After Lin Xuan heard the old man's report of what happened, his eyes flashed with anger but he was also helpless to do anything about it. Just as how a shrimp would dupe the dragon when it is in the shallow water and a tiger could be teased by a dog when it leaves the remote mountains, a man who loses power and influence would be subjected to indignity. Back when the Marquis' residence was at its peak, countless people passed through its gates every day, but now that the Marquis had fallen from grace, everyone was hitting him while he was down.
There were around fifty-odd soldiers heading toward the Marquis' residence in the distance, including Zhou Hailong.
The two figures who led the group were dressed in brocade robes and rode loftily on dragon beasts that leaped and bore down menacingly on the Marquis' residence. They moved with an arrogant and overbearing air that could not be disguised and everyone on the streets hurriedly moved away when they saw these soldiers and kept a far distance from them...
The dragon beasts’ huge hooves stomped loudly before they finally stopped in front of Marquis' Tingtao's residence.
"Ha ha, I heard that there was an idiot who had the guts to stand up for Marquis Tingtao. Ha ha ha, I'm here to see who this misguided soul is," a young man dressed in a purple long robe gracefully hopped off his dragon beast.
The other man was a stately middle-aged man who sat boldly on top of a dragon's head that was more than ten meters tall. He looked down at them like he was a lofty divine king surveying his ordinary citizens.
Dozens of soldiers fanned out from both sides to surround the residence.
They split into two teams but moved in perfect unison as though they were one entity and completely surrounded the main gate and both sides of the Marquis' residence. This military formation and crisp footwork marked these men as elite soldiers.
"That's him..." Zhou Hailong pointed at Ye Qingyu who stood on the stairs, looking very pleased with himself.
"This is the fool who has meddled in Your Grace's business and vehemently spoke up for you but he refused to take Your Grace seriously. He even asked me to send for reinforcements... Your Grace, you must not let this arrogant prick off today," Zhou Hailong said, seeking to inflame and incite.
"Ha ha, I was wondering who could this fool be but now I see that he's just a brash fellow," the young man in purple said with a cold scoff. He drew closer to the door and waved the whip in his hand as he said, "Who the hell do you think you are? How dare you stick your nose into our business? Tell me your name."
It was obvious that he didn't know who Ye Qingyu was.
The stately middle-aged man behind him and the soldiers that surrounded the Marquis' residence did not recognize Ye Qingyu either. After all, Ye Qingyu had just been appointed to his position and it was only the first day since he assumed his position as the [Military Judge of the Nine Swords]. Moreover, he was not dressed in official robes but wore plain clothes.
Lin Xuan was about to reveal Ye Qingyu's identity when Ye Qingyu stopped him with a wave and said, "Your Grace, please leave this to me."
Lin Xuan had no choice but to retreat at Ye Qingyu's words.
He felt hope spring in his heart since this newly appointed Military Judge made it seem like he was going to step in to handle this matter. This was no longer about lending a helping hand because now that he had been appointed to his official title, every word and action he made carried weight. Lin Xuan was certain that the Military Judge knew exactly what his actions meant.
"Who are you?"
Ye Qingyu asked after he stepped off the stairs and walked toward the young man. He only stopped when there was a distance of ten steps between them.
"Ah?" the handsome young man asked in surprise. Then, he threw his head back in laughter. "Ha ha ha, ha ha, are you seriously telling me that you don't know who I am? You've just proved that you're an ignorant fool. You don't even know what you've gotten yourself into and I can't believe that somebody as naive as yourself could exist. Ha ha, how interesting. Now I feel a little bad for having to kill you."
He laughed till he was about to cry but when he lifted his head, all the amusement on his face had vanished to be replaced by fierce killing intent. "Listen up, bastard. I'm the son of Marquis Bloodbone, Jia Zhen. By provoking me, you've also offended my entire residence, so today shall be the day you die."
"Oh, you're from the Marquis Bloodbone's residence," Ye Qingyu said with a nod.
He had heard about Marquis Bloodbone through Linghu Buxiu.
It was said that Marquis Bloodbone was an expert of the Bloodbone Race and that he was a newly promoted Marquis who had been promoted because he had thrown his support behind the King of Zhenyuan. Recently, he had also been causing all sorts of trouble within Royal City. As a long-time ally of the King of Zhenyuan, he had exploited his connections with the King of Zhenyuan to secretly bully both men and women, sell Dark One slaves, lie about his military achievements and other terrible deeds. He was one of the menaces at Royal City and his hands were tainted with the blood of many innocent people. He was a well-known tyrant, but because he was under the King of Zhenyuan's protection and had also carefully steered away from offending the bigwigs at Royal City, he had lived comfortably and had even received multiple promotions.
This arrogant young man in front of Ye Qingyu was Jia Zhen, the son of Marquis Bloodbone.
This meant that the stately middle-aged man who sat atop a dragon beast, surveying the scene like a divine king, was probably none other than Marquis Bloodbone. Did he really think that he was some kind of deity who had power over all living creatures?
"Oh, so what's so amazing about Marquis Bloodbone's residence then? Marquis Tingtao's residence is also the residence of a Marquis. You commanded others to batter at his door and they spoke disrespectfully at the Marquis, so you've already gone against the law by insulting the authority of a well-respected Marquis. Aren't you afraid that you'd be punished for your actions?" Ye Qingyu said calmly.
