In River County, the news of the battle between Ye Feng and Qin Wushuang remained a secret after Da Xi Ming had sealed it off from the public.
However, no walls existed in the world where the wind could not penetrate. To the Zhen Wu Holy Place, they had an impeccable intelligence network that covered the entirety of the tiny River County. Almost nothing could escape from their ears…
In these three days, guests continued to arrive in River County from all sorts of places. About ninety percent of them had come to celebrate the birthday of the daughter of Venerable Da Xi family.
The east gate of River County was bustling with the activity of many people that had gathered there. The soldiers who guarded the entrance had their hands full carrying out their duties.
Outside the gate, about thirty black clothed servants stood in order. In front of these servants, stood a few aristocrats. The leader of this group was Xu Sanli, the patriarch of the Wealthy Xu family.
Xu Sanli's gray beard appeared somewhat messy as the wind blew it around. However, he stood there motionlessly as if his feet had taken root in the ground and fixed his eyes impatiently on the distance.
He muttered: "They should be here soon…"
While he was talking to himself, a couple of riders appeared in his view as they approached the gate. At first, they were only two black dots, but gradually, their figures became clear as they quickly arrived before him.
The riders arrived like a storm that had swept across the land. The lead rider suddenly pulled the reins, causing the horse to rear onto its hind legs and stopping it right before Xu Sanli.
There were two people on the horses. A young man, and a middle-aged man.
The young man in the gorgeous robe wore a grave and stern expression on a face that gave off an impression of pride.
The middle-aged man had a short body and a pair of dark eyes. He glanced around with his eagle-like eyes that showcased his fearless character. He was dressed in a black gown and seemed to be the subordinate of that young man.
This master and servant pair were agile and exhibited excellent riding techniques. What was even more astonishing were the black and white horses they rode. They were proof of the old saying of how a man was like a dragon, and horses like the tiger.
The young man who stood before Xu Sanli appeared to be no more than thirty years old. He had an eagle-like nose, and his sharp eyes revealed a few traces of arrogance. He glanced at Xu Sanli from head to toe and said lightly: "Thank you for coming out here to welcome me, Patriarch Xu."
The horse that the young man rode had a body like the snow and there wasn't a single mixed hair in its mane. Despite having come to an abrupt stop and having its reins pulled so harshly, it showed its discipline and did not scream.
That horse had only stopped when he arrived close enough to Xu Sanli and its rider did not even bother to get off the horse. It seemed this guy was incredibly arrogant. Although Xu welcoming party had received such treatment, all the young men that stood behind Xu Sanli seemed as if they were used to the scene as they looked at that man dressed in martial arts robe with envious eyes. Xu Sanli, being the patriarch, went up and spoke with a flattering and friendly tone.
"I have heard a lot of about how the Young Master of the Xi Men excelled in both swordsmanship and horse-riding. Today, sure enough, you have opened my eyes."
"You are too kind, Patriarch Xu. This place is not for talking, let us head into the city."
That Young Master Xi Men had only lightly responded as if the mighty Wealthy Class Patriarch Xu was only a strand of air.
"It must be tiring since Young Master has traveled a great distance. I've already prepared a welcoming feast at the Windy Pool Restaurant. Hopefully, you will join."
"No need, just prepare two clean rooms. Don't worry about anything else, if there is anything that I require, I will let you know."
"Sounds good, then this is the way to my house, Young Master."
Young Master Xi Men pulled the reins forcefully and charged through the gate with his servant. The two riders did not even slow down when they had entered River County.
As for Xu Sanli, he respectfully followed behind them. He did not even dare to show the slightest dissatisfaction at the speed of the Young Master and his servant. Instead, he followed them with a face full of smiles.
One of the offsprings of the Xu family whispered to his companion: "This Young Master Xi Men is surely arrogant, but he does ride the horse quite well. Proud people indeed have the skills to be proud. To us Wealthy Class offspring, we will most likely not achieve what they have in our entire life."
"That's right. He was born with a golden spoon in his mouth as a child of the Feudal Lords. If we looked past his young age, he would most likely almost have the same amount of strength as our Patriarch, right?"
Pa! Pa! As soon as the two had finished whispering, a person had slapped them. However, because there were many individuals in the crowd, the sound and the force of the slap were well controlled.
