“We’ve already done everything according to what you told us. All the various sects have sent many people out to get ready.” Liam looked rather worried. “Once a war breaks out, we’re going to keep it within the mountain gate?”
“That’s exactly the purpose and reason for existence for everybody just inside the mountain gate, and us outside the mountain gate in Minstrel Mount. I’m sure you are aware of this,” said Evan. “Minstrel Mount is a final layer of defense, and the mountain gate itself was meant to keep those people in. I’m sure your family records have notes on these matters.”
Liam didn’t say anything.
That was the truth.
It was the truth that many sects didn’t want to acknowledge. This was something that every sect leader of every generation knew about, and some even hid these things away. But the truth was the truth, and nobody could change that.
Once the inside of the mountain gate was to turn into a battlefield, it meant that they had to think about leaving this place.
“The eight reclusive clans of Minstrel Mount were sent out from within the mountain gate. You guys are our next line of defense.” Evan took a deep breath. “This is your mission.”
“I understand.” Liam nodded.
It was indeed his mission.
“Tell Ethan that we’re good on this side and that we will definitely get everything ready.”
“That’s good enough,” said Evan. “If you need anything, send someone to look for me anytime. This is the first time we’re combining forces, and it will be the last time. I hope everything turns out well for all of us.”
After saying that, Evan left.
Liam stood there for a long time before finally exhaling very gently.
This day had finally come.
“Father, when is Ethan coming back?” Lacey’s voice came from behind him.
She knew that Ethan’s wife had given birth and her eyes were filled with blessings for the family, but her heart felt a little disappointed and upset.
Liam turned to look at Lacey.
“He’ll be back.”
“I know. I want to visit him,” said Lacey all of a sudden. “I want to see his wife and child.”
She was really curious. She wondered what sort of woman could make Ethan so devoted to her, and really wanted to get to know Diane. She wasn’t going there to challenge her position or to disrupt their life. It was mere curiosity.
“Lacey, if you go, you’d be even more upset. Forget it. He treats you as a younger sister, and that’s not too bad either.”
Lacey’s eyes reddened slightly as she smiled. “You’re right. It’s not too bad either.”
She didn’t insist and left after that.
He looked at his daughter walking off dejectedly and knew that she must be feeling lousy inside. But love was something that could be really hard on some people. Besides, any woman who couldn’t get a man like Ethan would feel disappointed for sure.
But the most important thing now was not romance.
“I’ve got to make preparations first. I’ll go see how far along Senior Elder is.”
Liam threw everything else to the back of his mind and forced himself to remain calm and alert. Nothing was more important than attending to what Ethan had instructed him to do.
Time passed slowly.
Everything was happening in silence. Yet there was a strange anxiety in the atmosphere. Even the air seemed so agitated that it made breathing difficult.
“It’s going to rain heavily.”
Peter Pan looked at the darkening skies in the distance. The air was frighteningly heavy.
His gaze sharpened and he folded his arms behind him. He was like a spear that stood straight in the midst of the wintry winds.
“All of you, continue training.” He looked at Brother Geoff and the rest. If he didn’t tell them to stop, they were not allowed to stop.
He didn’t bother himself with them anymore after that, and went to the Extreme Martial Arts Academy all by himself. He looked at the copies of the nine pages of the Extreme Fist Technique Manual on display and didn’t say anything for a long time.
He stood in the exact same place for an entire afternoon without moving the slightest bit. Nobody dared to disturb him, and nobody knew what he was doing either.
It was as if he had turned into a statue as he stood without budging. His eyes just stared at the lines on the pages and seemed to have gone into a daze.
After a long time, Peter Pan sighed.
“I see.” His gaze was as sharp as a knife, and anyone who met his gaze would tremble in fear. “Ethan, Ethan, I’ve really underestimated you. You’re really someone I’d love to love but also love to hate at the same time.”