Noble or Lowly (3)
At seven o’clock in the evening, in the fourth district of Aslan Star City, North Ecliptic Street, was a scene with brilliant lights.
Jiang Jianming got off the self-service rental air vehicle, transferred 78 coins for the ride fee, and watched the air vehicle slowly fly back to the high-speed airway above.
Looking around, the red, yellow, blue and green tail lights of the air vehicles pulled out afterimages, overwhelming the distant starlight.
The black-haired young man stood by the roadside, his perennially pale cheeks were swept by various kinds of lights, which instead brought out a certain unique aura of loneliness.
After a long time, Jiang Jianming sighed helplessly, he breathed out a small cloud of white mist in the winter night, and put his gloved hands into the pockets of his coat.
……..In order to coax the dear His Highness Garcia, he, who was supposed to arrive at the dinner party half an hour earlier, was now actually late for a full hour, how could this be the case.
Even worse, he actually agreed to come down.
As the saying went, the first step was always the most difficult. His Royal Highness conceded from the initial step, thus the rest went smoothly.
At that time, seeing Jiang Jianming, who was on the opposite side of the projection, showing a look of embarrassment, Garcia immediately explained in a low voice, “It is the chief who let me go to the empire.” ……..to inherit the crown prince position.
He added, “I want to go as well.” ……..to find you.
In the end, Garcia almost leaned his face to the projection screen. “Where is it? You have no reason to hide your location, unless Lieutenant Jiang is doing something shady.”
Jiang Jianming originally did not agree with Garcia sticking to himself like this. Since His Royal Highness had reached an agreement with the chief to return to the empire, there must be a lot of serious matters to attend to.
He should go to the White Jade Palace first, go to the military headquarters, and then he should disclose his identity to the public, to declare his own status……In short, he shouldn’t be sneaking over to find a disabled human civilian.
The two fought back and forth for an hour, and finally ended in Lieutenant Jiang’s defeat.
He couldn’t resist the man’s soft and submissive voice during the entanglement, as well as that lethal face.
Forget it, just a minor matter.
It’s no big deal to meet first.
Jiang Jianming thought to himself in relief, he walked to the end of North Ecliptic Street, and sent the coordinates of a remote place outside the Kaios Military Academy and the estimated end time of the dinner party.
“We’ll meet here, there should be a public wooden chair under the shade of the trees. Please wear a cover device, sit there and wait for me, don’t run around.”
Why was he so proficient? Of course it was due to the experiences of many secret love affairs with His Royal Highness Ryann three years ago……….
Jiang Jianming smiled secretly, put away his wrist device, raised his head, and the brilliant lights caught his eyes.
On the northernmost side of North Ecliptic Street, in front of Jiang Jianming’s eyes, stood a huge mansion.
The style was a retro European style, with rich decorations and majestic marble statues on the lawn, while night lights were reflected in the fountain. Music also came faintly from inside the castle-like building.
Along the roadside, high-end and expensive private air vehicles landed continuously, men and women in formal suits were gracefully stepping off the air vehicles and walking towards this brightly lit mansion.
When everyone passed by Jiang Jianming, they would give him strange and funny looks, just like looking at a monkey that broke into a human banquet.
Jiang Jianming suddenly realized that something was wrong.
Clothing. In the empire, to participate in the banquet of the nobles, it was necessary to wear formal attire and fully makeup to attend. (TL: makeup meant clothes, accessories, how the person was groomed etc.)
He was interrupted by Garcia and forgot about it, and came here in his daily outdoor clothes, which was inappropriate.
Anyway, he was already late, thus Jiang Jianming turned around, and instead of going directly into the mansion, he chose a dress shop on North Ecliptic Street. He pushed the door open, causing the wind chimes on the door to jingle.
The enthusiastic saleslady inside was actively introducing a dark blue dress worth more than 300,000 coins to a guest.
The female guest covered her lips and smiled, pleasantly surprised at the affordable price.
Jiang Jianming suddenly felt a sense of retreat.
