A large group of disciples approached a sealed chest on an altar in the middle of the Phoenix Manor’s ancestral hall.
“I sincerely advise you not to open the chest,” said Zhu Yinghe, his own much smaller group of disciples standing anxiously behind him.
“He’s obviously bluffing,” said Rong Jing to the hesitating disciples. “Remove that seal!”
The disciples quickly fell in, cutting at the chains wrapped around the chest and tearing away the talismans. A senior disciple, eager to please, lifted the Rong Clan’s ancestral sword from within with both hands.
“Bring it here!” said Rong Jing.
The eager disciple holding the sword watched as his hands were covered in a noxious, black liquid. He watched in horror as the dark liquid seeped in and burned pieces of his skin away. He screamed, dropping the sword back onto the altar.
“Cut it off!” he yelled, desperate as tendrils of black trailed up the veins in his arm. A fellow disciple quickly cut his hands off, but it was too late.
The blood from his bleeding arms turned black, spilling over his golden robes.
“Save—” whimpered the disciple as the black poison sank right into his chest.
On the altar, a dark aura gathered around the sword, misting and bubbling into the dark liquid. As it flowed and dripped over the altar onto the marble floor, the hall was filled with a sweet, rotting smell.
“That…that’s dead spirit aura!”
“Keep your spirit aura activated at all times if you don’t want to be poisoned,” instructed Zhu Yinghe to the disciples.
“It’s impossible to keep that up for long,” said one of the Rong Jing’s men. He pushed the juniors in front of him and barked at them, “Get a barrier up for all of us and take turns to keep it up!”
Tendrils of dark liquid reached the edges of the barrier and began to pool into a puddle. The ancestral hall, built upon a spirit meridian, was now an open channel to dead spirits. The disciples who couldn’t keep up the barrier fell through the cracks, swallowed up by the dead spirit aura bubbling out.
“The Jiutian* sword belongs to me. I’m the legitimate heir and head of this clan,” gritted out Rong Jing, watching in frustration as said sword lay on the altar, mocking his inability to lay his hands on it.
*Jiutian = Ninth Heaven
One of Rong Jing’s elite guards picked up a low-level spirit sword from a dead junior, activated it, and threw it at the spot where the liquid seemed darkest. The sword disappeared into it as if swallowed by the hole. Not even a wisp of spirit aura could escape.
“That’s a dead spirit aura gate,” said the elite guard.
“A dead spirit gate? Forget the sword, my life is more important,” blurted out a senior disciple, scampering out of the hall. The other seniors in the hall panicked and made for the door.
The junior disciples, seeing their seniors run for their lives, abandoned their formation and ran for it, leaving behind the slower ones to keep up the protective barriers.
“You—” snarled Rong Jing, glaring at Zhu Yinghe.
“I told you not to break the seal.”
“You didn’t say anything about the Jiutian Sword being cursed with dead spirit aura.”
“Did you not receive the report which I passed to your subordinates two weeks ago stating that?”
Rong Jing slapped him.
“Don’t argue with me, servant! For all I know, you and Rong Zhong are the ones who set this all up,” said Rong Jing.
He jutted his chin at the guards near him and ordered, “Break his legs and leave him here to die.”
Two guards reached to grab hold of Zhu Yinghe, but he deftly twisted out of their grip. They staggered back from a sharp blast of his aura, and he rapped their legs sharply with his bow, knocking them to their knees.
“Only the leader of the Rong Clan has the right to command me. You mere guards are not even fit to touch me,” he said to the guards, but Rong Jing felt like the words were meant for him.
“Zhu Yinghe—” Rong Jing seethed, and they were interrupted by a thundering crack as the remaining disciples holding the barriers were struck down.
A dead spirit gate now stood in the ancestral hall, summoned by the cursed sword.
Out of the gate came a tall and imposing man. His hair and beard were streaked with grey, but his eyes were dark and sharp. He picked up the ancestral sword and looked at it, his lips curling in disgust.
This was the former patriarch of the Rong Clan—Rong Yaozu.
Rong Jing frowned, and without hesitation, pointed his sword at the gate.
“Stop everything that comes out and take the gate down!”
The disciples who remained in the hall trembled; not daring to point their swords at their former patriarch.
Rong Yaozu swung his sword in a wide arc and cut down the disciples in the broken formation. The remaining disciples panicked and began to run from the hall.
“Eldest young master, it’s too dangerous. We should leave quickly,” advised his elite guards.
