Chapter 179 “Wine Shop Opening”
Cutting off the long hair and replacing the shabby robe, his highness the sixth prince now looked fabulous in his new attire. Aside from his majestic and gallant appearance, he leaned more towards the queen in his features, giving him a more elegant and prestigious side.
When the queen entered the hall under the accompaniment of Ling Yue, the tired woman found herself dazing out for a moment due to being so astounded.
Recognizing the boy was indeed his son, the very same Xia Hou Qi who nearly took her life just days ago, tears swelled out like a torrent. Her sobbing voice gave testament to her emotions.
After the two cried their hearts out and divulged all that they’ve been holding in through the years, the queen felt both remorseful and resentful. If she had any sort of indecision towards harming Consort Luo before, it’s been grinded away at this point.
“Ling Yue, it’s all thanks to you this time. If not for your help, I and my son would never have managed to untie the knots keeping us apart.” A genuine smile comes out of the queen.
“Your highness shouldn’t be so thankful yet. I only helped your son because I also need his help to achieve my goals. He may be fine now, but that doesn’t mean those who wish him harm are gone. Nothing has changed yet and the biggest obstacle, the crown prince and Consort Luo, is still around. We must keep what’s happening here a secret until the time is ripe.” After advising the pair, she then quietly snuck out of the Morning Flower Wing and left the palace.
Towards everything that has occurred here, only a few trusted individuals are informed. Mainly those from the Lan House and a few close supporters of the queen.
Aside from the recovery of the prince, there’s another good news going around. Lan Caier, the one who’s been in secluded training for the past month, has finally come out and she’s no longer a upper celestial martialist! She’s now officially a Dan realm master.
At the same time, the preparations of the Ghost Sect created by Ling Yue was being carried out with wind and fire. As expected of Yanche, his abilities are outstanding.
Besides secretly recruiting a lot of manpower in the background, he also used this period to swallow some of the smaller underground powers in the capital. Considering their influence at this point in time, the Ghost Sect was now of considerable size with their forces mainly spread across the various restaurants and tea shops in the capital.
As to their first mission, Ling Yue directed Yanche to collect as much information as they can regarding the crown prince.
The results were satisfactory in the end. Not amazing, but enough to get a good grasp on the prince’s habits and preferences.
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Xia Hou Hong, only child of Consort Luo. He’s the fourth son of the current king at seventeen years of age. His martial art can be called acceptable for someone of his post, roughly around the peak upper celestial realm, and are good friends with Hong Yu Long.
“Ling Yue, why are you gathering information about the crown prince? It can’t be that you are intending to run for the position of crown princess, are you?” When Lan Caier noticed the many sheets of information in Ling Yue’s hand, a scowl instantly took over her face.
“The crown prince is choosing a partner?” Aside from Liu Cheng and Feng Xue, she didn’t have any other friends here. This mainly had to do with Zhu Ge Rou and her daughter’s manipulation in the background.
As such, gossips like these are not a familiar topic to Ling Yue.
In Da Xia, females are technically of marriageable age at thirteen while a male can take a wife or concubine at fifteen. Such occurrences aren’t uncommon in the upper circle of the kingdom.
Considering the crown prince Xia Hou Hong was already seventeen this year, it’s rather strange for him to not have a wife in line by now.
“This should’ve happened years and not now. He did take in a few concubines before, but those women never managed to give him a child. They all say it’s due to the crown prince being caught up with his training that he ignored the beauties at home. Whether or not that’s true, only the man would know.”
Everything Lan Caier knew of the boy was through third parties, but she did hold a very hostile attitude at the mention of the crown prince. It can’t be blamed on her since the boy was a splitting image of Consort Luo. Arrogant and domineering, the boy was nothing like a prince. Then there’s that incident in the Grand Martial Hall.
As a strong-willed woman, it’s unavoidable that Lan Caier would bump heads with Hong Yu Long eventually. And since the crown prince was close friends with the boy, they colluded together to force the girl into a duel.
Back then Lan Caier and Xia Hou Hong were evenly matched in their cultivation, so the fight ended up in a draw. However, the crown prince was a weasel at his core. Bending the truth, he brought the fight up in front of the king and claimed she attacked him without provocation. In the end, Lan Ying Wu was admonished in front of all the officials, saying he didn’t teach his daughter well. Then what happened afterwards was a quick demotion and exile to Glass City.
Just mentioning all these old stories were enough to push Lan Caier over the edge.
“Again with that Hong Yu Long. Sister, it seems we are both bad omens for that family. While you were in secluded training, I personally saw to it that the Hong siblings are humiliated in open public.” A triumphant smirk forms from Ling Yue’s mouth.
Explaining all the encounters during her absence, Ling Yue didn’t forget to mention Hong Yu Long was also inside the carriage when her mother carried out the assassination attempt. Then there’s also that exploding egg incident at the pet shop.
Unable to hold back her tears during the laughing fit, Lan Caier had to hand it to her sister for dishing out so many good deeds. “Aiya, I’m dying from laughing. How venting. Wish I could’ve been there when you humiliated those siblings.”
Happy over her elder sister’s enjoyment, she then went back to the papers in hand. Her mood a bit stressed: “The crown prince and Hong Yu Long, something’s irking me and I can’t seem to figure out why. Something about these two just doesn’t seem right.”
After returning from the Morning Flower Wing, she’s been deliberately keeping herself away from the palace. One reason was that she needs time to investigate her foes, the second being the peony flower needed more time to recover.
She had long transferred that flower from the dowager into her pocket dimension. Using the spirit smoke to devour the worms, plus the nourishment of the rainbow creek, things are looking good so far. All that’s left was to wait for the flower bud to bloom and she can then return it to the old queen.
“Then let’s drop the vexing topics from our conversations. We can talk about our restaurant the Drunken Immortal instead. It’s the grand opening in a few days so we must do it right and let the entire city know our name.”
Lan Caier had intended to begin operations much earlier, but thanks to her need to advance into the Dan realm, the matter was temporarily delayed till now. With her back, this business with the restaurant must come first.
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