AGM 290 - Thousand-Jue Alliance
Initially, Qin Wentian's name in the higher echelons of the Leng Clan was extremely obscure. Those who knew of him were only a few elder-level figures. Back then, the incident of Leng Ning's death created a grudge between the Leng Clan and Qin Wentian. The death of Yan Tie further exacerbated their animosity, as it resulted in the Leng Clan losing their qualification to even enter the secret realm. All of this was negatively implicated to one person-Qin Wentian. Hence, the disciplinary elder, Leng Mao, chose to suppress this news, not allowing the upper echelons of the Leng Clan to catch wind of it.
But now, when the news of Qin Wentian stepping into the level of fourth-ranked Grandmaster circulated to the Leng Clan, there was no way to hide what had happened any longer.
Very swiftly, the entire events concerning the Leng Ning - Yan Tie saga were quickly revealed and spread throughout the entire Leng Clan.
Now, in the great hall of the Leng Clan, the majority of the elder-level figures-and those above-had gathered. Other than that, Leng Ning's uncle, Leng Jian, and her cousin, Leng Lin, as well as those that had a direct connection with Leng Ning's death were all present.
A solemn atmosphere permeated the air, as the overwhelming pressure within it could be palpably felt.
"We once had the chance to become excellent friends with a nineteen-year-old fourth-ranked Grandmaster, yet because of the actions of you people, he is now our irreconcilable enemy. Hehehe, LOOK AT WHAT YOU'VE DONE?!" A sturdy old man shouted, his gaze directed at Leng Jian and the rest. The targets of his gaze could only lower their heads, not even daring to speak out.
During the exchange organized by the Star-Seizing Manor, Qin Wentian spared nothing in his quest to kill Yan Tie. From this, one could see that Qin Wentian would definitely seek revenge for Leng Ning. How could he forget the main culprits behind this incident? Back then, he hadn't carried out his revenge because he wasn't strong enough yet. But now as a fourth-ranked Grandmaster, so long as he joined a transcendent power, or if he were to turtle up his cultivation further, the Leng Clan would definitely suffer the flames of his wrath.
The potential of a nineteen-year-old fourth-ranked Grandmaster was impossible to ignore.
"Originally, our Leng Clan decided to gift Leng Lin over to Yan Tie. Was this the case?" the sturdy-looking old man indifferently added.
Leng Mao nodded, "Indeed that was so, but then Leng Lin found a companion, a young man that was a peak-level, second-ranked Grandmaster. And in addition to Leng Jian's pleading, we eventually decided to change the 'gift' from Leng Lin to Leng Ning."
"Oh? In any case, I heard that our forging division needs a maid or two," the sturdy-looking old man continued. Instantly, Leng Lin's countenance turned ashen, her voice quavering as she weakly replied, "N..no... please..."
The Leng Clan could be considered to be a major clan in the Moon Continent that focused more on Divine Inscriptions. In the Leng Clan, there was a forging division where Divine Inscriptionists gathered. The Divine Inscriptionists over there were either Leng Clan members or guest Inscriptionists that had been invited over for a high price by the Leng Clan.
Divine Inscriptionists all had an extremely revered status in the Leng Clan, and they would naturally need maids to serve them. Occasionally, some of the Inscriptionists would unleash their primal urges, to rid their body of the flame of lust's desire. Usually, their first choice would be to look for their maids, hence the Leng Clan's maids were all selected from extremely beautiful commoners. These maids were actually very pitiful people; if they met a nice Inscriptionist, all was well but if they met an abusive one, they could only blame it on their own luck.
"No? Then who will bear the responsibility?" The sturdy-looking old man swept his cold gaze onto Leng Lin, as he continued, "Tell the one in charge of the forging division that this woman is from our Leng Clan, and will be given to any Inscriptionists that show their worth."
"Father! Save me!!" Leng Lin screamed, yet Leng Jian couldn't do anything. His face was already red from his suppressed emotions, but he now understood that it would be difficult for him to save even himself.
"Leng Jian, you will be banished to the forging division, where you will do odd-jobs for them as a collateral worker for ten years." The old man spoke again, his words like the cross of damnation, causing Leng Jian to turn pale-white.
