Being included in the nine tiers of clans in the Imperial Capital meant that they were influential, possessing an esteemed status in society that would make other people look up to them.
The ancestor of the Shui Clan was an elite whose cultivation had reached the middle levels of the Sun Moon Tier. He was said to have reached the late stage of the middle levels, and was expected to go towards the peak. However, it ought to be impossible for him to reach the higher levels; after all, time and tide waited for no man—he didn't have that long to live.
The present patriarch of the Shui Clan was a sixth-ranked official of the Majestic Empire, and also the biological father of Shui Yanyu. His cultivation had also reached the minor levels of the Sun Moon Tier. In the future, it would be likely that he would take over the responsibility of guarding the Shui Clan from their ancestor.
Eight guards had lined up at the main doors, all of whom were at the level of the Shattering Void Tier.
Within the entire Imperial Capital, probably aside from the empress, other forces wouldn't be qualified to have cultivators of the Mountain River Tier serve as guards, as it would be a huge waste of financial resources. Secondly, it would also be too conspicuous—how would the empress view such a person?
With Shui Yanyu leading the way, they naturally entered the Shui Clan's manor with ease. They walked towards the study where the patriarch of the Shui Clan would be found.
"You mustn't let the cat out of the bag!" Shui Yanyu whispered to him before entering.
Ling Han smiled slightly, and said, "Rest assured."
"I will be by your side to help!" Shui Yanyu stressed again.
"That would really be a huge help for me," Ling Han replied with a smile.
Shui Yanyu took a deep breath. Then, she pushed open the door and walked in first.
"Father!" she called out softly. Inside the study, there was only a middle-aged man sitting upright and reading a book. Hearing her, he looked up, and swept his gaze over both Shui Yanyu and Ling Han. He then nodded.
"You may leave first," he said to Shui Yanyu.
Shui Yanyu was stunned for a moment. She was about to open her mouth to speak when the man glared at her. At that moment, she could only take her leave obediently.
Ling Han caught her eyes momentarily, with an expression that meant: "you just said a while ago that you would stay by my side and support me. How could you abandon me in the blink of an eye?"
Shui Yanyu glanced at him. He could still make cutting remarks (send her accusatory stares) at a time like this…? Just what was his heart made of? It was really too tough.
She walked out of the entrance and closed the door behind her.
The patriarch of the Shui Clan—he was called Zige—did not speak or even bother to look at Ling Han. Instead, he picked up his book and continued reading.
At this moment, Ling Han was observing the other party. This middle-aged man was really too handsome for words. At the very least, Ling Han knew that he was no match for the man in terms of appearance. Moreover, for a full-grown man to be born with a pair of peach blossom eyes, it would really cause others—whether male or female—to be attracted to him.
It seemed that Shui Yanyu had taken more after her father as she not only inherited her father's exceptional beauty, but also the temperament. However, when these characteristics appeared on a man, it would make him appear effeminate. Yet, if they were found in a woman, her exquisiteness and allure would be bone-deep.
Shui Zige had no intention to speak at all, but the aura of an elite of the Sun Moon Tier had been set in motion. In such a situation, even an elite of the Mountain River Tier would be trembling all over, and not even have the strength to stand, let alone a cultivator of the Shattering Void Tier.
The suppression of every level in the Immortal Realm was really tremendous, especially at the stage of the major cultivation tiers. It was said that even the legendary five-star geniuses could not cross such a domain.
… For example, a cultivator at the peak level of perfection of the Mountain River Tier would not be able to directly confront another at the minor levels of the Sun Moon Tier—not even if you were a five-star genius. The so-called how-many-stars genius could only cross over the minor cultivation levels.
Ling Han couldn't endure it anymore; no matter how tenacious his spirit was, it wouldn't change the fact that he was still at the level of the Shattering Void Tier.
But what did it matter?
Ling Han directly sat down. 'Since you won't talk, then fine, I'll cultivate and we shall see who will surrender first.'
Seeing that Ling Han closed his eyes and began to calmly cultivate, Shui Zige had an urge to smash the book in his hands into Ling Han's face.
He had intended to intimidate Ling Han by displaying his strength, but it turned out that he had been bested by Ling Han.
"You are Ling Han?" he finally spoke up.
'Is this a joke? You've asked your daughter to bring me here, so how could you not know who I am now?'
