AST 0126 – The Arena at the Wedding Banquet (3)
The first one to issue a challenge was a youngster from Feng Clan. Traditionally the arena fighting was always started by someone from the bride’s family. After a few rounds, they would eventually lose to the groom’s family. This symbolized that the groom’s family had the abilities to protect the lady married over from the bride’s family. Therefore, more often than not, the arenas were merely put up for show.
This youngster who had went up was an insignificant member of the Feng Clan, therefore he was easily defeated by Qing Hu. Of course, they took care not to overdo it, so that the atmosphere was one of harmony.
The banquet was very close to the arena, and everyone would occasionally turn to observe the battles on the arena. Of course, with the gradual increase in cheers, the atmosphere was growing increasingly livelier.
With so many people observing, the battles couldn’t be too casual. There must be some excitement, so people would get heated up. After all, they were all youngsters.
If it was merely for show, they would just casually exchange blows and lose. But now that it became so heated, it was hard to casually lose to someone who they were superior against. Therefore, Qing Hu was finally defeated.
Qing Bei had wanted to step up, but she was stopped by Qing He. The groom’s family forbids females to step up, since it would make it seem that there was no one from the groom’s family.
Qing You grinned and went up; he casually defeated the skilled youngster from Feng Clan who had defeated Qing Hu. The arena eventually became an event that seemed to be dragging on for some time.
Qing Shui looked towards Qing He. He had wanted to go accompany the Wenren sisters, as well as Yu He. Afterall, he had yet to meet them since they had arrived.
The mysterious lady Huoyun Liu-Li was not in Hundred Miles City, and thus did not show up. Wenren Wu-shuang’s table was easy to find. There were many people gathering around the sisters who were dazzling like the moon.
Qing Shui’s gaze would occasionally turn to the tables where the Shi Clan was located, but the familiar figure did not appear even though the people from the Shi Clan had long since arrived. Qing Shui could not help but feel disappointment.
As Yu He was at the table for the Yu Clan, Qing Shui dismissed the thoughts to meet her by himself!
Dismissing his distracting thoughts of Shi Qingzhuang, Qing Shui headed for the table where the Wenren sisters were. When he passed by the other days, he only smiled, especially towards those people whom he did not recognize.
Those descendents of the bigger clans of Hundred Miles City all oogled at Wenren Wu-gou and Wenren Wu-shuang as if they were ravenous wolves. However, after their elders spoke some words to them, those profligate sons turned away their offending gazes reluctantly.
“Are you guys still used to this? I didn’t have time to accompany you guys earlier.” Qing Shui came over to Wenren Wu-Shuang’s table and said, embarrassed.
“Other than some disgusting gazes, it’s not so bad. This is the first time Wu-Shuang and myself have attended such an event. Look at how blissful they are!” Wenren Wugou smiled as she pointed to the table in the center where Qing Zi and Fei Yan were at.
“Actually, those irritating stares are the best evidence of a woman’s charm. If they were not on you, you guys should be grieving!” Qing Shui laughed.
“That sounds about right. Haha, does that mean that I’ll have to be thankful for their shameful stares, since that it shows that we are still very beautiful?” Wenren Wu-gou sneered.
“That wouldn’t be necessary. Just take it like they are stray dogs. No matter how shamelessly a stray dog looked at you, you wouldn’t feel uncomfortable, would you? Moreover, think of your own charm; even a dog has fallen under your spell, tsk tsk…!” Qing Shui filled their wine cups and said.
“Ivory can’t come from a dog’s mouth. You really have a lot of queer thoughts, but they are really insightful. Have a drink, then go off to do your duties. There’s no need to concern yourself with us.” Wenren Wugou sneered and raised her wine cup. That dazzling smile, snow white teeth, the slightly curved beautiful eyes, and mature charm, all caused the people around to swallow their saliva continuously!
Qing Shui had a glass of wine with the two of them, and then headed towards the table with Old Master Yu under the envious gazes of those profligate sons. His grandpa, Old Master Shi from the Shi Clan, Situ Nantian, as well as a benevolent looking old man from Xiang Clan.
“Come come, you must first drink 3 cups of wine as punishment for not greeting this old man before going over to greet the pretty ladies.” It was rare that Yu Donghao was talking so happily.
