“Search the Jianghu. The first thing to do is to find out whether Ao Xie Yun is dead or alive. Bring back his body if he’s dead. And then, we’ll take revenge! Bring him back if he is alive. And then, we’ll take revenge!”
Ao Tian Xing had said all of this at the time when the juniors of the clan were about to go to battle. He had basically meant, [Ao Xie Yun must be brought back… dead or alive! And, the people who attacked Ao Xie Yun must pay the price… no matter what.]
“You six people, your entire cultivation would be discarded after you return if any of you dares to play any dirty trick out of your pettiness. Don’t think that we don’t know what you’re thinking.”
This was Ao Tian Xing’s warning to his six nephews.
The military forces set-off on the journey. Ao Tian Xing asked, “How is Young Master Xie doing?”
“Young Master Xie took his leave,” a servant reported, “Young Master Xie was still unwell. But, he took his leave seeing the present situation of our Ao Clan. He had said before leaving — Clan Lord will obviously feel sad if I say goodbye to him under the present circumstances. So, I’m leaving right away.”
Ao Tian Xing nodded. His thoughts were in turmoil at this time. Xie Dan Qiong had certainly left without saying goodbye. But, he had understood Ao Tian Xing’s state of mind.
Ao Tian Xing went into the inner room once all the arrangements were done. Then, he took a secret path, and went all the way down. It wasn’t known how far he went… He went through several twists and turns along the way, and finally arrived in front of a peculiar underground stone-chamber.
“Ancestors, why did you insist on sending those six out when you know that the Jianghu is in turmoil?” Ao Tian Xing was somewhat puzzled. He was also somewhat resentful.
There was a big room opposite to him; its walls were built of white crystal. The quality of this white crystal was so high that it was almost transparent. Three vague silhouettes could be seen through the crystal wall.
“Are you sure that Ao Xie Yun hasn’t died?” an aged voice transmitted from the inside after a long time.
“Yes!” Ao Tian Xing answered, “We have made discreet inquiries about the various aspects of the news. It is true that Ou Clan, Black Devil Clan, and the other clans had chased down Ao Xie Yun. But, it didn’t come off. Some rumors say that Xie Yun was rescued by King of Hell Chu. And, I’m sure that these rumors aren’t groundless…”
There was silence on the opposite side.
Then, a sudden sigh was heard. And, another voice slowly said, “We three brothers have been hidden here in seclusion for fifty years now. Our lifelong accomplishment will halt right here if we can’t break through the barrier of the fifth grade Monarch Level in a few years.”
He paused for a while, and then continued, “In other words, we three will die in twenty or so years if we can’t break through… After all, we’ll have hit the terminus of our lifespans.”
Ao Tian Xing opened his eyes wide in astonishment, “How could this…”
“We can’t protect all the generations of the Ao Clan through the ages. The future of the Ao Clan is in the hands of the younger generation,” another voice coldly said, “But, these youngsters would be useless despite being highly talented if they aren’t obedient and have wild schemes to destroy their own brothers.
“There are seven highly talented youngsters in this generation, and Ao Clan has been overjoyed because of this. They think that the restoration of the clan is hopeful. But, we three old men have been anxious about it,” that cold and stern voice continued, “It must be borne in mind that there would inevitably be wild ambitions and desire for power when many talented men appear together.”
“Let Ao Xie Yun use his strategy if he hasn’t died yet. Let him subdue these six people… Let him tame them. Or, let him kill them! But, let these six men struggle amongst themselves first if he has already died. Let it be… even if it causes some damage to the clan. After all, it’ll be better than the division of the clan in the future.”
“But, it won’t be fair if Ao Xie Yun died by their hands.”
The Ancestor who had been the first one to speak-up said in an indifferent manner, “This is an aristocratic clan. So, it may be said that there’s nothing fair here. All of them are sufficiently fledged now. So, they must prove to be worthy if they want the leading position.”
Ao Tian Xing opened his mouth. He exposed a distressed look on his face. [How many of these seven outstanding juniors of the clan would remain if they engaged in this kind of struggle?]
