AGM 0031 - A Long Journey
Taking in the fact that the three allied garrison were departing towards the Royal Capital, where Qin Wu and Qin Chuan were being detained, Qin Wentian understood that they were indirectly giving pressure to the Emperor. Only by taking such actions would be able to temporarily ensure the safety of Qin Wu and Qin Chuan.
As for the matter of expelling him from the Qin Clan, Qin Wentian was also very clear that this was all done with the intent to protect him. Perhaps during the time he disappeared, there had been some communication between Mustang and the Qin Clan.
"In a cultivation-oriented world, the stronger one is, the more absolute his authority would be. If there's a day when I could soar through the heavens and reach the pinnacle of my might, I would definitely trample upon the so-called 'imperial authority'." Qin Wentian drew in a deep breath as flames began to ignite in his heart. Since his first Astral Soul was condensed from the 5th Heavenly Layer, he could do the same for his 2nd, and 3rd condensation of Astral Souls. What he needed now was time...
Using the night as cover, Qin Wentian arrived at the Qin Residence without drawing attention to himself. In the distance, he discovered a few silhouettes that were riding their horses and carrying their luggages, as if they were prepared to go on a long journey.
"Sister Yao." Mounted on their horses, the figures galloped over. After a few short moments, Qin Yao and the rest arrived at Qin Wentian's location, and upon seeing him, Qin Yao stiffened.
"Wentian." Qin Yao's visage broke into a joyful smile as she dismounted from her war horse and sprinted towards Qin Wentian.
"Sister, Qin Shang, Qin Zhi, where are you guys going?" Qin Wentian asked.
"Wentian, Grandpa and Father were brought to the Royal Capital. Without another choice, the Qin Clan mobilised their troops and decided to launch an attack onto the Royal Capital. If we end up defeated, only death awaits us. Second Uncle decreed that we are to go to the Snow Cloud Country for our cultivation," Qin Yao explained. Only now did Qin Wentian understand. "Even though the battle is imminent, victory and defeat have already been determined. Making the younger members of the Qin Clan leave Chu Country is the best decision."
"For fear of prying eyes, we decided to leave during the night. The younger members of the Qin Clan would all leave in batches. Wentian, when you arrive at Emperor Star Academy, you must do your best to cultivate and not bother yourself with the matters of the battle." Qin Yao's eyes reddened as she tried her best to hold herself together
"I understand. The same goes for you all." Qin Wentian heavily nodded his head. Wanting to topple the Royal Capital with their meagre bit of power was nothing but impossible. Despite knowing this, Qin He still had no choice but to proceed along with this decision.
"Oh right, Uncle Black has disappeared, and we are unable to find him. Second and Third Uncle are outside the city, so there's no need for you to go to the Qin Residence any longer. Instead, you should just make for Emperor Star Academy as soon as possible," Qin Yao continued.
"Uncle Black disappeared?" Qin Wentian displayed a puzzled expression on his face. He had initially wanted to ask Uncle Black about the matter of the demonic ape, but it seems that it was now impossible. Not only that, Uncle Black was someone with vast stores of knowledge, and had definitely been a figure of extraordinary status in the past. Despite this, Uncle Black refused to tell him about his parentage. Upon seeing the strength exhibited by the demonic ape as well as the mysterious tiny astral left behind for him by his old fogey of a father, Qin Wentian couldn't wait to find out about his birth parents.
"Qin Yao, we should leave now to avoid the spies from the Ye Clan." Qin Shang walked forward as he looked to Qin Wentian and stated, "Wentian, in the Qin Clan, your talent is the best. In the future, you will have great accomplishments. You must definitely become an ultimate existence, someone that has the ability to topple down empires with a single word."
"Big Brother, I understand. As for revenge for Second Uncle, I will definitely make the Ye Clan repay this debt in blood." Qin Wentian solemnly vowed. Qin Shang's father was Qin He, and it was because of Qin Wentian that he had lost one of his legs. And now, despite his condition, he was leading the Qin troops towards the Royal Capital for the sake of the Qin Clan.
