It only took one short moment for all mouths to be silenced.... Some people had been making fun of Bai Hao, others had been deriding him. Some had been looking on in boredom, others had been enjoying the excitement. But as of this moment, everyone looked like statues frozen in place with shock.
As the moments ticked by, and people began to recover, the sound of panting could be heard. Expressions of shock and disbelief could be seen everywhere. As for the fifth young lady and Bai Lei, they were clearly reeling in astonishment, and were staring at Bai Xiaochun with almost complete disbelief.
The silence only wore on for a short time, though, before the entire clan erupted into a huge commotion. People shot to their feet, looking ever at Bai Xiaochun with shock and other mixed emotions. Soon, there were even expressions of admiration.
“That answer... surpasses all of the other answers!!”
“Heavens! Is that really Bai Hao? The useless, pathetic Bai Hao? It will become its own world... this... this type of boldness, the type that can dominate mountains and rivers, how is it even possible?!?!”
“A world, a whole world.... That must be it! That must be the correct answer!!”
“How... how is this even possible?!?!”
Bai Xiaochun simply stood there, the focus of all attention. Although he wasn’t very impressive physically, there was something casual and even transcendent about how he carried himself. At the moment, nobody was looking at Bai Qi. Bai Xiaochun’s words had completely eclipsed him, stolen all of his thunder. Bai Xiaochun now seemed completely dazzling, as if all the glory had always belonged to him from the very beginning.
Bai Qi’s face drained of blood, and although he wanted to offer some retort, he soon realized there was nothing for him to say. After hearing the answer which had just been given, he realized that, for some reason... he knew it to be true!!
He wasn’t the only one to have such a realization. The clan elders were all clearly moved, and were looking at Bai Xiaochun with expressions of amazement. Some of them had even risen to their feet in wonderment.
The grand elder from the Hall of Justice was trembling, and even his lips quivered in shock. The gleam of augury could be seen in his eyes, and his breath came in ragged pants; even his cultivation base was teetering unstably.
He had a look on his face that said he had just been struck with perfect enlightenment, as if he could now see everything clearly. Soon, a look of flushed excitement appeared on his face.
Madam Cai and the clan chief were struck most deeply. As for the clan chief, he wasn't sure what to think. However, to see Bai Hao basking in radiant glory didn’t make him feel even slightly gratified. Instead, rage began to bubble up in him. In his estimation, he was looking at nothing more than an unfilial son, which caused killing intent to rise up within him.
The more outstanding Bai Hao proved to be, the more it felt to the clan chief like he was being slapped in the face. As he looked over at Bai Xiaochun, the fires of fury could be seen clearly in his eyes. However, he quickly covered them up; after all, he was the clan chief.
The clan chief managed to suppress his rage, but Madam Cai was entirely incapable of doing so. Bai Xiaochun’s one simple answer had turned the entire situation upside down, and had stolen all of the glory away from Bai Qi. When she saw how ashen Bai Qi’s face was, it filled her heart with pain, and caused her hatred for Bai Hao to grow to greater heights.
“Complete hogwash!” she screamed. “Bai Hao, you impudent son of a bitch, shut the hell up! Men, take this bastard away and have him killed in body and soul!!” Madam Cai seemed to have completely lost her mind. Most of the clan guards in the area were clearly hesitating about whether or not to follow her orders, but a few of them gritted their teeth and began to make their way toward Bai Xiaochun.
But then, Bai Xiaochun spun to face Madam Cai and said, “The only impudent one here is you!
“This is a Bai Clan ceremony, and I'm a member of the Bai Clan. I was simply answering a question posed by the grand elder. How dare you go so far as to disrupt the ceremony! Could you be more impudent?!
“Clan Chief, this woman has no blood of the Bai Clan in her. At best, she could count as half a clan member. And yet, she dares to act like a madwoman in plain view of the entire clan, and in the presence of the spirits of our dear ancestors! For showing disrespect to our clan ceremony, I request that you immediately punish her to the full extent possible under the clan rules. Clan Chief, she must definitely receive the death penalty!” Bai Xiaochun counter attacked with a watertight argument, with vicious words, and with complete righteousness. There was nothing anyone present could say to find fault with his words.
The members of the auxiliary bloodlines who weren’t fond of Bai Qi and Madam Cai suddenly turned with shining eyes to look at Bai Hao, almost as if they were seeing him for the first time.
Bai Lei was looking at him with a curious gleam in his eyes, and suddenly felt the impulse to go over and introduce himself. The fifth young lady was also shocked, and had a similar expression on her face.
There were even some among the clan elders who gazed at him with glittering eyes.
Bai Qi’s expression flickered in response to the killing intent in Bai Xiaochun’s words. Chest puffing up in rage, he bellowed, “What gall you have to offend your superiors, Bai Hao. You--”
Before he could finish speaking, Bai Xiaochun turned and barked, “Shut the hell up!
“I have the blood of the Bai Clan running in my veins, and that makes me a member of the clan just like everyone else. I'm here to offer sacrifices to the ancestors, and did nothing more than answer a question posed by the grand elder. Gall, you say? Of course I have gall! That’s exactly what our ancestors want to see! The gall to stand up for our clan!
