AGM 0023 - Crisis
Qin Wentian felt that time had passed rapidly in the past two days, as he had abandoned thoughts of anything other than cultivating in a frenzy, while also pondering over the mystery of 2nd level divine imprints. After he exhausted the energy of two Yuan Meteor Stones, he finally stepped into the 7th level of the Body Refinement Realm. As the Astral Energy in his body seeped into his inner organs, his breath strengthened, and every breath he took seemed to contain surging levels of energy, spirit, and qi. Any casual strike of his fist possessed the gigantic strength of approximately 50 bulls. Qin Wentian felt that it was still insufficient, and he hated the fact that he did not have enough time to increase his level of cultivation, to further enhance his strength.
As for the other members of the Qin Clan, it felt as though a year had passed for every day that passed. The combined attacks from the three forces on the outside were getting more and more ferocious, and there would be casualties and death every now and then. The tension in the air, as well as the flames of hatred, already rose to the highest point. There were those in the Qin Clan, who suggested that they should go all out, rushing and clashing directly with their enemies. Even if they died, they had to kill the enemies out there.
Qin Wu didn't agree. Instead, he gathered the members of the Qin Clan together in the memorial hall, and made offerings to honor their Ancestor Qin Wu, as it was the Annual Offerings Day.
TL Note:(both the old patriarch and the ancestor of the Qin Clan are named Qin Wu. Same pronunciation but different meaning.)
After they had paid their respect, the members of the Qin Clan left the memorial hall. As they walked into the Qin Residence, a clansman brought over a body, causing many of the clan members to holler, "Patriarch, let's rush out! If this continues on, we will all be dead."
"Don't worry, I'm the one they want. I have already contacted our old friends and supporters of our Qin Clan. Once I'm imprisoned in the Royal Capital, they will immediately mobilise their troops to save me." Qin Wu continued, "As long as I'm in the hands of our enemies, they would be rest assured."
"Father, no! We can't let you risk yourself like this," Qin Chuan shook his head, as the meaning of Qin Wu was clear. He had wanted to sacrifice himself by jumping into the trap voluntarily.
"The prosperity of the Qin Clan, that your grandfather fought for, has degenerated in my generation, but there's no way I could see it being destroyed in my own hands." Qin Wu bitterly smiled, as he walked forth to the place where Qin Wentian and the rest were standing, before rubbing Qin Wentian's head as he gently said to Qin Chuan, "Protect Wentian and the rest well, you must ensure that no harm comes to them."
Qin Chuan, with reddened eyes, heavily bowed his head.
"Grandpa Qin!" A surging wave of depression arose in Qin Wentian's heart. Was there really no way to resolve this crisis?"
"Patriarch, Clan Leader! The Star River Association has arrived." At this moment, one of the clansman reported this, causing astonishment to flash in Qin Wentian's eyes. Very quickly, the astonishment transformed into hope. Maybe, this was the chance they had been waiting for.
"Quickly, invite them in." Qin Chuan stated, and shortly afterwards, the silhouettes of a few figures could be seen walking over, and the few others in the back, were carrying a few, heavy baggages.
"Patriarch Qin, my name is Murin, and I'm here to look for Young Master Wentian." This person, was the one who Qin Wentian had passed by that day at the Star River Association, by chance - Murin. Other than Murin himself, he also brought along a few companions namely the arrogant girl from before, and of course, Francis.
Qin Wu lightly nodded his head, as Qin Wentian walked forward as he replied, "Greetings to Grandmaster Murin."
"Qin Wentian, I have inspected the divine imprints that you inscribed. Not only are they extremely intricate, the aura they exude was extraordinary too. You possess the qualifications to join my Star River Association, and become my disciple." Murin stated, as he looked at Qin Wentian.
"Grandmaster, if you would please." Qin Wentian didn't reply right away, as he passed the divine imprints which he had inscribed onto iron sheets over to Murin. Murin's eyes flashed with a resplendent light, this young man in front of him could actually inscribe 2nd level divine imprints. Not only that, the design of the imprints as well as the runic lines were extremely exquisite, and not to mention that the types of divine imprints inscribed, was something that not even Murin had seen before.
"If I agree to Grandmaster Murin's request, and join the Star River Association, would Grandmaster Murin be willing to protect my Qin Clan?" Qin Wentian looked at Murin, as he beseeched.
Murin froze, before lightly shaking his head, "The troubles of the Qin Clan are too complicated, and within it, there are too many unknown variables. Although I'm from the Star River Association, I don't have the power to interfere too much with this. However, I can guarantee that as long as you agree to my request, I can immediately take you to safety."
