Tan Tan's matter was finally settled.
Chu Yang also felt relieved in his heart.
[I initially thought that Xie Dan Feng would probably find it difficult to accept Tan Tan's bizarreness. However, it now seems that my fears were groundless. There was basically no need for us to do anything. Xie Dan Feng has already grasped the entire situation. She has thought it through, and has accepted it. In fact, she's nonchalant about it…]
[She even added the complement 'gifted man'...]
This made Chu Yang's heart sigh with emotion as he muttered, "In the past… we would have scruples about giving a try to something we thought of as very difficult to do, and we wouldn't dare to do it as a result. So, we would make it a challenging task ourselves… thereby making it even more difficult to do. However, we would've found that it was a smooth road from the get-go if we didn't think anything, and just went with the flow… by presuming that everything was bound to be successful. In fact, the task can be accomplished even without making a great deal of effort in that case!"
He breathed a long sigh of relief, "The matter of Tan Tan's marriage is just like this, and the road of our martial arts is also the same."
The brothers were initially laughing, but they all fell silent when they heard these words. They all began to slowly ponder over these words… It seemed as if they were trying to comprehend the meaning in their hearts.
Gu Du Xing slowly nodded and said, "Right! Becoming a Revered Martial Artist is undoubtedly an unattainable goal for a Martial Warrior. Similarly, the Emperor Level is unattainable for a Revered Martial Artist, while the Monarch Level is a fable. Meanwhile, the Supreme Level is simply a myth for a Martial Monarch!
"So, you can never climb a level if you think of it as a myth… because you've already treated it as if it were insurmountable. This is one's inner demon…"
Chu Yang nodded and said, "Correct! So, we just need to keep practicing… one step at a time. And, we don't have to worry about how many grades we have achieved in King Level or Emperor Level. All we need to do is to keep going forward step by step. That's it! In fact, it's just like life… We must always keep going forward. So, why care about what the next step is going to be if we have to keep going anyway?"
Dong Wu Shang, Ji Mo, and the others lowered their heads, and pondered carefully.
[This logic is very simple. However, it's hard to grasp, and even harder to put into practice.]
[However, as Chu Yang said — it will forever be impossible if one doesn't even try because of the difficulty. Stop thinking about the next step, and keep moving forward... One must always take the next step no matter what it is.]
[Why care about whether the goal should be Monarch Level or Supreme Level?]
[A person may have remained a Martial Warrior their entire life. But, they have to pass away when their life reaches its conclusion. And, it's the same even if one had managed to become a Supreme Expert…!]
[Is there any difference?]
The atmosphere in the room turned quiet.
"Now, we're going to discuss the next step of our plan," Chu Yang clapped his hands and said, "You two, come out."
Xie Dan Feng and Tan Yan came out at the same time; both of them were blushing hard. Xie Dan Feng realized that she was blushing when she saw Chu Yang and the others. So, she hurriedly left behind a sentence as she dashed out, "I'm going back."
She then fled away at a flying speed.
"Take care...!" the brothers spoke-out in unison.
The sound of her coquettish protests came from outside in reply…
"We've exterminated the Ou Clan. And, I believe this news will shake the Middle Three Heavens within three days," Chu Yang slowly said, "It can be said that the extermination of the Ou Clan will make the Jianghu explode. So, we must be prepared to face this storm when it arrives."
Everyone remained silent, but their eyes flashed brightly with determination.
"This time's storm in the Middle Three Heavens is an opportunity for our clans," Gu Du Xing pondered and said slowly.
"Yes, it is the biggest challenge that all our clans have had to face in the past 100 years; this assessment obviously excludes the Ao Clan. However, this biggest crisis is also the biggest opportunity," Luo Ke Di no longer showed his usual frivolous attitude.
Ao Xie Yun took a deep breath and said, "This is a fierce battle, and retaliation for my Ao Clan. It's not an opportunity. However, our Ao Clan has no other choice but to participate in this battle. We must vent off our rage. And, we must take revenge!"
