Chapter 803: Going to the Ji Clan to Collect Debts
The Ji Clan didn’t just have one ancestral mansion, but many. The one located within the fortress was just one of those.
It was enormous and sprawling, taking up roughly thirty percent of the entire fortress. On the outside it looked relatively ordinary, but once you stepped foot inside, you would catch sight of indescribably beautiful carved balustrades and marble steps.
An ancient, aged will emanated out in all directions, making every block of wood and stone seem sentient. It was something completely extraordinary that even the Eastern Lands’ Fang Clan couldn’t equal.
Meng Hao navigated his way through the fortress using the map, and eventually found the Ji Clan’s main gate. He walked up the gate and cleared his throat. As he looked around, he didn’t see anyone around standing guard.
He knocked, and, seeing that there was no reaction from within, flew up into the air and prepared to simply fly into the mansion. However, a massive pressure bore down on him as soon as he rose up into the air. Clearly, the airspace here was restricted.
Meng Hao suddenly heard someone chuckling behind him.
“Fellow Daoist, don’t waste your time! People like you come here every day hoping to pay respects to the Ji Clan.”
There were two cultivators there who had caught sight of Meng Hao as they were passing by.
“The Ji Clan is the number one clan in the lands of South Heaven,” said the first one, “and this is one of their ancestral mansions. You think you can just waltz right in? The only way to get inside is if you’re invited by the Ji Clan.”
“Why even try?” chuckled the second one. “You might end up irritating one of the Ji Clan members, and then you’d be in grave danger.”
Actually, Meng Hao’s handsome appearance and down-to-earth disposition left these two cultivators with a good impression, so they really were trying to help him out.
“I’m not here to pay respects,” said Meng Hao, coughing lightly. “I’m here to collect some debts.” His eyes suddenly glittered brightly as he caught sight of the two iron hoop handles that adorned the main gate.
The two iron hoops seemed ordinary, but by using his Celestial Vision technique, he could instantly sense the aura of ancient magical symbols pulsing off of them.
“These things are magical treasures!” Meng Hao thought. Taking a step forward, he grabbed one of the iron hoops and then yanked hard on it. Unfortunately, the gate didn’t budge an inch. The two startled cultivators looked on in shock.
“Fellow Daoist, what… what are you doing?”
Meng Hao took a deep breath, and strange gleam appeared in his eyes. As he prepared to yank on the iron hoop a second time, the wide-eyed cultivators behind him began to back up. They came to the citadel frequently to go shopping, and often saw cultivators pacing back and forth in front of the Ji Clan’s main gate, hoping to gain entrance to offer respects.
However, they had never, ever seen someone covet the iron hoops on the main gate. The mere sight of it made their scalps numb. As they backed up, Meng Hao wrenched at the iron hoop with full force.
Some distance away, a group of seven or eight youths were loitering on the street corner, chatting and laughing. When they noticed what Meng Hao was doing, one of their number gaped for a moment and then let out a roar of fury. He instantly flew into the air toward Meng Hao.
“How brazen! Did you just eat a dragon heart?! How dare you behave so boorishly in front of the Ji Clan!?!?”
The two cultivators near Meng Hao were so scared they could barely speak, and began to back up even faster.
“Not good! It’s Ji Xueming! He’s a Quasi-Array disciple of the Ji Clan!”
Ji Xueming’s hands flashed in an incantation gesture as he whistled through the air. Bright light pulsed off of his body, which then transformed into a long spear that emanated a strong force like a tornado. He stabbed the spear toward Meng Hao without hesitation.
As Meng Hao stood there at the entrance to the Ji Clan, he turned his head to look at the incoming spear, then gave a cold snort. He waved his right index finger, causing the long spear to tremble and then explode into pieces. The shockwave didn’t even lift a hair on Meng Hao’s head, but Ji Xueming was sent tumbling backward through the air. He slammed into the ground about three hundred meters away, coughing up blood, his face ashen.
His companions’ faces filled with rage as they looked over at Meng Hao.
