Translator: Zen Translations Editor: Zen Translations
As she looked upon the imposing sight before her, Cai Cai was starting to feel some regret… regret about the words she had just said earlier. These people… was it truly wise to allow them to enter the Fei Li City?
Those two hundred soldiers at the front, where were they from? Mounted upon the Unicorn Heavenly Beasts, their total height reached almost four metres tall? Were they actually human? Looking at those weapons… massive spiked maces, immense battle axes… were those really fully solid?! If so, how heavy were they!?
Cai Cai couldn’t help but feel a wrench in her heart, thinking to herself that the ZhongTian Empire’s support for Zhou Weiqing was beyond even her expectations! Were they even sending the most hidden treasure and finest elites along with Zhou Weiqing? Even after all these years, the Fei Li Empire had never even heard of the ZhongTian Empire having such an army unit!
Very quickly, under the leadership of the gold clad general in front, the entire troop reached the front of the Fei Li City, stopping around thirty yards from Princess Cai Cai. The general halted his mount, and before anyone could see his actions, he had already dismounted in a flying motion. The flag in his hands actually flew back steadily, landing firmly in the hands of one of the four behind him, a large youth with a similarly massive stature. Just from that show of power alone, he had to be at least six-Jeweled or higher to be able to do so with such ease.
The gold general took a few steps forward, removing the helmet from his head, revealing a honest and dignified, though young, face. He bowed slightly in respect towards Cai Cai before saying: "Heavenly Bow Empire, Peerless Regiment Commander Zhou Weiqing, leader of our diplomatic party here, greets Your Highness."
Indeed, the Peerless Battalion had been officially renamed by Zhou Weiqing to a proper formation of Regiment. Since they were returning to the Heavenly Bow Empire, they did not need to restrict themselves as previously. Now that the Peerless Regiment numbered more than nine thousand men, it was no problem to call themselves a Regiment. Of course, their internal formation did not change, still using their Main Companies instead of Battalions.
Looking at Zhou Weiqing, a far-off look flashed in Cai Cai’s eyes as she almost slipped into a trance momentarily. It was only about two years since they had last met, and Zhou Weiqing had already grown and matured so much after leaving the Fei Li Empire. Without knowing why, in that instant, Cai Cai felt a strong sense of regret, regret that she had not been able to fight against all the opposition to do as she had wished in the past, to allow that youth to remain in the Fei Li Empire safely.
Looking at Zhou Weiqing, Cai Cai smiled and nodded, saying: "Regiment Commander Zhou, you’ve traveled far with your diplomatic party indeed. May I know if Princess Difuya is here as well?"
Hearing Cai Cai’s question, Zhou Weiqing’s brow furrowed slightly. In truth, for Cai Cai to actually have such a grand welcoming ceremony, even involving the Royal Family Cavalry… that was something that was far beyond Zhou Weiqing’s expectations. After all, they were only a diplomatic party from a currently-dead Empire, but they were still given a welcoming of such high standards. However, as soon as Cai Cai spoke, he could instantly sense the superiority feeling of a large Empire. Both were princesses, but her tone was such that Princess Difuya was of much lower status than her.
Zhou Weiqing smiled faintly and said: "Her Highness is currently resting in the horse carriage, Princess Cai Cai. How about we enter the City first before we chat more?"
Cai Cai stared momentarily. She did not expect Zhou Weiqing to reply her like that. Today, she had personally come here to receive the Heavenly Bow Empire contingent with such high honours, and they had waited for such a long time. In her view, no matter what, Princess Difuya should personally come out to thank her. After all, even if it were the Kalise Emperor coming here personally, he would not get such a welcoming reception! Yet, looking at Zhou Weiqing, it seemed like he was not satisfied with this, even that Princess Difuya was not prepared to come out personally yet. This was tantamount to slapping her face!
Of course, what Cai Cai did not know was that Zhou Weiqing’s thinking was just very simple. His entire purpose of having this diplomatic visit was to act ‘13’ 1, or to show off their might.
Zhou Weiqing knew that with the support of the ZhongTian Empire, the Fei Li Empire would definitely support their Heavenly Bow Empire as well. However, the problem was that it was probably just a token support to ‘satisfy’ the ZhongTian Empire, not substantial at all. From how they had reacted after the Heavenly Bow Empire had been destroyed and the subsequent warrant issued for his own arrest after that… he could definitely tell that.
As such, if he wanted to squeeze more benefits from the Fei Li Empire, he had to display the true strength and worth of the Heavenly Bow Empire, to let the Fei Li Empire feel that they could actually change the situation in the entire south… to be actually worth investing in and supporting. Only then would the support of the Fei Li Empire be truly sincere.
Although Zhou Weiqing was still very rich, he could not possibly just depend on that amount of money alone to totally fund the war in restoring his homeland. In the first place, the sheer amount required to fund such a war was astronomical; not only would he have to gather more troops, treat the Heavenly Bow Empire citizens well… all of which would cost money. As such, this time not only was he here to ‘act cool’, but to do so up to a certain level, with style! With that said, this fellow was just here to show off the strength of his Peerless Battalion. No, wait, it should now be called the Peerless Regiment.
Before Cai Cai could respond, an official beside her had already stepped forward, saying coldly: "Commander Zhou, our Princess has personally come to receive your Heavenly Bow Empire Princess Difuya, surely it doesn’t mean that Princess Difuya won’t even show her face to us? Could it be that after the Heavenly Bow Empire was destroyed, you all have even forgotten the most basic courtesy?"
