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Chapter 7 - The Price of Victory

    "Impudence!"

    Seeing his grandson lying injured on the ground, Nie Beichuan, unable to control himself, quickly rushed forward.

    There was a flash of lightning, before Nie Beichuan suddenly arrived besides Nie Hong. He crouched down, and while supporting Nie Hong with one hand, he pressed his hand on the sternum area above Nie Hong's waist.

    Nie Hong felt a warm current of spiritual power entering his body, which was quickly decreasing his pain. He could not help but aggrievedly murmur, "Grandfather..."

    Nie Beichuan raised his head and with a ghastly look in his eyes, stared at the dazed looking Nie Tian, who, despite everything, was still ruminating over that unknown power. He then shouted, "Scoundrel! Fighting isn't prohibited within the family, but who allowed you to be this vicious?"

    Not waiting for Nie Tian's reaction, he once again swept over the abashed Wu Tao with a malicious gaze and shouted, "And you! As our honourable guest, whose job it is to oversee this training field, what have you done?! You could obviously see that Nie Tian, who was trying to resist the pain, acted murderously! Why didn't you stop him? Did we, the Nie family, recruit you to eat rice for free?"

    "This..." Wu Tao forced a smile.

    "Second Grandfather, Nie Hong is injured... we should worry about treating him, instead of worrying about Mister Wu's negligence." Nie Xian said. She couldn't stand Beichuan any longer and tried to help Wu Tao.

    She had seen the whole story clearly, especially when Nie Hong was about to strike at Nie Tian's heart. She knew that Wu Tao had questioned Nie Beichuan intentions, and at that time Nie Beichuan didn't even speak a single word, meaning that he obviously didn't intend to stop the match.

    Later, when Nie Tian had bursted forward in the blink of an eye, as if he had obtained a divine power, everything had happened too fast for Wu Tao. He simply didn't have enough time to stop it.

    Nie Xian still had the mentality of a youth. Although she clearly knew that speaking up for Wu Tao was bad, she was still unable to prevent herself from revealing her innermost feelings.

    "When did it become your turn to speak?" Nie Beichuan coldly asked. He gave a sidelong glance towards Nie Xian and said, "Who do you think you are? You're only a branch child of our Nie Family. If you wish to have the right to speak in the family, wait until you break into the ninth Lianqi level and enter the Lingyun Sect. Only then do you have permission to speak to me!"

    Nie Xian's young and tender face showed obvious signs of anger at his remark.

    But then she carefully thought about it and rigidly restrained herself, knowing that it was just as Wu Tao had said. Before she became a disciple of the Lingyun Sect, she really didn't have much influence in the Nie Family.

    Especially since it was likely that Nie Beichuan, in a year or two, would replace Nie Donghai as head of the Nie Family.

    Many of the Nie Family members weren't totally heartless, they still believed in juvenile justice. They had originally intended to do the same as Nie Xian, to tell Nie Beichuan the truth of what had happened. But seeing that in front of them, the one highest in strength and carrying the most prospects, Nie Xian, was still subjected to Nie Beichuan's influence, they didn't dare to say another word, even though they felt wrongfully silenced.

    "Second Grandfather, it... it was Nie Hong that challenged me. What just happened was due to his own initiative, breaking the rules as he treacherously aimed at my vital point." Nie Tian had finally awoken from his confusion. Seeming to know the current dire situation, he straightened his chest and with a righteous air shouted this.

    "Grandfather, I just wanted to scare him! I wasn't really going to injure him!" Nie Hong gritted his teeth, as he furiously glared at Nie Tian, and criticized, "From the start, when I blasted my strength before his stomach, I already intended to reserve my power and retract my hand. I absolutely did not expect for him to take advantage of this moment. Suddenly, I wasn't prepared to take the attack from the greedy ambitions of this killer!"

    "Shameless!"

    The majority of the onlookers encircling the fight, despite being the Nie Family's children, were presently internally shouting and despising Nie Hong for distorting the facts.

    They had all clearly seen, that right before Nie Hong's last attack, his eyes contained only excitement and ecstasy. Where, in the least bit, was there any intention of stopping?

    Nie Hong had originally wanted to inflict serious damage on Nie Tian. To wash away the shame of years of constantly being defeated by Nie Tian, he clearly was going to go all out. How could he possibly give up midway?

    "Inside, you know what you actually wanted to do!" Nie Tian shouted.

    "Silence!" Nie Beichuan shouted deeply, preventing Nie Tian from continuing to speak. He coldly looked at Wu Tao, before saying, "How the event occurred is not the most important issue here. The current result is that Nie Tian didn't comply with the family rules and maliciously injured Nie Hong. Mr. Wu, you are the Nie Family's guest elder. According to the family's rules, how should we punish Nie Tian?"

