Chapter 281: The Arrival of the Talented Scholars
Several people had been involved in that fight in front of the main hall. The law of the Empire couldn't hold such a large number of people accountable for anything. There was no other option; the matter was concluded without any action against anyone.
Everyone returned to their original places. The big-shots watched Jun Mo Xie stood up and dusted his backside. They suddenly realized the reason why this commotion had been stirred. To make matters worse... Jun Mo Xie had faced this rain of curses while sitting down...
Everyone was left speechless. There was no bench or stool to sit on, but Jun Mo Xie had seemingly refused to ill-treat his buttocks. Shockingly, there as an individual lying under the buttocks. There was a pig-headed like expression on the youngster's face, and it seemed as if he was breathing his last breaths. That youngster was the Meng Family's Young Master, Meng Fei... Young Master Jun had taken seat on the youngster's fallen body. This had instigated the crowd's anger and had incited the eventual curses.
[No wonder he was cursed like that; the crowd's sentiments must've been instigated by the manner in which he's swaying his butts...]
[So that's what happened...]
It was evident from the Young Master Meng's condition that he would be missing the feast...
"He doesn't look good; take him to the Imperial Physician!" the patriarch of the Meng Family, Meng Xue Sheng shouted with anger and anxiety. He then turned to face the smiling and unmoving Jun Zhan Tian. "General Jun, your grandson is indeed very 'promising'..."
"He He... Elder Brother Meng flatters too much. Ha ha, Mo Xie is very young and inexperienced. You shouldn't spoil him like this!" Grandpa Jun stroked his beard and narrowed his eyes as he expressed his thanks.
Meng Xue Sheng staggered as he heard this; he nearly fell down. The other patriarchs staggered as well. [It is evident that this shamelessness is hereditary...!]
The Jun debauchee had deliberately created a farce in front of the main hall. His compulsion had been very fierce. The sounds that were made were very loud. He had hoodwinked several people into joining that farce that the sounds of their noise had reached inside the main hall. The main hall was hosting serious discussions on military and civil affairs at the time, and this noise had fell upon the ears of the ministers and the Emperor since they certainly weren't deaf. The intensity of the sounds continued to increase with the passage of time. Soon everyone's self-restraint gave-way and they were unable to help themselves. Hence, they quickly finished the discussion. These discussions usually lasted for at least two hours. However, today's discussion concluded in less than an hour.
The discussion had ended prematurely because the mind of every man was focused on the ruckus outside. The youngsters bickering outside were the apple of their eyes. Hence, each man was worried about the well-being of their respective loved ones...
Jun Mo Xie sniggered inside his mind since he felt quite mischievous. [He He, no one in either of my lives could ever surpass me; besides those who are dead... You made me wait in front of the main hall; wouldn't it be 'letting you off too easy' if I didn't do something?]
There were many hours left for the Golden Scholarly Talent Feast to begin. However, several court eunuchs and palace maids had bustled into greet the guests.
"This, Young Master... What do you think is inside those halls? Do you know?" Tang Yuan asked Jun Mo Xie as his tiny eyes scanned the place. "I just see a bunch of book worms, and some more book worms; they don't even qualify to be men. Where are those beautiful ladies they talked about? I'm yet to lay my eyes on an eye-candy..."
"There's no use in asking me. It's better if you consult the Emperor about this problem," Jun Mo Xie picked-up a shaggy straw of dried grass from the jade railings and put it in his mouth. He moved it back-and-forth and flipped it over. He continued to churn that grass straw in his mouth like it was chewing-gum, and looked extremely smart while doing it.
Tang Yuan looked at his face with envy. His own lips were too fat and his tongue was shorter than a regular person's. Jun Mo Xie's mouth was very flexible on the other hand. He snorted and asked, "I reckon that my grandfather will peel-off my skin if I dare to ask this of His Majesty. You said you don't know, yet you tell me to ask His Majesty when it can do me serious harm. ...You're my big brother..."
"Bullsh*t! I've come to the Imperial Palace for the first time. I'm following your steps since you've come here before. So, how would I know if you don't? And don't call me your 'elder brother' in front of so many people. Having such a fat younger brother will make me dizzy."
Jun Mo Xie rolled his eyes. Then, a meaningful look emerged in his eyes after he glanced at something. He chuckled, "Fatty, look, another batch has arrived; they don't like men either. They must be your intimate friends! Aren't those the gifted scholars from the 'Wenxing Heavenly literature Institute'? Their neat style of walking could make for a military parade. Da*n. What a bunch of hypocrites!"
A group of white-clothed youngsters arrived on the smooth jade steps in front of the main hall. Each one of them was upright, looked refined and moved in an unrestrained manner. Each had delicate features; their mannerism seemed to have transcended the vulgarities of the common man. There weren't many of them - just around twenty. Two white-bearded old men led them at a leisurely pace as they entered.
The two men leading the procession had thin faces, and their white hair was tied by a headband in a scholarly fashion. Their wide sleeves were the epitome of the great scholars' style. These two teachers of the 'Wenxing Heavenly literature Institute' were scholars who were admired unilaterally by the entire country; Mei Gao Jie and Kong Ling Yang.
Fatty's nostrils flared as he screamed in an undertone, "Those two old bastards, their disciples, their descendants; their entire families are a bunch of hypocrites. See! I feel like vomiting at the sight of them! They would make me wash undergarments whenever I would fall short of my task. I used to regard them highly back in the day. But I regret it now that I see things more clearly."
