Chapter 216 - Operating separately
[TL: Hey guys, I'm back 🙂 Thanks for being so understanding.]
"Yes, that's what happened...." Han Yan Meng continued to sob, while her voice even stammered as she recollected running into that naked man in the Maple Forest, and the fight which followed soon after. Her audience, old and experienced enough in worldly matters had already understood that this was probably just a misunderstanding and nothing more!
Based on the their evaluation of the man's Xuan Qi level, they could clearly sense that the man was probably running around naked inside the forest in order to practice some sort of martial technique when the Little Princess and Xiao Feng Wu disrupted his practice, forcing the man to halt his activities, which probably provoked the man as a result!
Given the manner in which things had happened, one must give credit to their wisdom since their guess was partially correct from one perspective.
"Did that man know your origin?" the Sixth Elder asked the most crucial question.
"Did he know....." Han Yan Meng wiped her tears, and then said: "He didn't seem to know about us in beginning, but just when that man was about to leave, Brother Xiao said something and that man immediately became very furious.... Then he grabbed Brother Xiao, and started beating him up, and then...... Brother Xiao ended up looking like this!"
"What did Feng Wu say to him?" the five men anxiously asked at the same time. These five men had already assessed that this one particular sentence must have enraged that naked man; and hence, knowing this sentence would clearly explain the problem that aroused this incident.
"Brother Xiao said: 'The Silver Blizzard City will not let you get away with this. We will exterminate your entire Family!'......." Little Princess had obviously learnt how to mimic people because her impersonation of Xiao Feng Wu was very accurately animated. Her tears still lingered on her eyelashes as she finished narrating this sentence, and could sense from the reaction of the three Elders that there was something probably very wrong with this one sentence in particular.
The three Elders sighed at the same time.
This is just bad luck, isn't it? It only common sense to exit in peace when you can clearly see that the other side is far stronger than yourself, especially when you're stranded alone, and without any backup. Instead of retreating, he actually started threatening the man, and then went one step ahead and threatened to destroy his entire Family? ..... Even if he really wanted to take revenge for the incident, then he should've left that to a time later on in the future ah.... This kid is really very inexperienced in life!
The three Elders were evaluating this scenario with a lot of care, and firmly believed that they themselves would've retreated if ever faced with such a circumstance. The three men were in agreement that Xiao Feng Wu's life had actually been spared by the mercy of that mysterious naked man.
"Silver Blizzard City is of course the most powerful faction of this world, and everyone is afraid of our prowess. However, openly bragging about our name can sometimes be enough to get you into mortal danger!" the Third Elder sighed, "This person may have acted mercilessly, but he's definitely not a murderer......" his facial expression suddenly changed, and suddenly became very unsightly as he stated this sentence. Even though he hadn't finished his sentence yet, it seemed obvious that he was finding it very difficult to continue.
The Third, the Sixth and the Ninth Elder had been working together for many years now, and had a very clear understanding of each other's thought processes. The faces of the three men changed to the same ugly shade since they were evaluating and assessing the situation with a similar mindset.
The three men were thinking the same thing at this moment: if this person is in a position where he isn't even afraid of provoking the Silver Blizzard City, then that leaves us with only one option if we wish to avoid any future problems: We'll need to silence the man!
However, the three Elders weren't completely willing to make this choice either....
Because the man could've made the same; but he didn't!
Not only had he not made this cruel decision, and had actually spared the lives of their two younglings, the man had even refrained from causing direct harm to the Little Princess. However, the man had knowingly left Xiao Feng Wu in a very embarrassed physical state after beating him up to near-death! This was sure to ignite an insuppressible flame of hatred in Xiao Feng Wu's heart, which wouldn't simmer down until the man was dead!
The man didn't kill Xiao Feng Wu, but made sure to provoke him in the most outrageous of ways; and such an action could only be explained in one way: that man wasn't bothered with the Silver Blizzard City's strength!
In other words, the man was so sure that not only did he not seem afraid of the Silver Blizzard City, he was actually considered himself to be strong enough to contend against them! Basically, if the word of this incident was ever to become public, the reputation of the Silver Blizzard City would suffer a lot of harm.
