Chapter 12: The Annual Clan Assembly Begins
‘This year’s Clan Assembly, Grandfather Huang Qide even invited Li Mu, the Li Family’s Old Patriarch over, he really does spend a lot of effort and thought.’ Huang Xiaolong thought to himself.
He believed the reason his Grandfather invited the Old Patriarch of the Li Family over to watch the assembly was not that simple.
Along the way heading to the Eastern Courtyard, the halls and corridors were decorated with lanterns and colored banners. When the busy guards and maids saw Huang Xiaolong passing by, they immediately stopped to salute: “Young Lord Xiaolong!”
Huang Xiaolong nodded as he walked past.
However, along the way, he could feel weird gazes from the guards and maids behind him, it seemed like Huang Wei’s declaration of crippling Huang Xiaolong’s arms had reached the ears of these guards and maids.
Huang Xiaolong ignored them and reached the Eastern Courtyard.
Inside the main hall, both Huang Peng and Su Yan were present.
“Dad, Mom.” Huang Xiaolong called out as he entered the main hall.
“Xiaolong, you’re here.” Su Yan pulled Huang Xiaolong to sit next to her and asked: “Tomorrow’s the Clan Assembly, how is your practice coming along?”
Huang Peng, sitting on the other side was also staring at Huang Xiaolong.
Letting out a small laugh, Huang Xiaolong said: “Dad, Mom, don’t worry. I surely will not let you down tomorrow.”
Unexpectedly, the moment his sentence ended, Su Yan blurted out loud in surprise: “Xiaolong, did you break through to mid-First Order already?” Su Yan thought her son’s confidence came from him having broken through to mid-First Order.
Huang Peng burst out laughing at this moment: “Good, my son, you really did not disappoint Dad.”
When Huang Xiaolong heard his parents’ words, he reined his smile within; could it be, advancing to mid-First Order before the annual Clan Assembly was the highest expectation his parents had of him?
“Dad, I heard from the guards this year’s annual Clan Assembly, the Li Family’s Old Patriarch, Li Mu is coming?” Huang Xiaolong asked, changing the topic.
Huang Peng nodded: “This time, other than the Li Family’s Old Patriarch himself, he also brought his granddaughter, Li Lu, over.”
“His granddaughter, Li Lu?” Huang Xiaolong was a little bewildered then jokingly said: “Old Patriarch Li couldn’t be bringing over his granddaughter for a matchmaking right?”
But Huang Peng answered seriously: “That is the purpose of your Grandfather and Old Patriarch Li after the Clan Assembly is over. Huang Wei and Li Lu are to be engaged and in the future, the Li Family and our Huang Clan will be in-laws.”
Huang Xiaolong went blank.
“I hear people say, Li Lu’s talent is quite good, hers is a top grade nine martial spirit, the Divine Dark Sword.” Su Yan added.
Top amongst the grade nine martial spirits, the Divine Dark Sword!
Huang Xiaolong was shocked for a moment, for it was unexpected that Li Mu’s granddaughter, Li Lu, to possess the Divine Dark Sword martial spirit.
In the Martial Spirit World, there were different forms of martial spirits – beasts, tools, plants, and there were even people with nature affinity martial spirits such as lightning, wind, water, and fire.
And the Divine Dark Sword was one many weapon martial spirit from the device type.
Of course, the majority of martial spirits in Martial Spirits World existed in beast form, for instance, Huang Wei’s Three-Eyed Black Tiger, Huang Qide’s Six-winged Golden Ape, and Huang Xiaolong’s variant double-headed serpent.
A short while later Huang Xiaolong returned to his small courtyard and continued to practice the Asura Tactics.
Slowly, night descended.
Huang Xiaolong stood on a hilltop at the back mountain, not moving an inch but he wasn’t practicing, instead, he was looking at the vast sea in front of him. In truth, with regards to Huang Wei, Huang Xiaolong truly was not bothered.
Releasing the double-headed serpent martial spirit hovering behind him, Huang Xiaolong could clearly sense how powerful his martial spirit was after advancing to Third Order and he was the only person that could sense it.
Looks like I need to make a trip to the library to see if I can find out about my martial spirit. Huang Xiaolong muttered to himself.
However, Huang Clan Manor’s library only allowed those who had reached the Fourth Order to enter, that was why he needed to breakthrough to the Fourth Order as soon as possible.
The moonlight elongated Huang Xiaolong’s small shadow on the ground.
Darkness gradually faded as the morning light brightened the sky, Huang Xiaolong’s figure dashed, heading back to Huang Clan Manor.
