Stepping Onto the Stage
Yulan calendar, year 10009, April 12th. This was the day on which Wharton and Nina would be engaged at the imperial capital. One of the two lovers was the younger brother of a peak-stage Saint-level expert, while the other was the daughter of the Emperor. An engagement ceremony such as this would definitely be very well attended.
The nobles of the imperial capital who received invitation letters all felt extremely proud. Many common nobles weren’t qualified to be invited to this event; after all, if everyone was invited, the Count’s manor wouldn’t be able to hold all those people.
The Count’s manor was very festive today, and the outside of the manor was flooded with arriving carriages, which blocked off a large half of the Boulder Street. The guards and servants of the nobles weren’t qualified to enter the manor, and all had to wait outside. In total, there were thousands of guards and servants waiting outside.
An ocean of people!
Each carriage was gaudier and more lavish than the next, and each young noble lady was dressed more beautifully and was more mesmerizing than the last. The engagement ceremony banquet at the manor was definitely one of the imperial events of the highest caliber, and the people who came were all people of great status.
“Big bro, I still feel really uncomfortable wearing this.” Wharton had wasted quite a bit of his time in his room. He felt more nervous than he ever had before.
Linley laughed. “Enough, Wharton. You already look very handsome. Have some confidence!”
Wharton took a deep breath.
“Let’s go. Time to welcome the guests in the hall.” Linley laughingly lectured. “You can’t just keep on having Grandpa Hiri welcome the guests. For example, when his Imperial Majesty comes, how can you possibly not be out there to welcome him?”
Wharton and Linley entered the main hall, and as soon as they did, they breathed sharply. Good heavens. There were so many people there. What’s more, that was just a small portion of the nobles who would be present. Many senior personages hadn’t arrived yet.
“The imperial capital really is the imperial capital. There are far more nobles here than in Fenlai City.” Linley sighed.
In the past, Linley had participated in Alice and Kalan’s engagement ceremony. The number of people present that day clearly were far fewer than the number attending the ceremony today, and were clearly a much lower caliber of people as well.
The noble clans of a kingdom naturally were far fewer in number than the noble clans of an empire.
As soon as Linley and Wharton entered the main hall, they immediately became the center of attention. Wharton’s massive frame was simply too eye-catching, and many people went over there to greet him warmly.
“Wharton, come over here.” Housekeeper Hiri immediately called out to him.
Wharton immediately hastened over to the main door of the hall and began to greet each of the arriving guests. As for Linley, he filled a cup with wine, then casually walked to the center of the hall, occasionally clinking cups with the guests.
These nobles were very conscientious and didn’t try to get too close to Linley or bother him too much, only gently tipping their cups towards him from afar.
Some of the young noble ladies had their eyes set on Linley. They knew that Linley was unmarried. A twenty-something year old peak-stage Saint-level expert…where would anyone find another man like this?
“What a headache.” Linley saw three separate young noble ladies begin to drift in his direction. Linley could only pretend not to have seen them.
When these three young noble ladies were a meter away from Linley…
“Whoosh.” A soft yet firm gust of wind suddenly pressed against their bodies. No matter what they tried, those three young noble ladies couldn’t move any closer towards Linley.
And then, Linley raised his cup, smiling faintly, before heading to a corner of the main hall and sitting down.
“Just then, Master Linley…” A golden-haired and golden-eyed beautiful young noble lady got excited. “What sort of amazing technique was that?”
The other two young noble ladies didn’t know either.
Not knowing wasn’t an issue. This didn’t impact Linley’s status in their heart. In fact, to the contrary; this made Linley seem all the more powerful and mysterious to them. Actually, what Linley had just used was just the simplest manipulations of the wind.
“Did you see Master Linley’s Dragonform transformation that day at the Colosseum? He seemed so wild and untamed. I was so excited.”
“He really is exciting. I like this type. Those men at school are all soft as cotton. None of them are extremely manly like him.”
Linley’s hearing was simply too good. Hearing what the young noble ladies were saying to each other, Linley felt a wave of resignation in his heart. They called his Dragonform transformation ‘wild and untamed’? And ‘extremely manly’?”
