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After Song Jia departed, Song Qin and the rest continued standing there. Song Qin trembled in anger, his countenance flashed with sharpness as he barked out an order, “They have gone too far. Relay my command, commence the dissolution of Song Clan. Within one day, all of us will leave Luo City.”
The gaze of everyone stiffened, staring at Song Qin. Someone then called out, “Clan Lord…”
“I initially wanted to use the resources of our clan to exchange for a glimmer of hope, to get them to pardon Song Jia. Seems like that’s nothing but a fool’s dream. It’s better if we dissolve now. In the future, my actions won’t implicate the rest of our clan.” Song Qin’s gaze gleamed with a cold light, he had already made his decision.
Everyone sighed, in this dog-eat-dog world, the strong prevailed. They could only lament that their Song Clan was too weak.
The crowd dissipated, that old servant who brought Qin Wentian to the wine cellar earlier was also in a listless daze. He wanted to lend the aid of alcohol to dissipate his melancholy yet the instant he stepped into the wine cellar. He stood there unmoving, stunned. He was unable to believe his eyes.
The wine cellar had been cleaned out completely, not even the smallest flash of wine remained.
“That little brat went too far. This is obviously a daylight robbery, robbing us dry when we are facing external troubles.” The old servant silently cursed as he shook his head. Naturally, he didn’t know that at this moment, Qin Wentian was already trailing behind the middle-aged, black-robed man.
The black-robed man had already taken Song Jia out of Luo City. From observing his behaviour, Qin Wentian was content to follow behind them for now as the black-robed man didn’t seemed to be intending to do anything to Song Jia.
The black-robed man had a cultivation at the peak of the fourth level of Heavenly Dipper and he travelled by means of stepping on a flying sword. With his speed, he travelled over ten thousand miles in a single day. The poor Qin Wentian did so as well, following him secretly from a vast distance away.
And at this moment, an ancient sprawling city appeared in front of the black-robed man. This city projected an air of grandness, it was many times more prosperous compared to Luo City. In fact, the grandness of the city ahead exceeded even the main cities of the nine continents of Grand Xia.
The black-robed man continued on his way, however at this moment, a voice drifted over from afar. “What a beautiful woman.”
“Mhm?” The black-robed man frowned. He halted his steps and glance backwards, he could feel a surge of pressure emanating from behind him.
“Leave the beauty behind and scram.” A cold voice descended, the words it spoke causing the black-robed man to snort coldly. With a wave of his hands, a powerful sword intent gushed forth from him, wanting to lacerate the person behind him.
However, at this moment, his mind shuddered violently and his countenance paled as another even more powerful surge of sword intent directly penetrated his sea of consciousness.
This person must be a Sword Cultivator and it seemed that he was even stronger than him!
The black-robed man roared and prepared to pull out his sword but right at this moment, a figure clad in a long robe could be seen standing above him. The features of this figure were slightly blurry, no one could tell for sure what he looked like.
That figure in long robes stomped down in mid-air as an overwhelming pressure flooded the black-robed man’s mind. The black-robed man wanted to pull out his sword but he realised that his actions were no longer under his own control. Such a Mandate was simply too terrifying.
“Who are you?” The countenance of the black-robed man was incredibly unsightly as he asked.
“You are not qualified to learn my name. I will give you a choice, scram now or die.” The figure standing in the air coldly remarked. The black-robed figure clenched his fist, and responded with a swift action of flying away on his sword. The sword intent madly gushed forth from him, zooming towards the defenceless Song Jia.
“Impudent.” The figure in the air stomped down again. The black-robed figure groaned as the overwhelming pressure directly ravaged his body, causing him to cough out a mouthful of blood. At that instant, the sword intent that was gushing towards Song Jia had also dissipated. He didn’t dared to try anything else and rapidly sped away.
Song Jia inclined her head, staring at the figure in the air with something close to terror on her face.
This person was so powerful. With a single step, he forced the black-robed man to retreat, with the second step, he injured the black-robed man.
Such prowess surely belonged to those at the fifth level of Heavenly Dipper or above. However right now, her heart was filled with even more worries. The tone of this figure earlier, truly sounded lascivious.
“Senior.” Song Jia’s voice quavered.
“Don’t worry, although you are a beauty, this lord has seen too many peerless beauties. I don’t really hold any interest towards you.” The figure in the air laughed before his silhouette whistled through the air, departing the area. This scene caused Song Jia to heave a sigh of relief as she bowed in the direction where the figure had flew off. “Many thanks to senior.”
