The Welcome Ceremony
The rest of the journey went well. Rody and his group eventually arrived at the Purple Leaf City in the Southeast.
The Purple Leaf City was located in the Southeast of the Empire. It was the capital city of Xier Province. This city could accommodate millions of people and was the largest city in the Southeast. The city was built two hundred years ago, during the era of Abbas the Great. In those years, Abbas the Great went on an expedition all over the continent and had conquered the South. In order to defend the stability in the South, he put in great efforts to build that city.
The city walls were at least ten li long. The walls were tall and strong. Even the lowest part of the wall was about fifteen meters high. The width of the city’s walls was almost comparable to the walls of the Imperial Capital. The walls were wide enough to accommodate four horses walking side by side on top of it. Below the walls was a several meters deep moat that was connected to the Purple Leaf River.
As the city was originally used as the first military fortress in the Southeast, the military facilities on the city’s walls were all complete. In the Purple Leaf City, they had all kinds of armament and had ample reserves. Their food supply was enough to provide for one hundred thousand soldiers in the army for three years!
After two hundred years, the city had developed water transportation as it was located at the riverside of the Purple Leaf River. As the Purple Leaf City was also the capital city of the Xier province, the businesses and commercial trades in the city were flourishing extremely well. After two hundred years of peace and prosperity, that city had developed into the largest city in the Southern Region. In the Empire, it was referred to as the ‘Southern Capital’.
Before Rody arrived in the city, the Governors-General of the three provinces in the Southeast had already gathered in the Purple Leaf City. They waited to greet the Southeast Special Envoy sent by His Majesty. After all, he was the special envoy sent by His Majesty and was also the Duke, the heir of the Tulip Family. The Tulip Family was the most prominent family in the Empire. When the Tulip Family’s name was referred to anywhere in the Empire, it could easily shake an entire region.
After they had received the report, the three Governors-General immediately brought a large number of people out of the city to grandly greet Rody. Rody and his subordinates saw a large group of people standing at the entrance of the city from a distance. The guards of honor, by the roadside, wore colorful clothes and looked full of enthusiasm.
The Governor-General of Xier stood in the middle. After all, he was the head of the local officials in the city. The Governors-General of the other two provinces stood on either side. They headed towards Rody’s carriage with smiles on their faces. Before Rody’s guards could act, one of the Governors-General immediately opened the door of the carriage while another rushed to help Rody get down from the carriage.
They were surprised when they saw Rody.
Since they were located in the Southern Region of the Empire, before they received the order, they had inquired about the Duke. They knew that the Duke had just inherited the title not long ago and was still very young. However, they still could not help but feel shocked when they met him in person. They never expected the Duke to be really so young. He did not seem to have even reached twenty years old.
They felt even more unconvinced and thought: This young Duke is the Commander-in-chief who had defeated a hundred thousand soldiers of the grassland army in the Northwest? Looking at the young Duke carefully, he still does not seem to be such a person.
Xier’s Governor-General that stood in the middle was a cunning and deceitful person. When he saw the young Duke, he felt very relaxed and thought: A young man like him will have a limit even if he is powerful. As long as I coax him well, then everything will be simple…
The other two Governors-General flattered Rody and said things like ‘Young and promising’ and ‘Having a bright future’. Rody had heard those compliments thousands of times before and did not care anymore.
Fortunately, Rody had experienced many occasions like that. He just knitted his eyebrows and laughed a little. After that, he joined them in flattering others.
Everyone played the drums and trumpets as they welcomed Rody into the city. A lot of ordinary citizens came to watch the excitement as they knew that the Empire’s distinguished Duke of the Tulip Family had arrived. They craned their necks and watched from afar. They did not dare to approach as the ferocious soldiers would whip the ones that got too close. The citizens felt angry but they did not dare to say anything. They could only point their fingers from afar.
Rody observed the scene and secretly frowned. He coldly looked at the Xier’s Governor-General and saw his proud smile. Rody’s gaze gradually became cold.
When they arrived at the Governor-General’s mansion, the servants led Rody’s subordinates to the side for them to rest. A large number of distinguished personages were waiting in the main hall of the Governor-General’s mansion. Rody walked into the hall, and the three Governors-General bowed and followed suit. The powerful distinguished families swarmed Rody. Rody raised his spirit as he tried to cope with them. He listened to the endless amounts of compliments and simply smiled in reply.
Rody saw that those influential people looked extremely fat. They had a greedy gaze and a respectful expression. None of them looked like good people.
Everybody made a racket for a long time. Rody thought that it was in bad taste and could not help but yawn.
Xier’s Governor-General’s eyes lit up. He saw Rody yawn and immediately said loudly, “His Excellency the Duke have traveled far and must be tired. Now is lunch time! This humble subordinate has already prepared the food! Your Excellency the Duke, please enjoy it!”
