Chapter 432 – I’ll Compensate
During these chaotic times of war, those that rode a Vermillion Bird to travel were most likely Elders, ‘Could there possibly be news from Grandfather’s side?’
As Mu Qingshu thought of this, he was conflicted. The Council of Elders within Divine Phoenix Island was mainly composed of conservative old hypocrites. It wasn’t necessarily true that they would allow Lin Ming to become a leader of power in the future, so the situation wasn’t hopeless for him.
As Mu Qingshu was lost in his thoughts, he heard the high-pitched phoenix cry of the Vermillion Bird. The Vermillion Bird was extremely fast; just a few breaths of time after Mu Qingshu had received the sound transmitting talisman, it had already flown over the island’s skies.
Mu Qianyu was momentarily startled. She lay down the flower pot in her hands and looked towards the skies.
The Vermillion Bird landed on the ground, setting off a wild wind that blew away the surrounding greenery.
There was a man and a woman standing on top of the Vermillion Bird. The young man was a handsome youth. As he smiled, his eyes were soft, but they contained an inexplicably fierce will. The girl that stood behind him was delicate, but her attitude was a bit cautious.
They were Lin Ming and Qin Xingxuan.
Lin Ming didn’t return straight to Divine Phoenix Island. Instead, as he was crossing a South Sea transmission array, he asked a disciple who was stationed there where Mu Qianyu was and came to look for her first.
Lin Ming had an exceptionally warm feeling towards Mu Qianyu. In a way, it could be said that Lin Ming was willing to contribute to Divine Phoenix Island mostly because of Mu Qianyu.
When Lin Ming had first left the Divine Phoenix Mystic Realm, if it wasn’t because he was frantically trying to rescue Qin Xingxuan, he would have looked for Mu Qianyu first.
As Mu Qingshu saw Lin Ming appear, the smile on his face instantly froze.
It was actually him!
As Mu Qingshu saw Lin Ming’s smiling face, he felt like he had eaten a fly. For now, he had to consider protocol. He could only hide the disgust and loathing he felt in his heart, and keep on a fairly calm expression.
“Lin Ming!” Mu Qianyu lightly breathed out. She looked as she usually did, but it was hard to conceal the joy shining in her eyes.
“Senior-apprentice Sister Mu.” Lin Ming hopped off the back of the Vermillion Bird. Qin Xingxuan also followed him, carefully jumping off Fireshine and then politely standing behind him. She was still a bit stiff and unsure; she had already heard that Lin Ming and Mu Qianyu were very close.
As Qin Xingxuan came down, Mu Qianyu’s vision also fell onto her. After several breaths of time, she began to see Qin Xingxuan squirm a bit, like a cat on a hot floor. At this moment, Mu Qianyu faintly smiled and said, “Is this Miss Qin? I’ve just recently heard of Miss Qin’s problems. Since the Qin Family was in distress, that is also an oversight on my part. I’m really glad that Miss Qin is safe and sound.”
“Your Highness Saintess is too kind.” Qin Xingxuan respectfully bowed. This was the first time that she had seen Mu Qianyu. She had already heard that the Saintess of Divine Phoenix Island was a divine fairy maiden of the world. When Qin Xingxuan saw her today, there was inevitably a small part of her self-esteem that felt inferior. No matter how she saw it, in terms of status, strength, or anything else, she was simply unable to compare with Mu Qianyu. This caused Qin Xingxuan’s aura to weaken by several degrees.
“This is…” Lin Ming turned his eyes to Mu Qingshu.
“I am Mu Qingshu, I’ve heard Junior-apprentice Brother Lin’s great name already. I’m glad to meet you!” Mu Qingshu cupped his fists together, keeping a neutral tone.
“So it’s Senior-apprentice Brother Qingshu.” Lin Ming politely greeted him in return. But at this time, a true essence sound transmission sounded in Lin Ming’s ear. “Be careful of Mu Qingshu. Because of some… reasons… he might harbor some hostility towards you.”
“Mm? Have I done something to offend him?” Lin Ming asked, slightly startled.
“This…” Mu Qianyu didn’t know what to say, so she vaguely said, “just be careful!”
“Got it.” Lin Ming marked this down.
“Junior-apprentice Brother Lin, since you’ve been within the Divine Phoenix Mystic Realm for such a long time, you must have gotten some great lucky chance right?” Mu Qingshu indifferently asked.
“Mm, I found some lucky chances, that’s why I was stranded in their for so long and caused everyone to worry.”
‘Worry?’ Mu Qingshu sneered in his heart, ‘What I worry about is how you didn’t die.’ As Mu Qingshu thought this, he turned away. He feared that if he kept facing Lin Ming, he wouldn’t be able to continue suppressing the hatred he felt in his heart.
Mu Qianyu heard Lin Ming’s words and said, “It’s been a full 10 months; it’s truly been a long time. Fortunately you still managed to come out in time, otherwise there would have been a tragedy.”
As Mu Qianyu spoke, her eyes turned to Qin Xingxuan, “Miss Qin, the truth is, if the Qin Family had met with any troubles, you could have sent a letter to me. If I knew that any of this was happening, I would have immediately come to help in any way I could have. Miss Qin, there is no need to be a stranger.”
“Mm…” Qin Xingxuan frowned. She naturally knew of the letters that Qin Ziya had sent to Mu Qianyu. As she listened to Mu Qianyu’s tone of voice, she didn’t know what to take from it. Looking at her sincere and honest expression, it didn’t seem like she was lying. Qin Xingxuan bit her lips and wasn’t sure if she would say anything. At this time, Lin Ming said, “Miss Mu, when the Qin Family was in dire trouble, my Elder wrote two letters to Miss Mu. But it seems as if these letters disappeared somewhere, and there was never a response.
At these words, Mu Qingshu’s eyebrows jumped. He felt weak at heart, but he continued to maintain his tranquil expression, casually standing by the side.
Mu Qianyu frowned. “You’ve written two letters and they disappeared?”
“It’s… they might have been lost in the chaos of war.” Mu Qianyu thoughtfully said, not even glancing at Mu Qingshu from the corner of her eyes.
“Is that really so?” Lin Ming didn’t really believe Mu Qianyu’s assumption. The truth was that transmission arrays that passed on letters weren’t really affected by the conflict of war. Not just that, but for two letters to be completely lost seemed a bit unjustified.
“It should be like that.” As Mu Qianyu spoke, she also sent Lin Ming a true essence sound transmission, “I’ll investigate this matter. Junior-apprentice Brother Lin shouldn’t worry. I will give Junior-apprentice Brother Lin a full account of what happened.”
Lin Ming was stunned. There could only be one reason that Mu Qianyu had spoken to him with a true essence sound transmission, and that was to guard against a person. That person could only be Mu Qingshu.
Lin Ming was doubtful, “I’ve offended Mu Qingshu?”
“This…” Mu Qianyu was speechless. How could she possibly speak of what happened? Should she tell Lin Ming that the Elders wanted her to marry Mu Qingshu, and that was why Mu Qingshu’s envy was aroused? And that even later, this engagement was postponed? Wasn’t that implying that Honorable Master Yuhuang was trying to facilitate a marriage between her and Lin Ming?
As Mu Qianyu thought of marriage, her heart was a mess. Her personality deviated towards being independent and free. She did not desire the emotions that lay between men and women, and only wished to pursue the peak of martial artists.
As for what she felt towards Lin Ming, even Mu Qianyu wasn’t clear of it.
Between her and Lin Ming, from the curiosity she felt towards him that became admiration, the two of them should have become close friends and confidants. However, because of those ambiguous experiences within Thundercrash Mountain, a great deal of confusion had been mixed in with these feelings.
Mu Qianyu had followed Mu Yuhuang ever since she was a little child. From then until now, she had very little contact with men, much less having a man touch her body.
Mu Qianyu also couldn’t help but acknowledge that when she had learnt of Lin Ming’s death, she was extremely heartbroken, as if she had lost her soul and everything was gone.