Jun Mo Xie slightly raised his chin to look at that group of people. He looked at their sardonic expressions and then snorted in agreement with Tang Yuan. He knew about Fatty's villainous misdemeanor. Yet, he agreed with Fatty.
Coincidentally, an 'unnoticed' person sighed behind them, "They are truly worthy of the 'Wenxing Heavenly literature Institute's' name. It is a repository of beautiful people. It has so many books on literature. The students of the 'Wenxing Heavenly literature Institute' are like giants among men in my Tian Xiang City. They're so very proud!"
"You're a laundry bat!" Jun Mo Xie and Tang Yuan scoffed in unison as they looked back with disdain. Then they simultaneously raised their heads and tilted them.
The scene was similar to an individual 'latching on to a person's smelly feet'. The hall was full of promising youngsters from every powerful family. Moreover, there was no shortage of youngsters who had already been named as 'successors' by the patriarchs of their families. Shockingly, some of the disciples from the 'Wenxing Heavenly literature Institute' had already fallen from their grace by flattering these 'promising' youngsters. Their intention to solicit potential backers was rather disgusting to witness.
The two of them retreated quickly, but the main hall had silenced by now. The two of them had commented in a very loud tone. Hence, the attention of every individual had suddenly shifted towards them.
The two men leading that group of scholars from the 'Wenxing Heavenly literature Institute' looked at Jun Mo Xie and Tang Yuan as if they were looking at excrement. Their stare was one of extreme disgust.
Fatty Tang jumped with fear since several gifted scholars and young masters had suddenly started to gaze at them in disdain. The color of his face changed as he trembled. He secretly wanted to destroy a couple of those gifted scholars. However, the contemptible individual couldn't raise himself to such a status when confronted by the elegant demeanor of these scholars. The towering gazes from the scholars and the other people-present were a demonstration of their fearlessness. Suddenly, Fatty Tang started to lack in self-confidence.
Fatty Tang was a bit scared, but the Jun debauchee hardly seemed affected. He raised his head, tilted it, slanted his gaze and shot a look at the onlookers...
Jun Mo Xie faced the disdainful looks of nearly hundreds of people with condescending toughness. He looked at them arrogantly. His bearing was proud since he wasn't cowed; [I am a rogue; whose rogue manners can scare me...]
[However strong he may be; I am stronger than him!]
This was Hit-man Jun's life' motto!
"Rotten wood cannot be carved!" Mei Gao Jie stared at the two debauchees in a cold manner. He then raised one end of his goat-like mustache and brushed it away as he scolded them. His gaze was that of heartfelt disdain. He was a well-known and veteran scholar. He had a list of more contemptible words, but he didn't use them. He only spoke that single line. But it was a very severe line of abuse; yet, very graceful.
The word "graceful" was a bit too much. The Old Man's gaze remained sharply fixed on the two individuals as he led his procession to pass besides them. They reached the end of the stairs soon. There, they welcomed and presented gifts to the ministers. They then introduced their admirable student to everyone.
Jun Mo Xie had noticed the sidelong glances those two men had given them as they led the procession pass them. Their hate-stricken gazes were meant for Tang Yuan.
The despicable, vile and corrupt Jun Mo Xie wasn't the person these talented scholars from the 'Wenxing Heavenly literature Institute' despised the most. The person they hated the most in the entire Tian Xiang Kingdom was - Tang Yuan.
However, this wasn't unexpected. Tang Yuan had used his despicable means to attempt a graduation from their institute. Later, he had used his family's power to frame relentless charges against the Institute's scholars. Moreover, he used his family to force the Institute into a tight corner. In fact, he had even tried to use his financial power to gain control over them.
If it were only this much... it would've been tolerable. However, the all-evil Fatty Tang didn't stop here. He forced an unwilling disciple of the Institute into working for him. Then, he made that scholar wash women's undergarments of the household... How could the Institute bear this shame?
[Why would you insult the 'Wenxing Heavenly literature Institute' in this way? Why would you insult the place that nurtures the talented scholars of the country?]
Fatty Tang didn't keep 'that' matter a secret; he passed-it-on as news. Mei Gao Jie and Kong Ling Yang spat blood when they heard of one of their disciples being treated with such humiliation. Tang Yuan widely came to be recognized as a 'debauchee' inside the Institute ever since... in fact, all over the Tian Xiang City ...
As for that scholar who had submitted to that act of humiliation in order to climb the social ladders blinded by his greed... no one had cared to spare him a thought. [We are fine as long as our Institute is brimming with talented scholars. It is natural that there will a small proportion of lowlifes; but they are only a small blemish. Which person isn't like that nowadays? Such people will eventually have to face the heaven's punishment!]
[But Fatty Tang was wrong to insult and harm a cultured scholar!]
It was a common consensus in the 'Wenxing Heavenly literature Institute' that their two old Masters would die with a huge unaddressed grievance if they weren't able to dishonor Tang Yuan in return. And since they had been given the opportunity today - they wouldn't give it up easily.
A black-clothed youth stood calmly in another corner. His face was covered with a veil. He seemed indifferent to the proceedings taking place in front of him. It seemed as if this scene was like mist to his eyes; it wasn't worth caring about.
His gaze was clear and indifferent; yet, it was warm and genial. Although his face was covered with a veil, but anyone could tell that this youngster was quite exceptional.
He was the Grand Preceptor Li's grandson, the Young Master Li You Ran!
He had come out this time.
The feast could be alternately mentioned as 'Gifted Scholar's Autumn Festival Feast'.