Chapter 346: Li Teng Yun’s Persecution
Translator: Novel Saga Editor: Novel Saga
“Well… I had just gone for a casual stroll. And, I hadn’t gone very far.” Jun Mo Xie turned his gaze from his four uncles, slipped-away into the shadows, and disappeared without a trace.
[I can only tell you that I went for a stroll into the forest yesterday. What a joke! I had a very cheerful and friendly chat with seven Xuan Beast King. And, I’ve come to a mutual agreement with them. We have unanimously reached a mutually beneficial agreement to cooperate…]
The four men looked at each other. [You went for a stroll? You brat, this is your first time in this city! You’re a stranger here! So, where did you go for a stroll? And, can one go for a stroll that lasts for a day and a night?]
[You didn’t go far? You could’ve gone far enough to visit Tian Xiang City by now! You brat, don’t you know that we four brothers were worried to death?] However, Jun Mo Xie had returned, and didn’t wish to discuss his whereabouts. In any case, he had returned safe and sound. So, the four elder men were in no mood to inquire further. Moreover, Jun Wu Yi was aware that his nephew possessed special powers, and not only in name at that. They were presently in Southern Heaven City. But, he wouldn’t have been too worried if his nephew had gone missing for two to three days in Tian Xiang City.
However, the four men genuinely hadn’t realized that Jun Mo Xie hadn’t gone very far. He had only gone to the core of the Tian Fa forest for a stroll. And, that stroll had materialized into the collection of some precious herbs, the molestation of a little creature, and what not…
The expressions of the four men changed. They shook their head, and followed in. The four had been worried this entire time. But, their hearts were at ease now. The battle would start the next day. So, everyone’s mind was preoccupied with it. They had decided to take a quick rest. The next day was to be a serious one. It was at this moment that a soldier suddenly came with a message — Xue Hun Manor’s Li Teng Yun had come to pay a visit.
Jun Wu Yi then muttered irresolutely, “Invite him in!”
The Third Master Jun had been thinking about the meeting of the heads of the families. It had taken place in the morning, and Jun Wu Yi had been designated the supreme commander for the decisive battle. That is… he had been chosen as the leader of the team that would throw their lives away.
However, the Xue Hun Manor had then proposed their Third Master as a candidate to replace Jun Wu Yi for the Supreme Commander’s position… that too at a point when the heads of every family had nearly reached the conclusion of the matter; this had left everyone baffled.
The so-called ‘Supreme Commander’ would have no real authority. He would have no hope for a victory in this battle. In fact, the Commander would be a scapegoat in defeat, and would only go out to die in this hopeless battle. Moreover, the said-man would also have to protect his own side from the animosity-ridden plots of his opposing factions. Hence, this was truly an arduous and thankless job. Therefore, no one could understand what Li Jue Tian was thinking. Why would he send the Third Master from his family — someone with a Spirit Xuan cultivation — to be a replacement-scapegoat for the number-one contender Jun Wu Yi? Wouldn’t it be too great a pity…?
However, this suggestion had come from the top expert of the coalition. So, no one dared to overrule it that lightly. Therefore, the position of the Supreme Commander had been temporarily shelved. But, the selection of the Commander would only be done amidst two people — that unfortunate Third Master of the Xue Hun Manor, and Jun Wu Yi.
And, Li Teng Yun had presumably showed-up to discuss that matter.
The powerful families had also decided to send some powerful experts to the battle in the pre-preparatory meeting for the battle. The co-originators of this evil plot — the Xue Hun Manor and the Silver Blizzard City — didn’t dare to defer from this idea either. This entire plan to push Jun Wu Yi into a desperate situation was theirs from the beginning. After all, they were the ones who wanted to push him into this pit of fire. So, wouldn’t the entire world sneer at them if no one was sent from their side?
Everyone knew that the chances of victory were quite slim in this battle. In fact, they had ‘almost’ no chances. However, they still had to send someone… even if they were sending the-said individuals to their deaths!
Jun Wu Yi and the Dongfang Family would go in. So, the Duanmu and the Sikong Family would run the bank to mediate. The Silver Blizzard City decided to send three of their elders — the Third, Sixth and Ninth. The two Sky Xuan experts — Mu Xue Tong and Xiao Han — would also accompany them along with the ‘Seven Swords’ of the Silver Blizzard City. This was nearly seventy percent of the full strength that had arrived here from the Silver City. In fact, their contribution had been nothing less than generous on the face of it.
