Chapter 353 - The Ye Residence’s Origin
There was a nameless valley 90 miles south of Silver City. Since it was far from the main road, human’s footprints were rare and vegetation was very lush. The whole valley was rather hidden.
Xiao Laosan’s triangular eyes lacked their usual vitality. Not only him, but the people around him, who were swaying unsteadily from side to side, all felt dispirited and listless.
Since Chi Zun’s death, the Yellow Sand Bandits had really become became a sheet of loose sand.
They ran away from Little Night Town for several nights ago and sought shelter in this obscure valley, but there was a huge divergence in opinions as to what they were going to do next.
Some hoped to take revenge, some hoped to rally the gang, while others thought it was better to run as far away as possible.
No one could convince anyone else.
The Yellow Sand Bandits rose from being a bunch of nobodies to a group of impressive, dauntless bandits all thanks to Chi Zun.
Everyone wholeheartedly accepted that Boss Chi was the most prestigious person in the Yellow Sand Bandits. His death meant that the pillar of the crew was no longer around. As no one else was up to his standard when it came to leading the team, the whole situation became chaotic, with some fiery-tempered fellows almost resorting to their fists.
Everyone was at a loss and feared for their future.
"Loose sand indeed."
A charming, languid voice sounded from the mouth of the valley without warning.
"Who?" Xiao Laosan lurched as he asked in a stern voice.
The rest stood up in unison and looked maliciously toward the mouth of the valley.
A graceful, lovely silhouette stood at the valley entrance. This lady had an ordinary appearance, but an extremely sensual figure, and her fluttering red dress attracted a lot of fanciful imagination.
The lady smiled sweetly. "Your new boss."
A few strong men instantly burst into laughter. Harboring evil designs, they closed in on her with lascivious looks.
"Little girl, accompany me well and you can be the boss."
"Boss, better be good in bed eh."
Xiao Laosan’s pupils shrank. While inwardly cursing their idiocy, he took steps backward without a word instead of advancing.
Coming over alone and facing a bunch of tigers and wolves, this lady was composed and not the least bit afraid. She was certainly not someone to provoke.
The lady advanced with a sinister smile.
A short moment later, everyone was staggering and howling in grief. Only the woman in red stood steadily among them.
"From now on, I’m your new boss, Fairy Chi."
Ai Hui led his life comfortably in the Ye residence. The Great Elder’s appearance boosted the youngsters’ enthusiasm. They practiced crazily even without Ai Hui’s supervision.
Ai Hui liked it when others sought him for guidance. All teachers liked students who were eager to learn.
Lecturing fees, instructing fees… There was no reason why dispelling doubts should not be charged.
His Heaven Merit Points were rising slowly but steadily, and before he knew it, he already had 1,600. Madam Ye was unaware of these fees. If not for the fact that he had agreed to go to the Wilderness with all of them, he felt that his current life was pretty decent. He had never earned so many Heaven Merit Points before.
Ai Hui shucked a few bamboos to make a big parasol and placed it at the training ground. He then took out a wooden couch from his room and added a short coffee table next to it. When he felt bored, he would lie on the couch, snack on a frozen dessert, and watch the sweaty youngsters train under the hot sun. The vitality of youth and the blazing heat completely moved him.
Xiao Shuren appeared daily, watching everyone practice as she stood under the parasol like a servant waiting for orders. Initially, Ai Hui was not used to it, but soon, seeing that she kept quiet all the time, he started disregarding her presence.
A tall and sturdy figure walked toward him, and he was surprised to see that it was actually Hua Kui.
Xiao Shuren left upon seeing a stranger.
Hua Kui glanced over at Xiao Shuren as she exited before turning around and seeing Ai Hui’s carefree appearance. His expression turned strange as he commented, "You’re enjoying life, aren’t you!"
Ai Hui saw this as jealousy and offered his dessert. "Same old, same old. What are you here for?"
"I brought herbs." Hua Kui took the dessert and gulped everything down in one mouthful. Shortly, he spoke up, "I see that you’ve not offended Madam Ye."
Ai Hui could feel his concern and laughed deliberately. "You make it sound as though Madam Ye bites."
Hua Kui let out a cold laugh as he scanned his surroundings. Seeing that the coast was clear, he said in a low voice, "You’ll know in future how big of a deal Madam Ye is. She is reclusive and does not like to show herself in public, but once she speaks up, no one dares disobey. The Grass Hall too. Madam Ye is a VIP of the Grass Hall. Her requests are conveyed to us by the Great Elder, himself."
Ai Hui had a look of understanding. "The Great Elder’s daughter-in-law."
Hua Kui shook his head. "Not just that. Her background is not to be trifled with. She probably treats you favorably because of your identity as a swordsman."
Ai Hui asked curiously, "Perhaps she’s a swordswoman herself?"
"Remember that deep groove along the entrance of the Induction Ground?" A look of respect flashed across his face. "The last swordsman, Ye Huitang, was her ancestor."
Ai Hui stammered, "Ultimate… Ultimate defense line?"
There was a 1 meter wide and 200 meters long groove in front of the Induction Ground’s metal gates. It had been the ultimate defense line during the darkest era for humans in the Wilderness.
During the crucial moments before the start of the Avalon of Five Elements, enemies came like the tides, and the situation was precarious.
