Translator: Zen Translations Editor: Zen Translations
Ye Paopao had thought of many possible reactions Zhou Weiqing would have when they met again. However, he had never in his wildest dreams imagined that Zhou Weiqing would actually just let him go like that. For a moment, he stood there, stunned and speechless.
"Do you still need me to send you off?" Zhou Weiqing glanced at him coldly.
Only then did Ye Paopao come to his senses. Gritting his teeth, a complex light in his eyes, he finally gave a long sigh, bowing deeply to Zhou Weiqing before turning to leave. The knot in his heart that had been there for years had finally come loose, but it didn’t make him feel any better. Alas, there was no such thing as medicine for regret in this world. So, no matter how gloomy he felt, there was nothing he could do to change things that he had already done.
Ye Paopao left, and Ma Qun couldn’t help but say: "Boss, that fellow betrayed you in the past, and you just let him go like that?"
Zhou Weiqing smiled faintly and said: "It isn’t about letting him go or not. In my eyes, he is no longer anyone important. It is pointless to make a fuss over people like him. Furthermore, killing him is of no benefit to us. After all, we are currently still allies with the Fei Li Empire. Alright, go back and eat, see if eating more can’t keep your mouth shut?"
Ye Paopao walked out of the inn, still in a distracted and dazed state. Ye Xuan’er and the others were already waiting for him outside, and as soon as they spotted him, they gathered around him quickly.
Ye Xuan’er’s eyes were filled with anger. "Brother, why? What abilities does that fellow have that you are actually so scared of him? Are you still a man?"
Ye Paopao glanced at her coldly. "Do you know who he is? If I hadn’t come back in time, you would already be dead in there. All of you. I had just gone out for a while, and you all caused so much trouble. If you all continue on like this, we don’t even have to speak about entering the Heavenly Jewel Tournament finals, I’m afraid we can’t even get past the preliminary rounds."
The anger in Ye Xuan’er’s eyes did not lessen due to Ye Paopao’s words. "Brother, have you forgotten the honour of our Family?"
Ye Paopao’s gaze suddenly froze. All of a sudden, he slapped Ye Xuan’er viciously on the face, sending this beloved sister that he had always doted on so much falling to the ground.
"Honour of our family? Do you know, that person can easily destroy our family. You all want to know who is he? Fine, let me tell you. His name is Zhou Weiqing. Not long ago, he led the diplomatic party from the Heavenly Bow Empire to visit our Fei Li Empire. Yes, that Zhou Weiqing. That Zhou Weiqing who defeated the nine-Jeweled Vice Commander of the Royal Family Guards with his six-Jeweled cultivation level. At the same time, he is also the person who led our Fei Li Battle Team in the previous Heavenly Jewel Tournament. At that time, he was only at the three-Jeweled stage. In the entire Fei Li Empire, he is the only one in my heart who can be called a legend. I was once his team member, and I personally witnessed the countless miracles that he created. Who the hell do you all think you are, you dare to provoke him?!"
Hearing Ye Paopao’s words, these youths were stunned. Even Ye Xuan’er totally forgot the pain on her face.
Years ago, when Zhou Weiqing had led the Fei Li Battle Team to achieve the championship of the Heavenly Jewel Tournament, it had shook the entire Fei Li Empire. This was especially so for the younger generation of Heavenly Jewel Masters, he could be considered an idol even.
Zhou Weiqing and the rest of the Fei Li Battle Team, and their series of actions and achievements on the Heavenly Jewel Tournament… it had long been turned into stories, passed down through all the various Academies. How could Xuan’er and the others not know about it? Their respect and idolizing of Ye Paopao was also because Ye Paopao had been part of the team!
Just like what Ye Paopao said, in their hearts, Zhou Weiqing was a legend… and this legend had been right in front of them just now!
Naturally, Zhou Weiqing could guess the meaning behind Ye Paopao bringing all these outstanding youthful Heavenly Jewel Masters such a outlying border city at this time. It was clear that they were headed to join the Heavenly Jewel Tournament. However, this year’s Fei Li Battle Team would no longer be able to reproduce the glorious results of the previous tournament.
They rested for the remainder of the day in the small border city. The next morning, the six members of the Heavenly Bow Battle Team resumed their journey, officially entering the ZhongTian Empire.
They moved on for fifteen more days, at a pace that was even slower than ordinary folk riding normal horses. Still, at last they reached their destination.
In the distance, the giant and wondrous capital city of the ZhongTian Empire in the horizon, with the great pillars that supported the Heavenly Jewel Island, a stunning sight for anyone.
Zhou Weiqing stopped his single-horned Ghost Demon Horse, and his eyes blanked a moment as he drifted into remembrance.
Several years ago, it was this exact place where he had led the Fei Li Battle Team to achieve a miracle. It was this place where he had met Shangguan Fei’er and Shangguan Xue’er. It was also this place where he had received the news about the destruction of his Empire.
Returning to this place of so many memories, but things had changed so much already. The current Zhou Weiqing was no longer the young and green youth. He was now a powerhouse and true leader in his own right.
"What is it, did many thoughts and feelings spark in you? Or are you just thinking of your three Shangguan Sisters?" Tian’er was by Zhou Weiqing’s side and she couldn’t help but teased him.
