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The Glory After Rebirth

Chapter 574 - Spin-Off - Oddity (2): Punishment

Chapter 574 - Spin-Off - Oddity (2): Punishment

574. Spin-Off – Oddity (2): Punishment

Translator: DragonRider

Ji Xiaocong pulled a piccolo from his shoulder bag, held it to his lips and started to play a tune.

He was performing the piece with his internal energy. The intrinsically sedative effect of the melody, coupled with the mind-control techniques he was using while playing it, enabled him to placate people and even manipulate their moods.

Remarkably, the demented bridegroom, crimson-eyed, his internal energy leaking out, looking as if his body could explode at any moment, began to slow down due to this unexpected tune.

He was responsive to the piece!

The whole street was silent except for the sound issuing from the piccolo. The groom paused, twisted his head aside, listening hard, and after a few moments shifted his gaze in the direction of Ji Xiaocong.

The churning internal energy shielding him started thinning out, the blood streaks in his crimson eyes fading away, his face contorting with distress.

The secret bodyguards, taking advantage of this opportunity, mounted a concerted attack and restrained him as his defense weakened.

Ji Xiaocong was still playing the tune, the overpowered groom struggling violently. After some time, he completely cooled down and his eyes slowly became glazed. Before long, he sank to the ground.

It was only then that Ji Xiaocong stopped playing the piece and wiped the fine sheen of sweat from his brow.

Ling Maomao looked at him. “Are you feeling any discomfort?”

Ji Xiaocong shook his head. “I’m fine. This guy’s symptoms look familiar, don’t you think?”

Ling Maomao was astonished for a moment before his eyebrows contracted. “You mean this reminds you of those people on that island?”

Ji Xiaocong inclined his head. “He’s just like them, those under some kind of enchantment. They went so crazy as to enhance their powers at the cost of their own vital essence and try to kill each other, utterly unable to control themselves.”

Ling Maomao’s frown deepened further. “But how come the same thing happened to someone in this place?”

Ji Xiaocong said, “That’s what we need to look into.”

Ling Maomao and Ji Xiaocong walked up to check the groom lying on the ground. An undercover bodyguard was holding a finger to the man’s nose to see if he was still breathing.

“He fainted. For the moment his condition doesn’t seem to be life-threatening,” said the bodyguard.

“Don’t let him die. This man went crazy without warning in suspicious circumstances. Keep an eye on him. We need to get to the bottom of this matter,” said Ling Maomao.

The undercover bodyguard nodded.

Ling Maomao and Ji Xiaocong also performed a simple examination on the bridegroom and found that the man’s symptoms were indeed very familiar – exactly the same as those of the men they had encountered on the island in the South Ocean, actually.

“We’ve got to tell my cousin and the others about this as soon as possible,” said Ling Maomao.

Nobody could have foreseen that such a thing would suddenly happen to this man on his wedding day. It was so unexpected they could not help worrying that the same thing would happen to someone else. Ling Maomao and Ji Xiaocong, both having witnessed how horrible those people on that island had been, naturally did not want a repeat performance of that kind of thing in the capital city.

“His Majesty and His Highness have both gone to the Ling Mansion,” said a secret bodyguard on the side.

Ling Maomao nodded and said to Ji Xiaocong, “Give me a moment to get the three kids down here.”

Ji Xiaocong smiled, “All right.”

Ling Maomao entered the tavern, found Yuwen Qi, Yuwen Lin and Yuwen Yue, all of whom were hiding in a room on the third floor and afraid of showing their faces, and marched them downstairs.

“Now you guys have the sense to be frightened. I’m not going to scold you, but I think you’ll have to justify yourselves in front of your father and daddy in a few moments,” said Ling Maomao, his face flinty.

Both Yuwen Qi and Yuwen Lin did not dare utter a word and, taking their sister with them, obediently followed Ling Maomao and Ji Xiaocong towards the Ling Mansion.

At this time, Yuwen Tong and Ling Zhang had been informed of what had happened on East Street. Their countenance changed momentarily as an undercover bodyguard reported that their three children had been on the scene.

Immediately after walking through the front gates of the residence, Yuwen Qi, Yuwen Lin and Yuwen Yue, tremulously following in Ling Maomao’s wake, caught sight of Ling Zhang and Yuwen Tong, both standing in the doorway of the living room, glowering at them with stern faces.

Yuwen Qi and Yuwen Lin shuddered. Yuwen Yue standing beside them quietly cowered behind her brothers. On this occasion she was also scared, not daring run to her parents to play cute as she would normally do.

