Chapter 102: The Cloud Steps
During the tournament, when he was being hunted down by hundreds of warriors, Qi Ying didn’t hesitate in the slightest; it was either kill or be killed. However, in the face of a few servants referring to him as young master, Qi Ying was at a complete loss for what to do.
Thankfully, Master Thirteen came to the rescue and waved a hand through the air as he said, “Alright, go do what you need to you. And make sure to look after the two women in that carriage.”
The servants left, and a few maids led Madam Lu and Xuan Yu to the Western courtyard, while Master Thirteen led Qi Ying to the Eastern courtyard. “My old place is in really bad condition, so I asked some people to set me up with a new one in advance… I’ve accumulated quite a bit of wealth in the Celestial River County during the past few years; I’m still nowhere near the richest class of people here, but I can at least live a comfortable life… I’ve set up a drill ground at the Eastern courtyard, which is where you’ll be staying. I’ll take you to the Yun Xiao Academy in three days.”
Qi Ying followed Master Thirteen, and looked around in awe at the scenes around him. The courtyard had elegant pavilions, clear ponds and lush willow trees, as well as many types of beautiful small birds. It was definitely more lavish than anything the four major families of the Celestial River County had… The area wasn’t as large as the mansions belonging to the four major families, but the land in the capital was worth its weight in gold!
Master Thirteen laid down a few more instructions, before departing after telling Qi Ying that he had a few errands to run.
Thus, Qi Ying was left alone in the courtyard. He immediately stripped off his clothes and slipped off his glove, before jumping into the pond for a bath…
Qi Ying waddled through the water, feeling as if he were back in the ponds on the Nameless Mountain.
‘I’m going to the Yun Xiao Academy in three days. I’ll only have these few days left to enjoy myself!’
Even though Qi Ying really wanted to enjoy the life of a young master, by doing something like summoning a few servants and maids over to give him a massage, he couldn’t muster up the courage to do so.
‘I’m just an underprivileged kid; how did I end up becoming a young master?’
Even though it was an executive decision made by Master Thirteen, he was still finding it difficult to settle into his new role.
However, if there was one thing that he was used to doing, then it was cultivation.
Qi Ying put on a new set of clothes that he found from a cupboard in one of the rooms. It was still a simple set of black clothes, but they were clearly of much better quality than what he was wearing before. He tested their structural integrity by exerting a bit of force to try and rip them apart, and was very satisfied to see that they still remained completely intact. After that, Qi Ying went to the drill grounds and began to practice his Purple Energy Cultivation Method.
He had been fortifying his cultivation base for the past month, as well as recovering from the damage done to his body during the tournament. As such, he was still at the Fifth Energy Martial Stage, but he finally had a chance to try and advance further!
Everyone who could enter the Yun Xiao Academy was considered to be a prodigy from their respective counties. Even the weakest among them were at the Seventh or Eighth Energy Martial Stages, and there was most likely no lack of Spirit Martial Stage warriors among them as well. Those who had been attending the academy for a while had to be even more powerful, so he would be facing many Spirit Martial Stage competitors… In comparison, his Fifth Energy Martial Stage cultivation base was a little too pitiful.
From his experience at the Celestial River Academy, Qi Ying had learned that making himself appear very weak did nothing to ward off trouble!
Keeping a low profile didn’t necessary entail being weak.
It was simply the case that the weak had no choice but to keep a low profile.
What he was aiming for was for everyone to acknowledge and respect his power, without him having to constantly display his might for all to see!
Purple Energy began to revolve around his body.
Yan Thirteen left the courtyard and headed to a nearby restaurant. After scaling the stairs, he pushed open the door of a booth to find Yan Nine waiting for him inside.
Yan Thirteen extended a hand. “Have a seat, Thirteen.”
Yan Thirteen sat down, and Yan Nine handed him a cup of wine. “This is the Dusk Cloud Wine I know you like. I requested specifically for this two-hundred-year-old jug. It’s very expensive, so don’t down it in one mouthful like it’s water!”
“Hehe, when have I drunk wine in small sips?” Yan Thirteen took the cup and tilted his head back to empty it. “Everything is progressing as planned. I’ve already gotten Qi Ying settled in, and I’m taking him to the Yun Xiao Academy in three days.”
Yan Nine’s eyes narrowed slightly. “Is Qi Ying really…”
Yan Thirteen shook his head and cut him off, “You can guess, but I can’t tell you anything. However, I can tell you the identity of his adopted mother…”
Yan Thirteen suddenly fell silent before using his divine intent to communicate.
Yan Nine’s eyes widened upon “hearing” his message. “She’s… THAT mistress?!”
“That’s right.” Yan Thirteen nodded and replied, “She has changed dramatically, and I didn’t even recognize her when I first saw her! I wouldn’t have made the connection if it weren’t for her name. She doesn’t want to reveal Qi Ying’s identity for now. The Qi family is still in a bit of turmoil… Don’t tell anyone about this. You can reveal a little bit to the Qi family, but do not disclose too much… You know how the mistress is like if you go against her.”
Yan Nine fell into deep thought.
‘That mistress was no ordinary woman, and even though times had changed, she most likely still possessed immense power.’
‘If she wants to keep things confidential, then I’ll keep her secret!’
“Qi Ying is going to need our help… He’s embroiled right at the center of the event from fifteen years ago, and if we’re not careful, the entire capital could be cast into disarray because of him! As the only ones who are aware of his identity, we have to ensure Qi Ying’s safety.”
“I understand.” Yan Nine nodded with a solemn expression.
‘Phew… I’m close to a breakthrough. I should be able to progress to the Sixth Energy Martial Stage before enrolment day!’
Qi Ying sprang into the air, and a series of pops and cracks erupted from his body.
Having taken a month to consolidate his cultivation base, he could advance to his heart’s content and not have to be concerned about instability in his foundation.
Master Thirteen descended nearby.
“Er, you’re far too kind, Master Thirteen.”
Qi Ying scratched his head.
He truly felt like he was miles behind his competitors.
The Yun Xiao Academy was filled with supremely-talented prodigies! There were many sixteen or seventeen-year-old Spirit Martial Stage warriors, and all disciples that were fifteen years of age had to be at least at the Eighth or Ninth Energy Martial Stages.
He was far too weak in comparison!
Master Thirteen smiled and offered words of encouragement. “You have great potential, and the more your cultivation base progresses, the more that potential will manifest itself. The Yun Xiao Academy will be a stage for you to shine. There are countless cultivation methods, battle techniques, and resources there. As long as you have sufficient aptitude and power, you’ll be able to secure a vast amount of resources for yourself… But before that, let’s prepare for the Cloud Steps Trial!”
“The Cloud Steps Trial?”
Qi Ying faltered upon hearing that.
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