Xiao Ye gazed at Qingfeng Village as he approached its entrance. The village had prospered beyond his expectations during his absence. He could see new buildings, busy streets, and happy faces everywhere.
"It looks like the village is self-sufficient now that I enhanced everything. With some more time, Qingfeng Village will become Qingfeng City."
Xiao Ye felt a surge of pride and nostalgia as he witnessed the fruits of his labor.
He noticed the guards who were stationed at the gate and he was slightly astonished.
Xiao Ye muttered, "Second layer of Qi Condensation! It seems like sharing the complete version of the Lianhua Breathing Technique was a wise decision."
He was not worried that anyone would surpass him by learning his technique. He knew that most people were not willing to risk their lives like he did, because death was permanent for them.
But Xiao Ye had no such fear, because he had the Infinite Rebirth System!
The two guards recognized Xiao Ye and saluted him respectfully, "Village Lord Liu! We've been waiting for your return!"
Xiao Ye nodded and said. "I've been gone for eighteen years. How is Qingfeng Village doing?"
Zhang Qinque, one of the guards, said, "Please follow me, Village Lord. I'll take you to the Liu Family Estate and fill you in on everything."
Xiao Ye agreed and said, "Very well. Lead the way."
Zhang Qinyue walked with Xiao Ye to the Liu Family Estate and began to update him.
"Village Lord, while you were away, Lady Su Xinhua gave birth to your son, Liu Zhuoran. I know it's late, but congratulations on becoming a father, Village Lord."
Xiao Ye was not surprised by this news, as he already knew that Su Xinhua was pregnant before he left.
"Thank you. How is my son, Liu Zhuoran?"
Zhang Qinyue beamed with admiration, "Village Lord, your son is a genius! He reached the first layer of Qi Condensation when he was only seventeen. Everyone in the village looks up to him as if he were you, Village Lord."
Xiao Ye smiled with satisfaction, "Excellent! Excellent! A tiger father does not beget a dog son! You speak the truth."
Xiao Ye then asked, "Who is the strongest person in Qingfeng Village right now?"
"And how many of my soldiers can cultivate?"
Zhang Qinyue then bowed deeply, "Of course, the strongest person in Qingfeng Village is still you, Village Lord Liu!"
"The second strongest person is Gao Mingwei, who has reached the peak of the third layer of Qi Condensation."
Zhang Qinyue grinned, "Also, after Village Lord left us the Lianhua Breathing Technique, our army's cultivation skyrocketed! Everyone has at least reached the first layer of Qi Condensation."
Xiao Ye was pleased to hear that his army had grown stronger.
Soon, Xiao Ye arrived at the Liu Family Estate, and Zhang Qinyue excused himself and returned to his post.
Xiao Ye saw a muscular young man with a fierce face standing in front of him. It was none other than Liu Zhuoran.
Liu Zhuoran stared at Xiao Ye and his eyes widened in disbelief. He asked, "Father? Is that… really you?"
Liu Zhuoran could tell that he had inherited some of his father's features, so he guessed that the man before him was his parent.
Liu Zhuoran felt a surge of mixed emotions, as he had never met his father before.
Xiao Ye also noticed the similarity and nodded.
Before he could speak, Liu Zhuoran rushed to hug Xiao Ye.
Xiao Ye had a mocking smile on his face but he did not resist Liu Zhuoran's embrace.
"Father! Mother and I have missed you so much!"
Xiao Ye did not care at all that Su Xinhua or Liu Zhuoran had missed him. He only cared about his own strength.
What are blood relations? Are they a type of food?
Blood relations merely function within the confines of those subject to mortality.
For individuals like Xiao Ye, a psychopath, blood relations merely offer a sense of trust, one that others may extend to him.
Xiao Ye said, "Enough of this. Let's get down to business."
Liu Zhuoran let go of his father and looked at him attentively. "Father, what do you want to talk about?"
Xiao Ye said, "I will give you some fragments of a cultivation technique and I want you to instruct all the soldiers to study them carefully. Then, whenever they grasp something profound, I want them to write it down and send their insights to me."
Xiao Ye planned to use the collective wisdom of the army to enhance his own comprehension of the Blood Devouring Art.
Of course, he would not reveal the whole technique, as the Blood Devouring Art was too powerful.
"Also, tell the soldiers to write their understanding of the Lianhua Breathing Technique."
Liu Zhuoran nodded and said, "Yes, father. I will follow your orders."
Time flew by and seventeen years passed in a blink of an eye.
Xiao Ye had mastered the Lianhua Breathing Technique to the Return to Origin stage, and he had also reached the Profound Success stage of the Blood Devouring Art a few years ago.
His cultivation was now at the peak of the eighth layer of Qi Condensation.
He was sixty-one years old, but he looked like a man in his prime.
He was sitting in his chamber when Liu Zhuoran came to report to him.
"Father. We have two guests from the Golden Light Sect in our Qingfeng Village."
Xiao Ye was stunned by this news. The Golden Light Sect was a powerful force in the Cloudy Peak Kingdom.
"Alright. You must treat them well. Don't provoke them in any way."
Liu Zhuoran nodded and was about to leave.
"Hold on! Before you go, tell me, what is their cultivation level?"
Liu Zhuoran narrowed his eyes and said, "They claimed that they came to the Hundred Beasts Forest to break through to the Foundation Establishment Realm. So they should be at the peak of the ninth layer of Qi Condensation."
Xiao Ye was worried that they might discover his secret cultivation technique, so he decided to avoid meeting them.
But he also felt confident that he could defeat them if they dared to attack him in his own territory.
"You can go now."
Liu Zhuoran nodded and left Xiao Ye's chamber, leaving Xiao Ye to ponder over the situation.
