4 – Transmigration, Meeting Twenty One (IV)
“Little Qi!” After leaving Xue Qilin’s room, Qi Qiqi went to the main hall. On the way to the main hall, however, someone called her.
“Huh?” Qi Qiqi stopped in her steps and looked in the direction the voice came from.
The person who called out to her stepped out from the shadow of a tree. It was an approximately 20-year-old woman with long fiery-red hair combed into a ponytail and a stern expression on her face that made her look very refined dressed in clothing imbued with ashes. It was the Elder of the Sword-casting Chamber Li Wanting.
“Big Sister Ting!” Qi Qiqi seemed a little happy.
In public, Qi Qiqi and Li Wanting addressed each other according to their statuses, but in private, they addressed each other by nicknames, implying that they had a good relationship.
“So…” Li Wanting looked at the tall building not far away – the Snow-facing Abode, and asked: “Have you settled down the Young Ancestor?”
The Snow-facing Abode was the place where the sect masters and ancestors dwelt for generations. Despite that fact, it didn’t occupy a large area, nor was it luxurious. It had a unique garden villa flair.
“Well, uh… I did.” The expression in Qi Qiqi’s eyes was a little uneasy, which apparently didn’t escaped Li Wanting.
“Hmm? Little Qi, you didn’t do anything rude to the Young Ancestor, right?”
“How, how could that be!?” Her reaction was emotional, with shame turning into anger. Well, she was hiding her guilty conscience. Her guilty conscience wasn’t without reason. After all, she had beaten up the Young Ancestor. Besides…
This apparently was seen through by Li Wanting, and her gaze turned sharp in an instant: “Did you do something to her?”
“No, I didn’t! I just punched her once, that’s all.” Feeling uncomfortable being stared at, Qi Qiqi averted her gaze at once and unconsciously kneaded her clothing.
Li Wanting sighed, facepalmed herself, and shook her head: “I knew it… The Young Ancestor seems to be unhinged, so how could you bear with it…”
After reaching this point, Li Wanting knocked Qi Qiqi on the head, and then scolded her: “But she’s our ancestor, a senior of our sect! How could you have hit her? Your impulsive temper will be your undoing one day!”
“I, I know!” Tears gleaming in her eyes, Qi Qiqi touched the place where she had been knocked on the head and answered in a low voice.
“That’s good.” Only then did Li Wanting smiled and stroke Qi Qiqi’s hair.
“Stop it!” Qi Qiqi pushed Li Wanting’s had aside, annoyed: “You made a mess out of my hair!”
Li Wanting curled her lips and said in a weird tone of voice: “How cold!”
As if she suddenly recalled something, Li Wanting asked non-bona fide: “Anyhow, whom are you going to ask to clean up your mess?”
Qi Qiqi gave her counterpart a look of annoyance, and then answered casually: “Senior Disciple Sister Luo.”
“Hey, you‘re dumping your mess onto Luo Qing again?”
“What else can I do? Senior Disciple Sister Luo’s gentle and easy-going personality is suitable for dealing with that scoundrel!” At this point, Qi Qiqi waved her fist fiercely, but then she remembered what Xue Qilin said about her fist, and she stopped mid action.
“Ha-ha-ha, you just called our Young Ancestor a scoundrel. If that old fellow Liu Chengzong heard this, you’d get lectured.”
“Rest assured, I know how to behave when in front of Elder Liu.”
“Then what about today?”
Qi Qiqi, who seemed quite confident, smiled stiffly due to Li Wanting’s remark: “It’s all because of that scoundrel!”
When she thought about how Xue Qilin made her scream in front of everyone else, Qi Qiqi gnashed her pearl-white teeth.
“However, the Young Ancestor’s temperament seems to be rather good, seeing as you came unscathed after punching her.”
That’s not how it played out… Qi Qiqi’s expression turned odd in an instant.
“Hey, what’s wrong? Isn’t that what happened?”
“I don’t know, as I punched her lights out…”
“You didn’t, did you?”
Qi Qiqi nodded embarrassedly.
With an expression that said “I’m feeling dizzy” on her face, Li Wanting uttered sarcastically: “Way to go! And now you want to actually toss this hot potato to Luo Qing, and then make your getaway.”
“I couldn’t help it. I don’t know why, but after exchanging a few words with the Young Ancestor, I had an unbearable urge to hit her!” Qi Qiqi responded almost in self-resignation.
“Anyway, you must apologize when the Young Ancestor wakes up!”
“I know!” Qi Qiqi knew that she was in the wrong. No matter what, she was the one to get physical first, not to mention that the person that she hit was her senior.
