When Dan Fei saw this situation, her lips parted slightly as she smiled faintly, “Let the lordmaster judge whether an item is good or bad. Next.”
Seeing Dan Fei gloss over the matter, Ye Dai couldn’t say anything despite his dissatisfaction. He smiled faintly and retreated to his seat.
Internally, he was even more ticked off. Although sister Dan Fei looked to be impartial, she’d actually helped out Ye Rong twice already. This made Ye Dai feel as though countless little bugs were nibbling away at his heart.
“Can it be that in sister Dan Fei’s eyes, a prince born of a commoner is more worthy of her protection than I, a first prince of pure and noble bloodline?”
Ye Dai did not believe that, and he would never admit it. “It must be that the brat Ye Rong is usually skilled at fawning over her and knows how to amuse her. In terms of great talent and bold vision, and how strong our foundation of family background is, sister Dan Fei surely holds me in higher regard. Surely, she helped Ye Rong find a way out because she pities the weak. But, from the honored tutor’s perspective, how could he have the petty sympathy towards the weak? I, Ye Dai, am the most superior no matter what perspective I am viewed from!”
Ye Dai comforted himself within his heart and cheered himself on.
Since Dan Fei covered up this farce, it didn’t affect the atmosphere of the rest of the segment. All the various sons and disciples of noble houses displayed their abilities to their utmost as they offered all sorts of nice items.
After not too long, all the gifts were placed on the main table.
Dan Fei walked to the front of the tutor, “Lordmaster, it’s been a rather odd year. The followers of many houses have prepared many gifts as well. The total sum of these gifts is double than the number of gifts we received last year.”
The old tutor had been watching with half lidded eyes, as if he was an old monk in meditation. He slowly opened his eyes only after he heard Dan Fei’s words.
“Let’s take a look.” The old tutor spoke faintly.
These faintly spoken words seemed to have a particular magic to them as the hearts of many present trembled slightly.
Everyone knew that the old tutor would list the top three gifts after he took a look.
These three people would have the right to personally ask a question of the old tutor, and receive his guidance.
This wasn’t a mere matter of face, but a real, tangible reward! In the entire Skylaurel Kingdom, the line of people who wished to personally request the lordmaster’s guidance on some matter would stretch from the capital to the border if they all queued up.
However, the opportunities to do so were few and far in between.
These princes had always received the honored tutor’s tutelage, but that was when they were all together. Everyone had learned the same things.
The honored tutor would not be biased as to favor anyone in particular
Receiving personal guidance was in itself a favor. Even the princes engaged in heavy competition for an honor like this.
For one, it was in order to leave a good impression in front of the honored tutor. And secondly, it was to prove to the king that one had received special treatment from the spirit king protector.
The old tutor circled the mound of presents on the table, walking slowly. He didn’t have any particular expression, no matter what gift he was looking at. He was neither happy nor sad.
No one could tell from the old tutor’s face whose present had garnered his fancy, and whose had earned his disdain.
However, Ye Dai was comparatively lighthearted. He was quite confident that although all the houses had offered many fine things this time, there were absolutely none that could be on par with his.
The Yellow Dragon Watching the Seas Painting was definitely worth much more than all of the others, whether in terms of value or quality.
That included even the Swordteeth Flying Fox cub from Ye Rong. That was just a pet after all, a toy.
His Yellow Dragon Watching the Seas Painting was an absolute treasure, a prized possession that would be useful to even spirit realm practitioners. Such items were ones that one could only hope to find by chance!
In all actuality, he’d hesitated quite a long time before offering this treasure. He’d truly made a deep investment with this. What he hoped to gain was undoubtedly the honored tutor’s favor and recognition, and from that his endorsement of Ye Dai as the future Crown Prince and the heir to the kingdom.
Although he knew that erecting a ruler-in-training was primarily the business of the king and court officials, but Tutor Ye’s opinion held unparalleled importance. If he didn’t approve, then not even the king would dare make a careless decision.
In certain aspects, the power and influence Tutor Ye had within the Skylaurel Kingdom was even higher than the king!
The king could be changed.
But within the Skylaurel Kingdom, no one could replace Tutor Ye.
Dan Fei patiently followed beside the lordmaster, a faint smile on her face as she accompanied the old tutor in observing these gifts.
In reality, in Dan Fei’s eyes, if she set aside her personal preferences, she too felt that the Yellow Dragon Watching the Seas Painting was the absolute best out of the bunch. The other gifts were completely unable to match it.
However, Dan Fei was also unable to fathom the old tutor’s thoughts.
Just as Dan Fei was trying to guess at his thoughts, the old tutor suddenly sent her a message using his consciousness, “Little Dan, which of these gifts do you think is the best?”
Sending a mental message would bypass the concern that those below the main table could hear them.
Dan Fei was momentarily silent , but still spoke honestly, “In terms of quality, the Yellow Dragon Watching the Seas Painting should be the best.”
“Mm. Little Dan, you aren’t lying.” The old tutor smiled faintly. “Except, I’m not selecting it as the best.”
“Why is that?” Dan Fei gave a slight start. “If this item isn’t the best, if you choose any of the others instead… won’t the people think that this is unfair?”
“Not fair? If they didn’t think I handle things impartially, they didn’t need to come. This is all voluntary, and I’ve never commanded mandatory attendance from anyone.” The old tutor’s tone was indifference, but a feeling of aloofness suffused it.
