Curious about a pentabane, Weisheng Qingluan asked Tianming questions about lifesbane.
"The first ancestor of the Li Saint Clan was also our ancestor. His story is recorded in the genealogical records of the Weisheng clan."
Except for Tianming and Weisheng Qingluan, the others at the table kept to themselves. Shangguan Yunfeng tried striking up a conversation, but upon noticing the cold looks from Bai Taijun and Xi Menglin, he fell silent. The forced alliance was merely an agreement between Weisheng Tianlan and the Grand-Orient Sect, and didn’t necessarily represent the wishes of the entire Southsky Sect. To a certain extent, it was wishful thinking.
Tianming had nothing to say about the matter. He appreciated Weisheng Qingluan’s character. Now that he was somewhat familiar with the latter, he didn’t mind extending a helping hand if Weisheng Qingluan were to find himself in trouble on the Throughpath tomorrow. As for the other two disciples of the Southsky Sect, they could forget about it. The two men had their arms folded and expressed their dissatisfaction with their sect master’s arrangement through looks of indifference and unwillingness to touch the food and wine. However, they didn’t dare utter a word of displeasure.
"Sister Ruosu, I’ve heard your mother can get in touch with the people from Cloudmist Sword School. After all, she was born there and is a collateral relative of the Sikong clan," said Bai Taijun. He was tall and thin, with a long face and narrow eyes.
"In fact, I think we should use your mother's identity to build a relationship with the Cloudmist Sword School. When the time comes, even if we’re defeated by them on the Throughpath, they’ll at least spare us,” added Xi Menglin, a wide shouldered young man with a strong built and powerful arms.
"That’s enough." Weisheng Ruosu cast a grim look at them.
For them to speak about allying with the Cloudmist Sword School at a banquet Weisheng Tianlan attended was really inappropriate.
"Isn't the Cloudmist Sword School just a running dog of Heaven’s Elysium? Is the Southsky Sect ready to become their running dog as well?" interjected Zhao Lingzhou.
He was truly straightforward. Though his words were spoken quietly, everyone present could hear him, especially the angry first Elder of the Southsky Sect, Gu Qiuyu.
However, just as he was about to lose his temper, a woman entered the hall. Though she was youthfully dressed and looked about thirty, she was a master at the Saint stage, so her real age was obviously much older. Judging by her appearance, she was a rare beauty, similar to Weisheng Ruosu but with an understated appeal and maturity. However, the expression on her face was rather ugly. As soon as her eyes locked on to Weisheng Tianlan, she looked displeased.
"Lingyu, over here,” waved a smiling Weisheng Tianlan.
Tianming immediately recognized this was Weisheng Tianlan's wife. Born in the Cloudmist Sword School, which ranked fourth in the Grand-Orient Realm, Sikong Lingyu was a collateral relative of the Sikong clan and the mother of Weisheng Ruosu and Weisheng Qingluan.
"I’ve been looking all over for you. Didn't I tell you to get ready for the banquet?" Weisheng Tianlan smiled.
"I went to see Sikong Jiansheng of the Cloudmist Sword School," she said. Sitting down, Sikong Lingyu looked coldly at Huangfu Fengyun and the others.
Sikong Jiansheng was the sect master of Cloudmist Sword School, so Weisheng Tianlan turned stiff at the mention of his name.
"Stop fooling around and go back now.”
They were here to form an alliance, yet his wife had run off to look for the sect master of the Cloudmist Sword School. What on earth was going on? Weisheng Tianlan found it difficult to explain himself to Ye Shaoqing and the others. Arguably, when Sikong Lingyu married into the Southsky Sect, she shouldn't have had anything more to do with the Cloudmist Sword School. After all, the relationship between the two sects was rather poor. Obviously, a great contradiction existed between husband and wife as to whether or not they should approach Heaven’s Elysium. This much Tianming could see.
Both the Onyx Sect and Cloudmist Sword School were headed by Heaven’s Elysium, which put them at odds with the Grand-Orient Sect. The Southsky Sect was currently in an awkward position; not only were the elders in disagreement with Weisheng Tianlan, but so was his wife. Therefore, the best thing to do would be to get Sikong Lingyu to leave the banquet first.
"The Cloudmist Sword School has three Cloudmist disciples. Among them, the eldest grandson of Sikong Jiansheng, Sikong Tianchen, has reached Heavenly Will like Ruosu. They agreed to form an alliance with us, so I invited them."
"Nonsense!" The good-tempered Weisheng Tianlan immediately stood and stared grimly at Sikong Lingyu.
"I’m doing this for you, for Southsky Sect!" Sikong Lingyu retorted.
"Sect Master, please calm down." Gu Qiuyu and the elders of Southsky Sect played peacemakers. It seemed that out of the twenty elders, at least ten of them supported Sikong Lingyu's decision. The contradiction among them, as well as their public confrontation, was truly unexpected.
"How embarrassing, I do apologize." Weisheng Tianlan guiltily turned to Huangfu Fengyun.
The elders of the Grand-Orient Sect were obviously offended. Although Weisheng Tianlan wanted to form an alliance, those under him despised the Grand-Orient Sect, including his wife. The banquet was a disaster.
