“Let us down this cup together,” Xue Hongyi hurriedly called out. He wanted to flatter Youngflame Nong as best as he could, because in his heart, he was still thinking about later leaving the Witchriver Immortal Estate, then fleeing alive with the Immortal-ranked magic item in tow!
“My fellow disciples, we must be vigilant against the outsiders. Let’s not drink this wine,” Adept Vastriver sent mentally.
“We were useful to him earlier, but now we are useless; who knows what sort of tricks he might play,” Northson sent as well.
But Ninelotus said, “I imagine he wouldn’t dare to be so heartless and crazed.”
While sending mental messages amongst themselves, they all lifted up their cups and drank from it.
“Gulp.” The wine entered Ji Ning’s mouth, then a surge of elemental ki surrounded the liquid. The liquid was completely vaporized by a streak of fire. Only then did Ning put down his winecup.
“Chun and Ji, the two of you, perform a dance and help us enjoy ourselves.” Youngflame Nong was in an extremely fine mood as he gave the orders. Instantly, two of the female Zifu Disciples behind him moved. Previously, their robes were in the shape of maid robes, but the robes now changed. Their sleeves fluttered as the two of them laughed, unveiling their astonishing charisma as the two of them began to dance gracefully in the center of the palace hall.
Strum. Clink. Three other nearby Zifu Disciples who were musicians moved to those ancient musical instruments in the hall, then in a very practiced manner, began to drum and strum. Although countless years had passed, the instruments were completely undamaged, as they were all magical treasures.
One melody rang out after another, while the beautiful courtesans danced. Youngflame Nong was absolutely delighted with himself as he watched and drank, and Ning and the others all accompanied him.
His spirits having grown increasingly high as he drank, Youngflame Nong suddenly glanced sideways at the truly peerless, fairy-like beauty, ‘Yu Wei’. In terms of appearance and aura, even he, Youngflame Nong, who had seen reincarnated fairy-like maidens in the capital of the Grand Xia Dynasty, felt her to be astonishing. His throat went a little dry, and his heart began to grow heated. The desire he had held down this entire time was beginning to rise.
Still, he knew quite well that this Rainbowflame Fairy would probably be hard to convince. Thus, he then looked towards Ninelotus, then laughed, “Little Sister Ninelotus, now that I have completed my task, we need to have a good celebration. Little Sister Ninelotus, why don’t you perform a dance to us and help us celebrate?”
“Eh?” Ning frowned, his face growing somewhat unsightly. ‘Little Sister’ Ninelotus? This was not a form of address for Youngflame Nong to use. And he wanted Ninelotus to dance? How could Ning not feel angry?
“This Youngflame Nong is going too far,” Little Qing sent through the spirit-link. “Master, this Youngflame Nong holds you in no regard at all; he knows that you and Ninelotus are Dao-companions, but he still acts in such a way.” Indeed, all of the others present in the hall were stunned.
Ninelotus was astonished as well. She first gave Ning a glance, then said hurriedly, “Young master Youngflame, I have no talent in dance. Compared with the beautiful courtesans you have by your side, I am far inferior; I’d rather not go up and embarrass myself.”
“How can they compare with you, Little Sister Ninelotus?” Youngflame Nong laughed, “What, aren’t you even going to give me, Youngflame Nong, even this tiny bit of face?”
Ninelotus hesitated a moment, then put a smile on her face. “Then I’ll go up and dance to a song.” At the same time, she gave Ning a glance.
Ning just sat there, an ugly look on his face. It was just a dance. With so many fellow disciples present, it wasn’t appropriate for Ning to grow angry.
“Ning, son, be careful,” the Whitewater Hound sent spiritually. “Inviting her to dance as part of the victory celebrations is a small matter. Youngflame Nong clearly knows that you and Ninelotus are Dao-companions, but when he asked her to dance, he didn’t even look at you or say a single word to you. Clearly, he holds you in no regard at all. Given that, you need to be careful.”
