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Wu Yuenian answered, “Your Majesty, according to my knowledge, the ones who intercepted and tried to kill Princess Xingyue were not soldiers from Golden Horse City but people from the Ghost King Sect.”
Qin Haodong had been watching quietly from the side. From Wu Yuenian’s performance, he could guess that Xiahou Hongxiang must have beaten him to it and managed to arrive at Tortoise City before him. Wu Yuenian and Xiahou Hongxiang were in this together.
Zhao Xianlong turned to look at Shangguan Qiong and said, “Is that so? Are the people who were out to kill Princess Xingyue the soldiers of Golden Horse City or the people of the Ghost King Sect?”
Shangguan Qiong had always been upright and only loyal to the King, Zhao Xianlong. Although she saw that Wu Yuenian was defending Xiahou Hongxiang, she still said without any scruples, “Your Majesty, although those culprits were wearing the ghost masks of the Ghost King Sect, I could see that they were not from the Ghost King Sect. They were soldiers of Golden Horse City disguised as people of Ghost King Sect.”
Zhao Xianlong frowned and asked, “How did you find out? Do you have any evidence?”
Shangguan Qiong took out a blood-stained God-killing Arrow and said, “Your Majesty, this is the God-killing Arrow that was shot at me. At the same time, all the 20 palace guards I brought with me were killed by God-killing Arrows.
“May I ask who else has the God-killing Arrows apart from the elite soldiers of the kingdom? Thus, these people are not from the Ghost King Sect at all but soldiers of Golden Horse City in disguise.”
Before Zhao Xianlong could speak, Wu Yuenian said directly, “Your Majesty, Xiahou Hongxiang has just told me about the God-killing Arrows.
“Just two nights ago, in Golden Horse City, they were attacked by the Ghost King Sect on a large scale. Not only were all the Spirit Stones in the vault stolen but 3,000 God-killing Arrows were also lost.”
Astonishment flashed across Zhao Xianlong’s face. “Is that true?”
Wu Yuenian said, “That’s true. I guess the reason why those people from Ghost King Sect stole the God-killing Arrows was to frame Xiahou Hongxiang.
“General Xiahou Hongxiang is the pillar of the kingdom. Over the years, he has killed countless culprits of Ghost King Sect. Naturally, he is hated by them. It is normal for him to be framed. Don’t be deceived by these culprits, Your Majesty.”
Speaking of this, she turned to Zhao Xingyue and said, “Xingyue, you have been in Golden Horse City for the past few days. Were you attacked by the Ghost King Sect?”
Although Zhao Xingyue didn’t want to help Xiahou Hongxiang, she couldn’t lie in the end. She could only nod and say, “That’s true. The night before yesterday, Ghost King Sect launched an attack in Golden Horse City. They sent a large number of people to assassinate my friend.”
Wu Yuenian said to Zhao Xianlong, “Do you see that, Your Majesty? This is the scheme of the Ghost King Sect. Their purpose is to drive a wedge between the King and the courtier of our Tortoise Kingdom.”
“This woman is really amazing!”
Qin Haodong secretly admired Wu Yuenian. She could seize all the favorable conditions to defend herself, both real and fake. Her skills were extremely brilliant.
At this moment, Shangguan Qiong added, “However, I clearly heard Xiahou Hongxiang’s voice during the interception process. That was his voice. I am sure!”
“In fact, it’s not a big deal. The Ghost King Sect is cunning. Since they would like to frame General Xiahou, it’s expected that they would play some tricks.”
Speaking of this, Wu Yuenian suddenly changed her voice and spoke in the same way as Shangguan Qiong. “Your Majesty, I have learned some methods of changing my voice. Do you think my voice sounds like that of Shangguan Qiong?”
Shangguan Qiong was stunned. She did not expect Wu Yuenian to have such an ability. Wu Yuenian mimicked her voice to perfection. If she closed her eyes, she would not be able to tell which one was real and which one was fake. For a moment, she was speechless.
