Cult of the Sacred Runes

Chapter 225 - The Qing Family

Inner demons were known to have enough mental influence to turn even the kindest cultivators into merciless killing machines if they managed to take over one’s mind. By the time most Condensed Prime Warriors reached ten star level, most of them would have been warned by their teachers and mentors about the bloodlust these demons can trigger.

Ye Wei’s body was tense but his mind was unshaken, his experience had taught him that fear did not solve anything.

“These are just meaningless illusions!” Ye Wei took a deep breath and grunted. His sentient lit up as the Mystic Mount presence activated, dispelling the darkness and the haunting sinister intent within.

The images vanished and the inner demon’s figure melted in front of Ye Wei like an ice cube under the midday sun.

The inner demon disappeared along with the darkness as the bright light radiated outwards with Ye Wei as the center.

“It’s simpler than I thought it would be…” He muttered as he opened his eyes, relieved that he was able to handle the infamous evil that had claimed countless lives through history.

High-grade inner demons’ power came from a man’s fear. Having encountered one in his past, Ye Wei had it easier than other ten-star condensed prime Warriors.

“Now I just need someone to push me before I can finally breakthrough to Returned Prime level…” Ye Wei sat muttering to himself and calmed his mind.

“In one month’s time, a lot of talented cultivators will fight me recklessly to prove themselves in front of others. I have done all I could to prepare for my next breakthrough. I should refine the Eternal Star stance for the time being.” Ye Wei clenched his fist and began to channel the stars’ energy, in the hope that he would be strong enough to stand his ground against his future opponents.

Meanwhile in another villa within the Black Dragon Valley, a few gray-robed cultivators were sat in a circle with Qing Yao in the middle. The hair on their heads was as white as snow but their faces were youthful and almost childlike.

Not only was Qing Yao one of the most talented young cultivators that came out of the dynasty’s sixteen superpowers, she was also a renowned Runemaster. Together with her were the elders of Qing family. In order for a Qing to make it into the elders’ council being a Runemaster was a basic requirement.

Led by a ten-star Runemaster, the experienced cultivators were here to consult Qing Yao, but more importantly, to satisfy their curiosity after hearing so much about the Million Star Palace’s powerful new initiate.

“Little Ye Wei has shut off the entire villa. It doesn’t seem like he will be joining any side any time soon.” One of the old men sighed resentfully. He had gone to Ye Wei’s door himself with gifts and didn’t even get a glimpse of the young initiate.

“He is too weak to act this rashfully. He will surely be roughed up in a month's time while fighting in the Black Dragon ranking tournament. That would teach him a lesson on politeness.” Another elder responded, displeased by Ye Wei’s lack of interest.

“It was still a wise decision for him to remain neutral. Not matter which side he would have picked, someone will dislike his decision. Right now the superpowers are hesitating, not wanting to harm a potential star. They won’t do anything other than luring and attempting to tame him.” Their leader gave a faint smile.

Qing Yao lightly nodded, agreeing with Elder Qing Ming.

“Recently there is a lot of speculation around two mysterious young cultivators within the dynasty’s borders. More precisely there are two people worth noting. One of them is Ye Wei, the other is the mysterious Runemaster who was able to find the Vermilion Runes. However, no one was able to identify the latter just yet.” Elder Qing Ming paused for a brief moment, pondered and continued. “If you can find the boy, do everything you can to recruit him. If not, take the second best - Ye Wei.”

Qing Yao couldn’t help but gasp a mouthful of cold air. Like any other Runemaster who is up to date with the current affairs, she long heard everything about the yet to be identified Runemaster and the rumour of his deep runic knowledge. Her admiration was vast but she did not have the clearance to find out who he was.

The identity had been a well kept secret as every single one of the Grand-Runemasters were all on the same page of protecting Ye Wei’s privacy.

As a Runemaster, Qing Yao was naturally intrigued and slightly obsessed with the thought of the mysterious talented figure who rediscovered runic knowledge lost to time, not accessible by other than some of the most powerful Runemasters in history. Her heart was filled with worship and admiration towards this person. No-one, not even the talented initiate intrigued her as much.

