Translators: Ash, raltzer0
TLC : Miki
Editors: Los Thanatos
Two months later.
We stood just in front of the doorway of the Mansion of the Astute Prince, staring blankly at the towering entrance. From outside, the mansion covered up an area that was not less than the Beamon King’s mansion, as the walls reached as high as twenty feet. At the entrance, there stood 16 guards of the Wild Lion Corps, and ten feet ahead of that were two side doors on both sides, this is where the servants would come and go. According to the Beastmen customs, only the master could use the main entrance.
An unknown person shouted: “His Royal Highness the Prince.”
The thick and broad door slowly opened, exposing an expansive bluestone paved pathway, and at the end of the path was a two-story high hall, this should be the main hall of the palace. On both sides of this pathway stood the guards and the servants. The servants consisted of many females from the White Foxman race. While all of the guards were from the Wild Lion Corps.
“We welcome, His Highness the prince into his mansion.”
Gin stared and he said, “No need for so much exaggeration.”
I looked at Silvin and Panzen and then over at my mother. The Beast Emperor had really spent a lot of money and effort in winning me over to his side. This palace was indeed comparable to the Imperial Palace and was not inferior to it in any way.
Mother smiled and said, “Since this is so, we should just accept it. Come, let us go inside.” Saying this she pulled on me to go inside.
The palatial grounds were divided into 6 regions: the first was the main hall to receive visitors. This two storeyed hall covered more than 2000 sq.m. The second region was the quarters for the servants and the guards. The third region was the plaza to practise martial arts in. The fourth is the private study. The fifth region was our personal quarters. And the sixth and final area were a garden, which hosted its own unique little pond.
When we sat in the main hall, Mother and I sat on the master’s’ position and Panzen and Silvin sat on either side of us. At this moment, a White Foxman girl came over. Even from a human’s point of view, this girl could be considered a rare beauty, with silvery white hair and elegant features. If she did not have the two pointed fox ears and a huge bushy tail, I would have thought her to be a human. But, in spite of all these, I believe she has some human blood in her veins.
“I pay my respects to his Highness the Prince.” The female White Foxman’s voice was melodious and soothing. While she paid her respects, she couldn’t help but peek at me; it was obvious that she didn’t expect her master henceforth would have such an appearance.
I said, “Who are you?”
The White Foxman girl’s lips smoothed into a smile and she said, “Master, I am your housekeeper. His Majesty instructed me to bring my clanswomen to serve Your Highness.”
Mother pinched me and only then did I come out of my thoughts to see the White Foxman looking at me anxiously waiting for my reply. In her strange wide eyes, curiosity flickered. I’ve found that, after that thing with Myu happened, I am more prone to losing my self-control. I couldn’t refrain from shaking my head, “What is your name?”
The White Foxman smiled sweetly and said, “My name is Paigean, but Your Highness can call me Jean-er. I turned 20 this year.”
Mother smiled and said, “Paigean? Why does it sound like a name for a male?”
Paigean greeted Mother and said, “Madam, my name was father’s choice, My father originally wanted me to be born as a boy and therefore when I was born he immediately gave me this name. Later on, he did not change and his wish is that I learn many martial skills and become the leader of my White Foxman clan.”
To be able to guide the White Foxman race, this woman is not an ordinary one. I couldn’t help asking, “Who is your father?”
“Answering your Highness, my father is the Chief of the White Foxmen, Pailin.”
I was then alarmed; although I guessed her to be of high status, I did not expect that she would be the daughter of the head of the White Foxmen. A clan chief’s daughter to come here and be my housekeeper, this is a very elaborate prank that the beast Emperor had played on me. What would I do if the White Foxmen came over and want an explanation?
I reluctantly asked, “Who? You are the princess of the White Foxmen, then why are working as a housekeeper for me?”
Seeing my startled look, Paigean said, “This is arranged by His Majesty and my father also agreed. Therefore I came here.”
I and Mother looked at each other and Mother, feeling sorry for her asked, “How can your father be willing to let you come out and slave elsewhere? By letting you work here as a housekeeper, don’t you inwardly feel like you have been wronged?”
Paigean’s eyes teared up and she said, distressed, “My White Foxman clan is a very weak one among the Beastmen. We are not good at fighting and frequently, other clans’ experts try to capture us to be their source of amusement. My father sent me here firstly for my safety and secondly to win the favor of His Majesty.”
