"He has truly advanced to Rank three!"
"This Rank three aura is genuine, and there is the white silver primeval essence; there is no mistake."
The atmosphere in the clan hall was solemn.
The clan head Gu Yue Bo was sitting on the highest seat, with many elders seated in rows by his left and right.
Whispers could be heard here and there, and dozen of people’s attentions were more or less gathered on a young man who was standing upright in the center of the hall with his head held high.
The young man was Fang Yuan.
"To think this Fang Yuan advanced to Rank three."
"If I hadn’t personally seen it, I would never have believed it….."
"Doesn’t he only have C grade aptitude? How could he advance so suddenly?"
"Actually, it can’t be said to be sudden. Did you forget that he obtained two red steel Relic Gu?"
"Right, it was two whole Relic Gu, they can completely raise his cultivation steeply. Just thinking back when I cultivated, sigh….."
The group of elders were both amazed and puzzled; this matter had caught them completely unprepared.
"This Fang Yuan was able to advance to Rank three! He is merely of C grade aptitude, but could actually have such accomplishments in this short time. This is really a surprise." Gu Yue Mo Chen who was seated on the frontmost seat in the left row exclaimed inwardly.He thought of two-three years ago, when Fang Yuan was still in the academy, and killed a servant of his family.He had already forgotten the name of this servant. But the minced corpse Fang Yuan sent over had left a profound impression on him.
From that day, he saw Fang Yuan in new light, but didn’t expect much from him due to his aptitude.
Now, this young man actually had such accomplishments!
According to the clan system, all Gu Masters who advanced to Rank three were new elders.
A new elder was bound to have a huge impact on the old political structure.
"If I had recruited him before, I would be able to use this impact and gain political dominance. Sigh, it really is a pity….." Thinking of this, Gu Yue Mo Chen couldn’t help but glance in front of him.
His old rival Gu Yue Chi Lian was seated on the frontmost seat in the right row. Right now he had a gloomy expression and obscure light flashed in his eyes.
"This Fang Yuan definitely has secrets on him. Although he had the help from the two red steel Relic Gu, he couldn’t have had advanced to Rank three so fast, this is something even Qing Shu couldn’t accomplish," Gu Yue Bo was also pondering.
He unavoidably thought of his adopted son Qing Shu, and sighed.
Were Gu Yue Qing Shu alive, he might also have Rank three cultivation by now. Unfortunately, reality is cruel.
"Medicine hall elder Lord Gu Yue Yao Ji has arrived—!" At this moment, the doorguard suddenly announced loudly.
Following his announcement, an old woman walked in through the door. Her face was pale and filled with wrinkles, but under her weary eyelids were extremely sharp eyes that locked onto Fang Yuan in an instant.
Gu Yue Yao Ji spoke as she walked forward quickly, "Fang Yuan, you advanced to Rank three? I don’t believe it! I will personally verify it, let me inspect your aperture!"
The aperture was a Gu Master’s most important secret and was also their personal affair. How could they let others inspect it so easily?
Fang Yuan slightly turned his body and looked at Yao Ji who was walking over. He replied with a sneer, "Gu Yue Yao Ji, on what basis are you demanding to inspect my aperture?"
Back then, when he had just begun cultivating, his aperture would be inspected at fixed intervals by the academy elder. But it was different now, he was already a Rank three Gu Master, someone who was on equal footing with other elders like the academy elder and the medicine hall elder.
Moreover, it was very simple to verify one’s cultivation.
White silver primeval essence couldn’t be faked easily, and similarly, his Rank three aura was a fact.
"Outrageous! You, a junior dares to call me by name?" Yao Ji’s eyes widened, "Why can’t I inspect you? With my identity as the medicine hall elder and also as your elder, I have the right to do so!"
"Hmph, old hag, calling you by name is giving you respect. I still have yet to settle the scores between us. You harbored a grudge towards me when I didn’t sell you my Liquor worm, and actually wanted to plunder my Nine Leaf Vitality Grass? Hmph, I also wanted to exchange my merits for that Three Step Fragrant Grass Gu, but you prevented it in the dark. Now, I am also a Rank three Gu Master, so you had better stop putting on airs!"
Fang Yuan’s eyes were narrowed and his words sharp as a blade. He was very clear-cut with his words, completely showing off his hostility towards Yao Ji.
If he said this with a cultivation of Rank one or Rank two, he would definitely be suppressed and even attacked. However, the situation was completely different now; he was a Rank three and his position was already equal to the elders.
Towards Fang Yuan insulting Gu Yue Yao Ji, the other elders’ strategy was to wait and see.
Being at a high position, their considerations were profound. Even if they weren’t born shrewd, the years of political struggle had trained the shrewdness in them.
They didn’t have much understanding of Fang Yuan, so they could take this opportunity to observe him.
"Brat, you have the cheeks to slander me!" Gu Yue Yao Ji was furious due to the humiliation. What Fang Yuan said was true, but why would she admit it in front of everyone?
The elders present were all silently observing the situation unfold. Most of the elders present here knew of the matter regarding the Nine Leaf Vitality Grass and even had transactions with Gu Yue Yao Ji.
However in politics, there are only eternal benefits; never eternal enemies or eternal friends.
Upon hearing Gu Yue Yao Ji retort herself, Fang Yuan coldly laughed and didn’t reply.
Gu Yue Yao Ji’s sound echoed and lingered within the hall.
This old woman was slightly trembling, this silence made her feel like she was alone!
Something had changed.
The situation was no longer the same.
