Ling Tian Qing bitterly chuckled.
The advice given to him was to dethrone Ling Chen from the youth leader position.
What Ling Chen did today, discounting his offensive statement, was already enough to make him lose the leader position. Even worse, the statement he casually made ignited the accumulated conflict between the siblings. If he were dethroned, it would be easier to calm the public.
"The master must be very disappointed in Ling Chen…" Ling Tian Qing sighed deeply. He knew that he was definitely very disappointed in his son. Forgetting his ruthless and unreasonable actions toward Ling Xian, the statement Ling Chen made almost caused Ling Tian Qing to pass out from anger.
Treat the collateral siblings as slaves?
Though this mindset was common among the direct descendants, who ever dared to say it in public?
Ling Chen was the only one.
A person with this amount of stupidity, if stepped up to be the Clan Leader, the Ling Clan would be one step closer to extinction.
Ling Tian Qing painfully looked at his beloved son, and he hesitated for a while because he finally collected enough resolve. He gestured for the crowd to quiet down.
As the Clan Leader, he has always worked conscientiously and diligently, and therefore the clan had a lot of respect for him. With his one gesture, the entire crowd silenced. Every single collateral member of the family was staring at him straight in the eye. They anticipated what he would say next and waited for the answer that would either satisfy or disappoint them.
"The Clan is an inseparable entity. Direct descendants or collateral siblings, our last names are the same. Ling is not only a name. It is also a responsibility, even more so than that it is an honor. The true meaning behind the name is the people; it is you! Your ancestors shed their blood and sacrificed their lives to trade for the glory Ling Clan has today!"
Ling Tian Qing paused before he continued. "This land is sacred, but it is also cruel. There has been too much bloodshed from our warriors, and too many loyal spirits were devoted from them. It is because of them, is our land is sacred and untouchable. It has been our clan's land since the beginning, and it is a 137-year-old divine land!"
"Tell me, are you willing to protect it and defend it with your lives?" Ling Tian Qing's voice was piercing.
The crowd yelled in unison, loud enough to strain their voices.
Looking at the red-faced and excited youths, Ling Tian Qing nodded in satisfaction. "Very good. Since you are all willing to sacrifice your lives to defend the Ling Clan, then the clan will make sure you do not serve in vain. You bleed for the land, and the land will not make you cry. You compromise the good things in your lives to defend the land so the land will not void you of brilliance. The Ling Clan's glory needs all of your hard work, your effort, and your teamwork. The land really does need you!"
"Yes! Leader, you are right. We swear to protect the Ling Clan until we die!"
"Yes! We will train harder, and work harder to bring more honor to our clan!"
The crowd cried. The immature young boys felt the blood pumping in their veins along with Ling Tian Qing's speech. Red-faced, they cheered as if the glory of the Ling Clan really depended on them.
"What a pile of rubbish. Ling Tian Qing never even addressed the main issue," Ling Xian shooked his head. Ling Tian Qing's emotionally manipulative speech could sweet-talk others, but it could not convince him.
What he wanted to hear was for Ling Tian Qing to explain himself to the collateral siblings. Fortunately, Ling Tian Qing did not disappoint him. "Alright, I owe you all an answer!"
Ling Tian Qing inhaled and repressed all the emotions he felt before he yelled out, "I have decided to dethrone Ling Chen from the youth leader position!"
Like a rock that created thousands of ripples, the arena was quiet at first, and then the crowd erupted.
"Yes! Dethrone him! He has been a grain of sand in my eye for a long time!"
"Good decision. What kind of guy is he? Because of his title, he mocked and offended us. Let's see how he can remain arrogant after this!"
"This makes me so happy! This kind of person does not deserve to be the youth leader. Clan Leader sure is intelligent. No wonder he steers the Ling Clan."
Ling Chen, as if struck by lightning, froze in his spot. When he realized what was happening, he shouted like a maniac, "father! You misspoke, didn't you! I am the Ling Clan's youth leader! How can I be dethroned so easily?"
Ling Tian Qing slapped his son and shouted, "you are dethroned because of your mindset, because of what you said, and because I am your father. Why can't I dethrone you?"
"No!" Ling Chen screamed at the top of his lungs, "I am the youth leader! I am in a respected position! What was wrong with me calling them slaves! What was wrong with what I said!"
"You still dare to keep talking?" Ling Tian Qing's heart bled as he watched his beloved son behave in such a manner. Finally, he became more determined and said in an authoritarian tone, "you are no longer the youth leader. This is not a joke."
"Impossible, this is impossible…" Ling Chen's eyes lost their soul. He only allowed himself to be so arrogant because of his leadership position in the clan. If things went smoothly, he would've been the next clan leader after Ling Tian Qing. He was supposed to rule the entire clan, and nobody could overrule him.
However, accidents happened and he was deprived of the right to become the next leader.
The mental blow was almost unacceptable to Ling Chen. The pain he felt was worse than being defeated by Ling Xian.
Ling Chen cried as if his organs were being torn apart. The air was filled with desperation.
Ling Tian Qing felt a pinch in his heart. He then hit Ling Chen's chest with his fist and knocked him unconscious. Then he gestured for a few people to drag him away.