Thinking of this, Mu Qianyu unconsciously glanced at Qin Xingxuan. She looked as if she wanted to say something, but eventually didn’t speak at all…
As for Lin Ming, ever since he learned that someone may have sabotaged the sent letters, his expression had sank. Regardless of who it was, once he learnt of it, he would never let this matter go.
“Lin Ming, let’s go back to Divine Phoenix Island together. Honorable Master is probably impatient.”
Divine Phoenix Island, Vermillion Bird Palace –
The front door of the Elders’ meeting hall was crafted by 1000 year parasol tree wood. Within the meeting hall there was a 30 foot long table with 10 parasol tree chairs. Nine year flame flowers filled the room. These flowers blossomed after nine years, and after blossoming, they were able to absorb fire origin energy. They were extremely rare fire-attribute spiritual plants. These flowers were very beautiful and were mainly used for decoration around the rooms in Divine Phoenix Island.
Mu Yuhuang sat at the seat of honor, and Mu Qianyu sat beside her. There was also seven or eight individuals gathered in the surrounding wooden chairs. Of these seven or eight people, Lin Ming had only seen one before, and that was Revered Master Tianguang, Mu Tianguang.
Beside Mu Tianguang was an old woman dressed in red. Her two eyebrows were over a foot long, and all her hair was red; she looked somewhat similar to Ancestor Chi Yan.
Lin Ming’s soul force was much more formidable now than it used to be, so he was able to faintly feel the level of her cultivation. This old woman was at the middle Revolving Core realm. Within Divine Phoenix Island, most of the Elders were at the early Revolving Core realm. Someone at the middle Revolving Core realm was considered quite strong.
As the old woman saw Lin Ming look at her, she smiled and nodded.
Lin Ming smiled back in return. During this time in front of the Council of Elders, Lin Ming had suppressed his own energy as much as possible in order to show his respect and humbleness.
Besides this long eyebrow old woman, most of the others here were also woman. As they looked at Lin Ming, their expressions varied. Some appeared appreciative, and some weakly smiled. There were also a few that completely ignored Lin Ming, not bothering to acknowledge him at all.
The Council of Elders was the highest authority center within Divine Phoenix Island. All of these Elders were truly powerful characters within Divine Phoenix Island. As long as any four or five of them joined together, that was enough to place sufficient pressure onto Mu Yuhuang.
Mu Tianguang was actually extremely friendly to Lin Ming. After he sat down, he began to look of Lin Ming. As he sensed the profound true essence fluctuations within Lin Ming’s body, he was very surprised. It was simply hard to imagine that these were the true essence fluctuations that could come from a Houtian realm martial artist. However, as he looked over Lin Ming’s dantian, he was able to see that the true essence hadn’t yet formed a cyclone there and was still scattered. Evidently, he still hadn’t set foot into the Xiantian realm.
“Lin Ming, during your time within Divine Phoenix Island you must have greatly benefited.” Mu Tianguang smiled as he spoke.
“Mm, disciple’s luck has been good, and I’ve managed to obtain some lucky chances; that’s also why I was stranded there for so long.”
“Good. If you can grow up faster, then that will be another great war force added to our Divine Phoenix Island!” Mu Tianguang chuckled. Of course, he was only speaking thoughtlessly, he didn’t really believe that Lin Ming would be able to play any significant role in the war between Divine Phoenix Island and the South Sea Demon Region. In a fight of this level, even an early Revolving Core powerhouse was limited in what they were able to accomplish. As for Lin Ming, his cultivation was far below that.
As the Elders began to arrive one after another, with the Vermillion Bird Faction and the Blue Luan Faction added together, there were around 20 Elders in this Divine Phoenix Island council in total.
At this moment, the meeting hall door swung open, and a tall, vigorous looking old man walked in. Behind this old man, there was a very diminutive looking old man with calm eyes who was walking in using a 10,000 year old parasol tree cane.
These two were Divine Phoenix Island’s Vermillion Bird Faction Great Elder Mu Chihuo as well as Third Elder Mu Yanzhuo.
Mu Chihuo swept his eyes over everyone present. He finally glanced at Lin Ming, and then smiled a bit, before heading straight to his seat.
