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Fireworks exploded in the skies of Secluded Mountain Prefecture City, like a shower of meteors; they fell towards the ground with their colourful flaming tails.
In the blink of an eye, it was the day of the birthday dinner. The entire Secluded Mountain Prefecture City was celebrating.
Even though there were more conflicts on the streets and a few gangs being destroyed due to the influx of people from all around the nation, it was all neglected due to the joyous occasion of the birthday dinner.
Prefecture Master's mansion.
"As Qinghe City's Spirit Returning Sect Sect Head, I offer my greetings to you, Prefecture Master!"
Amongst the loud discussions, Shi Yutong wore a cloth over her face and entered the Prefecture Master's mansion under the escort of a few Spirit Returning Sect disciples.
Spirit Returning Sect was a stronghold in the entire county, and therefore Shi Yutong's arrival was quite a big affair. She was directed to the heart of the hall.
'The troops of Secluded Mountain Prefecture are impressive, indeed impressive...'
She appeared friendly and greeted a few people whom she personally knew, but deep inside she was surprised.
At the gate of the mansion, there were two rows of Martial Artists (6th Gate and above) to guard it. There were emotionless and had metal armour, and were able to strike fear in anyone who looked at them.
At this point, all the guards were martial artists who broke through the 4 Heavenly Gates!
These highly skilled martial artists were able to lead a few hundred troops among the Secluded Mountain Prefecture.
After all, the weakest soldier within the Secluded Mountain Prefecture armed forces was a Martial Artist (4th Gate). A few capital leaders were at the Wu Zong level and were comparable to Shi Yutong!
If they didn't have such power, they wouldn't be able to ensure peace in the Secluded Mountain Prefecture!
At the seat of the hall master sat a cheerful old man, wearing a spiritual robe with a hundred 'longevity' sewn onto it. He was skinny and it was as though he would fall from a strong breeze. However, he had fire in his eyes and seemed unpredictable.
This was the Secluded Mountain Prefecture Master, who had controlled over 6 counties and the Secluded Mountain Prefecture armed forces - Liu Yan.
"Spirit Returning Sect's Shi Yutong congratulates my
lord, prefecture head, and specially presents 3 stalks of spiritual ginseng and 10,000 gold coins. Here's wishing you longevity!"
Shi Yutong looked at Liu Yan and paid her greetings. Her loud and clear voice travelled throughout the entire hall, and her pricey gifts made a commotion.
"Haha….. Yutong, you are too kind, please recover!"
Liu Yan laughed heartily, and even his beard began to float up; it was evident that he was pleased with Shi Yutong. "Please have a seat, and promise me you'll drink with me a few cups tonight!"
Shi Yutong laughed, got seated and scanned the surroundings.
She was Wu Zong and the master of a county, she was seated at a special table with everyone at the same level as her. A few of them were the capital leaders, and there was one seat empty. He was under Liu Yan and was not present.
"Sect Head Shi, I've heard that you have just taken in a highly capable disciple. There is someone to take over your place now, and I am so envious of you!"
At the other table across, a muscular man offered a drink.
He was wearing the armour of the Secluded Mountain Prefecture City and did not bother to take it off. He used a large bowl for his wine and was extremely forthright.
"Niu capital had a good reputation..."
Shi Yutong downed one bowl of wine. "My disciple is playful. Even though she might have potential, how could she compare to the talents here in the Prefecture City?"
"We cannot compare! Not at all!"
The capital leader of Niu County shook his head and pointed at the empty seat. "After all, you recruited Master Lu's help to make a spiritual pill for her. With that to aid her, no matter how talented our people are, how can we compare to your disciple?"
Shi Yutong froze and was deep in thought for a moment. A voice came from the side. "Master Lu is the only alchemy master in Secluded Mountain Prefecture and has many friends in many counties... Isn't that right, Sect Head Shi?"
His eyes were extremely sharp and whoever he gazed at felt uncomfortable.
Shi Yutong felt even more unbearable and almost wanted to run for the door!
The few people that he stared at were those who supported Master Lu to take over the
Liu Yan had mixed feelings, raised his wine bowl and scanned the surroundings as though he did not hear the previous exchange.
At the moment, the entire atmosphere changed, and there was an uncomfortable silence as though someone died.
Under such a huge stress, a few Wu Zong martial artists broke into cold sweat.
Just before Shi Yutong decided to start the fight, a few high pitched voices travelled from outside, albeit fearful. "Lu Renjia, Master Lu, brings my disciple Ling Yin to offer our greetings to Prefecture Master!!!"
"It's so lively within the Prefecture City!"
At this moment, there was a group of people observing from outside the Prefecture City.
Fang Yuan stood on a little hill and observed everything. He then looked at Huang Fu Renhe and Yu Xinlou by his side. "What? Are you still wondering why I retreated?"
"Why would we?"
Huang Fu Renhe waved his hand. "Benefactor saved my life and my sister's life, and we will never forget this favour. Regardless, I will always obey you!"
