“That’s my father’s flying dagger!” said Zhou Shanyue with a cold snort, staring at the black blade hovering around Chen Fan’s head.
“It’s a gift from my Master,” replied Chen Fan, his expression cold. Immediately, Zhou Shanyue’s expression darkened. He flicked his sleeve and began to move toward Chen Fan.
“To take responsibility is simple,” he said as he strode forward. “I want both of his eyes. Let’s see if you dare to try to kill me. If you do, you have my respect. But how will you explain that to your Master, my father?!”
Meng Hao’s expression was the same as always. He watched calmly as the scene unfolded. In front of him, Chen Fan gazed coldly at the approaching Zhou Shanyue. He lifted his right hand, and the flying dagger immediately began to glow.
Everything seemed ready to dissolve into chaos. Zhou Shanyue proceeded forward, a savage expression covering his face.
“I can’t believe that you would dare to attack me over an outsider!”
“To you, he’s an outsider, but to me, he’s a Junior Brother.” Chen Fan waved his hand, and the flying dagger shot toward Zhou Shanyue.
Zhou Shanyue’s hair stood on end, and he suddenly stopped moving. The black dagger had come to a stop right in front of his face.
“Don’t push me, Zhou Shanyue,” Chen Fan said softly.
Meng Hao was just about to take a step forward when the Pseudo Core stage Cultivator suddenly said, “Just what do you two think you’re doing?! Zhou Shanyue, stand down! Chen Fan, if this is your Junior Brother from your former Sect, then you’ll need to vouch for him. You will be responsible for all his future mistakes.” The words obviously contained a threat. While it seemed on the surface that he was trying to smooth over the situation, he was actually making a small matter into a bigger one.
Meng Hao was quite experienced, so obviously he understood what was being said. He laughed coldly.
“My affairs have nothing to do with my Elder Brother,” he said. “If you don’t take your words back voluntarily, your excellency, then I’ll be forced to make you take them back.” His voice was ice cold. When the middle-aged man heard them, his eyes grew icy and he stared back at Meng Hao.
Chen Fan, of course, had never imagined that Meng Hao would dare to speak. Without another word, he flashed an incantation sign, and the flying dagger re-appeared at his side.
“Chen Fan, it’s not that I didn’t try to give you some face. Your Junior Brother here needs to be taught a lesson.” With a grim smile, the middle-aged man flicked his sleeve and began to move toward Meng Hao.
Meng Hao’s expression was the same as ever. His Cultivation base had four Dao Pillars. He could contend with the late Foundation Establishment stage and could even stand up to Dao Children with Flawless Foundations. There was no need to even mention this middle-aged man who clearly had a Cracked Foundation at best.
Meng Hao could slay him with ease.
Granted, the man was a fellow Disciple of Elder Brother Chen. However, Meng Hao couldn’t allow people to level threats against him that could affect Elder Brother Chen later. That was why he had tried to separate himself from Chen Fan.
The surrounding Solitary Sword Sect disciples watched on with cold smiles, eyeing Meng Hao with looks of disdain. They obviously thought Meng Hao was being arrogant and conceited to think he could stand up to someone who had completed the great circle of Foundation Establishment.
Various thoughts ran through the minds of the surrounding disciples.
“I never imagined Elder Brother Chen would make friends with someone who so easily overestimates himself.”
“He’s relying on Elder Brother Chen’s presence, like a fox exploiting the might of a tiger.” 1
“He’s looking to die!”
A sinister smile appeared on Zhou Shanyue’s face. He moved backward a few paces, contentedly watching the commotion.
Meng Hao looked as calm as ever as the middle-aged man raced forward. A slight smile appeared on his face, and he was about to step forward, when Chen Fan held his arm in front of him.
“Elder Brother Li, my Junior Brother is young and insensible. Please give me some more face, and don’t take offense. Let’s just drop the matter.” Having said this, he clasped Meng Hao’s shoulder and gazed at him warmly. “Listen to Elder Brother,” he said. When the four words entered Meng Hao’s ears, they were filled with a gentle warmth that he hadn’t experienced in a very long time. He looked into Chen Fan’s eyes and then nodded.
The man named Li stopped in his tracks, glaring coldly at Meng Hao for a moment, and then looking back at Chen Fan. Slowly, his face relaxed. A long moment passed, and then he said, “You need to help your Junior Brother learn not stop overestimating himself. If he doesn’t, he’ll end up a mutilated corpse sooner or later.” He flicked his sleeve and began to leave. Zhou Shanyue smiled mockingly and followed, along with the other Solitary Sword Disciples.
“We’ll wait for you up ahead,” came the voice of Li. “You have the time it takes an incense stick to burn to catch up with your Junior Brother.”
As they disappeared into the distance, Meng Hao looked hesitantly at Chen Fan.
“Elder Brother, I….”
“You don’t need to say anything,” said Chen Fan, his face covered with a wide smile. He embraced him warmly again.
Laughing happily, Chen Fan looked Meng Hao over, eyes filled with excitement because of their reunion. “You’ve grown up big and strong, I see! Haha! You’re not the little scholar you used to be.”
In a voice as earnest as it had always been, he grabbed Meng Hao’s arm and said, “Can you believe it? Here we are, fellow Brothers who’ve run into each other yet again in in the Southern Domain. We have to celebrate! Come come, tell your Elder Brother what you’ve been up to these past years. A while back, I heard that the State of Zhao disappeared! Ai….” He didn’t even give Meng Hao a chance to respond.
