When Luo Yi's mother heard this, her thin and weak body trembled slightly, holding herself back from saying a word. The fog in her eyes intensified.
Gu Yangdao, on the other hand, looked stone-faced, not saying anything and just focused on playing with the sandalwood beads in his hands, as though he had heard nothing.
Father Luo let out a soft sigh, his forbearance under all this really was too great.
He greatly suppressed his anger to say with an apologetic smile, “Lord Gu, Madam Gu, we don't know whether it is true or false that Yi'er was removed from the [Blazing Flame Battalion]. Perhaps it's just rumours, let's wait for Yi’er to come back and ask him.”
Luo Yi felt his heart aching when he saw his elderly parents' pleading expression. He made a coughing sound as he took a huge stride over, suddenly attracting the attention of the crowd.
It was only at this time that the people realized that the main party involved had finally come back.
Luo Yi remained calm, bowing and saying politely, “Father, mother, I'm back.” He then unhurriedly and indifferently turned to Gu Yangdao and the others, cupping one fist in the other, and said. “Luo Yi pays respect to Lord Gu, Madam Gu and Miss Gu.”
The line of sight of the five people in the hall was instantly concentrated onto Luo Yi.
Mother Luo was after all a woman, and also relatively weak. She cast a concerned look at Luo Yi, her lips moved but she did not say a word. The dense fog in her eyes turned to tears, wetting the corner of her eyes. She then hurriedly pulled out a silk handkerchief to dab at the corner of her eyes and forced a smiling expression at Luo Yi.
Gu Yangdao slightly looked up at Luo Yi and then dropped his eyes without saying a word, as though he did not see Luo Yi at all, and continued to play with the sandalwood beads.
The elegant Madam Gu coldly raised her brows when she saw Luo Yi, lightly grunted, and did not say anything more.
While his fiancée Gu Zhenzhen’s beautiful and intelligent-looking eyes were devoid of emotion, as though she did not hear Luo Yi, completely ignoring his presence.
“Yi'er, are you all right?” Luo Tiezheng asked softly. He originally wanted to immediately ask whether him being removed from [Blazing Flame Battalion] was true, but he swallowed back these words when it got to his mouth, for fear that he might say the wrong words and upset his son. He glanced at Luo Yi, his eyes tight and worried.
Compared to the matter of the Gu family withdrawing from the marriage arrangement, he was more concerned about Luo Yi not being able to withstand the blow of being struck off from the [Blazing Flame Battalion]. He knew that Luo Yi, in order to perform well in the [Blazing Flame Battalion], had been training everyday and had invested a great amount of effort.
When Luo Yi heard his father's voice, he faintly smiled and nodded to his father, “Father, I am fine, don't worry.”
Father Luo saw that Luo Yi was calm and that there was no fluctuation of emotions, he then carefully asked, “Yi'er, you really left the [Blazing Flame Battalion]?”
Before his voice faded away, the atmosphere in the hall had suddenly stiffened.
Luo Yi swept a glance around and nodded, “Yes, the order I received this morning...”
Gu Yangdao and Gu Zhenzhen showed little reaction to his words, while Madam Gu calmly stared at Luo Yi, narrowing her eyes and a ridiculing smile made its way across her face.
Luo Yi's mother's eyes were red again.
She looked at her son with indescribable grievance.
Luo Tiezheng quivered a little upon hearing his son's answer, his face growing pale and his brows tightly knitted together.
Although already psychologically prepared, but when he heard Luo Yi directly confirmed the news, it was still difficult for him to accept it.
Ever since he transferred back to the Snow capital, the Luo family had been trying hard to survive in this difficult place. His official ranking was neither high nor low. At the border he may have a certain authority, but in the Snow capital, where nobles were everywhere, he was almost not worth mentioning. The Luo family's circumstances were very bad, and the opportunity to improve their situation was Luo Yi.
Ever since Luo Yi was selected into the [Blazing Flame Battalion], and came under the personal command of the Crown Prince, although his ranking was not high, his potential was very great. There were many forces of the Snow capital that had held out an olive branch to the Luo family, and the Luo clan finally gradually established themselves in the Snow capital.
