There was a soft couch in the middle of the woman's chamber, and on the couch reclined a young lady wearing snow-white clothes. Her satiny, black hair flowed down her head and coiled over that couch, forming a beautiful scene of splashed ink. Her countenance was picturesque and her temperament was clear and cold. A pair of jet-black eyes softy swept over, carrying a type of dignity that made one not dare meet closely.
Hong Gu and the others remained silent as they saluted together.
Perhaps outsiders wouldn't know, but the Mingyue Pavilion's trusted aides all knew quite well. Mingyue Pavilion's nominal Pavilion Master was Hua Yuerong, that expert on the Earth Leaderboard. But in fact, it shouldn't have only been her alone. In addition, there was Hua Yuerong's biological younger sister, whose power wasn't inferior to Hua Yuerong — The introverted Hua Xueyin.
If it was said that Hua Yuerong's temperament was unyielding and she was adept at fighting people, then Hua Xueyin was particularly strange due to the martial skills she learned. She could influence others with a scowl or smile. She was the real master of Mingyue Pavilion. Moreover, Hua Yuerong was normally always on the move outside. Meanwhile, Hua Xueyin only needed to remain in the loft, quietly reading or playing instruments, and her strength and realm would continuously increase.
Thus, when the members of Mingyue Pavilion were in front of Hua Yuerong, they would treat her as the Pavilion Master as well as their sister. However, in the presence of Hua Xueyin, they would all be deferential and wouldn't dare be the slightest bit rude.
At this moment, when she heard Hua Xueyin's question, Hong Gu no longer expressed the ecstatic att.i.tude she had just then. Rather, she considered her words and slowly said: "Reporting to the Pavilion Master. Just now, along the Inner Sect Market Street, someone was selling over a hundred wild wolves to the highest bidder. My Mingyue Pavilion was very fortunate. They were won with thirty million gold and a thousand contribution points. Therefore, I was very happy."
Hua Xueyin's delicate and long finger paused as it turned a page, and her inclined head turned to the front. Snow-white skin, rosy lips, and a radiant jade-like countenance. Though, her words contained faint suspicions: "Oh? So easily?"
Hong Gu hastily spoke about the previous string of events, and didn't dare leave out anything by mistake. She also said: "Although I don't know whether that aforementioned old friend is real or not, it's certainly true that this person has a feud with Duanshui Hall. Otherwise, he wouldn't have publicly torn into Duanshui Hall's face while our Mingyue Pavilion is at a disadvantage."
As Hua Xueyin listened, her delicate finger slowly tapped on the page of the book. She looked pensive: "A person who has recently joined… I seem to have heard of such a matter." She closed her eyes and contemplated for a long while, "…Kang Wenhong. This matter should be related to him."
Following which, she opened her eyes: "Zi Yuan, go investigate."
At this time, a young lady, who wore a purple skirt and silently stood in a corner the whole time, suddenly flew out. Like a purple b.u.t.terfly, she quickly descended the building.
Hong Gu and the others quietly waited here. They only watched Hua Xueyin flip through that book again, and they didn't dare leave.
About fifteen minutes pa.s.sed and Zi Yuan flew back in. Moving close to Hua Xueyin's ear, her red lips faintly opened and the matters concerning Kang Wenhong were told in their entirety.
Hua Xueyin's shapely head nodded gently: "So it's like this." Then she said to Hong Gu, "As this being the case, divide the wild wolves among everyone. Although that Kang Wenhong has low seniority, give him a…grade five wild wolf, too. This matter still rests on his relationship."
Hong Gu complied with the order. She turned around and left.
At this moment, her mood was raging. After distributing the wild wolves, she was going to have a proper bout with Duanshui Hall and vent her previous grievances!
Once Hong Gu departed, Hua Xueyin propped herself on the couch and unhurriedly stood up. That head of long hair cascaded to her ankles and contrasted against her body, which looked like a fairy in the snow.
It was quiet within the room, and only Zi Yuan stayed behind.
Zi Yuan softly asked: "Pavilion Master Xue, your intentions are…"
Hua Xueyin lightly sighed: "Although my Mingyue Pavilion had been established many years ago, its foundations are still shallow. The reason why we've encountered a predicament now is because of a lack of experts and no one will come to aid us. Fortunately, that Duanshui Hall also lacks any backers. Otherwise, even if I was to reveal myself, Mingyue Pavilion would still only vanish like smoke into thin air… The Inner Sect, the Inner Sect… Many powers are often established, only to collapse in an instant. Right now, protecting ourselves is hard, so how can we talk about plundering the resources of a Sky Leaderboard power?"
