Mo Tian Ji thought for a while. Then, he slowly walked out, and commanded, “Notify the scouts — keep an eye on the movements of Black Devil Clan. Mainly pay attention on the journeys of Dong Wu Shang and Luo Ke Di. Also, keep watch on Ji Mo’s side. Disperse at once.”
He turned around, and came in. Then, he asked Chu Yang, “Do you want to add anything else?”
Chu Yang thought for a long time, and then said, “I don’t have anything to say. It has been the internal matter of their clan up until now. So, I can’t meddle.”
Chu Yang paused… His complexion became serious as he deeply pondered. He then raised his sword-like eyebrows, and slowly said word by word in a flat tone, “I’ll certainly exterminate Dong Clan and Luo Clan with my own hands… if something happens to Dong Wu Shang and Luo Ke Di. I won’t spare anyone!”
Mo Tian Ji became frightened in his heart.
Mo Tian Ji felt as if there was ‘boundless killing intention’ as well as ‘determination to destroy indiscriminately without hesitation’ in this flat sentence of Chu Yang’s!
[He didn’t mention Black Devil Clan, Zhao Clan, and Plum Clan. Instead, he mentioned Dong Clan and Luo Clan! This indicates that Chu Yang and I are most worried about the same thing.]
[It would be perfectly justified if these two get killed at the hands of Black Devil or any other enemy clan. After all, one would certainly try to kill someone who wants to kill them. And, one’s death would be avenged if they are killed by someone. It’s all justified.]
[However, let’s suppose that those two died because of their family’s internal strife…]
[Then, Dong Clan and Li Clan…]
[Humph, my brothers are your clan’s members as long as they’re alive. So, it would be inappropriate if I participate in your clan’s affairs. In fact, my brothers wouldn’t let me intervene even if I wished to. However, let’s presume that my brothers died as a result of this… Then, they will only remain as my brothers… They’ll no longer be the members of your clan!]
Mo Tian Ji clearly felt that Chu Yang wouldn’t hesitate in wielding a butcher’s knife against Dong Clan and Luo Clan if something were to happen to Dong Wu Shang and Luo Ke Di.
He wouldn’t show any mercy!
Therefore, Mo Tian Ji went out again, and gave a few more instructions. Sounds of flapping wings instantly rang up everywhere in the Mo Clan. Simultaneously, countless invisible falcons soared to the heavens. Then, four cavalry troops rushed out of the clan like hurricanes.
Chu Yang quietly sat down with a cold expression.
His complexion was like iron.
Mo Tian Ji sighed. He looked at Chu Yang’s complexion, but didn’t say anything in the end. He knew that it would be useless to say anything to Chu Yang at this moment. After all, Chu Yang could explode at the slightest bit of news present in thousands of words!
“I don’t care about any important matters of the Jianghu. I don’t care about honor or disgrace of any aristocratic clan! I don’t care about anything or anyone!” Chu Yang indifferently said, “But, the people who would try to harm my brothers… will have to pay the price!”
He gently smiled, and said in a hoarse voice, “Ten million times the price!”
He suddenly raised his head as if with a flash of understanding. Then, he looked at Mo Tian Ji’s face, and said in a low voice, “Brother Mo, I need your real intelligence this time!”
Chu Yang had especially put stress on the word ‘real’. His brilliant vision was illuminating Mo Tian Ji’s face… so much so that Mo Tian Ji felt a burning pain.
“… Alright~!” Mo Tian Ji pondered for a long time, and then said this word. He found saying this extremely difficult even though it was just one word.
And, that’s because he had understood the meaning and weight of the word that had come out of Chu Yang’s mouth —’real’.
The atmosphere had become silent and stifling.
Both of them sat face-to-face, but neither spoke anything anymore.
The deliberation hall…
The hall was almost empty… There was only one person inside.
Dong Wu Lei’s brows were tightly knitted. He was sitting in a wooden armchair, and had a serious look on his face at the moment. He was struggling with conflicting views in his head.
[Should I do it?]
[Or, should I not?]
He had been hesitant since the time he had come back. And, he had been having conflicting views since then.