    "He should be banished to Lingyun Mountain's mine for three years," Wu Tao softly replied, while helplessness and bitterness filled his heart and his eyes were full of apologies.

    "Ah! Nie Tian is only ten years old!"

    "Only ten years old and already exiled to Lingyun Sect's mine. He originally practiced very slowly, and with the delay of another three years, I'm afraid that there is no glimmer of hope for him to get the favor of the Lingyun Sect."

    "Ten years old and banished to the mines - and three years at that, Nie Tian is really finished."

    "In this lifetime, he has no hope of reaching the ninth Lianqi level or joining the Lingyun Sect before he becomes fifteen..."

    "It's not that simple. People have died inside the mine. Nie Tian is only ten years old and he's already going to the mine for three full years. I don't think he will even be able to come out of there alive!"

    "Isn't this too harsh?"

    "..."

    The Nie Family children, many of whom had never liked Nie Tian, that were originally too afraid to make a sound, couldn't help but start yelling again upon hearing the punishment.

    "Why are you all so agitated? What, do you guys want to be like Nie Tian and stay in the mine for three years?" Nie Beichuan said in an undisturbed tone.

    The Nie Family children, originally feeling indignant at the injustice, all quieted down after hearing his words and had the angry-but-not-daring-to-speak-out look on their faces.

    "If I have to go, I'll go. It's only three years. What is so extraordinary?" Nie Tian cried recklessly.

    "Mr. Wu, in accordance with the family rules, has handled it!" Nie Beichuan said calmly.

    "Second Brother, Nie Tian is still young. Is there really a reason to be like this?" At this moment, Nie Donghai had hastily come down from the stone temple's high platform, finally arriving at the plaza.

    If it was before, upon hearing Nie Beichuan's punishment, he could, in one leap, arrive at the plaza.

    But right now, he could only come down step-by-step, making him expend a lot of time and energy, so that the situation would not worsen to the point of irrepair.

    "Patriarch," Wu Tao respectfully said.

    "Great Grandfather."

    "Great Grandfather, it's good that you've come. You need to stand for justice."

    "Great Grandfather, we all saw that it wasn't like Nie Hong said it is."

    Many children upon seeing him, heaved a sigh of relief and then one after another began to shout their grievances.

    Nie Beichuan slightly frowned and looked earnest, while saying: "Big Brother, families have family rules and countries have country laws. Even though Nie Tian is a young child and you are the master of the house, family rules... still cannot be broken."

    "I am no longer the master of the house," Nie Donghai softly said.

    As soon as these words came out, everyone in the vicinity was suddenly astonished.

    Nie Beichuan also looked puzzled, but in his eyes there was a clear trace of ecstasy, "Big Brother! Is this is what you intended?"

    "I am tired and already have no energy left to lead the Nie Family. You already know my current situation... Before, I wanted to borrow the family's power to help Qian'er and Jin'er to get justice, so I was reluctant and slow to give up my position." Nie Donghai looked despondent. "But I've thought about it and decided. I plan to give up, and afterwards... the Nie family will look to you, Second Brother."

    "Big Brother, how can this be okay? Within the Family, you're still a person of virtue and prestige, I..." Nie Beichuan unenthusiastically said.

    Nie Donghai waved his hand, interrupting him, "My mind has already been made up. Tomorrow I will make it clear to all of your uncles and grandfather. I think they will understand."

    "So it's like this." Nie Beichuan lengthened his voice and in a hypocritical show of affection, said, "If Big Brother insists on this, I also will not urge anymore. Big Brother, don't worry; Qian'er and Jin'er's matter, I will place the utmost importance on it. I will consider them as my own children and do my best to help them seek justice."

    Nie Donghai looked at him deeply and nodded his head, "Nie Tian is still young, I hope..."

    "Forget it. I will definitely give Big Brother face. I will not continue to pursue this matter any further," Nie Beichuan said as he smiled.

    "Then it is like this." Nie Donghai, physically and mentally exhausted, turned and said to Nie Tian, "Come with me."

    As he had finished talking, he took the lead in leaving the plaza. His figure, from the back, had a bleak sense of a hero past his prime.

    Wu Tao and the rest of the Nie Family's younger generation watched his figure slowly depart and deep inside their heart, knew that Nie Donghai's era of control had finally come to an end.

    Nie Tian said nothing and silently followed behind Nie Donghai, his face carrying a terrible appearance.

    Right before he left and disappeared from the square, he paused, turned and looked at the high-spirited and energetic Nie Beichuan, before he secretly clenched his fists.

    Nie Tian was only ten years old, but had already reached a sensible maturity. He naturally understood that Nie Donghai had taken initiative to abdicate, all for him.
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