After issuing his warning, Ye Zhantian kept the Shadow Storm Talon Discourse safely with him.
"Once the Grand Martial Tournament ends, the war between the House of Ye and the House of Yun would begin. However, judging from our clan's total amount of power, it's undeniable that we're still weaker by a large margin." Ye Zhantian shook his head and sighed.
The collective powers of the clan may have been a lot more fortified after practicing the Thunder Emperor Technique, but it was still not enough to tip the odds to their favor.
The seniors' faces were wrought with consternation.
"We have already shared every last of our stored Chi-ama.s.sing Pill to everyone in the family. We'll have to find some other ways to gather them since our Mining Mountain has been forcefully taken away from us while our shops in Donglin county have been shut down. We can't do without these pills. They are important aids in improving one's cultivation quality," Ye Zhanlong stated.
Half a month more and the House of Ye would have to face a high-stakes battle with the Yun's. Even simple aids like Chi-ama.s.sing Pills could greatly improve the clan's powers at this critical moment.
Yet, here they were, at their wit's and wealth's ends.
"If we're really out of choices, Zhantian and I could help out by hunting some Seventh or Eighth Stage mystical beasts deep in the Lianyun Mountains. The kills should then suffice to be bartered for a significant amount of pills," Ye Changxuan suggested after a brief pause. With their powers as Ninth Stage fighters, the two of them should be able to hunt mystical beasts with Celestial Chi as advanced as Eighth Stage without too many complications or even uncertainties. Besides, mystical beasts hunting could generate a significant amount of revenue.
"No way!" Ye Zhanlong cried. "The House of Yun's spies are always hiding in the shadows near the Ye Castle, reporting everything we do to their superior. Once news of the Ye clan's two most important leaders and fighters are out in the woods hunting breaks out, the Yun's will not hesitate to stage an ambush!"
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Together, Ye Changxuan and Ye Zhantian were the central spine of the entire clan. No harm or even the possibility of one could ever come to them.
"But what else do you suggest we do?" Ye Zhantian asked, turning his attention to the group a.s.sembled before him.
Quite dispiritingly, everyone in the crowd glanced at each other instead of answering anything.
Listening in to their discussion, Ye Chen was reminded of the Chi Deposition Pills in his newly-obtained Heaven-Earth Pouch. Due to his Flying Dagger, he was never going to need these pills for himself, which would be perfect at this critical juncture because they could serve a good cause just by handing all of them to his father. The only trouble he would have to tackle would be to invent a convincing fib to explain the source of these many Chi Deposition Pills — Ye Chen would never betray Little Tanuki's secret no matter what.
However, at this dark moment, everything that could help their cause must be shared. The outcome of the upcoming battle held the fate of the House of Ye and Ye Chen. If the clan perished in the war, Ye Chen himself would either die in a similar fashion or survive the clan, alone and without a home.
Besides, much of the House of Ye's financial savings had been expended to nurture Ye Chen's meridian channels back when he was crippled for over three years. In other words, the state of the family was largely Ye Chen's responsibility.
"Father, I have some stash of pills with me too. Please, share them with the rest of the clan," Ye Chen finally said.
Ye Zhantian could not help but chortled out loud, extending his hand to pet the young man's head. "The amount of Chi-ama.s.sing Pills you have are like a small cup of water trying to put out a forest fire, Son. It's alright, keep them for your own uses."
As the Chief, he knew the enormity of the demand for Chi-ama.s.sing Pills in his thousand-men clan, even if it was for a day.
"Father, I have fifty-three Chi Deposition Pills with me," Ye Chen said earnestly.
"Mm-hmm. Fifty-three of them could probably sustain one or two days — hold on. Chi Deposition Pills, you said?" Ye Changxuan backtracked halfway through his remark while he stared at the young man with aghast. He could not even believe his ears.
For comparison, a single Chi Deposition Pill was equivalent to a few hundred Chi-ama.s.sing Pills. Therefore, fifty-three Chi Deposition Pills would equal to millions and millions of Chi-ama.s.sing Pills! That was worth more than ten years of savings the House of Ye could ever earn!
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The group was in a daze. It was as if they could swoon at any moment now.
Of course, the contribution was enabled by the fact that the Flying Dagger resting in Ye Chen's mind served as his perfect spring of pure Celestial Chi, which supplied markedly inferior Celestial Chi. With it, Ye Chen would never need these pills in his life.
Ye Changxuan threw a burst of boisterous laughter. "Very well said! With men like you, the family's glorious future is as good as certain." His heart grew fonder of Ye Chen the more he spent time with the child.
Hearing Ye Changxuan extolling Ye Chen's character, Ye Zhantian beamed. "Uncle, I have a humble suggestion. As I took the position as the Patriarch of the family by the age of seventeen, I think it's time to pa.s.s the position to Chen'er while he's at this very same age as well. What do you think?"
"F-father! But… the upcoming war—!" Ye Chen instantly protested. The only reason why he had been so adamant in winning the duel for the position of Successor Chief was that he could not stand the idea of the position being given to someone like Ye Kongyan. Yet, deep down, Ye Chen never actually entertained the idea of becoming Chief at all.
"No buts, young man. I didn't inherit the position during peaceful times either. Back then, your Granduncle had wanted to devote more time and concentration to quickly attain the Ninth Stage, and so I rose into the role, with only my brothers to help me," Ye Zhantian replied, determined. "You are no longer a child — you said so yourself. Besides, we're still around to provide you guidance, so there's even less reason to say no… Ah, looks like we've made a final decision!"
"F-father—" Ye Chen could only mutter weakly before Ye Changxuan and the rest cut him off.
"Oh, don't fret, Chen'er. The House of Ye boasts thousands of disciplined, dutiful clansmen. Every affair that we need to take care of has already been delegated to many of our divisions, you see? The only thing the Chief has to do would be to give the final say in the most important matters. The job itself hardly stymies your cultivation effort," Ye Changxuan said rea.s.suringly as he flashed the young man an affectionate smile.
Ye Chen wanted to rebuke that it was not the compensation on his cultivation speed that had turned him off at the idea. However, it seemed that the seniors had already made up their mind and that nothing he said would make any difference now. The tyranny of the chieftain system was just another hallmark of feudalism! With an arbitrary decision like that, he could only feel powerless.
In a clan, the Chief would always be the source of ultimate authority, and every word they say would always be the unchallenged law unless a Former Chief went against him openly. The only way anyone else in the clan could rebuke the Chief would be by a joined appeal from the Elders, which would then require three-fourths of the entire clan to support the indictment.
Ye Zhantian laughed, pleased with himself. "I'll be announcing your ascension after a few days!"
At this point, it seemed that Ye Chen had no choice but to accept his new role as the Chief. It was a small consolation to know that only the Chief was needed to make major decisions while the more trivial ones would usually be left out. In this way, at least one's cultivation progress would not be capped.
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