Chapter 29: Solid Foundations
He Tong knew that he could say nothing. They had no witnesses, and Shen Bingwen would never judge anyone on something as simple as the He family's words.
Gritting his teeth, He Tong waved his arm and turned around, getting ready to leave. "Watch your back whenever you roam around in the future!" he sneered at Xue Wei. Yet the moment those words escaped his lips, Manager Su’s aura exploded out and laid a heavy pressure on everyone present.
Manager Su was angry. Usually, everyone forgot about this man's strength and saw him as a mere servant; but when he exploded forth with energy like this, then everyone had to take a few steps backward, He Tong included.
This manager was a ninth layered Sky Warrior, just one step away from being a Heavenly Warrior. This strength was enough to create a faction within Tiankong City, but Manager Su had never done so and was content with just being Xiao Lei’s subordinate.
"Are you threatening my family's young master?" he asked He Tong with a solemn expression on his face and a menacing air around him.
Although infighting was illegal amongst those on the side of humanity, not all stuck to these laws. If someone from the older generation threatened someone from the younger generation, it was acceptable for the threatened family to step in. In such a situation, it was likely that it would end up in a fight.
Xue Wei was surprised to see the sudden murderous air that was released from Manager Su, but he also felt warmth in his heart. So far, only Xiao Lei had stepped up for him like this, but now Manager Su was doing the same. Although Manager Su was far from Xiao Lei’s standing in Xue Wei’s heart, he still raised his position by a notch.
"Wha-what do you think you are doing, you slave?" He Tong asked, but his voice trembled and his body shook like a leaf.
He Tong was the Patriarch of the He family and thus a Sky Warrior like Manager Su. However, there was a difference between them. He Tong had only been in the army for as long as he had needed to be there to do his duty, while Manager Su had paved a road through slaughter and murder. He had been a mercenary when Xiao Lei had found him.
Although they had the same cultivation base, Manager Su was stronger than He Tong. If it came to a fight, then He Tong would lose, and he would lose more than just face.
He had already lost face from sending his men into town only to have them exposed by some unknown expert; two of his men even lost their ability to fight in the future, resulting in He Tong having to pay a fee to their families.
Now, the entire city knew that the He family had deployed experts for the sake of capturing and injuring Xue Wei, something that was a great shame to them.
Although Xue Wei had crippled the young master of the He family, it was not usual for the families to act against the younger generation. And although he had not asked any Earth Warriors to do battle, he had asked a whole lot of ninth layered Ordinary Warriors.
Xue Wei stood there, leaning against the estate gate, and Manager Su stood right in front of him with a murderous look in his eyes.
It was not only the He family that had lost something from this encounter; one of the unveiled experts had been from the Jia family. And although they had been present at the mansion when Xue Wei returned home, the patriarch had been wise enough not to make an appearance.
The city was filled with people who were talking about these masked experts. They had been present for quite a long time, but no one had known for sure to whom they belonged, so they could only guess.
Now that they had been unmasked, they naturally became the new topic of discussion, and everyone was filled with excitement. Some felt that they were shameless and despicable for trying to gang up on Xue Wei when all he did was save some commoner girls, while others were putting more focus on the way they had been beaten.
Some felt sorry for Xue Wei; others laughed at the Jia and He families for not being able to deal with a single young man – but most feared retaliation from Xiao Lei. As a result, they dared not speak too loudly about their opinions. Even now, five years later, the memory of the man executed by Xiao Lei when Xue Wei first came to town remained clear in everyone's heads.
“Are you okay?” Manager Su asked worriedly as he looked at Xue Wei. “I know that you are mentally strong, but you are being chased by some of the leading families within Tiankong City. Are you okay with this?”
“Don’t worry about me,” Xue Wei smiled a small smile. “I have faith in my ability to stay alive. They went too far when they said that they would play with Xiaoyun; it is only fair that I actually give them back some pain and suffering.”
Manager Su and Xue Wei had grown much closer in the time that Xiao Lei had been gone. Manager Su was genuinely concerned about Xue Wei, but he also trusted the young man when he said that he was certain in his ability.
Saying this, Xue Wei clenched his hand and his face was serious. He had never forgiven them. Even now, he missed Wang Xiaoyun every waking moment, but the time he had with her had been interrupted by them, and they had even threatened her in his presence! This was simply unacceptable.
Xue Wei felt the pressure. He had thoroughly started a war with the He family, and they had already sent out their Ordinary Warriors. It was likely that the next that would be sent out would be an Earth Warrior. If he ran into such an opponent, Xue Wei would not be able to get off as easily as he had with the others.
