Volume 4: Chapter 16 – Audience with the Prince
After the first lesson of the day ended, Ma Ke came to find me. Looking at his serious expression, I knew that something happened.
He pulled me to a secluded area. “Boss, something bad happened. When I went back to tell my father about you meeting the Magic race, my father was astonished and told me to bring you to see him. What do you think?”
I frowned. “Is it really that serious? How is the Emperor’s condition? Is it as bad as what Hai Shui told us?”
Ma Ke seriously nodded his head. “My father said that the Emperor only has three to five months left to live. The Emperor also does not have a son to inherit the throne. Once he passes away, the internal affairs of the kingdom will change greatly. The competition for the throne will be really intense.”
I thought for a while. “Alright! I will meet your father. When shall we head over?”
Ma Ke replied, “Tonight. After classes today, I will come and find you.”
I noded. “Alright!”
After returning to class, my mood became serious. ‘If the Emperor dies, there is a high chance that the kingdom of Aixia will become segregated. It’ll be worst case scenario that I don’t want to see. Now there are three groups of main powers. If one falls, it will badly influence Aixia. To be truthful, Ma Ke’s father, Ke Zha Ao Er, should be the top candidate for the throne as he is the Emperor’s blood related brother. His strength is also stronger than that of the Emperor. However, in the current situation, the other two main powers obviously have the intention of teaming up. It’ll be hard for Prince Ke Zha Ao Er to fight against them, especially since Duke Te Yi has the Royal Magic Mage Union as his main trump card. This is so frustrating!’
I shook my head. ‘What does this really have to do with me? It isn’t as if I am also fighting for the throne. But no, if the war really happens, doesn’t it mean that it’ll be a terrible situation? Is there a way to avoid this? As an individual, what can I do? Even if I am a Magister, there is still no hope of stopping this war. During the meeting with Ma ke’s father tonight, I’ll try to understand what kind of person he is.’
Suddenly, there was a piece of paper in front of me. I sat, stunned for a while, before picking up the paper and reading it. This was what was written on the paper, “What are you thinking about so deeply?” ‘It was from Mu Zi. It really was her! I looked at her in high spirits, but she just continued to look at the whiteboard as if she didn’t know that I was staring at her.’
I quickly wrote, “Some important, worrying issues regarding the kingdom. This is the first time that you’ve written me a letter. It made me really happy. It can’t be that you have fallen in love with me?”
After I wrote it, I passed it to Mu Zi. She read it and looked at me, before whispering, “You are just driveling! What important issues regarding the Kingdom? All you do everyday is just play. I have never seen you pay attention in class and you are now worrying about the big issues happening in the Kingdom? I was just afraid that the teacher would call for you so I wrote a note for you to remind you to listen properly. Don’t misunderstand, I don’t like you.” After she said that, her face reddened for a moment.
‘Her expression serves to be a proof that success is nearing.’
Ma Ke and I left the academy and went directly to the prince’s mansion that night.
“Your house is really huge!” As I look at the imposing prince’s mansion, I gasped in awe.
Ma Ke smiled wryly. “Well, my father is a prince so his household is held to a higher standard. Let’s quickly head inside!” At the entrance, when the guards on duty saw Ma Ke they immediately bowed. “Welcome back, Second Young Master!”
I curiously asked Ma Ke, “Why aren’t they calling you young prince?”
Ma Ke’s face reddened. “Boss, stop making fun of me! How can I be a young prince? I will always be your brother. Quickly go and inform my father and say that I brought the magic scholar Zhang Gong.” The second sentence was meant for the guard. Ma Ke said I was only a magic scholar so that he wouldn’t expose my actual abilities.
The guard respectfully looked at me.‘The youngsters this days are incredible. He’s able to become a magic scholar at such a young age.’ He then turned around and ran into the mansion to relay the message.
Ma Ke led the way in front of me. While we walked, he said, “I will first bring you to my father’s study as he usually meets his guest there.”
I smiled and replied. “At your house, I will definitely listen to you. Let’s go!”
The height of the interior of the mansion was very tall. It was both interesting and appealing. There was a rock garden and a forest in the mansion that quivered under the moonlight. Every 20m stood a guard. After walking for a while, we finally reached the study that Ma Ke had previously mentioned. ‘How was it a study? It looked like a small scale library instead. It was 500 m in diameter and tall bookshelves surrounded the place. Many books were dazzlingly lined up on the bookshelves.’
Ma Ke told me, “Boss, you can take a seat first. I’ll check whether my father has arrived.” As he said that, he led me to the center of the couch meant for guests.
After Ma Ke went out I got bored as I didn’t have anything to do. I stood up randomly took a book off one of the bookshelves. << Three Hundred Poems>>. It looked really old as it was even bounded by strings. The pages had also turned yellow.
‘I opened the book and realized it was just ancient poems that I hadn’t seen before. I skimmed through the book and found that it was rather interesting.’ Just as I was about to read more of it, a guard announced from outside the room. “His Highness has arrived!”
I hurriedly returned the book and went back to the couch. When the door opened, Ma Ke entered the room first, but stepped aside. Behind him, a middle aged man with a belt of embroidered jade stepped firmly into the study. ‘He seemed to have an imposing appearance and manners. He looks similar to Ma Ke, but has a royal aura.’
When he entered the room and looked at me, his eyes dazzling with radiance, I unyieldingly returned his gaze. It was obvious that the magic level of this prince was not low. He laughed. “You must be Zhang Gong! You’re so young! Please have a seat. Don’t be modest!”
I bowed and said, “Your Highness, it is a pleasure to meet you.”
The prince said, “You can treat my place as your own home. There is no need for etiquette. Please have a seat. Ma Ke, come and join us.” As he said that, he just sat down first.
While Ma Ke and I sat facing the prince, servants served us some tea. “You can all retire for the night. Without my order, no one is to be within thirty meter circumference from the study.”
“Understood!” The servants and guards withdrew.
The prince took a sip of his tea before raising his head and said, “I heard from my son, Ma Ke, that you’ve already reached the Magisters level. This is really worthy for a celebration!” ‘The prince’s wording instantly gave me a good feeling. Ever since he entered the room, he was very polite, and he didn’t directly ask about the Magic race, but instead congratulated me on becoming a Magister. It could be seen that he highly valued talented people.’