Ancient Strengthening Technique

 
 

Ancient Strengthening Technique Chapter 955-957


AST 955 – Hu Yanlin, Meeting Lady Duanmu

He was surprised that a slightly cold woman like her would also marry someone. Qing Shui also had an especially favorable opinion towards that seemingly simple and honest man when he saw him.

"Yanlin, this is Qing Shui. A friend of mine and my mother."

"Qing Shui, this is my husband. Hu Yanlin." Duanmu Lingshuang introduced them to each other. She was a lot more cheerful now than before.

"Hello!"

The two of them greeted each other and Qing Shui was checking the man in front of him out. He should be slightly older than himself. He wasn't really handsome, but he appeared to be good-natured and seemed like a dependable man.

He was a fatherly man. Qing Shui could understand now why Duanmu Lingshuang was willing to marry this man who didn't seem to be particularly handsome. He could feel that this man could tolerate everything from just one look.

For a lady like her, she had quite a lot of promising young men pursuing her. But she wasn't interested in any of them. Qing Shui had only interacted with her a little in the past and had never considered any possibilities between them. There were plenty of fine and beautiful women and he had never thought of possessing all of them. However, after he saw this man, he understood how great a family's influence was to the growth of a child.

This man didn't have a powerful cultivation and on top of that, his cultivation seemed to be a little all over the place. This was what Qing Shui had sensed through his spiritual sense. Most importantly, this man didn't look like he was a member of any aristocrat clans. A noble couldn't be nurtured in three generations. He couldn't sense even the inner arrogance of an aristocrat in him.

It was merely a feeling he had.

On top of that, he was still a peak Martial King cultivator. To Qing Shui, he was a little pitiful. Furthermore, he seemed to be very bad at controlling the Qi stance and energy in his body. The man that Duanmu Lingshuang had found was indeed surprising.

"Is this a lad or a lass?" Qing Shui looked at the delicate little fellow and asked with a smile.

"A lad, a lad!" Hu Yanlin chuckled.

Qing Shui took out a brocade box that contained a strange fruit and passed it to the man. "Consider this a gift to the little fellow."

"This…." Hu Yanlin looked at Qing Shui in bewilderment and then looked towards Duanmu Lingshuang.

"Just accept it. Keep it so that the little fellow can eat it in the future. It can increase his physique." Qing Shui pushed it into the arms of the man. He was very fond of this good-natured man.

Qing Shui didn't know if this man was lucky or unlucky. For someone like him to be able to marry a woman like Duanmu Lingshuang, it wasn't too much to say that he had the blessing of three lifetimes.

He must have eaten something good for his strength to skyrocket like this. Even if he married Duanmu Lingshuang, he must've been mocked and gossiped about behind his back quite a lot because Qing Shui could see it from the looks of the guards.

If even the guards from Duanmu Clan were looking at him this way, he could imagine that it was probably worse for the outsiders.

He was able to conclude that this man's cultivation had never reached the Xiantian realm before after he sensed his aura. Thus, he also came to the conclusion that he wasn't the son of an aristocrat clan.

Life is like a play; fortune favors the fool or the good will be well-rewarded!

"Miss Lingshuang, is the Lady around?"

"Mother is around. Let us go in!" Duanmu Lingshuang answered. The three of them then made their way towards the Duanmu Residence.

They continued walking towards that familiar-looking courtyard. He saw that gorgeous silhouette at a distance. It was still as gracefully refined as ever. That silhouette bore an indescribable charm.

"Mother!"

"Mother!"

Duanmu Lingshuang and Hu Yanlin greeted Lady Duanmu. Compared to Duanmu Lingshuang's joy, Hu Yanlin's greeting was more of a form of respect.

"You've return.Yong'er has fallen asleep already." Lady Duanmu nodded at them with a smile and then gestured towards the little fellow who was sleeping soundly.

However, Lady Duanmu's gaze unintentionally fell on Qing Shui, who wasn't standing too far away. She had mistaken him for a Duanmu Residence guard earlier, so she didn't think much or paid any attention to him either.

But now she saw him. By the time she discovered that he was Qing Shui, he was looking at her with a smile. That familiar young face was still so familiar to her, only that it looked more mature than before….