After all, sending the three elders wouldn’t be sufficient in its own. The Seven Swords were Silver Blizzard City’s greatest force, but their power would be reduced rather considerably if they weren’t together. So, they’d all have to go. Mu Xue Tong and Xiao Han were the two unlucky ones. Several peak experts had gathered here. So, two Sky Xuan experts weren’t considered much in this context.
However, this was also one of Silver Blizzard City’s schemes. Sending great manpower would mean that they would be safer since they could all look out for each other. Therefore, they wouldn’t be likely to meet with their deaths… even if they suffered a defeat in the battle. And, the Silver City wouldn’t suffer too much as a result of this. However, going with less manpower could mean throwing the lives away of those who were sent to battle…
As for the remaining experts of the Silver Blizzard City — the Second, Fifth and the Eighth elders — they wouldn’t be going. There was a feud between Xiao Bu Yu and the Dongfang Family. Therefore, he naturally wouldn’t join the rest. It would be extremely misfortunate if an internal conflict were to arise due to his presence…
Xiao Bu Yu was Silver City’s lead on this assignment. And, it was rather mature of him to make this decision when one comes to think of it. There were certainly many grudges and resentments between them and the Dongfang Family. However, the current crisis could mean that humanity’s end was looming close. So, it was important to act against opening old quarrels given the current scenario.
The Duanmu and the Sikong Family had friendly relations with the three Dongfang brothers. So, they invariably stood on the Jun Family’s side when they saw Dongfang Wen Qing stand beside them.
Xue Hun Manor also decided to dispatch a massive force. In fact, they had dispatched over half their manpower. This included three-hundred Jade Xuan experts, one-hundred Earth Xuan experts, thirty Sky Xuan experts, and five Spirit Xuan experts. The Xue Hun Manor’s team was the strongest amongst the gathered forces.
The weakest contingent hailed from the Baili Family. They had decided to dispatch two Sky Xuan experts along with the Jade Xuan Baili Luo Yun. This decision made the other families sigh in the secrecy of their hearts. And, this also made everyone look down on them somewhat…
[It’s too short-sighted of the Baili Family to treat such a young genius like this…]
[No matter what level of hatred or enmities may have driven this family against this unique genius… they should’ve rather expelled Baili Luo Yun from the family as the most severe punishment instead of doing this!]
[Baili Luo Yun might even become a loner in society-at-large if they had expelled him. But, he would still have his family name – Baili. He would then remain a member of the Baili Family in the eyes of society. Moreover, he would’ve become a Spirit Xuan expert… or maybe even a Great Master if they had given him a dozen or so years to train!]
[Baili Luo Yun could’ve become the patron of the Baili Family then. Resentment may still have remained between Baili Luo Yun and the Baili Family in that case. But, any person wishing to mess with the Baili Family would still have to think about Baili Luo Yun’s reaction. He would at least be a virtual threat! And, the unnoticeable Baili Family would’ve then been able to change the tide, and would’ve risen in the society when that time came!]
However, the Baili Family simply couldn’t wait to get rid of this person. In fact, they were almost impatient to bring that rare genius to death. This left everyone to look at the Baili Family’s decision-making abilities with disdain. [You’re a powerful family. So, how can you not read the situation? How can you be so short-sighted? What will you gain by this?]
Some people even started to assert that the Baili Family had started to decline… and was even done for!
Jun Wu Yi — the Supreme Commander who had lead twenty-thousand men to the Southern Heaven City — would only lead around three-hundred men of his own to this battle. And, two-hundred of these men were Jade Xuan experts. The remaining were mostly at the Earth Xuan realm. In fact, most of the assembled experts were the ones who had been sent by Tian Xiang’s influential families to protect their Young Masters.
Jun Wu Yi had clearly understood the Emperor’s intentions in the manner he had singled out these people. [The many Young Masters of the various families will be well protected, and won’t face a mishap. But, my life is surely foreordained for doom!]
The families of the capital city were quite scattered. And, he probably desired to use this time to reorganize them. Their strength wasn’t exactly that great when compared to the rest of the world. Yet, they were considered quite powerful inside the city. After all, even monkeys can become the kings when there are no tigers in the mountains.
However, the families’ powers would be crippled if a majority of these men died here. And, these men were accompanying the precious treasures of each family. So, they would certainly be left to feel indignant if too many of these ‘bodyguards’ were to die. Moreover, these Young Masters would return home to their siblings later. They would then notice that everything would be settled and calm. This would drive them mad. And, everything would then change — whether it would be a gripe for power, or schemes for toppling the family’s line of succession. And, this would eventually weaken every major family.
