Chapter 169: Field Trip
After watching the students crafting weapons and armor in the smelting hall, Zhang and Ai made their way to a place called the Beast Kennel where hundreds of demonic beasts were being kept.
Hoping to develop an army like the Golden Wing Army, Zhang began to gather as many demonic beasts as he could to research what kinds of demonic beasts would be best suited to be paired with a human partner on a large scale such as an army. However due to the lack of demonic beasts in the Warring States Region, Zhang could not gather any demonic beasts that would be able to grow past the sixth level of cultivation.
As Zhang and Ai walked through the Beast Kennel and they peered into the dozens of pens where hundreds of demonic beasts could be seen, many students could also be spotted. These students would one day become Aurora’s beast tamers and experts in regards to demonic beasts.
“Your highnesses.” A student who appeared to be only twelve years old said as he bowed while hugging a small demonic beast that looked like a wolf with fiery red fur in his arms.
“Little Pan, how many times must I remind you to call me big sis.” Ai said as she patted the boy on the head.
While the other beauties were taking in disciples and teaching classes, Ai spent a lot of her free time within the Beast Kennel with many students taking care of demonic beasts. Of course like in all previous cases the demonic beasts, big or small, were all incredibly wary of her presence.
Contrary to her efforts, Ai failed to really get to any of the demonic beasts in the kennel, however, she did succeed in befriending many of the younger disciples of the Imperial Institute who interested in taking care of demonic beasts.
“Then, big sis have you come today to watch the feeding of the Hellfire Wolves?” The boy Ai referred to as Little Pan said with a smile as he patted the
“Maybe tomorrow.” Ai replied with a smile before bidding the boy goodbye and proceeding to accompany Zhang.
After an hour or two of walking through the kennel and observing the students interact with various demonic beasts, Ai waved her hand and made a small puffy cloud form for her and Zhang to use to move to their next destination.
“It should be sunset soon.” Zhang said as he sat on a puffy cloud with Ai sitting in his lap.
“It should be.” Ai said with a grin as the puffy cloud they sat on flew toward the eastern side of the Sky Fortress.
Before long the sun that loomed above within the sky could be seen making its way beneath the horizon as Zhang and Ai enjoyed a lovely moment together.
While the sun was setting its last rays of light shone onto the imperial capital and casting a veil of beauty and a romantic air into the hearts of all those who were gifted with such a view.
Like many say it's the little moments in life that fly by in a heartbeat that often bring about the greatest amount of pleasure and joy, as is proven by Zhang and Ai’s time gazing at the sunset. Only in such moments can we truly forget about the world around us and its worrisome struggles so that we can focus the entirety on our living companions.
Much to the envy of the other beauties every day while lessons were being taught, Zhang would make time to go watch the sunset with Ai. Of course, it wasn't as if the other beauties were being neglected because at night he would enjoy star gazing with Ling, in the morning watching the sun rise with Yuying, and at other times during the day compare medical notes with Lingqi.
In actuality, the beauties had made a pact amongst themselves and divided up Zhang’s day without his knowledge.
Overall despite not knowing about the pact between the beauties and being as busy as he was, Zhang tried to make time for the beauties because if anything he still considered them a blessing that the heavens had bestowed upon him. Where else would one find such beautiful yet powerful women in a world where most women are expected to only master the skills of sewing, raising children and depending on their husbands. But that is not to say that all women are like this because it's never accurate to group people together.
“We can keep doing this every day right?” Ai asked while in her husband’s embrace as the last rays of warmth from the sun enveloped her.
“It's a promise.” Zhang replied with a smile as he stuck out his pinky finger to which Ai locked her pinky finger with. Before long their lips touched and time seemed to stand still.
“Hey, you kid! What are you doing up there!” A voice belonging to a certain middle-aged man echoed into Zhang and Ai’s ears.
Looking down a middle-aged man dressed in golden robes, that were fitting for an emperor, and was surrounded by sturdy looking guards came into view.
“Uncle!” Ai yelled as she made the puffy cloud underneath her descend toward the ground toward the emperor of the Aurora Empire, Jian Wei.
“The mighty emperor of the Aurora Empire is forgoing his duties to interrupt an intimate moment between a husband and his wife? What will people say when they hear of this.” Zhang said jokingly with a laugh as he clasped his hand and greeted Jian Wei.
“What will people say when they hear of the prince and future emperor of the Aurora Empire, forgoing his duties to the people and spending intimate time with his beautiful wife?” Jian Wei replied with a laugh as he walked beside Zhang and patted his shoulder.
“Between the two of us though if you need any more of those pills I'll have someone send you a few batches.” Jian Wei whispered into Zhang’s ear.
“What was that?” Ai asked with a curious look on her face.
“I was asking him if he was treating my favorite foster daughter with enough love or not.” Jian Wei said as he placed his hand on the top of her head and ruffled her hair as if he was looking at a child.
“If you can another batch or two would come in handy. The girls need as much help as they can get.” Zhang whispered into Jian Wei’s ear with a laugh.
“Don't work yourself too hard, although that fruit you gave me has added a few more years to my stay in the realm of the living, the people do need someone to take care of them once I'm gone.” Jian Wei laughed while referring to the Eternity Fruit that Zhang gave him.
“Your highness! Your highness! I knew this would be where you ran off to!” A group of middle-aged men wearing the robes of government officials could be seen running toward Jian Wei.
“Damn they found me already.” Jian Wei cursed as his advisers and ministers came into view.
