Grey City, Mars Prefecture, Flame Dragon Continent.
Grey City was located in the south of the Mars Prefecture and it was one of the six major cities in this prefecture. It was also known as the territory of the Ye Family, one of the most prominent families on this continent.
It was autumn and the weather in Grey City was gradually becoming chillier.
A man in green clothing hurried down the streets, as his delicate face indicated that he was in his late teens. He carried two medicine bags in each hand and ran forward, ignoring the startled expressions of the passers-by. Looking closer, he actually wore a long face, full of indifference and anxiety. Currently, he was heading towards the City Major Mansion.
“Mom, mom, Qinghan has bought you some medicine. I believe, you’ll definitely get better soon…”
The teenager kept running forward, while mumbling to himself. Not far away, there stood a pair of gigantic stone lions in front of the City Major Mansion. The teenager sped up his pace, as he saw the stone lions.
Eight guards lined up in front of the gate, they were suited up in heavy armors and were carrying fierce looking swords. Each and every one of them was tall and strong and they stood there with straightened spine and solemn expressions, very much like the door-gods (门神) . The warriors, together with the stone lions, gave this place a touch of majesty and aggressiveness.
Being a guard was far from a decent occupation, some people even regarded this as a job for lowly dogs. However, the eight guards who were on duty today, seemed quite the opposite. In their solemn faces, you could sense a trace of arrogance. Because… They were working for the Ye Family! As the actual ruler of the southern Mars Prefecture, the Ye Family boasted an irreplaceable social status in this region. Even the servants from the Ye Family could be very cocky.
These eight guards were rather honored to be part of the Ye Family. Partly, because of their height, partly because of their conceitedness, they stood there overlooking the passers-by.
– Clop! Clop! –
Oh, someone was coming!
On hearing the approaching footsteps, the eight guards tightened their hearts a little bit. Anyone who dared to be this close to the gate of the City Major Mansion would most likely be someone important, as normal civilians wouldn’t be allowed to step this close to the gate. Soon, the eight guards simultaneously raised the corner of their mouth, smiling gently towards the direction of the upcoming person.
However, once they saw that it was a young teenager, who was lifting two medicine bags, the eight guards quickly turned their smiling faces back to their original indifferent poker face. It only took a split second to change their faces, which was quite impressive.
“It’s only him – the garbage seventh young lord, who has to deal with trifling matters, such as buying medicine, on his own…” One of the guards whispered to the others, full of disdain.
“Shoo… Sixth Brother, shut up. After all, he’s still one of the young lords, and we have to respect him. Otherwise, we’ll be punished. Look! Who’s that guy? Oh, our second young lord is also coming home. Let’s welcome him!”
A luxuriously-decorated carriage raced towards the gate, which made the eight guards rather nervous. On seeing the characters “Ye” printed on the black flag and “Xian” on another smaller flag, the guards automatically became gentle and submissive, as they showed a cordial smile.
“Welcome home, Your Excellency, second young lord!”
The eight guards exclaimed with one voice, which startled the passers-by. The teenager that carried the medicine bags also looked back over his shoulder. Looking at the luxurious carriage, as well as the adulatory faces of the eight guards, he forced a self-mocking smile, as he headed into the mansion.
Ye Qingxian, the second young lord of Ye Family, wasn’t in a particularly good mood today. Seldom would anyone dare to disrupt his mood, but a prostitute in the Alluring Smoke Pavilion had given him such a headache.
Who was he? He was the second lord of the Ye Family, Ye Qingxian!
What was the Ye Family? One of the five most prominent families in the Mars Prefecture! How could this bitch dare to reject him? Qingguan（清倌）! Qingguan! To hell with Qingguan! The Alluring Smoke Pavilion was the number one prostitution place in all of Grey City, any woman working in that place was a prostitute. However, how funny was this? She said she only sold her performance, but not her body. Was she a fucking artist, or only a body artist…
“If it wasn’t for the family punishment, or the celebrities that appear in the Alluring Smoke Pavilion, or even my loyal temperament, if… I would rape that prostitute and dismantle that pavilion!” Qingxian jumped off the carriage, and strode towards the gate. He had been trying to calm himself down from the saddening events in the Alluring Smoke Pavilion, when he randomly noticed the strong guards all blinking their eyes at him. Suddenly, he felt that it was all quite funny. The eight guards behaved very gentle and lovingly towards him, in comparison with their rough body, they were like hilarious clowns. This did actually cheer Qingxian up a little bit.
In response, Qingxian stretched one of his hands out and patted the shoulder of one of the guards, as a sign of satisfaction. He then chuckled in a low voice before he swaggered past the gate.