His personality had always been like this. He talked and talked, and before long, enough time had passed for an incense stick to burn. The entire time, Meng Hao didn’t have a chance to even say a single sentence. It was just like it had been back in the Reliance Sect.
Chen Fan was definitely long-winded, but even were he more so, Meng Hao wouldn’t mind. Meng Hao’s heart filled with warmth as he realized that everything Chen Fan was saying was out of concern for him. He was considerate, excited, and happy.
“That fatty Li Fugui, do you remember him? He used to follow you around all the time. Well, he’s a pretty important person in the Golden Frost Sect now. Last time I went with Master to pay a visit to the Golden Frost Sect, I saw him swaggering around. He’s definitely a darling of the Sect. If anyone dared to mess with him, a crowd of Golden Frost Sect disciples would instantly rush to help him….
“Junior Sister Xu is in sore straits, though. The only thing I could do was ask some people I know in the Black Sieve Sect to watch out for her. She’s been stuck at the ninth level of Qi Condensation for years now. She needs a Foundation Establishment Pill. In the past years, I’ve performed some meritorious services for the Sect. I think it won’t be long before I can get a Foundation Establishment Pill from Master to send to her.
“Oh, and then there’s Wang Tengfei…. You’d best not provoke him again, he has an impressive amount of power backing him. Oh, right. You wouldn’t believe the latest gossip. Rumor has it that his fiancee, Chu Yuyan from the Violet Fate Sect, is intimately involved with some stranger.
“The news is out, and all the Sects have heard about it. There was an eyewitness who saw Chu Yuyan wearing the clothing of some other man. There was obviously something shady going on…. Who do you think that guy could be? Whoever he is, I sure admire him. He was able to steal Chu Yuyan right from under Wang Tengfei’s nose….” Meng Hao wasn’t able to get a word in edgewise. When the topic of Chu Yuyan came up, a strange expression suddenly appeared on his face.
“So,” he thought, “that Zhou Daya fellow did exactly as I predicted and immediately began to spread rumors….” He gave a dry cough, not admitting to anything. Instead, he said, “Wow, that guy really is amazing. I hope I have a chance to meet him some day and maybe be friends.” His face was covered with an expression of admiration similar to Chen Fan’s.
About this time, the clear sound of a sword could be heard ringing out in the air. Meng Hao looked up to see a Solitary Sword Sect disciple off in the distance, clearly urging them to hurry up.
Taking advantage in the break in Chen Fan’s dialogue, Meng Hao scratched his head and said, “Elder Brother, maybe you should….” Before he could finish, he was submerged by more words from Chen Fan.
“Little Junior Brother, have you found a suitable beloved yet?” he said suddenly.
“Uh….” Meng Hao stared in shock. Chen Fan’s question seemed to have come completely out of the blue. Before he could respond, Chen Fan nodded.
“Oh, I understand. You’re still hung up on Elder Sister Xu. Junior Brother, listen to me carefully. There are a lot of female Cultivators in the Southern Domain, but there are four who are considered to be the most dazzling.
“Chu Yuyan is one of them, but you might as well forget about her. She belongs to Wang Tengfei and that other mysterious guy. However, the other three are really a match for your good looks and Cultivation base.” Chen Fan’s eyes shined brightly as he looked at Meng Hao. He sounded almost like a match-maker.
This topic completely exceeded Meng Hao’s powers of prediction. He stared blankly at Elder Brother Chen. How could he have imagined that after all these years, Elder Brother Chen would suddenly have taken up this new interest? Meng Hao cleared his throat a few times. “Elder Brother, I….”
“Don’t be so shy! Look, your Elder Brother has a lot of experience. There may be some things you don’t understand about this kind of thing, but don’t worry. I’ll take care of everything. There’s still plenty of time, plenty of time.”
“Er… plenty of time, plenty of time….” Beads of sweat broke out on Meng Hao’s forehead.
“Alright, you come with me to the Solitary Sword Sect. When we get there, the two of us can have a proper reunion.” Not even giving Meng Hao a chance to refuse, Chen Fan grabbed him and made to leave.
“Elder Brother, this….”
“Listen to your Elder Brother, okay? Besides, pretty soon one of the three great Clans, the Song Clan, is going to have a big get-together. They’ve invited Chosen and Dao Children from all over the Southern Domain. I’m going, so why don’t you come along? It will be a good chance to meet some of the current generation of Chosen from the Southern Domain. You just stick with me, and I’ll arrange everything.
“The State of Zhao is gone, and the Reliance Sect is no more. Throughout all these years, what I’ve worried about most is you! A few years ago, I sent someone with a message to find you, but by that time the State of Zhao had disappeared, and I feared that you had been killed.
“Let’s not bring that up. Little Junior Brother, even now, what concerns me most is still you.” He looked at Meng Hao earnestly. “You’re on your own, without a Sect! That won’t do. You listen to your Elder Brother, okay?”
Meng Hao’s heart filled with warmth that spread out throughout his whole body. Unable to make himself refuse Chen Fan, he slowly nodded his head.
The idiom of the fox and the tiger is a very common Chinese expression which means to bully others by flaunting ones powerful connections ↩