Gao Ke didn't know the details, so he couldn't relax, because once he agreed to start the verdict, the consequences could be unexpected.
Whether Jiang Chen was right or wrong wasn't the most important thing. He was afraid they would use Jiang Chen to attack Gao Yue and force him to accept their offer, but Gao Yan was so aggressive that he couldn't say no.
"Okay." Gao Ke had to agree.
What a pity.
Jiang Chen glanced at Lily, lying on the ground, and thought to himself, She was so young, but she gave up her practice to participate in such a thing, willing to be another's chess piece.
Someone had ordered her to kill him. That someone also knew that she might have been killed by him, but he didn't care.
Jiang Chen felt like his pity for her was only crocodile tears, so he shook his head, as if he was trying to shake off the idea.
Since Jiang Chen was the one to receive the verdict, his freedom was restricted right away. He was taken to one of the thousand peaks outside the Fire Phoenix City with Gao Yue.
The mountain was hollow and spacious inside.
Jiang Chen followed the others in. It wasn't as dark as he had thought. There was magma boiling at the bottom, which gave off not only heat, but also light. Through these means, the darkness was driven away.
Only the important members of the Gaos had entered. Bystanders could only wait outside.
Behind Gao Yan was Third Uncle, Gao Li, and others.
There were more people in Gao Ke's team, but all of them looked sour.
A wooden token suddenly appeared in Gao Ke's hand. He threw it out before anyone could see it clearly.
It fell into the magma and caught on fire immediately.
Jiang Chen was very confused. The whole mountain began to shake. He could feel the ground quaking. Soon, several fire phoenixes flew out of the magma, one by one. When they stopped before their audience, they turned into vigorous old men.
They were the Gao clan elders.
They were sitting in the air, emitting light glows. Facing the people standing at the entrance, they were looking down emotionlessly.
There were five of them. The man in the middle said slowly, "What's up?"
"Clan elders, someone killed a sibling disciple in a competition between disciples of the direct line," Gao Li said before anyone else could speak.
Gao Ke's team was very unhappy with him, but they didn't dare argue in the presence of the clan elders.
The clan elder's reaction was quite plain. With his keen observation, Jiang Chen found behind the plain reaction, there was impatience.
"The killer was Gao Yue's son." Gao Yan noticed it, too, so he hurried to drop the bomb.
The five clan elders reacted strongly this time. They all opened their eyes, giving off stronger light, then they gazed at Gao Yue. Their expressions were too complicated to read.
"Gao Yue, when did you come back?"
"Third Grandpa, I came back today," Gao Yue said, looking at the clan elder in the middle.
"Your poison is gone?" the clan elder sitting on one end said sternly.
"Yep, Senior Fei."
"Who allowed you? You think you have the right to detoxify your poison, even if so many years have passed? Who made you think so?!" Senior Fei was very angry.
The other three clan elders all looked sorrowful, expecting Gao Yue's answer.
"I did it. You asked why we detoxified the poison. I have a question for you, too. Why did you poison my mother?" Jiang Chen came forward. He was neither too humble nor too arrogant while facing the five Venerables.
As a youngster, he surprised Gao Ke, Gao Yan, and the others a lot.
"You're Gao Yue's son?"
"Your mother ruined many years of the family's efforts, regardless of the benefits. She ignored the honor of the Gaos and evaded her responsibility. It was a mercy that we only poisoned her!" Senior Fei said emotionally.
"All because she chose the man she loves?" Jiang Chen asked.
"The family's benefit is more important than anything else!" Senior Fei shouted.
To avoid things getting worse, Gao Ke hurried to say, "Clan elders, Jiang Chen has very pure phoenix blood."
Even Senior Fei was surprised. They kept sizing up Jiang Chen, trying to see through him.
Gao Yan said, "This shouldn't be an excuse for him to kill. Besides, even the child of an average man could have pure phoenix blood. If she had married someone from an aristocratic family of inheritance, her child could have had super pure blood or even better."
It was a very cruel remark. The five clan elders looked sorrowful again.
"Let's focus on the current affairs," Third Grandpa said.
"Clan elders," Gao Li said immediately, "Jiang Chen didn't have to kill Lily, but he did. He's obviously a cruel man!"
"Clan elder, Lily tried to kill him first!" Gao Yue said right away.
"That only means your son wasn't tolerant enough. He's narrow-minded. Lily lost her head for a moment, that's all!" Gao Li refuted shamelessly.
Gao Yan went on, "Clan elder, the point is, Jiang Chen isn't a member of the Gaos. Due to his mother, his name isn't listed in our genealogy book. He was allowed to come here today for the sake of the lord. We made an exception for them to allow a visit to the lord—"
"How is Jinghong now?" a clan elder interrupted him.
"He doesn't have much time left," Gao Yan said with pity.
Then he continued, "As an outsider, Jiang Chen killed a disciple of the Gaos' direct line. The phoenix blood in his body shouldn't exist! And Gao Yue, she caused huge losses for the Gaos. It seems she's the only one who isn't concerned, but the influence on the Gaos was huge. If we don't punish her, no one will agree to have political marriages anymore. The Gaos will be finished if things go that way!"
"What do you suggest?"
The clan elders' reactions were the same. They were expecting Gao Yan to continue.
"It doesn't sound good if we keep poisoning our own people. After all, Gao Yue has super pure phoenix blood. She should do something for the family. I heard the wife of Snow Dragon, vice president of the Association of Inheritance, had just passed away—" Gao Yan told them his cruel plan.
"Gao Yan, Snow Dragon is even older than you. You want my sister to marry him?!" Gao Ke interrupted him furiously.
Gao Yan was laughing silently, but on the surface he refuted very emotionally, "It's for the family's sake. As acting lord, you should set a good example!"
"Where is our dignity as an aristocratic family of inheritance?!" Gao Ke refuted.
"Snow Dragon is the vice president of the association. It would be an honor to marry him," said Gao Yan.
"That's bullsh*t!" Gao Ke cursed.
"Gao Ke!" the five clan elders reproached him right away.
Gao Ke turned pale. He realized he had gone right into Gao Li's trap.
"Outsiders don't know about Jinghong's illness yet. We should choose a new lord as soon as possible so that others can't take the chance to attack us. As for Gao Yue and her son, Gao Yan has a point. You've been a bad influence on the Gaos," said Senior Fei.
"I won't get married again. Besides, my husband is still alive," said Gao Yue.
"Gao Yue, I'm not giving you a choice!" Senior Fei said angrily.
"My father will be a great Venerable soon. Even the Gaos don't have someone as powerful as him," said Jiang Chen.
"Great Venerable?" They were surprised, but it looked like they weren't affected.
"Jiang Chen, you're not getting the point. The point isn't your father. It's you!" shouted Gao Li.
"Is pure phoenix blood not good enough?" asked Jiang Chen.
"Not enough to offset the influence brought by you and your mother, because maybe the next generation of yours won't even have thick phoenix blood. And their next generation might not even have normal phoenix blood. This is the limit of someone like you, who has half normal blood!"
"Well, is genuine blood enough?"
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