“Useless—!” said Rong Jing, gritting his teeth as his group ushered him out of the hall, leaving Zhu Yinghe’s group behind.
“Shall I go to the Du Manor to inform the second master?” asked one of his men.
Zhu Yinghe shook his head and ordered, “Move out to the courtyard and set up barriers. Evacuate the civilians nearby as well.”
“Eldest young master, we need to leave,” insisted Rong Jing’s guards once more, throwing the other disciples into Rong Yaozu’s path to buy them time.
He turned and stormed out of the hall with his men.
“Out of my way!” yelled a disciple still trying to leave.
“The door’s locked!” shouted another, pulling at the knobs.
“Let us out!”
The desperate disciples flung themselves at the door, trying to get it to open, but the door was firmly locked and sealed from the other side. There was no leaving this hall.
“Steward Zhu, please save us,” they pleaded to their last hope, falling to his knees and pulling at Zhu Yinghe’s robes.
“You can die on your knees or die fighting,” said Zhu Yinghe, quiet and cold as he notched his bow.
Scores of dead people from street beggars to renowned cultivators slowly emerged from the gate. There were also beasts among those who emerged, but what stood out was a skulk of nine undead foxes, their golden eyes gleaming in the dim room.
“Even the spirit foxes of Huahu Island are here?” said Rong Yaozu when he saw what was summoned and then to the sword in his hand. “I see. Every creature and man that is summoned forth had been slain by this Jiutian sword.”
“S-save us!” cried the trapped disciples in the hall, falling one by one to the creatures who dragged them to be consumed by the poison coming out of the dead spirit gate.
Rong Yaozu walked up to the last man standing.
Zhu Yinghe stayed silent, his hand tightly gripping his bow.
Two foxes leapt and attacked Rong Yaozu, who swung his sword and flung them off his arm. The dead men behind him pointed their weapons at him, seeking revenge for their deaths.
“Out of my way!” roared Rong Yaozu, unleashing a powerful wave, blasting the doors open and releasing the undead horde into the world.
Back at the Du Manor, Rong Zhong’s cup cracked when he poured himself another cup of tea.
“This doesn’t look good,” he said as he watched the tea spill onto the table.
“Maybe it’s good that you’re not at the Phoenix Manor,” said Di Mie, picking up a fourth cup to add to his juggling.
“I’m worried if Gouzi and Yatou will be all right by themselves,” sighed Qing Lingfeng.
“You worry too much,” said Di Mie. “Your two brats seem pretty capable of handling themselves.”
“Truth be told, they’re facing a bit of a block,” said Qing Lingfeng. “That’s why I brought them along this time. They’re conscientious kids, but they aren’t good at thinking fast on their feet.”
“Then stop helping them. They can’t improve if they keep thinking you’ll help them out in dangerous situations,” said Di Mie, drinking his tea.
“If they still fail the test this year, I’ll seriously consider sending them to the Fallen Leaves Valley for training.”
“I’m so unorthodox that I’m the last person you should want teaching your precious disciples,” said Di Mie.
“You are a pretty good teacher despite what you say,” said Qing Lingfeng, taking his cup back from Di Mie’s pile and getting himself a tea refill.
“So,” said Di Mie, turning to Rong Zhong. “What does your older brother want, to the point that he’d get Du Yicheng to keep us out of his way?”
“He’s probably after the Jiutian sword, our clan’s ancestral sword,” said Rong Zhong.
“And it’s in the manor, even though you didn’t want to mention it to us,” said Di Mie, balancing and juggling a little teacup on his knuckles.
“Mn,” admitted Rong Zhong.
“And it’s related to the dead aura outbreak not long ago,” said Di Mie, flipping the teacup into the air and catching it.
Rong Zhong looked to Qing Lingfeng, who shook his head, his face saying ‘I didn’t tell him’.
“Brother Di, I can’t hide anything from you, can I?” said Rong Zhong, giving a wry smile. “It’s as you’ve said—we found the sword and brought it back to the Manor, where it suddenly began to emit dead aura and summon undead creatures. We have it sealed in the ancestral hall for now until we can decide what to do with it.”
“Given his behaviour lately, it seems he thinks you’re purposely keeping the sword from him,” said Di Mie.
“Sadly, that’s the case,” said Rong Zhong. “He has been looking for the sword ever since it went missing after our father’s passing.”