“His Imperial Majesty has arrived!”
The voice of the guest announcer at the main gates immediately increased in volume. He had clearly shouted using battle-qi, allowing all the guests in the hall to hear clearly.
The entire hall full of nobles fell silent as they all looked towards the gates. There were many nobles outside the hall as well. There were too many guests here today, and the hall simply couldn’t fit them all inside.
“Johann has arrived?” Linley stood up and left the hall.
“Milord.” The uniformed Gates called out towards Linley.
Today, all five of the Barker brothers were dressed in handsome matching uniforms. As they wandered around the manor, their massive size and frame made the hearts of the nobles quail. The nobles all secretly sighed…the Dragonblood Warrior clan lives up to its name. Even their guards were so incredible.
Emperor Johann was a sight to behold, as always. Holding the Empress’s hand, he was followed by a few bodyguards.
“Wharton.” Emperor Johann immediately picked out Wharton from the crowd. Seeing how handsome and strong Wharton looked, Johann nodded with satisfaction. “Not bad, not bad.”
“Your Imperial Majesty, come rest inside.” Linley laughed.
“Alright. We have much to discuss with you, Master Linley.” Emperor Johann said warmly. Immediately, the two of them entered the guest hall. As for the other nobles and ministers, they very conscientiously stepped aside for them.
So many of the nobles of the imperial capital had arrived today, but Linley hadn’t gone to welcome any of them. The nobles all felt that this was normal. A Saint-level expert, go welcome them? Was that possible?
“The Chairman of the Dawson Conglomerate has arrived!”
That high-pitched voice rang out again. The Chairman of the Dawson Conglomerate, one of the three major trading unions of the Yulan Continent. Although the Dawson Conglomerate didn’t actually possess any Saint-level experts, it still possessed astonishing economic power.
Even Emperor Johann stood up and said to Linley, “Monroe Dawson is one of Our good friends.”
Linley rose as well.
Yale was sure to have come alongside Monroe Dawson. Of course Linley would go welcome them.
“Haha…” The big-bellied Monroe Dawson made his way over, with Yale by his father’s side. Seeing Emperor Johann, Monroe Dawson immediately bowed slightly. “Monroe pays his respects to the mighty Emperor Johann.”
Emperor Johann smiled warmly. “Monroe, today, Linley is the master of this location. There’s no need for you to stand on too much courtesy with Us.”
“Master Linley and I have been friends for a long time. Only, I didn’t expect that in a few scant years, Master Linley had reached such a level of accomplishment. Haha…” Monroe Dawson laughed so hard his eyes turned into merry slits.
“Uncle Dawson, just call me Linley.” Linley smiled as he spoke. He and Yale were the best of bros. Naturally, he had to be respectful to Yale’s father.
“Wharton, come and greet Uncle Dawson.”
Wharton came over as well.
“What a handsome, strapping young lad.” Monroe Dawson’s eyes lit up when he saw Wharton. Clearly, Wharton’s size and stature had surprised him.
One noble after another arrived, and even Blumer arrived. Blumer acted in an extremely gentlemanly manner today, and even spent some time congratulating Wharton.
But Wharton, in his heart, still felt rather uncomfortable around Blumer. He kept on feeling that Blumer wasn’t speaking sincerely.
“Blumer, your elder brother didn’t come today?” Emperor Johann laughed as he spoke to Blumer.
“My elder brother is currently in closed-door meditation training, in preparation for his duel with Lord Haydson next month.” Blumer smiled.
“Oh. Makes sense.” Emperor Johann nodded.
Blumer then glanced towards Wharton, who was welcoming guests at the gate. A cold light flashed in his eyes. In his heart, Blumer was very unhappy that Wharton had managed to successfully ask for Nina’s hand in marriage.
“The Monolithic Sword Saint, Lord Haydson, has arrived!”
When the voice rang out, Emperor Johann, Linley, Monroe Dawson, and many others immediately rose to their feet and headed out the hall.
“Haydson came?” Linley was very surprised and pleased. He had thought that Haydson would be busy preparing for next month’s duel.
