This middle-aged scholar was more on the thin side, his long hair was drawn in a neat bun at the top of his head, with a few strands of silver hair lose around the temple. He had fair skin and beautiful facial features. His brows were like swords and there was a faint mark on the corner of his eye. The corners of his mouth was slightly curved upwards in a gentle smile, and he was refined and elegant just like the peaceful bamboos of an empty mountain.
“Master, this is the gentleman!” Elder Fu looked at the middle-aged scholar who had already come in and hurriedly said to Luo Tiezheng.
Before Luo Tiezheng could say anything, the middle-aged scholar gave a cupped fist salute and bowed to Luo Tiezheng. “Lord Luo, I am the housekeeper of the Right Minister's residence, Zheng Wenxuan. Today, I especially came on Right Minister's order to congratulate Lord Luo.”
Luo Tiezheng was surprised.
Why would the housekeeper of the Right Minister's residence suddenly pay a visit?
And here to say congratulations?
What was there to congratulate.
Luo Tiezheng was bewildered.
It should be said the Luo family's forces were small and they had no relation with the powerful Right Minister of the empire, although Luo Tiezheng did know about the housekeeper of the Right Minister's residence.
It was rumoured that he, who took care of all the major and minor affairs of the Right Minster’s residence, was the Right Minister’s trusted aide. Although he did not have an official position, his status in the Snow Empire was extremely high. He possessed an influential power and was deeply trusted by the Right Minster, and even other wealthy and influential officials were respectful to him.
Such an important man had personally come to visit the Luo residence, and seemed to be incredibly respectful towards him. It really was difficult to understand what it was all about.
Suppressing the puzzlement in his heart, Luo Tiezheng dared not to be disrespectful, smiling he said, “It's Mister Zheng, quickly come sit down.”
As he spoke, he turned his head to say to Elder Fu, “Elder Fu, quickly make tea, take out my highest quality silver needles.” [TN Note: A type of tea]
“Yes, Master,” Elder Fu immediately answered and trotted away.
Zheng Wenxuan took a seat, sweeping his gaze across the hall, smiled and said, “What a happy coincidence, Lord Gu is here too.”
Gu Yangdao responded with an embarrassed smile and very respectfully gave a cupped fist salute, “I pay respect to Mister Zheng.”
Their family had successfully cancelled the marriage arrangement and was already about to leave when the housekeeper of the Right Minster's household had suddenly come to visit, leaving them in a difficult situation. Their purpose of coming to the Luo residence had been reached and they had already torn their faces in front of the Luo family, they had no more reason to stay. However, because of the sudden visit from the housekeeper of the Right Minister's residence, they felt disrespectful to leave straight away, which may possibly irritate the housekeeper.
“Lord Gu, please sit down.” Luo Tiezheng said, looking at the awkward Gu Yangdao.
Gu Yangdao nodded awkwardly, seating himself on one of the guest chairs.
His wife and daughter also took a seat quietly.
Facing the housekeeper of the Right Minister's residence, the superior manner that the Gu family had before was suddenly gone. Although Gu Yangdao occupied the position of deputy minister of the Imperial Security Department and was considered a powerful person, but compared to the housekeeper of the Right Minster’s residence, their hidden status still differed too greatly.
Gu Yangdao wore a humble expression on his face, while Madam Gu resumed a dignified and kind face, and Gu Zhenzhen exuded the air of a gentle lady.
On the other side, Luo Yi helped Madam Luo sit down and caringly handed her a cup of hot tea.
Madam Luo smiled lightly, her face still pale, but her spirit was a little better than before.
Zheng Wenxuan sensed a strange atmosphere in the hall, though he could not point his finger on what it was for now. He took a glimpse at Luo Yi then shifted his gaze over to Madam Gu, and a moment later he looked to Luo Tianzheng and asked, “Madam Luo doesn't seem well?”
Luo Tiezheng couldn’t help sighing when he heard this. “Yes, a chronic cold that started while we were living at the border.”
Zheng Wenxuan smiled, “Oh, is that so, coincidentally, today I was order by the Right Minister to pay a visit, and to bring a little gift. It is a thousand-year-old Snow Ginseng. It is perfect for the treatment of cold illnesses, Lord Luo should use it to help treat Madam Luo's health.”
Luo Tiezheng's face lit up when he heard this. An effective remedy like the thousand-year-old Snow Ginseng was incredibly hard to find, and had always been priceless. It was best to use it to nourish the body. The next moment, he was surprised again.
Given the Right Minister's status, in his eyes the Luo family should simply be a nobody. Moreover, the Luo family had never had any relation with the Right Minister's residence before, and Luo Tiezheng was not qualified to visit the Right Minister if he wanted to. However, today the Right Minister had especially sent someone to bring such a generous gift all of a sudden. Not knowing whether it was a blessing or a calamity, he suddenly felt a little uneasy.
With this thought, Luo Tiezheng hurriedly said, “I am really thankful to Right Minister for his kindness, but I am really ashamed, I want to ask Mister Zheng, Right Minister---”
Before he finished.
“Master, Master, someone’s here again!”
Luo Tiezheng had not finished when the incoherent and excited voice of Elder Fu was heard again outside the hall.
Looking at Elder Fu panting and running in, Luo Tiezheng's face slightly reddened in embarrassment, he lightly reprimanded, “Elder Fu, slow down, there are guests here, do not forget manners.”
Elder Fu gulped down saliva and said anxiously, “Master, it's the deputy general of Commander Li!”
Luo Tiezheng suddenly went pale.
Gu Yangdao and his family also had a change of expression.
Soon, an eight-foot-tall expert clad in armour walked into the hall.