So this was the matter, and for this one was willing to part with one’s own child and send her away. I frowned, “Jean-er, do not feel sad. If you want, you can get your freedom back. You need not feel wronged at my place.”
Paigean shook her head. “I am ready to look after Your Highness. I feel that you are a good man. If you don’t need me, His Majesty will send me to other people. Please let me stay here, Your Highness.” Saying this, she performed the full customary bow, tears leaving wet tracks on her cheeks.
Mother went down and helped Paigean to stand up and wiped the tears from her face. Then she lamented, “There, there, child, you can stay here. No one will bully you here.”
Paigean’s eyes were red with crying “Thank you, Madam.”
Mother kindly smiled and said, “Foolish child, Layson is my son. If you wish, I can take you in as my goddaughter.”
Paigean hadn’t expected that her fate would undergo such a huge change the first time she paid her respects to her master. For a moment, she was unable to respond or react.
“What, are you not willing to be my daughter?”
Paigean, in a flurry, said, “No no, that’s not it. I am unsuitable to be…”
Mother feigned her anger and said, “What unsuitable? What I say is what matters. Here, I am the one with most authority.”
Paigean glanced at me covertly. I smiled and said, “What Mother said is right. She is the one with most authority within here. I would also like to have you as my older sister, so that later on, Mother would not be so lonely. ”
Paigean kneeled down again and sobbed, “I pay my respects to Mother.”
This time Mother did not lift her up but allowed her to do the 3 salutes. “Jean-er, in the future, this is your home.”
Paigean stood up and said, “Thank you, Mother.” She fished out a paper from her bosom and said, “This is a list of items within the palace. I shall read it out to you and His Highness.”
Mother chuckled, “You are still addressing him as His Highness? Layson is 18 years old this year, you should call him by his name.” Seeing Mother be so happy, my heart felt light as a feather. I got up and went in front of Paigean and bowed, “Younger brother greets Jean-er jiji*.”
[TL: Jiji= jie jie = used to address one’s own older sister in chinese. But in Hindi too, we use jiji to address one’s older sister.] [raltzero: this is CN, use jiejie]
Paigean immediately became bewildered, and not knowing what to say, her face turned red.
“Your…Your Highness, how is this possible?”
I said, “There is nothing impossible in this house. Even if we have so many rules, your age is greater than mine, it is only natural that you are my older sister.”
Paigean stammered, “Your Highness calling me Jean-er is okay, but addressing me as the older sister is, I feel,… ”
I touched my face and said, “Do I look so old?” thereupon, Panzen and Silvin laughed. I glared at them and said to Paigean, “Alright, from now on I will call you Jean-er, and you can call me Layson. Like this, you won’t feel awkward, right?”
Paigean rapidly nodded. In order to mask her awkwardness, she read, “The Astute Prince’s mansion has 32 servants from the White Foxman race, one housekeeper of the White Foxman race, 120 Lionman guards…”
I interrupted, “Are they not all from the Wild Lion corps? Why are they here to guard me?”
Paigean said, “These are His Majesty’s instructions. His Majesty allowed them to break away from the army and become Your Highness’s mansion’s guards and will be paid for by the country..”
I nodded and said, “So it is like that! His Majesty really did not discuss this with me. Jean-er, I shall present you to him.” I pointed at Panzen and said, “This is Panzen, my first brother. Don’t be scared by his appearance, he is a very kind-hearted fellow.” Then I couldn’t refrain from smiling to myself.
Panzen glanced across at me, stood up and said, “Hallo, Jean-er-meimei*.”
Paigean curtsied to Panzen and then looked at Mother. Mother gave her an encouraging nod and Paigean, in a low voice, said, “H..hallo, Lord Panzen. ”
[TL: meimei is used to address one’s younger sister in Chinese. I wonder why, though….]
I pulled Silvin to come up to her, and pointing at Gin, I said, “This is Gin. As they are a two-headed wolf, they have two personalities. You can call him brother Gin.” Gin looked somewhat dully at Paigean.
Gin soon shouted in sorrow, “Ouch! Why did you pinch me?”
Silvy glared at Gin fiercely and said, “Seeing a beautiful young girl you exposed a lewd stare towards her breasts if I don’t pinch you then who do I pinch? Jean-er-meimei, I am Silvy, it’s fine to call me Silvy jiejie afterwards.”
Gin looked at Silvy’s eyes with a hint of embarrassment, said: “Jean-er-meimei, don’t listen to her nonsense, I am the most kind-hearted and honest.”