“Looking to die!?!?!” Ji Xueming howled, crawling to his feet. His cultivation base was at the late Nascent Soul stage, and although Meng Hao’s cultivation base was not visible to him, he raged at him nonetheless.
“You’re Ji Xueming?” Meng Hao asked. “Okay, hold on a second….” With that, Meng Hao slapped his bag of holding to produce a large stack of promissory notes. After flipping through them for a moment, his eyes sparkled and pulled out one in particular.
“Are you related to Ji Xuelin?” he continued, sounding hopeful. [1. In traditional Chinese culture, all males of the same generation in a family will have the same first character in their given name. In this case, it would be logical to assume that since the first character in Ji Xueming’s name is Xue, that he would be related to Ji Xuelin, who also has the character Xue. Incidentally, Madam Deathblade’s family follows this tradition, so her brother and cousins all have the character Zhi 智 in their given name]
“He’s my big brother! How dare you act so wildly in the Ji Clan! You’re DEAD!!” With a shrill cry, he waved his right hand, causing spiritual energy to surge in mid-air, giving rise to ripples that only a cultivator could see.
Meng Hao smiled bashfully, then proceeded to ignore Ji Xueming and look back at the iron hoops. He was getting even more excited about them.
“This is really a lovely treasure!” he thought, causing his cultivation base to begin to rotate. His Dharma Idol flickered into being behind him, which then reached down to grab an iron ring and yank on it.
A boom could be heard as the entire main gate shuddered. Even the ground quaked as the iron ring… was ripped off the door by Meng Hao.
The two cultivators who had just been trying to persuade Meng Hao to leave, were now watching with wide eyes.
Ji Xueming’s companions’ eyes went even wider with disbelief, as if they had seen a ghost. As for Ji Xueming, his shrill cry gurgled to a stop, and he gaped at Meng Hao in shock.
The huge boom just now had echoed throughout the city, and quite a few cultivators had hurried over to see what was happening. When they saw what was going on, they instantly began to cry out in shock.
“He… he ripped off a door hoop?”
“That’s… that’s impossible….”
“Is that guy crazy!? How could he possibly dare to provoke the Ji Clan!!”
“This is the Ji Clan’s ancestral mansion, a representation of the whole clan’s face! And yet… he actually ripped a door hoop off!!”
“He’s poking the Heavens in the eye!!”
A buzz of conversation immediately echoed out.
Meng Hao’s expression was the same as ever as he hefted the iron hoop in his hand to get a sense of its weight. Then, his eyes shone with a gleam of pleasure.
“Truly a lovely treasure,” he thought. It was at this point that his head swiveled to look at the other iron hoop. He was just about to reach out and grab it when a cold snort echoed out from inside the Ji Clan. Next, the gates silently swung open and a young man walked out.
His long hair draped down over his shoulders, and his features were handsome, albeit cold. A Spirit Severing aura swirled around him as he strode out. Instantly, a rumbling sound filled the air, as if bizarre ripples were spreading out from his body.
“According to the clan rules,” the young man said as he walked out, “anyone who damages the clan gate will be exterminated to the ninth degree of kinship.” He looked over coldly at Meng Hao, and then suddenly, his jaw dropped.
Three hundred meters away, Ji Xueming didn’t notice that point. He was extremely excited and cried out, “Big brother, kill that guy!”
Meng Hao’s eyes gleamed with a strange light. As soon as he laid eyes on this newcomer, he couldn’t help but feel happy. He laughed loudly and then said, “Fellow Daoist Xuelin, do you remember me?”
At first, the young man’s bearing had been cold and aloof, but after looking closely at Meng Hao and hearing his words, his face went deathly white. Even if he had a more steely will, he would still have cried out hoarsely in alarm. As it was, he couldn’t prevent himself from staggering backward several paces.
“No, I don’t remember!” he cried out, then slammed the gate shut.
Eyes glittering, Meng Hao lifted his right foot up and then kicked hard onto the huge gate. A boom echoed out as the gate crashed open. Ji Xuelin was on the other side, and was sent tumbling backward, blood spurting out of his mouth. Then he began to cry out loudly.
