"Xiao er! Xiao er!"
She heard them calling her name but in the current state she was in, answering was the last thing she would do. For right there, at the gap of the opening door, was him staring at her, with bloodlust in his eyes. Her weak sight couldn't decipher the real form he was in, all she could see was his transparent silhouette limping toward her.
There was a massive crowd gathered in the principal room of the Lu Mansion. The residents of the mansion, as well as the associates and workers that work in all the Lu properties, had been summoned.
This is because Lu Community's summoning fire was lit in all the properties that belong to the Lu. Nobody was daring enough to go against its summoning power, for the punishment was severe which is an immediate renounce of your identity as a member of the Lu Community.
The Lu Community was founded twenty years ago when Lu Ting rose to the throne and possessed the Ring of Power. He was aware of the needs to expand the Lu's influence to the outsiders hence the establishment of this particular community.
Lu Family held the highest rank in the Lu Community and these were confirmed after a series of identity investigation such as blood test and lineage test, except, if you were born and rise in the mansion, the tests were overlooked.
The associates that held high positions in the Lu Corporation was second in rank and finally, the workers working at the Lu Corporation and other subs companies, as well as the mansion, were the lowest in rank.
For each rank, the benefit was different yet it was better than normal commoners. Hence why the Lu was one of the most prominent families in the city.
However, in the history of the Lu Community, the summoning fire was only lit once which was the week after its establishment. Since then, it was in a dormant state when the fire was ignited again, today.
Right on the stage were the high rankers; madame and the elders. There were seated in a row of a luxurious chair with arabesque elements. All the seats were occupied except for the one in the middle, which reserved for the Master of the Lu family.
Among the crowd, one could listen to their whispers and murmurs; discussing the absence of the family's Master. Then, there was a loud, piercing sound resonated in the air, reliving the silence the first few minutes they entered the room.
"Good evening members of the Lu Community." The crowd's eyes shifted to an elder who was acting as the master of ceremony. Their faces were serious, patiently waiting for his next sentences.
"As you can see, the Master's sit is empty. This is because our Master is now recuperating after a serious surgery two days ago. Now, in the Lu Community, news of the Successor Selection had been spread throughout. However, with the absence of our Master, there is a revamped in the whole process of selection. Of course, this was the result after a series of discussion between our Master and the first and second ranks of the Lu Community."
As soon as the elder finished his sentence, whispers circulated among the masses. The announcement wasn't within their expectations especially the news of their Master underwent surgery.
And with his absence today, many speculations were made: Was the surgery successful or was it not? Where was he recuperating? Why was the news of him undergoing surgery was hidden from them? However, no one really had the answers to all these questions.
Yun Xi, who was sitting next to the empty chair was looking at the crowd and soon stared at one of the corners where a group of people was talking to each other. Her eyes shot daggers to each and every person she recognized as enemies.
She remembered the face of her beloved granddaughter who was in total shock and fear after she was freed from the dark chamber. Despite knowing that the punishment was long banned, these group of people actually dared to use it in public and on top of it, it was used on Fu Yixiao.
Rubbing her palm on her dress, she tried to calm herself. She finally took control of her emotion after the next announcement was made,
"Ladies and gentleman, no matter what, we need someone to lead us in the absence of Master Lu Ting. Hereby, I announce Madame Yun Xi as the act-in-master starting today." The elder ended his speech and gestured Yun Xi to take over.
Yun Xi stepped forward as she was also observing the faces of everyone present. There were shocks and ridicules in their faces, especially the one from the Lu Family and Lu Corporation. She chuckled and removed one of the rings in her fingers, showing it to them. It was a stunning ruby and diamond ring with a two-tone mounting, combining both yellow gold and white gold. Tension-set in the center of the mounting was a beautiful round ruby with the Lu Emblem crafted on its delicate surface.
Gasped, the crowd stared at the ring. It was familiar for they have seen it before. It was a ring given by a Master to his or her most trusted personnel. A ring that gave the power of authority second only to the Ring of Power. The intricate details of the ring, especially on the round ruby, was not available anywhere for it was specially designed by a ringmaster that once became the Master of the Lu family.
