a purple golden armchair, was an elderly with gray hair dressed in a purple gown. Holding a jade teacup, he replied with a faint smile, "I know you'll visit me within these few days! Looks like you've made some progress with your cultivation, kid."
As someone who was at the old age of 137, Minister Ning's cultivation had reached an unfathomable level. Even the Yunwu Commandery Prince could only be regarded as a junior in front of him.
Although Minister Ning had signs of aging, his eyes were as bright as a striking pair of stars. It was as if his eyes could penetrate souls, he easily saw through the Yunwu Commandery Prince's cultivation level.
The Yunwu Commandery Prince knew he could not afford to make any mistakes in front of Minister Ning. He hurriedly replied, "Compared to the Minister, my cultivation simply isn't worth mentioning!"
Sitting in the honored seat, Minister Ning's sturdy figure exuded a majestic aura that resembled the vast ocean. He smiled and said, "Take a seat first and we'll talk. I've just met the Commandery Prince of Flame Dragon Commandery. He also wanted to arrange a marriage with Qianshui Commandery."
He continued saying, "The prince of Flame Dragon Commandery is an outstanding warrior with great talent. At the age of 19, he has already reached the Completion of the Black Realm. Obviously, he has a great chance to successfully challenge the Warriors of Division Profound. The Commandery Prince had asked me to arrange a meeting between his son and the Thirteenth Commandery Princess privately, which I've already promised him."
Upon hearing the news, the Yunwu Commandery Prince's brow furrowed slightly in response. He said, "Minister, the reason why I'm here... "
Minister Ning laughed and said, "I understand. You're also planning to ask for the same thing, aren't you? If you're here with the Seventh Prince, there's a high possibility for the arranged marriage to happen. But, I've been told that you've brought the Ninth Prince instead of the Seventh Prince. I'm afraid the chance of success will be much lower."
The Yunwu Commandery Prince said, "The talent of our Ninth Prince is more or less the same as the Seventh Prince. Give him some time, and he'll surely become a Warrior of Division Profound."
Minister Ning shook his head and sighed. He said, "You don't understand how competitive this is. Almost every Commandery Prince of 36 commanderies in the Omen Ridge is here at the Qianshui City with their most outstanding princes. Not to mention the princes from other commanderies. Every major family within Qianshui Commandery also wants to arrange a marriage with the Royal Family. They have all sent their most extraordinary warriors, hoping to win the heart of the Thirteenth Commandery Princess.
If you have come to Qianshui Commandery with the Seventh Prince, he certainly has a chance. After all, the Seventh Prince is the pride of 36 commanderies in the Omen Ridge. No one from the young generation is comparable to him in Qianshui Commandery. I guess he at least would have a 30% chance of success. As for the Ninth Prince, the chance of him getting noticed by Thirteenth Commandery Princess should be less than 1%."
The Yunwu Commandery Prince was dejected as he knew that Minister Ning was telling the truth. It indeed was a fierce competition. It was mainly because the Thirteenth Commandery Princess was exceptionally beautiful and was also highly talented. On top of that, she was the daughter of the Qianshui Commandery Prince, and thus every prince wanted to marry her.
The Qianshui Commandery Prince had 37 daughters in total, and yet, there were not many princesses that could be as outstanding as the Thirteenth Commandery Princess.
Minister Ning looked over at the five boxes that the Yunwu Commandery Prince had prepared for him. After a moment of thought, he said, "Yunwu Commandery Prince, since we're good old friends, I'll try my best to help you. The Thirteenth Commandery Princess would like to meet the outstanding warriors who came to the Qianshui City prior to the Sword Technique Conference. If she finds them acceptable, only then they will be given a chance to join the Conference. The most talented prodigy who performs well in the Conference will then become her Prince Consort.
What I can do is to arrange the Ninth Prince to meet the Thirteenth Commandery Princess. As for the rest, it all depends on whether the Ninth Prince can get through to her."
The Yunwu Commandery Prince was glad to hear this. He quickly said, "Thank you so much, Minister. I truly appreciate your help."
Minister Ning laughed and said, "Don't celebrate yet. The Thirteenth Commandery Princess has a very high standard. It's better if the Ninth Prince can bring a valuable gift to her. If she likes the gift, the chance of her accepting him will be higher. After all, first impressions are always important."
"There's one more thing I need to tell you. Since both of you are already in Qianshui Commandery, the Ninth Prince should keep a low-profile. It's probably best if he can temporarily drop the title of 'prince' so as to avoid offending the princes of Qianshui Commandery."
"I'll remind him of all these details." The Yunwu Commandery Prince responded.
After pondering for a while, Minister Ning added on and said, "It's getting late. I'll arrange the meeting with the Thirteenth Commandery Princess for tomorrow morning. Don't be late."
The Yunwu Commandery Prince left the five boxes of treasure in the Minister's Mansion. Then, he returned to the manor with Zhang Ruochen and the 10 guards.
The Yunwu Commandery Prince told Zhang Ruochen to meet him in his room alone. He took out a two-meter-long casket and placed it in front of Zhang Ruochen. He said, "There's an ancient seventh-class Genuine Martial Arms in the casket. Bring it to the Thirteenth Commandery Princess tomorrow. Remember, we are here to seek for their help. You must try to win the Princess' favor. If she's pleased, perhaps our commandery's crisis will be resolved."
