Chapter 54: Confrontation
“Qi Ying, are you alright?”
When Qi Ying opened the gate to the courtyard, Xuan Yu heard a burst of commotion outside, and her brows furrowed with concern.
Qi Ying still had one hand locked tightly around Duan Gucheng’s neck, but he wore a carefree smile on his face. “Don’t worry Mother Yu. These are just some friends of mine and there’ll be more coming over soon. Make sure to stay by my side!”
Qi Ying stabbed the sword blade into Duan Gucheng’s left arm, and the latter was struggling to even breathe, let alone cry out in pain. Both of his arms had been disabled, and he was completely powerless to resist.
Xuan Yu seemed to trust Qi Ying unconditionally, and she extended her left hand to hold onto Qi Ying’s right.
“I’ll be with you no matter what happens.” Xuan Yu’s voice was very gentle.
Qi Ying took a deep breath and replied.
Everyone was down to fate from there onward!
More and more people began to gather in the forest on the mountain behind the academy. Initially, there were a bunch of disciples who were pointing at Qi Ying with shock on their faces from across the river. Then, the academy elders and principal arrived.
“Qi Ying, what are you doing?” The grey-robed Gu Shiwei’s brows were tightly furrowed as he looked on from across the river, “Release Duan Gucheng at once!”
“The Duan family forced me to do this.” Qi Ying shook his head and he didn’t have any intention of letting his hostage go. He continued, “I’m waiting for members of the Duan family to come and negotiate with me! No one can cross this river, and don’t even think about going around it. Otherwise, I’ll snap Duan Gucheng’s neck right here!”
A layer of purple True Energy appeared around Qi Ying’s gloved left hand.
Gu Shiwei stood on the other side of the river with his eyes narrowed, seemingly in deep thought.
Close to a thousand academy disciples were also spectating from afar. Some of them let loose cries of surprise in response to the scenes before their eyes.
So Qi Ying was actually an Energy Martial Stage warrior rather than a Strength Martial Stage one? Had he hidden his cultivation base in the past?
From his aura, he appeared to be at the Second Energy Martial Stage, but no one dared to believe that anymore. How could a Second Energy Martial Stage warrior capture the Eighth Energy Martial Stage Duan Gucheng among so many disciples? What a joke! His cultivation base had to be no lower than the Eighth Energy Martial Stage!
But he was only fifteen years of age! Such a young Eighth Energy Martial Stage warrior would be considered a top-tier prodigy anywhere in the kingdom! The only ones who could exceed him were those supremely talented freaks of the capital city.
Many people began to wonder about Qi Ying’s true identity.
That surname was quite common, but one of the colossal families of the kingdom was the Qi family!
At that moment.
A burst of commotion erupted from the forest as trees were felled and dust and debris flew through the air.
An enraged roar traveled into everyone’s ears from afar. “Who dares to take my Duan Gucheng hostage?!”
Over a hundred figures rushed out from the forest, toppling all of the cumbersome trees that got in their way. At the forefront of the group was a man in black robes and a red cloak. His heavily bearded face was twisted by rage and a frosty light was shimmering in his eyes.
He was the leader of the Duan family, Duan Xilai!
Everyone dispersed to open up a path for them.
Duan Xilai strode over to the riverbank and asked in a cold voice. “Principal Gu, what’s going on here?!”
“What’s going on?” Gu Shiwei didn’t know whether he should burst into laughter or flare up into rage. Everyone knew what had happened. Duan Gucheng had barged into a classroom with a bunch of lackeys and forced Qi Ying to go with them. It would be absurd to think that the Duan family wouldn’t know what was going on, but Duan Xilai was interrogating him?
“Ahem, I’m not sure.” Gu Shiwei began to play dumb, “These cocky little brats are always getting into altercations. I’m too old to understand the young generation!”
Duan Xilai ignored Gu Shiwei and narrowed his eyes as he stared intently at Qi Ying. “Release Gucheng at once!”
Duan Gucheng had also been instilled with confidence at the sight of his father, and he negotiated with difficulty. “Qi Ying, listen to my father and release me… If you let me go, we can satisfy any condition you may have… Cough… Cough… Pills, battle techniques, you name it!”
Duan Gucheng wanted nothing more than to chop Qi Ying into mincemeat and grind his bones to dust, but he had to concede for the moment. He had to convince Qi Ying to release him first, and with the Duan family to back him up, he would be able to do whatever he wanted to him!
Qi Ying exerted even more force with his left hand, and Duan Gucheng coughed violently, but was unable to utter another word.
“How dare you!”
Duan Xilai roared with rage as he stepped forward, “Let Gucheng go at once!”
“Get back, Duan Xilai!” Qi Ying commanded, “I know that you’re a Spirit Martial Stage warrior and possess the Black Winged Tiger battle spirit. You can instantly take one’s life from within a hundred feet away, so if you dare to come any closer, I’m going to kill your son! My life is cheap, but Duan Gucheng is the pride of your Duan family, so I’ll leave the decision to you!”
Duan Xilai’s eyes narrowed as he took a step back.
Qi Ying then continued. “That old man over there, you’re Duan Hongxue, right? Don’t even think about skirting around to attack me from behind! If I see you move again, I’m going to snap Duan Gucheng’s neck!”
Duan Hongxue had just rushed out from the crowd, and his expression instantly darkened upon hearing that.
Duan Xilai’s demeanor suddenly softened as he said in a calm voice. “State your conditions and we’ll do our best to satisfy you. Just don’t harm Gucheng.”
“Hehe.” Qi Ying chuckled, but his expression cooled even further, “Conditions? I don’t have any! I just want to cultivate in the academy in peace and stay out of trouble. But your Duan family is constantly picking fights with me! Duan Renshan, Duan Tianshan, Duan Yuan, Duan Jin, and now Duan Gucheng! And you, Duan Xilai! What good will it do even if I were to release Duan Gucheng? Will your Duan family let me off the hook if I do so? Will you leave Mother Yu alone? I am not letting him go until I receive a guarantee.”
Duan Xilai’s eyes narrowed even further as a thunderous expression dawned on his face.
The Duan family couldn’t lower its head to a brat from an underprivileged family. What was the Duan family? They were a family that stood at the pinnacle of the Celestial River County. If the family leader were to bow to the threats of an undistinguished disciple, then the entire family’s reputation and status would be dealt heavy blows. If the An, Wang, and Sun families took advantage of that opportunity to fan the flames further, the Duan family would suffer unimaginable losses.
Qi Ying could not be allowed to live!
However, he couldn’t afford to lose Duan Gucheng either. As the successor to the Duan family, Duan Gucheng’s aptitude wasn’t actually all that outstanding. He had only reached his current heights as countless resources had been expended to nurture him. It would be next to impossible to develop another future Spirit Martial Stage warrior if Duan Gucheng were to die.
Thus, an impasse ensued.