Nine Astra Skies

Chapter 17 - Toy making?

Chapter 17: Toy making?

Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation

Ye Chen cast his gaze into the distance where the Lianyun Mountains stretched like a row of endless waves into the horizon, never breaking apart; watching how their peaks soared into the sky while their barren cliffs stood commandingly, Ye Chen could somehow feel his mind expanding almost as much as the distance the mountains stretched.

Southeast of where he was standing, about six or seven miles away, on top of one the towering silhouette of the mountains, was a building complex. It assumed a wavy design to complement the mountainous terrain it based itself on while laying half-hidden from sight with the help of thick leaves in the woods. Just by a rough estimation using sight, one could easily see that this complex was far larger and wider than the Ye Castle could ever be.

That complex was the Yun Castle.

Among the Eighteen Houses of Lianyun, The House of Yun had always come first in terms of combative force. Hence, the Chair of the Eighteen Houses had always been no one but the Patriarch of the House of Yun itself.

This mining mountain was only a few miles away from Yun Castle. Despite the perilous rocky roads and endless slippery slopes where one could easily fall to their instant demise, any martial art savant would only need about a few hours at most to travel that road to-and-fro. The only reason why the House of Yun had not yet resorted to raiding and claiming the mining mountain as their own — despite the distance and their well-known cupidity — was only because of their high-profile position as the Chair of the Eighteen Houses of Lianyun.

Another hindrance that they had to put up with was that the House of Ye was not an easy target. Even though the House of Ye may ultimately be weaker than the House of Yun, if every member of the Ye clan was to put up a fight, the Yun would suffer from a heavy blow. This was why the Yun would not want a direct conflict.

Ye Chen took a quick patrol around the mining mountain but he dared not enter the mountains alone. There were vast areas within the Lianyun mountains that were off-limits to people — powerful mystical beasts roamed freely in large numbers there. Hence, the entire area could be incredibly dangerous.

It was almost time for lunch. Ye Chen started treading up a small path leading back to his home.

It was then Ye Chen spotted two men coming from the thickets in a distance. His eyebrows raised and in a flash. He dove behind some shrubs to hide.

The two men were dressed in grey and looked to be in their thirties. As they did not see Ye Chen, they continued down their path and chattered.

“For crying out loud, the lord of the House is really demanding, isn’t he? Can you believe we have to travel this stinking path and walk to the Ye Castle every day, to-and-fro?”

“God dang, my legs are gonna give way one of these days!” One of them fell on his butt and sat slumping onto a soft patch of grass. “Anyway, how long do you think this House of Ye’s gonna last? I’ll bet not long — just like grasshoppers after the autumn!”

“What makes you say that?”

“Well, we can start from the fact that Ye Zhantian used up every single resource he had just to save his precious darling son. Look at how much he had used up, and how much he had demanded from his own clan members to contribute. That’s how you get a House to start looking shabby and bereft of resources.”

“Hey, but I’ve heard something different. I heard that Ye Zhantian’s son had his meridian channels healed…!”

“Oh, yea? Any credible sources?”

“I don’t know who started saying it.”

“Well, it wouldn’t ultimately matter, would it? Even if his son’s meridian channels had already recovered, I don’t know when the Lord of Yun would finally show his hand, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he attacked the House of Ye any time soon. I mean, why else would he keep sending us off to do watchdog duties?”

Watching the two fading into the distance, a cold glint of light flashed in Ye Chen’s eyes. ‘You think you’re all set to overpower the House of Ye now, don’t you? Do you think you’ll be able to return home with a full set of teeth still intact after picking a fight with us?’

Granted, there was no reason to detain these two men as they seemed to be from a distant family who were unlikely to be privy to any important news. However, if the Yun had been keeping tabs on the House of Ye’s every move, then surely something was already in their bag.

Ye Chen lapsed into silence for some time before springing toward the direction of Ye Castle.

He resumed his normal attire as soon as he returned to his quarters and went to the family canteen for his lunch. While on his way there, he came face to face with Ye Moyang.

The man’s eyes were cold and filled with malice as he stared straight into Ye Chen with the vigor of a viper. In return, Ye Chen shot him a ruthless scowl until the two of them brushed past each other on their way.

“Big Brother Ye Chen,” A playful voice rang next to his ear.

Ye Chen turned and his gaze instinctively softened at the sight of Ye Rou’s adorable, beautiful face.

“Snuck out of the Castle today, didn’t you?”

“How did you–?” Ye Chen froze.

“I guessed right, didn’t I?” Ye Rou replied, grinning widely.

