AGM 304 - Cause
Qin Wentian had a smile on his face when he looked at Fan Le. This was the reason why archers had to be slain first during a battle. Fan Le not only had a cultivation base at the fifth-level of Yuanfu, but he also had an extremely powerful bloodline and had already comprehended three different kinds of Mandate.
Fan Le's three Astral Souls were: Bow-and-Arrow Astral Soul, Devil-Faced Astral Soul, and Blazing Flames Astral Soul.
The three Mandates he comprehended originated from his Astral Souls; first, the Mandate of Arrows, Insta-shot; second, the Mandate of Flames, Ignition; and third, the Mandate of Psyche-force, Control. The mandate of Psyche-force was extremely mysterious.; it was exceedingly rare and difficult to comprehend this sort of Mandate. It originated from Fan Le's second Astral Soul, the Devil-Faced Astral Soul. His Insta-shot and Ignition had already reached the Advanced Boundary but his mastery of Control still remained at the Initial Boundary.
And according to what Qin Wentian knew, the first level of insight of the Mandate of Psyche-force was Control, and as it leveled up, it was capable of a never-ending myriad of applications that would be terrifying to fight against.
And like Fatty's favorite line, this fatty was a genius. The will of the Mandate of Flames for Fan Le was many times stronger than ordinary Stellar Martial Cultivators because his Empyrean Flames Bloodline was a fire-attribute bloodline as well.
The strength of these three Mandates when fused together was a force to be reckoned with. Even three opponents at the same level of Yuanfu had no way of defending against his might.
And as for the young lord who was the second son of King Yi, the instant he was locked on by Fan Le, he could feel a sense of impending doom engulfing him. A wide smile beamed on Fatty's face-the smile of a devil.
Ye Xi's mouth was wide open. That shameless fatty was this strong?
She glanced at Qin Wentian, as she whispered, "Brother Wentian, that Fan Le..."
"Don't worry about him," Qin Wentian gently replied. Seeing the candid look in Qin Wentian's eyes, Ye Xi nodded, "Okay."
"I'm Ye Cheng from King Yi's Mansion. You'd better think carefully about what you're doing." The young lord glared at Fan Le. Although Fan Le was aiming an arrow at him, he didn't believe that Fan Le would dare to loose that arrow.
"Little lord, don't scare this little fatty." Fan Le's body began to convulse with fear involuntarily, and when matched with that mock terror on his face, many in the crowd couldn't help but perspire. This fatty was too amusing!
"This fatty shall court death then, but sadly, you won't be able to witness it." Fan Le's gaze abruptly turned cold as a golden streak of light fired off from his bow.
"Young lord, be careful!" someone at the side roared, but it was already too late. The arrow fired at a speed that seemed even faster than sound. Ye Cheng instantly died on the spot.
Even in death, Ye Cheng's eyes were still widened in disbelief. Fan Le fired with no hints of hesitation, killing him off directly.
Such a blatant and decisive attack, even the High Princes nearby felt their hearts involuntarily tremble at the sight.
Fan Le and Qin Wentian both matured through the terrifying tempest that had rocked Chu. The tyranny of the Nine Mystical Palace, Chu Tianjiao's schemes, the destruction of the Emperor Star Academy. The Fan Le today was no longer the same young fatty that traveled by Qin Wentian's side when they were taking the examination within the Dark Forest.
Hidden beneath that fleshy frame of his was a heart that had grown cold and decisive. To those who manifested killing intent towards him, he would not show the slightest shred of mercy.
This Fatty was also a genius at holding grudges.
"RUMBLEE~" A terrifying aura swept forth, Ye Cheng's guards all released their Astral Souls as their killing intent surged forth in torrential waves. Their silhouettes flickered as they rushed Fan Le.
But in the next moment, they only felt an intangible sense of being locked on. They turned to see the herculean young man holding in his hands a bow as resplendent as that of Fan Le's, but the aura he emitted was many times mightier.
Nine arrows split apart the air; each imbued with the will of Insta-shot, and at the Transformation Boundary they flew at an increment in speed by a factor of eight.