Zhang Ruochen nodded and said, "I'll try my best."
He picked up the scabbard and left the room.
Sitting under the light, the Yunwu Commandery Prince let out a long sigh.
In fact, he did not have high hopes for Zhang Ruochen. But, as long as there was a glimmer of hope, he would try to strive for it. He could not just sit there and do nothing.
The next day, under the lead of the elderly butler of the Minister's Mansion, Zhang Ruochen arrived at an elegant manor.
Other than Zhang Ruochen, Zuo Longlin of the Flame Dragon Commandery could also be seen waiting outside the manor. Obviously, he was also here for the Thirteenth Commandery Princess.
Zuo Longlin was holding a one-square-foot glazed casket in his hands. He was a handsome youth in his twenties. His martial cultivation was also fairly strong, reaching the Completion of the Black Realm.
He puffed out his chest proudly as if he was superior to everyone. He took a quick glance at Zhang Ruochen and said, "You're the Ninth Prince of Yunwu Commandery?"
Holding the scabbard, Zhang Ruochen replied, "Yes."
"Rumor has it that Square Commandery has declared a war and defeated Yunwu Commandery. And thus, you have no choice but to arrange a marriage with the Thirteenth Commandery Princess." Zuo Longlin said, sneering in disdain.
As far as he was concerned, Zhang Ruochen was just a prince from a commandery which was about to be destroyed. Of course, he would not take him seriously.
Even so, Zhang Ruochen showed no signs of displeasure. He said in a neutral tone, "This is our Yunwu Commandery's domestic affair. Don't you worry about us."
Zuo Longlin chuckled and did not say a word.
Shortly after, a maidservant who was wearing a green dress walked out from the manor. She took a quick glance at both Zhang Ruochen and Zuo Longlin before asking, "Are you Prince Longlin of Flame Dragon Commandery and the Ninth Prince of Yunwu Commandery?"
"Yes, I am." Zuo Longlin and Zhang Ruochen said in unison.
"The Thirteenth Commandery Princess is ready to see you, you can come in now." The maidservant said arrogantly.
Zuo Longlin and Zhang Ruochen quickly followed behind the maidservant.
They had passed through corridors and arrived at a garden planted with different types of herbs. There was a lake in the middle of the garden.
At this moment, a beautiful young woman about 15 or 16 years old was sitting in the pavilion in the middle of the lake. She laughed when she saw Zuo Longlin and Zhang Ruochen standing on the lakeshore and said, "Whoever reaches the center of the lake first, I'll first take a look at his gift."
Zuo Longlin sneaked a glance at Zhang Ruochen and revealed a confident smile.
Speed was his biggest advantage. It would not make any sense if he was slower than a warrior at the Medium State of the Black Realm.
Zuo Longlin leaped up into the air from the lakeshore and landed in a wooden canoe in the lake.
Driven by his Genuine Qi, the wooden canoe sailed toward the pavilion as fast as a flying dragon.
Even if the warrior had reached the Completion of the Black Realm, he could not walk on water. He must borrow the help of other objects.
Back then, Zhang Ruochen and Luo Shuihan once walked on the surface of the water in the Half-Saint's Sacred Glyph. It was not actual water, but instead, it was the Spiritual Determination of a Half-Saint in order to refine a warrior's Spiritual Power.
In the past, Zhang Ruochen could not walk on water as well.
Since he had practiced the Shadow of the Royal Wind Dragon, he could now cross over the lake to the pavilion without the help of any external objects.
He had practiced the Shadow of the Royal Wind Dragon to the Small Success. Taking nine steps in the air would be equivalent to one kilometer in distance.
Now, Zhang Ruochen was only two hundred meters away from the Mid-Lake Pavilion.
He activated all the Genuine Qi in his body and converged it toward his legs. His body dashed forward, curving into an arc which allowed him to take steps over 20 meters long.
When Zhang Ruochen landed on the surface of the lake, his soles tread lightly on the water. Using the power of the wind on the surface of the lake, he leaped into the air again.
He dashed 30-meters forward on the second step, 40-meters on the third step...
When Zhang Ruochen took the third step, he had completely surpassed Zuo Longlin.
Zuo Longlin stood on the canoe and was left dumbstruck after seeing Zhang Ruochen jumping around on the lake with ease, "He... how can he walk on the water? How... "
Even the beautiful young woman waiting in the Mid-Lake Pavilion was stunned by Zhang Ruochen's skill. She stared at Zhang Ruochen who was flying on the water surface and wondered how he did that.
At the same time, Zhang Ruochen took the fifth step. Body as light as a leaf, he gently landed outside the Mid-Lake Pavilion. He said, "Your Majesty, this is my gift to you. I hope you like it."
Shortly after, Zuo Longlin also arrived at the lakeshore. He handed over the glazed box with both hands and said, "Your Majesty, please accept my gift."
Upon seeing this, the young woman who stood in the pavilion gently blinked her eyes, revealing an eccentric smile.
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