This large-scaled birthday banquet was also a wedding banquet. The designated venue was Moshi1 Mountain.
This mountain was located in the northern part of the Divine Realm. It was all trees on its east side and flowers on its west. An immense wilderness sat on its peak, with the trees and flowers splitting the wilderness into two sections. One could see the divine mist swirling around from above—it was a magnificent sight to behold.
Those who were here to watch the fun had arrived early. They sat beside the orderly arranged banquet tables and discussed today’s joyous event among themselves with great enthusiasm.
The way others see it, the Vermilion Bird and Tu Shan were naturally a perfect match. This was even more so when Rong Bai and Zhu Han were both of extraordinary standing.
This wedding banquet fully occupied the wilderness on the peak. Those shuttling back and forth among the crowd did not just include the deities and immortals, but also men the Demon and Devil Realms had sent. It was only natural for the guards to be meticulous in their duties to prevent any unforeseen incidents from happening.
Looking at the chatting and laughing crowd, Tu Shan Heng pulled out a newly acquired fan and fanned it as he merged into them. Naturally, the crowd would not pass up this excellent opportunity to curry favor with him when they caught sight of him.
Tu Shan Rong Bai was the main lead today, and Tu Shan Heng was Rong Bai’s younger brother. The people who gathered around him instantly swelled into a mob.
The words of the mob meshed into a single buzzing that drilled its way right into Tu Shan Heng’s head. Unable to even maintain his smile, he raised his hands before him to ward them off as he made his way to the side to hide. However, in his fluster, he ended up squeezing his way to Yan Song and bumping against the latter’s shoulder.
When Tu Shan Heng turned his head, he saw Yan Song looking at him. Yan Bei sat beside him on the table with pastries in both hands, while Ze Chen sat at one side.
Tu Shan Heng felt as though his head was about to explode. He hurriedly bowed to apologize. Just as he turned around to slip away, Yan Song grabbed him by the shoulder. “Hold on.”
“What can I do for the Divine Lord Yan Song?” Tu Shan Heng asked with a smile.
“Where is Rong Bai?” His expression was amiable. He had not expected to frighten the little fox before him.
“Uh… he is the groom today. Right now, he must be preparing for the wedding later.” Tu Shan Heng did not know where Rong Bai was either.
“How are they going to get married?” Yan Song asked again.
“Just like in the Human Realm. They have to make three bows.”2 Tu Shan Heng answered.
“Then, when is it starting?”
“This humble deity has no idea either.” Tu Shan Heng replied honestly.
Yan Song frowned as if he was not satisfied with the answer, but Tu Shan Heng truly did not know, so he shrank his neck back and slipped away quickly. “This humble deity has something on, so I’ll take my leave.”
The guests did not have to wait for long. Soon after the clan heads of the Tu Shan and Vermilion Bird Clans arrived, Rong Bai made his appearance.
He was dressed in a dazzling red robe with his long, snow-white hair all tied up with red silk. The robe glittered with golden threads that formed the outline of a fox with its nine-tails fully spread open. The fox’s paws trod upon auspicious motifs. A string of seven exquisite ornaments hung from his black waist belt. Farther down was a pair of black silk boots sewn with golden threads.
The fox clan had always been outstanding in their appearance. Rong Bai’s mother, Rong Sang, was a beauty marveled even by those in the Divine Realm. Not one of Rong Bai’s facial features resembled hers, but his looks surpassed even that of her captivating beauty.
His dashing face had on an indifferent expression from start to end, while his blue eyes were expressionless to the point that the fluctuations of his emotions were all indiscernible. He did not display the joy one would expect of a groom. When the banquet guests saw him like this, they all did not dare to go up to him and incur his displeasure.
Rong Bai’s wedding robe was roomy, and under those wide sleeves lay a pair of fair hands that were long and slender. He treated the entire banquet of guests as though they were invisible. He could not even be bothered to respond to Tu Shan Bi, who was standing a short distance away. He stood beside the crowd minding his own business as if he was merely here to attend a banquet that had nothing to do with him.
Tu Shan Bi was in a great mood today. He walked over to Rong Bai and let out a rare display of a smile. “Bai-er, today is your big day. Since you are here, shouldn’t you go and pay your respect to the Vermilion Bird Clan?”
