This chapter has been brought to you by me, and Smash10101.
Chapter Three The Deciding Battle
“Let this old man ask you again, you really do not admit you are a member of the Qin Family?” Qin Ding was so “excited” spittle flew, his lips trembling under his beard.
“It’s not that I do not admit it, but this is the truth! There is no way spilled water can be returned!” Aofeng said expressionlessly, her head held up high. Since she dared to say such a thing, she naturally had great confidence. “Do not look at me like this. Other people fear you, I do not!”
Disregarding how Qin Aotian would not rest, with the divine beasts she had, even if she could not win, she could escape with no problem. Using the terrifying recovery rate of the Magus Divinity Power Source, the shamanic power in her energy center once again grown active. She could summon magus beasts at any time. She truly did not think much of this old man’s anger.
However, in the eyes of other people, this Seventh Young Master was arrogant and daring to a peerless level!
“Old Patriarch, while Xiao Feng is extreme in word, it is also what I think. If I did not worry that someone would harm Xiao Feng, I would not have stayed.” Seeing Aofeng and Qin Ding go into a standstill, Qin Aotian was not willing to endure any longer. In these years, he had been restrained by others due to Aofeng. If not out of fear they would harm the defenceless Aofeng, would he be docile and stay in the capital?
Now that Aofeng had stated her attitude, he had nothing to fear. With both of them celestial rank experts, where couldn’t the two go except for those dangerous places on the continent?
Aofeng detected Brother’s hand suddenly griping hers. The warm hand gripped her hand tightly.
“You …” Qin Ding’s face turned from red to purple and then to white. He seemed to age decades in an instant.
In the suffocating silence, Qin Ding finally put down his strength, sighed, and his fists opened.
“Those that want to leave, go! Anyone that leaves will be expelled from the family!”
After some gritting of the teeth, the old man’s voice was so powerless. There was likely no other grandfather that failed more than he did. His own grandson did not recognize him, and both called him “Old Patriarch.” How ironic was this? Qin Ding finally noticed that Qin Aotian had always called him “Old Patriarch” rather than Grandfather. It seemed the other had never thought of him as his grandfather.
At these words, the elders and visiting scholars could not remain silent and started shouting.
“Old Patriarch! This cannot be accepted!”
“Old Patriarch, His Excellency Aotian is the best among the next generation of the Qin Family. He cannot be expelled rashly!”
“Then what do you think? You want this old man to kill his own grandsons?” Qin Ding angrily suppressed everyone’s voice and glanced tiredly at Qin Aotian. “If he does not want to remain, what is the use if he is physically present in the family? Let him …”
No one could speak. None of them had expected Aofeng’s return would end like this.
“If so, then Old Patriarch, thank you for not arguing.” Qin Aotian nodded coolly and pulled Aofeng away by the hand.
“Aotian, wait a moment.” The visiting scholar Qin Yu who looked more wise suddenly spoke softly and called to Qin Aotian “Aofeng is fine, but you are different. Even if you want to leave the family, it shouldn’t be now. Master Qin Run and Substitute Patriarch Qin Lu’s competition is at a crucial time. If one camp lacks you, we can announce the result now.”
Qin Aotian’s handsome brow rose. He said coldly, “Right Visiting Scholar is …”
“This is not a threat, this is a fact!” Qin Yu interrupted Qin Aotian, his eyes flashing with light. He smiled slightly and said, “Aotian, you have done so much for Master Qin Run these years, will you give up now? Actually, I have a good idea. Since the votes are equal now, then the one who is strongest should become the patriarch.”
Using power to speak was an unchanging law in this world.
At these words, Qin Aotian and Aofeng exchanged a look and stopped walking.
“Wait a moment!” At the words, Qin Lu and his daughter changed their expressions. Qin Lu hurriedly said, “Your Excellency Qin Yu, Qin Aotian’s individual strength is above us, this is known to all …”
“Listen to me finish, will I make a decision so arbitrarily?” Qin Yu glared in displeasure at Qin Lu. The latter hurriedly closed his mouth.
Qin Yu, this wise and cunning elder, had a high reputation. Everyone quieted. He said slowly, “The competition for the seat of patriarch is related to the future development of the family. This will be akin to determining the third generation patriarch as well. Honestly, with Patriarch Qin Lu’s situation, he is strong enough to be patriarch. Our discussion favors Patriarch Qin Lu, but now, Patriarch Qin Lu’s son is not one I think has the ability to inherit the family.”
