If the forces of the Western Constellations Palace could be commanded by just anyone, chaos would surely ensue!
Lie Huan swiftly turned to Qing Feng. The reason why Lie Huan's commands had worked earlier was due to the Western Constellations Palace's Minister of the Right—he'd been quietly standing beside him the entire time. Those six men had heeded Lie Huan's commands only when Qing Feng nodded his head.
However, now Qing Feng was just standing there motionlessly like a clay idol. Lie Huan couldn't help feeling puzzled.
He was just about to ask Qing Feng what the problem was when the latter blankly said, "Brother Lie, I believe that you should give it some more thought. Do you think this matter can be settled with the life of a single peon? Is Lie Huan's Supreme Fire Palace worth only so little, that you can resolve this dispute so easily?"
When they heard what he said, Ji Meimei and the others were immediately confused. It should be known that this Minister of the Right was in no way weaker than any of the nine Supreme Yao Lords. Once upon a time, he too was someone who slaughtered without even batting an eye. Countless powerful cultivators had died by his hands back when Fu Qing was still fighting against the Six Sages. Hence, Ji Meimei and the others couldn't help feeling a little apprehensive at hearing him say such a thing.
Lie Huan furrowed his brows and was about to ask Qing Feng what he meant by that, when suddenly, an old voice rang by his ears, "Lie Huan, give that youngster a chance!"
Lie Huan was taken aback, but he instantly understood why those men had suddenly stopped heeding his commands. It was because of Fu Qing's interference all along. Lie Huan immediately transmitted his voice over, asking, "My lord, you know that Yan Beihong?"
"I only met him once by coincidence. I wouldn't say we're acquainted. Give him a chance!"
"My lord, there's a high chance that he was the one who wrecked my Supreme Fire Palace. The twelve Fire Spirits I spent the last 20,000 years gathering are also gone. Lie Huan cannot accept this injustice!"
"I believe Qing Feng has already made it pretty clear to you. Would killing such a nobody sate the frustration in your heart?"
"Since my lord has only met him once, it means that there isn't much of a relationship between you two! If my lord wishes Lie Huan to let him go, then I dare not disobey. But I wish to know the reason why. If not, I wouldn't be satisfied even if I agreed with it!"
"Then I'll give you a reason why! Simply because that youngster wishes to take Mu Fanjun's disciple as his woman! Because he said that he would turn the entire Realm Beyond Heaven upside down, right to the face of Mu Fanjun's disciple! Are these two reasons enough for you? Now that the world is in the hands of the Six Sages, how many people are out there who would still dare say such words? It's been a long time since I heard something this gratifying. Compared to the humiliation we've suffered all these years, what does it matter what happens to your Supreme Fire Palace? In the first place, if not for this Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade, do you think your Supreme Fire Palace would have been ransacked? The one to blame isn't some nameless peon. Even if you killed such a person, it wouldn't prove the might of Lie Huan."
Lie Huan was astonished. "A mere Subjugation Crusade participant dared to say he would overturn the entire Realm Beyond Heaven right to the face of Mu Fanjun's disciple?"
The old voice sighed, saying, "There is no shortage of braggarts in the world. If he had simply spoken out of arrogance, then he's not worth mentioning, nor is he worth my protection. After all, why should I care whether he lives or dies? It was only when I found out that he went to your Supreme Fire Palace that I suddenly felt like giving that youngster a chance!"
"When I met that youngster by coincidence, I touched his hand and found out he only has a Blue Lotus First Grade cultivation. With such feeble strength, he still has the audacity to make such blasphemous claims. By right, he should be immediately punished for it. But let me ask you this: is your Supreme Fire Palace a place where a cultivator of such feeble strength can easily set foot in?"
Lie Huan mused for a while, vaguely understanding what Fu Qing was hinting at. He then replied, "Of course not!"
"Since he has some skill, then his words were not spoken out of arrogance, but confidence. And since the youngster is so certain of himself, why not give him a chance and see what he can do? After all, the world does not lack such nobodies. It won't affect you at all whether you kill him or not. Even if you do kill him, it won't bring your Supreme Fire Palace back to its original state. Since he's crossed paths with me once, give the youngster a chance! In three hundred years, if his cultivation has yet to break through to the Red Lotus realm, and if you still choose to bear this grudge, I will have him return to the Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade and allow you to do as you please with him. I am still capable of doing this much at least."
