“Sir, I don’t know what to do! His Majesty refused to leave his room! I’ve already informed him but I have yet to receive a reply,” panicked the messenger.

“What the hell is he doing in there? Open up the door, I want to see what’s going on!” said the official. He assumed that the messenger was simply afraid of opening the door.

“Sir, you don’t understand! The door can only be opened from the inside, so if His Majesty doesn’t want to open the door, we can’t do anything about it!”

The King had refused to open the door and give the messenger an answer.

“King Gao Fei, what’s the matter with you? We have some serious matters to settle, everyone is waiting for you!”

“Sir, it’s useless to shout. This room is soundproof. The only way to communicate with whoever is inside is through the bell outside. However, His Majesty had muted all methods of communication,” the messenger said to the official.

“...”

The official furrowed his brows, and asked, “Do any of you know why he’s hiding in there?”

“Umm…” stammered the messenger, as if they were hesitating to reply.

“Whatever the reason is, just spit it out! Now’s not the time to stutter,” commanded the official strictly.

“I may not be able to handle the weird and absurd Master Ye, but surely I can handle a lowly messenger like you,” thought the official to himself.

“Umm…” stammered the messenger again, clearly facing difficulty answering the official’s question.

“Speak up!” roared the official.

“I really don’t know how to put this, but here’s how it goes. Two days ago, His Majesty brought back a person from his trip. Since then, he had instructed everyone not to bother the both of them, no matter how serious the issue. True enough, they never left this room, not even to eat!”

“So they never left the room? Aren’t you worried something may have happened to them? Or that they may have run away somewhere?” interrogated the official.

“That’s impossible. There’s only one door in this room and there are guards in the room with him. Furthermore, this isn’t the first time His Majesty acted like this. His Majesty once stayed in this room for a whole week!”

“No wonder they weren’t so worried, this isn’t the first time His Majesty had behaved like this. If they weren’t concerned with His Majesty’s behaviour, they wouldn’t be concerned with whatever His Majesty’s doing in that room,” thought the official to himself.

But… what exactly is His Majesty doing in that room?

“What the hell is your King doing in there? If this isn’t the first time, then you should know what he’s doing in there!” continued the official.

The messenger had left out a very important piece of information which concerned whoever was within the room with the King, and what they were doing in the room.

“This… the King… he’s gambling in there!” stammered the messenger.

“What?! Gambling? To the point where he doesn’t care for his nation’s matters?” the official was caught off guard, but quickly regained his composure.

In the Thirteen Nation Federation, word had spread quickly. Hence, everyone else in the Federation knew of King Gao Fei and his very serious gambling habits. Furthermore, he was a skilled gambler too, so not a lot of people dared to gamble with him.

However, no one expected him to neglect his duties as a nation’s King just to satisfy his gambling needs. Even during a crucial point of time like this, he chose to gamble behind locked doors.

“Exactly! We don’t know what to do. He’s crazy when it comes to gambling. It could take him either just hours, or many days on end!”

The official thought to himself for a while. Afterwards, he asked, “Is there any way to open the door? Even if it means breaking the door down,”

“It’s possible, but it’ll take days. This room is well fortified. It’s even enhanced with alchemy. We’ll need to find an alchemist to help us out,” suggested the messenger.

“Days? We don't even have a few hours. Do you have any idea on who’s with the king in the room?” asked the official.

“We don’t really know. But we do know that it’s a youngster, a rather odd one too. His Majesty met him on the streets and invited him to gamble here. Apart from that, we know nothing else,” explained the messenger. He placed a rather heavy emphasis on the word ‘invited’.

It was obvious, whoever this odd youngster was, he had willingly accepted the invitation.

“What should we do…” pondered the official, who then gritted his teeth and rushed out!

He had decided that it was only King Gao Fei’s fault that led to this matter’s failure. The official decided he himself would have no liability nor responsibility for the matter.

“General Ye, my deepest apologies. King Gao Fei refused to leave his room and there’s nothing I can do. I’m sorry,” apologised the official.

“It’s fine, then we’ll be leaving now.” Ye Chengtian excused himself while saluting. He thought that if they can’t get the help they want, they might as well save themselves some face.

“Farewell!” said seventh brother and the others, who then left with Ye Chengtian.

It was at that moment, something happened which stopped them in their tracks…

“Let them go or you’ll learn the taste of my ice!” Ye Lanyu’s yelling pierced everyone’s ears, which led them to the source of a scuffle, where an alchemy formation was already forming.

Because of Ye Lanyu’s screams, they assumed that someone among them had been caught and held hostage. They might have fallen into a trap.

Looks like these people of the Thirteen Alliance were feeling bold today. The Ye family had no plans to hold back if it came to a fight.

However, very quickly, Ye Chengtian and his entourage realised that the representatives of the Thirteen Alliance were equally shocked and confused.

Did one of theirs betray them, or did this have nothing to do with them?

The answer quickly revealed itself.

A lady dressed in a leather armour was holding Zhen Xiaoyan hostage. She slowly approached them, with Ye Lanyu and the seventh princess slowly and cautiously following her. Behind the duo, Ye Yi and several others were in tow.

“A warrior?”

The leather armour worn by the lady were commonly worn by warriors. Such an armour defended the wearer’s body well, and it didn’t hinder their movements.

Mercenaries often wore armour like this because it also had another significant characteristic: it was cheap but of very high quality.