The entire Martial Palace fell silent. Seeing Emperor Johann arrive, Linley and Olivier both rose to their feet. In the Martial Palace, the Emperor had the highest rank. They had to at least give the Emperor some face.
Wharton’s gaze fell upon Nina. Nina was behind her mother, the Empress. As soon as she entered, she looked at him.
“Big lunk…” Nina’s mouth moved, but she didn’t speak.
Wharton squeezed out a smile of his own, but his eyes were firm. The two knew what the other was thinking from the gaze they shared. No matter who Emperor Johann selected today, Wharton wouldn’t give up.
“Nina is mine. Nobody can take her from me.” Wharton glanced at Blumer from afar, then turned to look at his Imperial Majesty, Emperor Johann.
“Your Imperial Majesty!”
All the nobles and ministers in the palace fell to one knee, bowing respectfully.
“Arise, all of you.” Emperor Johann turned to look at Olivier and Linley, saying modestly, “Linley, Olivier, please, take your seats.”
Wharton also stared at Linley from afar. With Linley there, Wharton felt the utmost confidence.
Emperor Johann then turned to look at the Empress and his Imperial Consorts. “All of you, you can sit over there. Nina, sit with your Imperial mother.” The Empress, the Imperial Consorts, and the seven princesses all sat on the other side of the palace, where a row of seats had been arranged.
In the O’Brien Empire, the Empress and the consorts were not permitted to get involved in politics. In the Martial Palace, even the Empress could only sit below and watch.
“Today is a very important day. Haha…We expect many of you have been waiting for this day. Indeed, today, We are going to announce who will be the one to marry Our beloved daughter.” Emperor Johann smiled towards Nina as he spoke.
Linley, Olivier, and everyone else stared raptly at Emperor Johann.
Wharton felt his heart begin to thump loudly.
Who would it be?
Himself? Or Blumer?
“As for who We will select, before We make the announcement, We would like to introduce two of the personal disciples of the War God.” Emperor Johann saw the two figures flying in this direction from far away. Both men were dressed in long blue robes. Upon entering the Martial Palace, the first one nodded towards Blumer.
“Your Imperial Majesty.” Only then did the two men greet Emperor Johann.
The expression on Wharton’s face changed.
The personal disciples of the War God? Seeing these two arrive, Wharton sensed that things were not going to go well. Blumer, not too far away from him, cast Wharton a delighted glance.
These two had clearly come in support of Blumer.
“We shall make some introductions, first. This person on the left is Mr. Lanke [Lan’ke], a personal disciple of the War God and a Saint-level expert.” Emperor Johann said in a loud voice. “This person on the right is Mr. Castro [Ka’si’te’luo], a personal disciple of the War God and a Saint-level expert as well.”
The nobles and ministers in the Martial Palace all made gestures of respect towards the two Saint-level experts.
“Lanke, Castro, please take a seat over there, near Linley and Olivier.” Emperor Johann said with a smile.
Lanke, Castro, Linley, and Olivier were all seated together.
Wharton cleared his throat. Right now, he truly felt under a great deal of pressure. The atmosphere was clearly in favor of Blumer. At this moment in time, Emperor Johann spoke.
“Blumer, Wharton, come to the middle.” Emperor Johann said in a clear voice.
“Yes, your Imperial Majesty.”
Taking a deep breath, Wharton forced himself to stop thinking wild thoughts, then headed to the center of the palace. Blumer and Wharton stared at each other coldly, then stood shoulder to shoulder.
Everyone’s attention was focused on these two.
“We are going to announce who shall become Nina’s husband. Naturally, that’s only if you two both desire to marry Nina. We shall ask you one more time; do the two of you both wish to marry Nina?” Emperor Johann said in a solemn voice.
This was the final moment.
Blumer immediately said. “Your Imperial Majesty, my greatest desire and dream is to be able to take Princess Nina as my wife.”
Wharton said respectfully, “Your Imperial Majesty, it is also your servant’s dream that I can have an open, public marriage ceremony with Nina, and that the two of us shall be together forever, never to be apart.”
