Nine Astra Skies

Mad Snail

16 An Admonishmen

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Ever since receiving the First Grade Thunder Emperor Technique, every young scion of the family had been training themselves fervently with it. One could even train their Celestial Chi all the way to the Sixth Stage just by heeding the aforementioned teaching in the technique. Should they want to reach beyond the Sixth Stage, however, they would need the more advanced-graded teachings of the Thunder Emperor technique.

With the First Grade Thunder Emperor Technique serving as their lodestar in cultivation, the acolytes were improving their prowess drastically. A few of them had even reached the point of breaking through the Sixth Stage — including people who were supposedly experiencing meridian stasis such as Ye Mu and Ye Peng. Despite this well-known limitation that automatically manifested since one turned eighteen, ever since training themselves with the newly-disseminated First Grade Thunder Emperor Technique, Ye Mu and others like himself were experiencing signs of their rank barriers crumbling.

It was early in the morning when Ye Chen walked past the training grounds, which had become undeniably more crowded as more clan members became more motivated to train.

"That newly amended Inner Thunder Energy Cultivation that the Former Chief and the higher-ups had just taught us? It's a G.o.dsend! Far, far more powerful than the one version we've had for so long!"

"How are you faring?"

"Well, you know me. Stuck at the peak of the Fourth Stage for two years, and heavens know how anxious I've been about it! Yet, ever since I trained with the revised Inner Thunderclap Energy Cultivation technique, I'd just attained the Fifth Stage yesterday!"

 "Whoa, congratulations, Brother!"

The acolytes were chattering amicably among themselves just as a few of them took notice of Ye Chen pa.s.sing by from a distance. Quickly, they bolted up from their seats and greeted Ye Chen — after all, now that he was their Successor Chief, Ye Chen's new station warranted far more respect than before. Besides, everyone had seen his duel with Ye Kongyan, and Ye Chen's prowess had marked a long-lasting impression on them.

"Big Brother Ye Chen!"

"Big Brother Ye Chen!!" Ye Meng, Ye Ming and the rest of their gang were enthusiastic to see him. They began to surround him.

Seeing his closest clan brothers around him, Ye Chen flashed them a warm smile. It was uplifting to see them progress so quickly in their cultivation.

Just then, a group of eight men, forming a neat row, fell down to their knees before Ye Chen. "Big Brother Ye Chen, for all the deeds we had done in the past, we await your judgment."

All it took was a quick scan at their faces and Ye Chen instantly knew who these individuals were — these were the very same men who had taken s.a.d.i.s.tic pleasure at his misfortune throughout his three years as a crippled man, when his meridian channels were damaged.

Ye Chen raised his voice. "Oh? Then would you care to tell me what exactly why you are to be judged?"

These eight individuals stared among each other, unsure of their answer.

"Big Brother Ye Chen, let us teach them a good lesson this time!" Ye Meng and Ye Ming said in unison. All these years while Ye Chen was at his lowest point, these eight rascals had been acting as Ye Kongyan's lapdogs, savoring any given chance to mock him. They cast salt on Ye Chen's wounds during the whole three years but now, it was time for their retribution.

"Please forgive us, Big Brother Ye Chen! We were goaded by Ye Kongyan back then – we know better now!" One among the group cried out.

Ye Chen sneered stoically. "So, are all of you here out of sincere shame, or is all this motivated by fear due to the retribution Ye Kongyan suffered being detained in the Tribunal?"

The group fell into a confessional silence.

"Even up to this point, none of you have been able to understand exactly why your deeds were wrong. Perhaps all of you should kneel here forever until you've finally gotten it!" Ye Chen chastised, his expression a dark glower.

A chill coursed through the group's chest. However, they obeyed him fearfully, kneeling at their spots with their heads hung low.

The number of bystanders were growing in tandem with the commotion as they pointed and murmured among themselves while watching the spectacle. It was starting to become too humiliating for the group to stomach.

"I have some idea of what's going on in your minds. All of you are probably thinking that I am abusing my newfound powers as the Successor Chief, aren't you? You're probably feeling indignant, wishing that Ye Kongyan was the one who managed to a.s.sume this position instead, just so that you're spared from this humiliation. You would have been able to do whatever you want with immunity… Am I right?"

The group's face paled as panic wrought their faces. "N-no! We wouldn't dare think that at all! We know that we had been insolent back then — honestly! Please forgive us, Big Brother Ye Chen!"

By now, the realization that they had really crossed Ye Chen with their past antics was beginning to set in. It seemed that their fate as marked men had been sealed, and that there could only be inevitable reproach awaiting them. Frightened, the group became reluctant to admit to any accusations that might have implied defiance against their Successor Chief. 

