“When I was fighting those Chosen, I was fighting for the glory of the clan! I made the Fang Clan the center of attention of the whole Ninth Mountain and Sea!” Meng Hao said, staring Fang Shoudao in the eye. He had finally realized that the old man’s aura was actually very similar to his own.
“Oh, that’s a good point. Very well. Henceforth, you are the number one Chosen of the Fang Clan. Both to those inside the clan and toward outsiders, you now represent the clan itself!” Fang Shoudao waved his hand, causing a golden medallion to fly out in a beam of light and then hover in front of Meng Hao. It was inscribed with the character Fang 方 on one side, and on the other side, the word Chosen 天骄.
Meng Hao stared at the medallion in shock, then glared back at Fang Shoudao. He suddenly had the feeling that he was being toyed with, a serious provocation in the area which he cared most about.
“My heart grows cold with disappointment to be manipulated by the clan like this!” Meng Hao said, gnashing his teeth.
Fang Shoudao waved his finger at Meng Hao, causing a warm feeling to spread across his chest and over his heart.
“Feel a bit warmer now?” he said coolly.
Meng Hao was about to flip his lid. He had never, ever met someone as shameless as this old fogey. He had already explained himself quite thoroughly, and yet had been sidestepped three times in a row.
“During the clan upheavals, I single-handedly stopped the possessed Fang Wei!” he cried. “I saved a bunch of fellow clan members! I even managed to kill Fang Xiushan!
“I was the one who summoned the Dao Guardsman to fight against the three Quasi-Dao experts! I helped make sure that your plan succeeded!
“I also killed Fang Heshan!
“In fact, the spark that lit the whole fuse was my Nirvana Fruits!
“I’ve done a lot for the clan and I demand a reward!!”
“Very well, you want cultivation resources, right?” Fang Shoudao said with a sigh. “It seems that about half of your personality is exactly the same as your grandfather.” Feeling a bit guilty, he cleared his throat. He waved his right hand, causing Meng Hao’s eyes to gleam with anticipation. Immediately, a strip of paper appeared in front of Fang Shoudao.
A few swishing sounds could be heard as Fang Shoudao then wrote his name down on the piece of paper.
“I know you’re fond of getting promissory notes,” Fang Shoudao said with a smile, “so I’ve prepared one for you. However much you think the clan owes you, go ahead and write it down yourself.”
Meng Hao gaped at the piece of paper. When he looked up, his eyes were bloodshot. He was about to continue fighting back when Fang Shoudao’s expression suddenly turned serious.
He took a deep breath and stared gravely at Meng Hao. Meng Hao, who had just been on the verge of losing his temper suddenly couldn’t help but reign it in.
“Fang Hao!” Fang Shoudao said, his voice sounding deep and extremely dignified.
“I know of everything you’ve done for the clan, and I understand that you feel wronged,” he continued, his voice now soft and archaic. “I’m even more aware of all the meritorious service you’ve provided. There’s no need to even mention anything else. The simple achievement of opening your Immortal meridians to the pinnacle has shaken the entire Ninth Mountain and Sea. Anyone who did that in any sect or clan would definitely be gifted with a precious treasure.
“It’s the same here! You are just as important to our clan as someone of the Dao Realm!
“Fang Wei will be the shield of the clan, and you… will be the sword!
“Henceforth, he will be the shadow, YOUR shadow! While you bask in glory, he will remain obscure and unknown. That is because you are the true future hope of the clan!
“Do you really think that the clan is being stingy? Withholding a reward from you?
“You’re wrong. Let me tell you, the clan would never treat a blazing sun like you with the slightest bit of stinginess. However… are you aware of the price that had to be paid to awaken the first generation Patriarch?
“The first generation Patriarch passed away in meditation long ago. What you saw earlier was only his clone, or perhaps you could say, the spirit of Planet East Victory. Normally speaking, he remains in slumber. Awakening him causes Planet East Victory to be withered up for a thousand years!
