One month later, under Yang Kai’s repeated assaults, the Ash-Grey Cloud Evil Land suffered several dozen casualties and at the command of Demon Lord Yang Bai had pulled back their forces and no longer took the initiative to attack.
With Yang Kai’s mansion suppressing the Ash-Grey Cloud Evil Land forces this past month, the Eight Great Families gained a short respite, but although they occasionally cooperated with Yang Kai to harass the Ash-Grey Cloud Evil Land, they never made any large scale deployments because they still couldn’t determine what Yang Kai’s true intentions were.
The situation in the Central Capital had essentially become a three way struggle between Yang Kai’s mansion, the Eight Great Families, and the Ash-Grey Cloud Evil Land.
The relationships between these three factions were ambiguous and complicated.
The Eight Great Families and the Ash-Grey Cloud Evil Land were naturally bitter enemies while Yang Kai’s mansion, which was sandwiched between them, would often attack the Ash-Grey Cloud Evil Land but would also not give any face to the Eight Great Families. When people from the Eight Great Families offended Yang Kai’s forces, the latter would often hit back with an extremely heavy hand.
Fortunately, the Patriarchs of the Eight Great Families had issued orders to all the elites from their and their allies’ families not to provoke Yang Kai’s forces. Even if some kind of conflict of interest on the battlefield, they were to grit their teeth and endure.
At this critical time, the Eight Great Families didn’t want to cause any friction with Yang Kai.
As a result, all the spoils of war left on the battlefield were swept away by Yang Kai’s forces. All the pills and artifacts of the dead Ash-Grey Cloud Evil Land cultivators were collected by Yang Kai’s allies, leaving not even crumbs for the Eight Great Families or their allies.
The prestige of Yang Kai’s mansion exploded and quickly spread out.
After one month, a large number of cultivators had assembled outside Yang Kai’s house, and after Qiu Yi Meng noticed and made some preliminary investigations, she immediately found Yang Kai.
“What is it?”
“A lot of people have set up camp outside the mansion.”
“Who?” Yang Kai’s brow wrinkled, his expression slightly disgruntled, wondering who was looking for trouble with him now.
“People who want to hire themselves to you.”
“Hire themselves to me?” Yang Kai was stunned, quickly letting out a chuckle, “This isn’t the Inheritance War.”
Qiu Yi Meng rolled her eyes and continued, “The ones outside are all first-class forces who received the Eight Great Families’ Conscription Command and came to the Central Capital.”
“Since the Eight Great Families were the ones that summoned them, why come looking for me?” Yang Kai said with a confused look.
“Don’t play dumb!” Qiu Yi Meng snorted, “It’s because this place is safer. Before we came, there were already some first-class forces that came to the Central Capital to render aid, but those forces have all suffered serious casualties and have all but been wiped out. With multiple examples of the core members of their Sects and Families dying or receiving serious injuries, how could the recent arrivals dare to count on the Eight Great Families to shelter them?”
“So they’ve come to me instead?” Yang Kai expression became strange once more.
“En.” Qiu Yi Meng nodded lightly, “And there’s even a successful example in the mansion already.”
“You mean the Lu Family?” Yang Kai instantly understood.
“En, the Lu Family also came to the Central Capital a while ago, but actually joined up with you instead of the Eight Great Families. During this time, the Lu Family has not suffered any fatalities and have instead killed many of the Ash-Grey Cloud Evil Land cultivators.” Qiu Yi Meng snickered cunningly, “You’ve created a precedent and now everyone wants to take advantage of it, how do you plan on handling it?”
“This…” Yang Kai’s brow wrinkled.
He had allowed the Lu Family to join him because he had some slight friendship with Lu Si and Lu Family’s elites also knew how to show proper decorum. If other forces who came to the Central Capital wanted to attach themselves to his mansion, forget about there simply not being enough space to fit them all, even if he could house all of them, with so many people suddenly gathering together, conflicts and contradictions were bound to arise.
