Dugu Xiao Yi's heart was beating wildly. Jun Mo Xie's hand had just caressed her cheek, and she simply couldn't contain her embarrassment anymore. She instantly recalled something, and said, "Dammit… I'll definitely visit you tomorrow," Her voice was low where-as her head was still drooping down; same as before. Therefore, she obviously didn't know whether he had heard her or not.
"Excellent… I'll look forward to your visit." A wisp of Young Master Jun's clear and cheerful voice floated towards the beautiful woman's ears, and stayed there; till she looked up… even his shadow was no longer there in front her.
Dugu Xiao Yi stood-up hurriedly. She then swiftly took two steps at a time as she rushed towards the hall's entrance. Then, she expectantly raised her eyes, only to see that man turning a corner at the end of the street atop his horse. An intoxicated look of longing filled her eyes as she fantasized — gazing at the empty street. A dreamy smile surfaced on her face as she blushed; unable to speak her or move.
"That scoundrel… Humph! How dare he pinch my face!? I… he… how could he… I will definitely find him tomorrow! And I'll settle this account by fiercely kicking his butt!"
The merry Dugu Xiao Yi snorted as she tried her best to appear angry. However, her eyes — which she had no control over — were curved like the crescent moon; clearly revealing her bashful, happy and satisfied frame of mind…
Jun Mo Xie rode home alone; he was unable to figure out why he felt so pleased since his mind had never experienced such joy. Furthermore, he had become aware that he felt a little giddy and happy. He naturally hadn't had anything to drink, yet he was still feeling a bit tipsy; he obviously hadn't heard a funny joke, yet the corners of his mouth were stretched into a tender smile…
[That nasty girl! Did that little girl poison me?]
Such emotions are like a poisoned wine which once drunk — would have a lifelong-effect; with no antidote for cure!
This mysterious feeling was giving him a headache. Though he had recuperated his body's health ever since taking it over… he only possessed the body of a youngster around the age of sixteen. This naturally meant that he hadn't yet reached adulthood from the notions of his previous world. To put it simply… he would still be in the final year of middle school. Perhaps he would be considered slightly more mature than a half-grown young man; at best. Well! That girl seemed to be around the same age; maybe slightly younger!
This was unadulterated puppy-love!
[Wow, this is frightening! Puppy love feels wrong! I need to find someone with experience so I can learn more about this condition… ]
Young Master Jun incessantly indulged himself in flights-of-fancy while pleasantly smiling the entire journey back.
To normal people, the hurried hoof-beats of his horse sounded like drums being played upon a victorious general's return. Though to him, these hoof-beats sounded like sweet rhythm; almost as if they were a piece of poetic writing…
Jun Mo Xie dismounted from his horse as lightly as a feather. He was beaming radiantly as he stepped foot thought the doorstep of his house. Suddenly, a loud sound interrupted his noxious thoughts; noxious in-the-sense that he was already nearing his wedding night.
Anyone would despise this person. In fact, a vast majority would recommend handing him a beating with a thousand lashes until his shameless skin had been peeled away. And then crush his body if nothing else worked.
Surprisingly, on one side he thought that puppy-love was wrong; while on the other, he was dreaming about his wedding chambers…
"You! Boy! You have returned at last. This old man has comprehended something new today; come quickly, and take a look… " the Solitary Falcon's voice was galloping with excitement. In fact, it almost seemed as of was trying to flaunt his treasure to someone. He had been busy with his research for several days, and had finally mastered his study; naturally, he was quite excited about it.
The Young Master Jun's heart had left him visualizing the countenance of a flower. However, suddenly a man with long-and-fluttering black hair had appeared in front of his eyes. Moreover, this man's face was as grim and icy as a fiend's; this contrast was really too big! Extremely big!
Young Master Jun frowned. He was quite annoyed to see this person since it had destroyed his daydream. As a result, Jun Mo Xie was suddenly overcome with a wild impulse to kick the Solitary Falcon. Although he very much wanted to follow through with that urge, he restrained himself since he could not afford to provoke this person for the time-being.
