With Zhu Qinghuo being dreadfully injured by Ox Biaobiao with a single strike, cheers resounded throughout House Luolan. Those that remained loyal to Li Luo and Jiang Qing'e felt exceptionally moved. Pei Hao was dead, Xu Tianling was on the verge of death, the opposing Duke was heinously wounded and had been forced to retreat... House Luolan had survived its cataclysmic trial of life and death, and a new chapter awaited them!
From now on, Li Luo would become the House Lord of House Luolan!
The internal strife had finally come to an end.
Yuan Qing, Lei Zhang, and the rest on Li Luo's side were euphoric. Meanwhile, those who had supported Pei Hao were pale with fright, losing all motivation to do battle. They were basically paralyzed, leaving themselves open for capture.
The facts had left them in complete despair.
"We won!" Cai Wei's beautiful face was emotional as she tightly clutched Yan Lingqing's arm, causing a bruise in her excitement.
Yan Lingqing did not resist as she was extremely moved by the result too.
She continued to stare wistfully towards Li Luo and Jiang Qing'e, almost in a trance. As Jiang Qing'e's close friend, she was made clear of House Luolan's precarious situation, filled with internal troubles and external parties coveting them. Any other faction in this position would undoubtedly have been powerless when faced with such issues. Additionally, although Jiang Qing'e was full of potential, she was no Duke. Therefore, she did not possess the power to overturn the situation herself.
Instead, she had continued to accumulate burdens, preparing for this very day.
At the same time, Yan Lingqing understood why Jiang Qing'e would go so far.
"Li Luo, that brat. Everyone underestimated him," Yan Lingqing said seriously.
The reason why House Luolan was able to stabilize the situation was in part due to Jiang Qing'e's radiant performance. At the same time, Li Luo's contributions could not be neglected. Jiang Qing'e would not have managed to turn the tide on her own.
Cai Wei nodded slightly as she smiled. "All I can say is that those two are a great fit for each other. Qing'e dazzled the world with her peerless talent and attracted everyone's attention. As a result, she overshadowed the Young Lord, who took the opportunity to develop himself."
"Hmm, the world might originally have thought that Li Luo was unbefitting of Qing'e... but I'm afraid that after today, no one will dare to say that ever again." Yan Lingqing sized up the duo as she grinned. "I formally announce that I'm fully supportive of their engagement!"
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Cai Wei smiled as well.
As everyone continued to cheer in celebration, Li Luo and Jiang Qing'e did not reveal any strong expressions on their faces. Somehow... something felt off. Today's situation was unlikely to resolve itself so easily.
Whether it was Pei Hao or Zhu Qinghuo, neither had been the true hand behind the curtain.
Why? Someone able to orchestrate a scheme to send Li Taixuan and Tan Tailan to the Nobles' Battlefield would have to be significantly more influential than Zhu Qinghuo.
Thus, if the mastermind coveted the treasures of House Luolan, they would not idly sit by, as years of effort would be put to waste.
As a result, the two of them waited. Not too long later, they saw the heavily weakened ward flicker in the skies above House Luolan. Terrifying undulations of resonant power descended when someone ripped a hole in the ward.
When the gap appeared, four beams of light descended, surrounding Ox Biaobiao.
Four silhouettes could be seen, and a wave of powerful suppression swept across everyone.
It was actually four Dukes!
Although the four were not as strong as Zhu Qinghuo individually, they were all second-grade. Still, four Dukes appearing simultaneously was a sight that shocked everyone, immediately cutting off any cheers of excitement.
Ox Biaobiao's reaction was equally quick. The moment the Dukes appeared, his gaze turned ferocious and he unsheathed his blade, unleashing terrifying sword strikes that were akin to a frenzied tempest, attempting to reap the lives of the newcomers.
"Duke Formation, Four Saints Grand Formation!"
However, the intruders were also equally prepared, directly forming countless hand seals in response. Countless rays of light burst forth from within their bodies, each one containing endless numbers of runes and exuding extraordinary auras.
Eventually, the rays of light transformed into countless halos of light that layered heavily upon each other, densely covering the world space. Although the daunting sword strikes were able to shatter numerous halos, even more new ones seemed to replace them instantly. It had turned into a unique sort of prison, one which confined Ox Biaobiao. If he were to take a single step forward, he would be drowned by the sheer number of halos.
