There was a story that spreaded throughout the cultivation world at this time.
After the retirement of Lan Qiren, the Gusu Lan now had a new Clan Leader, whom was his first nephew, Lan Xichen.
Although this Clan leader of Gusu Lan was still a youth, his ability was extremely excellent. And his exquisite beauty was a tale through the cultivation world.
If there was a ranking for the fairest cultivators, most of the votes went to the Twin Jades of Lan undoubtedly.
However, the Younger Jade looked too cold, not talkative or had any relationship with other. So the Older Jade who looked kind and generous, got the first place.
The cultivation world now divided into five great clans; Yunmeng Jiang, Gusu Lan, Lanling Jin, Qinghe Nie, and Qisan Wen. By the Excellency chair of five great clans now belonged to Wen Ruohan of the Wen clan.
Every year would have a five clans annual conference for gathering, exchanging news, and as a determining that every clans still had a loyalty to the Excellency or not.
And the annual conference this year was at the Nevernight city of Qisan. It was acknowledged in its mysterious and formidable. Plus, with the strength of Wen’s force that was more than the other four clans in many times, anyone who intended to avoid the conference had to join in unwillingly.
“Xichen, are you well prepared?”
After the middle age man sound, the graceful figure in clan leader light blue robe with clouds pattern walked by. His long, jet black hair gathered in half head and decorated with silver coral crown. His usual gentle face had a bright smile appeared.
“I am ready, uncle. I will complete this mission the best.”
Lan Qiren raised the tea cup and took a sip. He looked the first nephew with a concern. This was the time for Lan Xichen as a Clan Leader. He ought to let the latter doing this duty by himself.
“You know the topic that may happen in this conference, don’t you?”
Lan Xichen smiled lightly.
“Xichen acknowledge well and will not spread this to the others.”
“Um…that’s good. Good luck for being my representative in this time.”
“Yes, uncle…Xichen have to farewell.”
Lan Xichen cupped his hand in respect, before walked gracefully with neither fast nor slow step out of the main hall. Then he countered with a person whom had similar face with him but looked colder in many part.
The two brothers respected with each other.
“I will go for the conference at the Nevernight city and may not stay here for three days. Please take care this place for me.”
“Brother please be assured. I will take care with my best. Good luck for the journey this time.”
Lan Xichen smiled lightly as an answer, before left with several clan disciples. They rode the sword for almost a half day until arrived the Nevernight city.
The annual conference this year was not underrated than many past years. But for Lan Xichen who just had been the Clan Leader felt a little embarrassed. Not had his uncle came with him made he did not know how to posture himself before many of great and small clan leaders whom exchanged each other liquor and had an enjoyable chat.
And with his appearance like a divine descended from the heaven, which made everybody here stared with an astonishment directly at him, made him more embarrassed.
“I never seen this beautiful young man before. Who is he?...”
“Huh?...Don’t you know him? That is Lan Huan or Lan Xichen, the first son of previous Clan Leader Lan, and also the first nephew of Master Lan Qiren. Unbelievable…just a few years past, he has grown up this exquisite…”
“He really deserved to be the first good-looking cultivator in the land. Even Chang’e* or Xi Shi** cannot compared with him…”
“Just this age, he is already a Clan Leader. Other than his good appearance, his ability seems also not lower than the other four great Clan Leader…”
The whispers around him made Lan Xichen nervous. His doe eyes glance left and right, did not know what to do.
…I wish uncle can come…
Being absent-minded, he did not cautious and crashed with a person behind. His beautiful eyes widened a little before he turned his head to that person and cupped his hands toward as an apologize.
“Xichen is wrong, please accept my apologize.”
The hoarse and formidable voice like a thunder resounded. Lan Xichen raised his head, and saw a burly young man, who was older than him around three or four years. He had sharp-featured but looked enchanting. His hair was gathered into a casually ponytail but not disheveled. His greenish grey robe with the pattern of beast heads and swords made Lan Xichen can guess immediately who was this person.
…Nie Mingjue, The Clan leader of Qinghe Nie…
“You are the new Clan Leader of Gusu Lan, Lan Xichen?”
His stern voice turned softer in many times, as his harsh eyes in the first now became much gentle.
“Yes, Clan Leader Nie” The beautiful eyes glanced lower, awed with the other frighten aura.
“Alright. In case that you are just the new Clan leader for not long, you may not familiar with this conference atmosphere. I do not mind about this.”