"I don't have time for this! Leave; you are disturbing me with all that noise!" Young Master Jun scowled, and his face became dark. He entered his room, and closed the door behind him with a loud "Bang". The Great Master, who was following him closely, almost had his nose wedged between the slits of the doors.
"What's the matter?! I had certainly seen this kid smiling a moment ago. He had returned looking happy and giddy… so why on earth was he talking to me like this… like a grandma who is sore on seeing that scoundrel-of-a-son she hates?"
Solitary Falcon scratched his scalp in confusion; he was at a complete loss.
The day had begun like any other ordinary one. However, those invitation letters had soon made it quite unusual!
The entire Tian Xiang City had flared up; thoroughly flared up!
Each and every man, whose family had even-a-little-bit of influence, was completely engrossed in discussing it. [What is this Aristocratic Hall? Isn't this surprisingly arrogant?]
The scalding silver invitation cards were mounted by a golden plum blossom. The golden paint was used so precisely while drawing this flower, that each and every petal seemed vivid. In fact, even the stamens were clearly visible!
The invitation card's envelop could be considered a valuable piece-of-art on its own!
[What's there inside it?]
On opening the fly leaf, what would shine on one's eyes was nothing other than two rows of huge characters — inlayed in gold. The first line read: [frustrated, poor and the sick of heart are kindly requested to leave this route.] While, the line below read: [those whose family's worth is below one million are not to enter these doors!]
On opening another leaf of the letter, one would actually find a myriad of characters embedded in gold:
[Things worth discussing aren't free of charge!]
[The basic need of this world's greatest noblemen was — best-in-quality; how could they be mediocre? They wore fine silk, read golden scripts, heard immortal music, for they had a refined taste; fine tea, and one-in-million wine shall not be wasted on people with none.]
On the last leaf, there were a handful of large-sized characters written in flamboyant calligraphy —
[So far, life has been mundane; why?]
People were quick to realize that their worth needed to be above one-million in case they wished to enter this place! This place was a typical 'favor the rich and disdain the poor' sort of establishment… even its name — "Aristocratic Hall!" was reeking of discrimination.
However, this invitation card immediately caused a commotion… even amongst the most inelegant of families; all because of the three family-stamps it carried!
The personal stamp of the Jun Family's Third Master; Jun Wu Yi!
The stamp of the Tang Family!
And perhaps the most unexpected and surprising one: the personal stamp of the Tian Xiang Empire's sole prince-equivalent!
Together, these three seals had enough power to give anyone a breathing problem! To decline their invitation… would be equivalent to making an enemy out of one's own life-expectancy… even the Mu Rong and the Dugu Family could not afford to offend such a monstrous alliance!
Momentarily, the members of all noble families in Tian Xiang City were found fluttering-about to discuss this matter!
Just one day of this matter had already blown-in a storm of public opinions. In the beginning, all influential families carried this rather profound belief that the actions of the "Aristocratic Hall" were no more than a nuisance. Many felt that it was blatantly pandering the rich and disregarding the poor; which was unacceptable to some. However soon-afterwards, the entirety of public opinions — down to every individual — reversed.
Many who received this invitation sighed in relief; they still they had a joyous expression on their faces even though they didn't agree with it. Meanwhile, many others were left disgruntled; [why haven't I received an invitation even though my family's worth is greater than one-million? This invitation clearly aims to convene the rich-and-noble families of Tian Xiang City; then why isn't there one with my name on it? Don't tell me; is my status lower than other people? As a matter of fact, do they look down upon me? What could be the reason?]
Such people couldn't reconcile themselves to private discussions, and started to criticize openly since they harbored sentiments of indignation and humiliation... on the other hand, the people who were initially nervous or afraid upon receiving this letter… eventually started to take pride in it…
[Take a look; Grandpa is an aristocrat! I am a great gentleman! Do you understand? Tsk tsk, the prince-equivalent, the Jun and the Tang Family are three of the most influential forces in the Tian Xiang City; they have made their judgment in inviting me! Do you still doubt it? You think you're richer than me? You think you have the money? Did you get the invitation?]