After thinking it over for a while though, Yang Kai suddenly grinned, “Since they’ve come to hire themselves to me, let them all come in.”
Qiu Yi Meng was dumbstruck for a moment. According to what she knew of Yang Kai’s character, he would normally have driven all of these people away, so this response had greatly deviated from her expectations.
Wrinkling her brow and thinking it over though, Qiu Yi Meng quickly grinned and nodded, “Your appetite is really big.”
“This is an opportunity,” Yang Kai sneered, “The Central Capital Eight Great Families should bring in new blood.”
Qiu Yi Meng eyes flashed brilliantly, secretly anticipating such an outcome and quickly leaving the house to make the appropriate arrangements.
Over on the Eight Great Families’ side, looking from far away at the crowd gathered in front of Yang Kai’s house, everyone’s expression was quite ugly. These forces had all come to the Central Capital in response to the Eight Great Families’ Conscription Command, but now they were not willing to join forces with the Eight Great Families but instead wanted to hire themselves to Yang Kai.
The Patriarchs of the Eight Great Families couldn’t help feeling like the meal they had prepared for themselves had been snatched by someone else.
“The times have changed!” Kang Rui sighed slightly, seemingly picturing the future that would soon arrive.
The rejection and distrust of the Eight Great Families by the rest of the Great Han Dynasty’s forces in stark contrast to Yang Kai’s mansion was on full display.
Once this trend reached a certain tipping point, the prestige of the Eight Great Families would thoroughly be destroyed and they would be supplanted by Yang Kai’s mansion.
Once this crisis had passed whose hands would the Central Capital fall into?
“Your Yang Family has produced a terrifying character.” The other seven Patriarchs stared at Yang Ying Hao with looks of envy.
Yang Ying Hao’s mouth twitched slightly as he left out a sigh, “I can only hope he still gives some regard to his bloodline.”
Meanwhile, Yang Kai’s house became extremely busy. All the forces that came to hire themselves to him were allowed into the Heavenly Palace. Once inside this barrier, no matter who it was, they couldn’t help breathing a sigh of relief, seemingly feeling like they have finally found something to rely on to guarantee their safety.
After carefully scrutinizing the power of Yang Kai’s original forces, all of these forces became honest and law abiding. In the face of Qiu Yi Meng’s commands and arrangements, no one dared to disagree.
Once these people spilled in, Yang Kai’s originally not spacious mansion became even more crowded.
These new forces were basically arranged into a single courtyard each. These residences had only enough room for people to find a spot to sit and meditate; there wasn’t even enough space for people to have separate rooms and beds.
However, no one uttered a single complaint. Simply being able to take shelter in Yang Kai’s house made them very satisfied.
More and more forces asked to join Yang Kai’s mansion every day and Yang Kai would unconditionally accept them.
These forces had all voluntarily come here to fight against the Ash-Grey Cloud Evil Land, so even though the Eight Great Families were annoyed in their hearts, they made no attempt to interfere with them.
As time passed, Yang Kai’s mansion gradually calmed down. By now, the house had become entirely saturated with more than 2,000 masters now residing inside. Besides the original seventeen Transcendents Yang Kai possessed, an additional ten had joined, each one of these powerhouses from a different first-class force.
The rate at which Yang Kai’s mansion’s strength grew was too sensational, and forced the Eight Great Families and the Ash-Grey Cloud Evil Land to no longer be able to sit still.
As night descended, two groups of people arrived in front of Yang Kai’s house.
Both of them just happening to bump into one another outside the main entrance.
On the left were two women, one of them a peerless enchanting beauty, the other a fresh young spirit, the Beguiling Demon Queen, Shan Qing Luo and her handmaid, Bi Luo.
On the other side were eight men, the current Patriarchs of the Eight Great Families.
Upon meeting each other here, Ye Kuang Ren roared angrily, “Beguiling Demon Queen!”
