The afternoon sun was emitting blinding rays of light. It added a layer of gold on top of the small garden.
Inside the garden, Ling Hu looked at what Ling Xian was holding. It was a piece of metal that had the appearance gold but was not gold. He asked, "What is this?"
"It's the token to the Hidden Territory." Ling Xian grinned.
"This is the legendary entrance token?" Ling Hu couldn't help but gasp in shock.
"Yes, this one's for you." Ling Xian very casually threw the token to him. Ling Hu caught the token anxiously and complained, "Brother, it's a token to the Hidden Territory! What if you broke it by throwing it so violently?"
"I knew you'd be able to catch it," said Ling Xian.
"How did you get your hand on this token?" asked Ling Hu.
"That is a long story," Ling Xian proceeded to tell him the events that occurred this morning. From how he didn't want to compete, to Ling Chen provoking him. From how Ling Chen was dethroned, to how he won first place. Ling Xian told him every detail of the story.
As Ling Hu listened, he sometimes reacted angrily, and other times he was shocked. It took him a while to get himself back to reality. "Nice! Dethroning him was a great move! He deserved it! I've never liked him, and he always took advantage of us, collateral siblings. He was one trash of a person!"
"He angered the people. It was the right thing to dethrone him," Ling Xian exclaimed before reminding Ling Hu, "Train lots in the next little while. Try to improve your Qi level to five before the Hidden Territory opens. This way you can at least defend yourself and prevent accidents from happening when you're inside."
"Brother, I can't have this. You need it more than me," Ling Hu rejected.
"I have another one. No need to be so polite with me." Ling Xian felt warm.
Upon hearing this, Ling Hu's eyes widened, and he chuckled, "Brother, then I won't refrain myself. The Hidden Territory in the City of Qing is one that I have never entered."
Ling Xian nodded. Looking at the overly excited Ling Hu, he suddenly turned serious, "Tell me and be honest. What is going on?"
"What do you mean?" Ling Hu froze.
"What really happened when you said you couldn't get a Dan at Qi Zhen Pavilion?" Ling Xian squinted his eyes. "Don't play dumb with me and don't try to hide anything. You said you ordered it from the main store, but it hasn't arrived. I saw that you were acting abnormally. What you claim to have happened may be true, but the events that happened definitely didn't happen so simply."
"Brother…" Ling Hu was silent. He lowered his head and hid from Ling Xian's threatening gaze.
Ling Xian frowned and ordered, "Lift your head, look at me, and speak!"
"Brother… I can't." Ling Hu shook his head, and his face was full of bitterness.
Ling Xian's heart dropped. He had a bad premonition. He asked coldly, "Tell me, what really happened? Don't be afraid. I will support you even if the sky falls."
Ling Hu was silent for a while. Remembering those humiliating events, fire was about to shoot out of his eyes, and he gritted his teeth. "Brother, it was that asshole of a manager. When I went to purchase the Dan with a quality superior to that of a Rejuvenation Dan, he told me he had them, but none of them were in storage in the Qi Zhen Pavilion. He said he needed time to get them from the central store, but needed the payment before he could place an order. I didn't think much back then, so I just gave him all 20,000 of my spiritual stones."
"The next day however, when I went to find him, he claimed that the inventory still hasn't arrived. He then shut the store front and refused to see me. Finally, he ordered someone to beat me up and threatened that if I ever go to him again or tell someone about what happened, he would order someone to kill me!" Talking about what happened made Ling Hu enraged. He wanted to dash into the Qi Zhen Pavilion and slice that bastard into eight pieces.
He took off his top, and his body was covered in blotches of purple and green bruises. He was very much hurt.
"Good, very good," Ling Xian's face turned cold like he was getting ready to fight.
This was not simply about lying to gain those 20,000 spiritual stones. Rather, he lied and a fragile life would've been taken away from the world. If Ling Xian didn't find a way to cure Ling Hu's mom, or if he came a little later, Ling Hu's mother's life would've been lost because of that liar.
"Stealing your spiritual stones and ending your last ray of hope. This kind of person deserves to die." Ling Xian was so angry his hair stood up on his head. "What's the name of that bastard?"
"Qin Guang Zhi," Ling Hu subconsciously answered, but regretted answering right away. "Brother, he's the manager of Qi Zhen Pavilion. As you know, no other pavilion dare to compete with Qi Zhen because it is so reputable in the Qin Dynasty. It is a large business. Don't be irrational!"
"So what if I'm irrational?"
Ling Xian was very touched. He understood then that Ling Hu didn't want to tell him in the beginning because he didn't want to cause Ling Xian trouble. He was afraid that Ling Xian would go and find that bastard out of anger and lose his life in the process.
