Chapter 169: Reward

Chapter 169: Reward [Volume 3 - The Place Where My Heart Feels At Peace]  

Teacher Ji listened to Duke Wei’s question and looked through the documents seriously, “That is exactly why I’ve mentioned both Song Zining and Marquis Bowang’s heir on the same note!”

Zhang Boqian and Lin Xitang came to Duke Wei’s mind, followed by Wei Qiyang and Song Zining. He then recalled that his subordinates once told him that Wei Qiyang and Song Zining’s relationship seemed a little awkward due to Yin Qiqi. Finally, he went through the Song, Wei, and Yin Family’s relationship and the stance they assumed at the imperial court. He couldn’t help but gasp in his mind at the end of all this despite his dignity as a duke.

By now Teacher Ji had looked through all of Song Zining’s documents, and he said, “Song Zining’s fortune runs in a strange way that even I can’t quite see through. He was either born with an unusual talent, or he cultivated a kind of secret art that obscures it, or both. The Three Thousand Flying Leaves Art is the reason he became the successor candidate of the Song Household, and it is probably also why his fortune is obscure.”

“Marquis Yiguang had purposely come to see him, but he seems to be dissatisfied with his temperament.”

Teacher Ji sneered, “Song Zining may be young, but he has successfully cultivated a secret art, has he not? Of course, it’s not easy to see through someone like that. You should’ve noticed it too, Duke Wei; Song Zining never employed his full strength from the start to the end. In fact, he showed only a glimpse of his skills in two aspects: battlefield command, and gambling.”

Duke Wei pondered for a moment before nodding, “What meaning do you see from his actions, teacher?”

This time Teacher Ji spent some time to organize his thoughts before saying, “I heard that the Song Household’s direct line of descent has always had great difficulty in producing a son due to the characteristics of their bloodline. But even then, they never failed to hold onto their authority and suppressed their collateral relatives completely.”

Duke Wei nodded slightly. This wasn’t really a secret between the households and aristocratic families.

Teacher Ji sighed, “Song Zining is a son of the direct line of descent himself, but you only need to look at the family’s decision to engage him with a landowning household to know that his status in the Song Household must be extremely awkward. Speaking of which, I have a suggestion that I’d like to make. If you really have plans for Song Zining, Duke Wei, may I suggest that you mull over the requirements of the marriage carefully? For example, splitting the family may not be a bad idea!”

Duke Wei’s face changed the moment he heard this. Silence took over the study for a moment.

Splitting a family was a matter of great importance to all families. If a grand household like the Song Family wished to do the same, they even had to report to the imperial family first before they could do anything. Song Zining was a son of the direct line of descent to begin with, and if he really was capable enough to split away from the family and establish his own, the new family’s status would definitely stand above their collateral relatives’. It would be a difficult path to tread, but it was also one of great profit.

Duke Wei said slowly, “It is a pity that Song Zining is already engaged.”

Teacher Ji smiled and said nothing, bowing his head and taking another sip of tea. Duke Wei was obviously enticed by the suggestion, and his comment shouldn’t be taken seriously. After all, what was a marriage with a landowning household if he really could garner such profits? The suggestion wasn’t unbeneficial to the Song Household either. Long-term wise, it is true that the branch that was split from the direct line of descent of the family may come to threaten the main family in the future. However, if Song Zining grew powerful enough to become a household head in the next twenty years or so, then splitting the family may be the lowest price to pay to reduce the internal friction within the Song Household to a minimum.

Duke Wei switched to another topic, “You haven’t mentioned that Qian Xiaoye, teacher. His performance in both actual combat and the tournament was excellent, and he possesses a top rate talent like Venus Dawn too.”