Fang Yuan smiled and looked at the small girl beside him.
Lanruo was washed up and wore a robe. Other than being slightly malnutrition, she had no difference as compared to a normal child, but Fang Yuan could sense her unimaginable magical energy; she was a perfect candidate to become a spiritual knight.
If there could be another miracle, she might even be able to become a dream master.
'This kid is not Huang Fu Renhe's blood-related sister, but her stepsister... stepsister... Why did I not have such luck?'
As Fang Yuan stared at Lanruo, she could feel his gaze and shrugged her neck.
Fang Yuan was impressed and how she could sense his gaze and then turned his attention to Yu Xinlou.
The young proprietor of the White Cloud Business Council went through an ordeal of losing his entire family and even went to jail. After everything, he became much more mature, and the bloody wounds on his face gave him a resolute look.
"The ordeal that the White Cloud Business Council went through was a heavy blow to me, and it seems that we have lost footing in the Prefecture City... We should leave to another place, and as early as possible. I am looking forward to Master's Qingye City! If you have any favour next time, my business council will
council will help to our fullest ability!"
He was a smart person and turned the entire business council to Fang Yuan's service, in exchange for protection.
"Don't worry, I still have some influence in Qingye City!"
Fang Yuan smiled and said.
Even though the White Cloud Business Council was damaged, it was still rather influential in Qingye City and could strengthen his influence outside the city. With their alliance, even the Spirit Returning Sect would find it hard to try and interfere with them.
"I still have to thank Master for saving my life!"
Yu Xinlou bowed and gave his thanks to Fang Yuan, as he solemnly said.
"It was casual... And I did gain from it too, so you don't have to thank me..."
Fang Yuan looked at Yu Xinlou and felt a little pitiful for him.
The conflict in his family and the betrayal from a blood-related family member completely uprooted the entire White Cloud Business Council. The old proprietor of White Cloud Business Council and the 4 Heavenly Gate Martial Artist sacrificed and paid their lives, which strongly affected Yu Xinlou.
Of course, he was considered a strong man for being able to deal with it and grow from it.
Fang Yuan fiddled around with a blood-coloured jade in his hand, and his smile grew.
He did not lie.
He did gain from the destruction of the Wild Wolves Gang. The most important takeaway was the blood-coloured piece of jade.
'This piece of jade seems to be a treasure. Fiddling around with it for prolonged periods of time can help to improve one's health and absorb the impurities in one's body, which could be considered as improving one's physique. This was the reason why Diao Guangdou could accelerate his progress from a small waiter to a gang leader, to what he had achieved...'
He was a waiter and was middle-aged. Therefore, to be able to rise so quickly, he had to have a good potential.
Who would've known that he could become a 4 Heavenly Gate Martial Artist? This piece of jade played a big part in it and was a treasure of Diao Guangdou which he kept dearly. It seemed to also have a calming effect for him.
However, it was not enough to match Fang Yuan, which led to his death and his treasure landing into someone else's hands.
'This thing is not simple...'
At is not simple...'
At Fang Yuan's current cultivation level, this jade's ability was rather insignificant. As Fang Yuan placed it under the sun, he noticed fine red lines within the jade, like the arteries and veins in a human. He was shocked at the way Diao Guangdou used it, as it was simply squandering the item.
'There's blood hidden in the jade, forming structures similar to human meridians, and it can also protect one's divine spirit…...I'll name you Blood Spirit Jade!'
Fang Yuan named it and promptly kept the Blood Spirit Jade properly. He appeared rushed. "Let's go... The Prefecture City is now trouble, and the further we go the better!"
Huang Fu Renhe and Yu Xinlou both felt that he was overreacting, but still bowed and followed anyway; they did not dare to disobey.
At this moment, a large pounding was heard from the city gates, which made their expression change.
In front of the 35-yard tall city wall was two large metal doors, which under the force of machinery and human force, slowly closed up, like a beast closing its big mouth.
Hundreds of citizens were screaming just behind the doors, like ants.
In the end, the entire door was shut, and in three other directions, the same sound was heard.
On the city walls, rows of Secluded Mountain Prefecture soldiers walked out in armour. All of them wielded knives and swords and loaded their bows, as though they were facing a big threat.
The entire Secluded Mountain Prefecture City seemed like a beast ready for war.
"Closing all four doors?"
Yu Xinlou observed the scene and was shocked. "Even the previous few wars did not escalate to this intensity? What is happening in the Secluded Mountain Prefecture?"
"Regardless of what is happening, it is of no concern to any of us. The Prefecture Master and the higher-ups will settle it. If they cannot deal with it then neither can we, so let's go!"
Fang Yuan waved his sleeve, turned around and left.
It was always good to be an opportunist, but the risks this time were too high and it was unjustified to go for the rewards.
'It seems that the Secluded Mountain Prefecture made the first move, this Liu Yan is not simple...'
He thought about it, jumped on a carriage, and neglected the two behind; both of which looked at him in awe.