Chapter 44: The Absentminded Duan Huangye
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!
Gusts of wind were swept up within the courtyard. In the darkness of the night, one could barely make out a blurry black shadow, constantly whizzing about at an extremely fast speed.
All of a sudden, the black shadow split into two, and both shadows managed to maintain their speed.
The wind grew fiercer and even the leaves on the trees were rustling loudly.
Qi Ying abruptly came to a standstill, and his feet gouged deep troughs into the lawn.
‘I’ve reached the elementary level in the Flowing Shadow Strike. In conjunction with a short weapon, this will be a lethal killing technique!’
Following the conclusion to his cultivation, Qi Ying returned to his room and laid down on the bed before closing his eyes. There were still remnants of Madam Lu’s scent in the sheets, and Qi Ying’s mind began to stray down some dirty avenues as he pondered what could have been had he given in the night prior. Even though he was utterly exhausted, his scrambled thoughts prevented him from getting to sleep, and he began to think about many things.
The future was full of uncertainty, and just one accident could spell the end of his life.
The world was too cruel, and people were just like the beasts on the Nameless Mountain, competing and jostling with one another for higher spots on the food chain. In order to survive, power alone was not enough. People had to also possess influence and intelligence, or they would inevitably fall prey to others.
The first fifteen years of Qi Ying’s life had been quite simple and carefree. He basically had no concerns as long as he had enough to eat and drink. However, his life had become more and more troublesome, ever since he had moved to the Celestial River County. He had to keep working hard in order to overcome and adapt.
He didn’t know when life was going to get easier for him. Perhaps from the moment he had left Nameless City in pursuit of Qin Susu, his life was destined to be filled with hardships.
At the very least, he had to keep spurring himself on for the foreseeable future!
That night, Madam Lu didn’t appear. Qi Ying’s mind gradually drifted until he fell asleep.
Celestial River County, Duan family mansion.
Several higher-ups from the Duan family were gathered in a secret chamber.
Among them, there were young prodigies like Duan Jinhong and Duan Kai, the family leader, Duan Xilai, and an elderly man with white hair and beard.
That man was the Great Elder Duan Hongxue, who, like Duan Xilai, was a Spirit Martial Stage warrior, and one of the most powerful beings in the Celestial River County.
Within the secret chamber, everyone wore solemn expressions.
Duan Jinhong broke the silence first. “Family leader, I think we can deduce that Lu Feifei is at least one of the culprits behind the murders. She took Qi Ying away, which shows that he is under her protection… On top of that, our Duan family had quite a significant conflict with the Myriad Spring Brothel, in which she is a major shareholder. It’s very likely that she’s taking revenge on us. Both of her subordinates, Lu Zuo and Luo You, are renowned powerful beings, and it would not be difficult for them to kill thirty-seven warriors in a short span of time.”
Duan Kai shook his head. “It doesn’t make sense! Even if she doesn’t see eye to eye with our Duan family, there are so many other easier ways to cause trouble for us. Why would she go to the extreme of killing thirty-seven Celestial River Academy disciples? Besides, what does this have to do with Qi Ying? He has only been at the Celestial River County for barely over two months…”
Duan Jinhong cut him off there. “It’s exactly because of this that we can determine that those two share a special relationship! Even if this has nothing to do with Lu Feifei, we’ll at least be able to find out some information from her. By the way, have we found out anything about Qi Ying’s background?”
Duan Huangye replied. “I sent some people to dig up information about Qi Ying and they came back with some findings. Turns out he’s not a member of a fallen once-prominent family. Instead, he really is just an underprivileged disciple! He grew up with that blind woman in Nameless City, and it’s exactly because of this that we believe he’s quite special…”
Duan Hongxue had remained silent the entire time, but he suddenly raised his eyebrows. “The Nameless City where the Nameless Mountain is situated? Apparently, a beast at the pinnacle of Earth Tier appeared there two and a half months ago! Many of the major families of the kingdom deployed people to capture it, only to discover that it was actually a Heaven Tier beast! Most of the people sent to that mountain were killed or wounded… Does Qi Ying have something to do with that event?”
Duan Huangye replied in a respectful voice. “Great elder, our people were able to verify that Qi Ying was on the Nameless Mountain at the time, and he acted as a guide to the people from the Qin family. He was able to survive that ordeal, and something happened between him and the Qin family during that process. We were unable to discover exactly what that was, as the leads ran cold there. Someone seems to be intentionally hiding this information. On top of that, I discovered something even more important.”
“What is it?”
“Qi Ying wasn’t even a warrior at the time.”
Everyone’s hearts jolted in shock upon hearing that. They all looked at one another to discover that their own astonishment was mirrored on everyone else’s faces.
Qi Ying was at the Eighth Strength Martial Stage at that point in time… That meant that he had climbed eight cultivation base ranks in just over two months?
Perhaps, this was not too extraordinary for members of some of the superpower families in the kingdom, but how could someone like him achieve the same rate of progression? Even if he had the aptitude, how had he gotten so many cultivation resources?
There was definitely something amiss there!
Duan Xilai took a deep breath and adopted a serious expression. “From this day forth, make sure to keep constant surveillance on Qi Ying! I have to know the people he interacts with and what he does. He is a sworn enemy of our Duan family! With his rate of progression, he is going to be a massive threat in the future, so we must eliminate him as early as possible!”
“And that Lu Feifei; investigate her too! She took Qi Ying away without any regard for our Duan family. The backgrounds of both Lu Feifei and Yan Thirteen are a mystery, but they own the two businesses that produce the most profit in the entire Celestial River County… It’s quite possible that these two are behind everything!”
Following the Duan family conference, Duan Huangye arrived at the Colosseum bright and early. There was going to be a big event held later that day; the Nameless Warrior was facing his first battle following his progression to the Silver Rank. That was a highly anticipated event, and all tickets had been sold out in a flash, resulting in profits of hundreds of thousands of crystals.
Even though the Duan family and Master Thirteen weren’t on very good terms, there had been no direct conflict between them. Duan Huangye had even gotten a job at the Colosseum, and had slowly risen up the ranks during the past few years. He had earned a lot of income from fixing battles, and that was how he was able to nurture both of his sons into Energy Martial Stage warriors at a young age, despite their ordinary aptitude. Following the deaths of his sons, all Duan Huangye wanted to do was to avenge them. As such, he was often very absentminded after arriving at work.
“Administrator Duan, the betting center is requesting your presence! Take three times the usual number of chips with you; there are a lot of people hedging bets today!”
A black-robed administrator said.
Duan Huangye made his way over to the betting center, constantly thinking about the situation the Duan family was in. He had his head lowered and was walking quite quickly. Thus, as he rounded a corner, he accidentally bumped into somebody.
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ranslator: Si Mei / Siew Editor: B E E P/ Avis