Chapter 3: Probing
“Sigh, little sis, come on, I had even told you specifically to talk about your engagement with Qin Lie after breakfast. Yet you just didn’t want to listen. Second Aunt’s entire family was still at the table, you know, so how can it be comfortable for dad to talk about things like that?”
On the mountain path between Ling Town and Herb Mountain, Ling Yushi, who was dressed in emerald green, wrinkled her brows. Her elegant and refined face was filled with rebuke as she softly chided the girl beside her.
The fiery-red leather-armored Ling Xuanxuan was like an ignited gunpowder barrel. She vented her feelings on the rock in front of her as she kicked, shattering it into pieces which flew all over. As her straightened jade leg swung back into place, it brought along a fierce gale. She snorted, “If it weren’t for that Du Fei bastard provoking me, why would I suddenly burst out? Second Aunt? That cheap slut’s not our aunt!”
“Lower your voice, you can’t recklessly speak such drivel!!” Ling Yushi hurriedly berated.
“Drivel? You guys thought I didn’t know?” Ling Xuanxuan narrowed her eyes. She laughed coldly, with a face full of resentment, “That cheap slut married our Second Uncle and stayed at our Ling Town for a mere seven months, yet she gave birth to Du Heng. Two years later, she went back to Nebula Pavilion, and not long after, she gave birth to that bastard Du Fei. Those two surnamed Du are clearly bastards of that elder cousin of hers at Nebula Pavilion, Du Haitian!”
“Who did you hear this from?” Ling Yushi became nervous.
“I heard this from the martial practitioners in our clan who were discussing it in private. You, Daddy, and Third Uncle have always been keeping this from me because you thought I couldn’t restrain my anger and would cause trouble, right?” Ling Xuanxuan’s eyes suddenly turned red as they flooded with uncontrollable tears. She fiercely wiped once, then fumed with gritted teeth, “Second Uncle definitely didn’t die because of some stupid bodily explosion from a fiendish rebound! He was angered to death by that cheap slut’s entire family! Second Uncle loved me the most when I was young, so I will one day avenge Second Uncle!”
“Sigh, so even the martial practitioners in the clan already know about this matter. Looks like a great change shall soon come to our Ling Family.” Ling Yushi was also sad as she faintly sighed. She patted Ling Xuanxuan’s shoulder, then said sincerely, “Du Haitian’s position in Nebula Pavilion is not low, and he is also at a very high realm. It has been said that he is about to break through into the later stages of the Natal Opening Realm. At the moment, our Ling Family cannot afford to offend him…”
“I know that you and Daddy have always been enduring it; I will also endure it too. Once I break into the Natal Opening Realm and also enter Nebula Pavilion, I’ll make him pay this debt!” Ling Xuanxuan said heavily.
“It’s good that you can think this way. As long as we sisters work hard, we’ll have a place in Nebula Pavilion in the future. Second Uncle’s blood debt will definitely be paid!” Ling Yushi nodded as she proceeded to walk in Herb Mountain’s direction, yet she was somewhat pained in her heart.
Even though both she and Ling Xuanxuan were at the seventh level of Refinement, she… was already seventeen years old this year. If she wanted to obtain Nebula Pavilion’s favor, she had to enter the Natal Opening Realm by the age of twenty.
Going from the seventh level of Refinement directly into the Natal Opening Realm in a period of three years, how could that be easy?
Ling Yushi’s eyes were filled with bitterness to the brim, as she also sighed lightly in her heart. Forcing herself to sound cheery, she said: “Dad and Third Uncle are both at Herb Mountain. Talking about this in the dining hall today was not appropriate, so big sis will come with you to find Dad, ask about this matter, and see what exactly is going on with that marriage agreement between you and Qin Lie.”
“In any case, I refuse to be engaged to that fool!” Once Qin Lie was brought up, Ling Xuanxuan’s little face hardened, “I don’t even know what Daddy was thinking. That guy can’t even talk and doesn’t even have a soul. I’ll get bored even if I stay with him for a short period of time, there’s no way I can endure that!”
“I know, I know. Big sis obviously isn’t willing to see you be together with him either. Don’t worry, big sis will definitely stand by your side.” Ling Yushi softly laughed and consoled.
The two sisters were like two beautiful mountain demonic foxes as they softly chatted whilst walking in the direction of Herb Mountain.
