Chapter 442 - Old Friend
The dancing and circling grass swords drew a cylindrical area of over sixty cubic meters in the faraway sky. It looked like a huge, invisible wind pillar with circles of ripples raging back and forth within. The guards floated and sank but were unable to struggle free.
The closer they got the more the interwoven and fluctuating wave motion brought fear and trepidation, even to the old man beside Mayor Qiao Meiqi.
The wave motion was indistinct and unpredictable. Weaker elementalists were unable to sense it, but the old man felt its threat. Even when sensing unfamiliar forces, Masters would still be able to instinctively detect the danger within.
Their understanding of force far exceeded ordinary elementalists.
The old man was rather curious. Who could it be?
He glanced slightly toward the mayor and wondered to himself, ‘When had this guy offended such a powerful opponent?’ He had a high position in the Gong residence and was seldom kept from secrets. In this era, however, carelessly antagonizing others wasn’t a wise choice.
Qiao Meiqi was worried sick, sweat unknowingly surfacing on his forehead. He had a majestic appearance, face squarish and broad, that gave him an air of grandeur even without trying. He was definitely not an ordinary businessman, since it wasn’t easy to build a friendly relationship with the son of an official. Many times he’d made people forget his identity of a great merchant.
But a hostile enemy of Master level had to enter the city when both consecrated Masters weren’t around. This was worse than the invasion of the Wilderness.
The dancing and circling grass swords in the sky were like a leisurely swimming arrowfish that carried little malice. Upon seeing the guards’ clumsy moves and blunders, however, a coldness rose from Qiao Meiqi’s tailbone and spread throughout his whole body.
He tried his best to keep cool, asking, "Look, what is that?"
The old man was knowledgeable, but did not answer immediately. He observed for some time before responding, "It looks like a kind of sword formation, but one of such scale is rarely heard of.
"Sword formation? Isn’t that something from Karakorum Sword League?" Qiao Meiqi raised his brows, fire flickering in his eyes. "Could it be Han Li at the bottom?"
Hearing Han Li had just caused trouble and seeing Karakorum’s sword formation, it wasn’t surprising that he would associate one with the other. He appeared to be seething, but was actually relieved. As long as they were certain Karakorum Sword League was involved, the Gong residence would not just sit and watch.
It was only after Karakorum’s chief became Sky Edge Division’s division leader, Karakorum Polaris, that her secret relationship with Madam Ye gradually became apparent.
Karakorum Polaris did not emerge alone, but brought along newly recruited soldiers.
As a despot, Qiao Meiqi naturally wasn’t someone with a simple brain. He’d understood that with Great Elder falling sick, Madam Ye was now unstoppably powerful.
Karakorum’s Han Li’s appearance in Clearwater City made people ponder and question.
Qiao Meiqi felt calm instead, since Gong Residence would not sit idly as Madam Ye roped them in. Qiao Meiqi had no intention to rely on Madam Ye as well. He had a few decades of friendship with the Gong Residence so the trust they shared was foundationally deep.
Plus, Qiao Meiqi was clear that Madam Ye’s army was well-trained and powerful and her subordinates were valiant. If he were to go over to her side at this time, he wouldn’t be able to reap much benefits and wouldn’t be much valued, so why would he do that?
Clearwater City was remotely located, deep within the Wilderness, so within such a short period of time, repairing the situation was beyond Madam Ye’s abilities.
Han Li’s appearance in Clearwater City… he’s coming for Gong Residence!
Qiao Meiqi quickly found the crux and came to a realization. The relationship between the Gong Residence and Madam Ye was already hostile, and now they were establishing themselves in the few aristocratic families, doing as they please without adhering to Madam Ye’s order. This was made apparent when they constructed Palacefield City instead of entering Skyheart City.
He composed himself. The battle between Gong Residence and Madam Ye wasn’t something a person of his rank should participate in.
As the target flew closer, the old man and young lady cried out simultaneously.
Qiao Meiqi snapped out of it instantly. Were they acquainted?
In charge of the Yin Yang sword formation, Ai Hui couldn’t help but howl at Iron Lady. "Done?"
He was answered with an even more intensive whisking that sounded like metals clanging, a plaintive lament.
Finally, a loud crash, surpassing all previous sounds, was heard. Ai Hui breathed a sigh of relief.
While his Yin Yang sword formation was powerful, grass swords were still grass swords and were unable to be sustained for long. He attacked because there was more to gain. It would be embarrassing if things backfired.
Iron Lady pulled back and returned to Ai Hui’s side without even looking at Yang Wuchang, who was lying unconscious on the ground and bleeding from his nose and mouth.
Just then, the circling grass swords in the sky started flaming. There were white flames and black flames. In the blink of an eye they turned to ashes.
That strange, invisible force disappeared all of a sudden and the trapped guards instantly felt their bodies loosen up as the resistance all around vanished completely.
Below, Ai Hui and Shi Xueman stood back to back, holding a sword and a spear respectively.
Making such a big scene and disregarding their honor… no one would take it lying down.
There was no need to worry about not having the chance to speak. With a sword and with skills, anyone would get a chance to speak up.
