As soon as Zong Luo stepped forward, the surrounding students who were chattering about immediately fell silent.
Anyone with eyes could see that this young man dressed in unstained white was blind.
Moreover, in the face of Gongsun You’s strange and unpredictable swordsmanship, he only came with a branch broken from the osmanthus tree beside the water pavilion.
Everyone was dumbfounded.
Originally, it was said that Gongsun You was a madman, but now it seems that this was not the case. The real madman was the young man in white in front of him.
“Could it be that he has lost his mind? That’s an iron sword, can a branch match against an iron sword?”
Although it’s just going through the motions of a friendly sword fight, and one was not limited to whatever one wanted to use, still a branch was soft, and if it was cut by an iron sword, it would be gone. If it was cut in half, naturally the fight couldn’t be continued.
Gongsun You, who was surrounded by the crowd, also frowned.
He came from a recluse family, and only one disciple of the family was allowed to go out into the world every ten years. Unlike the self-made Ghost Valley next door, their recluse family had a foundation. He was equivalent to a master in the Yin-Yang family. With a token at his disposal, disciples of the Yin-Yang family did not dare to disobey him.
If one still lived a hermit life, one still has his own life. However once one goes out into the world, he must choose a wise master, seek the lands under the heavens, and make amazing achievements without outstanding performance.
Gongsun You went out into the world this time in order to find a wise master to assist him in unifying the Central Plains and to calm down the current raging war situation.
In fact, what’s happening now at the Baijia Banquet was just one of his plans. Although Gongsun You was arrogant by nature and looked down on others, it was not mindless arrogance.
But he had no intention of revealing his origin and only attracting the attention of many forces. Nonetheless, if he wanted to choose a master, he had to show his ability. He simply needed to act in a high profile and use this as a reference.
The aristocratic family had collected many famous family sword techniques, among which was a fragment of a piece of paper that was said to be the remnant of the sword sage’s enlightenment a hundred years ago. Although there was no way to put it into practice, it was enough to just talk about its sword intent.
As an outstanding disciple of the Yin Yang Family Headquarters, Gongsun You was excellent at puppetry, and his swordsmanship could only be considered to be above average. However, he was also confident that none of the hundreds of students in the audience could figure it out, let alone the blind man who came up with a branch asking for a sword discourse.
“If that’s the case, then please.”
Gongsun You glanced out of the corner of his eye and saw that many dignitaries had been attracted by his deliberately created momentum. He took a step back a little, the iron sword in hand was ready to go.
He made up his mind to cut off the sweet-scented osmanthus branch in the hands of the white-robed young man in one move.
On the other side, Yu Beizhou stood lazily in place.
Today, he was still dressed in the same clothes, white fur and red robe, with loose black hair, which made his face even more beautiful, handsome and compelling, making people dare not look directly at him. No matter how one looked at it, he looked like a noble son raised in Zhongling Yuxiu by an aristocratic family. It was really difficult to associate the three characters of the King of Beining with him, who could stop a crying child at night.
(t/n Zhongling Yuxiu-a place endowed with the fine spirits of the universe)
Almost half of the students in the Lanting Water Pavilion were peeking at him. Several princes were also beside him, which made Yu Beizhou look like the owner of this Lanting Water Pavilion.
The Sixth Prince saw with sharp eyes that there were traces of dampness on his golden threaded lapels on his chest part, and asked kindly, “Huainan, why is your chest wet, do you want to go to the side hall to change clothes?”
Yu Beizhou’s eyelids did not lift. “Sixth Highness, we have never exchanged secondary personal names.”
The Fifth Prince, Zong Yuanwu on the side broke out a burst of laughter mercilessly, and said while laughing, “Yes, His Royal Highness has been going on expeditions for the Great Abyss for many years, and he is dealing with all kinds of problems everyday. How can he be the same as us idle princes?”
“Not like some people.” Zong Yuanwu pointed out. “Even without having exchanged secondary names, yet still called the other in advance. He really treats himself familiar enough.”
Zong Yongliu’s face turned blue and white for a while.
The status of Yu Beizhou in Great Yuan was well known to everyone present.
Not to mention the military power in his hand, he was also deeply appreciated by Emperor Yuan. It can be said that if one can win him over, the general trend of seizing the Crown Prince position would be almost settled.
Zong Yongliu also had this idea.
Originally, he wanted to get close. If Yu Beizhou ignored the way he addressed him, in the future, he would let nature take its course, exchange secondary personal names with him and pay a visit to his palace if he doesn’t have anything to do, then spread the rumors that he’s close to the King of Beining.
Unexpectedly, the King of Beining was so merciless, and directly pointed out his thoughts which made him lose face, moreover, he was also trampled by the Fifth Prince. He was really annoyed.
Seeing this, the Fourth Prince, Zong Chengjian hurriedly smoothen things out.
“Imperial brothers, don’t argue, it’ll hurt your friendly feelings.” Then skillfully changed the subject.
“We are still at the Baijia Banquet, it is not something that should be taken lightly.”
Zong Chengsi’s eyes swept across the red-clothed general, expressing his admiration bluntly. “Nowadays autumn is gradually becoming dense, and wearing wet clothes is always bad for your health. I have already ordered the servants to go to the weaving room to find the same crimson robe of the same style, if His Royal Highness does not dislike it, it would be better to change it when the servants come back.”
Like this, after taking a turn, favors were instead won by Zong Chengsi.
Zong Yongliu rolled his eyes at this Imperial brother who had no foundation, no action done on ordinary days and who only loved beauties. He simply felt that the previous rumors circulating in the capital were true, that the Fourth Prince was really interested in the boundless autumn moon face of the King of Beining, and didn’t think in the direction of his intentional involvement in seizing the crown.
