“How could it be?!” Pi Batian and Pi Yan both glanced at the arena with identical looks of shock on their faces. The only representative left in the arena was Feng Yicheng; Li Mo and the Wu swordsman had both been thrown out.
Neither of them were badly hurt. Li Mo patted at the dust on his body and stood up, as did the Wu swordsman. The Wu swordsman had a confused look on his face, as though he had landed on the ground before he could understand what was happening.
“The Feng family won, the Feng family won!” Applause burst out from the crowd.
“But what exactly happened?” some sharp-eyed cultivators wondered. “How did the Wu and Pi families end up losing, and how did the Feng family win just like that?”
“How could that Feng brat have won?” Pi Yan turned to Pi Batian, his tone steeped in disbelief and doubt at his son’s information. “Didn’t you claim that the Feng brat was useless? How did he win?”
“I, I don’t know, Father! Something must be amiss!” Pi Batian was as shocked as Pi Yan at the unexpected conclusion. When two sword saints fought, it was exceedingly difficult for a third party with a lower cultivation to make a move, because that third party would be hurt by the residual spiritual energy from the clashes.
As far as Pi Batian knew, Feng Yicheng’s cultivation was below that of Li Mo and the Wu swordsman, so there was no way he could have kicked the two of them off the stage on his own. This was evident to both him and Pi Yan, so there could only be one explanation for the scenario: either Li Mo or the Wu swordsman had intentionally sent both men flying out!
Pi Yan was very familiar with the Wu family and the Wu representative. The Wu family was on good terms with the Pi family, and Pi Yan was certain that the Wu family certainly wouldn’t ruin the relationship they had with the Pis. In that case, the culprit had to be Li Mo!
“Li Mo!” Pi Yan gritted out, then turned to Pi Batian. “Call him back.”
“Immediately, Father.” However, Pi Batian wasn’t able to find Li Mo. After the tournament, in order to prevent chaos, those representatives who had been disqualified could leave through a separate exit of the arena. According to plan, Li Mo left the arena and met with servants from the Feng family, who were tasked with bringing him discreetly away from the Pi family.
When Pi Batian failed to find Li Mo in the arena, he had an uneasy premonition. After hastily reporting back to Pi Yan, he brought his men away from the arena and began tracking Li Mo’s whereabouts.
“Silence!” The head of the Feng family, Feng Yanyang, stood up from his seat. His voice wasn’t particularly loud or resounding, but it was infused with the power of his advanced cultivation. With a single breath, he quieted the thousand-strong crowd.
In his hands was a sandalwood box. He strode to center stage and opened it, raising a black jade seal high for all to see. “According to the rules of the seven cities’ tournament, the family who emerges the victor will gain jurisdiction over Peak Darkness until the next tournament.” Feng Yanyang paused for a moment, then continued, “By chance, the Feng family has emerged the victor again, and I shall remain the governor of the area for another three years—”
“No, something’s fishy!” a spectator suddenly shouted. “The Feng representative clearly was no match for the Pi or Wu representatives. How could he have won just like that? He must have cheated!”
“Right, he had to have cheated! None of us spectators were able to see what was going on!”
“How could the Wu and Pi representatives have been thrown out of the stage so easily? They’re clearly more skilled than the Feng representative!”
Murmurs rippled through the crowd. There were quite a few advanced cultivators watching the tournament, and those cultivators, particularly those affiliated with the Wu and Pi families, began voicing their displeasure at the sudden end to the tournament.
Naturally, those cultivators supporting the Feng family wouldn’t remain silent.
“How dare you claim the Feng family cheated!”
“Right! Didn’t you say you didn’t see how the Pi and Wu swordsmen ended up off the stage? Doesn’t that mean that no one saw the Feng family cheat? You’re just slandering the Feng family!”
“Couldn’t it have been that the Wu and Pi swordsmen knocked each other off the stage? According to the tournament’s rules, no matter how they ended up off the stage, they’ve both lost. The Feng family is the true victor!”
