AGM 0002 -Repaying Gratitude with Enmity
The air in the morning was refreshingly clear. Qin Wentian, after meditating through the night, felt refreshingly clear-headed and invigorated. As a result of not absorbing the Yuan Qi from Heavens and Earth, his body was relatively weak. Hence, Qin Wentian would go for a run every morning, using the oldest and most original method of body tempering technique in order to strengthen his body. Everyone in the Bai Clan would see what he was doing daily, and though in the beginning they felt that this type of training method was extremely bizarre, gradually, everyone got used to it.
With his broken meridians, it was impossible for the Young Master-in-law to cultivate even the most basic forms of martial cultivation arts, so it seemed like he was hoping to temper his body by using running as a method to enter into the first level of the body refinement realm. This was nothing but a fool's dream, and as a result, everyone in the Bai Clan despised Qin Wentian. If it wasn't for his good fortune in that he was the young master of the Qin Clan, the Bai Clan Leader would never have chosen such a trashy Young Master-in-law to marry Autumn Snow.
"I heard that the eldest missus broke through and became a Stellar Martial Cultivator last night, I wonder if the marriage engagement will still hold." A few voices, which belonged to the servants of the Bai Clan, were sneakily discussing as they watched Qin Wentian doing his running regime.
"Yeah, I heard that last night, Clan Master gathered all the elders for an urgent meeting, in order to disseminate the news throughout the city. Rumour has it that the Eldest Missus Autumn Snow has managed to form an innate link with a constellation from the 3rd Heavenly Layer! Even among the Stellar Martial Cultivators, she could be considered to be a peak-level genius."
"Yup, I agree. Humans naturally have an Astral Gate within them that can be used to store an Astral Soul. But, if one has no talent, there's no way an Astral Soul will be condensed, and yet, the Eldest Missus could already sense the constellations from the 3rd Layer of Heavens. In the future, when she breaks through the 9th level of the Body Refinement Realm, and steps into the Arterial Circulation Realm, she can open yet another Astral Gate, which would then easily aid her in condensing her second Astral Soul. At the very least, it too should be condensed from the 3rd Layer of Heavens... That's just too terrifying... I don't dare imagine what level of power she'd have if she opened even more Astral Gates....."
"Not only that, an Astral Soul that's been condensed from the 3rd Heavenly Layer, contains an immense amount of energy when compared to Astral Souls that were condensed from the 1st Heavenly Layer. It really appears that that trash's position will soon disappear."
What these servants didn't know was that their low voices had still been heard by Qin Wentian. Qin Wentian had meditated for many years, and thus his sensory abilities were extremely powerful - far beyond that of a normal human. He could even hear and differentiate minute variations in vocal tones. However, Qin Wentian didn't put the gossips whispered by these servants in his heart. He'd already known Autumn Snow for three years, and had had close interactions daily. The two of them had already reached a stage similar to kinship. Even if Autumn Snow didn't love him, it didn't matter, as the two clans they belonged to could just settle the matter easily with some discussion. It didn't really matter to him even if this marriage failed to go through, for he had long regarded Autumn Snow as his own sister.
"Seven days from now will be Uncle Bai's 50 year old birthday celebration, and I shall condense my Astral Soul on that exact day - that could also be considered a gift to Uncle Bai."
Qin Wentian smiled as the scenario appear in his mind; everyone thought that he couldn't cultivate due to his broken meridians, yet what they didn't know was that his Uncle Black was the one that'd instructed him to cripple his own meridians! Qin Wentian had never once questioned the words of his Uncle Black, and by using the methods Uncle Black had taught, he'd greatly assisted Autumn Snow in her condensation of her Astral Soul. However, Uncle Black's personality was eccentric, and had strictly forbidden Qin Wentian to mention his existence in front of others.
Qin Wentian slowed his steps as, unknowingly, he had arrived at the courtyard of Bai Qingsong's residence.
"Wentian." A voice drifted closer, only for the silhouette of Bai Qingsong to appear. He looked at him before asking, "Jogging again?"
