AST 833 – Aggravation of a Situation, Helpless Yun Duan
“We are friends.” Qing Shui replied with a smile.
“Hmph. That isn’t a good answer. Uncle, do you like Sister Yun Duan?” Long Lingyun’s beautiful eyes lit up brightly as she looked at Qing Shui.
“Children shouldn’t keep on asking these kind of adult questions.” Qing Shui sat down on the Silver-horned Eagle.
Ling Longyun went quiet.
This was his second time coming to the Cloud Adventurer Guild. He had come here as an adventurer on his first visit but as a guest on the second visit.
The Adventurer Guild never closed. The group entered the Adventurer Guild through another big entrance. The moment he entered, he saw the familiar big courtyard, pavilions, fake mountains and pond……
Yun Duan led the way without stopping. The two elderly men left as soon as they entered the Adventurer Guild. Qi Gang, Qian Mo and Long Lingyun left too.
Long Lingyun seemed to be very reluctant as she left.
“Uncle, don’t forget that we have to go on an adventure when you have time.” Long Lingyun didn’t forget to remind Qing Shui before she left.
Qing Shui waved his hand and promised her as she left. Qing Shui knew he wasn’t going to stay here too long. It was likely he couldn’t go on another adventure with her before he had to leave.
Qing Shui had come here alone to the Central Continent, but he didn’t expect to actually meet Yun Duan here. Right now, he was walking with her towards her house. He had only knew now that this woman was the leader of the Cloud Adventurer Guild.
All of the people who managed Adventurer Guilds were addressed as the Leader.
Qing Shui had initially wondered why this Cloud Adventurer Guild was named after Yun Duan*. But now it seemed like that they had intended for some time for her to become their leader.
[TL Note: The Cloud Adventurer Guild translates to Yun Duan Adventurer Guild in chinese.]
Yun Duan and Qing Shui walked towards the path at the northern courtyard, which was a little more than a hundred metres wide. The two of them walked side by side, with a speed that wasn’t really fast.
“You are the leader of the Cloud Adventurer Guild. If you go to the Mighty Tiger Adventurer Guild, what happens here?” Qing Shui asked with a smile.
“My father will manage here.” Yun Duan replied softly.
“How long has this Adventurer Guild used your name?” Qing Shui was very curious about this. He wanted to know if this place had only changed its name after she had become the leader.
“Hehe. This is quite funny. Grandfather had said that I was destined to lead a good life as soon as I was born. He said that I would have glory, splendor, wealth and rank and would even make the Adventurer Guild shine. Therefore, he changed the name of the Adventurer Guild without any second thought on the very day I was born. On that day, I was also named Yun Duan*, with the intention of eventually reaching that height. He had just passed away not long ago and things turned out this way. Perhaps he didn’t expect that the person he had so much faith in would become like this.” Yun Duan’s words were very calm, but her grievance could still be seen. Although her tears didn’t fall, she had reached the pinnacle of the situation, a circumstance where there were no longer any tears to shed.[TL Note: Yun Duan means high in the clouds.]
Qing Shui was startled after he heard what Yun Duan told him. It was unfortunate that the grandfather she was talking about had passed away. Otherwise, he would’ve wanted to meet this old man who had single-handedly supported the Cloud Adventurer Guild. He was also curious about how he could predict that his granddaughter would be destined to have wealth and prestige.
Qing Shui didn’t believe in fortune telling back in his previous world, but now he could divine some things. He could tell the fortune of a person by reading his facial features and bones. If a person who had great bone structure also had good aptitude, it wouldn’t be too difficult for him or her to become the strongest with just a little luck. Of course, for this to be true, he or she would need to have exceptional bone structure and aptitude.
Bones were bizarre things. Some people had not only good bone structures but also good brains. It was very easy for an extremely bright person to stand out among his peers. Of course, not everything was absolute. There were also many people with unrecognized talents. However, this world advocated martial arts, so the chance of that happening were pretty small.