Watching as that silhouette completely vanished, Song Jia sighed. Hesitation was visible in her eyes before she finally shook her head and continued on towards that sprawling city ahead. She actually chose not to return?
Behind Song Jia, Qin Wentian felt extremely bewildered by Song Jia’s choice. He was sitting on the pegasus which Little Rascal had transformed into as they trailed her from the back. Earlier, he had purposely waited for the opportune moment as he didn’t want to implicate the Song Clan. His actions ensured that the black-robed man would definitely report back up saying that Song Jia was rescued by an expert, but who would have thought that Song Jia would actually choose not to return.
Opening the wine gourd, Qin Wentian took a draught, enjoying the taste before bitterly smiling and shaking his head. “Since I’ve taken the entire wine collection of your Song Clan, I suppose I’ll have to help you till the end. I guess this act of being a flower protector* could also be considered a form of tempering.
Qin Wentian mumbled on as though trying to console himself and continued following Song Jia, stepping into that ancient city.
This city was named the Xuan King City, it was one of the seven Grand King Cities in the Grand Shang Empire.
Grand Shang was different from Grand Xia. The royal clan in Grand Shang has vast amounts of power and authority, only a select few supreme powers were outside their jurisdiction.
The Seven Grand King Cities were manned by troops from the Royal Clan, and were feudal fiefdoms that were lorded over by the lesser branches of the Royal Shang Clan. The purpose of the King Cities is to help the Grand Shang Empire control their vast territories. These main cities were the overlords of each of their areas and were exceedingly prosperous.
A single Grand King City could be divided into numerous small cities, and at the very centre of each king city, there would be a vast area where several mountain ranges and lakes existed. In the Grand Shang Empire, everyone would send the talents of the younger generation into a king city for cultivation since the centre of the king cities held many major powers.
Song Jia, was precisely a disciple of one of the major powers in Xuan King City. However, because she offended someone whose status far exceeded hers, her sect didn’t want to protect her and she almost implicated her clan members. It could be said that she was currently in an extremely miserable state.
After entering the city, Song Jia first chose an inn to settle down. Qin Wentian followed her all the way and eventually chose a room right next to her.
The inn was very small, thus their rooms were all connected. Hence, it was easy to be disrupted in the middle of cultivation and naturally, for things like secret transactions and whatnot, it was totally impossible to maintain privacy. Only, in such a huge city, the prices of staying at a good inn were completely outrageous. A huge number of Yuan Meteor Stones would be needed just to stay at a good inn for a single night. Hence, those who chose the smaller inns would usually have a weaker cultivation base. They didn’t even have enough Yuan Meteor Stones for their own cultivation, how would they bear to splurge on things like staying in an expensive inn?
And although using one’s perception to secretly spy on others was a great taboo in the perspective of cultivators, Qin Wentian had no choice. His perception was constantly locked onto Song Jia, monitoring each and every one of her actions.
The worry on Song Jia’s face never faded. She stayed in her own room and faced the mirror, gazing at her reflection. She undid her hair bun, allowing her soft and silky hair to cascade down like a waterfall. After which, she removed her outer clothing and started grooming herself in front of the mirror. Yet, there were also traces of unshed tears in her eyes.
“There’s a beautiful woman in the Song Clan named Song Jia. She condensed her first Astral Soul at the age of twelve and stepped into Yuanfu when she was eighteen. Grandfather, father, the hope you have in me gratifies my heart, yet I have let all of you down. In this cultivation world, the word ‘conscience’ is a foreign concept. To please the king, the Yin Clan didn’t mind sacrificing a multitude of lives because they wanted to obtain the scarlet halberd. No one dared to say anything and the majority even wanted to offer their fellow sect members to the Yin Clan as sacrifices. I only spoke the truth, yet a calamity rained down upon me, not even a single person stood out to speak for me.”
Song Jia murmured, as she spoke, the pain in her heart resurfaced as tears finally streamed down her face. Uncle Li, her protector, had already died in the process of ensuring that she got back to the Song Clan safely. Yet the Yin Clan had refused to spare her. They had even sent a message saying that they would send someone to get her in three days and if there were any resistance, they would simply wipe out the Song Clan. What could she do? She could only wait there to be captured obediently.
“Although there was an expert saving me, if I really returned, the Yin Clan would definitely exterminate my clan. Why does my entire clan need to die when I can just settle things with a single death?” Song Jia continued sobbing, she then lay down on the bed and stared blankly out of the window.
A girl in the prime of her youth shouldn’t have to worry about stuff like death. However, Song Jia didn’t have a choice.
