138 Chapter 138
The elder members from the three clans dispersed after a small commotion. The Matriarch of the Feng clan almost got into a scuffle with the Huo clan young lord. Luckily the others managed to quell her anger, the man in question not really sure why the lady was mad at him. He even offered her the spot as his 100th wife again. Telling her that if things with Zhang Dong didn't work out, she could join his harem. This, of course, didn't go well ending in the Feng Matriarch trying to deliver a strike to the Huo lords nether regions.
While this was happening, down in the pagoda hotel the Zhang Clan juniors were getting ready for the last trial. After the 'misunderstanding ' was cleared up, their Grand Elder Zhang Jin went over to tell them about the plan and the alliance.
"So it's like this, young ones..."
Zhang Jin laid it bare, telling everyone to work with the Feng Clan and the Huo Clan if they came across them. He didn't beat around the bush too much as he didn't have the spare time. Still having important business to take care of later on.
"Remember, when the final trial opens you will be randomly spread out throughout the testing grounds. If you are lucky you will have your brothers and sisters with you, but if not. You might find yourself against multiple opponents."
"The Feng and Huo Clans have agreed to aid us, the other families will band against us so if you see anyone from our allies, aid them."
The trial area had a teleportation formation implemented in it. It would put the juniors at random locations in a maze-like area. There were many traps and even some of those dolls were waiting to give the contestants a trashing. This wasn't all though, in the area were hidden treasures like spiritual herbs. This was placed inside the area to give the participants some incentive to fight, the resources were limited and you could keep everything that you managed to find.
The short briefing ended and the juniors bowed, they weren't against working together with other clans. They weren't so sure if they could trust the other clans that well. They didn't know the other party well enough for that. The Feng women were strange and hard to approach, the Huo cultivators overbearing and haughty. Still, this was the order of the grand elder, so the juniors would try to follow it as well as they could.
"Liu'er, Xue'er join your grandpa for a talk..."
Before Zhang Jin left the juniors, he made sure to get his grandson and grandaughter for a little talk. The two just looked at each other and nodded, not really thinking much off it. They all gathered in a separate room that was prepared for the highest-ranking member from their clan. It looked quite nice, but compared to the penthouse one it looked quite shabby.
"Sit down, have some tea."
They got offered some snacks and tea, their grandpa just trying to create a nice enough atmosphere. What he would say would probably not fly well with these two youngsters that had progressed at an amazing pace. But he had to at least try to convince them to see things his way, if not he would have to go with plan B.
"Liu...Xue... it would be wise if you dropped out of the competition after the next trial..."
Zhang Liu coughed out as he was sipping on the tea, his sister had a similar reaction as she choked on a cookie that she was nibbling on. The two were quite shocked not understanding the meaning of their grandpa's words, why would he want them to drop out now.
"Grandpa Jin, what is the meaning of this? How can we show the other clan's our superiority if we don't participate?"
Zhang Liu slammed his palms down on the table in protest, the table rattling due to the force. His sister covered her mouth with the sleeve of her robe as she didn't want to show the crumbs on her mouth while also replying.
"Yes dear grandpa, I would like to hear an explanation too...how could we, as the Patriarch's disciples do such a thing?"
The old man looked at the two youths, the two looked a lot different now than they did two years ago. They looked a lot more mature, those white locks only added to their mystical appearance. He didn't think it would be possible for anyone below the age of twenty to be at their power level. That Master of theirs really did bring in all the best techniques to the table and in that lay the problem.
"Now calm down you two, let your grandpa explain... the thing is..."
"You might bring unwanted attention to your Master and the clan if you continue like this..."
The two twitched slightly as they heard their Master getting mentioned, Zhang Liu sat back down after he stood up to smack the table and continued to listen.
"You might think that spreading the glory of the clan is a good thing, but in reality, it might bring it to ruin if we aren't careful..."
"Your master is a powerful man, but he isn't strong enough to shoulder this burden... not yet at least."
"I have seen his cultivation manual... I've seen yours and it's far more immeasurable than you might think. If the powerful sects realize what we are holding and it's true worth, we might face annihilation..."
The two youths gasped in shock, not really sure if their grandpa was serious or if he was being a bit too melodramatic. Would the sects really attack if they found their Master's cultivation method to be of a high quality?
"So that's why grandfather stopped me back then..."
Liu said while moving his head down and thinking.
"You would have easily attained first place, but you would have attracted a lot of unwanted attention."
"Still... I don't agree! It would be shameful to not fight at our best!"
