Chapter 317 "Main Son and Bastard Son"
Since the establishment of the kingdom of Da Xia, the Hong House had never been toppled. And unlike the other noble houses, which are increasingly declining, this one family only grew more and more prosperous. From the last ranking of the big four, they now stood at the very top and was trending towards matching the founding Qing House (Sir Qing's family) on equal footing.
As to how they did it, it has much to do with their arrangement of talents.
Different from the other noble children, the members of the Hong House are not permitted to do as they please. For the boys, they must begin their political career at fourteen, seeping into every nook and cranny as they see fit. Then for the girls, their fate are far less fortunate. Forced into political marriages, their future are at the mercy of their family and future husband.
That's not everything though. Like most big noble houses, the Hong family also had their hands dabbling in the underground powers - not limited to the Sha Sect of course.
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From all this, it's easy to see how every chief of this family are very farsighted individuals capable of standing in the correct side of the throne's dispute, especially this generation's chief who supported the current king well before anyone else.
But the past was the past, it's not the present. In recent days, through the various failures and setbacks, the Hong House was starting to fall into the same trend as their peers. That's something the old marquis of the Hong House truly didn't expect.
After getting the summon, it didn't take long for Hong Fang to arrive outside his father's structure of residence. This place wasn't big by any means, only a single-story building, but at least it's kept very clean and orderly considering there's only a couple of pine trees and a cobblestone path leading inside.
Since ten years ago when his father relocated to this place after breaking into the fifth element of the reincarnation realm, the old marquis had never once left this location; yet, for some reason, Hong Fang's father could perceive just about every major event that's occurring inside the city like it's within his finger tips. Just knowing this fact alone infused a small tinge of fear in the man.
By the time Hong Fang arrives at the scene, his elder brother was already waiting at the front yard.
Likewise, the older man also noticed his younger brother's arrival, Humph, that's what you get for constantly trying to stand above me. How do you like it, losing your position in court?
“Third Brother, looking at your horrible complexion, it can't be that you couldn't get a good night's sleep now right?" The big brother asks despite knowing why.
“Hoho, brother's face isn't very good either. Then again, considering how the leader of the Sha Sect was found dead out in the open this morning, I can't imagine you be any better. Do you have any clues as to who's behind it?" Not to be pressed down, Hong Fang fires back with his own insult.
Regarding the collusion of Hong Fang and Yang Qing, the elder brother still didn't know about.
“It's just a useless thug that died, I've wanted to replace him for a while now." The elder brother insists on keeping up his façade.
“Quit your squabbling, how can you two brothers be arguing in a time like this?" From within the building, the commanding voice of the old marquis instantly shuts their bickering.
So long as their father remains alive, these two men will never openly go for each other's throat.
“Father (Father)," the two kneels in unison.
“I was only in training for three months, yet the crown prince is abolished and the Sha Sect destroyed. Tell me, what were you two doing?" Due to that rage, even the grounds were trembling in fright.
"Father, I've keyed in on some clues regarding Yang Qing's death. I believe it's the work of a newly rising power called the Ghost Sect." Wishing to make amends, the elder brother quickly makes his report.
“And who is the master of this Ghost Sect?" The old marquis asks.
“That… I'm still investigating for the time being." In response, a trickle of sweat poured out of the man's forehead.
“Then how about the Ghost Sect's origin and their numbers?" Turning sharper in his voice, it's pretty obvious the old marquis wasn't pleased with the answer.
“I don’t know that either," the elder brother had become drenched in sweat by now.
Then again, it can't be blamed on the man. Not like he's incapable, just that the things related to the Ghost Sect were so little that it's extremely difficult to investigate. This was especially true for Ling Yue's end because she had never openly taken part in the daily operations.
“Then why are you not out there investigating!” Furious in his voice, the old marquis roars out at his eldest son, sending the poor man scrambling for the doorway.
Like his elder brother, Hong Fang was also very nervous after seeing how outraged his father was.
Don't assume just because these two brothers are at the age of thirty and forty, but in front of their father, their backbones were weaker than the smallest child in the house. Even for someone known to be devious and scheming, Hong Fang had never truly been able to grasp his father's mindset.
Now, with only the two of them left, an eerily silence gripped the air while the pine trees outside made a constant rustling sound. Then all of a sudden, it's as if a wave of invisible Yuan energy had poured into the trees, those normally soft and tender pine needles falling down to the ground had turned into razor sharp weapons. Their target, the middle-aged man still kneeling there.
Greatly surprised by the abrupt attack, Hong Fang instantly raises a barrier of wind in front of himself out of reflex. With the opening he made, his figure was already several meters away in that blink. And of course, there's no way someone like Hong Fang would just stay on the defensive. In one flick of his palm, a blast of his energy was shot out and split the pine needles in two right down the middle spine.
It was a nice counter all and all. Sadly for him, his efforts only made it worse because it couldn't hinder that striking force in the least. Now, he had double the numbers to deflect.
“Father!” In his panic, Hong Fang cries out for help when one of the pine needles landed on his shoulder, leaving a gaping hole in his armor.
“Not bad, you nearly fooled even me with how good you concealed your strength. Tell me, when did you break into the second element of the reincarnation realm?" When the old marquis spoke again, his figure was already standing in the middle of the courtyard with all of the pine needles in his hand.
Holding his slightly sored shoulder, Hong Fang squats down in front of his father with an ever increasing unease.
He originally believed that after he made his breakthrough, he would at least be able to withstand ten strikes by his father. However, it appears his assumption was off, very off….
“I wouldn't dare to lie. Father, I only recently made a breakthrough thanks to the medicine Ming Yue brought home the other day. She's now a core disciple of the Three Life Valley and is already a reincarnation realm master herself." Flooded with fear on his face, Hong Fang attempts to mask everything with partial truth and partial lie, all the while not forgetting to check on his father's reaction.
When hearing the name of his granddaughter, the old marquis clearly relaxed somewhat. In the entire home, only that girl can bring great joy to the old elder. Regarding this point, Hong Fang had no illusion about it, hence the reason why he's so proud of the girl.
“As expected of that child, she didn't disappoint my expectation. Humph, pity she has such a disappointing father to drag her down," dark in the face, the old marquis looks down at his son like an eagle facing a rabbit.
“Father, I…” Before he could utter another word, a stinging sensation from his shoulder had caused him to gasp in pain.
Hong Fang was really dissatisfied with the level of unfairness he's getting. His elder brother also made a mistake, but the person only got off with a reprimand and nothing else. While he himself here was suffering an injury. If that pine needle was even a step closer to his heart, he would've lost his own life there!
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(30$ to make me stay up late into the night is fair right for this novel?