"Where did this kid come from? There is no place for you to speak here," said Qing Jiancheng, trying to flaunt his seniority with his age.
Ma Xiaoshi sneered when he saw Xiang Shaoyun and Pang Tongyuan. He said, "So the Ziling Sect is really running out of talents. The likes of you are speaking for the sect?"
The look in his eyes seemed to say, "The sect sure is getting desperate for sending a boy and a cripple out."
"Young master, what's the point of showing them this much courteousness?" asked Devouring Ghost in confusion.
He could see what Ma Xiaoshi meant, and fire was almost spewing out of his eyes from his anger.
"You're the young master? Then who's the sect master?" questioned Ma Xiaoshi rudely.
"Audacious! You have actually forgotten who your sect master is? The Ziling Sect has never changed its sect master. Xiang Yangzhan is the one and only sect master, while this is the sect master's son, Xiang Shaoyun, the current young master of the sect. What are you waiting for? Offer the young master your greetings!" berated Old Yao.
Old Yao had high seniority in the sect. Like Duo Ji, he was a senior figure that had been around for a while. He had seen both Qing Jiancheng and Ma Xiaoshi before. Seeing them acting so rude filled him with fury.
"Ahh, so it's Old Yao. You're actually staying in the new Ziling Sect? This is worthy of celebration!" said Qing Jiancheng, acting as though he had just noticed Old Yao.
He spoke with a sarcastic tone, and he was in truth accusing Old Yao of being someone who would go whichever way the wind blew due to the speed in which he had changed his allegiance.
"Haha, Old Yao, you still look healthy. So, can we consider you a senior member over three generations of the Ziling Sect now?" said Ma Xiaoshi as he roared with laughter.
Old Yao grew even angrier.
Xiang Shaoyun said, "If you intend to bicker, you have succeeded. As the young master, I hereby invite you to attend the assembly. Of course, you are free to leave if you do not wish to stay. I will not stop you."
Qing Jiancheng and Ma Xiaoshi looked at each other. Next, Qing Jiancheng smiled and said, "Fine. Since this young brother is inviting us so sincerely, we might as well attend the assembly."
"Yes, let us witness the current might of the sect. Hehe," said Ma Xiaoshi with a smirk.
Then, the two groups strutted arrogantly into the square together with their mounts. It was obvious that they were showing the Ziling Sect zero respect.
Devouring Ghost, Old Yao, and Pang Tongyuan wore unsightly expressions, while the other Ziling Sect members were utterly confused. The Xiang Shaoyun they knew was a domineering person. Why was he so timid today?
As for those from the other organizations, they started stirring. Some of them even greeted and flattered Qing Jiancheng and Ma Xiaoshi. As far as they were concerned, at present, it would be much better for them to fawn over Qing Jiancheng and Ma Xiaoshi instead of the Ziling Sect.
At this time, someone announced, "The time has come to start the assembly. Let us welcome the young master."
With that announcement, the drummers to the left and right of the square struck the drums hard. The horns were blown as well, and numerous massive banners were unfurled. The banners fluttered about in the wind, creating a grand and imposing scene in the square.
Next, Ye Chaomu, Tuoba Wan'er, Gong Qinyin, and Xia Yingying flanked Xiang Shaoyun. Xiang Shaoyun himself looked like the child of deities—heroic, handsome, and radiant. The women with him were gorgeously dressed, looking beautiful and alluring as though they were fairies who had descended to the mortal world. They overwhelmed their surroundings with their charm.
With the four women by his side, Xiang Shaoyun spiritedly strode to the main seat, emanating an imposing presence that was completely different from his previous display. When Qing Jiancheng and Ma Xiaoshi saw Xiang Shaoyun's complete change of temperament, their pupils constricted as an odd feeling rose in their hearts.
What a pretentious act, sneered Qing Jiancheng inwardly.
Empty flamboyance, thought Ma Xiaoshi with disdain.
In their eyes, Xiang Shaoyun was but a wimpy boy. Even though he had a decent cultivation level, he was nothing to them. Of course, the source of their confidence wasn't Xiang Shaoyun's age. Instead, it was something else.
They had both been informed that after repeated wars, the Ziling Sect only appeared strong but was, in fact, greatly weakened. As for the Saints who had arrived with Xiang Shaoyun, they were either dead or had departed the sect.
It was also rumored that those Saints had only helped out of their friendship with Xiang Yangzhan. In truth, Xiang Shaoyun did not have a single Saint by his side. Of course, they couldn't entirely believe the rumors, but one particular benefit had prompted the two to act.
If the two could successfully give the Ziling Sect a show of force, they could extort the sect for many benefits that could even cause Saints to rise from their own ranks. Before the assembly, they had also received some benefits from some other people, allowing them to see hope in succeeding. This was why they had the courage to create trouble during the assembly.
The identity of the one pulling the strings from behind the scenes was quite obvious. Xiang Shaoyun flung his cloak around and scanned the crowd present. His gaze was sharp, seemingly capable of reaching the depths of their hearts.
Xiang Shaoyun started delivering the speech he had prepared recently, "Today, the Ziling Sect is once again holding a Sorting General Assembly. The sect has been established for about 100 years, and we have always focused on strengthening ourselves and expanding our territory. We aim to guard our land with all of you—"
A particularly loud sneeze interrupted the speech.
"My apologies. The weather has been dry recently, so my nose is somewhat clogged. I must be sick, but I feel better after sneezing," said Ma Xiaoshi smugly.
He was acting even more arrogant than earlier. Sneezing was no different than slapping the Ziling Sect's face in public. As a Sovereign, he was supposed to be immune to sickness. How could he be sick? Even a blind person could see that he was provoking the sect.
"Impudent!" roared Devouring Ghost, who couldn't hold his anger anymore.
Xiang Shaoyun stopped him. "Devouring Ghost, do not be rude. All visitors are guests. If we can't even tolerate this small sickness, how are we fit to be their superior organization?"
"That's right. If you want to be a boss, you need to show the generosity of a boss. Am I right, everyone?" said Qing Jiancheng, trying to work up the crowd.
"Looks like the young master is still quite a reasonable person. Don't get aggressive over everything. You can't scare everyone just because you have a loud voice," said someone from a tier-5 organization.
Someone else said, "That's right. There is no need to take everything so seriously. We are all allies, right?"
Xiang Shaoyun looked at them, smiled, and asked, "Anyone else thinks the same? Don't worry, speak freely. I can accept all criticism."
With those words, a few more people mustered their courage and said more provocative words, trying to test Xiang Shaoyun's bottom line.Previous Chapter Next Chapter