Three days later, Shangguan Hao appeared in front of Su Mu with a haggard face and gritted teeth, saying: “I will lead the army, but there is one condition.”
Su Mu suppressed the joy in his heart, raised his eyebrows and said, “Make your request.”
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Shangguan Hao angrily pointed to a blank faced Shi Yan and said: “Don’t let him appear before my eyes ever.”
“Fine.” Su Mu replied readily.
Shangguan Hao glared at Shi Yan with bloodshot eyes, practically wishing nothing more than to glare holes through him.
Su Mu stroked his smooth chin as he looked at Shangguan Hao’s back. He then said to the young man in the corner: “Follow him all the way, but remember not to appear in front of him, and report any situation at any time…..Though you can’t appear in front of him, in special cases you can still show up behind him, such as when he wants to escape or make trouble.”
“Yes.” The young man disappeared in the blink of an eye, faithfully performing his duties.
It was impossible for Su Mu to hand over the tens of thousands of troops to Shangguan Hao. Even if there was a supervising army official, Su Mu was not very at ease, and he still had to let Shi Yan keep a watch on the other.
After a while, a travel dusty Shi Nuo hurriedly walked in from the door, clasped his fists in both hands and said: “Paying respects to Your Highness.”
“What’s the matter?” Su Mu turned sideways and asked.
Shi Nuo took out a small piece of note paper from his sleeve and handed it to Su Mu while saying: “Your Highness, this is a letter from Ye Gongzi to you.”
“Ye Qingfeng?” Su Mu took the note and unfolded it with some confusion. On it, two words were written that could express both intimate feelings of longing and the urgency of an emergency.
Couldn’t even write a letter seriously. Su Mu put the note away and asked Shi Nuo: “What happened to him?”
Shi Nuo’s eyes flickered and said: “Ye Gongzi, he…..”
“What’s wrong?” Su Mu was a little confused. He felt that the fact the other had the energy to write an extra word to flirt, the situation shouldn’t be a particularly dangerous one.
“Ye Gongzi is going to get married tomorrow.” Shi Nuo toughened his skin and finally elaborated only for the temperature in the room to drop several degrees as soon as the words fell. Shi Nuo carefully glanced at the Crown Prince above, and saw that his face was as dark as the bottom of a pot. Shi Nuo quickly retracted his eyes and froze in the study room where even a needle could be heard if it was dropped to the floor. After a long while, the pressure in the room lifted a little, and Shi Nuo breathed a sigh of relief in silence.
Su Mu suppressed his anger and asked, “What is going on?”
Shi Nuo hesitated and said: “This…..this subordinate does not know. At that time, this subordinate was tracing the cause of the breach of contract by Wu and Yang. After coming back, this subordinate happened to pass by Jinglin and met Ye Gongzi. He hinted to this subordinate to bring this letter to Your Highness.”
The pressure around them lessened a little more, and Su Mu silently unfolded the crumpled note and asked, “What is Jinglin?”
Shi Nuo said: “It is a jianghu sect, known for its Qimen Dunjia technique. It is entrenched in the area of Menghu Mountain in Qingyang County, and ordinary people are unable to enter.” (TN: Qimen Dunjia=ancient form of Chinese divination)
Su Mu frowned slightly and paced back and forth. He was preoccupied by the crisis of the Qing Kingdom border war. He was not required to make suggestions related to the movements of the army. Su Mu was just a layman in terms of fighting wars and did not even have a better understanding of military strategies than Yun Feiyu, Lin Siyuan and the others.
But just letting Ye Qingfeng get X by others he was also unwilling. Su Mu rubbed his thumb and index finger back and forth, then raised his eyes to Shi Nuo and asked, “How long will it take to reach Jinglin from the imperial city?”
Shi Nuo replied: “It takes a day and a night to go by fast horse.”
Su Mu sat down on a chair and said to Shi Nuo: “You can retreat. Have someone call Yun Feiyu over.”
Yun Feiyu walked into the Crown Prince’s study with confusion, looked at the Crown Prince who currently had a displeased expression, and said gently: “Paying respect to Your Highness.”
Su Mu raised his hand to signal the exemption of courtesy, and quickly said: “I have to leave for three days. You will discuss with Lin Siyuan and the others about handling the affairs of the imperial court. If there is an urgent matter I need to make a decision on, hand it to Shi Nuo to let him pass it on to me.”
Yun Feiyu was startled and asked: “Your Highness, where are you going? The war on the frontlines…..”
Su Mu raised his hand to stop him: “Shen Wei and Shangguan Hao are in charge of the war on the frontlines, and the imperial court has you and Lin Siyuan. You are all my right hands and left hands as well as the court’s talented pillars. I believe you can handle everything well.”
“Yes.” Yun Feiyu had no choice but to say so.
