There was a square table that was more than one meter long in front of the storyteller, and a cup of steaming-hot green tea was on the table.
There were around twenty to thirty people who gathered around. They were seated near their square red sandalwood tables and chatted idly while they enjoyed the tea.
The business in this restaurant was surprisingly good.
"Waiter, I want a pot of Nan Ge tea and two plates of pickled vegetables."
Ye Qingyu selected a seat near the window.
Nan Ge tea was created by Leng Xiaoran and named after his wife, Heng Yuge. The tea was blended with wild peach blossom petals and bamboo leaves, which made it refreshing, mellow, and very fragrant. It was one of the specialties of South Facing Inn.
"Hehe, I'm sorry sir. I can tell that you must be a regular customer here, but you haven't been back in some time, right? We don't sell Nan Ge tea these days. How about a pot of Biluochun [TN note: a type of green tea]? It is also fragrant with a refreshing taste and it is very moisturizing for your body." A strange expression flashed past the waiter's eyes but he carefully hid it. Then, he bowed slightly and smiled brightly.
"Oh." Ye Qingyu nodded and said nonchalantly, "It has indeed been a while. Oh yes, I remember that the original shopkeepers of this place were a young couple. Has there been a change of owners?"
The waiter smiled and said, "Yes, this business is now run by the Greater One Sect."
Just as he had expected.
Ye Qingyu nodded. He took out a half of a common origin crystal and placed it on the table, then turned to look out of the window.
The waiter did not say anything else and thanked him with a smile as he took the origin crystal. Then, he returned to the counter.
At that moment, the storyteller finished his opening preamble and took a long sip of hot tea before he started to tell his tale.
The gavel smacked loudly on the table.
Silence fell upon the entire area even before he started to speak.
Everyone who had been speaking idly just moments before turned to look at the storyteller. Naturally, Ye Qingyu also turned in the direction of the sound.
"I said in my previous tale that the Greater One Sect's troops had descended on the city and that the leader of these rebels, Chen Zhengliang, sought after the position of the city lord. He then slandered the Greater One Sect, claiming that they were not fit to be called humans because they massacred their own and he refused to hand over the city. He insisted on protecting the survivors of the Immortal God Emperor Sect, and in a fit of anger, the Greater One Sect proclaimed war. War was about to break out any moment and those who supported the rebel leader, Chen Zhengliang, fiercely defended the city alongside him. They joined forces with the Immortal God Emperor Sect and planned to fight to their deaths. They put up a last-ditch resistance, but their capability, especially their ability to fight against the mighty Greater One Sect, meant that the days were especially dark and blood flowed like a river everywhere in the city…"
Ye Qingyu was completely astonished.
Chen Zhengliang had refused to hand over the city and even engaged in battle with the Greater One Sect Army?
This was a different version of events compared to what he had been expecting.
According to the storyteller, this happened because Chen Zhengliang insisted on protecting the survivors of the Immortal God Emperor Sect. Could it be because he was protecting Heng Yuge, Leng Xiaoran, and the others? Based on this story, the Greater One Sect Army's arrival seemed to be a surprise attack, which meant that no one from the Immortal God Emperor Sect had time to react before they were trapped within the city. Chen Zhengliang, Leng Xiaoran, and the others had gone through life and death together and once joined forces to resist the great army of the Demon Spider Race. It made sense that he would insist on protecting Leng Xiaoran and the others.
The feeling of dread grew stronger.
He listened calmly as the storyteller continued to tell his tale.
"This was how the bloody battle ended: After three intense days of fighting day and night… On the morning of the fourth day, the leaders of the Greater One Sect led the Greater One Sect Army, which had eight thousand strong men and one hundred warships, to sweep into and take control of the city and kill the leader of this rebellion… The elite soldiers of the Greater One Sect Army surged into the city in mighty numbers and crushed the rebellious traitors. Those who stood together with their leader, the so-called City Lord Chen Zhengliang, put up a desperate fight, but they were all killed. As for Leng Xiaoran and the others from the Immortal God Emperor Sect, they were also killed on the spot. There were also rebel factions that sided with the Immortal God Emperor Sect led by citizens like Golden Sword Scar, Elder Zheng, and others. They tried to flee in terror but they were captured by the Greater One Sect Army and were all brutally tortured. Ultimately, they were beheaded and their heads displayed on the city wall while their bodies were thrown onto the mountain of corpses that piled up at the city gates; their blood joined the sea of blood from the other deceased…"
The storyteller continued to describe the scene vividly and those around him cheered occasionally.
Ye Qingyu froze on the spot as though he had been struck by lightning.
Chen Zhengliang, Leng Xiaoran, Golden Sword Scar, Elder Zheng…
Are they all dead?
Ye Qingyu could not bring himself to accept this. He found it completely unbelievable.
The scenes from the past flashed past his mind like a slideshow.
These people were all brave warriors of the Human Race and heroic blood flowed through their veins. They had once fought alongside each other to resist the Demon Spider Army and fought desperately to protect Flowing Light City and the poor within the city. After they emerged victorious, they celebrated over drinks and shared their lofty ambitions for the future.
However, these people were now reduced to faceless names and they were called bandits and traitors who only existed in this storyteller's stories; their names sullied and dirtied by him for the pleasure and derision of his audience.
