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Chapter 254: A Sharp-Tongued Character!
At that time, the Great Wu Court will undoubtedly lose face and become a laughingstock throughout the world! In the future, aspiring individuals from various quarters will certainly not choose Great Wu! People’s trust will be completely shattered! Moreover, by doing so, they will offend Night Fragrance and the grandmaster behind him. If they encounter trouble, the entire Great Wu will be left with no recourse. It can be said that handing over Night Fragrance would be all harm and no benefit! At best, they might receive some praise from the Great Xia, but what use is that?
So, why should they hand over Night Fragrance?
The Empress’s face turned cold, “Crown Prince of the Great Xia, your words have gone too far! Night Fragrance is now a person of Great Wu. He holds the rank of a fourth-ranked guard with a sword and has the title of ‘Imperial Cat’ in Great Wu. During his service, he has fought crime at the forefront, maintaining the peace of the capital city. He is a pillar of our nation and a hero of our people. How could we push our own hero out the door?”
Crown Prince Xia Tianqiong’s expression remained unchanged, “I implore Your Majesty of Great Wu to think twice! Night Fragrance is a thief. He has always been a thief from the beginning to the end. Don’t think that just because he’s behaving well now, he has truly changed. It’s said that the landscape may change, but one’s nature is difficult to alter. He will definitely reveal his true nature in the future. By then, you will regret it!”
The Empress’s tone was heavy, “I believe he has reformed.”
Crown Prince Xia Tianqiong spoke loudly, “Since you persist in your refusal, is the Great Wu Court a sanctuary for criminals and a hiding place for filth?”
The Empress’s face changed, as did the faces of the officials.
“Bold! This is the Great Wu Court. It won’t tolerate your insolence!”
“Crown Prince of the Great Xia, please watch your words!”
Crown Prince Xia Tianqiong coldly smiled, “Could there be something wrong with what this prince has said?”
Many were left speechless, as they had indeed been harboring Night Fragrance.
What Night Fragrance’s identity was and what he had done were known to people throughout the world. There was no way they could argue against this.
At this moment, Lin Beifan stepped forward with a smile, “Listening to the Crown Prince of the Great Xia’s words, I’m reminded of a situation very similar to the current one.”
The Empress was somewhat puzzled. “At a time like this, are you going to tell a story?”
However, Lin Beifan had never disappointed her. When he appeared at a moment like this, he would certainly not be aimless.
So, the Empress smiled and said, “Sir Lin, if you have something to say, please share it with everyone!”
“Yes, Your Majesty!” Lin Beifan stood upright and said, “I once heard: Citrus trees grown south of the Huai River are called orange trees, while those grown north of the Huai River are called trifoliate orange trees. The leaves of these trees look very similar, but the taste of their fruit is completely different! One is sweet and delicious, loved by people, while the other is sour and difficult to swallow, disliked by everyone.”
Lin Beifan arched his hand and smiled, “May I ask, Your Majesty, Crown Prince of the Great Xia, and all the esteemed individuals present, why is this?”
“Ah, well…” Everyone fell into contemplation.
The Empress was the first to ask, “Is it because of different tree species?”
Lin Beifan smiled and shook his head, “They are the same kind of tree, there’s no difference.”
Crown Prince Xia Tianqiong asked, “Could it be due to different cultivation methods?”
Once again, Lin Beifan shook his head, “They are the same.”
Everyone racked their brains but couldn’t come up with an answer.
The Empress urged, “Sir Lin, don’t keep us in suspense. Quickly reveal the reason!”
“It’s actually quite simple. The reason for such a situation is due to the environment! When the soil and environment change, the cultivated fruits will also change. One becomes liked by people, while the other becomes disliked,” Lin Beifan explained.
“For example, in the same patch of grass, some grass is often exposed to sunlight, so it grows lush. Others lack sunlight, so they wither,” he continued.
Everyone suddenly realized, “That makes sense!”
“When born south of the Huai River, it’s an orange; when born north of the Huai River, it’s a trifoliate orange,” Lin Beifan smiled, “This is the case with Night Fragrance. Why is it that when he was a thief in the land of the Great Xia, but after coming to our Great Wu, he transformed into a good person? It’s because the environment changed, and people changed along with it.”
“Therefore…” Lin Beifan exclaimed, “Great Wu isn’t a haven for filth and corruption. It’s a sacred place, a place of reform, a place of benevolence. Even a great thief like Night Fragrance, when he comes here, will be reformed and become a good person!”
“Conversely, your Great Xia is the place of filth you speak of! Because in an environment like yours, it can only cultivate thieves, it can only cultivate great national criminals!”
The crowd clapped and cheered, “Well said! So logical!”
“Born south of the Huai River, it’s an orange; born north of the Huai River, it’s a trifoliate orange! The fact that Night Fragrance has improved after coming here proves that this is not a place of filth and corruption, but a sacred and pure land!”
“You people of the Great Xia can’t compare. How can you still have the audacity to accuse us?”
Although the Empress didn’t speak, her brows danced with delight, clearly pleased.
Lin Beifan looked at Crown Prince Xia Tianqiong, whose face was now both green and black, and said with a smile, “To prevent Night Fragrance from falling into evil ways again and causing turmoil in the world, Great Wu has thoroughly considered the matter and decided not to hand him over!”
“Our actions are not selfish, but for the sake of the world and the common people. I believe that as the current Crown Prince of the Great Xia, you must understand the greater good. You will surely comprehend and support our decision!”
