Chapter 60 – Marriage grant

“Young Master, there’s news from the palace. His Majesty wants to arrange a marriage for the Crown Prince and Princess Qing Qing!”

Li Yuan, outside the west wing, a servant hurriedly approached and said.


As soon as the words fell, Li Ziye, who was still practicing swordsmanship in the Red Line Formation, suddenly lost control of his Genuine Qi and flew out.

The Red Line broke, and Li Ziye’s body hit the wall and fell straight down.


On the ground, Li Ziye, despite his battered appearance from the impact, jumped up and asked in disbelief, “Who did you say wants to marry Princess Qing Qing?”

“The Crown Prince.”

The servant replied respectfully.

Li Ziye rubbed his dusty hair vigorously and lamented, “This shouldn’t be happening!”

Not far away, Bai Wangyu showed a hint of a smile and said, “Brother Li, thank you for the two hundred potent medicines, but I don’t need them. Can I exchange them for silver?”

Hearing this, Li Ziye gritted his teeth in anger and forced out two words, “You can!”

“I can what?”

At this moment, a beautiful figure walked over from the west wing, looking curiously at the two in the courtyard.

“Sister Youwei.”

Li Ziye saw the newcomer and immediately showed a joyful expression on his face, jogging over and asking, “Are you not busy today?”

These days, Sister Youwei has been busy with the cooperation between the Li Family and the Zhangsun Family, almost without time to sleep, so he didn’t dare to disturb her.

“Your wife is really difficult to handle. The Zhangsun Family’s business is under her control, which is why it has developed to the point where it can compete with the Yin Family Money House and the Merchant Alliance in just a few years,” Li Youwei sighed.

“Sister Youwei, Zhangsun Nanqiao is not my wife,” Li Ziye explained.

“It’s only a matter of time.”

Li Youwei smiled and said, “I think the courtesan in the east of the city is not bad. Should I go and propose to her for you? You can take a concubine first, after all, you can’t handle your Fairy Master for the time being.”


Listening to the endless words of Sister Youwei, Li Ziye couldn’t help but take a deep breath.

“Love between master and disciple is a taboo.”

At this moment, Bai Wangyu timely reminded, “However, Brother Li, it seems that you have never cared about worldly opinions.”

Li Ziye looked at Little Red Riding Hood and then at Sister Youwei in front of him, feeling for the first time that these two people were really… a perfect match.

Enough said, talking too much is infuriating!

“Brother Bai, how long have you been at Li Yuan?” Li Youwei suddenly asked.

“For over a month.”

Bai Wangyu replied respectfully.

“Even your meals are provided by Li Yuan?” Li Youwei asked again.

“Yes,” Bai Wangyu replied.

“And the tea?” Li Youwei continued.

“Also provided by Li Yuan,” Bai Wangyu answered.

“Have you received any silver?” Li Youwei narrowed her eyes and asked.


Bai Wangyu shook his head, and sweat began to form on his forehead.

“How long do you plan to stay at Li Yuan?” Li Youwei’s expression changed, and she asked indifferently.


Bai Wangyu hesitated for a moment and replied with some uncertainty, “I should stay for a few more days.”

On the side, Li Ziye looked at Little Red Riding Hood’s lack of confidence and felt greatly relieved.

Sister Youwei is really amazing. With just a few words, she made Little Red Riding Hood break out in a cold sweat.

Admiration, admiration!

“Younger Brother.”

Li Youwei looked at Li Ziye and smiled, “Remember to record Brother Bai’s expenses at the Confucian School. It should be enough to repay your bet on those two hundred potent medicines.”


Li Ziye grinned.

“Let’s go.”

After settling the bet that Little Brother lost, Li Youwei smiled and turned to leave the west wing, continuing to attend to her own affairs.

In the courtyard, Bai Wangyu saw her leave, wiped the cold sweat from his forehead, and secretly breathed a sigh of relief.

This eldest daughter of the Li Family is really formidable, not at all as gentle as she appears.


Seeing this, Li Ziye couldn’t help but burst into laughter, feeling great!

“Brother Bai.”

Bai Wangyu helplessly said, “Sister Youwei is truly extraordinary!”

“Sister Youwei is the most formidable person in my Li Family!”

Li Ziye said with a smile, “Among the three siblings in my Li Family, it seems like I’m the legitimate son, but in reality, I don’t dare to provoke anyone. I’ve been afraid of my Second Brother since I was young, and my Second Brother only listens to Sister Youwei. So, in the Li Family, it’s basically Sister Youwei who has the final say.”

“I see,” Bai Wangyu sighed.

However, the relationship between these three siblings is truly admirable.

Although he has not met the second son of the Li Family, from the tone of Brother Li, he can tell that although he is afraid of his Second Brother, he also respects him very much.

The wealth of the Li Family is more than just a million, but among the three siblings, there has been no dispute over this wealth. It has to be said that the prosperity of the Li Family is not accidental.

“By the way, Old Bai, why did you guess that the person who is going to marry Princess Qing Qing is the Crown Prince?” Li Ziye expressed his doubts and asked.

“Men’s intuition,” Bai Wangyu replied.

“Get lost, what kind of intuition do men have?”

Li Ziye said irritably, “Speak human language!”

“Because the Crown Prince is the least likely person.”

Bai Wangyu hesitated for a moment and said, “The Crown Prince has a leg injury and is the weakest among the four princes. Even if he marries Princess Qing Qing, he may not necessarily be named the Crown Prince. His influence on the current situation is relatively minimal.”

“Checks and balances.”

