Translator: Silavin & Green Fish
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
Amidst the crowd’s rising suspicions, the main door of the bamboo tower opened, and a single person stepped in.
After an initial period of shock, everyone stood up, having recognized the person who entered. Wu Yi said in joy, “Yang Kai, you came out of seclusion?”
“Mhm,” Yang Kai nodded. Looking around the crowd, his gaze finally settled onto Qian Yue. She was looking much better than when Yang Kai saw her at the Joyous Union Pavillion, a reassuring sign that she was rather happy with her life here.
Off to the side, Chang Qi and Hao An exchanged a glance, a look of awe flashing across their eyes. Both of them made a fist palm salute at the same time. “Congratulations, Nephew Yang, for reaching Third-Order Saint King. Your rate of cultivation is unmatched within the entire Shadowed Star.”
When they went to the Flowing Flame Sand Field, Yang Kai was a mere First-Order Saint King. By the time they made it out of there, he had reached the Second-Order, and now he was already a Third-Order, all within a period of two to three years. This left the duo with not just a sense of awe, but also a slight feeling of inferiority. Compared to Yang Kai’s cultivation speed, they were mediocre at best.
“You flatter me, Foreign Elders. Luck played no small role in getting me to where I am today. Compared to the true geniuses, this is nothing.” Yang Kai smiled humbly before changing the topic, “That aside, I heard you discussing Shadow Moon Hall and mentioning something about Yu Feng being detained? I want to hear more about this.”
Hearing Yang Kai’s questions, everyone exchanged glances, allowing Wu Yi to take up the role of explaining the situation to Yang Kai.
Listening to her explanations, Yang Kai finally found out about the unfavourable occurrences which had taken place in Heavenly Fate City regarding the order of goods Dragon Cave Mountain had made from the Shadow Moon Hall a month ago.
A few days ago, Yu Feng led cultivators from the Hai Ke Family to Heavenly Fate City to pick up the goods, only to find that they refused to honour the previous terms of exchange, instead raising the price of the goods by more than a good thirty percent.
Such a price was obviously unacceptable, and Yu Feng immediately went to reason with Shadow Moon Hall’s person-in-charge stationed there. However, they refused to back down a single inch. Exasperated, Yu Feng then requested them to return the initial deposit. After all, they were the ones who went back on the contract, and Yu Feng thought that they should at least get the deposit back even if they were not going to purchase the goods.
Nobody expected even that request to be refused. Not only that, they decided to resort to force to settle the conflict, resulting in Yu Feng and the other four disciples being injured.
Obviously, Yu Feng’s group wouldn’t simply sit there and allow themselves to be beaten up, so they returned a few blows, damaging some of the shelves within the shop. They were immediately captured by an Origin Returning Realm master, detained, and stripped of all of the Saint Crystals which they were preparing to use for the exchange.
Only a single disciple was allowed to return to let Dragon Cave Mountain know that they had to prepare a large amount of Saint Crystals as ransom.
Otherwise, Wu Yi and the rest wouldn’t have known about the details either.
Having listened to the explanation, Yang Kai remained calm and expressionless, speaking only after a moment of thought, “Their lives are not in danger, right?”
“According to the disciple who returned, their injuries are not light, but not that serious either. They should be fine after a few days of recuperation.”
“Hm, that’s good,” Yang Kai nodded, directing his next question to the crowd, “What do you think is the problem here?”
“What’s the problem?” Wu Yi looked bewildered. Then she retorted, “Everything’s a problem! We have been working with the Shadow Moon Hall for so long without facing a single issue. We pay the Saint Crystals, they sell us the materials and we all mutually benefit. In the last few years, we seem to have already become the largest buyers of Shadow Moon Hall. Normally, they should be trying to maintain our interest instead of causing rifts like this. Not to mention, they wouldn’t have the courage to do so in the first place. I suspect there’s someone behind the scenes giving the orders.”
“I think so too!” Chang Qi agreed, “Dragon Cave Mountain doesn’t have a strong establishment, only plenty of resources. The precious stone lands its innocent possessor in jail. Perhaps Shadow Moon Hall is no longer willing to continue trading with us periodically and instead wishes to take everything that we have in one go?”
“You suspect this is the work of Qian Tong?” Yang Kai narrowed his eyes.
“It’s not impossible,” Wu Yi nodded.
“The possibility is there, but I don’t think this has anything to do with him,” Yang Kai shook his head slowly. Out of everyone here, he’d interacted with Qian Tong the most. Regardless of his inherent character, Qian Tong wouldn’t turn against Yang Kai, especially considering his relation with Wei Gu Chang and Dong Xuan’er, and how he saved them in the Flowing Flame Sand Field.
“I heard you saying that three months ago, all the Shadow Moon Hall’s stores at the Heavenly Fate City replaced all their store owners and employees? Is that true?” Yang Kai asked again.
“Yes, that’s right,” Wu Yi nodded immediately, “I often go to Heavenly Fate City, so I’m quite confident about this.”
“In the last six months, did anything peculiar or significant happen at the Shadow Moon Hall?” Yang Kai furrowed his brows.