"En." Qing Wentian nodded his head :"How's Autumn Snow, I wish to visit her."
"Wentian, even if you're unable to cultivate, it doesn't matter. Don't be too hard on yourself." Bai Qingsong didn't answer Qin Wentian's question, giving Qin Wentian a shock momentarily, before he calmed himself and replied: "I'll work harder."
"You don't need to force yourself, in fact, being an ordinary human, setting up a family, and peacefully living one's life, is a rather good choice too." Bai Qingsong continued saying, causing Qin Wentian to freeze up on the spot, after which, he glanced towards Bai Qingsong as he couldn't help but feel that he was talking to a stranger.
"Okay." Qin Wentian forced a smile on his face before saying: "Uncle Bai, I'll be leaving first."
"Okay, take note not to run around for these few days." Bai Qingsong lightly intoned, and after Qin Wentian left, he didn't let Bai Qingsong nor Autumn Snow meet for two days, while the news about Autumn Snow condensing an Astral Soul spread across the entire Sky Harmony City.
When Day number three arrived, it was already morning by the time Qin Wentian had completed his meditation. As he strolled outside, he realised that there were two guards blocking his way. At this moment, his heart sank and his expression turned frosty before stating, "What do you all mean by this?"
"It's very chaotic outside. Young Master Qin had best peacefully stay here for the next few days." One of the guards interjected back coldly, as Qin Wentian's heart continued sinking. Previously, everyone in the Bai Clan would greet him as Young Master-in-law respectfully, but now, this guard had actually dared to use such a cold tone of voice whilst speaking to him.
What Qin Wentian was concerned about, was not the title of Young Master-in-law, but the attitude behind those words.
"What happened?" Qing Wentian suddenly felt a chill in his bones. Ever since he had assisted Autumn Snow in condensing her Astral Soul, he felt that everything had turned topsy-turvy.
"It's better for Young Master Qin to mind your own business, and obediently stay inside your residence."
"How dare you." Qing Wentian excoriated: "I want to see Uncle Bai."
Only to see that one of the guards burst out coldly laughing, glaring at Qin Wentian before saying :"Trash, I shall say it again, you better obediently stay in your residence. Did you really think that you were our Young Master-in-law?"
Qin Wentian's heart had sunk down to the bottom of the valley. He wasn't a dumb person, how could he not have guessed at what was happening? He was imprisoned now, and when he thought back to the words Uncle Bai had said to him a few nights before, he knew that the Bai Clan wanted to destroy this marriage engagement.
"Uncle Bai, if you wanted to annul the marriage agreement, you could have directly spoken to me." Qin Wentian murmured in his heart, as he felt the rending of his heartstrings. Could it be that the interactions between him and the Bai Clan for the past three years had been nothing but an act?
Qin Wentian knew that the reason why the Bai Clan was willing to propose a marriage engagement with him back then was because they'd wanted to borrow the strength of the Qin Clan. But to think that the Bai Clan would dare to act this way today...
"SHUT YOUR MOUTH." A reproachful voice rang out, and Qin Wentian turned his head to see Bai Qing running towards him, before pulling him into his residence.
"Wentian gege." Bai Qing's eyes were both tinged red with tears as she looked at Qin Wentian: "Wentian gege, my Bai Clan has let you down."
"I don't understand." Qin Wentian asked: "Qing`er, I want to meet with your father. If he is unwilling to go through with the marriage, I could ask my adoptive father to discuss annulling the marriage engagement with him. I, Qin Wentian, wouldn't force someone to do the things they don't want to do."
"Wentian gege, my dad... the Bai Clan... they may want to kill you." Tears were flowing down Bai Qing's face as her voice was breaking. Her voice was akin to a clap of thunder that struck right at Qin Wentian's heart, causing him to be stupefied. "Kill me?"
"Why?" Qin Wentian was at a loss, as he didn't understand.