Ning immediately came to his senses. “Don’t worry, Uncle White. I understand,” Ning sent back, and then turned to look at Ninelotus, who was dancing in the middle of the hall, in tune with the melodies.
As Ning watched, he suddenly realized… that Ninelotus was actually a very skilled dancer.
Truth be told, Ning knew far too little about the Dongyan clan and the other major clans. The people which future clan leaders like Ninelotus interacted with were generally some of the more formidable figures of the entire Grand Xia Dynasty, and thus she would learn a bit of this and a bit of that, so as to ensure that her performance in any event was perfect.
“Good, good, good.” Youngflame Nong laughed as he drank his wine, occasionally clapping his hands in praise.
Ninelotus was like a blooming lotus flower, swirling about throughout the hall.
But as she moved closer to Youngflame Nong, Youngflame Nong suddenly swung his arm out. A long, black whip actually swept out, coiling around Ninelotus’ arm, then tugging at her. Ninelotus, caught completely offguard, couldn’t help but be pulled even closer to Youngflame Nong. Still, Ninelotus was a Wanxiang Adept; by activating her elemental ki, she managed to stabilize herself as she was pulled closer to Youngflame Nong.
However, Youngflame Nong intimately grabbed her by the arm; he had originally actually been planning on taking her by the waist. Laughing, he pulled at Ninelotus’ arm, wanting to pull her in while saying, “Little Sister Ninelotus, come, let’s drink a cup of wine together.”
This scene shocked everyone present in the hall.
“What?!” Mu Northson, Yu Wei, and the others were all shocked. As for Xue Hongyi, he just gave Ning a sideways glance, revealing a cold smile as he took a sip of wine.
Ning felt as though his head had gone blank. Earlier, Ninelotus’ dance could have been said to be a performance for everyone, but now…
Ning suddenly rose to his feet, smashing his hand hard against the table. This table was technically a Mortal-ranked magic treasure, but it was only used for holding wine and food; it wasn’t meant for combat. In addition, Ning was currently gripped by rage, and even his eyes had begun to turn bloodshot. This slap towards the table was actually even more powerful than the palm blows he would deliver in a life-or-death battle.
The energy wave alone from this palm blow smashed all of the plates into tiny pieces, and the fine wine and meat were utterly transformed into dust. BOOM!!! The entire table actually was split apart. Large amounts of shards went flying everywhere, and some of them actually sliced across the body of a nearby Zifu Disciple, causing blood to instantly fly everywhere.
“Hm?” Youngflame Nong immediately gave him a cold look. “What, I can’t even share a drink of wine with Little Sister Ninelotus?” As he finished speaking, a hint of anger appeared on Youngflame Nong’s face.
Youngflame Nong’s anger would’ve instantly reduced most people to a quivering pile of fear. But Ning’s eyes only reddened further. Ignoring all else, he barked out, “Youngflame Nong!”
“Ji Ning.” Ninelotus realized that Youngflame Nong’s eyes had a hint of a murderous intent in them, and she immediately barked out towards Ning.
Ning looked at Ninelotus, then said coldly, “Ninelotus, there’s no need for you to pay any heed to this young master of the Youngflame clan. Hmph. He’s not even the Godplume Duke yet! When we first followed him into the Immortal estate, he was so mild and humble. But now that we are useless to him, this is how he acts!”
“You are courting death.” Youngflame Nong’s anger was beginning to build. Previously, Ning was a useful assistant, but he was now useless. Geniuses like him…they weren’t much in the eyes of him, Youngflame Nong.
Ning said angrily, “Do you remember our original agreement? You made us promises in the name of your Youngflame clan. What, now that you have the Immortal estate, you are planning to act against us? Are you feeling greedy for the treasures we acquired in the Immortal estate? You endured it then, but are now planning to act against us?”
“Be silent!” Ninelotus cried out.
“Ninelotus.” Ning was utterly infuriated.
