As soon as the door opened, Wu Qian Qian appeared in a blue outfit, beautiful enough to make the heart tremble.
"Chu Yang, it is you." Wu Qian Qian looked at Chu Yang with a troubled gaze. Even in her dreams, she would never imagine Chu Yang would suddenly appear at Iron Cloud Citadel. Moreover, he even had Prince Bu Tian's attention.
When Tie Bu Tian asked her, Wu Qian Qian could not believe that the prince's Chu Yang was the same Chu Yang she met at Purple Bamboo Garden. Wu Qian Qian assumed it was someone similar, or just someone with the same name.
Surely, somewhere out there, there is a heroic youth also named Chu Yang.
Even though Chu Yang of Purple Bamboo Garden was quick-witted, his cultivation was too low. He was not worthy of the prince's attention.
However, now that this familiar face appeared in front of her, there were no longer any doubt.
"Elder Martial Sister Wu, why have you come here?" Chu Yang asked, a little surprised.
"What? I can't come?" As Wu Qian Qian spoke, her face slightly reddened. She remembered the words Du Shi Qing said to the prince:
"This youth's life is really pitiful. He loves his martial sister, but his elder martial brother wanted to take his love with force. In an emotional moment, he accidentally killed his elder martial brother... What a waste of a talent... Oh, his martial sister seemed to be the daughter of the leader of Beyond the Heavens Sect..."
Wu Qian Qian's face felt as if it was burning when her thoughts reached this point. Daughter of the leader of Beyond the Heavens Sect? My father only has me for a daughter; can it be that Chu Yang likes me?
But... This is all too sudden...
"Ah, you can come. You can come. Of course, you can come." Chu Yang scratched his head and took a step back, "Elder Martial Sister, please come in."
"You are no longer a disciple of Beyond the Heavens Sect. My father has sent out notice that you are expelled from the sect to everyone. Therefore, you should not call me elder martial sister anymore; I cannot afford such a title."
Wu Qian Qian felt a little pity. Why was Chu Yang expelled from the sect for such a wretched reason?
On the other hand, Wu Qian Qian used these words to create distance between them, to avoid Chu Yang using their old connection to cling onto her. This was Iron Cloud Citadel; if something were to happen, Chu Yang would be fine, but she would cause damage to Beyond the Heavens Sect's name.
"Ah, I should call you little sister..." Chu Yang tapped his head a few times, "But you seem to be older than me, should I call you Elder Sister Qian Qian?"
Wu Qian Qian's face turned pink. She scolded, "Stop being a smarty pants! Follow me quickly."
"Follow older sister?"
"The prince has sent me to invite you. I really can't see what's so great about you that the prince specified your name and wanted to see you." Wu Qian Qian glared at him.
"If it was just him specifying my name wanting to meet me, I would not go!" Chu Yang laughed, "But since older sister came to especially invite me, I'll go."
"Meet" and "invite" were two quite different things, Tie Bu Tian's words reflected his attitude (TLN: Tie Bu Tian used a polite 'invitation' instead of commanding Chu Yang to met him). Chu Yang was successful in setting up his base of power, as well as layers upon layers of tactics to show off to Tie Bu Tian. First, there was his sharp gaze and agile movements. Upon that, there were Du Shi Qing's endless praises and the irresistible Heavenly Armament Pavilion. And now, there was the addition of Tie Long Cheng's referral.
Upon reflecting over everything, Tie Long Cheng would, of course, tell Tie Bu Tian about all of it. Chu Yang had no doubt about this. Tie Long Cheng's description of Chu Yang would affirm another thing: Chu Yang's conjectures and intelligence were unparalleled! That his judgements in worldly events were accurate and his understanding of Diwu Qing Rou was profound.
Everything was related to the survival of Iron Cloud Nation and the outcome of the war between Tie Bu Tian and Diwu Qing Rou. If Tie Bu Tian did not ask to meet him, that would be the strange thing.
After Chu Yang left Beyond the Heavens Sect, he joined Du Shi Qing's group. All his planning and arranging was for this day!
And this day was finally here!
In this key moment, Chu Yang naturally would not pass up the chance raise his status.
"It was the prince who sent me to invite you, okay?" Wu Qian Qian continued angrily, "The prince knows that I know you; that's why he especially sent me here. He also sent ninety-nine of his body guards. The carriage in front is the one used by the prince. He even sent sixteen armored riders as an extra precaution. These are all formalities reserved for national guests! These past few years, no one had received such a welcome in Iron Cloud Nation!