Seeing that what Wu Yuenian said was reasonable, Zhao Xianlong hesitated for a moment and said, “Even if the final interception doesn’t count, the Xiahou Family should be punished for disrespecting Princess Xingyue time and again.”
“Your Majesty is right. All these are because Xiahou Hongxiang can’t control his family well.”
Wu Yuenian seemed to be flattering Zhao Xianlong, but in fact, she had imperceptibly reduced Xiahou Hongxiang’s guilt.
She continued, “But the people of Xiahou Family have already received the punishment they deserve. Xiahou Zhen is dead. Xiahou Chun is now a cripple. Even Zhangsun Lan has been severely punished by Xiahou Hongxiang.
“General Xiahou Hongxiang has promised me that he will strictly discipline his family when he goes back home. Such a thing will never happen again.”
Wu Yuenian’s performance was not inferior to that of the heroine in the palace dramas. With just a few simple words, attacking as well as defending, she dissolved Xiahou Hongxiang’s rebellion crime into nothingness.
Zhao Xianlong said, “Well, let’s put this matter aside for the time being. Shangguan Qiong, send people immediately to check if there is any other evidence.
“If Xiahou Hongxiang really rebelled, I would not forgive him so easily. However, I can’t also easily wrong my loyal courtier.”
“Yes, Your Majesty!”
Shangguan Qiong had said all that needed to be said, so she retreated to the side and stopped talking.
Zhao Xingyue was unwilling to give up. Just as she was hesitating to say something, she heard Wu Yuenian speak again, “Your Majesty, Xingyue is not young anymore. Sister Chen has already arranged a marriage for her before but this girl sneaked out.
“Now, she is back. Don’t you think it’s time for this marriage to be settled?”
She had already betrothed Zhao Xingyue to Chen Ruyi, the son of her best follower Chen Xuanling. The matter was brought up again at this moment. Wu Yuenian immediately diverted the attention of all the people present.
Then, not only Zhao Xianlong’s, but Zhao Xingyue’s attention was also diverted to this marriage.
She said eagerly, “Father, I want to decide on my own marriage.”
“Xingyue, what you said is wrong.” Wu Yuenian had an earnest look and said, “Since ancient times, marriage has been decided by parents. Although your mother passed away early, as your stepmother, I have to be responsible for your marriage.
“I’ve seen Chen Ruyi before. He’s not only handsome but very talented. He’s reached the early stage of the Combination Realm at such a young age. Why are you dissatisfied with this young prodigy?”
In the past, Zhao Xingyue would not have dared to say anything when Wu Yuenian had said this. However, Zhao Xingyue was no longer the timid pushover she used to be.
“Mother, you must have been fooled. As far as I know, Chen Ruyi is good at eating, drinking, and gambling. Moreover, he often bullies men and women and does things that are against reason and nature. How can this person be called a young prodigy?”
Wu Yuenian was slightly startled but she quickly regained her composure.
“Xingyue, it’s okay for young people to play a little. It’s not a big deal. You are the Princess of our Tortoise Kingdom. As long as you marry him, he will have to be obedient and do whatever you want.
“The most important thing is that Chen Ruyi is really capable. He has reached the stage of the Combination Realm at such a young age. What’s more, he has a good nickname, Eight-armed Divine Dragon. There are not many outstanding talents like him in our Tortoise Kingdom.”
“No, whatever it is, I will never marry Chen Ruyi!”
Even though Zhao Xingyue lacked courage in the past, she even dared to resist this marriage now.
She ignored Wu Yuenian and turned to Zhao Xianlong and said, “Father, I already have a sweetheart.”
Zhao Xianlong was slightly stunned. Then, with a smile on his face, he said, “Xingyue, tell me which family this young master you like is from?”
Wu Yuenian frowned. She did not expect that Zhao Xingyue’s personality would change so much in just over a month. Not only did she dare to openly rebel against her, but she also had someone she liked.
Zhao Xingyue took Qin Haodong’s arm and said, “Father, the one I like is Big Brother Qin. If it weren’t for him, I would have died when I went to the Seven Storeys Pagoda to experience.”