Compared with the others who were beating around the bush, Zong Yuanwu’s thinking was much simpler and cruder. “What the Fourth Prince said, I think it is also better for His Royal Highness to change his clothes.”
He didn’t even think about setting up a defense against Zong Chengsi, but instead followed his statement with righteous indignation. “What scumbag is so careless and spilled water on the master’s clothes.”
Yu Beizhou, who had always been ignoring them, said, “It’s not a servant, I won’t change.” After speaking, he casually played with his fingers, his expression full of boredom.
“Oh—so it’s not a servant.”
Zong Chengsi was the first to react. If it was not done by a servant, then who? Why was he also willing to wear a wet robe for so long? He unfolded his folding fan and deduced the appearance of the children of the capital’s aristocratic family with a hundred percent.
It was well known in the court that the biological mother of the Fourth Prince came from a lowly background, and his appearance resembled that of his mother more.
Now, such a pair of peach blossom eyes that were exactly the same as his biological mother’s peach blossom eyes, was also on Yu Beizhou, which made him look extra frivolous.
“I don’t know which beautiful woman is so fortunate to be able to win His Royal Highness’ eyes, that he doesn’t even want to change his clothes.”
Yu Beizhou was stunned for the first time ever. Then, like he had seemed to hear some kind of funny joke, his shoulders shook then laughed non-stop, without any intention of explaining his confusing behavior.
The other princes: “?”
They had no idea why the King of Beining laughed, however they each had their own thoughts. But because they would never want to make the scene embarrassing, they also laughed along.
The scene was awkward for a while.
After laughing for a long time, Zong Yongliu swept his eyes, and noticed a newly gathered crowd. He hurriedly suggested, “Why are there so many people gathered there? Is there another wonderful argument like the Confucianism and Legalism just now? Why don’t we go and have a look?”
After repeatedly hitting a wall, he made up his mind to make a comeback.
Although what Zong Yongliu suggestion looked like he was asking the opinions of the other two princes, in fact the leader of the opinions was Yu Beizhou. If he said that he was not interested, the others would definitely find excuses to continue to accompany him.
Yu Beizhou glanced out of the corner of his eye, and was about to refuse, but after seeing the white colored robe, his originally uninterested expression suddenly became vivid, and the words in his mouth suddenly took a turn.
The Baijia Banquet was held with a large number of people and was extremely lively. For the sake of elegance, the river channels in the water trees were specially trimmed to look curved. The servants heated liquor or tea in the upper stream, poured it into a cup, placed it on a lotus leaf then let the stream carry the lotus leaf and the wine glass downstream. If students were thirsty as they discussed Taoism or playing games, they could go to the stream to grab one any time.
When the many students standing by the curved stream, who were either talking, laughing, or discussing Taoism, saw the nobles pass by, they all kept silent, consciously making way for them.
Next to the water pavilion, two individuals were facing each other.
One was in a coarse linen clothes with a stubborn expression. The other person was dressed in bright white clothes, with a peaceful and beautiful appearance and a noble temperament.
Because of the angle, they could only see half of the handsome face of the young man in white. At first glance, several princes felt a little familiar, but for a while, they couldn’t think of where it was familiar.
“What is this?”
Zong Yuanwu, the only one of the princes who had a talent for martial arts and was particularly keen on practicing martial arts, asked incredulously. “A blind man holding a branch in his hand, is it possible to have a friendly swordfight using that?”
The one with good eyes held an iron sword in his hand, but the one with eyes covered with a white silk only held a green branch with a cluster of yellow osmanthus at the end.
Just as they were frightened and uncertain, the two moved.
Unlike the fight with Yu Beizhou at the city gate, Zong Luo and Gongsun You’s sword discourse did not last long, only with three moves.
The first move, the branches swept across, and the long sword stabbed. The second move, an afterimage passed through the air, as if it could be predicted, the branches brushed past the blade of the sword, and then the whole body retreated. The third move, the osmanthus flowers in full bloom at the end of the branch, fell like the scattered flowers from a heavenly maiden, and were swept into the stream beside the water pavilion by the rising wind. It happened to fall into a wine cup at the center of the lotus leaf in the meandering water stream, spreading the fragrance of osmanthus flowers in the hot liquor
When the onlookers looked more closely again, the tip of the branch had already been pointed at Gongsun You’s sword-holding hand.
The latter, holding the iron sword tightly, took two steps back and let it go with a loud clang.
Although this life was not the previous one, the feeling of beating Gongsun You was still quite good. Who told Gongsun You, this fellow, to hide his capabilities? Counselors were not like assassins, who only sit and wait for the other to come to the door.
Zong Luo bowed with his hands slightly. “I accept.”
(t/n Acceptance-generally said after the competition when the winner is modest and polite. For example, if A wins a game between A and B, A will politely say to B: “I’ve accepted it”, meaning the advantage I have achieved is that you did not use all your strength, and you are letting me win.)
It wasn’t until a burst of applause suddenly sounded that everyone woke up from their stupor.
When the students looked back, they saw that the King of Beining had raised his hand and clapped lazily. Apparently, the nobles also gathered to watch the sword discourse just now.
After the distinguished person started, sounds of applause and cheers came one after another.
“Whoever wants to, can win even by using a twig?” Zong Yuanwu was speechless. “This young master in white is very good at swordsmanship.”
He loves martial arts, and was somewhat a martial arts maniac. He had been practicing martial arts since he was a child. Although he did not realize that his talent was mediocre, he had also laid a foundation after more than ten years under the guidance of some famous martial arts experts.
No, even with the acquired foundation, it’s impossible for him to have this kind of insight. His heart of solicitation suddenly rose.