“In order to ensure that Planet East Victory will continue to rotate normally for the next thousand years, the clan has to pay an indescribable amount of resources. Right now the clan… really has no reward to give you!
“Furthermore, there is no reward valuable enough to represent how important you are to the clan. Therefore, I have already made an important decision regarding this matter.” Fang Shoudao rose to his feet and looked calmly at Meng Hao.
“I already discussed the matter with your father, as well as Fang Yanxu and Pill Elder, and the decision has been made final. From now on, you… will be the Crown Prince of the Fang Clan!” As soon as the words left Fang Shoudao’s mouth, Meng Hao’s mind began to reel.
“Crown Prince?” Meng Hao gaped for a moment. To virtually any other member of the Fang Clan, a title like that represented supreme glory. However, to Meng Hao, it represented a future of endless amounts of spirit stones and Immortal jade.
“That’s right,” Fang Shoudao continued, his expression somewhat wistful. “Currently, your cultivation base is weak. However, once you reach the Dao Realm, you will be the Clan Chief of the Fang Clan. As you know, it has been many, many years… since a true Clan Chief has arisen.” Fang Shoudao looked at Meng Hao, his expression one of anticipation and love as he extended his hand, causing a command medallion to appear.
It was violet-colored, and glowed with a strange light. Although it was merely a command medallion, it was clearly a rare Ancient Realm treasure!
“This object is the official symbol of your status as Crown Prince. Once you reach the Ancient Realm, you can refine it into a true precious treasure.” Fang Shoudao waved his hand, causing the command medallion to fly over toward Meng Hao, where it settled down into his palm. That small command medallion felt as heavy as a whole mountain.
If Meng Hao didn’t possess a True Immortal fleshly body, then he wouldn’t even be able to hold it.
“This is your home, and you are a young lord here. In the future, you will be in a position of leadership, and therefore, all of the wealth here will eventually belong to you. If the clan is facing difficulties now, such as being extremely poor, then would it really be the right thing for you to take away the resources of the clan? As a young lord of the clan, you should actually be thinking of ways to increase the clan’s wealth!” Fang Shoudao let out a long sigh, and a pained expression appeared on his face.
“If you don’t believe me, I can take you to see for yourself.” Fang Shoudao waved his hand, causing both Meng Hao and himself to vanish. When they reappeared, they were inside of an enormous tower.
“Over here is where we used to have a mountain-like collection of Immortal jade. Look at it now….
“This used to be filled with an indescribable amount of spirit stones. Now look at it….
“This area used to be packed tight with all sorts of magical items.”
Fang Shoudao led Meng Hao through the clan’s treasure-houses, and although they weren’t completely empty, they were depressingly bare. After finishing the tour, Meng Hao felt somewhat deflated.
He almost couldn’t believe that the Fang Clan, was actually… destitute.
“Now do you understand? In addition to all this, the clan also bestowed you with that Bloodline Dragon! It was formed from the blood of the Patriarch himself!” Fang Shoudao sighed.
Meng Hao stood there silently for a long moment, then also sighed. Finally, he gave up on any plans of trying to get a reward from the clan. As Fang Shoudao continued to stand there, sighing, Meng Hao turned to leave. Moments ago, he had even taken the time to peruse the treasure-house records, and knew that everything he had seen was the reality of the situation.
He had also gone so far as to scan the lands with divine sense, and could see how withered Planet East Victory was. The places that once flourished with spiritual energy were now dried up. He also closed his eyes and, based on his bloodline, could sense something that no outsider would be able to sense; Planet East Victory was very weak.
However, in the following days, as the sects and clans of the Ninth Mountain and Sea came to visit Planet East Victory and offered congratulations, everything that he had just seen began to change.
He personally watched as all of the organizations which came to visit Planet East Victory brought significant gifts. If only one sect or clan came to visit, it wouldn’t matter. But the Three Churches and Six Sects, the Five Great Holy Lands, and even the other Three Great Clans, as well as other smaller organizations, all arrived. Meng Hao couldn’t help but stare in shock.