In spite of myself, I started laughing, “You are kind-hearted? Aren’t you mistaken?”
Gin stared daggers at me, as he said, “What? Am I not a kind-hearted person?”
I hurriedly said, “You are kind-hearted, the most kind-hearted guy I know. Haha”
Gin raised his hand and threw a fireball at me, furiously saying, “You, kid, you dare to tease me?”
I held out my hand, and the black circles appearing from my hand trapped that fireball within them and engulfed it. The black color flickered and the fireball vanished.
Gin and Silvy both got distracted. Silvy said, “Dear fourth, your martial skills have improved.”
Paigean watched our martial arts display, with her eyes as wide as saucers.
I said, “Second brother, this is our new mansion, you won’t be able to burn it even if you want to. Jean’er, the magic we just used a moment ago, afterwards, if there is an opportunity let your Silvy jiejie teach you.”
Paigean said, delighted, “Really?”
Silvy laughed: “Of course..”
I took out the last Ink Crystal from my pocket and said to Paigean, “Jean-er, this ink Crystal is a gift for you. It will of great help to you when you learn magic. Consider this as a greeting gift from me and Mother.”
The Ink Crystal in my palm flickered and had a light sheen around it causing it to emit a sense of mystical beauty.
Paigean looked at me and shook her head, “I can’t take it, it is too precious.”
With a slight grin, I said, “Take it. If you don’t, Mother and I will get offended.”
A trace of hesitation flashed in Paigean’s eyes as if she wanted to say something. Suddenly, a loud sound could be heard coming from outside — it sounded as if someone was trying to tear apart the house.
My expression changed; stuffing the Ink Crystal in Paigean’s hands, I turned to Mother and said, “Mother, I am going out to take a look.”
I then turned and headed out, and Silvin and Panzen hurried to catch up with me. Gin said, “What is going on outside, producing such a loud noise?”
Just as we left the main hall, a huge body appeared in the courtyard outside. More than a dozen Lionmen guards surrounded him. On the floor, lay a few guards whose conditions were unknown. The one who came wasn’t some stranger, rather, it was my own second brother, Layhu. A gigantic hole could be seen where he had smashed the gate of my palace.
As soon as he saw me, Layhu’s eyes turned red, and with a huge bellow, he rushed over to me. Many Lionmen guards brandished their weapons, wanting to stop him, but they could see with their own eyes how good his defense was. With his thick and solid arms waving wildly, he swept away all resistances, and his momentum did not decrease even a bit as he came towards me. The yellow light flickering about his body was denser compared to the past, and it was faintly suffused with a white light. I knew that this was an indication that he had stepped into the 3rd layer of Armor of Heaven Thunders. It was apparent that since his defeat at my hands earlier, Layhu had been working really hard to improve himself.
I commanded, “All of you desist attacking him.” These Lionmen guards’ attacks did not have any effect and in order to prevent any casualties, I must prevent them from blindly attacking.
Panzen whispered to me, “I will come.”
I went ahead and faced Layhu and said to the others, “You all do not get involved. This is a matter between us two.”
Layhu had already approached me and then he flung his huge body at me. A powerful Chi made a beeline straight for my chest. I exhaled a puff of air, and then stepped half a foot forward with my left foot and waved my right fist, aimed at him. I knew it clearly that my Mad God Ci alone was not capable of resisting Layhu’s powerful attack, therefore I concealed Dark Magic within the Mad God Chi. A radiance, alternating between yellow and black shrouded my fist– *BANG!* We both recoiled, both us doing so subconsciously. Layhu’s power exceeded even my expectations. If I had not trained in the Drak Magic till the 7th level and if my body had not undergone any changes, I would not have been able to withstand this attack.
Layhu also staggered back 4-5 steps; he looked at me with disbelief. The place where we had just exchanged attacks now had a huge, round depression on it as if the earth had caved in.
I said icily, “Today is my housewarming ceremony. I do not want to kill anyone, if you are smart, get lost from here.”
Layhu roared and recklessly charged forward. I had tested out his prowess from when we both clashed a few seconds back and hence I had naturally prepared myself when he attacked again. Something like lightning was emitted by my body and I lifted both my hands above my head. A pure and simple yellow-black Chi appeared above my head, soaring into the sky. It looked as if I was holding an enormous sword with both my hands. This ‘sword’, under my control, suddenly swept down; a ten or so feet of radiance hacked at Layhu.
