AGM 277 - Blocked Path
After Qin Wentian passed the ancient scroll to Bailu Yi, she excitedly sunk her will and consciousness into it. Lost in the profoundness of the Inscriptions, she entered a state of forgetting everything.
Right from the start, she had always been deeply interested and mesmerized by Divine Inscriptions. Now the insights of an Ascendant were right in front of her and like Qin Wentian, she was unable to extricate herself once she started reading it.
The Gold Element Ascendant had many unique ways when it came to the application of knowledge and within the ancient scroll, there were powerful fourth-ranked Inscriptions, formations, ways to refine fourth-ranked Puppets and methods to forge fourth-ranked Divine Weapons.
Regretfully, Bailu Yi still didn't have a high enough level of attainment to comprehend them. She couldn't understand nor perceive clearly the Inscriptions within. She could only gain a slight amount of insight.
After they met up with Chu Mang and Fatty, the four of them then entered a closed-door cultivation session, secluded within the White Deer Cavern, while Little Rascal laid beside them.
In actuality, Qin Wentian had initially wanted to spend an even longer time meditating in the desert. He had only rushed back because he was worried that Bailu Yi and Fan Le would be worried about him. Now that he'd returned, he would take this chance to discuss with Bailu Yi his thoughts and interpretations regarding the ancient scroll, further consolidating his foundation for both of them. Such an exchange left him feeling marvelous and extremely satisfied with his growth.
However, Di Cheng's current emotions were far from feeling marvelous nor satisfied.
If the Di Clan wanted to gain control over the White Deer Institute, not only did they need approval from a majority of the core members, they also had to place importance in forming good relations with the group as a whole. Only then would the White Deer Institute wholeheartedly submit to their authority and help them willingly. Di Feng was undoubtedly the most suitable candidate there that would gain the recognition of the Institute's core members.
In this cultivation-oriented world, other than the sake of obtaining benefits, it was also important to develop connections and good relations.
Hence during these few days, Di Feng had been staying in the White Deer Institute and would occasionally visit the supreme and grand elders, even interacting with those from the younger generations. Gradually, the feelings of admiration towards this talented young man grew stronger and stronger. There were increasingly more people who trusted and believed in Di Feng.
But for Di Cheng, the White Deer's Institute treatment and attitude towards him were spiraling downwards by the second. Now, there was nothing for him to do and even his existence was completely ignored. And what's more, he had just received news that Bailu Yi was currently in closed-door cultivation together with another young man. How could he be feeling great?
"Is Little Yi still in closed-door seclusion?" At this moment, Di Cheng asked Bailu Yi's father.
"That lass." Bailu Yi's father lightly shook his head. He knew that ever since Qin Wentian had come back, Bailu Yi hadn't left his side, even for a single moment.
He was perplexed by the situation. Normally, he would misunderstand the relationship between his daughter and Qin Wentian. However, he found that he had no objections to it because he had taken a liking to that young man. At the very least, Qin Wentian excelled in every aspect compared to Di Cheng. And also, despite both being descendants of the Di Clan, Di Cheng's level was too far apart when compared to Di Feng.
"Father, it seems that your daughter has already been abducted by Qin Wentian," Bailu Jing remarked with a laugh, standing at the side. His words were spoken precisely for Di Cheng's sake.
Indeed, after hearing his comment, Di Cheng's countenance immediately changed. "Who is Qin Wentian? Is he even worthy of my Little Yi?"
Bailu Jing and his father took offense whenever Di Cheng referred to Bailu Yi as 'his Little Yi', yet they couldn't bring themselves to take up the issue with him. After all, he was still a guest of their Institute.
"It doesn't matter if he's worthy or not, as long as Little Yi likes him." Bailu Jing's words deliberately mocked Di Cheng further.
As expected, after Di Cheng heard that, his unsightly countenance became even uglier to behold."Master, the young missus has ended her closed-door seclusion." Just then, a maid ran up to report. Bailu Yi's father smiled, his eyes lighting. "This lass can finally bear to come out now."
"I'll leave first," Di Cheng bid his farewell in a strangled voice, causing the Bailu father-and-son pair to exchange amused glances with each other. After which, Bailu Yi's father stated, "Follow him, don't let him cause any trouble."
"Right." Bailu Jing nodded as he turned and left as well.
Not long after Qin Wentian and Bailu Yi exited the cavern, a group of people crowded around them, causing them to feel slightly dismayed.
"That guy is Di Cheng," Bailu Yi whispered, subtly pointing to the guy standing in the lead. When Qin Wentian swept his gaze over, he could see that Di Cheng had a cultivation base at the fifth level of Yuanfu. And indeed, from the perspective of the Grand Xia Empire, this level of cultivation base wasn't anything to boast about, especially when considering Di Cheng's age.
Right then, Qin Wentian saw two elders of the Institute halting their steps as they passed by.
When Qin Wentian tried to determine their cultivation bases, he realized that he couldn't do so.
Apparently, with his current level of strength, his third eye would only be able to perceive the cultivation of those at the Yuanfu Realm.
These elders of the Institute should have a cultivation base at the Heavenly Dipper Realm, which was why he couldn't perceive it.
"Little Yi, I've missed you terribly. We haven't met once these past few days." Di Cheng flashed a handsome smile on his face, causing Qin Wentian to be somewhat at a loss for words. This fellow was a 'genius' like Fan Le.
Now, Qin Wentian was even more certain that the Di Clan allowed Di Cheng to arrive first to let the Institute build up their bad impression of him. This wasn't something that Di Cheng faked but was his real personality instead.
Bailu Yi's countenance immediately changed, her anger boiling even more when she noticed Qin Wentian winking at her from the side.