As Wharton spoke, he looked at Nina.
Nina was looking at Wharton as well. Their gazes met. Most of the people in the palace noticed this, and Blumer’s face sank.
“Haha, wonderful.” Emperor Johann laughed loudly. “Since both of you are so sincere, We are very gratified. But in the end, We must choose one person.”
As he spoke, Emperor Johann cast a smiling glance at Blumer.
This glance immediately dissipated the rage in Blumer’s heart. He could sense what Emperor Johann’s hidden meaning was, and Blumer suddenly felt confidence.
Who would be chosen?
To the contrary, Wharton was growing anxious as he looked anxiously at Emperor Johann.
“Everyone, please be quiet. We solemnly announce that-”
“Wait.” That personal disciple of the War God, Castro, stood up and spoke out, preventing Emperor Johann from speaking. Emperor Johann looked questioningly towards him.
If it had been someone else who had interrupted him, he would’ve shouted in anger already. But the person stopping him was Castro.
“Your Imperial Majesty.” Castro actually headed towards Emperor Johann, in the middle of the palace. All of the nobles and ministers were stupefied. “There is something I must tell you in private, your Imperial Majesty.” As he spoke, Castro glanced at Blumer.
The palace attendants didn’t know whether they should try to block him or not try to block him.
“Step aside. Castro has something he wishes to discuss with Us.” Emperor Johann instructed his attendants to step aside, and Castro walked directly to Emperor Johann’s side.
Emperor Johann looked at Castro quizzically.
Castro whispered a few words quietly into Emperor Johann’s ear. Emperor Johann frowned, glancing at Castro. But then Emperor Johann started, and a smile appeared on his face.
Castro stepped away.
“What is this Castro doing?” Linley had a very bad feeling about this. “Could it be that Castro is privately asking Emperor Johann to select Blumer?”
In Linley’s heart, he truly hoped that his younger brother would have a perfect marriage.
But there was nothing that could be done about it. Behind Blumer was the might of the War God’s College.
“Haha. Just then, Castro had a minor matter to discuss with Us. Now, We shall officially announce that Our daughter shall be wed to…” A smile was on Emperor Johann’s face.
The entire palace was so silent, you could hear a needle falling.
Wharton and Blumer both looked anxiously at Emperor Johann.
“Shall be wed to…” Emperor Johann proclaimed loudly. “Wharton Baruch!”
“Wharton Baruch!” “Wharton Baruch!” “Wharton Baruch!” Wharton’s name echoed throughout the Martial Palace.
The entire Martial Palace became utterly still.
Blumer’s eyes bulged out.
Wharton was stunned.
Nina was stupefied as well.
“Ah!!!!” Wharton suddenly let out a wild howl of excitement, then charged directly towards Nina. Nina recovered as well, throwing herself directly into Wharton’s embrace.
Wharton and Nina actually tightly embraced each other, there in the Martial Palace, as though no one was watching. Nina was utterly thrilled.
“Impossible!” Blumer shook his head nonstop, totally unable to accept this result.
In truth, Blumer didn’t feel too much affection towards Princess Nina. But Blumer had a strong, possessive nature, wanting to possess the best of everything. And when he was young, people would often compare him against Wharton.
Thus, Blumer wanted to surpass Wharton in every way.
Challenging him to a duel. Wooing Nina. They were all for this reason. The only person Blumer truly loved was himself.
“Wharton. Nina.” Emperor Johann’s voice rang out.
Only now did Wharton and Nina come to their senses. This was the Martial Palace. Nina’s face turned red, and she immediately retreated into her Imperial mother’s embrace.
Wharton immediately bowed as well. “Your Imperial Majesty, your servant was too excited.”
“We can understand. We can understand.” Emperor Johann laughed and nodded.
And then, Emperor Johann looked at Blumer. “Blumer, you and Wharton are both outstanding talents. Only, We have to consider what is best for our daughter. Do you understand?”
What could Blumer do?
