At the foot of Azure Dragon Mountain.
Several days had passed in succession. The warriors that had been laying in wait for an opportunity had gradually dispersed. After several consecutive days of waiting without any luck, they knew their prospects were not great. If the Star General was not dead, then she would have recovered some of her Star Energy. This debacle was no longer worthwhile.
The owner of the Jianlou Teahouse located at the bottom of the mountain was beginning to set up shop. He looked at the pure and cold Azure Dragon Mountain, reflecting on the good business he had over the past few days. “A Star General, huh. If I could have taken one as a wife, this life would have been worth it even if I did not become a Servant Star.” The unscrupulously profit-obsessed owner muttered to himself about the dream every normal man in Star World had.
Just as he was setting a table, a black shadow suddenly fell heavily in front of him, splintering the table to bits.
The owner was frightened stiff by this abrupt change. Trembling, he peered at the object that had fallen. Shockingly, it was an old man who had died a wretched death. While he may not have recognized the old man, those snake patterned green clothes the body wore were too famous. These past few days, the warriors waiting at the bottom of the mountain had been but discussing everyday the matter of the Qing Family Ancestor showing himself to kill the Star General.
The shop owner let out a bloodcurdling scream, falling flat on his butt.
The corpse of the Qing Family Ancestor.1
Qing Yuanshan’s mood was very fidgety. He attempted to use the Spirit Snake Chant’s soul technique to maintain the tranquility in his mind, but he wondered why he was unable to dispel the sinister air that was wrapped around his heart for so long. In his more than forty years of learning, this was the first time he was so fretful. The Ancestor had gone to Azure Dragon Mountain already for so many days, not coming down all this time. This made him very worried.
As everyone knew, the longer something dragged, the more damaging it became.
Qing Yuanshan arrived at the back garden, beginning a Spirit Snake Fist routine, attempting to calm himself.
All of a sudden, a loud wail came from the main gate.
Qing Yuanshan’s mind sunk to the depths. He hurriedly ran over, spotting a crowd of sobbing QIng Family children, Qing Song’gu, and Qing Changzai all extremely mournful, grief-stricken. Upon seeing the acting head of the Qing Family, Qing Yuanshan, everyone became heartbroken and inconsolable.
“The Ancestral Master, he…”
Don’t tell me!!!
Qing Yuanshan’s entire body shivered. Trembling, he stepped forward. At once, he felt his head explode, the sky spin and the world turn dark. If it was not for Qing Yu’s keen eye and swift hand catching hold of him, the Qing Family’s head would have already fallen down.
The corpse laying at the center of the main lobby was none other than Qing Bugai’s, the Qing Family Ancestor, their pillar.
In the end, he was the head of the Qing Family, after all. Qing Yuanshan very quickly composed himself, hinting to his nephew to release him. He took a deep breath; he needed to maintain the Qing Family’s honor.
What he worried most had nonetheless come to pass. Qing Yuanshan deeply sighed, very remorseful.
Who could have imagined that a Three Flowers Overhead Ancestor would surprisingly fall in battle.
“Eldest Brother, what do we do?”
“Let’s scale the mountain. We must make that woman pay the price.” Everyone shouted, full of resentment. In their hatred, they forgot that the enemy they faced was a Fiend Star who had killed the Ancestor.
“Revenge, what qualifications do any of you have to utter such a word!”
A strict shout burst over everyone.
Everybody stopped their shrieking and looked to the speaker.
Qing Wan appeared at the gate. The young lady tied up her black hair and carried the Green Snake Sword. Her gaze stared ice-cold at everyone. The girl’s air was fierce, a point of qi and blood gathered at the center of her forehead surprisingly containing a certain vast might. All of her qi and blood blended together impeccably. Astonishingly, she had reached the level of Qi And Blood Nine Turns.
The girl sneered: “That Star General must have recovered her Star Energy to be able to kill the Ancestral Master. At the current stage, what ability do we have to so search out a Fiend Star to take revenge. We had better first think about how to not allow the Star General to come retaliate against us.”
Qing Wan’s fist was clenched tight. The hatred inside her wanted more than anyone else here to take revenge on the Star General, but her reason also informed her – this was suicide.