“If we’re talking about peculiar things, nothing happened at the Shadow Moon Hall, but there’s something going on here. In recent months, a few unfamiliar faces appeared around Dragon Cave Mountain. At first, they were just loitering around the area, but then some of them started trying to breach into our territory. They were caught in the Spirit Array, and all of them said that it was an accident when we questioned them. We decided to release them after a warning since none of them had high cultivation. As for significant things… well, there was one.”
“What?” Yang Kai’s expression grew serious.
“Grandmaster Ge Lin passed away!” Wu Yi lowered her voice.
“Grandmaster Ge Lin?” Yang Kai thought for a while before realizing, “the Low-Rank Origin Grade Artifact Refiner of Shadow Moon Hall?”
“That’s him. This happened half a year ago. According to rumours, Grandmaster Ge Lin had lost a lot of vitality right after repairing an artifact for Shadow Moon Hall, so much so that he hadn’t refined a single artifact these past few years. But what does that have to do with us?”
“I don’t know about the exact details, but there might be some connection,” Yang Kai pondered, “I heard from Qian Tong that he was on very good terms with Grandmaster Ge Lin once.”
Wu Yi thought for a moment, “You’re saying that Grandmaster Ge Lin’s passing affected Elder Qian Tong, and since he’s the one who’s been looking out for us, we’re being affected too?”
Yang Kai grinned, “It’s just my guess. It could also be Qian Tong turning on us, but if it really has something to do with Shadow Moon Hall’s internal strife, we should try not to get dragged into the situation.”
“That’s right. We definitely can’t mess with the matters of Shadow Moon Hall,” Wu Yi immediately became more cautious. She hadn’t thought about this this deep before, but with Yang Kai’s help, she was starting to see the underlying issue.
“Any news from Wei Gu Chang and Dong Xuan’er?” Yang Kai asked.
Wu Yi shook her head, “All that Shadow Moon Hall said was that they were secluding themselves to break through to the Origin Returning Realm, nothing else.”
“Understandable. Forget it, it’s not good to depend on others anyway. I’ll make a trip to get Yu Feng back. Saint Crystals aside, the people are what’s important.”
“That’s a whole twenty million Saint Crystals gone!” the expression of pain was clearly written on Wu Yi’s face, “So what’s your plan?”
“If they’re not going to be nice, then I’m not going to be nice either. Otherwise, they’ll really think that Dragon Cave Mountain is an easy target,” Yang Kai said coldly.
Wu Yi stared at him, dumbfounded.
Yang Kai merely smiled and waved away her concerns, “If it really is due to internal strife, we have nothing to worry about. They don’t have the time to divert any attention onto us, so there probably aren’t any masters there. Plus, I myself really want to know exactly who is showing such malicious intent towards our Dragon Cave Mountain! What better way to find out than to personally make a trip there?”
“This elder will accompany you!” Chang Qi stood up.
Hao An said, “So will this elder! Even though my and Old Man Chang’s cultivations are nothing special, we’re still Origin Returning cultivators. Ever since we broke through, we haven’t had a single fight yet. This is the perfect opportunity to test our strength.
The two elders looked at each other and smiled.
Yang Kai thought this over before replying, “Alright, then I’m counting on you two Foreign Elders. The rest of you, however, should stay here.”
“Okay, be careful,” Wu Yi warned.
With that settled, Yang Kai exited the bamboo tower with Chang Qi and Hao An, took out his Star Shuttle, and headed straight for Heavenly Fate City.
At Heavenly Fate City, in a room within the inner garden of a store called the Gathering Source Hall, Yu Feng and the rest were tied up. All of them had bruises all over, and not a single strand of Saint Qi could be detected in their bodies. Clearly, they had all been restricted by a strong barrier.
They had been lined up in a single row and forced to kneel on the floor.
In front of them was a malicious looking old man with white hair sitting on a chair of sandalwood and holding a purple teapot in his hands. His eyes were half-closed, as if asleep, but the occasional sparkle of ferocity which could be seen in his eyes proved that he was wide awake.
“Speak. I want to know a safe way into Dragon Cave Mountain. Speak and I will allow you to leave, so you no longer have to suffer.” Beside the old man stood a fierce-looking brute, toying with a long whip with the thickness of three fingers in his hands as he spoke.
“Ptui!” Yu Feng’s reply was a glob of spit mixed with some blood aimed right at the brute’s face, “You want information from me? Dream on! I’d die before handing any information over to you despicable lot!”
The brute stayed still, allowing the glob of spit to run down his face. He smiled viciously, and the whip in his hands suddenly moved, swishing through the air and landing on Yu Feng’s face.
Coupled with a resounding crack, the right side of Yu Feng’s face tore open and a piece of mutilated meat flew out amidst the bloodshed. Yu Feng’s whole body was shaken by the force of the blow, nearly causing him to fall over. However, he quickly straightened back up, roaring with a fierce look in his eyes, “Come on! You can beat me to death today, and you still won’t get anything out of me! Just wait till you rush into Dragon Cave Mountain and get ripped to pieces by the thousands of Spirit Arrays there. Hahahahaha!”
The arrogant laughter caused a look of annoyance to show on the brute’s face, and even the old man seated on the chair was starting to lose his patience.
Gills: Greenfish’s first official chapter!!! thanks for translating this and hopefully future chapters.