The huge waves of energy caused Layhu to be on the alert. He hurried moved all his power to his two hands to defend against my attack. This moment of the crisis caused his potential to explode. The original yellowish-white radiance on him became completely white. But, even so, he was still incapable of resisting my all-out attack.
Silvin and Panzen also helped at the same time, they arranged a thick barrier around the fighting zone. With the collision of two energies, only muffled sounds could be heard from within the barrier and the bluestone on the ground inside of this barrier was completely crushed. After the smoke dissipated, Layhu’s legs were deeply sunken into the soil from my critical blow, and blood constantly dripped from the corner of his mouth.
I stood just 5m in front him, there being no expressions in my eyes, “When you have the same strength as Father, then you can seek me out to fight with you. With your current ability, do you think you can take revenge for your mother? Then there will be only one result — that of your death! Now get lost! When you have the ability, I welcome you to come find me and take revenge. But if you dare to injure any of my people, I will make you die a very unsightly death.” I was not worried about myself, but for Mother. Currently with me, Silvin and Panzen — the three experts —- here, she would be safe. However, once we go out to handle some matters, and with Mother’s current ability still not sufficient to protect herself, I must warn Layhu. I now have no hatred towards Layhu, after all, his mother died at my hands. I have already fought him and caused him serious injury and anyways, we are still related by blood, and it won’t be good if I go the extreme.
Layhu pulled out his legs from the earth, and his eyes had not left me all this time. He snarled: “Today, either you or I will remain alive. I will never wag my tail at you and beg for mercy. Yaaaaaaa…..” Again, he rushed at me. As far as this Layhu — one who does not know when to retreat or advance — is concerned, I was just bored. Just as I was about to deal another blow, a huge figure appeared in front of me and obstructed me. Layhu’s attack just bounced off this silhouette and rebounded onto himself, causing him to fly back and heavily slam into the brand-new courtyard wall. Fortunately, this wall was sculpted from granite and it was approx. 5 ft. thick. Otherwise, because of Layhu’s giant body, it would have been crushed. And the one who sent him flying was none other than Father.
Layhu, who had been embedded in the wall, had now lost consciousness.
Father slowly turned around, he did not look at me, instead, he looked at Mother. I hadn’t seen him for several days and his head of brown hair now contained streaks of grey and there were great changes on his face. Upon seeing Father, Mother’s complexion immediately became pale and her breathing became harried. Father stared blankly; he did not expect that Mother’s appearance would have recovered to such an extent. “You…”
Warily, I went over beside Mother, and Paigean, who was on her left side, held out her right arm to Mother. Father sighed and said: “Layhu, this child, does not know when to advance and when to retreat, causing you all to be frightened. I will go home and properly discipline him. You be rest assured, I will not disturb your life.” Having said this, the father seemed to have aged he turned and walked towards Layhu. He pulled him out of the wall with a single effort and placed him over his shoulder. As I followed behind, I asked.
“Father, why did you give the Beastmen army’s commander position to me now itself?”
Father looked at me calmly and undisturbed as he spoke, “Because, I feel that, compared to me, you are more suitable for this position. Do well, child. Also……properly take care of your mother. Ah….” Having said this, father slowly walked away. I thought to stop him, but then, thinking of mother, I dropped my hand.
The originally clean and spacious yard was a mess. I turned to see Mother, her face is still pale, but her eyes showed her confusion.
“Mother, let us go in.” Deeply concerned, I suggested.
Mother nodded and with Paigean supporting her, she went inside. Gin muttered, “It is unfortunate, someone broke in forcefully, tearing apart the gate and walls.” Panzen stared at him, preventing him from saying anything more. The originally cheerful mood had been destroyed beyond doubt.
I then said to Paigean, “Jean-er, you first help Mother to get some rest.”
After they left, I called out for a White Fox servant and told her to find some people to renovate the courtyard. Panzen said, “Dear fourth, you must also not mind this. I saw that the relation between Aunt and your father is not that good.”
I smiled sardonically and said, “Not only is it not good, but it is like the relation between your parents. My mother was captured by my father and her lifelong happiness was crushed by my father’s hands.”
Panzen said, “A woman is an ultimate victim. In the future, I must first get the affections of a dragon(♀) and only then will I marry her, and in no way will I resort to raping or other things like that!”