Half a month ago, the news of Luo Yi's promotion came. The forces that were secretly watching finally could not hold back, swallowed their pride, and tried to express goodwill to the Luo family through various means. In a short moment, the Luo family's status in the Snow capital had rapidly risen, which made everyone in the Luo family unceasingly excited.
However, now that Luo Yi had been removed from the [Blazing Flame Battalion], those olive branches were most likely going to become a charm of doom. It would be greatly difficult for the Luo family to make any further progress in Snow capital.
Luo Tiezheng pondered for a long while, before he deeply took a breath, walked up to Luo Yi, gently patting his son on the shoulder, and reassured him, “Alright, It's alright, you're still young.”
“All right?” the harsh voice sounded again.
Father Luo had not finished when Madam Gu began sneering.
A ridiculing expression twisted her pretty face, as she threw a sidelong glance at Luo Tiezheng and mocked, “Hah, how could you say it's alright, Lord Luo, your heart is so big. Luo Yi is removed from the [Blazing Flame Battalion], what sort of place is the [Blazing Flame Battalion]? It is the forbidden army of the Crown Prince Her Highness, and everything is in the hands of Her Highness. He was removed from the [Blazing Flame Battalion], and that is the order of Her Highness. His life is finished. Young? What's the use of being young? One word from the Crown Prince and he can't turn his life over!”
Luo Yi's face darkened. He opened his mouth and was about to say something, but was interrupted by his father.
Luo Tiezheng patted his son on the shoulder, squeezing out a smile, and then turned in the direction of the Gu family to explain, “Lord Gu, Yi'er is still young, there is still hope for promotion in the future. Even if he's not in the [Blazing Flame Battalion], he can transfer to other places and serve there. It is too early to say that he has no hope. As for the marriage, how can it be decided and casually cancelled like that, it is not good for Zhenzhen's reputation. Lord Gu, let's discuss this matter again.”
It was not that he did not see the Gu family's condescending faces, but he did not want his son to suffer another blow from the marriage arrangement being cancelled after being removed from the [Blazing Flame Battalion].
If there was a chance to redeem the situation, he certainly would do his best. After all, Gu Zhenzhen really was very outstanding, and his son was also very satisfied with her.
From a beneficial point of view, Gu Yangdao was the deputy minister of the Imperial Security Department. If the marriage went ahead, he may also be able to give his son a hand. As long as it was beneficial to his son, even if he had to let go of his old face, it was nothing to him. Luo Yi was in the prime of his youth, if he were to suffer the embarrassment of the marriage arrangement being cancelled, then he may be unable to recover and his life would be ruined.
Parents always protected their children.
Gu Yangdao, who had not said a single word all this time, finally put away the red sandalwood beads, slowly rose from the chair, glanced at Luo Yi without expression, and then shifted his gaze to Luo Tiezheng.
The atmosphere in the hall suddenly became tense. Luo Tiezheng nervously looked at his immediate superior, with a hint of a pleading expression in his eyes.
Gu Yangdao's burly and tall body that was dressed in the official minister's robe was imposing and exuded a majestic presence. The candlesticks in the hall, as though they have been blown by the wind, were flickering indefinitely.
He slightly opened his mouth, his voice was cold and without a hint of emotion as he said, “Lord Luo, you cannot say that. Even if you used to be a military official, you should also understand the officialdom. If you must pretend to be confused, then I have to be honest. As my wife had said, Luo Yi was removed from the [Blazing Flame Battalion] and removed by the Crown Prince Her Highness. You think it is so simple to leave the [Blazing Flame Battalion]? Her Highness is the one who will be ascended to the throne in the future, and those who are expelled by Her Highness, do you think there are any other places in the empire that dare to accept him? Although I appreciate Luo Yi's talent and also sympathize with him about what had happened, but I cannot take my daughter's life's happiness as bargaining chips to pacify him. Even if the withdrawal from the marriage arrangement today would have some negative impact on Zhenzhen's reputation, but that is just temporary. Zhenzhen after all is well known to be outstanding. As soon as this storm passes, I will naturally find her a good husband that matches up to her. As for Luo Yi, forgive me for being blunt, but he is now ruined. He is no different from a useless person and does not deserve my daughter at all. I am also a father, I can understand your effort, but I cannot throw away my daughter's life of happiness just because I sympathize with you.”