Rong Bai raised his eyes lazily and saw Zhu Qin and the others standing beside the Vermilion Bird Clan’s clan head; they were looking at him from afar with hostility.
Rong Bai ignored them.
Tu Shan Bi did not split hairs with him over it. He patted his shoulders. “After today, you will be considered a real adult.”
“Rong Bai-gege, congrats.” Tu Shan Lian skipped over and said her congratulations to Rong Bai with a smile. She did not even stand on ceremony as she came up to him in an attempt to cling on to his arm.
Rong Bai looked at her coldly. He was pretty blunt this time. “Scram.”
Tu Shan Lian’s expression froze. She turned to look at Tu Shan Bi with aggrievement in her eyes.
Tu Shan Bi felt his fury rise when he saw his precious princess being treated in such a way. However, considering that Rong Bai was the lead today, he could only let Tu Shan Lian nurse a grievance for the moment. He stroked her head. “Go and play somewhere else.”
Tu Shan Lian could only drop it and left feeling resentful.
Rong Bai swiped a small piece of pastry and placed it between pursed lips. His mind had already drifted off elsewhere.
At noon, a large bell that had been erected at the side rang, with the sound reverberating for several li.3 Everyone’s ears were ringing from the impact when they saw a sedan chair with fluttering red petals slowly floating towards them in midair.
Several fairies dressed in red muslin floated down gracefully as they carried the sedan. The breeze lifted the curtain of the sedan chair, slightly exposing the beauty within after the red petals fluttered past.
Under the gaze of all, the sedan slowly landed on the ground. The fairies lifted the curtain, and a small, delicate leg extended out to reveal a smooth and fair instep. Stepping lightly onto the ground, she emerged from the sedan chair.
Zhu Han was wearing an intricate and delicate golden crown with golden leaves dangling off it. Following her movements, the leaves collided into each other, letting out crisp, tinkling sounds. She had thin, painted brows and lips the color of vermilion red. Red flowers on her temples adorned the sides of her beautiful eyes.
Zhu Han’s wedding dress had a long tail embroidered with a golden Vermilion Bird spreading its wings all over the back. The end of the soft, feathered tail swayed. Once it was placed down onto the ground, even the crowd could not help but marvel.
She turned her eyes slightly, quickly fixing them upon Rong Bai. Then, very slowly, she raised a sweet smile that swept everyone off their feet.
Zhu Han lifted the hem of her skirt and strolled over Rong Bai with a lingering hint of a smile on her face.
She made her way to Rong Bai’s side and reached a hand out to hold his arm, but he turned aside and dodged it just in time.
Rong Bai melted the pastry in his mouth and turned around to head for the open space before the banquet tables at the front.
The Divine Realm did not have that many complicated rules. Once the guests saw that the groom and bride had arrived, they all went back to their seats and prepared to watch them take their bows.
However, Rong Bai’s estrangement was too obvious. Zhu Han could not walk fast due to the weight of her wedding gown, but Rong Bai was unwilling to slow down to wait for her. In just a short moment, the distance between both of them grew. No one in the audience dared to remark on it even when they saw this.
Only Zhu Qin was displeased. He glared at Rong Bai, but in the end, he said nothing either.
When Rong Bai walked up to the open space, everyone quietened down and looked at him.
Zhu Han walked over to stand beside him and looked up at him with a focused and earnest gaze. It was now Rong Bai who appeared to be the heartless one.
By this point, almost everyone could tell that Rong Bai was unwilling.
But Tu Shan Bi was standing beside the clan head of the Zhu Clan chatting and laughing with him. The way they seemed to be all joyous and harmonious together made it look as if they were the ones who were going to get married instead.
Zhu Han looked at Rong Bai for a moment and suddenly reached out a hand to hold hands with him. But it was as if there were eyes on Rong Bai’s hand. He moved it aside and dodged her yet again.
Zhu Han pouted and frowned. “Do you not wish to marry me?”
No one expected her to ask it out loud all of a sudden. For a moment, all of them froze as they looked at her questioning him in aggrievement. “Not once have you ever looked at me the entire time. You didn’t want to marry me at all.”
Even Rong Bai looked at her in surprise.
