Hundred Flowers City.
The whole city was vibrant with joy, each home decorated with the character for “happiness” and festive red lanterns.
It was obvious that Lin Xihe’s governance had won the people’s deep approval and that they were all celebrating on her behalf.
In just the past few days, guests had arrived in a constant stream. There were only a limited number of guest rooms in the city, so some of them had no choice but to stay in taverns or hostels.
A group of guards stopped Zuo Mo’s carriage before the city gates. Because of Lin Xihe’s upcoming wedding, traffic into the city had increased dramatically, and the guards had to be far more cautious than usual.
Stomp stomp stomp.
A group of guards approached.
“Please present proof of your identity.”
“Hello, I am Zuo Mo, the head of the Zuo Family. I’ve been invited to attend City Lord Lin and General Zhao’s wedding,” she said, pulling aside the curtains and passing them some papers. “This is my invitation.”
The guards carefully looked the documents over a few times….
“Family head Zuo, I apologize if we offended you earlier. City Lord Lin ordered that upon arrival, you were to be led directly to her manor. We’d like to ask that you follow us; otherwise, you’ll encounter numerous similarly troublesome roadblocks.”
“Sorry for the trouble,” she nodded, then returned to her seat, while Ye Zichen glanced out the window.
“This is my first time in Hundred Flowers City. I hadn’t realized how successful Lin Xihe was at her job. Look, the whole city’s celebrating.”
“Don’t change the subject,” frowned Zuo Mo. “Earlier, I asked you something, but you still haven’t answered me.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Are you referring to what you said earlier? About sparing Zhao Zizhao?” Ye Zichen shook his head and smiled. “He hasn’t committed any crimes, so what’s all this talk about ‘sparing him?’ If he really brings calamity to the Three Realms, then even if I don’t punish him, others surely will.”
“You know full well what I’m talking about,” said Zuo Mo through knit brows. “Why are you acting like this?”
Zuo Mo let out a long sigh and said, “If I’m not mistaken, during the wedding he’ll contact the demons. Back then, the demons instigated a rebellion in the Immortal Region. He’s most likely someone they left behind, their last chess piece.”
“Even if you don’t say anything, I already know I’m right,” she said decisively.
“It’s actually not good for a woman to be too smart,” Ye Zichen shrugged helplessly. “Since you know all this already, why are you asking me to spare him? Working with the Demon Realm is a major crime, and puts the entire Three Realms at risk. You’re asking me to spare him, but can the world possibly forgive him?
“Big Sister Lin truly loves him. If you hurt him…. I don’t dare even imagine how she’ll feel. Zichen, you’re the Immortal Region’s Yellow Emperor, and your words have weight in the other two realms as well. If you say ‘spare him’, they won’t pursue the matter.”
“Surely you know the difference between private affections and duty?”
“Just take this as me begging you,” Zuo Mo suddenly shouted, “You couldn’t possibly understand what it’s like for a woman to wholeheartedly love a man. Given your way of looking at things, you’re definitely planning to kill him, right? But have you considered what will happen to Big Sister Lin? And your relationship with Xiyue should be pretty good, but have you considered how she’ll feel? Zichen, I, Zuo Mo, have never asked you for anything, but now I’m begging you…. For my sake, please, spare him just this once. ‘
Ye Zichen took a deep breath. Given all that Zuo Mo had said, he really didn’t have it in him to sternly lecture her about righteousness or the people of the Three Realms.
After a while, he let out a long sigh. “If his behavior isn’t too harmful, then I’ll… let him go, just this once.”
“Thank you, thank you!” Zuo Mo thanked him repeatedly, but the atmosphere within the carriage had changed.
On the way, Ye Zichen didn’t say another word. He simply looked out the window at the people’s colorfully decorated homes and brightly lit lamps.
“Family Head Zuo, we’ve arrived,” said one of the guards. They’d led them all the way to the manor. Zuo Mo took out a small bag of money and placed it into their hands, telling them to go drink some tea.
They refused at first, but when she said this was to celebrate the wedding, they finally agreed to accept it.
“Family head Zuo.”
An elderly woman was waiting for them at the entrance to the city lord’s manor. Ye Zichen and Zuo Mo nodded at her, then went inside.
Before they’d taken more than a few steps, Lin Xihe came over to greet them.
“Lil’ Mo, you’ve finally arrived! I’ve waited for you for so long. I’ve reserved the biggest room in the manor for you. Many heads of powerful organizations have arrived, but I’ve still held onto this room for you. What do you think? Is your Big Sister good to you or what?”
Her big day was coming up, and Lin Xihe’s expression was joyful and charming.
When they were about to get married, women radiated happiness from head to toe.
“Thanks, Big SIster. I’ve come here to be your bridesmaid.”
“Of course you’re going to be my bridesmaid, don’t worry about that,” Lin Xihe laughed, then turned to Ye Zichen. “Emperor Ye has come too, what a surprise! And you even came with Lil’ Mo. I’d heard that you two….. When will I get to enjoy your wedding banquet?
“Big SIster Lin, stop with that nonsense,” said Zuo Mo, cheeks reddening.
“You might call it ‘nonsense’, but you’re still so embarrassed,” Lin Xihe playfully teased Zuo Mo, then smiled at Ye Zichen. “Emperor Ye, why haven’t you said anything?”
“You two seemed to be enjoying your conversation; it seemed rude for me to interrupt,” said Ye Zichen with a calm smile. “So, why haven’t I seen Xiyue or the general Zhao, the bridegroom?”
“Xiyue is out preparing things needed for the wedding. That girl, I’m getting married, but she’s even more excited about it than I am,” said Lin Xihe. “As for Zizhao, he’s probably out teaching his little brother martial arts and should be back shortly.”
“What a pity.”
“I’m here now, aren’t I?”
At that very moment, the side doors opened, and Zhao Zichao walked in. He was wearing cotton clothing and his hands grasped a long spear.
His body was drenched in sweat; it seemed he really had just returned from practicing martial arts.
“Look at you,” scolded Lin Xihe, “you don’t even know how to wipe off sweat properly.” She walked up to him and carefully wiped the sweat from his face with her handkerchief.
“A guest has arrived; I couldn’t just leave you to greet them by yourself,” he said warmly, grasping her hand. “Family Head Zuo, I didn’t realize you had arrived. Just now, I was teaching that no-good little brother of mine and failed to greet you properly. I apologize for my rudeness. “
“My relationship with Big SIster Lin is too close to worry about that sort of thing” laughed Zuo Mo.
Zhao Zichao nodded to her, then turned to look at Ye Zichen.
He was obviously startled, but he quickly got his emotions under control, then smiled and approached Ye Zichen.
“Emperor Ye, you’ve arrived.”
“Mmhm, I’ve arrived,” said Ye Zichen with a dull nod. “But General Zhao, it seems you aren’t too happy to see me?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter