Chapter 324 - Impossible To Understand
An angry boom echoed through the meeting room. Great Elder seldom got angry on the monthly Bigtree Meeting.
The Bigtree Meeting was the most highly regarded meeting in all of the Avalon of Five Elements. Every Elder had to participate in this monthly gathering. Because the Elders were powerful and busy figures, it was difficult for all of them to assemble. As such, the Avalon forked out a tremendous sum to grow 13 elder trees.
Each elder tree had only 13 leaves and each leaf was about the size of a tabletop. It could project an Elder’s silhouette onto the leaf surface such that he appeared to be standing on it.
As such, this monthly Elders Guild meeting was coined the Bigtree Meeting.
"Look, using God-subduing Peak without permission, attacking the Blood of God’s diplomatic mission, and causing heavy losses. Over 20 dead! Triggering panic throughout the Jadeite Forest! And kidnapping Duanmu Huanghun! Look at our diplomatic mission team commander! This is the future leader whom we’d selected! What are we doing?"
"Is there such a thing? Is that girl crazy?"
"This must stop! How are we going to function if people come in and do as they please? I suggest severe punishment!"
"It must be severe! Youngsters like her need to be taught a good lesson, but we’d have to inform Shi Beihai first!"
The Elders were talking fervently over one another.
Just then, an Elder’s expression turned strange as he spoke, "Wait, everybody."
The other Elders turned around successively.
"A report from Shi Beihai came earlier. Everyone should see it."
"North Sea Division member, Shi Xueman, has seriously broken the rules. She was willful, irresponsible, and has severely affected the interests of the Avalon of Five Elements. After a discussion, the North Sea Division has agreed to expel Shi Xueman as a disciplinary action."
The Elders looked at each other in confusion and did not know what to say. Everyone quieted down.
Shortly, an Elder slowly started to speak up, "Why is Shi Beihai being so rash? Don’t youngsters all make mistakes? It’s normal for them to be impulsive. A little polishing should do the trick."
"Yeah, it’s over, already over. Why the need to go this far!"
"I’ve seen Xueman grow up and she’s always been sensible and clever. She’s been through the blood battle of Central Pine, and her animosity toward the Blood of God did get the better of her, but it shouldn’t be surprising. She’s young after all."
"The panic in the Jadeite Forest isn’t a bad thing from what I see. Weren’t we trying to intimidate them by sending the God-subduing Peak there? We did well!"
"Shi Beihai is really too rigid and harsh!"
The Elders had a headache.
As the division leader of North Sea Division, Shi Beihai had the power to make such a decision. Even as elders, they weren’t able to stop him. However, they really did think highly of Shi Xueman and saw her as the leader of the next generation. Shi Beihai’s direct declaration of her discharge would damage her future prospects heavily, especially in the next election.
Some Elders held flickering gazes since they were secretly pleased.
In the competition among the new generation, Shi Xueman was leading significantly and everyone saw it as foregone conclusion. Who would’ve imagined that she would actually do something as silly as this to withdraw from the race and ruin her own future.
Elders with outstanding sons within their families started to get restless.
Seeing the change in the Elders’ expressions, a bitter smile appeared on the corner of Yuchi Ba’s mouth. His plans had been completely messed up.
Flying at full speed, the God-subduing Peak was like a wave-splitting whale, smashing the sharp, bitingly cold wind into pieces that flew in all directions. Even as it was moving at such a high speed, however, the God-subduing Peak remained as motionless and stable as a boulder.
The sea of clouds in front was thick and the mountain range could only be seen from the bottom.
"Cloud Ridge is just ahead." Sang Zhijun smiled gleefully. "It’s great that we’ll be able to make it in time for Lou Lan’s porridge feast."
Including Shi Xueman, there were many other Central Pine survivors who’d tendered their resignation together and had received approval.
"Is it worth it?" Duanmu Huanghun asked suddenly. He simply could not understand what these people were thinking.
"Of course!" Shi Xueman answered bluntly. "Just thinking about being able to reunite with everyone makes me super happy. I don’t know why but I’m just so happy. No messy and complicated matters. No distracting thoughts and qualms."
"Yeah." Sang Zhijun smiled as well. "In the past, I thought that battling blood elementalists and beasts was tiring and terrifying, but after coming out, I realized that there were many things that were more tedious and horrifying than those."
Duanmu Huanghun felt rather envious.
"Don’t forget that you’re a hostage!" Shi Xueman glared at Duanmu Huanghun, but was unable to stifle a smile. "You have a good brain and many evil tricks up your sleeves, so think hard about what everybody should do. Ai Hui will whack you if you can’t come up with any good solutions."
"Hostage?" Duanmu Huanghun reacted. "Yeah, I got kidnapped. The Jadeite Forest is asking you guys what the Elders Guild wants?"
"Oh well." Shi Xueman blinked before saying, " I forgot to tell you that I’ve been expelled from the North Sea Division."
"Ex… expelled by the North Sea Division?" Duanmu Huanghun almost lost his voice. "Is that even possible?"
"No choice. That’s what you get when you have a great father. Don’t worry, I’ve already written a letter to inform him that you’re doing fine."
