Chapter 222 – The Spreading News of Death
The snow was falling faster and harder; the bodyguards on watch weren’t on high alert.
The temperature was 20 degrees below zero. But this wasn’t anything to a Pulse Condensation period martial artist. As long as they revolved their true essence, they could easily dispel the frosty cold. However, the maids were the ones who suffered. They had no cultivation, so after standing in the biting cold wind and snow for a long time, they soon began to tremble.
Even though they were almost frozen, the Allied Trade Association had very strict rules. They could not even rub their hands or stomp their feet for warmth.
At this moment, there were several maids carrying grapes and other sweet snacks as they walked. Their small faces almost iced over, and the plates they carried were covered with snow.
A guard checked the fruit and snacks before nodding and indicating that they could pass and deliver the trays. But, as soon as he waved them past, he suddenly stiffened. He looked with unbelieving eyes at the waterside pavilion not too far away.
The pavilion was empty!
“This… my Lord!?”
“Mm?” Guard Two and Guard Three also looked over, stunned.
“What’s going on!?”
The four bodyguards panicked and used their movement techniques to enter the pavilion. They saw that Ouyang Dihua had already vanished, while Zhang Fengxian was lying prone on the ground, his condition unknown.
The four bodyguards’ hearts were suddenly filled with an inexplicable chill. They had been standing guard here, so how had this happened?
“Mister Ouyang? Has he been kidnapped, or… ”
As Guard One said these words, he trailed off, not wanting to continue. The other three suddenly felt their hearts go cold and sink into their stomach. If Ouyang Dihua died, they would face severe punishment from the Seven Profound Valleys!
Guard One put his hand over Zhang Fengxian’s mouth to see if he was still breathing, and found that he was. As soon as he opened his eyelids to check, Guard One suddenly gasped. His pupils had vanished, leaving nothing but the whites of his eyes!
“Hurry… hurry and report this to the Martial House. Use the long distance information transmission array to inform the Total Faction that Mister Ouyang is in trouble!”
The truth was, the moment that Ouyang Dihua had died, the Seven Profound Valleys had already been informed. Ouyang Dihua was an important figure, so he had a Life Jade Plate.
As soon as he died, no matter how far away he was, the Life Jade Plate would shatter.
The deacon disciple that was guarding the Life Jade Plate Chamber suddenly heard a cracking sound. Stunned, he looked at the sign of the Jade Tablet, and immediately lit a sound transmitting talisman.
At this moment, in a cave dwelling at the Seven Profound Valley’s back mountains, a middle-aged man dressed in black was sitting down cross-legged in meditation. His long, thick black and white hair draped down to his waist, and his face was as apathetic as a rock carving. He was circling his true essence to cultivate his martial arts. The faint sound of a weeping ghost spread out from his body, and a chilling energy spread through his body. A layer of ice formed on the ground around him.
This man was Ouyang Dihua’s uncle, Ouyang Boyan. He was an Elder of the Seven Profound Valley’s Acacia Faction and he was an early Xiantian realm master.
A burning flame appeared in front of Ouyang Boyan, and the voice of the Jade Plate Chamber deacon sounded into Ouyang Boyan’s mind.
“What!?” Ouyang Boyan’s eyes flew open, a dangerous coldness flashed through them. “Who killed my nephew!?”
In the next moment, Ouyang Boyan was like a ghost as he rushed out of the cave dwelling, and suddenly arrived at the Jade Plate room. The Jade Plate Chamber deacon was already waiting, his hands holding up a tray with Ouyang Dihua’s Life Jade Plate. There was a sharp crack in the Jade Plate, it proved that Ouyang Dihua had already died.
“Since they dare to kill my nephew, no matter who it is, I will make them beg for death! Their entire family will pay with their lives as well!”
Ouyang Boyan’s eyes were overflowing with killing intent. 20 Years ago, Ouyang Boyan hadn’t broken through to the Xiantian realm yet. He was on a mission with Ouyang Dihua’s father when the two of them were ambushed and chased down. The two of them had fought with their lives on the line. Ouyang Dihua’s father had died, but the enemy had suffered a big loss because of him. This was the only reason that Ouyang Boyan was lucky enough to preserve his own life. Therefore, he had always regarded Ouyang Dihua as his own son, and tried to meet all of his needs the best he could. Sometimes, because of his own lasciviousness, Ouyang Dihua would offend a powerful figure in the mortal world. When this happened, Ouyang Boyan would help his nephew resolve the incident.