Only weaklings’ voices would be drowned out.
Without turning his head Ai Hui asked, "How did it feel?"
Shi Xueman replied, "Very sturdy."
She hesitated for a bit, but added nevertheless, "That last one was gratifying."
Ai Hui burst into laughter. It was difficult to imagine such words coming out of Iron Lady’s mouth. She sounded like a mischievous little girl who’d just done something naughty.
The guards in the sky were raging at this point, their eyes on fire. They’d been immobilized by their opponent in the eyes of everyone. It was utterly embarrassing.
Right at this moment someone shouted, "Stop it!"
The guards who were about to attack turned rigid. That imposing voice was beyond familiar to them. The mayor!
They turned around and saluted, "Mayor!"
Before Qiao Meiqi could speak, the two old and young people beside him flew down.
"So it’s you!"
The familiarity in their tones made Qiao Meiqi let all his guard down. Wait a minute, Sister Xueman? Who could have a little princess of the Gong Residence address her that way? A name came up to him suddenly, causing his eyes to open wide.
Ai Hui looked at the luxuriously clothed man in front of him and asked in puzzlement, "You are...?"
He found the old man vaguely familiar looking but had no idea where he might’ve seen him. Even his voice sounded familiar.
Seeing that Ai Hui had not recognized him the old man was somewhat pleased. "No recollection eh? I drank some of your porridge before."
Drank his porridge? Ai Hui reacted all of a sudden, his eyeballs about to fall out. "Volcano Old Man!"
The old man smiled in satisfaction. "Can’t recognize me eh, have I changed a lot?"
Ai Hui clicked his tongue in wonder. "Couldn’t recognize you indeed. You were like a beggar when I last met you, but now you’re acting all elegant. I can tell from one glance that your clothes are expensive stuff!"
Upon hearing the words "acting all elegant" Qiao Meiqi trembled slightly. He raised his head forcefully and look toward Ai Hui like a madman.
How dare he say that to a Master? Not just any Master but bad-tempered Venerable Volcano. Was he trying to die?
What threw him off even more was the fact that Venerable Volcano wasn’t the least bit offended.
He smiled, saying, "I have recovered and was able to live on, thanks to your porridge. I wanted to look for you guys after to return the favor but it slipped my mind, hahaha."
He seemed to have felt that forgetting someone else’s kindness wasn’t something to feel embarrassed over.
Ai Hui did not mind it. He smiled, "That’s not true. If not for the fact that you guarded the door, we wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the porridge."
Just then, Shi Xueman brought an innocent and unaffected girl over. "This is Ai Hui, we all call him Ah Hui. This is Yaoyao, Gong Peiyao. She is Uncle Gong’s daughter, we used to play together in the past"
Gong Peiyao greeted hurriedly, calling out respectfully, "Brother Ah Hui."
Ai Hui returned the greeting, "Yaoyao."
Shi Xueman recognized Venerable Volcano at this point and was rather shocked. "You changed so much."
Venerable Volcano laughed out loud. "The young lady’s eyes are working better after all. Better than yours."
Shi Xueman had already pulled Yaoyao to another side.
"Lou Lan, this is Yaoyao."
"Hi, Yaoyao. I’m Lou Lan, very pleased to meet you."
"Wa, Lou Lan is so cute! Can I hug you, Lou Lan?"
"Wah, you’re so soft! Do you wanna hug him, Sister Xueman?"
"I"m not a little girl like you!"
"You don’t want to? Really? He’s so soft and comfortable to hug! Why are you so soft, Lou Lan?"
"There are two reasons. Firstly, I’m made of millesimal soft sand. Secondly, my sand core is constantly optimizing and I can simulate about three thousand four hundred and sixty different sand textures."
"Lou Lan, Lou Lan! Can you become a bed?"
"Yes I can!"
Boom, a sand bed appeared before the two of them.
Gong Peiyao threw herself on it, instantly becoming excited. "Ahhhhhh so soft! Lou Lan is so amazing! Quick, come up, Sister Xueman!"
Shi Xueman was rather tempted, but looking at her surroundings she decided to resist the urge. She coughed, "Get up quick, Yaoyao. You shouldn’t act like this…"
"I’m not getting up, I’m not getting up, I’m not getting up…"
Shi Xueman pulled her up with one hand, ignoring her squirms and struggles. She said, somewhat embarrassed, "Sorry to have made you suffer, Lou Lan. Yaoyao has always been mischievous."
Lou Lan broke into a wide grin. "Not at all, I’m very happy."
Qiao Meiqi was now in front of Ai Hui. He spoke cordially, "I did not expect to see the renowned Lightning Blade over here. Your presence really brings light to my city. I’m deeply honored. My name is Qiao Meiqi and I am guilty of calling myself the mayor. Unable to take care of my people properly, I feel utterly ashamed. Really sorry to have caused you an unhappy experience. Please do me the honor and give me a chance to make up for my negligence."
Yang Wuchang woke up from his coma, but upon hearing the humble tone in which the mayor was addressing them with, he blacked out once again.