In a private room of one of the more prominent restaurants in Swallow City.
A table filled with all sorts of delicious delicacies was being attended to by several young males and females. Though the food and drink as good, the atmosphere was slightly subdued. The diners were all smiling, but their smiles were forced as if trying their best to fake a smile. Only one person wasn't smiling. His expression was downright murderous.
This furious person was Qin Shoufeng. And the people with him were Zhang Qian, Sun Jian, and several other acquaintances.
"Lord Feng," Zhang Qian smiled, "don't worry yourself with those lessers. They were only spouting things. It's best not to dwell on such things."
"Yes, lord Feng. We've already taught those things a lesson they won't forget. Things will blow over in time. Anyone that tries again won't be alive for another attempt. Please calm yourself, it's not worth to be angry over these matters."
Sun Jian smiled as well as he poured another drink into Qin Shoufeng's cup.
"Hmph!! I would've had those scum killed if you hadn't intervened!! Those who dare laugh at me and the Qin deserves to die! Breaking their bones would be the least they deserve!"
The angry glare on Qin Shoufeng's face had yet to fade away even as he drank.
"Yes...yes...they deserve to die, and it was because of lord Feng's generosity to spare their mongrel lives. Please calm yourself..." Sun Jian poured yet another cup with a soothing smile.
The reason why Qin Shoufeng was angry was because of what happened not too long ago. He managed to sneak out from the manor when all the elders were too preoccupied, but while he was heading towards a restaurant with his friends, they came across a group of people who had been talking about him on the other side of the room. They were laughing about several things that had happened in Swallow City in the past day or so.
Namely the fact of the mid-heaven tier Worldly Phantasm, the crafter Bai Yunfei, and...the Qin being forced to rescind the betrothment.
Most of the people were praising Bai Yunfei and his skill before they started to talk about Tang Xinyun and her canceled betrothment. Several were even focusing on the topic of Qin Shoufeng and how they felt about it.
Needless to say, Qin Shoufeng flew into a rage the moment he heard what they were saying and moved to cut their tongues out or break their arms at once.
One of the people had been practically beaten to death before Qin Shoufeng had his mind cleared up and pacified by Zhang Qian and the others. They knew that the offenders weren't exactly people that could be killed at any time, so they made sure to stop Qin Shoufeng before it was too late.
Still, Qin Shoufeng was absolutely murderous at the fact that these people would dare say things like that about him. The muscles in his eyes twitched non stop as he slammed his wine cup hard enough to shatter it. "Who was it!! Who was the one who leaked that information!? There shouldn't have been anyone that knew about the betrothment matter with Tang Xinyun! And it only just happened! Who was it brave enough to leak information like that?!"
His eyes swept across the people seated at the table with him.
The patrons all blanched at his contact. "Lord Feng," Sun Jian waved his hand in a hurry, "please don't doubt us! I was only in Swallow City for a short moment and know no one here. I couldn't have done it! If anything, I was recuperating the entire time yesterday, I couldn't have heard about the matter, let alone leak it!"
Zhang Qian nodded. "Yes, that's right. Please don't doubt us, lord Feng. All of us were forbidden to even head out from our manors yesterday, there's no easy way for us to leak the news even if we wanted to. We only heard about the matter after we were let out. We didn't even say a word about your engagement to begin with, there's no way any of us would've leaked it willingly..."
"...Damn! Damn it all!!" Qin Shoufeng cursed. What his fellow diners were saying was right. That didn't make him any less angry though. It was only serving to make him steam even more with anger.
The object of his frustrations was Bai Yunfei, of course. He wanted nothing more than to tear him apart limb from limb and feed the pieces to a dog. But he knew that couldn't be done.
Even if he didn't have his family warning him not to, Qin Shoufeng would never dare try. He knew Bai Yunfei was a Mid-stage Soul King. To fight against that required far more bravery than Qin Shoufeng had.
He was made a laughing stock now that everyone knew about his betrothment being rescinded. The humiliation was so immense that he wanted to go crazy, but what could he do even if he did? He couldn't take revenge, so the only thing he could do was just stew in his wine and misery.
He slammed down another goblet of wine and allowed it to permeate his body rather than diffuse it with his soulforce. Searing heat traveled from his throat to his belly as the alcohol did its work to alleviate a little bit of the stress on him...
Smiling apologetically at his friends, Qin Shoufeng took another shot of his alcohol. He was starting to feel a little buzzed now. Also a little confused by the relative quietness of the table now, he looked back up after another drink of wine.
Aside from him, everyone else was knocked out on the table and laid unmoving...
What was going on? Were they all knocked out from the alcohol? Or was he just so drunk that he was seeing things?
As he was thinking to himself, Qin Shoufeng swung his eyes to the right. His soulforce was detoxifying his body of the alcohol fast enough to allow him to realize something was amiss!
Two strangers had joined his table at some point while he was intoxicated! A young man in black robes and an elder cloaked in black mist!
"Wh-who are you two?!"
Back to full clarity now, Qin Shoufeng leaped back from his seat to gain some distance from the two strangers.
There was a flash of disdain in Mo Ni's eyes. It was gone in a flash and replaced with a small smile. "Haha, don't be afraid. You would've been dead a long time ago if I wanted to. I...am just here to help you."
"Help me? What...do you mean by that?" Qin Shoufeng was against the wall now. "Who are you people!?"
"Who we are isn't important...." Mo Ni continued to smile, "What's more important is that we can help you take revenge...Don't you want to deal a blow to Bai Yunfei?"
"Bai Yunfei?!" Qin Shoufeng's eyes narrowed at the name. He could see that the people in front of him were both Soul Kings and didn't seem to be a danger to him. What they were saying was still quite puzzling to him, though.
"Correct." Mo Ni nodded. "I can tell you that there is a great grudge between Bai Yunfei and I. I wish to kill him. If you have the same thoughts as I do, then...it would be best that we cooperate."
"Cooperate?" Qin Shoufeng raised an eyebrow to bark with laughter, "You two are Soul Kings and I only a mere Soul Exalt. What cooperation can there be?"
"It's not your strength we require, but your status." Mo Ni replied.
"My status?" Qin Shoufeng wasn't quite sure what this meant for a moment. "You want to make use of my Qin?"
"Cooperation I said. Not make use."
"Pah! I suggest you stop counting your eggs before they hatch. I tell you this now, while I wish nothing more than to break Bai Yunfei's body apart with my hands, I am the only one in my family that thinks this way. The rest have no desire to do elsewise to Bai Yunfei. So...pardon me for my powerlessness. If sire wishes to fight Bai Yunfei, then you will have to do it alone. I wish you success in your endeavors and hope that Bai Yunfei will be reduced to dust!"
Mo Ni continued to smile at him, "Surely you jest, lord Feng. How could you be powerless? You will play an irreplaceable 'role' in dealing with Bai Yunfei..."
The smile ran shivers down Qin Shoufeng's spine. His soulforce was already circulating around his body in anticipation.
"You don't mean..."
Mo Ni moved to close the distance between the two before he could even finish his sentence. Eyes widening as he watched Mo Ni disappear into a blur, Qin Shoufeng had only enough time to register him reappearing right in front of him with a palm ready to press against his forehead!