Qianye’s combat strength had long since exceeded the scope of the aristocracy’s control. Ordinary families would need to mobilize in full force and plan an ambush in order to kill him. Moreover, Qianye’s accomplishments and data proved that long-distance raids were his forte. Such an expert might still escape despite being hunted by many experts. Failing to kill him was akin to sowing the seeds of destruction—a lower-ranked aristocratic family might just disappear under the constant assassinations and ambushes that would follow.
As such, the aristocratic combat squads present quickly assumed a friendly standpoint. Even if they couldn’t rope him in, it was important that they didn’t offend him.
Qianye glanced at Li Weishi with a smile. “Oh? Even Elder Supervisor Li has such a moment?”
Li Weishi smiled wryly. “It’s not the first time since I met you. What are your plans now?”
Qianye replied, “With Supervisor Li here, I won’t trouble myself with these matters. I have some time, so I’ll be visiting some people.”
Li Weishi nodded. “That’s fine, leave the things here to me.”
Qianye said goodbye and left the contribution exchange area.
Li Weishi was someone who had seen countless winds and waves throughout his life. How could he lose his composure to such an extent that he would drop the register on the floor? It was done deliberately to let all the aristocratic families see how much contribution points Qianye had harvested. This would serve as proof and effectively deter Li Tianquan from tampering with the numbers.
This wasn’t a small favor at all, and Qianye remembered this well. His opinion of the Li family was thus divided—he decided it best to consider each of them individually and not lump everyone together.
Many people followed Qianye as he walked out of the exchange area. Some of the more reserved people invited him to pay a short visit to their family camps, while the impatient ones stated their offers right on the street.
Qianye neither refused nor accepted any of these offers. He only told them that he would remain in the base for a few days and that they should discuss things slowly. This was something he had learned from Song Zining. He was a rare commodity at the moment, so there was no harm in putting things off for later. These aristocratic families were sure to keep raising the price tag. Even if Qianye had no intention to accept their recruitment, there was really no harm in understanding his own worth.
Qianye went over to the main hall to check the latest battle reports and listen to the experts’ chatter before heading toward the main camp.
At this moment, Li Tianquan was preparing a pot of good tea. For some reason, however, he felt restless and kept making mistakes in his fire control. The tea produced in the end seemed no different from his usual batch but the taste was actually inferior, and this slight difference tasted extremely bad to Li Tianquan.
He picked up the teapot in his frustration and wanted to smash it against the wall. However, his hand froze halfway in the air—he had tossed countless teapots this month, and the one in his hand was the only good pot he had left. He would have nothing left to use if he broke this one.
Li Tianquan suppressed the surging blood in his heart and gradually lowered his hand. At this moment, there came a knock on the door, followed by the gentle voice of a female clerk. “Elder, Qianye wishes to meet you.”
“Bang!” The teapot fell to the ground and shattered.
Qianye didn’t wait for a response. He simply walked in on his own and smiled indifferently after seeing the shattered teapot on the ground. “Elder Li seems to be in a bad mood?”
Li Tianquan could no longer conceal his impatience. He said with a cold snort, “How can this old man be in a good mood after seeing you?”
Qianye pulled a chair over and took his seat. “But my mood is pretty good when I see you.”
Li Tianquan’s expression sank, but he didn’t flip out immediately. Instead, he turned to the clerk and said, “You leave first and close the door. No one is to enter without my order.”
The clerk had an odd expression on her face. The second elder liked things neat and tidy, but now there were pieces of broken chinaware all over the floor. It was rare for him to leave such a mess uncleaned. But the lady knew her place and understood that this wasn’t something she should be curious about. She thus left obediently and closed the door to the room.
Li Tianquan returned to his desk and calmly took his seat. “What business does General Qianye have with this old man?”
Qianye looked straight at Li Tianquan. “Lu Sha is dead.”
Li Tianquan’s entire body jolted as he lost his composure entirely. He remained silent for a long while before asking, “How did he die?”
“I killed them, not a single one escaped.”
Li Tianquan broke into a laugh. “What does this have to do with me?”
Qianye sneered, “They attacked me because a certain ‘major character’ wanted my life.”
Li Tianquan’s expression remained unchanged. He said while stroking his beard, “That’s also normal. They were a group of fugitives to begin with. They won’t take action without benefits.”
Qianye decided not to argue against Li Tianquan since he was trying so hard to wash his hands of this matter. “Then, I’ll excuse myself.”
The elder was startled. “Did you come here just to tell me this?”
“Elder Li is an intelligent person, so I felt that telling you this much was enough. But since Elder Li wants a clear answer, I’ll just speak frankly. Who do you think is more powerful? Me or Lu Sha’s group?”
Li Tianquan’s expression was livid. “What’s the meaning of this? Are you trying to threaten me?”
Qianye replied calmly, “Lu Sha’s group died in my hands. Whatever they can do, I can do so much better. Don’t forget that they were a group of three, whereas I am on my own.”
Li Tianquan’s expression turned downcast and his robes fluttered about without any wind. “Do you think you’re my match with that puny cultivation of yours?”
