The guards didn’t expect this youth and his group to be the one seeing Li Qiye.
“Is Her Highness not coming?” One expert quietly inquired.
The youth told Li Qiye in a friendly manner: “Fellow Daoist Li, Our Highness is occupied at the moment so I am here to welcome you instead.”
This youth answered the expert and stated his intention towards Li Qiye in one go.
The experts outside slightly raised their brow after hearing this.
“First Brother Zhang Yang is here. Her Highness didn’t come out but it looks like First Brother will be representing her.” Someone immediately recognized the youth.
“Hmph, why would this Fiercest even ask for Her Highness to come and greet him? Even if he has a High God backing him up, the imperial clan won’t let him do whatever he wants. The fact that First Brother is here to greet him is already giving him ample face. In terms of cultivation and status, First Brother is on the same level as any main successor of a great power.”
Zhang Yang might be the First Brother but he wasn’t from the main branch. Nevertheless, he was quite exceptional at his age and was taken in by an elder of the branch to be a disciple.
Li Qiye simply smiled at this reception. Even though Zhang Yang was friendly enough, his company clearly showed displeasure and even hatred towards Li Qiye, evident by their cold glare.
Tieshu Weng’s expression darkened after seeing them due to his discerning gaze built from experience. He knew that they came with malicious intent.
Was this the clan’s attempt of taking Li Qiye down a notch? Of course, Weng would be worried since they were dealing with a behemoth like the Jilin Clan.
“I see, let us go in then.” Li Qiye remained aloof.
“Fellow Daoist Li, this way, the elders are waiting.” Zhang Yang didn’t lose his respectful demeanor.
The group stepped on the bridge in order to climb to the top. However, a different youth who came with Zhang Yang immediately shouted at the group: “Stop.”
Li Qiye didn’t become angry and asked: “There’s something else?”
“For safety reasons, one must leave behind their weapons here before entering the clan. Also, this is an imperial lineage, random dogs and cats can’t just enter whenever.” He pointed at Tieshu Weng’s group.
The group couldn’t become angry after being treated with such contempt because they were minor characters. Just being able to enter the clan was already a type of honor.
“Oh, Fellow Daoist Li, this is just a misunderstanding. This is my Junior Brother Ma Sheng, he’s too straightforward and is only going by the rules. He doesn’t mean anything by it.”
The experts guarding the bridge wondered what was going on and if this was the intent of their princess.
This made the cultivators outside glance at each other. Zhang Yang was purposely causing trouble. No cultivator would hand their weapon to an outsider. Of course, some Jilin cultivators, especially the younger ones, felt that this was how it should be.
“Hmph, that Li guy thinks he’s cool with a High God backing him up. Let’s take him down a notch so that he knows the Jilin Clan isn’t a place for him to do whatever he wants.” A youth cheered after seeing Li Qiye in trouble.
Li Qiye smiled in response: “And if I don’t?” He naturally knew what they were up to.
“The Jilin Clan is an imperial lineage, not a place for you to act presumptuously!” Ma Sheng said with a stern expression while being full of pride.
Despite being a disciple of a side branch, his talents were high enough. He was also a relative of an outer elder so it meant that he had some status even within the clan. It was normal for him to be a little conceited.
His peers were smirking in the back, clearly feeling schadenfreude. So it turned out that this group was egged on by several people from the two High Gods camps. It made them stand on the side of Shrouding Sun and Southern Sun.
This shouldn’t be too surprising because as side branches’ disciples of the Jilin, they were originally from other great powers under Jilin anyway. More importantly, they considered other powers within Jilin as their own. That’s why when Li Qiye bullied Southern Sun and Shrouding Sun, it was the same as bullying the Jilin Clan, hence their antagonistic view of him.
Right now, they even had two High Gods at their backing. Li Qiye couldn’t cause any trouble regardless of who he had behind him. Daring to oppose the clan at their home was the same as declaring war against two Immortal Monarchs, quite a suicidal endeavor.
Thus, this young group took advantage during the princess’ visit to the ancestors and stopped the messenger from informing the princess. They took the initiative of seeing Li Qiye in order to show him the deal.
Li Qiye stared at the proud Ma Sheng and said: “I don’t care if you are from an imperial lineage or not, they’re no different from little puppies in my eyes. Provoking me won’t end well regardless of your background.”
Not just Ma Sheng but the rest of the disciples were shocked. Even the guards felt the same way. The spectating cultivators from Jilin were glaring angrily at him too.
This comment was a straight slap at the clan so the Jilin disciples became angry, regardless of whether they were from the main or side branches. Even the experts from other great powers under Jilin became enraged. Insulting the clan was the same as insulting them.
“Li, such big tone. You want to fight one on one then?!” Ma Sheng loudly challenged.
“One on one? You?” Li Qiye smiled and gave him the side-eye.
This naturally made Ma Sheng furious. It was one thing to be looked down at by a genius but this was someone with virtually zero cultivation.
“Boom!” Chaos energy rose to the sky like a waterfall, eventually resulting in fiery wings forming behind Ma Sheng’s back. The laws of a monarch made him look formidable.
“So powerful.” The spectators were startled to see the powerful imperial laws.
One expert added: “That’s a side-branch senior disciple for you, he might just be as strong as the First Brother.”
Despite being side-branch disciples, Ma Sheng and Zhang Yang were definitely more powerful than Li Tianhao. They were originally brilliant talents from their own great powers. After joining the Jilin, they gained access to imperial laws which propelled their abilities.
“Brat, come, I’ll let you know the consequence of insulting our clan!” A white aura illuminated the sky after Ma Sheng took out his sword.
“Is that so? Go for it, I’ll give you a chance.” Li Qiye said flatly.
“Very well!” The sword howled continuously before the slash. Its sharpness could pierce through the world while its momentum could flatten the earth!
“Boom!” Before people knew what was going on, Ma Sheng’s sword cracked and he was hanging in the air with something gripping his neck.
“A High God!” People instantly recalled the rumors of Li Qiye’s protector!
1. I know that side-branch might feel like an insult or a downgrade, but it isn’t in this case. The literal translation is “disciple with a different last name”, but I can’t come up with a shortened/better way for this outside of side-branch. It just means that they were accepted to the Jilin Clan despite being from outside families. That should be a positive indicator of their talents/worth