“Your Majesty, who will you be rooting for? Could it be…” the displeased chancellor continued, mentioning the name of his granddaughter.

“Your granddaughter may be beautiful, but I believe my daughter has a much higher chance of winning this competition! My daughter is very talented! She can sing, dance, draw, play instruments…” interrupted another chancellor.

“Sounds normal to me, that’s nothing special. My daughter is truly talented. She was a disciple of the famous dance goddess! She has incorporated the true essence of the art of dancing into her dance!” bragged another chancellor.

“You think that’s impressive? Well, my granddaughter…” went on another chancellor.

Their lively debate could be heard throughout the place. All the chancellors were bragging about how their beloved daughters and granddaughters were the best compared to everyone else. 

The emperor coughed, bringing the attention of his subjects back to him. After doing so, the next thing he said surprised everyone else in the room.

“Your daughters and granddaughters sure are lovely and talented for sure, they’re destined to be the finest ladies of this kingdom. Under normal circumstances, I would have picked one of them as the potential winner. However, this time, I’m rooting for Zhen Xiaoyan!” proclaimed the emperor.

“Why?! There’s no way she stands a chance at winning this competition at all. At least, under fair judgment.”

“Please. I assure you, there’s no need to worry about any unfair judgment in this competition. I’ll make sure of it. It might seem highly unlikely that Zhen Xiaoyan will win, you must remember that she has Ye Lang by her side. Everything is unpredictable with Ye Lang,” explained the emperor. He knew that they were extremely bothered by the possible injustice in this competition.

“What makes you think so, Your Majesty? Do you really think Ye Lang can make that fat talentless Zhen Xiaoyan a worthy winner of this competition?”

“No! I doubt he’s capable of that” denied the emperor immediately. Ye Chengtian agreed with the emperor. Zhen Xiaoyan really had nothing worthy to show. Heck, even divine interventions from the heavens wouldn’t be able to save her. There was no way a clumsy young boy like Ye Lang would be able to save her.

The chancellors were confused. If the emperor didn’t think Ye Lang could drastically transform Xiaoyan, why would the emperor say such a thing? Before they could ponder any deeper, the emperor provided his answer.

“But… I believe in his luck!”

Who knew silence could be this deafening.

“You can be sceptical all you want about the boy’s abilities, but you can’t question his luck! Lady Luck loves him!” explained the emperor, full of jealousy.

“...”

The chancellors were speechless. They had heard of Ye Lang’s amazing luck, where he was always met with great priceless fortune despite his endless squanders.

What they didn’t know, however, was that Ye Lang was also extremely lucky in his daily life. He’d never gotten hurt or involved in any accidents despite his clumsiness. 

Back when Tigress was still around, his clumsiness was assumed to be countered by Tigress as she took good care of him. However, with the absence of Tigress in the past five years, any obstacles or potholes he came across on the road were subconsciously avoided, as if he had a sixth sense. 

There were even times where items falling from high up aimed directly at his head somehow deviated from its path. Instead, it’d fall either in front, behind or next to him. The only time he’d notice the item was when it made a noise after coming into contact with the ground. He’d simply observe it for a bit before walking away unscathed, oblivious to the fact that he could’ve been injured.

This odd phenomenon, as the emperor had put it, was simply due to him being Lady Luck’s favourite child. It was as if she couldn’t bear to watch her son hurt! 

“But...you can’t be too sure that he’ll always be lucky! He spends so much money all the time. How can you be so sure that he’ll succeed now?” questioned a chancellor. Well, he had a point. If Ye Lang was so famous for his extremely good luck, wouldn’t many want to mimic his outrageous purchases?

“Ye Lang had always wanted to be prodigal. His luck isn’t a success in his books, it’s a failure!” corrected Ye Chengtian.

“We were just planning on placing a small bet on them. The rest is up to fate!” 

“That’s right! We just believe in the possible outcome of them winning. It doesn’t mean that it’ll be the final outcome. If you do wish to place the same bet as us, you better prepare yourselves!” said the emperor with a smile.

Although everyone had fully understood what the emperor meant alongside the fact that they had no faith in Zhen Xiaoyan, they heeded the emperor’s words and started to place bets on her potential victory. Due to this, she received a huge boost in popularity.

The reason behind this was pretty obvious. They simply wanted to express their goodwill. All of the bets placed by the chancellors were simply a networking stunt. Heck, there was no way Zhen Xiaoyan was gonna win.

Surprisingly, Zhen Xiaoyan wasn’t the main focus of this whole ordeal, but rather Ye Lang. Everyone wanted to know how he’d make Zhen Xiaoyan the winner of this competition.

Right off the start, everyone was waiting for him to do something outrageously crazy. After all, they lived for the thrill of seeing his crazy plans in action.

Many thought that his strategy of making Xiaoyan the winner was simply to sabotage her competitors. That seemed like the only possible course of action, after all, there’s simply no way of shaping her into something worthy in such a short amount of time.

If they had months to spare, there may have been a chance - although an extremely slim one. Instead, they only had twenty days to prepare themselves. Even God wouldn’t be able to help them.

In the end, however, everyone was left disappointed. There was no news about the duo at all! Instead of chaos, everyone was left in peace.

Or could this be the calm before the storm?

The girls alongside their parents and grandparents were still extremely worried. Although it seemed as if nothing was going on, they couldn’t let their guard down until the competition is over! As a result, when competition day rolled around, the tension was immense. It felt like a warzone. Countless soldiers filled the area.

“W-what’s going on?! Are we at the right place? Is this a competition for the most talented girl in the kingdom or is this a martial arts competition?” asked some of the clueless audience.

“You’re at the right place. This is the venue for the talent competition!” corrected someone in the audience.

“Then why is it…”

“Oh, you must be wondering why the entire military is here. Apparently, someone threatened the competitors so the military was deployed for extra protection to keep everyone safe.”

“WHAT?!” Which bastard threatened these girls? Who?! I’m going to murder him!” yelled another person arrogantly. He seemed like an important figure in the kingdom. 

Perhaps he thought announcing his hate for the bastard would rally support. After all, they were there to watch the competition. Surely they’d be protective of the girls, right? 

Well, he was wrong. Absolutely wrong. Instead of receiving support, there was a severe backlash. People shunned and ridiculed him!