“Thank you for your kindness, Clan Leader Nie”
Lan Xichen cupped his hands as a respect again until Nie Mingjue had to catch his hands as prevention. Suddenly they felt like an electric spread from their connected hands, as the warm feeling spread through their body.
Lan Xichen jolted a little. His doe eyes looked at a big hand that gripped his slender hands as his face turned little red. He pulled his hands back gently, as the other seemed to get his conscious back. He quickly pulled his hand back and cough awkwardly.
“Do you already have a seat, Xichen? If you still not have, you can sit by my side. And please call me Brother Mingjue. You don’t have to act so formal when talking with me.”
“Xichen have to thank you for Brother Mingjue kindness. But it is pity that the Clan leader seats are already arranged. I must go now. Seems the ceremony is started.”
Then he left after said this. Nie Mingjue could do only looked until the other was out of his sight with his heart raced faster as never felt before.
When every Clan Leaders sat at their own seat. An announcing that the Excellency was coming rang loudly. Every Clan Leaders lower their head and bowed.
“We respect to Your Excellency.”
A sleeve swishing sound could be heard as a sign to enough. Then everybody raised their heads and stood still. Lan Xichen used this moment glanced at the person on the throne.
His Excellency Wen Ruohan was a middle-age man who still had an elegant posture, but his eyes were sharp like a hawk’s. When he glanced at anybody, their internal organs would be dissected by that eyes unconsciously.
Suddenly, the two pairs of eyes incidentally met each other.
That hawk eyes seemed to dilate a moment. Before they were sparkled until Lan Xichen had to look another way.
That sight made him feel eerie hot and cold. And he also felt that after that eyes swept around the room, then they focused at him without moving.
“Alright everyone. The reason I call you for joining today conference is to ask something. At this time I feel some weird energy, which may be from the ancient Yin Iron.”
The commotion happened for a while, before calmed down when Wen Ruohan glanced at them.
“So I want to know, do everybody feel as I feel?”
Each Clan Leader had an awkward face, like they didn’t know why the Excellency asked like that, despite inside their heart were extremely frightened. If they told that they could feel it either, the Wen force would charge to them for sure.
“Your Excellency. From the appearance of every Clan Leader, I think they really don’t know. If not, why they all silence.”
The melodious voice resounded. Many Clan leaders secretly sighed quietly inside their heart.
Wen Ruohan glanced at the origin of this sound. Then stopped at an elegant figure in the light blue robe that not far from him.
“Do you think that silence means only 'I do not know' ?”
“Of course not, sir. All the Clan Leaders here wouldn’t dare to. The Qisan Wen’s force is so powerful that no one can resist. Why the other four clans have to cover you in this field?”
Wen Ruohan focused at the fairest face of cultivation world for a while, then his lips curved up.
“As you said is not wrong. Then I will continue to observe in this field.”
Many Clan Leaders felt more comfortable. Finally, there was a representative spoke for them today, and that person also make the Excellency satisfied.
“Alright, I don’t have any doubt. Everyone please enjoyed yourself…oh right…Congratulation for Gusu Lan to have a new Clan Leader. I hope you will do this duty well."
A gentle voice sounded with his eyes looked at the young Clan Leader mercifully. But if observed deeply, that eyesight also had an eerie flirt at some instance.
Lan Xichen had a stiff smile before cupped his hands as a respect.
“Thank you, Your Excelllency. Xichen will do this duty at his best.”
After that was a party between each Clan Leaders including the Excellency. At this time, Lan Xichen felt more relax since he was more familiar with the Clan Leaders society, which made him talked with the other Clan Leader more fluently than the first time he came. And made the other four Clan Leader had an impressive thought to him.
Clan Leader Jiang Fengmian of Yunmeng Jiang gave a merciful to him as he was a younger Clan Leader.
Clan Leader Jin Guangshan of Lanling Jin appreciated with his appearance and talent but felt a little bit pitiful that he was a man. If Clan Leader Lan was a woman, he would not hesitate to make the latter as his minor wife.
Clan Leader Wen Ruohan of Qisan Wen also gave mercy to him as he was a young Clan Leader. But sometimes the other touched him too much…until he felt that he got a sexual harassment.
Clan Leader Nie Mingjue of Qinghe Nie gave him an intimacy like an elder brother. But this intimacy made his heart strangely beat fast.
End of part 1
* - The Chinese Moon goddess
** - One of the renowned Four Beauties in ancient China; Xi Shi, Wang zhaojun, Yang yihuan, Diaochan.