The Seven Profound Valleys was not a monolithic sect. The seven different factions each managed their own matters. Their cultivation methods were all different, and as a result, their corresponding personalities were also different. As the saying went, those who walk different paths have to go their separate ways. There wasn’t much of a relationship between the seven Great Elders, and not even the Seven Profound Valley’s Valley Master could solve this.
Although the Acacia Faction was a subordinate of the Seven Profound Valleys, they were not subject to restrictions. As an Elder of the Acacia Faction, Ouyang Boyan had enormous power and influence. He was able to shelter Ouyang Dihua so that he could do whatever he wanted.
Ouyang Boyan had been protecting his nephew like this all along, but now, he had actually died! This aroused Ouyang Boyan’s ultimate wrath. When he passed into to netherworld, where would he have the face to see his big brother?
“Ready the Heavenly Wind Eagle, I will depart for Sky Fortune Kingdom immediately!” Ouyang Boyan coldly issued an order, his heart filled with a firm determination. Even if he had to turn the Sky Fortune Kingdom upside down, he would find the murderer that killed his nephew!
Sky Fortune City, Bai Family —
Sky Fortune City’s Bai Family had been court officials for generations. Every generation of the family, they would have someone who passed the Imperial Examination. They could be described as a scholarly family that had been prominent for centuries.
Most of the Bai Family were scribes, they were responsible for keeping and tracking history and literature, reviewing court documents, and handling the affairs of state.
The Head of the current Bai Family generation was Bai Yuanpei. This generation, the Bai Family had reached the peak of its prosperity. Bai Yuanpei had become the number one scholar of his generation, and he has passed the Imperial Exam to be a second-grade official at the age of 45, and he was a vice-minister.
However, in Sky Fortune Kingdom where martial arts was considered the most prestigious path, the glory of being the number one scholar every three years was less than that of being the number one examination candidate from the Seven Profound Martial House’s entrance examination that took place twice a year. Even the Prime Minister’s position in the government was inferior to that of the ten Great Generals.
Therefore, the Bai Family’s status in Sky Fortune City wasn’t considered too outstanding.
However, there had actually been an anomaly that occurred in the generation of Bai Yuanpei’s grandchildren, that would be Bai Yuanpei’s granddaughter, Bai Jingyun. She had actually been born with an amazing superior fourth-grade talent.
Bai Jingyun’s father was a mortal with no talent or cultivation in martial arts. As for her mother, she had only been a superior third-grade martial talent. For Bai Jingyun to be born with such a martial talent, it could be considered a precious miracle.
But, when Bai Jingyun was 15, her princess-like life had suddenly ended.
This was because Ouyang Dihua, who had been travelling, had taken a fancy to Bai Jingyun’s exquisite beauty and outstanding talent, and he decided to marry her as a concubine.
The Bai Family had refused. However, Ouyang Dihua had directly approached the Emperor, and the Emperor had then passed down an Imperial Decree. This was an ironclad order, how could Bai Yuanpei refuse? Ouyang Dihua’s power and influence was greater than the Emperors. Even if it was the Emperor who desired to receive a minister’s daughter as an imperial concubine, the minister would not dare to refuse. Ouyang Dihua’s uncle was an Elder of the Seven Profound Valleys. If his uncle wished, he could dethrone the current Emperor and install a new one in his stead.
So Bai Yuanpei had no choice to comply. However, Bai Jingyun’s father had strongly opposed this. Who knew how many concubines Ouyang Dihua already had? Marrying his daughter to that bastard was simply like shoving her into a fiery pit!
However, no matter how much opposition there was, Bai Yuanpei could not change his decision.
Bai Jingyun’s father was only a frail, weak scholar. His body hadn’t been healthy to begin with, and he had been bedridden for years. All of stress happened to catch up with him, and he suddenly passed away.