The proof of status was quite simple: someone either had the invitation; or didn't.
If someone didn't receive the invitation… then it only meant one-of-two things: either their family wasn't worth over a million; or they were mere commoners.
This invitation card had become the 'symbol of aristocracy' in a very short period of time! People would wear pure-white gowns, and stick the invitation card in the collar. They would walk-about without caring about how they looked; their chests puffed, and their head held high. This was the new trend-of-the-town; a true sign of elegance and class. Moreover, it was proof of one's aristocratic status!
And, those who did not get the invitation… racked their brains in order to prevent themselves from being outdone. In fact, they hollowed-out their minds with a hundred plans. Such people would stare wide-eyed at people who they didn't consider as equals. However, they would look away when any such person waved an invitation card in their face; else they would risk their desire and rage to give them away…
Then there were several people who never stepped foot outside their houses. However, they wantonly started visiting their friends and family after receiving the invitation. In fact, the most unreasonable ones were found knocking on over ten doors in just a day's time; these people were like dogs whose tongues would never tire of wagging…
However, none of them could be consider excessive because there were some who were even more unreasonable; so much so that they could leave the rest of them… far-far behind…
This single invitation had caused a lot of disturbances throughout Tian Xiang City. So much so, that even its creator, the Young Master of the Jun Family hadn't anticipated such a result. Things had escalated to such an extent that some people had even gathered the courage to seek out Jun Wu Yi. In fact, some people had actually offered him huge sums of money in-exchange for a single invitation.
Jun Wu Yi didn't know whether to laugh or cry after looking at this matter. To make things worse, some people had even begged him for his favor; this had really gotten out of hand…
One can't help but argue that the world has always had its strict hierarchies. However, no one had ever brought this out in a manner as brazen-and-blatant as the Aristocratic Hall.
Man has but one life; who wouldn't want a good name for themselves?
Right now, people had been presented with an opportunity to seem above the others… they naturally scrabbled madly on this wild goose chase. Just like in the in modern society, wherein two married women who-each had the same gold ring… would still intentionally-or-otherwise compare whose ring was bigger. Therefore, who could blame the City's noble circle for this commotion…
Moreover, the Aristocratic Hall had opened right opposite the Magnificent Jewel Hall. This had immediately attracted interests from the upper-class of the city!
This business, which hadn't yet auctioned a single item — had aroused anxiety and curiosity in the hearts of many already. This was certainly the first incident of its kind for the Tian Xiang City!
The first ray of dawn shone from the east; early in the morning.
And the doors of the Aristocratic Hall quietly opened.
In its wake, two squads of security guards filed out, and neatly organized themselves into two rows to greet the crowd. Everyone who entered was surprised by the lush-green courtyard! Moreover, the flowers therein were so strongly fragrant, that they could leave anyone intoxicated!
No one could prevent their heart from feeling relaxed, and unperturbed after entering this courtyard. In fact, even the fussiest person couldn't prevent themselves from being entranced!
The flowers inside this courtyard were strongly fragrant even though it was late autumn. In fact, these beautiful flowers seemed to be flourishing; almost as if it was spring. The variety of flowers inside this huge courtyard could leave a very refined and tasteful impression on anyone. The trail seemed to be bending in the shadow of the trees lined-up on both sides; the scent of the trees only added to that winding taste of transcendence in the air. The path kept bending again-and-again, while its width reduced. In fact, one really couldn't tell the length of this trail; it seemed as if it would never come to an end!
This point alone differentiated this establishment, and had placed it above all others!
[Truly deserves to be called the Aristocratic Hall! Ah!]
What else could anyone say… [where else can you find so many flowers in late autumn; and that too in the full bloom of spring! Moreover, none of them feel artificial upon touch! What kind of manpower and money does something like this require ah?]