“I’ve heard that whosoever wields the Jiutian sword is the clan leader,” said Di Mie. “Care to explain how it works?”
“Whoever’s physically holding it is to be obeyed by the clan,” said Rong Zhong. “My father, the previous clan patriarch, carried the sword with him at all times.”
“What are your clan rules regarding the sword?” asked Qing Lingfeng.
“Whoever holds the Jiutian sword obtains ‘Three Powers’ and must abide by ‘One Rule’. In short, the ‘Three Powers’ refer to status, strength and obedience. The ‘One Rule’ means that he who wields the sword must agree to all invitations to a formal cultivation duel.”
“I’m sure there’s a fine print to the ‘One Rule’, or the wielder of the Jiutian sword would be challenged non-stop,” said Di Mie.
“Yes,” said Rong Zhong. “The stipulation is that the challenge fee starts from a hundred gold coins and every repeated attempt from the same challenger will cost twice the previous fee.”
“No wonder your clan is rich,” said Di Mie. “What if a whole bunch of rich people challenge him? Won’t he be busy?”
“That has happened before,” said Rong Zhong. “In such cases, the wielder of the sword can request to hold an auction to challenge only the highest bidder.”
“One must never underestimate the Rong Clan’s ability to make money,” said Qing Lingfeng, shaking his head and sounding a little impressed.
“If someone from the Rong Clan challenges him, can’t he simply order the challenger to step down?” asked Di Mie.
“The ‘One Rule’ has priority over the ‘Three Powers’, so he has to accept the challenge first.”
“Ah, legality,” said Qing Lingfeng, sipping tea.
“All right, I get the gist,” said Di Mie. “That’s why there’s a record of your previous patriarch killing so many high-ranking cultivators, relatives, and even his own sons. I suppose the ‘One Rule’ is mostly kept a secret from outsiders.”
“Mn. This information is spread only among higher-ranking cultivators and the Clan’s top disciples,” said Rong Zhong. “Father made sure his challengers were slain in their first attempt so they could not challenge him a second time. So to outsiders, it would look like he simply killed people who insulted the clan.”
“So,” asked Di Mie, getting to the juicy bits. “Hypothetically, if an outsider like Sect Leader Qing here or myself happens to pick up your clan’s Jiutian sword, would the same rules apply to us?”
“Hmm, as long as you’re physically wielding it, the Rong Clan will have to obey the ‘Three Powers’ even if you’re an outsider to the clan, but you will be bound by the ‘One Rule’ as well.”
“What happens if you refuse to accept a challenge?” said Di Mie.
“If you turn down an invitation to a challenge, a bounty of a thousand gold will be placed on you until you accept the challenge. There’s a bunch of fine print regarding this, but that’s the gist,” said Rong Zhong.
“Ah, the power of money,” commented Di Mie.
“Are you allowed to give up the sword?” asked Qing Lingfeng.
Rong Zhong nodded. “You are allowed to give up the sword to someone else, and that person will be bound by the same rules.”
“That also means you can send a proxy to fight on your behalf,” said Di Mie. “But there’s the chance the proxy might just take the sword for himself.”
“So there’s a bunch of stuff like contracts to keep these things regulated,” said Rong Zhong.
“Paperwork,” said Qing Lingfeng and Di Mie.
“Paperwork,” said Rong Zhong.
A while later, Du Yichen came personally, bearing news of a dead aura outbreak at the Phoenix Manor. He gave them back their weapons and with as much decorum and distaste as he could, kicked them all out of his manor, saying he didn’t owe Rong Jing any more favours.
“Actually, rather than my disciples, I think I’m more worried about someone else we left behind getting into trouble,” sighed Qing Lingfeng as he checked his tools.
“Ah yes,” said Di Mie, adjusting his fingerless gloves.
“Hm? Who are you talking about?” asked Rong Zhong.
“I don’t think I’d be surprised if he somehow ends up with your family’s cursed sword,” chuckled Di Mie.
“Valley Lord Di, please don’t say it out loud like this; you’ll jinx us,” said Qing Lingfeng, a wry smile on his face.
“Oops,” said Di Mie, not sorry at all.
Rong Yaozu cut down one sloppy barrier but there were ten more in its place. He parried arrows and pushed back groups of men with a single slash. But he wasn’t only battling the living.
Undead beasts and men alike who were slain by him in life turned on him, driven by their last desire in life.
Even Rong Yaozu could not contend with an army by himself. Scores of disciples lay dead and dying around him, exhausted and poisoned by the dead aura.