"Di Cheng. From now onwards, kindly refer to me as Bailu Yi," she angrily exclaimed. After which, she turned and locked arms with Qin Wentian, glaring at him and forcibly marching him away.
"Eh..." A bitter smile appeared on Qin Wentian's face. This girl was using him as a shield, her actions causing many onlookers to eye them with expressions of interest.
Now, even if he wanted the members of the Institute not to misunderstand, any further explanation on his end would just cement this false impression even more. Although the truth was that they really were only friends, the members of the White Deer Institute wouldn't think of it this way.
"Qin Wentian?" Di Cheng blocked their path. He narrowed his eyes, as a smile filled with malice appeared on his face.
"You're in my way." Qin Wentian smiled back in response.
"I know. I heard that you're some unaffiliated cultivator with average talent in cultivation. The only noteworthy thing about you is your high level of attainment in Divine Inscriptions and that you're currently a third-ranked Grandmaster," Di Cheng replied.
Qin Wentian frowned slightly. This Di Cheng was really efficient, he had been investigated quite thoroughly.
"And?" Qin Wentian calmly replied.
"Although Divine Inscriptionists are highly revered by others, you shouldn't let that get you in over your head. Because in the eyes of transcendent powers like me, Inscriptionists like you are only tools to be used. Sure, we may need you to forge Divine Weapons and to refine powerful Puppets, but in the end, people like you are just tools. After all, it would be impossible for you to use Divine Inscriptions for combat. Who would allow you the time to inscribe them in the heat of battle? In the end, one's personal cultivation is still the key to strength."
Di Cheng said loftily, puffing out his chest. Qin Wentian was speechless. This fellow blocked his path to tell him a whole load of bullshit, just because he wanted people to hear how outstanding he was?
But could Di Cheng even be considered outstanding at all?
Naturally, when one talks about superiority, they're referring to the comparison between two parties of equal capabilities. Di Cheng knew he couldn't be compared to Di Feng. But as for a puny nobody like Qin Wentian? How could he let him climb over his head? He definitely had to suppress Qin Wentian.
In truth, Di Cheng wasn't stupid. He understood the purpose of why his clan sent him here. He made it clear that he didn't want to pursue Bailu Yi merely for her looks. It was because of her status in the White Deer Institute as well. He knew that if he could marry her, he would at least have some prestige here in the White Deer Institute.And if he really were to succeed, his Di Clan would definitely feel very satisfied with him.
"Are you finished?" Qin Wentian's tone was indifferent, staring at Di Cheng as though he was someone unworthy of his notice. Such a reply caused Di Cheng's smile to stiffen, as he trembled slightly with rage. "Do you still not understand my meaning?"
Seeing how his opponent had no intentions to budge, Qin Wentian's countenance sharpened as a terrifying light from his eyes shot towards Di Cheng's. Di Cheng only felt an overwhelming sense of crisis engulf him as he involuntarily took two steps back in retreat. These steps of retreat, caused him to be filled with utter humiliation.
"Let's go." Qin Wentian smiled.
Bailu Yi played along as she acted innocent, watching the interaction with wicked amusement twinkling in her eyes. Her arms were still linked with Qin Wentian's, blatantly so in fact, as though she were deliberately doing it to tell Di Cheng to give up on her.
From a distance, Bailu Yi's father and Bailu Jing had smiles on their faces when they saw what happened. The bitter-looking smile appeared on Qin Wentian's face again. Misunderstanding, this was all a misunderstanding.
As Qin Wentian and Bailu Yi took a few steps forward, Di Cheng stepped up once again. Immediately, the pressure from a cultivation base at the fifth level of Yuanfu gushed out, pressing onto Qin Wentian.
"Since you don't understand, let me tell it to you plainly. Get lost from the White Deer Institute." The pressure intensified.
However, in the next moment, Qin Wentian's feet stomped continually on the ground as golden light gleamed in his eyes. Instantly, Di Cheng screeched as an intense bout of pain hit him. He felt as though the presence of death had descended onto him. Such might...was unquestionable. To even challenge it would be blasphemy.
"BOOOM!" A huge feeling of pressure rumbled his brain. Di Cheng's countenance paled as he staggered backward again.
Qin Wentian acted as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened and continued walking forwards. As his eyes swept across Di Cheng once more, Di Cheng's pale face lost even more of its pallor and he coughed out huge mouthfuls of blood.
"Buzzz!" Wrath warping his features, Di Cheng ignored his injuries and released his Astral Souls. His body was instantly enveloped by Astral Energy, forming a protective membrane around him as he glared hatefully at Qin Wentian.
By that time, Qin Wentian had already stopped in front of him. Reaching forth with his palms, he then retracted them with such speed that a crack resounded in the air. An instant later, countless runic outlines madly interweaved as the form of a great Roc manifested. Its immense stature moved with an unbelievable speed that belied its size, so fast that Di Cheng didn't even have the time to feel fear. He only felt the claws of the Roc grabbing his robes, violently flinging him out of the way, akin to when someone was taking out the trash. The implied meaning was clear, Qin Wentian was treating Di Cheng as rubbish.
"How dare you." A cold voice rang out, and a silhouette appeared behind Di Cheng, catching him from mid-flight while absorbing the force of the impact. At the same time, that person sent out a palm strike, easily disintegrating the manifestation of the great Roc Qin Wentian had created.
Di Cheng stood up with the old man's help, with blood still leaking from his lips. Near his chest area, his robes had already been totally shredded. Any semblance of a smile was completely gone. His countenance only reflected a feeling of sinisterness.
"Combat with Divine Inscriptions isn't impossible. At the very least, to deal with someone of your standard, I can kill as easily and as many as I want. So don't act so conceited in front of me with your half-witted intelligence." At his indifferent remark, Di Cheng once again coughed out fresh blood, this time in frustration!