"Oh?" Chu Yang could not help being startled. Even though he was sure that Tie Bu Tian would send people to invite him, such ceremonious welcoming like this was entirely unexpected.
Big Boss Chu swayed back and forth as he sat in an extremely extravagant carriage. In the front, there were eight golden-armored riders valiantly leading the way. Each one fearless as they sat on horses white as snow and without a strand of hair out of place. (TLN: The horses' hair, but I'm sure the riders' hair were neat, too.)
As for the rest, there were two golden-armored riders on either side of the carriage and four golden-armored riders behind the carriage. In addition, there were ninety-nine silver-armored soldiers. Their stature was as straight as statues. Their formation was so orderly that at any angle, one could see a straight marching line with each movement smooth and in perfect unity.
The soldiers neatly marched. Their figures were like statues, their gazes were unwavering, and their lines were glorious. Everything worked together to form a scene so magnificent it made people's hearts trembled.
Chu Yang slightly squinted his eyes, trying to give a calm appearance, as if he was not paying attention to the whole scene in front of his eyes. He sat straight in a stately manner. However, in his mind, he was screaming: Great ancestors, this is so grand. Once everything is over, I am going to create a team like this. No matter where I go, I want them to put on the same ceremony. This is truly a distinctive style...
Even though he felt powerful, Chu Yan still let the curtains in the carriage down. If Chu Yang showed his face to the outside now, Diwu Qing Rou would probably know that the person invited by Tie Bu Tian was him... Hehe, it would not be a good thing!
Safety above all else...
"Thank you, Senior Chu for coming. I am really grateful. Please sit." Tie Bu Tian was refined, draped in an outfit white as snow. He smiled and greeted Chu Yang warmly.
Chu Yang was a little surprised when he realized that the place Tie Bu Tian met him was Bu Tian Pavilion. On the way there, he did not see another shadow. As if this meeting was extremely secret. (TLN: It really doesn't make sense to me either. I am sure everyone noticed the shiny marching band.)
Their meeting place was a small lake behind Bu Tian Pavilion. In the middle of the lake, there was a small island with a little gazebo.
The guards brought Chu Yang to the gazebo and immediately withdrew.
Chu Yang watched Tie Bu Tian, who had a calm and quiet air. He was even a little aloof.
The courtesy that Tie Bu Tian showed Chu Yang had made him feel warm for a moment. But now it had completely disappeared.
If it was some green boy of the same age, he would have surely cried tears of gratitude and be loyal to the prince for the rest of his life. But Chu Yang was a monster that lived two lifetimes, so he kept calm. Being able to impress him for just a little bit; Tie Bu Tian was pretty good already.
"Your Highness, what orders do you have for me?" Chu Yang asked leisurely.
"I dare not say orders. Senior Chu is talented. I am sure you know why I want to meet with you today." Tie Bu Tian smiled gently.
"This peasant is ignorant. I still don't understand the prince's intentions."
Tie Bu Tian sighed and stood up. He clasped his hands behind his back and turned to look at the calm lake surface. He lightly opened his mouth and said, "Senior Chu came from a sect in Jiang Hu. Surely you understand the current views of the world. The royal courts and Jiang Hu might be clearly divided, but, in principle, the two have the same root and are not separated from each other."
"If the royal court is a circle of prevailing power that envelopes everything, then Jiang Hu is a different circle of power, just slightly weaker!" Tie Bu Tian quietly said, "In other word, Jiang Hu is a secondary force, capable of assisting the royal court's power at key periods. For example, when the people fall into hard times, a hero would rise up and rally the people. Thus, creating a new center of power."
"New countries are started by Jiang Hu! Or they might be depending on some power from the royal court, but the dominant force is still from Jiang Hu! After some changes, these people would accumulate their own power, their own territory and their own laws. The final result of such success is them becoming the leader of the royal court!"
Chu Yang thought carefully and finally nodded, "What Your Highness said is true."
He thought about how things changed over the past few thousand years. After unexpected changes, numerous countries fell and many new ones rose by that path.
Those new countries were indeed started by people of Jiang Hu. Even though a great majority failed and were destroyed, many also succeeded.
Saying that the royal court was an evolved form of Jiang Hu was not necessarily wrong.