Most people of the older generation had been seated with the youngsters of their families. However, they didn't wish to share a drink with their children or grandchildren. So, the elders started to walk over to each other's tables in order to form groups. They then deviated from the original seating arrangement and sat with people of their own generation.
Therefore, it was only logical that Jun Mo Xie, Tang Yuan, Dugu Xiao Yi and her brothers — 'heroes and legends bravely rushing forward' — would be seated together on two tables in close proximity.
It wasn't the first time they had done this. The young man who sat on the table opposite was Li You Ran; he was facing Jun Mo Xie… same as before.
This was another coincidence…
Tang Yuan had wanted to say something, but Jun Mo Xie used his stealth voice to restrain him. He secretively told the Fatty that this wasn't the time to talk. Even if it was an important matter… it was better to put-off the discussion for later.
Jun Mo Xie had realized that they were being watched by four distinct pairs of eyes ever since Fatty Tang had arrived in the hall. He believed that the four individuals would come to know of any movement that Fatty Tang might make. However, they couldn't detect the Young Master Jun's Art of Unlocking the Heaven's Fortune. His sound was concealed from the other people, and they wouldn't be able to hear his words.
[We can't take any special actions at present. Fatty and I can't discuss anything even after this feast ends… not before we reach home!]
Jun Mo Xie cracked several jokes. Tang Yuan's brows were raised as he laughed loudly. He was slowly reverting to his original-self. He wasn't fully reinstated, but his mood had been lightened; more or less. Dugu Xiao Yi had been on the verge of breaking into tears, but she had started to chuckle as well. She looked at Jun Mo Xie ferociously and angrily said, "Ignore this lecherous beast!" However, it was obvious that she wasn't as angry anymore.
This girl's behavior was adorable. Her temperament was somewhat irascible, but it kept fluctuating regularly. There was nothing complex about it. Jun Mo Xie's mood lightened in that girl's company and he started to feel relaxed. He started to smile since he felt very comfortable around her.
"I request the honored guests from the Silver Blizzard City to kindly enter!" Everyone's eyes turned to the doorway as the court eunuch who was acting as the master of ceremonies made this announcement. The Young Master Jun sensed his grandfather's facial muscles contract for a moment before they returned to normal. His heart surged with anger at the sight of the Silver Blizzard City's people.
The Silver Blizzard City's people were unexpectedly the honored guests of the Tian Xiang City. Jun Mo Xie sneered as he narrowed and raised his eyes. [Just look at the damage you've done to our Jun Family; I won't forgive you that easily!]
Xiao Han and Mu Xue Tong entered under everyone's gazes. They were followed by Han Yan Meng and Xiao Feng Wu. They honored guests were clad in white clothes. They seemed like flowers that had bloomed beyond the reach of the mortal world.
Everyone felt refreshed and cool as the four individuals entered the hall.
Jun Mo Xie watched as those four individuals sat at that 'separated' table. He sneered inwardly. He didn't have any interest in them at that point. [But how did that Xiao Feng Wu recuperate so much in such a short time?] He could distinctly recall the strength he had used the last time he met the youngster. Xiao Feng Wu looked a bit unhealthy and pale, but he could walk properly. This was totally baffling.
[The recovery shouldn't have been this quick! Shouldn't it have taken several days?]
Suddenly, he became conscious that the Hong Jun Pagoda had started to rotate again. This made Jun Mo Xie very happy. This feeling was somewhat similar to the time when he had fought and grabbed the strange jade pendant from the Sixth Elder. However, that feeling was much stronger now…
Jun Mo Xie's mind started to race; [is it possible? ...the last time I fought and retrieved that treasure… has another one appeared?] Jun Mo Xie pondered. He couldn't help but feel that he had come upon a treasure — a treasure that was ripe for looting. He couldn't help as his spirits rose. [The moment we're out of the door… this elder brother will play a robber. It's a pity that such a mysterious thing is getting wasted on that brat!]
[Indeed, these people have been generous targets! They've delivered me such treasures… not once, but twice!]
He lifted his gaze and saw Han Yan Meng pull a face at him.
Jun Mo Xie observed the movement of her lips, and quickly understood the meaning behind her actions. He skills had made it easy for him to understand the movement of her lips; "Obedient nephew, your aunt is here."
[This girl lacks class; but I'll teach you! This girl dares to pretend to be from an older generation!]
The Young Master Jun lazily turned his head away.
"His Majesty, the Emperor has arrived!"
The court eunuch's sound resounded loudly. The Emperor had finally showed-up. Jun Mo Xie cursed from the pit of his stomach; [bullsh*t! The food is getting cold…]
Several clichéd formalities followed, and the Golden Scholarly Talent Feast commenced at last. Jun Mo Xie interpreted things in his own way, and naturally… started to eat. However, those hard working and capable Gifted Scholars behaved rather properly, and hadn't yet made a move.
His Majesty eventually declared, "The high-ranking individuals may continue as they wish!" Jun Mo Xie started to gorge himself with great speed after he heard this line. Most people waited on the sidelines and hesitated… but he had devoured half a bear into his belly.
"Can't you be a bit civilized? You're eating like a maniac while the others haven't even started!" Dugu Ying smiled as he looked at Jun Mo Xie with disdain and positioned his hand midair.