Duanmu Lingshuang held her child, as she excused herself from Lady Duanmu with Hu Yanlin. "Mother, I'm sending Yong'er to the bedroom. Qing Shui, you go and have a nice talk with mother first."

"Sure!' Qing Shui nodded his head with a smile.

Hu Yanlin nodded back at Qing Shui with a smile and then left with Duanmu Lingshuang.

Lady Duanmu smilingly watched them leave before turning to Qing Shui. "What brings you here all of a sudden?"

"Am I not welcome?" Qing Shui laughed, as he looked at Lady Duanmu. She was still as graceful as ever.

"Come in and have a seat. It's been so many years. I am very happy to see you again." Lady Duanmu gave him a smile before turning around and making her way inside the house along with Qing Shui.

Qing Shui happily followed Lady Duanmu into the living room. It had been a very long time since he last came here, but he still remembered. The decorations here weren't much different from how they were before.

"Miss Lingshuang has married?" Qing Shui asked after taking a seat.

"Yes, they got married two years ago." Lady Duanmu replied with a smile. However, Qing Shui could feel slight worries in that smile.

"That man seems quite decent," Qing Shui said while looking at Lady Duanmu.

"This was decreed by fate. Yanlin was an orphan who had grown up in the mountains and possessed great physical strength. Back then when Lingshuang went to the mountains in search of medicinal herbs, a mountain tiger attacked her. Actually, this mountain tiger wouldn't be able to harm Lingshuang, but Yanlin happened to pass by and stopped the mountain tiger bravely. But in the end, it was still Lingshuang who saved him. Perhaps this is fate. The lass who had never shown a pleasant expression to any man all this time actually told me that she wanted to marry this man." Lady Duanmu also sighed when she shared the story up to this point.

"You feel that he isn't worthy of Miss Lingshuang?" Qing Shui smiled at Lady Duanmu.

Lady Duanmu shook her head. "It has nothing to do with worthy or unworthy, only willing or unwilling. I worry about their future. Yanlin isn't really liked within the Duanmu Clan, let alone outsiders. But he loves Lingshuang very much, so he can endure anything. He has been cultivating painstakingly every single day and had consumed an 'Earth Fruit' in between. In just two short years, he is already a peak Martial King cultivator. It's a pity that he's a little weak in controlling his strength." Lady Duanmu explained. Qing Shui couldn't tell how she felt.

She threw Qing Shui a couple of strange glances in between, puzzling Qing Shui. Lady Duanmu knew that her daughter had some feelings towards Qing Shui in the past. But after her daughter knew that he already had a few women, she felt that he was no different from those profligate sons. As time passed, all her feelings had basically faded from her memories. Yet Lady Duanmu couldn't forget about him. Qing Shui had left her a lasting mark that was too deep.

"Then why do I sense that madam still seemed to be a little concerned?" Qing Shui looked at the woman opposite of him. What happened before was a mistake. In addition to not meeting for all these years, the heart that had lost its warmth had grown even colder.

"Lingshuang told me that the man she wants to marry can only have her alone as his woman. She said she wanted to find someone like her father; a man who has only one woman. But men who are slightly capable usually have many wives. I will support her no matter what her decision is. Although Yanlin's cultivation and aptitude were slightly inferior, he has a great personality." Lady Duanmu shook her head.

Qing Shui's face burned a little. He knew that Lady Duanmu had merely pointed out the fact and that it wasn't directed at him. Even so, he still felt a little awkward. When he thought about how Duanmu Lingshuang was looking for a man who would marry only her, he agreed with what Lady Duanmu had pointed out. Most sons from aristocrat clans that were slightly powerful had been married through connections and even if they hadn't, they had quite a few women setting their eyes on them. A person who could be righteous alone in a community where the general moral tone was low was as rare as phoenix feathers and unicorn horns. The power of beauty was no less inferior to a Martial Emperor cultivator……

"Madam, what weapon does Hu Yanlin use?" Qing Shui asked pensively when he recalled his big and strong body.

"He only uses a heavy hammer for now."

"Alright, I have something suitable for him here. I'll pass it to you later so you can give it to him." Qing Shui remembered that his other Thunder God also had hammer skills. He was very fond of that man, so he had decided to help him out and let those who had mocked him slap their own mouths.

"I can't possibly accept that!" Lady Duanmu said reluctantly.