What could be done, though? The other party was the girl's father.
Ling Han stood up, and respectfully said, "Yes, that is who I am."
He still had to observe the necessary etiquette. Before, the other party had deliberately given him the cold shoulder, so he sat quietly and focused on cultivating. This was a kind of response and a statement. However, when an elder asked him a question, he couldn't act arrogantly.
Shui Zige could not help but be astounded. This young man was only in his twenties, and his cultivation was still at the level of the Shattering Void Tier, yet he knew when to advance or retreat calmly in such a dignified manner?
Was this the domineering characteristic of a monarch?
He felt a slight admiration towards Ling Han, but even so, he wouldn't change his mind. He said, "You are not worthy of my daughter. From today onwards, you are not allowed to see Yanyu again."
Ling Han burst out laughing, and said, "Lord Shui, you are way too arbitrary!"
"You have the cheek to lecture me?" Shui Zige could not help but laugh. Even a man of the Left Minister would not be allowed to be rude to an official of the imperial court. As this involved the rites of a nation, even if Shui Zige were to subdue or kill Ling Han, the Left Minister also wouldn't be able to say anything.
"I dare not, nor am I." Ling Han shook his head. "I am just stating a fact. Although my cultivation level is still at the Shattering Void Tier, it won't forever remain at the Shattering Void Tier! Didn't the seven Generals of the Majestic Empire also start from the Shattering Void Tier and work their way up step by step? The same is true for the Left and Right Ministers."
What an overconfident guy!
Shui Zige humphed, and said, "You dare compare yourself to these nine lords?"
"There is no comparison now, but it may not be the case in the future." Ling Han confidently smiled, but did not say too much, as a person ought to be modest.
Yet Shui Zige did not think that he had even the slightest bit of modesty. However, speaking of potential, who in this Chaotic Stars Majestic Empire could compare to Ling Han?
As strong as Luo Ba had been, he was also killed in a single blow. With Ling Han having a battle prowess of at least 22 Stars, who could compare to him?
"Haha, even if there comes a day when you reach the Heavenly Body Tier, my daughter's youth will probably have withered away by then. She can't wait, and it's also not necessary for her to wait!" Shui Zige waved dismissively. "This will be the one and only warning: do not see my daughter again. Otherwise, I will make you regret it."
Ling Han smiled lightly, and said, "Is Father-in-law not aware that you are going to be a grandfather?"
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Shui Zige completely lost it as he directly choked in shock. This practically struck him like a thunderbolt from a clear sky. His precious daughter was actually deflowered by this young man? Not only was she deflowered, but even got pregnant with his grandson?
If he were to calmly think about it, Ling Han had just arrived in the Immortal Realm for only a month. How could it possibly happen? But now that he was completely lost in his own thoughts on the word 'grandchild', he could barely think straight.
"Yanyu!" he roared suddenly.
Shui Yanyu was waiting at the door. After hearing her name being shouted, she quickly pushed open the door and entered the room, only to see that all her father's hair was completely standing on ends while his eyes were practically spurting out fire; he had completely lost it.
She couldn't help but wonder what Ling Han had said to her father that actually caused the latter to fly into such a rage.
"You, you, you…" Shui Zige pointed at Shu Yanyu, so angry that he could not speak.
Ling Han reached out, and said, "Father-in-law, if you are to blame someone, blame me!"
"Get lost! Get lost now!" Shui Zige waved them away repeatedly. Now, he only wanted to be alone to digest such an astonishing piece of news.
"Let's go!" Ling Han pulled at Shui Yanyu and ran.
Shui Yanyu couldn't make heads or tails of the situation. Only when they had left the Shui Clan's manor did she ask, "What did you say to my father?"
"Oh, I was afraid that he would break us up, so I said that you're already having 'a bun in the oven'," Ling Han answered casually.
"What's a bun in the oven?" Shui Yanyu asked blankly. She was still very pure, and was totally clueless on the matters between a man and woman.
"What are you laughing at? Spit it out!"
"It means that your father is going to be a grandfather soon."
Shui Yanyu was stunned for a moment before she finally recovered, and her pretty face became filled with killing intent. "Ling Han, I'm going to kill you!" She began to chase Ling Han, brandishing her sword.'Bun in the oven': an English idiom that refers to pregnancy. Author uses the term '有了' which directly translate to 'have something' i.e. with child