The next step would obviously be to assess the man's strength; and that of his backers!
However, in present times, there weren't too many factions which were capable of carrying out such a brazen act of insolence against the Silver Blizzard City!
"The Xue Hun Manor is unlikely to be behind this...." The Third Elder and Xiao Han were in agreement on this, however, the latter was working a completely different angel in his mind: "The Xue Hun Manor's people didn't even show up for the Xuan Core, so it is unlikely that this was done by one of their people. Anyway, if this was done by one of their people, then given their world-renowned arrogance, the man would've obviously left a mark behind. They like their boldness to be recognized by the world, but this was done in silence and seclusion, so it is unlikely that they have anything to do with this."
"So who do you think was behind this?" the Six Elder raised his silver-ish eyebrows.
"I believe that there's only one Family in the Tian Xiang City that harbors a hatred deep enough to do something like this." Xiao Han's eyes flickered coldly: "And that Family is the Jun Family! Only the Jun Family would be so sensitive to the "Xiao" Family's name, and therefore I believe that this must be their doing!"
"According to the Little Princess's description, the man had said: 'I hate the Family name 'Xiao'!' This sentence clearly indicates that the man harbors an enmity against the Xiao Family, and later on, once Feng Wu revealed his identity, the man violently thrashed him; the one basic point that we can deduce from this is that this person may not be an enemy of the Silver Blizzard City, but he certainly hates the Xiao Family! And on this point, I'd like to state the obvious: most Families who harbor such sentiments against the Xiao Family are dead, and the very few that still remain are not currently based in the Tian Xiang City. Hence, the only Family that complies with all conditions at hand is the Jun Family; and Jun Wu Yi!"
Xiao Han obviously considered Jun Wu Yi to be his greatest mortal enemy.
Therefore, it was rather obvious that he wouldn't miss on any chances to blame his enemy or the man's Family. Although the manner in which he had stated his argument made his reasoning sound very plausible, but even he was well aware that it was highly unlikely in reality; moreover, framing and acting against both Jun Wu Yi, and the Jun Family for this incident would be a very hard task.
However, he had never imagined that the irrational villainy of his heart would actually be supported by the facts-in-reality! He could've never imagined at this moment that this act was actually the doing of a Jun!
"Xiao Han, I've always known your villainous nature, but I had never taken you to be such a despicable character! These are two completely different things, and yet you insist on blaming this upon Jun Wu Yi's head? Even if you have an old feud with the man, slandering his name in this manner isn't justified."
"Then why don't you tell me the reason behind the hostility exhibited by this person? And that too against the Xiao Family alone?" Xiao Han was obviously not willing to give an inch in this argument.
"Hostility? Maybe you don't understand this, but everyone else here does; this was plainly just a case of misunderstanding, and nothing else! Anyway, if your nephew hadn't been so arrogant, then none of this would've happened to start with, and in case this incident was incited by feeling of revenge, then do you really think that the man would've acted with mercy?" Mu Xue Tong spoke up furiously.
"Acted with mercy? This man was so merciless and devious that he left Feng Wu in a far worse condition than dead. Apart from the Jun Family, I really can't think of any faction in the Tian Xiang City that would exhibit such hatred towards the Xiao Family, and would actually dare to act so arrogantly and murderously even when threatened with retaliation from the Xiao Family and Silver Blizzard City!" Xiao Han's arguments had started increasingly plausible at this point!
"Then why don't you tell me this... who would have such strength in the Jun Family, huh?! Are you telling me that there's a person in the Jun Family whose talented enough to be at least a Jade Xuan expert at such a young age?!" Mu Xue Tong laughed angrily in hysteria: "Our intelligence has gathered a complete profile of the Jun Family's strength, including the entirety of their secret connections; so why don't you spot someone who actually fulfills all the requirements to be our culprit?"
"That Old Man, Jun Zhan Tian.... Isn't he a Sky Xuan? This would've been an easy task for him, what's the guarantee that he didn't do this?!" Xiao Han argued back.