"The Ye family is a large clan but each and every one of us is linked to the same lineage, the same ancestors. We grow up side by side, sharing bonds of brotherhood; When either one of us faces danger, all of us face the same danger. One for all, and all for one — that is how we survive the chaos this world brings! If anyone from our clan is struck by the misfortune of a disease or crippling injury, we help alleviate them from the pain any way we can, instead of mocking and laughing at them. If either of you had been wounded by anyone to the point that your meridian channels were severed, as your clan brother, I would have had no reason to stand by idly and watch you suffer. Now, it's fine to compete or see your fellow clan brothers as worthy rivals — and indeed, Ye Kongyan was not wrong to fight for the position of Successor Patriarch. However, his action of utilizing a depraved technique the likes of Shadow Storm Talon against his own kin, with the intention to harm — is nothing short of an iconoclastic attack on our ideals! When clan members plot against one another, they are effectively plotting against themselves, and the days of their clan become numbered. I'm not going to punish all of you today but when you return home, do yourself a favor, and read our clan's creed again!"

Throughout his lecture, Ye Chen had been so frigid and commanding, he silenced the entire crowd.

The eight individuals had become completely scarlet in shame. They had expected Ye Chen to jump at the chance of paying them back, yet he had opted to use the chance to impart a lesson than exact revenge, ultimately letting them off from a beating. As his words swirled in their minds, they now felt genuinely stricken by conscience.

Many of the younger bystanders were wearing a thoughtful expression after listening to Ye Chen's lecture. They had never given as much thought to this as Ye Chen — which was why after listening to his lecture, they could not help but be bought by his reasoning, which in turn inspired these junior to respect the young Successor Chief even more.

Even a few seniors in the clan who had been quietly observing Ye Chen were wearing expressions of approval at the young Successor Chief's decision.

'It really isn't an easy task to tie everyone in the clan together into a st.u.r.dy, unifying force.' Ye Chen thought to himself, thinking of his father and the Former Chief.

In order to better understand the family's business, Ye Chen decided to pay the Ye family's mining mountain a visit. Of course, now that he was one of the family's most guarded people, he would likely cause a stir the moment he stepped out of Ye Castle. In order to circ.u.mvent that, Ye Chen returned to his quarters and disguised himself a little. He finally slipped out of Ye Castle after making sure that he could not recognize his own face in the mirror.

He had not gone out into the world for three years, so he was inclined to treat this as an excursion.

A person who practiced martial arts on a daily basis was not going to take much time to travel over a few miles. In this case, it only took Ye Chen a few minutes to reach the deep mountains where the Ye family's large surface mine was located. There, workers were already hard at work in the mines while a few of his clan members — led by two of the Ye clan's Elders — were inspecting and monitoring them, princ.i.p.ally to ensure safety.

Most of the miners had a picker in their hand as they hacked into the exposed boulders of the mountain in a ringing cacophony. As fragmented pieces fell, the workers gathered the rocks together and pa.s.sed them to another few workers for appraisal so that only the best ores would be delivered. Ores that had met their requirements were then promptly filled into a basket before being carried out of the mine.

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It was a large and taxing process to pickle ores out of the st.u.r.dy surface of the mountains, appraise them, and then deliver them out of the mountains on foot!

This mining mountain, however, held the key to the House of Ye's financial survival. Half of the House of Ye's revenue in a year came directly from here!

'Their methods are way too ineffective,' Ye Chen thought to himself. Prior to this, he had never truly taken notice of the production business of his own family. Before his meridian channels were severed, the family had been wealthy enough that Ye Chen never needed to worry. Then came the tragedy, and there were even fewer reasons for him to take notice of the House of Ye's mining business as he was suffering from the aftermath of that ambush.

Ye Che remembered that his past life in another world was different from this. It was a world where humans could not cultivate their chi and had a comparably weaker physique. Yet, when it came to mining and quarrying, the humans there had been nothing short of resourceful.

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At the thought of that, a light bulb lit up in his head. 

A chill coursed through the group's chest. However, they obeyed him fearfully, kneeling at their spots with their heads hung low.

The number of bystanders were growing in tandem with the commotion as they pointed and murmured among themselves while watching the spectacle. It was starting to become too humiliating for the group to stomach.

"I have some ideas of what is going on in your minds. All of you are probably thinking that I am abusing my newfound powers as the Successor Chief, aren't you? You're probably feeling indignant, wishing that Ye Kongyan was the one who managed to a.s.sume this position instead, just so that you're spared from this humiliation. You would have been able to do whatever you want with immunity… Am I right?"

