Chapter 370 - The Will
Upon stepping into Second Elemental Realm, Ai Hui could clearly feel his control over elemental energy improving greatly. There were even fine traces of elemental energy swirling around his body.
Ai Hui knew that this phenomenon was occurring due to his being unable to absorb and emit elemental energy with ease, as he had just achieved the breakthrough.
Even after achieving the breakthrough, he wasn’t particularly overjoyed. On the contrary, he was abnormally calm. He seemed to be lost in thought as he looked at the dawn sky outside the window.
Human beings’ understanding towards the world was ever-changing. Men from the Cultivation Era used to think that the world was made up of spiritual force. In the current Elemental Era, men felt that the world was made up of various elemental energies.
From mankind’s perspective, the world was ever-changing.
Perhaps from the world’s perspective, it was mankind that was ever-changing.
Ai Hui returned to his senses when the first trace of sunlight shone through the window and into his eyes. After stretching his arms and feet, the elemental energy within his body surged. The abundance of power within his body made him feel as if he could capture a tiger alive.
Stepped into Second Elemental Realm had also boosted his fusion elemental energy level. It was a happy surprise to him. Despite spending so many days in the Grass Hall, Ai Hui still could not find the notebook; however, he did not become impatient and continued to look through the ancient records one by one.
Now, even Grass Hall pretended that they didn’t see him searching through the ancient records almost every day.
As time went by, his fusion elemental energy depleted and was about to run out. Ai Hui lifted his gaze from the book in his hands. Just as Ai Hui left the Ancient Hall of Records and was about to leave Grass Hall, Manager called for him.
Slightly surprised, Ai Hui asked, "Is there anything that I can help you with?"
During the trips to Grass Hall these few days, other than greeting Manager, he had not really talked with him.
"Hua Kui is dead," Manager said bluntly. "He doesn’t have any family members. According to his will, he is leaving you all his inheritance."
Manager passed Ai Hui a key.
Ai Hui was stunned momentarily. After a while, he returned to his senses. He took the key, thanked Manager, and left.
After leaving Grass Hall, Ai Hui stood motionless, in a daze.
He’d entered the Assembly of Patriarchs with a strong sense of purpose. He’d known Hua Kui for a few years, but had not developed a friendship with him. Even when Hua Kui became his guide, he did not really feel anything for him. Being a member of the Assembly of Patriarchs, he needed to make sure his identity was not exposed at all times.
Ai Hui had always felt that Hua Kui knew about his disguise, but then he loosened up as he realized that the Assembly of Patriarchs did not really care about aliases.
Deep down, he had never treated Hua Kui as someone he could rely on.
As such, when Manager told him that Hua Kui left him with his inheritance, he was slightly shocked. To Ai Hui, one’s inheritance was usually left to his or her closest family members.
Ai Hui did not expect himself to have held such an important place in Hua Kui’s heart. Not only did this fact surprise him, it also put him at a complete loss. He did not feel the same way about Hua Kui.
Ai Hui could accept death calmly. From the Wilderness to Central Pine City and from the outbreak of the blood catastrophe to now, he had seen a lot of people die almost every day. There was nothing strange or unusual about death.
Death was the ultimate end of one’s life. Facing the news of someone’s death, he might feel sad, but not overly sad. As long as he or she did not die the way his master and mistress had died, then it would still be alright. If he was the one to die, then how it happened would not matter to him at all.
Right now, he did not want to die because there were still things that he had not yet accomplished.
There were times when he would worry about death.
For instance, if he died, who would he leave his inheritance to? Lou Lan? Lou Lan was a sand puppet, would money be useful to him at all? If he died, Lou Lan would be rather pitiful. Then, should he leave his inheritance to Fatty? Leaving his inheritance to Fatty made him feel as if he was feeding a huge meat bun to a dog. Iron Lady probably wouldn’t care about his money. Maybe he could ask her to help repay his debt. Ha, why would he need to care about repaying his debt when he was already dead?
Ai Hui finally returned from his daze and laughed at himself.
After thinking for a while, he found a wooden board and used his sword to carve two words, "Hua Kui", into it. He would use the wooden slab as Hua Kui’s spirit tablet. In a huge household like the Ye Residence, burning incense was an everyday task. As such, he easily found some incense sticks.
Following which, he lit up a few incense sticks for Hua Kui.
After accepting Hua Kui’s inheritance, he had to do something for him.
"Hua Kui, as your hands are full of blood, it’s most likely that you can’t enter Heaven. I hope you can still grow and cultivate flowers in Hell. At least that way you can resume your old trade and live a happy life."
After kowtowing to Hua Kui’s spirit tablet, Ai Hui walked out of his room and was sprinkled with sunshine.
At this point of time, he did not want to do anything. He lay down on a rattan chair and basked in the sunshine.
Without his students, the place was quieter. Even the servants became slightly slack. What happened recently had dealt a huge blow to them. The usual paradise-like Ye Residence suddenly became the centre of a gigantic maelstrom. All of them felt extremely nervous and uneasy.
The sunlight began to turn harsh, however, Ai Hui remained motionless. Relaxing completely was a type of pleasure for him.
Suddenly, his hand grasped the Silverfold Plum.
All the influential figures had gathered at Silver City.
From the Elders Guild alone, there were already four people in attendance. Great Elder, Yuchi Ba, Elder Song, and Elder Ling. Other than that, there were also Yuchi Qingshan, Zhong Houjun, Gong Residence’s family head, Zeng Residence’s family head, and Ling Sheng with his wife.
Ling Sheng’s gaze was bitter and enraged while Madam Ling’s was as calm as usual. In front of the four Elders, they were just insignificant individuals.