"Ha ha ha, the law? I am the law... No one would dare to utter a single word of censure even if I destroyed Marquis Tingtao's entire residence tonight. He he, you're just an ignorant fool, did you actually think that I'd be punished?" Jia Zhen said with a loud chuckle.
There was no trace of amusement in his eyes but instead, they were filled with murderous spirit and purple lightning could vaguely be seen forming within them.
He was clearly about to attack.
"I'm afraid that you wouldn't find it so amusing if the newly appointed [Military Judge of the Nine Swords] hears about this," Ye Qingyu continued calmly.
"Ha ha, why should I fear him? He's just a country bumpkin who has just arrived at the Royal City. Ha ha, only Nie Tiankong that idiot treats him like some kind of treasure..." Jia Zhen smiled sinisterly and said, "The damn Military Judge wouldn't be able to last long either. Once the King of Zhenyuan returns, he'd be doomed to die as well... As for you, you should use your blood to pay for the crime of insulting the glorious Marquis Bloodbone's residence!"
Then, his figure flashed as he immediately made his move.
A thin sword burst forth from his palm like a bolt of purple lightning. It moved extremely quickly as it charged straight toward the area between Ye Qingyu's brows.
His attack had been extremely ruthless and full of evil blood qi.
Jia Zhen was pretty powerful and he was at least a peak Great Saint. Furthermore, he exuded an aura that was exclusive to the experts of the military, which meant he had clearly seen blood, killed others, fought on the battlefield, and had a wealth of combat experience.
The soldiers around them who saw this attack couldn't help but release a secret sigh of admiration.
"The young master's [Purple Current] sword technique has improved to the point where it is simply phenomenal..." Zhou Hailong said with a sycophantic smile.
The smile froze on his face even before he finished speaking.
The situation had suddenly changed in the distance.
Ye Qingyu had merely stretched out his finger as though he was trying to pick a flower and with a gentle pinch, he caught that bolt of lightning that was ripping through the void. He then turned his wrist around and the thick purple sword immediately curved, its tip now pointed at the space between Jia Zhen's brows...
He had moved so gracefully that his movements came as naturally as flowing water, without any trace of violence.
"You..." Jia Zhen was flabbergasted.
He realized that things were not looking good but when he tried to retreat, he felt the sword emit a powerful and unyielding force that instantly pinned him to the spot, as though it had cast a paralysis charm on him.
He was scared witless and felt the shadow of death loom closer.
However, the tip of the sword suddenly stopped right before it was about to pierce through his skin.
Cold sweat flowed from his forehead uncontrollably.
Ye Qingyu looked at him with a faint smile as he held that sharp blade that could shatter jade as though it was a harmless vine, then he turned to look at Zhou Hailong who was a picture of astonishment and said, "I must admit that I'm disappointed... I gave you time and an opportunity to summon your most powerful supporter, but you came back with this fellow who couldn't even handle one blow from me?"
"I..." Zhou Hailong felt like a sharp blade was pointed at his back as his eyes met Ye Qingyu's gaze that was as calm as black ice. An inexplicable sense of fear washed over him and he instinctively took a step back.
Ye Qingyu ignored him and turned his attention toward Jia Zhen as he asked, "You act in such an incredibly arrogant manner, but you're pathetically weak and foolishly ignorant, so how dare you try to act like you're all that in front of me?"
This was a great blow to Jia Zhen's pride and he gritted his teeth in anger.
However, he did not dare to move an inch because of that piercing energy that felt like pinpricks from the tip of Ye Qingyu's sword. He felt as though the sword tip would crush him the moment he spoke.
Clang! Clang! Clang!
The soldiers around them immediately drew their swords and surrounded Ye Qingyu.
"Protect the young master."
"How dare you? Let our young master go right now."
Those who spoke were the bodyguards of Marquis Bloodbone's residence, so they were an elite group of soldiers but when Ye Qingyu glanced over at them, these bodyguards did not dare to draw any closer to him since Jia Zhen's life was in his hands.
The situation hung in a delicate balance.
Marquis Bloodbone who had been observing everything from his perch on the dragon beast's head finally spoke. A flash of iciness crossed his eyes as he said, "Alright, time to put a stop to this. Let him go."
He was talking to Ye Qingyu.
"Oh? Why should I let him go?" Ye Qingyu turned to look at Marquis Bloodbone and said, "If I let him go the moment you ask me to, then wouldn't this make me look bad?"
Marquis Bloodbone said contemptuously and coldly from his lofty perch, "There's no other way for you but to back down. My son might be in your hands but you wouldn't dare to kill him, so how long are you going to drag this on for? You should let him go—— if you know what's good for you."
Ye Qingyu said with a small smile, "Who told you that I wouldn't kill him?"
"Ha ha, there might be people within the Royal City who would have the guts to kill the son of a Marquis, but you're definitely not one of them... If you had the guts to kill him, you would have done so from the beginning instead of holding him hostage. Neither would you have spouted so much crap and tried to put on a tough front..." Marquis Bloodbone said confidently. "If you let him go right now and get on your knees to swear fealty to me, I might let you escape with your life if I'm in a good mood."
"Oh? Really?" Ye Qingyu laughed and said, "Unfortunately, regardless of how you may be feeling, I'm not in a good mood right now... so..."
Then, he exerted gentle force onto the tip of his blade.
The thin blade pierced through Jia Zhen's brows as though it was piercing a piece of tofu.
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