When she spoke up to here, her elegant eyebrows slightly furrowed: "Though we founded this pavilion, it was originally only to protect some innocent women. But now there are many people and its strength has grown, so there are even more troubling matters. If we can't devise a way to firmly grasp more things, we'll become a stepping stone for others due to a lack of defensive power. Once Mingyue Pavilion collapses, how will the pavilion's Junior Sect Sisters live? It's so difficult."
Zi Yuan listened, and seemed to already understand something: "Pavilion Master Xue's meaning is that you want to draw support from Kang Wenhong and rope in that person called Gongyi Tianheng?" When she said this, her brows also furrowed, "Right now, he's merely a disciple who has just entered the Inner Sect. Why not simply pull him into our Mingyue Pavilion?"
Hua Xueyin faintly shook her head: "Looking at his actions, he isn't a person who's willing to be below someone else. If we try to rope him in, it won't work. Instead, it'd be liable to cause malice."
Zi Yuan wasn't fully convinced: "Is it possible that our great Mingyue Pavilion needs to give face to an insignificant Xiantian stage one martial artist?"
Hua Xueyin poked at the s.p.a.ce between Zi Yuan's eyebrows: "Zi Yuan. Ah, Zi Yuan. You don't understand… When the woman Kang Wenhong adored was rescued that swiftly, an enforcement disciple's hand played a rather large role. Kang Wenhong naturally doesn't have this ability, and my Mingyue Pavilion also cannot act. Thus, among those who can use this method, it's only him."
Zi Yuan depressingly said: "But then, we also can't explain to him that he can't provoke…"
Hua Xueyin gently flicked her forehead, her tone indistinct: "No matter what method he used or what price he paid, he was able to make Zhao Yuheng act on his behalf. Just this point alone is enough to make a person afraid of the consequences. Right now, since he has friendly relations with my Mingyue Pavilion, then those relations should be preserved. And we mustn't push him away for a few snappish matters.
At last, Zi Yuan unwillingly lowered her head: "This Zi Yuan understands, and will certainly act prudently."
Hua Xueyin's red lips faintly curved: "In the future, have Kang Wenhong watched over some more. As for that woman he adores, after she becomes an Inner Sect Pharmacist Hall disciple, admit her into the Mingyue Pavilion!"
Zi Yuan said respectfully: "As Pavilion Master Xue commands."
On the other side of things, Hong Gu had arrived at the Mingyue Pavilion's Arms Drill Field.
Of those who routinely came here, many were pavilion disciples who practiced martial arts, cultivated, and compared notes with one another here. This was also the place where people would normally gather.
Someone recently sent down an order for the a.s.sembly of all disciples who were either in seclusion or had other work. At this moment, a large crowd of people formed on the field.
Eighty percent were female and twenty percent were male. All of them had valiant and exuberant appearances.
Many people were puzzled, not knowing what the reason was, but they were all discussing it spiritedly in private. However, their attentions quickly shifted from here. Rather, they looked to the rear.
As it turned out, quite a few strong men with bulging muscles arrived, lifting an enormous iron cage. In that iron cage were many wolves that continuously snarled. Unexpectedly, there were over a hundred wild wolves!
In the blink of an eye, numerous male and female martial artists were shocked, and soon after, their minds came up with a myriad of ideas. Suddenly, they had a faint understanding of the current situation.
"Could it be… Those are for us…"
"It should be so!"
"A little more than a hundred beasts. There isn't enough for everyone…"
"Those with high strength can get one. The Pavilion Master will certainly provide a fair method!"
Originally, Hong Gu had a cheerful expression, but at this moment, she looked solemn: "Quiet!"
Numerous male and female martial artists all shut their mouths.
Hong Gu said: "Everyone probably understands. These wild wolves costed the pavilion a great deal of resources to obtain. For the current matter of our battle with Duanshui Hall, a hundred twenty-eight remarkable martial artists will be chosen to obtain these wild wolves and form a battle squadron! Our Mingyue Pavilion has a total of four hundred disciples. At this moment, we will select the most suitable people. If you aren't selected, you can't hold a grudge!"
