Due to Lin Xie's superior talent, the Lin Clan had risen to the top of the Three Great Clans over the past few years. His strength surpassed even that of Lin Xie's mother, the current matriarch, a low-tier Celestial God. Their combined prowess made it so that few dared oppose them in Dusklight City.
As for the Zhao Clan, they were the weakest of the Three Great Clans. Be it the potential successor or the current clan head, they came nowhere close in comparison to Lin Xie and his mother. The only reason they were classified as one of the Three Great Clans was because of their absolute dominance in the markets of the city, making them the wealthiest family of all.
In the Lin Clan's manor...
"Lin Xie, your current strength doesn't pale in comparison to that Ming Laixiang at all. Why do you have to heed her words and give up on the city lord position? You must know that you aren't alone. You have the entire Lin Clan behind you!" The clan head of the Lin Clan looked at the middle-aged man before him in disappointment.
There was no doubt that Lin Xie was one of the most powerful cultivators in Dusklight City. The entire Lin Clan was looking forward to the day that Lin Xie took the city lord position and took the clan to greater heights, but who could have known that a nobody would actually beat him to it?
Even if someone took the city lord position, all they had to do was snatch it away from him. Yet, Lin Xie simply chose to acknowledge him without even putting up a fight.
The more he thought about it, the more furious he became.
This was the only chance that the Lin Clan had to rise to the top of Dusklight City, but Lin Xie was giving up on it just like that!
"If Ming Laixiang isn't a match for him, I won't be able to defeat him either. Furthermore, he has managed to assimilate the City Lord Monument. Instead of humiliating myself, I might as well concede willingly." Lin Xie shook his head and replied calmly. "Alright, I'll be heading in to cultivate now. Don't bother me if there isn't anything else."
After saying those words, Lin Xie turned around to return to his room.
At this moment, a butler suddenly rushed over and clasped his fist. "Clan Head, Young Master Lin Xie! The new city lord announced that he will hold a public lecture, and it began a moment ago. Quite a few people have gathered around to listen to it. Shall we send our people over to listen in as well?"
"Send our people over to listen in? That fellow just stole our Lin Clan's city lord position! He should be grateful that we aren't trying to wreak havoc in the midst of his lecture, let alone join in. Does he really expect our Lin Clan to become his students?" The clan head waved his hand angrily.
"This…"The butler could tell that the dan head was furious, but after a moment of hesitation,he still chose to meekly add, "According to the reports from those participating in the lecture, it seems like the public lecture is quite beneficial to one's cultivation. There are many cultivators who have been enlightened by his words..."
"Enlightened by his words? Tsk, those are nothing more than rumors that fellow is spreading around to bulk up his reputation! I have watched plenty of such charades over the years!" the clan head replied impatiently. "Enough! Warn the members of the clan that they aren't allowed to listen to the lecture and receive his teachings. Anyone who disobeys the orders will have their names taken out of the clan registry, and they won't be allowed to step through the doors of our manor ever again!"
Seeing that the dan head had already made up his mind, the butler could only hold back his words and leave the room helplessly to relay the orders.
"Lin Xie, do you see that? That fellow started buying the hearts of the populace as soon as he became the city lord! Once he manages to reinforce his position, the whole of Dusklight City will fall under his control! You mentioned that you want to cultivate, right? Very well. I'll have our eight elders to use our Lin Clan's secret formation to raise your cultivation. By hook or by crook, you have to get the city lord position!" the clan head said with gritted teeth.
"The secret formation? That won't do! It'll cause the eight elders to sustain significant damage, and even their lifespans will be shortened!" Lin Xie was astounded.
The Lin Clan had a secret formation that channeled the powers of several cultivators into one single person, thus raising that individual's cultivation. As the increment was minor and it caused great damage to those participating in the formation, it had hardly been used before.
Lin Xie did not expect the clan head to propose such a thing all of a sudden.