"Am I not your friend?" Qing Shui smiled while looking at Lady Duanmu's graceful and lovely face that showed no signs of aging.

Her face turned crimson. She was a traditional woman and she couldn't forget about the 'mistake' from that time. Her heart was very restless when she looked at the man who had matured so much since then.

She had hoped that Qing Shui would never come to find her again, so that she could slowly forget about the incident as time went by. This wasn't too bad of a choice and was also the most peaceful route she could take.

"I have always considered you a friend. Are you and your clan still well?" Lady Duanmu lifted her head up to look at Qing Shui.

"We're still well. How about you? Do you have any troubles? Perhaps I can lend you an ear." Qing Shui offered, seemingly casual about it.

However, Lady Duanmu could tell that he wasn't just casually talking about it when she saw the look on his face. Lingshuang and she were orphan and widow. Although she was the head of Duanmu Clan, she knew that the people of Duanmu Clan weren't close to them. It wasn't like she wanted to monopolize the position of a clan's head, but Duanmu Clan had no other potential candidates who could be capable of shouldering this burden.

She had worries, but she had no one to confide in. She wasn't going to tell her daughter because she didn't want any unhappiness to befall her.

"I've been good too. What have you been busy with?"

………

They chatted leisurely, like how friends that hadn't seen each other for more than two years would do. Time passed by and before they realized it, it was about noon time.

"You should stay a few days longer at the Duanmu Residence over this visit. You were in a hurry last time. I'm taking you to look around here this time," Lady Duanmu suggested with a smile.

"Ruyan!"

Qing Shui called out softly.

Lady Duanmu's body quivered as she looked towards Qing Shui, flustered.

"I am serious about the things I told you just now. The decision lies in your hands. We are friends no matter what. Best friends. Regardless of what your decision is and when you will make your decision, I won't force you. I hope that you will think about me when you are in trouble. I am willing to do anything for you." Qing Shui was looking at Lady Duanmu, who was slightly flustered.

"Thank you, I will." Lady Duanmu smiled after hesitating for a moment. Her smile was a bit more relaxed this time.

After another moment passed, Duanmu Lingshuang came to the entrance with her child in her arms and called them to a meal.

"Where's Yanlin? Is he still cultivating?" Lady Duanmu asked, when she gently took the child over from Duanmu Lingshuang's arms.

"Yes, he is practicing his fists techniques in the rear courtyard. He told us not to wait for him. Yanlin told me to apologize to Qing Shui on his behalf," Duanmu Lingshuang said apologetically.

"Oh, practicing his fists techniques? I shall go take a look. I'm not hungry anyway. The last meal was not so long ago."

"Then let us all go take a look. Call those two servants here and tell them to keep the dishes warm."

Qing Shui was startled before he let out a laugh. "Well then, let's go take a look together."


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AST 956 – Elegance Could Be Bone-Deep Too, Lei Clan?

Since Qing Shui had said it, Lady Duanmu and Duanmu Lingshuang didn't say anything else. The three of them laughed and made their way towards a remote smaller courtyard.

"I'm just going to watch from a further distance!" Duanmu Lingshuang looked at the little fellow in her arms and smiled at Qing Shui and Lady Duanmu.

"Alright, best to not frighten the little fellow." Qing Shui rubbed the back of little fellow's head. He then walked towards Hu Yanlin, who was sweating heavily in the distance, along with Lady Duanmu.

Ferocious Ox Fist!

Qing Shui was able to identify that Hu Yanlin was practicing the Ferocious Ox Fist with just a single glance. There were quite a lot of people who knew this fist technique because it was a low-level fist technique. However, it was very suitable for him to practice it now, as his cultivation was not high. Besides, the main objectives of him practicing this fist technique was to temper his body and bones and the Ferocious Ox Fist was just the fist technique for tempering the body and bones.

The muscles on Hu Yanlin's body seemed to be very powerful and very strong, but it wasn't to extent of creating a terrifying visual impact. He merely looked very strong. He was panting very heavily right now. Yet his every fist was very serious and could even be considered meticulous.

"If you can't maintain a normal Qi circulation and breathing, then stop. Otherwise, your cultivation is ineffective," Qing Shui's voice rang out, interrupting Hu Yanlin.

