Qing Yun sat on her horse, watching that solemn figure fade into the distance. For some reason, melancholy at their parting gradually rose to the surface of her heart and with it was an ache from somewhere deep within.
“Qin Yu, you idiot, I didn’t do all this wanting you to come back to give thanks afterwards. I only hope that you will live well.” She thought absently. Without her realizing it, something was glimmering in her eyes, it was the shimmer of unshed tears.
“Sentiment has ever been the root of parting sorrow. Big sister, you have feelings for him.”
The sound of a young lady’s gentle voice from afar faded away into a sad sigh carried on the wind.
An expression flitted across Qing Yun’s face though it quickly smoothened back to normal as if nothing had happened. However, her gaze was still fixed in the direction which that young man had gone.
“I thought you wouldn’t be like me - ready to do anything for love regardless of the cost. But it turns out that you and I are the same type of person.” That gentle voice continued.
“It’s different for me.” This was Qing Yun’s voice.
“Is that so?” The gentler voice heaved a long sigh, “where does the difference lie?”
“The difference between you and I, is the person whom we have fallen in love with. He is worth my feelings, while yours is not worthy of your affection.”
Big sister, do you really dislike my dearest Mister Duan so?” The palpable wretchedness in that gentle voice clearly conveyed its owner’s pain, “One’s beloved will always be a peerless beauty in their eyes, it is merely that we each have our own preferences. You are fond of your young hero, Qin Yu, while I am fond of my passionate literary genius, Mister Duan, how can there be anything wrong with this?”
“Ah….” Qing Yun sighed, “Little sister, there will come a day when you shall see his true colours.”
“Alright big sis, let’s not argue over this. Since you now love him, go forth boldly. I know what you want to do. Go! You have my support. To do something mad for one’s lover at least once in a lifetime, is what makes life worth living.”
“Thank you, little sister.”
“What are you thanking me for? Don’t forget that we belong together.”
“Alright, then let your big sister do something crazy for once. Giddy-up!” Qing Yun’s sweet voice rang out in a shout that reached the heavens. With a harsh flick of her reins, her horse gave a spirited neigh and began to gallop. Like a wind stirring up clouds of dust, she left. Her destination? Back to Luoei City.
Before the dust clouds stirred up by Qing Yun’s departure could settle, a group of riders appeared on the other end of the road. There were over twenty sturdy horses and over twenty hefty, solidly built and fierce-looking figures. This group of travellers looked rather travel-worn as they had been rushing, but hardly seemed tired at all. Wherever they passed, their domineering aura flared and their menacing air was almost palpable.
If Qin Yu were here, with a single glance, he would be able to identify them based on their garb as members of the Qin Family.
The Qin Family’s largest active team had finally arrived. With Qin Chong at the lead, there were twenty eight men in total, five of them were highly skilled cultivators of the Immortal Realm, thirteen were at the apex of Immersion Realm and ten were at the last stage of Immersion Realm. One would be right to call this a very strong team. In fact, they were so strong that in the Xinan region, it was safe to say that so long as they do not meet highly skilled cultivators of the Spirit Realm, they would be able to do as they please. Only a powerful and influential family would be able to produce such a terrifying team of elites.
This team from the Qin Family charged into Bao Ding City aggressively. As members of the victorious side there for the handover of the Su Family’s businesses, they intended to frighten all the denizens of Bao Ding City into submission, so that they would tremble with fear under the rule of their iron fist.
However, just after they charged into Bao Ding City, upon reaching the home ground of the Su Family, they were immediately so disappointed that their faces grew pale.
The grand, so-called “Su Family’s Businesses” was bullshit. Before their eyes the Su Family Mansion laid in crumbling ruins with Qin Lai’s dead body left outside its doors.
“What’s going on? What is going on, who killed Qin Lai? Qin Chong bellowed furiously, “investigate this, no matter who is the culprit, find them and kill them.”
Under the rain of Qin Chong’s barked orders, the members of the Qin Family immediately scattered.