“You’re not to tell anyone,” Ye Chen hurriedly followed up. Should his uncles know about this — he would be in such deep trouble!

“Well, only if you promise me that next time you’re going to the Yun Castle, you take me with you.”

“Fine, fine!”

“No backsies!”

The two continued their banter as they made their way into the canteen. Every younger member of the clan could not help but turn toward them, their eyes lingering on Ye Rou a little before quickly pulling their attention away. Ye Rou’s serene and poised elegance had always made one feel too inferior to be with. Yet, perhaps the gallant, handsome Ye Chen — who was jesting by her side — could be her perfect match.

As soon as the clan members saw Ye Chen entering, they immediately greeted him with full respect. Ever since he had become the Successor Patriarch, Ye Chen’s station among the clan was only lower than the Chief, the Former Chief, Ye Zhanlong and a selected few.

After lunch, Ye Chen went to the family’s storage area and scavenged some saltpeter, charcoal and related ingredients to start combining them all together in his own residency.

Ye Chen could remember a vivid formula of producing gunpowder from these ingredients, including the proportion of each ingredient in the mix. Armed with that knowledge, he started experimenting them right in his own yard.

The Patriarch Residency

“Big Brother, accordingly, there are six Grades of teachings in the Thunder Emperor Technique. Training with the First Grade allows a man to attain the Sixth Stage, the Second Grade allows one to attain the Eighth Stage, and the Third Grade would allow one to attain the Tenth Stage—but what happens when one continued to pursue Grades higher than those?” Ye Zhanlong asked as he stared at Ye Zhantian. The more they studied the Thunder Emperor Technique, the more mysteries and gnoses they uncovered from it. Ye Zhanlong would have never dreamt of seeing such incredible, peerless teaching of martial art.

“I heard that there was a one of a kind fighter, even stronger than the Tenth Stage. A matchless, supreme fighter going by the title of the Venerable. A hundred years ago, right in the Xiwu Empire, such a matchless master existed,” Ye Changxuan added. “The family that Venerable was hailed from? It’s none other than the He* clan of Xijing!”

The He clan of the city of Xijing — the largest clan in the entire Xiwu Empire barring only the royal clan!

Everyone took a deep, sharp breath. How consummate, how unsurpassable would the level of a Venerable One be! If one could ever reach that Stage in martial arts, there would no longer be any regrets in a man’s life.

“In fact, our current ruler, Great Emperor Mingwu, is also a Venerable One. Now that we have the Thunder Emperor Discourse, I believe we can truly get closer to that Stage in this life! Come now, everyone, let us study this Technique even more and be enlightened by its mysteries!” Ye Changxuan exclaimed, brimming with gusto. Five or six years ago, his Celestial Chi had been stuck on the onset of the Ninth Stage. Yet, now, he could feel that he was already reaching the mid-Ninth Stage. This speed of cultivation was simply marvelous.

Ye Changxuan knew he was witnessing his family’s ascend into a new zenith — and it was all brought on by Ye Chen.

“This is all thanks to Chen!” Ye Zhanlong cried.

Hearing Ye Zhanlong praising his son, Ye Zhantian could only beam proudly.

Suddenly, as they were talking, they heard a loud rumble from outside, which caused the Patriarch Residency building to shudder.

“What’s going on?”

“C-could it be that we’re being attacked by a Ninth Stage enemy?”

That force of impact generated was exactly the same as the strength of a Ninth Stage fighter could gather in a hit.

“Oh no, it’s coming from Ye Chen’s direction!”

At the thought of that, their silhouettes blurred as they flitted out of the Patriarch Residency to the source of the explosion. Being the family’s most prized asset, it was no wonder that they would be so worried about Ye Chen’s safety.

As they reached the source of the impact, they found Ye Chen standing on a clearing, wearing an awkward expression while his clothes were ruffled. In the middle of that barren clearing was a large crater about two zhangs wide.

“Chen, what just happened?” Seeing Ye Chen safe and sound, Ye Zhantian could not help but exhale a large sigh of relief. He turned his attention to the big crater, feeling a little dazed. ‘A Ninth Stage fighter might not even be able to leave such a crater despite their best effort,’ he thought.

Ye Chen glanced at the crater and laughed out of embarrassment. “Um, well, I’ve been overcome by the feeling of restlessness lately, so I’ve been making some toys.”

‘Making… toys?’ Ye Changxuan and the rest stared at Ye Chen with a look of bewilderment. What kind of toys would be able to create such a shocking impact?

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