Needless to say, Great Elder was the leader of the Elders Guild. Elder Ling was the leader of the Aristocratic Faction while Elder Song was the number two figure in the Aristocratic Faction. Both of them were bosom buddies. Meanwhile, Yuchi Ba was the leader of the New Citizens Faction.
All of them surrounded a gigantic pool. In the central of the pool, there was a platform on which only one person could stand. The pool’s surroundings were fully carved with complicated and fine decorative designs that flickered with light. The water within the pool was multicolored and the colors were clearly distinctive, looking like strips of brightly-colored ribbons.
"I am sorry for bringing inconvenience to everyone over such a small matter."
Great Elder saluted and thanked all the people present. Everyone did not dare to hesitate and quickly stood up to return Great Elder’s salute.
"However, Lin-er said that gossip is a fearful thing. As a mother, she doesn’t want Xiaobao to be disturbed by the rumor in the future. Therefore, I have to bring an end to this issue. Xiaobao is my only grandson. Ever since his birth, he has led troubled life. His father died young and I’m not frequently in Silver City to take care of him. As such, I feel extremely guilty and have to brazenly invite everyone here today.
Yuchi Ba opened his mouth and spoke first. "This rumor is mean and evil. Great Elder, don’t take it to heart. All of us have watched Xiaobao growing up since he was a baby. He looks exactly like his father, how can he not be his own child?"
Yuchi Ba had a pair of naturally scowling eyebrows, resembling King Kong with glaring eyes. At this point of time, his face was brimming with resentment and anger.
Elder Ling had a refined appearance. His eyebrows were drooping and his mustache was long. With a gentle voice, he advised, "That’s right. When I heard this rumor, I immediately knew it was a lie. Don’t we know Lin-er’s character? Furthermore, the Ye Residence’s family values are matchless."
Everyone agreed with what he said.
Ye Lin smiled and half rose from her chair to thank everyone.
"Everyone, I believe there are a lot of people in this world that are capable of coming up with lies," said Great Elder.
All the Elders nodded.
With a deep and solemn tone, Great Elder continued, "If Xiaobao is not a member of the Gu Family, then it would mean our family values have been corrupted and that we have humiliated the world; however, if it’s proven that the rumor is a lie, I will not let Xiaobao receive injustice for nothing. My only grandson has been severely sick since he was born and has led a troubled life. I hereby swear that I will use whatever methods to seek revenge for him!"
A cold shiver went down everyone’s spine. They knew that Great Elder was truly enraged this time around. Given his status, one could tell how angry he was to say such words.
Elder Ling cast a glance at Ling Sheng and the latter shook his head subtly to signal that the rumor was not his doing. Upon seeing that, Elder Ling felt slightly at ease. As long as the rumor had not been spread by members of his family, no one could blame it on the Ling Residence.
If it had been another family that had colluded with blood elementalists to attack the Fu Family and Ye Lin and her son, then that family would definitely be destroyed. With the backing of Elder Ling, however, the Ling Residence would not be affected by the so-called "evidence."
As long as this rumor had not been started by Ling Sheng, Elder Ling could just wait and see a good show.
If the rumor was a lie, then it would not affect them in any way. If the rumor was true, then things would get interesting. Elder Ling, who had been thinking of ways to neutralize Great Elder, realized that if the rumor was true, then it would create a good opportunity for him to do so.
To everyone, the look of bitter resentment and hatred on Madam Ling’s face was normal. Ye Lin had chopped off one of Ling Sheng’s arms. The feud between them was unsolvable.
Great Elder’s prestige was matchless. Elder Ling was no pushover as well. With the addition of the New Citizen Faction’s Yuchi Ba, the situation was extremely subtle.
When Xiaobao saw that everyone’s gaze was on him, he felt slightly afraid. He hid behind Ye Lin and said, "Mama, Xiaobao is scared."
"Xiaobao, don’t be scared, Mama is here." Ye Lin stroked Xiaobao’s head gently.
Xiaobao felt slightly more at ease, but he still clutched Ye Lin’s clothes and was unwilling to let go.
When Great Elder saw this scene, he felt as if his heart was pierced by a sword, but then he hardened his heart and said, "Let’s begin. Xiaobao, stand on the platform in the centre of the pool."
Xiaobao continued to hide behind Madam Ye.
"Xiaobao, be good. Listen to Grandpa and stand on the platform in the centre of the pool. It will not hurt at all," Ye Lin said with a gentle voice.
Xiaobao turned his face and asked, "Really? It will not hurt?"
"It’s really not painful."
The gentle smile on his mother’s face calmed Xiaobao down, following which, he sobbed. "Xiaobao shall go then, Mama must wait for Xiaobao."
"Mama will not go anywhere and wait here," Ye Lin reassured Xiaobao.
"Xiaobao is the bravest! Xiaobao is scared of nothing!"
Xiaobao closed his eyes and encouraged himself loudly. Then, he opened his eyes and walked towards the platform.
When everyone saw this scene, feelings of empathy rose in their hearts. Whether it was their Gu Family or the Ye Residence, they were all top aristocratic families. They did not expect their younger generation to be reduced to this.
To an aristocratic family, nothing was more important than its heir and inheritance.
How could a mentally challenged individual carry such an enormous family on his delicate shoulders?
Some people could not help but harbor evil thoughts. Even though Great Elder was powerful and influential, he still did not have a qualified successor to carry on his undertakings at this old age. This was Great Elder’s deadliest weakness.
Great Elder looked deeply at Xiaobao. He opened his mouth to say something, but nothing came out.
Following which, he cut his finger and let his blood drip into the pool.