After hearing Gu Yangdao's words, Luo Tiezheng went silent, lowering his head, as if he had aged ten years in a flash.
His body was trembling, he was clenching his fists, and the veins on the back of his hands were bulging. His facial expression was changing repeatedly. There was anger, there was reluctance, helplessness, and humiliation...
But his heart was aching for his son even more.
Mother Luo's face was pale, looking haggard. Her eyes were glistening with humiliating tears, and her thin body was shaking endlessly, as he looked to her son with a worried look, afraid that her son was unable to bear the blow.
Luo Yi coldly stared at Gu Yangdao, anger crossing his face.
His father had fought on the battlefield half his life. He had always been firm and unyielding, and had never bowed to anyone because of anything. But today, in order to rescue their marriage, he had to lower his voice and stifle his anger, and even his only remaining dignity was trampled by Gu Yangdao. How could he not be furious!
His mother had always been frail, and his father always took good care of her, not allowing her to suffer or shed a drop of tear. But today, the Gu family's words were so harsh and aggressive, which greatly humiliated and hurt his mother. As a son, how could he watch his mother be humiliated?
And the reason for all this was just rumours that he had been removed from the [Blazing Flame Battalion]...
At this very moment, Luo Yi started laughing out of sheer disbelief. He moved his lips and was ready to tell the truth.
But before he opened his mouth, Mother Luo rose from the chair. Her tottering thin body hurried over to Luo Yi's side, and she suddenly grasped Luo Yi's arm, her pale face wet with clear tears was slightly raised, shaking her head at Luo Yi.
“Yi'er.” Mother Luo gently cried, shaking her head again, “Do not be impulsive, listen to your father. No matter what happens, mother is here, don't say anything for now.”
Under his mother's worried gaze, Luo Yi was hesitant to speak.
He looked at his weak mother, his heart aching badly. He supported his mother by the arm, so that she would not strain herself.
Mother Luo wiped the tears from the corners of her eyes and turned her sight to Gu Zhenzhen who had not spoken a word.
Gu Zhenzhen really had not said a single word ever since coming through the door. She had been silently standing at Madam Gu's side all this time, perhaps she did not want to break off the engagement?
There was a last glimmer of hope in Madam Luo's heart.
She remembered that ever since Luo Yi and Gu Zhenzhen had decided on the marriage, Gu Zhenzhen had almost every day come to visit her with gifts and supplements, and even personally cooked soup for her to nourish her body. She was very obedient and Madam Luo was also very fond of her future daughter-in-law. Not only that, but she was also very concerned about Luo Yi and was very approachable unlike the daughter of a wealthy family or a martial arts expert. Since the Gu family loved their daughter dearly, if Gu Zhenzhen had really wanted to keep the engagement, then perhaps the situation could still be turned around.
With this thought, Madam Luo's eyes were lit up with a glimmer of hope, her face regaining a little colour.
She looked at Gu Zhenzhen and asked softly, “Zhenzhen, you still want to be with Yi'er, after all, you and Yi'er have feelings for each other.”
“Madam Luo, stop your wishful thinking.”
A cold voice interrupted Madam Luo’s words.
It was Gu Zhenzhen who had been silent all this time.
Gu Zhenzhen's fairy-like face was calm, her eyes flickering with a faint mockery as her vermillion lips lightly moved. “I haven't said a word because I feel that there isn't a need for it. The engagement between Luo Yi and I must be cancelled today, stop your wishful thinking.”
The trace of colour that had just appeared on Madam Luo's face instantly faded.
Looking at that cold and indifferent face, Madam Luo was unsure whether this young girl really was Gu Zhenzhen.
How would the seemingly polite and gentle Gu Zhenzhen from before say such a thing?
Madam Luo looked dazedly at Gu Zhenzhen, mumbling, “Zhenzhen you...”
Guu Zhenzhen shot an irritated look at Madam Gu and said in a cold voice, “Madam Luo, call me Miss Gu. Since our families have no relationship anymore, if you call me by my name it will bring a lot of unnecessary trouble.”