"Mother, Mister Qing!" Hu Yanlin respectfully greeted Lady Duanmu and then greeted Qing Shui.

Qing Shui felt very happy in his heart while he watched that smile that was simple and honest. It wasn't easy to be him because the person he married was Duanmu Lingshuang. It was no easy feat for someone like him to just survive with his strength.

If Qing Shui wasn't wrong in his guess, he must've been challenged by quite a number of people. If he refused, he would be insulted as a coward or softballs. If he couldn't endure his opponent's provocation or tolerate that kind of humiliation and let blood rush to his head, then only death awaited him.

It seemed like he should be carrying a very heavy burden upon him right now.

So he strove hard and endured the pain. Hitting the lowest point in life and enduring humiliation for a short while didn't really matter. When one stood at the pinnacle of men in a year, a decade or even a century, he would be able to forget all the humiliation he had gone through. The disgraces from the past would toughen him and broaden his insight…

All humans were narrow-minded and could only see the present and future or even the present only. It didn't matter how glorious one was in the past, as long as they lost everything in the present or was a fool, they would no longer be of any value to the others.

That was why Qing Shui found this man very admirable. He treated the people closest to him very well. If he knew that a person important to him was in danger, he would turn into a fearless wolf.

"If you don't mind, I can teach you another fist technique. It is stronger than this Ferocious Ox Fist," Qing Shui offered with a smile.

Hu Yanlin hesitated for a moment. He was also quite an obstinate man or more like he didn't like to owe others favor.

"Yanlin, you should thank Qing Shui." Lady Duanmu smiled. She knew if she didn't say anything, this son-in-law of hers would be very reluctant to accept Qing Shui's offer. So she spoke up.

Accepting Qing Shui's good will now wasn't as heavy as before. After hearing what Qing Shui had said earlier, she had also come to realize something else too.

There was no need to reject the benevolence of others sometimes. But of course, assistance that had an ulterior motive behind it should be reconsidered. For most of the time, the important thing was to think about how to draw support from the other's assistance to get back on one's feet. Strength was an insurance. It was fine to draw support from those with ulterior motives, at least one wouldn't feel like they owed favors to the others by doing so. They only had to think about how to get back on their feet.

"Thank you, Mister Qing," Hu Yanlin laughed and scratched his head.

"You're welcome. Watch closely!"

Right after Qing Shui finished his sentence, he started to demonstrate the Back Connecting Fist. His every movement was very slow, yet of a very high realm and it also gave people a very deep impression. Every single movement of the Back Connecting Fist was slowly demonstrated.

After he was done with one round, Qing Shui started another round again. This time, he slowed down his movements even more and explained a sentence or more for every form.

Qi from Dantian, connect the energy through the back……

Tense up both legs, put all force in the right leg, smash the left shoulder downwards……

Qing Shui continued demonstrating it a few more times before he stopped to look at Hu Yanlin. "Try it a few times."

"Alright!"

Hu Yanlin replied with slight excitement before starting to practice it. Regardless of everything, he was a peak Martial King cultivator. His Qi stance was fierce and firm, but he paused for awhile in three places in between. But then he still pulled through it and repeated another round. His movements became very smooth in the next round. There weren't a lot of styles in the Back Connecting Fist and Qing Shui had demonstrated about ten rounds from beginning to end.

Hu Yanlin repeatedly practiced it for fifteen rounds. He had to surpass Qing Shui's count as a form of respect to him.

During his final few rounds, Qing Shui would guide him from time to time and tell him when to exert force, the important points and also some things he had to pay attention to in the meridians.

After about twenty rounds, Hu Yanlin was able to feel the benefits of this Back Connecting Fist clearly. The energy and bones in his body had gained some subtle changes to them.

This was the effect of tempering the body and bones and it was surprisingly good. Hu Yanlin, who had stopped, gratefully threw a glance at Qing Shui, but he didn't say anything to express his gratitude again. Gratitude didn't have to be expressed in words.

Qing Shui didn't teach him the Taichi fist. He felt that the violent Back Connecting Fist was more suitable for his body and bones instead of the soft and suppressed Taichi Fists. Now, it seemed like the effect was especially good.

"Come here tomorrow morning. I'm going to teach you something else." Qing Shui was planning to teach him The Tiger Form and hammer techniques. He was planning to develop and promote his Tiger Form, so as long as anyone whom he knew was interested to learn, Qing Shui would teach them.