"Wrong!" Chu Yang said lightly, "This is indeed an opportunity for us. However, it is also the biggest opportunity for your Ao Clan. Therefore, I suggest that you lay low… not just so that your Ao Clan participates in the battle, but also for one other reason."
"One other reason?!" Ao Xie Yun knitted his eyebrows.
"Yes, your Ao Clan is like a big organization. How many direct-in-line descendents are there in your generation in total?" asked Chu Yang.
"There should be more than 100 people if my close cousins and the children of the previous generation's descendants are counted."
"How many of them are outstanding?" Chu Yang asked.
Ao Xie Yun had apparently realized something. So, he answered without the slightest hesitation, "There are six other people besides me." He had understood the meaning behind Chu Yang's line of questioning. He then took a long breath and continued, "Old Ancestor once said — there are seven tigers in the Ao Clan. Xie Yun is the strongest among them, but the rest can also take on the duty of the Clan Lord. However, make sure that Ao Clan's reputation doesn't decline."
"Well, do you think that the remaining six people would engage in a power struggle for the position of Clan Lord if you were to die?" Chu Yang insipidly asked.
"That's inevitable," Ao Xie Yun heaved a long sigh. Then, he said somewhat bitterly, "They're always eyeing me covetously. Those six would definitely engage in a deadly struggle as irreconcilable adversaries if I passed away. In fact, I'm afraid that will severely damage the vitality of the rich and powerful Ao Clan."
"So, it can be said that this is an opportunity for you as well as the Ao Clan," Chu Yang insipidly said.
"But, these storms can be suppressed in an instant if I go back at this time," Ao Xie Yun heavily said. He suddenly had an urge to overthrow his initial decision to lay low.
"The Ao Clan will be done for if you go back now!" Chu Yang flatly opposed.
Ao Xie Yun stared blankly. However, he had immediately understood what Chu Yang had meant. So, he said nothing in response. A long time passed. Then, he muttered, "True, Ao Clan will be finished if I go back. In fact, it would eventually be destroyed in my hands even if it survived at first."
Chu Yang nodded.
Ao Xie Yun sat down while feeling dejected. He then whispered, "Don't tell me that I can only watch from the sidelines?!"
Chu Yang looked at him profoundly and replied, "You'll have to suffer in the future if you don't just watch for now."
Ao Xie Yun just sighed. He didn't speak further.
Ji Mo and Luo Ke Di had heard this exchange from the side, and they had been feeling puzzled. So, they asked Gu Du Xing, "What are these two talking about? How come we are unable to make sense of what we are hearing?"
Gu Du Xing and Dong Wu Shang looked at Ji Mo and Luo Ke Di, and simultaneously revealed an envious expression.
[These two don't have the slightest desire for power. They don't participate in the struggle for fame and fortune in their respective clans. They just lead a chill life.]
"The human ambition is without limits. Seven candidates for the position of Clan Lord in a clan… This is the biggest crisis of this clan! Ambitions will inflate with the gradual increment in strength. And, Ao Clan will be divided into seven parts once this inflation reaches a certain extent... Then, it'll be done for! So, the best thing one can do under these circumstances is making these candidates expose their hidden ambitions as soon as possible."
Gu Du Xing slowly explained.
"So complex..." Ji Mo curled his lip and said, "That lazy bastard Ji Zhu nearly knelt down before me, and requested me to come back to the clan to be the Clan Lord. But, I ignored his request, and ran far away."
Dong Wu Shang sighed.
"Ao Xie Yun can't go out. He'll stay here in the Xie Clan. Tan Tan, what's your plan?" Chu Yang asked.
"Me? I'll stay here," Tan Tan considered for a moment… which was a rare sight to behold in-itself. He then made a decision, and issued it, "I've been feeling tremendous spiritual fluctuations around here these days. So, I'll stay here, ok? I'll follow the Xie Clan's actions. I think there shouldn't be any problem."
