Li Ruoxuan was meditating inside when Zhu Shen knocked on his door furiously outside. Li Ruoxuan frowned. Even though he had ascended to grand mastership, it would be hard for him if he wanted to continue cultivating if this were to continue. Exasperated, he got up and went over to open the door.
After opening the door, Li Ruoxuan looked at Zhu Shen blankly, his gaze as if warning Zhu Shen to watch his neck if he could not properly explain himself.
Zhu Shen shrunk back and said carefully, “Your Excellency, there is… outside…”
Li Ruoxuan snapped, “What happened outside?”
Zhu Shen wiped the cold sweat off his forehead and said, “It’s the Head Grand Secretariat’s men, and they brought luggage.”
“What?” Li Ruoxuan did not understand what Zhu Shen was saying. “What do you mean they brought luggage?”
His expression awkward, Zhu Shen said, “The Head Grand Secretariat said he wants to live in the State Preceptor’s Residence and asked for you to clean out a courtyard for him.”
“What is Jiang Yeqian’s intention?”
He flicked his sleeves with anger and strode with large steps toward the parlor.
The moment he entered, he saw Jiang Yeqian sitting in his parlor indulging in confectioneries as if it was no one’s business. He even looked rather at home.
Li Ruoxuan’s brows scrunched up tightly and he gripped his hands behind his back. “Have you lost your home or something?”
Jiang Yeqian glanced at Li Ruoxuan and drawled, “The Harbinger is here. As a pillar of Northern Liang, naturally I have to set the objective of ascending into grand mastership. Obviously, I want to live in the State Preceptor’s residence so that I’ll be able to gain the benefits from the position! As the State Preceptor of Northern Liang and my former colleague, I’m sure you wouldn’t be petty as to gatekeep others from ascending in grand mastership now, would you?”
With his talk about gaining an advantage through a favorable position, this guy must want to snatch Qi Qingyao as well as ascend into grand mastership. Did Jiang Yeqian think that he would see through his plans of killing two birds with one stone? Li Ruoxuan gave a shallow smile and said, “What are you talking about? No one is preventing the Head Grand Secretariat from ascending, but what does that have to do with living in my house?”
Jiang Yeqian did not get angry but smiled and said, “Then how about the State Preceptor relent a little and let Qi Qingyao, the Harbinger, live with me? What does the State Preceptor think about this arrangement?”
Without hesitation, Li Ruoxuan replied, “Don’t even think about it.”
“So it makes sense that I should live here.” The moment Jiang Yeqian said this, he noted that Li Ruoxuan was about to refuse and added casually, “If the State Preceptor is not satisfied, why don’t we bring this up to Her Majesty… What do you think?”
Li Ruoxuan’s expression shifted.
To bring this up to her Majesty… Although the little empress liked Jiang Yeqian, now that she knew that Qi Qingyao might be the Harbinger, she would make it a priority for the man she liked to ascend into grand mastership. It was hard to say if the little empress would order Qi Qingyao to live in the Jiang Residence. If that were to happen, would he not be suffering double the losses then?
With that in mind, Li Ruoxuan hurriedly said, “There’s no need.”
Then he added, “Since we are all contributing our strength for Northern Liang, I am very moved by the Head Grand Secretariat’s patriotism. My residence is very big, it’s just a matter of cleaning out a courtyard for our…former Head Grand Secretariat, so it should be no problem at all.”
As he spoke, he deliberately emphasized the word “former”.
Then he ordered, “Zhu Shen, quickly send someone to clean up Langui Courtyard.”
“Yes, Your Excellency.”
Zhu Shen frowned and immediately sent for the maids to clean up the courtyard.
Qi Qingyao was inside playing chess with Xiaobao, when Dabao came rushing in. With a panicked expression on his face he said, “Mommy, I was walking around the garden just now when I saw Uncle Jiang coming in with his luggage.”
Qi Qingyao put down the black chess piece in her hand and muttered with confusion, “What’s happening?”
Xiaobao was also very curious. He suggested to Qi Qingyao that they should put their game on hold and asked his mommy to go out and see what was happening.
She quickly rushed out of the courtyard and asked a maid who was busying back and forth about it before rushing to the Langui Courtyard.
The moment she entered the courtyard, she saw numerous maids and servants rushing to and fro.
She contemplated for a while but still did not go in. She immediately went to Li Ruoxuan’s courtyard and found him standing inside, his face in a scowl.
“What’s going on here?”
Qi Qingyao walked up to him, thinking, ‘Has he gone mad or have you? What are you two doing?’
Without waiting for Li Ruoxuan’s response, Qi Qingyao wondered aloud, “Could it be that he has realized your sincere friendship for him, and rushed to come live with you so that you two could cultivate a good relationship?”
Li Ruoxuan returned to his senses. Qi Qingyao’s words hit a nerve and he frowned tightly.?“Have you gone mad?”
Qi Qingyao said innocently, “How am I the one who’s gone mad?”
Li Ruoxuan replied exasperatedly, “Intel from Daming claims that you are the Harbinger. Jiang Yeqian thinks that my ascension was related to you and so he plans to get close to you so that he could ascend into grand mastership.”
Qi Qingyao shrugged and immediately relaxed. “I’m afraid he’ll be disappointed.”
“I think so too,” replied Li Ruoxuan.
Jiang Yeqian coming to live in the State Preceptor’s Residence was not really a big deal, but it sounded extremely dicey when it reached some people’s ears. When Dong Jing heard of this, he knew that he had to report this to his master quickly. Not daring to delay, he said, “Master, not good!! Something bad has happened.”