Time was passing bit by bit. But, he couldn’t make up his mind.
His sharp gaze suddenly fell on the chair of the Clan Lord. His eyes lingered there for a long time. He would look at it again and again till his eyes would start to burn. Then, he would move his eyes away. His gaze suddenly fell on his opposite side at this time – on Dong Wu Shang’s chair. His gaze was filled with conflictions and contradictions. But, it also contained a tender feeling this time.
An intense struggle was churning in his mind.
“You must kill him! He’s your younger brother, but he is still your rival! A real man doesn’t show womanly compassion if he wants to survive. He can’t be soft-hearted or lenient. You must remember this… Otherwise, you’ll be pulled down from the position of clan successor, and consigned to eternal damnation!”
“You mustn’t kill him! He’s your rival, but he’s still your younger brother. You two have a blood bond! You two have been raised by the same mother. Wouldn’t you be worse than a pig if you slaughter your own younger brother for power?”
Beads of sweat were rolling down Dong Wu Lei’s forehead…
“Young Lord, this time is crucial. So, you must take the decision as soon as possible! Second Young Master is a Saber Emperor… His cultivation is far ahead of yours. Therefore, the Elders will support him to hold the leading position once he returns to the clan… even if he himself doesn’t have any wild ambitions! He’s a nineteen-and-half years old Saber Emperor. Young Lord, you don’t understand what it means…”
This was the voice of a loyal and devoted bodyguard. It was resonating in his head at the moment.
“Dear, I know you have deep brotherly affection towards him. But… have you thought what the future of our children would be if you lose power? They’ll never be able to climb to glory… just because of your momentary soft-heartedness. And then, our posterity will reduce to a bunch of hired thugs. They will eventually become slaves of the Dong Clan! Do you have the heart to let it happen?”
These were the words of his wife. Tears had been streaming down her eyes like raindrops on pear blossoms when she had said these words.
Dong Wu Lei tightly shut his eyes.
“Don’t force me! Don’t force me, you all!” Dong Wu Lei softly murmured in pain as the muscles of his face contorted.
He had been thinking about it for several days. His wife’s gaze was full of hidden bitterness. It would prick him like a needle every time he’d looked at her face.
Therefore, he’d simply hide here. He would hide like an ostrich and close his eyes whenever he was forced and unable to do anything about it. However, images kept on flashing before his eyes.
“Elder Brother, you’re awesome! When would I be as talented and awesome as you are…?” the four or five years old Wu Shang had said this when they were young. There had been a look of adoration on his face at that moment.
“My brother is the fiercest!” Wu Shang had said this when he was seven years old… He had had a fight. A few children had held him down, and beaten him up. Therefore, Dong Wu Lei had gone, and beaten-up those few guys. Wu Shang had tears in his eyes, but he also had pride for his elder brother as he had proclaimed this.
“Wa ha ha, this little guy pissed on me.” This was when Dong Wu Lei’s son had just been born. Wu Shang had gone crazy out of happiness. He would go to Dong Wu Lei’s room every day, and wouldn’t go out even if Dong Wu Lei’s wife or anyone would try to shoo him away. He would carry the child everywhere in his arms. He would play with the child even when he had grown a little bigger. In fact, he would pamper the child even more than his own father.
“Elder Brother, I want to go out, and temper myself. You tell me… Where should I go?” Wu Shang had said this to Dong Wu Lei the first time he had revealed his martial arts talent to be greater than that of Dong Wu Lei.
“Cang Lan Battlefront!” Dong Wu Lei had replied at that time.
“Cang Lan Battlefront…” Dong Wu Lei repeated the words he had said at that time; his eyes were closed. It seemed as if he was remembering the scene of that time… The brothers had high-fived while bidding farewell at the gate.
“Elder Brother… you rest assured. I’ll always be your younger brother,” This was when Dong Wu Lei had developed feelings of jealousy towards Wu Shang… Wu Shang had repressed unlimited emotions when he had said this. There had been expressions of sincerity, loyalty, and sadness in his eyes while speaking these words.
“Elder Brother… I’m going out to have fun with my Big Brother.” This was when they had been at Mt. Dingjun. Wu Shang had told Dong Wu Lei, “There’s no need to inform me if something happens in the clan.”