“We three won’t meddle no matter what. We’ll only wait for the results. As for you people… you can also use different methods. However, the Clan Lord’s guards and the neutral Emperor Level Experts of the clan mustn’t set into action. The Black Star Guards and Proud Eagle Assassination Squad must not be mobilized. These are the basic rules which mustn’t be broken.
“This is an opportunity. The Ao Clan’s strength will indeed be greatly damaged after this. And, it is possible that there may come a period of stillness in the clan. However, the strength of the clan will be condensed henceforth.”
One of the Ancestors said, “Tian Xing, you must remember… The thing that makes a clan rise to power and fame isn’t numerical strength. In fact, even having a lot of property doesn’t make a clan great. However, unity does!
“Ao Clan has lots of assets at present, and ranks first in the Middle Three Heavens. But, there is no unity in the clan.”
Then, Ao Tian Xing walked out with a heavy load on his mind.
[Xie Yun, where are you? Are you still alive?]
Outside the gate of Ao Clan… six troops were ready and waiting to set out. The six youngsters who were each leading a team had warm and gentle smiles on their faces. They had gathered together. And, all six of them were handsome youngsters. All of them looked dashing, and had a cool and calm bearing. Their statures were tall; they all were good looking and well-built.
They were the six Young Masters of the Ao Clan.
“Qing Yun, you can probably make an extra effort, and find Eldest Brother. It would be a great accomplishment. Ha ha,” one of the youngsters warmly laughed.
“Meng Yun, you must make an extra effort. Maybe, this great accomplishment will be yours,” Ao Qing Yun modestly smiled.
These brothers were amiably chatting and laughing among themselves. Each one of them was friendly to the other. But, a strange coldness would occasionally flash through their eyes. And, this coldness was fierce and scary.
Everyone knew that this was an opportunity for them. In fact, it was a once-in-blue-moon opportunity!
It wasn’t known who had said these words. But, everyone instantly dispersed in confusion since all of them were already impatient. They quickly mounted their horses; their long robes fluttered in the air amidst loud laughter. And, six long cavalries set out under the blue sky and above the green grass.
“They’re back!” Mo Tian Ji looked at the two men in front of him.
Only three of them had gathered this time – Dong Wu Lei, Luo Ke Wu, and Mo Tian Ji.
They were in an isolated teahouse.
“I believe that you both got the news. Heavenly Armament Pavilion has returned, and it has destroyed the old nest of the Ou Clan. Now, only less than twenty people of the Ou Clan are left in the enemy alliance… This is the residual power of Ou Clan. It isn’t worth fearing.”
Mo Tian Ji slowly said with a calm face, “This thunderous attack from King of Hell Chu has solved our biggest problem. The Ou Clan was the reason why we were unable to make a move. It was our biggest concern.
“Trailblazer!” Mo Tian Ji indifferently said, “This is what I had meant when I called him a trailblazer. Only King of Hell Chu could have pulled this off without letting anyone find out.”
Dong Wu Lei and Luo Ke Wu didn’t say anything. They knew that this wasn’t what Mo Tian Ji had called them for. Everyone knew about these things. After all, these things weren’t a secret anymore.
“I want to remind you that…” A ray of light flashed in Mo Tian Ji’s eyes. He then gently put his hands on the top of the table. He seemed to be a bit uncomfortable to say something. But then, he finally said, “What we need is unity. Otherwise, we’ll be doomed in case a battle breaks out within our alliance.
“Ji Zhu, Xie Dan Qiong, and also Gu Clan… There won’t be any problem with them. It’s just the two of you I’m worried about.
“It might look as if the enemy is in the downwind at present. But… you must know that Tian Clan and Black Devil Clan haven’t shown their true potential yet. And, Tu Clan is even more covert. It hasn’t yet set into motion,” Mo Tian Ji swept his vision. He looked at both of them with his spear-like sharp vision. “I believe that you two realize and understand all this.”
Dong Wu Lei and Luo Ke Wu pondered.
A long while passed. Then, Luo Ke Wu slowly said, “I’ve never had any such idea.”