"This is the Xinren Ring, therefore, I don't need to give you an explanation to why I was chosen. And if you are against me, you must know that it means you are expelled from the community. And expelled means leaving the Lu Community in an empty state." She spoke in a not too fast, not to slow pace. Pausing for a good amount of time to let the crowd sink in the words she had spoken.
"Now, I'll proceed with the announcement of the candidates." There was silence in the room. They knew this was the highlight of today's gathering.
"Originally, the candidates to be chosen was only three. However, in the new selection process, there will be a pre-selection stage in which six possible candidates will be chosen. These six candidates will undergo the pre-selection stage for one year. The real selection will begin after that however, only three candidates will be chosen among the six. Those three will receive their limelight at the Lu Banquet. This banquet will be held at the end of the pre-selection stage."
Once again, Yun Xi's announcement had sent the crowd to a state of frenzy especially among the first rank of the Lu Community. They were whole-heartedly happy with the new arrangement for there'd be a higher probability for the youngsters in their family to be chosen. Seeing the furor below the stage, an elder hushed them, keeping the room under control.
"Silence, please. I will now announce the candidates!" Yun Xi walked to her seat and took a piece of paper from a red file kept on top of the chair's large armrest.
"Lu Xinya, daughter of Lu Zheng.
Lu Mei, daughter of Lu Buwei.
Lu Jing, son of Lu Bei.
Xu Kai, son of Xu Bin.
Huang Lei, son of Huang Wenyong and
Fu Yixiao, daughter of Fu Haifeng."
"All candidates, please walk to the stage."
The whole room had lost it calm for people started talking, unrestrained. No one wanted to be left behind in voicing their thoughts on the list of candidates. The first rank was also in a furor of discussion, some were excited and some were completely shocked when they hear their son or daughter's name was mentioned as a candidate.
"Quiet!" Yun Xi's voice silenced the people below the stage. Soon, the crowd was staring at the candidates on stage. That was when a first ranked spoke in dissatisfaction.
"Madame Yun, where is the sixth candidate? There are only five of them on-stage!" That person was Lu Bei, the one that had schemed against Fu Yixiao. Yun Xi's face turned grimed when she heard him talking.
"Madame Yun, since the sixth candidate isn't here, I believe we need to select a new candidate. The Successor Selection is not something we can take for granted." Another person spoke. Yun Xi stared at the person and almost threw the microphone toward her. Madam Chin who was the perpetrator in scheming against her granddaughter was now making a ruckus.
"I agree! Being absent in today's assembly means that this person does not take the Lu Family's rules seriously. We don't need this kind of unruly person to be a candidate!" This time it was a man in her forties, Lu Buwei, Madam Chin's husband.
Their objections had caused an uproar among the crowd. This of course made the instigators happy for this work to their favor.
Yun Xi was about to speak when an elder spoke behind.
"Madame Yun, as an elder, my role is to advise anyone who lead the family. Now that you hold the Xinren Ring, I believe you need to listen to our advice. I agree with the crowd's suggestion, we need to replace the sixth candidate. " All the other elders focused their eyes on the elder who just spoken. Disbelieve appeared in their eyes.
"Elder Lu Bai, it's true that we act as an advisor, however, we cannot let the crowd dictate our opinion. Besides, it wasn't an opinion that represents the crowd but more to a few people from the first ranker." Lu Yan who sat next to the elder spoke, criticizing his action. She had seen the entire scene and speculated that there was a play on air. Her speculation was also due to the ever-changing expression from Yun Xi.
Elder Lu Bai who was criticized in an open mass harrumphed in resentment. However, he didn't act in response for he knew doing so meant losing in the most disgraceful way. Elder Lu Yan was someone he could not deal with.
"No one is to be replaced and my words are absolute. As for the reason candidate number six isn't here, I would like to bring you to another issue I need to readdress today." Yun Xi spoke. Her smugging smile was directed toward the first rank seats. She could see the changes in their expression. Huh, do you think I will let you go? Not today! She yelled in her mind.
Hello there my beloved readers,
As promised here is the first chapter for today. Also, this is the first stage of face slapping and a lengthy explanation of the Successor Selection. Hope it didn't bore you. :(.. hehe
I love to hear your thoughts in the comment below. And I'm happy to receive your powerstones and reviews. Ehh ...
I'm so happy when I saw the number of powerstone accumulated last week. I'm basically on cloud nine. Thank you so much!