“I didn’t. Old Master, you are not playing fair. I merely passed by there. Didn’t I hurry over?” Qing Shui finished the 3 cups, but was made to drink a few more by the other old men before he left.
On the arena, the Feng Clan has long stopped. But now, it was the younger generation from the other clan of the Hundred Miles City who had went up to challenge the men of the Qing Clan. Those who were stepping up were from the big clans.
Out of them, a person at the Martial Commander level from the Situ Clan who had stepped up easily defeated Qing You. After Qing You was defeated, Qing He ensured that he had not suffered from any heavy injuries before stepping onto the arena. There was no other choice. No one from the 3rd generation would be able to handle someone on the higher Martial General level, let alone one of the Martial Commander level. As for Qing Shui’s abilities, no one was sure. They only knew that he had improved, that he had great medical skills, and that he had a strong backing by an esteemed person. But, he might as well have been a mysterious existence. That was why Qing He had decided to step up himself.
There were many people below the arena, no one realized that a normal looking middle-aged man had appeared below the arena. He was so common-looking that no one would recall his face at a 2nd glance. But, his eyes were very bright, shining as if they were stars. The man was staring intensely at the two parties battling on the arena.
Once Qing He stepped up, the situation changed. After some of the younger descendents from the major clans were defeated, the seniors also started to be more ‘active’. While Qing He was considered an expert amongst the 2nd generation, he was still not the best.
When Qing He defeated a small and lean man from the Situ Clan, Situ Ba, who was seated in the banquet, stood up, and slowly walked towards the arena.
Originally, Situ Ba had given up his revenge on the Qing Clan. But he did not expect that the Qing Clan would be having a wedding, and most importantly, there was a wedding arena. Situ Ba was starting to feel tempted.
Amongst the 3rd generation, there was his son, Situ Luan; amongst the 2nd, he himself was at the pinnacle of Houtian. Even if the two clans were to clash, the chances of Qing Luo’s winning would be 50%. If they brought in the 1st generation, there was no way for Qing Clan to win against the Situ Clan.
Thinking that this was his best chance, he decided to step up on the arena. As the head of the Situ Clan, once he stepped onto the arena, the atmosphere would be much different.
This would mean that the Qing Clan and the Situ Clan would not be able to maintain a friendly relationship, and could even become foes. Situ Ba had thought of the consequences, but he could not take it lying down.
When Situ Ba walked towards the arena, almost everyone turned to look at him. When he stood on the arena facing Qing He, Qing Luo’s face turned gloomy. Situ Nantian who was at the same table as him, laughed. “All of them are from the younger generation. Let them go up for some fun, and get to know each other!”
“Get to know each other? Situ Nantian, do you think that I’m so old that my eyes have glazed over?” While one could not tell from Qing Luo’s tone, it was obvious that he was furious.
Situ Nantian remained smiling happily as he looked at Qing Luo, while Old Master Shi and Old Master Yu, especially Yu Donghao, stared at Situ Nantian.
“You really want to ruin the wedding of Brother Luo’s family?” Yu Donghao’s tone was light, but he had already revealed a look of extreme displeasure, and that he was taking a side.
“Son, it’s just an exchange of blows, don’t fight too seriously!” Situ Nantian secretly blamed Yu Donghao for being so meddlesome as he called out to Situ Ba. While he was not close by, everyone present had heard what he said. Those who were smart enough could understand the hidden meaning, and that made even the Qing Clan feel uncomfortable.
Situ Ba laughed out loud, “Forget it, I won’t fight, otherwise people would call our Situ Clan bullies!” After saying that, he leapt off the arena and returned to the banquet.
Everyone in the Qing Clan, including Qing Luo, were enraged. The whisperings from the people around them had made the Qing Clan lose more face.
“Merely Situ Ba from the Situ Clan caused Qing Clan to be unable to do anything.” A youngster spoke out.
“After all, they are from the Qing Village. It might be fine in that small place, but they’re no match for Hundred Miles City. After all, the Situ Clan is a big clan in Hundred Miles City!”
“I must definitely be married into the Situ Clan!” A lady swooned as she saw Situ Ba’s muscular physique!
“My daughter must be married into a clan like the Situ Clan, if not we’d lose face!” An extremely ugly upper-class lady spoke out.
“Your daughter? Sigh, you’d better forget about it. Even if you were to pay them, they wouldn’t be willing to accept!” Not sure who said this, but it was right on track.