Of course, the numerous pavilion disciples didn't object. They all spoke together: "As you command! We wouldn't dare hold a grudge!"
Hong Gu nodded in satisfaction. From the side, a woman took out a list of names and began to read it aloud: "Fang Yongxiu, one grade three wild wolf. Shui Piaopiao, one grade three wild wolf. Liu Ying, one grade three wild wolf…"
In the wake of each name called out, the person pointed out would grin from ear to ear in extreme excitement.
A robust man would open the iron cage, and use an iron rope to harness the neck of a grade three wild wolf within. They were delivered individually into the hands of those people. As for those men and women who obtained the wild wolves, they would swiftly take the iron rope and pull the wolves to the side and tamed them with the utmost care.
For a moment, the voices of martial artists taming beasts, the roars of the wild wolves, and after succeeding, even the noise of docile wolves all interwove together to make a symphony. This drew the attention of the other martial artists, making them incomparably envious.
As for these people whose names had been announced, the majority had rather high seniorities in the pavilion, and they were loyal and devoted. At the same time, their strengths weren't weak, so it was natural that it wouldn't draw any backlashes from many people.
Gradually, the grade three wild wolves were finished being distributed. Soon after, the grade four wild wolves were allocated. Finally, it was the grade five wild wolves' turn — That's right. The grade six wild wolf would inevitably belong to the Pavilion Master. So, the distribution of the grade five wolves would naturally be the finale.
Undoubtedly, the owners of the grade five wolves would all be preeminent powerhouses, and they would also be a comparatively valiant stratum of power in the pavilion. Many disciples showed looks of despair on their faces. Because their strengths weren't sufficient, the grade five wild wolves certainly wouldn't be gifted to them. Of course, the martial artists' temperaments were firm and persistent. The majority freed themselves from their disappointment. There were only some who were envious, but they also became tranquil and even-tempered.
Yet, when the final grade five wild wolf was being allocated, something unexpected occurred.
Hong Gu said: "Kang Wenhong, one grade five wild wolf!"
This time, everyone was flabbergasted:
"That youngster who just got here?"
"Isn't he a Xiantian stage one?"
"How could it have been a.s.signed to him…"
Let alone the other, older disciples of the pavilion, even Kang Wenhong himself was completely astonished. Although he'd done a lot for the Mingyue Pavilion in the Outer Sect and his qualifications were considered sufficient, he also understood that the most he could obtain was a grade three wild wolf — It also wouldn't have been strange if he didn't get anything at all. However, he absolutely never expected that the one he'd get wasn't a grade three wolf, but a grade five wolf!
No matter how one looked at it, this was definitely fishy…
Kang Wenhong hesitatingly stepped forward, but he didn't dare go to take that iron rope.
Hong Gu gave him a scrutinizing glance: "You are Kang Wenhong?"
Kang Wenhong composed himself: "This one's surname is Kang and first name is Wenhong. The grade five wild wolf…"
Hong Gu smiled, and straightforwardly patted his shoulder: "I know your heart is puzzled." Her pupils flashed and she swept her gaze to everyone present, "Without exception, you all are also puzzled."
Kang Wenhong's thoughts were sluggish.
Surprise covered the other's faces as they waited for an explanation.
However, when they heard this sentence from Hong Gu, those with some intelligence thought that there was certainly some twists and turns within.
Hong Gu bluntly said: "There is a considerable relationship between the purchase of this batch of wild wolves and Kang Wenhong. Our Mingyue Pavilion is clear in its rewards and punishments. Junior Sect Brother Kang, since our Mingyue Pavilion has been basking in your light, it's natural that you should have something to show for it. Junior Sect Brother Kang, it's unnecessary for you to have any apprehensions. Just accept this grade five wild wolf and properly tame it!"
After that, the topic of the conversation turned: "However, if you don't have the skill to subdue it, you'll miss this chance and I'll take this grade five wild wolf back!"
How could Kang Wenhong be willing to miss this? Although he wasn't clear about any clues, that didn't hinder him from immediately cupping his hands and declaring: "This Kang certainly won't turn his back on my Senior Sect Sister nor my Pavilion Master's kind intentions!"
The other numerous disciples of the pavilion rested easy one after another.