Everyone present on the scene looked at him as if they were all staring at an idiot, Are you actually suspecting that Old Man? Have you really lost your mind? Forget about everything else, even if that Old Man was presented with an opportunity to kill off the entire Xiao Family, I reckon that the Old Man Jun would still refuse to run amok naked publicly.
"That......... that man was very young, and was in fact too young to even be the Old Man Jun's son; let alone the Old Man himself!" The Little Princess spoke up at this point. The Little Princess had often heard about the romance between her elder sister and Jun Wu Yi, along with several tales of the Jun Family, and had formed a very favorable impression of the Jun Family as a result.
"Little Princess, you do not know of this, but this world has several methods by which one's appearances can be completely transformed to that of another person's....... " Xiao Han knew that it would be hard to win over everyone's trust with his fallacious arguments, but he was determined to hold up a strong defense nonetheless, "Yes, moreover, Jun Wu Yi's strength has also reached the Sky Xuan realm, and he surely wouldn't refrain from running around naked in order to extract revenge against the Xiao Family....."
"You've gone mad; you know well of Jun Wu Yi's immobile condition, and yet you continue to argue this point? What motive do you wish to extract from this?" Mu Xue Tong retorted angrily: "Even if we blame and kill Jun Wu Yi for the occurrence of this incident, then I'm afraid that the Eldest Princess will probably throw herself off from the tallest mountain peak of the Silver Blizzard City, and commit suicide to meet her love in the afterlife. What motive could you possibly achieve from forcing these two lovers to do such a thing?!"
Xiao Han's eyes redden in rage while his breathing un-evened in anger, and although he tried to speak up a few times.... he eventually didn't.
"I'm certain that this wasn't the Jun Family's doing because there is one more thing that I haven't mentioned yet!" The Little Princess's face revealed a color of horror as she recalled something.
"What else?" everyone present on the scene questioningly redirected their gazes to her unusually terrified face.
"After that man left us alone in the Maple Forest, the forest suddenly.... It suddenly disappeared...... " the Little Princess's eyes were opened round-and-wide in horror as she narrated the scene in a rather terror-stricken tone: "The entire forest turned ash-gray, and then the wind blew... and the entire forest..... became nothing.... And there was just an open space left... a bare and open land.... Nothing else!"
The three Elders immediately stood up after hearing this; even the Ninth Elder, who was busy providing first-aid to the injured Xiao Feng Wu was no exception, leaving the injured youngster to spray out more blood from his mouth.
"Is this really true? Are you sure that you're telling us the right thing?" the three Elders opened their mouths at the same time. One really cannot blame the three Elders for being so alarmed upon hearing such a thing since even men of their experience and knowledge had never heard of such an occurrence; not even in a distant legend!
This incident had already surpassed the damage Xuan Qi is capable of causing!
The Silver Blizzard City had spent generations of effort into collecting all kinds of objects and treasures, assessing their usefulness, usability and had been studying and exploring such rare treasure with just one objective in mind; ridding the human body of the shackles imposed by Xuan Qi!
Thus, the reactions of the three Elders were obviously warranted upon hearing the existence of someone with such abilities!
"I'll immediately accompany the Little Princess to the forest to see this for myself. Xiao Han, you will immediately contact the Tian Xiang Royal Family, and you will thereafter request for their imperial physician; use any and all resources available in the Magnificent Jewel Hall to ensure that this boy's injuries are cured. Ninth Brother, you will stay here and watch-over the Magnificent Jewel Hall; moreover, you will send a messenger-pigeon back to the Silver Blizzard to enquire if this was the Xue Hun Manor's doing... even though it probably isn't. Mu Xue Tong, you will follow your Sixth Uncle to the Jun Family's residence, and you will assess their reaction to this situation in order to check if they actually have such an expert in their Family. Although it is unlikely that they were behind this, but they are an entity under suspicion here. This needs to be taken care of immediately, and we will have to operate separately and simultaneously." The Third Elder commanded in a calm and composed manner.