"Send him to the Cliff of Reflection, and tell him he is not allowed to step out from there for three years."
With a faint sigh, Ling Tian Qing seemed to have aged 10 years in an instant. However, for his clan and to please the people, he had to do what he had to do. Dethroning Ling Chen's youth leader position, forcing himself to self-reflect, and stripping away his freedom for three years was a hefty penalty. It was heavy enough for the collateral siblings to calm their anger.
"Those who commit too many sins are doomed to fail," Ling Xian mumbled to himself. He showed respect to the leader and said, "Leader you are wise, and I really admire you. I believe that under your leadership, the Ling Clan will walk further and further and become more and more glorious."
To everyone's surprise, Ling Tian Qing waved his hand and bowed before Ling Xian in front of everyone. He said in a serious tone, "If a son is uneducated, the father is the blame. I apologize on his behalf for what happened here today. I hope you can forgive us and not hold grudges.
"Leader you have exaggerated the situation. I am not someone with a small heart. You have punished him severely. Let the wind carry away the unpleasant events." Ling Xian quickly helped him straighten up. He was the Clan Leader after all and to bow before him, even if he was acting, was very difficult to do.
He could tell anyways that Ling Tian Qing was not acting for his own good. He really meant what he said.
"I am relieved to hear you say that. It is no wonder you are a genius who awakened a guiding law. You have a broad mind and a big heart. More than a hundred times better than my son." Ling Tian Qing smiled lightly, he relaxed.
Even though he was not acting, the fact that he bowed was very intentional because of Ling Xian's special abilities. Even though he would still severely punish his son if the person Ling Chen offended was a regular clan member, he would not have bowed down before everyone else.
It was not a matter of morality, but a matter of identity. He was the current leader of the Ling Clan, and by simply stomping his feet, the entire City of Qing would shake. How could he so easily bow down to a regular trainee?
It was a matter of reputation. Have you ever seen an Emperor bow down to his people?
Ling Xian was different. He has a rare talent which determined his bright future. Even though he was a commoner, he was someone who could easily overtake the palace with a horse and sword. Therefore, he could not be treated like a commoner.
"Leader you have flattered me."
Ling Xian smiled. Everything was under his control now. The use of the Heaven Shadowing Palm was a move he purposely exposed to the leaders. After all, Ling Chen was the youth leader, whose position was very high. He had to use a move that would gain him respect once and for all. If he didn't show them some real skills, he might've been taken advantage of.
What it boils down to was that he did not have enough fundamental skills.
If he was truly organically strong, what could they have done if he killed Ling Chen? Who could've said a word?
Even still, he really believed in himself. With his natural talent, he could train to achieve a terrifying level of greatness within two years. He wanted to truly be on top of the City of Qing.
"What happened today to Ling Chen was not necessarily a bad thing. Dethroning him from the youth leader position and forcing him to reflect on himself may help him step out of the traumatizing experience today. Maybe in the future, he would be reborn into a better man and achieve even greater accomplishments in training." Ling Tian Qing stared at the handsome Ling Xian and then thought of his bastard son. He couldn't help it but exclaim silently. If Ling Chen had half of Ling Xian's excellence, he would die happy.
Reborn into a better man?
Ling Xian shook his head and laughed. Based on the shady way Ling Chen acted, the only outcome that could happen was him getting worse.
"I wish him the best. I have some other affairs to attend to so I will leave now."
He attempted to exit the arena, but Ling Tian Qing stopped him.
"You placed first in the combat competition, so you cannot leave yet. At least accept the reward before you go."
"First in the competition?" Ling Xian was startled. Then he remembered that because he defeated Ling Chen, who was the winner, he was technically the winner now. Does it work this way? He never really registered to participate.
Ling Tian Qing didn't wait for him to respond. He coughed harshly to get everyone's attention and beamed. "I now announce this year's clan combat competition winner is Ling Xian. Any objections?"
"No objections. Other than Ling Xian, who deserves to be number one?"
"Ling Chen was the real winner of the competition this year, and Ling Xian defeated him!"
"Yes, he beat Ling Chen with two moves. Within the youths of the clan, who could've done that? He is number one. The one and only!"
Below the stage, loud cheering and clapping erupted. One by one they screamed Ling Xian's name as if he was the reason for all their glories.
It was hard to blame them for their excitement. Ling Xian was a collateral sibling, and his achievements added honor for everyone in the collateral family.
In the entire history of the Ling Clan, he was the first collateral sibling to win the combat competition.
This accomplishment was definitely one that has never been achieved!
Instantly, the entire arena was filled with applause and cheers. Everyone stared at Ling Xian, who was standing on the stage. Their gazes were full of admiration, excitement, and jealousy.
The young boys were almost worshipping him while the girls hazily stared at him. They were all at the age of understanding romance. The vague prince charming image in their hearts was slowly being molded into Ling Xian's face.
Ling Xian's cloak was as white as snow, and his hair was as black as ink. He stood on the stage, and a grin escaped his lips.
At this moment, thousands of people cheered him on!
At this moment, thousands fixated their gaze on him!