"Wentian, agree to his requests." Qin Wu and Qin Chuan both urged. However, Qin Wentian was extremely disappointed. If the Qin Clan could not be protected, and he was the only one who left, seeking safety while the rest of the clan was in danger, what would that make him?
As he thought of that, Qin Wentian shook his head, "Grandmaster Murin, I'm unable to accept your request."
"Please reconsider, considering your talent, as long as you agree, in the future, you would have whatever you want, including the chance to avenge your Qin Clan." Murin persuaded.
"Wentian!" Qin Chuan and the rest had their gazes all on Qin Wentian, this child!
However, Qin Wentian still insisted on not accepting, "If you can guarantee the safety of my Qin Clan, I will definitely accept."
Murin looked to Qin Wentian, as he bitterly smiled and shook his head, "My abilities are insufficient, however, I still do not wish to lose a talent such as you. How about temporarily becoming a guest of my Star River Association, while you consider my request? This way, although I have no way to interfere with the troubles that the Qin Clan is currently facing, I believe that as long as you manage to arrive at my Star River Association as a guest, nobody would dare to make any moves with ill-intent towards you once you are there."
Qin Wentian's eyes shined with a luster as he bowed slightly, "Thank you Grandmaster Murin. I'm willing to temporarily become a guest of the Star River Association."
"Great! I hope you will arrive safely at the Star River Association then. I will wait for you." Murin patted Qin Wentian on his shoulders, as he left. Francis, who was standing behind Murin, waved his hands for the servants come forward. They unwrapped the baggages, revealing a plethora of divine weapons that was lying on the ground.
"These are the entirety of my creations. Eight top-grade 1st level divine weapons, and 37 mid-grade 1st level divine weapons." Francis had frantically created as many divine weapons as he could within the last two days, and had brought them all to here.
"Many thanks." Qin Wentian passed a iron sheet with a 2nd level divine imprint inscribed on it, to Francis. Francis expressed joy and admiration, akin to madness after the trade, and too, departed from the Qin Clan.
"These divine weapons, would be able to increase the strength of our Qin Residence by a certain extent, Wentian, choose what you want, and as for the rest, Qin Chuan you are responsible for distributing them." Qin Wu commanded. Qin Wentian nodded his head, as after some contemplations, he decided to choose a long spear. A spear was akin to a dragon, violent and tyrannical, which suited him.
"Ah... " A voice filled with terror shouted out, causing the short-lived peace of the moment earlier to be disrupted. In the four directions, a rain of fire arrows could be seen descending from the skies, and an instant later, the territory of the Qin Residence was set ablaze. Obviously, the combined troops of the three forces have decided to commence their true attacks.
Qin Wu's body flickered, as he rushed outside the Qin Residence.
"Father!" Qin Chuan immediately rushed out, following the silhouette of Qin Wu. Meanwhile, chaos abounded everywhere in the Qin Residence. Those with the ability to fight, went off to bolster the ranks of the Qin Clan's troops, while the defenders remained guarding at their designated strategic positions.
Soon after, once Qin Wu appeared, Asura Wu waved his hands and the forces under their command stopped their attacks. However, at this moment, the fiery glow of the blazing flames that currently assailed the Qin Residence was so intense that it had already reached the heavens, and many enemy troops who were taking advantage of the chaos had already infiltrated the Qin Residence. They were engaged in battles with the defenders.
Upon looking at the scene that was occurring right in front of their eyes, the external spectators all sighed in their hearts. It was as if they were witnessing the Qin Clan's annihilation in front of their eyes.
"Asura Wu, I'll leave with you, but you have to spare the rest of my clan."
Qin Wu slowly walked in the direction of Asura Wu and the rest of the enemy troops.
"Since you're so straightforward, naturally, I will spare the members of your clan." Asura Wu smiled. "But the prerequisite was that I have to be able to guarantee that you have no tricks up your sleeves, and that you'll leave peacefully with me."
As the words of his voice faded, two knights who were brandishing their spears advanced towards Qin Wu.
Qin Chuan and the rest had their hands tightly clenched into fist, as rivulets of sweat flowed. They were all extremely nervous.
Abruptly, the two knights concurrently readied their spears in a stance, as they struck out with immense strength. Two "pop" sounds rang out, only for them see that both of the spears were directly embedded into both of Qin Wu's thighs, cleanly piercing through both them. As fresh blood splurted out, two huge bloody cavities had appeared.