"After you've arrived at the Royal Capital, remember to stay cautious in all matters." Qin Shang heavily patted Qin Wentian on his shoulders.
"Wentian, we will take our leave first." Qin Yao eyes reddened, as if she couldn't bear to be parted from Wentian. She extender her arms slightly as she walked towards Qin Wentian's side. Upon seeing this, Qin Wentian gently smiled. He hugged Qin Yao into his embrace and patted her on the back before laughing, "Sister, don't worry. Father will be fine. I will definitely work hard in the Emperor Star Academy.As for you, you must remember to be cautious in all matters after you arrive in Snow Cloud Country."
"Right." Qin Yao lingered in his embrace, unwilling to break apart. Only after Qin Shang and Qin Zhi mounted their warhorse did Qin Yao finally loosen her hold. With tears in her eyes, she added while struggling to smile, "Smelly brat, the next time we meet, you have to be strong enough to protect me, okay?"
Having finished speaking, Qin Yao turned her body and she stepped onto the ground, twirling her body in the air in a somersault before landing gracefully on her horse.
"Cha!" Qin Yao shouted, and the war horse galloped madly, moving like the wind. She did not turn her head back for a last look at Qin Wentian. Qin Shang and Qin Zhi galloped after her, and their backs gradually disappeared in the distance.
"Hu......" Qin Wentian tightly clenched his fist, his gaze riveted onto the heavens. He was filled with a single, unwavering conviction-He had to get stronger.
"Shouldn't you be on your way?" At this moment, a voice drifted over. Qin Wentian turned, only to see the shadow of a figure walking towards him.
"I guessed that you would return. I've been waiting for you the last few days." Francis led over two horses as he walked towards Qin Wentian.
"Hmmp." Qin Wentian coldly snorted, his countenance growing cold. Murin's arrogant look was carved deeply in his mind.
"I know you hold nothing but hatred in your heart for the Star River Association, but all that has happened had nothing to do with me. Murin has already returned to the Royal Capital after he realised that he had no way to control you. I believe that despite of Ye Mo's death, the benefits the Ye Clan promised him should still be incomparably attractive. Not only that, Murin brought all the divine imprints that you've traded to him, including the ones you passed to me over to the Royal Capital, without leaving a single one behind." Francis's voice carried an icy tone as he explained.
"What does it have to do with me?" Qin Wentian coldly replied.
"I wish to acknowledge you as my master." Francis's words caused Qin Wentian to freeze. This haughty and arrogant weaponsmith actually wanted to be his apprentice?
"I know you question my character. Ten years ago, I became a Stellar Martial Cultivator, but because of my insufficient talent as well as a weak affinity, I couldn't amount to much. During that time, there was a weaponsmith who told me that, there were countless ways to make my mark. Other than being a Stellar Martial Cultivator, I could devote my time into understanding the insights behind the mysterious divine imprints and become a weaponsmith. Hence, I decided to follow him. Ten years, I was an apprentice for ten full years before he was willing to bestow the simplest of divine imprints to me."
Francis was still angered despite the events that transpired so long ago, "Ten years, he wasted ten years of my life. But even with those few simplistic divine imprints, I've really work hard and clawed my way into the Star River Association, relentlessly improving my craft and obtaining new imprints. There, I finally had some small accomplishments. My experiences in weapon forging have already reached a stage where I'm half a step into the realm of a 2nd-level weaponsmith. As long as I could gain insights into a 2nd-level divine imprint, I would have the opportunity to truly become a 2nd-level weaponsmith. However, all of this was destroyed at the hands of Murin."
He had initially wanted to take his time to complete over the 2nd-level divine imprints that Qin Wentian had given to him in order to gain some insights. However, Murin shamelessly took them away from his possession by force.
"I, Francis, could not be considered a good man, but once I've obtained compensation, I would definitely forge a divine weapon for the buyer. Even though the quality was a bit lacking, I would still ensure that the divine weapon was forged according to the buyer's requirements. No matter what, I still have a bottom line which I'm not willing to cross. But as for Murin, that person has no bottom line at all. But so what? I could only look at him from afar and lament that my abilities are insufficient. Even if I hate him, what could I do to him?"