After hesitating for two seconds, he still walked in.
After the customer in front had dispersed, he stepped forward and asked the salesperson, “I want to know the price range of the cheapest formal attire in your store.”
“???” The little girl was stunned, and the ribbon wrapped in her hand became crooked.
Obviously, she had never seen a guest who asked such poor questions, and could even ask them so frankly and without shame.
Jiang Jianming looked gentle and repeated patiently, “May I ask the price range of the cheapest formal attire in your store?”
“Ah…please, please wait a moment.”
Jiang Jianming’s attitude was too serious, and the little girl ran off bewildered because of him. She actually used her wrist device to check the prices of the complete set of dresses in her shop.
Soon, she brought out a set of plain gray formal attire, which consisted of a shirt, coat, cape, bow tie, trousers, leather shoes and several matching ornaments.
“Take a look at this, the brand is Yanisa, um…their styles, although there are no special highlights, but victory lies in simplicity and grandeur, and it won’t go wrong when worn on any occasion. Calm hue, it matches your temperament very well.”
The saleslady, who gradually regained her professionalism, said, “And we are offering a 20% discount for the end of the year clearance. It’s good quality and cheap. If you buy it, we’ll give you a small bottle of Yanisa’s own men’s perfume as a gift, which is very cost-effective.”
The little girl smiled sincerely, “It’s really cost-effective, a set will only cost less than 50,000 coins.”
In the mansion, the banquet had already started for more than an hour.
Elegant and restrained talking and laughing, accompanied by music. The old nobles’ preferred unnecessary formalities and cumbersome segments had ended. Knives and forks collided on the plate, food was cut, and the raised glasses of wine reflected the chandelier.
There were three long tables covered with white tablecloths, but the seats were not fully occupied.
Occasionally, some people would leave the banquet and walk to the person they wanted to please, bow down with a smile, toast and chat; some people who were already full, sat in the distance with their friends holding a glass of wine.
In any case, everyone was elegant, and every corner exuded the atmosphere of luxury and extravagance.
This was the dinner party of the Lance family, therefore it should be a feast for the eyes.
Lance was a special family within the empire. They were regarded as old nobles according to their titles, but were born in the glorious dominion, at a rough estimate, they had the same root and origin as the Empress Dowager Sylph. The most notable sign was the natural silver-white hair color, they were known as “Silver-haired Lance.”
Therefore, this family could be said to be half of the royal family as well, taking over 60% of the arms and energy trade between the imperial power of the empire and the glorious dominion. God knows how many military items and prohibited new crystal weapons have been touched in private.
In short, a behemoth with a long history and strong power.
Now the too young head of the Lance family—Young Master Audrey Lance, was holding a tall glass of red wine and sitting on the top seat. He had tidy, short silver-white hair and a handsome and beautiful appearance, wearing a delicate silver-gray formal attire and silk gloves.
People kept coming forward to talk to him, and everyone had a prominent status. This time, all were supporters of Audrey Lance in this “struggle for crown prince position”. However, Audrey’s expression hardly changed……He always maintained an indifferent smile, toasted everyone who came forward, and bestowed basic courtesy to them.
……too young. Countless nobles who watched from afar sighed in their hearts, and cast complicated eyes on this noble young man.
Six years ago, Young Master Audrey’s parents simultaneously met a mishap. It was even thought that the prominent Lance family was about to collapse. Unexpectedly, this young man, who was only 19 years old at the time, supported the huge Lance family with his own strength.
So much so that, depending on the unpredictable mood of Her Majesty the Emperor, he had the great possibility of going further and to directly take the most prestigious position in the empire.
On the other hand……
On the other side of the banquet, Audrey Lance’s sister, Diana Lance, lowered her head shyly, sitting in a corner away from the dining table.
She grabbed the hem of her dress and twisted her body uneasily. She had fluffy and slightly curly silver-white long hair reaching the waist, with a pair of extremely light-colored blue-gray eyes like a pair of glass beads. The girl’s temperament was weak and timid, she was like a doll who was completely ignorant of the world.