"Chi, chi chi!"
Ringing sounds echoed as body after body hit the ground. Of all the guards, only one remained alive. That Yuanfu cultivator stood alone in the air, trembling from a gut-wrenching fear, with only one thought running through his mind. Who were these monsters?
The strongest of Ye Cheng's guards had been at the seventh-level of Yuanfu.
Yet the combat prowess of Chu Mang, who was at the same level, far exceeded their anticipations. His arrows instantly slew everyone, with no warning whatsoever.
"Too weak," Fan Le snorted in disdain, "Big Bro Chu Mang, look at how terrified this poor guy is. Why not let him return alive?"
"Fine." Chu Mang nodded before the astral bow dissipated from his hands.
However, how could the crowd remain calm? The three High Princes all fixated their gaze onto Chu Mang. This young man had a cultivation base at the seventh-level of Yuanfu, but the will of his Mandate had already reached the Transformation level. He could easily slaughter those ordinary cultivators at the same level as him.
This meant that if Chu Mang wanted to kill them, he would be able to do so with ease.
"Still want me to scram? Those who do, speak out now." Chu Mang gazed at the crowd as he coldly spoke. Everyone kept quiet out of fear; the entire area was so silent that you could even hear a pin fall.
The majority of the entourage were all at the middle tier of Yuanfu, their cultivation bases around the fourth to the sixth level. Only four were at the seventh-level of Yuanfu, and one at the eighth-level of Yuanfu.
After all, never would the three princes have expected to meet people behaving so audaciously towards them during this trip to the Gazing-Dragon Mountains.
And not only that, they were all young men with extremely outstanding talent.
They couldn't accurately gauge Chu Mang's combat prowess, but inferring from how easily he slew those cultivators at the seventh-level of Yuanfu, it was highly probable that he might even be able to fight evenly against cultivators at the eighth-level of Yuanfu. If they started a fight here, the best scenario would be that they subdued all three of them, but with heavy casualties on their side.
Not only that, if Chu Mang decided to 'lock on' a prince, there was no guarantee that prince might survive.
"You three don't seem to be the citizens of my Qiyun, where are you all from?" The High Prince beside Ye Xi's father spoke. His countenance was calm, totally devoid of anger. There was no way to tell what he was thinking."You don't need to know."Qin Wentian indifferently commented, "There are still many stone platforms here. If you wish to cultivate, go ahead, if you wish to fight, we will also be happy to play with you."
That High Prince shifted his gaze to Qin Wentian. Qin Wentian's age was similar to Fan Le, both of them were younger than Chu Mang. The three of them were extremely good friends, but who was the leader among them? He had no way to deduce that. But in any case, the strongest of all three should be Chu Mang; there was no doubt about that.
"You guys killed the son of King Yi, so even if I don't send men to pursue this, King Yi would definitely do so. Have you all even considered the consequences? I don't think King Yi would be inclined to show mercy," the prince calmly continued.
Ye Xi's brows were furrowed, she knew that there were many experts in King Yi's Mansion. King Yi himself was at the eighth-level of Yuanfu, an extremely powerful cultivator in his own right. Although Big Bro Chu Mang was a formidable force, if faced against King Yi, he may not prevail...
"Seeing your group's extraordinary talent, I would like to extend an invitation to join my wing."
That prince wanted to recruit the three of them. As long as Qin Wentian and the rest agreed, he would intercede with King Yi on their behalf.
The hearts of many in the crowd trembled, they all knew that the second prince had a love for talent. Even in the face of King Yi's wrath, the second prince would still protect the talents under his wing.An expression of disbelief appeared on Fan Le's face. "Being under your wing? You mean becoming your guard?" Fan Le sarcastically remarked, "Truly, you're good at overestimating yourself."
Qin Wentian completely disregarded that prince. He stared at Ye Xi's father, "Uncle Ye, I wish to ask you something on behalf of Ye Xi. Do you mind coming over here for a chat?"