About half an hour later, they all returned one-by-one, reporting back to Qin Chong on what they had found.
An hour ago, someone had set fire to the Su Family Mansion and burnt it to the ground. As for who was responsible, no one knew, because Qin Yuandao had been too violent - killing a fair number of people with his roars - so the remaining ones did not dare to hang around the area before the Su Family Mansion. And because of this, there were no witnesses who saw what had happened in there.
“Damnit.” Qin Chong stomped his foot so hard that a pit appeared in the hardened mud beneath his feet. Gritting his teeth, he said, “so long as it was done by a human, I refuse to believe that we cannot dig out the truth. It’s getting late. Let’s find an inn to retire to for the night and continue investigating tomorrow.”
“Third Elder, according to the Old Master’s instructions, the first thing we must do tomorrow morning is to rush to meet Qin Hui, and intercept and kill Su Xiongfei. If we were to continue our investigations here tomorrow, then…” Someone reminded him hurriedly.
Qin Chong paused at that, finally coming to his senses. He thought about it for a while and gave his orders: “We’ll leave a few Immersion Realm Cultivators here to continue looking into this, the rest of you will come with me to hunt down Su Xiongfei.”
“Yes!” The Qin Family elites cried and split themselves according to plan.
Three days later, Luosang city.
After three days and three nights on the long journey here, on the morning of the fourth day, Qin Yu finally found himself standing before the entrance gates of Luosang City.
In order to avoid being recognized right away and drawing the Qin Family’s attention to himself, Qin Yu dismounted from his horse and smeared a handful of dirt over his face as a disguise. He had once been a rather famous person in this city after all, so there would be many people who would be able to recognize him.
After he was done smearing the dirt and making sure no one could identify himself, he took up the reins of his horse and they walked in together.
It’s been a year, Luosang City. I’m back.
As he walked on familiar streets, all sorts of feelings welled up in Qin Yu’s heart.
“Father, mother, I have returned. Are you both well? It’s time for the Qin Family to pay the price for their actions.” Qin Yu gritted his teeth and mumbled to himself, leading his horse towards a place he knew well - Tieshou’s workshop.
There was no doubt now, Tieshou was definitely working for Murong Yue.
Murong Yue, Princess of Qiongxi. How is she doing right now?
“Get away, all of you get out of my way.”
Suddenly, an overbearing and boorish voice rang out in the streets, interrupting Qin Yu’s quiet thoughts. He stopped by the roadside and and looked up at the main road not too far from him. It was one street away from where he was standing, and on top of that was the number of people out in the morning, so he could only see several figures who seemed to belong to the Qin Family. They pushed and shoved their way through the crowd, parting easily it with their viciousness and ferocity. Those who moved a little slower were kicked into the air. All the other people in the area cried out in alarm and fled, some children were even frightened into wailing loudly in the street.
“Has the Qin Family become so lawless and arrogant?” Qin Yu sneered inwardly while his expression cooled. In this place where there was no one else strong enough to declare themselves leader, having one person rising a little above the others can easily lead to cronyism. The Qin Family had only produced one Spirit Realm Cultivator, but immediately became conceited bunch of bullies. Such a family must not be far from a fall.
Little did they know that however strong they believe themselves to be, there is always someone stronger. A mere Spirit Realm Cultivator is nothing in the world out there.
The members of the Qin Family quickly dashed down the road heading out of the city, and some order gradually returned to the street.
“This Qin Family is getting more and more barbaric and unreasonable. Such preposterous behaviour!” Said an elder nearby.
“Aiya, old man, not so loud! If someone were to hear that, you’d be in trouble. Now in Luosang City, the Qin Family has the final say in all matters. Even the City Master isn’t nearly as powerful as them. What can little citizens like us do?” Another passerby tried to calm that elder.
This was the world of Martial Cultivators where only the strong were worthy of respect. Even if you were a government official, the Emperor and his court from which your power comes, would be so far away that the Qin Family could keep you suppressed with its raw strength.