“The Clan’s Annual Assembly is finally beginning!”
The Clan’s Annual Assembly was about to begin.
Back to Huang Clan Manor, he went straight to the Eastern Courtyard. When his parents, Huang Peng and Su Yan saw him coming, they did not say much, and the three of them then walked to the Grand Hall.
The Grand Hall was easily double the size of the Martial Temple, and could comfortably accommodate a thousand people. In front of the Grand Hall, a martial stage was erected with chairs lined up in rows around the perimeter of the martial stage, prepared for the Huang Clan Manors’ Elders and stewards whereas the disciples could only stand at the back area open space.
When Huang Peng and Su Yan came in with Huang Xiaolong behind them, many of the Elders and stewards were already there.
“Second Manor Lord.”
“Second Manor Lord.”
The group of Elders, stewards, and disciples immediately greeted Huang Peng.
Huang Peng nodded. Su Yan and Huang Xiaolong followed behind him to an arranged table and sat down. As he was sitting down, Huang Xiaolong sensed a cold gaze directed at him; his eyes scoured around to find the source and he saw Huang Wei who was sitting on the opposite side.
At this moment, their eyes met in midair – Huang Wei’s gaze was arrogant, condescending, provoking, and complacent.
Sitting beside Huang Wei was Huang Ming, forever with his deadpan expressionless face. Huang Peng sat down and did not bother to greet Huang Ming. The two of them had not spoken to each other since the Northern Courtyard incident, turning from brothers to strangers traveling on the same path.
Not long after the three of them arrived, from the outside of the Grand Hall, hearty laughter rang out. Hearing the sounds of laughter, everyone inside the hall quickly stood up. Looking in the direction of the entrance, Huang Xiaolong saw his Grandfather Huang Qide, walking into the hall with a face full of laughter and next to his grandfather was a high-spirited old man with a head full of silvery white hair about the same age. Immediately, Huang Xiaolong knew this was the mentioned Old Patriarch Li, Li Mu. Following closely behind Li Mu was a lovely little girl with her hair tied into two braids, bright round eyes curiously spinning around.
“Old Manor Lord.”
“Old Patriarch Li.”
Everyone present quickly greeted, and following that Huang Ming, Huang Peng, and Su Yan went up: “Dad, Old Patriarch Li.”
“Grandfather, Old Patriarch Li.” Huang Wei and Huang Xiaolong called out respectfully after their elders.
Huang Qide chuckled and gave a small nod. He turned to Li Mu, a finger pointed at Huang Wei: ”This is my grandson, Huang Wei.” But he only introduced Huang Wei without mentioning Huang Xiaolong.
Li Mu looked at Huang Wei up and down with appreciation and said, “Good, good, good. Brother Qide, I heard that your grandson practiced less than two months and already he had successfully broken through to First Order warrior. During my time, to breakthrough to the First Order, I used more than five months, ah.”
Huang Qide laughed boisterously when he heard this praise: “Brother Li Mu, please do advise and look after him in the future.”
“In the future, that is of course.” Li Mu laughed.
Awhile later, everyone returned to their seats.
Then, Chief Steward Chen Ying stood up and said some good opening remarks for the Annual Clan Assembly; after that, he glanced at Huang Qide. Seeing Huang Qide nod his head, Chen Ying declared in a loud voice: “The Annual Clan Assembly begins!”
Chen Ying’s declaration met with a silent hall.
Following the established rules of many years, the first to get up on the stage were usually the ones who had just awakened their martial spirits that year.
Everyone couldn’t resist looking at Huang Wei, they all knew why Old Manor Lord attended this year’s clan assembly. Huang Wei was destined to be the main focus of attention.
“Huang Wei, go and show the result of your five months hard work, let everyone see your achievement.” Huang Qide said to his grandson, Huang Wei, with eyes full of encouragement.
“Yes, Grandfather.” Huang Wei stood up and said loudly. He then leaped up onto the center of the martial stage.
Landing atop the martial stage, Huang Wei initiated his battle qi, fully releasing the power of his battle qi out, and his martial spirit, the Three-Eyed Black Tiger came out, hovering behind him, emanating a powerful aura.
“Peak late-First Order!”
Sensing the battle qi aura released by Huang Wei, Elders of Huang Clan Manor, the stewards, and disciples were greatly shocked, causing a ruckus in the Grand Hall. In just five short months of practicing battle qi, Huang Wei had reached the peak of late-First Order!
From brothers to strangers traveling on the same path – from a close/intimate relationship to being strangers traveling on the same road where you do not speak to each other unless necessary.