Chapter 161: Invitation from the Divine Might Marquis
Translator: KurazyTolanzuraytor Editor: Lucas
At dawn the next day, Duan Ling Tian went to Paladin Academy as usual. Everything seemed extremely calm.
But Duan Ling Tian knew that all of this was only the calm before the storm...
Presently, there was an unknown amount of undercurrents flowing towards him in secret.
At noon, Duan Ling Tian ate at the cafeteria with Xiao Yu and the others as usual.
Suddenly, a higher grade student walked over swiftly from afar and passed an invitation to Duan Ling Tian. "Duan Ling Tian, the Third Prince will hold a banquet for the young talents of the Imperial City at his estate 10 days from now. This is the invitation he ordered me to pass to you." He didn't wait for Duan Ling Tian's reply; he put down the invitation before turning around and leaving the moment he finished speaking.
Duan Ling Tian opened the invitation, and on it were just some polite greetings.
The affixed signatures was 'Chu Yang'.
Duan Ling Tian had heard before that within the Crimson Sky Kingdom's Imperial Family, the surname Chu was the most respected.
"Haha... Duan Ling Tian, the Third Prince is known as one who has a passion for talented individuals. Every single one of the young talents that were invited by him were dragons among men. This time he's probably taken a fancy towards you." Xiao Xun laughed heartily.
Duan Ling Tian put away the invitation and curiously asked, "What sort of person is this Third Prince?"
The invitation was personally written by Third Prince Chu Yang, and its tone was extremely casual, it didn't contain one bit of a condescending tone, and it was more akin to treating Duan Ling Tian as an equal...
As far as Duan Ling Tian was concerned, this was extremely difficult to come by.
"The Third Prince is famous in the Imperial City for being easygoing. He has one of the highest public voices among the crown princes...." Xiao Yu slowly said. "In the past few years, his majesty the Emperor has grown old with age and has been constantly bedridden, and it is precisely the moment for the substitution of the Emperor.... All of the crown princes, including the Third Prince, secretly compete with each other! Duan Ling Tian, you have to consider carefully before going to the banquet of the Third Prince 10 days from now, because if you go, you'll become a thorn in the eyes of the other princes..."
"The fifth prince is among them! The fifth prince is one of the top candidates for the title of emperor, so if you side with the Third Prince, then even if the fifth prince knows that you're a direct descendant of the Duan Clan, it's likely that he would still openly offend you. Your natural talent is too shocking, so he would probably see you as a potential threat and would kill you before you have the chance to grow." Xiao Xun finished speaking in a single breath.
According to him, Duan Ling Tian should casually find an excuse and not attend the banquet, as there were some matters that shouldn't be touched.
Because once they were touched, they would attract a calamity to you.
Even the three great clans of the Imperial City wouldn't normally allow their direct descendants to be swept into the disputes and struggles for the title of emperor.
"Fifth prince?" A trace of a smile appeared on the corners of Duan Ling Tian's mouth and a sharp light flashed within his eyes. "I'm only attending a banquet, and he would need to kill me before I grow just for doing that?"
"Duan Ling Tian, you can't really be thinking of attending the banquet, right? You have to think this through carefully." Xiao Xu originally thought that Duan Ling Tian would accept his suggestion and not attend the banquet. But looking at Duan Ling Tian's intentions now, it would seem that he really planned to attend the banquet.
"Why shouldn't I go? Isn't it just a meal?" Duan Ling Tian asked indifferently.
Just a meal? The corners of Xiao Xun's mouth twitched, and he gave Xiao Yu a concealed gaze.
But unfortunately, even when Xiao Yu tried, Duan Ling Tian only brushed off Xiao Yu's persuasions with a smile and paid no attention to it.
For the entire afternoon, Duan Ling Tian sat cross-legged on a large tree at the side of the Martial Arts Practice Ground. He had consumed a Origin Increasing Pill and was quietly cultivating.... As long as he had free time, he would practically dedicate it all to cultivation, as what he wanted to do now was allow his cultivation to break through to the Origin Core Stage as fast as possible!
