Chapter 61: Master Cannot be Bullied
"We've arrived!" Shen Ying pointed ahead of her, waking up those who were still in bewilderment. Their gazes followed the direction she was pointing towards and were shocked by the next scene.
They had never imagined that there really would be an immortal sect within the Demon Realm. Besides the fact that the demonic aura did not infiltrate the sect, the range of mountain peaks with magnificent palaces were totally comparable to the main residences of the four aristocratic families. And not to be forgotten were all the spirit herbs planted along the way, filling up the mountains. At a closer look, any random plant picked out was at least a ten thousand- year-old supreme-grade spirit herb. Moreover, they were planted messily about—such extravagance was not seen even among the aristocratic families.
Everyone sucked in their breath and immediately reinforced their prior train of thought. These things were not possible for a small immortal sect.
A hidden immortal sect! This Invincible Sect was absolutely an amazing hidden immortal sect. Yu Hong felt a rush of excitement, but had a slight worry in her mind. She was delighted as such a huge sect had to be capable of protecting the safety of everyone in her group, but she was worried that if someone in the sect were to find out their identities, that would result in…
"Sister Hong…" Everyone else had the same thought as well and couldn't help but call out her name in worry.
Yu Hong grabbed the hand of the person beside her and squeezed it, then shook her head and said in a low volume, "Watch and wait to see what happens."
All of them were anxious as they followed Shen Ying and the radish off the transport Dharma artifact. They followed the both of them through a big hall, and then through the rear of the hall. They passed by the courtyard and then stopped by a bed bench.
She laid down on it! -_-|||
She lay on the bed bench face down with her four limbs spread apart, having no qualms about it.
"So tired!" She said one line and her eyes began to shut uncontrollably. Even the man named Radish looked at that scene as if it was natural before habitually digging a hole and sitting in it, looking as if he were about to sleep as well.
The crowd: "…"
What did this mean? Why did they suddenly not care about them? Was this an opening gambit towards the new disciples? Or was it some sort of entrance test?
Their little group waited for a while, but seeing that Shen Ying and radish did not seem like they were going to move, Yu Hong had no choice but to go ahead to sound her out. "Immortal Master, Immortal Master… Sect Master?" "Ah?" Shen Ying finally moved and looked at her with her head tilted, seemingly just remembering about them. "Oh, you guys make yourselves comfortable."
"…" What did that mean? "Sect Master, don't we need to register or something?"
"Yeah, you have to ask Father Niu about that." He was the one who wrote the recruitment plan. "No rush. Wait till he gets back to talk about that."
"Then… does Sect Master need to get people to bring us to meet the rest of the sect? Since we have just joined, we are afraid of offending the seniors."
"The rest of the sect? Haven't you already seen them?"
"Already seen?!" Everyone looked at each other at a loss for words. "What do you mean, Sect Master?" When had they met them? "Just now on the street. Chef, Father Niu and me." Shen Ying pointed at herself seriously, saying, "The rest of the sect!"
"Your disciple meant the rest of the sect members."
"There's no one else?" Radish was only considered half a headcount.
The crowd: "…"
Putting aside the weird names, what was this about?
Such a large sect yet you're telling me there are only four people?! Who are you trying to kid!
"We just began to recruit so there aren't a lot of people." Shen Ying had pondered for a bit before explaining. "Yeah, there will be more in the future." "…" Yu Hong's mouth twitched as she looked at this unreliable so-called sect master, and it took her a while before suppressing the impulse to act rashly and said, "If that's the case… now that we have entered this sect, we hope that Sect Master will help us to make arrangements for future matters."
"Arrangements…" Shen Ying finally recalled that she should not just let them stand there. She climbed up and pointed toward the huge hall. "How about you guys just find a room and settle down first? Wait for Father Niu to come back to make any arrangements. This place is pretty big so staying anywhere is fine."
Yu Hong's heart contracted as she wondered: were they being tested? How could such a huge immortal sect allow the new disciples to barge in anywhere. Could the sect master already be suspicious of them?
Her expression shifted for a fleeting moment before turning back to normal. Taking a deep breath, she respectfully gave a salute. "Sect Master. Although we have never joined an immortal sect before, we have heard of each sect's rules and dare not overstep them. We are all here to pursue immortality and seek the Dao, so no matter the challenge for our acceptance, we will not be daunted. Sect Master, please give us your instructions. We will certainly go to all lengths to complete them."
The girls behind Yu Hong also knelt down and said in unison, "Awaiting Sect Master's orders."
Why are they being like this? It's not labor day. Do they really like laboring so much?
"You all really don't want to rest in the house?"
"There's no need."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes!" "Alright then!" Shen Ying sighed, walked over and squatted in front of Yu Hong, saying earnestly, "Then… do you all know how to cook?"
The crowd: "…"
Thus, when Lonemoon and Yi Qing returned, all they saw was a scene of seven to eight girls squeezed inside of the kitchen, working together to cook.
Lonemoon's mouth could not stop twitching. He took a long time before reacting as it had not been so lively for a while; it was like a scene from a reunion dinner.