Boys and girls with well proportioned skeleton frames and good constitutions would usually be handsome and beautiful when they grew up. These external conditions shouldn’t be underestimated because they would sometimes play an important role, especially with women.
The appearance of a woman could cause the downfall of kingdoms and cities, of causing a calamity to its people. A heaven-defying beauty could even topple a large clan or sect. It was evident that the effects of cultivating beauty and temperament to its maximum for women would definitely be comparable to that of a weapon.
So, it was slightly easier to tell the fortune of a woman by reading her facial features. Qing Shui knew how to do it too. Unfortunately, he hadn’t really believe in it, but now, he knew that Yun Duan’s grandfather was accurate in his readings.
He had decided to give Yun Duan everything he could, or at least a peaceful environment. Glory, splendor, wealth and rank weren’t too difficult to attain. As long as her Cloud Adventurer Guild became powerful, she’d have everything.
It wasn’t like the Cloud Adventurer Guild didn’t have any powerful cultivators. Qing Shui knew this as soon as he had entered the Cloud Adventurer Guild. He already knew some of the reasons behind this with just his intuition and the information he heard.
The Mighty Tiger Adventurer Guild was the most powerful guild. They used threats and bribes to break up the powerful cultivators of the Cloud Adventurer Guild and force them into a corner. This was why the Cloud Adventurer Guild had been forced into a position where they didn’t even have any strength to retaliate.
“Is the disparity in strength between the Cloud Adventurer Guild and the Mighty Adventurer Guild really that great?” Qing Shui asked as they walked.
“I’m lacking in strength and I’m a woman on top of that. Even so, grandfather still insisted that I take over the Cloud Adventurer Guild so this resulted in some complaints among the people. Grandfather is no longer here and the Mighty Tiger Adventurer Guild had been undermining us while we tried to maintain peace. To them now, the Cloud Adventurer Guild probably looks like it will collapse at a single blow.” Yun Duan laughed as if she was mocking herself.
Passing through a corridor, they arrived at a manor. There were many women and children as well as some old men. Some were playing chess, while others were slowly practising sword and fist techniques
It was very peaceful here and there were rows of manors. The people who lived here were all the family of the Cloud Adventurer Guild’s core members. Two rows of weeping willows lined both sides of the path.
He could see that the place was very clean with just a single glance. The air here was also very fresh. Many children were running around and playing and they would all greet Yun Duan when they passed her.
“Hello, Big Sister!”
“Is he your boyfriend?”
The questions that the children asked were also quite complicated. Qing Shui looked at them in amusement but didn’t say anything. Yun Duan greeted them with a smile and occasionally reached out to pat their heads.
Qing Shui was sure that the Mighty Tiger Adventurer Guild would definitely use these people and her clan to force her to give in. A woman was indeed helpless when she was in this kind of situation.
This must be why many beautiful ladies have suffered an unlucky life since ancient times!
After not too long, they went into a courtyard on the left. Across the entrance of the courtyard was a small fake mountain that stood in front of a small pond. There was an arched bridge above the pond, whose flowing water was pleasant and melodious. Just listening could easily calm one down. There was a purple colored pavilion stood beside the tranquil pond.
On the other side was a small bamboo forest and there was a two-story small building not far from the forest. A winding corridor led to another building.
Just at this moment, a few people came out from that building. There was a handsome middle-aged man who appeared to have been through the vicissitudes of life, a beautiful madam that was aging gracefully and a few handsome young men who were about the age of 40. He could feel a wave of oppression surrounding all of them at a single glance.
“Father, Mother, Big Brother, Third Brother, Little Brother, you’re all here.” Yun Duan greeted them with a smile.
“Little Sister, you are supposed to marry Hu Yunlong, the leader of the Mighty Tiger Adventurer Guild the day after tomorrow! Why are you with another man?” The man who looked slightly older compared to the other young men reprimanded.
“Big Brother, this is my friend.” A look of pain flashed across Yun Duan’s eyes.