This step-by-step degradation scheme’s genius had to be attributed to the Emperor. He would be able to hold the powerful families together in his hands in this manner. There could’ve come a time when the heads of the powerful families may have united to take a stand against the Emperor. But, that scenario would vanish in thin air as a result of this scheme.
This was a great and far-reaching scheme. In fact, it was an excellent and exquisite plan.
The Emperor’s far-sighted plan was already at play at that time.
The Third Master Jun was immersed in these thoughts when Li Teng Yun walked-in in his excessively ‘jingly’ attire. His clothes were decorated with flowers, and gave-off a shiny-bright radiance. In fact, he looked like a ‘walking lighthouse’. Jun Wu Yi and the three Dongfang brothers were flabbergasted. [This brat is too coquettish!]
He would be a live target for any assassin. The said-killer could make it work even if he had bad aim. He would only need to throw his weapon at the shiny light, and that alone would be enough to make his target gurgle blood.
Li Teng Yun entered with two experts in tow. He cupped his hands, and looked rather arrogant as he said, “I’ve come to pay a visit, Commander Jun. I request the Commander doesn’t mind this intrusion.”
“The Young Master is too courteous.” Jun Wu Yi remained calm and maintained etiquette, “Yet, I don’t know why you’ve come here. To what do I owe this meet?”
Li Teng Yun chuckled gently. He then looked around. The young man was about to speak-up… but he stopped himself.
The three Dongfang brothers smiled. They were aware that he had some apprehensions. So, they excused themselves, and retired. But, Jun Mo Xie walked-in from behind the cloth flap just as his three uncles left. However, the shadows of two other people remained hidden behind the flap. These two individuals were Guan Qing Han, and Dugu Xiao Yi.
Jun Mo Xie and Guan Qing Han had suspected the reason behind Li Teng Yun’s visit. And hence, they had walked-in in advance. Dugu Xiao Yi had naturally followed after them.
“Everyone present here is family. So, the Young Master Li Teng Yun can speak freely,” Jun Wu Yi smiled faintly. The faint yet cold glint in Li Teng Yun’s eyes had somewhat revealed his intentions. And, Jun Wu Yi was no fool. So, he had guessed the reason behind Li Teng Yun’s visit.
“This Young Master will speak openly if that’s the case,” Li Teng Yun smiled. His eyes had a look of great confidence in them. The just-arrived Jun Mo Xie wasn’t important in his eyes. In fact, he wouldn’t even care if the entire Jun Family were present there. After all, the Jun Family was nothing in front of the monster that his Xue Hun Manor was…
“This Young Master had gone to Tian Xiang City for sight-seeing some time ago. He had then met Young Lady Guan Qing Han by chance, and was startled by her celestial beauty. I’ve been yearning for her day-and-night ever since. Not a day goes by when I don’t think of her.”
Li Teng Yun smiled gracefully and continued, “It’s said that the Young Lady Guan Qing Han has been living as a widow in the Jun Family for many years. In fact, her status is still that of the Jun Family’s daughter-in-law — married to the eldest of the Jun Family’s Third Generation… he he… but we all know that the said-marriage isn’t valid. In fact, it’s a marriage in name only. So, this Young Master has come to the Third Master Jun to ask for the Young Lady’s freedom so that we can have a splendid marriage. Wouldn’t it be the best for both the sides?”
“My Xue Hun Manor will also reciprocate if you agree and give your well-wishes,” Li Teng Yun waved his hand to stop Jun Wu Yi from interrupting as he continued, “The Third Master Jun must be aware that my Xue Hun Manor has agreed to my proposition for candidature over the command of the forces for the decisive battle tomorrow. Everyone knows that this decisive battle is no ordinary battle. You’d have to face high-level Xuan Beasts. A single misstep could result in a miserable fate if one’s not careful. Commander Jun is a great general. Your Xuan cultivation is… he he he… is obviously outstanding as well. This Li Teng Yun genuinely admires that about you. However, Commander Jun has been disabled for several years. We may have to square-up against the high-level Xuan Beasts in this battle. And, you must know that you won’t be very fortunate if you were to go there…”
Jun Wu Yi looked down. He didn’t wish to show his rage. Then, he spoke in a lowered voice, “The Manor’s Young Master’s purpose to arrive here certainly isn’t limited to a chat about his worry for this Jun’s life. Speak your real intention!”
“Well, I shall talk plainly since the Commander Jun is in haste. You won’t need to throw your life away if you agree to my request!”
Li Teng Yun seemed tired, and put-up his point rather directly, “Our Xue Hun Manor will take a strong stance, and we will forcibly take the position of the Supreme Commander. We won’t let any harm come to the Jun Family’s reputation. The Jun Family will be safe from the Xuan Beasts’ attack under our wing. Moreover, we will also try our best to mediate with the Silver City in order to prevent them from stabbing you in the back.”