This man was burly and tall, and was wearing a black and gold plated cloud pattern armour. He had a resolute expression across his face and looked to be about forty years old. His face was sharp and angular like a knife, his sword-like brows were slanted, his eyes were deep, and he had a short beard on his chin, which looked like a green shadow. There was a blade hanging at his waist, emitting a cold light and looking very rugged, and exuding a fierceness of fighting years on the battlefield.
Luo Tiezheng hurriedly got up to greet him, cupping one fist in the other. “An important guest is here, I should have welcomed you, please forgive me for this disrespect.”
The burly expert returned a cupped fist salute and said with a wide smile, “Haha, congratulations Lord Luo, I am Marshal Li's Deputy General Zhao Hongjie, I was ordered to come congratulate Lord Luo!”
Luo Tiezheng stood there astounded.
His mind became more and more perplexed, what was there to congratulate?
Why did the housekeeper of the Right Minister’s residence come to congratulate him and why did Marshal Li send someone to do the same? He really felt like he was falling in the clouds, unable to stand on level ground.
He did not dare to show this on his face and felt embarrassed to ask questions. He could only greet the visitors with a smile and take them to their seats and then order Elder Fu to prepare the tea.
Strange things happen every day, but today there were particularly many strange things occurring.
Just as the deputy general of Commander Li seated down and greeted everyone that was present, Elder Lu came scurrying back in a hurry, his mouth was wide open as though he wanted to scream something. But suddenly at the thought of Luo Tiezheng telling him to pay attention to manners, he held back the words that sprang to his lips.
Under Luo Tiezheng's puzzled gaze, Elder Fu anxiously came closer, greatly suppressing the excitement and whispered, “Master, there are people from the Prince and the Left Minister’s residence . It seems they met along the way and came here together. They are already coming in!”
Luo Tiezheng was almost petrified where he was.
What was going on today?
Why were these influential men of the Snow capital sending people over here one by one? Could it be that the Prince's residence and the Left Minister’s residence had also sent people here to congratulate them?
With no time to give it a deeper thought, he already saw two figures coming into the hall one after the other.
Walking in front was a slender old man in a grey cotton robe, his hair and beard were white, and wrinkles ran across his face, but this face was radiant and glowing and his eyes were bright and full of expression.
Behind the old man was a twenty something youngster clad in a blue robe. His black long hair was bunched up at the back of his head, and his skin was clear and fair. His nose was tall, and the corners of his mouth curved in a smile. His clear eyes contained a gentle expression, and a closed folding fan was held in his hands, exuding a faint ink fragrance.
The old man brushed his silver beard and laughed, “Congratulations, Lord Luo, I am the Chief Steward of the Prince's residence, Li Fu. The Prince His Highness sent me here to congratulate you, I ran into the Left Minister’s favourite pupil along the way, so we came in together.”
The youngster next to the old man respectfully bowed to Luo Tiezheng. “Junior is Ke Xianju, I am here to congratulate Lord Gu on behalf of Master.”
There was indescribable shock twisting Luo Tiezheng's face.
The Chief Steward of the Prince's residence and the Left Minister’s brilliant student had personally come to the Luo residence to congratulate them, and in the hall were sat the housekeeper of the Right Minister’s residence and Commander Li's deputy general. Among these people, except the deputy general who had an official status in the military, the other three, although without official positions, represent the most powerful and important ministers of the Snow Empire. Whether it was the Right Minister, Left Minister,the Golden Apex Prince, or the Great Marshal, any one of them could shake the Snow Empire. But today, it was as though they had agreed to come together to this powerless Luo family. It really was unimaginable.
The bewilderment in Luo Tiezheng's heart grew even more, but he dared not to treat them with the slightest disrespect. He hurriedly went forward and bowed respectfully, “Quickly please take a seat!”
The Chief Steward of the Prince's residence and the Left Minister’s student successively took their seats, greeted the Right Minister’s housekeeper Zheng Wenxuan and Marshal Li’s Deputy General Zhao Hongjie, and exchanged a smile, evidently understanding each other's purpose of coming here.
Luo Tiezheng was taken aback upon seeing this, immediately hid away his puzzlement, and said, “It really is an honour to have several gentlemen come pay a visit.”
“No, no, Lord Luo is very polite.” Li Yu, the Chief Steward of the Prince's residence, brushed his beard and revealed a faint smile on his face.
Commander Li's Deputy General Zhao Hongjie laughed, “Lord Luo do not say so, we really do not deserve it, haha.”
As he was speaking, several servants of the Luo residence served up refreshments and tea.
“Please try some tea, gentlemen,” Luo Tiezheng said warmly.
Everyone held up a cup of tea from the tray that was brought over, carefully appreciating the aroma of tea. The room suddenly quieted down, leaving only a faint fragrance of tea.
On the other side, Gu Yangdao was somewhat baffled, holding the cup of tea clasped in both hands in deep thought.
The Luo family had asked them to leave, but before they had stepped out of the hall the housekeeper of the Right Minister’s residence had come and they had to sit back down. They planned to exchanged a few words before leaving, but all of a sudden there were so many influential people coming, making it more difficult for them to leave, in case one of them felt that they were being disrespectful.
But the question was that, why did the unknown and unimportant Luo family suddenly attract so many influential people to their door to congratulate them. What were they actually congratulating them on?
His mind became bewildered and clouded, feeling uneasy. There seemed to be something wrong.
With this thought, Gu Yangdao gently put down the cup in his hand, turned to Right Minister’s housekeeper Zheng Wenxuan, smiled, and asked, “Mister Zheng, I heard that Sir is here to congratulate Lord Luo, I wonder what it’s about?”
Zheng Wenxuan set down the cup and asked with a smile, “Don't you know, Lord Gu? ”
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