“It’s no good trying to hide. You think I can’t see you standing behind your brother?” said Ling Zhang frostily.

Yuwen Yue shivered and, biting her lower lip, edged out again to stand side by side with Yuwen Lin, her head down, not daring look at Ling Zhang.

“Daddy, Father, it was my fault. I shouldn’t have brought Crescent and Lin out of the palace. I deserve to be punished.” Yuwen Qi slumped to his knees.

Knowing that there was no way he could get away with what he had done, Yuwen Qi decisively admitted his mistakes in the hope that his father would appreciate his voluntary admission of error and show him some leniency.

Yuwen Lin also knelt down. “I’m the one to blame.”

Yuwen Yue hastily followed suit, her eyes swimming with tears, looking at Ling Zhang with an injured expression on her face. Seeing that Ling Zhang remained poker-faced, she switched her gaze to Yuwen Tong.

Yuwen Tong, ” ... ”

Those eyes were exactly the same as Ling Zhang’s. Looking at them brimming with tears, Yuwen Tong felt as though he were seeing a hard-done-by Ling Zhang, his scalp prickling with heartache, unable to bring himself to maintain his grim face, no matter how hard he tried. He resignedly looked up into the sky, let out a sigh and had just lifted his foot with the intention to walk up to her and support her to her feet when an outstretched arm was placed before his chest, blocking his path.

The exquisite pattern of phoenix embroidered on the sleeve was shining in the sunlight as though it were about to come to life and fly. The arm’s owner was standing with his back to Yuwen Tong and did not twist his head around, but Yuwen Tong could not take another step forward.

Yuwen Yue kneeling on the ground was speechless.

She stealthily gulped and, gazing at the arm that stopped her father, found herself thinking about only one thing – she was toast, she was so toast. Even her father did not dare save her. Who else could come to her help?!

Ling Zhang and Yuwen Tong were the only two in the doorway of the living room. Her great-grandfathers were both nowhere to be seen. How could they not be here at such a crucial juncture?! Yuwen Yue was almost reduced to real tears.

“What happened exactly? Why did you slip out of the palace when you had everything you need there? And you even changed clothes and joined the crowd to see the fun. I want every detail. If any of you dare keep anything back – anything at all – I’ll have you stay on your kneels until tomorrow morning!” huffed Ling Zhang.

Yuwen Qi and the other two shuddered simultaneously. Not daring look up at Ling Zhang, they surreptitiously exchanged glances. They wanted to agree on a story they could use to cover up their actions a little, but they could not speak and none of them was unable to understand what the other two were trying to convey through the winks.

“What are you doing? Working on some kind of lie?” enunciated Ling Zhang.

Yuwen Qi and the other two, not daring give each other covert winks any more, bowed their heads and made a full confession which included the reasons why they had sneaked out of the palace, and why they had joined the rubberneckers halfway through their trip.

As Yuwen Qi mentioned their intention to please Daddy and get reward from Father, blue veins throbbed horribly in Ling Zhang’s temples, and his hand in front of Yuwen Tong’s chest balled into a fist.

Yuwen Tong, ” ... ”

Looking at the tight fist, Yuwen Tong had a sense of foreboding. He had had a hard job placating Ling Zhang, and now it would seem he was about to be scapegoated!

“Yuwen Qi! How dare you do such things without my consent?!” reprimanded Yuwen Tong hastily, his foreboding intensifying as he listened to the boy speak.

Yuwen Qi was startled as he heard his father call him by his full name and rebuke him. He tremulously looked up at his father and almost blacked out at the sight of the flames of anger in Yuwen Tong’s eyes, his head swimming. He was toast. Daddy and Father both seemed so angry. He had just been trying to reconcile them, hadn’t he? He had done that out of his filial affection!

“I–I was just trying to help Daddy and Father make peace with each other. I thought I was performing my filial duties.”

Yuwen Lin on the side barely restrained himself from rolling his eyes upwards as he heard these words. This idiot told the truth and even dared talk back.

Unsurprisingly, Yuwen Tong sneered, “Performing your filial duties? All you did was make trouble for me! I don’t need your help to get my consort to–”

“Shut your mouth! What the hell do you think you’re talking about?” flared Ling Zhang.

Yuwen Tong, ” ... ”

Ling Zhang took a deep breath and, looking at his three kneeling children, said to Yuwen Qi, “You’re their big brother, and it’s your duty to protect your little brother and little sister. Look how frivolous you are. Have you the faintest idea of what the word ‘poise’ means?! This is the example you want to set to your little brother and little sister? Do the words ‘big brother’ mean anything to you?!”