Very soon, the gray-robed Haydson walked in by himself. Emperor Johann, Linley, Wharton, and the others all went to welcome him.
“Haha, Wharton, congratulations.” A very friendly smile was on Haydson’s face. He then looked at Linley. Jokingly, he said, “Linley, your little brother is getting engaged. What about you, the big brother?”
Linley started. He hadn’t expected Haydson to ask such a question.
“Hahaha…” Emperor Johann began to laugh loudly as well, nodding repeatedly. “Linley, it really is time for you to get married. If you take a fancy to someone, just tell Us. We will definitely make sure that lucky girl is sent to you.”
Linley didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry.
“Lords from the War God’s College have arrived!”
This call from the gate extricated Linley from having to answer the question, as they all went to welcome the people from the War God’s College.
“I didn’t expect that the War God’s College would also send people over.” Emperor Johann sighed emotionally.
Haydson nodded as well. The War God’s College was one of the most major organizations in the Yulan continent. They rarely participated in engagement or wedding events, unless it was the event of one of their own people. Only then would the other fellow apprentices attend.
Lanke and Castro walked in, side by side.
Castro smiled. “Haha, brother Wharton, congratulations.” As Castro figured, given how well-disposed his master was towards Wharton, then Wharton was qualified to be addressed by him as ‘brother Wharton’.”
But this term of address baffled Linley, Johann, Haydson, and the others.
The members of the War God’s College were extremely arrogant.
They rarely paid much attention to other people. Castro’s attitude really caused quite a few people to feel puzzled.
“Today, we two fellow apprentices have come here as representatives of the entire War God’s College to congratulate you, Wharton, on this joyful occasion. This is the gift which our master personally instructed us to bring you.” Castro directly held out a brocade box towards Wharton.
Everyone around them was stunned. The War God was giving a gift?
“We are incredibly grateful.” Linley was the first to recover. Smiling, he accepted the congratulatory gift. “Castro, Lanke, come, have a rest over here.”
Generally speaking, the servants would accept any congratulatory gifts at the gate…but how would the gift registrars of the Count’s manor dare to take the gifts from people belonging to the War God’s College? Even if they had come empty-handed, it would have been an honor.
The Count’s manor was a hubbub of noise. Many high ranking nobles such as Dukes and Counts were all chatting amongst themselves, while Linley, Emperor Johan, Monroe Dawson, Castro, Lanke, Haydson, and the others chatted casually as well.
The guests at this engagement ceremony were all absolutely incredible.
Just look at the seating arrangements. At Linley’s table, the only people present aside from Saint-levels experts were an Emperor and the Chairman of a Conglomerate. Just at this moment…
“A Saint-level expert is flying over.” Many people called out. Linley glanced through the door at the sky, and indeed, saw a human form gracefully soaring through the clouds.
Linley, Emperor Johann, and the others all rose to their feet in confusion.
But no matter who it was, given this person was a Saint-level expert, they had to give him some face.
With a mid-air flash, the man arrived at the main gate. This was a white-haired old man, with a white beard as well. Clearly, he was ancient, but his dreamy, sky-blue eyes were very sharp.
“Haha, I came uninvited. I hope I won’t be unwelcome here?” The white-haired old man laughed heartily.
He didn’t even look at Linley and the others, instead flying directly towards the place where Linley and the others had been seated. As he drew near, Haydson and Castro hurriedly stepped out of his way, and the white-haired old man sat down on the seat previously occupied by the Monolithic Sword Saint, Haydson.
“This is a pretty good seat. I’ll sit here.” The white-haired old man laughed loudly.
Emperor Johann frowned. This man was a bit too impolite. Linley, as well, felt that this white-haired old man was a little too arrogant.
“Might I ask…” Before Linley even had a chance to finish his words, the Monolithic Sword Saint, Haydson, quickly said in an extremely courteously voice, “I didn’t expect you would come here, milord. This truly is an unexpected surprise for us.”
By his side, both Castro and Lanke hurriedly nodded their heads in assent. Their attitudes were unbelievably humble.