Then, the pavilion's numerous disciples each tamed their wild beasts. After Kang Wenhong wore down that grade five wild wolf for some time, he led the beast back to his own residence. The one he had picked was a place with a single gate and courtyard. After entering, a nominal disciple who was his subordinate came over. Kang Wenhong gave him the wild wolf to lead it to the side. As for himself, his gaze fell upon a lady wearing red clothes, who was as gorgeous as a raging inferno.
"Junior Sect Sister Yaomin, I've returned."
That young lady stood up and turned her head, showing a clear and bright smile: "Senior Sect Brother Kang."
Kang Wenhong was a brave and chivalrous man, but at this moment, his expression promptly turned gentle and soft: "Junior Sect Sister, how has today been?"
Princess Yaomin smiled and said: "Today I've made some progress. After a period of time, I should be able to go to the Medicine Pavilion to take the evaluation and apply to become a Pharmacist Hall disciple."
Kang Wenhong naturally smiled as well: "That's very good…"
The two talked for a while. Princess Yaomin's att.i.tude to Kang Wenhong was quite good, and there were some emotional stirrings for him in her expression. She had been watched over by Kang Wenhong for many days. As Kang Wenhong was a man with an impressive apt.i.tude and appearance, it was natural that feelings would develop during those long days. At this moment, she saw that Kang Wenhong's expression was off, and she said with deep concern: "Senior Sect Brother Kang, what troubles you?"
Kang Wenhong snapped out of it and didn't conceal anything. He explained the whole matter of previously obtaining the grade five wild wolf to Princess Yaomin: "I truly don't recall having any old friend who could've had that kind of ability."
Princess Yaomin heard this, and her beautiful eyes flashed with a glimmering light: "Senior Sect Brother Kang, it seems…"
Kang Wenhong hastily held her hand: "Junior Sect Sister Yaomin, could it be that you've thought of something?"
A faint blush appeared on Princess Yaomin's fair cheeks. She softly extracted her hand: "I don't know if my guess is right or not, but when I encountered a difficulty, someone rescued me… The matter was somewhat odd, but if it really was an old friend who had unknown abilities, there's probably only that person who even my imperial elder brother can't see through… Gongyi Tianheng. Speaking of which, he has also entered the Inner Sect. With all the abilities he's had since birth, it wouldn't be strange if he accomplished this…"
Kang Wenhong was still stunned by Princess Yaomin's beauty, but as he listened to her following words, his complexion gradually became grave. A long time after, he forced a smile and said: "I can't take that seriously." Soon after, he sighed, "I'll go out to make some inquiries. If it really is Junior Sect Brother Gongyi, I must thoroughly express my grat.i.tude."
Princess Yaomin pursed her lips into a smile: "All according to Senior Sect Brother Kang's words."
The matters in Mingyue Pavilion generated some minor unrest. It also caused those in power to have many small thoughts, and provoked some old friends. In the Outer Sect, even Cang Yu and the others, as well as everyone in the know, all obtained the news.
After Duanshui Hall had its face slapped, it was only natural that there were some embellishments. Those leaders had to do a thorough investigation. After, they discovered that there really was a sizable dispute — Not only had Duanshui Hall tried to abduct his fellow countryman, but it had also caused hindrances to the other party when he entered the Inner Sect — The former was just that, but the latter was practically an enmity of life and death! If it wasn't for the other party being familiar with a few Inner Sect disciples to mediate the conflict, the other party's martial path would've been cut short by Duanshui Hall. It was, indeed, a huge matter!
Duanshui Hall also investigated and found that the source of the incident was related to Mingyue Pavilion. However, making things difficult for Gongyi Tianheng was merely a matter of course. At that time, it wasn't taken seriously at all. Afterwards, when they checked why an enforcement disciple was offended, they hadn't expected such an insignificant, ordinary disciple.
But this time? When they used their full attention to investigate Gongyi Tianheng, they discovered some spider threads and horse tracks. For instance, the two Inner Sect disciples he was familiar with happened to be friends with an enforcement disciple. Wouldn't that mean that last time's matter that had almost gotten out of hand was related to Gongyi Tianheng?
On top of that, Tianheng's current face-slapping actions proved that he certainly had potential value. Duanshui Hall was unable to restrain its anger when it was found that many related matters were caused by a newly promoted disciple called You Jiong. For a moment, the eyes of many leaders shook with fury. The days of that You Jiong weren't going to pa.s.s kindly.
