“Inciting a rebellion?” Li Chengfeng laughed in anger. “Look around!”
Chengfeng pointed at the sparsely scattered people in the vast square and roared, “What rebellion? Why would I even do that? Me and what army? Look at how many people are left! Can we even form a battle array?”
Chengfeng had already felt wrong since he entered the court, especially when mistaken for a spy. Although he had an easy-going personality, he had his private concerns. Han Tianxing’s appearance had triggered his long-suppressed inner frustrations.
Most importantly, he absolutely disagreed with Grand Senior Brother’s solution!
“There are so few of us left! If we chase even more people out, you’re not just discouraging the people here, you’re discouraging every person who has ever thought of coming to Hidden Sword Court!” raged Chengfeng.
Grand Senior Brother bellowed, “We are on the brink of extermination! We must make short term sacrifices for our future!”
“Does our future even relate to Han Tianxing?!”
“How are you related to Han Tianxing? Why must you save him?!”
“Because I don’t want any more people abandoned!”
Chengfeng’s shouts echoed across the square. Everyone looked at him with a complicated expression, including Grand Senior Brother, Qin Mieqin and Ouyang Nan.
Chengfeng continued, “Yes, the Hidden Sword Court always comes first, that I understand! And we are on the verge of extermination! But if we abandon one guy today just because of a threat, then abandon another guy tomorrow because of another threat, what about the day after? Hm?”
He came up to Su You and pointed at him. “On the day after, he gets in trouble. Will you all abandon him for the safety of the Hidden Sword Court?”
Su You opened his mouth to speak but his words were stuck in his throat.
Chengfeng pointed at Tianjun. “The next day, we get stuck again, so we abandon him? And him, and him, and him?”
Chengfeng pointed at everyone, then himself and chuckled. “Me? Oh, sorry, I’ve already been abandoned before! I was just lucky I didn’t die! So all of us are expendable, just not you, am I right? Because you represent the Hidden Sword Court? Grand Senior Brother?”
Every word struck their hearts like a hammer!
Grand Senior Brother’s features contorted, clenching his fists, trembling.
Qin Mieqin couldn’t help but ask, “Li Chengfeng, what nonsense is that?”
“Nonsense?” Chengfeng smirked. “Yep, it was all nonsense! But I just want to show you that if you abandon people one by one, in the end, everyone will be gone! Grand Senior Brother, have you ever wondered why Huangfu Song could recruit so many people just from the one time he came? Why?!”
The question hung in the air.
He continued, “That’s right, because we have no future! However, the most important reason is that the Hidden Sword Court does not even protect us!”
These words resonated with everyone. Qin Mieqin opened his mouth to refute but was at a loss for words.
“Do you think they were dumb? Do you think they did not know that there was no future in being a servant at Hidden Brocade Court?
“No, they understood this very well! Anyone who can become a cultivator is not an idiot! But why did they leave? It is because they knew staying meant not having a future, and also the possibility of being abandoned! Some egoistic ones would even call this ‘sacrifice’!”
“THAT’S ENOUGH!” exploded Grand Senior Brother, the green vein pulsing in his forehead, his eyes red. “What do you know?! Do you know how much we have sacrificed for Hidden Sword Court?”
“Sacrificed?!” Chengfeng exploded too. “Let me tell you! The Thirteen Heavenly Swords who died willingly in battle for the good of our court sacrificed themselves! That's a sacrifice! Have you ever asked the people you abandoned? Were they willing? If they were not willing, that is not sacrifice! That is abandonment, betrayal!”
Chengfeng’s words were like lightning striking every heart, for they had the same thoughts!
That was true!
Sacrifice! That was what Grand Senior Brother emphasized the most!
To sacrifice for Hidden Sword Court!
Something they had believed for a long time!
But why must they sacrifice for Hidden Sword Court? Every newcomer always had this question. Was there anything worth sacrificing for?
All because this was their home as cultivators? Because Hidden Sword Court knew they were unable to enter any other courts or sects?
The Hidden Sword Court could not even protect its own disciples, yet each disciple might be abandoned. Who would willingly make sacrifices for an establishment like this?
Other than Grand Senior Brother, everyone fell silent, an obvious change in their gazes.
He stood in the same spot, his expression changing. All this time, had he been… wrong?
Chengfeng continued, “These are vulnerable times, taking Han Tianxing naturally has its risks! However, we all know that risks are also opportunities! To me, this is a very good time! Because we can show the ones who had left the court but secretly regretted that we, the Hidden Sword Court, will protect every person who seeks refuge here. That we will never abandon or sacrifice anyone!”
He scanned the room and enunciated, “Raise your hand if you agree.”
When he finished, Big Dumb raised his hand high, then Zhao Qibai and Qu Tongqiu at the back of the line did the same. Very soon, Su You and Tianjun, who were looking strangely at Grand Senior Brother, also raised their hands.
After a while, An Tong and Qiu Chuqiu raised their hands in unison. They looked at each other, then smiled but quickly realised it was inappropriate so they frowned and hung their heads, avoiding Grand Senior Brother.
After a while, Ouyang Nan also wanted to raise his hand but he had just moved when Qin Mieqin grabbed his wrist. Ouyang Nan was stunned, his temper flared and glared threateningly at him.
Qin Mieqin glared back with equal coldness, not backing down.
After a short stare down, he did not raise his hand. However, Chengfeng had already gained the majority and Grand Senior Brother had noticed Ouyang Nan’s reaction.
Grand Senior BRother privately understood that Qin Mieqin probably also agreed with Chengfeng but was protecting his dignity in this situation.
“So, I was wrong?” Grand Senior Brother’s eyes filled with pain and confusion.
But this was just a passing thought. He looked at Chengfeng determinedly, then at everyone and suddenly, he seemed to age ten years. Although his eyes were filled with the same stubbornness, his aura seemed to fade.
Taking a deep breath and a long stare at Chengfeng, he turned to leave without a word.
At this moment, everyone knew that the vulnerable Hidden Sword Court was now broken once again over a difference of values!
After the conference, they should be united but this disagreement had dug a deep rift between the members!