Chapter 38 – Molesting the Princess (II)
Silvio spoke with a deep voice. “You truly aren’t willing to kneel to me?”
Ye Yin Zhu resolutely nodded. His two grandfathers’ teachings were creeds he upheld in his heart. Previously, in the Desolate Jade Sea, he hadn’t studied many things, but every little bit he learned, he firmly remembered.
Xiang Luan secretly thought, Oh no! She cursed herself for actually forgetting to teach Ye Yin Zhu a few necessary etiquette customs before entering the imperial palace.
Silvio slowly nodded, his gaze toward Ye Yin Zhu becoming increasingly glacial. His threatening, imposing manner made people unable to breathe. Ye Yin Zhu was still looking at the Emperor with a tranquil face, however, his crystal-clear eyes rippleless, without a single trace of anxiety or unease.
“Imperial Father, Yin Zhu is inexperienced. He does not understand many things; please excuse his offense of lacking manners.” Xiang Luan hurriedly spoke up.
Fisichella also hastily said, “Imperial Father, luckily there was Ye Yin Zhu this time. Otherwise, we might not have returned. You…”
“Enough. Who allowed you to talk?” Silvio’s voice was as cold as the winter’s snow.
At this, everyone believed that this Heavenly Emperor was on the verge of exploding, but suddenly, the austerity of Silvio’s face thawed. The corners of his mouth exposed traces of a ruminating smile. “The Milan Empire has always given well-defined rewards and punishments. Meritorious service must be bestowed a proper reward, and offenses must be equally punished. Ye Yin Zhu, during the battle of Konya City, claimed the greatest credit. He is the hero of the Empire. This is unquestionable. He has also dealt the Empire’s Falcon Dragon Cavalry elites a tremendous loss, however; and he has also molested the princess within the main hall of the Milan Imperial Palace. Such an offense should be punished severely, but his achievements are greater. All his offenses are offset by his contribution, so there will be no punishment.”
Hearing Emperor Silvio say these words, the sibling pair, Xiang Luan and Fisichella, released sighs of relief.
Silvio turned toward Ye Yin Zhu and said, “Your contributions significantly counteract your offenses. But this Emperor still wants to reward you. By my decree, since Ye Yin Zhu has the power to ward off the beastmen and guard this country’s territory, I especially bestow upon him Milan Empire citizenship which will exist jointly with his original Arcadian nationality. I confer upon him the title of Viscount. As for his feudal fiefdom…”
Hearing the two words ‘feudal fiefdom,’ Ye Yin Zhu took note of this and looked up to see Silvio’s gaze unwillingly shift away.
“You have erred too greatly and still need to temper yourself. Originally, I wanted to bestow a fertile feudal fiefdom, but it seems too hasty now. The city you have defended, Konya City, will be bestowed to you. Brenner Pass will be subject to your administration. Of course, I hope you don’t abandon your studies at the Milan Institution for Magic and Martial Arts as a result of this.”
“Imperial Father, this is not fair,” Xiang Luan objected. Konya City had a total population of twenty thousand, and Brenner Pass was a place where men’s footprints were absolutely rare. It also had no special local products, and the terrain was steep and in close proximity to the Northern Wasteland. ‘Cold climate’ and ‘barren land’ were synonymous to that place. After the battle, the city walls had also been destroyed in several places. A small town like this was really hard to link with the word ‘reward.’ Any viscount of the Milan Empire had territory that was several times greater than what Ye Yin Zhu had been gifted.Silvio bellowed, “Imprudent. Men, go and escort the princess to rest. Withdraw till the morning.”
Xiang Luan and Fisichella were both led way. Oliveira received Silvio’s command. Naturally, it was concerns about his two elder brothers’ punishments. Emperor Silvio had already given his orders before they’d returned. Even if Okafur and Austin absconded, they did not make a serious mistake. They had been anxious to fight to defend their country, so their punishment was lenient. Both would forfeit half a year’s salary, a small punishment and great admonishment. 1
Ye Yin Zhu left with his three companions. Once he was sitting in the carriage following the departure of the civil and military officials, he couldn’t help but be in a slight daze. What should I do? Ma Liang said that the Eight Eastern Dragon Sects have been yearning for territory for a long time. Could it be this so-called reward? In fact, at this moment, the feelings dominating his heart actually revolved around Xiang Luan being in his embrace after bumping into her earlier. As this scene continuously resounded within his mind, his zither heart cultivation had an unexpected, somewhat difficult time maintaining his sense of self.
“Ye Yin Zhu, his Majesty requests your presence.” A skinny guard unknowingly appeared by Ye Yin Zhu’s side.
“Requests for me?” Ye Yin Zhu woke up from his stupor.
The guard didn’t say anything else and just turned around to leave. Ye Yin Zhu originally didn’t know what he should do, so he simply followed the guard.
The Milan Empire’s Imperial Palace resembled a labyrinth. Even with Ye Yin Zhu’s excellent memory, after passing through a few exceedingly similar palaces and flower gardens, he was somewhat muddle-headed.
The guard led Ye Yin Zhu to a side palace hall before gesturing with his palm facing upward. “His Majesty is waiting for you inside.”
Ye Yin Zhu pushed open the door and entered. The first thing he smelled was the scent of ink. He was surprised to discover that this was a study. Possibly speaking, this place could even be considered a library. The huge room’s spaciousness was indecipherable, and rows upon rows of bookshelves were spread throughout with simple and unadorned books on them. The scent of ink was clearly coming from these books.
“Ye Yin Zhu, come over here.” A soft voice pulled Ye Yin Zhu back from his examination of the books. He followed the voice, walking further into the room. He passed by a few shelves and found the owner of the voice. It was Emperor Silvio.