"Mister Qing, there are no words to express my gratitude," Hu Yanlin said earnestly.

"We're going to eat, are you coming?" Qing Shui smiled, as he looked at the sky.

"I wish to familiarize myself with this Back Connecting Fist. I'm a slow-witted person. I should strike when the iron's hot, so I'd like to excuse myself Mister Qing." Hu Yanlin scratched his head and bowed towards Qing Shui.

"It's fine. You can come ask me if there's anything you don't understand."

"Alright!"

Hu Yanlin started to cultivate once again after Qing Shui and Lady Duanmu left and was even more hardworking than just now.

Duanmu Lingshuang watched the scene from somewhere slightly further and was very happy. She wished for her man to become stronger. Yet at the same time, she was also worried that her man would change after he got stronger. But she laughed when she recalled Hu Yanlin's personality. She knew that he would never change in that aspect.

………

It was already afternoon when they were done with their meal.

"Qing Shui, I'm bringing you to explore Duanmu City!" Lady Duanmu told Qing Shui with a smile after the servants had cleared away dishes on the dining table.

"Sure!" Qing Shui replied happily. Duanmu Lingshuang had excused herself earlier because she had to settle her child. Children of big clans usually had a specialized nanny, but Duanmu Lingshuang insisted on looking after her own child.

When Qing Shui thought about it, it seemed like his women were all taking care of their children personally too. The Qing Clan could also be considered as a big clan…… or at least they could afford to hire a nanny.

Duanmu City!

Qing Shui had visited here in a hurry a few times. At least he could finally take a good look around here for the first time today. The street that was not far from the Duanmu Residence was the most flourishing street in the Duanmu City. It was even wider than the main roads.

There were carriages passing through this street, although they were mostly lavish carriages. Countless manors and commercial buildings lined on either side of the road. There were all kinds of people walking on the road – traders, cultivators, peddlers and commoners, as well as sons from the rich clans.

Looking at the mature and graceful woman by his side, his heart was very tranquil. He had never thought that this day would come and he also didn't know what would happen between them in the future.

Qing Shui felt kind of relaxed and pleasant when he was watching everything around him. It was as if he didn't have to worry about a single thing here. Nothing here seemed to affect him.

"There's always so many humans here. They have their own social circles and are always busy with their own stuff. But in the end, what is all that for?" Qing Shui expressed in amazement, as he was slowly walking around with Lady Duanmu.

"Everyone has their own mission. They are constantly on the move to accomplish their missions. Aren't you doing the same too?" Lady Duanmu replied softly after thinking for a moment without looking at Qing Shui.

"Indeed it is for a mission. What's your mission then, Ruyan? Do you mind telling me?" Qing Shui smiled while staring at the beautiful outline of Lady Duanmu's face.

Lady Duanmu quivered again. This was the second time Qing Shui had called her by her name. She grew silent for a moment before she lightly sighed. "To let Lingshuang live happily without any worries."

"That's a given. Anything else?" Qing Shui was still smiling and looking at the side of her face.

"That's all!" Lady Duanmu turned her head around and gave him a smile.

Qing Shui was dazed by her smile in that exact moment. It was so beautiful, just like a flower blossoming all of a sudden. It was stunningly beautiful.

When he lifted his head again, Lady Duanmu was already watching him from two steps away. Her smiling face was indescribably beautiful and breathtaking at this very moment. That elegant smile was so charming that it was bone-deep.

"Ruyan…."

"Qing Shui, you said that you won't force me," Lady Duanmu gently interrupted Qing Shui.

"Of course I won't." Qing Shui rubbed his nose and smiled wryly.

"That's right. Come, let's go over there!" Lady Duanmu said cheerfully instead when she saw Qing Shui smiling wryly.

Just when Qing Shui was about to catch up to Lady Duanmu, he realized that she had stopped. Turned out that there were three people watching them from a distance up ahead.

As soon as Qing Shui saw the three of them, he knew that there was something to be taken care of today. But he was a little puzzled. Was it another coincidence?

………

There were a youth and two old men up ahead. Qing Shui frowned when he saw his opponents' strengths. Such strong cultivators existed in Duanmu City.

