“Let Qianye move out,” Zhao Ruoxi said word by word.
Zhao Yuying’s character was completely fearless, and she wasn’t willing to express weakness even when completely suppressed. She immediately sneered, “You want to threaten this mommy? Dream on!”
Zhao Ruoxi’s eyes flickered with surprising killing intent.
It was at this time that an incomparably cold murderous spirit broke through the Red Spider Lily’s “Nether River” domain. The three-meter long Slaughter cut across the table to separate Zhao Ruoxi and Zhao Yuying.
The person who had arrived on the third floor was indeed Duke Chengen, Zhao Weihuang. With his strength and Slaughter’s power as a divine weapon of the generation, the Red Spider Lily was temporarily suppressed. Naturally, part of the reason was that Zhao Ruoxi hadn’t activated the weapon with all her might.
Zhao Ruoxi was greatly astonished after seeing Zhao Weihuang appear. “How come you’re here? Mother…” She suddenly stopped because the past shouldn’t be spoken of in public. Otherwise, Zhao Ruoxi wouldn’t have hesitated until today to appear beside Qianye, either.
Zhao Yuying was similarly surprised. She knew that Qianye was Zhao Weihuang’s bastard son, but Duke Chengen’s appearance made their relationship clear. The more he cared about Qianye, the uglier Princess Gaoyi’s countenance would be.
Zhao Weihuang, on the other hand, didn’t seem very concerned. He only said “no matter” before sitting down at the central table.
Zhao Yuying and Zhao Ruoxi shot hateful glances at each other before taking their individual seats. The two could no longer fight with Zhao Weihuang present. Moreover, it was even more inappropriate to bring up the reason for their quarrel.
Zhao Weihuang laughed loudly when he saw the table full of food and drinks. He placed Slaughter on the table, still unsheathed, and proceeded to pour himself a drink. “Yuying, you really know how to enjoy life. Not only did you pick a good place, but you even prepared wine and dishes to go with it.”
Zhao Yuying was somewhat embarrassed. “This momm—I mean I wasn’t expecting you to arrive.”
The third floor was usually reserved for the elders, but there was really no harm in letting some daring descendants like Zhao Yuying to use it occasionally behind their backs. However, things were a bit awkward now with Duke Chengen’s arrival.
It was at this time that Duke You’s voice came from the staircase, “Yuying was only helping me reserve a seat.”
This time, even Zhao Weihuang stood up in astonishment. In terms of seniority, he was one generation Duke You’s junior. It was just that the two were both dukes, and the former was clan lord, so they never observed familial etiquette in public—only imperial laws.
Zhao Xuanji slowly climbed up the stairs. His gaze paused slightly on Slaughter and Red Spider Lily upon the table, then smiled as though he had realized something. “It seems you’re in good spirits, Weihuang. You’re even planning to liven things up with a sword-dance.”
Zhao Weihuang laughed loudly as he returned Slaughter to its scabbard and put it to one side. He then offered Duke You a seat before glaring at Zhao Ruoxi and shouting, “Why haven’t you put away the Red Spider Lily? This gun isn’t for you to play with.”
Zhao Ruoxi holstered her gun unwillingly and sat brooding in silence. She wasn’t quite willing to give face even with two dukes, including her father, present.
Zhao Xuanji sat down beside Zhao Weihuang and asked, “Did Yuying cause any trouble?”
Zhao Yuying was immediately dissatisfied and said angrily, “Nonsense! This mommy is so kind and virtuous.”
Zhao Yuying knew immediately that she had spoken inappropriately—she quickly halted her words and shrunk back. Zhao Xuanji had gained fame for several decades and enjoyed great prestige. Even Zhao Yuying didn’t dare to be too unrestrained in front of him. This “mommy” would very likely result in several months of allowance reduction.
“What brings Duke You to the Fortune Courtyard. Could it be…” Zhao Weihuang didn’t finish his words.
Zhao Xuanji only said, “I think Duke Yan is about to arrive too.”
His voice hadn’t even ended when Duke Yan’s voice rang out, “It seems Xuanji understands me the most.”
At this point, all three dukes of the Zhao clan were present. After Duke Yan took a seat, Zhao Weihuang shot an inquiring glance at the two dukes.
The Dukes You and Yan glanced at one another, but it was Duke You who replied, “There are no outsiders here, so it’s fine to say it. Weihuang, you also know how much Jundu insisted on this matter. Moreover, Qianye’s identity is also special. So, us old men wanted to take this opportunity to see just how much potential this child has. If there’s a chance he can be brought up, we don’t mind contributing some strength to protect him.”
Duke Yan nodded. “Xuanji is right. Our Zhao clan’s fate for the next hundred years rests solely on Jundu’s shoulders. The matter from back then was probably premeditated by those people, and we failed to guard against them at that time. But it’ll be a huge joke if we still can’t protect our family’s child after so many years.”
A sternness flashed through Zhao Weihuang’s eyes as he said with a smile, “Let’s see then!”
The three dukes thus sat there, as lofty as a mountain peak, as deep as the abyss.
With the three dukes present, the two young girls could only accompany them obediently. It was nothing special for Zhao Ruoxi. She was normally so quiet that her presence was hardly discernible—it wasn’t a problem for her to sit for an entire day. For Zhao Yuying, however, it was complete torment as she really wasn’t one to sit still. If not for Qianye’s advancement, she would have never sat down to guard this place. Now that everyone before her was a senior, she had to maintain a basic sitting disposition, and that was inexplicably distressing for her.