"There's no need to say any more. As long as you become the city lord, it will all be worth it. There's only one thing you have to do now, and that's to condition your current state and prepare yourself to accept the powers of the eight elders!" the clan head said with a resolute wave of his hand.
Soon, the eight elders of the Lin Clan, all low-tier Celestial Gods, entered Lin Xie's room and swiftly prepared the formation and channeled their energy into Lin Xie's body.
All in all, the process took eight whole hours.
Lin Xie felt refreshed and reinvigorated. He could feel incredible strength surging through his body, and he felt like there was nothing in the world that could stop him.
Channeling all this power toward his dantian, his cultivation immediately rose to new heights.
Half high-tier Celestial God!
Even though he did not manage to raise his cultivation all the way to high-tier Celestial God, there was no doubt that his fighting prowess was significantly stronger than before.
"With such strength, the city lord position is already within my grasp..." Lin Xie exhaled deeply as an ambitious glint flashed across his eyes.
His chances of victory against Ming Laixiang were only 50:50 in the past, but after absorbing the powers of the eight elders, he was confident that he would be able to overpower the latter easily!
The city lord position was his for the taking!
Thank you, everyone..." Lin Xie bowed deeply in gratitude to the eight elders were lying on the floor, looking as if they had been sucked dry.
In essence, the eight elders had traded their cultivation in order to raise his cultivation a little...
Losing eight low-tier Celestial Gods at once was indubitably a huge blow to any power in Dusklight City. No one would make such a choice under normal circumstances.
However, the sudden change in the situation forced them to make this desperate move. Once the new city lord built up his base of support and consolidated his power, it would be nigh impossible for them to overthrow him.
As long as he became the city lord, he would make sure to compensate the eight elders who had sacrificed themselves!
"Say no more. Get that city lord position, and it'll be worth it even if we lose our lives..." a snowy bearded elder said weakly.
"Go. The city lord position can only belong to our Lin Clan..." another elder added.
Yes!" Lin Xie bowed deeply to the elders once more before leaving the room.
Just as he was about to head out, the butler from before rushed over to report, "Clan Head, Young Master Lin Xie... Unaffiliated Cultivator Wu Yang, Clan Head Tian Fei, and Clan Head Zhao Meng have arrived with their juniors!"
"They have come? What are they planning to do?"
The clan head and Lin Xie traded perplexed glances.
It was true that the Three Great Clans had ties with one another, but as they were in a position of rivalry, they were very wary around one another. It was bewildering to see all of them rushing there in the middle of the night.
"Invite them in!" the clan head said.
Soon, the crowd were all settled within the main hall.
"It's a pleasure to see you, Clan Head Lin and Young Master Lin Xie," the crowd greeted.
"Yes, it's great to see the rest of you as well. I would like to know the reason behind this surprising late-night visit."
Clan Head Lin got straight to the point.
Clan Head Tian chuckled softly before replying, "We came here right after listening to the city lord's lecture. We noticed that there was no one from the Lin Clan around, so we came over to take a look."
The city lord's lecture? Humph! Our Lin Clan is the number one clan of Dusklight City. We are not so desperate as to listen to the lessons of a young brat!" Lin Xie immediately blew his top upon hearing those words. "You must be joking with me!"
"Clan Head Lin, we have come here out of goodwill. We were concerned that you would be missing out given that none of your members were present for the lecture, so we specially recorded it down in a Record Crystal so as to share it with you. It's one thing for you to turn us down, but don't you think you are going overboard by insulting our teacher?" Clan Head Tian also lost his temper as well.
It had only been a short four-hour lecture, but that was more than enough for him to be completely awed by the young man sitting atop the stone monument. The insights he had gained from the young man were more than enough for him to view the latter as his teacher.
Your teacher? Hahaha! I know that he's the new city lord, but surely you don't have to grovel before him so quickly!
He might just be ousted very soon, making him the shortest-lived city lord in the history of the Sky of Drifting Specter!" Lin Xie sneered.
"Ousted? You wish to stage a revolt?" Clan Head Tian was stunned before bursting into laughter. "I see! It's because you've made a breakthrough, that's why you are saying such words..."
