There were tons of people kneeling on the floor in the side palace. They were like the surface of a calm ocean. As the middle-aged woman walked by, the ocean was split and it induced a wave. A servant leader coughed two times and the other servants on the floor kneeling all stood up hastily and left the palace without a sound.
That servant leader had wrinkles all over his face which represented his old age. He carefully lifted that middle-aged woman’s hand and said quietly and respectfully, “Even if that youngster’s background has some problems, why is the Queen so bothered?”
That middle-aged woman was the Divine Queen. Hearing the question of the servant, she said without expression, “If he’s just an ordinary person, then obviously I don’t need to bother with him.”
The servant leader knew that “ordinary” meant if the youngster could xiuxing or not. He thought deeply for a moment and said, “I checked that recommendation letter. There is no problem with it. The Pope gifted it to Lady Mo Yu and Princess Ping Guo back in the day…….from messages of Palace Li, the Pope has nothing to do with this. The youngster was dragged into this trouble by accident. Although his marriage vow with Palace Xu (General’s Mansion) was surprising, I can’t really see anything special about him.”
The Divine Queen stopped walking and glanced at the darkness behind the side palace. She was silent for a moment and asked, “Have you ever seen a person not afraid of death?”
The servant leader knew this question of the Divine Queen contained a deeper meaning so he started thinking seriously.
People all say the heroes of this world treated life and death lightly, but only the people who experienced countless times of struggle between life and death understand that their fearlessness was a result of their unbreakable will which overcame the fear. Their fear of death always existed in their hearts.
This servant leader lived in the Zhou Palace for several hundred years and had a great influence in the politics. Twenty years ago, after the last emperor passed away, all of the royal family disagreed with the Divine Queen ascending the throne and tried to rebel. The Queen easily put down the rebellion. It wasn’t only due to the strong and clear support from the Pope, but also because this servant leader played a major role.
He was a character who experience countless departure between life and death. He’s more than sure that no one was not afraid of death. Even a great man like the First Emperor was still not calm in his death bed. He stared at the stars in the night sky and the only expression in his eyes were fear and sadness.
He was beside the emperor that time. He saw that view clearly.
“No one is not afraid of death,” he answered.
“Then in the precise moment earlier, that youngster was actually not afraid of death. He’s not a normal person.” The Divine Queen thought back to the words the youngster said in front of the Black Mighty Dragon, “I always thought only the child from Family of Qiu Shan could pair with that girl, but now…….I’m not quite sure.”
The leader servant was a little shocked, he thought to himself, will the Queen change her attitude about this entire event?
The side palace fell into a silence again.
The night wind blew through the flower pot outside of the hallway lightly. The stems in the pot shook slightly and the squirrels ran faster on the tree branches far away in the woods.
“Tonight’s the night of Qi Xi. It will be lively outside the palace. I’m thinking about going out to see the view.”
“Queen…..I thought you were going to wait in the palace for the result of the Ivy Festival?”
“Waiting for what? Which student of what academy is the best? I’m not interested.”
The leader servant was confused, “Don’t you want to know if this proposal will be successful or not?”
The Divine Queen said, “Whether the General’s Mansion will marry with the Family of Qiu Shan or complete its promise of taking Chen Chang Sheng for its son-in-law is not something they can decide.”
The servant leader bowed and said, “Everything in the world follows the will of the Queen.”
The Divine Queen said calmly, “You are wrong again. This event is not something I can decide either.”
The leader servant was a little shocked, he thought, who else besides you could decide the result of this marriage?
“The person who is going to marry is You Rong. Then whoever she will marry to should depend on her attitude.”
The Divine Queen said, “That girl has her own thoughts. No matter what other people do is meaningless. It’s will all be a joke.”
There is a street outside of the south of royal palace. It’s a little from other places which were filled with lamps and lights of Qi Xi. This place was isolated and quiet. Perhaps it’s close to the royal palace. Perhaps a lot of ice was transported out of this place, and the streets were filled with leftover cold water. No one was willing to set up their shops here.
This place is named Bridge Bei Xin but there are no bridges here. Or more precisely, that bridge made out of green stone is fake. River Luo circled around the royal palace but went around this place. Not a single water drop was beneath this bridge.
Not too far from the Bridge Bei Xin was a well. The temperature inside the well was freezing, as if the inside wasn’t water but rather unmeltable ice. It’s already deep into the night and the light of the royal palace couldn’t get to here. The willow branches were like brushes filled with ink as they dipped lightly around the well.
The Divine Queen stood inside the well and in her hand held a Nightly Pearls she picked up in the Platform of Dew. She opened her hand above the well and the Nightly Pearl lit up the walls of well and fell rapidly. Gradually, it was devoured by the darkness of the well.
A while passed and a sound was heard from the bottom of the well. Perhaps due to the well’s height, the sound wasn’t loud, but rather it was like the echo of water hitting the walls of the well. She knew that it was not the sound of hitting water but an angry roar of the black dragon.
The black dragon was furious because it felt that humans have deceived it again. She promised to give a Nightly Pearl, but that youngster took one. Therefore she should give it two Nightly Pearls instead of one. Even if it couldn’t challenge her, she shouldn’t bully it like this!
The Divine Queen was a little unhappy. “You brute, that Nightly Pearl was his. Did your elder dragon not teach you math when you were young?”
Chen Chang Sheng’s skill of mathematics was good. Or more precisely, he was good with anything related with knowledge. But his sense of direction wasn’t the best. After leaving his previous location and entering the royal palace. He quickly realized that he was lost.