“That's enough!” Luo Yi yelled out.
His face was dark and gloomy, and he was on the verge of erupting. He could no longer ignore his mother being ridicule. His eyes blazed with fury as he went on, “You think I----”
“Be quiet!” Luo Tiezheng roared, interrupting Luo Yi.
“Father, listen to me.” Luo Yi tried to communicate with his father.
“Be quiet, if you still see me as your father!” Luo Tiezheng firmly glanced at his son.
Luo Yi stood there astounded, staring at his father.
His lips were slightly moving. The truth was on the tip of his tongue, but he was unable to say it out loud. His father was enraged and he could not disobey his father.
He sighed, no longer saying anything.
Luo Tiezheng looked at his stubborn son. Luo Yi was in the prime of youth. Today, his future was destroyed for no reason at all, and if he were to suffer the humiliation of the marriage arrangement being cancelled, he certainly would be furious. Luo Yi had been very obedient since he was young, it was understandable that he could not bear to watch his father and mother being ridiculed and insulted. He had already been removed from the [Blazing Flame Battalion]n, and the road ahead of him was bleak. If he were to anger Gu Yangdao out of impulse, then no matter whether the engagement was cancelled or not, it would be worse for his situation, so Luo Tiezheng had to stop Luo Yi.
Thinking of all this, Luo Tiezheng clenched his teeth, bowing a deep respectful bow to Gu Yangdao and forcing an apologetic smile. “Lord Gu, as long as you do not cancel the marriage arrangement, subordinate would not refuse to go through water and tread on fire for you. Although our Luo family is not a large and influential family, but we have a little foundation. As long as you want, subordinate is willing to present it to you with both hands.”
As he was speaking, he did not even straighten his back, maintaining a bowing position. His burly body was trembling, and the last glimmer of dignity that belonged to a military man had collapsed and dissipated in an instant.
Madam Luo was shocked.
The iron-willed man who she had been with for more than twenty years would not bow his head even if there were a blade at his neck. However, for their son, he unexpectedly was willing to give up his last trace of dignity.
Her thin body no longer trembled, the tears in her eyes dried up, and a faint smile formed across her pale face.
Yes, for their son, it was nothing to give up their dignity, right?
Gu Yangdao looked disdainfully at the Luo family, flicked his sleeve, and said coldly, “There is no need to say any more. This marriage engagement must be cancelled today. Tomorrow I will send someone over to give you some properties, treat it as compensation. Also, I do not want to hear any more rumours about the marriage in the future.”
“Haha, well, I agree to break off the engagement.” Luo Yi said calmly with a sneer on his face.
Luo Yi's parents stared wide-eyed at Luo Yi, frightened and anxious.
“Are you serious?” Gu Yangdao asked, raising his brows.
Luo Yi supported his mother and father up, nodding to the two of them with a smile on his face.
“Yes, I agree to withdraw from the marriage without any conditions.”
Luo Yi's heart was clear and bright.
Originally he wanted to tell the truth, but after watching his parents being repeatedly humiliated and giving up their dignity to rescue their engagement, his heart ached like it was being pierced by a sword. Now he didn't want to say anything more, because he knew it had no significance.
More importantly, he no longer wanted to remedy this bullshit marriage engagement.
Madam Luo's brows were slightly knitted in a frown, her eyes filled with puzzlement. “Yi'er, are you sure?”
Luo Yi looked at his parents and nodded firmly: “Father, mother, don't worry. I know exactly what I am doing, I am not being impulsive.”
Then, his gaze shifted across to Gu Yangdao, growing piercing sharp, as he said in a cold voice, “You just think that just because I was removed from the [Blazing Flame Battalion], I will become a trash from then on, and am not worthy of your daughter? Since I have the ability to be selected into the [Blazing Flame Battalion] by the Crown Prince Her Highness, then even if I am removed, my abilities will not diminish and my talent will not dissipate as a result. On what basis can you conclude that I, Luo Yi, will not have another chance to be appreciated? I, Luo Yi do not need to rely on my parents’ pleading and self-esteem to redeem a marriage!”