Crown Prince Xia Tianqiong’s face turned even darker and greener!
My, oh my, he managed to talk himself into a corner. Now he’s being bitten back!
If he still insists on taking the person, then he would be in the wrong! It would mean he doesn’t grasp the greater good!
It would show he is self-centered and lacks compassion, disregarding the well-being of the world and the people!
At this moment, Xia Tianqiong burst into laughter, “Actually, just now I was only joking. Please don’t take it to heart!”
Chasing after someone and not letting go would be undignified, so everyone smiled faintly, considering the matter resolved.
Then, after performing some formal farewells, Xia Tianqiong took his leave from the Empress.
Before leaving, he looked meaningfully at Lin Beifan, “Sir Lin, we’ll meet again tomorrow!”
Lin Beifan responded loudly, “Farewell, Crown Prince of the Great Xia!”
After leaving the palace, the Great Xia delegation began to vehemently criticize Lin Beifan.
“He’s truly a sharp-tongued individual, to actually scheme against our Great Xia!”
“Not fearing the Great Xia, disrespecting His Highness, this person deserves punishment!”
“Crown Prince, should we give him a lesson?”
At this moment, Crown Prince Xia Tianqiong’s complexion had returned to normal. He smiled and shook his head, “No! He was just upholding Great Wu’s dignity. It’s the duty of a subject, so what’s the crime?”
“On the contrary, I admire him very much. He’s eloquent and shrewd. If only we could make use of such talent! We still have a few days left, plenty of time to get to know him better. No need to rush!”
On the other side, not long after Lin Beifan had finished attending the morning court, Night Fragrance came in a hurry.
“I heard that during the morning court today, Crown Prince of the Great Xia visited the Empress and requested her to hand me over. Is that true?” he asked.
Lin Beifan nodded, “Yes, that’s true.”
Night Fragrance became even more anxious, “So, what are you going to do?”
Lin Beifan chuckled, “What’s there to worry about? We absolutely won’t hand you over, even if the Great Xia Emperor himself comes! You just stay here and be our court cat!”
Night Fragrance breathed a sigh of relief, “That’s good to hear!”
He really didn’t want to leave here! Though he had only been here for a month, he had become attached to too many things he couldn’t let go of. Everything here made him very nostalgic!
Now that things had settled down, he opened his fan with a snap. Once again, he was the handsome and imposing Imperial Cat, Night Fragrance.
“By the way, what did you do to the Crown Prince of the Great Xia? During the morning court today, I noticed a hint of resentment in his eyes when he mentioned you,” Lin Beifan asked with a smile.
“Not much, really. It’s just that when I was stealing treasures in the palace, I accidentally put a green hat on him!” Night Fragrance said nonchalantly, fanning himself.
Lin Beifan was astonished, “That’s not much? You actually put a green hat on someone? This is a grievance of cuckoldry, even a man can’t bear this!”
“It’s not as complicated as you think. I happened to have a green hat in my hand when I was stealing the treasure. He was standing in front of me, so I casually put it on him!”
Lin Beifan sighed disappointedly, “So that’s how it happened. I got excited for no reason!”
“But then, when I succeeded in the theft, I was so excited that I couldn’t control myself and blurted out that the Crown Prince was wearing a green hat. So, the whole city found out!” Night Fragrance chuckled mischievously.
Lin Beifan shook his head and clicked his tongue, “It was bad before, now it’s even worse. No wonder he hates you so much!”
Night Fragrance chuckled mischievously, his eyes playfully shifting around, clearly plotting some mischief.
Lin Beifan warned, “I’m telling you, don’t mess around! Xia Tianqiong is the heir of the Great Xia Empire. He represents Great Xia. If anything happens here, it won’t end well for a lot of things! At that time, our court won’t be able to protect you!”
Night Fragrance waved his hand, “Rest assured, I’ve turned over a new leaf. I know what to do and what not to do. I’ll act after he leaves Great Wu. I won’t involve you guys!”
Lin Beifan whispered, “Remember to disguise yourself! It’s best to disguise yourself as the Great Xia Emperor. Fathers disciplining their sons is only right and proper!”
Night Fragrance exclaimed excitedly, slapping his thigh, “You’re really cunning! It’s settled then!”
The next day, Lin Beifan arrived at the inn to receive Crown Prince Xia Tianqiong and his entourage from the Great Xia Empire. He apologized with a bow, “Your Highness, I was quite offensive yesterday. Please forgive me!”
“Sir Lin, you’re being too harsh. You were upholding the dignity of the court. What crime is there?” Xia Tianqiong politely replied, “After thinking it over once I returned yesterday, I realized I behaved impolitely. I hope Sir Lin can forgive me!”
“Your Highness, you’re too kind!”
After a bit of polite conversation and laughter, the grievances from yesterday’s morning court were brushed aside.
“Your Highness, as you’re visiting the capital for the first time, do you have any specific plans? Please let us know, and I’ll make the arrangements for you! If you don’t have any plans, I’ll take the liberty to make some decisions for you!” Lin Beifan smiled.
Xia Tianqiong shook his head, “I don’t have any specific plans, just a stroll, sightseeing, and asking questions about anything I don’t understand. Consider it a relaxing vacation! However, I must visit the Minxin City outside the capital.”
“It’s said that the Minxin City can accommodate over a million people and yet rose from flat ground in less than three months. It can be called a miracle! So, I want to see this city of wonders with my own eyes!”
Lin Beifan smiled, “Alright, I’ll arrange it for you then!”