However, regarding that bastard of a guy, Ling Xian was determined to kill him. He said coldly, "he's already the manager of the pavilion. It's obvious that this isn't the first time he scammed someone. If I don't get rid of him now, who knows how many cultivators will be harmed because of him? Some may even lose their lives. On top of that, how can you just forget about what happened to you?"
"Of course I can't forget!" Ling Hu yelled as those humiliating memories played before his eyes again. He tightened his fists but then slowly loosened them. He then said weakly, "Even if I can't forget, what can I do about it? He's the manager of the pavilion with a Qi level of eight. I… I don't have a way to deal with him."
His chest was burning with a raging fire, but his heart was filled with helplessness and sorrow.
The cultivation community was ordinarily a lawless society that was very messy. There was nobody in charge of crimes. Fists were the only truth and capabilities were the only protection.
One was the lowest ranked cultivator in the community; the other was a highly valued manager of the Qi Zhen Pavilion. Even if the crime were reported to the mayor, there would still be little to no punishment to the manager. The most that would happen would be for the spiritual stones to be returned to Ling Hu. However, if that were the happen, the next day Ling Hu would be found in an isolated place as a corpse.
This was the cultivation community!
Messy, cruel, cold and violent.
Everything depends on one factor: do you have the capability or do you not? Those capable could enjoy everything wonderful in the world and get whatever they ask for. Those incapable could only numbly accept the cruelty of the world.
"That's no excuse. Delaying revenge for ten years is not considered late because later is better than never. If you don't have a way right now, then take the time to think carefully and find a way. If you don't have the capability right now, then take the time and train until you do." Ling Xian's eyes were sparkling with hatred. "In such a messy world, don't use 'I don't have a way to deal with him' as an excuse to make yourself feel better. Once you get used to that way of thinking, you will then accept that as your way of life. Your life will then be infinitely dark."
Ling Hu's heart shook as he fell into deep thoughts.
He knew that Ling Xian was exaggerating. The reality was that since Ling Xian was a child, he had faced so many obstacles he felt like he was living in darkness. Sometimes, he would ask himself if he would ever see the light of day.
"I understand your pain and your difficulties, but really, what you are saying aren't valid reasons to not do something." Ling Xian patted Ling Hu's shoulder. "I'm a cultivator, and I'm a trainee. I seek laws of the universe, and I wish for immortality. I have a rough and dangerous road ahead of me. Even if I break all my bones, I still must swim and climb upwards. If I fall and admit defeat with every small obstacle and listen to my desires by giving up, then why do I even wish for immortality? I rather find a forest with no people and hide there forever as a handicap."
"Brother, you are right. Let's kill him!" Ling Hu's blood was boiling after Ling Xian's speech.
"How do you plan on killing him?" Ling Xian glanced at him.
"Um…" Ling Hu lost his energy, and his mouth hung open helplessly.
Ling Xian sighed softly, "I know I talked a lot, but I just wanted you to remember, never dim that light in your soul. I didn't mean for you to get too excited and try to smash open a rock when you are only an egg. Do you understand?"
"Yes, I understand now, brother."
It wasn't that he didn't understand what Ling Xian said. It was that he was only 13 and he believed that he must listen to Ling Xian because Ling Xian was always right.
"As long as you understand. This guy, however, I must kill him." Ling Xian's hatred was overflowing.
He really was determined to kill this time. That bastard named Qin Guang Zhi, not only did he steal those stones, he also hurt Ling Hu and threatened to kill him. Such a bastard, how could the heavens allow him to exist?
"Brother, he has some power in the pavilion or else he wouldn't be able to cover up what he did. Don't be too irrational. I don't want anything bad to happen to you." Ling Hu's face was full of worry.
"Don't worry. I don't do things I'm not confident about." Ling Xian silently structured a revenge plan in his head.
"You figured out a way? You must think twice before you take any actions," Ling Hu said anxiously.
He really hated Qin Guang Zhi. The asshole stripped him of hope and threatened to take away his life. If Ling Xian didn't have a way to save his mother, she would be gone by now. Thinking of what could've been, Ling Hu's hatred ran so deep he wanted to eat Qin Guang Zhi's flesh and drink his blood.
However, he cared more for Ling Xian's safety. No matter what, he didn't want Ling Xian to get hurt.
"Don't worry. I would never lose my life because of a bastard like him." Warmth returned to Ling Xian's heart. "The Qi Zhen Pavilion is a giant with capabilities that extends all over the dynasty. It has stores in every city, and it has an incredible reputation. We can't go head on head with them. We need them to become notorious for the dirty stuff they have done."
"He stole 20,000 of my spiritual stones. Is that not notorious enough?" Ling Hu gritted his teeth.
"Without evidence, the Head Manager in the City of Qing would never believe you." Ling Xian maintained his frown. Then, he suddenly had an idea and chuckled. "If he's greedy, then I will let him be greedy. My stuff, however, cannot be easily taken away."