“So what if they hear, what have I to fear? I’m just a bag of old bones now, it’s hardly a pity if I die for it. I just can’t stand to see their bullying ways.” This old man was a rather righteous one.
“Lao Li, shut up.” Another elderly man beside him said in agitation, keeping his volume low, “It’s not a pity if you die, but what about your family, your grandchildren? Do they also want to die?” This other old man probably knew Lao Li well, and was worried that he would get himself in trouble. With anger evident in his tone, he criticized, “do you really want to bring your whole family down with you? Don’t forget about that recent incident in which someone spoke badly of the Qin Family. In the end, all the members of that family were either killed or sent to the brothel. Do also want your family to be ruined like that? You old foggy.”
“I, I...ah...., the heavens must be blind.” The old man lamented helplessly and walked away with anger in his steps.
Qin Yu watched as he left, then turned to look at the other passersby who were just as indignant and resentful, but did not dare speak out. Inwardly, he snorted, thinking: “it truly is time for the Qin Family to be wiped out.”
And then he continued leading his horse towards Tieshou’s workshop. His priority right now was to find a place to settle down, then think of a way to save Su Yinxue and deal with the Qin Family.
“Stop right there. Don’t think you can get away.”
Qin Yu had only taken a few steps when a boorish yell sounded from behind. A few people were dashing towards him.
He did not take another step, turning instead to face the oncoming group.
The group consisted of four men, three rather young and one middle aged. The latter was at the front and was clearly the leader.
All four of them were Martial Cultivators - and weak ones at that in Qin Yu’s eyes. The middle aged man was in the early stage of Immersion Realm, and the other three young men were of the Origin Realm
Were these few weaklings trying to pick a fight with him?
The corners of Qin Yu’s mouth curled up into a wicked smirk.
But that was just him overthinking. The four of them rushed passed him. He wasn’t their target at all.
Lao Li looked around at the four surrounding him, paling, “Pockmark Cui, what do you want?”
The old man and these people were acquainted. The leader’s surname was Cui and because his face was pockmarked, people in the area called him Pockmark Cui. He was a notorious ruffian.
Pockmark Cui smiled maliciously, “Old Man Li, I hear tell that you were bad-mouthing the Qin Family.”
“How...how is that any of your business. You don’t belong with them,” said Old Li loudly.
“Heh, we may not be one of them right now, but soon we will be. Just as I was having a headache over how to join up, someone sent me a perfect present to resolve this problem. I never would have thought that you’d deliver yourself right up to my doorstep. Hah, if I were to hand over the head of someone bad-mouthing the Qin Family to them, they’d be sure to accept me as an external disciple.”
In Luosang City of today, everyone viewed joining the Qin Family as an achievement worthy of pride. In order to do so, quite a number of cultivators had racked their brains to come up with all sorts of methods to please them. Some even resorted to underhanded means.
“You, you all kill as if you are scything grass.” The old man trembled with anger.
“Hah. You’ve got it right! You might as well be grass to us. Kill!” Pockmark Cui smirked as he shouted.
“Wait,” suddenly, someone commanded loudly and everyone stopped dead.
Distracted, the men stared at the person walking towards them.
It was a dirty young man with grime all over his face and the reins of a horse in his hand.
That person was Qin Yu.
“An ordinary person?” They paused in surprise, before their rage immediately blazed into a roaring flame.
Qin Yu was now in the Transformation Realm, and his means of hiding his strength was far more effective than before. These couple of Martial Cultivators who were less powerful than him were not aware that he possessed any Inner Strength, to them, he was an ordinary person without martial arts.
And an ordinary person who dared to interfere with their affairs had to be tired of living.
"You came looking for death? Let me fulfill your wish for you. Prepare to die!"
One of them shouted as Qin Yu approached, striking out with the knife in his hand without a second word. The commoners around them dissolved into frightened screams. These people are too vicious, killing and killing with nary a warning. Such disregard for human life. What a pity for that young man!
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