Immense pressure encased the vast space right before the Nine Cloud Palace. Jin Chengfeng glared at the silhouette before him with cold eyes. It was more than his personal temperament that had led to the event taking place at the moment. He was, after all, the head of his clan, and it was a given that such a figure would have never relied solely on his personal preferences when making decisions.
If it hadn't had been for other situations, sacrificing one of his grandchildren was not a decision he would have been incapable of making. However, what was taking place before them all was not something that could be resolved with just the sacrifice of one person.
Jin Chengfeng knew well of Chen Yuan as a person. The school and the clan shared a close relationship for ages, and the influence of the clan had long seeped into the school. Chen Yuan, however, had always wished for the school to be a place of purity, wanting nothing to do with the power games of the clans and be embroiled in their respective agendas. The era of Long Yitian had seen the man reigning over Divine Sky City, and things have never been as glorious. In Chen Yuan's perspective, however, it was a great regret that Long Yitian was of the surname Long, a member of the Dragon clan, instead of a figure of a pure lineage of the school.
Ye Futian was different. He was of the surname 'Ye'. The man was young but nonetheless capable of bringing down the martial arts battlefield, accomplishing what Long Yitian had never been capable of doing. He was also the Son conferred through a ceremony of the highest honor in the Starry School. Chen Yuan had wanted to make a saint, and Ye Futian had not let him down, thus resulting in Chen Yuan having even higher expectations of the young man.
Under such a majestic background, should Ye Futian come to be a force to be reckoned with someday, the influence of the clans with the school would definitely be diminished by the ones siding with the school. Given that both the Dragon Clan and the Gu Clan supported Ye Futian, events resulting from such a turn of events on them would have been minimal. There was no doubt, however, that the school would be rid of the Jin Clan.
While Jin Yunxiao never informed his clan of what he did, if the clan had actually intended to find out about what happened, they would definitely have not been kept in the dark. A warning would have been more than enough to prevent all that from happening. Yet the Jin clan kept to themselves, and that was akin to giving tacit permission to letting the events before to unfold.
Jin Chengfeng had ordered Jin Yunxiao to be taken into custody as soon as they found out what he did, and had also ordered the members of Jin Clan within the school to leave after the school found out what had happened. Other than to test how Chen Yuan would have reacted to such things, it was also to save whatever face the clan had left within the school.
Mass exodus right there and then would have been a wiser choice than to have their influence slowly encroached in the future. If Chen Yuan had chosen to take a step back, there would have been something else he could have done. Yet Chen Yuan proved more insistent and aggressive than he had anticipated.
"Chen Yuan, are you sure you want to take things this far?" Jin Chengfeng's eyes were razor-sharp. He was sure that Chen Yuan was aware of the dire consequences that would follow, even if the headmaster was to win this battle today.
"Indeed." Chen Yuan nodded.
"Bring Jin Yunxiao here," Jin Chengfeng said. Most people who were present were shocked. Jin Chengfeng, the head of Jin Clan, a figure who had insisted on breaking up with Starry School, instead of losing face, had finally given in instead?
Such a turn of events was hardly surprising. If the Jin Clan was to go to war with Starry School allied with two other clans, Nine Cloud Palace would have suffered a humiliating defeat. Paying one such price just to protect Jin Yunxiao alone, was hardly worth it. However, given Jin Chengfeng's arrogant temperament and how Chen Yuan had literally cornered Nine Cloud Palace, it was only a matter of time before Nine Cloud Palace sought revenge against the school.
Jin Yunxiao was brought before them soon. He shivered all over from fear, looking at Jin Chengfeng and shouted, "Grandfather!" If he was to be handed over to the school, there would have been no way he would have made it out of the predicament alive. Moreover, other than the school, there was also the Gu Clan to contend with. Given how Gu Yunxi suffered severe injuries for what happened, he would have suffered consequences just as severe even if his life was spared. His fate would have taken a turn for the worse regardless.
Jin Chengfeng did not spare even one glance for Jin Yunxiao, letting the young man scream his lungs out. The head of the clan had made his decision and intended to stick with it.
Jin Yunxiao was brought before Chen Yuan. Members of Jin Clan retreated after handing him over and looked at Chen Yuan.
Jin Yunxiao was frightened to the core of his being, begging as he trembled, "Have mercy, headmaster. I didn't mean anything bad. Even if I was out of the picture, they would have wanted their revenge all the same. I was simply informing them beforehand." All traces of the young man's pompous and domineering air vanished without a trace. His words shook as they came out of his mouth, and there was nothing but fear in his eyes.
"I said it before: pay your respect to the Son as you would me. Yet as a student of the school, you participated in the attempt to do the Son harm. Ye Futian, the Son, and Gu Yunxi almost lost their lives because of you. Death would be a fitting sentence." Chen Yuan spoke coldly. "Lu Wang, get on with the execution." He waved his hand and sent the young man over to Lu Wang as soon as he finished talking.
"Yes, sir." Lu Wang glanced at Jin Yunxiao.
"No…" Jin Yunxiao's face turned pale as Lu Wang extended his palm, enveloping the young man soon to be executed in an immense sense of dread. Jin Yunxiao felt himself suffocating. Golden lights exploded from his body in an attempt to resist his end. His eyes filled with extreme defiance. He was a member of the Nine Cloud Palace, a proud member of the Jin clan. Jin Yunxiao detested Ye Futian, seeing him as little more than vermin. He had even almost killed Ye Futian right there and then in the martial arts battlefield with just one swing of the sword. Yet, he was now sentenced to death for nothing else other than participating in the assassination attempt on that vermin.
This is ridiculous. Who does he think he is? A will of unparalleled strength surged in his mind. He felt a strong tremor in his body, and he felt himself losing consciousness fast. He dropped to the ground with defiance in his mind.
