No blood flowed from the collapsed horse’s mouth or nose, but the flames on its head gradually dimmed, and it clearly wasn’t breathing.
Ye Zichen smiled and glanced at the youth. Meanwhile, the onlookers stared, wide-eyed.
Whoever these people were, they were going to receive the bride in a blazing-horse drawn carriage. They had to have an impressive background. Yet Ye Zichen had killed their horse, and in front of a crowd at that.
By the time the fires on the blazing horse’s body were completely extinguished, the youth’s face was so taut and dark, it seemed liable to burst.
The passersby all knew there was no way this would end well. The mother and son Ye Zichen had helped stopped too, watching from the sidelines and sweating nervously on their savior’s behalf.
Ye Zichen, however, seemed not to even notice the change in the youth’s mood. His smile was pure and simple as he rubbed his spatial ring. “How much did you pay for your horse? Give me a number, and I’ll reimburse you here and now.”
“You’re seeking death!” the youth roared, and the lackeys behind him blocked off Ye Zichen’s every possible escape route.
“What are you doing? Didn’t you want compensation? Didn’t I just say I’d give it to you? Why send these guys to surround me? Are you going to hit me?” asked Ye Zichen, shrinking back in on himself.
“You really didn’t take a warning, and now you’re going to pay for it. You just killed the Violet City City Lord’s Estate’s wedding procession’s blazing horse. How could reimbursing us be enough? If we let it go that easily, what would we do about our dignity?” said the youth darkly.
“Oh!” Ye Zichen’s eyes lit up with understanding. “So it turns out this isn’t just a matter of compensation. You’re also concerned about face? That makes things simpler!”
“Hm?” The youth frowned.
Ye Zichen’s smile disappeared, and he clutched his silver longsword.
His aura surged forth like a tidal wave. The onlookers’ pupils constricted involuntarily, from the street vendors and pedestrians to the youth and his lackeys.
“I saved you from an unfortunate accident, yet you’ve made trouble for me repeatedly. Shouldn’t I make you pay the price for offending my dignity? Huh?”
As his aura expanded, the youth and his lackeys were sent flying.
At that moment, a few figures sprung from the center of the procession and landed beside the youth.
“You…” Just as they were about to curse Ye Zichen out, a streak of gold landed by Ye Zichen’s side.
This was none other than the Great Sage!
The Great Sage simply released a trace of his aura, then withdrew it. However, although it only appeared briefly, these new arrivals sensed it. They gulped, then swallowed their words.
“My friend,” said one of them, a middle-aged man. “We’re all from Violet City. We’re members of the city lord’s estate. All of this is just one big understanding.”
Ye Zichen glanced coolly at the man. He immediately sensed that he was the source of the oppressive aura they’d sensed earlier.
As he spoke, the middle-aged man also released hints of his aura.
A smile tugged at Ye Zichen’s lips. He understood what the man was trying to say: He was a ruler too. If this came to blows, neither side would come out ahead.
But Ye Zichen was also fully aware that, although the man was a ruler, he was only just barely past the threshold.
But the Great Sage….
Of course, Ye Zichen didn’t want unnecessary trouble. He’d come here with an important goal, and there was no need to make things harder.
Violet City, the city lord’s estate.
It did sound fairly imposing.
Ye Zichen and the Great Sage withdrew their auras as well, and the middle-aged man visibly relaxed. His thought process was the same; he didn’t want unnecessary trouble either… they’d come here to fetch the bride for a wedding.
“I agree; this was a misunderstanding. But your young master was the first to bring up face. I wouldn’t have worried about mine otherwise.”
“Our young master is young and inexperienced, please….”
“Don’t bother saying all that. It doesn’t matter whether he’s inexperienced or not.” Ye Zichen coldly cut the man off. “You ought to thank me. A wedding is a joyous event, but this young master of yours almost turned the wedding into a funeral. I stopped that horse out of concern for you, too, got it?”
“Got it.” The man nodded.
“Since we’ve agreed this is an understanding, let’s end it here. I won’t hold you up any longer.” With that, Ye Zichen sheathed his sword and went back into the restaurant without so much as a second look.
The middle-aged man watched him leave, all the while maintaining his smile. Only when he was gone did he sigh with exasperation and shake his head at this troublesome young master. Before long, he barked a series of orders, and the procession started moving again.
“Sirs, you’re back!” When they got back and the waiter saw them, the waiter lit up and greeted them warmly.
“Were you worried we’d run off without paying the bill?” Ye Zichen laughed. “We’re not that type of people.”
“What are you saying? The thought never even crossed my mind,” said the waiter. He was nothing but smiles. “Given your demeanor, there’s no way you’d do something like that. Even if you didn’t return, it would be because the wedding procession ruined your mood and distracted you to the point that you forgot.”
“You sure can talk, but weren’t you waiting for us at the door?” said Ye Zichen.
“I was worried about you, wasn’t I? Those people were from Violet City’s city lord’s estate. I was afraid there’d be conflict, which is why I was waiting for you at the door,” said the waiter.
His explanation was sound; Ye Zichen found nothing to pick fault with.
When they returned to their table, Ye Zichen sat down, then asked, “You just said those people were from Violet City’s city lord’s manor. Do you know about them?”
“How could I not? Violet City is the neighboring city. Quite a few of our patrons are from Violet City. Furthermore, it’s one of the Northern Kingdom’s six major cities. Never mind this humble waiter, ask anyone you find on the streets, and they’re sure to know of Violet City and its city lord.”
“Ah, and here I thought you’d say you knew because their marriage alliance was with this city,” laughed Ye Zichen.
“Our city isn’t that fortunate,” said the waiter.
“So, they’re really not forming an alliance with this city?” Ye Zichen arched his brows. “Then who are they forming an alliance with? They’ve brought quite the entourage, and they seem like they’re in an awful hurry.”
“That, I know, of course. Violet City’s marriage alliance is big news.”
“Mind telling me more?” Ye Zichen had nothing better to do, and he’d just had a bit of a confrontation, so he was interested to learn more about the marriage alliance. Who knew? It might even lead to an unexpected harvest.
“Violet City plans to forge a marriage alliance with Jadewave City’s Zi Family.”
“Who? Say that one more time!” The Great Sage slammed the table, startling everyone present. But when they looked at him, none of the diners dared object.
The waiter was scared witless, too. For a long time, he just stood there, gulping. “Jadewave City’s Zi Family. This is big news for the entire Northern Kingdom. The son of Violet City city lord plans to marry Zi Xia of Jadewave City’s Zi Family the day after tomorrow. This…”
“What?!” This time, it was Ye Zichen who slammed the table. He was no longer smiling.
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