At this moment, Wu Yang, who had been silent all this while, suddenly stepped forward and said, "Since Brother Lin has made a breakthrough to half high-tier Celestial God, would you be interested in fighting me?"
The two of them had been competing for the city lord position for over half a year now, and they had traded blows several times in the past. As such, they were quite familiar with each other's skills.
"I would gladly accept your challenge!" Lin Xie replied with a confident smile.
He had been wanting to test his newfound strength after his breakthrough. It would be good if he could make an example out of his previous rival so as to show everyone in Dusklight City that he was no longer the same Lin Xie as before!
Lin Xie flitted forward with swift footsteps as he raised his palm to strike Wu Yang.
Since he had decided to make an example out of Wu Yang, it would be ideal if he crushed the latter with an overwhelming advantage •
So, he used his strongest move right from the start, choosing not to hold back at all.
But before Lin Xie could get close to Wu Yang, he suddenly felt a stinging pain on his cheek, and his body spun twice in the air before crashing to the ground.
Flabbergasted, he anxiously raised his head to see what had happened, only to see Wu Yang dusting off his palm leisurely after slapping him.
Lin Xie's eyes reddened with rage as he dashed forward once more.
Pah pah pah!
Three consecutive slaps struck Lin Xie's face, causing him to stumble onto the ground. He clasped his swollen cheeks as he looked at Wu Yang in bewilderment.
No matter how he looked at it, it was clear that Wu Yang was still a middle-tier God. So, how could the latter be so powerful?
They had been equally matched before, and he had just achieved a breakthrough. It should not have been possible for him to be so helpless before the other party!
"Lin Xie, I have always viewed you as a rival, but you aren't worthy of it at all!" Wu Yang gazed down at Lin Xie disdainfully from above. "Also, if you dare to speak badly about the city lord once more, I'll take your life!"
With those words, he turned around and left the manor.
Lin Xie was on the verge of going insane.
He had thought that he would be unmatched in Dusklight City after his breakthrough, but who could have known that he would only end up being slapped by a long-time rival instead?
How did the other party get so powerful all of a sudden?
They had just fought one another the day before, and he had not been anywhere close to being that powerful.
"Since our allegiance differs, it would only be awkward for us to continue associating with one another. Young Master Lin, in view of our past relations, I would just like to leave you with some words of advice before I leave. Don't go against the city lord anymore. You will only be hastening the Lin Clan's downfall," Clan Head Tian said as he rose to his feet.
"Hah, who do you think you are to speak so arrogantly before me?"
Seeing how even the low-tier Celestial God Clan Head Tian was making light of him, Lin Xie lost his cool. He immediately got to his feet and hurled a fist toward the other party.
He might be no match for Wu Yang, but it would still be a walk in the park for him to deal with a fellow who was so much weaker than him!
Pah pah pah!
Once again, before Lin Xie's fist could strike, several slaps landed squarely on his cheeks and sent him crashing to the ground.
The beating really made Lin Xie go silly.
The entire world should be his after his recent breakthrough.
Why did he regress to getting pummeled by even a mere low-tier Celestial God?
Just as Lin Xie was still trying to make sense of the situation, a shadow suddenly loomed above him. Raising his head, he saw Clan Head Zhao Meng standing right before him with an awful expression on his face.
"I also can't turn the other way when you have spoken badly about my teacher."
Then, without warning, his leg whipped forward to strike Lin Xie's abdomen.
Lin Xie immediately attempted to dodge, only to find the trajectory of the kick following him no matter where he went. He could not escape at all.
His body was immediately kicked into the sky and flew over ten meters.
"How could this be..."
Lin Xie did not think that he would also be no match for Zhao Meng, who was supposed to be the weakest of them all.
The latter was actually able to kick him flying so easily...
He was really going to lose his sanity at this rate.
We paid such a huge price to raise my cultivation, but why does it seem like everyone else is progressing faster than me?
Am I actually untalented as a cultivator?