“Sit down!” Ninelotus shouted at him, while also sending him a frantic mental message. “Ji Ning, you are too rash. Think about Youngflame Nong’s status. He’s normally in the imperial capital, and when together with the imperial princes and various young dukelings, they often act in dissolute, wanton ways. I just have to deal with it and drink a few cups of wine with him, and this matter will be at an end. If you let anger cloud your mind, then it will be trouble.”
Ning sent back, “Some things, I can endure, but others, I cannot. Ninelotus…”
“Are you trying to get yourself killed? You want to fight him?!” Ninelotus sent furiously, “Don’t be so immature!”
Ning was stunned.
Youngflame Nong was naturally watching the mental argument between Ninelotus and Ning.
“It seems as though this young and famous Ji Ning doesn’t live up to his reputation,” Youngflame Nong sent mentally to the Fiendgod by his side, Xiangliu Fang. “A scene like this has already angered him to the point of insanity. To deal with him would be simplicity itself. For now, however, there’s no rush to deal with him; if I kill him within the Immortal estate, once the news of it is spread out by the Dongyan clan, the other large tribes will all think of me, Youngflame Nong, as a narrow-minded man.”
“Right.” Xiangliu Fang concurred.
Ninelotus’ words had truly enraged Ning now.
Who was Ninelotus? She was the next leader of the Dongyan clan! There was absolutely no need for her to compromise in such a manner; since there was no need, why did she do so?
“Young master Youngflame, Ji Ning is still young; please pardon him.” Ninelotus smiled towards Youngflame Nong.
Youngflame Nong didn’t continue with his earlier actions. He could tell that if he went just a bit farther, this Ji Ning probably would actually start a fight to the death against him. He dared to kill Ji Ning, but Ninelotus? Ninelotus was the next leader of the Dongyan clan. If he killed her, he would be in serious trouble.
Ninelotus quickly returned to Ning’s side and sat down. Ning remained seated in the lotus position on his chair. Zifu Disciple servants removed the shattered magic treasure table in front of him, replacing it with a new one.
“Ji Ning.” As soon as Ninelotus returned to her seat, she immediately spoke mentally to Ning. “Calm down.”
“Oh, so you know I’m pissed?” Ning looked towards NInelotus.
“This really was nothing. This was a small matter. If in the future, you were to see how the young masters of the major clans act when they are together, you’ll understand that this sort of minor flirtation… it really means nothing. Generally speaking, everyone has a bottom line that they won’t cross; to engage in a little playing around is nothing,” Ninelotus sent. “You’ve seen too little, which is why you were so easily enraged. Look over there; after drinking a cup of wine, Youngflame Nong is no longer harping on this matter.”
“I’ve seen too little?” Ning sent back with a shout, “Bottom line? Ninelotus, you are my Dao-companion. This so-called ‘a little playing around’ of yours, being embraced by others men, being teased by them, drinking with them… these things have already gone beyond my bottom line. Do you understand?”
“You… how can you act this way?” Ninelotus was furious as well.
“That’s the way I am. Can it be that you didn’t know?” Ning stared at her.
Ninelotus and Ning’s gazes intersected. She could sense the determination and resolve from Ning’s eyes.
“Fine. I won’t be act like this in the future.” Ninelotus lowered her head.
Ning lowered his head as well, beginning to drink. Although Ninelotus had bowed her head to him, Ning still felt as though there were thorns stuck in his heart. Just now, he truly hoped that Ninelotus would directly refuse Youngflame Nong. Even if she didn’t throw the cup of wine into Youngflame Nong’s face, she had to at least turn and immediately leave.
In this recent period of time, the two had already argued twice due to differences in the way they behaved towards others. This time, their fight was due to the fact that they handled matters and conducted themselves in completely different ways.
“Heh. Heh. Heh heh.” Youngflame Nong, seated at the front of the hall, was able to tell that there was some unhappiness between Ji Ning and Ninelotus. He actually laughed… and then his gaze fell towards the nearby Rainbowflame Fairy, Yu Wei. The flames in his heart blazed even hotter. The desire he felt towards Yu Wei was far stronger than the desire he felt towards Ninelotus.