With both sides coming to an accord, the intricate feast had reached its end.
What people found strange, was Pill King Hall and Regent Estate converting about conditions not with Drifting Flowers Edifice’s Lord, but Zhuo Fan, the Drifting Flowers Edifice’s son in law.
In a land where women ruled, their fate was ultimately in the hands of a man. This was one irony some people couldn’t get enough of.
But the real irony was that Zhuo Fan was a fake son in law, only known by the overseers. And this man was the one who spoke for the Drifting Flowers Edifice.
Peony Overseer and Iris Overseer exchanged a glance, their hearts bitter. As this was all said and done, any regret now would be wasted breath.
Besides the fact the elders of the seven houses were witnessing this, who’d be able to change it now that Pill King Hall and Regent Estate grasped such a huge advantage?
They could only blame themselves for trusting Regent Estate. They gave Huangpu Qingyun so many of their treasures to bring him here, only to be closer to losing their very last and most important one.
When the elders left, taking care of their affairs, Chu Qingcheng called for Huangpu Qingyun, the last man to leave.
Chu Qingcheng’s face was frosty, her eyes cold. Huangpu Qingyun paused but didn’t turn around. Not far away, Vicious Pill King also paused and looked at the two.
“Why?” Chu Qingcheng said.
Huangpu Qingyun’s lip moved but started with a sigh, “Qingcheng, I have given you a chance, but you didn’t take it!”
Chu Qingcheng frowned.
“In any case, this is all in your house’s interest. And neither of us can change it. If only Drifting Flowers Edifice would’ve been more behaved, you’d have never come to witness today!”
Huangpu Qingyun’s eyes flashed with regret and strode away with his four Profound Heaven experts.
In Chu Qingcheng’s moment of loss, Vicious Pill King crept over with a vicious smile, “Edifice Lord, you’ve been wrong in your assumptions this time. The ones who want the Bodhi Root isn’t Pill King Hall, but Regent Estate.”
“What?” Chu Qingcheng was startled.
“He-he-he, that old bat didn’t tell you? Regent Estate had long demanded the Bodhi Root from her. Too bad she was so stubborn, not willing to budge an inch, so… “
Vicious Pill King squinted, “Guess it’s no harm in telling you this secret at this point. You think I alone am enough to harm that old bat? She had advised three generations of your Edifice Lords, after all, a truly awe-inspiring peak Profound Heaven expert.”
A bad feeling began to seize Chu Qingcheng’s heart.
“Ha-ha-ha, you should have already guessed it. The one to have wounded her to such a state was an expert from Regent Estate! Foolish girl, you think your weak link with the second young master is enough to make Regent Estate help you? You brought the wolf in with open hands!”
Vicious Pill King’s unrestrained laughter was filled with disdain as he took his leave.
Chu Qingcheng shivered and collapsed. Her eyes empty and tears streamed down her cheeks.
“What… have I done…” Her empty eyes now held despair. Her lone figure in the grand guest hall struck a pitiful image…
Meanwhile, Zhuo Fan and Xiao Dandan left the hall and saw the Veiled Dragon Pavilion with Sword Marquise Abode waiting for them in a remote corner.
With a grin, Zhuo Fan walked straight to them, with Xiao Dandan next to him, of course, eliciting a surprise from him, “What are you coming with me for? Go play by yourself!”
Xiao Dandan pouted, “You’ve done that in front of everyone and now you’re so mean…”
“What did I do? Wasn’t it just a kiss? It’s nothing great, I did it to get Sword Marquise Abode’s vote and save your Drifting Flowers Edifice.” Zhuo Fan rolled his eyes and warned, “Don’t ever mention this again. There is nothing going on between us.”
Xiao Dandan was like an obedient child, though in her heart, she felt miserable. Yet noticing the two houses watching them closely, she couldn’t help but grab Zhuo Fan’s hand in worry.
“Song Yu, are they looking for trouble since you insulted them at the feast? It’d be best to leave as soon as possible.”
Zhuo Fan didn’t explain and nod, “Correct, but this is a man’s job, not for women! Also, the further you are from me, the better!”
Zhuo Fan wrested his hand from her grip without hesitation and walked forward. Xiao Dandan was sad but worried for his sake. She thought of something and quickly rushed off.
“Greetings, it’s been a long time!”
Zhuo Fan sported a faint smile, putting on the Thunder Ring from his storage ring. Sparks traveled across it and Xie Tianyang’s reacted in kind.
He laughed, “I knew it was you! You looked so different that I almost didn’t recognize you. But calling me a coward made me realize the truth!”
Xie Tianyang was the first to call Zhuo Fan a coward and now the roles were reversed.
“By the way, where’s sister in law?” Xie Tianyang’s eyebrows danced on purpose.
Zhuo Fan’s mood turned sour as he waved a fist, “Why did you do that anyway? Are you itching for a smackdown?”
“Ha-ha-ha… it’s a joke, a joke. You didn’t lose out anyway!” Xie Tianyang laughed as he withdrew, still somewhat afraid of Zhuo Fan.
