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Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
In the south, the Qiushan clan was naturally an extraordinarily amazing existence, but this Qiushan clan head was not all that famous. In terms of both cultivation and knowledge, he was very mediocre. There was even a saying in the continent: all the talent of the Qiushan clan completely fell on Qiushan Jun, so much so that even his father was ordinary.
A similar commentary was also bandied about the capital of the Great Zhou. Although Divine General of the East Xu Shiji received the deep trust of the Divine Empress and had an exceptionally high status in the Great Zhou Army, everyone knew that this was all because he begat a good daughter. When compared to his daughter Xu Yourong, whether discussing talent, military strategy, or intelligence, Xu Shiji was cast into the lightless shadows by his daughter.
There were even many people that were perplexed on just how Xu Shiji and the Qiushan clan head could possibly give birth to Xu Yourong and Qiushan Jun. But this was a fact, just like it was also a fact that the Qiushan clan head's words were more forceful than Xiao Songgong's…because he was Qiushan Jun's father.
In Mount Li, Qiushan Jun was the most unique person; one could even call him an anomaly. In the hearts of this young generation of disciples, he was the only person that could be discussed on par with Martial Granduncle Su Li, even if his cultivation was still vastly inferior to Su Li's. Even the Sect Master to a certain degree did not have as much prestige as Qiushan Jun.
From the Sect Master down to the most ordinary disciple, there was no one that did not like Qiushan Jun. From the most somber Discipline Hall elder to the unfeeling and fierce Guan Feibai to those demi-human servants that had been punished to sweep the leaves in the back mountains for forty-odd years, whenever anyone saw Qiushan Jun, they would always give their sincerest smile and show him the greatest kindness.
Every display of kindness and love was mutual. Qiushan Jun had lived in Mount Li for ten-odd years and had bestowed ample love and kindness to every person that lived in it. And the thing called prestige was like ten thousand brooks forming a river, created from his devotion to Mount Li in the ten-odd years he had lived there. To put it in simpler terms, he had bled for Mount Li, bled lots of blood.
So when the Qiushan clan head spoke, all of Mount Li would quietly and sincerely listen to his words.
Only nobody at this time realized that in that dwelling on that sickbed where that young man who had been in a coma for severals weeks lay, a finger hanging over the edge of the bed began to slightly move.
"This was originally an internal matter of the Mount Li Sword Sect. Logically, my Qiushan clan is not qualified to speak about it."
The Qiushan clan head looked at the Sect Master, looked at the several dozen Mount Li disciples standing in front of the dwelling, and calmly said, "But now the situation is this. Sir Su Li and Qi Jian are suspected of colluding with the demons and stirring bloody rains and foul winds within the Garden of Zhou. And it was my son Qiushan who, for the purpose of opening the Garden of Zhou and because of this demon infiltration, completely exhausted his essence blood. Presently, he is still in a coma, his ultimate fate unclear! I think that as his father, I have the qualifications to stand for him and request that all the people of Mount Li do some things."
These words were said to the Sect Master and the several dozen disciples beside him, and also to the disciples in the other peaks of Mount Li.
Countless gazes, filled with concern and apprehension, rested on the tightly shut stone door of the dwelling. The Mount Li disciples were all thinking, if what Elder Xiao Songgong said is true, that this is all the scheme of the demons… Senior Brother Liang Xiaoxiao is already dead; could it be that now Eldest Brother will also have to pay his life as a price? Could it be that Martial Granduncle really took Mount Li as his personal property and decided to pass down the position of Sect Master to Qi Jian and not Eldest Brother? How could this be okay! If this is all true, then the Qiushan clan's anger is certainly very reasonable.
All the peaks of Mount Li abruptly went silent. Bai Cai's expression subtly changed. He understood that this signified an exceptionally ill omen, indicating that the hearts of the people were gradually shifting. However, even for him, there was still no way to respond to these words, because in the entire matter, Eldest Brother was the most innocent. Even now, he was still in a coma and no one knew when he would wake up.
The several dozen disciples in front of the dwelling all gazed at the Sect Master, their expressions rather complex.
Xiao Songgong looked at the Sect Master and said expressionlessly, "Hand over the Myriad Sword Array."