However, the good mood didn’t last long, Qingxian quickly slipped back into his depression.
All of a sudden, the teenager with two medicine bags also rushed past the gate, frustration flowing all over his face. He was in such a hurry that he abruptly bumped against the gloomy Qingxian.
“What?” Yesterday, Qingxian had done the deed with several prostitutes in the Alluring Smoke Pavilion, which, even now, made his legs quiver while walking. Although he wasn’t very accomplished in cultivation, he was still in the first level of the Realm of the Commander. So he didn’t fall down, but only staggered several steps before he managed to steady himself. Out of curiosity, he turned around to make sure what had happened just now.
Realizing that it was the teenager in green clothing, who wore a mix of an embarrassed and apologetic expression, Qingxian cursed him terribly.
“Ye Qinghan, you son of a bitch! Are you blind?”
“S… Sorry, it’s all my fault, I should’ve been more careful.” The teenager was obviously frightened by Qingxian’s indignation. He looked extremely upset and panicked.
“Sorry? If sorry worked, then there wouldn’t be so many people who’d have to die because of their wrongdoings in the Flame Dragon Continent!” Qingxian sneered, as the word “sorry” reminded him about that Qingguan in the Alluring Smoke Pavilion, who had also replied to him with a “sorry”. He suddenly decided to continue his fierce and cruel abuse of this teenager, “Why are you in such a hurry? Let me guess, you must’ve hastened home for the funeral of your mom? ”
“You… Ye Qingxian, I just collided with you and I have apologized to you… Don’t go too far, my mother is an elder in this family, you should respect her.”
“Elder?” Looking at the irritated Qinghan, Qingxian felt delighted. He continued to insult, “I don’t have any elders who used to be a prostitute.”
Soon, the eight guards ran towards them to see what was going on. And when they arrived, they all laughed at the outraged yet helpless Qinghan. “Ye Qingxian!” Qinghan exclaimed with all his strength, “Listen, my mother was a Qingguan, not a prostitute! Please stop insulting her, or I’ll become rude to you!”
On hearing the word “Qingguan”, Qingxian’s anger towards the beautiful woman that had rejected him had been reignited. He howled to Qinghan, “Qingguan? I have fucked a Qingguan last night, is that an insult? Garbage! What else can you be, since you are the son of a prostitute? Be rude to me? Do you really dare to hit me?”
“You…” the word “garbage” and “prostitute” completely provoked Qinghan. He put the medicine bags aside and immediately swooped at Qingxian.
“Ye Qingxian, I will fight with you! Left Hook!”
“What’s going on? What’s going on?” Their quarrel quickly grabbed the attention of the servants. They all quickly referred to the eight guards for information.
“Oh, that’s it. No wonder the honest seventh young lord dares to fight with the second young lord! The second young lord has cursed his mother!”
“Hum, what’s the big deal! His mother was originally a Qingguan, not a decent woman. Since the death of his father – Ye Dao, he has become the only son of his father’s second concubine. Sadly, he isn’t material for cultivation, that’s why some call him garbage. I guess, he and his mother will be expelled from this mansion sooner or later…”
“Shoo, lower down your voices. We’d better stop discussing this topic, or the Punishment Department will torture us. Let’s gamble on how many rounds the seventh young lord will sustain.”
“Ye Qinghan is only in the first level of the Realm of the Elite. While the second young lord – Qingxian, is in the first level of the Realm of the Commander. They have a gap of an entire realm! I bet Qinghan won’t even be able to sustain for a mere three rounds.”
“Look! Our second young lord has punched him away…”
Everyone jerked their heads towards Qinghan, who was flying backwards because of Qingxian’s fist.
Eventually, Qinghan dropped to the floor and landed with a loud thud, without raising any dust. The gate section of the City Major Mansion represented the face of the Ye Family; they wouldn’t allow any dust to be found here. Each and every day, the floor was swept several times.
“As you can all see, it is Ye Qinghan who invited me to this fight. I formally announce that I accept his invitation…If he dares to report this to the Punishment Department and accuse me, I hope you guys will help me out as witnesses.” Qingxian clapped his hands to lure the attention of the servants. Actually, he could easily deal with seven to eight people like Qinghan, who were in the first level of the Realm of the Elite. However, on the other hand, he would be more than happy to find a target to beat up whenever he was in a bad mood.
“Er!” Qinghan rubbed his ankle, as he let out a muffled groan. He turned around and fixed his eyes on the high-blown Qingxian.
“Left Hook!” Qinghan spurted to Qingxian, trying to hit him with his Left Hook.
