If Jiang Fan was a hedgehog, then currently the spines on his body would all be stiffening with a “swoosh”.
This Elder Lu definitely did not harbor any good intentions.
“It’s rare to see you like this…” Ning Yu thought of an analogy. “Why do you look as if your tail has been stepped on?”
Jiang Fan did not even have time to retort. The moment he heard someone reporting this piece of news, he immediately stood up and headed out with fighting vigor.
Ning Yu smiled and stood up too. Returnflow Mountain had very few happenings and the place was quiet, boring to the point where he started to feel panicky. It was rare for something to happen, so it would be a waste if he did not witness it.
Jiang Fan first looked for Mo Chen.
Regular disciples were unable to enter Master’s compound, which contained books, a few of Master’s belongings and pills. Only Eldest Senior Brother could enter on his own. Jiang Fan waited outside the door. He usually had a calm demeanor, but right now he could barely stand from the anxiety he was feeling as he circled around at the entrance.
The moment Mo Chen stepped out, he saw the anxious beast that was Jiang Fan. Jiang Fan hurriedly went over to receive him. “Eldest Senior Brother, people from Sword Burial Valley are here again.”
As Mo Chen walked, he handed Jiang Fan the box in his hand. “This will help you when you take it with medicine.”
Jiang Fan was a head shorter than Mo Chen, and so he had to take a few more steps to match Mo Chen’s pace. “Eldest Senior Brother, you don’t find it unexpected at all?”
What’s there to be unexpected?
Mo Chen knew that they would visit again.
People from Sword Burial Valley finally came to search for him after so many years had passed, so there was definitely something important to attend to. Since that was the case, they wouldn’t give up after his previous rejection.
However, for them to make a visit so quickly after the last one, clearly this matter of theirs was very important, and very urgent as well.
“Eldest Senior Brother, you must not get fooled by them.”
Jiang Fan was especially afraid that Eldest Senior Brother would really get tricked by Sword Burial Valley.
Arriving at the entrance to the hall, Mo Chen instructed Jiang Fan, “Have someone prepare tea and fruits.”
Jiang Fan unwillingly nodded.
Eldest Senior Brother did not really intend for him to prepare tea and fruits. Clearly, he did not want Jiang Fan to listen in on their conversation.
Serve tea and fruits to these vile guests? It would be better to serve them a bowl of poison.
Oh right! If he were to refuse others’ help of preparing the appetizers and serve them personally, wouldn’t he get the opportunity to listen in on their conversation?
With this idea in mind, Jiang Fan hurriedly went to prepare the appetizers.
This time, Elder Lu came alone.
The moment Mo Chen stepped in, he stood up.
Mo Chen stepped forward and bowed, before requesting him to sit.
Though it had only been a few days since his last visit, Elder Lu looked even more languished than before. The creases at the corners of his mouth were deeper and his eye sockets were sunken, looking as if he had been worrying without having any sound sleep in the past few days.
“I’m afraid that I’ve come at the wrong time.” Elder Lu smiled self-mockingly.
The disciples at Returnflow Mountain were all saw him as a vile guest. Mo Chen was still courteous with him without losing his etiquette, but this etiquette completely illustrated hiss coldness and indifference towards Elder Lu.
Elder Lu sighed inwardly.
His two trips here could be said to have put him in an awkward position, where he could not even please either side.
On Sword Burial Valley’s side, they might be in a declining state, yet as their waters began to get shallower, they began to act even more vigorously.
Valley Lord Wu was without a son, but there were many who coveted the marriage of his daughter in order to take over the position of Valley Lord. There was another group of people, with Elder Cao at the helm, who felt that Valley Lord Wu was not of true heritage in the first place, as he took up the position with the status of a son-in-law. The topic of the correctness of him taking up the position was thus brought up. Based on their opinions, if the position of Valley Lord had to be passed down, they should be the ones to attempt it.
