Grand Senior Brother stared at Li Chengfeng intently, his voice low. “Who are you?”
Li Chengfeng hurriedly did the Cangjian Court greeting. “Senior Brother, I am Li Chengfeng of Cheng’an City’s Cleansing Moon Sect. I have admired Spiritual Mountain Sect’s reputation for years now and decided to participate in the great ceremony because I had received a golden invitation. I ranked first in two of the tests, and since I have heard of Cangjian Court’s great reputation, I decided to join you on my path to cultivation.”
What? Golden invitation? Ranked first TWICE?
Ouyang Nan, Sad-eyes and Grand Senior Brother looked at each other while Ouyang Nan laughed. “That is a stupid lie! You think we’ll believe you?”
Li Chengfeng replied hurriedly, “It’s true, I have this golden invitation! And you can ask anyone about my results.”
Sad-eyes looked at him, his gaze as sharp as a hawk. “Why didn’t you go to Cangjin Court then?”
“I have long heard about Cangjian Court’s reputation, and I really admire the seniors here. That’s why I’m willing to give up the luxuries of Cangjin Court for…”
Sad-eyes cut him off. “Tell the truth!”
“I offended the people in Cangjin Court so I couldn’t stay.”
“Who?” asked Sad-eyes.
“The fourth young master of the Zhan family.”
“Zhan family?” Ouyang Nan’s face changed. “Zhan family of the northwest?”
Chengfeng nodded. He was already prepared to tell the truth.
Ouyang Nan raged. “You must be dumb! How dare you run to us when you’ve offended them? Shoo, get out!”
Li Chengfeng’s heart sank. The two people who were tied up were delighted, though quickly looking down when Chengfeng’s eyes darted at them in case they offended this jerk.
When Chengfeng saw the Grand Senior Brother’s solemn expression and Sad-eyes’s furrowed brows, he knew the situation was not in his favour. His mind raced as he laughed. “Looks like Cangjian Court is willingly sinking to rock bottom then? So that’s why I did not meet even one newcomer who wanted to join Cangjian Court. I didn’t understand then, but I do now!”
Grand Senior Brother’s expression turned sour. “You think your little tactic of ‘provoking the general’ will work on us?”
Li Chengfeng smiled. “I AM provoking the general but he can only be provoked if he still has passion and dissatisfaction in him. If his blood has already turned cold, then nothing I say will work. If you’re afraid of trouble, then I shall excuse myself. I just have a few words to say before I leave.”
GRand Senior Brother looked at him coldly without a word, not overtly objecting either.
Li Chengfeng continued, “Cangjian Court used to be arrogant and top of the world. If it wants to regain its former glory, it needs new blood. It is a pity the other three courts have been suppressing you so bad you could not even participate in the great ceremony. If this continues, Cangjian Court will collapse!”
This was just a guess but they were exactly what GRand Senior Brother was worried about.
He gazed deeply at Chengfeng. “You may continue.”
“Although Spiritual Mountain Sect is large, its expenditure is even larger to accommodate the cultivators. If Cangjian Court does not fight for its place, it will die off. If it struggles and fights, of course there will be conflict. Conflict will come regardless of whether you take me in! Plus, while the Zhan family is powerful, do you think they will wage a war against the sect over a newcomer? Or do you mean Cangjian Court will bend its knee and submit to Cangjin Court, willingly handing me over?”
“If it is the latter, then I’ll consider myself blind and dumb to have been cheated by the court that called itself ‘the sword of Spiritual Mountain Sect’!”
Ouyang Nan and Sad-eyes were filled with rage at this point, ready to kill.
Grand Senior Brother said coldly, “Are you done?”
Chengfeng said, “No, but I don’t have to continue. The life and death of Cangjian Court will be determined by you, Grand Senior Brother!”
Sad-eyes snickered coldly, “Young Man, do not overestimate yourself! How will you determine the life and death of Cangjian Court alone?”
Chengfeng raised an eyebrow. “Of course I can! While I’m just one tiny life, I can do a lot!”
Although Li Chengfeng sounded like he was being dramatic, Sad-eyes was curious. “Oh, tell us about it.”
“Although I’m just me, if other people knew that I voluntarily came to Cangjian Court and yet was turned away because you guys were too afraid of Cangjin, that will mean no one else will ever willingly enter your court ever again! Without newcomers, Cangjian Court will cease to exist! Do you really think I cannot affect the entire future of the court?”
Sad-eyes sneered. “Impressive excuse indeed!”
Li Chengfeng replied, “Being impressive isn’t about the words, it’s about whether one can hit the listener’s heart centre! If you weren’t actually worried about the court, you wouldn’t be moved by my words.”
Ouyang Nan raged, “You punk, don’t think we will protect you just because of your lies! You take us for idiots?”
“Your decision will determine whether you’re idiots or not.”
“You…” Ouyang Nan wanted to refute but Grand Senior Brother raised a hand to stop him.
Grand Senior Brother stared at Chengfeng intently, then smiled. “What a quick-witted young man indeed. You do make sense. However, you’re too naive if you think we will protect you from Cangjin Court’s accusations.”
Sensing that there was hope, Chengfeng’s mind raced as he took out the notes from his clothing. He held the money over his head. “I am willing to pay thirty thousand silvers as a gesture of sincerity!”
All three looked at each other, now convinced. After a pause, Grand Senior Brother gestured for Ouyang Nan to accept it. Ouyang Nan took the cash and then brought the two tied men out of the hall.
Zhao Yibai reacted in rage, and before he could yell, Ouyang Nan slapped him. He was knocked out immediately. Ouyang Nan quickly knocked the other guy out with a slap too. He clapped and scolded them. “How dare you impersonate Cangjian Court disciples? You must have a death wish!”
Li Chengfeng’s expression did not change. He realised cultivation sects operated exactly like criminal gang associations.
Grand Senior Brother turned to Chengfeng. “You may leave now, I will get Junior Brother Qin to arrange for your accommodations.”
Sad-eyes watched Chengfeng and Su Yuehan leave, then turned to Grand Senior Brother. “This person cannot be trusted!”