Chapter 128: Where It All Began
Xia Jiajia dismissed all the four elders and everyone else except for Hua Wuwu and Hua Baiyue before saying to everyone, “You may address me as Xia Jiajia instead of my other names. Saintess Fang Zhenfei is my name when I’m at the Blue Phoenix Sacred Sect and also my real name. But I will prefer you to address me as Xia Jiajia for now.”
“You must be wondering why I am the Divine Palace Master of the Hundred Flower Divine Palace and also the Phoenix Mistress of the Blue Phoenix Sacred Sect at the same time, am I right?”
Yuan Ji replied, “If you don’t want to share with me, it’s alright…”
Xue Qianxue chuckled softly as she cupped his mouth, “We are curious to know!”
Yuan Ji muttered, “Women…”
“What did you say?” All the maidens were suddenly looking at him with a cold gaze.
Yuan Ji smiled weakly, “Please continue.”
“This is actually a secret of the Hundred Flower Divine Palace. My mother is actually from the Hundred Flower Divine Palace while my second aunt is from the Blue Phoenix Sacred Sect. When my mother and second aunt had both passed away, I was forced to take over the leadership positions of both sects. Other than me, Hua Wuwu and Hua Baiyue are also from the Blue Phoenix Sacred Sect.” Xia Jiajia explained slowly.
Yuan Ji interrupted with a weak smile, “So that day when I was at the Sacred Maiden Ceremony, you already know that I was there?”
Xia Jiajia nodded with a smile.
Xue Qianxue and Ling Feiyue immediately said to Yuan Ji, “We told you so!”
Yuan Ji muttered weakly, “This is only a lucky guess.”
Yuan Ji turned to look at Hua Wuwu and Hua Baiyue, “But they are always with me. How did they inform you?”
Xia Jiajia replied, “They don’t have to. Your intentions are already known to me for several months ahead. Moreover I was following you.”
Yuan Ji was gasping, “You are following me?”
Xia Jiajia nodded. “I was there when you broke Maiden Feiyue’s heart and she was weeping outside your room.”
Yuan Ji: …
Ling Feiyue had suddenly lowered her head with an awkward look, “He is such a badass rascal…”
Yuan Ji was suddenly laughing softly. It was because he had suddenly realized something, “So Jiajia, you have actually sent Wuwu and Baiyue to protect me?”
Xia Jiajia nodded, “I’ve told them not to make it too obvious that they are there to protect you or else you will take advantage of them. But you take advantage of them nonetheless.”
Yuan Ji chuckled weakly. “Haha…”
“Jiajia…” Yuan Ji was actually quite touched. “That means that when I was at the Celestial Orthodox Sect for the very first time, you are also there.”
Xia Jiajia nodded with a bitter smile, “I didn’t expect that you will be so outrageous to flirt so directly with the Sacred Maiden.”
Xue Qianxue stammered weakly, “He is really a badass rascal! He keeps touching me nonstop. In the end, I had no other choice!”
That was a blatant lie.
But everyone, including Yuan Ji did not expose her because they knew that she was only defending herself out of shyness. If Xue Qianxue did not like Yuan Ji, she would have killed him on the spot.
Xia Jiajia inhaled a soft sigh as she smiled, “Actually I have no interest to meddle in the affairs of the celestial fraternity so the Hundred Flower Divine Palace and the Blue Phoenix Sacred Sect are not exactly well-known…”
“I have heard rumors that you are using maidens for your melting cauldron. This is pretty well-known.” Yuan Ji interrupted with a chuckle.
Xia Jiajia returned him an annoyed look, “Do not confuse the Hundred Flower Divine Palace with the Evil Cultivation Palace. But some days ago, I did have a lovely prisoner from the Evil Cultivation Palace here. She is the Little Princess from the Evil Cultivation Palace.”
Yuan Ji was startled as he stammered, “Where is she? Bring me to her.”
Xia Jiajia looked at him from up to down, “You know her?” She pretended to ask. Obviously she knows they know each other.
Yuan Ji sighed heavily, “Yea. I know her.”
“Just friends?” Xia Jiajia asked.
“Yea, just friends. Haha.” Yuan Ji replied with a sheepish look but all of a sudden, he noticed that the other maidens had a look of disbelief in their eyes. So he added, “Of course we are just friends. We’re just drinking friends. Don’t think too much. Where is she?”
He was actually thinking. I mustn’t let them know about my ugly past with Little Princess. If they know that I am her dual cultivation partner then they will surely look down upon me…
But still he was eager to know her whereabouts.