Rong Yaozu growled, his vision blurring as he was covered in cuts and scrapes. The foxes were the most relentless, locking their jaws around his arms and legs. Even if he tore one apart, another would take its place. The dead regenerated as long as there was dead aura around, but at this rate, he could not keep up.
Once he was fairly weakened, Rong Jing’s elite guards encircled him, their swords driven into the ground to form a seal.
“Now!” yelled Rong Jing.
His elite guards swiftly cast a heavenly net over him and covered it in sealing talismans, binding Rong Yaozu to the ground.
“Rong Jing, you dare go against me?” roared Rong Yaozu.
As the seal on the ground drained the last of Rong Yaozu’s power from him, a guard shot a sealing arrow through his arm, breaking the revenant’s grip on the sword.
Without the sword in his hand, his regeneration slowed to a crawl.
“Why aren’t you getting rid of him?” said Rong Jing.
“We can’t unless we can cleanse the dead spirit aura.”
“Tsk,” said Rong Jing. “Hurry up and do that, then.”
The guards looked at the sword, and then at one another.
None dared to touch the sword, so they erected a barrier to contain it.
Rong Jing looked displeased, seeing how the sword was at his feet yet he could not pick it up.
One of the undead foxes seemed to have picked up a trail and called the others. His cry sounded like a long, high-pitched scream. The other undead foxes followed him; some with a torn leg or even a missing jaw. Shrouded in dead aura, they looked like a demonic procession.
“Eldest young master,” said his guard when he realised where the undead beasts were heading. “The madam and miss Rong Ci are still in the west wing. We should go after them.”
“Damn it,” said Rong Jing, leading his men to chase the foxes, leaving the disciples to fend for themselves.
Jiang Tianhong, a senior disciple of the Rong Clan at the tender age of seventeen, led his men into the manor once he heard that there were undead appearing.
He hadn’t been around the first time but thought that Rong Zhong and his steward went a little overboard with the security by evacuating all the civilians and hiring the Border Mountains Sect to put up barriers around the manor.
The Rong Clan, with all their powerful tools and numerous disciples, could surely handle something like this on their own, couldn’t they?
When he arrived, there was a black plume of smoke coming from the east. The ancestral hall was on fire and there were disciples running to go put it out. Most of them were forced to retreat back to the main courtyard by the undead. Dead disciples came back to life to attack their peers, puppeteered by dead aura.
“Everyone, hold your ground here!” yelled Jiang Tianhong.
The other seniors had to grudgingly obey the young man just because he was Rong Zhong’s cousin.
Their hearts sank when they saw a dead man with a heavy axe teeming with dead aura. These weren’t dead who were brought back to life by dead aura, but those who were summoned and brought from a dead spirit gate. These were the undead who kept their strength and mind. They were creatures never seen before except during the Calamity—
“Tsk, where has cousin Rong Jing and his damned steward gone off to at a time like this?” said Jiang Tianhong. “Get into formation, all of you!”
“Help us, young master Jiang!” pleaded the disciples whose barriers were easily torn apart by the revenant’s axe.
The force of the axe knocked away the disciples from their formations. The revenant threw the axe at Jiang Tianhong, who dodged it, but the men behind him weren’t so lucky. The axe swerved around and struck them down.
“What…” said Jiang Tianhong, realising the revenant had the skills comparable to a senior cultivator.
“Come, Rong Clan’s brats. This Elder Black Axe shall take you down to meet your ancestors,” said the man in a rumbling voice, his voice slow and broken. The revenant’s veins were dark, stark against his pale grey skin. He raised his arm, catching the heavy axe flying back to him.
“Elder Black Axe? That’s the cultivator whom patriarch Rong killed in a challenge ten years ago,” gasped one of his men.
“There you are, Rong Yaozu!” cackled another revenant who slashed his way in.
A few more like him made their way in. They looked at the sealed Rong Yaozu and sneered.
“I’ll make you watch us slaughter your descendants!” grinned another one.
Jiang Tianhong felt his sword hand trembling, unable to take a step forward from the immense dead aura coming from these revenants. They were not outnumbered, but none of them was a match one-on-one with these former big names in the cultivation world.
Maybe…he should escape?
“Protect young master Jiang!” yelled his men, surrounding their master.
Shame burned hot on Jiang Tianhong’s cheeks as he watched his men get struck down as they shielded him. He gritted his teeth and steeled his sword, charging out and refusing to act like a coward.
