The road was bumpy, rough, and completely dark. Villages were just like that. They were desolate and were far from being able to be compared to cities.
After travelling for an entire day, Mu Qing who was sitting on the passenger seat beside Chen Lan felt exhausted and sleepy, so she had no choice but to summon up the energy to forcefully stay awake.
Chen Lan noticed it, and he didn’t seem to have done anything, yet a green peach had appeared in his hand. He passed it to her and said, “You’ll feel better after you eat it.”
The green peach was glistening, merely the size of an infant’s fist, and emanated an extremely alluring and refreshing fragrance.
“What sort of peach is this?” Mu Qing had taken it from him and taken a bite as she spoke. It tasted sweet and refreshing, and its juice transformed into a warm flow that swept through her entire body. It was like drinking a bowl of steaming hot soup during the winter, and it instantly refreshed Mu Qing’s spirits. Her exhaustion was completely washed away while vigor filled her entire body. Moreover, her body felt lighter and indescribably comfortable.
“Where… where did you get such a peach?” Mu Qing crunched down on it as she asked curiously. She’d had countless fruits throughout her lifetime, and she even often consumed fruits from outside the empire, yet she’d never seen a fruit that was so miraculous like this green peach.
“I stole it from the abode of a god. It flowers every 3,000 years, bears fruit every 3,000 years, and contains the spirit of the world. Men who consume gain an extended lifespan while women gain eternal youth. The only side effect is that women who consume this fruit will only love me for eternity.” Chen Lan smiled as he joked.
Mu Qing rolled her eyes and said, “Bookworm, you’re really so bad when you’re not being serious! Anyone who falls for you will definitely suffer misfortune for generations.”
“Then why are you suffering misfortune with me?”
“What can I do when I’m so stubborn?”
Chen Lan chuckled.
The interruption of this joke had made Mu Qing forget about asking about the green peach’s origins, and she lazily stretched her slender and delicate body and said, “How long before we get home?”
“Soon,” said Chen Lan.
It really was soon. Another 10 minutes passed before an expanse of lights had lit up in the distance, and it grew brighter and brighter as they approached. It seemed like it had expelled the darkness of the night.
Moreover, they could faintly notice the outline of some buildings in the distance, and they seemed especially striking amidst the pitch black darkness here.
It was a mansion that seemed like a manor, and it covered a rather huge area. Such a mansion was quite rare even in the villages.
There was a limestone path constructed right to it from far away. The surroundings of the mansion were covered in towering trees. At this moment, the area under its roof, its walls, and every single towering tree were covered in strings of red lanterns. They were like winding fire dragons that illuminated this entire place.
The bright red lanterns were high hung above, and they were filled with the aura of celebration. Moreover, they dispersed the darkness brought by the night sky and caused one’s heart to be instantly warmed by the sight of them.
“Hey, this place isn’t bad. This is Yellow Millet Village? Why is there only a single mansion here?” Mu Qing was rather surprised. She’d originally imagined that since Chen Lan lived in a village, then no matter how well off it was, it couldn’t compare to a city at all. Never had she imagined that the mansion she saw was actually so dazzling and indescribably grand.
If one was proficient in Feng Shui, one would be able to immediately discern that this was a precious plot of land that embodied the meaning of a rising dragon amidst the violet qi of the east, and it converged the auspicious energy of the heavens. It was normally called the best dragon vein, and it was such outstanding land that ordinary people were utterly unable to enjoy such fortune.
After all, too much fortune was misfortune as well.
Only those with extraordinarily formidable destiny and luck could live here peacefully and be nurtured by it.
“Who told you that others are living at Yellow Millet Village?” Chen Lan smiled, and then he stopped the car at the side and turned off its engine.
“Young Master, you’ve returned.” A figure suddenly appeared like a ghost, and it was an old man with an amiable expression.
“Uncle Yong, I’ll be troubling you with this.” Chen Lan tossed the keys over to the old man.
The old man grinned and said, “Serving you, Young Master, is only right and just. Others can only wish for such an honor.”
Chen Lan couldn’t help but chuckle, and then he pointed at Mu Qing and said, “Uncle Yong, this is my girlfriend, Mu Qing. She has come to celebrate the new year with me.”
The old man was clearly shocked, and it took him quite some time to recover from his shock and hurriedly say, “So it’s Young Master’s partner. Quickly enter the mansion, the seniors are waiting for your return.”
Chen Lan nodded, and then he led Mu Qing towards the brightly illuminated mansion.
At this moment, Mu Qing seemed quite quiet, and she seemed to be digesting all of this. Quite a while passed before she said, “Your family….” She wanted to say something yet didn’t know how to word it.