However, Qingxian effortlessly dodged this attack; he even lifted his right feet and kicked towards Qinghan’s belly.
Once again, Qinghan flew away backward, bending his belly. After a few minutes of struggling, he finally managed to stand up, and undauntedly ran once again towards Qinghan.
“Another Left Hook!”
“L… Left Hook…”
After several rounds, the onlookers began to feel sympathy towards Qinghan. But… The seventh young lord was simply too lousy. All he exerted was his Left Hook, did he not know any different moves? Although the Left Hook was far from a bad move, people still got tired of his Left Hook that was repeated again and again.
“Haha, little bastard, shall we continue? If the answer is no, I have something else to do. I’ll go and find a Qingguan, to sleep with tonight, hahahaha…”
Not far away, Qinghan crouched on the ground with knitted brows. His face and body were smeared with blood and bruises. Despite his physical condition, he struggled hard to support himself up. A ferocious expression emerged on his face, he roared, “Ye Qingxian, I’ll let you remember this day forever!”
Qinghan was so provoked that he acted like a barbaric bear by raising up his left fist and dashing towards Qingxian.
“Haha, it’s you who should remember this day forever!” Qingxian laughed out loudly, he didn’t believe a word that was coming from Qinghan’s big mouth. He could even kick him away blindfolded. Yes! He decided to conclude this tedious fight by exerting some more strength. Although, bullying others was always his favorite thing, he didn’t have that much energy and strength to prolong this fight. In fact, after last night’s “battle” with the prostitutes, he really wanted to go back to his room and take a nap…”
Looking at the approaching Left Hook, Qingxian narrowed his eyes in a slit; he sneered before he consciously moved to the right side, and lifted his right leg, punching out his left fist.
What? Did I miss the mark? When Qingxian suspiciously raised his head and as he did, he was met by a hostile smile and a large chunk of a brick.
“Left Hook, plus Right Brick!”
The brick slammed on Qingxian’s head with a booming sound, which caused a sharp pain to spread inside his brain. Consequently, he couldn’t see anything except darkness. He fainted almost instantly. The last thought that went through his mind before he fell down, was why there was suddenly a Right Brick! It was always only a Left Hook! Qinghan had surprise attacked him!
– Ah! –
The onlookers were dumbfounded by the result. The second young lord fell down on the ground, while the seventh young lord was still holding the brick in his right hand, ferociously looking at the fallen Qingxian. The cultivator in the first level of the Realm of the Elite knocked out an opponent who was already in the first level of the Realm of the Commander. This outcome definitely changed their understanding of the cultivation theory. Despite the fact that Qinghan gave Qingxian a staggering blow, he had won the fight! It was Qingxian that lay quietly on the floor, not him! Be it a staggering blow or not, it was part of his ability as a cultivator.
What startled the onlookers the most, was Qinghan’s unusual behavior – he threw off the brick and stretched over Qingxian’s body, punching his handsome face.
“I’ve promised you, that I’ll let you remember this day forever…”
“Seventh young lord, please stop. You’ll be in big trouble!” One of the guards stepped forward, convincing Qinghan to stop. Meanwhile, the other servants were all scared to death.
“Hey!” Qinghan raised his eyebrows, “What? Are you going to challenge your master? Do you want to be exiled to the remote places 1.5 million meters away from here? This is a fight between me and Ye Qingxian! I know I was born humble, as the son of the second concubine, but I’m still a young lord. If you don’t want to be exiled tomorrow, just get the hell out of my way.”
The eight guards looked at each other, before wisely closing their mouths. The family rules of the Ye Family were rather strict, no one would dare to betray them.
“Er, I’m not trying to challenge your authority. I’m just trying to convince you, not to get yourself into too much trouble.” One guard eventually continued.
“Hum!” Qinghan shot him a cold smile before he launched the last relentless punch. Soon after, he rubbed his hands and picked the medicine bags back up.
A girl in a white dress hastily staggered towards Qinghan, she shivered slightly due to grievance.
“Eh?” Qinghan could sense a hint of depression lingering in the air, as he started to expect that something ominous was about to happen.
“Brother, mom, mom… Died…”
The medicine bags dropped on the floor, the outer layers of the bags tore open, as tree-roots-like herbs scattered all over the place…
…………: door-gods (门神): A door god is a Chinese decoration placed on each side of an entry to a temple, home, business, etc., which is believed to keep evil spirits from entering.
: Qingguan（清倌）: Women who work in a brothel, but never allow themselves to sleep with men, they only provide customers with performance, such as singing or dancing. We failed to find a proper equivalent in English, so we have decided to use pinyin instead.