Qin Wentian could feel Francis's despair. Everyone had their own stories. The thorny path which Francis had trod on until now, struggling with every step to achieve his own ambitions, had his hope stolen and his dream easily shattered by Murin,
"And so what about it?" Qin Wentian calmly asked. Naturally, he would not let pity cloud his judgement.
"Qin Wentian, you have heaven-defying talent, and could even easily comprehend the mysteries of 2nd-level divine imprints which eluded the majority of us. If you spent your time forging weapons, you would certainly be able to gain incomparably attractive compensation, but I assume that you would rather use the time at your disposal for cultivation. For the rest of the mundane tasks, I could help you with them. I don't need any compensation in return. I will do all I can to aid you on the path of your martial way."
Upon hearing Francis's words, Qin Wentian was slightly moved. He naturally understood that it was extremely simple for a weaponsmith to garner a fortune. But to forge a weapon, inscriptions of divine imprints were not enough. He would still need to spend a large amount of time to acquire the required materials etc. In the future, he would certainly not spend majority of his time on such tasks.
Even if Francis proposed this with a motive, Qin Wentian would still accept. In this world, who would be willing to help others for free?
"You are a revered weaponsmith, but you want me to be your master? Won't you feel that this somehow degrades your status?" QIn Wentian continued asking. After all, he had only divine imprints to offer in exchange for Francis's services.
"You should know that it's simple to add decorations on something that's already beautiful, but it's difficult to set fire to coals during a snowstorm. I, Francis, am still not that short-sighted. Although you are in dire straits now, as long as you endure this, I'm afraid that I wouldn't even have the qualifications to carry your shoes in the future. By that time, would you still choose to accept me if I wanted you to be my master? To be your apprentice is a position of honor that I earnestly hope for. How would it degrade my status?"
"Not only that, I wish to personally witness the birth of a genius, I want to see Murin getting trampled viciously beneath your feet. When you are the one trampling him, I want to see if he can still maintain that arrogant face of his." Rage burned in Francis's eyes. Only by borrowing Qin Wentian's strength would he be able to trample Murin, appeasing the hatred in his heart. He decided to gamble his future and placed all his hopes on Qin Wentian.
Qin Wentian looked at Francis before glancing at the horses behind him.
"Was one of the horses prepared for me?"
"Naturally." Francis stated as he looked at Qin Wentian with traces of nervousness in his eyes.
Qin Wentian strode forwards and he mounted upon a horse. At the same instance, a snow-white silhouette moved so fast, leaving behind after-images, scampered up and landed on to the back of the horse as well.
"This fellow, what a fast speed it possesses." Qin Wentian cast a glance at the snowy puppy before tightening his legs, galloping away.
"Master, your esteemed self, please wait for me!" Looking at how the scene played out, Francis couldn't help having a smile breaking out on his visage. He leaped in the air, landing onto the back of his horse, and galloped after Qin Wentian's silhouette. After he caught up, Francis smiled nervously as he sheepishly added, "Master, do you think it's possible to gift this lowly apprentice some tokens of appreciations for formally entering into an apprenticeship with your esteemed self? Just any casual 2nd-level or 3rd-level divine imprints would do. How about it."
After looking at the wretched smile on Francis's face, Qin Wentian rolled his eyes as he scolded, "Get lost from me, your father."
After laughing, Qin Wentian dug in his spurs, causing his steed to increase speed. He continued galloping forward, preparing to rush through the night straight into the Royal Capital.
"Haha, Murin, you bastard, just you wait." Francis burst out in laughter as he, too, increased his speed. After a few short moments, the two of them had already left Sky Harmony City, galloping on the main pathways under the beautiful starlight, dislodging clods of earth and dust.
Qin Wentian turned back his head and gazed at the imposing city walls. A resolute look of steel glinted in his eyes.
This was the first time he embarked on a long journey, Amidst the billowing wind, burying the past events under the flying clods of earth and gazing forth into the horizons, he added, "This cultivation-oriented world, filled with kindness, vengeance, emotions and enmity, better be prepared for my arrival. Here I come!"