Silvio had changed into informal dress, significantly lessening the extravagant and poised feeling he’d emitted and imperceptibly increasing his approachability. Although his faint golden chang pao wasn’t able to make him handsome, to Ye Yin Zhu, Silvio was even more like the first impression Ye Yin Zhu had of him being his next-door Uncle.
“Greetings, your Majesty.” Ye Yin Zhu nodded towards Silvio.
Silvio closed his book and smiled, saying, “You, boy, have indeed given me a headache! I truly wanted to punish you.”
Ye Yin Zhu’s brows creased slightly. He asked, “Because I didn’t kneel to you?”
Silvio shook his head and said, “No, it’s because you molested my daughter. You should know that Xiang Luan is the pearl in my palm2. Your behavior today in the main hall caused her to lose a lot of face. Don’t tell me you don’t believe you have erred?”
Ye Yin Zhu scratched his head. “It is my mistake. But I really didn’t bump into her on purpose. I had been looking at you and didn’t realize that she had stopped.”
“Oh? You were looking at me? What did you see from me?” Silvio asked, engrossed.
Ye Yin Zhu replied, “I felt that Xiang Luan and Fisichella didn’t resemble you very much, but you were nevertheless their father.”
Silvio’s complexion changed. If someone else said this to him, he would have already given an order to execute the offender. Questioning the imperial bloodline was a huge crime. At this moment, he faintly laughed with a tinge of bitterness and said, “Naturally, they highly resemble their mothers. That is why they do not resemble me very much. Was this why you were looking at me?”
Ye Yin Zhu said, “Furthermore, I felt that you were very amiable. I had been thinking that you didn’t resemble a monarch as much as I originally thought.”
Silvio indifferently smiled and said, “Ye Yin Zhu, I called you here because I wanted to hear your opinion as a Divine Music mage. Perhaps you still don’t know, but your performance on the battlefield this time has already created huge waves in the Milan Institution for Magic and Martial Arts. The Divine Music division’s status has risen substantially. At the moment, there are numerous mages questioning the rumors of Divine Music mages being trash.”
Ye Yin Zhu calmly stated, “I have never believed that Divine Music mages were trash! I felt that any vocation existed for a reason, that any vocation can be successful. It requires a lot of hard work, however. Grandfather Qin once taught me that if a Divine Music mage wants to become powerful, then you must first have an early love for music. Everyone has a different natural gift. This natural gift is the most important aspect, effort following closely behind.”
Silvio asked, “Then according to your words, you have worked very hard?”
Ye Yin Zhu said, “That cannot be determined. I also don’t know whether I can be considered a hard-worker. Grandfather Qin said, however, that I have a gift for learning the zither.”
Silvio smiled. “Your Grandfather Qin, is he called Qin Shang?”
Ye Yin Zhu looked at him in surprise. “How did you know? Do you know my Grandfather Qin?”
Silvio sighed and said, “I’m afraid that there are already few who don’t know who this Grandfather Qin of yours is. In just a short month, the Longinus Continent suddenly gave birth to two Divine Music mages. And you also came from Arcadia. It seems that my conjectures weren’t mistaken.”
Ye Yin Zhu didn’t understand and plainly stated this. “I don’t understand what you mean.”
Silvio smiled slightly and elaborated. “Simply speaking, although your performance in the Battle of Konya City was astonishing, when compared to your Grandfather Qin, it is lacking somewhat. Since Arcadia is the smallest and weakest kingdom, its war with the Wavast Kingdom not long ago ended with an unexpected annihilation of a hundred thousand troops with captives surpassing sixty thousand. The war caused the Wavast Kingdom to lose a tremendous amount of elite troops and mages. This accomplishment was possible due to your Grandfather Qin. He did this by simply playing a zither song atop the city wall and nothing more. A Divine Music mage is already synonymous to a War Mage now. Since only a Voice Amplification spell is needed, a Divine Music mage’s attack range is terrifyingly high, capable of enveloping an army of a hundred thousand. This Grandfather Qin of yours is even a Violet Rank Great Magister, a truly hard to accept fact.”
Ye Yin Zhu exclaimed in awe, “The Kingdom of Arcadia went to war? My Grandfather Qin even joined? Was that the outcome? What happened after?”
Silvio said, “Be at ease. Your Grandfather Qin is naturally alright. Even though Arcadia’s and Wavast’s strengths has an immense disparity, because this grandfather of yours was the commanding officer, the Wavast Kingdom has already resigned itself to an unfortunate treaty reconciliation under the Blue Dias Empire. Your Grandfather Qin’s position is so strong that he refuses to even return the captives. It’s a pity that Arcadia is too far from Milan. Otherwise, I would’ve been able to meet this grandfather of yours.”
Hearing that Qin Shang was alright, Ye Yin Zhu couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of relief.
Silvio suddenly stated, “Yin Zhu—you are classmates with Xiang Luan and Fisichella, so I will call you this—which do you think is better, Arcadia or Milan?”
Ye Yin Zhu answered without the slightest hesitation. “Milan is better. Although it is a bit cold up here, it is still far better in every aspect compared to Arcadia.”
Silvio smiled. This time, the smile came from his heart. “If that’s the case, then I give you a choice. Would you like to stay in Milan?”
Ye Yin Zhu hesitated for a moment before saying, “I do not know. It depends on where my family stays.”
Silvio nodded and said, “In the future, you can ask your family. The doors of Milan Empire will forever be opened wide to your entire family. At the same time, you must tell me what Arcadia has given to your Grandfather Qin. The Milan Empire is willing to triple their offer.”