Ye Zheng's eyes flickered with an unknown light when he heard Qin Wentian's words. He then glanced at the second prince beside him, only to hear the second prince laughing. "No problem, just go and listen to what he has to say."
Ye Zheng nodded his head, as he arrived at the stone platform Qin Wentian was at.
"Father," Ye Xi called out, Ye Zheng glanced at his daughter before glancing at Qin Wentian and the rest. He wondered how his daughter had become acquainted with these powerful young geniuses."Uncle Ye, take a seat." Qin Wentian smiled. After which, he took out a crystal pearl and channeled Astral Energy into it. An instant later, a bubble like substance enveloped them within, separating them from the world outside.
This item was something Qin Wentian had obtained as a spoil of victory when he had slain those fourth-ranked Grandmasters. Other than it being a defensive-type item, the bubble world could block out sounds as well.
"Uncle Ye, now our words can't be heard by those outside." Qin Wentian smiled, "I've heard Ye Xi speaking about the matter of Aunty Ye. No matter what, Uncle Ye, you are still a conferred King as well, don't you feel that it's weird? The fact that the elder brother of King Yi's consort had done such a thing."
He and Fan Le were filled with suspicions. Ye Zheng was no idiot; he should have found this matter queer as well.
"I'm not from Qiyun, I came here by chance and became acquainted with Ye Xi. She's like a little sister to me, Uncle Ye, so if you have anything you want to say, you can just tell it to us straight. Maybe, I might be able to be of help," Qin Wentian added.
Ye Xi also gazed at her father. Yesterday, Qin Wentian and Fan Le had already thoroughly analyzed this matter for her, but she wanted to hear the truth from her father.
"Father," Ye Xi called out.
Ye Zheng sighed, "I've always known that there was something strange about the whole matter. It's why I've always been by the side of the second prince, hoping to investigate this. However, the clues I've found have left me extremely disappointed.""The second prince is also in on the plot?" Qin Wentian asked, his statement causing a bright glint of light to flash past Ye Zheng's eyes. This young man was extremely intelligent.
"Yes, the second prince might very well be the mastermind." Ye Zheng nodded in confirmation, as an expression of agony could be seen on his face."Why?" Ye Xi's countenance turned bloodlessly pale. Her family had no grudges nor vengeance with the second prince.
"Because of the Gazing-Dragon Mountain Rampart," Qin Wentian explained. From Ye Xi, he understood that the High Princes would try their best to comprehend the depictions engraved on the rampart. This matter was an extremely crucial thing in Qiyun, it would determine their future rankings in the eye of the Emperor. And then there was Ye Zheng, a genius that had already comprehended several insights from the rampart, which resulted in him being so powerful.
"Yes, he had long been hinting for me to join him. Because I didn't want power, I never agreed. Never would I have expected he would use such a ruthless method to bind me to him. And during this period every year, I'm required to explain to him the insights I've gained. This was the only way he could rise above the other two princes," Ye Zheng stated, his fists tightly clenched.
"But why did you still teach him even though you already knew the truth?" Ye Xi couldn't understand.
"Because I wanted a chance to take revenge, and also, because of you." Ye Zheng gazed at his daughter, "Xi`er, your father is already on top of a raging tiger, it is difficult for me to dismount halfway. The second prince has always been on guard against me, giving me no chance to make a move. And I have to consider this, the instant I do something that defies his orders, what would happen to you then?"
Qin Wentian nodded in understanding; the facts matched most of his deductions. Because he had always sensed that there were people following Ye Xi.
Before this, he thought that they were arranged for her protection, but now it seemed that they weren't arranged for her sake, but rather, to monitor her movements.
"Uncle Ye, you don't have to worry. Big Bro Chu Mang left one alive on purpose, just so that he could relay the news back to King Yi. This whole affair will definitely be concluded today!" Qin Wentian serenely stated, his words causing Ye Zheng's eyes to narrow. He had divulged the truth to Qin Wentian all because he wanted to take Ye Xi away for her own safety. Only then would he be free to act without restrictions.
Yet, Qin Wentian was confidently declaring that this matter would be concluded this very day!