After hearing Song Jia’s heartfelt words, Qin Wentian also felt somewhat moved. In this cultivation-oriented world, there were simply too many people who didn’t mind using underhanded and ruthless means for the sake of obtaining benefits. Qin Wentian had also encountered similar things before. However, his resolute heart already determined that as long as he lived in this world, he would protect the purity of his heart.
“Well at least, nothing should happen tonight.” Qin Wentian mused as he walked out of his room with Little Rascal who had returned to his original form.
As night descended, the Xuan King City seemed as lively as before. Lights lit up the entire city and very soon, Qin Wentian and Little Rascal entered a restaurant.
Gossips and news would usually be easier to acquire if one frequent inns and restaurants.
Sitting within, he soon took note of those who loved to gossip and trained his perception on them as he sat down in an inconspicuous corner of the restaurant. After some time, one of the gossipers left, Qin Wentian followed and upon passing a random alley, Qin Wentian’s silhouette flickered as he appeared in front of that gossiper.
“What are you trying to do?” An aura at the peak of Yuanfu gushed out as that person noticed Qin Wentian blocking his way.
“Hmph.” Qin Wentian coldly snorted. A single snort was enough to cause the heart of that gossiper to tremble. The coldness that radiated forth from the eyes of Qin Wentian made the gossiper felt as though his soul freezed. He knew that he had just met a terrifying character.
“Senior, what can I do for you?” The attitude adopted by the person immediately underwent a complete change.
“What is the scarlet halberd, and what has the Yin Clan done for the sake of obtaining the scarlet halberd?” Qin Wentian asked, his question causing the expression of the gossiper to stiffen. Glancing left and right, and upon noting the coast is clear before he finally replied, “Senior, the scarlet halberd refers to the scarlet demon halberd. It’s a divine weapon forged by a fifth-ranked Grandmaster named Chi Yezi. A member of the feudal clan in the Xuan King City broke through to the fifth-level of Heavenly Dipper. He let out word that he would heavily reward someone who could create the most tyrannical halberd for him to use as a weapon.”
“After the young master of the Yin Clan learnt about this, he went to seek out Grandmaster Chi Yezi to forge a halberd. Chi Yezi had forged a number of halberds yet the young master wasn’t satisfied with their quality. Chi Yezi then replied, top quality divine weapons with an air of tyranny could only be forged at the moment during which one was obsessed to the point of madness, possessed by their heart’s demons due to one’s emotions. After the young master of the Yin Clan heard that, he grinned coldly and ordered the slaughter of Chi Yezi’s family, wanting to drive Grandmaster Chi into madness. After that, the young master of the Yin Clan continued threatening Grandmaster Chi and pressured him into forging more halberds. Unexpectedly, Grandmaster Chi agreed. Right after the new halberd was forged, Grandmaster Chi killed himself, using his life as a sacrifice to perfect the air of tyranny, imbuing his creation with it, causing the halberd to be known as the scarlet demon halberd. The Yin Clan couldn’t care less about his death. After they received news that the halberd had been perfected, they ordered their men to retrieve it, yet everyone who went, never returned. All of them died due to mysterious reasons. The young master of the Yin Clan naturally wouldn’t give up. He sealed the entire area where Chi Yezi used to reside and issued an order forbidding people from entering. After that, the Yin Clan forcibly recruited talented people, hoping that they would be able to retrieve the demon halberd.”
The volume of the gossiper got lower and lower as he spoke, as though he was afraid of being overheard. When he finished, an intense rage boiled in Qin Wentian’s heart.
“This incident caused the Yin Clan to received heavy criticism. However, nobody dared to say this straight to their face. Because of their reputation, it wasn’t suitable for the feudal royal clan to step in or for them to mobilise their Ascendants.” That person continued. Reputation? At the cost of countless lives? Qin Wentian’s fury was palpable and could clearly be felt in the air. At the end, he asked for the location of Grandmaster Chi’s residence and flew right towards the scarlet demon halberd.
A short time later, Qin Wentian came to the dead zone sealed by the Yin Clan. Under the cover of the night, the death qi in the area was extremely heavy. He stood atop a building as his perception stretched out. An instant later, underneath the silver moonlight, a dominating blood-colored halberd could be seen embedded in the ground some distance away from him. Terrible cries and roars of wrath could be heard emanating forth from the halberd, as though the soul of the deceased Chi Yezi was still filled with reluctance and was full of vengeance!
[*] basically means protecting females
Chi Yezi (赤冶子) → Scarlet Caster/Forger
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