The Lance family’s young lady, the family head’s own sister, no matter how much she hid herself, it was of no use.
Soon, several middle-aged men came forward to salute her with smiles on their faces.
One of them raised his glass and began to sing praises, “Honorable Miss Diana, today you are still as beautiful as a white hibiscus……”
Before the other party’s flattery was finished, Diana trembled all over, and her eyes immediately turned red.
She cried and hid behind the butler next to her, shrank herself into a small ball, and used the trembling all over her body to express the meaning of “I’m so scared”, “I’m so scared”, “I’m just a doll, don’t talk to me” .
Middle-aged nobles: “………..”
The butler, who was accustomed to it, stood in front of Diana like a big hen guarding her cubs, and said seriously, “Your Excellency, Miss Diana likes to be quiet and dislikes seeing strangers, please don’t disturb her, Your Excellency.”
Some of the nobles watching from a distance snickered, laughing at the ignorant few who came forward.
The brother and the sister of the Lance family, the elder brother was person who’s young, but had a mature and steady demeanor, was experienced in handling things, and a new human elite with outstanding talents; while the younger sister was a weak and shy disabled human like a dodder flower who knew nothing about family affairs.
Audrey, unfortunately happened to have a sickness of an incurable shortcoming level of sister control, which caused Miss Diana to be taken care of from a young age, naively, it must’ve been enough. However……the latter was still a weak and sickly disabled human being after all. In the circle of the upper class nobility, it was not uncommon for disabled human beings to be raised as delicate glass dolls.
In the corner, Diana grabbed the butler’s arm and said tearfully, “Horne, when will big brother come over?”
Under the light, she had snowy-white skin and silver hair, while biting her lower lip pitifully, “I don’t like banquets……There are so many people, I seem to be a bit out of breath. I want to go back to the room.”
“Being so delicate….”
Not far away, Bei Man’er couldn’t help but frown and mutter.
“Man’er, how can you speak recklessly?”
Beside her, Bei Maner’s father furrowed his brow, and neither lightly nor heavily sermoned his daughter, “What did you promise the day before yesterday? Didn’t you promise to pay attention to etiquette in the future?”
“Furthermore, Miss Diana is a non crystal human race, their mental state is much more fragile than ours, therefore it’s only natural that they need more care……why are you laughing?”
Bei Man’er suppressed the smile on the corner of her mouth, and quickly waved her hands to indicate that it was nothing.
She just thought of a certain non crystal person with a “fragile mental state” who drove a M-IP 18 to single-handedly kill red caterpillars, and refused to return to the empire until he coughed up blood in the Far Interstellar Space…
During this period of time, under the efforts of the Protection Association, the term “non crystal race” had gradually become popular within Aslan Star City. It’s just that, for the time being, only when facing disabled human nobles, would the address change suddenly and become non crystal nobles.
And the disabled impoverished human civilians seemed to still be the disabled impoverished human civilians.
At the dining table near the door, several young nobles suddenly burst out laughing.
“Oh my god, I’m not dreaming am I…”
“How did this person get in here?”
Following the eyes of these people, a figure walking in from the door could be seen.
The black-haired young man lowered his eyebrows and calmly stepped into the brightly lit aristocratic banquet hall.
He seemed to have stayed in the street on a winter night for a while, as there was still a clear and crisp chill around him, surprisingly, he somewhat suppressed the atmosphere of this extravagant dinner party.
If it was an ordinary occasion, people would definitely stop and pay attention to the unique temperament of this young man, and even be amazed in their hearts, but here and now….
A noble lady covered her red lips and snickered, and a noble young man held back his smile with trembling shoulders.
Their parents could still maintain a serious face, but there was a strong sense of disdain in the bottom of their eyes.
There were still those that could hold back, but as for those who couldn’t hold back, they had already spit out the good wine they just drank into their mouths with a “pfft”.
Because of the clothes.
