Three days passed by in a flash. The evening feast of the Upper Sunset Festival was designated for tonight. Lin Mu Yu didn’t go over at once, he stayed at the courtyard of the Temple refining his swordsmanship.
The Prairie Fire Sword’s fire glow was visible one moment and invisible the next. The sword’s body was as straight as a pencil, suspended in mid-air as it was being held up by incorporeal forces.
Lin Mu Yu stood in front of the long sword, his eyes shut. His left arm slowly extended, feeling the lightning elements in the atmosphere. Those small but palpable elements gathered together to become strands of purple electric energy crackling as they wove through his five fingers like an energetic child, causing Lin Mu Yu to laugh in spite of himself.
His connection with the lightning energy was becoming more and more perfect. Of the four types of sword styles, it seemed that he was most adept at using the lightning one. One strike of lightning was already typically impossible for most people to avoid. However, within the Temple, during training, he never displayed his sword skills or the power of his true dragonfire, as Lei Hong had said, it is important in this world to learn to hide the tip of the spear. The tallest trees in the forest are the first to fall in a storm.
And yet, his progress was obvious in its leaps and bounds. His gourd martial spirit’s defense was already enough to attract the respect and admiration of people within the Temple, and could even allow him to stand toe-to-toe with the golden-star trainer Ouyang Qiu. It was also because of him, that the trainers within the Temple were slowly improving their position. From the way the servants and the guards treated them alone, it was enough to see that there was great improvement.
After all, before this, the position of the trainers within the Temple was as “punching bag.” It was the appearance of Lin Mu Yu that covered the punching bags with a layer of steel and iron thorns, making the instructors thinks twice before bullying the trainers, even so far as having them regard Lin Mu Yu as an equal.
The sound of knocking came from outside the door. The servant said politely, “Your Honor Lin Zhi. It is time. According to the orders of the Princess, you should be heading to the Rain Hall. The stable men have already prepared a handsome steed for you.”
Lin Mu Yu opened his eyes and smiled, his entire being relaxed and childlike, as if he had gone back to being the innocently simple boy he was.
He slung the Prairie Fire sword behind his back and headed out the door. Indeed, the Temple’s riding courts were filled with a hundred or so steeds, usually available only to the trainers and instructors practicing their horsemanship and riding techniques. And today, because of his relationship with Tang Xiao Xi, he was able to use one for himself. It imbued within him a feeling of being a VIP for the first time in his stay during the Temple, as well as a feeling of embezzling Temple property for his own use.
He swung himself up the horse, then saluted to the stable boy in the fashion of Imperial soldiers. “Thank you very much. I will return this war horse right on time, please don’t worry.”
The stable hand was shocked and flattered, quickly rushing to say, “Your Honor, please don’t say so. You may use it as you like. Deacon Ge Yang has already passed on orders, all golden-star trainers and golden-star instructors can use whatever horse they like. There is no need to be so polite.”
“Oh, but I still have to thank you.”
Lin Mu Yu smiled, slowly guiding the horse out of the stable. The stable hand stood there watching even after he left. He was unable to comprehend, or even imagine, that a golden-star trainer from the Temple would treat a person like himself with such respect, considering the difference in positions.
Lin Mu Yu had already bred this into a good habit. He was from a high background, the son of the executive chairman Lin Shun of the Dragon Heat Conglomerate. It could be said that he was born with a golden spoon in his mouth. but he was humble and peace loving and treated others well. In other people's eyes he was the rich son but people who really knew him knew him to have extremely good breeding well mannered and had a positive attitude towards life and other people. As they say to know someone's true personality you should look at the way he treats waiters and indeed this saying seems to embody Lin Mu Yu’s good.
However this stable hand was from another world and from a young age had been mistreated and abused. For him, Lin Mu Yu, being an esteemed golden-star trainer the legendary “your honor” -- his humility only invoked fear within this stable hand.
As he went past the side hall, someone called out to him. “Lin Zhi, wait, don’t go yet!”
He turned around to see with Zhang Wei with a beaming face, holding a full suit of white battle armor in his hands. “ You're the temples golden star trainer. For heaven's sake, how can you wear something like that to the Princess’ banquet? Come, come, the High Deacon let me give this armor to you so that our trainer will not lose face.”
Lin Mu Yu stopped, and jumped off the horse, looking at the set of white battle armor in Zhang Wei’s hands. It was in actuality, a silver chain armor atop a white cape. He looked down at his light green shirt, tattered in comparison. He hadn’t paid much attention to his appearance since coming to the Temple.
“Thanks then, Master Zhang Wei.”
“There's no need for that. Quickly, get changed.”
He went inside the side Palace, change his attire and when he walked out, Zhang Wei’s were gleaming. He was unable to resist clapping. “This is… absolutely… Your Honor Lin Zhi, I, Zhang Wei, have never seen anyone more suited to wear this battle armor than you. I'm sure that when the Princess stands by your side, she will see you in a whole different light.”
He lowered his head indeed the guy on him displayed liveliness and attractiveness in him, and with the insignia of the Temple's golden star trainer in front of his chest, it was simply perfect.
“I'm headed off to the banquet now, see you later, Master Zhang Wei.”
