Immortal - Book 2: Chapter 19
The Return of Yinglan
Book 2: The Golden Lock of the Eight Gates
Chapter 19: The Return of Yinglan
Granduncle? Tianling-er felt like it was all a dream. Granduncle? She was calling Zhong Shan granduncle?
Tianling-er stood dumbstruck but the slight feeling of hostility she had felt earlier was gone. She turned to looked at this woman.
Yinglan was still holding onto Zhong Shan’s neck, squirming in joy. This immediately pissed her off.
Tianling-er simply couldn’t stand another woman getting so close to Zhong Shan, even if it was his own grandniece.
“Alright, alright. It’s good that you’re back.” Zhong Shan spoke with a face filled with happiness.
“Zhong Shan, Zhong Shan.” Tianling-er called out. She wanted Zhong Shan to let go of Yinglan. Yet, it wasn’t Zhong Shan who refused to release Yinglan, it was Yinglan who continued to cling onto him.
Zhong Shan spoke after hearing Tianling-er from behind him, “Alight, Yinglan, let go.”
“I won’t.” Yinglan replied mischievously.
Her reply did not please Tianling-er. She didn’t even know why it made her unhappy.
“Zhong Shan,” Tianling-er called again.
Zhong Shan was actually exuberant, but with Tianling-er constantly trying to grab his attention, he knew this wasn’t the time to enjoy a family reunion.
“Alright, Yinglan, I can’t breath now.” Zhong Shan said.
“Then I’ll just loosen up a little.” Yinglan replied.
Zhong Shan couldn’t do anything but smile.
“Alright, Yinglan, let’s catch up later. I have a guest here.” Zhong Shan shook his head.
“En, alright.” Yinglan reluctantly let go of Zhong Shan. However, she immediately locked her arm in his after releasing his neck.
This act only increase Tianling-er’s irritation but she didn’t know what to do about it. Acting as normal as possible, she asked, “Zhong Shan, who is this?”
Anyone could tell from her tone of voice that she wasn’t in a good mood.
Looking at Tianling-er, then Yinglan, Zhong Shan’s cheerful face suddenly turned gloomy. “Yinglan is the granddaughter of Kui-er’s younger brother.”
Seeing the change in Zhong Shan’s expression, Yinglan shook Zhong Shan’s left arm as if she could also feel the sorrow in Zhong Shan’s heart.
Kui-er? Zhong Shan’s wife? Granddaughter of Kui-er’s brother? Tianling-er looking in bewilderment at Yinglan. She stopped asking any more questions after seeing Zhong Shan’s expression.
“Granduncle, grandaunt has already passed away, don’t feel sad anymore. We will avenge her in the future.” Yinglan quietly said holding Zhong Shan’s arm.
Zhong Shan turned to look at Yinglan and nodded with an affectionate smile. He lifted his right hand and gently stroked Yinglan’s hair.
Yinglan’s delight furthered Tianling-er’s annoyance. She glared at Yinglan with disdain.
“Granduncle, has grandaunt Bao-er returned yet?” Yinglan asked another question.
“You still remembered Bao-er?” Zhong Shan looked at her in doubt.
“Though she left when I was little, I still remember. Besides, when I left twelve years ago, you kept mentioning grandaunt Bao-er. I certainly remember.”
“Maybe she’ll be back soon.” Zhong Shan showed a bitter smile.
Yinglan smartly dropped the topic after seeing Zhong Shan’s reaction. She then turned to look at Tianling-er with some animosity.
“Granduncle, is this your new wife?” Yinglan probed.
“I certainly am not.” Tianling-er called out right away while angrily looking at Yinglan.
Zhong Shan shook his head and smiled. “No.”
For some unknown reason, Tianling-er was unhappy to hear Zhong Shan’s answer. Yinglan, on the other hand, was smiling even more brilliantly. She looked at Tianling-er victoriously while Tianling-er was clenching her teeth.
“Get ready for the Golden Dragon Banquet. Let’s have a private celebration and reward everyone.” Zhong Shan yelled to a man waiting next to a corridor in the distance.
“Yes, sir.” The man replied obediently and quickly moved away.
The Golden Dragon Banquet was the highest standard at the Zhong Estate and held only when Yinglan was home.
That day, everyone at the Zhong Estate was elated. The master had rewarded everyone and everyone enjoyed the best food from the Golden Dragon Banquet.
Inside the biggest hall in the Zhong Shan Estate, there were eight tables full of various dishes. Only Zhong Shan, Yinglan, and Tianling-er were eating inside the hall. Yinglan was used to it and with a plate in hand, picked the food she liked from different tables. It was the first time for Tianling-er though, she widened her eyes and wondered how the three of them could possibly finish all of the food?
Yinglan was a lively person. She picked out what she liked to eat while also serving Zhong Shan. She stayed with Zhong Shan and happily chatted with him from time to time.