“Your drinking partner?” Xia Jiajia hummed sarcastically. “Do you know Little Princess status? Will she drinks with you?”
Yuan Ji replied shamelessly with a grin, “Not when your drinking partner is a Sword Saint and the Great Poet Ji Yuan. Haha.”
“But you don’t have your beard now. How do you expect her to recognize you?” Xia Jiajia giggled softly.
Yuan Ji was rolling his eyes. Crap. How am I able to out talk her? Jiajia is so smart. I can fool the others but not her…
But Xia Jiajia soon said, “She isn’t around anymore. Like I say, she was my prisoner a few days ago but she had since made her escape while my men were not paying attention.”
“Oh…” Yuan Ji replied. But he was actually secretly thinking. She probably charmed your men and slipped away. She is a really very charming maiden…
Xia Jiajia smiled as she said, “Feiyue, Qianxue. You must be curious why I had set you up too, am I right?”
Ling Feiyue and Xue Qianxue were both giggling, “That is right!”
Xue Qianxue asked, “So what brings you into the picture?”
Xia Jiajia sighed softly, “It is a long story. Let me start from the beginning first. 200+ years ago, I happen to be at the auction house…”
At that time Little Princess had auctioned off a portrait of a beardless Ji Yuan which she declared as the portrait of the Sword Saint Ji Yuan.
Xia Jiajia happened to be at the auction house when Hua Wuwu had informed her, “Our informant has told me that this is really the beardless portrait of the Sword Saint Ji Yuan. I really don’t know how she got his beardless portrait.”
Xia Jiajia took a second glance at the portrait as she muttered, “His beardless look is really handsome. I can’t believe that they are the same person.”
Hua Baiyue giggled, “I have heard that this Ji Yuan prided his beard dearly so how is it possible for Little Princess to have his beardless look?”
Hua Wuwu pondered for a while before saying, “I can’t remember an instance that he is without his beard.”
They did not know that Little Princess had the portrait for a long time. When she had heard that Ji Yuan had become a Sword Saint, she had purposely sold it to the auction house just to spite him so that he would suffer a great loss of face. In this way, he would remember her forever.
Xia Jiajia lowered her voice to whisper to Hua Wuwu, “Bid it under the name of the Hundred Flower Divine Palace…”
Hua Wuwu asked, “Mistress, are you sure? This Ji Yuan is like a typical young master and a rascal. He is always flirting, is arrogant and often fights in the streets.”
But Xia Jiajia said, “It is just a hunch feeling. I’m just curious about him. Do as I’ve said.”
At that time she was already reading Ji Yuan’s lesser known poems and was intrigued about him.
“Ten thousand high grade spirit stones!” That was the bid from the Hundred Flower Divine Palace.
When everyone had learnt that the bidder was from the Hundred Flower Divine Palace, naturally they did not dare to bid more. Moreover at that time Ji Yuan was actually an unknown despite his renown as a Sword Saint. Therefore no one was willing to give his portrait a second look. The biggest reason was because this portrait was a beardless Ji Yuan and the men disdained it.
It was only when he had gained fame as a Great Poet that the people regretted their decisions not to bid for his beardless portrait.
That was how the Hundred Flower Divine Palace got the one and only beardless portrait of Ji Yuan.
Little Princess actually did not expect that someone would actually bid for the portrait. After all, she had set the bid to be extremely high and she just wants to exhibit Ji Yuan shame to everyone. When she had regretted it, it was already too late.
When Ji Yuan had heard Xia Jiajia, he was stammering. “This…this…you mean that you have actually recognized me on the first day that I have come to the Emperor Hall Sect…because you have my portrait all along…”
Xia Jiajia smiled, “I’ve been looking at your portrait for many centuries and often wonder what you look like behind your beard.”
Yuan Ji: …
Yuan Ji: …
Yuan Ji: …
Xue Qianxue had a bashful look as she lowered her eyes to say coyly, “Jiajia once proposed a stratagem for me to force you to shave off your beard so that I may have another one of your beardless portrait.”
Yuan Ji smiled bitterly, “I know that part. You’ve told me. But honestly speaking I am way better looking when I have my long beard…”
All the maidens suddenly had a disgusted look in their eyes, including Hua Wuwu and Hua Baiyue.