Only a while had passed yet Zhao Yuying was already twisting and turning in her seat. She felt awkward throughout her entire body and wanted nothing more than to poke herself with a blade for a couple of times—maybe that would make her feel more comfortable.
An evening passed in this manner and dusk gradually approached. There was still no signs of movement from the Marrow Cleansing Pond, but the three dukes sat as firm as Mount Tai.
Several waves of people approached the Fortune Courtyard quietly but left just as stealthily after finding the three dukes present.
Zhao Fenglei and Zhao Xiuzhu had already sat for quite some time. They couldn’t leave now that the three dukes had suddenly arrived, or they would be labeled as impatient by the seniors above. The others didn’t even enter this small building and that was as it should be—what was there to see in the advancement of a secondary residence disciple? Those who came must have a reason for doing so.
How could their actions escape the notice of the three dukes? The trio exchanged knowing glances but didn’t say anything unnecessary.
At this moment, in the Fortune Courtyard, several attendants were running back and forth, their heads drenched in sweat. One of them ran over to the steward and said in a whisper, “Sire, something’s not right! The speed of origin distillate consumption is oddly fast. This is only the first day, and he’s already used up a portion of it. At this rate, it won’t even last another two days.”
The steward was shaken. “Have you checked everything?”
“Our brothers have just checked everything thoroughly. There’s no problem! We’ve checked every corner. Could it be…”
The steward immediately cut the attendant short, “Nonsense! We watched him as he entered. How can it be? Making irresponsible remarks while the three dukes are up there, do you not want to live anymore?”
The steward shrunk back in shock, but he still retorted in dissatisfaction, “But the consumption is too great. That’s almost the same rate as Young Master Jundu! He’s taken in so much, yet there’s not even a visual phenomenon.”
The steward suddenly drew in a breath of cold air. “This means that the phenomena will be quite extreme when they do appear!”
It was at this moment that the attendant was dumbstruck as he gazed at the steward's feet. The latter glanced down in puzzlement and found that a scarlet hue had appeared at some point. It was flowing over the ground like water and had already submerged his feet.
The steward was greatly astonished and jumped up reflexively. The scarlet color gradually spread outward like a tide, and nothing including the trees, shrubs, and rocks could stop it.
The steward landed back on his feet and stepped right into the waves of light, but there wasn’t the slightest ripple. At this point, he suddenly understood what was going on. He quickly glanced toward the Marrow Cleansing Pond and whispered, “A visual phenomenon!”
The attendant saw the continuously expanding flow of light and said in a daze, “T-This radius is almost equal to Young Master Jundu's.”
The old steward, who had been guarding the pond for many years, had a complicated expression on his face. “The radius is comparable, but the quality is somewhat inferior. However, this is just the beginning!”
At this moment, three peerless tyrannical intents swept over the Marrow Cleansing Pond. The three dukes atop the building had noticed the phenomenon.
The scarlet flow of light spread out to cover the entire Fortune Courtyard before stopping its advance.
At the second floor window, Zhao Xiuzhu’s expression was solemn, but he was still able to keep his composure. He said with an indifferent expression, “The quantity is there, but the quality isn’t. It can barely be included in the superior class.”
Zhao Fenglei, on the other hand, was gnashing his teeth and simply couldn’t disguise his resentment. Even if it was lacking in quality, the quantity alone was enough to suppress him with much to spare.
The three dukes on the third floor remained unmoved as they watched on. Zhao Yuying, on the other hand, leapt out of her seat and cheered. She placed a foot on the chair and cried out, “This visual phenomenon isn’t bad at all. It’s even catching up to Little Four’s in terms of radius!”
Zhao Ruoxi was also overjoyed, but her little face immediately sank after seeing Zhao Yuying’s cheerful demeanor. One of her hands slowly crept toward the Red Spider Lily.
Duke You shot Zhao Yuying a glance and said, “Look at yourself, so coarse and impatient! Sit down this instant!”
The depth of origin power Qianye had displayed just now was indeed above the average, but it still wasn’t enough to get into their discerning eyes. After reaching a higher level, the purity of one’s origin power was much more important than its depth and quantity. Moreover, it would directly impact one’s future potential after crossing over to the champion rank.
At this moment, Zhao Fenglei snorted loudly and couldn’t resist saying, “It’s just a greater amount of origin power. What’s the use of that without any special abilities?!” His voice was raised, but it wasn’t that loud because he feared the people on the third floor. However, those upstairs were all extraordinary individuals, and they heard everything quite clearly.
The expressions of the three dukes remained unchanged like an ancient well. In truth, what Zhao Fenglei said wasn’t wrong. A vast store of origin power was perhaps an asset to ordinary champions, but it could only graze the superior rank in a major clan like the Zhao.
The flow of scarlet had already stopped expanding within the Fortune Courtyard, and it was slightly smaller than Zhao Jundu’s. However, the flow of light suddenly moved on its own and began to form numerous ripples as specks of golden light emerged throughout its sphere. At a glance, it looked as though countless stars were extending into the distance.
The three dukes were moved at the same time!
Zhao Weihuang shot up from his seat, barely able to disguise the joy in his heart. He cried out involuntarily, “Venus Dawn! It really is Venus Dawn!”
Dawn brings light but when Venus appears, all becomes brilliant.
At this moment, the golden lights increased progressively and formed a sea of stars which floated above the Fortune Courtyard. Later on, streams of golden light would even emerge from amidst the scarlet glow.
Duke Yan’s eyes flickered with astonishment as he nodded. “True! The prismatic lights of daybreak as Venus moves the stars. It truly is Venus Dawn!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie