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Subordinates clad in black stood inside the expansive rear court of the Crown Prince’s residence. The area that the residence covered was vast, but among all the places, the rear court was furthest away. It was left neglected with no one to manage it, and no one came around. Thus Chief Hai gathered everyone there.
Shang Wuxin was wearing a black brocade robe. Her steps were graceful and unhurried as her whole body exuded a magnificent noble aura. Her face was like ice that was unable to melt. Meeting her face to face, those originally loyal subordinates felt their hearts shake in excitement. Their master was indeed out of the ordinary.
“Greeting the Crown Prince!” Eunuch Hai, as well as everyone else, simultaneously knelt down. Their tone was respectful and reverent. Shang Wuxin was pleased with their display. Although she knew that Eunuch Hai had trained many people, she hadn’t expected that many. In addition, each person’s martial arts was pretty good, while their bearing was steady. In order to train troops up to that standard, it would require enormous effort and high ability. Chief Hai’s importance rose even further in Shang Wuxin’s eyes.
“Stand up.” Shang Wuxin waved her hand then carefully sized everyone up. She slowly walked by each and every one of them, frequently releasing her bloodthirst whenever she passed by a subordinate, and causing them to drip with cold sweat. They only relaxed when Shang Wuxin left their side.
“This Prince is standing here today to demand your absolute loyalty. Do you understand what absolute loyalty means? Your whole life will belong to Me, your religion will be Me.” Shang Wuxin’s voice was low and magnetic, without losing its cold dignity and authority. “However, This Prince is not someone who forces people. I’m aware that you’re Imperial mother’s people and are subordinates trained by Chief Hai. I’m here to give you a choice. If any of you wants to leave, I’ll give you your freedom, as well as some money to start afresh. But if you don’t leave today, you’ll henceforth swear your loyalty to This Prince.”
Chief Hai opened his mouth wanting to say something. How could the crown prince possibly let those people go free? As the crown prince’s servants, how could they kick their benefactor in the teeth? But seeing the crown prince’s regal posture, he was unable to utter any dissuading words.
However a moment later, the entire rear court resounded with resolute voices, “This subordinate wishes to swear loyalty to the Crown Prince!” They had already been ready to pledge their life to the rumored incompetent prince because of the grace they had previously received. But meeting him today, they realized he was outstanding. That kind of master let them feel confident about swearing their loyalty. More importantly, they didn’t have the slightest inclination of betrayal in front of the crown prince. Everyone was looking at him in high spirits.
Shang Wuxin nodded with satisfaction. Would she have really given their freedom back? No, that was naturally impossible. Chief Hai had raised them for so long, they certainly knew a few of the Crown Prince residence’s secrets. If there really was anyone wishing to leave, Shang Wuxin wouldn’t have let him go alive. What pleased her was that those people didn’t disappoint her. They were worthy of being her subordinates.
“Half of you will become the residence’s guards. This Prince hopes My residence won’t be the same as a tavern anymore. This will be arranged by Chief Hai,” Shang Wuxin instructed. “The remaining half should follow Wu Wei to carry out training. When done, you’ll return to guard the residence and let the other half go train.”
Though they were confused, nobody protes
ted. Moreover, Chief Hai had complete trust in the crown prince, so he happily smiled with a brazen face, “This old servant will make the arrangements. The Crown Prince may rest easy.”
“The five people with the best martial arts, come out!” Shang Wuxin ordered. “Wu Wei, spar with them.” Though she knew Wu Wei’s skill was better, it wasn’t her intention to compare them. Right now, she meant to confirm her recent progress, as well as set up a dignified image for Wu Wei as their future leader.
One woman and four men dressed in black moved away from the numerous subordinates. Wu Wei nodded as a greeting, then the six of them promptly started their fight. Wu Wei’s technique was fierce and sharp. Combined with the scar on her cheek, she appeared even more fearsome. As for the rest, their martial arts wasn’t bad either, but compared to Wu Wei’s, it fell short. In the end, the only ones still fighting were Wu Wei and the other female. Since they were sparring, they didn’t use weapons, but both their faces were perspiring.
The two of them did their best in the fight. While Wu Wei’s skill was higher than the other woman’s, she had just faced against four men, so she had consumed a lot of energy. It was difficult to avoid staggering. The other woman also didn’t lose to Wu Wei in ferocity.
“Good.” Shang Wuxin halted their unrelenting sparring. Though Wu Wei’s martial arts hadn’t met her own requirements, she ought not be too strict with her.
The two immediately separated, but held a hint of appreciation for each other. They saluted the crown prince. At that moment, the subordinates were looking at him with even more reverence. His personal maid was so strong, she could deal with the strongest of their group. Thinking back on the crown prince’s words of letting them train, many were eager to start.
“What is your name?” Shang Wuxin looked at the black clad woman thoughtfully. Her talent and reflexes were both quite good. In addition, Wu Wei was responsible for too many tasks. She had noticed her recent fatigue. There might be a need to arrange for one more personal maid.
“This subordinate doesn’t have a name. Everyone calls me subordinate One.” The black clad woman lowered her head to say, but her eyes didn’t show any sadness.
Chief Hai noticed that the crown prince seemed to be interested in that woman and at once stepped forward to say, “This girl’s parents used to serve the Empress. Not long after she was born, they passed away, thus this old servant brought her up. Because she has no parents, she hasn’t received a name. This girl is very intelligent and capable!”
“It’s rare of you to praise a servant girl so much.” Shang Wuxin’s lips formed a small smile. “From now on, you’ll be called Wu Ju. You’ll be my personal maid like Wu Wei. Are you willing?”
“Wu Ju is willing! Thank you, Crown Prince!” Wu Ju knelt down and saluted. She had spent her whole life on the training grounds. Since young, she knew she would have to give her loyalty to the crown prince. But facing him now, she felt that all her hard work was worth it.
Shang Wuxin nodded and departed. They would take care of the following procedures. As the leader, she didn’t need to mind every single issue personally. Her subordinates needed the opportunity to grow and develop.
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