Li Teng Yun’s eyes had basically turned into slits by now. His expression changed as he spoke, “And, this Young Master knows of the Jun Family’s apprehensions. But, we won’t create any problems for Commander Jun. And, the Jun Family only has to part with one woman in exchange. Moreover, they shall only be parting with a woman they have no relations with.”
“Is that what the Young Master Li means? …that this woman has no worth?” Jun Mo Xie suddenly spoke-up in between.
“This one woman… he he… the Third Young Master’s words aren’t in-keeping with his family’s identity. And, this is very surprising to me.” Li Teng Yun looked up coldly as he said, “How much value do women have in this world? They eventually rely on the husband’s merit even if they accomplish something. It’s like our families exchange mates for our horses, or dogs, or… he he… a few women. That isn’t usually a big deal, right? They are mere toys; nothing more. There’s no need to make a fuss about it.”
“Mere toys…?” Jun Wu Yi’s voice was cold. In fact, it was as cold as the winds that blow on a snow-capped mountain. “Is this your condition, Young Master Li?”
“I’m making a great offer in good faith, and the Commander is still unsatisfied?” Li Teng Yun had recognized the coldness in Jun Wu Yi’s voice. He had also noticed the menacing glint in Jun Wu Yi’s eyes, and the threatening texture of his tone. “Think properly, Commander Jun. You will probably die tomorrow if you refuse this gesture I’ve made with good will. You will have to face those crazy beasts that are anyway unmatchable foes. Moreover, you will also have to contend with others whom you can’t hope to match. A mere woman in-exchange for your life and the peace of the entire Jun Family! I’m sure that one who understands this situation will know what choice to make. Moreover, this arrangement will bring the said-woman great happiness. You’re faced with two roads that determine life and death, Commander. Will you choose unwisely?”
“No relation? Guan Qing Han is a part of my family! At least for now… she is!” Jun Wu Yi looked at him coldly. “No outsider shall ever be allowed to disgrace someone once they’re a part of the Jun Family. The Young Master needn’t worry about the life and death of any from the Jun Family’s members… since you’re merely a visitor!”
“Don’t refuse, Jun Wu Yi! This Young Master has come to speak to you in this matter. But, he has only done so for the benefit of your reputation. Moreover, he has provided such great conditions for your sake. Do you genuinely think you’re someone that great?”
Li Teng Yun stood up, and continued in a ruthless tone, “Why should I worry about you if you can’t tell the good from the bad, and wish to court death! You will anyway die. So, what’s the big deal? You anyway can’t stop me from getting Guan Qing Han even if you don’t!”
Jun Mo Xie clicked his tongue and said, “Young Master Li is very strange. When has our Jun Family ever asked you to worry about us? And, what status do you have of your own? You’re merely the only son of Great Master Jue Tian; that’s all. The Young Master of the magnificent Xue Hun Manor; that’s all. But, where’s the virtue in that? This has indeed widened my outlook! No wonder my sister-in-law doesn’t like you. In fact, I’m convinced that no woman will ever like you. And, that’s because you don’t have a single good thing about you… except for the fact that you are the son of the reputed Second Great Master. The Xue Hun Manor has no future!”
“Very well! You will pay for your words, Jun Mo Xie. Just you wait for your uncle’s corpse tomorrow!” Li Teng Yun snorted, flicked his sleeves, and said, “This Young Master disdains the quarrel you’ve started, Jun Mo Xie. Your Jun Family isn’t even fit to haggle with me!”
Jun Mo Xie sneered, “It’s difficult to tell who isn’t a ‘fit’ here. I can only see a toad who’s trying to eat a swan’s meat standing in front of me. What about you?”
“You…!” Li Teng Yun became extremely mad at first. He then suppressed his anger, and coldly stated, “I — Li Teng Yun — desire a woman. And yet, I can’t have her?! Jun Mo Xie, you’re in the Southern Heaven City. I’d like to see you act like this once you have lost your Third Uncle, and the protection of your three maternal uncles. Tomorrow, it’ll be your Third Uncle. Perhaps, it’ll be you the day after! Your three Spirit Xuan expert uncles are great, right? Jun Mo Xie, the power you rely on is nothing in my eyes! Let me tell you… a clenched fist is the greatest argument in this world!”
“I know that the clenched fist is the greatest argument! The Xue Hun Manor would’ve easily defeated the Xuan Beasts if it weren’t for their power, right? So, I guess the ‘fist’ wasn’t big enough. And, the Great Master Jue Tian was forced to issue the Supreme order over this, right? But, you’re still so arrogant and shameless despite all this?”