He then clapped his hands and two side doors to the main hall opened at the same time. Two groups of young and charming women wearing bright and colorful clothes slowly walked into the hall. Each woman carried a tray. On every tray were silver plates, some were big while some were small. Each woman served a table. When the plates were placed on the table, Rody was stunned.
Rody saw the women came in one after another, carrying a variety of magnificent dishes. That was an eye-opener for Rody. He saw more than a dozen silver plates of various sizes, with all types of colorful dishes, placed on the table in front of him. Rody had never smelled or seen most of those dishes before.
The food was obviously prepared by an expert. It looked extremely pleasing to the eye, and the smell stimulated the appetite. Those who ate it would definitely lick their fingers.
Rody was amazed as the food served here could not even be found at the banquet in the Imperial Palace.
After that, Rody saw two topless, robust men carry a huge wine barrel and placed it in the middle of the main hall. Rody looked carefully and noticed that the wine barrel was made of pure gold. After that, a beautiful woman wearing a short dress walked into the hall.
She looked like she was about twenty years old. The dress that she wore exposed her slim arms and legs and revealed her fair skin. Her blouse was so short that her waistline was also exposed. She had a pair of pretty eyebrows and sparkling eyes which made her look very attractive. She walked in slowly and elegantly. She was barefooted and had a small golden anklet with bells on her foot. The bells jingled with every step she took.
She slowly walked to the front of the golden wine barrel and filled a golden wine cup with the wine. She then walked to the front of Rody’s table and slowly knelt down. As she offered the golden wine cup in her hand to Rody, she said with her sweet voice, “Your Excellency the Duke, please drink!”
Rody looked at the beautiful woman in front of him. He could not help but turned his gaze to Xier’s Governor-General at a side. He then lightly said, “You must have put a lot of thought into this, Governor.”
Xier’s Governor-General was happy. He nodded and laughed, “I don’t dare to! Your Excellency the Duke! This is one of the most beautiful women in Purple Leaf City. Not everyone gets a chance to see her. However, we knew that the Duke of Tulip family is coming today, so we invited her to serve Your Excellency a drink.”
Rody nodded his head. He gazed at the beauty and gently received the cup of wine. Rody then looked around and loudly said, “Everyone! I have been appointed by His Majesty as the Southeast Special Envoy! I will be straightforward. I just hope that all of you can be of great help. Everybody do a proper good job, and then I can go and report back to His Majesty.”
After some applause, everybody raised their cups of wine and finished the wine.
Xier’s Governor General’s face was smiling. His eyes twinkled in splendor. He whispered to a servant beside him. The servant then immediately walked out the main hall using the side door.
A little while later, they heard a clear and melodious sound. Both of the doors at the side entrance gradually opened. A rolling platform was pushed into the main hall. Sitting on the platform was a young woman in a white dress. In front of her was a harp that was as tall as a person. She gently plucked the strings of the harp with the slender fingers of her delicate hands. The harp immediately produced a beautiful and pleasant music.
The sound of some light footsteps entered the main hall from both entrances. There were about twenty young women. They were all beautiful and charming. They slowly walked to the side of the nobles and gently sat next to them. Those young women spoke softly in a sweet voice. Some of them helped the nobles refill their wine while others gently embraced the nobles. Suddenly, Rody was stunned as he never expected that the mansion of the proud and dignified General-Governor of the Empire would be like that. That place was supposed to be used to handle official and important matters, but right now, it was not different from the brothel in the Imperial Capital.
While Rody was still shocked, a young woman wearing a red dress slowly sat next to him. She gently smiled at him, as her soft and fragrant body moved closer.
That Xier’s Governor-General looked pleased with himself as he embraced a woman. He secretly thought to himself. Fortunately, I had inquired about the Duke’s preferences after receiving His Majesty’s orders. Fortunately, the Duke was also someone who also loves wine and was a pleasure-seeking person. He must be very satisfied with my preparations.
Just when Rody was still confused and unable to respond, a guard outside the main hall suddenly shouted, “The Regiment Commander, Camus, has arrived!”
Rody immediately became clear headed and pushed away the young woman in a red dress next to him. The sound of leather boots could be heard, and then an old military officer wearing the uniform of a senior commander strode forward into the hall.
He looked like he was older than fifty years old. He was tall, robust and had broad shoulders. Although his hair had turned gray, his back was still straight.
The Regiment Commander, Camus, walked forward into the main hall. The movements of the surrounding people that were enjoying the wine were sluggish. Camus gave a strange and humble gaze towards the surrounding people.
Camus’s gaze was indifferent as he looked around. Suddenly, his eyes showed astonishment. He walked to the middle of the main hall and kicked to knock over the golden barrel of wine. The smell of the wine spread throughout the main hall.
The crowd was shocked as Camus stood in front of Rody. His eyes looked straight at Rody as he casually said, “Southern Legion Regiment Commander, Camus, greets Your Excellency the Duke.”