Chapter 322 - Call Me Sister
Outside Jadeite City, the floating mountain peak pressed down on everybody’s hearts like a big rock, suffocating them.
Every passerby couldn’t help but raise their head for a look at the lofty mountain peak. Under the sunlight, the words "Guardian of Five Elements" gave off an impression of boundless prestige and austerity. A ray of light would flash past occasionally, reminding people of its danger.
The God-subduing Peak entered Jadeite Forest and wherever it passed it evoked intense panic.
The high officials and aristocratic families who had initially called for an alliance with Blood of God all vanished without a trace. And the elders, whom Shi Xueman invited on board to tour around and view the demonstration of its attacking power, were all ashen-faced with worry and unease.
People with foresight understood that the appearance of God-subduing Peak would thoroughly change the battle form.
Shi Xueman did not care too much since she was distracted by the latest news. Everything from the exposure of Ai Hui’s identity, the destruction of Sha Guards and the public peddling of fire lotus seeds, to Miao Hai’s challenge, Elders Guild’s commendation, the mirage bean pod that swept across the whole Avalon of Five Elements, and the attention-grabbing Five Elemental Eight Treasures Porridge.
And she was still in high spirits, buying all the message bean pods with news about Ai Hui.
The rest of the time she strolled in Jadeite Forest City, looking around and buying things.
The sky was a dark blue color and the beautiful sunlight penetrated the lush forest, illuminating this jadeite green city. The season of blooming flowers had come again, with pink petals appearing like pieces of dreamy feathers drifting in the wind and making crisp bell sounds. It was the most beautiful season in Jadeite Forest. At night the feather flowers would emit a faint pinkish fluorescence. They were like night fairies.
Walking under the bright sunlight and falling petals, amid the busy streets and crowd, Shi Xueman felt cheerful. She carried big paper bags that contained pastries she’d purchased along the way. There were long forest baguettes and soft, sweet viridescent balls and seasonal fresh flower biscuits. There was also a fluffy, fragmented pale-blue wild flower that was given to her as a gift from the bakery boss.
She walked into an alley and arrived at the entrance of a house. She knocked on the door.
Creak. The main door opened and the person behind it looked at her, smiling. "You’re quite early today."
Shi Xueman smiled slightly. "I have nothing else to attend to anyway."
She held onto the bags and stepped inside, closing the door behind her.
Beside the main door was an old, broken wooden board that had the words "Society of Excellence" on it.
Duanmu Huanghun, who was training, saw Shi Xueman walking in. He couldn’t help but mockingly comment, "People might think you’re here for a holiday trip. Isn’t it inappropriate for you to be idling like this? You’re an honorable person in charge of a diplomatic mission after all."
Shi Xueman tossed the snacks around to everyone while answering, "I’ve accomplished my mission. To intimidate you all with God-subduing Peak. What else do you want me to do? Find a wife for you?"
Duanmu Huanghun stopped his training and responded in a resentful tone shortly, "Solve your own problems first. Don’t forget that you’re Iron Lady."
Shi Xueman handed out the last pastry and rolled up the bags, throwing them into the bin. After that, she warmed up her fists and sneered, "Do you know why I’m so early today? I’m here to put you in order. If you can’t even beat that She woman, why are you acting all mighty in front of me?"
Being wise, the others held their pastry in their mouths and paved a space for them.
Yu Ziyi and Wu Qirong were the quickest.
Duanmu Huanghun’s face paled. He feigned coldness, shouting, "I’m a gentleman. I will not fight against a woman! The relationship between Jadeite Forest and the Avalon is very subtle. Do not jeopardize your mission. As Duanmu family’s…"
Shi Xueman remained unmoved. She raised her chin and kneaded her fists. "Call me sister!"
Duanmu Huanghun flew into a rage. "Do not be a bully, Shi Xueman. This is Jadeite Forest. You don’t want to provoke me…"
Shi Xueman approached him while cracking her knuckles and stretching her shoulders. An unfathomable gush of latent elemental energy surfaced like a sea with a dangerous aura.
In everyone’s eyes, Shi Xueman seemed to have grown taller. Tall enough to obstruct the sky and cast a devilish black and dangerous shadow. Through the gaps between her teeth she smiled eerily, "Call me sister!"
Duanmu Huanghun was like a frightened kitten, the hairs on his body standing on end. The recent, torturous training had sharpened his mental state and pushed his essence-breath-spirit to its peak. He narrowed his eyes, dangerous light rays flickering within. His voice was as cold and heart-piercing as a knife as he released his concealed and fatal blow in a straightforward manner, "Fine!"
The cold winter turned to warm spring as Duanmu Huanghun broke into a big smile. "Sister Xueman!"
Thud. The pastries in Yu Ziyi and Wu Qirong’s mouths fell onto the floor as they stood motionlessly with their jaws wide open. Those around them were dumbstruck as well.
The dangerous aura Shi Xueman had been emitting just a moment ago vanished in a puff of smoke.The raging sea returned to its usual calmness in an instant as the sunlight pierced through the black clouds above the sea.
A bright, sunshine-like smile appeared on Shi Xueman’s face. "Did you call me Iron Lady earlier?"
Duanmu Huanghun replied righteously, "Back in the day when Ai Hui came up with that nickname for you, I was strongly against it. However, my position was lowly and my words didn’t carry much weight. He was domineering and out of control, absolutely unrestrained and evil. You must teach him a lesson, Sister Xueman!"
