Chapter 4 – A Yan Zhaoge Who Does Not Follow the Script
**Originally translated by Incarneous, with edits
The old and white haired Elder Cui maintained his kind and benign act, all smiles while looking towards Ye Jing. To a spectator, it was almost as though he did not realize the implication of his words.
Yan Zhaoge looked first at Elder Cui, then at Ye Jing. Suddenly, he found this entire situation laughable.
The ordained son of Heaven, when faced against an opponent the current him stood no chance against, would often receive the passive or active backing of certain forces. These forces would become his shield providing time and opportunities for him to grow, at least before he charged out of the beginner village.
‘The enemy of your enemy is your friend.’ These people were usually those who stood opposite to the villainous cannon fodder.
Once the ordained son of Heaven completed his growth, these forces could just sit comfortably back and watch as he started a massacre of epic proportions. As allies, they would naturally benefit a hundredfold in return.
Normally, these people would be known as… the righteous faction?
“He truly exudes the air of a well-rehearsed actor. This is a perfect play out of the scripted scenario.”
Yan Zhaoge sized up Elder Cui and Ye Jing. He did not hide his action; nor was he polite about it.
Elder Cui did not miss this. However, rather than becoming angry, he was secretly delighted.
“As rumoured, those who are domineering and ostentatious will seek to avenge every slight,” the white bearded old man smiled without any indication of his true thoughts, “Having lost face in front of these people, even while there are only sixteen here, the news will soon spread quickly, from one to ten, ten to a hundred…Now that the thorn has been planted, the child won’t be able to take this slight lying down. Whether he explodes here or endures until the Sealing Dragon Abyss, both outcomes are acceptable.”
Yan Zhaoge watched Elder Cui, and then looked towards Ye Jing again. Deep inside, he was laughing derisively.
“First I express my disdain. Next Ye Jing expresses his unyielding spirit. Then I become angry because I lost face when he contradicted me. Finally I send my underlings in the form of servants or junior disciples to teach him a lesson, only for them to be beaten so badly that they are left searching for their teeth all over the floor. In this situation, I cannot personally move unless the opponent commits an obvious offense; even if I act openly, I can only exchange pointers or compare skills.”
So long as a challenge had not been issued by someone of a lower cultivation, using your cultivation to suppress that person would earn a martial practitioner a reputation of bullying the weak.
And it just so happened that the ordained son of Heaven would also possess the main character aura, which would grant him the innate divine ability to surpass levels to slaughter his enemies and stand unrivalled against opponents at the same cultivation level.
Sending a single small fry would not work. Sending a mob was also ineffective for the most part. On the contrary, there was even a possibility of them turning into large amounts of experience points, thereby increasing Ye Jing’s growth rate.
“Maybe, if he keeps fighting, he’ll even level up on the spot?”
This was not an impossible thing.
“At that time, because my underlings have been beaten black and blue, I’ll fly into a fit of rage. Without caring whether I’m bullying the weak, I’ll try to teach this Ye Jing a lesson. Even though Ye Jing is currently much weaker than me, his unyielding staunchness will still allow him to withstand several exchanges as he shows off his brilliance.”
“Perhaps he’ll even use his magical plot device to make me suffer a small defeat.”
“And when I finally get serious and decide to beat him half dead, this Elder Cui or whoever will pop up of nowhere and overturn the situation. As for me, I would spout some cliché lines, ‘Kid, consider yourself lucky’ or something like that. And just like that, wouldn’t the performance come to an end?”
“Even if I win this fight, there’s no glory to be had. Most people would think I’m using my strength to bully the weak. Wouldn’t their sympathies go to Ye Jing instead?”
Yan Zhaoge twitched his lip, “This script… do you think I’m an idiot?”
Elder Cui beamed ever so innocently at Yan Zhaoge and Ye Jing. Sikong Qing looked at Yan Zhaoge guardedly. Everyone else stared at Yan Zhaoge with both apprehension and expectation, wondering how he would respond.
“The Sealing Dragon Abyss; only a few among you have gone there before. Even so, you should all know its fearsome reputation,” In the face of everyone’s expectations, Yan Zhaoge finally began speaking, “With your cultivation, even without entering its depth, merely nearing its outskirts will entail grave danger for you. Even though I will be travelling alongside you, the true purpose of this trip is for you to temper yourselves, and not to go around sightseeing. I will act as necessary, but you will also need to persevere and rely on yourself.”