The calm words were cold and almost cruel. Even if he did not speak, everyone knew that Qin Aokong, as a cripple, was formally removed from the candidates to inherit the family.
Qin Lu and his daughter paled and stared hatefully at Aofeng. Everything was due to this damned bastard!
“However, Patriarch Qin Lu has worked very hard for the family for many years. How can we ignore this? Aoxue is one of the direct heirs, and we may have a matriarch.” Qin Yu spoke slowly and Qin Lu’s expression eased. He continued, “Right now, the votes are equal and so strength shall determine victory. This isn’t just individual strength, it is also the ability to communicate. As the patriarch of the Qin Family, how can someone who does not have a wide network lead the Qin Family to grow stronger?”
Everyone nodded in agreement. Qin Yu’s words were reasonable. No one had any objections.
Qin Lu’s eyes lit up. “So Your Excellency Qin Yu means …”
Qin Yu smiled slightly and said, “There are many people who want to attend the great Midautumn tournament in the seventh month on the Imperial Day of the Kaya Empire, with a divine magic medium as the prize. The court has already decided to make this a competition of teams. Only teams of six can register. Aoxue and Aotian are all younger than thirty five and can attend this tournament. Let this tournament decide this competition. Who has the best results in the tournament will win the patriarch position for their side. What do you think?”
This decision was very fair. If Qin Aoxue and Qin Aotian fought directly, the result was known. But this great tournament was different. Opportunity, luck, networking, there were many different factors and all were necessary. In all, Qin Aoxue had a chance.
The elders nodded in agreement, not just for this method, but because this could also keep Qin Aotian. If he was kept for a while, who knew if he would change his mind? If he left like this, they feared he would not come back in the future. Even the two visiting scholars felt pained at losing a genius like this.
“We agree!” Qin Aoxue and Qin Lu immediately agreed. This could be her only chance to defeat Qin Aotian.
“I also agree.” Qin Aotian did not hesitate either. When forced, he would choose Aofeng. But he would still do his best for Qin Run. Qin Run had never blamed him for this because Qin Run himself favored Aofeng greatly.
Qin Yu noddd and raised his voice so the entire stadium could hear his words.” Alright, with the ten thousand magisters of the Qin Family as witness, everything will end with the great tournament of the empire. No one is allowed to blame at that time! Swear your oaths!”
Qin Aotian, Qin Run, Qin Lu, and Qin Aoxue were all directly connected to this matter. One after another, they swore their oaths in a loud voice. The rules of the universe descended, the silver energy flashed, and the oath took effect.
“You can all leave.” Qin Ding was angered by Aofeng and her brother and hadn’t recovered. He spoke tiredly and disappeared in a flash.
“Everyone, go back to your duties.” The following matters fell to Qin Yu, the visiting scholar. The people responsible for the stadium started to guide the crowds away. Everyone took an extra look at the black robed youth in the stadium before leaving. After this battle, Aofeng was famous in the Qin Family.
Qin Run patted the sibling’s shoulder and said with a smile, “You are good. Alright, let’s rest at my place, and we can talk.”
The matter could be considered to have proceeded smoothly. Aofeng nodded and made a sound of acknowledgement.
“Just wait for the tournament!” Qin Aoxue smirked from afar and turned to leave with Qin Lu’s group
“What is she smug about, did she not see how strong Big Brother Aotian and Aofeng are. What helper can she find? She thinks that she is so great?” Qin Aohai was disdainful of Qin Aoxue’s attitude and snorted.
“That is not so.” Qin Run shook his head, his eyes flashing. He sighed and said softly, “Do you know who Qin Aoxue’s man is?”
Aofeng blinked her eyes and remembered that Qin Aoxue was thirty three this year. Even if she hadn’t married, it was normal to have a lover. She asked curiously, “Not a member of the Qin Family?”
“Of course not. If not for his support, how would Qin Aoxue dare to agree to this competition? Aofeng, your display showed strength equal to a six sword magister!” Qin Run’s tone deepened. “This man is from one of the strongest powers on this continent, the captain of the Central Cloud Combat Guard of Central Cloud City, Yun Cheng.”
“Yun Cheng is coincidentally thirty five this year, and within the rules. He is equal in power to Aotian, and there are no poor magus beasts in Central Cloud City. If he leads some of his fellows of similar power, you can win against one or two, but not many.”