Lu Yan was stroking his cat after having taken a bath, and was looking rather settled in. He asked lazily, “What bad things could have happened?”
Dong Jing gulped and said, “I heard that Jiang Yeqian, the former Head Grand Secretariat, had moved his luggage to live at the State Preceptor’s Residence over the night…”
“That’s impossible. Li Ruoxuan would never agree,” Lu Yan replied without thinking.
Dong Jing said, “The servant also thought so, but the State Preceptor had actually agreed!”
Dong Jing added, “This servant thinks that whether it’s the State Preceptor or the Head Grand Secretariat, their intentions toward Lady Qi cannot be straightforward. If those two only intend to use Lady Qi, then living so close to her… Not to mention with their distinguished identities, if Lady Qi were to develop feelings for the two, she would definitely be cast aside and be extremely hurt once they are done using her!”
Lu Yan stroked the white cat’s chin and contemplated for a while. As if talking to himself, he muttered, “Can’t I go and live there too?”
“You’re right!” Lu Yan instructed firmly, “Pack the luggage at once!! I’ll go over and discuss with the State Preceptor about living in his residence first.”
“Yes yes, do go ahead with that, Master. Dong Jing will follow right behind.”
Dong Jing was ecstatic and decided to fully support his master!
The next-generation head of the Lu family will be his master, but he did not even have a girl he liked. He had gone through a lot to finally find one and it was natural that he would hold onto her tightly!
When Lu Yan arrived at the State Preceptor’s residence, the servants there had not found it strange since he came alone. They only approached him to ask what he needed and who he was looking for.
Lu Yan replied, “I’m looking for Lady Qi.”
The steward replied in a gentle and amiable manner, “Master Lu, it’s late. The lady is likely asleep. Why don’t you come back another day?”
Lu Yan insisted, “It’s something important.”
The steward could not offend the master of the Senluo Chamber of Commerce so he could only say, “Alright, please wait while I inform her.”
After hearing the steward’s report, Qi Qingyao hesitated for a bit before deciding to meet Lu Yan. As soon as she stepped into the parlor, Lu Yan spoke before she even got a word in, “Jiang Yeqian has also come over to live here?”
So that was what it was about. Qi Qingyao immediately stopped feeling nervous, curling her lips as she said, “They’re all crazy.”
Lu Yan said seriously, “They are all planning to take advantage of the situation. They plan to cultivate a good relationship with you so that they can ascend into grand mastership afterward.”
Qi Qingyao said boredly, “I don’t think I’m the Harbinger.”
“It doesn’t matter. People are making plans in secret to take advantage of you. You’re still being ignorant and naive, you must be careful lest you get taken advantage of and sold out by others.” Lu Yan then announced in a loud voice, “That’s why… I want to live here, too.”
“You also want to live in the State Preceptor’s residence?” Qi Qingyao almost choked on her spit and she looked at him in surprise.
Giving off the air of an escort, Lu Yan said, “Si Jin is not present, so if I’m here, I can watch over Jiang Yeqian and you can come to me if you have anything to discuss. That way, you won’t?have to be too passive.”
This was not her home either way, so QI Qingyao did not dare give her opinion. “As long as Li Ruoxuan agrees to the arrangement, I have no problem.”
“He won’t possibly agree to this,” said Lu Yan. “Help me convince him later.”
Qi Qingyao, “…”
Li Ruoxuan had just calmed down and had planned to meditate. Alas, before he even warmed the arhat couch, Zhu Shen began knocking on the door once again. “Your Excellency!!”
“It’s already night, what happened now!” Li Ruoxuan opened the door, his expression blank.
“Master Lu is here too,” Zhu Shen said aggrievedly.
“What is he doing here?” asked Li Ruoxuan.
Zhu Shen wiped his face. “Master Lu said that he would pay you to live in your residence.”
“What—?” Li Ruoxuan was speechless. What were they all thinking? Were they treating his place like an inn??
Li Ruoxuan stormed to the parlor. As soon as he entered, he saw Qi Qingyao and Lu Yan sitting together, talking. His mood instantly soured. “Why are you here?”
Qi Qingyao did not reply.
Lu Yan answered, “I want to live in the State Preceptor’s residence too.”
Li Ruoxuan was immediately speechless. Biting down on his teeth, he said, “Master Lu, your Lu Residence is larger than mine. Must you put yourself down to live in such a small building?”
Lu Yan smiled superficially and said, “It’s very necessary.”
Li Ruoxuan shot back, “I don’t think so.”
Lu Yan calmly replied, “I insist.”
Li Ruoxuan shrugged but still refused. “Sorry to disappoint.”
Seeing that the situation looked to be turning south, Qi Qingyao tilted her head and muttered, “The Head Grand Secretariat has already moved in, one more person wouldn’t hurt, would it?”
Li Ruoxuan was slightly stunned. As if having thought of something, the corners of his lips instantly broke out into a profound smile and he suddenly said, “Alright! I allow him to live here!”
With that, he flicked his sleeves sharply and left.
Zhu Shen, who was following behind Li Ruoxuan, was somewhat stupefied. Puzzled, he asked, “Your Excellency, are you really allowing Master Lu to live here?”
“The Lu family is rich anyway!”
Li Ruoxuan said mockingly, “That said, I would be worried if Jiang Yeqian took advantage of the situation if he were the only one living here. It’s better now that Lu Yan is also here. They can have a go at each other. I’ll just take the spectator’s seat. It would be best if the two of them beat themselves into a pulp and I’ll just sit here reaping the benefits. What’s there to lose?”
Zhu Shen exclaimed, “Your Excellency is brilliant!”