Su Mu sighed with a slight guilty conscience. Putting aside national affairs to save that flirty rogue. Su Mu vowed to sort the other out right and proper after seeing Ye Qingfeng.
Qingyang County, Jinglin.
Ye Qingfeng finally looked tidied up for once, his stiff and immobile body wearing red wedding robes and letting others fuss over him.
With a loving face, Madam Ye brushed the hair back on Ye Qingfeng, who had his pressure points sealed, and said softly: “Mother has waited for more than 20 years and finally waited until you little debt collector is going to get married. This time, let’s see how you can escape! Our next door’s Aunt Sun’s son is the same age as you, but his grandchildren are all old enough to run around, whereas I don’t even see a trace of my grandson’s shadow…..”
Ye Qingfeng tried to break through the seal on his pressure points for the 600th time and failed again. He listened helplessly to his mother’s nagging, and said with indignation: “You can go find eldest brother if you want to hold your grandson. Why is it my turn?”
“You dare to say this!” Madam Ye poked Ye Qingfeng’s head fiercely, and said: “If it weren’t for you, how could Qingchen fall in love with the pitiful girl Bai Yue, and as a result your sister-in-law has passed away for so long and he still refuses to marry again.”
Ye Qingfeng said innocently: “You can’t blame me for this.”
“I’m too lazy to talk to bicker with you.” Madam Ye wrapped the red band around Ye Qingfeng’s hair and inserted a jade hairpin. She stepped back and looked at her handsome and tall son, and said with some confusion: “Why is it that no matter what kind of fine clothes you have on they still always look…..indecent on you?”
The corner of Ye Qingfeng’s mouth twitched: “This is your son’s characteristic, aiya mother…..you should just let me go, I really don’t like Qin Xuesha.”
“When you were a kid, you said you wanted to marry her. The man must keep his promise. When the time is right, you better perform the baitang well.” Madam Ye joyfully had people carry Ye Qingfeng out to the wedding hall. (TN: baitang=ritual kneeling to heaven and earth by bride and groom in an old-fashioned wedding ceremony)
Outside Jinglin, Su Mu had his hair hanging down and loosely tied back, holding a folding fan, and dressed up like a jianghu gongzi. Looking seemingly at random around Jinglin, Su Mu was in truth a layman who knew nothing about Qimen Dunjia. He could only feel a sense of wrongness from this beautiful forest but couldn’t pinpoint where it was wrong.
The pure white boots stepped on the stone road covered with red firecracker papers and Su Mu’s eyes darkened. After a while, Su Mu followed the stone road and arrived outside the gate of Jinglin Manor where endless guests milled about. Su Mu pulled up the corner of his mouth and revealed a smile as he took out an invitation and an accompanying gift from his sleeve.
Naturally, the invitation was snatched, but the name and sect on it were changed. By the way, the accompanying gift was also snatched at random as well.
The bookkeeper, who was burying his head in recording down guests, suddenly saw a white and flawless hand appear in front of him. When he raised his head, the hand had already retracted, but he saw the owner of the hand. The flawless, beautifully handsome face was like the sun and made him squint his eyes reflexively. When he came back to his senses, the person had already disappeared. He lowered his head and opened the invitation card, wondering: “Baigui Sect, Hei Feng? Didn’t they say that Hei Feng had a peerlessly ugly appearance? Was it just a rumor?”
Su Mu walked to the main hall without hindrance, and as the newlyweds had not yet arrived, Su Mu was so idle he began to drink tea in the lively wedding hall.
“Clang”. A sturdy man placed his weapon in front of Su Mu. His large fan sized hand held up the teapot in front of Su Mu and poured it into his mouth. Su Mu silently shifted an angle with his teacup still raised to his mouth.
The big man put the teapot back on the table with a “bang” and instantly the teapot shattered into a pile of broken ceramic. The big man quickly explained to the vigilant servant on the side: “Excuse me, my hand slipped a bit, hehehehe…..” After the servant left, he very enthusiastically said to Su Mu: “Hey, little brother, I haven’t seen you before? You have to be careful when you are so handsome. There are too many bad guys out there. If you join my Heixiong Sect, this big brother will watch your back. Those who dare to touch you half a finger, I will cut him…..”
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Su Mu dodged the flying speckles of saliva and ignored him, but this big man talked more vigorously and more enthusiastically. A big palm double the size of Su Mu’s slapped towards Su Mu’s shoulders. Su Mu’s face remained unmoved and like lightning he quickly blocked the big man’s arm before saying, “It’s not polite to pat someone on the shoulder casually.”
The big man’s eyes lit up, and completely didn’t notice the admonition, “I didn’t notice at all, little brother, you look so weak and delicate but your martial arts skills are quite high, which sect do you belong to?
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