Chapter 158: Journeying to Duanren Empire
Hearing in person that Huang Xiaolong was half a step from breaking into the Xiantian realm, both Zhao Shu and Yu Ming were greatly shocked in their hearts. But then again, Huang Xiaolong did not mention that his internal force had already reached a level comparable to a Xiantian realm expert's strength. Perhaps if Zhao Shu and Yu Ming knew that the Xiantian Second Order Haotian was no longer an opponent for Huang Xiaolong and exceeded Fei Hou in strength, they would be dumbstruck like wooden chickens!
With all of that said and done, it was decided that Zhao Shu and Yu Ming would stay in Tianxuan Mansion.
Ten days later, both will be accompanying Huang Xiaolong to Duanren Empire.
During these ten days, Huang Xiaolong tasked Fei Hou with a lot of things in preparation for this journey to Duanren Empire; he wasn't sure when he would be able to return to Luo Tong Kingdom. Therefore, there were many things to prepare.
The Nine Tripod Commerce's direction and management, his parents and younger siblings' future... these things all required advanced preparation from Huang Xiaolong.
Huang Xiaolong planned to settle in Duanren Empire's Imperial City in the future, and for that, the Nine Tripod Commerce's headquarters needed to be relocated as well.
After Huang Xiaolong established himself in the Duanren Empire, his plan was to bring the Huang Family over.
Ten days quickly passed.
Most of his time was spent going over the plans with Fei Hou about the preparations, as well as practicing Asura Tactics.
At the moment, there were roughly ten thousand Stage Ten beast cores inside the Asura Ring, enough to nurture Huang Xiaolong's cultivation for the next ten years.
Ten thousand Stage Ten beast cores might sound like a huge amount, but for the current financial power of Nine Tripod Commerce, this much was nothing.
The current Huang Xiaolong need not hunt for beast cores himself for cultivation.
With his crazed practicing regimen, Huang Xiaolong's battle qi enhanced on a minuscule level in these ten days.
Today was beautiful and sunny with an occasional breeze blowing.
Outside the big city gates of Luo Tong Royal City stood a group of people.
Other than the members of Huang Family, Luo Tong King's Lu Zhe and his son, Prince Lu Kai, as well as Cosmic Star Academy's Sun Zhang and Xiong Chu were all present to send Huang Xiaolong off.
On this journey heading to Duanren Empire's Imperial City, Huang Xiaolong did not bring many people with him. Other than Zhao Shu and Yu Ming, there was only Fei Hou.
The four stood close to one another in a row.
Haotian was Luo Tong Kingdom's only Marshal, bearing high status and responsibility. Hence, Marshal Haotian could not journey to Duanren Empire with Huang Xiaolong. Moreover, the Luo Tong Kingdom and Tianxuan Mansion's security needed him here.
Luo Tong's King Lu Zhe, Xiong Chu, and the rest didn't recognize Zhao Shu and Yu Ming standing beside Huang Xiaolong. But Sun Zhang had seen Yu Ming before, so when he saw Yu Ming this time, Sun Zhang was surprised and he hurried forward, greeting Yu Ming respectfully: "Senior Yu Ming!"
Hearing Sun Zhang cry out the 'senior' towards the unassuming middle-aged man standing behind Huang Xiaolong, King Lu Zhe, Xiong Chu, and the others were astounded.
Sun Zhang briefly explained Yu Ming's identity to King Lu Zhe, Xiong Chu, and the rest. When they heard that Yu Ming was Marshal Haotian and Fei Hou's Master, all had the same shocked expression and hastened to greet Yu Ming. All of them were aware that Marshal Haotian's Master was someone infinitely close to the terrifying existence of the Saint realm!
Yet, when all realized Yu Ming referred to Huang Xiaolong as 'Young Lord', drops of sweat bubbled out from their foreheads, including Sun Zhang's.
There was another thing these people noticedㅡYu Ming's respectful demeanor towards the other just as unassuming middle-aged man, Zhao Shu.
Marshal Haotian and Fei Hou were uneasy in front of this man, like naughty children being found guilty, fidgety.
But, this Zhao Shu also called Huang Xiaolong, Young Lord.
A short while later, Huang Xiaolong, Zhao Shu, Yu Ming, and Fei Hou moved further away on their beast mounts. Even after a long time, King Lu Zhe, Sun Zhang, Xiong Chu, and the rest were still standing in the same spot watching Huang Xiaolong's silhouette in a daze.
King Lu Zhe may have acted this way, but the impact Lu Kai felt was greater. Lu Kai stood dazedly, his mind remained as vacant as a blank sheet of paper.