Zhao Xianlong looked carefully at Qin Haodong from head to toe. Then he nodded and said, “Not bad, young man!”
Wu Yuenian naturally would not let Zhao Xingyue escape so easily from her hands. She said to Qin Haodong, “Young man, where are you from? Which royal family are you from?”
Seeing Zhao Xingyue’s earnest eyes, Qin Haodong naturally could not shrink back. He said calmly, “Your Majesty, I am just an ordinary person who is studying in the Tortoise Academy without parents.”
“An ordinary person? Your family is not a good match for our Tortoise royal family!” Wu Yuenian asked again, “Then what’s your current cultivation? What level have you reached?”
The Lingwu Continent respected martial arts. Even if one didn’t come from a powerful background, he would still gain a foothold if he could beat the rest of the pack in terms of cultivation.
Qin Haodong said, “I’m at the final stage of the Voiding Realm.”
“Your cultivation is the final stage of the Voiding Realm. In theory, you are outstanding for your age. However, compared with Chen Ruyi, you are not as good as him.”
Wu Yuenian looked back at Zhao Xianlong and said, “Your Majesty, you saw it for yourself. Although this young man is good, his family background and cultivation are not as good as Chen Ruyi’s. I don’t think he is a match for our Princess Xingyue.”
Zhao Xingyue hurriedly said, “Big Brother Qin saved my life before. Also, he is the one I like. Father, I beg you to grant my wish.”
Wu Yuenian said, “Xingyue, he saved your life. We can thank him in other ways but marriage is not a joke. You can’t act on emotions alone.”
Seeing that Zhao Xianlong was still a little hesitant, Princess Xingyue said, “Father, since mother said that Chen Ruyi is excellent, then let him compete with my Big Brother Qin. I’ll marry the one who wins!”
Although Chen Ruyi’s cultivation had reached the early stage of the Combination Realm, Zhao Xingyue had seen Qin Haodong’s combat capability. With just a Three-legged Golden Toad, he was unbeatable among the masters at the entire stage of the Combination Realm. That was why she proposed such a competition for marrying her.
“That’s a good idea.” Zhao Xianlong agreed immediately and said happily, “If you want to marry my Princess Xingyue, you must have the ability.
“That’s settled. Let Chen Ruyi and Qin Haodong have a competition. Whoever wins will be my son-in-law.”
Wu Yuenian’s expression changed slightly. She then said, “I also feel that this idea is pretty good. However, we still have to make the rules of the competition clear. Otherwise, it will be unfair.”
Zhao Xianlong said, “What do you suggest?”
Wu Yuenian said, “This young man is from a poor family. He has no family background. I think his financial resources and treasures can’t compare with Chen Ruyi’s.
“Therefore, I suggest that they only fight with their own cultivation. No divine weapons or demon beasts are allowed to help them. Only in this way can we ensure we are being fair to him.”
After saying that, Zhao Xingyue’s expression immediately changed. In her opinion, Qin Haodong’s biggest support was the Three-legged Golden Toad.
However, the rules made by Wu Yuenian forbade demon beasts to be used in the competition. On the surface, it seemed that she helped Qin Haodong, but in fact, it directly weakened his combat capability.
Qin Haodong’s expression was indifferent. It seemed that this woman had learned a lot about him from Xiahou Hongxiang. She also knew that he had a Three-legged Golden Toad.
However, he did not care at all. Even if he did not use the Three-legged Golden Toad, he was confident that he could defeat Chen Ruyi, who was at the early stage of the Combination Realm.
“You are so thoughtful.” Zhao Xianlong looked at Zhao Xingyue and Qin Haodong. “What do you think of the Queen’s suggestion?”
Zhao Xingyue wanted to refute but she could not find a suitable reason. After all, what Wu Yuenian had said seemed to be very righteous.
Qin Haodong said, “Thank you for your consideration, Your Majesty. I have no opinion on this”
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