Qin Lie and Ling Yushi were walking shoulder to shoulder along the small mountain path. They chatted along the way, unhurriedly heading towards Ling Town.
At Ling Town’s entrance, the two of them could hear Du Jiaolan’s piercing voice as she was scolding someone, echoing out from within the courtyard of Ling Family’s main quarters.
Ling Yushi’s pretty face changed and she said to Qin Lie, ”Go ahead and get some rest, I’m going to check it out.” After speaking, she rushed towards the main quarters.
Ling Chengye’s family lived in the middle of Ling Town, right beside the martial arts arena. That was also where the ancestral hall was, and that area of residency had always belonged to the patriarchs of the Ling Family.
At that moment, intense arguing could be heard from that direction. Many of the Ling Family members could be seen gathering around to take a look at the commotion.
Qin Lie froze for a moment. After pondering for a while, his state of mind slightly shook, causing his eyes to returned back into a vacant state as he also emotionlessly made his way over.
Shortly after, he arrived at the site of the argument — the Ling Family courtyard at the back of the martial arts arena.
He was greeted by the sight of Ling Feng, Ling Xin, and the rest who had arrived earlier and were standing beside Ling Chengye. Ling Yushi had also joined her father’s side after rushing over with a face full of worry. She was quietly asking her younger sister, Ling Xuanxuan the details of what had transpired.
Du Jiaolan had brought Du Qishan, Du Heng, and a group of martial practitioners dispatched by Du Haitian to confront Ling Chengye as she chastised and shouted at Ling Xuanxuan viciously.
At the sides of the Du Family, her youngest son, Du Fei was lying on a stretcher. His face was as pale as a ghost due to the severe injuries he sustained.
There were a few scratches on Ling Chengye’s face as well which were probably inflicted by Du Jiaolan in her rage.
The Ling Family’s three elders, Ling Kangan, Ling Xiang, and Ling Bo, were also present. Their expressions were heavy as they tried their best to get the two sides to talk things through.
Quite a large number of the Ling Family members were gathered at the sides of the courtyard, pointing and criticizing the Du Family’s mother and sons furiously.
Qin Lie listened in from an inconspicuous corner, gradually coming to an understanding of what had exactly transpired.
Two nights ago, Du Fei attempted to take advantage of Ling Xuanxuan by drugging her with smoke when she slept, but was discovered by her. With his cultivation only at the sixth level of the Refinement Realm, he was brutally beaten up by Ling Xuanxuan and ended up with many broken ribs. Even his manhood was given a vicious stomp, likely to be unusable anymore…
After that happened, Du Jiaolan erupted with rage. She accused Ling Xuanxuan of slandering her son, purposefully scheming to grievously harm him.
That very night, she almost took to arms against Ling Chengye. Similarly, after Ling Chengye found out that Du Fei was harboring malicious intent towards his daughter, he exploded with anger. He had a intense quarrel with Du Jiaolan which was only broken up after the persuasion of the three clan elders into a temporary ceasefire.
Du Jiaolan returned home to check on Du Fei’s injuries; discovering that the injuries were gradually worsening, she returned to clash against Ling Chengye once more.
Including today, that would be the fourth round already..
“Ling Chengye! You actually dare to bully us? A widow and some fatherless kids? You dare to treat us as nobodies? Fine! Just you wait, my Du Family will be here soon!” Du Jiaolan gestured wildly as she howled like a lioness. “My cousin will arrive in the afternoon. I’m curious to see whether you, Ling Chengye, would still dare to disregard me then? Your bitch of a daughter venomously injured my son, resulting in his current state. I will never rest until I have settled the score!”
“You’re the bitch! Your whole Du Family are dogs and bitches!” Ling Xuanxuan’s eyes were bloodshot as she cursed back, refusing to show even the slightest bit of weakness. The way she gnashed and grit her teeth was just like a tigress.
“Your son deserved it!” Ling Yushi’s pretty face was also frosty after she found out the details of what happened. Her beautiful eyes glared at Du Jiaolan as she shouted, “It is already very forgiving of us not to kill Du Fei when he tried to carry out such a heinous act. Xuanxuan could be considered to be like a younger sister to him. For him to attempt such a thing, he is lowlier than a beast!”
“Mn, simply just a beast!”
“He deserves it, that’s just his karma. It’s already very lenient that we haven’t beaten him to death!”
