AST 947 - Form, The path to Demon Gate, Consternation
There were only five of them at the dinner table, including the two children. Weng Xue was quite powerful. She was a Peak Martial Saint with the strength of about 50 stars. Qin Zongheng was an Early Martial Emperor and Qing Shui felt that he must be very powerful.
“We are family now. Qing Shui, don’t stand on ceremony. Have more wine!”
Qin Zongheng drank enthusiastically with Qing Shui. One of the reasons he could hold the title as the Vice Castellan of Sky City was because of his exceptional ability. At least, in terms of reading people, he was definitely better than others. His wife, Weng Xue, also helped in his career over the years. Her influential position in Hundred Flowers Valley meant that she was well known in the group of upper-tier cultivators. She had also helped solve many of Qin Zongheng problems.
His title meant that he was the successor of the current Castellan. However, although a Vice Castellan was chosen from each generation, the position of Castellan was not passed down, but was instead based on a person’s strength, not his age nor generation.
For someone to become the Castellan, they not only had to be capable but also had to have a network of powerful connections. After all, a person who wants to achieve great things will need loyal supporters. Even though aristocratic clans disallowed internal conflicts within their clans on the surface, the fact was that members in a clan definitely had their own choice of successor. The Elders would never really clamp down on it, as it was an important requirement for a successor. It was important that the future successor was able to gather supporters so that future internal power struggles could be avoided. Only one with absolute talent and strength could bend things in their own favor.
“Qing Shui, why are you on Marionette Sect’s wanted list? Could you tell me?” Qin Zongheng smiled amiably at Qing Shui. Now that he considered Qing Shui his family, he believed that it was necessary to resolve the issue with the wanted posters with Qing Shui’s portrait.
“I was eating in Octagon Inn when the people from Marionette Sect commented that I was suitable to be their marionette. I had no choice but to stomp and destroy their restaurant to escape.” Qing Shui explained nonchalantly.
“That’s preposterous! Those people are getting too arrogant in Sky City. I will ask my grandfather to help you resolve this matter.” Qin Zongheng replied furiously.
“Elder Brother Qin, please let me resolve this myself. It’s alright, I will make them pay.” Qing Shui said, as he did not want to owe others any favors. Even though he treated Weng Xue as his sister, he did not want to owe them any debts. Besides, he felt that Marionette Sect could be easily destroyed.
Qin Zongheng’s brow furrowed slightly. He thought for few minutes before saying, “Marionette Sect might not be that intimidating, but in name they are still a branch of Demon Gate.”
When Qing Shui heard what Qin Zongheng said, he was surprised. He did not expect that the issue would actually involve Demon Gate. He did not know the exact strength and influence of Demon Gate and only knew that they were formidable. Now that he saw how serious Qin Zongheng became when he mentioned them, he could further confirm that.
Qing Shui fell silent, as he considered his options going forward. Although the Marionette Sect did plan to turn him into their marionette, he was basically unharmed and caused significant losses to Marionette Sect.
Also, he had every intention to deal with Demon Gate. However, this was not the right time. Currently, Qing Shui was hesitant to take action to eliminate Marionette Sect. He thought that perhaps it might be better for him to attack them at a later time.
“Younger Brother, no one in Sky City will dare to harm you. Furthermore, if Marionette Sect really takes action and you retaliate by destroying them, Demon Gate will not be able to say anything.” Weng Xue said quietly.
Qing Shui smiled when he saw Weng Xue’s sincere gaze, “Thank you Elder Sis, but I am not in a hurry to resolve this issue. I have already dragged this for a year. Anyway, I wasn’t hurt. I will just leave this for later, besides it wouldn’t just disappear.”
“Qing Shui, large clans and sects are all very concerned with their reputation. If we help you get rid of Marionette Sect, Demon Gate will definitely not try to seek any compensation from Sky City. However, I’m worried for you. They may not travel such a long distance to look for trouble with us, but they can definitely find you.” Qin Zongheng replied when he saw Qing Shui still deep in thought.
“I understand. Brother Qin, why don’t you tell me more about Demon Gate. I’m quite curious about that sect.” Qing Shui said casually while smiling. Qing Shui found it rather dampening that he could not get rid of Marionette Sect due to the complications. Who would have known that Marionette Sect had a connection with Demon Gate?
More importantly, he definitely needed to pay a visit to Demon Gate, since Huoyun Liu-Li’s background was linked to Demon Gate. If he knew how powerful Demon Gate was, he would be able to gauge when he had enough strength to pay them a visit. Them as well as Lion King's Ridge. Once he resolved both matters, he would be unburdened.
Qing Shui remembered Lin Zhanhan’s enmity with Lion King’s Ridge. The Lin Clan was once a large clan in Northern Sacred Lu Continent, a branch of Talisman Gate but was annihilated by Lion King’s Ridge.
“The main concept of Demon Gate is stealth. Even their name gives them a veil of anonymity. But it is undeniable that they are very powerful. They take on a very different approach to cultivation compared to the usual practices. They focus on speed and lethality in their martial arts. Their moves are even more effective than poison. They usually aim to kill with one attack. If they fail to kill with their one-shot attack, they will retreat. After that, they will seek another opportunity. They are good with disguise and trickery. They will use any method to kill their target and rarely fail.” Qin Zongheng replied patiently.
“Path of the Assassin!” Qing Shui suddenly exclaimed when he heard Qin Zongheng’s description, since that was exactly how assassins act. “Demon” seemed an apt term to use in their name. Other people might think that assassins were like demons, but to Qing Shui, they were nothing to be afraid about.