He wasn’t Wharton. In Blumer’s heart, even if Princess Nina became his wife, she would still be nothing more than something for him to show off. He didn’t have much affection for Nina herself. Although it was hard for Blumer to accept this defeat, he didn’t lose his composure.
“I understand the difficult choice your Imperial Majesty had to make.” Blumer could only grind his teeth and force out these words, swallowing the bile that had risen to his throat.
Emperor Johann nodded with satisfaction.
“Haha…” Emperor Johann laughed loudly. “We are extremely happy today. How about this. Let Us decide the date for Wharton and Nina’s engagement. Next month, on the 12th. Wharton, that will be the date of your engagement ceremony with Nina. Do you have any objections?”
“Thank you, your Imperial Majesty. Your servant has no objections.” Right now, Wharton was all smiles. How could he have any objections?
Linley, standing next to Wharton, felt very happy as well upon seeing his little brother’s joy. His little brother’s romantic relationship was about to come to a happy conclusion. At last, he was confident it wouldn’t turn out like his own had.
Thinking once more about how his own had turned out, Linley felt a bit of pain in his heart.
“Linley, congratulations.” The personal disciple of the War God who sat next to him, Lanke, said in a warm manner.
Castro laughed as well. “Master Linley, on War God Mountain, I am a big collector of stone sculptures. I’ve always been full of admiration for you, Master Linley. If you have some free time, Master Linley, please come to War God Mountain for a stroll. War God Mountain welcomes you at any time.”
“I will definitely go when I am free.” Linley was in a fine mood today as well.
Olivier directly rose to his feet and walked to his little brother, Blumer, patting Blumer on the shoulder.
“Linley, Wharton, today you shall enjoy a meal with Us, what do you say?” Emperor Johann’s voice rang out. “Olivier, Blumer, Castro, Lanke, you should come with Us as well.”
Castro and Lanke rose to their feet.
“Your Imperial Majesty, we have affairs we need to attend to back at War God Mountain. We won’t be able to accompany you.” Castro said.
“That’s fine.” Emperor Johann didn’t try to force the issue.
“Your Imperial Majesty, I also need to go prepare for my duel with Haydson next month. My second brother shall accompany me back as well.” Olivier also refused.
Blumer had already lost. How could he stay and have a meal with them?
Emperor Johann understood this and nodded.
But Linley and Wharton accepted Emperor Johann’s invitation. In the future, Emperor Johann would be Wharton’s father-in-law. They had to give him this bit of face.
“I didn’t expect this.” Linley’s face was covered with smiles.
Indeed, he truly had not. Linley had already sent out Jenne, Leena, and Rebecca from the imperial capital, and was already prepared to take Nina by force and let Nina and Wharton elope. But the end result had actually been this. This truly was surprising.
After the court was adjourned, Nina left alongside the Empress and the Imperial Consorts.
But Linley and Wharton followed Emperor Johann to a different place.
“Big bro.” Wharton’s face was still covered in smiles. He was simply too happy. Without meaning to, he continued to beam happily.
Linley was very happy for Wharton as well.
“Linley, in the future, we’ll all be one family.” Emperor Johann laughed towards Linley.
“Right. All one family.” Linley smiled back.
Lanke and Castro were flying in the air side by side, heading straight for the War God Mountain outside the imperial capital.
“What was that all about? What did you say to Johann?” Lanke was confused this entire time. Why did Emperor Johann choose Wharton? Emperor Johann had previously already agreed to choose Blumer.
“I told Johann that our master, the War God, was ordering him to choose Wharton!” Castro said in an unhappy voice.
“Master?” Lanke was stunned.
“How should I know? Right after I entered the palace, Master’s voice rang out in my mind and instructed me to speak with Johann. And then, Master delivered the same message to Johann as well.” Castro said helplessly. “Master most likely was afraid that if he simply spoke to Johann, Johann wouldn’t believe that it truly was the War God who was speaking to him. After all, Master has never spoken to Johann mentally before.”
“Why did Master do such a thing?” Lanke said quizzically.
“How should I know?” Castro had no idea either.