A middle-aged man that walked in front of them turned around and scolded them in a low voice: "You idiots, quickly shut up! You cannot talk about an offspring of a Feudal Lord family behind his back. He is a mighty warrior at Stage Six of the Genuine Force and has superior hearing skills beyond your imagination. Shut your mouth if you don't want to die!"
"Stage Six of the Genuine Force? Uncle Sihai! You are saying he is already at Stage Six? Impossible! The Patriarch is over sixty years old this year, right? Isn't he only at Stage Five of the Genuine Force?"
One of the offspring held his hot and stinging face and said outrageously.
"You should believe it, you thick-headed idiots. I am telling you he is at Stage Six and he will climb even higher in the future! As the number one warrior among the younger generations in the Xi Men family, how could he have an undeserved reputation? Or else, he would not have earned the title being one of the "Four Scarlet Warriors.""
"The "Four Scarlet Warriors?"" The other offspring that had been slapped became stunned. He calculated with his fingers and finally understood the differences between them.
They weren't even ranked among the "Seven Young Masters" in their tiny River County, but that young Master Xi Men was already known as one of the "Four Scarlet Warriors."
What did it mean? It was said that in the entire Redwood Royal territory, four of the most exceptional young men were recognized as the "Four Scarlet Warriors." The Redwood Royal area governed eight states, and each state ruled eight counties.
In other words, River County was a full two levels lower than the Redwood Royal territory. The differences between these two places were tens of thousands of miles away.
"Oh my god! It seems that I will never be able to achieve what he has done in my entire life." After they had finally understood the differences, the two-offspring growled and did not dare to talk anymore.
A sound transmitted via inner strength arrived at the ears of Young Master Xi Men who was riding at the front of the crowd: "It seems that not everyone at the Wealthy Xu family are frogs at the bottom of the well, there are some smart people."
"Most of these lower aristocrats have always sucked up to the strong and look down on the weak. The Xu family are not the only clowns that jump up and down. If it weren't for Little Sister Yuzhu's marriage, I would of course, not waste my time coming to this small county…"
After he had finished speaking, Young Master Xi Men squeezed the horse's belly to speed up. His action once again caused a small chaos to those who were walking behind him in the welcome team. Those weak martial arts practitioners could only run as to not to be left behind.
In River County, as one of the three Wealthy Classes, the Xu family that emphasized on martial arts would not be surpassed by the other Wealthy Class families when it came to strength. However, when it came to wealth, the Qin family, who had businesses all over Southcloud State, was wealthier than the Xu's. Despite that, the Xu family still owned ten hectares of land and used it as residences for its family members.
Right now, the Xu family had brightly lit lights arranged all over the place. They had decorated their estate with lanterns and colored banners as if they were celebrating a festival. However, each person in the Xu household knew that it was all for that VIP guest in the east wing.
He was Xi Men Qian, the number one warrior among the younger generation of the Xi Men Feudal Lords in Southcloud State.
In one of the rooms in the east wing of the estate, Xu Sanli stood respectfully and did not dare to move as he watched the young man reading a scroll. As for that short man behind the young man, he seemed to have blended into the shadows. If Xu Sanli had not seen this person standing right before him with his own eyes, he would not have felt this person's presence at all.
"The "Thirteen Xi Men Hawks" are indeed of what they are in the rumors." Xu Sanli glanced at that short man who had blended into the shadows; he could not help but feel a cold sweat.
The "Thirteen Xi Men Hawks" were all Stage Five and above warriors working for the Xi Men Feudal Lords. They were represented by numbers, instead of names. They were usually people that were employed behind the scenes and had killed many enemies of the Xi Men family over the years.
And Xu Sanli knew the one before him was the famous "Cold-Blooded Eleven."
Xi Men Qian was currently holding the Xu family's
Xi Men Qian's actions made Xu Sanli shiver in fear because ever since he'd come to his household, he had not gone to any banquets or met any guests. He'd only asked to read their secret martial arts books to pass the time.
Although this type of entertainment made Xu Sanli very uncomfortable, he could not afford to offend this Young Master of the Xi Men family. Even if this Young Master wanted to bed all the daughters of the Xu family, Xu Sanli would not hesitate in the slightest to comply.