“Anyway, was she really knocked out cold? Did you punch her with all your strength?”
How could I have used all my strength? Qi Qiqi wanted to answer this way, but when she saw the sharp look in the other party’s eyes, she gave up on the idea: “What you mean to say is that with the cultivation base of the Young Ancestor, she shouldn’t have been knocked out with a punch of mine that wasn’t even at full strength?”
“Yes, you got it right! She is a contemporary of the Great Ancestor, and no one in the sect knows of her existence, so she should be over 100 years old, right? How can a person who can live to be 100 years old have a low cultivation base? No one would believe that, right?”
Qi Qiqi wasn’t surprised at how clearly and logically Li Wanting laid things out.
Although Li Wanting didn’t do her name  justice, having an offhand disposition, but once you got along with her, you would realize that that was only the surface layer. In fact, she was the type of person who was crude in most matters, but subtle in some.
“Besides, didn’t the Great Ancestor say that she could lend us a helping hand in a critical moment? As such, her cultivation base cannot be low. She should be at least at the Heaven Realm. But it’s strange that a Heaven Realm master would be knocked out by a punch from someone who entered the Earth Realm not too long ago. The gap between realms is so big that it’s unthinkable.”
The more Qi Qiqi listened, the deeper her frown became.
“I don’t think it’s really necessary for the Young Ancestor to hide her strength, nor take your punch.”
Qi Qiqi squinted her eyes slightly and asked tentatively: “Are you doubting her identity?”
“There’s nothing to doubt about her identity. After all, she is in possession of the Great Ancestor’s jade pendant, and she did emerge from the Sword Mound! It’s not so easy to accomplish both things at the same time!”
Indeed, although she may get the jade pendant by accident, but the Mound Sword Array guarding the Sword Mound wasn’t a joke. Only experts at the Grandmaster Realm can break through it unscathed.
“So, you’re skeptical about her strength?”
“Not skeptical, just baffled, that’s all! It’s very important to know how strong she is. If we misjudge her strength, then fatal mistakes may be made during decision-making.”
In the Demimonde, success or failure depended not only on whose fist was bigger, but also on whose strategy was more proper.
If you know yourself and know your enemy, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.
Decision-making was to examine yourself and others, and then make the most appropriate choice. As such, it was very important to examine your strength. If you misjudged your strength, your strategy would be flawed.
Naturally, Xue Qilin’s strength should also be counted as part of the Merak Palace’s strength, with its share being considerable. Therefore, Qi Qiqi must have a concrete understanding of Xue Qilin’s strength.
“En, I see. I’ll go apologize and do some probing when she wakes up.”
“Palace Master, don’t waste your time.” The one to speak wasn’t Li Wanting.
“Oh? After eavesdropping for so long, you’re willing to show yourself at last, Vice-palace Master Ye?” Looking at the person who suddenly appeared, Qi Qiqi uttered sarcastically.
“You’re exaggerating, Palace Master. I didn’t hide my aura.” Ye Zhen responded, face expressionless.
The aura of a Heaven Realm expert was rather formidable. If not concealed, then even someone with a Human Realm cultivation base can perceive it, let alone Qi Qiqi, who was an Earth Realm expert.
In other words, Ye Zhen implied that he did eavesdrop, but in an open and aboveboard way.
“This guy is still so annoying.” Li Wanting whispered in Qi Qiqi’s ear in disgust. Obviously, she also understood the meaning behind Ye Zhen’s words.
“What do you mean, Vice-palace Master Ye? Why did you said for me not to waste my time?” Qi Qiqi asked indifferently.
“Because someone has already asked the Young Ancestor.”
“Who was it? When did they ask her?” Qi Qiqi was surprised.
“Situ Mutou asked the Young Ancestor when he led her to her quarters.”
Situ Mutou was Qi Qiqi’s fellow disciple. After arranging a place to stay for the Young Ancestor, Qi Qiqi had him lead the Young Ancestor to her quarters.
“Only that martial maniac would have the gull ask the mysterious Young Ancestor.” Li Wanting, who couldn’t help laughing out loud, commented ambiguously.
True to his name, Situ Mutou  was a blockhead, whose sole fascination lied with the martial path. Only things related with martial arts could arouse his interest.
“So, what was the Young Ancestor’s answer?”
“I don’t know.”
“How come you don’t know?” Is he kidding me? Qi Qiqi’s expression became unsightly at once. Since he raised the issue, Ye Zhen clearly had to know.
“I mean, the Young Ancestor replied that she didn’t knew.”
When they heard that, Qi Qiqi and Li Wanting looked at each other.
“Why doesn’t she know?”
“This I’m not clear about.” Ye Zhen spoke indifferently.