"It’s fine, as long as the young ones get along." Ye Shaoqing pointed to Weisheng Qingluan and Tianming.
After all, their so-called alliance wasn’t between sects, but the young talents participating in the Throughpath battle tomorrow. Although the situation was evident now, they couldn’t make a big deal out of it. Ye Shaoqing’s words managed to put Weisheng Tianlan at ease.
But just then, a group of people barged into the hall, led by a white-haired, eagle-eyed old man. There was a knifelike sharpness to him, and even the slightest gesture he made possessed a surging sword ki.
“It looks rather lively. Southsky Sect Master, have we come at the wrong time?"
With one glance, Tianming knew that the speaker was Sikong Jiansheng, the sect master of the Cloudmist Sword School. He belonged to the same generation as Weisheng Tianlan’s parents and had remained sect master for a long time.
The Cloudmist Sword School practiced domineering sword arts. Not only did Sikong Jiansheng resemble a drawn sword, the accompanying elders and Cloudmist disciples all possessed the same aura. Their cold, sharp eyes could send goosebumps prickling all over onlookers’ skin. Sikong Jiansheng stood there as if surrounded by ten thousand swords, his long, narrow eyes as deep as two lakes. Tianming felt as if he had a sword pointed at his back.
Because of their different specializations, the disciples of each sect had contrasting temperaments. The Southsky Sect was located on Southsky Island, amidst the blue ocean, so their disciples were mellow and open. The sword-wielding beastmasters were from Cloudmist Mountain in the north, amidst the boundless heavens and earth, and were knifelike. No matter where they went, one look was enough to scare the masses into moving aside.
Sikong Jiansheng didn’t bother with niceties, ignoring those from the Grand-Orient Sect and speaking only to Weisheng Tianlan.
"I'm speaking to my old friends from the Grand-Orient Sect. Although you’ve come uninvited, you’re a guest after all. If you don't mind, would you like to stay for a chat?"
His well-spoken words couldn’t conceal his true thoughts, which were revealed in the word "uninvited."
"No thank you. I certainly can’t afford to stay for the Grand-Orient Sect’s banquet,” sneered Sikong Jiansheng, his cold eyes staring at Huangfu Fengyun and the other elders. "However, you’ve made a mistake,” he added. “We didn't come uninvited. Your wife extended an invitation. But it seems that the Southsky Sect doesn't welcome us. We’ll see you in Heaven’s Elysium, then."
Naturally, they were upset to have been invited here, only to witness those from the Southsky Sect and Grand-Orient Sect together.
"Tianlan, for the sake of Ruosu and Qingluan, you must think this through. It's not too late to apologize to the Cloudmist Sword School and sever ties with the Grand-Orient Sect!" Sikong Lingyu abruptly rose to her feet. The opportunity she had so desperately struggled for was wasted by Weisheng Tianlan.
"Go back now." Weisheng Tianlan’s gaze was stained with an icy chill. Then, turning to the Cloudmist Sword School, he said, “Goodbye."
"Southsky Sect Master, just wait and see," Sikong Jiansheng retorted.
In fact, the purpose of his visit wasn’t merely to discuss the alliance between the younger generation, but also the cooperation between the major powers of the Grand-Orient Realm. But obviously, Weishang Tianlan was a tough one.
In fact, Weisheng Tianlan was his junior. He understood the ins and outs of today’s farce. His wife had wanted nothing more than to protect her children, so she’d attempted to get help from the Cloudmist Sword School. However, the present situation of the Grand-Orient Realm wasn’t as simple as the woman thought.
Once the Southsky Sect fell, the Grand-Orient Sect would be in jeopardy. If the Grand-Orient Sect didn’t exist, the Southsky Sect would certainly obey Heaven’s Elysium to survive. But that also meant zero possibility of growth, or perhaps even annexation. The day the Onyx Sect surrendered, the balance within the Grand-Orient Realm was broken.
There were also discordant voices within the Southsky Sect, including their council of elders, calling for capitulation to Heaven’s Elysium. However, there were still people who persisted. Drawing a clear line between them and the Cloudmist Sword School was a clear indication of Weisheng Tianlan’s intention. The visitors from the Cloudmist Sword School left the banquet hall rather unpleasantly.
Just as they were about to leave, a young man dressed in blue suddenly darted out. Though he wasn’t exactly handsome, he resembled Sikong Jiansheng with his piercing, sharp-edged demeanor.
Tianming had previously read up about him. Sikong Tianchen, the first disciple of Cloudmist Sword School, was a master of the sword at Heavenly Will stage. He was a twin beastmaster with two fourth-order saint beasts, both of whom were phoenixes: the Blueflame Phoenix and Crimsonflame Phoenix.
To have two matching phoenixes was truly rare. In terms of talent, Sikong Tianchen was probably in the top five among the younger generation of the Grand-Orient Realm.
In truth, he didn’t seem like a vile character. Tempering his sword intent made him a straightforward man who was both fearless and decisive.
"Ruosu, I have a small gift for you.” His eyes were filled with sincerity as he stood before Weisheng Ruosu.Previous Chapter Next Chapter