Though the speaker did not pointedly refer to the listener, Panzen’s words were like a knife to my heart
Silvy said, “Fourth brother, why do you look troubled? Do you want something?”
I was roused from thoughts and I said, “Its nothing! Never mind! Oh, by the way, First Brother, when would you like to go find a wife?” So that I do not feel troubled by my matters, I changed the topic.
All 9 heads of Panzen swayed and they all blushed. With a stammer, he said, “I..I…there is no need to worry about this now, right?”
Gin, with an evil grin, said, “How can we not bother about it? Do you think it’s that easy to find a dragon(♀)? It is better to do a good preparation so that, when the time comes, her family doesn’t look down upon you. Hehe, time is necessary for wooing a girl.”
Silvy stared at him coldly, and said, “You know everything, don’t you? It seems as if you are the one going to woo a girl. Boss Panzen, if you have the opportunity, you must go to Dragon Valley and try your luck there.”
Panzen blinked his 18 eyes and then hung his heads. “If I go to Dragon Valley right now, it will result in only one thing: me being killed by the pack of dragons there! I can handle one or two dragons, but if an elder-level dragon is present, I will be ruthlessly killed.”
I asked, “ the First brother, you must have reached the level of Zenith by now, right?”
Panzen shook his 9 heads in denial, and said, “I still haven’t reached it yet, I have reached the critical point for the breakthrough. If I can only advance past this bottleneck, then I would make a substantial increase in my cultivation.”
I smiled faintly as I fished out a bloodstone and a piece of orpiment from my inner coat-pockets and handed it to him, saying, “These two you can use now as it will help you through the bottleneck. The longer you keep dragging this out, the more difficult it will be to breakthrough. As soon as you reach the Zenith level, the second brother, second sister and I will accompany you to Dragon Valley and help you look for a wife. We can give an excuse that we are searching for your mother — you did say your mother is still alive, right?”
Panzen’s 18 eyes brightened up and he said, “Fourth brother, thank you. However, this bloodstone is of no use to me. I shall take the orpiment.” After almost snatching the saffron-yellow stone from my hand, he turned and left, saying as he went, “I am now going to go and cultivate.”
Gin roared with laughter, “You see, just mentioning something about getting a wife causes him to be in such a hurry. I wonder when he will breakthrough to the Zenith level. Ah, fourth brother, I can feel that you have also made a very good progress on your cultivation. Without even transforming your body, you can attack that as-strong-as-an-ox Layhu and and also caused him to be unable to retaliate.”
I leaned and said into Gin’s ear, “I already reached the four-wing fallen angel realm. Thus, that is naturally reflected in my strength.”
Greatly alarmed, Gin said, “What? So quickly? Silvy, we must try our best too, if not we will be left far behind these two. This won’t do, I want to do closed-door cultivation now.”
Silvy spoke, disdain evident in her tone, “Of what use is the close door cultivation? Don’t tell me that you think we could reach the bottleneck and breakthrough? Stop dreaming, this matter is only possible if we practising our skills day and night!”
Gin’s voice sounded hollow as if he were deflated, “Ai, it seems we have no option but to be ranked last among ur sworn siblings. Fourth brother, I remember that you were quite far from becoming a 4-winged fallen angel, how did you breakthrough? If there is a secret behind your breakthrough, please tell us quickly.”
I naturally could not tell him the truth, so, with a grimace, I said, “What secrets are there to increase our power? I diligently trained hard everyday and it was of course because of that that I was able to make so much progress. Take a look at yourselves, everyday you are only eating and playing, it is a wonder if you are able to make progress, I think although you would not be able to breakthrough from your current realm now, but yet doing closed door cultivation will be very helpful. At the least, you would be able to make some progress in your cultivation. And even if it is slow, it is still progress! ”
Silvy said, “This is something that we have also realized. But we both want to have fun, hence our progress is slow. From the time we left the forest, we have stagnated at our current realm and until now there has been nary a change. Based on what you said, it seems we really must properly do some self-reflection.”
With a nod, I said, “Later on there will be plenty of opportunities, and you must try to find some time for cultivation too. Anyway, recently there hasn’t been much for us to do, so as soon as first brother makes a break through and comes over, I will then go and speak with the Beast Emperor so that we can go to the Dragon Empire so that eldest brother can find a wife.”
Gin said, happily, “That’s good. At that time, we can eat much tasty stuff. Let us go.” Saying this, Silvin also left.