The strongest villain system
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Chapter 187: Jiangnan Club

8878words in this chapter2024-01-11

Su Xin held the invitation from the Jiangnan Club in his hand,but a look of surprise appeared on his face.He almost forgot that he was currently ranked twenty-third on the People's Ranking and was qualified to be invited by the Jiangnan Club.

The so-called Jiangnan Club was a martial arts event hosted by the Jiangnan Xiao family,one of the six major aristocratic families.Although the Jiangnan Xiao family,one of the six major aristocratic families,did not have as long a history as the Runan Shangguan family,it was the most powerful among the six major families,with an astonishing background.

It is said that thousands of years ago,during the chaos in the world when the former hegemon,the Jin Kingdom,was just one of many small states,the Xiao family had already proclaimed itself king in Jiangnan with the capital named Daliang.However,as the struggle for supremacy unfolded,the rise of the Jin Kingdom led to the demise of all small states,and Daliang naturally fell.The descendants of the Xiao family then wandered in the Jianghu and became the Jiangnan Xiao family,one of the six major aristocratic families.

Being of royal descent from the Jiangnan Xiao family meant an extremely noble status.When the Eastern Jin Dynasty became the hegemon of the Central Plains,it also feared the remaining power of the Xiao family,so it granted them the title of Pinghou,hereditary and irreplaceable.In the current Great Zhou Dynasty,which dominated the Central Plains,the Xiao family was also appeased,and they were granted the title of Anhou,likewise hereditary and irreplaceable.

Because of this,Xiao Huang,ranked second on the People's Ranking,was nicknamed the'Little Anhou.'His father,the head of the Xiao family,was the current Anhou.With his own strength ranking second on the People's Ranking,and with no one among the younger generation of the Xiao family able to compete with him,he was practically designated as the next head of the family.Hence,he was called the'Little Anhou.'

However,in Su Xin's view,these titles like Pinghou and Anhou were more of a mockery than an honor.Whether in the Eastern Jin or the Great Zhou,just look at the titles they gave:Pinghou,Anhou.It meant,"Although your Xiao family was once royal,you have no chance to rule the world now.Here's a title for you,just stay peacefully in Jiangnan and don't cause any trouble."Of course,in the eyes of the martial world,these titles symbolized strength.Even the imperial court needed to win over the Xiao family.

The Jiangnan Club initially started as a tradition for the Xiao family to recruit talented individuals.Later,it evolved into an event where young martial artists from the entire martial world could participate.The development path of aristocratic families and martial sects was entirely different.While family lineage could ensure loyalty and unity,the talent of an entire family was limited.Martial sects,on the other hand,could recruit the most outstanding young talents from the entire martial world.

Because of this,the major aristocratic families had a tradition of recruiting talents,and the Xiao family,in particular,went a step further by organizing the Jiangnan Club.They aimed to recruit talented young martial artists with no affiliation or from smaller sects,nurturing them from a young age.Such disciples,cultivated from childhood,were undoubtedly more loyal than those recruited later with hefty sums.Moreover,they could intermarry with the Xiao family's descendants,fully integrating into the family.Thanks to this strategy,the Xiao family gradually grew into the leader among the six major aristocratic families.

Initially,the purpose of the Jiangnan Club was precisely this,but later,the Xiao family also invited some renowned young talents from the martial world to attend and evaluate.As more and more influential figures gathered,the Jiangnan Club underwent some changes.

With the establishment of the People's Ranking by the Six Gates,the competition among the younger generation in the martial world became more intense.However,the martial world in the Central Plains was vast,and sometimes,even if you wanted to challenge someone for a higher ranking,you might not find them.Martial artists who spent years in seclusion within their sects were not easy to locate.

Therefore,some martial artists gathered at the Jiangnan Club.When the Xiao family recruited talents,they had these martial artists participate in battles,and if the top-ranked martial artists wanted to challenge someone,they could do so at the Jiangnan Club,updating their rankings on the People's Ranking.

As the scale of the Jiangnan Club grew,more and more young martial artists attended.The Xiao family saw an opportunity to enhance their reputation and expanded the Jiangnan Club into a grand event for the younger generation in the martial world.All martial artists under the age of thirty-five were eligible to participate,and the top three winners,regardless of joining the Xiao family or not,would receive substantial rewards.The top dozens of martial artists also had the opportunity to be recruited by the Xiao family.

Martial artists on the People's Ranking who wanted to compete also had dedicated arenas for challenges.The top thirty on the People's Ranking were even personally invited by the Xiao family to serve as judges at the Jiangnan Club,similar in status to the elders of the Xiao family in the Yuan Shen realm.

In Su Xin's eyes,this strategy was indeed clever,capturing the ambitions of many martial artists.Why was there such fierce competition among martial artists on the People's Ranking?It was all for the sake of a'name.'Now,by having them serve as judges at the Jiangnan Club,they,as young martial artists,could sit on the high platform with the elders of the Xiao family,evaluating other martial artists.This vanity,he believed,would attract many martial artists to give it a try.

Therefore,those who were personally invited by the Xiao family to the Jiangnan Club were considered an honor in itself.However,this time's Jiangnan Club was different;surprisingly,even the imperial court participated,with the Jiangnan Dao's Grand Marshal,Gu Donglai,joining forces with the Xiao family to co-host the event.

It's unclear whether the court has become envious of the Xiao family for recruiting a large number of talented young martial artists every year,prompting their sudden intervention.

However,this has nothing to do with Su Xin at the moment,as he had already planned to make a trip to the Central Plains.Now that he has reached the peak of the Spiritual Opening Realm and aims to break through to the Divine Palace Realm,he needs a certain opportunity,and the Central Plains is undoubtedly a good destination.

After dismissing the invitation and sending away Chen Qiao,Su Xin decided to set out for the Central Plains.However,news of Su Xin appearing in Lingzhou Prefecture had already spread.

Initially,when Su Xin killed Zhu Zefang and others,everyone thought he would find a secluded place to recuperate.Yet,to everyone's surprise,he stayed not far from the incident site in Lingzhou Prefecture.

Despite eliminating Zhu Zefang and others,there was still the risk of revenge from other secular disciples of Shaolin Temple.Moreover,members of the Zhu family were still alive.Su Xin was indeed audacious.

The news that Su Xin was alive and well reached other secular disciples of Shaolin Temple,and they fell silent.As some martial artists had previously mocked them for being timid,it seemed that Su Xin had truly intimidated them.

Secular disciples of Shaolin Temple formed a group,but it was not a tightly-knit one.Unless something threatened their entire group,individuals would seek help from close friends or offer incentives to fellow sect members for assistance when facing problems.

For instance,when Zhu Zefang sought revenge,he enlisted the help of Duan Tianya and even invited Zhou Changxin with a yellow-grade weapon.

Secular disciples of Shaolin Temple would unite against external threats,but only if it did not harm their individual interests.With Su Xin's current strength,facing four or five Divine Palace Realm martial artists would be a futile endeavor for them.Without any benefits,who would willingly face certain death?

Unless the leading figures among the secular disciples of Shaolin Temple,who had reached the Yuan Shen Realm,gave the order,the others would not act.Unfortunately,these Yuan Shen Realm figures remained silent,for reasons unknown.Consequently,the others had no choice but to feign ignorance of the news.

While secular disciples of Shaolin Temple could pretend not to know,the same could not be said for the Zhu family.Since Zhu Zefang's death,their situation had become extremely precarious over the past half-year.

Originally,the Zhu family's strength was not significant.It was only when Zhu Zefang returned from Shaolin Temple with his Divine Palace Realm cultivation that they rose in Han Nan Dao,becoming a small influential force.

However,with Zhu Zefang's death and the indifferent attitude of other secular disciples from Shaolin Temple in Han Nan Dao,it was evident that there was no intention to continue supporting the Zhu family.Frustrated,the Zhu family had almost lost all their land and business in the past six months.

Unable to endure further,the remaining elder of the Zhu family,Old Master Zhu,stepped forward,summoning the second-generation disciples of the Zhu family for a discussion.

Old Master Zhu,already in his seventies and not a martial artist,had retired from managing family affairs over a decade ago when Zhu Zefang returned to the family.However,the current situation forced him to intervene.The current head of the Zhu family,Zhu Qifang,was incapable of maintaining the family's standing.

Even if another second-generation disciple took charge,they would still fall short in both strength and charisma compared to the deceased Zhu Zefang.Though not a martial artist in the Yuan Shen Realm,Old Master Zhu had nurtured several Divine Palace Realm martial artists,a significant achievement.

Moreover,in terms of prestige,Old Master Zhu was the highest authority within the Zhu family.Therefore,when Old Master Zhu spoke,Zhu Qifang and others had no choice but to obediently stand by and listen to his instructions.