Zhou Guangfa prostrated on the ground, trembling, he was unsure out of the humiliation of fear. He declared, “Our Zhou clan must welcome the saviours properly! We have a delightful feast ready for you, please let us return the favour by enjoying this meal with us so we can properly thank you!”
Chengfeng put down the head in his hand, half-smiling, “Oh? The Zhou patriarch must be really good at fortune-telling. You knew we were coming and even prepared a feast? This is just great! Hahahaha!”
Zhou Guangfa lifted his head slightly and forced a smile, “You do not know this but our Zhou clan has been waiting every night for our Spiritual Mountain saviours to come! You all really did grace us with your presence, saving us from a fiery disaster! If we didn’t do anything to repay your kindness, even the gods would anger, and we would be more worthless than pigs and dogs, no?”
Chengfeng smiled, “We came uninvited, and it is the middle of the night. I don’t think it’s appropriate for us to disturb the Zhou clan and wake you all up?”
Zhou Guangfa kowtowed heavily, “Please let us thank you properly! Please!”
Chengfeng stroked his chin. “Oh? But we come from far away, our people are tired. We just want to go back and report to our sect, to end this case quickly…”
Zhou Guangfa quickly replied, “Our feast will be a good time to discuss our missed payments. There’s a saying that goes, a table of wine is a good place to talk, we will definitely work something out. I am certain the negotiations will satisfy you!”
Chengfeng thought for a moment, then nodded. “Alright, lead the way!”
Zhou Guangfa sighed in relief, lifting his head. His forehead had dirt and blood on it but his face was full of smiles. Compared to the stiffness and humiliation from before, he quickly immersed himself into the role. Welcoming guests and pleasing them was his forte anyway.
He smiled apologetically, “That’s good, that’s good!” As he spoke, he scrambled up quickly and displayed the regality of a Zhou patriarch once more, yelling, “What are you all still here for? Go get the feast ready now!”
All the guards and subordinates were stunned for a moment. Thank goodness for the usual strict training and efficiency, for they gathered together with groans and supported the injured, all looking down with servitude. There was not a single look of defiance towards Chengfeng.
Zhou Guangfa took one look at Guangcai, then instructed in a low voice, “Watch them well, settle the injured guards. I’ll greet them, you don’t have to come by later.”
Guangcai’s mouth opened but did not say anything in the end. He turned to instruct the butler, who herded the handmaidens and guards away.
Chengfeng followed the smiling patriarch away. The Zhou clan even pulled out stretchers to carry Blockhead, Su You and the rest to be treated for their injuries.
In the beginning, Ouyang Nan did not let the Zhou clan take them away out of caution but Chengfeng waved with a smile, gesturing that there was nothing to worry about.
Ouyang Nan stepped forward and whispered, “Junior Brother Chengfeng, I’m afraid… this is not a feast of goodwill! Didn’t you see the hatred in the patriarch’s eyes?”
Chengfeng whispered back, “If this were you, someone else came uninvited and unleashed a massacre in your house, then forced you into subjugation, wouldn’t your eyes be filled with hatred too? I would be cautious if they were not furious.”
Ouyang Nan was silent for a while, then whispered, “Aren’t you afraid the Zhou clan would use Su You and the rest as hostages against us?”
Chengfeng smiled confidently, “As long as they are not stupid, they would not do something as reckless as this! You must always kill the ringleader first. If they really wanted to harm us, they would kill you and I first.”
Ouyang Nan asked, “Right, so why must we go for the feast? This is the time to rest and sleep. What if they poison our food, would we not be killed?”
Chengfeng smiled, “Some risks have to be taken! But you are right, don’t go to the feast. I will go alone. You should lead Tian Jun and Tianxing over to care for Senior Su and Senior He.”
“That makes sense! Alright!”
“Do not drink or eat any food and water the Zhou clan serves! Get Xiaobao to bring you some.”
Ouyang Nan nodded. “What about you? Are you going to eat at the feast?”
Chengfeng smiled. “I’ll be fine, don’t worry about me.” Then, he took a look at the timid Han Tianxing and patted his shoulder with a grin. “Tianxing, I know about it all, you did well! Very good!”
Han Tianxing shook violently, his eyes reddened with a shaky voice, “I- I didn’t finish my job! I have disappointed you all!”
Chengfeng smiled. “I was so scared I peed my pants the first time!”
Xiaobao couldn’t stifle his laughter but Chengfeng turned to kick his bottom, glaring, “Don’t you dare think I wouldn’t hit you even after today.”
Han Tianxing whispered awkwardly, “Actually… I… have also peed my pants.”
Tian Jun and the rest snickered, especially Blockhead and Su You who were more severely injured. They had only bandaged their wounds lightly and one laugh caused their wounds to rip and bleed again.
On this cool night, after the major battle, the Hidden Sword Court brothers who had escaped death laughed together. They patted each other’s shoulders, punching each other in the arm-- or gently touching in fear of worsening the injury.
Especially Han Tianxing, even the pickiest Ouyang Nan walked up to him and punched his shoulder heavily, then knitted his brows, “You’re as weak as a chick!”
Han Tianxing paled, his lips trembled but Ouyang Nan quickly grinned, “I’ll train you properly when you get back! You won’t run away this time!”
Han Tianxing’s face reddened, nodding heavily. Everyone else who could move came to tousle his hair.
Especially Tian Jun, who snickered, “Not bad, Tianxing! I didn’t know a gentle man like you was so vicious! That was impressive!”
His face turned red. “I-I panicked and - I’m not sure what happened, I don’t remember anything.”
Tian Jun smiled, “Don’t worry, I was like this my first time too!”
Chengfeng smiled, “You peed your pants too?”
Su You, whose face was as pale as a sheet, whispered, “You didn’t pee your pants, you pooped!”
Tian Jun leapt, “You’re one to talk! Who puked all over the floor?!”
Everyone laughed heartily while Blockhead spoke in agony, “My dear brothers, please do not make me laugh, if I laugh anymore, I will be the first cultivator to die of laughter!”
A large puddle of blood had soaked through his wound, scaring Tian Jun into wrapping him with more bandages.
Everyone stifled their laughter, watching with concern as Tian Jun changed his bandages. Not far away, the Zhou subordinates watched them with cold hatred but they ignored them, chatting happily away. They joked lightly despite being deep in enemy camps.
At this moment, a deep camaraderie bonded them tightly together, their relationships stronger than ever.
This brotherhood was unbreakable, they were not blood family but this relationship was stronger than family!
Chengfeng savoured this moment. He lifted his head and looked up at the white moon, smiling, “We will return safely!”
Everyone believed him deeply, nodding in unison.
However, no one noticed a shadow in the darkness, her sharp gaze taking in everything. Strange excitement shone from her eyes. When her silhouette disappeared in a flash, a hint of fire-red hair could be seen!