As the crowd turned raucous, the guards in charge of security immediately perked up and headed to the stands where the dissenting voices seemed to be loudest.
“Everyone, please let me explain,” Feng Yanyang continued, his voice quashing the crowd’s dissents once more. “I won’t deny that the Feng family’s victory during this tournament was a fluke of luck. As a result, for the next three years, the Feng family will lower the management fees for all stores in Peak Darkness by ten percent!”
Three years ago, the Feng family had lowered the fees by ten percent. To do so again was undoubtedly going to hurt their profits significantly. The crowd was initially silent at Feng Yanyang’s proclamation, but it quickly broke out in a cheer. Even those who were against the Feng family had to admire Feng Yanyang’s generosity.
Compared to the Pi family’s steep fees and harsh measures against those who failed to pay, the Feng family’s policies were clearly more popular.
“We’ll happily accept the Feng family’s governance!”
“Three cheers for the Feng family!”
In the face of the crowd’s cheers, Pi Yan snorted. It’s only weaklings like you who have to make use of these cheap tricks to win the crowd’s favor!
Yun Ruoyan was supposed to meet up with Li Mo according to plan, but even after waiting for half the day, she never showed up.
Yan’er must be in danger. Li Mo was currently in a suite within the pleasure den they had been in a few days ago, their designated meeting spot. He was very anxious at her disappearance. Eventually, unable to bear it any longer, he informed the Feng servant that he was heading to the Pi family to have a look at what was going on.
He had just left his suite when Mo’er dove toward him, a message clutched in its claws. Apparently, Yun Ruoyan had been trying to find an opportunity to leave, but Pi Yang had stuck to her like a piece of toffee, talking nonstop about what had happened during the tournament.
When Yun Ruoyan finally found an excuse to slip away, Pi Yan called her back. Because the Pi family had lost the tournament, his face was frighteningly dark. He had stared at Yun Ruoyan for quite a while before asking her about Li Mo’s actions these past days. His questions were very specific, and he seemed to focus in particular on what had happened at the pleasure den.
Because of the shade aura that her shade was giving off, Pi Yan had never once suspected her identity. When Pi Yan finished his questioning, Yun Ruoyan was finally free to leave. However, she suddenly changed her mind—she had just come up with an audacious plan.
Since neither Pi Yan nor Pi Batian suspected that she was anyone but the mute woman, then couldn’t she remain in the Pi family? By being here, she could both help spy on the Pi family on behalf of the Fengs, and, more importantly, she might be able to find out what had happened to her father Long Yin from Pi Yan.
Pi Yan had personally arrested Long Yin, and he was likely the only one who would know of her father’s whereabouts. If she were to leave the Pi manor just like that, Yun Ruoyan didn’t know whether she would have a chance to infiltrate the Pi family again. As a result, she had decided to follow through with her plan, and had sent a message to Li Mo via Mo’er to let him know.
“Telling me not to worry and daring to leave me on my own… Has she forgotten whose husband she is?” Li Mo pursed his lips, tamping down his desire to rush to the Pi family and drag Yun Ruoyan away. He was exasperated and worried about her newfound tendency to do things on her own without consulting anyone else. Yun Ruoyan knew how helpless he was against her, and she had been taking advantage of it all this time…!
“Yun Ruoyan, you’d better come back safe and sound, or otherwise…” Li Mo clutched her message tightly in his fist.
Pi Batian scoured Peak Darkness with his men and found no trace of Li Mo. By then, he was certain that Li Mo had tricked both him and his father. As soon as he ascertained this, he immediately headed back to the inn and reported the results of his investigation to Pi Yan.
“Li Mo and that Feng brat, working in cahoots!” Pi Yan slammed a palm on the table as he listened to Pi Batian’s report, so furious that his face turned red. He gritted his teeth and spat out, “To think that I, Pi Yan, would be tricked by these two upstarts!”
“Father, I think something’s amiss,” Pi Batian continued. “How did Li Mo and Feng Yicheng manage to scheme together, with my assassin watching over Li Mo? They couldn’t have had any chance to interact!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter