Chapter 87: War Preparations
If any errors please tell me so I can fix, thank you. Also lol Zhang must ready himself for war >:D
After leaving the alley way and reaching the Spring’s Bounty Diner the group of five was greeted by a young waiter who was able to tell from their clothes that they were people of high social status.
“Young master and young misses please follow me I'll show you to your table.” The young waiter said respectfully trying to not offend anyone.
“We would like a private room.” Zhang requested. All high class restaurants and diners had private rooms usually on the second or third floors reserved for the wealthier customers that come in. Of course getting a private room meant having to pay an extra fee but a few silver coins mean little to our group of five.
“Right this way young master please follow me.” The young waiter said as he led Zhang and the four beauties to a pair of beautifully made arching staircases. Made completely out of wood these staircases arched to the second and then onto the third floor.
While leading the group up to the third floor the waiter couldn't help but notice the beauty of the four women who were with Zhang. Being able to have even a single woman that could compare to any of the four beauties meant that one was wealthy and powerful, but to have four such women the waiter could only imagine how wealthy and power Zhang or his family is.
“Best to avoid eye contact because offending these people could ruin me.” He thought as the waiter arrived a pair of exquisitely carved doors. Once these doors opened they revealed a lavishly decorated room.
“This will be your room young master.” The waiter said as he gestured for Zhang and the four beauties to enter.
After seating Zhang and the four beauties at a large round table and taking their order the waiter excused himself.
Once the waiter left the group of five began conversing. Not much time passed before a feast was brought before them, dishes that common folk only dreamt of and delicacies from many different places were all laid out atop the large table the group was seated at.
Zhang carefully picked out dishes that each of the girls would like and put a bit into each of their bowls like any loving husband would do.
While eating Zhang heard a familiar voice from the other side of the screen door. This voice belonged to a certain prince that Zhang had met in the Heilong Kingdom. After getting up from his seat and opening the pair of exquisite doors Zhang saw Shu Shang with his two wives being lead into a room adjacent to his.
“Brother Shu Shang!” Zhang yelled excitedly since it had been ages since the two had last met.
“Brother Zhang!” Shu Shang said happily as he turned back and saw Zhang.
“How about you and your wives join us for a meal.” Zhang said as he pointed to the room he and the four beauties were currently having their meal in.
“Of course.” Shu Shang answered with a smile.
Thus began the night of merrymaking. Although Shu Shang was somewhat surprised when he first saw Lingqi it did not take him long to get used to her. Truthfully he had only thought that Zhang would be marrying Ling, Ai and Yuying because the wedding invitation did not specify any names.
So after some introductions, Zhang, Shu Shang and their wives began drinking and eating.
in the middle of their meal Shu Shang asked if he could talk to Zhang a bit outside so the two young man left the ladies in the room and walked outside to the balcony.
“Brother Zhang is your sword ready for tomorrow?” Shu Shang asked with a whisper.
“My sword? Ready for what?” Zhang replied in a confused tone.
“Just take this and drink some before you have to use it. You're going to be fighting four wars tomorrow I wish the best of luck to you.” Shu Shang said as a jade bottle appeared in his hand.
“These are some dans that my master gave me when I got married. I asked him to make some more so I could give you some.” Shu Shang said as he handed the jade bottle to Zhang.
After receiving the bottle and examining its contents Zhang was able to guess what Shu Shang was implying when he meant sword and with a smile he stored the bottle into his interspatial ring.
“Many thanks brother, I'll make sure to take them before I use my sword.” Zhang said to Shu Shang with a grin.
After having a small chat, the two young men returned to their lovely wives and continued their meal. A few hours and a few dozen wine bottles later the two groups departed from the diner and headed back to their lodgings.
Upon making their way back to the provincial lord’s mansion, Zhang and the four beauties were greeted by the guards stationed at the front of the main gate and led inside.
Zhang was told that Jian Wei had requested his presence so he split off from the for beauties. Walking through the vast halls of the mansion that were intricately decorated in preparation for his wedding tomorrow Zhang soon arrived in front of a pair of doors that led into Jian Wei’s study.