With that, Ling Zhang said to Yuwen Lin, “You’ve always been the most poised one, but today you actually joined them in such stupid actions. Your age has been increasing, but your self-restraint seems to be decreasing!

You two are both princes of the Great Wen. Countless subjects are watching you. Your each and every move is supposed to be an example to the people. You want me to tell everybody in our country that their princes are reckless and unreliable? You’re to stay on your kneels until your minds clear!

Yuwen Yue, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve told you to remember you’re a princess, that you must not do anything unbefitting for your identity, but all my words just go in one ear and out the other. This time nobody can get you off the hook. You’re to stay on your knees as well! If anybody dares intercede for you, your punishment will be prolonged by two hours!”

On hearing these words, Yuwen Yue felt as though her insides had turned into ice. How much longer would she have to kneel here if nobody was allowed to intercede for her?

Yuwen Yue looked around her. As she made eye contact with Ling Maomao standing on the side, her eyes instantly reddened, tears welling up in them so quick as if by magic.

Ling Maomao, ” ... ”


Ling Maomao ventured, “Cousin, despite their recklessness, they constitute the saviors of many citizens. Earlier this day that bridegroom went crazy in suspicious circumstances. There would have been more casualties if the guards and undercover bodyguards they brought with them had not restrained that man.”

Ji Xiaocong also said, “Yes, Your Highness. That bridegroom was horrifyingly demented. His symptoms were somewhat similar to those of the men we’d seen on that island in the South Ocean, those who’d appeared to be under some kind of evil enchantment.”

Ling Zhang had been in a foul mood all along, but after hearing these words, he furrowed his brows. “Are you sure?”

“We checked him. I’m eighty percent sure,” answered Ling Maomao.

Yuwen Tong’s expression also became grave. “Where’s that demented bridegroom?” he asked.

“Some undercover bodyguards brought him here and locked him up in a room. He’s still unconscious,” said Ling Maomao.

“Let’s go and take a look,” said Yuwen Tong.

Ling Zhang and Yuwen Tong followed Ling Maomao, heading for the room where the crazy groom was.

Yuwen Qi and the other two watched as they went far away. Then Yuwen Qi kneaded his knees and smiled a mirthless smile. “It seems Father and Daddy are really angry. How much longer do you think we’ll have to kneel?”

Yuwen Lin rolled his eyes upwards. “Be patient. When Daddy’s anger dissolves, we’ll naturally be allowed to stand up.”

Yuwen Yue on the side breathed, “My knees hurt.”

Yuwen Lin looked at her and heaved a sigh before he took off his overgarment, folded it and placed it beneath Yuwen Yue’s knees. “You’ll have to tough it out.”

“Thanks, Lin,” said Yuwen Yue sheepishly. Yuwen Lin’s overgarment was very soft and, having been folded, felt like a thick cushion. It was not as hard as the ground and made her feel better.

The guard on the side noticed it but pretended otherwise. After standing guard for a while, he quietly turned on his heel, creating an opportunity for them to shift position.

Yuwen Qi and Yuwen Lin did not dare slack off and was still kneeling. Yuwen Yue, who had knelt for a long moment and was feeling miserable, squatted on her hams. Before long, seeing that the guard was not looking this way, she stealthily sat onto the ground.

“Qi, Lin, sit down and have a break,” Yuwen Yue said to her brothers in a hushed voice.

Yuwen Qi and Yuwen Lin both shook their heads. Yuwen Qi appeared somewhat listless. Yuwen Lin, also rather upset, said to her, “I’m good. Remember to get up when Daddy and Father come back.”

Seeing that they refused to sit, Yuwen Yue gave an “Oh” and, after a few moments, got on her knees again.

Yuwen Lin looked perplexedly at her.

Yuwen Yue smiled at him. Though grimacing for the pain in her knees, she was still kneeling bolt upright.

Yuwen Lin looked at her for a while, then raised his hand and rubbed her head. “You may just sit. Girls’ flesh is too delicate to endure such punishment. Your knees will be less pretty if you kneel for too long.”

Yuwen Yue said, “It’s okay. I’ve got your clothes beneath them.”

The reason why her brothers were being punished was because they had taken her to see the fun at her request, and she felt obliged to undergo this with them. It was just some pain in the knees. She could handle this!

‘But ... it really hurts,’ she sobbed inwardly, ‘Daddy ... ‘

Yuwen Yue knitted her brows, her lips pressed together, the corners of her mouth drooping. Now she really felt hard done by.

After a while, someone covertly came over, looked through a carved window and, after seeing the three children kneeling on the ground, was reduced to prowling about in the room for heartache.

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