Jun Mo Xie then shook his head in a dumbfounded manner, “The Xue Hun Manor is genuinely a lame duck. I guess we will have to wait to see the Manor’s funeral day after tomorrow.”
“Well, we’ll see whose family will have to wait at the funeral, Jun Mo Xie. You’ll be the one to wear the mourning clothes, you brat.” Li Teng Yun then turned around, and started to walk out. He reached the exit. Then, he suddenly stopped, turned, and asked, “You’re sure that you won’t regret this, Jun Wu Yi?”
That was Jun Wu Yi’s answer. That shameless Young Master of the Xue Hun Manor had crossed the limit of his tolerance.
A sharp light flashed in Li Teng Yun’s eyes as he snorted and turned away.
“Wait, Young Master Teng Yun!” Jun Mo Xie shouted for Li Teng Yun.
Li Teng Yun turned his head and snorted, “So, you’re scared now? Young Master Jun, hurry up and tell your Third Uncle and Grandfather that there’s no need to put the Jun Family in trouble because of a single woman. A wise man submits to the circumstances…”
“Ah? Young Master Teng Yun misunderstands Young Master Jun’s reason behind asking him to stop. I just intend to remind Young Master Teng Yun of something in the best of interests. Your eyes reveal the oncoming of misfortune. Your left eye is green with youth, but your right one is green with envy. Your face also beckons an oncoming disaster. It’s a bloody disaster that will befall in the days to come. But, you can’t even run from it. Therefore, you mustn’t worry about other people’s life and death. You must rather concern yourself with your own safety. I’m only trying to say that… it would be very bad if the father has to watch his son die before his own doom strikes him!”
Then, the Young Master Jun slowly said, “Great Master Jue Tian is way over a hundred years old. I fear his reproductive capabilities won’t work anymore. So… take good care of yourself, Young Master.”
“You…” Li Teng Yun’s nose was almost crooked with anger. He turned his head, and didn’t look back as he left.
“Are our troops ready for tomorrow’s fight, Third Uncle?” Jun Mo Xie asked.
“Every expert from each family has been selected and readied; except for me. Our Tian Xiang Empire’s military strength is the crown of the entire Continent. But, it is considered the weakest in terms of strength amongst those who have gathered here. And, everyone knows this fact. Moreover, I haven’t deployed your two-hundred-and-fifty guards, or the high ranking Generals.”
Jun Wu Yi smiled faintly, “What’s the need to sacrifice so much in a lost battle, right?”
Jun Wu Yi hadn’t explained those words, but Jun Mo Xie had understood them rather clearly. Those two-hundred-and-fifty guards would continue to live, and would become the Jun Family’s future since Commander Jun would most certainly die. [My death alone should be enough. Why should these men die as well?]
Jun Mo Xie’s heart was moved by this. Jun Wu Yi didn’t know that the Jun Family wouldn’t be touched during the battle the following day. So, he was stubbornly determined to sacrifice his life. He wasn’t thinking of himself… but of the Jun Family… even at this juncture.
“Third Uncle…” Jun Mo Xie muttered irresolutely. Then, he spoke-up in a resolute manner, “Nothing can be taken for granted. The outcome of tomorrow’s battle is uncertain. But, nothing will happen to you… even if we suffer huge damages. This… I assure you!”
Jun Wu Yi looked at him for a good while before he suddenly smiled and said, “I hope so.”
He then suddenly called out after having said that, “Can you come out, Qing Han? Haven’t you eavesdropped enough? Come out!”
Guan Qing Han and Dugu Xiao Yi came out with embarrassed expressions. They looked at Jun Wu Yi. And, their expressions changed to that of extreme worry. Especially Guan Qing Han; she was distressed.
Jun Wu Yi coughed, and then became silent. He had conflicting expressions on his face for some time, and remained silent. Then, he finally spoke-up in a hoarse voice, “There are three individuals in front of me today; one is my nephew, and one is the Jun Family’s daughter-in-law. And then, there’s another person… the Dugu Family’s treasured daughter— Dugu Xiao Yi. You represent the Dugu Family. You will be troubled because I — Jun Wu Yi — will make you a witness today!”
Dugu Xiao Yi didn’t know what he was about to speak. Jun Wu Yi was apparently about to make a serious decision. So, she subconsciously nodded.
Guan Qing Han guessed what Jun Wu Yi was about to do. So, she cried-out in sadness, “Third Uncle, don’t… don’t do it!”