With two loud knocks a voice sounded out from the other side of the pair of doors.
“Come in.” Jian Wei said as his voice penetrated the paper screen doors.
Moments later Zhang was standing in front of a large desk littered with books and scrolls. Once Zhang entered Jian Wei got up from his seat behind the large desk and walked up to a locked cabinet.
From his interspatial ring he withdrew a silver key to which he used to open the cabinet. After taking something out of the cabinet Jian Wei closed it and walked back to his desk.
“Zhang my boy tomorrow you'll be facing one of the most difficult battles a man will ever face. But unlike other men you'll be engaging in four battles and the enemy’s generals are strong and powerful, so don't say that your foster father didn't lend you a helping hand. The outcome of the battles tomorrow will most likely dictate the rest of your life so I pray that you have good fortunes in battle.” Jian Wei said as he placed a jade bottle onto the desk. After putting the bottle onto the desk a broad smile appeared on Jian Wei’s face.
“You dirty old man…” Zhang thought as a smile crept on his face.
“I'll take as much help as I can get, although the battles will be difficult I'll face the enemy head on be it one by one or one on four.” Zhang said as he took the jade bottle and stored it away into his interspatial ring.
“Alright you should rest early and prepare for the long battle tomorrow.” Jian Wei said while still smiling.
After wishing Jian Wei a good night Zhang left and headed back to his room. But on his way back to his room while crossing the mansions flower garden Zhang saw a slim silhouette leaning against a tree and gazing up at the stars.
While trying to be as quiet as possible Zhang steadily made his way closer and closer to the silhouette. Moments later Zhang's arms swiftly slid around the silhouette’s waist.
“What's my future wife doing out here all alone.” Zhang said as he leaned in to kiss Ling’s neck.
Afterward the two lovebirds sat in silence gazing up at the stars like they used to do as kids.
“To think tomorrow we will be getting married, it seems like days ago I had thought that I wouldn't ever see you again.” Ling said as water gathered at the corner of her eyes.
“Tomorrow we’ll be married and we’ll never be apart again.” Zhang said while tightening his grasp on her waist trying to convey to her that he won't let go of her ever again.
Ling sat in Zhang’s embrace until her eyes could keep open no long and her consciousness faded. While entrusting herself to the warmth that was enveloping her, Ling fell into a deep sleep.
Zhang not wanting to wake Ling sat in silence while hugging her until he couldn't stay awake any longer either.
The next morning before sun rose to the sky the last of the guests that were attending the grand wedding arrived. Luxurious carriages pulled by demonic beasts and escorted by teams of men made their way into Aurora City.
One particular carriage heading toward Aurora City just so happened to be carrying two middle aged men and their two lovely wives. The two men in question were the ministers of war and finance for the Heilong Kingdom, Wu Tong and Zhou Cheng. They along with their two wives were locked in a heated conversation regarding their two children’s marriage.
“Xue when do you think we’ll be getting grandkids?” Wu Tong asked in a merry tone to his wife Xue Qingren who is Ling’s birth mother.
“You silly goat you want us to be grandparents that bad?” Xue Qingren said happily while teasing her husband.
“Of course I want to be a grandpa and as soon as possible too.” Wu Tong retorted with a smile on his face.
“Brother Wu Tong you’re not the only one, I wish to be a grandpa too.” Zhou Cheng who is Zhang’s father chuckled.
“Well considering that my future son in law is going to be having four wives at the same time I think you won’t have to wait too long.” Wu Tong said somewhat enviously but still in a fairly happy tone.
“You can’t possibly be jealous of my little Zhang?” Zhang’s mother Zhen Ji teased.
“Jealous? Of course not why would I be jealous of a junior and my son in law at that.” Wu Tong denied.
The future grandparents continued their chat all the way until their carriage reached a line of people and carriages waiting for permission to enter the city.