Teacher Ji smiled, “Are you testing your student, Duke Wei? There are three reasons why this child shouldn’t be used. One, it is true that he has great talent, but it has also been completely depleted by the Combatant Formula already. The fact that he is a Fighter King and possesses twice the amount of origin power compared to a normal person prove that his room to grow has been completely spent. Also, his Venus Dawn is Venus first, followed by infinite dawn and not the other way around. From the fact that his Venus Dawn hasn’t reached the true state of Venus Dawn, we know that he no longer has any chance of improving further. At best, he would become a Champion and no further.”

Duke Wei nodded repeatedly and thoughtfully at Teacher Ji’s comments.

“Two, the rumors that he is born in the abandoned lands is likely true considering his behavior and conduct. It gave him a wild and reckless personality that is difficult to tame. Not only had he offended someone like Zhao Junhong, he even triggered a conflict between the Yin and Song Family. No matter what those two families are planning, it didn’t change the fact that he is the trigger who started it all. A person like this may be a good blade, but you are not lacking in blades at your current position. What you lack are hands that can wield such blades well.”

After that, Teacher Ji broke into a laugh and said, “As for three, well he’s a Yin Family subordinate right now, and the juniors of the Yin and Song Family are in conflict with each other because of him. Surely you aren’t going to lower your stature interfere with the childish game of juniors, are you?”

Duke Wei laughed the same as cupped his hands, “You are very right, Teacher. Thank you very much for your teachings.”

An entire day and night passed before Qianye finally woke up, and the moment he did the feeling of having exhausted his origin power hit him so hard that the look on his face changed. He felt as if there were countless insects gnawing at every part of his nerves and internal organs. Itchiness, numbness, and aches filled every part of his body with indescribable pain, not to mention that there was the empty feeling that made him felt like he would fall through the ground at any moment.

The repercussions of forcing the Combatant Formula to go over thirty-six cycles and unleashing the origin tides were extremely obvious. Tiny wounds could be found everywhere inside his body, although thankfully his internal organs hadn’t been damaged beyond reparation. He was lucky that he got the best outcome out of a bad situation.

Every blood energy inside his body was in an extremely fragile state. Even the gold blood energy had shrunk to half its original size, while the normal and purple blood energy were as thin as hair. They hid inside the deepest part of his heart and moved not a millimeter. The gold blood energy seemed to have gotten used to acting independently as it orbited his heart, but even it was listless and slow.

After he was done inspecting his body, Qianye exhaled a sigh of relief and slowly sat up.

“Are you awake?” The maid lying her head on his bed was dozing off until Qianye’s movements woke her up from her sleep. She cried out towards outside with an overjoyed expression, “Captain Qian has awakened! Inform the Miss quickly!”

The maid helped Qianye to sit up on his bed before carrying over the food she had prepared and kept hot since a long time ago so he could fill his stomach.

A while later, Qiqi rushed into the room.

Her eyes lit up instantly the moment she saw Qianye. She climbed onto his bed without any restraint and brushed a hand across his face once, praising, “Well done! You make me so proud. I never knew your Venus Dawn is so powerful that it could beat even Zhao Junhong’s Silver Sword Finger!”

Qianye gave her a wry smile and answered honestly, “I would’ve lost if he hadn’t kept his promise and kept his origin power at rank five.”

“But of course! Zhao isn’t a kid anymore, how embarrassing would it be if he took advantage of you like this?” Qiqi said matter-of-factly.

But Qianye knew what his “Venus Dawn” was no Venus Dawn at all. One might say that his origin power shared no similarities to Venus Dawn except for the golden sparks at the end. The real power that defeated Zhao Junhong was the mad tide of the thirty-sixth cycle of the Combatant Formula.

Cold sweat appeared behind Qianye’s back when he recalled the final strike of the decisive match once more. If the gold blood energy hadn’t entered the origin tide, he wouldn’t have been able to reach the thirty-sixth cycle of the Combatant Formula at all. If that really happened, the backfire of the origin tide alone would’ve been enough to seriously wound him. But why was the gold blood energy able to increase his control over Daybreak origin power?

