Chapter 29: Being Followed
To Qi Ying’s surprise, An Ruyi wasn’t interrogating him about whether he was the one who had saved her that day. Instead, she was issuing him some words of caution so he didn’t fall prey to the Duan family’s entourage.
“Looks like they won’t rest until they take me down a notch…”
Qi Ying shook his head with a wry smile.
He had initially only drawn the ire of two of the lowliest Young Masters of the Duan family, but things had clearly escalated.
Even though Duan Gucheng wasn’t coming after him in person, his four henchmen were extremely renowned throughout the entire Celestial River Academy.
Roughly every few years, a group of powerful disciples would appear in the academy and they would be given titles such as the “Three War Gods”, the “Six Arhats”, the “Seven Sword Sages”, or other such titles.
These four henchmen were known as the “Four Heavenly Monarchs” and they were the most recent group of elite disciples to have emerged in the academy. To be frank, they were just four of Duan Gucheng’s higher-level lapdogs. Among them, there were warriors that hailed from undistinguished as well as noble families and they were all very powerful. All of them were High Division disciples and even the academy teachers treated them as equals. Those four were countless levels above the likes of Duan Yuan and Duan Jin!
“Hey, are you even listening to me?!” An Ruyi was even more flustered at the sight of Qi Ying’s blank expression. She continued, “Don’t go anywhere that is too far from the teachers, especially to places like the drill grounds or the mountain behind the academy!”
Qi Ying replied before tugging his hand free from An Ruyi’s grasp. “Thank you for informing me of this, Young Mistress An. Also… please refrain from doing things that will cause misunderstandings. I already have enough on my plate and I really don’t want another idiot like Duan Tianshan picking a fight with me. I can’t afford to hang around with nobles like you!”
Qi Ying walked directly toward the academy gates as he spoke.
An Ruyi hurried over to him, drawing the attention of many nearby disciples.
“Qi Ying, where are you going?”
“I don’t think I need to tell you that.”
An Ruyi latched onto Qi Ying’s hand again. “You’re trying to get out of the academy, aren’t you? You can’t do that! You’re going to get pummeled!”
Qi Ying swatted An Ruyi’s hand aside. “Young Mistress An, if you don’t want me to get pummelled, then please get away from me. What you’re doing is only causing more trouble for me!”
An Ruyi stomped her foot with rage.
‘Why didn’t this idiot get it?!’ How powerful were the Four Heavenly Monarchs? Put it this way; even the ordinary Young Masters of the four major families didn’t dare to mess with them as they could easily snap an arm or leg of theirs in retaliation.
‘You might be a martial arts master who can defeat Duan Yuan and Duan Jin, as well as a bunch of other low-level lackeys, but you’re no match for the Four Heavenly Monarchs!’
‘I’m simply taking pity on you out of the kindness of my heart, as I indirectly caused all of this trouble for you. Otherwise, who cares if you get beaten up!’
Qi Ying’s lips twitched as he squeezed those two cold syllables out of his throat before turning to leave.
An Ruyi stomped her foot into the ground again. “Qi Ying! Get back here!”
After Qi Ying made his way out of the academy gates, An Ruyi clenched her fists and ran toward another direction. “Idiot! B*stard! I’m trying to give you a warning, but you’re throwing my kindness into the dirt!”
Her voice was trembling slightly as she grumbled to herself. Meanwhile, all of the nearby academy disciples were completely dumbstruck!
‘What just happened?’
They didn’t hear what was said between An Ruyi and Qi Ying, but they saw An Ruyi latch onto Qi Ying’s hand over and over again, only for him to shrug her off with disdain. After that, Qi Ying swaggered away like a heartless boyfriend while An Ruyi ran off in another direction as if she had been dumped… ‘My god, what has happened to this world?! I would be laughing even in my dreams if Goddess An were to look at me! This Qi Ying must be retarded!’
Thus, the academy disciples had a new topic of conversation: ‘An Ruyi’s unrequited love for Qi Ying!’. Both of them were renowned figures within the academy, so the rumors that were spun became more and more ridiculous. There were even some who proclaimed that Qi Ying was g*y and only had eyes for Duan Renshan, which was why he irked the Duan family in order to attract Duan Renshan’s attention…
Qi Ying didn’t have the time nor the energy to take notice of those absurd rumors. He exited the academy and was planning on purchasing some items to renovate the courtyard with, as well as a new cane for Mother Yu. As for the Duan family, he couldn’t avoid them forever, so he would just have to face them if they really did track him down. He would try his best not to get into any further conflict.
Sure enough, Qi Ying was soon struck by a feeling that he was being watched. His instincts were quite sharp from the extended period of time he had spent hunting on the Nameless Mountain, so there was a good chance that he really was being followed. He began to walk more quickly in an attempt to shake off his pursuers, but they only seemed to be growing in numbers. He only had to cast a cursory glance behind him and he could already see two or three familiar faces.
Thus, Qi Ying walked into a market and squeezed his way through the most densely packed areas. Coincidentally, he stumbled upon two shop owners having an altercation, so there was a large crowd that had gathered to watch. Qi Ying dove headfirst into the throng of people, and only after sensing that he had thrown his pursuers off his trail did he emerge onto the path, to do the things that he had planned.
From his recent colosseum battles, he had earned quite a number of crystals. Qi Ying quickly bought a wagon full of bricks from one shop before ordering a set of stone table and chairs to be delivered to the mountain behind the academy within three days. Additionally, he also bought some seeds so the courtyard could be filled with vitality again. On top of that, he managed to find a Golden Jade Bamboo cane for Mother Yu from a high-end shop, which was of even higher quality than the cane he had previously purchased for her.
After doing all of that, Qi Ying made his way back toward the academy with the Golden Jade Bamboo cane on his back.
However, as he was returning, he passed through a secluded intersection and a sense of unease welled up in his heart; it was as if he had unwittingly walked into a trap. His footsteps faltered and he glanced around at his surroundings.
All of a sudden, several dozen figures rushed out from the nearby shops. Among them, there was a tall and broad young man; he was none other than Duan Tianshan. Duan Yuan and Duan Jin were also among them.
Furthermore, there were a few unfamiliar figures, one of which was even bigger than Duan Tianshan. His muscular physique bulged against his black shirt and he had a broad face with a curly mustache that covered his lips. He swaggered forward with the demeanor of a delinquent who was used to commanding fear and respect from others.
Duan Tianshan strode toward Qi Ying with a disdainful sneer. “Hmph! It sure was difficult to find you after you dove into that throng of people! But if you think you can shake us off that easily, then you couldn’t be more wrong! Don’t forget that our Duan family owns about ten percent of all of the shops in the city. You can’t get away from us! Haha, what are you going to do now?
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