He was a son of the Dugu Household. His skin wasn't thin. However, the Young Master Jun's skin was thicker than a corner of the city-walls. A few people had decided to look for the yellow and greasy sweet smelling bear-paw… only to find that it was resting inside Jun Mo Xie's mouth by the time they stretched their hands to retrieve it. In fact, more than half of the dish had landed in his belly by then. His speed was incredible.
This action as well as the speed at which he devoured the food was near-impossible for the youngsters from the various families to imagine. [You may hail from the military families of Jun or Dugu, but this is the Golden Scholarly Talent Feast! It is a known fact that you don't care for appearances, but you should try to behave a bit reserved in such a situation! Doesn't each family in this hall have enough to eat and drink?] However, this caused the Dugu brothers to start albeit in Jun Mo Xie's steps.
However, the unwritten rules of civility were destined to be doomed when it came to the Young Master Jun. He could go three full days without any food or water in his previous life… and still have enough stamina and focus to complete his mission. Conversely, he could eat three days' worth of food in one sitting.
Moreover, he was on a mission to showcase his to showcase debauchee-self. And, it was only-logical to expect such a behavior from a debauchee. Therefore, he continued to chew spiritedly.
"Civilized? How much is that worth in silvers?" Jun Mo Xie snorted and smiled. He reached-out with his hand towards the center of the table. The large bowl was greasy and somewhat transparent. He frowned as he tasted the soup, "This isn't cooked properly… didn't they taste this?
Jun Mo Xie could obviously judge the soup's taste. This was a tiger pen*s soup, but it needed some more work.
Tang Yuan lifted his bowl to his mouth as well. The seven 'heroes and legends bravely rushing forwards' were shocked at the sight, and their eyes turned round. Their eyes bulged so much that it seemed as if they'd burst. Fatty hadn't even used a chopstick. The adjoining seats hadn't even picked their chopsticks. But the best thing on their table was gone. Unexpectedly, that cheap and fat youngster was ranting nonsense as he ate. [We're from the military… so how can you eat that fast?] "Is your throat a well or what? Damn! Such Speed! How on earth aren't you choking on it?" the seven brothers cursed in unison.
"What soup is this? Why did you snatch all of it?" Dugu Xiao Yi's big eyes turned into crescent moons with happiness. [Brother Mo Xie has only left one bowl on a table of ten people. What does it mean? What does it represent?] The little girl felt quite satisfied as she brought the bowl to her mouth and softly sipped a mouthful of the soup. The smell was somewhat fishy. Then, a radish shaped lump entered her mouth. She chewed on it and realized that the more she chewed… the more fragrant it became.
"It's the Forehead…" Jun Mo Xie was startled. He then stretched his hand, grabbed a crab dish, and placed it in front of Dugu Xiao Yi, "Try this too."
The seven brothers were quite shocked at manner in which this scene had unfolded. However, they wanted to eat fast and deftly compete with Fatty Tang. Jun Mo Xie craned his neck and saw Fatty. No sort of civility could prevent Fatty Tang from ignoring such delicacies. He was a great connoisseur of food. The seven Dugu brothers were military brats, but watching him eat with such a speed made them slap their heads. Momentarily, an entirely different scene was created on their table. And then it turned into a bit of a riot.
The center of the table had been full of dishes a moment ago. However, it was suddenly empty. Everyone had used their hands to prop-up the table, and had embraced as many dishes as they could. Each one of them looked alert and ready to gobble-up the food. Then, they suddenly realized that they couldn't hear a single sound around them. This confused them, and they raised their heads to look. Everyone else was watching their table in silence. Everyone was startled, and their eyes were wide open; their faces were full of astonishment.
The people on the other tables hadn't even started yet… but this table had been emptied…
Dugu Zong Heng, Jun Zhan Tian and Tang Wan Li were extremely shocked. They had thick skins… but they had turned red. The three old men exchanged meaningful looks in embarrassment.
"Elder Jun, I'm convinced that the Third Young Master is from your lineage. It's like a tradition… he may not have ascended to the battlefield yet, but I can see that he has a small trait of your family…" Murong Family's Patriarch, Murong Feng Yun spoke as he shook his head. His expression was somewhat serious. His words seem to be of praise and derision; they were thought-provoking.
"You know it well…" Grandpa Jun gave him a quick and harsh glance. The few old men beside them were unwilling to intervene. "How can you be sure, brother Murong?"
"Take a look yourself…" Murong Feng Yun pointed towards Jun Mo Xie. His hands and the mouth were busy. "This brat's shameless appearance is very similar to yours… in the old days. This old man would be blind if he didn't see it…"
The entire room burst-out with laughter.
The corners of the Emperor's mouth drew upwards as he coughed in order to retrain himself. Nevertheless, the fact was that a few youngsters had acted on-their-own and had disrupted the feast. He picked-up the wine without any prior indication, and raised a toast to everyone. The entire hall then stood-up and conveyed their thanks.
The Tian Xiang Empire's premier man had led the way and drunk his wine; the feast had begun. Every gifted scholar on the scene was in a competition with their counterparts. The civil and military officers were the judge of this contest.
The wonderful event had begun!