Once he breaks through to the Origin Core Stage, he will be able to become a grade eight alchemist and refine a grade eight Spirit-Cleansing Pill, which will allow Xiong Quan's cultivation to recover to the Void Prying Stage.
At that time, the difficulties he was currently facing would be solved easily with the edge of a blade.
Unknowingly, dusk fell upon the lands.
Duan Ling Tian came back to his senses before jumping off the large tree and leaving Paladin Academy with Xiao Yu and Xiao Xun.
"It's the Divine Might Marquis Estate's carriage." Xiao Xun's sharp gaze recognized the carriage that was parked before Paladin Academy's gates. There were two other people who rode Ferghana Horses standing beside the carriage.
One of them was a middle-aged soldier in light armor, and beside him was a young man in casual clothing.
The young man was around the age of 20 and he had a Paladin Academy Student Badge on his waist. When he noticed Duan Ling Tian walk out of Paladin Academy, he said something to the middle-aged soldier. "Father, that violet-clothed youth is Duan Ling Tian."
Duan Ling Tian had only just exited Paladin Academy's front gate when he noticed the two people beside the Divine Might Marquis Estate's carriage spur their horses towards him.
After a short moment, the two of them got off their horses. The middle-aged soldier nodded to Duan Ling Tian before politely saying, "May I inquire if you're Young Master Ling Tian?"
"You are?" Duan Ling Tian had a face full of questions, as he didn't recognize this person.
"I'm Pang Wu, the Vice General under the command of Grand General Nie. This is my son, Pang Rui. I've come here today on the orders of the Grand General to invite Young Master Ling Tian to get together at the Divine Might Marquis Estate," Pang Wu said respectfully. He didn't have even a trace of looking down upon Duan Ling Tian for his young age.
"Is the Grand General you speak of the current Divine Might Marquis, Nie Yuan?" Duan Ling Tian's brows knitted as he asked curiously.
"Exactly." Pang Wu hurriedly nodded.
Duan Ling Tian's heart jerked. Could it be that Divine Might Marquis Nie Yuan knew of his true identity?
Wait, no! Logically speaking, his art of disguising was airtight.
Then what could it be?
Duan Ling Tian carried a trace of doubt as he bid his farewells to Xiao Xun and Xiao Yu before getting on the Divine Might Marquis Estate's carriage.
"Vice General Pang Wu, do you know why the Divine Might Marquis wants to talk to me?" Duan Ling Tian pulled open the carriage's curtain and asked Pang Wu, who was outside.
But unfortunately, even Pang Wu was unaware, as he was only under orders to bring Duan Ling Tian.
Duan Ling Tian had a different feeling when he once again arrived at the Divine Might Marquis Estate, as this time he arrived at the Divine Might Marquis Estate with his real appearance.
Duan Ling Tian once again met Divine Might Marquis Nie Yuan within the audience hall of the Divine Might Marquis Estate....
"You...You're the son of my brother Ru Feng, Duan Ling Tian?" Duan Ling Tian noticed that Nie Yuan was extremely excited when he saw him.
Duan Ling Tian's heart trembled as he thought about what Nie Yuan had said. Could it be that this Divine Might Marquis Nie Yuan had an unordinary relationship with his deadbeat father?
"Greetings, Marquis." Duan Ling Tian lightly nodded to Nie Yuan. This could be considered his way of bowing and paying his respects.
Nie Yuan didn't mind Duan Ling Tian's lack of respect one bit. He swiftly walked up to Duan Ling Tian, then he extended his hands to grab onto Duan Ling Tian's shoulders and gave them a pat before laughing heartily. "Ru Feng has a good son, Ru Feng has such a good son...."
Nie Yuan's laughter was filled with relief and not one ounce of fakeness.