A proud son of Nine Cloud Palace, a young man of immense talent studying in the Starry School, perished just like that. The world was ephemeral, and life was filled with regrets.
"Gu Hanshan, are you satisfied now?" Jin Chengfeng asked Gu Hanshan instead of addressing Chen Yuan.
"He deserved nothing less," Gu Hanshan answered coldly.
"Yes, indeed. He is now dead. People of Gu Clan and Dragon Clan, your affairs here are done," Jin Chengfeng said with an equally cold attitude. "As for the those who followed the members of Jin Clan here, they came of their own will to Nine Cloud Palace. If I were to simply hand them over, there would have been no place left for Nine Cloud Palace in Divine Sky City. Chen Yuan, if you insist on waging a war against us, then do it."
The eyes of those who left the school with Jin Clan members lit up, and their fears diminished somewhat. The master of Nine Cloud Palace had not forsaken them after all. Doing so would have been more detestable than just handing over Jin Yunxiao after all.
Jin Yunxiao was a criminal who attempted to assassinate others. Yet all the others who left the school were simply followers. If Nine Cloud Palace simply handed them over, no one would dare work for Nine Cloud Palace anymore from there on out.
Everyone understood what was at stake. It seemed that Jin Chengfeng had yielded to the first condition, which was to hand over Jin Yunxiao. Yet, the second condition was something that could not have been fulfilled no matter what, even if it meant going to war. Furthermore, doing so robbed both opposing clans of their reason to get involved, as they have had no reason to get involved in the first place.
Chen Yuan glared at Jin Chengfeng, seeing the head of Jin Clan burning with intentions to fight.
All students who stayed in the school far away from Nine Cloud Palace awaited the news anxiously. Ye Futian was among those who stayed back in the school. Those who headed out that day were figures of Sage level. If he had headed out with them, he would have simply made himself a target for further extortion.
Scorching Intent was sensed right above the school's compound, as if being dominated by a powerful force. The sun seemed to look terrifying, as if it would burn everything under it to ashes. Under the burning sun and the vast sky, silhouettes stepped on thin air as they made to the area above Starry School. Those who witnessed the silhouettes were shaken to their core. The beings were not a mighty one from Starry School. Who were they?
These people emanated a domineering bearing of Sage level. They stood where they were, and seemed to have melded with their environment, encasing Starry School with the might of the sun.
Many realized that something big was about to happen.
A few leaped from within the school. One among them asked, "May I know what is your business here with the school?"
"Men from Blazing Sun School." Some recognized these uninvited figures. Having mighty ones from Blazing Sun School appearing at Starry School during such a time meant something good.
They really knew when to show up.
The spiritual energies emanated from the few Sage level figures encompassed heaven and earth, sweeping the compound of the school. They said nothing, but everyone beneath felt themselves being swept up by some sort of spiritual energy. They soon found out where it was coming from, and made their way in that direction. Their eyes peered in the same direction.
Within the Starry School's Temple of the Son, Ye Futian felt the wave of spiritual energy washing over him. He lifted his head, having a bad feeling inside after sensing what the mighty ones from afar were up to.
"Ye Futian," a voice from the void beckoned him at the moment. Everyone felt their hearts about to pop out of their chests, knowing who these people came for.
Seeing their eyes locked onto him, Ye Futian knew that there was no way he would have been able to simply back out of this. He leaped into the air swiftly, gazed at the guests and smiled. "Greetings to you all, seniors. I wonder what business you have with a junior such as myself?"
"We are from the Blazing Sun School. When the students of all three schools headed to the Evil Dragon Zone years ago, Shang Yunfeng, a student of our school was killed. We now realized that it was your doing. We need to hear what you have to say for yourself, so come with us," one of the Blazing Sun School guests said.
"Shang Yunfeng intended to kill me back then. I merely acted out of self-defense," Ye Futian answered. "If you need to hear me out, shall we discuss the matter further when the headmaster return?"
He felt a chill in his mind. The Blazing Sun School had never bother speaking about the death of Shang Yunfeng before. Furthermore, it was entirely normal for a student of a school to die while out on their pilgrimage. It was obvious that these people were up to no good, judging by how they brought up such a matter at this time.
It was apparent that Blazing Sun School had simply taken the advantage of Starry School's mighty ones going out to settle scores with the Jin Clan to take whom they deemed responsible. There was no escape for Ye Futian.
Dire expressions appeared on both Yu Sheng's and Gu Yunxi's faces hearing the words of the mighty ones from Blazing Sun School. They were just taking advantage of the school's predicament, nothing else.
"Since we have made it here all the way, please just come with us. When Headmaster Chen returns, he can go to Blazing Sun School," one of the guests said coldly.
Several figures came to stand with Ye Futian, and said to the void, "Coming here at such at such a time to take him away, you Blazing Sun School a**holes are something indeed!"
Intense heat from the sun washed onto the ground below. The mighty ones from Blazing Sun School fanned out and made it onto the ground. One of them was immensely powerful, and they seemed like someone important from Blazing Sun School. They simply looked at Ye Futian and said, "Come with us."
Ye Futian had been conferred the title of the Son of Starry School, and Chen Yuan intended to guard him on his Divine Path. If Chen Yuan had been there, asking to take someone of theirs away would have been seen as an act to declare war. Blazing Sun School had no intention of going to war with Starry School.
With Chen Yuan leading the mighty ones heading for Nine Cloud Palace, the timing proved convenient for them to spirit Ye Futian away. The young man needed to explain himself over what had happened at the martial arts battlefield. It was simply impossible for them to sit by and do nothing while Starry School went on to nurture a saint!
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