When he said this, Qin Run’s worry grew.
Qin Ding had disappeared so no one pursued Aofeng. She followed Qin Run, Qin Aotian and Qin Aohai to Qin Run’s residence.
They climbed several hundred steps and entered a beautiful estate that was like a palace. Aofeng’s scope was broadened by the estates deep in the center of the Qin Family base. These European style courtyards and palaces were unspeakably vast, magnificent, and in a quiet environment.
Qin Run’s residence was even more special. Because he was a crafter, he had made a large batch of surveillance crystals. The stone at the center of the residence could clearly reflect the images just like the modern surveillance cameras. There were endless layers of traps that would be accidentally activated if Qin Run was not leading the way.
Aofeng thought that Luska’s civilization was not any less than the modern era, but the development direction was completely different and so were the principles here. For example, the rules of the universe were of unknown origin, but no one could break them. One could only say they were right because they existed. Just like why people asked why there was the material world or the universe, it could not be explained.
The magic mediums that crafters made were not any less then modern science weapons. For example, the magic conduit cannons had power to easily destroy an intermediate scale city.
“Little Uncle, no one is here now. Will you tell us about Central Cloud City?” Walking through the beautiful garden, Qin Aotian was still occupied with the tournament. No one could hear the discussion now. If Qin Run was unwilling, even magus scholars could not enter his garden.
Central Cloud City …
Aofeng rubbed her hairless chin and thought of Mama Su Ya. She asked, “Central Cloud City is really stronger than the Qin Family? Aren’t the four great magister families the strongest and most prestigious families on the continent?”
This was the second time she heard the name Central Cloud City. Back in Neversetting Sun, these three words caused the people of Radiance Continent to retreat. It had significant influence. However, was it a hidden power that many people on the continent did not know of? Was it that strong?
“Aofeng, Aotian, you have never been in contact with the top powers of the continent. The reputation of the four great magister families is known far and wide, we are powerful, but our quality of magisters and our number cannot compare to the major cities in the dangerous places. Because of my status as a crafter, I have some understanding of them.” As Qin Run spoke, his eyes were grave.
“The Black Magus Church of the Endless Desert, the Radiance Continent of the Astral Plateau, and the Central Cloud City of the Sea of Daggered Clouds and Mists. Only when the experts of all four of the magister families gather together do we have the ability to match these three powers, and we would still be weaker. When you encounter people from these places on the continent, be careful and do not easily offend.”
Every person on Radiance Continent was familiar with Radiance Magus Church which controlled the belief of the continent. Aofeng had been in contact with them several times. Just from how Qin Aoxin and the other members of the main family had to kneel to the Holy Emperor Jun Luoyu, she knew that Radiance Continent and the Qin Family were not on the same level.
However, Aofeng had not expected the silent Black Magus Church and the hidden Central Cloud City to also be top powers.
“Especially Central Cloud City. If the four families are together, we might rival Radiance Magus Church and Black Magus Church. But we will only lose against Central Cloud City,” Qin Run then said in a severe tone.
Qin Aohai frowned and couldn’t help but ask, “Father, why?”
Qin Run took a deep breath and said tremblingly, “Because Central Cloud City has a divine rank expert! So in the last thousands of years, no one can challenge the power of Central Cloud City.”
Even Qin Aotian couldn’t help but stare wide along with Aofeng and Aohai at the words. They inhaled in shock. Divine rank expert? Wouldn’t that be above a nine sword magus scholar?
The entire world knew that the archbishop of Radiance Magus Church, Venerable Swordsman Tian Ya, and Lan Xiu Daren of the Kaya Empire, the one called the closest to divine rank, hadn’t entered divine rank. Aofeng only learned a while ago that Venerable Swordsman Tian Ya had reached the level of sword deity. Yet Central Cloud City had a divine rank expert hundreds of years ago!
“Is a divine rank expert so powerful?” Aofeng asked suspiciously. Could three nine-sword magus scholars not equal a divine rank?
Qin Run nodded without hesitation. “Yes, divine rank is that powerful! Just like the great difference between celestial rank and earth rank, the different between divine rank and celestial rank is an abyss much greater than the previous one.”