After doing a bit of calculating, he realized that if you added up the value of all the gifts brought by the various sects and clans, it reached a staggering total…. Although it wouldn’t be enough to fill the clan’s treasure-houses, it was enough to replenish them by about thirty to forty percent.
As Meng Hao watched Fang Shoudao smilingly receive the various guests, he was increasingly struck with the impression that Fang Shoudao was a crafty, wily fox. The old man had easily conned him, and there was nothing he could do about it. After all, everything the man had said earlier made complete sense.
Meng Hao sighed, and decided just to turn a blind eye to the matter. That was the only way to prevent himself from being incredibly irritated. However, he did not participate in the receiving of the guests, and instead stayed in his residence practicing cultivation, attempting to properly absorb his Nirvana Fruits.
If it was just a simple matter of being conned this once, Meng Hao could deal with it. After all, he was now the Crown Prince, a status which he was very satisfied with. Several days later, however, the Three Great Daoist Societies also arrived, and he heard that they had prepared an even more terrifying amount of congratulatory gifts. Each one of their gifts were comparable to the combined offerings from several smaller clans put together. This caused Meng Hao to think that something very fishy was going on.
“Elder Brother Shoudao, Hao’er is both Crown Prince of the Fang Clan, as well as a Conclave disciple of the Nine Seas God World. Please accept these meager offerings as the gifts of introduction we would have presented upon his joining the sect.”
When the cultivators from the Nine Seas God World arrived, Fang Xi immediately hustled over to Meng Hao’s residence, where Meng Hao was meditating, to break the news. Meng Hao was instantly enraged, and his eyes went totally bloodshot. As of now, he thoroughly understood how crafty Fang Shoudao was. He had definitely conned Meng Hao… big time.
If Meng Hao weren’t the Crown Prince, the Three Great Daoist Societies would never have prepared such gifts. It was all because of his new status that the gifts the clan was receiving were so valuable.
Meng Hao gritted his teeth and rose to his feet, then flew up into the air toward the main temple hall of the ancestral mansion, to the location where the welcoming feast was being held.
Meng Hao didn’t mind the fact that Fang Shoudao had made him Crown Prince in order to get more gifts from the Three Great Daoist Societies. What he did mind was that in such an important matter as this, Fang Shoudao, that wily old fox, had actually… not given him any share of it! Not even a lousy ten percent! UNACCEPTABLE!
Both the Sublime Flow Sword Grotto and the Immortal Ancient Daoist Rite also sent representatives with extravagant gifts. However, in comparison with the gifts offered by the Sublime Flow Sword Grotto and the Nine Seas God World, those given by the Immortal Ancient Daoist Rite seemed much more simple.
In the main hall of the Fang Clan ancestral mansion, the Patriarchs of the various sects and clans were all gathered around a long banquet table, where a grand feast was spread out.
“Elder Brother Shoudao, members of any clan or sect may join the Three Great Daoist Societies. That is because the Three Great Daoist Societies are fundamentally quite liberal when dealing with outsiders. That is how we groom generations of Chosen in the Ninth Mountain and Sea.”
“Elder Brother Shoudao, the Sublime Flow Sword Grotto focuses on the sword as our Dao. Hao’er’s father Fang Xiufeng is also known for his Dao of the sword. I truly think that Hao’er would have the most success if he joined the Sublime Flow Sword Grotto!”
The Patriarchs continued to chat and laugh as the Three Great Daoist Societies began to argue and debate amongst themselves over who would get Meng Hao.
Fang Yanxu and Fang Shoudao sat in the middle of everyone. Fang Shoudao was smiling and nodding, and anyone who didn’t know him would think that he looked very kind and gentle. However, when Meng Hao looked at him, he looked like nothing more than the ultimate wily fox.