Zhou Jieyi glared at Li Chengfeng, gritting his teeth. “Li Chengfeng, does that mean the Hidden Sword Court is declaring war against the Hidden Modesty Court?”
This sentence shook Li Chengfeng to his core, knowing that he could not bear such responsibility but he reacted quickly by smirking. “Can YOU even speak for the Hidden Modesty Court?”
Jieyi replied indignantly, “You’re harbouring a court traitor of us, that means you bear enmity towards us, and that is a declaration of war! Then the one thousand three hundred and thirty-four members of Hidden Modesty Court will be enemies of Hidden Sword!”
Chengfeng stared at him for a long time, then broke into a smile. “I will report this to the Martial Uncles. If they can’t make a just decision, I will go to the Sect Master! I am sure reason will always prevail in this world!”
Jieyi guffawed. “Reason? The world only works by survival of the fittest, what do you mean reason? If the Hidden Sword Court were powerful, we’ll stay away naturally! But right now? You’re on the verge of extinction, what right do you have to bargain with us? Li Chengfeng, listen to my advice and stay out of this. Don’t you ruin the relationship between two parties over a traitor!”
Chengfeng stared at him coldly without a word, Jieyi felt hairs stand on his neck.
Zhou Jieyi’s eyes darted at one of his cultivators, who bravely stepped forward to grab Han Tianxing away, yelling, “Go, traitor. Time for you to face death!”
While Han Tianxing paled, he laughed eerily, struggling to kowtow to Li Chengfeng as he sobbed. “Thank you, my saviour, for standing up for me. It is a miracle! Just pretend you never met me then! If you have time, may I trouble you to visit White Horse Hill in Ningyuan City? There is a crooked tree in front of my house, and if you have time, pass my mother a message: your son apologises for being unfilial and a disappointment! Your son shall be a cow or a horse for you in his next lifetime, mother, to repay you for all your kindness!”
Then, with a knock-knock-knock, he kowtowed three times.
Chengfeng and Xiaobao’s eyes reddened, welling up while Su Yuehan frowned hard.
Zhou Jieyi burst into laughter. “Han Tianxing, that’s enough for today! Get up and let’s go! Don’t waste time!”
With Chengfeng’s temper of a donkey, if they had been polite and logical, Chengfeng might not have stepped in. However, since they were so rude, he decided that they must be in the wrong. His temper flared.
Chengfeng grabbed the scholar up and pulled him behind himself, clenching his jaw. “Zhou Jieyi, I suspect you all of bullying a fellow disciple, I shall lodge a complaint to the Martial Uncles!”
Zhou Jieyi raged and was about to speak when a voice came, “What’s going on here!”
Everyone turned to see Grand Senior Brother and Qin Mieqin hurrying over.
Grand Senior Brother looked dignified, his sharp gaze scanning the scene. Chengfeng saw Jieyi about to open his mouth when he spoke first, “Grand Senior Brother, the Hidden Modesty Court is abusing their new juniors. This junior could not bear it anymore, and to escape death, he is coming to seek refuge in Hidden Sword Court! Grand Senior Brother, please take him in!”
Jieyi roared furiously, “Li Chengfeng, do not twist the story! He is a traitor of the Hidden Modesty Court, how we deal with him is our business! You Hidden Sword Court people have no right to give your opinion on it!”
Chengfeng yelled immediately, “How rude, is that how you speak to Grand Senior Brother? That’s insubordination and defiance against authority! How should we punish you?!”
Jieyi was at a loss for words, gritting his teeth as he fell on one knee in Grand Senior Brother’s direction. “Grand Senior BRother, I was just too emotional. Please forgive me for lashing out!”
Ignoring Jieyi, Grand Senior Brother turned to Chengfeng and said coldly. “Li Chengfeng, after your antics at the conference, have you become so full of yourself that you think you can speak for the Hidden Sword Court?”
Chengfeng’s face fell and gasped, “Grand Senior Brother, I did not mean that…”
Grand Senior Brother scolded, “You didn’t? Then why did you offer to take him in?”
“Grand Senior Brother, he is seeking refuge in our court, aren’t you going to save a person in need?”
“Are we going to save every person who comes to us?”
“Grand Senior Brother! The Hidden Sword Court is currently on the verge of collapse! If we do not uphold our values, that will be terrible for morale and loyalty! If this spreads, who will enter our court ever again?”
Grand Senior Brother glared at him. “Loyalty? Does the Hidden Sword Court still have… loyalty?”
Chengfeng said decisively, “Yes! As long as we’re here, the loyalty is here!”
“What’s this got to do with him then?”
“You mean our Hidden Sword Court will only ever contain us?!”
Grand Senior Brother huffed. “After the storm passes, we will naturally have newcomers!”
The meaning behind this was clear to Chengfeng: why should we put the Hidden Sword Court, which is already in a precarious situation, in more danger over a Hidden Modesty Court traitor?
Chengfeng was even more furious when he heard this, suddenly thinking about how Grand Senior Brother had abandoned him in Shiwu mountain. If it wasn’t because Grand Senior Brother was on the same boat as him, he would not have stuck up for him at the conference, even rubbing salt in his wound if he could!
All their past grievances surfaced in his mind as he yelled, “Grand Senior Brother, have you heard of this quote?”
Grand Senior Brother turned away. “I don’t want to hear it!”
“I will say it even if you refuse to listen! BEcause I’m the only one who dares speak in the entire Hidden Sword Court!
“You can give up on this person today, then abandon another tomorrow but have you thought that in the end, you would have abandoned everyone?! Have you forgotten the day so many people left our precept hall? Do you think they had only just realised how hopeless the Hidden Sword Court was?
“No, you were the one who forced them out! Because you had already abandoned them in your heart!”
Every single word hit close to home!
Qin Mieqin looked at Grand Senior Brother worriedly, about to speak when Grand Senior Brother’s eyes darted slightly at him, effectively silencing him with a glare.
Grand Senior Brother turned to Li Chengfeng. After a pause, he said, “He may stay but only for a night. Tomorrow morning, send him out of Hidden Sword Court to be dealt with by Martial Uncle.”
“Grand Senior Brother, that’s the same as sending him to die…”
He wanted to speak but Grand Senior Brother suddenly roared, “That’s ENOUGH!” Then, he took the HIdden Sword Court ring off his finger and tossed it at Chengfeng’s feet. “Why don’t you become acting Court Master then?! I’ve had enough of this anyway!”
Speechless, Chengfeng glared at Grand Senior Brother furiously then turned to leave. He did not dare look at Han Tianxing’s expression either, fleeing like a soldier from a battle.
Zhao Xiaobao and Su Yuehan looked at each other. Yuehan gestured for him to help Han Tianxing up, then brought him to the Hidden Sword Court.
Zhou Jieyi wanted to say something but in the end, merely bowed. “Then we shall meet at the great hall tomorrow morning!” He then left with the other disciples.
Chengfeng sprinted wildly to his quarters with nowhere to vent his pent up anger. He rushed to the little forest he planted outside his house, then kicked and punched a young tree until it broke. He vented and screamed, “That bastard! That selfish bastard! Heartless! INhumane!”
After a while, he saw Su Yuehan watching worriedly. Chengfeng cursed, “I didn’t know how heartless he could be! I shouldn’t have saved him!”
Su Yuehan stepped forward to hug him gently, which proved to be a magical hug because he calmed down. “What are you going to do now? Are you going to help Han Tianxing?”