He took out a spirit gem and activating it, pushed back all the revenants in one explosive spirit wave.
The gem’s glow faded, its charge spent.
“All of you, form barrier walls to separate them. We’ll take them out one by one,” he commanded, channelling all of his spirit aura into his sword.
They managed to trap the less powerful revenants, the seniors following his example by taking out talismans and gems to enhance their barriers.
With only the Elder Black Axe to confront, Jiang Tianhong felt like he just might have a chance if he and his men worked together. He dashed forth and attempted to strike the first blow with his sword, but the Elder Black Axe quickly parried him, easily pushing him off with brute strength.
The Elder Black Axe then swung his axe around, bringing down another swathe of disciples.
“Do you have heavenly nets?” came a quiet behind him.
“What the—” blinked Jiang Tianhong, turning around to see a man dressed as a common worker talking to him.
“Heavenly nets?” asked one of Jiang Tianhong’s men. “Yes, of course, but we can only use them after we weaken the opponent—”
“Use them,” said Xie Li.
“Why should we listen to a peasant?” said the men.
“Just do it.”
“Fine,” said Jiang Tianhong. Even if the net was useless, he’d take it if it could create a chance for an attack.
He took out a net made of aura-infused cords and aimed it at the elder Black Axe, who raised his axe to cut the net open before it could trap him.
“Damn, he’s too fast—”
Xie Li pulled Twig out of its sheath, using the momentum of drawing his sword to spin aura threads. He shot the threads through the split net and wove the cords together, bringing it down on the elder Black Axe.
“Pull him down!” said Jiang Tianhong to his men.
The elder Black Axe pulled at the net, easily uprooting the men trying to hold the net steady.
“Go down, dammit!” gritted Jiang Tianhong, joining in and pulling at the net as well, channelling spirit aura into the heavenly net to burn the dead aura around the revenant.
Xie Li duck into a low position and stabbed his sword through the elder Black Axe’s heel. The revenant raised his foot, trying to get the sword off, but Xie Li kick hard on the flat of his own sword and tripped him.
Once the elder Black Axe was down, the men swarmed in with talismans to seal the revenant.
One down, more to go.
Jiang Tianhong and his men kept an eye on Xie Li as they fought, seeing how this peasant used a sword technique unlike anything they’d seen before.
“The way this man moves reminds me of one of the lords of the Border Mountains,” commented one of his men. “It’s similar, but he looks like he’s making a lot of unnecessary movements.”
“Unnecessary movements?” wondered Jiang Tianhong, watching Xie Li spin another round before cutting off a revenant’s sword arm. The sword’s aura ebbed and flowed with precision, but it was as his junior said—he was moving more than should be needed.
There wasn’t time to find out more. He quickly turned his attention back to the matter at hand, ordering his men to use everything in their arsenal on the revenants and undead creatures without reserve.
If one heavenly net didn’t work, they’d just cast another one on top of the first one, using it as an obstacle rather than a finishing blow. They threw talismans and the juniors even threw their precious swords like spears, getting their hits in unconventionally.
“Dammit,” cursed Jiang Tianhong as he took a bow and arrows from an injured disciple. “To think I have to pick up a bow…”
He stepped onto the roof and shot at the targets from a distance. As much as he despised Zhu Yinghe, he found himself copying the steward’s tactics, checking on the formation of his men from his position. This wasn’t the time to be picky when people were dying. It didn’t stop him from cursing with every shot he took.
Now that they had the mindset of throwing everything in, the tides turned to their favour and their morale went up.
From his vantage point, he could clearly see how thorough Xie Li was when dealing with a revenant and followed his example.
“Seal anything that moves! Don’t hold back and use everything you have!” he ordered.
They used whatever they had—using damaged nets as rope and their spirit weapons in place of talismans when they ran short.
Surveying the injured disciples on the ground once the courtyard was under his control, Jiang Tianhong frowned and gave them the order.
“Spare no expenses,” he said.
The junior disciples were but servants of the manor and allowed only the lower-level tools, but with Jiang Tianhong’s orders, even the seniors grudgingly handed over their expensive medicine. To these elites, any one of these pills and charms was worth more than a lowly junior disciple’s life, but Jiang Tianhong decided that this was not to be an issue today.
Rong Yaozu was sealed, but the sword next to him thrummed with dead aura.
“Hm,” said Xie Li, staring at the sword on the ground within a barrier.