“Supposedly, even super-divine beasts are not worth a blow in front of true divine rank experts. And in the dangerous places, there are many places suitable for cultivation. The people that reside there fight with the magic beasts and their power, at equal rank, surpasses us. This does not even include the number of their magus scholars and celestial magisters. they have more than us four families added together. Central Cloud City, who has a divine rank expert, is hidden from the world, but its influence is enough for the Radiance Church who controls the religion of the continent to step back.” Qin Run’s eyes flashed with light. He sank into a short daze of thinking, as though he recalled something.
A thought appeared in Aofeng’s mind. Mama Su Ya seemed to be a member of Central Cloud City, and not of insignificant status. Mistress Su Ya had been weirdly good to her. What was going on?
“If they enter, then we won’t have any chance?” Qin Aohai asked with side eyes.
“Not necessarily, would a divine rank expert attack for a guard captain? there are many guard captains of the Central Cloud Combat Guard, not just him.” Qin Run chuckled. “A divine magic medium, even Radiance Magus Church will come to fight for it. This is an item from the Kaya Empire. The three factions usually do not interfere in the fighting within counties. Qin Aoxue can invite Yun Cheng as an individual, and probably only invite the good friends of Yun Cheng. Yun Cheng himself will most likely be the only one above seven-sword. In terms of talent, no one in Central Cloud City can compare to Aotian. The path will straighten naturally when we reach it. Do not worry, we have many experts here as well.”
“How can they have any connection to our family? Do people of our family know people from Central Cloud City? Little Uncle, did you matchmake them?” Aofeng blinked her eyes and asked. She started to suspect what her mother “Yun Fengqin” as she learned from Tian Ya had to do with Central Cloud City.
Qin Run stilled, his expression flashing imperceptibly but still not escaping Aofeng’s sharp eyes.
“How could that be? Aoxue met Yun Cheng when travelling,” Qin Run smiled and refuted.
Even if it was a speculation, Aofeng became wary of Central Cloud City. She knew that Little Uncle was concealing something. But after probing, Qin Run still did not speak of it. Aofeng gave up to avoid arousing his suspicions.
“Right, Aofeng, I heard Aohai say you can summon a lifebond flame? Could you let me see?” Qin Run seemed unwilling to discuss this question and changed topics.
Aofeng raised a hand and said with a smile, “Of course, Little Uncle, did you mean this?”
With a flick of her finger, a crimson gold flame jumped out of her fingertip and pulsed in the air like a mischievous child. The surrounding temperature increased greatly when the flame appeared, making people feel sweaty.
“This … this is …” Qin Run originally just wanted to change focus and hadn’t hoped much. But now his face flushed when Aofeng showed her flame!
Joy, shock, excitement, all kinds of complicated expressions appeared on Qin Run’s handsome face. He almost fainted from excitement, and said in a trembling voice, “Heavens! Celestial fire! This is a celestial rank flame! Gods, Aofeng, you can become a crafter, and a celestial fire crafter at that!”
“Great! So great! Another celestial fire crafter appeared after Venerable Swordsman Tian Ya, and this is right in front of me. I, I, I …” Qin Run jumped around in excitement, his face bright red, his words a mess. Aofeng and the other two were given a fright. Aofeng hurriedly put away the flame. If this continued, she feared that Qin Run’s eyes would roll back and he would faint …
“Little Uncle, don’t scare people.” The trio were all shocked at seeing the elegant Qin Run like this.
Qin Run grabbed Aofeng’s hands and stared at her as though he wanted to eat her alive. “No, no, Aofeng, you must learn crafting with Little Uncle!”
Aofeng sweated and nodded like a chicken. “Yes, I will learn, Little Uncle, don’t be so excited …”
“How can I not be excited? Celestial fire! Celestial Fire crafter!” Qin Run was still extremely excited and unable to calm down. “Do you know the status of a celestial fire crafter on the continent? Equal to that of a regent beast tamer! Once you become a celestial fire crafter, you will get endless wealth and resources. More importantly, many magic mediums cannot be bought with money. If you become a celestial fire crafter, you can design the best magic mediums for yourself, and make up for your shortcomings in battle. We have more hope in this tournament!”
“This good?” Aofeng was persuaded by his words. The status of crafter was public, and being able to make weapons for herself was the most attractive part. If possible, she wanted to make a set of equipment for Big Brother with her own hands. She would always remember how good Qin Aotian was to her, and would repay him back whenever possible.
“Quick, come with me, you will learn crafting now starting today.” Qin Run laughed proudly. “Those old people of the crafter union always have their eyes on the top of their heads. Haha, I will let them know what is a true genius is at this year’s crafter conference!”