Peak Martial Saint cultivators!

Of course, that was referring to the two elderly men at the back.

The last time Madam Duanmu left, her strength was about 5,000 countries. Now, she was also a peak Martial Saint cultivator. It should be just a short while after she broke through. Her strength now was a little more than one star. One of the two elderly men had the strength of more than three stars, while the other was more than four stars.

Since when did Duanmu City have such powerful figures? But when he thought about it again, it had been a very long time since he left here. Lady Duanmu's strength had already doubled, so naturally it shouldn't be a surprise that some powerful figures had emerged.

Why did Qing Shui have a feeling that they didn't seem to have come with good intentions?

"They are from Lei Clan, who have just moved into Duanmu City a few years ago. Don't offend them because the Lei Clan is very powerful," Lady Duanmu warned Qing Shui softly.

"Lady Duanmu, what a coincidence!" That youth came over and immediately scanned Qing Shui

"Good day, Young Master Lei!" Lady Duanmu greeted slowly. It was impossible for one to tell if she was being intimate or cold. This was just how she had always been.

Qing Shui was staring at that youth because the eyes of this fellow with a mediocre strength had never once left Lady Duanmu's chest. Qing Shui's hands slowly curled up into fists.

"Madam, have you made up your mind? Can we both possess the Jade Dragon Mountain? Madam, you should provide me a letter." The youth looked at Lady Duanmu, as though he could definitely devour her.


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AST 957 – The Wave of A Hand, It's Fine If It's Less Overboard Right?

Lady Duanmu remained silent. It was only then that the youth seemed to have noticed Qing Shui. Although he was a dandy, he had a pair of very sharp eyes. When he saw that calm-looking youth by Lady Duanmu's side, he could tell that he was slightly extraordinary from just a single glance.

But it was only slightly.

"Madame, the Jade Dragon Mountain is ours. Didn't I say before that it shouldn't be shared with anyone else?" Qing Shui suddenly told Lady Duanmu.

Yu Ruyan spun her head around and saw Qing Shui smiling. She had already warned him not to offend them earlier, but why did he still do something like this?. Just the two elderly men before them were enough to raze the Duanmu Clan to the ground. Not only that, the Lei Clan still had other experts among them.

"Who are you to meddle in the affairs between the Duanmu Clan and me?" The youth raised his eyebrows and yelled at Qing Shui loudly.

The youth had gotten used to being arrogant since no one in Duanmu City dared to oppose him. He was greeted as Young Master Lei no matter where he went and was well-served. It was evident that this youth before him was inexperienced. How dare he actually offend him, the Young Master Lei.

"Young Master Le…"

Lady Duanmu was about to say something in panic, but Qing Shui pulled her back instead. "You can't keep on feeding bones to an ignorant dog like this. The more you feed it, the harder it will bite. The best thing you can do is to get rid of it by beating the hell out of it."

"Sigh, Qing Shui!" Lady Duanmu sighed and reprimanded Qing Shui. Right now, she was a little out of her wits. She knew that Qing Shui's current strength had perhaps improved immensely to almost the same as the two elderly men across them and that he would be able to defeat them. But it was the other people of the Lei Clan that she was worried about.

"Brat, you sure have some balls to actually be calling the Lei Clan dogs. The Duanmu Clan will also suffer a calamity because of your words. Kill this little bastard." The youth spat at Qing Shui sinisterly. Maybe he was actually this angry right now because no one had ever treated him this way.

Qing Shui stared at him coldly, as though he was staring at a dead person. This youth was way more inferior to Mo Zitong. He was also 18,000 li behind Gu Wu of the Poison Mountain Stockade, in terms of his accomplishments, cultivation and manners. They were of a totally different level.

The two elderly men rushed towards Qing Shui. Right now to Qing Shui, anyone with the strength of less than five stars was no different from an ant. He looked at one of the elderly men. A golden light flashed across his eyes within an instant.

Buddha’s True Eyes!

The elderly man on the left pathetically collapsed on the floor immediately as if he had been struck by lightning, with blood coming out of his mouth. He looked at Qing Shui in disbelief, his eyes were filled with terror. The other elderly man on the other side was already approaching Qing Shui. His extended arm clawed towards Qing Shui's throat like an iron claw.