"I don't think it's possible to break through from a Blue Lotus First Grade cultivation to the Red Lotus realm in just three hundred years!"
"Do you think this is important? No, what's important is whether you'll remember this grievance or not! This is all I have to say. To kill him. Or to give him a chance. You decide." The old voice then gradually faded away.
Everyone was simply looking at Lie Huan, who had suddenly fallen silent and was furrowing his brows. They thought that he was still contemplating Qing Feng's words.
Since Fu Qing had already said so much, how could Lie Huan not give him face? Was there even a need to consider anything anymore?
However, there was still a lot of frustration pent up inside him. Sweeping his gaze across Bai Ziliang and the others, Lie Huan said angrily, "Brother Qing is right. The life of a single peon cannot possibly compare to my Supreme Fire Palace! That Yan Beihong only jumped down because he was out of options. The ones that truly deserve contempt are those who don't hold this lord in any regard simply because they have some background. Those are the true culprits who messed up my Supreme Fire Palace!"
Standing with hands behind his back, Qing Feng slowly closed his eyes. He could already guess what had happened. Hence, he just stood expressionlessly to the side, no longer concerned about what would happen next.
What did Lie Huan's words mean? Ba Jie was calmly standing with hands clapped in prayer, when he suddenly widened his eyes in shock, almost bulging out even. He was no longer composed, thinking, 'Don't tell me that I failed to set up that Yan Beihong and ended up digging my own grave instead?'
Ji Meimei and her son's faces instantly twisted in dismay, and they nervously looked at Lie Huan.
Yun Guang and the others were also curious to see what Lie Huan meant by those words.
Lie Huan pointed to Bai Ziliang's group, then to Kong Zhi's, and said, "I can spare that Yan Beihong. However, if I don't kill these overbearing bastards, I will not be satisfied. Men! Off with their heads!"
If he wasn't in the right, even Lie Huan wouldn't dare touch the Six Sages' members. Since he actually had a perfectly valid reason for once, he definitely wouldn't hold back!
With shut eyes, Qing Feng was also thinking the same thing. Or perhaps it was Fu Qing, who was behind him, who shared the same thought. Regardless, Qing Feng lightly nodded.
As soon as he nodded, the six men standing by the side immediately made their move. Shocked, Ji Meimei hastily jumped in front of her son and yelled, "Big Brother Lie. Minister Qing!"
Weng! The air rippled as though it had taken form, as Grandmaster Qi Jie suddenly shot to the center, hands clapped in prayer as a nine-petaled purple lotus appeared on his forehead. His body gave off an aura of solemnity, as well as benevolence. The six Red Lotus cultivators from the Western Constellations Palace were then fixed in midair by a powerful transcendence energy wave.
Qing Feng, who had been standing with hands behind his back, suddenly opened his closed eyes. There was a cold glint within them as the mark of a Golden Lotus Second Grade cultivator appeared on his forehead, and his whole body instantly vanished as though he'd just teleported.
A blue silhouette suddenly appeared before Grandmaster Qi Jie and was soon revealed to be Qing Feng. With one hand behind his back, Qing Feng extended two fingers out. Like a sword, they easily ripped through the transcendence energy barrier and headed straight for Grandmaster Qi Jie's forehead, coming to a stop just inches away from their target.
Yet, the sheer force behind this one move caused Grandmaster Qi Jie's snow-white robes and black satin cloth, as well as his white brows and hair, to flutter wildly in the wind. Even the skin on his face started to ripple, starting from his forehead where Qing Feng's fingers were pointing at.
Yun Guang and the others hastily invoked their arts to defend against the powerful wave of transcendence energy, but even then they still rapidly skidded a considerable distance across the floor.
Meanwhile, Ba Jie and the others were blown away like leaves, swirling around in midair before falling badly over a hundred meters away.
The six Western Constellations Palace cultivators were also freed, and they landed on the ground.