Liu retorted, not wanting to throw a fight as his pride didn't allow him. Xue was also of the same mind, thinking their grandfather was overexaggerating. Though she also understood where her family member was coming from, but if they hid some of that strength things should work out.
"Well, I'm not telling you two to lie down and take it, at least try not to use the more powerful techniques like the Embodiment of the Thunder God. But your grandpa would be glad if you thought about what is good for the clan... Luckily the inside of the trial is sealed off so no one will be able to see you fight. But after the main tournament starts all eyes will be on you."
What continued was an attempt of the old man on getting the two youths to see it from his standpoint. Bringing honor to your clan or yourself was fine and all, but it wasn't worth your life. The two weren't all that convinced, from their experience things seemed to work out in the end but they would take their grandpa's words into consideration.
"So, you're not convinced... well at least try to not stand out, your opponents shouldn't be strong enough for you to go all out..."
The man gave off a large sigh, he could force the two to drop out but he also wanted them to make their own mistakes. The probability of something going wrong wasn't all that high, there were only a couple of people that could contend with his young grandson at an equal level. One of them was even from their own clan, the other was the Huo clan young master. It should be fine if Zhang Liu doesn't use the more overpowering techniques that gave off that strong lightning Dao.
He also tried making Zhang Xue wear a veil or something to cover her face, his men were telling him that the girl was garnering quite the following due to her looks.
'I will probably be receiving a lot of marriage requests if this continued, but now like that's a bad thing...'
Forming bonds with other clans was something positive, but from this elder's standpoint not a lot of clans could actually bring much to the table. Their Patriarch was already a cultivation technique encyclopedia, the only thing they really lacked were more materialistic resources, like spirit stones or spirit herbs.
'It would be nice if she fancied someone rich, but she doesn't look that interested in the young men around her...'
"Well, you two should think it through... don't worry if something happens, your grandpa will save you!"
The two youths looked at each other and chuckled a bit, Zhang Xue being the one to reply this time around.
"Ara? I only thought that grandpa saved fair maidens from other clans~"
Zhang Jin got taken aback by the retort, his womanizing ways had reached even his two grandchildren.
"Don't make fun of your grandpa, you two rascals!"
The three family members chatted for a bit more before parting ways, the two youths returned to their quarters while contemplating about their grandfather's words. They knew where he was coming from, but even then they didn't feel like they should give up and throw the fights. Why did they have to stain their honor by acting in this way, this would bring a loss to their Master's face if they lost a battle that they could have easily won.
Zhang Jin was left in the room alone, contemplating on what he should do.
'Should I force them to forfeit... no, that could impend their progress later on and leave some demons in their hearts. They cherish their master too much and won't allow a loss to his face by quitting...'
The old man looked into his spatial ring and pulled out a magical treasure, that looked like some kind of shield-shaped talisman.
'Might have to use this if trouble arises, hope that there won't be a need for it though. The probability of things going badly is low.'
The man huffed and looked out into the scenery, the window from his room letting him see the well-lit city in the night. His face going more solemn as a certain person entered his room.
"Are you ready?"
The man asked while Zhang Jin nodded, his eyes sharp as he rose from his seat to head out.
"Who do you think I am youngster? I was born ready!"
He replied with vigor while the other person rubbed his palms together.
"Good... let us venture forth into the unknown!"
The two men looked at each other, their expressions resolute as they headed out of the room and then out of the pagoda hotel.
"Now this is what I call, a secret ground!"
Zhang Jin proclaimed while holding a small bottle of alcohol in his hand and taking a sip out of it.
"See, I told you that I know where the good stuff is, Senior Jin!"
Next to him was Huo Qiang, his muscular arm wrapped around a thin waist of a serving girl that looked like she was enjoying herself.
"He he he, senior brother where are you touching me~"
The young woman replied in a coquettish tone, not really moving from the spot she was sitting on as she let the young master from the Huo clan have his way.
The two hornballs had decided to check out what the red light district had to offer in this jade city. The two were prominent members of their clans so they had a lot of gold and spirit stones saved up for occasions like this.
"Let the young generation have their fun at the tournament, while we of the older generation face these ferocious foes!"
Said Zhang Jin while plopping his head between a rather busty girl's bosom, his face was all red from drinking too much alcohol already.
On the next day, everyone from the three clans that were in the triforce alliance gathered together. The elders wanted the younger members to at least be able to recognize their allies before they headed to that closed of trial. The tension was in the air and everyone was ready to do battle, the juniors were taking everything very seriously. Unbeknownst to them, the Zhang grand elder and future Patriarch of the Huo clan were deep asleep. Having fought a ferocious battle throughout the night, tired and bruised.