Within Duanshui Hall, they hurried to custom-make some plans for Mingyue Pavilion because they'd gotten a hold of over a hundred wild wolves. Once they were tamed, it truly wouldn't be a small force…
In addition, Zhao Yuheng and company, as well as some other powers, gradually realized that someone had secured a large pack of wild wolves. Having one pack meant wanting a second pack. The number of private inquiries weren't the least bit small.
It was also because of this that the name Gongyi Tianheng slowly appeared in the eyes of many martial artists. Numerous piecemeal schemes, seemingly without any notice, slowly floated to the surface.
Leaving aside those actions of Gongyi Tianheng which had caused turmoil in many people's hearts, Gu Zuo welcomed back his dear big brother with great difficulty before receiving another summons. He then obediently went to the Violet Tower.
This time around, Lu Jiusi, who hadn't been seen for many days, also appeared on the third floor — Reportedly, he had exchanged many medicinal herbs in the past two days, which were delivered to Xu Lingxiu.
No matter how Gu Zuo looked at it, it felt like the way this guy stared at him was like a dog eyeing the meat on a bone. It made the bottom of one's heart flutter in fear. He intended to go to a side room to refine medicine by himself like before, but prior to that, Xu Lingxiu had just finished a cauldron of Steadfast Heart Pills. Xi Yangyun was even supporting his younger sister out. They were all using very inquisitive — Or maybe, very gossipy looks to stare at Gu Zuo.
A little unused to this, Gu Zuo shrunk his shoulders: "You guys, this is…"
Xu Lingxiu coldly harrumphed.
It was still Xi Yangyun who smiled and said: "Junior Sect Brother Gu, the reputation of that young master you follow has recently grown."
Gu Zuo swallowed a mouthful of saliva: "That's, that's good?"
Xi Yangyun couldn't help laughing: "What's gotten Junior Sect Brother Gu so scared? It's just a casual conversation. Quick, let's sit down."
Gu Zuo forced a chuckle and sat down with his legs crossed.
Lu Jiusi also seemed very curious as he inquired: "It always feels somewhat false hearing it from bystanders, so it's easy to look forward to a truthful guy like you. We wanted to ask a few questions since you're a person involved."
In his heart, Gu Zuo silently criticized: If only Xi Yangyun was curious, I would believe it. But if it's all of you, how could it be…
However, Tianheng had previously a.n.a.lyzed the situation of today's confrontation with Gu Zuo. Right now, although he surprisingly encountered Xi Yangyun's "gossipy intentions", it wouldn't be said that he was nervous to the point of spilling the beans.
Hence, Gu Zuo just dryly talked about that day's events in a few words. His tone didn't have the least bit of liveliness and the content wasn't the least bit enriching. He spoke monotonously, without any ups or downs.
Lu Jiusi: "…"
Xi Yangyun laughed. Then, he spoke freely: "Currently, many people are asking around. When Junior Sect Brother Gu goes back, give Junior Sect Brother Gongyi a reminder. Additionally, if he really can capture a group of wild beasts alive, there's no harm in privately letting out a few rumors. At that time, there'll naturally be many people coming to seek them."
Speaking up to here, perhaps it was due to the recent smooth refinement of the Steadfast Heart Pill and his younger sister's promising recovery, he unexpectedly winked for the first time: "…You guys can be a bit greedy and announce a high price. You'll earn a tidy sum!"
Gu Zuo suddenly didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
Although this aim of theirs wasn't wrong, one shouldn't point it out so casually…
As for Lu Jiusi, he was also looking to Gu Zuo with some yearning: "I won't keep this from Junior Sect Brother Gu, I myself am also rather interested in this group of wild beasts. If it really can be secured, I hope Junior Sect Brother Gu can recommend me to Junior Sect Brother Gongyi, and let me through the back door?"
Gu Zuo felt exasperated.
Could he refuse? No one would want to sell to a guy harboring evil intentions! And getting through the back door? Did he want to save face by talking to a nominal disciple like him?
Yet at this moment, Xu Lingxiu, who'd been unexpectedly quiet on the side the whole time, impatiently opened his mouth: "Gu Zuo, that day I ran into you, you said you were testing a type of new poison. Was it this one?"
Hearing these words, Xi Yangyun and the others all turned their heads and looked to Xu Lingxiu. After that, they looked curiously back to Gu Zuo.
Gu Zuo choked.
This little prince was too blunt!
But the facts were just like so, and there was no good reason to hide it. He immediately nodded: "En, it was this one…"
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