Qianshui Commandery Prince and Half-saint Liuli stood side by side right at the front. They were Huang Yanchen’s parents, but they were actually not expected to come out and receive Zhang Ruochen since they were the elders of the family.
However, Zhu Hongtao and Wan Ke, who were escorting Zhang Ruochen, were famous superiors in the Eastern Region—their power and seniority befitted the branch head of Half-Saint Liuli’s tribe to welcome them in person.
Apart from the family’s leader, each of the 8 major branches and 72 tribes had its own branch head.
The branch heads made up the high-level management of the Chen family. Each branch head was the leader of a tribe, in charge of its management.
The branch head of the tribe to which Half-saint Liuli, Huang Yanchen, and Qianshui Commandery Prince belonged was Half-saint Liuli’s grandfather, who was also Huang Yanchen’s great-grandfather.
His name was Chen Ji. He was almost 200 years old and was one of the superiors in the Eastern Region. However, due to old age, he now seldom went out in public.
The marriage between Huang Yanchen and Zhang Ruochen signified the union between the Chens and Sword Saint Xuanji, therefore their wedding was a significant event.
For this reason, Chen Ji, as the branch head, had to preside over the entire event no matter what.
Second and third elder brother apprentices Zhu Hongtao and Wan Ke walked right at the forefront of the company.
Zhang Ruochen, being a junior, naturally fell in behind the two elder brother apprentices.
Wan Ke had a relatively stable personality. He was cultured and well-mannered. Even when he was still some distance away, he saluted with his hands folded and respectfully greeted Chen Ji.
Consequently, a smiling Chen Ji, who was holding a walking stick, took three steps forward and saluted back with his hands folded, saying “Half-Saint Wan Ke and Saint Hong Tao, there is no need for you to stand on ceremony with me. Since we will be in-laws from this day on, we may do away with all the formalities, we don’t want to act like strangers.”
Although Chen Ji was much older than Wan Ke, his level of cultivation could not even compare with Wan Ke’s.
In the Realm of the Holy Road, Wan Ke was at a slightly higher position than Chen Ji.
Beside Wan Ke was Zhu Hongtao, Zhang Ruochen’s second elder brother apprentice. Although Zhu Hongtao was not human, he was still the Sword Saint Xuanji’s second disciple and had lived over 600 years. Therefore his level of cultivation had reached the Saint’s Realm.
In terms of seniority, Zhu Hongtao’s position as a saint far exceeded Chen Ji’s.
For these two reasons, even though he was a branch head representing the Chens, Chen Ji was careful not to be negligent in any way before these two people.
Wan Ke glanced at Zhang Ruochen, smiled and said, “Since our junior fellow apprentice is here at the Chens’ to present his bridal gifts, rightfully our Master should have accompanied him. However, he had some matters to attend to at the last minute, therefore my elder brother apprentice and I have come on his behalf. I hope predecessor Chen Ji wouldn’t mind.”
Chen Ji was aware that Wan Ke said these words as pleasantries.
If Sword Saint Xuanji had been the one accompanying Zhang Ruochen, by virtue of his status and position, the head of the Chen family would have had to come out to receive them.
Smiling, Chen Ji said, “Let’s go into the house first so we can discuss the wedding of these two youngsters in detail. This way please!”
The East Region Saint Mansions’ western gate slowly opened, making a “buzzing’ sound.
Moments later, the two bronze doors of the gate, weighing one million catties each and filled with carvings of dragons, were fully opened. They opened up to a 40-foot wide jade avenue leading all the way to the depths of the mansions.
At first glance, it looked like one would not be able to see the end of the jade avenue from that point.
Chen Ji, Wan Ke and Zhu Hongtao led the way while Half-saint Liuli, Qianshui Commandery Prince, Zhang Ruochen and Huang Yanchen followed closely behind. Si Xingkong and Chang Qiqi were right at the back with the ten carriages of bridal gifts and dowry.
The line of people chatted and laughed as they headed for the main gate.
In the distance, two elders stood at the top of a twelve-story purple gold tower, looking over at the bustling scene outside the west gate.
The green-robed elder shook his head and sighed. “Elder Chen Ji is so fortunate to have one of his descendants marry a sword saint disciple. Because of this marriage union, I fear his tribe’s opinion and words would carry more weight than those of ours from now on.”
“This is so true. Chen Ji’s tribe is one of the bottom tribes among the 72 tribes in the Chen family. However now they are backed by the sword saints, and they have in their midst Zhang Ruochen, who is God’s favored son of this generation. I can’t reconcile with the fact that their position gets to rise to the top so easily.”
There was a chilling light coming from the eyes of the white-robed elder. His withered hand held on to the hard railing of the purple gold tower, leaving an impression on it as if it were made of clay.
Both the green- and the white-robed elders were branch heads of the Chen family, and they were both stronger than Chen Ji.
The two elders were naturally disgruntled about the marriage arranged between Chen Ji’s tribeswoman and the sword saint disciple because this would disrupt the balance among the 72 tribes of the Chen family.
Within the Chen family, some were rejoicing, some were worried, and naturally, there were those who were jealous.
From the horizon, four teams of people on their carts and carriages were seen hurrying toward the west gate of East Region Saint Mansions.
A clear, loud voice came from one of the teams, saying, “We, Saint Xu Gentry, are here to propose marriage to the East Region Saint Mansions.”