Being a collateral worker meant that he would be the one filling up the embryonic weapon casts for the Divine Inscriptionists, living the life of a slave under the command of others.
"Leng Mao, as the disciplinary elder, you can't escape from censure. I want you to prepare generous gifts and personally send it to the White Deer Institute to convey our apologies. Try to dissolve this grudge between Qin Wentian and our Leng Clan." Leng Mao nodded as he sighed in his heart. He hadn't expected Qin Wentian's talent to be so brilliant. If he had, he would have distanced himself from those who forced Leng Ning to her death.
By now, Qin Wentian's name had already rocked the entire Eastern Region and news of his achievements had even spread throughout the whole of Moon Continent. However, he acted like nothing remarkable had happened and continued cultivating within the White Deer Institute.
After the fourth-ranked Grandmasters died, their possessions all belonged to Qin Wentian, each item exceedingly abundant in value.
Putting aside the vast number of Yuan Meteor Stones in their keeping, Qin Wentian was so overwhelmed by the sheer amount of third-ranked Divine Weapons left behind that he began to view them as excess junk. He also found a number of valuable and rare forging materials that could be purely converted into Yuan Meteor Stones, further ensuring that Qin Wentian's cultivation would last for quite a while. With this additional means of support, he could retire from the Hell Arena since he no longer needed to earn Yuan Meteor Stones anymore.
Naturally, the most valuable spoils he'd obtained were still the fourth-ranked bladed Puppet, as well as a few other fourth-ranked Divine Weapons. Regretfully, the attainment of those fourth-ranked Grandmasters he killed weren't that high yet; the fourth-ranked Divine Weapons all belonged to the lower-tier category. If not for this, the value of his victory spoils this time around would be far superior.
"Seems like I need to find a place to sell all these unwanted items, or at least trade them into cultivation resources for my own use," Qin Wentian mused.
"Boss, are there any interesting items in the stash? Give me some to play with." Fan Le who was standing by his side, was fiddling with a few third-ranked Divine Weapons. His eyes brightened as he tried to teasingly provoke Qin Wentian.
"You? Forget it, these third-ranked Divine Weapons are already sufficient for your level." Qin Wentian rolled his eyes, this Fatty had already palmed off five peak-tier, third-ranked Divine Weapons from him.
"Hehe, it would be so so much better if I could play around with a fourth-ranked Divine Weapon." Fan Le grinned. Qin Wentian was speechless; with their current cultivation bases, they had totally no way to unleash the power within fourth-ranked Divine Weapons. And it would only be detrimental to their growth if they kept depending on such powerful weapons.
"Fine, wait till you step into the Heavenly Dipper Sovereign level. At that time, it won't be too late then," Qin Wentian replied in a half-mocking tone. Fan Le winked, flashing a thumbs-up gesture in response.
Chu Mang who was by their side, remained quiet all the while, his hands fiddling with the great axe Qin Wentian had given to him. He had only chosen two Divine Weapons; an attack-type Great Axe and a defensive-type Divine Armor. Since the two pieces of equipment augmented both his attack and defense, he was already sufficiently satisfied with his gains.
Sadly, there weren't any fourth-ranked defensive-type armor in the spoils he had obtained. Otherwise, he would be able to give Qing`er a present. Fourth-ranked defensive-type Divine Armors were just too difficult to forge.
"Are you guys still not done yet with the distribution of your victory spoils?" From afar, Bailu Yi approached, smiling at the three of them.
"Are there people looking for me again?" Qin Wentian smiled back. During this period of time, there had been many people requesting an audience with Qin Wentian, but they had all been turned away.
Not only was he an unaffiliated fourth-ranked Grandmaster, he possessed the ancient scroll of the Ascendant. As to these unknown, unfamiliar major powers that were trying to recruit him, Qin Wentian wouldn't even put them to mind.
Even the White Deer Institute had people like Bailu Tong, wanting to murder him to plunder the Ascendant's scroll away."Yeah, at first I didn't want to bother you with their requests, but there are a few powers that are pretty unique in their own rights, which was why I thought it would be better in the end to let you know of them." Bailu Yi withdrew a book and passed it over to Qin Wentian. "This is a summary of the various powers currently within Grand Xia, take a look."