The Ling Family clansmen at the sides were all set ablaze with righteous indignation as they echoed in agreement.
“Good! Very good! You guys actually dare to bully us outsiders?!” Du Jiaolan’s lungs were threatening to explode from rage, and her eyes were spewing a dark look of pure venom. “All of you had better wait here for my cousin to come over from Nebula Pavilion. I will see how tough a nut you all are to crack when he arrives! If I do not obtain justice for my son, I, Du Jiaolan, shall leave Ling Town and never return!”
Upon hearing her mention Du Haitian, the previously outspoken members of the Ling Family immediately became silent.
Du Haitian was one of Nebula Pavilion’s five great elders, possessing a cultivation level at the middle stage Natal Opening Realm and was rumored that he would be breaking through to the late stage soon. His combat abilities were definitely stronger than Ling Chengye’s. Moreover, he still had three early stage Natal Opening martial practitioners under his command. On top of that, Du Haitian was the confidante of Liu Yuntao, a Vice Pavilion Master, and was highly regarded by him.
Du Haitian’s individual capabilities were already an entire level above the Ling Family’s, not to mention that he also represented Nebula Pavilion. If he really were to come here, the Ling Family… would have a tremendously difficult time in resolving this.
“What? Speechless? Lost your tongues?” Upon mentioning Du Haitian’s name, the majority of the Ling Family members turned silent. At this, Du Jiaolan became even more haughty as she continued amidst sarcastic laughter, “All of you’d better listen up. Regarding this matter with my son, I am determined to obtain justice! That little bitch must pay!” Her eyes were cold and dark like a cobra’s as she glared murderously at Ling Xuanxuan.
Affected by her stare that was full of killing intent, Ling Xuanxuan felt a chill from the depths of her heart as her attractive body gave an involuntary shudder. She timidly asked, ”Big sister, was I wrong? Did I bring trouble to daddy and the clan?”
Pausing for a moment, she continued with sobs, ”That brute, Du Fei had gone mad! I… I really couldn’t tolerate it anymore!”
“It’s fine, don’t be scared. You did nothing wrong; he deserved it!” Ling Yushi held her hands tightly and soothingly comforted her, “On the trip to Celestial Wolf Mountain, we achieved huge merits for Nebula Pavilion. We do not necessarily have to fear that Du Haitian, so don’t you worry too much. If it was me, I would have heavily injured him as well, so don’t blame yourself anymore.
After being comforted, Ling Xuanxuan visibly became less burdened as one less worry loomed on her delicate face.
Qin Lie was observing silently from a corner when he noticed the two brothers, Ling Chengye and Ling Chengzhi, had slight changes in their expressions upon hearing that Du Haitian was arriving in the afternoon.
From the looks of it, the two brothers were adopting a tough stance. But in actuality, they were dreading the arrival of Du Haitian.
With even the two of them like this, what more could be expected of the members of the Ling Family?
Every member of the Ling Family had their eyebrows tightly knitted in worry, including the three clan elders. Many of the previously rowdy people were now all completely silent as though the existence of Du Haitian was like a mountain that was firmly pressing down on their chests. Their moods were extremely heavy as though they couldn’t breathe from the pressure.
On the other hand, Du Jiaolan and company were all filled with arrogance with the assurance of their backer, tipping the balance into her favor with just a single swipe.
Even though Nebula Pavilion was only a force at the Limestone rank, they were still considered an existence far beyond the reach of subordinate clans like the Ling Family. Even though Du Haitian was a mere elder from Nebula Pavilion, it was enough to heavily pressure the entire Ling Family…
This amazed Qin Lie as he became further enlightened regarding the harsh, cruel rankings and distinctions between the different forces in Spirit Realm.
“We shall wait here for your uncle to arrive. Looking at the time, they should be arriving just about now. We will settle this with the Ling Family then!” Du Jiaolan and her few Du Family members found a spot to sit, evidently resting before the impending showdown.
Many members of the Ling Family were feeling downcast as they glanced towards the Du Family’s mother and sons with eyes full of worry.
Ling Chengye frowned deeply as he signaled with his eyes towards Ling Chengzhi and called Ling Yushi, Ling Feng, and the others back into the hall within the courtyard. He asked, ”How was the trip to Celestial Wolf Mountain?”
Ling Feng, Ling Xin, and Ling Xiao were all attracted to the ruckus upon returning, and gathered together at the courtyard; they did not have a chance to report yet.