Under desperate circumstances, the last reputable swordsman dealt a most resplendent blow to the enemy leader. This effectively boosted the morale of the defenders, allowing the team to persevere and ultimately open up the Avalon.
When Ai Hui had been admitted back then, he had especially visited that "ultimate defense line" to admire and pay respects.
"Yes, that." Hua Kui said in a deep voice, "The Ye clan was well-respected. Madam Ye’s husband died at the front line during her pregnancy. Madam Ye was in serious sorrow, causing her to prematurely give birth to an inherently weaker baby. Not only did she not remarry, she placed all her efforts into raising Xiaobao, never giving up on treating him. Her requests for the Grass Hall have basically involved all sorts of herbs. It’s been over 10 years already. For this, the Grass Hall has always been well taken care of by Madam Ye, or else it would not be what it is today."
Ai Hui could not help but feel deep veneration for her. Be it the legendary swordsman Ye Huitang or Madam Ye, both were worthy of respect.
He also came to realize the reason why Madam Ye was particularly interested in swordsmanship. She came from a family of swordsmen.
"I’m making a trip to the Wilderness, so be careful in the meanwhile." Hua Kui reminded, "Something seems to be amiss in Silver City. Do not get involved."
"Don’t worry, I don’t like meddling in others’ businesses." Ai Hui reassured before asking, "What’s the situation in the Wilderness now?"
"Countless casualties." Hua Kui’s expression turned grave and sour. "It was reported that there had already been many waves of dire beast attacks and more than half of the hunting team perished, so the team was more or less destroyed. If not for the fact that a few Masters rushed to the scene in time to stabilize the situation, the team could’ve been utterly crushed.
Hui Kui did not forget to warn Ai Hui again. "Do not enter the Wilderness now."
Both chatted for a bit before Hua Kui bid goodbye and left.
Ai Hui felt overwhelmed. Just a simple casual chat gave him so much information to digest. The Ye residence’s history startled him beyond belief. The devastation in the Wilderness was expected, but to hear it for himself was still a rather sorrowful feeling.
Many ordinary citizens were so agitated by this upsurge that they ignited balls of blazing flames to burn down the trees, grass, and also themselves.
There was nothing new under the sun.
It was not the first time such a thing had happened in the Avalon’s history, and it would not be the last either.
Although he told himself repeatedly that he had nothing to do with this, he somehow felt suffocated and anxious.
He rose from the couch and walked into the practice ground with large strides, surveying the situation with evil intentions.
"Everyone has been training very hard recently, so in order to encourage you guys, I’ve decided to guide each of you through actual combat with me, free of charge. Such opportunities knock but once. Miss it at your own loss."
Ten minutes later, everyone was lying on the ground.
Ai Hui felt entirely free from worry, his expression jolly as he prepared to leave.
Fu Sisi’s voice sounded from behind him.
Ai Hui stopped in his tracks and looked toward her suspiciously.
Fu Sisi clenched her teeth and rose from the ground. "I would like to choose a suitably advantageous sword, but do not know how to do this. Could you take some time to select it for me?"
Ai Hui felt it was somewhat unfortunate that there was only one Snow Cherry, or else it would be good if he could sell one to Fu Sisi.
As a well-known family in Silver City, the Fu family had wealth and power.
Ai Hui shook his head and said aloofly, "I’m very busy."
"200 Heaven Merit Points!" Fu Sisi blurted out.
Without a word, Ai Hui supported Fu Sisi and asked with a smile spanning his whole face, "Where to?"
This was the type of person that he adored. People who solved problems simply by throwing money!
Walking out of the Ye residence, Fu Sisi sank into silence.
Ai Hui did not rush either since he had already been paid the Heaven Merit Points, so he only had to follow through. He enjoyed the scenery along the streets with some interest. He had been to Silver City a few times, but had never taken a leisurely stroll around.
There were many shops along the streets, which opened up Ai Hui’s eyes. Each shop was decorated to look splendorous and majestic, with the shop assistants dressed neatly and without even a thread loose or hair out of place. The pedestrians he saw on the streets were mostly dressed luxuriously too.
Indeed, this was the biggest city in Silver Mist City.
He followed Fu Sisi into a weapon shop. Due to the bedazzling jewels that covered the weapons on display, AI Hui never would have thought that this exceptionally exquisite shop actually sold weapons.
Every weapon was exhibited in a fine crystal display case. The perfectly adjusted lighting brought out and accentuated the brilliance and vibrant details of each weapon.
Seeing all of this, Ai Hui could not help but drool. He was someone who had seen enough good things, but these weapons turned him feverish nevertheless.
After seeing the price, Ai Hui felt as though someone had stuffed a big lump of ice cubes in his head, cooling him down.
Even the cheapest weapon cost 2,000 Heaven Merit Points.
At that very moment, he finally understood reality. While the fragrance of wine and meat drifted out from homes of the wealthy, the poor froze to death on the streets.
Thinking about how he felt satisfied after earning 1,600 Heaven Merit Points, Ai Hui felt indescribably ashamed. He was going to raise his prices!
"How’s this one?" Fu Sisi asked Ai Hui, pointing at a black longsword right in the center of the hall.
Ai Hui followed her gesture, and as he was about to speak, he felt something unusual.