Chapter 78: Move Quick Think Fast
All of the disciples from the academy got onto the horse-drawn carriages, and were about to set off to watch the tournament.
However, one of the thirty chosen participants, Qi Ying, wasn’t present!
Many of the disciples began to discuss among themselves.
Some speculated that Qi Ying had already fled for his life, as he was afraid of being ganged up on by members of the Duan family during the tournament.
Others speculated that Qi Ying had received some sort of threat, and didn’t dare to participate.
There were even some who thought that Qi Ying must have been assassinated already!
Many rumors began to circulate, but no one could ascertain if there was any truth to them.
An elder turned to Gu Shiwei and asked, “Principal, should we go and search for Qi Ying?”
Gu Shiwei waved a hand and replied, “No need. If he can come, then he’ll come. Let’s wait for him for a while longer.”
Clip clop clip clop!
The sound of horse-drawn carriages erupted in the distance.
A long line of horses and carriages appeared on the streets.
There were several dozens of powerful horses, upon which rode a group of gallant young men and middle-aged men.
At the forefront of the group was a heavily bearded man in black robes and red cloak. He was none other than the leader of the Duan family, Duan Xilai.
The group he was leading consisted of those from his family that were participating in the Celestial River County Youth Battle Tournament!
The line of horses stopped amid the sound of whinnies and clomping hooves.
“Principal Gu, why has the academy team still not set off?” Duan Xilai sat upon his prized steed and asked, “The tournament will officially commence at noon!”
Gu Shiwei replied, “There is still a disciple who has yet to arrive, so we have to wait for a little while. Besides, there’s still quite some time before noon.”
“Oh?” Duan Xilai raised an eyebrow, “There’s still a disciple who hasn’t arrived? Which disciple could be so insolent?”
“You know him, Family Leader Duan. It’s Qi Ying.”
Duan Xilai suddenly burst into laughter, “Well then, hopefully he can make it on time, and not delay the academy for much longer. My Duan family will be heading off now.”
The Duan family’s horses set off again.
Duan Xilai was quite elated to hear that Qi Ying hadn’t shown up.
That indicated that Xue Yuesha had most likely succeeded in his assassination. In that case, it was quite strange that he still hadn’t returned to accept his reward.
Perhaps he encountered Yan Thirteen after assassinating Qi Ying, and was killed by the former?
Of course, it was also possible that Qi Ying wasn’t dead, but merely was too severely injured to participate in the tournament.
Regardless, any of the above scenarios would be fantastic news to the Duan family. Mayor Gu Tailai had already agreed to cooperate with them, so the Colosseum would be brought down in the next few days. It didn’t matter if Qi Ying was alive or not, as his death was already sealed!
The Celestial River County was still run by the major families!
No one could shake their reign.
The Duan family was going to crush everyone beneath their feet for generation after generation. They were going to afford no hope to those smaller and underprivileged families, so they would willingly be ruled over by and work for the Duan family.
So what if there were laws and rules? Those were all created by the upper class to stamp their authority over the plebeians!
‘Now then, it’s time for my Duan family to put on a show at the tournament!’
The Celestial River Academy disciples were becoming more and more impatient. Within a short span of time, the Duan, An, Sun, and Wang family had all passed through, as well as a bunch of other smaller families, all of whom were heading for the hunting grounds outside the county. However, all of the disciples were waiting for Qi Ying, and they didn’t even know if he would show up!
“Qi Ying won’t be able to make it. Let’s go already, elder!”
Some of the disciples were beginning to complain.
Those who weren’t participating in the tournament were basically tagging along to have some fun, and to broaden their horizons.
Apparently, among the important people who had come from the capital city, there was an exquisite beauty, and two outstanding young princes. The disciples who did not get the chance to go to the Mist Willow Mountain Villa the day prior, were all hoping to see them as soon as possible at the tournament.
Qi Ying must have fled the county already, so there was no way he could turn up!
That was an opinion shared by many people.
Wang Mazi laughed heartily and said, “I know Qi Ying; he’s a crafty guy! He may have taken on the Duan family in a direct confrontation, but he’s actually not stupid at all. He’s simply pissing the Duan family off, then running away at the first available opportunity… He’s just like a stray dog; he’ll bark at you to pick a fight, but as soon as you pick up a rock, he’ll turn around and run away… Tsk tsk…”
Right at that moment.
Clip clop clip clop!
The sound of pounding horse hooves erupted in the distance once again.
Everyone turned just in time to discover a galloping horse rounding the corner.
On top of the horse sat a handsome young man.
It was Qi Ying!
Countless people turned to Wang Mazi, who was still running his mouth just a second ago.
Wang Mazi’s expression froze, before it was replaced by an awkward smile. He then pretended as if he hadn’t said anything, and began to whistle tunelessly.
Qi Ying stopped his horse right in front of the group of carriages. He then disembarked and joined his hands in a salute to the elders. “My apologies for the delay, principal and elders!”
“Get on the carriage.”
Gu Shiwei didn’t say much, but he imparted upon Qi Ying some words of wisdom right as he was about to get onto the carriage. “It doesn’t matter if you come late now, just make sure to move quick and think fast during the tournament.”
Thus, everyone finally set off toward the outskirts of the county.
The Celestial River County suddenly became a lot quieter than usual with the departure of so many people.
Within a tall building, two figures looked on from afar at the group of carriages.
Lu Feifei asked in a faint voice, “You’re not going to accompany Qi Ying? Don’t you want to see how he’ll perform in the tournament?”
Yan Thirteen shook his head and replied, “There are more important things for me to do in the county.”
“What is it?”
“You’ll know when the time comes… The three major families and Gu Tailai have been yearning for my Colosseum for a long time!”
Lu Feifei exclaimed, “Are they really going to attack? So soon?”
Yan Thirteen smiled. “Of course. There is no better opportunity than the present one. All of their young elite warriors have left the county, so the most powerful beings from their three families can wreak havoc without any inhibitions.”
“What do we do then? The most powerful members of their three families are all at the Spirit Martial Stage; will you be able to take care of them?”
“Me? Definitely not. I’m not powerful enough to take them on.”
“But why don’t you seem nervous at all?”
“Why should I be nervous? It doesn’t matter how many people they send as I’ve got a very important figure on my side. They had better think carefully before they attack.”
Lu Feifei glanced at Yan Thirteen with curiosity in her eyes.
Since when did that alcoholic learn to be so mysterious?
Even though she had known Yan Thirteen for many years, she had never seen through him. Especially after meeting Qi Ying, Yan Thirteen’s actions had become more and more peculiar.
At times, his disposition didn’t appear to belong to a man who had ruled over the Celestial River County’s underworld for over a decade. Instead, why did he sometimes remind her of Lu Zuo and Lu You… As if he were a bodyguard of some sort?