“Yun Yao, how could you speak like that to your sister?” The scholarly middle aged man immediately shouted.
“Duan’er, come introduce him to your mother. It is very rare for you to bring friends over.” The woman held Yun Duan’s hand and smiled benevolently. There was a pained look in her eyes. Yun Duan was her only daughter and she loved her dearly, much more so than her other few sons. But now, she had to suffer. As a mother, this feeling was intensely agonizing.
“Mother, this is Qing Shui. A very good friend of mine.” Yun Duan introduced him with a smile.
“How do you do?” Qing Shui smiled and greeted them. When he heard how Yun Duan introduced him as a very good friend just now, he wasn’t certain on what to feel.
“This fellow is not bad. Come, let’s go in. Mealtime is ready. It’s just a normal one so I hope you won’t mind.” The scholarly and handsome man invited Qing Shui warmly.
“Why would I mind? I shall intrude upon you all then.” Qing Shui modestly followed the people of the Yun Clan into a big lounge.
“Lass, I’ve thought about this. You mustn’t marry over there. Not when I am still alive.” The man suddenly said when they were eating their meal.
If Qing Shui didn’t previously know the situation, he definitely wouldn’t understand what was going on.
“Father, if Little Sister doesn’t marry Hu Yunlong, the Mighty Tiger Adventurer Guild will kill us all.” Yun Yao said agitatedly.
“Bastard, are you saying that your Little Sister should marry that old geezer who is even older than me by 200 years old for the sake of staying alive?” The man slammed the chopsticks in his hands against the table.
Yun Yao didn’t dare utter another single word.
“Yun Peng, calm down. Duan’er isn’t marrying anyone. We can’t let our daughter suffer even if it costs our lives.” The beautiful madam hurriedly said.
“Father, Mother, your daughter is willing to do this. Don’t be sad. Ensuring that our Adventurer Guild can survive and be passed down to the next generations are the most important things.” Yun Duan assured with a smile.
“Little Sister, Third Brother has the same opinion as Father. This Adventurer Guild means nothing if you have to suffer like this.” Yun Yang, who had been silent all this time, finally spoke up.
Qing Shui had already identified these few people from the introduction earlier. The scholarly handsome man was Yun Peng. The eldest son was Yun Yao. The third son who had just spoken was Yun Yang, the fourth son was Yun Chi, followed by Yun Duan’s youngest brother, Yun Tong.
“That’s right. Big Sister, I am against the idea of having you marry into there as well. We will really never be able to live in dignity for the rest of our life.” Yun Tong bit down on his lip.
Just then, someone came in from outside. It was an elderly man. He looked around and hesitated for a moment before saying “The people from the Mighty Tiger Adventurer Guild are here.”
The middle-aged man frowned. “What are they here for?”
“They said they are bringing Miss back.” The elderly man also frowned as he responded.
“Yes and they are very aggressive. It’s Hu Wenlong and his company.”
“Hu Wenlong?” Yun Yao exclaimed in surprise.
Yun Duan’s body quivered too after hearing it was Hu Wenlong. For them to suddenly come to bring her back, they probably knew that she had killed Hu Yuanqing.
Right now, she felt as if all her hopes had turned to dust. They already knew about it. Was this going to be the end for her, her clan and the Cloud Adventurer Guild?
She missed the time when her grandfather was still around. She missed her grandfather. When he was around, the Mighty Tiger Adventurer Guild didn’t dare to take such actions against them.
Now that her grandfather wasn’t around, the Cloud Adventurer Guild was as powerless as a newborn infant.
“Uncle Qiong, tell them that I’ll be over right away.” Yun Duan told the elderly man with a smile.
After the old man left, the room grew silent.
Hu Wenlong was Hu Yunlong’s elder brother. He was the elder brother of the Mighty Tiger Adventurer Guild’s leader and a Grand Elder. The position of Grand Elder could only be held by someone powerful. Without power, even an immediate clan member wasn’t allowed to hold the position. It was evident that this person was very important.
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