The group's face paled as panic wrought their faces. "N-no! We wouldn't dare think that at all! We know that we had been insolent back then—honestly! Please forgive us, Big Brother Ye Chen!"

By now, the realisation that they had really crossed Ye Chen with their past antics was beginning to set in. It seemed that their fate as marked men had been sealed, and that there could only be inevitable reproach awaiting them. Frightened, the group became reluctant to admit to any accusations that may imply defiance against their Successor Chief. 

"The Ye family is a large clan, but each and every one of us is linked to the same lineage, the same ancestors. We grow up side by side, sharing bonds of brotherhood; When either one of us faces dangers, all of us face the same danger. One for all, and all for one—that is how we survive the chaos this world brings! If anyone from our clan is struck by the misfortune of a disease or crippling injury, we help alleviate them from the pain in every way we can, instead of mocking and laughing at them. If either of you had been wounded by anyone to the point that your meridian channels were severed, as your clan brother, I would have had no reasons to stand by idly and watch you suffer. Now, it's fine to compete or see your fellow clan brothers as worthy rivals—and indeed, Ye Kongyan was not wrong to fight for the position of Successor Patriarch. However, his action of utilising a depraved technique the likes of Shadow Storm Talon against his own kin, with the intention to harm—is nothing short of an iconoclastic attack on our ideals! When clan members plot against one another, they are effectively plotting against themselves, and the days of their clan become numbered. I'm not going to punish all of you today, but when you return home, do yourself a favour, and read our clan's code of conduct again!"

Throughout his lecture, Ye Chen had been so frigid and commanding, he silenced the entire crowd.

The eight individuals had become completely scarlet in shame. They had expected Ye Chen to jump at the chance of paying them back, yet he had opted to use the chance to impart a lesson than exact revenge, ultimately letting them off from a beating. As his words swirled in their minds, they now felt genuinely stricken by conscience.

Many of the younger bystanders were wearing a thoughtful expression after listening to Ye Chen's lecture. They had never gave as much thought to this as Ye Chen—which was why after listening to his lecture, they could not help but be bought by his reasoning, which in turn inspired these junior to respect the young Successor Chief even more.

Even a few seniors in the clan who had been quietly observing Ye Chen were wearing expressions of approval at the young Successor Chief's decision.

'It really isn't an easy task to tie everyone in the clan together into a st.u.r.dy, unifying force.' Ye Chen thought to himself, thinking of his father and the Former Chief.

In order to better understand the family's business, Ye Chen decided to pay the Ye family's mining mountain a visit. Of course, now that he was one of the family's most guarded person, he would likely cause a stir the moment he stepped out of Ye Castle. In order to circ.u.mvent that, Ye Chen returned to his quarters and disguised himself a little. After making sure that he could not recognise his own face in the mirror, he finally slipped out of Ye Castle.

He had not gone out into the world for three years, so he was inclined to treat this as an excursion.

A person who practiced martial arts on a daily basis was not going to take much time to travel over a few miles. In this case, it only took Ye Chen a few minutes to reach the deep mountains where the Ye family's large surface mine was located at. There, workers were already hard at work in the mines while a few of his clan members—led by two of the Ye clan's Elders—were inspecting and monitoring them, mainly on the aspect of safety precautions.

Most of the miners had a picker in their hand as they hacked onto the exposed boulders of the mountain in a ringing cacophony. As fragmented pieces fell off due to their efforts, the workers gathered the rocks together, and pa.s.sed them to another few workers for appraisal so that only the best ores would be delivered. Ores that had met their requirements were then promptly filled into a basket before being carried out of the mine.

It was a large and taxing process—to pickle ores out of the st.u.r.dy surface of the mountains, appraise them, and then deliver them out of the mountains on foot!

This mining mountain, however, held the key to the House of Ye's financial survival. Half of the House of Ye's revenue in a year came directly from here!

'Their method is way too ineffective,' Ye Chen thought to himself. Prior to this, he had never truly taken notice of the production business of his own family. Before his meridian channels were severed, the family had been wealthy enough that Ye Chen never needed to worry. Then came the tragedy, and there were even less reasons for him to take notice of the House of Ye's mining business as he was suffering from the aftermath of that ambush.

Ye Che remembered his past life in another world that had been different from this. It was a world where humans could not cultivate their chi and had a comparably weaker physique. Yet, when it came to mining and quarrying, the humans there had been nothing short of being resourceful.

At the thought of that, a light bulb lit up in his head.

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