Subsequently, three more voices rang out in quick succession. “We, Saint Xi Gentry, are here to propose marriage to the East Region Saint Mansions.”
“We, Saint Zuo Gentry, are here to propose marriage to the East Region Saint Mansions.”
“We, Saint Shen Gentry, are here to propose marriage to the East Region Saint Mansions.”
Moments later, the carts and carriages belonging to the four powerful Great Saint families gathered outside the west gate in a row.
Each team was immense—made up of thousands of people with 500 carriages of dowry pulled by 500 savage beasts.
Zhang Ruochen’s ten carriages of bridal gifts and dowry seemed stingy compared to each of the teams’ 500 carriages of bridal gifts and dowry.
The four Great Saint families had always been at loggerheads with Zhang Ruochen. Today, they had chosen exactly the same day to come to the Chen family to propose marriage with a dowry 50 times greater than that of Zhang Ruochen.
Anyone could see that they were here to make trouble.
Chen Ji’s branch of the Chens, as well as Zhang Ruochen and his company, were clearly displeased.
In contrast, some tribes in the Chen family looked as if they were enjoying watching their predicament.
“What a surprise. The four powerful Great Saint families have come to propose marriage to the Chens on the same day. I wonder which God’s favored daughters they have their eyes on?”
“As a sword saint disciple, Zhang Ruochen only prepared ten carriages of dowry. On the other hand, each of the four powerful Great Saint families prepared 500 carriages of dowry. They are obviously here to humiliate Zhang Ruochen.”
“The four powerful Great Saint families are incredibly rude to come and mess with the East Region Saint Mansions. What outlaws they are! Aren’t they aware who the Lord is over the Eastern Region?”
Since the four powerful Great Saint families were here to propose marriage, the Chens had to receive them in a manner befitting an Aristocratic Family in the Middle Age and not offend them.
Chen Ji went forward to receive them on behalf of the Chens. As he looked toward the team from Saint Xu Gentry, he spotted Demi-saint Sandao in one of the luxurious carriages. Chen Ji said to him, “What a surprise to see you, Demi-saint Sandao. You actually came personally with such immense gifts. May I know who you are proposing to?”
Demi-saint Sandao emerged from the ancient carriage, saluted Chen Ji with hands folded, and smiled as he said, “You may not be aware, Brother Chen Ji, that a Saint Xu Gentry junior has fallen in love with a talented daughter from your family. Today, I have come with him to propose marriage to your family.”
Chen Ji’s face fell.
Chen Ji was very much aware of the grudges between Zhang Ruochen and the four powerful Great Saint families. He didn’t believe that their intention for coming here was to propose marriage to the Chens.
Why had the Great Saint families come to mess with this wedding?
“It is outrageous for Saint Xu Gentry to come here openly to make trouble. Is it trying to steal the bride?”
“Aren’t Zhang Ruochen and Huang Yanchen engaged already? It is grossly inappropriate for the four powerful Great Saint families to propose marriage to her.”
“Even if they are not here to steal the bride, they must have intended to provoke Zhang Ruochen. Didn’t you see the 500 carriages of dowry and gifts each of them brought?”
The members of the Chen family started murmuring among themselves after they heard Demi-saint Sandao’s words.
Zhang Ruochen, who was standing at the rear, tapped his chin gently as if he was hesitating. He did not know whether to laugh or not.
Saint Xu Gentry was one of the most stubborn families he had ever come across. It had sent two disciples into the Battlefield of Primitive World to kill him, but they ended up getting killed by him instead.
“Are they still not going to give up?”
From the looks of it, they must have been infuriated by the humiliation.
No one could guess what they intended to do at this moment.
Demi-saint Sandao looked at Zhang Ruochen’s 10 carriages of dowry with disdain. In a mocking tone, he said, “Brother Chen Ji, the 500 carriages of dowry and gifts I brought are all priceless treasures. If this marriage proposal is accepted, I will send another 500 carriages carrying Spiritual Crystals to you.”
Chen Ji quickly said, “It is not about the dowry. The crucial thing is—”
Before Chen Ji could finish his sentence, Demi-saint Sandao continued speaking. “I understand and please be at ease, Brother Chen Ji. This marriage proposal is coming from Saint Xu Gentry’s most excellent young man.”
Zhu Hongtao had been holding in his dissatisfaction until he could no longer bear it. He gently pushed Chen Ji behind him with his arm and said, “Elder Chen Ji, please stand back and let me reason with him.”
Chen Ji was familiar with Zhu Hongtao’s barbaric temperament, so he did not get angry and retreated instead.
Allowing Zhu Hongtao to deal with the situation was the wise thing to do since Chen Ji did not wish to offend the four powerful Great Saint families.
Zhu Hongtao, standing 4.3 meters tall, stood before Demi-saint Sandao and bellowed. “What do you want, Demi-saint Sandao? Do you intend to steal the bride?”
As Demi-saint Saodao lifted his head to look at Zhu Hongtao, he began to fret a little.
“Why did Sword Saint Xuanji send Zhu Hongtao to come to the Chens?”
“Why did Zhu Hongtao, who is in the class of Saints, have to be involved in such a trivial matter as the marriage of these youngsters?”
The four powerful Great Saint families had all thought that, at most, a Half-Saint class senior brother or sister apprentice would accompany Zhang Ruochen to the Chens to present the dowry.
They had not expected Zhu Hongtao to appear at Zhang Ruochen’s side.