Duan Ling Tian's heart felt warm. It looked like his deadbeat father had quite a relationship with the Divine Might Marquis.
"Marquis, you were friends with my father?" Duan Ling Tian had a questioning expression.
"Come, have a seat. I'll tell you slowly." Nie Yuan led Duan Ling Tian to sit with him at the side before telling Duan Ling Tian about his past with Duan Ru Feng with a face full of smiles. As Nie Yuan spoke, he had an extremely joyous expression; he seemed to become younger as he spoke.
Slowly, Duan Ling Tian came to an understanding. So his deadbeat father was best friends with Nie Yuan.
The two of them had entered Paladin Academy as students during the same year and went from being opponents to getting to know each other, then they finally became best friends and best brothers.
"If it wasn't for me going out to war that year, I wouldn't have allowed you and your mother to travel off to distant parts. Now that we speak of it, this matter is all my fault and I feel guilty to Brother Ru Feng," Nie Yuan said guiltily.
"Marquis, none this has nothing to do with you, so you don't have to blame yourself." Duan Ling Tian shook his head with a smile. He could feel how Nie Yuan was genuinely concerned for him.
"Little Tian, you don't have to be courteous in front of me.... When your father was still around, we called each other brothers, so in the future you can call me Uncle Nie," Nie Yuan said, with eyes that had a trace of doting within.
"Uncle Nie." Duan Ling Tian nodded with a smile, as he had heartfelt admiration for Nie Yuan.
That deadbeat father of his had vanished for so many years, so the fact that Nie Yuan was still able to love him to such an extent was truly difficult to believe.
"Father, I heard Ling Tian has come?" Just at this moment, a young man slowly walked in from outside the audience hall. His voice was mixed with a trace of pleasant surprise.
It was precisely the son of Nie Yuan, Nie Fen!
"Little Tian, this is my son, Nie Fen. Now that I mention it, he even carried you when you were still a baby," Nie Yuan introduced.
"As expected of the child of Uncle Ru Feng and Aunt Rou, his appearance is handsome and extraordinary, and he is slightly similar to Uncle Ru Feng from those years." Nie Fen couldn't help but praise Duan Ling Tian when he saw him.
"Big Brother Nie, you're too kind." Even with Duan Ling Tian's thick skin, he couldn't help but feel his face grow hot.
Nie Feng said, with a smile, "Little Tian, when father heard of the news about you yesterday, he still didn't dare believe it. After it was confirmed, he sent Uncle Pang to bring you over right away."
He couldn't help but sigh in surprise at what Duan Ling Tian did within the Paladin Academy yesterday, a mere youth at the age of 18 had a cultivation that had actually stepped into the ninth level of the Core Formation Stage!
As for the matter of Duan Ling Tian killing Duan Ling Xing, he didn't pay much attention to it, as Duan Ling Xing was nothing in his opinion.
"Ru Feng would surely be extremely gratified if he knew he had a son like you." Nie Yuan, the dignified and imposing Grand General completely expressed the amiableness of an elder in front of Duan Ling Tian.
"I can hear your voices from far in the distance.... Is this the son of Ru Feng?" Suddenly, an aged figure walked into the audience hall from outside.
Duan Ling Tian glanced over to see that person who had entered was precisely the Senior Marquis.
The Senior Marquis was stunned when his gaze landed on Duan Ling Tian. "You...."
A bitter smile appeared on the corners of Duan Ling Tian's mouth, as he knew that the old man had recognized him.... More accurately speaking, the old man recognized that he was precisely the Ling Tian that refined the poison-curing medicinal pill the other day!
Although the old man's Origin Energy was suppressed by the Dark Nether Mink's poison, his Void Prying Stage expert's Spiritual Sense was still present within him, and by relying on his acute senses, he was naturally able to discern his aura to be exactly the same as the Ling Tian's from the other day.
"Father, what is it?" Nie Yuan had a face full of questions when he saw the old man's expression.