After walking for a while, just when they were about to go up the mountain, the sisters’ footsteps quickly stopped, as they both looked at Qin Lie, who had exited Herb Mountain’s caves.
The sky gradually darkened, and Qin Lie left the mountain cave like usual.
They were separated by some distance, but he was currently walking toward them, with that usual blank, wooden look on his face. His gaze still had no focus, as though he simply hadn’t seen the two sisters coming over at all.
“Everyday in these five years were all the same, he always runs around in Herb Mountain’s mines, is this fool related to rats?”
Ling Xuanxuan usually turned a blind eye and pretended he was air, so she never had any adverse reactions toward him. However, when she saw Qin Lie today, she steamed with anger, so she naturally couldn’t be friendly.
“Why are you angry at him? He doesn’t know anything. Sigh, he’s just too pitiful. Now that his grandfather’s dead, he’s been passing the rest of his days alone. Our Ling Family only gives him the morning and evening meals, we don’t even pay attention to anything else…”
As she looked at Qin Lie from afar, Ling Yushi sympathized with a gentle shake of her head.
“I, I know that this doesn’t have anything to do with him. It, it’s just that I can’t help but be angry when I see him…” Ling Xuanxuan was at a loss for words. A young fifteen year old girl wasn’t really this malicious at heart, but she just couldn’t accept the facts.
At this moment, a white figure suddenly came over from the forests to the side!
Ling Family’s Patriarch, who wore the ghastly demon mask, suddenly saw that his two daughters were also there, but due to the huge shock he discovered in the mines, he still resolved to test Qin Lie.
Like the embodiment of an evil spirit, Ling Chengye ruthlessly shot towards Qin Lie, who still walked onward with a blank expression, amidst Ling Yushi and Ling Xuanxuan’s surprised cries.
Seeing the white clothed figure charge over, Qin Lie’s expression was still vacant. Even as Ling Chengye swooshed in with his palm towards his chest, he still maintained his mechanical walking pace.
He didn’t stop, his expression didn’t change, and he didn’t even try to block or counter it.
Ling Chengye’s palm pressed onto Qin Lie’s chest and Qin Lie’s figure was suddenly blasted several steps back. Soon after, he stood up, and blankly looked at the Ling Chengye whom had blocked his path with a puzzled expression, as though he was curious as to why this person had struck him.
This trace of curiosity only lasted for an instant. After that, he started walking again, as though he had already forgotten Ling Chengye’s previous attack, resuming his onward march.
“Who dares to behave so atrociously in our Ling Family’s territory?”
“Masked villain, you won’t escape!”
The two sisters suddenly jumped as their charming faces turned cold. They evenly advanced toward Ling Chengye as two currents of spirit energy that weren’t weak stirred, causing even the wind to howl.
On the mountain path, Ling Chengye’s back faced his two daughters who were not in the know as he stared at Qin Lie with an odd expression...
Even though the fifteen year old Qin Lie’s body looked petite and undernourished, in his palm strike earlier, Qin Lie was merely knocked back a few steps, and didn’t fall to the ground at all.
Even though there wasn’t a single trace of spirit energy in that attack, Ling Chengye knew the power within that strike was enough to cause a martial practitioner at the third level of Refinement to fall, and not be able to stand up for a long while!
According to what he had sensed earlier, Qin Lie’s body didn’t have the distinct protection of a spirit energy barrier on his chest. This meant that there was no spirit energy in Qin Lie’s body, which also meant that he couldn’t be considered a true martial practitioner.
But Qin Lie had withstood the attack without even falling down!
This proved that beneath the idea of the weak looking Qin Lie having a frail body, was an unimaginable sturdy build!
Was it merely his flesh that was strong?
Ling Family’s Patriarch harbored misgivings, but after a moment of hesitation, he suddenly struck yet again!
The sound of bones cracking came from Ling Chengye’s hand as it suddenly doubled in size!
A layer of thin green mist gradually rose from the hollow of his palm. Following the movement of his figure, that green mist also swayed indeterminately like a clump of burning green flame.
Green Flame Empower, Common Grade Five spirit art. This was a secret art Ling Chengye secretly cultivated and rarely used. Even his two daughters had never seen it before.
Middle stage Natal Opening Realm’s Ling Chengye used spirit energy to combust a green flame in his palm and once again pressed toward Qin Lie’s chest.