In truth, everyone knew that this was a marriage alliance fueled by motives and self-interest. Even if one of them had been unwilling, it was still impossible for them to voice their objection at this juncture.
Yet, Zhu Han clearly picked it all apart.
Right at once, Tu Shan Bi’s expression changed. He choked back his anger and growled threateningly. “Bai-er, don’t create a scene.”
The clan head of the Zhu Clan joined in to smooth things over. “It’s probably just the two children fooling around.”
At the same time, he threw a warning glance at Zhu Han.
However, Zhu Han was still looking at Rong Bai. She stubbornly asked, “Am I right?”
Rong Bai turned around and lowered his head. For the first time since she arrived, he looked at her in the eyes and answered in all seriousness. “Yes.”
On hearing him, Zhu Han took two steps back with a stunned expression. She hid her face and sobbed. “I knew it. You didn’t want to marry me!”
Everyone gaped at them, stunned. The scene unfolding before them was so dramatic it was as if they were putting on a show with both of them doing a question-and-answer segment. It was almost like they wanted to ruin this banquet.
Tu Shan Bi fumed. “Tu Shan Rong Bai. What are you doing?!”
Rong Bai raised his head to look at him. His gaze was firm and his tone, indifferent. “I do not want to marry her.”
“That’s not for you to decide!” Tu Shan Bi flipped the table in fury, ignoring even the crowd at the scene. He berated Rong Bai, “You are a Tu Shan, so you should do whatever Tu Shan arranges for you!”
“So, I don’t want to take on the surname of Tu Shan either.” Rong Bai added.
His words were a bombshell. The moment it left his mouth, the guests all broke out in discussions. Yan Song quietly curled up the corners of his mouth. “Rong Bai is going all out, huh.”
Tu Shan Heng looked at Rong Bai solemnly. He gripped the folding fan in his hand so tightly that the veins stood out on the back of his hand. He said through clenched teeth, “Rong Bai… Go for it!”
Tu Shan Bi was stunned on hearing this. “Do you know what you are talking about? The bloodline of Tu Shan runs in you, yet you are so insensible and irresponsible. As your father, I will teach you a proper lesson today!”
“Clan Head! You mustn’t!” A Tu Shan Elder spoke out to persuade him. “It’s the Young Master’s big day today. Don’t ruin such a wonderful event!”
“I will marry no one today.” Rong Bai said coldly.
No doubt this was tantamount to adding fuel to the fire. The clan head of the Zhu Clan gave a long sigh and said, “Look at what a good son your Tu Shan has produced.”
Tu Shan Bi could no longer keep his composure from the humiliation. With a lightning move of the hand, he flung out a whip that was entirely woven with green willows and swung it with all his force at Rong Bai.
Rong Bai had no intention to dodge this whip. He looked right at Tu Shan Bi. His blue eyes turned from an expanse of calmness into one tainted by hatred.
This was a feeling that had been deeply buried all this while, and now, it all came surging forth, undisguised.
Before the whip landed on Rong Bai’s body, Zhu Han, who had been beside him, suddenly took a step forward and cast a seal with her hand to draw out a black scimitar. The whip collided with the blade and instantly rebounded.
Zhu Han looked at Tu Shan Bi coldly. “He said he didn’t want to. Are you deaf?”
No one could have imagined Zhu Han to be the one to step forward to obstruct Tu Shan Bi. Yet, the delicate and dazzling bride surpassed their expectations further when she suddenly pulled off the golden crown on her head. Those long black hair came cascading down her back, where the breeze sent them fluttering.
She ripped away the red wedding gown to reveal a long black robe underneath. The face that had been originally alluring turned into a man’s face.
The bride of the Zhu Clan underwent a transformation and metamorphosed into Song Ci.
He emitted a murderous aura as he held Du’e in his hand. Specks of blue materialized in his black eyes. Very bluntly, he threatened Tu Shan Bi. “If you dare to coerce Rong Bai again, I’ll kill you.”
- Not the Japanese moshi-moshi. 莫失(山) Mo-shi (mountain) here means do not lose (something/someone)
- Ritual bows by the bride and groom in a traditional wedding ceremony. There are three bows to perform before they are considered formally married.
“First bow to heaven and earth; second bow to the parents; third bow to each other.”
- 里 an ancient measure of length, 1 li = approx. 500m