Mu Yuhuang coldly looked at these two old men that sat in their seats and then calmly said, “During this conference of Elders, there are three matters that will be discussed. First there is the announcement of a new appointment. Second is the war plan against the South Sea Demon Region that will occur next month. And third is that Lin Ming will narrate his experiences within the Divine Phoenix Mystic Realm.”
The Divine Phoenix Mystic Realm was vital to the existence of Divine Phoenix Island. However, Divine Phoenix Island only had an extremely limited understanding of just what the Divine Phoenix Mystic was. Every time a disciple returned from the Divine Phoenix Mystic Realm, they would reiterate their experiences for future reference and information.
This time, Lin Ming had been stranded within the Divine Phoenix Mystic Realm for almost an entire year. Naturally, the information of what he had experienced inside was extremely significant; it would allow Divine Phoenix Island to deepen their insight into the Divine Phoenix Mystic Realm. Therefore Mu Yuhuang had especially convened the Council of Elders in order to allow Lin Ming to narrate his experiences.
Of course, this meeting of Elders also had another meaning behind it, and that was to allow the Council of Elders to affirm Lin Ming’s value.
“First, I will speak of the new appointment. I propose that Lin Ming be appointed as the new Vermillion Bird Envoy. I wonder what everyone thinks about this?”
Divine Phoenix Island’s Vermillion Bird Envoy was usually aimed at Xiantian disciples. There were extremely few cases in which Houtian disciples were appointed. The appointment of a Vermillion Bird Envoy meant that the disciple was a future candidate for an Elder.
If one became a Vermillion Bird Envoy, not only would they have true authority, but they would also enjoy rich resources.
Since Mu Yuhuang said these words, that was equal to appointing Lin Ming as an Elder ahead of time.
Regarding this matter, nearly half of the Elders reacted calmly. This was already within their calculations, everyone could see just how much Mu Yuhuang valued Lin Ming.
However, there was a section of Elders that frowned. If Lin Ming became an Elder with real power that didn’t share their last name, then that was similar to a foreign official serving at one’s court. It normally wouldn’t mean too much, but now with how much Mu Yuhuang and Mu Fengxian valued Lin Ming – along with his amazing talent – it wouldn’t be as simple as just being an Elder with a different surname.
Divine Phoenix Island was a sect that was very similar to a family clan. Most of the Elders shared the last name Mu, and it was very difficult for those with a different last name to become an Elder with true power and authority. 1000 years ago, there was an Elder who appeared that was not from the Mu Family. He had betrayed Divine Phoenix Island, causing them to suffer massive losses. Divine Phoenix Island had never forgotten this.
With Lin Ming’s talent, in the future his authority would only grow. This was equal to handing over the entire Divine Phoenix Island to Lin Ming; it was difficult to say just what Lin Ming’s character was!
The atmosphere suddenly became quiet.
After several breaths of time, the Great Elder slowly stood up and said, “This old man does not have an opinion on the Sect Master’s decision to appoint Lin Ming as the Vermillion Bird Envoy. However, this old man only wishes to ask Lin Ming some questions about a matter.”
Mu Yuhuang’s expression was cold, she had a very poor relationship with Mu Chihuo. “What matter?”
The Great Elder stood up and smiled as he looked at Lin Ming. He slowly said, “According to what this old man knows, when you were stranded within the Divine Phoenix Mystic Realm and news of your death spread, there was an enemy of yours who wished to take revenge and retaliate against your family and friends, and even forced a girl that you are very intimate with into a hopeless situation where she would die. When you broke through the Divine Phoenix Mystic Realm, you hurried to rescue this girl. This girl’s life was near its end, and she was about to die. Thus, you took 10 drops of Vermillion Bird blood essence as a price in order to revive this girl’s blood essence and revive her. This girl is a medium sixth-grade talent, and her cultivation is at the Pulse Condensation period. Besides her appearance being simple and beautiful, she has no other strong points. Also, she has no relations to my Divine Phoenix Island. I wonder if anyone knows of this matter?”
The Great Elder’s words were extremely vicious. ‘Besides her appearance being simple and beautiful, she has no other strong points’ that was simply saying that Lin Ming drooled and lusted over Qin Xingxuan’s beauty, and that was the reason that he took out 10 drops of Vermillion Bird blood essence to save her!