“Meng Hao’s here! Meng Hao’s here!!”
His urgent call immediately caused the faces of numerous Ji Clan old-timers to flicker. As for the Chosen who happened to be in the mansion, they didn’t comprise all of the Ji Clan Chosen. However, there were four or five who happened to owe Meng Hao spirit stones, and their faces filled with shock.
When the people gathered outside the Ji Clan heard Ji Xuelin’s call, they were completely taken aback. Many weren’t able to put the pieces together, but there were some whose expressions flickered with understanding.
“Meng Hao? That’s the guy who ended the war between the Southern Domain and the Northern Reaches! He’s half a step into true Immortality, and is the number one figure in his generation!”
“It’s him… he’s actually in the Eastern Lands. Dammit! Now that I think about it, the sect issued orders recently that we are not to offend Meng Hao in any way! I didn’t understand before, because I thought he was in the Southern Domain. But it turns out he’s already in the Eastern Lands!”
“So... he really is Meng Hao!”
Stories of the war of the Southern Domain had long since spread widely throughout all the lands, and Meng Hao’s name could be heard everywhere. He had sealed the cultivation bases of more than 100,000 Northern Reaches cultivators, cutting off their path to the Nascent Soul stage and reducing them to felon citizens. Furthermore, he had summoned a huge mountain to suppress five peak Dao Seeking experts.
Because of all of that, Meng Hao was now thoroughly famous in all the lands of South Heaven.
Ji Xueming stood there quivering, face pale and eyes wide. He vaguely remembered that some time ago, word had been passed down through the clan forbidding anyone from provoking Meng Hao.
Everything trembled as Meng Hao entered the Ji Clan. As he passed the nearly destroyed gate, he casually reached down to wrench off the other iron hoop, which he put in his bag of holding.
The sight of him doing so caused gasps to rise up from the people who stood outside watching; Meng Hao’s domineering manner had already left them with a deep impression. On the other hand, flames of rage could be seen burning in the Ji Clan members’ eyes.
After all… there were only a few people who actually owed him spirit stones. To all the other members of the Ji Clan, Meng Hao’s actions just now were nothing short of blasphemous.
Immediately, eight older members of the Clan snorted coldly and then stepped forward. Hands were waved, and divine abilities appeared. However, when they neared Meng Hao, his eyes flickered and he flicked his sleeve. Rumbling echoed out as a storm wind rose up. It blasted out in all directions, causing the eight older clan members to tumble back with blood spraying from their mouths.
Meng Hao cleared his throat and pulled out some promissory notes.
“I’m not here to cause a ruckus,” he said, as he began leafing through the notes. “I just want to collect some debts. Ji Xuelin, Ji Tianyi, Ji Xiaoxiao….” In a brief moment, he recited seven or eight names.
Finally, he looked up.
“When exactly were you people planning on paying me back the tens of millions of spirit stones you owe me?! Hand them over!!”
His voice roared out to be heard not only by the entire Ji Clan, but also everyone on the outside. Instantly, all of the people whose names he recited, with the exception of those not present, suddenly grew incredibly wrathful. How could they not? After all, the sheer amount of spirit stones owed… made it impossible for them to pay off the debt.
“You’re shameless, Meng Hao! You forced us to write those promissory notes!”
“We didn’t want to write them! You made us!!”
“Yeah, you threatened us! We had no choice but to sign the promissory notes, so they don’t count!”
When the other Ji Clan members heard what was being cried out, they couldn’t help but be shocked. The cultivators on the outside were also looking on with wide eyes.
“I can’t believe Meng Hao was so daring back then! He actually forced Ji Clan Chosen to write promissory notes!!”
“Tens of millions of spirit stones! How… how do you force someone to the point of signing that kind of promissory note?!”
Meng Hao’s eyes went dark. “Not going to acknowledge your debt!?”
This chapter was sponsored by Jake RidgewayPrevious Chapter Next Chapter