Li Ziye understood immediately, his expression slightly condensed, “Are you saying that the Merchant Emperor never intended to establish a Crown Prince?”Bai Wangyu fell silent. After a moment, he spoke softly, “The Confucian Scholar once said that our Emperor has great ambitions, which is why he forbade members of the Confucian School from involving themselves in court affairs.”

“Did the Confucian Scholar really say that about the Emperor of Great Shang?”

Li Ziye expressed his surprise. In his memory, the current Emperor of Great Shang was a ruler who governed by doing nothing, neither meritorious nor faulty, and did not seem like an emperor with overflowing ambition.


Bai Wangyu nodded, looking at the young man before him with a very serious expression, “The words of the Confucian Scholar are never wrong, so Brother Li should be more cautious.”

Li Ziye listened and his expression became slightly solemn. If what Little Red Riding Hood said was true, he had indeed underestimated the Emperor of Great Shang before.

In the Great Shang Imperial Palace, within the Shou’an Hall.

The Emperor of Great Shang, dressed in simple everyday clothes, sat on the couch, his gaze fixed on the chessboard before him. Opposite him was the eldest Prince, Mu Yuan, whose legs were disabled, and who spent most of his time in a wheelchair.

“Mu Yuan, are you satisfied with the marriage I have arranged for you?” the Emperor asked calmly as he made his move.


Mu Yuan nodded, looking at the chess game that was very unfavorable for him, and said, “Father, I am going to lose this game of chess again.”

“The game is not over until the last move; the outcome is still unknown.”

The Emperor spoke indifferently, “Once my decree is announced, I will immediately summon Princess Qing Qing to the Capital City, to have you married sooner rather than later, to put your mother’s mind at ease.”

“Thank you, Father.”

Mu Yuan placed a piece on the board and respectfully responded.

“Mu Qing is coming back!”

The Emperor picked up another piece and placed it on the board, as a reminder.

“My eleventh brother?”

Upon hearing this, Mu Yuan’s hand, which was reaching for the chess box, paused for a moment before returning to normal, “That’s good, I’ve missed him as his elder brother.”

“Back when the King of the Southwest was in the capital, Mu Qing and Princess Qing Qing were very close. Perhaps Mu Qing’s return this time is for this matter,” the Emperor said, still looking at the chessboard.

“That was five or six years ago. At that time, the eleventh brother and Princess Qing Qing were still young, at most childhood playmates,” Mu Yuan said with a forced smile.


The Emperor said indifferently, “Mu Yuan, you are my eldest son, and I have great expectations for you. By betrothing Princess Qing Qing to you, I intend to pave the way for your future. I hope you will not disappoint me.”

“Your son thanks you for your cultivation.”

Mu Yuan set down the chess piece and once again bowed respectfully, “I will not let you down, Father.”


The Emperor nodded, not saying anything more, his gaze still on the chessboard, his expression calm, revealing no emotion.

Mu Yuan also fell silent, playing the game move by move against his father, no longer speaking.

The endgame was quickly resolved, and the victor was decided.

The Emperor made his move, reviving the great dragon, annihilating the black pieces.

“I have lost,” Mu Yuan conceded, setting down his piece.

“Practice more, you may leave,” the Emperor said indifferently.


Mu Yuan bowed and then wheeled himself away.

Outside Shou’an Hall, the old eunuch Zhao Jie approached and began to push the wheelchair, heading out of the palace.

“Your Highness, the Emperor’s marriage grant seems to indicate high expectations for you,” Zhao Jie spoke softly.


Mu Yuan let out a cold laugh, “You underestimate our Father. By granting this marriage to me, he only seeks to balance the power among us four princes. Moreover…”

At this point, Mu Yuan’s tone paused, and he said with a cold expression, “To incite conflict between me and the eleventh brother.”

“The eleventh prince?”

Upon hearing this, Zhao Jie’s expression became serious, “Would the eleventh prince really become hostile towards Your Highness over Princess Qing Qing?”

“He will.”

Mu Yuan nodded, a glint in his eyes, “The eleventh brother is honest and impulsive. His sudden return to the capital must be because he has heard of the purpose of the King of the Southwest’s visit, so he rushed back to ask Father for a decree to marry Princess Qing Qing.”

“If it is as Your Highness says, the Emperor intentionally granted the marriage to Your Highness before the eleventh prince’s return. Such scheming is truly frightening,” Zhao Jie said with a grave expression. With just one Princess Qing Qing, he balanced the power among the four princes and further incited conflict between two of them, killing two birds with one stone, a masterful move indeed.


Mu Yuan murmured softly, “What are you really thinking?”

Inside Shou’an Hall, after Mu Yuan left, the Emperor quietly watched the chessboard. After a long time, he spoke, “What do you think of my eldest son?”

“His mind is meticulous, a dragon among men.”

In the hall, a strange aura emerged amidst swirling black mist, appearing neither human nor ghost, with a chilling gaze that could make one shiver.

“Too cautious, lacking in initiative.”

The Emperor waved his hand, shattering the chess pieces on the board, and spoke indifferently, “The extreme night has not yet arrived; isn’t it too early for you to come out?”

“The fierce beast must hunt.”

The figure within the black mist spoke, “We will keep our promise to Your Majesty, and we ask that Your Majesty also keep yours.”

“My promises are always as solid as gold.”

The Emperor said lightly, “However, you had better restrain yourselves. The Imperial Academy has the Confucian Scholar, who can observe the affairs of the world. If he discovers your traces, even I cannot protect you.”

“Your Majesty need not worry. The extreme winter night is approaching, and the darkness will obscure all sight. Even the Confucian Scholar will not be able to see as far as before.”

As the voice spoke, the figure in the black mist gradually dissipated, and in the blink of an eye, it vanished without a trace.

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