“Who, who said that? I’m so pretty, what’s wrong with my daughter?”
The members of the Qing Clan could only swallow the insults in silence. It was not easy for a clan to survive. There were times of glory and times of grievance. After all, there was always someone better out there.
Feng Wuxi still remained smiling, and there was no change in her facial expression. Amidst the discussions, there were also those which had implicated the Feng Clan. But from the start, her poised expression had shown no changes, but remained so graceful that it was astonishing.
Qing Shui frowned. He wanted to step up, but he held it in. After all, Situ Ba had stepped down. He could not possibly head over and bash him now.
“If you’re not fighting, I am!” At that moment, a piercing voice as if it were metal shot out. Following that, a normal looking middle-aged man stepped up the arena.
Qing Shui saw that his steps were very light when he was walking, the distance between each step was exactly the same. While his way of walking was very queer, his speed was very fast. It was as if he was using one step to move a two-step distance.
The middle-aged man seemed calm, but he seemed to emit a feeling that he was common, yet he was actually sharp. The aura he emitted was as if he were a sharp sword!
“Please give me your guidance!” Qing He smiled, and cupped his hands respectfully.
The middle-aged man also cupped his hands and said, “Please!”
Qing He was at the pinnacle of the 9th grade of the Martial Commander, and he was also well versed in the clan’s Blue Lotus Art. It was just too bad that he had only cultivated two lotuses, one for defence and one for attack.
The two lotuses were the size of a basin. They were snow-white as jade, sparkling and translucent, emitting a light tinge of chillness!
The middle-aged man’s unwavering eyes changed on seeing the two lotuses, but it was full of contempt. Seeing that Qing He was ready, the middle-aged man dashed towards Qing He, as fast as the wind!
“This is bad!” Seeing that speed, Qing Shui knew that Qing He would be in trouble!
Qing Shui was cursing to himself. Why were there so many Xiantian cultivators? In the past, although they were in Qing Village, they had never heard of so many Xiantian cultivators. Even in Hundred Miles City, it appeared as if there were no Xiantian Cultivators, and it was unlikely that there were many hidden in the dark. But, after he came to Hundred Miles City, it was as if Xiantian cultivators were everywhere, popping out left and right. There’s Wenren Wu-Shuang, Yu Donghao whom he had healed, Gongyang Xuantong, Baili Jingwei, Yiye Jiange, and now this seemingly common middle-aged stranger…
With a blast of the middle-aged man’s fist, the lotuses shattered. Even Qing He had spewed blood as he was sent flying off the arena!
“Hahaha, since when does a clan with a Houtian cultivator have the right to set up an arena? If there is an arena, one must have the mental preparation to be killed!” The middle-aged man revealed a noxious aura.
I will kill them all and then head to the Gongyang Clan to get the other half of the Energized Meridians Pellet, and then make my escape. That Skysword Sect is nothing outside of the Cang Lang Country.” The middle-aged man said to himself as he looked at the Qing He whom he had sent flying.
Qing Shui could clearly sense the bloodthirsty aura being emitted by the man. It was an aura that came about by slaughtering many. Qing Shui frowned as he started to think of how they had gotten themselves involved with this kind of person. “He must be either a fugitive, or an assassin!”
Qing Clan and the people from the banquet quickly rushed to take a look at Qing He who had collapsed a distance away. Qing Shui was the first to reach Qing He. The bones on the left side of his chest had shattered, causing his left chest to be slightly sunken in. This was because he had managed to block some of the impact with the lotus, if not, he’d be on his deathbed!
“No need to check, he’s dead for sure!” The middle-aged man casually said.
Qing Shui activated his Heavenly Vision Technique as he took a look. His heart leapt with joy as he realized that Qing He’s heart was actually on his right side. He quickly took out the golden needles, and rapidly inserted them into his chest and abdomen while protecting Qing He’s heart and meridian channels. This time around, he used all nine needles.
“Bring 2nd uncle to the room, he’ll be fine!”
The tense members of the Qing Clan heaved a sigh of relief after hearing Qing Shui’s words of assurance. Qing You, Qing Hu and a few others carefully lifted Qing He away.
Qing Shui raised his head and stared hard at the middle-aged man on the arena. His tone was calm, but one could feel the his fury emanating from his words.
“You’re merely a Xiantian cultivator! You’re courting death!”