Chu Yang looked anxiously at him, and said, "Very well."
"Du Xing needs to go back to the Gu Clan. Wu Shang, Ji Mo, and Ke Di must also go back to their respective clans. And, I'll go to the Mo Clan to meet Mo Tian Ji," Chu Yang said, "Bu Tong, you stay here in Xie Clan. First, keep a watch over Tan Tan. Secondly, help Ao Xie Yun in hiding his identity. Thirdly, it'll be more reassuring if you guys are here to discuss our course of action with Xie Dan Qiong when he returns."
Rui Bu Tong agreed.
"But, you guys must bear in mind these two things," Chu Yang looked at Ao Xie Yun and Rui Bu Tong, "First, the cultivation must not drop. And second, the Xie Clan mustn't set into action… It is necessary to wait until the Middle Three Heavens is comprehensively enveloped in flames of war. Only then can we make a decision to begin!"
"Ok!" Ao Xie Yun revealed a look of contemplation on his face, "We'll wait for your instructions."
Chu Yang turned around, "There's no time to delay. Let's head out. We five brothers can travel together for some time. We would be able to avert a lot of troubles by doing so."
Chu Yang had said the last few words very profoundly… as if there was some hidden meaning to them.
Dong Wu Shang remained silent for a moment. But then, he said, "Big Brother, I want to go alone."
Chu Yang's gaze turned into a stare, "Are you sure?"
Dong Wu Shang took a deep breath and replied, "I'm sure!"
Chu Yang looked at him with a conflicted look in his eyes. But then, he nodded and said, "Well, have a safe trip."
"Big Brother, I think that all of us should go alone," Gu Du Xing insipidly proposed, "Travelling together doesn't work well with cultivation. Besides, each one of us has their own stuff to face. We can avoid a lot of troubles if we work together. However, there are some troubles which just can't be avoided. They eventually surface no matter what. So, it's better to resolve these troubles as soon as possible, and avoid future headache."
Chu Yang was silent for a long time. Then, he said, "But, this journey spans across 5000 Km, and it's going to be riddled with crises. After all, the big clans are waiting for an opportunity to strike. In case..."
"Big Brother, weren't you the one who had rushed along a distance of 6500 Km in the Lower Three Heavens? Have you forgotten that?" Gu Du Xing smiled heartily. He then suddenly said in a solemn manner, "Big Brother, you're kind intentioned. But... you can't always protect us like an old hen guarding her chicks. That... will spoil us rotten.
"Everybody has their own inner demons and stories. And, they all have their own destiny to face. The so-called 'crisis' is the respective highlight in everyone's life," Gu Du Xing looked at Chu Yang and said somewhat carefully, "Big Brother, we can't be together forever!"
Chu Yang was silent for a long time. But then, he finally nodded and said, "I worry too much. This is the weakness in my disposition. I'm afraid to lose the things that I have. But, having something for a long-long time… can sometimes make us lose that kind of deep attachment. Alright, I've talked enough. You guys can travel on your own."
Gu Du Xing stood straight, and solemnly replied, "Thank you very much, Big Brother!"
Chu Yang smiled, and patted him on the shoulder, "There's no need to be so formal. I've understood what you said."
Then, Chu Yang suddenly began to reflect upon himself; [I had lost too much in my previous life. I had lost my family… as well as my lover… In fact, there was nothing left to lose in the world. But, this has paved the way for my success in this life. However, it has also given birth to this other extreme nature of mine.]
[I worry way too much to protect the people around me! I fear that it would be too late for regrets if any one of them met with an accident.]
[I don't want to lose the things that I have!]
[We can call this as 'taking responsibility', but it is also a malpractice. It is the most responsible thing to do for mediocre people. However, this so-called 'ultimate responsibility' is another level of extreme irresponsibility as far as the geniuses are concerned.]