Even if the He family did not make a move, it was likely that the Li family or Jia family would make a move. If Xue Wei was found dead one day, with no assailant found, it would definitely be blamed on the He family. Although they would not be able to go to court with no witnesses, they would still be looked down upon by the commoners and have problems in the future to do business and hire guards.
He Tong was well aware of this, and his face was pale from anger. He had no chance to change what had happened, and now he could only continue to walk down the path of hostility with Xue Wei and the Xiao Lei mansion.
Xue Wei watched as everyone started to leave. A wry smile was on his lips, and although he seemed carefree, his heart was clenching and uncomfortable.
He was nothing more than an ant in the face of experts like Manager Su and He Tong. Although he wanted to change his life and become strong enough to take care of himself, he was aware that it would take him quite some time to reach the Sky Warrior realm, not to mention the Heavenly Warrior rank.
Xue Wei returned to the mansion and continued practicing the Inner Might ability. Although he had gained a basic understanding of the sword, saber, fan, and zither, he knew that he was far away from being able to call it perfected, and he also knew that he needed to learn how to use even more weapons.
If he had learned the bow and arrow, then he would have been able to snipe even more experts in his small skirmish with the masked experts, causing even more damage to them and the families that they were from.
"Oh well, looking back, I could have done many things differently," Xue Wei sighed to himself. "I should not be unsatisfied with the performance I already made. I crippled two experts and unmasked two more. This in itself is a great achievement considering that they were all ninth layered Ordinary Warriors and I am only a seventh layered Ordinary Warrior."
"Yes, but be more careful," Manager Su suddenly appeared behind Xue Wei, startling him. "I have to admit that you did perfectly well this time, but in the future, you need to be extra careful when you go to town. He Tong is a wily old fox; he will do anything in his power to gain vengeance against you."
Xue Wei nodded his head. He was perfectly well aware of this case, but he was not going to live in fear. "He Tong cannot move directly, and he cannot send too weak people after me as I will cripple them."
"Not to mention, he cannot afford to have anything happening to me. If something happens to me, his family would be treated coldly by the commoners, and he would lose too much business."
"Right now, although he wants to kill me, he would never actually dare move," Xue Wei was certain that he was safe for now, "but I still have to be extra cautious when I move around. Other families might abuse this situation."
"But for now it should be fine," Xue Wei sighed as he stretched his body. "I will be focusing on cultivating for the next month. I only have a few months before I have to enter the army. The trip will be bloody; although we cannot attack within Tiankong City, nothing is there to stop us when we leave the city."
"I would want to get rid of Li Jian. After all he has done to me, letting him go would be the same as letting a tiger return to the mountain only to return to harm myself later."
"I need to cripple him or preferably kill him." Xue Wei's eyes were cold. Although he had never killed anyone before, he was no soft-hearted person, and he had been living under Li Jian's bullying the last five years. He knew that Li Jian wished to kill him, and if he were allowed to do as he pleased, then one day he would cause problems – not only for Xue Wei, but also for all his loved ones.
Although Li Jian's friends were also bullying Xue Wei, Xue Wei never intended to eradicate them. They had bullied him, yes, but mainly because their families belonged to the Li faction.
Xue Wei was harsh on his enemies, but he was even harsher on himself. He knew that his uncle had hated how he had been bullied, but due to him never talking with his uncle about it, he never gave Xiao Lei the opportunity to lash back at the ones who were bullying him.
Xue Wei knew that the bullying had helped to shape the person he was today. Had he not been bullied, who was to say that the sudden rise in strength would not have caused him to be as arrogant and disregarding as Li Jian.
Thinking like this, Xue Wei sat down and once more began to cultivate the Inner Might technique. This time, he was trying to shape a bow and arrow. Of all the things he had experienced so far, the bow and arrow were the most difficult ones as it was not just one weapon but two that had to work together.
It took him a full four days to gain a basic understanding of the bow and arrow. After this, he returned to the herbal concoction baths. Although the pain was scorching, the feeling of having his strength rise excited him. He was also aware that he had just broken into the seventh layer of the Ordinary Warrior rank, so reaching the eight layer would take at least another month.
Although this was the case, Xue Wei was not in a rush. He understood the point that one could not rush their cultivation base if they wished to have a steady foundation.
Xue Wei took it slow, absorbed the energy, and molded it into Qi in his small pearl-like dantian. The herbs continued to assist his increase in strength repeatedly; one strengthened his body, another his soul. One went for his Qi, and the last turned into a force that purified his body.
All the medicines together were enough to make Xue Wei undergo overwhelmingly significant changes, and Xue Wei suddenly had a great idea. What if he also made an herbal concoction for Manager Su? He had been stuck in the bottleneck towards the Heavenly Warrior rank for many years now. If he could break into the Heavenly Warrior rank, the Xiao Lei mansion would suddenly become much stronger in Tiankong City.