Qiqi slapped Qianye’s back once heavily before asking, “What are you thinking again? Why do you look like you’ve gotten a little stupid after you caught some internal damage?”

Qianye was amused by the way she asked her question. He answered, “This so-called victory is a total fluke. If he was able to block my final strike, I would’ve been severely wounded by my own power without him lifting a finger. The reality is I’m not strong enough to beat him for real right now.”

Zhao Junhong’s combat strength was holistic, and he had no obvious weakness in any department. It was obvious that he wished to fight Qianye at his strongest domain after witnessing Qianye’s fighting style, which was why they had engaged in melee from the start before transiting almost immediately to a battle of origin power. Moreover, the characteristics of Zhao Junhong’s secret combat technique made it clear that he had the range of a short weapon despite not wielding not any weapons in a hand-to-hand combat. This enabled him to use even an even greater combination of combat tactics.

Qiqi shrugged, “You’re just too honest. You won, so why dwell on it so much?” To Qiqi, the rules of the game were set and agreed upon by both parties, so there was nothing to dispute about a victory like this.

She pointed at a pile of objects carried in by the maid behind her, “Let’s have a look at your prize, shall we?”

Qiqi grabbed over a crystal box and a medal, saying, “Zhao Junhong left this morning, and this is his gift to you for beating him. This medal is the prize for second place. You can use this to grab your prize from Duke Wei’s warehouse. This box here contains the medicine Zhao Junhong delivered over. Since his medicine is better than mine, I applied more than half of them on you.”

Qianye’s face immediately changed when he saw the crystalline box. It was a transparent box about three fingers wide, and it was small enough to be hidden completely inside one’s fist. A flower that looked like a rose was engraved on the box’s surface, and the workmanship was absolutely stunning. Once upon a time, he possessed an identical box that contained three Mithril Bullets of Exorcism.

Qiqi didn’t notice the odd look on Qianye’s face because his head was half lowered. She turned around and grabbed a normal box this time, “This is the additional prize Steward Wen gave you for the talent inspection that day. It is supposedly some origin medicine that’s specifically targeted at your condition, but I didn’t dare to use it on you. Although I’ve asked someone to verify that it’s safe for use, it’s still better to be safe than sorry.”

Qianye picked up the crystalline box. A wide little bottle was currently fixed inside the box, and it contained half of something that looked like blue mist. He touched the box gently and stared carefully at every detail, comparing the box before his eyes and the one in his memory, “Is this the Zhao Household’s symbol?”

Qiqi shook her head and answered, “The Swallow Cloud Zhao clan’s family symbol is a swallow cloud armored horse. Maybe it’s something his family prepared for him initially?” Noticing that Qianye was paying extra attention to the box, she couldn’t help but gave it a careful look before exclaiming, “Red Spider Lily?”

Qianye leaned over and grabbed a different medal from the tray the maid was holding, “Is this my prize for winning the tournament?”

Qiqi’s attention was diverted by his question, “Yeah, I have to say that your reward this time is pretty sizable. Guns, equipment, accessories, anything. As mentioned here, you can choose whatever you want.” Qiqi dropped a thick stack of documents into Qianye’s lap.

Qianye flipped through the documents briefly. They were origin gun manufacturing plans with hundreds of different combinations. There were also hundreds of tactical accessories and all kinds of origin equipment in the documents. It would take at least half a day to look through these documents.

“Tell me your choices as soon as you can. It’s best if you can wrap up tonight!” Qiqi said in a bustling manner.

Qianye looked at the color of the sky and was surprised by his discovery. It was already night time, “Isn’t this a little too hurried?”

Qiqi waved a hand in response, “I’m about to be bored to death in this hellhole. You will deal with these plans tonight and send them to Duke Wei’s workshop tomorrow morning!”

Qianye was just about to say something when he suddenly heard some noise outside the door. The noise was growing louder and louder. It sounded like someone was fighting with origin power.

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