As he spoke, True Qi surged up, apparently intending to start something here. The other seven Patriarchs also stared at Shan Qing Luo with malevolent expressions.
Shan Qing Luo hurriedly retreated a few steps, secretly condensing her True Qi, her heart quite anxious. She had not expect that these eight would, like her, quietly conceal their auras and come here, leading to their sudden encounter.
“Demon woman, what are you doing here?” Kang Rui interrogated sharply.
Shan Qing Luo didn’t say a word, only staring back at these eight people vigilantly.
“No need for any rubbish, since she’s delivered herself to us, we should just kill her.” Gao Mo coldly snorted.
Everyone firmly nodded and were about to take action when a person walked out from Yang Kai’s house and said, “Everyone, please come in, Yang Kai said that everyone here is a guest and he hopes you won’t stir up any disturbances outside his house!”
Hearing the sound of this voice, the Patriarchs of the Eight Great Families suddenly showed weird expressions while Qiu Shou Cheng turned his eyes towards the messenger who emerged from Yang Kai house and shouted, “Meng’er!”
“Father!” Qiu Yi Meng smiled warmly and politely bowed to Qiu Shou Cheng before elegantly continuing, “All of you should be here to discuss with Yang Kai. He’s already waiting for you in the main hall, please come in!”
As she said so, she took a step back and opened the way.
“Hmph!” Ye Kuang Ren snorted as he glared towards Shan Qing Luo icily, “This time we’ll let you off, just make sure we never see you again!”
Leaving this threat behind, he quickly stepped forward towards the house.
An opening in the Heavenly Palace’s barrier appeared allowing the eight people to come in. When these eight had entered, Qiu Yi Meng turned to Shan Qing Luo and smiled, “Elder Sister should also come inside.”
“Did Yang Kai know that I would come as well?” Shan Qing Luo asked with a forced smile.
“I don’t know. He only said that there were guests outside and told me to greet them. I didn’t expect that it would be… these kinds of guests.” Qiu Yi Meng silently cursed. If she knew that it was the Patriarchs of the Eight Great Families who had come, she would have stubbornly refused to act as their greeting party. After all, her father was among them.
“That little bastard, he’s always trying to act mysterious.” Shan Qing Luo giggled.
Qiu Yi Meng’s suddenly stared towards Shan Qing Luo in a daze, a strange brilliance flashing across her beautiful eyes.
Seeing this, Shan Qing Luo hurriedly adjusted her expression, quickly withdrawing her aura.
Like she had just awoke from a dream, Qiu Yi Meng’s eyes regained their focus, a sense of terror welling up in her heart. It was obvious that the Beguiling Demon Queen’s charm was even effective against other women.
Inside the main hall, the eight Patriarchs had taken their seats when Shan Qing Luo calmly walked in and sat across from them. Although she knew the eight Patriarchs had malicious intentions towards her, she knew that while she was here, Yang Kai wouldn’t allow any harm to come to her.
On top of that, at this moment, the eight Patriarchs didn’t have any time to find trouble with Shan Qing Luo as all of them were focused on Yang Kai, who was sitting at the head of the table. The atmosphere in the room was quiet and subtle but complex.
All of them were confused about how to handle this discussion. This Yang Family direct descendant, who was a whole generation below them, had actually reached to the point where he was qualified to speak on equal terms with them.
The speed of his growth was nothing less than astonishing, using only a single year in order to reach his current height. Those in the same generation were incapable of keeping up with him and instead could only look up to him in awe. It was quite likely none of them would be able to catch up to him for the rest of their lives.
Even Liu Qing Yao, once known as the Central Capital’s First Young Lord, wasn’t worthy of being discussed in the same sentence as him.
All eight of these old men felt a deep sense of shock and amazement confronting him.
When the maidservants of the house offered them tea, the eight Patriarchs all drank it, but not a single one of them could taste anything. There was only a sharp bitterness spreading across their tongues.