“Don’t mind all of that. Come meet and wish my parents happy new year first, and then I’ll slowly explain everything to you.” Chen Lan smiled as he took Mu Qing’s hand, and the warmth of his palm caused Mu Qing’s heart to feel warm as well. She stopped thinking about all of it and just walked side by side with Chen Lan into the mansion.
“Young Master Lan actually found a commoner as his companion. The Madam… will probably not allow her to join the family with such ease.” Uncle Yong watched the youths enter the mansion and couldn’t help but shake his head before driving the hummer away.
A short while passed before Uncle Yong walked back here, but he didn’t enter the mansion. He stood before the limestone path and pondered for a moment instead, and then he waved his hand, “Some distant relatives will be visiting later. All of you take care of it. Remember, no cars are allowed to approach 300m of the mansion. Besides that, no one is allowed to take a single step into the mansion without prior approval.”
He turned around and left once he finished speaking.
A group of men and women suddenly appeared here not long after he left, and they waited silently.
All of them were extremely strong and graceful, and their auras were heavy and condensed. They emanated an indescribable aura just by standing casually on the spot.
They seemed like they’d become the guards of the mansion, and they remained solemn and silent.
A wave of the rumbling of car engines resounded from afar, and it wasn’t long before a convoy drove over beneath the night sky. All of them were black SUVs, and they slowly came to a stop before those guards.
A young man jumped off the first SUV and spoke swiftly, “Hello, we’ve come to pay a visit to the master of the mansion. We’ve notified him in advance.”
The man in black traditional garments who led the guards spoke in a calm voice, “Please get out of your vehicles and wait here.”
“Get out of our vehicles and wait here?” The young man was clearly stunned and said, “I presume all of you are aware of who is seated within the car, right?”
“We do.” The man said, “However, the orders we received is that all cars must be left 300m away, and no one is allowed to step foot into the mansion without prior approval.”
The young man’s face sank, and he almost thought that he’d misheard them. He said, “Are you sure you want to do this? Are you sure that your master dares to offend the VIP seated within the car?”
The man in traditional garments remained indifferent and didn’t say a word.
“Little Zhou, what’s wrong?” Meanwhile, a short and fat middle aged man got off the car, and his voice was rather sonorous. If any high ranking official of the empire was here, that person would definitely be able to recognize the short and fat middle aged man as the Director of Internal Affairs in the empire, Ma Yunfei. He possessed full authority and responsibility over the emperor’s travel and accommodation. If it were during the previous dynasty, he would be an authoritative figure comparable to the manager of the Imperial Household.
The young man who was addressed as Little Zhou hurriedly moved over and described everything that had occurred.
Ma Yunfei frowned, and then he stepped forward and spoke with a benign expression, “My friends, can you make an exception? We’ve been travelling the entire day, so you can’t make us continue waiting here, right?”
His status allowed him to command great authority and be surrounded like a dazzling star wherever he went, so when had he ever humbled himself like this?
Even though Ma Yunfei didn’t know who exactly they were visiting today, he knew that the arrangements made for this journey were very special, and he couldn’t act rashly no matter what.
“These are the rules, so forgive me for being unable to permit it.” The man in traditional garments answered without providing any room for discussion. It felt quite annoying even for Ma Yunfei to hear, and he felt uncomfortable in his heart.
This is just a tiny remote village, so what rules are there? Regardless of how great those rules are, can they compare to the constitution of the empire?
Of course, he only dared to criticize in his heart.
Meanwhile, the VIPs seated within the convoy had gotten off from the car, and they swarmed over. There were at least a few dozen of them.
Amongst these people was the Secretary of the Administrative Council, Wu Chuanliu, the Commander of the Imperial Garrison, Xue Shiheng, the Commander of the First Regime in the Empire, Xiahou Zhong, the Imperial Defense Ministry’s Five-star General, Bai Yongchui, the Director of the State Council, Xiao Zhanyuan, and various others.
These strings of names and titles represented the greatest authority and glory within the entire empire. They were the true influential figures of the empire, and they were the hottest group of high ranking officials. Normally, ordinary people could only see these familiar faces on the news. But at this moment, during this new year’s eve night that was covered in heavy snow, and at this place which seemed like a remote village, all of these influential figures had actually gathered together!
If such a scene were to be witnessed by a reporter, that reporter would definitely go mad. Because it was too inconceivable. After all, one could only wonder who possessed such ability to actually gather all of these influential figures at a remote village on the night of new year’s eve!?
However, the inconceivable thing was that it had actually occurred!