This sudden change caused the individuals within the headquarters of House Luolan to fall silent. Even the experts of Xia City were left speechless at this sight.
"Is that the Four Saints Grand Formation? Then it must be the royal court's doing!"
"Those four Dukes are from the royal court... they're all underlings of the Regent!"
"Why did he take action?!" Numerous Duke experts were discussing this in hushed whispers. This was the first time the identity of the perpetrator was made clear.
What they saw next absolutely dumbfounded them. An awe-inspiring figure appeared in the sky above House Luolan. He glanced at the heavily damaged defensive ward and passed through it with a single step.
He possessed an aura even more fearsome than Zhu Qinghuo’s, and the whole world seemed to bow before his regal presence, which blanketed all with a suppressive might that caused even the people of House Luolan to be unable to breathe.
A single man was the focus of all the fear-stricken individuals that cowered before him.
"This... This is..,."
"The royal court's Regent! Why did he act himself? What is he trying to do?" Numerous individuals were lost for words.
Li Luo and Jiang Qing'e's expressions had turned frigid. When the Regent appeared, they finally understood that he was the mastermind behind Pei Hao, Zhu Qinghuo, and the rest!
This was not completely out of their expectations. Only someone at the very top of the Xia Kingdom’s power hierarchy could direct Zhu Qinghuo. There were few other than the Regent who possessed such influence.
Only the Regent possessed the political will and might to deal with Li Taixuan and Tan Tailan.
With his appearance, he glanced across all below him before pausing over Ox Biaobiao, followed by Li Luo and then Jiang Qing'e. He seemed completely indifferent before he boomed out with a heroic voice, "I have spent countless years investigating House Luolan. I know that Li Taixuan and Tan Tailan had plans to subvert my royal court. This is a crime of the highest degree that cannot be pardoned. I thus decree that House Luolan be struck from the registers of the five Great Houses! All of House Luolan's possessions will be confiscated."
With that declaration, he stretched out his palm and made a slashing gesture all of a sudden.
After which, a gigantic chasm opened up violently within the square of House Luolan's headquarters. With that, the underground palace became visible for all to see.
Inside it was a stone statue of a dragon and phoenix that were intertwined. Atop it were two flickering flames.
They were Li Taixuan and Tan Tailan's natal flames.
When the Regent saw the flickering flames, his gaze turned gloomy. The duo had obviously not died in the Nobles' Battlefield... How tenacious of them!
However, they would be injured if he were to extinguish them here. In a location where danger was rife around every corner, it would possibly ruin them.
The Regent stretched out his hand, and a massive palm that blotted out the sun viciously swatted towards the dragon-phoenix statue.
As Li Luo and Jiang Qing'e witnessed this scene, they did not take action to stop it. They were clear of the difference in strength between them and the Regent—trying to stop it was like a mantis trying to stop a cart. Futile.
Instead, they burned the image of the Regent's face into their minds with gazes full of palpitable, cold, murderous intent.
At this point, they had already decided that it was time to abandon House Luolan.
The opponent was simply too strong. There was no way to resist, and they knew their limits. Thus, it was time to go.
So long as they lived, even the Regent would find it hard to rest easy.
The massive palm that covered the skies smashed down brutally.
Yet right at this instant, everyone felt as though they could hear the furious roar of a dragon. The draconic roar felt both boundless and endlessly tyrannical, like one could not defile its majesty.
Before the intimidating roar had subsided, the crisp cry of a peng followed. It sounded even more arrogant than the previous roar, its clear cry carrying a terrifying pressure that even suppressed the draconic roar. In the next instant, a radiant, golden light spilled from within the underground palace.
The golden light seemed to have transformed into a massive, golden-winged peng. With a single flap of its wings, the Regent's summoned palm was shredded into motes of light. After which, a cold shout from a lady resounded like thunder throughout the entirety of Xia City.
"Li Taixuan! Get out of my way! This damned beast Gong Yuan dares to harm my children? He's just a piece of trash, and yet he dares to plot against them? I'll send him to meet his ancestors right now!"
As her furious shouts echoed out, Li Luo and Jiang Qing'e violently trembled as they stared at the light that had burst out from the underground palace in a daze. Uncontrollable excitement could be seen in their eyes and emotions surged within their hearts.