The imperial dress system differed greatly from everyday clothes. Even if the newcomer was actually wearing stable and elegant clothes, they could still be seen as out of place among a group of shining nobles.
How can someone show up at a banquet without wearing formal attire?
Moreover, not to mention the lack of makeup for attending the banquet, even the jewelry on the body is different!
How could such a ridiculous scene happen at the banquet of the Lance family? What are the guards doing?
Horne, the head butler of the Lance family, had sharp eyes. Seeing the scene at the door from a distance, his eyeballs almost fell out of anger on the spot.
He didn’t dare to tell Miss Diana who was still trembling, only ducked away and went to the bathroom, turned a corner and rushed to the entrance outside the hall.
The winter wind was still blowing outside the entrance, but butler Horne was so angry that he blew his beard and glared, forcing a few questions to the several guards, “What’s going on? That civilian who didn’t even wear formal attire……Who let the person in, step forward yourself!”
A guard was sweating all over his head, “Butler Daren, but this guest……He, he does have an invitation.” (TL: Daren-title of respect toward superiors)
Another guard cried, “That’s right, we thought at first that he either went the wrong way or was being arrogant and ignorant and wanted to make trouble out of nowhere, but he showed us an electronic invitation card with his wrist device.”
Horne was shocked, “Electronic invitation!?”
It was still fine not hearing these words, but after the chief butler heard them, sweat broke out immediately.
The invitations were all old-fashioned papers, electronic invitations were invitations that only the head of the family had the authority to send, and were usually used to grant permissions to important people who’d appear temporarily on site……….
Horne looked back into the hall in surprise and suspicion, and swallowed his saliva. The young man in simple clothes walking in, facing the gazes from all directions, with steps that had not become disorderly at all could be seen.
The more the butler looked at it, the more frightened he felt: Could he really be not an ordinary person?
In the banquet hall, Jiang Jianming’s face remained as usual. The room was well heated, therefore he took off the long black cotton coat he was wearing outside and draped it in his arms, when he raised his eyebrows, he met a circle of eyes with varying emotions.
He knew it was impolite of him to do so.
He was frugal, but not to the point where he didn’t even understand the rules, he was not planning on claiming to be refined either, therefore he’d just be insolent and conceited.
However, in actuality, he was very clear about these upper-level etiquettes, as he was a person who almost became a crown princess after all.
As long as he had more money, and as long as the difficulties and obstacles he would face in the future were less, he didn’t want to make a fool of himself either.
But 50,000 coins, excuse me.
With this money, wouldn’t he be able to buy himself an extra tranquilizer or a box of new crystal bullets?
He also wants to save money to buy a more powerful new crystal mechanical thermal weapon, and even buy another folding mecha for private use. He also still needs to buy a lot of medicine and to replenish the energy in the treatment cabin many times……
Not enough, not enough, there will never be enough coins for him, because he is the only disabled human being in Silver Big Dipper.
For him, a little more money is a little more guarantee for survival, and a little more hope of finding the truth.
Compared with this, what is shame?
Jiang Jianming casually glanced at the layout of the hall, and immediately understood the rules of the seating.
The seats were arranged according to the rank, the three horizontal long white dining tables first segmented three different classes, from the farthest to the closest to the door, meaning, from high to low status.
Then each table was subdivided and arranged accordingly, on the right side were the honorable ones and on the left side were the inferior ones.
He came to see the “brother and sister” of the Lance family, and he was not very interested in getting involved with these nobles, therefore he randomly picked a remote seat at the most “lower” table and sat down.
The knife and fork in front of him was brand new on the napkin, Jiang Jianming slightly rolled up his cuffs, and picked it up calmly.
The whispers around had become even greater, and had surpassed the level of “whispering”.
The gazes of almost everyone at the dining table—whether they were maliciously mocking, or purely curious and surprised, or more just watching the excitement—all pierced him like needles at this moment.
But in Jiang Jianming’s heart, that was not important.
Now, he could finally enjoy a free dinner.