And their murderers were now hailed as heroes?
He was suddenly consumed by a rage so strong that it could ignite an entire field.
He gripped the teacup in his hand tightly and his eyes flashed icily but he did not do anything else. He did not let his emotions show on his face either.
Anyone who looked at him would assume that he was a listener who was so engrossed in the story that he could not help getting emotional.
Ye Qingyu was sure that this storyteller was just trying to make a living in the Greater One Sect's business establishment, so it made sense that he had changed the historical facts to favor the victors.
The true criminal who had slaughtered his good friends was none other than the Greater One Sect!
Ye Qingyu tamped down his urge to go on a killing rampage.
The storyteller continued to tell his tale.
"… The Immortal God Emperor Sect traitor, Heng Yuge, was captured alive and was left out in the blazing sun for ten days to force all the other forces and citizens who bore ill-will toward the Greater One Sect into submission. This female traitor was not remorseful at all and publicly insulted and swore at the Greater One Sect. Therefore, the leader of the Greater One Sect personally presided over her sentencing and she was sentenced to be beheaded publicly in the city. That evening when her sentence was due to be carried out, the glow from the setting sun was like blood that dyed the heavens red. Just before the knife was about to come down on her neck, a traitor who had planted himself in amongst the crowd suddenly appeared. This man had a bushy beard and he was extraordinarily powerful. His punches were like steel and their splendor as glorious as a sunset. The seven experts on stage were unable to subdue him and he almost managed to kill his way out of the execution ground. However, he was but one man, so how could he possibly defeat the entire Greater One Sect Army? The army soon surrounded him and just when he was about to be captured, he suddenly produced a mysterious treasure in the shape of a tile. He rescued that traitor Heng Yuge and they both disappeared in a bright flash, never to be seen again…"
Heng Yuge was not dead but someone had come to her rescue?
His punches glowed like setting suns… and a bushy beard?
Ye Qingyu connected the dots and could not help heaving a sigh of relief when he heard that. His eyes flashed and he immediately guessed that the traitor who rescued Heng Yuge was most likely Hu Bugui. Hu Bugui was strong enough to have been able to escape alive while carrying off a rescue mission. Furthermore, he had half a piece of that mysterious tile, which was very formidable.
"… The rise of the Greater One Sect was unstoppable and rapid but this powerful force and its mighty power would not only stop there. The next chapter of my tale will be about the epic battle between the Human and Demon Races and how the Greater One Sect powerfully crushed the Demon Spider Race." The storyteller slowly picked up his teacup and took a sip of tea. The small bowl next to him was already filled with quite a number of coins.
After the storyteller finished his tale, the guests started to chatter amongst themselves as they sipped their tea.
"Shall we return tomorrow to hear the tale about the Demon Spider Race? I heard that this tale is even more exciting than that of Flowing Light City." Someone in the restaurant mentioned the battle in Flowing Light City that happened many years ago.
"I heard rumors that the Greater One Sect forced several demon races from the Clear River Domain back to their homeland and even the Demon Spider Race was forced to retreat back to their Heaven Spider Mountains. From the looks of things, I'd bet that we, the Human Race, will soon be ruling over the Clear River Domain. Haha, this is great news."
"Haha, that remains to be seen. Strictly speaking, rather than the Human Race ruling over the Clear River Domain, it would be the Greater One Sect that will rule over the Clear River Domain. The other Human Race sects have either been attacked or have been besieged, including the Immortal God Emperor Sect. A few days ago, I heard news that the Greater One Sect Army has already besieged the Immortal God Emperor Sect in the Wei Mountains and a battle might break out anytime soon. If this rumor is true, then the Immortal God Emperor Sect would be in a precarious position. Furthermore, the Greater One Sect's combat strength is not something that the Immortal God Emperor Sect would be able to go up against." A young man in black could not help interrupting.
Ye Qingyu was about to leave to rush to the mansion of the city lord of Flowing Light City and capture the men who held senior positions in the Greater One Sect that were stationed in the city, but he paused when he heard those words and decided to stay a while longer.
Then, a middle-aged man who gave off a vagrant air also joined the conversation. He sighed and said, "In the past two years, those sects who had formed alliances with the Immortal God Emperor Sect were all annihilated by the Greater One Sect, and I heard that the Hundred Spirits Sect is the only remaining sect. I don't know how long they'd be able to last either, but the strange thing is, the Greater One Sect doesn't seem to be making a move to attack this sect at the moment. The Hundred Spirits Sect might be safe for now."
"The Hundred Spirits Sect?"
Ye Qingyu's heart skipped a beat.
When he exchanged letters with Nan Tieyi two years ago, he had mentioned the Hundred Spirits Sect. After that battle, the Hundred Spirits Sect's gate was destroyed and it was almost completely annihilated, but the younger generation of disciples, including Shen Menghua and Liu Ruxin, worked to rebuild the sect. Although it was not yet back to its peak, it had gradually regained most of its power.
"That's where you are wrong. The Greater One Sect might not have launched an attack on the Hundred Spirits Sect, but that doesn't mean that the sect is safe from harm," suddenly, another person joined the conversation.
Ye Qingyu immediately recognized the newcomer as the storyteller who had left earlier but now returned to join the conversation.
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