Gentleness returned to her face as she said, "You don’t have to tell me that."
Expressionless, Duanmu Huanghun turned to Yu Ziyi and Wu Qirong. "It seems like the training schedule is too empty since you two are so free. Double the training today."
That scoundrel’s method is really handy!
Quivering, Yu Ziyi and Wu Qirong turned pale. They looked pleadingly at Shi Xueman.
Shi Xueman sighed. "Should we discuss the training load? Would tripling it be more reasonable?"
Shi Xueman was well aware of how Ai Hui had done it in the past.
Everybody’s face turned whiter as they hurriedly sneaked away, leaving only the four of them in the courtyard.
Shi Xueman turned around suddenly, "Aren’t you guys going for the porridge feast?"
Duanmu Huanghun answered after a short silence, "I’m afraid we might make thing more troublesome if we go."
Shi Xueman knew that he was speaking the truth.
Under the circumstances, the Avalon had been forced to rope Jadeite Forest in. Jadeite Forest, which had just revolted against the Avalon, was regarded as traitorous in the eyes of Elders Guild. Because of its relationship with Jadeite Forest, the Elders Guild would do anything to ensure Duanmu Huanghun’s safety if he appeared in the Avalon. However, this did not mean that the Elders Guild would tolerate his other behaviors.
Because of his special background, it was easy for his actions to be misinterpreted, and yet he had no power to defend himself. Even if the Elders Guild worried about their association, they could send people to escort him back to Jadeite Forest.
Shi Xueman spoke up. "I never expected him to stir up something so huge."
"I’m curious as to what path he’ll take." A strange smile emerged on Duanmu Huanghun’s face. "Ai Hui and his gang do not understand the filthy affairs that are going on between the aristocratic families and the new citizens, but we do. In Elders Guild’s eyes, Ai Hui and his gang are together with Central Pine Faction. Such a big group operating as the backbone of the Avalon of Five Elements… how fun."
Shi Xueman shot him a sideways glance. "Are you gloating?"
Duanmu Haunghun laughed. "I’m looking forward to seeing what that fellow will do. Don’t you think that whatever matter he bumps into, he’s always making the unpopular choice?"
Shi Xueman smiled. "True."
Duanmu Huanghun kept his smile and added coolly, "There’s no space for Ai Hui in the aristocratic families. Joining New Citizen Faction would be meaningless too. Otherwise, why would Ye Baiyi rely on Blood of God for support?"
Shi Xueman remained silent.
"Ye Baiyi figured out that there’s no future for New Citizen Faction. It’s been over a thousand years. The connection between Avalon and Old Territory has long been severed. Resources are required for the training of elemental energy. When there were ample resources, talented practitioners were picked out from Old Territory to add new blood to the Avalon of Five Elements, which is a good thing. Now resources are so scarce that even its own people are facing shortages. How was it going to gather anything for Old Territory? Old Territory is now a burden to the Avalon of Five Elements. It has been a burden ever since before the construction of the new Avalon of Five Elements was completed. But abandoning Old Territory is equivalent to thoroughly abandoning its roots, so how did the new citizens do it?"
Duanmu Huanghun spoke calmly but his words hit the nail on the head.
An intense helplessness rose in Shi Xueman’s heart. She knew that he was right.
"The aristocratic families will win since they are purer. They are the only ones who will have the Avalon of Five Elements’s interests at heart. New citizens will lose because they have to tend to everything. They are unable to think from both perspectives of the Avalon of Five Elements and Old Territory."
Gloom took over Duanmu Huanghun’s handsome face. "Old Territory belongs to Blood of God. I don’t know who created blood elementalists. Damn it. Blood elementalists do not consume much resources, which means that people from Old Territory can train. Those who are unable to train can choose to train as blood elementalists. Who do you think these people would choose?"
A mocking look appeared on his face as he pointed to the horizon where God-subduing Peak was. "Can’t you already tell from that big fellow the Elders Guild has come up with? They’re trying to stop the war, right? Using this big fellow to seal off the front line before reconstructing the Avalon of Five Elements. Heh heh, they never would’ve thought that Blood of God also can’t wait for the battle to end so that they can take possession of Old Territory. How many people are there in Old Territory? How many times that of the Avalon of Five Elements’s population? Ten percent of the population is going to become blood elementalists. Hahaha, Elders Guild’s waiting to be slaughtered! A bunch of short-sighted morons!"
These words fell on Shi Xueman’s ear like a sudden clap of thunder. Her limbs were cold. She asked, "Any solutions?"
Feeling jittery inside, Duanmu Huanghun responded, "What solutions can I possibly have? Go and ask Ai Hui."
At that he became distracted. On second thought he felt he was a little mental. Ai Hui was rather powerful but far from being able to solve such issues.
Noticing Shi Xueman’s pale face he sighed, "Don’t think too much. Let the big guys fret. She Yu is preparing to slip away tonight, probably because she’s figured out the Elders Guild’s intention."
Shi Xueman asked abruptly, "How do you know?"
"Inside news." Duanmu Huanghun waved his hand.
Shi Xueman walked toward the door without turning her head back. With murderous eyes she yelled, "I’m gonna kill that bitch!"
Duanmu Huanghun was stunned, but his face quickly changed. He shouted for her while making chase.
"Hey hey hey! Don’t be rash, don’t be rash… Count me in!"