In his position, he didn’t care at all about the thoughts or feelings of others, or if it was said that he was favoring or oppressing someone.
If he felt it was good, then it was good. If he felt that it wasn’t enough to be first, then it wasn’t.
No explanations were necessary. Whether you understood or not wouldn’t be enough to change the lordmaster’s choice. You could cast your doubts on the lordmaster’s decision, but you couldn’t doubt his power and authority.
“Lordmaster, little Dan boldly asks, just why is that?” Dan Fei was still a bit curious.
“It’s quite simple. This painting is a forgery.” The old tutor smiled carelessly. “However, even if it was genuine, I still wouldn’t select it as first.”
“A forgery?” Dan Fei was startled. “The original is still not enough to be the best?”
“Yes, the reason is twofold. The first is that I was the one who created the original Yellow Dragon Watching the Seas Painting. However, it has been a very long time and no one knows of its origins anymore. To think that my junior would actually treat a forgery as a priceless treasure and gift it to me. Heh heh, Dan Fei, wouldn’t you say that I’ve lived too long?”
“The lordmaster has had many happy returns, and no matter how long you live, it still wouldn’t be too long. What is the second reason? Little Dan is quite curious!”
“As for the second reason? Isn’t that even simpler? Naturally, there’s something else that’s drawn my attention. That item is truly first in class in my heart.”
“Oh?” Dan Fei truly was startled. There was something even better? What was it? Dan Fei had been adopted by the old tutor since she was small and knew quite a thing or two about his tastes and preferences.
There was something that appealed to the old tutor even more than the Yellow Dragon Watching the Seas Painting, and she, Dan Fei, hadn’t registered it at all?
“Little Dan, start writing down the placements. In third place, the Yellow Dragon Watching the Seas Painting forgery. Second place, the cub of the Swordteeth Flying Fox. First place, the best present is the Nine Magnificence Dew Wine!”
The old tutor’s sleeves billowed as he picked up that unassuming wooden wine jug and held it in his hand as he murmured, “To think that I would have the fortune to see the Nine Magnificence Dew Wine again in the Skylaurel Kingdom. How rare, how rare!”
It was obvious that in the old tutor’s long life, he must have tasted the Nine Magnifice Dew Wine at some point. Although he wasn’t as fervent as Shi Xiaoyao to the point of being unable to forget it, but as time passed, a good item left a deeper impression in his mind.
This wine had left an exceedingly deep imprint on the old tutor’s heart. And this time, Jiang Chen’s unprepossessing gift had unwittingly woken this deep impression in the lordmaster’s memories and even made his eyes light up!
Dan Fei was thrown into disarray when she saw the lordmaster’s gestures.
In that moment, she rather suspected that the lordmaster had made a mistake. But she immediately dispelled this laughable notion. The lordmaster had seen so much, how could he possibly get anything wrong?
Except, this wooden wine jug looked like the ugly duckling amidst a flock of swans as it sat within the piles of treasure. It looked cheap and shabby no matter how one looked at it.
To think that the lordmaster had selected this piece of stone out from a pile of jewels, and chosen it as the best. This scene was simply too dramatic.
Except, those beneath the stage were unable to see their motions. They had no idea what had transpired and were all waiting anxiously.
At this moment, Dan Fei walked out from behind the stage, and her pleasing voice resounded again. “Everyone, after the lordmaster’s round of appraisal and selection, the three gifts that have won placements have been selected.”
When they heard that the three best gifts had been selected, the disciples beneath the stage quieted down from their hubbub.
All of them widened their eyes, full of hope, as they stared at Dan Fei. They hoped to read the message that they had been chosen from Dan Fei’s eyes.
However, there wasn’t the slightest hint of a special indication in Dan Fei’s eyes. Her composed face gave nothing subjective away.
However, the more Dan Fei was like this, the more assured that Ye Dai felt. If Dan Fei felt that there was something surprising about the three rankings, then she would more or less have some particular sort of reaction, right?
She wasn’t expressing anything. What did that mean? That meant that there was no suspense about what the honored tutor had selected. His Yellow Dragon Watching the Seas Painting was surely the best.
There was almost no doubt about it!
When his thoughts traveled to this point, Ye Dai’s body drew itself up as he inched a bit closer to the stage, prepared to welcome the glorious moment where he took the top after stepping over everyone else.
His followers all had smiles playing about their lips as they had expressions of sharing the glory. Lu Wuji even shot provocative glances towards Jiang Chen.
It was an obvious demonstration of force at Jiang Chen.
But why would Jiang Chen pay any attention to Lu Wuji’s juvenile moves? He did not care at all about who was the first and who was third.
He was different from these people, he didn’t have the thoughts of purposefully currying favor with anyone. Whether the honored tutor admired or ignored him, Jiang Chen didn’t care about any of this in the slightest.
Even if the honored tutor could blot out the sky with one hand in the Skylaurel Kingdom, how did that matter? With the cream of the crop that Jiang Chen had seen in his past life, an old tutor like Ye Chonglou wouldn’t even register on his radar.
To put it more candidly, if Jiang Chen were to select his followers the past life, the level in which Ye Chonglou was at likely wouldn’t be sufficient.
Rather, it was Ye Rong who slightly inclined his body forward, showing his ambition to compete with the first prince.
Time seemed to freeze as everyone gazes focused on Dan Fei’s sexy and moving red lips, as they awaited the announcement of the results.