If they practiced Path of the Assassin, they may be fast but that would also mean that their strength would be considerably weaker. Their unconventional techniques, poison, hidden weapons and even simple Unison assaults might cause problems for others but to Qing Shui, those were nothing more than unorthodox little tactics. Those tactics might scare others, and give Demon Gate a great advantage in battle, perhaps even tenfolds their true ability. But those were just child’s play to Qing Shui. Their tendency to act secretively could also provide an additional chance for Qing Shui to kill them even more easily.
Qing Shui had originally decided not to touch Marionette Sect first, but now his will was wavering. He just needed to confirm Demon Gate’s ability to see if he could also take down Demon Gate at the same time.
“Would they send their most powerful people if they found out Marionette Sect was destroyed? Do you know how powerful the strongest person in Marionette Sect is?” Qing Shui wanted to have some preparation, as it could become difficult if the gap in strength between him and his enemies was too wide.
“I am not very clear about that, but I know that their top cultivators are only at Grade Five Martial Emperor. From what I know, no one in the Five Continents has broke through to the realm of Grade Five Martial Emperor.” Qin Zongheng answered thoughtfully.
This information was rather startling. Every grade before Grade Five Martial Emperor was measured by 1000 stars. The max base strength of a Grade Five Martial Emperor cultivator was 5000 stars, while one could enter Martial Emperor realm at just 1000 stars. However, he did not know if they were at that level of strength with or without their weapons.
“Elder brother Qin, do they need the additional boost from their equipments and weapons to reach Grade Five Martial Emperor or is that their base strength?”
“Yes. It is with their weapons and all sort of equipments and items they can use. Once a person reaches the realm of Martial Emperor, their weapons will almost take on a spiritual nature. A cultivator’s weapon can bring them to a new height of strength. As long as the cultivator can fully harness the power of their weapon, it will be taken into consideration. But once a person reaches an undefeatable level, normal weapons and armors are usually not that effective.” Qin Zongheng replied with a smile.
“That would also mean that Demon Gate doesn’t have any cultivators stronger than Grade Five Martial Emperor. Regardless, their equipments…”Qing Shui grinned.
“With that said, if a person’s base strength was at Grade Five Martial Emperor, they could easily defeat the entire Five Continents.” Qin Zongheng chuckled.
When Qing Shui heard this, he was relieved. Right now, he had his Violet Star Thunder God. One Raging Blow could reach the level of 2600 stars, that was half that of the top cultivators’...
His Emperor's Qi could reduce his opponent’s strength to 4000 stars. He did not know if his Vajra Subdues Demons and Fiery Golden Eyes would work and he doubted their effectiveness in this case.
With his Nine Palace Steps and formations, he should be able to protect himself.
“In the World of the Nine Continents, for people in the Five continents to exceed the realm of a Grade Five Martial Emperor, it is said that they must venture to the remaining four continents or otherwise obtain some legendary item.” Qin Zongheng said to Qing Shui.
When Qing Shui heard about the other four continents, he was no longer that shocked. He once thought that the World of the Nine Continents was on a singular piece of land.
This secret about the World of the Nine Continent was already discovered over 10,000 years ago.
In actuality, very few people in the World of the Nine Continents traveled extensively. People usually didn’t even travel more than half of their own continent. Perhaps, they might not even go out of their own cities. There were actually very few people who traveled out of their countries, as the land was really too large. Even those with flying demonic beasts could not leave as they pleased. There were many powerful people outside the circles they know and with so many demonic beasts roaming around, the skies were actually more dangerous than being on land.
“It is rumored that the four other continents are above our lands. I am not sure if that is true.” Qin Zongheng chuckled, as if he did not believe those rumors himself.
“Legend has it that the sky is made of nine divisions and we’re standing on the lowest division. What is your view on that, Brother Qin?” Qing Shui asked lightheartedly.
“True or false, I only know that we are in our Five Continents, so I don’t want to think about anything else. When one reaches that level, one would naturally figure it out. Come, Brother Qing Shui, drink.”
“Big Brother, I heard we have a guest.” they heard a bright voice and footsteps outside.
The people were already at the entrance of the manor, but did not enter. Qin Zongheng looked at Qing Shui and said, “They are my brothers. You can just sit here, I’ll go look.”
“Let’s go together!” Qing Shui stood up and they went to the entrance. “Uncle! Uncle!”
The two young children quickly ran forward. Qing Shui laughed when he saw that. He could see that the relationship between the brothers was quite good since children were usually most sensitive to such relationships.
“Tianzong, you sure got the news fast.” Qin Zongheng patted the handsome beside him and laughed.
“Big Brother, shouldn’t you introduce him to us?”
“This is my wife’s brother, Qing Shui.” Qin Zongheng introduced Qing Shui, as he invited the others in.
“Qing Shui, they are my brothers, Tianzong, Qizong, Yunheng…”
There were eight of them, with the inclusion of Qin Zongheng, their family had nine sons. Qin Zongheng was the eldest. His father had five wives and not a single daughter.
“Since he is your wife’s brother, we’ll count him as our brother.” the group of people stared at Qing Shui, as if trying to read him.
“Uh, he looks really familiar. I am sure I’ve seen you before.” a young man behind him said suspiciously.
“Brother Tianheng, I’m the person wanted by Marionette Sect.’ Qing Shui said calmly and friendly to the man who was slightly older than him.
As the brothers have different mothers, their age gap was not large. At max, the difference was about 3 to 5 years.
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