Zheng Yunan was just about to go into seclusion and consolidate her cultivation before the upcoming grand competition, but when she heard that Wu Di had returned to the clan, she immediately set aside her plans and dashed over to his residence.
Now that the Skyspan Trading Company was involved, the Wu Family dared not show Wu Di any discourtesy. From its scenery to its decorations, the residence they'd assigned him was exquisite.
Zheng Yunan sat in front of the residence’s lotus pond and asked, “why didn’t you come here with that senior?” Ye Zichen had left an extremely deep impression on her.
“Master is….. Busy attending to his own affairs.” Wu Di naturally couldn’t tell her that his master was currently the Skyspan Trading Company’s prisoner, so he had no choice but to come up with an excuse and change the subject.
“See? You’re calling him ‘master.” I told you that senior intended to accept you as his apprentice.”
Zheng Yunan smiled sweetly. In her heart, she was delighted that Wu Di had found himself a good master.
“Let me tell you a secret.I heard it from my grandfather. Our Raging Flame City changes city lords every hundred years, right? Well, the city lord is the head of the Wang Family. His hundred years are almost up. I heard that the other two great clans will send their clansmen to spar with us. In truth, their goal is to witness the strength of the younger generation and determine which family gets to decide the next city lord.”
This news contained an awful lot of information. The decision of who to elect city lord had been placed on the younger generation’s shoulders; this overturned the past few thousand years of tradition.
Wu Di’s eyes brimmed with wide-eyed astonishment. Zheng Yunan nodded assuredly. “My grandfather wouldn’t lie to me. The other two clans will only send their clans’ top elites. If you can stand out amongst the crowd, then our family’s opinion of you will definitely….. Wu Di, don’t overthink things, I’m not….”
In truth, Zheng Yunan said all that to encourage Wu Di to try his best during the competition. When she saw his expression shift, she hurriedly tried to explain herself but couldn't quite find the right words.
“It’s fine, I don’t care.” When Wu Di saw her beautiful face overcome with alarm, he laughed and waved away her concerns. In the clan, only she and her grandfather were kind to him. He knew that Zheng Yunan’s intentions were good. How could he possibly be angry with her?
“A few days ago, I might have cared about the clan’s opinion, but now? They can think whatever they like. I’m happy so long as my master doesn’t look down on me. As for the clan….. Can they truly be considered my ‘family?’”
For instance, despite his true status as son of the clan head, he was certain that his family had only arranged such a lovely residence for him because the Skyspan Trading Company had escorted him here and announced him as “Young Master Wu.”
People respected strength. If he wanted respect, he had no choice but to become strong. He was currently most concerned with his own strength. His master was an exception, but otherwise, he didn’t care about others’ opinions.
“Actually…..” Just as Zheng Yunan was about to talk some sense into him, Wu Di cut her off.
“Nevermind. Sit with me for a bit, okay?” With that, he lay on the ground and stared up into the sky. The light of the setting sun offset flame-colored clouds. He couldn’t help but mutter to himself, “I wonder how Master is doing?”
There was absolutely no need to worry about Ye ZIchen. Wu Di’s master was currently having the time of his life.
He’d eaten all the plates of beef the servants had brought him. The ground around him was littered with empty gourds of immortal brew. Some of them still dribbled alcohol onto the floor.
Once he was thoroughly stuffed with meat and booze, Ye Zichen lay on the ground and fell fast asleep.
“I said, let there be fire……” he murmured in his sleep. As he spoke, he unconsciously lifted his hands. They met and rapidly formed a series of hand seals.
A fireball appeared in the palm of his hand. The flames were ghostly white throughout and flickered in the wind.
“Blaze……” he muttered, still fast asleep. It was as if someone added fuel to the flames; the fireball in his hand whooshed as it expanded until it was fully half a meter tall.
As the light emanating from the flames penetrated his eyelids, he saw fire in his dreams as well, but he was asleep. What did he care…..?
In his sea of consciousness, his dream-self flung the tongue of flame away.
At the same time, his physical body swung its right hand as well, flinging the fireball into the shed’s woodpile.
The shed burst into flame.
The first team to leave in search of the black-robed thieves had returned as well. Xue Honghong sat in the estate’s main hall and looked them over.
“How did it go? Did you retrieve the stolen auction goods?”
“We found them all.”
An attendant took out two rings. Xue Honghong accepted them and scanned both rings with her immortal awareness. When she confirmed that everything was still there, she sighed in relief, then asked, “did you capture the thief?”
In truth, she’d asked purely out of habit. They’d already crossed paths with these thieves countless times, but they’d never caught any of them alive.
As expected, the other team shook their heads grimly. “It’s the same as before. The moment we capture one of them, they drop dead. We’ve still yet to uncover the cause of death. However, one of them managed to escape despite heavy injuries. A few of our brothers are still out looking for them.”
“Dammit!” Xue Honghong slammed the sides of her chair. Five years ago, the black-robed thieves appeared out of nowhere. Since then, they’d robbed the Skyspan Trading Company at least ten times.
She’d tried pouring all the resources she had into investigating their origins, but had yet to uncover any leads.
This time, she’d led the team responsible for transporting goods to auction personally. Even so, those thieves had somehow managed to snatch the ring right from under their noses. Fortunately, they’d managed to retrieve everything, but she still had no idea who was behind all this.
“The men in black…….”
At that moment, the estate’s servants shouted frantically, “there’s a fire! Hurry and put it out!” Practically every servant in the building came rushing through the main hall carrying buckets of water, including quite a few members of the merchant escort team.
Xue Honghong set aside the issue of the men in black, rose, and walked outside.
The instant she stepped outside, she saw the towering flames in the backyard. The intense blaze spread rapidly. It was already on the verge of swallowing every guesthouse in the yard.
“How did it catch on fire?”
Unbeknownst to the others, while they wondered about the fire’s origins or hurriedly tried to douse the flames, Xue Honghong gnashed her teeth. Her petite frame trembled with fury.
Others might not know, but to her, it was clear as day…..
This fire had started in the woodshed!