After they were summoned into the hall, upon hearing the patriarch’s question, they immediately became full of excitement.
“It was extremely dangerous and thrilling!” Ling Xiao took the lead to answer. “Patriarch, you have absolutely no idea! Our trip could be considered a close shave with death itself. It was seriously fraught with danger, and it was all due to Qin Lie…”
Ling Chengye, Ling Chengzhi and Ling Xuanxuan’s faces were pointedly full of question marks as they stared strangely at Ling Xiao.
“Qin Lie went as well? How did he go?” Ling Chengye looked deeply at Ling Yushi and said, “No wonder I haven’t seen him recently, it turns out he went along with you to Celestial Wolf Mountain. What exactly happened there?”
“Did that fool become a burden? What did he follow for? Did he delay your mission?” When Ling Xuanxuan heard the words, “it was all due to Qin Lie,” she had thought that it was because of Qin Lie that the group had faced a great number of troubles. Knitting her eyebrows together, she chided, “Seriously, why did all of you bring along a fool when you’re carrying out a mission for Nebula Pavilion? Have you all gone mad?”
After these words, she discovered that Ling Yushi, Ling Feng, Ling Xin, and Ling Xiao’s expressions were gradually changing as though something wasn’t quite right…
It was especially true for Ling Xin and Ling Xiao as the expressions they had when they looked at her was exceptionally cold, evidently displeased at her words..
This caused Ling Xuanxuan to abruptly freeze.
“What happened? These people… what is up with them?” She was absolutely baffled at heart.
“If it wasn’t for the one that Second Miss keeps calling a fool, all of us would have suffered miserable deaths. First Miss and Ling Ying could also have very well met a fate far worse than death! Hmph!” Ling Xin suddenly snorted coldly.
Ling Xiao joined in the criticism, “If it wasn’t for Qin Lie, all of us would be corpses now…”
“Little sister, you should stop with your prejudice in the future. Qin Lie… is the benefactor to all of us.” Ling Yushi sighed lightly and then added, “Before you’re clear on the truth, you shouldn’t make up assumptions on your own.”
Ling Xuanxuan didn’t expect that her passing words would attract everyone’s angry looks and criticism. This made her small face freeze in place as it turned green in one moment and white the next, looking extremely awkward.
“What exactly transpired? Ling Feng, you tell us!” Ling Chengye ordered as his eyes slightly brightened, evidently curious.
“Yeah, what happened to make your attitudes towards him make a complete turn around?” Ling Chengzhi urgently interrogated.
“Patriarch! Patriarch! The people from Nebula Pavilion have arrived!” At this moment, surprised exclamations echoed from the Ling Family members outside, their tone carrying their obvious panic. “Other than Elder Du Haitian, there is also Elder Ye Yangqiu who is in charge of the Discipline Hall! They even brought the Hall Masters under their command! It’s not looking good!”
The expressions of the two brothers of the Ling Family, who were originally inquiring what had happened with Qin Lie, changed drastically upon hearing the sudden news. They took a glance at each other, the terror apparent on each other’s face.
Just Du Haitian alone was enough to give the Ling Family migraines, and now there was an additional Discipline Hall’s Ye Yangqiu as well… The two brothers felt their heads going a bit numb.
“Why would Ye Yangqiu come? I have never heard of any ties between him and Du Haitian. Whenever the Discipline Hall’s Ye Yangqiu appeared within any of the vassal forces, he would always be accompanied by the most brutal of punishments! What exactly did the Ling Family do wrong to actually warrant a visit by Ye Yangqiu himself?!” Ling Chengye said as his body shook and his face contorted in rage and terror.
“If it is just the matter of Xuanxuan heavily injuring Du Fei, it definitely isn’t enough to move Ye Yangqiu. Moreover, he has always done things strictly by the book/rules. Other than the Pavilion Master himself, he would never do favors for anyone. He does not even deign to give face to the two Vice Pavilion Masters, Kang Hui and Liu Yuntao! Surely he would not make his way here for such a minor matter!” Ling Chengzhi was also starting to feel terror grow within his heart.
Ye Yangqiu was the Elder of Nebula Pavilion’s Discipline Hall. Wherever he appeared, it would usually be accompanied by the most brutal of punishments. His arrival sank the hearts of every member of the Ling Family into the depths of hell!