With just these few words, the expression of all the Elders present changed. Their eyes all turned to closely look at Lin Ming. For a time, the vision of all these Revolving Core masters was completely concentrated on a single person – the pressure could be imagined!
Even Mu Yuhuang’s willowy eyebrows were pinched together. If this was true, then this would really lead to massive outrage. Vermillion Bird blood essence was beyond precious! Just one or two drops of this blood essence was able to create a Revolving Core Supreme Elder!
Divine Phoenix Island had countless disciples and many lower level Elders that dreamed of being able to obtain just a single drop of Vermillion Bird blood essence so that they could cultivate the core parts of the ‘Vermillion Bird Forbidden Divine Chronicle’. However, there was a limited supply of Vermillion Bird blood essence. Mu Yuhuang had defied the pressure of everyone and given Lin Ming all the Vermillion Bird blood essence. This had already caused dissatisfaction among many Elders. Yet Lin Ming had wasted away 10 drops of this Vermillion Bird blood essence in a single go. Because of the deep and private love between a man and a woman, Lin Ming had rescued this girl’s life with this high price. This would inevitably cause anger among many Elders, and touch upon their point of rage!
Even Mu Yuhuang who favored Lin Ming to the extreme was disgruntled by this act!
Everyone waited for Lin Ming’s reply. At this time, the atmosphere was filled with a terrifying silence, as if the air itself was condensed into essence. All of the Elders, including the long eye browed old woman who had been friendly, were currently glowering at Lin Ming. Only the Great Elder was still faintly smiling as he smirked, calmly looking at Lin Ming.
Against such a enormous pressure, Lin Ming was still as calm as before. He looked at everyone present, and then after several breaths of time, he deeply said, “Everything that the Great Elder said is true!”
With just these words, all of the Elders present were thrown into a boiling rage. Several Elders that were already skeptical of Lin Ming’s character immediately stood up, “Lin Ming! You’ve got guts! Who gave you this authority!? For just your own affairs you wasted away 10 drops of Vermillion Bird blood essence!”
“To trade the life of some young girl for 10 drops of Vermillion Bird blood essence, Lin Ming, you have really opened this old woman’s eyes!”
“If you used 10 drops of Vermillion Bird blood essence to trade for a girl’s life, then another day, after you become a truly powerful Elder of Divine Phoenix Island, won’t you even give away the entire Divine Phoenix Island as a gift to some demonic sect? As this old woman knows, the current spiritual leader of the South Sea Demon Region is an extremely beautiful woman!” The long eyebrow woman shook her head as she looked at Lin Ming with disappointment.
“How great of you! As long as he had two drops of Vermillion Bird blood essence, this old woman’s grandson would be able to practice the core sections of the ‘Vermillion Bird Forbidden Divine Chronicle’. He diligently practices, is not bitter, and yet he still cannot obtain any, unlike you! You actually used 10 drops of Vermillion Bird blood essence to rescue a piece of trash!” The old woman’s voice was very shrill, and her words were sharp and cruel!
In the eyes of these Elders, a sixth-grade talent that didn’t have the Vermillion Bird bloodline still couldn’t be considered trash, but, even if several hundred of these people were added together, they would still be unworthy of a single drop of Vermillion Bird blood essence. To even use half a drop on her was a waste!
Of all the Elders present, their words were all one-sided scolding. Mu Qianyu sighed, she was the only one here that understood Lin Ming. It could only be said that Lin Ming was swayed too much by his emotions and feelings of righteousness. However, what he did was hard to explain!
Lin Ming was willing to take the criticism of all these Elders in his stride. That was, until someone labeled Qin Xingxuan as a piece of trash. Then, Lin Ming’s eyebrows rose up in anger. He coldly said, “I, Lin Ming, will compensate for these 10 drops of Vermillion Bird blood essence!”
“Compensate!? Hahaha!” The Great Elder savagely smiled. “This old man has really heard the funniest joke. 10 drops of Vermillion Bird blood essence is equal to 10 Revolving Core masters; just what do you have to compensate?”