“Could the Young Ancestor be really hiding her strength? Or…” Qi Qiqi muttered, before being interrupted by Ye Zhen halfway.
“Be it as it may, we must gain an understanding regarding the Young Ancestor’s strength.”
“How do we do that?” Qi Qiqi asked teasingly.
“Humph. There’s no better way to measure a person’s strength than combat.
Indeed, even within the same realm, the fighting strength of different people was different, and the same was true for the Heaven Realm. After all, realm didn’t reflect your strength, but your cultivation base. Cultivation base didn’t stood for strength, it only stood for the level of power. It was only a part of your strength. In addition to cultivation base, your battle skills and cultivation method characteristics should not be overlooked.
“Are you going to have a fight with the Young Ancestor?”
Ye Zhen looked deeply at Qi Qiqi. Without answering her question, he turned and left.
After Ye Zhen was gone from their sight, Li Wanting muttered: “I still don’t like that fellow.”
“But he is strong.” Although she wasn’t willing, Qi Qiqi had to admit this fact.
Although she was hailed as the youngest genius in history to step into the Earth Realm, but she knew that this rapid progress was due to her great-grandfather instructing her from little. Compared to Ye Zhen, who was already on the Heaven Realm, she was far too lacking.
“In any case, we have to ascertain the strength of the Young Ancestor as soon as possible. Besides, even if she doesn’t do her reputation justice, you can’t neglect her, Little Qi. After all, the other party’s seniority is without question. Even if you can’t rope her in, you have to forge a good relationship with her.”
“This…” Qi Qiqi hesitated.
“I know you don’t like to engage in these factional struggles, but that’s beyond your control unless you would convince Ye Zhen to agree with you.”
At the moment, the Merak Palace could be said to be gilded on the outside yet shabby and ruined on the inside.
The imperial court feared the Five Great Sects for a long time, always putting pressure on them.
Unfortunately, there were some reckless, arrogant fools who tried to assassinate the emperor, and eventually ended up dead.
An attempt at the emperor’s life was a big taboo. Whether it was successful or not, it was bound to anger the court, and the outcome was not unexpected.
Taking their anger out on the Five Great Sects, the imperial court sent troops. Naturally, the Five Great Sects wouldn’t bear this baseless accusation, so they joined hands to resist the imperial court’s army.
In the end, neither side won, but ultimately, the Five Great Sects could be said to have lost.
A team of elite troops could be formed within ten years. As for martial arts experts, it took them decades to achieve meaningful success.
From then on, the Five Great Sects were greatly weakened. As for the Merak Palace, which was suspected to be the mastermind behind the assassination attempt, it suffered the most casualties. No matter how much money and divine armaments would be lost, but in the end, they were just objects. As long as the people were still alive, everything could be retrieved. However, what the Merak Palace lost was people, with almost all of their elites and experts dying.
If not for the deterrence of Qi Guiyuan, the Merak Palace would have been expelled from the Five Great Sects.
Now was a critical moment for the Merak Temple.
However, since Qi Guiyuan, the former sect master of the Merak Palace disappeared, Qi Qiqi succeeded him as the Palace Master, and Ye Zhen continued to serve as the Vice-palace Master. Ever since, the Merak Palace was split into two factions, which were the Qi Qiqi faction and the Ye Zhen faction, or the “keep a low profile faction” and the “all out revitalization faction.”
The former was headed by Qi Qiqi, and its members included the fifth Elder of the Sword-casting Chamber Li Wanting and the fourth Elder Xia Xue. The latter was headed by Ye Zhen, and its members included the first Elder Attendant Elder Liu Chengzong, the second Elder Law Enforcement Elder Yang Yuening, and the sixth Elder Qin Chen.
The main difference between the two factions lied in their vision for the declining Merak Palace following the incident five years ago. The former wished to be low-key and accumulate strength, while the later advocated for an all out and high-profile revitalization of the sect.
Qi Qiqi was quite helpless. Although she wished for the Merak Palace to unite, but she felt that Ye Zhen’s methods weren’t advisable. And Ye Zhen felt that her policies were wrong. Therefore, the two factions sank into a conflicting opposition.
Having said that, the balance between the two factions was extremely fragile. As such, apart from Luo Qing and Zhang Ming, who took a neutral stance, Xue Qilin’s stance seemed very important.
However… for me to have to forge a good relationship with that scoundrel. When she thought till here, Qi Qiqi felt disheartened.
 – In Li Wanting (李婉婷), Li is her surname, while Wan and Ting both mean graceful.
 – Situ Mutou, Situ is his surname, while Mutou (木头) means wood and blockhead.