The girl’s words were like a basin of cold water, waking everyone up. They all shuddered, recalling that fiery Star General’s words – she would not spare even a dog or chicken of the Qing Family. Some warriors that had initially spoke about vengeance already harbored ill intentions, and some had thoughts of retreating.
Qing Yuanshan said: “What Wan’er said is right. No one ever thought that Star General would have recovered so quickly. Even the Ancestral Master met with a mishap. Right now, we must secure the Qing Family to deal with the Star General.”
“How do we secure ourselves from this? Other than the imperial family, who else can dare to offend a Fiend Star?”
“Is the Great Young Lord not at Chang’an as an official? Why not seek aid from him?”
“We cannot let word of this matter get out.”
Their brows locked tight. Across all of the Great Chong Dynasty, the Qing Family still did not have sufficient assets to seek asylum from someone willing to offend a Fiend Star. Right now, Qing Yuanshan was endlessly regretful. If he had known earlier that Star General would be so abnormal, he would not have been so obsessed with coveting the Star General’s things from the very start.
“Wan’er, do you have any countermeasures?”
Having received the Ancestral Master’s inheritance, the Qing Wan in possession of the Green Snake Sword now seemed to have the authority to command the Qing Family. To have entered Qi And Blood Nine Turns at sixteen years old, the future of the Qing Family’s fortune was entrusted to her.
After being defeated by Chen Mo, the girl seemed to have matured all at once. She no longer had her previous brashness. Qing Wan respectfully said: “First Uncle, have you noticed. Since that Star General was able to kill the Ancestral Master, she therefore completely has the capability to handle all of us right now…”
“True, what you say is very true.” Qing Yuanshan muttered.
Since she could kill the Three Flowers Overhead Ancestral Master, no one in the Qing Family was a match for her. Even a hundred warriors would be hard-pressed to stop the Star General’s massacre. In this respect, the Star General not coming here to exact vengeance was very odd.
“Star Generals are all very eccentric. Perhaps she wants to torment us, to see us live in fear.” Qing Changzai surmised.
“Wan’er, your thoughts?” Qing Song’gu asked.
Qing Wan looked at the Ancestral Master’s corpse. She shut her eyes and calmly said: “Wan’er feels this is like a sort of warning. Perhaps she is still giving us a chance.”
“Elder Sister Qing Wan, what idea do you have?” Qing ROng urgently asked.
“Wan’er’s solution is…to swear fealty to Chen Mo!” Qing Wan spat this phrase out word by word.
The atmosphere suddenly fell to the freezing point.
Everyone was flabbergasted, not expecting Qing Wan would surprisingly raise such a suggestion. It was well-known that not long before, this Chen Mo was but a person who humiliated the entire Qing Family. If it was not for him, the Qing Family would not have fallen to such a state. As for revenge, Chen Mo could be considered the Qing Family’s enemy.
Swear fealty to trash that had humiliated them?
The Qing Family felt there was no way to accept such a reversal of roles.
“If it wasn’t for Chen Mo, Miss Qing Wan would have killed that Star General.”
“He is also the killer behind the Ancestor’s death.”
“If it wasn’t for him being the young master of Chang’an Mansion, we would have gotten rid of him already.”
Everyone was unable to contain their anger.
Qing Yuanshan deeply sighed, not rushing to oppose. The old man was wise, possessing a perspective of the situation as a whole. Qing Wan’s remarks immediately gave him an epiphany. He hinted to everyone to be silent: “Regarding Chen Mo, from now on, everyone in the Qing Family is henceforth strictly forbidden from leveling any criticism against him, otherwise, you will be punished severely.”
With the Qing Family’s Ancestor now dead and the family as a whole defeated by Chen Mo, it could be said that the Qing Family’s generations of honor had reached a life and death juncture. They absolutely could not afford to offend the Chang’an Mansion any further. Even if he was related to the Ancestral Master’s death, they needed to grit their teeth and swallow this consequence. If not, there would only be no end to trouble, no hope of reprieve.
“What Wan’er is said is very correct. Chen Mo has the Chang’an Mansion’s backing, and his martial force is something I have rarely seen in my life. Swearing fealty to him poses no disadvantage to us. Furthermore, with his support, the Qing Family could contrarily gain a stronger foothold in Azure Dragon Town after passing through this crisis.” The more Qing Song’gu analyzed, the more he felt that what his daughter said was very true.