Ling Family’s sisters cried in unison, but unfortunately, they were still quite a distance from Ling Chengye and could only yell at him for now.
Ling Chengye did not hesitate at all. His twice enlarged palm that was covered in green mist was already within reach of Qin Lie’s chest. He stared fixedly at Qin Lie, wanting to see an unusual change.
A current of turbulent spirit energy that was mixed within the green mist entered Qin Lie’s chest. In that instant, streaks of thin, cold, electric light sped through Qin Lie’s vacant eyes which seemed to never change.
At nearly the same time, the rumbling of thunder sounded in Ling Chengye’s mind, catching him off guard.
It was also at this time that the Ling Family sisters finally arrived, with the intent to aggressively put him in his place.
Before Ling Chengye had time to carefully ponder whether the sudden burst of thunder in his mind and the cold electric glint in Qin Lie’s eyes was just him seeing things, he saw his two daughters about to attack him, and could only grudgingly give up and retreat.
Like a wisp of white smoke, he swiftly flickered a few times and then disappeared within the mountain forest.
“Don’t chase!” Ling Yushi’s eyes glistened, as her tender shout stopped Ling Xuanxuan’s movements. She said with a grave look on her pretty face, “Judging by how lightning fast and ghostly this person retreated, he’s definitely not in the Refinement Realm! He’s not someone we’re able to handle by ourselves.”
She crouched down and looked at Qin Lie, who fell on the floor with a dark green handprint at the place where his clothes were blasted open at the chest. She said faintly with knitted brows, “That person is very scary. But how strange, why would he attack a fool? Could it be a previous enemy of Grandpa Qin Shan?”
As she spoke, she stretched out her jade white hand and used her lustrous fingers to lightly touch the place where Qin Lie had been injured. Then, the doubtful expression on her graceful face grew heavier, “That person obviously didn’t use all his strength, barely any spirit energy entered Qin Lie’s chest, and they’ve already begun to gradually dissipate. How odd, if he really wanted to kill Qin Lie, it shouldn’t be like this…”
Previously, Ling Chengye had his back faced to the two sisters when he attacked Qin Lie. The sisters were still some distance away at that time, so they didn’t see any abnormalities from Qin Lie; they didn’t see Qin Lie’s eyes, nor did they hear the explosion of thunder in Ling Chengye’s mind.
“Yushi, Xuanxuan, go carry Qin Lie back. If you have something to say, wait until I’m back with your father to say it!” Ling Chengzhi shouted as he suddenly appeared on Herb Mountain.
“Third Uncle, we…” Ling Xuanxuan began to shout.
“I know, a white-clothed person attacked Qin Lie. We also saw it. Your father is already chasing him. Go bring Qin Lie back first, lest another incident occurs again.” Ling Chengzhi said, playing the cover up.
Once Ling Yushi heard him say that, she didn’t think about it any further. Seeing that Qin Lie had fainted dead away, she couldn’t think of any other ways to move him, so she had no other choice but to bend over and carry Qin Lie on her back, “Ugh, this guy’s really heavy!”
The legs of the elder sister whose figure was slender and beautiful suddenly shook just as she carried Qin Lie on her back, her bright eyes revealing an expression of astonishment.
“Big sis, what nonsense are you saying? This fool is so skinny, how can he make you feel burdened?” Ling Xuanxuan curled her lips, and only thought that her elder sister was joking around.
Ling Yushi didn’t explain. She turned her head to look toward the youth who was lying on her shoulders. After seeing the face which, contrary to expectations, seemed extraordinarily handsome after the eyes were tightly shut, she stared blankly for a long time.
How strange, after this guy closes his eyes, he actually would appear to be so good-looking...
“Daddy had once said, only martial practitioners who have tempered their bodies to an extremely powerful extent, those kind of people who trained their skin, flesh, muscles, veins, connective tissues, bones, and organs to great heights, could be several times heavier than ordinary people even when weak and thin.” Seeing that she did not answer, Ling Xuanxuan continued speaking on her own with disdain: “Him? Tsk! There aren’t even any fluctuations of spirit energy inside him. Even if he is a little heavy, it would be the undigested food he ate, or maybe he is carrying some kind of heavy object on him.”
Ling Yushi, who was staring blankly and had not thought deeply about it at first, suddenly came around to realization after hearing her say these things. As she looked at the youth on her shoulder, an amazed, ambiguous expression slowly surfaced in her crystal clear eyes.