Qianye laughed coldly. “I might not be at the moment, but it’s not that easy for you to kill me, either. Your current cultivation and status are rather high, so I can’t touch you for the moment. But you’ll surely slip up one day—you still need to eat and rest after all. It just so happens that I know some sniping. It might take three years, five years, or even a decade, but unless you stop appearing in public from now on, I’ll definitely find the opportunity.”
Li Tianquan’s expression was terribly dark. It would indeed be a thorny problem if he were targeted by someone like Qianye.
At this point, Qianye said indifferently, “Even if you hole up in your house and never come out, you still have family members.”
Li Tianquan was both shocked and furious. He leapt out of his seat and shouted, “You dare?!”
Qianye looked straight at Li Tianquan without shrinking back. “Since you want my life, why wouldn’t I dare?”
Li Tianquan stared intently at Qianye with origin power surging throughout his body. The six vortices were as dazzling as miniature suns.
Qianye remained seated as before. He only had two origin vortices and their glow was somewhat weaker than the old man’s. Yet under the great pressure, they still remained unextinguished, so much so that they didn’t even sway.
Li Tianquan’s expression shifted rapidly between fury and hesitation. He couldn’t make up his mind, but it seemed he would attack at any moment.
Qianye, on the other hand, was sitting calmly—clearly, he had already made preparations to fight.
But Li Tianquan was, after all, someone of high status. He quickly regained his calm and went straight to the point. “Are you so confident that you can escape from my hands? Moreover, what if you do escape? Do you think the Li family will let you off if you touch my family? You will be hunted down and killed even if you run into the void!”
This was the way the aristocracy did things. If their descendants were killed by a commoner or an independent character, they would hunt the assailant down with full force and not stop until they had captured this person, either alive or as a corpse. Some were cruel enough to involve the target’s family members and would vow to wipe out their entire lineage. Such methods were naturally effective in deterring a fair part of the solitary experts.
However, Qianye wasn’t moved by this. “That’s a possibility, of course, but it’s unsure how many of your offspring will remain alive at that time. Moreover, such a matter will surely spread far and wide. How much of your Li family’s prestige will remain? The Li family might not let me off, but how much better will your fate be? At the very least, you’ll lose your family and your status.”
Li Tianquan’s expression was beyond unsightly. His handling of Qianye’s case wasn’t appropriate at all. It was fine if he could keep things under control, but the Li family’s reputation would hit rock-bottom if it were to blow up. As the source of all this, Li Tianquan would definitely be held responsible. Not only would his authority be revoked, but it was also quite likely that he himself would be sent to the battlefield. There, he would fight unto his death as a final contribution to the family.
It was easy to climb to a high position, but coming back down was hard. For someone like him, losing power was even more uncomfortable than losing his life. Even if the clan lord was lenient enough to let him live out his old age, it would be a life no different from death. With such an outcome, it was no different from mutual destruction even if Qianye was hunted down by the Li family.
Li Tianquan was naturally indignant. He was a character of such high status, and in his eyes, Qianye’s life was completely worthless. How could he be willing to go down together with the latter?
Li Tianquan finally calmed himself and said, “What do you want? Speak openly.”
Qianye said with a smile, “Lu Sha’s group was professional if nothing else and paid with their lives in order to complete this mission. Hence, although I’m still very much alive, you should still pay them. I’ll reluctantly receive this payment in their stead.”
Li Tianquan was dumbfounded as he had never expected Qianye to make such a demand. His first thought was about how brazen this Qianye was to seek remuneration after killing Lu Sha’s group, but then again, he felt that things were easier if all Qianye wanted was money.
Just as Li Tianquan was thinking, Qianye added, “Oh right, Lu Sha’s group sacrificed themselves in the line of duty. According to the rules of the trade, you have to pay gratuity.”
Li Tianquan had just recovered his calm when these words caused a fishy smell to well up in his throat—he almost spat out a mouthful of blood.
“Qianye! Don’t go too far!”
Qianye’s expression turned cold. “You know what Lu Sha’s group would do if they were alive and had not received their money. Not to mention trading blood for money is a great deal for Elder Li. Money spent can be earned again, people like us should value our lives more.”
Li Tianquan was livid. In the end, he clenched his teeth and said, “I can give you the money, but this matter ends here!”
Qianye smiled radiantly. “This matter ends here.”
These words were spoken with great stress. He believed Li Tianquan would understand his intention.
The elder stood up and moved a painting on the wall behind him. He then tapped a couple of times on the wall to open up a secret door. Li Tianquan took out a suitcase and said through gritted teeth, “It’s all here.”
Qianye opened the case and found pieces of high-purity black crystals arranged in neat stacks. A rough estimate of their value would be sixty to seventy thousand gold coins. Even selling the equipment on Lu Sha’s group didn’t fetch as much money. A single deal was equal to their group’s entire fortune—no wonder these people were willing to offend the Kong family in order to kill him.
“Thanks!” Qianye closed the box and patted it a couple of times before making for the door. He turned back just before leaving, almost as though he had just remembered something. “Oh right, Elder Li, I almost forgot to tell you that I brought back quite a lot of contribution points this time. You should make sufficient preparations in advance, lest you fail to honor our wager and ruin the Li family’s reputation.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter