Jiang Chen had transformed into an avatar of death. He had only one thought written on his face. Die if you obstruct me! Thus, he faced little resistance from the members of the Heavensfall Society. Default reactions were to cower in a corner and hope not to be noticed, arms over their heads. One wrong move, and we’ll be dead!
However, the young lord of Veluriyam Capital wasn’t murderous or sociopathic enough to kill submissive people. He held back his anger and left them be. Jiang Chen searched the Society’s headquarters in and out, but discovered nothing useful. Immensely furious, he summoned several high-ranking executives. Alas, their stories were identical to Elder Ke’s.
The person they had captured long ago had been surrendered to the Moon God Sect almost immediately. It hadn’t been a move to curry social favor, but a routine act. The answer was the same no matter whom he asked. The fire that burned within Jiang Chen’s chest grew fierier by the moment.
“Brother Long, bind them all! When their lords come back… I’ll make them pay!” Though he didn’t want to kill all of them on the spot for now, he was far from satisfied. His father wasn’t at the Heavensfall Society’s headquarters, but his search had revealed evidence of numerous other heinous crimes.
All members present had the blood of countless innocents on their hands. They were a profiteering organization that stopped at nothing to sate their greed. Jiang Chen resisted slaughtering them, but he was perfectly happy to rob them of all their ill-gotten gains. He completely destroyed the Society’s complex and infrastructure in the process as well.
The wealth stored at the Society’s headquarters amounted to over half of their total fortunes. After Jiang Chen’s larceny, it would take significant effort from their lords to rebuild. The criminal organization might never recover. However, this was only a single payment of interest for him. He needed far more to quench the raging fires of his heart!
The tragedy that had befallen the Heavensfall Society was momentous news. Their absent lords quickly received word of the destruction and hastily made their returns from all over. But none of them were fools. They came from every direction, yet no one brashly came in alone. Instead, they gathered together as a group and made plans to enter together.
They were well aware that their new adversary had terrifying strength. If the lords didn’t stick together, they would only serve as easy prey. The act of being in a group also emboldened them. After all, the four lords were the strongest and most core members of the Heavensfall Society. For them, it was much more reassuring to be side by side than otherwise.
“Big bro, you got any info on that guy? The Heavensfall Society hasn’t made anyone like that angry, have we?” The four lords of the Society were sworn brothers. They styled themselves ‘the Heavensworn Four’. The eldest was surnamed Ye, given name Taiyan. He had an explosive temper, but was the mightiest among the quartet. He was a ninth level emperor realm cultivator. The other three brothers were all around a similar, slightly inferior level of strength at eighth level emperor realm. These four upper rank emperor realm cultivators formed the fraternal core of the Heavensfall Society and controlled every aspect of its operations.
There was a flash of killing intent in Cong Taiyan’s eyes. “I don’t care where they’re from. What do I care about their prestige or power when they’re messing around with our Society?!”
“We should still be careful, big brother. They must have something giving them confidence. I’m sure they’re well aware of our reputation, but came anyway.” The second-oldest of the four spoke up. He was the strategist of the group, called Beigong Ming.
“Something giving them confidence?” Cong Taiyan snickered. “We command the wind and rains in Frostmoon City. Let’s see whose backing is stronger!”
“Don’t worry, I’ve informed those at the first division as well as the sect’s Bleakmoon Hall of Punishment. Hmph, anyone and everyone who comes to Frostmoon City to stir up trouble will be met the same fate. This is our territory! Either stay put or get put down!”
Cong Taiyan was filled with grand emotion. His body screamed, “If not me, then who?!”
Beigong Ming was wily, but lacked in both raw strength and force of personality compared to the oldest member of the Heavensworn Four. That was why he was perfectly content to admit Cong Taiyan’s superiority.
He knew the other man’s nature well. Once Cong Taiyan made a decision, no amount of effort could turn his opinion around. Truthfully, Cong Taiyan’s dominant and decisive style was one of the bigger reasons that the Heavensfall Society had been able to rapidly expand these past few years. The Society exhibited many of the similar qualities. Beigong Ming knew that further counseling was useless now.
The four of them rushed towards their headquarters. It didn’t take long at all for them to arrive on the street outside the building. The first thing they noticed was that a huge crowd had gathered outside. There were multiple layers of onlookers, stacked into numerous rings.
“Tsk tsk, who has the Heavensfall Society offended this time?”
“They deserve it. The things they’ve done are finally coming back to bite them!”
“Shh, quiet down. Do you want to die? We’re in front of their gates right now.”
“Heh, what’s there to be scared of? No one has come out from inside even now. They’re probably all dead by now, huh?” The words were filled with a gloating schadenfreude. Clearly, their owner was greatly displeased with the Heavensfall Society, likely from an unpleasant past.
“All dead? But the society lords aren’t even home. We’ll see about who kills who when they come back!”
“Well then, I look forward to it. I hope they come back quickly. It would be great if I could see them being punished as well…” Someone else put a hand over his mouth before he could finish.
A keen-eyed companion had noticed the Heavensworn Four in the street with his peripheral vision. The sudden sight of the villains was quite startling, enough to evoke such a drastic reaction. If any more had been said and heard by the four guys down the street, the first man was dead for sure.
Thankfully, the Heavensworn Four were in no mood to listen for idle gossip about them. The crowd moved aside for them without prompting when they saw the lords’ arrival. A path was made for them directly to the headquarters. The Heavensworn Four looked further into the distance to find a mass of dead executives splayed on the floor. It was absolutely a gruesome sight.
Elder Ke’s corpse was the most prominent amongst them. The elder had great prestige even among the other elders of the Society. The four lords generally refrained from putting on airs in front of the old man. And now, his body had been sucked dry. He lay splayed like a desiccated corpse, all vital signs gone.
The appearance of the Heavensworn Four elicited accelerated heart rates and blood flow in all the observers. They backed off a dozen meters or so with great self awareness. They were uninterested in getting wrapped up in the trouble. Being mistaken for the perpetrator was a horrible notion. The Heavensworn Four who strode broadly down the path towards the Heavensfall Society’s gate.
“They’re stepping on our heads, big brother! This place belongs to us, the Heavensfall Society! Who is this bastard who’s been killing people on the premises and where’d he come from?!” The youngest of the four jumped in a rage. His expression looked like he’d just been slapped across the face several times.
Beigong Ming’s brows were knitted as well when he saw the carnage. Suddenly, he had an idea and proclaimed, “Onlookers, disperse! Those who remain here in three breaths’ time will be seen as open enemies of the Heavensfall Society!”
The bystanders were all intimidated by this and scattered like a swarm of bees.
“Anyone who has reliable information about this incident is free to stay. Any accurate and useful information will be rewarded with the princely sum of one million saint spirit stones!”
Men would find courage given a high enough reward. Several of the people in the process of leaving decided to stay.
“Society Lord Beigong, you’re not joking, are you?” There was zero possibility that Jiang Chen and Emperor Peerless’s ruckus in front of the Heavensfall Society had remained unseen. In fact, they had been observed by a fair few neighboring residents.
“I have info on them, lord Beigong. I saw everything that happened.” Instantly, people began to volunteer.
“Me too, Society Lord Beigong! The ones who came were a few youths plus a dao couple. One of them seemed to be acquainted with your Society–from a past dealing, perhaps. There was something about ransoming someone, but the deal fell through in the end… and then there was a fight.”
“He didn’t go into enough detail, Lord Beigong. It was like this…” The people who’d stayed scrambled over each other to snitch. They were worried that someone else would receive the reward.
To the side, Cong Taiyan had just finished examining the wounds of the dead. The severity of said wounds struck fear and irritation into his heart. The onlookers were speaking frantically over each other, but little useful information had come to light. He was more and more frustrated by their squabbling, and finally shouted. “Get out of here, all of you!”
Cong Taiyan was significantly more intimidating than Beigong Ming. The remaining onlookers dispersed immediately at his words.
“Why’d you do that, big bro? We were just getting somewhere…”
“What’s the point of asking in the first place?” The eldest of the Heavensworn Four retorted angrily. “Killing people on the premises of our Heavensfall Society? They were happy enough to murder everyone, so we’re already mortal enemies. Why ask? It’s the same either way!”
He waved a hand, still upset. “We’re going in.”
Cong Taiyan was certainly exerting his dominance. Leading the pack, he charged inside like a ball of flames.  However, he came to a screeching halt when he reached the door. It was as if he’d smashed himself into a wall. A potent countering force sent his body flying. If not for his strong cultivation, the force’s impact alone would be enough to give him bruises all over. Even without that, it put him in a frightened spin.
“Big brother!” The other three of the four were just as alarmed and rushed towards him. The quartet cared a fair bit about their brotherly loyalty to each other. After steadying his step from the unexpected attack, Cong Taiyan’s expression changed from anger into consternation. He became significantly more serious than before.
1. Taiyan is also a reference to extremely hot flame.