Chapter 333: The Wei Clan Heir’s Crush [Volume 5 – A Distance Within Reach]
Zhao Yuying said with due frankness, “Presently, the Swallow Cloud Zhao Clan already has one main, two peer, and eighteen auxiliary residences. There are thousands in our generation alone. Who has the time to recognize so many brothers and sisters? Blood relations really aren’t worth much.”
Qianye frowned—Zhao Yuying’s words annoyed him although he had no intention to return to the Zhao clan.
But Zhao Yuying didn’t care at all and continued, “Temporarily putting aside the matter regarding the family record, gaining an auxiliary residence signifies status, honor, and vast amounts of resources. There are thousands of descendants in each generation, but only a hundred or so are chosen. Even if Little Four is strong enough to hold a residence on his own, others would find it difficult to accept him bringing someone in without a good cause. I heard some people went to argue with him about this matter and, well, you know Little Four’s temper. Many disagreeable things happened on the spot and some fights broke out.”
Only then did Qianye realize that the Zhao clan’s internal affairs worked purely on elite authority—half depended on bloodline inheritance, while the leading half was one's strength. Only those with enough strength would have the opportunity to take up a residence, and Zhao Jundu was already the master of one at twenty-one years old.
Zhao Yuying spoke as if it were a matter of course, “Others still don’t know you actually have Zhao clan blood, but that really doesn’t make much of a difference. Recognition in the Zhao clan can only be gained through strength. Trash without ability will die early on the battlefield. Who has the spare energy to take care of them?”
After listening to all of this, Qianye’s heart was filled with an inexplicable feeling. He fell silent for a short moment and then said, “Did Zhao Jundu send you?”
“Of course not. He is he and I am I. I was only curious about you, so I came to take a look. But you’re really not bad and quite to my liking.”
Qianye said helplessly, “Don’t tell me your so-called ‘take a look’ is to attack?”
Zhao Yuying replied matter-of-factly, “Why of course! You’re also my brother, so it won’t do if you’re too weak.”
“It seemed just now, you were trying to kill me.”
“If I really wanted to kill, I would’ve used Mountain Splitter from the get-go.” With that, she pointed at that origin handheld cannon.
However, the strength she had used just now was enough to cripple an ordinary rank-ten champion—how could it be called test out his strength? But after some thought, perhaps this was just the way Zhao Jundu and Zhao Yuying tested people. Without strength, one would not gain any recognition. Just as Zhao Yuying said, there were thousands in every generation; what use was one’s bloodline?
Seeing Qianye’s expression, Zhao Yuying said in a rare stern tone, “Little Four decided to bring you back to the clan only after he tried out your strength. Otherwise, the only fate awaiting you after entering the Zhao clan is death. It will be wiser to raise you outside.”
Those last words almost made Qianye choke. But with Zhao Yuying as a comparison, Zhao Jundu’s actions in the desert could be considered gentle—at most, he would’ve been shot through the left leg. If it were Zhao Yuying in that place, he would’ve been left with at least a dozen fractures.
Zhao Yuying patted Qianye’s shoulder and said casually, “Don’t feel too uncomfortable though. Little Four and I also went through all of these things. Since childhood, I fought my way through all adversity and beat up everyone who refused to recognize me until they changed their minds. That was how I arrived at my current status today.”
Qianye could only stay silent.
In truth, the Great Qin Empire’s policy, in and of itself, favored the strong and devoured the weak. However, after a millennium since its founding, it was also starting to pay more attention to cultural inheritances and whitewash certain things in the name of righteousness. But the Zhao clan’s geniuses were too proud and felt disdain toward this layer of disguise.
Qianye let out a soft sigh and said, “Since Zhao Jundu didn’t ask you to come, and you’ve seen what you’ve come to see…”
Zhao Yuying immediately cut Qianye short with a laugh. “It just so happened that I’ve had nothing to do recently, so I can help you do some fighting. Look at how bad a job you’re doing? Even a regional count’s son dares besiege your city! But rest assured, with this old sister protecting you from now on, it’s useless even if old man Dong himself arrives!”
But Qianye had an instinctive feeling that Zhao Yuying staying here wasn’t a good thing. As he saw it, this unrestrained beauty was even more frightening than an imperial regional count. But Zhao Yuying had already lifted up her hand cannon, and its muzzle was swaying around in front of Qianye. It almost seemed as if the weapon might accidentally go off if he didn’t agree to this.
Qianye let out a helpless and rueful laugh. He summoned Seventeen and his personal guards, instructing them to make arrangements for Zhao Yuying and her two followers before entering the study alone.
At the moment, he truly had no idea what to do. As such, he brought out his westward campaign map. However, the lines and colors before him seemed to be jumping about just like his confused thoughts—he simply couldn’t stand it anymore.
The night passed by in the blink of an eye. As the sounds of Dark Flame’s morning drills came through the window, Qianye walked out and left the headquarters. He wanted to find Song Zining for a chat.
Song Zining’s residence was a grand mansion in the eastern part of the city. That place would later become the regional headquarters of the Ningyuan Group. Because it was currently undergoing construction and renovation work, the entire building was already brightly lit early in the morning. The construction work was in full swing as the workers toiled against the clock.
Song Zining’s residence was deep within the manor and could be considered relatively peaceful. Upon arrival, Qianye saw Song Zining sitting under a wisteria pergola and sipping his tea continuously—apparently, he was feeling rather ill at ease.
After greeting Song Zining, Qianye found that the former was was not only pale, but his aura was also somewhat weak. In fact, there was even a trace of instability in his origin power. He thus asked with concern, “Are your injuries alright?”
