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Chapter 586: Apology Banquet

A secluded valley was shocked awake from its peaceful mood as an endless line of people went in carrying large trays filled with exotic dishes made of exquisite beasts like a work of art.

Well sure, cultivators were above the secular world, overcoming the human condition and its limitations, but they still had manners. Like joining friends and kin alike for a joyous or saddening occasion.

They’d find joy within the joy, and fight sadness with closeness.

Yet the people coming and going with trays wore depressed looks and plain clothes, thinking the feast would blow up.

Gui Hu, Kui Lang, Tie Ying and Yue Ling sat glum at the first table, with such a scary look even the waiters avoided them. Lest their oppressive aura stiffened them or scared them to the core.

Crack!

Kui Lang punched the table, “For god’s sakes, has Steward Zhuo lost it? They’re the ones in the wrong yet we’re making amends? This is outrageous!”

“No matter how much compromise I’ve made in my life, I’d never stoop so low.” Yue Ling huffed.

Tie Ying shook his head, “Why are you here then? Get off your ass and scram!”

“And how exactly can we do that when it’s Steward Zhuo’s feast? We have to show our respect for all he’s done for us.”

Kui Lang grumbled under his breath, then swore, “I’m damn curious though, why are you here? You’re both bigshot outer and inner disciples. I can’t believe you’re taking it so well with your styles. Those two have those elders behind them and we can’t even touch them and now we’re even saying sorry. Are you that eager to shame yourself?”

Tie Ying squinted and restrained his anger, “I’m here for Steward Zhuo as well. Chi Feng’s last strike left my core on the verge of being crushed and I would’ve become a waste. It’s with Steward Zhuo’s help that I made a recovery and even entered the Radiant Stage. This is the least I can do.”

“The Heaven Reaching Pill?”

Kui Lang gasped, “Such a mystical pill, it saved my son and Yue Ling’s sister like nothing. Steward Zhuo is divine to save the forsaken. I don’t think there’s any elder or venerable in the sect capable of what he has done. Yet today…”

Kui Lang shook his head in sadness, following with, “Senior brother Gui Hu, why are you here then?”

“Zhuo Fan said I can follow him anywhere, so listening to him is basic.” Gui Hu spoke unconcerned

The others smiled.

They’d gotten to know each other after so many days hanging around, each having their own reasons for sticking with Zhuo Fan. Kui Lang and Yue Ling did it to return the favor and in no small part because they felt he had the better offer for a brighter future. Tie Ying was here to get his revenge from three years ago by helping Zhuo Fan crush the inner sect. Getting the meat out of the oldies’ mouth was the best way to do it.

And sure enough, the inner sect was forced into action, sending their grandchildren to make a mess of things. From this rotten and dishonorable move, it was clear that their meat wasn’t the only thing stolen, but their whole plate too.

Tie Ying might be outraged by this feast, but was quite happy overall. The magnate Zhuo Fan had achieved the impossible, making the inner sect, that had withstood for thousands of years, wobble.

While the simplest of the four, Gui Hu, was part of the winning crowd through his master, Grand Elder, but chose to stick with Zhuo Fan for one simple reason, to sharpen himself.

His master warned him that only by following a resolute person could he improve his own heart. Which, funnily enough, the sect lacked very much.

“Dad, keep it together, those guys are coming in. Besides the elders and venerables, there’re are also outer and inner disciples. You all need to get a hold of yourself and not fall for their taunts!” Kui Gang and Yue’er came over with a sullen look and a warning.

Kui Lang squinted and snapped, “This is too damn much! Those old coots must’ve called them to make us look bad!”

“That’s the least of our problems. They’re surely up to something vile, to shame us and force our hand. They’re looking for any excuse to get rid of us. Like how they sent those two elites for us.” Yue Ling warned with a glint in her eyes, “Gang’er is right. We must keep calm.”

Kui Lang snorted in anger and sat back down while the other two nodded.

Venerable Bai watched the four of them with a sigh as he said to Venerable Qi, “What’s the point of all this? Zhuo Fan pulled the carpet from under the inner sect with a well placed trick, attracting the disciples with heaps of resources. But now, the other side has used disciples to crush the Labor Office’s dignity. And holding a feast now will only make it worse for them. Sect Leader said Zhuo Fan is a mastermind so why would he make this dumb move?”

“I’d have clobbered him by now if not for Sect Leader’s order!” Seeing the obvious smugness on the oldies filling in at their expense and the glum Labor Office’s oldies, Venerable Qi couldn’t tell if he had made the right choice or not.

[The crew goes down with the ship.]

[The punk no longer wants to mess with the inner sect and now he even wants to apologize!]

Everyone’s heart burned with rage but they had no place to vent.

Venerable Qi sighed, “They’re all forced to come by Sect Leader’s orders. No one here is interested in shaming themselves for that brat.”

Venerable Bai sighed…

Meanwhile, in Venerable Shi’s cozy home, second elder and seventh elder wore fancy new threads matching their cocky grin.

“Venerable Shi, shall we go togheter?” Second elder laughed.

Venerable Shi smiled, “You two are the stars of today’s show. I could never take your spotlight.”

“Venerable Shi is too kind. With you being the leader of inner sect, how can it not include you?”

“Ha-ha-ha, it’s fine. How can I attend it if Sect Leader isn’t there either? Won’t I be called out as picking on the weak?” Venerable Shi grinned.

Seventh elder pondered and laughed, “Getting Venerable Shi to help us in this show will be giving them too much honor. Come, the two of us are more than enough!”

Venerable Shi nodded, agreeing with seventh elder’s idea.

[They’re not good enough to make me appear!]

Second elder exclaimed, “Right, we can’t let them get smug by any means!”

“But to think they’d come up with an apology banquet. I still thought we were in a deadlock with the Labor Office.” Seventh elder said.

Venerable Shi chuckled, “It’s out of my predictions as well but it makes sense. Zhuo Fan is a wise and sharp kid and is only doing this for Xie Wuyue’s sake. With Xie Wuyue unable to help, all problems land on him. With the Labor Office being Xie Wuyue’s grand plan, if it goes belly up, he’ll take the fall. Being under so much pressure forced him to reassess the situation and show his good will to us, even apologize. We shouldn’t mock him for reaching out.”

“But even if we do, he’d be smiling harder, making us smack him harder still! Ha-ha-ha…” Second elder mocked.

The other two joined.

Venerable Shi nodded, “Exactly, does he really think we’re just gonna give up after a little chat? Humph, we’re going to come on him so hard there’ll be nothing left of him or the Elite Labor Office. And he brought this upon himself too…”

“Venerable Shi, we will definitely make the punk have no dignity to speak of after this. He might even commit suicide, ha-ha-ha…” The two snickered on their way to the banquet.

Venerable Shi’s crafty grin only grew and grew.