Zhong Shan was very happy to have family back home. As for Tianling-er, she also moved closer to Zhong Shan after seeing Yinglan circling around him.
Inside the courtyard where the masters of the four great families were staying.
“According to our scout, there’s a big banquet inside the Zhong residence. Anyone know what’s it for?” the Zhao family head asked with a frown.
“It’s hard to figure out Zhong Shan. Why is he having a banquet at this time? Doesn’t he know that we are here?” the Qian family head also frowned.
“With his ability, he definitely knows that we are here at his Xuan City.” the Zhao family head considered.
“Is he inviting others to help him fight?” the Qian family head said.
“Help him fight? Who can he invite? Besides, that day at the Dragon Gate Tournament, only one of his adopted sons, Zhong Tian, stood up to the Immortal Schools. In other words, he will at most have the help of Zhong Tian but we have the four of us and the four elders.” the Zhao family head figured.
“We have to be careful every moment when we face Zhong Shan.” the Qian family head cautioned.
“En.” the Zhao family head nodded.
After dinner that night, inside a private room at the Zhong Estate.
There were only two people inside the private room; one was Zhong Shan and the other was Yinglan. They sat at a small tea table with two cups and a tea kettle on it.
Yinglan poured tea into the two cups.
“Granduncle, it’s really strange. Is the place where your train took me to in the past another world? Here, there are six countries including the Da Kun Kingdom, but over there, there are only five countries and they fight every year.” Yinglan pondered with knitted eyebrows while passing a cup of tea to Zhong Shan.
“It’s not an another world. It’s just another mortal world that’s separated by all the tall mountains from here. Except for those people in the immortal schools and us, normal people couldn’t possibly reach there through those mountain ranges.” Zhong Shan answered as he received the tea cup.
“Granduncle, you’re really amazing.” Yinglan looked at Zhong Shan with admiration.
Zhong Shan smiled and said, “You like to fight. I found the source of great wars for you. How did you do over there?”
“Granduncle, it was because of you that the Liao Kingdom had become the center of those five countries. After you left, the Kingdom had declined rapidly in just a few years to the brink of destruction. That day, when I was sixteen, I took your token to the dilapidated official residence of the Imperial Tutor, the same place you stayed at when you were there. After someone informed the old King, he ran over in such a hurry that he didn’t even have his shoes on. The old King pleaded with me to lead the military, then I became the commander in chief.” Yinglan excitedly described the situation.
Zhong Shan smiled at her and continued sipping the tea.
“Those people in the Liao Kingdom seem to idolize Granduncle. They didn’t care that I was only sixteen at the time and even generals would obey me. I took care of several who didn’t listen to me. Then, I led the military into battle.”
“Did anyone say anything about a girl in charge of the military?” Asked Zhong Shan.
“Certainly. Though the generals were listening to me, but some soldiers didn’t. But it didn’t matter. In just one month’s time, they all became quite obedient. Liao Kingdom was fighting with the other four countries and in a desperate state. After a few battles, no one was complaining anymore.” Yinglan proudly said.
“Really?” Zhong Shan laughed.
“But of course. I learned everything from you. You may not believe in me but you have to believe in yourself. I let the Liao Kingdom prosper for the past dozen years. The four countries have been forced to retreat again and again. Now the Kingdom is a superpower. If I were still there, I could annihilate those four countries within four years. But, I left and the Liao Kingdom will be in big trouble again. They deserve it.” Yinglan angrily said.
“Oh? The King of the Liao Kingdom has offended our little princess?” Zhong Shan teased.
“What little princess. I don’t want that title.” Yinglan said with a red face.
“Hahaha, alright, then I won’t call you that. Tell me, what has happened? I know the old King well. He wouldn’t be so muddle headed to try to take advantage of you. Unless, the old King had died and his third son became the King.” Zhong Shan spoke with a smile.
“Granduncle, have you been there? How did you know that the old King had died and the third son became King?” Yinglan said with amazement.
“Among the four sons of the old King, the oldest one is a steady person but not cunning enough. In addition, his mother, the Queen, had died early and he has no support in court, so even though he’s the crown prince, he’ll eventually be framed and removed from the line of succession. The second son is a lewd person and extremely reckless. He is neither intelligent nor cunning, so he will definitely commit some crime and be demoted. The fourth son is too cowardly; unless the King has become a figurehead, then it can’t possibly be him. Only the third son is a shrewd person, but he’s not intelligent enough. However, he has an adviser who’s actually quite ignorant but likes to talk big and influence others. It was him who came up with some rotten idea that made you leave there early.” Zhong Shan said with a smile.
Yinglan’s eyes brightened up when she heard Zhong Shan’s analysis. She had never doubted Zhong Shan. Yet, when Zhong Shan could come up with such an accurate analysis after he had left the Liao Kingdom for so many years, Yinglan could only admire Zhong Shan even more.