“That’s…the Jiutian sword,” said Jiang Tianhong. “Why is it covered in dead aura? The barrier is cracking. I don’t think it can hold much longer.”
“Hmmm,” said Xie Li, a finger on his chin as he continued to look at the sword.
“Get more spirit gems and high-level talismans here!” ordered another senior.
Xie Li poked at the barrier.
“Hey, stop that, you’ll break the barrier and get us killed!” said one of Jiang Tianhong’s men.
Everyone in the courtyard watched in shock as Xie Li reached his hand right into the barrier and picked up the cursed sword. They gasped, expecting the worst, but in Xie Li’s hand, the dead aura around the sword began to recede.
The dead aura in the courtyard lingered but the undead stopped regenerating.
There was dead silence for a while as Jiang Tianhong and his men watched in surprise until a shrill voice jolted them out of their confusion—
Jiang Tianhong jumped and saw a middle-aged woman furiously storming towards them, whacking away any undead creature in her path with a bamboo staff. Behind her was a man with crutches and two others dressed in Border Mountains Sect robes.
This ‘Ah-Li’ turned around at his name being called.
“Oh my heavens, Ah-Li! Don’t anyhow pick things off the ground! Look at all this dead aura—it could be dangerous,” said Auntie Ma.
Xie Li just continued to look at the ground, looking like a scolded child as he kept the sword behind his back.
“Come on, Xie Li, let’s go back to the inn and stop worrying your Auntie Ma,” said Old Niu, as if coaxing a child.
Gouzi turned to Jiang Tianhong and greeted him formally.
“We are Border Mountains Sect disciples here with our, uh, our companions. We apologise for our intrusion.”
Jiang Tianghong reflexively raised his hands to return the greeting but said nothing, too dumbfounded by the confusing scene in front of him.
“He’s got the Jiutian sword!” murmured the disciples among themselves, not daring to point at Xie Li. Every disciple of the Rong Clan knew not to go against whoever held the Jiutian sword.
Xie Li tucked the sword under his arm and started picking up talismans from the ground.
“Aiyo, Ah-Li! What are you doing?” said Auntie Ma, taking the talismans from him.
“I’m looking for something to seal this sword with,” said Xie Li, angling the sword away from her. “Be careful not to touch it.”
“If it’s that dangerous, then just give it back to these cultivator sirs, okay?” said Auntie Ma.
Xie Li shook his head.
“You shouldn’t be wandering about this dangerous place. Come back with Auntie, all right?”
“No,” insisted Xie Li. “I need to finish this first.”
“Oh fine. I won’t argue with you. What do you need? These pieces of paper off the ground?” said Auntie Ma. She threw her hands up in resignation and then joined him in picking trash off the ground.
“You, Border Mountains Sect,” said Jiang Tianhong to Gouzi. “Is he…off in the head or something?”
“Uh…” said Gouzi.
Xie Li then started walking out of the courtyard.
A senior disciple of the Rong Clan, unable to stand it anymore, yelled after Xie Li. “Stop right there! You can’t take our clan’s sword with you!”
Gouzi turned to the senior, clasping his hands in an apologetic greeting. “Please just let my senior be. We’ll return soon with an explanation to the Rong Clan!”
“Ugh,” said Jiang Tianhong. Turning to his men, he said, “One of you, go fetch Steward Zhu.”
“Young master Jiang,” stuttered one of them who was near the ancestral hall earlier. “Steward Zhu was in the ancestral hall. I don’t think he made it out…”
“He was locked in the ancestral hall with the others,” stammered the disciple. “I saw the doors burst open and all these undead things came out of there. A fire broke out and we were forced to retreat to the courtyard. We didn’t see a single disciple come out alive.”
“That sly bastard can’t be dead,” said Jiang Tianhong, storming off. The Rong Clan’s ancestral sword be damned, this was no longer important.
“Young master Jiang!” said his men, hastily following him.
In the Rong Clan’s ancestral hall, Rong Zhong knelt among the burnt bodies and ashes, cradling a spirit bow in his hands.
Phew, this long chapter took quite a long time!
I hope you aren’t put off by the events getting complicated. The next chapters will be focused more on our main CP and hopefully explain most of the things happening so far~
Jiang Tianhong 江天鸿 : Jiang means River, and is a common surname. His name Tianhong means Sky Crane. Just another birdie in the Rong Clan. He’s Rong Zhong’s cousin.