"Right." Qin Wentian flipped the book open as he studied it. After he came to the Moon Continent, he only knew that there were four transcendent powers residing here. Other than those four, he wasn't that clear regarding the other major powers.
"Currently, there are three different powers that came to pay you a visit. First, the Star River Association. I believe you should have heard of this organization before." Bailu Yi's words caused Qin Wentian's countenance to falter slightly. Of course he had heard of the Star River Association, they had a branch set up within Chu.
In his memories, the Star River Association was extremely mysterious and powerful. Although they could be considered a major power in their own right, they weren't embroiled in any political disputes or struggles for power. They were a power that stood on their own. And despite having no allies, no transcendent powers would willingly make an enemy out of the Star River Association. This was a testament to how powerful they were.
"I've heard of it, there's a branch in my hometown," Qin Wentian stated. Not only did they have a branch in Chu, they even had one based in the Sky Harmony City.
"The Star River Association is a unique power that covers the entire Grand Xia. Although they keep a low-profile and rarely interfere with the disputes of other powers, their accumulated resources and overall strength are fearsome to behold. Not only that, they've made it a point to secretly recruit several extremely talented elites in the fields of alchemy, divine Inscriptions and even stellar martial cultivators. Nobody knows what they're planning."
Bailu Yi continued, "Many in Grand Xia have guessed that the Star River Association's organization structure is like a pyramid. An extremely strict top-down structure where information is tightly controlled. Those at the bottom belong to the lower tiers, but as long as they can prove themselves as worthy, even they have a chance at climbing up to the higher levels. The higher one climbs, the greater the authority one wields. There were also rumors saying that the Star River Association originates from an empire outside of Grand Xia, and the countless branches spread out across Grand Xia have all been a bid to consolidate their foundations prior to activating their plans. But of course, these are only rumors."
"The Star River Association is actually this powerful?" Qin Wentian was somewhat stunned. Back in Chu he had heard that the Star River Association set up branches around the major cities of Chu. Now he was receiving information that the Star River Association actually had branches spread out across the entire Grand Xia. This was a different scale altogether. This degree of infiltration, was beyond shocking.
From Bailu Yi's words, he also understood that the branches in the Sky Harmony City and Royal Capital of Chu belonged to the lower tiers of the pyramid structure. If those two branches had that much power and were still considered low level, then how much authority and power would a higher level authority wield?
"There's also been news through the grapevine that several powerful rankers in the Heavenly Fate and Heavenly Dipper Rankings have already been bought over and recruited by the Star River Association. Some of them have even openly announced this fact. Seeing as how they've come to pay you a visit, it's obvious what their intentions are. They wish to recruit you, a nineteen-year-old fourth-ranked Grandmaster, into the Star River Association."
Bailu Yi's words left Qin Wentian stunned. Right from the beginning, he'd never had a good impression of the Star River Association. Back in the Sky Harmony City, Murin had indirectly caused the death of many members from his Qin Residence."The second power interested in you, is also an extraordinary one. Have you heard of the 'Thousand-Jue Alliance'?" Bailu Yi asked, then continued to explain, "The Thousand-Jue Alliance is the largest organization of unaffiliated individuals. Usually unaffiliated cultivators are at a disadvantage when facing off against the major powers, even to the extent of losing their lives. Therefore, a few thousand years ago, a group of unfathomably powerful unaffiliated cultivators came together to form the Thousand-Jue Alliance, in order to provide support to those who needed it. Now, after thousands of years, the foundations of their organization have become even more deeply entrenched. Within the Alliance, as long as you have made sufficient contributions in its name, you will be granted a certain level of power and authority.
"They're considered a transcendent power. Although their headquarters aren't located in the Moon Continent, you can still find people who work for them here. And now, the purpose of their visit is also undoubtedly to recruit you within their ranks."
Bailu Yi continued, "As for the third power, it's none other than the Leng Clan. The disciplinary elder, Leng Mao, has personally paid a visit hoping to dissolve the grudge between you and the Leng Clan!"
Abruptly, a glacial-like light flashed past Qin Wentian's eyes. To think, the Leng Clan actually dared send Leng Mao to apologize? Did they really believe that everything would be resolved, just like that? How utterly ridiculous!