According to the traditions of Sky Fortune Kingdom, once the father dies, their children had to live in a small hut for 100 days, and then mourn for three years to fulfill their filial obligations. Ouyang Dihua had wanted to marry her, but after receiving this news he could not break custom, so the marriage had been dragged out.
Now, the mourning period of three years was soon over, and Ouyang Dihua had actually come to Sky Fortune City as the current Seven profound Envoy. This caused Bai Jingyun to feel an absolute despair take root in her heart.
Before Ouyang Dihua had become Sky Fortune Kingdom’s Seven Profound Envoy, the Bai Family had been unable to resist him when he had proposed marriage. Now, with Ouyang Dihua having occupied the position of Seven Profound Envoy, his status was equal to that of an overlord. Bai Yuanpei was only a small vice-minister, the results of any refusal could be imagined.
Bai Jingyun had used adventuring as an excuse to leave, and had already hidden away for more than a month. Now, she had helplessly come back in order to face her unavoidable destiny.
She hadn’t gone to the Martial House for several days. Most of the time, she stayed in her room. This morning, after Bai Jingyun had washed herself, someone knocked on her door.
“Jingyun, may I come in?”
It was Bai Yuanpei’s voice.
Bai Jingyun sighed. For the family’s future, her own grandfather had pushed her into this situation. She didn’t hate or despise him, but she didn’t hold much sentiment for him either.
Especially after her father had died, her attitude towards Bai Yuanpei was even colder.
“Come in.” Bai Jingyun calmly said.
“Jingyun, have you had breakfast yet?” Bai Yuanpei said as he walked in. He tried to smile in order to hide his own guilty conscience.
“I don’t have an appetite.”
“You still have to eat a little. I’ll have the kitchen make a little something and send it in for you.”
“There’s no need. I have to rest for a while” Today, Bai Jingyun really did not want to talk to Bai Yuanpei, because she didn’t want to know why Bai Yuanpei came here for.
“Well… ” Bai Yuanpei awkwardly coughed, “I know about the matters concerning your marriage… ”
“You don’t need to say anymore, I already understand.” Bai Jingyun’s voice was desolate and bleak. Marriage was just a nice way of putting it. According to the customs of Sky Fortune Kingdom, a man could have several concubines. Generally speaking, only a proper and legitimate wife could be married, a concubine didn’t have that privilege. Even the Emperor’s imperial concubine was not considered married.
Bai Jingyun knew what the reality of the situation was. It was impossible for her grandfather, who was just a little vice-minister, to rebel against the Seven Profound Envoy.
Bai Yuanpei’s words stuck in his throat. He could only hollowly laugh. “That… after another half a month, the Tenth Prince, his highness the Cloud Prince, has decided to hold a banquet at his palace. Mm… this is the invitation… ”
Bai Yuanpei bitterly shook his head as he pulled a gilded invitation card out of his chest pocket.
Bai Jingyun glanced at the card. She could able to guess that at the Cloud Prince’s banquet, he would also have invite Ouyang Dihua. The Tenth Prince had already attained the unofficial support of Ouyang Dihua. As for the Crown Prince, because Lin Ming had left without speaking, his reputation and prestige had experienced a large drop. Those forces that were taking a wait-and-see attitude had already turned towards the Tenth Prince.
“I won’t go!” Bai Jingyun icily said.
“But, Jingyun… ”
“I have already said that I will mourn my father for three years! For three years, I will eat vegetables. For three years, I will wear white. For three years, I will not marry! Before then, I do not want to see Ouyang Dihua! If you force me to, I would rather die!”
Bai Jingyun spoke this with an unwaveringly adamant expression. Bai Yuanpei was shocked, Bai Jingyun was too short-sighted. Not only would he lose his granddaughter, but he would also provoke the anger of Ouyang Dihua.
He quickly said, “Jingyun, calm down. You don’t need to go, okay. You don’t need to go. I’ll just report to his highness the Cloud Prince and…”
As Bai Yuanpei spoke, a sound transmitting talisman suddenly lit up in front of him. He froze like a wooden chicken as he heard the message that was transmitted.
Ouyang Dihua… was actually… dead!?