Luo Tiezheng and his wife, upon hearing their son's resolute and unhesitating words, felt the worry in their heart slightly reduced, because Luo Yi was not as dispirited as they had expected, and not as furious and impulsive. Instead he was incredibly calm, and his manner was not very aggressive. At the same time, they were also relieved, as it was the first time they felt that Luo Yi had really grown up.
“You deserve to be my son!” Luo Tiezheng shouted in a relieved tone, patting Luo Yi on the shoulder.
“Lord Gu, you must have prepared the paperwork for the cancellation of the marriage arrangement, take it out,” Luo Yi said calmly.
Gu Yangao was inwardly shocked when he heard these words.
He clearly did not expect the young man to have such courage and determination. His strong will really was admirable. Perhaps, in the future, he really would be able to rise again with his own ability.
Gu Yangdao's heart flashed a hint of regret, but it was only a hint.
He shook his head and set aside the little regret in his heart. Then, the palm of his hand glowed, as two thin white sheets of paper, like cicada wings, surfaced on his hand.
“You really are a talent, but it's a pity. It's your fault for offending Her Highness. In the Snow Empire no one would dare to use you in the future. Sign here on these two documents, and from then on, you have nothing to do with my daughter,” Gu Yangdao said, placing the silk papers on the table.
Luo Yi walked over to the table, and skimmed through the two identical silk papers that were covered with neat handwriting. The content was nothing else but the voluntary cancellation of the marriage arrangement and the two sides no longer having anything to do with each other.
He smiled lightly, lifted the brush, and signed his name at the end of the document. Then he slightly streaked his index finger across his thumb. A bead of blood seeped out of the skin surface, and without the slightest hesitation, he pressed his thumb down, leaving a bright red fingerprint on the snow-white silk paper.
Madam Gu snorted out loud, reaching out her hand to pick up the paper from the table, and after a careful examination she gave a satisfied nod, her bright red lips curving back into a smile. She slightly raised her head, revealing her slender and fair neck, and coldly said, “Luo Yi, there are two copies, you keep the other one.”
An inexplicable light flashed across Luo Yi’s eyes as he put away the other piece of marriage withdrawal document away.
As though the burden had finally been lifted off, Gu Zhenzhen breathed out a long sigh.
The maiden gracefully came over, her eyes flickering with aloof sympathy and pity as she looked at Luo Yi. “Actually, I still admire you, whether it is talent or character. It is a pity that our lives are different, I am a phoenix who wants to soar to the Ninth Heaven, and you once had the opportunity to reach the same height with me, it is a pity. Now that you have become a wild duck falling into the quagmire, there will never be a chance for you to fly. Luo Yi, you have no chance to make a comeback, it is better to give up, be a good ordinary person, and perhaps in the future there will be a normal girl that matches well with you who likes you. At that time you will feel that your decision today is right. Find a girl with the same circumstances as you and live happily together.”
Luo Yi smiled, indifferently looking at his former fiancèe, and did not say anything more.
When Luo Tiezhang heard Gu Zhenzhen’s words, he couldn’t take it, worried that his son might be provoked again, and coldly said, “Miss Gu you do not need to worry about Yi'er’s matters. Lord Gu, my humble home is not suitable to entertain you three, please leave.”
Since Luo Yi had made up his mind, as his father he no longer had to bow low and humiliate himself and stoop to compromise. Rather than continue to look at their hypocritical faces, it was better to ask them to leave at this point.
Gu Yangdao’s family of three looked embarrassed when they heard what was said.
Gu Yangdao grunted, “Farewell!”
Then he strode to the outside of the hall with Madam Gu and his daughter following behind.
It was at this moment----
Old housekeeper Elder Fu scurried in, looking alarmed, panting, “Master, Master, the housekeeper of the Minister's residence asks to see you!”
Luo Tiezheng was taken aback for a moment before he asked, “Minister's residence? Which Minister's residence?”
Elder Fu's replied, gasping for breaths, “Master, it is the housekeeper of the Right Minister's residence!”
Before he finished speaking, he saw a scholarly middle-aged man of nearly seven feet tall, dressed in plain blue cotton clothing, stepping into the hall-------
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