That leaf formed from the Three Thousand Flying Leaf Art was crushed apart by Zhao Yuying. Now it seemed things weren’t so simple because Song Zining had apparently sustained significant injuries.
Song Zining laughed wryly with a lingering fear in his heart. “The injury is a bit troublesome, but it’s fortunate… quite fortunate.”
“What’s fortunate?” Qianye was puzzled.
Song Zining replied, “It’s fortunate that I didn’t agree to Zhao Second impulsively. Otherwise, I would’ve been harmed to death by him!”
Qianye immediately understood and nodded in agreement. Whoever married Zhao Yuying would suffer a calamity. This beautiful lady wasn’t just eccentric—it so happened that she was also from a major clan and was extremely powerful. Such a woman had no weak points at all, but how was a man to interact with her?
Song Zining shot Qianye a glance, offered him a cup of tea, and asked, “You seem to have some concerns of your own?”
Qianye sighed. “Yes, it’s related to the Zhao clan.” He recounted the information he had gained from Zhao Yuying.
Song Zining frowned but didn’t comment on the matter. He only asked, “What’s your plan?”
Qianye stayed silent for a moment and said, “It won’t do to just let things continue this way. I plan to visit the Zhao clan when matters here are stable.”
Song Zining turned the teacup in his hand and said with a smile, “Very well. Call me when you go. I’ll accompany you.”
Qianye frowned. “It might be dangerous."
Still smiling as before, Song Zining replied, “At least on the surface, I’m second in place as the Song clan successor. They won’t dare go too far with me around. After all, the old ancestor is still alive.”
They had no fear of open conflicts and challenges, but it was impossible to defend against secret schemes. With Song Zining tagging along, those fellows with unfathomable intentions would need to consider their methods carefully.
After all, the Song clan was still a member of the four major clans regardless of its weak internal affairs. It was an enormous entity who ranked first in terms of wealth and currently had Duchess An overseeing it. They would have no way to explain if a high-ranking Song clan successor were to disappear in the Zhao clan.
Qianye shook his head. “For you to casually interfere in the Zhao clan’s internal affairs, Duchess An might not be pleased even if she’s willing to protect you.”
Song Zining let out a laugh and said, “Since I have no intention to become the clan lord, it doesn’t matter whether she’s pleased or not. Besides, to me, your matters are not the Zhao clan’s internal affairs at all. It’s our internal affair.”
Qianye sighed deeply and said after a good while, “There’s no hurry. Let me think about it.”
Song Zining nodded. “You still need to be careful about Zhao Yuying. I heard the Duke You and Duke Yan lineages are at odds with Duke Chengen’s branch.” He only gave such a reminder and refrained from saying more.
Qianye excused himself after two cups of tea. He recalled something just as he was about to leave and turned back to ask, “Zining, are your wounds alright?”
A suspicious blush flitted across Song Zining’s countenance as he replied in an angry tone, “Qianye! You’ve learnt some bad things!”
Qianye was immediately startled. He had spoken out of pure concern and hadn’t given it much thought. But judging from Song Zining’s intense reaction, Qianye immediately understood that this matter mustn’t be brought up and thus slipped away in a hurry.
After returning to his residence at the Dark Flame headquarters, Qianye unexpectedly found that Wei Potian had been waiting there for a long time.
“Potian, how did you find the time to visit me? It’s truly odd. Those noble ladies actually let you go like this? How have you been doing recently?”
Wei Potian was infuriated at the mere mention of this matter. “If not for this daddy’s peerless capacity for liquor, I would’ve collapsed in the hands of those savage people! Goddammit! Who gave them such a rotten idea? I’ll definitely flay him alive once I know! A celebratory banquet for heroic deeds?! Heroic my a*s! Those ladies didn’t even fire a single shot!”
Qianye could only pretend to be dumb because he had witnessed this matter from the sidelines and made no effort to stop it. Of course, he wouldn’t be so dumb as to say it out loud.
Wei Potian continued to curse the mastermind for a moment, but the truth dawned on him after noticing Qianye’s somewhat peculiar expression. He leapt out of his seat and began to scream in anger, “I know it now! It must’ve been that sissy Song Seven! That fellow actually dares scheme against me behind my back?! This daddy here must settle the score with him!”
Qianye hurriedly dragged Wei Potian back and said, “Hold on! Settling the score can wait. You must have some serious business to visit me so early in the morning?”
After being questioned by Qianye, Wei Potian suddenly became restless and started to hem and haw incomprehensibly. “That… erm… Qianye, didn’t a lady come to visit you suddenly? That one with an origin hand cannon.”
Qianye replied suspiciously, “Yes, what of it?”
“I-I’ve seen her before in Far East Province.”
“She visited Far East Province before? Ah, that’s also possible. It was my first time seeing her yesterday. Is something wrong?”
Wei Potian scratched his head vigorously and minced his words around for a long time before picking up the courage to say, “I still don’t know who she is.”
“Zhao Yuying, granddaughter of the Zhao clan’s Duke You.”
“Ah!” Wei Potian was startled and his countenance fluctuated for a moment before saying, “So it’s like that! I-I thought she was also here for the engagement. Now it seems to not be the case.”
Qianye gazed intently at Wei Potian’s expression and realized something. “You like her?!”
“N-No!” Wei Potian’s voice rose sharply and then fell to a whisper, “It’s just that there’s an inexplicable feeling. She’s not like the other noble ladies…”
Qianye’s expression immediately became one of not knowing whether to laugh or to cry. Indeed, Zhao Yuying and the other noble ladies weren’t the same. The degree of her uniqueness bordered on outlandish. Compared to her, Wei Potian was simply a good little boy.
“What’s the story with you two?” Qianye’s curiosity began to burn.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Chapter 3/7 of the week. Enjoy ^_^
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