"I don't think they can detect that I am practicing a demonic cultivation technique. After all, my skill in the Hong Lianhua Devouring Technique has reached the Profound Success stage. I doubt anyone below the Foundation Establishment Realm can see through my disguise."
[A/N: Hong Lianhua Devouring Technique's name can also be Red Lotus Flower Devouring Technique / Red Lotus Devouring Technique. Tell me if you want me to use Red Lotus Devouring Technique or not.]
With this thought, Xiao Ye felt more at ease.
The next day, the two disciples of the Golden Light Sect, Sun Tianfeng and Luo Yunfei, were in the Liu Family Estate.
They were both twenty years old and handsome, wearing the robes of the Golden Light Sect.
They were dining with Xiao Ye in the banquet hall.
"Village Lord Liu, I have to say that your granddaughter, Liu Mei, is a stunning beauty."
Xiao Ye forced a smile and said, "You are too kind, Young Master Sun."
Sun Tianfeng smirked and said, "But her attitude is really not very good. I think that Liu Mei should learn some manners and respect."
Xiao Ye knew that Sun Tianfeng had tried to molest Liu Mei yesterday, but she had slapped him and run away.
So, Sun Tianfeng decided to demand her hand in marriage as a compensation.
Xiao Ye glanced at Zhang Qinyue and said, "Go bring Liu Mei here and let her serve us wine."
Zhang Qinyue nodded and went to bring Liu Mei to the banquet hall.
Liu Mei entered the hall, and everyone's eyes were drawn to her.
She was a stunning beauty, with long black hair that cascaded down her back like a waterfall, and almond-shaped eyes that sparkled with intelligence and curiosity. Her skin was fair and smooth, and her lips were rosy and tender. She wore a simple but elegant dress that accentuated her slender figure and graceful movements.
Behind Liu Mei was her guard, Chen Feng, a fifteen-year-old orphan boy.
Chen Feng's brown hair was cropped short and his eyes were a vivid purple, and he dressed in a simple but tidy manner. He had a loyal and courageous air about him, but also a hint of arrogance could be seen in his eyes.
There were rumors that Chen Feng had a secret crush on Liu Mei, the Village Lord's granddaughter.
Xiao Ye smiled faintly at his granddaughter, his eyes cold and indifferent, "Come here, Liu Mei, and serve us some wine."
Liu Mei nodded reluctantly and obeyed.
Chen Feng was glaring at Sun Tianfeng with rage.
Liu Mei poured wine for Xiao Ye first, then for Luo Yunfei.
When she reached Sun Tianfeng, he smirked and said, "Little sister, be careful, or you might spill it."
Liu Mei nodded and said, "Y-yes…"
Sun Tianfeng sneered as Liu Mei filled his cup.
When his cup was almost full, Sun Tianfeng suddenly tilted it and splashed the wine all over Liu Mei's clothes.
Sun Tianfeng laughed and said, "Oh no, little sister, you poured the wine wrong and now your clothes are wet."
Liu Mei's body was exposed by the wet fabric that clung to her skin.
She knew that Sun Tianfeng did it on purpose, but she felt helpless.
She looked at her grandfather for help, but he only scolded her, "Liu Mei! How dare you waste the wine that was meant for Sun Tianfeng on your clothes?!"
Liu Mei felt a bitter smile on her face as she realized that her grandfather was powerless to protect her.
Sun Tianfeng leered at her and said, "Don't worry. I'll help you clean it up. Let me wipe it for you."
Sun Tianfeng reached out and groped Liu Mei's breasts as he pretended to wipe the wine off her clothes.
Chen Feng had to watch this scene and he felt his blood boiling with fury.
Chen Feng thought with indignation, "I, Chen Feng, cannot tolerate such injustice! Liu Mei is like a sister to me, so how can I let her suffer such humiliation as her guard?"
Sun Tianfeng used his Qi to dry Liu Mei's clothes, but he also took the opportunity to touch her body.
He knew that Xiao Ye would not object to him taking Liu Mei as his concubine, but he also had to be careful not to overstep his bounds.
He turned to Xiao Ye and said, "Village Lord Liu, why don't you give me your granddaughter, Liu Mei, as my wife?"
"I swear I will treat her well!"
Xiao Ye pretended to smile and said, "I have no problem with this marriage, but you should also ask Liu Mei what she thinks."
Luo Yunfei laughed loudly, "Brother Tianfeng is so amazing! What woman would dare to refuse him?!"
Sun Tianfeng smirked and looked at Liu Mei, "Sister, do you want to marry me? I promise I will spoil you. I will give you the finest jewelry, clothes, and cultivation resources."
Liu Mei clenched her teeth and looked at Chen Feng.
Chen Feng's eyes were full of rage towards the two Golden Light Sect disciples, but he also felt a strange sensation in his body, as if something was awakening within him.
However, Chen Feng did not dare to speak up yet.
Liu Mei then looked at her grandfather, hoping for a miracle, and Xiao Ye glared at her menacingly.
Liu Mei felt hopeless and alone.
Liu Mei whispered in a trembling voice, tears streaming down her face, "I… I agree to marry Young Master Sun. It would be my… my privilege."
Sun Tianfeng grinned widely and said, "Good, good! Village Lord Liu, you have a very obedient granddaughter!"
"Since I am taking your granddaughter as my wife, I should also give you some presents!"
Sun Tianfeng smiled as he produced a bottle with a single pill inside. It looked very dazzling. It was a Qi Rejuvenation Pill!
Xiao Ye's eyes lit up as he saw the Qi Rejuvenation Pill that Sun Tianfeng offered him.
Xiao Ye exclaimed with joy and greed, his eyes fixed on the pill, "Wonderful! Wonderful! My granddaughter is so lucky to marry such a generous man, I, as the grandfather, must also bring out the best wine to celebrate this happy occasion!"