“By the way, little brother, I wanted to ask. What was this all about?” Long Jiu asked sternly, “Don’t you realize we all offended the Regent Estate?”
“Little brother? Wait… you’re Zhuo Fan?”
Long Kui cried out. Since Long Jiu only had one little brother, Zhuo Fan, it was easy to figure it out.
Jian Suifeng and Long Jie were also in shock. Now they knew why Long Jiu and Xie Tianyang sold their face to a kid, to the point they openly defied Regent Estate. Both were brothers to Zhuo Fan, holding undying gratitude towards each other.
“Yeah, brother, what was that all about?” Xie Tianyang was also serious, “I trust you since you have a good reason, but don’t go ahead and sell me out again. We’ve been through life and death together.”
Zhuo Fan scratched his nose, “You two are the ones I trust the most. I wouldn’t have dragged you into this if I had no other choice. Just that you’ve already been pushed into harm’s way and it’s best to plan ahead.”
The two asked at the same time, “What do you mean?”
“Can’t you see it?” Zhuo Fan’s eyes flashed, “Regent Estate intends to unify all seven houses, and you two are on their kill list. Rather than wait to be killed, it’s best to set a boundary and retaliate.”
“What, unify the seven houses? How do you know tht?” They all cried.
Zhuo Fan slowly shook his head, “It’s just a guess for now. Huangpu Qingyun displayed his power the instant he saw Xie Tianyang refuse to comply. If we take this arrogant behavior of a disciple into account, then we can draw conclusions at the true schemes cooking in the heads of the Regent Estate’s minds.
“On the surface, it looks nothing more than looking to make trouble for Sword Marquise Abode and humiliating it through you. When in fact, he managed to achieve two things. Weakening Edifice Lord’s position, instigating Drifting Flowers Edifice and Sword Marquise Abode against each other, and splitting the people into three camps. Those that obey, those that defy, and the opportunists!”
“From how everyone reacted just now, it is safe to assume Hell Valley and Pill King Hall are in support of them. Meanwhile, Drifting Flowers Edifice, Sword Marquise Abode, and Veiled Dragon Pavilion, having reproached him many times, are obviously against them. As for Merry Woods, they are in the opportunist camp!”
They began to recount the feast in its entirety and came to the same conclusion.
Now, they began to see why Huangpu Qingyun was so disgusted and rude over this trivial matter, even towards a house’s young master.
He wasn’t just arrogant, but was devising a way to deal with the houses!
They all broke out in cold sweat. If Zhuo Fan was right, the strongest of the seven houses was going to declare war on them. To root them out and unite the seven houses under one banner!
“This is all just a guess of yours. If it isn’t true, then we became hostiles with Regent Estate for nothing.” Long Kui said sternly after a moment.
Nodding, Zhuo Fan’s eyes turned cold, “Indeed. But don’t you all agree it is better to become enemies than to wait for the moment when they come at you and catch you unprepared? It’s easy to see the difference in danger. If it was me, I would destroy them all at the slightest sign of disobedience!”
Shivering, Long Jiu and Jian Suifeng exchanged a glance and admired him inside.
[So vicious and decisive, just like a true ruler.]
“Fine, I know of that saying about ‘guard against those that want to hurt you’ or whatever! I get the Regent Estate is coveting us, but Drifting Flowers Edifice’s sorry state is a different matter! Brother, you made us favor Drifting Flowers Edifice and thus pushed forward Regent Estate’s war to us.” Xie Tianyang suddenly said.
Jian Suifeng gave him a praising glance [This kid is finally thinking for his house.]
Zhuo Fan disapproved with a sneer, “Drifting Flowers Edifice is indeed the weakest of the seven, on the verge of collapse. This is why Regent Estate wants to start with them. Think about it. If they fall, who will Regent Estate turn to next?”
They all then realized, shock. Though the Drifting Flowers Edifice was the weakest amongst the seven houses, they were still part of the seven houses. If Drifting Flowers Edifice was out of the picture, the next would be them, Sword Marquise Abode and Veiled Dragon Pavilion.
“Drifting Flowers Edifice is your gate. Once this gate splits open, Regent Estate will be unstoppable in its march to swallow you all. In addition, Drifting Flowers Edifice’s existence presents us with Regent Estate’s attack target. Take Drifting Flowers Edifice out of the picture, and it will be anyone’s guess who the next mark is.”
They all nodded, with some people’s eyes flashing with resolve. Even Long Kui, who always looked for chances to nitpick with him, had to agree.
Long Kui now understood how serious this matter was, which involved her house!
“Then what do you get out of this?” Xie Tianyang said, “I know you well enough and there’s no way you’d get involved without getting something. Least of all, volunteering to help Drifting Flowers Edifice get over this predicament.”
Zhuo Fan’s eyes flashed with confidence and said, “Miss Long Kui, do you remember our ten years agreement?”
“Rising Luo clan above the seven houses in ten years?” Long Kui muttered.
“Correct.” Zhuo Fan continued with a smile, “What I get from all of this, is to slow down the Regent Estate’s campaign and allow the Luo clan rise in ten years. When I am done, we will see who will be the true number one house in the empire…”