Chapter 21: The Determined Lackeys
Everyone knew that the among the most prestigious people in the Celestial River County neither the mayor deployed to the county by the kingdom, nor the General of the county army, were included. Instead, those places were held by the masters of the four major aristocratic families!
These were comprised of the Duan, An, Wang, and Sun families, and the four had an oligopolistic hold over industries in the Celestial River County like weapons crafting, pill refinement, construction, hospitality, and prostitution. These four families owned shops on every street in the county, and their members held many important occupations… Very few noble families could compare with them, and even the aforementioned mayor and General had to treat them with respect.
Within the Celestial River Academy, disciples from those four families were also highly esteemed. Very few disciples dared to offend them; even those from the side branches were held in higher regard than the young masters of smaller aristocratic families.
However, Qi Ying was denouncing Duan Yuan and Duan Jin in front of all of those people!
That was… insane! Even the young masters from other prominent families wouldn’t dare to do that.
“You’ve got a pretty sharp tongue for a weakling!” Duan Yuan approached Qi Ying as he said in a cold voice, “You’re going to pay for everything you just said!”
“Pay?” Qi Ying glanced around at the bystanders, “What? You’re going to assault me in front of all of these people?”
“Oh, you bet we will!” Duan Jin yelled, “Brothers, block the gate; don’t let anyone enter or exit! Make sure to keep an eye out for teachers too. We’re going to teach this brat a lesson today!”
About a dozen or so academy disciples immediately positioned themselves in front of the drill ground gates, barring anyone from passing.
The disciples on the drill grounds finally realized what was going on. Duan Yuan and Duan Jin had clearly planned everything in advance! They possessed superior cultivation bases compared to Qi Ying, so he was not obligated to accept any challenges from them. As such, they were planning to beat Qi Ying up in a place that no teachers frequented!
Everyone’s eyes fell upon Duan Renshan and Duan Tianshan.
Those two were most likely the masterminds!
Duan Renshan’s heart jolted as he was thrust under the limelight. He hadn’t done anything, so why were all these disciples looking at him as if he had committed a heinous crime? What if Qi Ying also thinks that I planned all this, and seeks revenge in the future…
Duan Renshan cleared his throat before striding forward. “Duan Yuan, Duan Jin, we’re all disciples of the same academy, so we should treat one another with respect… As for Qi Ying, just let him off if he apologizes. Violence is not the answer!”
Duan Yuan and Duan Jin were both taken aback upon hearing that.
Why did it seem like Young Master Renshan was a little scared of Qi Ying? What on earth happened?
However, Duan Tianshan suddenly began to yell. “Duan Yuan, Duan Jin, beat the crap out of him! The academy teachers can’t do anything to the Duan family, so anything goes as long as you don’t kill him!”
‘”Holy mother of god…” Duan Renshan immediately hurried over to Duan Tianshan before attempting to shut him up.
This idiot was going to get himself killed!
Before he had a chance to do anything, Duan Yuan and Duan Jin were already charging toward Qi Ying!
“You’re dead, brat!”
“We’re going to drill the word ‘remorse’ into your head!”
With Duan Tianshan’s backing, they were completely fearless.
Prior to this, their father, Duan Huangye had revealed a piece of news to them: In the Celestial River County Youth Battle Tournament that was going to be held twenty days later, the Duan family had only ten spots. Anyone who displayed an outstanding performance in the tournament had the chance to be selected by the Yun Xiao Academy in the capital city. Those recruited would be developed with an eye to becoming young Generals in the future, and even if they missed out, they would be chosen as military officials in the Celestial River County Army. That way, they would be exempt from partaking in the perilous military service stint at the kingdom’s border.
A set number of spots were given to the four major aristocratic families, a few other smaller prominent families, and some other powers. The Celestial River Academy had thirty spots, but Duan Yuan and Duan Jin wouldn’t be anywhere near eligible for one of those. Thus, Duan Huangye began to set his sights on other alternatives. If they forged a stronger relationship with Duan Tianshan, and curried Duan Gucheng’s favor through him, they would most likely be able to get two of the ten spots afforded to the Duan family.
In order to avoid the arduous compulsory military service and to become young Generals, Duan Yuan and Duan Jin had no choice but to provoke Qi Ying in order to suck up to Duan Tianshan. That was why Qi Ying’s insults were very scathing to them.
‘Do you think we want to be lackeys?’
‘People like us from the side branches of noble families have it much harder than members of undistinguished families! We have to constantly be wary of everyone around us, and suck up to those Young Masters who are as dumb as pigs… You dare to denounce us as lackeys?’ Duan Yuan and Duan Jin were initially only planning to teach Qi Ying a lesson, but they had since changed their minds. They were going to disable one of his arms!
The two of them threw themselves at Qi Ying like speeding arrows.
Unbeknownst to them, even Blood Wolves, which were renowned for their speed, were unable to land so much as a claw-tip on Qi Ying. In the face of such a fast and agile opponent, Duan Yuan and Duan Jin simply had no chance. Qi Ying decided that it was time to reveal some of his power, so these pesky lackeys wouldn’t dare to bother him again. Thus, he quickly retaliated.
Qi Ying raised his left leg and unleashed a powerful roundhouse kick. With the strength enhancement effect from his Dark Wolf Cultivation Method, his leg shot forth like a whip, and sent Duan Yuan flying with a dull thump. At the same time, his right hand snuck around Duan Jin’s fist before latching onto his wrist with unerring accuracy.
Qi Ying harrumphed coldly, as he unleashed power at the Eight Strength Martial Stage using his right hand, quickly hurling Duan Jin into the air.
All of the onlookers were dumbstruck.
What just happened?
Qi Ying, who was at the Eight Strength Martial Stage, had sent Duan Yuan and Duan Jin flying in a matter of seconds, even though they were at the Second and the Third Energy Martial Stages respectively!
This was simply unimaginable. Everyone knew that Qi Ying was freakishly strong, but how could he be even stronger than Energy Martial Stage cultivators? It didn’t make sense!
Duan Yuan and Duan Jin fell onto the ground one after the other. Their eyes met, and both of them could see the shock on each other’s faces.
No wonder this brat was so cocky, he certainly had some skill to back up his words!
However, the main advantage Energy Martial Stage cultivators had over Strength Martial Stage cultivators was not in strength, but in battle techniques instead.
A layer of azure True Energy enveloped Duan Yuan’s fists, while yellow True Energy surged upon Duan Jin’s palms. The two of them instantly prepared their battle techniques before unleashing ferocious attacks upon Qi Ying from different angles!
Yellow Tier Low-Rank battle technique, Gale Monarch Fist!
Yellow Tier Low-Rank battle technique, Dark Golden Palm!
All of a sudden, an azure fist projection over ten feet in diameter and a pair of massive golden palm projections appeared. Both of the attacks were imbued with explosiveness and they hurtled toward Qi Ying with devastating power.
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