But he was distracted by the scream of the other elderly man. He hurriedly withdrew when he sensed the immense dangerous aura. But at that exact moment, Qing Shui landed a blow on his arm with a wave of his right hand.

Kacha!

The ear-piercing noise of bones shattering made one's teeth ache and it was accompanied by the blood-curdling scream of the elderly man. He was sent flying with blood staining his clothes crimson. It was uncertain if the blood was from his mouth or his arm. Qing Shui was guessing it was probably both.

He had immediately crippled the two elderly men in just a flash.

Lady Duanmu and the other people around them were flabbergasted. They were completely dazed. Those two elderly men were from the Lei Clan. Not only that, they were also the experts from Lei Clan. But now, they had just witnessed how they were easily struck down by a youth. Just what was this strength…

Lady Duanmu initially thought that Qing Shui was only slightly stronger than those two elderly men. She didn't expect his strength to be that much higher than them. It was on a completely different level.

"Since when did the Duanmu Clan have such a powerful cultivator?"

"Who is he to Lady Duanmu? He actually laid a finger on the Lei Clan for Lady Duanmu. But he is really powerful. This is getting exciting." There were bound to be some people who were dissatisfied that the altercation wasn't bad enough to have any casualties.

"Lady Duanmu has only a daughter and she has been married. There's no cultivator as strong as him in the Duanmu Clan. Lady Duanmu is a peerless beauty. Do you think they are……"

"Ma Liu, if you still don't stop yapping then you might not even know how you died," a stern-looking fatty hushed him in a soft voice.

………

"You're Young Master Lei, right?" Qing Shui frowned and looked at the youth who was about to pee on himself before him. This well-dressed trash was nothing if he didn't have his clan's background to rely on.

"Don't come near me. I am the young master from Lei Clan. My clan will not let you get away if lay a finger on me……."

Boom!

The youth was sent tumbling and flying, his teeth were knocked out in midair. His blood-curdling scream was mournful and shrill. Qing Shui smiled in disdain as he watched the youth that was howling in agony and the elderly men. "I don't want to kill anyone today. Bring this message to your clan's head, tell him to come to the Duanmu Clan with an apology tomorrow. Otherwise, he will face the consequences. Now scram."

The youth had passed out long ago. It took only one slap across his face to knock out all the teeth in his mouth. This was because Qing Shui didn't intend to kill him, otherwise he would have immediately smashed his head in.

The first elderly man and the other one who had one of his arms crippled picked up the unconscious youth and left hastily. Qing Shui was currently thinking about his next plan.

"That felt so good. The Duanmu Clan is different after all. How horrible of this Lei Clan to actually be thinking about suppressing the Duanmu Clan here. They're really courting death." Someone made cynical remarks as soon as the Lei Clan left and they were quite loud about it.

"That's right. The Duanmu Clan didn't want to lay a finger on them before, but then they were actually bold enough to be insolent with them. It's good that they know their place now after getting their ass whooped."

"Do you think the Lei Clan's head will go to the Duanmu Clan and apologize tomorrow?" a thief-like youth who was holding a worn out knife said.

"Yes. Maybe the Lei Clan will even go to the Duanmu Clan before tomorrow," a middle-aged man said smilingly.

Many got what the middle-aged man was trying to say. The Lei Clan would definitely not take things lying down with the Duanmu Clan. An apology was unlikely, but a battle was guaranteed.

……….

"Madame, let us return!" Qing Shui smiled at Lady Duanmu.

Although many addressed her as 'madame', which was an honorific, she was always flustered when it was Qing Shui calling her that. She nodded before sighing lightly once again.

Qing Shui and Lady Duanmu left. The crowd around here dispersed too. But of course, many were still discussing some things among themselves. Some even went to somewhere near the Duanmu Residence, waiting to see what was going happen next.

"Let me say this. Things may have already turned out like this but don't you worry. The Lei Clan is nothing," Qing Shui laughed. Although he wasn't really clear about the Lei Clan, he knew that they could hardly amount to anything.

"Qing Shui, the Lei Clan is very powerful. Why did you still go and get yourself involved with them?" Lady Duanmu was at loss of what to say. She knew that the incident today was bound to happen, she just didn't expect that Qing Shui would be here.