“Offend my superiors? That’s exactly what clause nine of the clan rules talks about! When offering sacrifices to the ancestors, all clan members of all bloodlines are separated according to their rank. And during the ceremony, who are the true superiors? The ancestors! Bai Qi, don’t tell me that you think this woman is one of the Bai Clan’s ancestors? Don't forget, Bai Qi, her surname isn’t Bai, it's Cai!
“Therefore, it seems to me that the person offending their superiors here is none other than you, Bai Qi!!” Bai Xiaochun’s booming words stabbed like swords into Bai Qi, causing his mind to reel and sending him staggering backward. Although he wanted to argue back, he couldn't find any words to do so, and ended up merely coughing up a mouthful of blood.
“Bai Hao! You....”
Even as everyone looked in in mute shock at what was happening, Bai Xiaochun turned toward the grim-faced clan chief, toward whom he clasped hands and bowed.
“Clan Chief, first, I must request that you punish this woman for disrupting the ancestral sacrifices. For disturbing the peace of our ancestors, she fully deserves to be killed in body and soul! Second, I must request that you punish Bai Qi for his unfilial act of confusing the identities of our ancestors. Clearly, he has forgotten that his own surname is Bai, which is an act of complete unfaithfulness. Unfilial, unfaithful, and disrespectful people like him do not deserve to be members of the Bai Clan!”
Bai Xiaochun’s thunderous words left all members of the clan visibly shaken. To counter attack by calling for his enemies to be put to death according to clan rules was something that no one could ever have imagined would happen. No one could even react, and many clan members were so astonished they couldn’t even think. To many of them, it was as if their entire world had suddenly been turned upside down.
The representatives from the other two clans were deeply shaken, especially the one from the Cai Clan, who seemed very displeased, and was staring at Bai Xiaochun with a very serious expression. Bai Xiaochun’s intent was clear, and it was no underhanded scheme: it was an open attack! It was also an opportunity for all of the auxiliary bloodlines in the clan, something that the representatives from the other two clans, as well as the emissary from Giant Ghost City, took very seriously.
The clan elders began to exchange glances. The internal affairs of the Bai Clan had already been rocky, and now, the auxiliary bloodlines suddenly had a golden opportunity.
Even as everyone pondered the situation, Madam Cai saw Bai Qi cough up blood, and suddenly went even more crazy.
“Are you looking to die, you little son of a bitch!?!? Men, kill him immediately!!” In her rage, Madam Cai even flew up into the air, as if to attack Bai Xiaochun herself. As she did, the eyes of the clan elders glittered even more brightly as they prepared to jump up and start fighting. However, that was when the clan chief suddenly slapped his hand down onto the table in front of him.
A huge boom echoed out as the table exploded and transformed into nothing more than ash.
“Shut your mouth!” he roared. Waving his sleeve, he sent a burst of power slamming into Madam Cai, causing blood to spray out of her mouth as she tumbled out of the air.
“Take her into custody!” he continued through gritted teeth. Immediately, several clan guards hurried forward and dragged Madam Cai away.
The clan chief did nothing to disguise the killing intent in his eyes as he glared at Bai Xiaochun. “Happy now?!”
Bai Xiaochun glanced at Madam Cai being dragged away, then turned back to the glowering clan chief. Clearly not willing to back down, he clasped hands and said, “Young Bai Qi must be punished for his unfilial, unfaithful, and disrespectful actions!”
“Enough!” the clan chief shouted. This was his first time ever experiencing anything like this during his time as clan chief. The feeling of being forced into action was infuriating, and made him want to kill Bai Hao more than ever. In fact, were it not for the fact that he feared the auxiliary bloodlines, he would likely have killed him on the spot! “If you want him dead, then kill him yourself in the ancestral land.”
Bai Xiaochun didn't say anything in response, but inwardly, was chuckling coldly.
Bai Qi glared angrily at Bai Xiaochun, but was clearly afraid of provoking him into further speech. Considering that his mother had been dragged off to be punished, and his father was enraged, all he could do was grit his teeth and swear an oath to kill Bai Hao in the ancestral land!
Obviously, it was not appropriate to continue with the ceremony of ancestral sacrifices.
“The ceremony is over!” the clan chief said with the flick of a sleeve.
However, it was at that point that the grand elder from the Hall of Justice, whose eyes had been flickering with the glow of augury up to this point, suddenly looked over at Bai Xiaochun and said, “Wait a moment. Bai Hao, please continue with your explanation. How did you come up with the idea that a thirtyfold spirit enhancement would create a new world?”
His expression was sincere, and his words were uttered with calm warmth. Apparently, he didn't care at all that there had been some tension between Bai Hao and the clan chief just now.
The truth was that as the grand elder of the Hall of Justice, the only people in the clan who could cause any problems for him were the patriarch and the grand elder from the Hall of Corrections. As for the clan chief... he didn’t care about him at all.
The clan chief’s expression couldn’t have been more unsightly. He would never be able to forget everything which had occurred this day. However, he couldn’t afford to provoke the grand elder from the Hall of Justice, and was therefore forced to sit there, wallowing in his rage. From the way he gritted his teeth and glared at Bai Hao, it was obvious to everyone how he felt about him.