“You haven’t. But that doesn’t mean that your subordinates haven’t… your die-hard supporters haven’t.” Mo Tian Ji snorted. He looked at the two of them, “I want to let you know that Luo Ke Di is now a ninth grade Martial King. He is just half-step away from becoming an Emperor Level Expert.
“And, Dong Wu Shang is now an Emperor Expert. Moreover, he’s a pure first-grade Saber Emperor,” Mo Tian Ji looked at Dong Wu Lei and heavily said, “Our great clans need such strength at present.”
Dong Wu Lei’s complexion changed, and he slowly nodded. Then, he deeply said, “You rest assured. I know what to do.”
Mo Tian Ji deeply looked at him, and slowly said, “I hope so.”
Dong Wu Lei and Luo Ke Wu went out of the Mo Clan while riding their horses. They both remained silent. All they did was sigh deeply.
A long time passed. Then, Luo Ke Wu cupped his hands together, turned his horse around, and rode away. He didn’t speak anything.
Dong Wu Lei looked at the grass under his feet. His eyes somewhat froze there. He had a complicated and conflicted look in his eyes. His facial muscles were compressing and stretching. And, his eyebrows were tightly wrinkled together.
He just randomly pulled on the horse’s reins to make it go forward. A very long time passed. Then, he heaved a long sigh, and started to muttered, “Saber Emperor… Saber Emperor…”
A radiant light flashed through the eyes of the four old men behind him.
A long while passed again. Then, Dong Wu Lei lightly tapped his legs on the belly of the horse. The fine steed issued a long neigh, and dashed away with clip-clop sounds. It left behind a tangled mood that soon got stamped into dust.
There was a cloud of gloom and sorrow in the alliance of Ou Clan, Tian Clan, Tu Clan, and the other clans. In fact, the atmosphere was so heavy that they were nearly unable to breathe.
They had received a bunch of news a while ago; [The forces of Tu Clan encountered an attack from Ao Clan from all sides.]
[The forces of Tian Clan encountered an attack from Ao Clan from all sides.]
[Li Clan encountered an attack from Ao Clan.]
[Zhao Clan encountered an attack from Ao Clan.]
These attacks included attacking their military forces, blocking their trades, destroying their shops, and warning and attacking their business partners.
It was an omnidirectional kind of attack.
Two sub-branches of Black Devil Clan had been uprooted by the Ao Clan.
The six brigades of the Ao Clan were like six raging tides which were sweeping across the boundless earth.
And, on this side… they had gotten caught up in internal strife even before the war had started. Their ally… Meng Clan had been uprooted by their allied forces. And now, Ou Clan didn’t exist anymore. Only Ou Cheng Wu and Ou Du Xiao were left along with a residual team of twenty.
Therefore, both of them had become like two generals without an army.
“Ao Clan has dispatched six troops. These troops are being individually led by Ao Qing Yun, Ao Cheng Yun, Ao Meng Yun, Ao Yu Yun, Ao Feng Yun, and Ao Lang Yun.”
Tian Bu Hui gently tapped his hand on the table. Then, he slowly said, “The Ao Clan’s retaliation has begun. Moreover, Mo Clan, Xie Clan, Ji Clan, Luo Clan, Dong Clan, and Gu Clan have also begun to stir. This matter has reached the situation that we didn’t want created at any cost. It has truly reached a dire situation. So, I request everyone to suggest some countermeasures to deal with the current situation.”
Nobody spoke for a long time.
Then, the Young Black Devil coldly snorted.
Tian Bu Hui raised his head, and threw an ice-cold glance at the Young Black Devil, “I want to remind everyone that we are presently in a critical life and death situation. And, we’ll be doomed if we don’t stay united. Therefore, I want everyone to be patient, and watch their words.”
He then turned his head, “Brother Tu, how long would it take for the reinforcements that you promised would arrive?”
Tu Qian Hao confidently smiled and said, “My father and Ancestor have gone in person. I think we should get some good news in a few days.”
Tian Bu Hui slowly nodded. He sighed, “I hope so… the sooner the better.”