Chapter 66 – The Mess Was Coming
The little princess was grounded, hence, she was unable to come and meet him. But Zuo Wu-Ji didn’t come, and neither did Lan Lang-Lang. That was a bit odd.
Ye Xiao stretched himself.
After cultivating for ten days without taking any breaks, the extra frost qi in the Spaces had been mostly absorbed by Ye Xiao. Indeed, because of this, the dominant Sky Space had become meeker…
Ye Xiao knew that the depletion of the frost qi must be stopped before it’s too late; he had already used more than enough.
He decided to let the frost qi in the Sky Space go unchecked for the time being and wait a couple of days for it to accumulate. It wouldn’t be too late to collect it when it once again starts to run wild.
He stood up and slowly got down from the watchtower.
The steward came to meet him right away, “My lord, how is it? You should have surmounted the fourth level of the Grade of Renyuan, right?”
In fact, Ye Xiao had been stuck in the third level of the Grade of Renyuan for the past several years. The steward asked him in an encouraging fashion because he didn’t want to hurt the young lord’s confidence. [Surmount? How is it possible to break through so quickly? People have spent many years and still haven’t managed a breakthrough for this single level.]
[Fourth level of the Grade of Renyuan?]
Ye Xiao’s lips quivered oddly and he said, “Hmm. More or less. I am about to reach level 4.”
The steward was greatly gratified and smiled, “You have been working so hard these days. In fact, to cultivate, it requires a process of alternating work with rest and it also needs to proceed step by step. So take a good rest tonight.”
The steward didn’t know that although he was talking about the Grade of Renyuan, his young lord was talking about… the Grade of Diyuan.
Although they were both talking about level 4, the difference between the two levels was like heaven and earth… If Ye Xiao had told him straightaway that he was about to reach the fourth level of the Grade of Diyuan, maybe the steward would have just passed out right away.
“Were there any unusual movements in the capital?” Ye Xiao asked.
“Hmm. Have some food for now. I will tell you what happened one by one after you eat.” The steward said with a smile on his face.
“Hmm. Uncle Song, join me for the meal.” Ye Xiao replied with a smile.
“Ok. Ok.” Steward Song was delighted.
“These days, the situation has been quite sensitive inside the Capital.”
The steward spoke while he was drinking.
Ye Xiao was surprised to notice that the steward drank in a weird way. He held the cup with two fingers and picked it up casually and naturally. No movement was made by his throat and no sound of drinking was heard, yet one cup of liquor was finished quickly and elegantly. After that, he casually filled his cup once more and drank it in one shot…
His speed of drinking was shockingly fast, but the way he drank was extremely elegant.
The elegance in the way he drank made the Xiao Monarch feel a bit jealous. He had been a man of alcohol, a hardcore drinker in his previous life. He has naturally tasted a lot of good liquors, but speaking of the drinking culture he had, the elegant and lambent way Steward Song drank was something he could never achieve. Even if he tried imitating him, it was rather possible that he would likely ‘draw a tiger into a dog’ .
“Sensitive? What does that mean?” Ye Xiao felt that this steward of his family was absolutely not just some simple retired soldier. He must definitely have some special background.
Firstly, he was perceptive; Secondly, he was elegant. Just with the way he drank, without systematic training and a subtle influence of past generations, he would never be able to show such a natural, noble demeanor…
Thirdly, he was mysterious. He never talked about his past… Fourthly, regarding his cultivation, even Ye Xiao couldn’t see through him.
There were many cultivation levels for the cultivators in the world. Generally, when a cultivator wasn’t using his martial arts, it would be quite difficult to see his level or strength. Only when he showed his martial arts, would his true strength be revealed.
A few martial arts existed which could be used to conceal the cultivators’ cultivation levels.
These kinds of martial arts didn’t have the functions of nourishing growth, improving cultivation, curing wounds or injuring the enemies, but it was still quite useful in confusing and disturbing the enemies.
Once a person cultivated such a martial art, he could hide his energy and conceal his strength to a certain extent. He could prevent the enemies from knowing his true strength so he could gain an element of surprise during a fight and sometimes, it could even help him turn the tide of a losing battle and alter the result.
Only some supreme experts, through their experience and perception for danger, could estimate the enemies’ cultivation before they have made any movements. The Xiao Monarch could surely do that. No matter what level the enemy was and how hard he tried to cover his strength, as long as he was in a lower level than the Xiao Monarch, his strength would be revealed with just a glance.
However, Ye Xiao couldn’t estimate the true cultivation strength of the steward.
Although he had the same sight like in his previous life, he couldn’t see through the steward at all. The only explanation was that the steward was at a much higher level than Ye Xiao.
After all, Ye Xiao’s shortcoming was his poor cultivation strength; it was only at the third level of the Grade of Diyuan.