Elder Qing Ming pondered for a moment, “Ye Wei defied the norm that stood within the walls of this palace for millennia, considering the dragon howled as many times for him as it did for Chi Wuxiu. If there is a way to get him on our side, we should do it immediately. See if you can arrange a meeting.”

“We’ve offended too many people in the last years and time is running out for the patriarch!”

 “We must remain strong before he passes away! Ye Wei has the potential to become a God’s Prime Warrior so we cannot give him up!”

“I understand”, Qing Yao had no other choice but to comply. She nodded warily as she thought about the family’s uncertain future.

Out of the sixteen superpowers, the Qing family was undoubtedly the strongest, influential to a point where even the three royal families had to respect them. However, the elder council knew that the family’s glorious image only faced outwards.

Like the few other martial families that had been around for a millennium, the Qing family was led by a God’s Prime Warrior. And the reason they reigned supreme over the other fifteen superpowers was their ten-star God’s Prime level patriarch. However, that was about to change.

The Qing Patriarch was the only God’s Prime Warrior in the family, the balance of power would be tilted against them favor once the inevitable happened. Having sought solutions within the family and failng to find talent, the council was desperate to find someone with the potential to keep the patriarch's legacy alive.

Although training a cultivator to become a God’s Prime Warrior was not a simple task regardless of talent, the Qing family was not in a position to ignore even the slightest chance to remain the strongest family second to the royals.

The Qing elder council had therefore prepared gifts and wished to present the them together with a flattering pitch. Hoping to win him over by also offering the patriarch’s legacy.

“Xue Er seems to be close to him, I will get her to pay him a visit. Hopefully when he unlocks the gates she can bring him over.” Qing Yao nodded then gently flicked back her fringe, her jade bracelets making a sweet, bell-like sound.

“Yes, that sounds good.” Elder Qing Ming nodded, pleased by the proposal.

The Qing family’s instabilities were well kept within the patriarch himself and the elders, they had long came to realization that even if they bonded themselves with one of the other superpowers by marriage, they wouldn’t be able to stay influential.

Ranked third on the Black Dragon List, Qing Yao was the most talented member of the family’s younger generation. Her getting married would in fact weaken the Qing family’s position. After a brief look into the Ye family, the Qing elders decided the best course of action would be to invite Ye Wei to join the well established Qing family. If all went well, they would arrange for him to marry Qing Yao once he became a god’s prime Warrior.

“Yao, let’s do something else while we wait for your contact.” Although the council had already planned for the family’s revival using Qing Yao’s future, she was not told any of the details regarding the matter. Feeling slightly guilty over the manipulative intentions, Elder Qing Ming changed the topic to lighten the tension he felt.

“The patriarch said the Light Slash Finger stance has space for improvement, and he would like us to refine it.”

“We didn’t want to show the stance to outsiders so we couldn’t get a Grand-Runemaster to help out like we usually do with other stance refinements. It’s been months since we started the project but we couldn’t find the breakpoint we needed. Your Soul Sensitivity is no weaker than ours, would you like to look at the runic routing with us?”

Qing Yao was expected to be the Qing’s future leader ever since the patriarch discovered her talent. In terms of both cultivation and rune knowledge, since her teenage years, Qing Yao had caught up with the elders who raised and trained her.

The family was disappointed by the eight black dragon howls when she was evaluated by the statute but that did not stop her from being an important part of the family’s infrastructure. They remained supportive and kept encouraging her to visit Helian’s secret realms.

‘In the end, little Yao might still manage to become a God’s Prime Warrior if she found the right artefacts in the realms…’ Elder Qing Ming thought to himself. Qing Yao was the key to the family’s revival no matter which way the events would unfold; and he would do all he could to secure the best future for the young girl and the family.

“Let’s get started!” Qing Yao nodded as she waved her slender fingers in the air, transforming her Qi into a sequence of runes.

The Qing family’s core members all took a deep breath, let go of their worries for the family and their personal burdens. Closing their eyes and focused on locating the flaws in the Light Slash Finger stance.