That profligate son of the Lei Clan had his eyes set on the Duanmu Clan for a very long time or more like on Lady Duanmu. Lady Duanmu was aware of that too and she had been stalling. She knew that this day would definitely come sooner or later and when that time came, it would all be about the choices she would make.

To be toyed around with by the strong in the palm of their hand might be fun to them or could satisfy their selfish desire, but it was a catastrophe to the weak.

She looked at Qing Shui. He had become mature when she had not seen him for these past few years. He wouldn't act recklessly. He was already very mature back then. Thinking up to this point, a glimmer of hope appeared in Lady Duanmu's heart.

"Can You really oppose the Lei Clan?" Her voice was filled with joy and anticipation, mostly the latter.

"Why don't we make a bet?" Qing Shui smiled at Lady Duanmu who had a slightly dejected expression on her face.

"On what?" Lady Duanmu turned her head as she walked slowly.

"If I can settle this issue with the Lei Clan without a hitch. How about that?"

"Sure!" When Lady Duanmu thought about it, if Qing Shui couldn't settle this then only elimination awaited her. The entire Duanmu Clan might also disappear. If Qing Shui could settle this, then it was a chance for everything here to start fresh again. So there was no point in gambling about this. But she still nodded in agreement when she saw how Qing Shui seemed to be in high spirits.

"If I lose, that will spell the end for everyone. So we're not going to talk about how to compensate you if I have lost because we'll die together if that happens," Qing Shui laughed while looking at Lady Duanmu.

Lady Duanmu grew silent. She didn't say anything else after she heard Qing Shui's words. Her heart felt very heavy.

"If we can't stay together when we are alive, then it isn't too bad to die in the same hole!" Qing Shui laughed.

"Qing Shui……"

"Alright, that's enough. Let's talk about how you're going to reward me if I managed to settle this," Qing Shui said with a smile.

The two of them walked along the road to the lake area. There were many people around them. But since Lady Duanmu was very well-known, most people wouldn't approach them because anyone could tell that she wasn't in a good mood right now.

"How would you like me to reward you?" Lady Duanmu blushed and averted her gaze when she saw Qing Shui's coquettish gaze. Even her speech lacked confidence.

Looking at the mature woman who seemed a little like a delicate girl right now, Qing Shui was quite shocked. She was no longer a naive lady. In fact, she was the most mature and graceful woman Qing Shui had ever seen. But she seemed to be kind of bashful now. After all, she had stayed a widow for so many years and they had done it once in between. Although it was something compelled by the situation, there was no changing the things that had happened. Scars that were left from some things wouldn't fade, no matter how much time passed.

"Am I that scary?" Qing Shui rubbed his nose and laughed awkwardly.

"If you manage to settle this, I will give you any reward you ask for. But don't go overboard," Lady Duanmu said softly.

"Alright, I won't. So it'll be fine if it's less overboard right?" Qing Shui chuckled mischievously.

Lady Duanmu was speechless.

………

When they returned home, they saw some people rolling their eyes at them from time to time, especially at Qing Shui when they passed by the Duanmu Residence.

News had already traveled to the Duanmu Clan. Some people from the Duanmu Clan actually escaped. Many servants and some nurses of the Duanmu Clan had already started fleeing as well.

One of the middle-aged men was carrying something on his back, but immediately dropped his stuff on the floor when he saw Lady Duanmu who had returned. He was standing there blankly with a pale face.

Lady Duanmu walked over without saying anything. She picked the stuff up and helped to put it on the man's back once again. This person only possessed the strength of a Xiantian cultivator. He didn't own an Interspatial Silk Sachet, so he had to carry one big sack of his belongings.

"Madame……" The man stammered nervously.

"Go, go!" Lady Duanmu inserted a money pouch into the bag he was carrying and then went inside with Qing Shui.

"Why didn't you kill that person who escaped earlier?" Qing Shui calmly asked with a smile.

"Why kill? Such is human nature. Why force someone to do something. I know this man. He has old and young at home. I am very glad that he left." Lady Duanmu was searching for a room with Qing Shui.

Qing Shui smiled wordlessly. He was neutral about Lady Duanmu's way of handling matters.

"Are you thinking about how a woman's heart isn't hard enough to accomplish anything?" Lady Duanmu turned around and laughed at Qing Shui when they arrived at the entrance to a bedroom.


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