Were Fang Yuan to be a Rank one or Rank two, these elders would immediately jump out to stand on Gu Yue Yao Ji’s side and unitedly punish Fang Yuan. The authority of higher-ups absolutely didn’t allow the lower levels to challenge it!
However, Fang Yuan was Rank three now, and even if the clan head hadn’t officially announced it, his position as an elder was already set in stone. Thus, his contradiction with Gu Yue Yao Ji was now the internal conflict between higher-ups.
Fang Yuan was a newly advanced elder, his foundation were not yet deep and didn’t have any background, but this was also his strength as he had nothing to lose in the first place, thus having no fear.
By contrast, Gu Yue Yao Ji was old and though she was in control of medicine hall, had a high position and broad connections, this was also her weakness.
She was old and she couldn’t afford to lose. Her medicine faction’s inheritor Yao Le was missing and the enormous assets she controlled were coveted by many.
It would not be bad if it were peaceful times, but now was the time of the wolf tide and even elders had the possibility of dying.
Things were turbulent, newcomers climbed up in position and old timers stepped down.
This was a time of change, there weren’t any elders that could guarantee their own safety. Even the clan head could fall down.
In the history of Gu Yue clan, the number of clan heads that died in a wolf tide weren’t few.
As for the elders, they couldn’t even guarantee their own safety, so unless there were enormous benefits involved, they wouldn’t meddle in other people’s fights.
Gu Yue Yao Ji felt like the situation had turned thorny.
The hall was silent.
Due to the matter regarding her granddaughter, she hadn’t slept for three days and three nights. Right now as she stood there, she felt an invisible pressure shrouding her body and mind and it caused cold sweat to form on her forehead.
She felt like a crippled old wolf, standing alone in the wolf pack.
The surrounding wolves were standing in the shadows, observing her through their deep, dark green eyes.
Fang Yuan who was in front of her was like a stoic wolf who had revealed its brilliance in the battle. He was so young, energetic and also ambitious.
It really was the saying — Old waves push the new waves forward, and a new generation replaces the old!
At this moment, Gu Yue Yao Ji felt that she had really aged. Very much so!
Her eyelids jumped even more severely as her imposing aura gradually lowered.
However, Gu Yue Yao Le’s figure appeared in her mind; she forcefully opened her blurred eyes, her aura increasing suddenly.
She opened her mouth, "Fang Yuan, why did you disappear for these three days? If you hadn’t shown up, your name would have been listed in the casualties announcement in the medicine hall, in the list of the Gu Masters who died in battle. You disappeared for three days and three nights, and when you come back, you are already a Rank three Gu Master. What happened during these days? Heh heh, I believe everyone here is interested in your explanation."
After realizing she could no longer easily create troubles for Fang Yuan, her tone became more mild, no longer as forceful as before. However, her words were still very strong, with treacherous intentions hidden within.
After all, she had the highest seniority as a high-ranking politician!
The elders’ eyes brightened when they heard this, revealing clear interest. No one was a fool among those present here, Fang Yuan’s sudden advancement to Rank three was indeed strange.
His C grade aptitude was after all known by everyone.
Gu Yue Yao Ji’s words brought those elders to stand by her side again.
However, since Fang Yuan dared to return so grandly, he naturally had made preparations.
Under everyone’s gazes, he raised his head and laughed, "Old woman, what you want to know, am I obliged to tell you? However… hearing the pitiful news of your granddaughter’s death, I will benevolently tell you. During the past few days, I have been in closed door cultivation in Elder Chi Lian’s manor, trying to breakthrough to Rank three. This point can be verified by Elder Gu Yue Chi Lian!"
"What?" Gu Yue Yao Ji revealed a startled look.
Other elders were also shocked, all kinds of complicated expressions appearing on their faces.
Immediately, everyone’s gazes were cast towards the gloomy-faced Gu Yue Chi Lian.
The Chi faction head, who held one of the two most powerful influences in the Gu Yue Clan, now appeared so gloomy that water could drip out from him.
However in front of everyone’s gazes, he knew he needed to give an explanation, thus he reluctantly replied, "It is indeed so. I can testify that Fang Yuan has been in a closed door cultivation in a secret room in my manor during these past few days."
The instance these words came out, the whole crowd went in an uproar.
The elders possessed deep restraint, they wouldn’t lose their bearings and make a scene. However, there were many whispers and mutterings.
"To think Gu Yue Chi Lian actually had relations with Fang Yuan!"
"Fang Yuan’s advancement is related to Chi Lian?"
"There is a great probability! Didn’t people speculate that Fang Yuan had someone supporting him from behind the scenes? To think it was the Chi faction."
"Maybe the reason for Fang Yuan’s fast cultivation speed is because of Chi faction pouring resources to him. Fang Yuan is Fang Zheng’s older brother, Elder Chi Lian’s actions have a very profound meaning."
Some elders discussed whereas some elders’ mind were flipping over.
"It turns out this Fang Yuan wasn’t a junior with no one to guide his steps, he has the help from Chi faction. We need to be cautious towards him in the future."
"Fortunately, we didn’t interfere and jump into the fight between Fang Yuan and Yao Ji."
"Yao Ji is in a dangerous predicament, she wanted to deal with an elder who didn’t have any backing, but she could never have had expected that his background was so solid. It’s actually the Chi faction!"
Gu Yue Yao Ji’s face was very pale. When she had heard Gu Yue Chi Lian confirming it, she took a step back in shock, her whole body trembling faintly.
Opposing a lone elder compared to an elder backed by the Chi faction, these were two utterly different concepts!