“Yes. Sensitive.” The steward who was drinking in a rather elegant way, continued gulping drinks one after the other. It was as if he was holding the cup but never putting it down. “The king must be suffering a serious headache. The battle for the crown among the princes must have possibly started during the auction. However, the king is helpless and can do nothing about it.”
“Oh. I’d love to hear more.” Ye Xiao urged the steward to continue.
He truly had never thought about this before.
He might have experienced a lot, but he knew very little about the game played in the royal court of the mortal world. His knowledge regarding politics was next to nothing. This was an irrefutable fact that he had led a significantly different life compared to the mortals.
“The king has always been supporting the crown prince and was using the second and the third prince as the grinders to sharpen him. He always encourages the two younger princes to fight against the crown prince, but absolutely prevents them from becoming more powerful than the crown prince. Grinders are only grinders after all. If the knife is tested excessively and breaks, it would go against the original intention of the grinding.”
“Although the king kept on giving some hope to the other princes, making them think that they may have the chance to sit on the throne, he never really considered them as candidates to take the throne. There was never any doubt, the throne was meant only for the crown prince.”
“That is the politics of the kingdom.” The steward smiled.
“Politics…” Ye Xiao murmured.
“The king has great talent and bold vision. That is undeniable. But he is unhealthy. That is the weakest point of all his plans. He had won the War of Eight Kings in the past, truly an incredible man. However… although the crown prince is also talented, he lacks experience. It is easy for him to safeguard the heritage, but if he wants to carry forward the king’s plan of expanding the territory and obtaining the dominant position in this world, it is completely impossible.”
“So in order to train the crown prince, he raises the other two princes to oppose him. He wants to make the crown prince feel threatened, forcing him to work harder to improve. But the king always keeps the competition within the proper limits to ‘prevent the grinders from breaking the knife’ and also to ‘keep the knife from consuming the grinders’ too soon… The balance has always been well maintained by the king.”
Ye Xiao nodded slowly.
Yes, throughout history, that was what the kings would do.
However, there were not many of them that could control the balance well.
It seemed like the ruling king of the Kingdom of Chen was really a wise king.
“However, a few years ago, there was an accident that interrupted the grand plan of the king. It broke the balance. It was… that the crown prince had met a girl. The girl and the crown prince fell in love at first sight. The girl is from the Mu Clan, one of the eight noble clans. Although she is not the child of the patriarch, she is still the daughter of the second most important person in the Mu Clan.”
“The king always took precautions against the three clans that settled in the Kingdom of Chen, so he was naturally against the marriage. However, he had no legitimate reasons to stop this one. If he blocked it deliberately, it would not only hurt the relationship between the father and son, but it will also create an awkward situation whenever he faced the Mu Clan. After all, the Mu Clan is one of the eight noble clans; it is not something the king could easily deal with…”
“With no other choice, he had to approve the marriage and let the girl be the crown princess. From then on, the power of the crown prince suddenly expanded, and it made the other two princes completely lose power to strike back.”
“But the two princes didn’t sit still and await death. The throne has always fascinated people. Even though they only had little hope, they were not willing to let it go. The crown prince’s marriage had suddenly diminished their powers, and guided the noble clans to a way where they could also expand their power… Thus, they sought out the other two noble clans in the Kingdom of Chen, and each of them proposed to one of their daughters… Among the three princes, the balance was restored. However, the balance was no longer firm; it was fragile.”
“In the old days, under the control of the ruling king, whenever balance between them became skewed due to one of them becoming too strong, the ruling king would naturally suppress the stronger party. However, right now, the control of the ruling king on the situation has been lacking. Once the situation becomes imbalanced, it will definitely lead to a huge crisis where all sides might collapse.”
“In fact, for a long time, because of the wariness of the ruling king, although the noble clans were rich and world-shaking, they hardly reached the level of authority commanded by the royal power. Yet, at that time, the king’s sons actually went to them of their own initiatives… So the noble clans rather enjoyed it. It was exactly what they had dreamed about; they were like a fish which returned to clean waters. Even if they didn’t have daughters, they would try to make up some, let alone when there were lots of pretty girls in the noble clans.”
“So the crown prince disappointed the king at that time, because the noble clans had all entered into the royal family. Moreover, he only had three sons, and now they were all sons-in-laws to the noble clans…”
“This event had produced great chaos in the recent past… And now, everything seemed peaceful.”
“The king has made a great effort to define the powers of his three sons and distribute it. Now, it has become organized enough to make everything back to normal… That means the crown prince became a little bit stronger while the other two princes became slightly weaker. Only when the two princes work together could they have the chance to match the crown prince; it was a subtle balance. When the king was about to sigh with relief… suddenly, the auction popped up without any signs.”
 ‘draw a tiger into a dog’, literally means someone painted a tiger but it turned out a dog. It means someone tried to imitate others but failed.