Qin Chuan and the rest of the clan members bellowed in rage, and rushed forward, but the thunderous voice of Qin Wu stopped them in their tracks. "Don't move."
They saw the body of Qin Wu collapse to the ground, evidently no longer able to stand up. The expressions of the Qin Clan members turned ashen, filled with the burning flames of rage and hatred, while the warhorse of Asura Wu, slowly trotted over to the side of Qin Wu, looking down at Qin Wu, as a malevolent glint sparkled in his eyes. "Old Man Qin Wu, a truly decisive man. However, I haven't completed my sentence. I will spare the Qin Clan on the condition that they stop their resistance - and the members of the younger generations whom I mentioned earlier are still coming with me."
After saying that, the cold voice of Asura Wu commanded, "Escort Qin Wu away!"
There were many warriors who pointed their spears at Qin Wu, as they proceeded forward - as if they were hesitating out of fear of him. However, Qin Wu no longer had the strength to resist, and thus was escorted away by them. As he was led away, he summoned his strength and shouted out a last sentence. "Qin Chuan, remember what I said."
"Big brother, kill, kill them all!" Qin Ye's eyes were filled with rage, almost bordering on insanity.
"Qin He, Qin Ye, listen to my orders. Escort Qin Yao, Qin Wentian and the rest out of here." Qin Chuan stared at the back of his father, as his gaze turned cold, and a terrifying note appeared in his voice. Qin Ye initially wanted to argue, but upon seeing the look that Qin Chuan shot him, his heart trembled violently as he acquiesced, "Big brother, I'll obey your orders. Let's move out!"
After which, Qin Ye led the members of the younger generation, retreating back to the Qin Residence. Qin Wentian turned his back, seeing the far off silhouette of Qin Wu, as well as that malevolent gaze of Asura Wu, an unquenching flame began to burn in his heart.
"As for the rest, KILL THEM!" Qin Chuan commanded, and instantly, the troops of the Qin Clan released their Astral Souls, while advancing forward as the sound of clashes formed a cacophony resounding in the air, filled with blood, solemness, and tragedy.
War horses galloped forward, as the three forces moved like a raging wind, surging forward to meet the onslaught of the Qin's troops, and instantly erupted into a bloody battle.
"We will escape through the West Gate. Big Brother has already arranged for a defender there, who's waiting to escort us." Qin He led the younger generations, as they broke into a mad sprint. And amidst that chaos, Qin Yao and Qin Wentian respectively sprinted in the direction of the place that they'd stayed.
"Second Uncle, I will go and meet up with mother - you guys go on to the west gate first." Qin Yao's eyes were filled with tears. She'd witnessed her father be embroiled in bloody battles, but yet, she was escaping alone.
Very quickly, sprinting madly, Qin Wentian and Qin Yao arrived at the courtyard that they stayed in. Qin Yao went to look for her mother while Qin Wentian wanted to find Uncle Black. Uncle Black was sitting peacefully within the training grounds, and appeared extremely tranquil, as he passed a star-shaped item over to Qin Wentian as he said, "Wentian, when your life is in absolute danger, inject Astral Energy into this to activate it."
"Uncle Black, come with me." Qin Wentian wanted to carry Uncle Black on his back, only to see Uncle Black stuffing the star-shaped item into his hands as he said, "Relax, even if the Qin Clan lost the battle, and the enemy troops killed all the loyal troops and descendants of the Qin Clan, no one will bother about an unrelated, old man like me. After all, the Royal Clan would still want their face."
"No way." Qin Wentian knew that Uncle Black feared that he would burden him, as he replied with rage coloring his tone.
"Trust my judgement, all these years, when have I ever been wrong before.?" Uncle Black smiled, as he continued on, "Remember this: you're only allowed to use this, when your life is in absolute danger. Quickly go, don't burden the rest of the Qin Clan members."
Qin Wentian retreated a few steps, as he knelt onto the ground, kowtowing three times before he left. All these years, Uncle Black was the one who'd educated him and taken care of him. He understood the personality of Uncle Black extremely well. Once Uncle Black had decided on something, nothing would be able to change his mind. Just as Uncle Black had said, even if the Qin Clan was defeated, the enemy troops were still the representatives of the Royal Clan, and they wouldn't massacred the ordinary workers and unrelated people of the Qin Clan wantonly. Uncle Black was not someone of importance in the Qin Clan, and would be safer here, compared to coming with him. After all, Qin Wentian was someone on the wanted list. If Uncle Black came with him, he might be in even graver danger instead.