Since the Xi Men Feudal Lords were very wealthy, they would have an abundance of this type of martial arts books to use as toilet paper. Thus, he would not worry even if the master wanted to take their ancient and secret book.
Xi Men Qian still showed no expression when he'd finished reading the last page of the
"Do you know that Da Xi Ming from the Venerable Da Xi family?" Young Master Xi Men finally spoke.
When Xu Sanli heard this question, an idea formed in his mind. He remembered that the Da Xi family had always humiliated him in their support of the Qin family. Thus, he was pondering the reason for Young Master Xi Men Qian's visit and was trying to figure out what to say. After all, one had to be cunning and crafty besides of having superior martial arts technique to be a patriarch of a Wealthy family.
"Young Master Xi Men Qian, I do indeed know of Da Xi Ming." At the moment, Xu Sanli could not guess Xi Men Qian's intentions and was carefully choosing his words. He was afraid that he would get into trouble if he misspoke.
"Tell me about him." Xi Men Qian said with capricious tone.
"Da Xi Ming is the eldest son of Da Xi Heng who is the current patriarch of the Venerable Da Xi family. I've heard that he has loved practicing martial arts ever since he was young. So, he is Da Xi Heng's favorite son. At the age of twenty-five, he has already reached Stage Five of the Genuine Force and is known as the leader of River County's "Seven Young Masters.""
Xu Sanli answered flawlessly. He had spoken of things that were known to the general public and he'd kept his opinions to himself.
"What do the other people in the county say about him?" Xi Men Qian casually tossed the
"I am afraid it's not appropriate for me to make comments about a son of the Venerable family…"
Xu Sanli was quite astute and circumspect. He excelled in observing others' expressions. From Xi Men Qian's little movement and the slightest change of expression, he had clearly understood something. However, he was not in a rush to reveal his cards.
"It's alright, just speak freely. He is only a son of the Venerable family."
Xi Men Qian inwardly laughed at this Xu Sanli trying to appear respectful, yet he obviously had a bellyful of opinions he'd wanted to express.
"Since Young Master has spoken, then I will talk freely. This guy has a good reputation and earned his name as one of the elites in the younger generation. Just recently, I heard that he became enamoured with a girl from the Humble Class and had not gone home for a few months. He has been lingering around at the inn and restaurant where the girl stays. He has gradually become a joke among the public."
"Humph, so he is just a little son of the Venerable family after all. So impolite and coarse, despite my family showing him consideration. This kid still did not appreciate it!"
it was apparent that the Xi Men family had already heard the rumors about everything that had happened in River County. Xi Men Qian had only wanted to verify the truth by asking Xu Sanli.
The instant when he saw Xi Men Qian's distorted face, Xu Sanli knew he had bet on the right course of action. He'd already heard the rumor of the arranged marriage between Da Xi Ming and the Xi Men family. Now, since he'd seen Xi Men Qian behaviour, Xu Sanli had immediately guessed the purpose of his visit.
If he could make Xi Men Qian became dissatisfied with Da Xi Ming, or to treat him as an enemy, then he would have succeeded in threatening the Da Xi family. As a result, he would not only stabilize his Wealthy Class seat; it would be highly possible to shake the social status of the Venerable family. Xu Sanli would very much like to see this.
If everything went smoothly, then it would not be a dream for the Xu family to become a Venerable family, the number one in River County.
All of this would depend on how everything proceeded behind the scenes. No matter what happens, the Xu family would only receive benefits if the Xi Men family went against the Venerable Da Xi family. And coincidentally, Xu Sanli excelled in these sort of dealings.
"What is the background of that Humble Class girl?" Xi Men Qian became silent for a moment, then asked again.
"She is Qin Xiu, daughter of the Eastwood Town Qin family."
"Humble Qin family, Qin Xiu…" Xi Men Qian glanced at Xu Sanli meaningfully. Then, he said abruptly: "I've heard that in this "Family Class Evaluation" session, a Humble family stepped out of line and challenged your family?"
Xu Sanli immediately felt cold sweat cover his body. He wondered to himself, had Xi Men Qian seen through his intentions? Before he had a chance to answer, Xi Men Qian gestured with his hand: "Go, now."
Xu Sanli immediately left after he'd heard these words. Cold sweat soaked his back. He quickly left without turning his head as his fear still lingered in him.