“Chen Mo helped that Star General before. If our Qing Family relies on him from now on, when the time comes and we must make a request of Chen Mo, we can be left with a lifeline.” Qing Yuanshan agreed.2
Carefully thinking, now that they lost their greatest support, the Ancestor, the Qing Family’s circumstances had already reached a stage of crisis. They needed to have powerful support to persist. Otherwise, the Qing Family would inevitably crumble within a few years’ time.
Qing Changzai was somewhat uncomfortable, saying: “The Divine Warrior Examination’s provincial examination has already begun, and Wan’er has now broken through to Qi And Blood Nine Turns. She also has minor accomplishment with the Green Snake Sword Technique. What if we wait until she defeats Chen Mo in the provincial examination before we discuss this matter again?” He felt if this was the case, the Qing Family would have more leverage to discuss Chen Mo’s support.
“Second Uncle, this will not work.” Qing Wan resolutely decided her thinking.
The reason was very simple, four words – life is always unpredictable. Let alone that no one knew whether or not that Fiend Star was preparing to toy with the Qing Family or had some other plan, at the current stage, the sooner they pledged loyalty to Chen Mo, the more apparent they could manifest that devotion. If they waited until after she defeated Chen Mo at the provincial examination to discuss joining with him, no matter what leverage they had, perhaps the Chang’an Mansion would not accept them.
Furthermore, news that Chen Mo was able to cultivate martial arts right now had yet to spread, meaning he still lacked influence of his own. This was the best opportunity to swear fealty to him. Although this was a pledge of devotion, the Qing Family would not be hurt. The Chang’an Mansion’s backing was something many clans hoped for but could never receive.
Of course, there was another reason Qing Wan did not speak of.
In truth, with the terrifying might that Chen Mo displayed, defeating him would be no easy task. But if she defeated him after joining him, the Qing Family’s reputation would still not diminish. This made no difference whether they pledged loyalty before or after.
“Wan’er, your thinking is too profound. Second Uncle is truly speechless. If Yu’er was half as capable as you, our Qing Family would flourish to no end.” Qing Changzai said in amazement.
“Second Uncle flatters me. In spite of all this, Wan’er’s strength is still far from enough.” Qing Wan already sensed from Chen Mo martial force that acted as the cruelty of the world.
From her perspective, how was his not a good metamorphosis.
“From now on, I will use Elder Sister as my example and bring honor to the Qing Family.” Qing Rong resolutely said.
The higher-ups of the Qing Family were in agreement, immediately coming to a final conclusion. Qing Yuanshan dispatched people to prepare all of the Qing Family estate’s deeds, then he ordered others to bring the Ancestral Master into the ancestral hall for burial.
Everyone solemnly bowed in front of the memorial tablet.
Afterwards, everyone swung into full activity.
By nightfall, the accounts of every kind of industrial deed had mostly been finished and prepared. Taking advantage of the fact that news of the Ancestral Master’s death had yet to be fully disseminated, Qing Yuanshan knew that he needed to settle this before Azure Dragon Town descended into chaos.
If we can smoothly join the Chang’an Mansion, perhaps this can count as a blessing in disguise for the Qing Family, Qing Yuanshan thought.
Chen Mo knew far earlier than others of news that the Qing Family Ancestor’s corpse had been found at the bottom of Azure Dragon Mountain.
To be frank, he was still quite surprised. He had buried the Qing Family Ancestor, and for the body to now have been dug out, clearly there was only one person who could have done so.
Zhongli Sanmei really isn’t planning to make an example of the entire Qing Family, is she?
Chen Mo felt this was too savage. However, from his understanding of the King Of Extinguished Ashes, while the woman’s personality was indeed very fiery, the fact was that she would not do such an immature thing.
“Young Master, visitors from the Qing Family seek an audience.” Little Tao softly said.
Chen Mo was taken aback. He could not help but smile.
So this is what’s she’s up to.3
- I’m getting a flashback to the movie, “Con Air,” when they drop the body from the plane down to the ground. ↩
- Well, to stake your hopes on the chance that the Star General might be grateful enough to grant Chen Mo a favor is quite stupid. But the irony is that this seems to be exactly what Zhongli Mo wants them to think. ↩
- She really is a splendid Star General, to be able to come up with this trick that guarantees Chen Mo will hold authority over the Qing Family. ↩