Zhou Weiqing laughed heartily, saying: "All I guess, I don’t know how Bing’er has been." In front of Tian’er, he did not attempt to hide his feelings and yearning for Shangguan Bing’er. In Zhou Weiqing’s life, not only was she his first woman, it was also Bing’er who had helped him become a Heavenly Jewel Master, saving his life in the process and helping him since. It could be said that Bing’er’s position in his heart was irreplaceable. They had not seen each other for years, and he did not know how her cultivation had been after such a long closed door cultivation. However, no matter what, in Zhou Weiqing’s heart, she was still the gentle, amazing Bing’er forever.
They entered the ZhongTian City. With the experience from the last time, Zhou Weiqing easily brought the others to the same inn they had stayed during the previous Heavenly Jewel Tournament.
To Zhou Weiqing’s surprise, when they were registering to stay, they met Ye Paopao once again.
"Weiqing, you… you all are also here to join the Heavenly Jewel Tournament?" Unlike Zhou Weiqing who had already guessed Ye Paopao’s purpose, Ye Paopao had not actually guessed at Zhou Weiqing’s goal. They had been moving at such a faster speed than Zhou Weiqing’s group, and had already been staying here for days. Perhaps because of the old cherished memory, Ye Paopao had actually also brought the current Fei Li Battle Team to stay at this same inn.
Zhou Weiqing smiled faintly, saying: "Why? Can’t we join the Heavenly Jewel Tournament as well?"
Ye Paopao quickly came to his senses, saying: "Right, you all must be representing the Heavenly Bow Empire. Just a short three years, and things have changed so much. Weiqing, may I speak with you personally?" The last sentence, Ye Paopao had gathered up all his courage to say.
Zhou Weiqing glanced at him, saying: "There is no need. The Heavenly Jewel Tournament is starting in half a month, and we will only be rivals then. Good luck to you then."
Looking at Zhou Weiqing and his group’s retreating figures, a hint of bitterness crossed Ye Paopao’s lips. It was too late to speak about some things, and all of it had mostly been caused by himself. If, originally, he had not rushed back to the Fei Li Empire, spilling everything on Zhou Weiqing and adding fuel to the fire in pushing the Fei Li Empire to treat Zhou Weiqing as an enemy… perhaps this year’s Fei Li Battle Team would still be led by Zhou Weiqing.
A few years had passed, and everyone had grown up, much more mature. The way they looked at things had also changed. By now, Ye Paopao truly realised that what he had done previously, besides the slight reason for his family, more of it was because of his jealousy of Zhou Weiqing.
However, now that he saw Zhou Weiqing again, he realised that he no longer had even the right to be jealous of Zhou Weiqing.
After they had settled down in their rooms, Zhou Weiqing called the others to his room for a short meeting.
"Everyone, take a seat. Let us discuss the Heavenly Jewel Tournament, which will be starting in half a month." Zhou Weiqing gave a signal, and everyone found a place to sit. Tian’er just sat cross-legged on his bed, looking at Zhou Weiqing with a faint smile on her beautiful face.
As time had passed, the original perverted little rascal had grown more mature and stable. Perhaps it was a case of ‘beauty in the eye of the beholder’, and Tian’er’s love for him had influenced her thoughts. However, in her eyes, heart, there was only this young man in front of her. Even if she may not admit it outright, Zhou Weiqing’s position in her heart had already surpassed her father. This was perhaps a real life scenario of the old saying ‘a grown girl can’t be kept at home’.
Zhou Weiqing said solemnly: "We have already reached the ZhongTian City. This time, we are here to represent my homeland, the Heavenly Bow Empire. Although most of you are not original citizens of our Heavenly Bow Empire, you have chosen it to be your new home. This current Heavenly Jewel Tournament is truly very important to me, and it is the best chance for our Heavenly Bow Empire to rise up. With the sheer power and influence of the Heavenly Jewel Tournament, we must seize this opportunity to let everyone know that our Heavenly Bow Empire has returned… returned much stronger and greater."
"As such, we only have a single goal. The final championship." As he said the last sentence, Zhou Weiqing’s words were filled with resolution.
Towards this state of his, Tian’er was the most familiar. Everytime Zhou Weiqing spoke like that, it meant he had truly set his resolve, to accomplish this task no matter what he had to do.
The rest of the group looked at him, nodding, but no one interrupted him.
Zhou Weiqing continued: "This year’s Heavenly Jewel Tournament will be very different from the previous ones. During our journey here, I have already considered it very closely. In the past, the reason why I was able to snatch the final championship with the Fei Li Battle Team… I can say it was probably eighty percent luck. Even for the final battle, if not for the massive dragon, we could never have defeated the other three battle teams with the backing of the Great Saint Lands. Furthermore, the more I recall things closely, even those Battle Teams backed by the Great Saint Lands, they definitely did not send their strongest teams. That gave us a huge opening, coupled with our luck and hard work… only then did we win."
"However, this time will be very different. Before Xue’er left the Crescent City, she told me that all three of them Shangguan Sisters will be joining their ZhongTian Battle Team in the Tournament. In telling me this, she is not just informing me about the decision of the Heaven’s Expanse Palace, but also reminding me that this year’s Heavenly Jewel Tournament will not be so simple. There are likely many political reasons behind this… so we must be ready that we will be meeting far stronger opponents than the previous round. At least, I believe it isn’t just the Heaven’s Expanse Palace… all of the other Great Saint Lands will also be sending their strongest teams… strongest formations. This means that I need everyone to be prepared for the toughest possible fights, not just cultivating, but also preparing yourself in your heart. Of course, as the team leader, I will do my best to bear a larger burden, but I will not accept any failure."
Pausing for a moment, he then asked: "Tian’er, how much money did we bring this time?"
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