“Go then and don't forget your helmet.”
The armor had a matching silver-gray battle helmet. Lin Mu Yu wedged it under his arm, it seemed superfluous to wear it. Moreover, this armor was what the people from the Temple wore to war. His whole body already clad in armor, in addition to a helmet, would have added to his discomfort, of feeling like he was going to war.
His armor weighed around 20 kilos, it was a good thing Lin Mu Yu was well-trained. He barely felt the weight. From a way off, he could see the Imperial Guard, Chu Huai Sheng, standing with two horses’ reins in his hands by the gate of the legendary potions department. It was obvious he was here for Chu Yao.
“Elder Brother Chu Huai Sheng!”
Lin Mu Yu rushed over with his horse, and swung his body down to the ground in a seamless movement. “You’re here!”
Chu Huai Sheng smiled. “Ah Yu is also here. You have to wait a second, Ah Yao is almost out.”
As he was saying so, he noticed his attire. “The Temple’s uniforms for this golden-star armor is admirably well-made. I wouldn’t get tired of seeing this outfit. You wear it exceptionally well, Ah Yu!”
At this moment, Chu Yao strolled out, wearing her female alchemist outfit, looking elegant and graceful.
“Thank you, Chu Yao jie. Let’s go?”
The three of them mounted their horses, with Chu Huai Sheng leading the way and Lin Mu Yu and Chu Yao trotting behind. The people, spotting the two men in full armor, quickly scattered out of their way, even though the pace of the horses’ trots were not fast at all.
After a while they arrived at a secluded park, it was the Rainsong Manor. A few servers walked up to them. “Your Honors, may we see an invitation?”
“Here it is,” Lin Mu Yu displayed Xiao Xi’s invitation card.
“You are guests of the Princess! Kindly proceed to the seventh floor. We shall take good care of your steeds.”
At this time, the sun was already dipping over the horizon. All around the Rainsong Manor were soft red glowing lanterns. A young looking, nymph-like girl servant floated up towards the seventh floor, with a tray of elegant delicacies and fruits in her hands. The seventh floor was the most expensive private room in the entire Rainsong Manor, especially during holidays such as the Upper Sunset Festival. The cost of reserving the entire floor was definitely not your normal sort of expensive.
“I heard that renting penthouse of the Rainsong Manor during the Upper Sunset Festival for one night costs 700 golden yin!” Chu Yao made a silly face, laughing.
Chu Huai Sheng smiled slightly. “No worries, we don’t have to pay.”
Lin Mu Yu said, “Xiao Xi has money, this won’t matter to her.”
When the three arrived at the upper floor, they found a group of defense guards outside the door. Imperial Guard Commander Qin Lei was also in battle armor, his hand on his sword hilt. “And everyone’s finally here.”
He didn’t recognize Lin Mu Yu, however. “And this is…?”
Chu Huai Sheng smiled. “Reporting to Commander, this is the Princess’ guest, Lin Mu Yu!”
“Ah, I see, let’s go in then,” Qin Lei grinned, without saying anything else.
After heading inside, they saw that Tang Xiao Xi and Feng Ji Xing were already inside. Tang Xiao Xi stood up. “Great, you’re all here. Let’s go inside and have them serve dinner?”
“Yes, as the Princess wishes!”
“Mu Mu, come sit beside me?” Tang Xiao Xi beamed at him.
Lin Mu Yu felt awkward, until Chu Huai Sheng shot him a meaningful glance. He could only obey orders, his armor making a clunking sound as he sat down beside Tang Xiao Xi.
Tang Xiao Xi cocked her head to the side, her gaze attaining a far-off glaze. She beamed. “Mu Mu, this Empire’s battle armor is absolutely stunning on you. I have never seen any high ranking officer more suited to wear this armor than you.”
Feng Ji Xing rubbed his nose, sounding a bit snubbed. “Ah so it seems for the Princess that Commander Qin Lei’s and my own armor are not as attractive then…”
Qin Lei sat down. “Imperial Guard Commander is jealous. Look at this little guy, you’re the commander of thirty thousand imperial guards!”
Lin Mu Yu chuckled, a shade of red. “Please, don’t ridicule me. I am but a mere trainer at the Temple. I don’t deserve to be discussed at the same level with high ranking generals and military men such as yourselves.”
Qin Lei chuckled, shaking his head. “Ay, Ah Yu, there’s no need to be so overly humble. You’re one of the strongest trainers in the Temple, this is a fact we all know. Besides, the Temple has always been the cradle for the Empire’s most prominent generals. A lot of first-rate fighters come from the Temple. Myself, Feng Ji Xing, Chu Huai Sheng… we were all people of the Temple. So there’s no need for you to be so humble.”
“Oh, thank you… I’m sorry, what’s your name?”
Qin Lei was startled, before bursting into good-natured laughter. “I’m Qin Lei, the son of Lord Jin Ning, Commander of the Imperial Defense Army.”
Lin Mu Yu’s heart fell to his stomach. Looked like tonight’s banquet was not just any shabby affair. Tang Xiao Xi’s guests were each more powerful than the other. This Qin Lei character was even the son of a lord… definitely one of the Empire’s more prominent figures.
Translated by: lxnuy & korezmi