Xia Jiajia put her fingers near her mouth as she chuckled silently. She soon continued. “Many years later when I had learnt that Ji Yuan had actually extolled the great beauties of Ling Feiyue and Xue Qianxue, I was actually quite unhappy. In that poem, he had actually put my hundred flowers below the seven major clans and the two great beauties.”
Yuan Ji smiled bitterly, “I know that part…” Xia Jiajia had already told him.
“So when I had learnt that Ling Feiyue and Xue Qianxue were interested to meet Ji Yuan so I hatched a plan.”
Xue Qianxue smiled weakly, “You’re sure well-informed. You have a spy in our midst?”
Ling Feiyue was also smiling weakly, “That’s right…”
Xia Jiajia laughed softly, “It doesn’t take a good spy to know that you admire Ji Yuan. Everyone knows that the two of you have been reciting his poems all the time.”
All of a sudden Xue Qianxue and Ling Feiyue had bashfully turned their heads away. They felt like digging a big hole right now…
When Yuan Ji saw that they were so embarrassed, he quickly decided to distract Xia Jiajia and everyone’s attention.
So he turned to Xia Jiajia to chuckle, “Jiajia, I have heard that the Hundred Flower Divine Palace has many miracle remedies. I can see that your four elders all have beautiful beards. Do you think that you can help me to regrow my beard?”
Except for Xia Jiajia, all the other maidens were suddenly gasping as they prayed that Xia Jiajia did not have a remedy for that.
But Xia Jiajia smiled as she threw a small bottle to him, “I do have one. But you must take care not to consume it all at once and you can only take one pill every month. After taking the pill, wash your face with alcohol.”
Yuan Ji was startled and his spirit had suddenly lifted up. He gave Jiajia a big hug and said excitingly, “Jiajia! I love you the most! Haha!”
Xia Jiajia smiled, “You are my future lord, naturally I will have to obligate your requests to the best of my ability.”
“Surrender that bottle!” Ling Feiyue said unhappily.
Xue Qianxue gasped in great exasperation, “You look alright with your current look. Why bother with your beard?”
But Yuan Ji laughed, “No way!” And he had already run far away.
Fairy Ye Chengxi, Shangguan Yan, Xue Qianxue and Ling Feiyue were all looking unhappily at Xia Jiajia. “Why did you give him that remedy for? Do you know that he looks really ugly with his beard?”
Xia Jiajia giggled all of a sudden, “Although I do have a divine remedy but that is not the one that I have given him. In fact, using that earlier remedy, he will have no hope of ever using the beard growing divine remedy or any divine remedy ever again.”
When Xia Jiajia had said that, all the maidens were all laughing and giggling jovially.
“Good one, Jiajia.”
“How can you say that to him with such a straight face, I’m impressed…”
“This will teach him a lesson…”
“Your playacting is so convincing that even we are fooled…”
“He actually believes you…”
Xia Jiajia sighed softly, “I haven’t finished my story yet and he has already run off.”
Then she smiled to the other maidens, “Ji Yuan is too unpredictable. Although my plans a hundred year ago is quite well thought but it still can’t catch a slippery fish like Ji Yuan.”
Ling Feiyue laughed, “Maybe you don’t even need to plan all these for him. He already likes you at the very start. We’re all there to pick the pieces.”
Xia Jiajia lowered her eyes, “I have yet to see if he is worthy for me a hundred years ago. But now I know he is.”
Ling Feiyue giggled, “Jiajia, in the future you will be one of our sisters. But you will be ranked 6th. So you have to call us your older sisters. It doesn’t matter what your current status is but you got to follow our hierarchy.”
Xia Jiajia chuckled, “Fourth Palace Mistress Ling Feiyue, I’m afraid that my ranking is higher than anyone of you!”
“Why do you say that?”
“Because I am the founder of the Emperor Hall Sect!” Xia Jiajia laughed softly. “Therefore even Yuan Ji must also acknowledge me as his elder.”
Hua Wuwu and Hua Baiyue were all giggling, “That is right! Our Mistress is ranked higher than anyone of you!”
Ling Feiyue, Xue Qianxue, Bai Qianfeng, Shangguan Yan, Fairy Ye Chengxi: …
All of a sudden they had all realized that Xia Jiajia was already several steps ahead of them.
Xia Jiajia was looking at Bai Qianfeng all of a sudden with a smile, “Maiden Qianfeng, you seem to have an extraordinary air around you. I wonder what is your background and how do you get to know Yuan Ji?”
“I am just an ordinary maiden.” Bai Qianfeng said quietly. “I have no home. From now on, I will be following Yuan Ji…”