The stars were above him and lamps were in front of him. He knew where the north was and therefore knew where the south was. He could even faintly see the lamp lights emitted from the Wei Yang Palace. However, there are tons of trees in the royal palace and the roads were twisting and turning everywhere. He was afraid to encounter any guards and so, he didn’t walk on the main roads. Now he was confused of where to go to get to his destination.
Next moment, a light noise was heard from a garden.
A black goat walked out of the darkness of night silently as if it was a part of the darkness.
Back in the Tradition Academy, Chen Chang Sheng saw it. Earlier outside of Wei Yang Palace, Chen Chang Sheng encountered it as well. For some mysterious reason, he was sure that this black goat was friendly to him. He thought for a moment and said, “You…..want to help me?”
That black goat looked quietly at him for one peek and turned around and walked into the night.
Chen Chang Sheng didn’t dare delay. He quickly followed and looked at the southern Wei Yang Palace before he left. That place was still filled with light but the music stopped. Where in the process of proposal were the southern ambassadors up to? Will he get there in time?
The Ivy Festival was already half way done. The southern ambassadors started to propose officially.
There were many big characters in the Wei Yang Palace such as the elder of Mountain Li, Xiao Song Gong, that woman from Mountain Virgin, the principal of Heavenly Academy Mao Qiu Yu, Xu Shi Ji, Prince Chen Liu and Mo Yu. In the process of proposal, they represented different roles.
There were witnesses, there were custom observers, and there were acknowledgers.
The beautiful dances on the platform have just stopped. Although the food was getting cold, no one continued eating. People smiled and looked up at the platform.
The leader of Family of Qiu Shan stood up and greeted. Mo Yu represented the Divine Queen and thanked him. She represented the Zhou Dynasty and was happy to see the success of this marriage and wished that humans would be bound closer together because of this marriage. She thought this would lead to the success of fighting against the demon race.
That woman from Mountain Virgin was the Aunt of Teaching of Xu You Rong. She represented the Virgin of Southern Sect and agreed to this marriage. Xu Shi Ji was next, he greeted and welcomed the southern guest and showed his approval.
What is a official and successfully proposal?
The proposal is the beginning, approval is the custom, the vow is the proof. This made up a successful proposal.
The heaven, the earth, the ruler, the parent, then the master.
Right now, the Divine Queen has approved this marriage, Xu Shi Ji approved this marriage, and the Virgin of South Sect has approved this marriage.
The heaven and earth were silent. Currently the ruler, parent, and master all agreed to this marriage. Everyone thought this proposal was successful but no one thought about the attitude of Xu You Rong toward her own marriage. Of course, no one also thought Xu You Rong would object to this herself.
As the most famous and glorious pair of young man and young woman, the marriage between Xu You Rong and Qiu Shan Jun was treated as a destined action by everyone. The stories between them were told all over the world and everyone thought it would be a story with a happy ending.
Coming up next would be the last questioning of the Three Questions in the proposal process.
The customs of the Zhou Dynasty weren’t complicated. It mainly originated from the literature of the Tradition. As the Tradition grew, Zhou Customs spreaded to the south. Today, the southern ambassador’s proposal followed Zhou Custom entirely. It wasn’t entirely respecting the female say of the family, but their customs were the same.
The aforementioned Three Questions were Questioning the Heaven and Earth, Questioning the Family, and Questioning the Ruler and Master. They are asking for the approval from these people. The last question was Questioning the World.
The reason for the Three Questions in Zhou Custom, especially for the last one, it seemed, was to give a chance for the people to point out a problem between the bride and groom. However, a disagreement rarely occurs. It was more of a chance for the bride or groom to back out in the marriage.
Under normal circumstances, no one would question or disagree in the proposal process. Doing so would trouble both the male and female side of the family. It was clear that both side of the family were sure about this marriage and so, the last Questioning the World was just to follow the customs.
Prince Chen Liu stood in front of the platform and looked at the several hundred people in the palace. He smiled and asked, “Qiu Shan Jun desires to become the husband of Xu You Rong, does anyone object?”
The palace was silent, but the mood wasn’t oppression. Everyone’s faces were filled with smiles. In a beautiful moment like this, people only wanted a blessing. They just want to congratulate both sides of the marriage after the questioning of Prince Chen Liu.
In the corner at the seats of Tradition Academy, there was no smile on Luo Luo’s face. It was pale due to extreme shock. She has already opened the tiny bag in her sleeve and saw the marriage vow. Only until she saw the two names on the marriage vow did she know that her joke that day was actually true. Now she knew what the trouble between her master and Dong Yu General’s Mansion was. Now she knew why Mo Yu and other people went out of their way to take her master out of the field.
Questioning the World is asked three times.
Prince Chen Liu smiled warmly and asked again, “Anyone object?”
The palace was still quiet and people’s faces were filled with blessing smiles. The world was beautiful.
Prince Chen Liu looked at Xu Shi Ji and smiled to congratulate.
Xu Shi Ji rubbed his beard lightly and nodded.
Prince Chen Liu glanced at leader of Family of Qiu Shan and smiled while nodding.
Head of Family of Qiu Shan smiled without speaking, it was clear that he was in joy.
Prince Chen Liu glanced at the people and asked one last time, “Anyone object?”
The entire world agreed to this marriage, no one objected.
Therefore, the entire world was happy. Everyone was waiting.
In the corner, Luo Luo suddenly stood up.
But no one noticed her.
Because at this moment, a voice was heard outside of the palace.
A youngster enter the palace from the door.
He was wet, his black hair was untied and his shirt was in pieces.
He looked at the people in the palace. His eyes were bright and his expression was still.
The palace fell into a silence.