“Your majesty it seems you have duties to attend to.” Zhang said as he glanced at Ai who made a puffy cloud appear once more.
“Take me with you!” Jian Wei yelled as Zhang and Ai made their escape while the various ministers and advisers surrounded Jian Wei.
As things are, Jian Wei as the founding emperor of the Aurora Empire was left with an overwhelming workload that would drive most people insane. New government divisions needed to be established to help with the reconstruction of the war-torn lands, a working tax system needed to be put in place, checks and balances needed to be placed upon the various provincial lord's that governed over the empire’s land, borders needed to be reinforced, and not counting his diplomatic responsibilities, there were countless other things that called for Jian Wei’s attention.
Of course, once everything was put into place and the empire was efficiently operating, Jian Wei could live out the rest of his life in leisure while being one of the most powerful and influential people on the continent.
So as Jian Wei was dragged away by his advisors and ministers, Zhang and Ai flew off while their soft chuckles were drowned out by the howling wind.
“I think it's time for dinner.” Ai said as the puffy cloud she was sitting on drifted across the sky toward the Imperial Institute’s mess hall.
Perhaps it became an unspoken custom but every night Zhang and the beauties would gather at the mess hall to dine with the institute's students.
This unspoken custom had actually started because of the numerous invitations that were sent by the institute’s male populous asking the beauties out on dates. Promoting Zhang to publicly dine with his wives to show that they were taken.
Ironically despite how well known Zhang and the beauties are, when the Imperial Institute first opened, many students did not recognize them. Perhaps it was because of the weird rumors that had been floating around about their appearances or maybe because they were the same age as some of the institute’s students, whatever the reason, while the Zhang was asked out by a majority of the institute's female population, his wives were asked out by the institute's male population.
So in the end as a public display that by Zhang to tell others the beauties were his and for the beauties to tell everyone that Zhang has been laid claim to, they all started eating dinner in the mess hall together with the institute’s students. But despite their public display of both their statuses and affection for each other, Zhang would often get challenged to duels by the students with the love of beauties at stake, of course, the opposite was true also as the beauties would occasionally receive challenges also.
However, for the most part, it was just mostly Zhang because as things were seen, there was no need to challenge the beauties because if anything Zhang could just marry more wives.
“What took you guys so long?” Three voices could be heard in unison as Zhang and Ai hopped off their fluffy ride and began to ascend the steps that lead into the mess hall.
“How was class?” Zhang asked with a laugh as he looked toward Yuying, Ling, and Lingqi who were dressed in robes that showed they were teachers within the Imperial Institute.
“One of my students made the corpse she reanimated blow up and got stuff on everyone in class.” Yuying said with eyes brimming with excitement.
“One on my students was able to decipher a mid-grade technique that hasn't been practiced for hundreds of years.” Ling said with eyes that were equally brimming with excitement.
“Teaching in itself is learning, today thanks to a student of mine I was able to come up with a new method to graft plants.” Lingqi said with a smile.
“Have you guys told the students about our little field trip?” Zhang asked with a smile.
“Of course.” Lingqi, Yuying, and Ling said in unison.
Since Zhang had now assembled a considerable force under his command, he felt it was time to finally retrieve that treasure that his master Xin Tao had discovered countless years ago. The treasure that included a vast amount of magical items, reservoirs of liquid mithril, untold riches and most importantly one of the seven heavenly treasures, the Rising Moon Sword.
Of course, Zhang’s students did not know about the treasure and were simply told they would go on a trip to hunt and capture demonic beasts. An outrageous secret such as the location of a massive treasure that many could only dream of seeing and a heavenly treasure that was among one of the few most sought after items within the continent was not something to be told to any of Zhang’s trusted general's or advisers, let alone mere students.
“I also made sure to tell them that anyone who manages to capture either the most or strongest demonic beast would receive a reward.” Lingqi said as she and the rest of the group made their way into the mess hall.
“I made sure to tell my students that also.” Ling and Yuying said one after the other as they arrived at a large round table on the second floor of the mess hall and seated themselves.
“Although it's been countless years since master had been to that place since no news of the Rising Moon Sword being found has surfaced, I think it's safe to say no one has found out where the treasure is.” Zhang as he sat down.
Considering the amount of time that Xin Tao had been dead, the memory that he imprinted into Zhang’s mind could be totally wrong when compared to the current reality. Before the location of the treasure was within a forest filled with demonic beasts, however now a city could possibly be built near it. However, the only way to find out was to go to the location and see.
So with a mixture of excitement and curiosity in the air, the mess hall was filled the voices of countless students who sat on the first floor. Whereas most of the students sat on the first floor, the institute’s faculty and a select few students who scored top marks were able to sit on the second floor with Zhang and the beauties.
Soon after Zhang and his wives were seated, a vast array of delicious looking dishes were brought out and set atop their table and thus their meal began.
“Brother try some of this.” Ai said with a smile as she picked up some food with her chopsticks and placed it in Zhang’s bowl, much to the despair and heartbreak of her many admirers.
Afterward, a few more hearts were broken as the other beauties also placed some food into their husband’s bowl. But of course, no one dared to say or do anything because the few that did during the first few days the institute opened had been taught a lesson by Zhang they would remember for quite some time.
If a fifteen laps around the institute's campus every day for a month was not bad enough, various professors and educators who were hoping to gain Zhang’s favor doubled the amount of homework these individuals received. So for a month or two those who dared to cause Zhang trouble experienced what could only be described as torture.