Duanmu Huanghun’s eyes lit up. Yeah, he was a hostage. Did that not mean that he was free? He felt cheery instantly, as if the bright sunlight had driven away the dark clouds and night sky. He was inexplicably agitated.
He was finally experiencing the happiness that Shi Xueman and Sang Zhijun had just been talking about earlier.
That’s right, simply happy!
All of a sudden, he was looking forward to his future and became overwhelmed by it all.
The God-subduing Peak flew past Cloud Ridge and descended rapidly, charging into the boundless pitch-black sea of clouds. Amid the whistling wind, they held their breaths as if waiting for something.
Crashing through the sea of clouds and the last wisp of fog, a bustling city entered their field of view. Everybody cheered in harmony.
"Uncle Cui, I’ll leave the God-subduing Peak to you. We’ll get going now!"
Shi Xueman bid Cui Tianzheng goodbye confidently before grabbing Duanmu Huanghun and leaping out.
"Let go! I can fly by myself!"
"Shut it! Such a pesky hostage!"
Duanmu Huanghun’s resentful voice and Shi Xueman’s chiding tone filled the air.
"Bye, Master Cui!"
Sang Zhijun and the others bowed, smiled at everyone else, and cheered before running toward the edge of the summit and leaping down.
Cui Tianzheng smiled slightly. How good it was to be young!"
Cui Tianzheng suddenly felt a fondness toward these youngsters. He felt the thriving vitality they possessed. A completely different kind of vigor when compared to that of the Avalon of Five Elements.
When he looked at the vast land and the distant blue sky, he was filled with hope all of a sudden.
Swordsman Training Hall entrance.
"Shi Xueman was being expelled from North Sea Divsion?"
A member of the Sky Edge Division quickly landed before Tong Gui and gave his report in a low voice. Tong Gui opened his eyes wide and even Yu Jin’s never-changing face revealed a hint of shock.
Tong Gui and Yu Jin were genuinely shocked. Shi Xueman’s popularity had been rising daily for three years. She had long since been referred to and acknowledged as the number one member of the new generation.
Of noble origin, Shi family was one of the longest standing aristocratic family in the whole history of Avalon of Five Elements. Furthermore, Shi Beihai was the division leader of North Sea Division and had overflowing power.
Be it her family background, abilities, or character, she was number one without contention.
Almost everyone opined that she would exceed her father’s accomplishments and become the future leader of the Avalon of Five Elements. New citizens thought so as well.
New citizens had never thought of fighting against the aristocratic families for that position because they were simply too weak. They occupied only three out of 13 seats in the Elders Guild. Neutral Faction held three as well and the remaining seven seats were taken by the respective aristocratic families. Basically, when it came to decision making, the families could easily put plans into effect without any hindrance.
New citizens absolutely did not think about fighting for the first position. They merely hoped to expand their freedom of speech.
Their previous target was Jiang Wei, but they realized later on that Ai Hui was the better candidate.
The aristocratic families were worried that Ai Hui would steal Shi Xueman’s limelight, whereas new citizens focused on the unique relationship between those two. Ai Hui had better abilities than Jiang Wei, and his reputation and influence were not things Jiang Wei could compete with. Plus, Shi Xueman had even once assumed the role of Ai Hui’s assistant.
Shi Xueman had more respect for Ai Hui than for Jiang Wei.
When Shi Xueman took charge of the Avalon of Five Elements in future, they could push Ai Hui into the Elders Guild. That way, Ai Hui would undoubtedly have decent speaking power, something the new citizens intended.
Yet, in just one night, circumstances had changed drastically.
Tong Gui and Yu Jin were caught unprepared. They had a clearer picture of Old Ba’s idea.
In this way, previous plans fell through just like that. If Shi Xueman did not become the Avalon’s leader, Ai Hui’s value would drop greatly as well.
Even worse, it was difficult for Ai Hui to become a threat to Shi Xueman. Toward other candidates, however, it was a different story.
Tong Gui and Yu Jin had splitting headaches.
This could lead the aristocratic families to erroneously think that the new citizens were after the first position. If unresolved, new citizens would be completely suppressed by the aristocratic families. This was precisely what the new citizens wanted to avoid.
If both parties broke out in a full-fledged fight, the new citizens were sure to lose.
Both of them were at a loss. Things changed too quickly, catching them off guard.
Suddenly, a group of people appeared in the alleyway.
"I have not seen Lou Lan in a long time. I miss him!"
"Lou Lan healthcare!"
"I want porridge!"
Wait. Tong Gui and Yu Jin’s pupils shrank immediately as they fixed their gaze on the foremost, beautiful figure.
Shi… Shi Xueman!
They made eye contact and saw the shock in each other’s eyes.
Shi Xueman, who had just be expelled by the North Sea Division, was actually in Peace City to visit Ai Hui’s Swordsman Training Hall. Beside her was her assistant, Sang Zhijun. And could that person she was carrying… be Duanmu Huanghun?
They both felt as if they’d been struck by lightning as their minds turned blank.
What was going on?
Why was it getting harder and harder for them to understand?