"Qi Jie, even though the Western Constellations Palace is not as mighty as the Realm of High Paradise, it is still not a place where anyone can just do as they please. If it were anyone else, they would be dead already. If you continue to be stubborn, then don't blame me for being discourteous!" Qing Feng said loudly as he pointed at Grandmaster Qi Jie's forehead. His words were clear— 'I've already shown you your due respect, so hurry up and stand down!'
Grandmaster Qi Jie smiled wryly. At first, he thought that it would be easier for him to step in by singling out 'Yan Beihong'. That way, it wouldn't involve too many people. Unexpectedly, however, Lie Huan suddenly decided to change his mind and still intended to target the majority. Grandmaster Qi Jie said unfalteringly, "Minister Qing, if killing me will save the lives of these youngsters, then feel free to take my life!"
As he got to his feet, Ba Jie couldn't help rolling his eyes in disdain. 'The old baldy is at it again.'
"Minister Qing, sir, you have the wrong idea!" Ba Jie shouted, "Please let me explain."
Who did he think he was? Qing Feng completely ignored Ba Jie. Suddenly, an old voice echoed from the ancient manor, "Qing Feng, don't be disrespectful to Grandmaster Qi Jie. Let Lie Huan settle this issue himself!"
As he heard this, Qing Feng immediately pulled back his arm, placing it behind him as he shot back to his original spot. He then continued to stand there expressionlessly with eyes closed as though nothing had happened.
That terrifying aura instantly disappeared as well, and Ba Jie heaved a deep sigh of relief. While he didn't really like Qi Jie's way of doing things, at the end of the day, he was still his master. Most importantly, if his master were to die, his chances of escape would shrink.
"Amitabha!" Grandmaster Qi Jie clapped his hands in prayer at the ancient manor and bowed in gratitude. He then faced Lie Huan and laughed bitterly. "I beseech you to show mercy, Supreme Yao Lord!"
Lie Huan's expression twisted awkwardly as he thought, 'Why did I have to forget about this monk and end up summoning him here as well? I've made such a big mess for myself!'
"Lie Huan will never forget the kindness that Grandmaster had shown me all those years ago. Since Grandmaster has spoken up for them, then I will spare them out of respect for you!" Lie Huan then pointed to Bai Ziliang and the others, and continued, "I will not take their lives. However, while death can be avoided, they must still be taught a lesson. Those who don't wish to die, come over obediently and receive your punishment!"
"Supreme Yao Lord, why hold it against these youngsters—"
Grandmaster Qi Jie still wanted to plead, but Lie Huan raised his hand, vehemently denying, "Grandmaster! You are not involved in this. If you wish to make this a personal affair, then I can let go of the fact that my Supreme Fire Palace was wrecked. Consider it repayment of my debt to you. Now, I've already promised you that I won't take their lives. However, that is my limit. If Grandmaster forces me any further than this, I'm afraid I might have to take back that promise!"
Lie Huan didn't give Grandmaster Qi Jie the chance to reply further. He pointed at Bai Ziliang and said curtly, "Didn't you all hear what this lord just said? My patience wears thin!"
"Big Brother Lie, please spare your little sister's child out of respect for me!" Ji Meimei approached with a smile on her face.
Lie Huan laughed aloud. "Ji Meimei, back when I fancied you, you didn't even spare me so much as a glance. Instead, you insisted on being together with that wimpy fellow. But no matter, I'm not such an unforgiving person. Let the past be the past. I see that you're even more beautiful now than you were before. If you're willing to become my mistress, then I'll spare your son. How about it?"
Ji Meimei's face was instantly flushed with embarrassment and anger. Suddenly, Bai Ziliang stepped forward and bellowed furiously at Lie Huan, "Make your move!"
Before Ji Meimei could react, Lie Huan was already slapping down with his hand. He didn't give her time to think at all. Evidently, his words were only meant to embarrass her and weren't meant to be taken seriously.
Lie Huan wouldn't really take Ji Meimei to be his mistress. It was fine to embarrass her while he still had a valid reason to be angry. However, if he really forced her to that point, that would undoubtedly mean that he was shaming Ji Huan. At the end of the day, Ji Meimei was still Ji Huan's daughter. How could she possibly lower herself to become someone's mistress? It would not be a good idea at all to anger Ji Huan.