Seeing neither King Lu Zhe nor anyone else making a move after what seemed like half a day, Huang Peng cautiously spoke, "Your Highness, shall we return?"
Only then did King Lu Zhe, Sun Zhang, and the others wake from their daze.
King Lu Zhe was startled at the sudden sound, and quickly covered it up, "Right, right, Brother Huang Peng, let us return."
Brother Huang Peng?
Huang Peng was also startled... but it was due to the reference. The Luo Tong Kingdom's King actually called him brother? Did he hear correctly? If this was the Huang Clan Manor in the past, Huang Peng would not even dare to dream about this, not even if it was just letting it out as a fart.
"Your Highness, I dare not. Your Highness, after you!" Huang Peng hastened to reply.
Huang Peng knew King Lu Zhe calling him brother was due to his son, Huang Xiaolong, but Huang Peng dared not assume to be brothers with the King of Luo Tong Kingdom.
Although Huang Peng courteously made way for King Lu Zhe, the King himself insisted on walking parallelly with Huang Peng, warmly holding Huang Peng's arm as they made their way into the city.
Watching King Lu Zhe holding Huang Peng's arm, neither Sun Zhang nor Xiong Chu felt it was ludicrous or funny. Instead, they were envious. And the target of their envy was not Huang Peng, but King Lu Zhe himself!
Returning to the Royal City, King Lu Zhe did not rush back to the palace, but rather decided to pay a visit to Tianxuan Mansion. In Tianxuan Mansion, King Lu Zhe chatted enthusiastically with Huang Peng for several hours before making his way back to the palace.
Personally seeing King Lu Zhe off from Tianxuan Mansion, Huang Peng felt like he was dreaming while he watched the disappearing back of the kingdom's ruler.
This person that treated him so warmly and full of enthusiasm while holding his arm caused goosebumps to rise on Huang Peng's skin. Was that really the same Luo Tong Kingdom's King Lu Zhe?
Though it was true, Huang Peng still had trouble believing it.
After returning to the palace, King Lu Zhe summoned Marshal Haotian.
Marshal Haotian entered the palace, and after discussing some matters related to the kingdom's borders and army, King Lu Zhe paused with hesitation, "Marshal, can this King ask you something regarding one matter?"
"Your Highness, please ask." Marshal Haotian said. He didn't know what King Lu Zhe wanted to ask, but he could more or less guess what it was about.
Just as Marshal Haotian expected, King Lu Zhe asked, "That... what is that Zhao Shu's identity?" King Lu Zhe was even a little nervous waiting for Marshal Haotian's answer.
"This one doesn't dare reveal Senior Zhao Shu's identity. But, I can say that Senior Zhao Shu's strength is much stronger than my Master's."
Lu Zhe was dumbstruck.
Haotian's Master, Yu Ming, was an existence infinitely close to the Saint realm. Someone much stronger than Yu Ming... didn't that mean that Zhao Shu was...? King Lu Zhe's face paled slightly. Thinking of the possibility, he shivered and broke out in a cold sweat, nearly falling off of his dragon throne. King Lu Zhe felt his heart beating madly.
Zhao Shu was actually a- ?! He halted his own train of thought.
What about Huang Xiaolong then? What is Huang Xiaolong's true identity?! Even someone like Zhao Shu called him Young Lord!
Cold sweat dampened Lu Zhe's back. At that same time, he was immensely happy that he treated Huang Peng 'warmly', becoming 'brothers' with him. If he offended Huang Peng somehow, causing Huang Xiaolong's ire, just a simple fart from that Zhao Shu was enough to annihilate the entire Luo Tong Kingdom.
"Carry out this order: confer the rank of Grand Duke to Huang Peng, it will be a hereditary title." Lu Zhe recovered his senses, and quickly ordered the eunuch next to him: "Also, make Su Yan a First-rank Lady! "
The eunuch was shocked, "Your Highness, this doesn't seem right, does it?"
In the entire Luo Tong Kingdom, there were only three Grand Dukes, and all of them were conferred during the founding of the kingdom.
Now, conferring Huang Peng with the title of Grand Duke for no rhyme or reason would cause the entire hierarchy of civil and military ministers to raise strong opposition.
But, just as the eunuch spoke, Lu Zhe's palm slapped across the eunuch's face, sending him flying.
"Are you the King, or am I the King?" Lu Zhe spat the words coldly.
 First-rank Lady: the highest title bestowed to a government official's wife (with salary but no authority.)