Hearing Yan Zhaoge’s words, Elder Cui let out a slight smile. He thought to himself, “It seems Yan Zhaoge will wait until the Sealing Dragon Abyss before acting.”
Ye Jing and Sikong Qing both felt a chill within their hearts.
However, at this time, Yan Zhaoge suddenly changed his tune, “You and I will journey together. Thus I will naturally look after you. And as they say, to do a good job, you will need good tools…”
Yan Zhaoge snapped his fingers, “Ah Hu.”
A tall and sturdy figure appeared in the doorway, “Yes, Young Master?”
Yan Zhaoge said, “Bring me sixteen second-grade products. Yes, and mainly choose the defensive kind.”
“As you say, Young Master,” replied Ah Hu, the burly large attendant who was always at his side.
Not long after, Ah Hu returned from his task with his arms full of objects, which he then placed in front of everyone.
An entire field of magnificent light flashed and flickered so brightly that the young disciples were unable to open their eyes. Furthermore, strong waves of spiritual qi caused their blood and aura-qi to heave.
“Artifacts! They’re all artifacts!” each and every person expressed their shock, “Senior apprentice-brother Yan, these artifacts…”
Yan Zhaoge continued as if nothing happened, “These are from my personal collection and not from the clan. I have decided to grant them to you. There are a total of sixteen artifacts, one for each of you. Now, you may come forth and pick your own artifact in order of seniority.”
The entire hall was suddenly silent. A couple of vague noises sounded in the background as if someone was swallowing their saliva.
To these new disciples with their lowly cultivation, these artifacts were rare treasures. Ye Jing and the other two were only granted artifacts after having withstood heavy competition in the clan’s youth competition and taken the top three spots. And even so, they only received a single artifact each.
How much effort had they spent? How much of a glorious feat had they had to perform, to be bestowed with an artifact at that time?
But now, everyone was suddenly given an artifact each just like that.
Even though Ye Jing and the other two already possessed artifacts, how could anyone reject another one of those precious treasures?
It was just that Yan Zhaoge had just taken out these sixteen whole artifacts without blinking an eyelid, as if these were not the artifacts that the younger generation yearned for even in their dreams but rather a pile of scrap metal.
Moreover, Yan Zhaoge had not used his identity to obtain these from the clan’s reserves. Instead, this was his personal property.
Everyone’s attitude towards Yan Zhaoge suddenly changed from before, as they regarded him with increasingly greater enthusiasm.
Ye Jing tightened his fists instead. The anger in his eyes could not be hidden.
He felt that Yan Zhaoge had humiliated him, having done so by purposefully flaunting his wealth and status.
Sikong Qing looked towards Yan Zhaoge and slightly shook her head in displeasure.
Elder Cui was initially surprised, but soon after, started laughing inwardly, “What is this supposed to be? Using wealth to make friends; bribing others to isolate Ye Jing while showing off his wealth at the same time?”
“Admittedly, this is an excellent hand. The results aren’t bad either. He managed to regain the face lost earlier. However, this course of action is… is… ha ha, truly the actions of a hedonistic silkpants…”
“This child is not someone to fear. In the future, he will definitely cause trouble for his father.”
Elder Cui smiled while shaking his head. He picked up and examined a set of armor, before speaking to Ye Jing and the others, “The Sealing Dragon Abyss is indeed dangerous. This is also a kindness from your senior apprentice-brother Yan.”
Facing everyone’s expectant looks, Yan Zhaoge continued to speak steadily without any change in demeanour as if he didn’t notice their reactions, “These things are my gifts to you; thus, I will not ask for them back. They are yours now. However, I request that you report the performance of these artifacts back to me. Whether you are nourishing them or wielding them, please keep proper records of their performance. That way, I can separate the wheat from the chaff and make proper adjustments when I refine the next batch of artifacts.”
The disciples all agreed to Yan Zhaoge’s request simultaneously. Then, they all seemed to have suddenly realised something as they turned to focus their attention on Yan Zhaoge. Their expressions were unnatural, as though they had just seen a ghost.
Elder Cui trembled involuntarily. The artifact within his hand nearly fell out of his loosened grip. “What did you just say?”