Then there were those who continued to stir the troubled waters, those who added insult to injury, and those who tried to profit off the current predicament…
Sword Burial Valley previously had a good spiritual pulse, but as the years went by, the spiritual pulse had slowly begun to wilt. This was something that Elder Lu had been worrying over for a long time. Once the spiritual pulse completely disappeared, the sect, Sword Burial Valley, would reach its end. Yet at this time, these people were not thinking of how to find another path to survival, but instead surrounding this drying well and desperately fighting over it. All of them were short-sighted fools blinded by profits.
Actually… Elder Lu acknowledged that he had his own selfish reasons.
He too had always thought that it was not correct for Valley Lord Wu to take up his current position. Though he married the previous Valley Lord’s daughter, Rou Zhu, and gave birth to a son, Madam Rou Zhu became unwell after she gave birth. After the child went missing, her condition worsened and she very quickly died. Valley Lord Wu’s current daughter was born from Madam Xu, whom he married later on. Speaking of which, this daughter was already completely unrelated to the previous Valley Lord. The inheritance of Sword Burial Valley could be considered broken now.
In regards to the son that was lost in the early years, Valley Lord Wu was not the slightest bit enthusiastic. He simply said that the child was too young when he went missing, and that it would be hard to prove his actual birth history now. From Elder Lu perspective, this was just a rationale. He was afraid that the most important reason was that Valley Lord Wu’s feelings for Madam Rou Zhu were fake, and he feared this son of his that carried the previous Valley Lord’s blood. He was afraid that his son would threaten his position. It had to be known that the previous Valley Lord did not have any intentions to pass on the position to Valley Lord Wu, but had wanted to wait for his grandchild to be born, raised, and then directly pass the position to that grandchild.
That was why Elder Lu actually had even less bargaining power now than his previous visit.
No one in Sword Burial Valley supported his actions, and the people of Returnflow Mountain did not want to see him either.
Endless fatigue and powerlessness surged in Elder Lu’s heart.
A mountain blocked his path, and he no longer had much strength to climb it.
During his previous visit, he could have family recognition and Sword Burial Valley’s wealth as reasons to persuade Mo Chen, but these excuses could no longer hold.
Him being alone during this visit clearly showed that these conditions had all faded to dust. No matter if it was familial ties or authority, it had all become nothing but empty talk.
Mo Chen was still courteous to him. When Jiang Fan entered with tea, Mo Chen passed Elder Lu a cup of tea. “Please, have some tea.”
Elder Lu received the tea cup and, for a moment, he didn’t know what to say.
Jiang Fan glared at him like a tiger eyeing prey. From the top of his head to the bottom of his feet, the sentiment “you are a vile person with evil intentions” oozed out from Jiang Fan’s entire body.
Elder Lu could only let out a bitter laugh.
“I probably shouldn’t have come.”
Mo Chen did not respond, and Jiang Fan pursed his lips.
What a hypocrite. Shouldn’t have come? Since he knew he shouldn’t have come, why was he still here?
He didn’t get a favorable result previously, so now he wanted to act pitiful and resort to desperate measures?
In his dreams.
Jiang Fan’s fighting spirit soared.
Master was not here, Linglong was still in seclusion, and Little Junior Brother could not help in this situation. Jiang Fan felt like he was shouldered with a huge responsibility, swearing to expose this person of his ulterior motives. Jiang Fan would never allow Eldest Senior Brother to fall for such tricks.
With Jiang Fan here, Elder Lu did not talk about the matter of Mo Chen’s kinship, but instead brought up something else.
“When I returned previously, something happened at Sword Burial Valley. Valley Lord gathered a few old swords and smelted them, wanting to mold a new sword. For this endeavor, he poured in his utmost effort and invested several mystical treasures.”
Mo Chen asked, “What was the result?”
Actually, there was no need to ask. Seeing Elder Lu’s expression, the result had not been pleasant.
As expected, Elder Lu said, “He failed. Forget about a treasurable or famed sword, there wasn’t even a regular iron sword that could cut. The furnace exploded. The disciples that were maintaining the furnace, and an elder surnamed Lu, lost their lives. A few dozen people were gravely injured. What resulted wasn’t a sword, but a furnace of scrap iron.”