Dong Wu Lei had gazed at the majestic back profile of his younger brother as his brother gradually departed. He had wanted to call him back, and hug him countless of times.
That’s because he had understood what Wu Shang’s words had meant. [You fear that I’ll compete with you. So, I’m leaving the clan. I won’t have the slightest of objection even if you take the position of the Clan Lord behind my back. I would rather be relieved.]
“Alas!~~~” Dong Wu Lei slowly opened his eyes. God knows when his cheeks had started to stream with tears.
“Drag… I wanted to drag it until the arrival of Second Brother… but, I don’t know what I should do now when it’s time. But…” Dong Wu Lei had somehow come to a firm determination at last. But, this determination became so fragile the next moment that he found himself to be fragile.
“Wu Lei, you’re crying even though your name means ‘no tears’.” a voice slowly came through. Dong Wu Lei turned his head, and looked. He saw that his father — Dong Qi Gong — had slowly entered the hall.
“Father,” Dong Wu Lei wiped his eyes. He then stood up to respectfully make his salutation.
Dong Qi Gong sighed. He came close to Dong Wu Lei, and carefully looked at him. Then, he said in a deep voice, “I know your heart must be aching, and your mind must be filled with contradictions. So, I’ve come to see you.”
“Father!” Dong Wu Lei’s heart wildly thumped.
Dong Qi Gong sighed, and sat down next to him. He didn’t speak for a long time… He heavily said after a while, “You’re in a lot of pressure. I can understand. I had also come across such a situation back in the day.”
“Being the head of the clan isn’t an easy job; especially in aristocratic clans like ours. The entire clan falls if the Clan Lord becomes incompetent. Therefore, he must be vicious and merciless. However, he must have heroic courage as well. He must have the spirit of a real man! It is easy to say. But, how many people can achieve it in reality?
“I understand your state of mind!”
Dong Qi Gong stood up, and then patted his son’s shoulder, “You both are my flesh and blood. You both are my sons… I’m your father. So, I’ll always support you both regardless of your choices.”
He quietly walked away after he was done talking. He walked to the gate, and then stood still. He didn’t speak for a long while. His figure blocked the sunshine that had illuminated the entire room. And, the entire hall immediately got filled with his shadow.
He stood there for a while. Then, he finally said in a deep voice. “Wu Lei, I named you Wu Lei back then in the hope that you wouldn’t have any sorrow in your entire life… that you’ll never shed tears in your life! And, I named him Wu Shang because I wanted him to never receive any injuries in his life.
“Your mother hasn’t come to see you since the past few days because she is praying in the temple for her two sons. She has been kneeling down since the past three days. Wu Shang isn’t her biological son. Wu Shang’s mother had passed away just after giving birth to him. However, your mother has brought him up like her own son since then. You know this thing…
“Your mother and I desire that both you brothers never have any injuries or tears in your life.”
Dong Wu Lei’s entire body shivered. Suddenly, tears started to stream down his face, and his body curled up on the ground. He was shivering fiercely… It seemed as if he had been thrown on the cold ground while being stark naked.
He thought of his mother. He felt as if those kind eyes of hers were right in front of his eyes… as if those eyes were beseechingly looking at him. There was a faint despair in those eyes… [Wouldn’t I shatter my mother’s heart if I killed my second brother?]
[Father looks strong… But, I’m afraid half of his heart will break!]
Dong Qi Gong silently walked away after he was finished speaking.
And, the sunlight again illuminated the hall.
However, Dong Wu Lei chased out after him, and shouted, “Father!”
Dong Qi Gong stopped in the distance, and seemed to sigh.
Dong Wu Lei tried his utmost to chase after. He started to speak but hesitated.
Dong Qi Gong turned his head, and looked at him. He then softly whispered with a complicated look in his eyes, “All of your men have disappeared.”
After that, Dong Qi Gong walked away without turning his head.
“All of your men have disappeared?” Dong Wu Lei repeated his father’s words… as if he was asking himself. Then, his complexion changed.
After that, he quickly turned around, and rushed towards his small courtyard.