The Discipline Hall elder said with a voice as hard as iron, "Might I bother Senior Brother Sect Master to bring out the demon woman Qi Jian."
Longevity Sect Elder Jiang was serene and silent.
The Qiushan clan head calmly said, "I need you to hand over only one thing."
Previously, every word of the Sect Master's had been like a sword. Now, it was time for him to bear a rain of swords.
These words which pressed him step by step, the hesitation exhibited on the faces of several dozen disciples behind him, the silence of the peaks of Mount Li—these were all swords. The testament borrowed from Liang Xiaoxiao, the name of Qiushan, the returning of the myriad swords, the transition between dynasties, the Longevity Sect once again holding the south in the palm of its hand, the Qiushan clan's advance into the north, the unification of the north and south, the world united as one…this was truly a glorious and beautiful picture scroll!
As the Sect Master thought about this picture, a slightly bitter smile appeared on his face.
Xiao Songgong had no plans of giving him any time to think. Turning to the several dozen disciples standing in front of the dwelling, he sternly yelled, "Your Eldest Brother has been harmed by the demons' plot! For the sake of letting the cultivators out of the Garden of Zhou, he unsparingly consumed his essence blood to once again open the Garden of Zhou until he suffered heavy injuries and fell into coma! Don't tell me you want to do this thing that would gladden our enemies and pain the ones close to you? Shouldn't you be quickly putting down your swords, or else when your Eldest Brother wakes up and sees a river of blood running down the main peak of Mount Li and disciples massacring one another, just how pained will he be!?"
These words of his were all imbued with true essence and seemed like countless swords. Although the several dozen sword glows in front of the dwelling dispersed the vast majority of it, the sharpness of the words still remained. The faces of those Mount Li disciples grew increasingly conflicted. There were some people whose swords inadvertently drooped to the ground, while there were even more people that watched the Sect Master, hesitating as they waited for his final decision.
Seeing this scene, Xiao Songgong inwardly cursed in the depths of his heart, then he clenched his teeth and used his final method, his voice transmitting to all the peaks of Mount Li. "Today, I violated the laws of the sect, intruded the main peak, and was disrespectful to the Sect Master. I only want the Sect Master to abdicate and bring out the demon woman Qi Jian. I will not receive five years of the Sect Master’s position, this being my proof that I do not covet power, that I am at fault, and that I humbly apologize."
With these words, the peaks erupted in a clamor. Even those Mount Li disciples that were the most furious at Xiao Songgong's conduct were forced to admit that these conditions were enough to express his sincerity.
The Longevity Sect elder asked, "Then the position of Sect Master…who should it go to?"
Xiao Songgong silently pondered this for a few moments, "My senior and junior brothers imprisoned in the sword array will have their own opinions, but if you ask me, it's still…Qiushan."
The Longevity Sect elder smiled. "He's too young, isn't he?"
Xiao Songgong said no more.
The Qiushan clan head also said nothing, only indifferently smiled.
The several dozen disciples in front of the dwelling looked at each other in dismay.
Bai Cai walked up to the Sect Master's side, carrying his sword. He felt very dejected, but he didn't know what he should say.
This proposal was seemingly the only resolution that everyone in Mount Li, from top to bottom, was willing to accept.
At the very least, it could avert that final stage of Mount Li's internal strife which, once reached, would be unmanageable.
Why would Xiao Songgong be willing to pay such a great price? The Sect Master calmly looked at Xiao Songgong and noticed that Xiao Songgong and the Qiushan clan head briefly glanced at each other, and then he understood everything clearly. To see the position of Sect Master of the Mount Li Sword Sect that he had long yearned for but then be forced to submit and give way, and in addition seclude himself in the back mountains in bitter cultivation to atone for his crimes—presumably, the Qiushan clan and the Longevity Sect would have to pay a suitable compensation in the aftermath.
But was this really a resolution that all of Mount Li was willing to accept?
The peaks of Mount Li were all silent. Everyone was waiting for the Sect Master's final decision.
At this moment, a voice came out of the dwelling.
This voice was very weak, yet it was still bright.
It was just like the sky that had been obscured by dark clouds for a very long time: as long as the clouds dispersed, the skies would be as clear and blue as ever.
"I do not accept."