Chapter (9): Three thousand Lanterns

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Three thousand lanterns!

All was silent when suddenly, there was a tidal wave like uproar. Never – not even the Great Martial Palace that always sat at the top – had anyone won three thousand lanterns in one night at the Mid-Autumn Festival Banquet. In fact, no one had ever imagined such a number. Even just one thousand was already difficult to pass. Three thousand. That was truly unheard of, not a precedent in history, and it was even more than the count of all the other top ten heavenly officials added together!

One can imagine, at that moment, just how incredulous every official was, and some even blurted out: "There must be a mistake!" "It must've been counted wrong..."

Yet, nevermind thinking that the announcer official, who had been counting for the Mid-Autumn Festival's Battle of the Lanterns for years, could just happen to be wrong this one time. Just by looking at that massive band of flowing lights, even if they were to backtrack a million steps, that number count couldn't be wrong; even if it was wrong the miscount could only be less, not more.

The officials were struck with an unbelievable situation, some just wanted to claim it was fraud; but the thousands of lanterns shining above clearly proved itself. On the lanterns that floated up, the name 'Qiandeng Temple' was written, but none of the officials knew where it was, not even Xie Lian whom the Lanterns were dedicated to.

The heavenly officials were in such a turmoil that it seemed like another Ghost King had come up the heavens to threaten them. In the midst of chaos, Pei Ming just scoffed and stated, "Didn't I say that Crimson Rain Sought Flower didn't kidnap His Highness out of ill intent? No one believed me back then. Now do my words seem accountable?"

At Pei Ming's mention of Hua Cheng some of the officials quieted down, some seemed alerted and some showed disgust. But they were all enlightened to how the three thousand lanterns were possible. At the gazes of envy, doubt and fear of those heavenly officials, Xie Lian never loosened his hold on Wei Ying. Wei Ying didn't know who Crimson Rain Sought Flower was, he just knew those kinds of eyes which looked down upon them never meant any good.

Wei Ying's heart rate was getting unstable...just when a warm hand covered the back of his head and set him in warm shoulders, not letting him see the piercing gazes any longer. Xie Lian just smiled as he faced those envious and doubtful heavenly officials while holding Wei Ying firmly in his chest. He was in wonder and amazement when he learnt that the lanterns were intended for him, from the events that had happened today, he had a rough idea to who launched those lanterns.

However, it wasn't as important as the small cotton ball in his arms. How could he let such a small child face the prejudice of the heavens. Just then, a sound of hands clapping sounded from the top of the banquet. The attention of all officials were drawn in and all remained silent as the Jade Emperor Jun Wu clapped and congratulated Xie Lian. Xie Lian politely received the compliment.

Seeing that exchange, the feast quieted down. After some hesitation, all finally took Jun Wu's lead and applauded, sending their congratulations, nonetheless, Xie Lian never let go of his hold on Wei Ying.

After a series of unexpected events, the Mid-Autumn Festival Banquet came to an end. The one clearly excited and enjoyed the most at the banquet was no doubt the Wind Master, Shi Qingxuan. She started with vigor and still in high spirits even after the banquet. She was having a lively conversation with her brother and his two friends, Ling Wen and Pei Ming.

Xie Lian waited until after the two brothers ( and sister in this scene??) finished talking at a distance. Wei Ying was peacefully asleep in his arms. Xie Lian did expected so, after a series of excitement and eating a lot of snacks, Wei Ying would definitely sleep like a log. Xie Lian couldn't conceal his smile as he softly patted Wei Ying in his sleep. Wei Ying was comfortably sleeping without a care for everything else in Xie Lian's arms. Xie Lian wished he could spoil Wei Ying more like this.

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