“My lord’s the city guard has said that we do not need to wait in line to enter the city and that they will escort us to the provincial lord’s mansion.” The coachman said from the outside of the carriage. Thus Zhang and Ling’s parents entered the city.
After entering the city and moving through Aurora’s main city street the carriage that the two ministers were in finally reached its destination.
“I’ll take it from here.” Zhang said to the soldiers whom he had ordered escort the carriage.
Once the soldiers were dismissed Zhang walked up to the carriage and opened its side door.
“Mother, father I’m glad you can make it.” Zhang said happily once he saw his parents.
“Of course silly child I wouldn’t miss this for the world.” Zhang’s mother Zhen Ji said as she climbed out of the carriage and hugged her son who she hadn’t seen for a very long time.
While Zhang’s mother was hugging her son the rest of the people in the carriage climbed out.
“Welcome mother and father in law.” A chorus of voices sounded out. Behind Zhang were four world class beauties whom were wearing exquisitely made dresses with extravagant looking hair pins, necklaces, and bracelets. Each and every one of these beautiful young women were currently curtsying to their future husband’s parents.
After doing so Ling walked up to her own parents and hugged them. It had been a fairly long time since Ling had the chance to see her parents so she felt that she should try to make up for lost time.
Once Zhang introduced Lingqi to his parents, he led everyone into the mansion to the flower garden where a light meal had been set up. It was still early in the morning and the other guests for the wedding won’t show up for another few hours so they could take their time and enjoy a light breakfast together before the festivities take place.
The two of the four beauties were currently trying to win the favoritism of their future mother and father in laws and Lingqi was currently winning.
“Mother I made this medicine just for you, it can help you get of all your wrinkles although you look ravishing already once the wrinkles are gone you’ll be able to make cities fall from your beauty alone.” Lingqi said as she presented Zhang’s mother with a jar filled with a bluish cream.
“As for you father, after I trekked through mountains for five days looking for herbs I stumbled on this thousand-year-old ginseng and I want you to have it. Simply boiling it and adding a little bit of it to your cup of tea before each meal can help extend your life by years.” Lingqi said as she produced a large ginseng and placed it before Zhang’s father.
One could call her actions flat out bribery but in love and war all's fair.
“Mother how about I give you a shoulder rub?” Yuying said as she got up and began rubbing Zhen Ji’s shoulders. “Two can play at this game.” She thought was she glanced at the gifted that Lingqi had presented.
“How about I play a song for everyone.” Lingqi said while walking up to a zither that was placed on a stone table a bit away from where everyone was seated. It did not take long for a relaxing melody to drift into everyone’s ears and began to soothe their soul. As if the music from the zither was not enough, Lingqi began singing and with her angelic voice soon filled the flower garden.
Ling had totally counted herself out of this struggle because she deemed it as pointless. She had grown up with Zhang and often met Zhang’s parents and knew that there was no way they would pick a favorite daughter in law so Yuying and Lingqi’s efforts were futile. As for Ai she simply did not care for such things so she did not participate.
Once their light breakfast ended, Zhang took his parents and Ling’s parents to rooms arranged for them, so they could rest. The wedding was going to begin so and they needed to be at tip top shape.
However, before Zhang’s father Zhou Cheng went to get some rest he pulled his son aside and the two of them had a little chat.
“Son as your father I love you dearly, so for your own good I must tell you that tonight you’ll be fighting a kind of war that you’ve never encountered before and it is imperative that you achieve total victory. You must win every battle tonight or else you will lose the war it will haunt you for the rest of your life, so I’m going to give you our Zhou Clan’s special rejuvenation dans. Since you have to fight four skirmishes, your sword must be sharp and your strength mustn’t waiver. Make your father proud son.” Zhou Cheng said as he handed Zhang a jade bottle and patted him on the back.
“You’re kidding me…” Zhang thought as he received the bottle from his father.
As I’ve forgotten if I’ve ever named Ling’s mother or not her name will now be Xue Qingren. Also: D gotta sharpen those swords lol.
SamuraiJack was the first to see this post O_O
Also I'ma try to post a chapter or two a day again O_O :D