This official was a man who looked to be about forty years of age or so, dressed in a striking silver armour with some intricate gold tattoos making it seem a magnificent sight. Behind his back was an aquamarine green cape, billowing back in the wind as he spoke sharply.
Zhou Weiqing’s face instantly changed. "Princess Difuya might also be a Princess, but she is currently the only member of our Royal Family. She represents our Heavenly Bow Empire. Though we are working to ensure otherwise, if we are unable to rescue His Majesty in the future, Princess Difuya will become the new Queen of our Heavenly Bow Empire. The future Queen of our Empire is here, but your Empire has only sent a Princess here to receive her, so why should Her Highness come out to see you?"
The entire contingent of Fei Li Empire officials gathered behind Cai Cai had their jaws agape upon hearing those words. In their eyes, it was already so unbelievable that they would receive this Heavenly Bow Empire contingent with such high honours, yet this youth who didn’t even look to be twenty years old actually dared say that their welcome was not good enough. That was utterly unfathomable!
In that instant, even Cai Cai’s expression turned ugly. Even asking herself, she felt that she treated Zhou Weiqing pretty well, but this little brat was acting up like this. If not for the fact that she was in front of so many people, she really felt like asking Zhou Weiqing: "Damn little brat, are you here just to cause trouble?"
That officer who had walked out to scold Zhou Weiqing was totally stunned by his words. He had never expected Zhou Weiqing to reply so rudely and forcefully. His anger rose and he yelled in rage: "What is your Heavenly Bow Empire, a mere dead little Empire, let alone that Difuya isn’t Queen yet, even if she is, can she compare with our noble Princess? You still want our Emperor to receive her?" To be able to refrain from cursing, he was already showing considerable restraint.
Zhou Weiqing looked at him coldly and said: "May I know who you are?"
The general said proudly: "This general is the Fei Li Empire Royal Family Cavalry Troop Vice Commander, Shen Wang."
Zhou Weiqing nodded towards him, then he lifted his hand along with the gold helmet he had taken off earlier. In a solemn tone, he said: "Vice Commander Shen, you have insulted my Empire. I challenge you to duel of mortal combat. Let us use our fresh blood to wash away that shame. Do you dare accept?"
Shen Wang was enraged, and he was just about to speak, but was stopped by a single gesture from Cai Cai. Looking at Zhou Weiqing and his unreasonable yet unyielding look, she couldn’t control herself any longer. Lowering her voice, she said solemnly: "Zhou Weiqing, did you come here just to cause trouble?!"
Zhou Weiqing said coldly: "What do you mean I come here to cause trouble? If someone insults your Empire, shouldn’t you retort or fight back? There is no mediating this. If he does not accept my challenge, we will not enter the city… and you all can be responsible for your own actions. Although our Heavenly Bow Empire might currently be occupied by others, that does not mean we will allow anyone else to insult us."
"If you wish to fight, I am willing! Your Highness, please allow me to teach this young upstart who doesn’t know how high the sky is and how thick the earth is2." Shen Wang said angrily.
Currently, Princess Cai Cai was in a state like she didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. In the history of the entire Mainland, she was sure that there had never been any diplomatic visit that started off with a fight before they even entered the door. If they actually started fighting outside the city gates, what would the ordinary citizens think?!
Cai Cai glared at Zhou Weiqing and said angrily: "Fine, if you want to fight, so be it. We shall do so in the drilling ground, not at the front of the city gates. It will cause too much trouble and chaos here."
This time, Zhou Weiqing did not insist. Without hesitation, he agreed: "Very well, the drilling ground is fine. Principal Cai Cai has always treated me well in the past, such face I will definitely give."
Cai Cai glared at him again, as if saying If you’re giving me face then why are you causing trouble here?!
This disturbance resulted in the Heavenly Bow Empire contingent not even entering the Fei Li City, instead the whole group headed towards a drilling ground further out on the outskirts of the city.
The Fei Li City was the capital of the entire Fei Li Empire, and its importance was without question. Not only was it the center of its political might, it was also the center of its economic might. As such, there were a large number of elite troops stationed all around the Fei Li City in encampments not far off, and there were drilling grounds beyond each of the city gates. Of them all, the one to the south was the largest, with the one at the east the just slightly behind.
Escorted by the Royal Family Cavalry Troop, Cai Cai led the group of Fei Li officials while Zhou Weiqing led the Peerless Regiment soldiers directly towards the drilling ground. This was also because Cai Cai was at the head of this entire contingent, otherwise it would not have been possible. She had been given full power over how to treat this current diplomatic party, and in the end she could do as she pleased without anyone questioning her. The actual Commander of the Royal Family Cavalry Troop was usually stationed at the Palace to guard the Royal Family, and only the Vice Commander Shen Wang was here escorting her. In fact, he actually belonged to her faction politically.
Cai Cai entered her own horse carriage, and Zhou Weiqing remounted his single-horned Ghost Demon Horse, moving alongside the carriage as they headed towards the drilling ground. All of a sudden, he heard Cai Cai’s voice in his ear.
"Zhou Weiqing, what are you trying to do?" Cai Cai used her Heavenly Energy to do voice transference, not allowing anyone else to hear it.
Zhou Weiqing’s expression remained impassive, and he also said in voice-transference: "I’m not trying to do anything in particular… I am only trying to get the respect that my Empire deserves, is that wrong?"
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