"Don't ask why, Wentian gege, you better leave fast." Bai Qing tearfully implored. Qin Wentian contemplated for a moment, before saying, "But I'm already imprisoned, how do I leave?"
"I've long prepared a fast steed for you at the backgate. You just need to hold me as a hostage and leave." Bai Qing took out a dagger and passed it over to Qin Wentian, beckoning him closer.
"Clan Master." Outside the residence where Qin Wentian was imprisoned, a voice drifted over in addition to the sounds of many footsteps, causing Bai Qing's face to turn pale with fright. "Wentian gege, hurry up."
"Qing`er, tell me, the reason." Qin Wentian's steady eyes stared resolutely at Bai Qing as he slowly enunciated each word. Bai Qing hurriedly stated, "After elder sister became a genius, that very night, the news had already been disseminated throughout the Chu Country, and eventually, the Ye Clan from the Royal City expressed their interest in a marriage engagement."
"The Ye Clan from the Royal City." The coldness in Qin Wentian's heart grew colder in intensity by a few more degrees. "They are the sworn enemies of my Qin Clan, so, the Bai Clan wanted to use my life to announce that they have truly cut off all ties with my Qin Clan, and use my death as a betrothal gift to the Ye Clan from the Royal City."
"Wentian gege, quick, stop talking please." Bai Qing stuffed the dagger into the hands of Qin Wentian, only to see him shake his head, and caress her adorable face as his cold visage broke out into a gentle smile : "I, Qin Wentian, no matter how powerless I am, I could still not stoop so low as to point a dagger at you."
The door was pushed open, as Bai Qing's face instantly turned pale.
"Bai Qing, come here." Bai Qingsong coldly stated.
"No, daddy, elder sister only managed to condense her Astral Soul from the 3rd Heavenly Layer due to the assistance from Wentian gege! Why are we repaying his gratitude with enmity?!" Bai Qing hollered at her father.
"What do you know? Your sister's talent is far beyond your imagination! She condensed her Astral Soul from the 3rd Heavenly Layer solely based on her own abilities, through her own efforts. When did she ever needed his assistance?" Bai Qingsong stated calmly while looking at Bai Qing. He softened his tone, "Qing`er, you are still young and insensible, listen to daddy, come back here."
"Qing`er, go over." Qin Wentian gently smiled at Bai Qing, causing her to stiffen as she mouthed, "Wentian gege."
"Remember what I have taught you." Qin Wentian rustled the hair on Bai Qing's head, as he gently pushed Bai Qing towards the direction of Bai Qingsong. After which, he glanced at Bai Qingsong, before calmly saying, " Uncle Bai, what do you intend to do with me?"
"Qin Wentian, not only are you a heaven-born trash, your conduct is questionable too - to think that you have designs on my little daughter. You tell me, how should I deal with you?"
The current Bai Qingsong felt like a complete stranger to Qin Wentian. Qin Wentian only response was to laugh, as the last hope in his heart flickered out. Looking at Bai Qingsong, he asked :"I only want to know, regarding this, what was Autumn Snow's reaction?"
"You have no need to know." Bai Qingsong coldly replied, as killing intent began emitting from him.
"Today, if I were to die in the Bai Clan, no matter what the reason was, I dare to guarantee this. My foster father would surely lead his army and trample the Bai's residence into a flatground." Qin Wentian unexpectedly stated, with no fear in his eyes. In that instant, the previously gentle looking countenance of Qin Wentian, underwent a swift transformation into an expression exhibiting a steel-like determination.
"Uncle Bai, the Bai Clan still does not have the ability to contend against my Qin Clan, I urge you, you better not make a move against me."
Shocked to his core, Bai Qingsong looked Qin Wentian in his eye. To think that this gentle looking youth still had such a ferocious side to him. After contemplating for some time, Bai Qingsong turned his back and departed. "Escort the second young miss back to her room, and don't let her take a single step out of there. And as for Qin Wentian, ensure that he doesn't step out of the entrance of this courtyard."