Hadn't he come back only two hours late? What had happened during this time? Why had all the new disciples turned into chefs in the blink of an eye?
This was an immortal cultivation sect, not an immortal cultivation restaurant!
"Sect Master, do try this bowl of sweet beancurd and see if it is to your liking?" Yu Hong passed the bowl of beancurd over with a smile.
"Hold on!" Just as Shen Ying was about to take it, however, Yi Qing had already taken big strides to rush over angrily.
Lonemoon finally recovered from his daze. Filled with rage, he followed up quickly, "Right, Yi Qing, quickly reprimand that nonsensical Master of yours!"
"Master…" Yi Qing's face was already as black as the bottom of a pot. He snatched over the bowl from Yu Hong and pointed out sternly, "You never eat sweet beancurd!"
Yu Hong: "…" Lonemoon: "…"
The crowd: "…"
"You, newbie, how can you make it sweet? Beancurd must be eaten salty." He glanced at the other party coldly. Yi Qing was someone who rarely flared up, yet he sneered, "You don't even know Master's taste yet you dare to cook so nonchalantly. Master, please wait for a while. I will make a bowl of salty ones right away!"
"Uh… actually, sweet ones are also…" Are also fine! She was neutral about it.
"Rest assured, Master, it will be done very quick," Yi Qing added another line earnestly as he carefully scanned the table full of dishes at the same time. After scanning each and every one of them, his expression finally relaxed before he sneered again. "Hmph. How dare you all make such dishes for Master to eat!"
"Chef, I think…"
"Master, do not let these pig feed pollute your noble body. I will immediately make some new ones for you."
"That's not necessary?"
"No! It must be changed."
"But these are already done…"
"Master!" He was being so loud.
"Uh… alright. As long as you're happy!" She suddenly felt that Chef was being a little fierce today! (⊙_⊙)
Yi Qing merely turned to glance at all the people in the kitchen, yet that look alone was enough to make them feel as if a cold draught had enveloped the area, causing the whole yard's temperature to be lowered by dozens of degrees.
"Get out! With such standards, all of you are not qualified to enter my kitchen!" Accompanying those words was an uncontrollable burst of the suppressive aura of a Soul Formation cultivator which even contained subtle hints of Sword Qi, scaring the small group of girls into escaping and retreating from the kitchen.
"Master, please wait!" He bowed and then quickly headed into the kitchen. Before going in, he even used the Sword Qi around him to utterly destroy all the original dishes on the table, leaving no trace of them at all.
Hmph, b*tches. Trying to snatch my Master again!
Lonemoon: "…" F*cking retard. Lonemoon suddenly had the urge to dissolve this partnership of theirs.
Chapter 62: The Entrance Test
Lonemoon had spent a lot of effort to finally pull back those new disciples who were seemingly straying into the wrong path.
"From now on, you are all disciples of my Invincible Sect." He looked towards the group who were still mostly covered up in their robes and even purposely glanced at the girl who was hanging her head, and then he furrowed his brows and pointed towards Yi Qing who had finally finished cooking. "Although this sect currently only has three people, his and my cultivation will be sufficient to teach all of you. Hopefully, all of you will work hard on your cultivations and head towards the path of immortality soon."
"Yes!" Everyone answered in unison.
Lonemoon continued with some more encouraging words before switching into a grave tone, saying, "All of you can learn some basic sorcery from me first, but since everyone already has some cultivation, I need to know your specific situations before beginning my teachings. Do share what have you learned before and what kind of cultivation technique you have practiced previously." All the girls were shocked and they looked at each other at a loss for words before looking toward Yu Hong who in front.
Yu Hong's expression changed but returned to normal soon. She stepped forward and said, "Reporting to Immortal Master, we have only roughly learned a bit of the immortal Dharma of drawing aura into our body. I possess a Spirit Root of fire and wood and have only learned the Springbloom Art. As for the rest of the girls…"
"Let them speak for themselves." Lonemoon interrupted with a serious tone. "They should be clear on what cultivation techniques they have learned and practiced."
Yu Hong faltered for a moment before looking back at the girls and stepping back. "Yes!"
She signaled them with her eyes and then those girls who had been quiet came forward one by one to report on what cultivation technique they had learned. They spoke very softly to the point that if everyone present had not been cultivators, it would not have been possible to hear clearly. "I learned and practiced… the Water Negation Art!"
"I have practiced the Light Body Spell."
"I learned and practiced…"
After they finished reporting their cultivation techniques, they immediately went back to stand behind Yu Hong.
Lonemoon's expression grew slightly graver and hesitated for a moment before saying, "I've gained an overall understanding of your situations. Since it's late now, let's begin practice tomorrow." As he spoke, his gaze swept to a certain person at the side who was desperately scooping up rice and another who was helping to serve it, both making the occasional clanking noises, and his mouth twitched.
"Hey. Shouldn't the both of you at the very least say a few words?" Whose sect was this exactly?
"Ah?" Shen Ying faltered for a moment, stunned. "What am I supposed to say?"
"These disciples have just entered the sect. As the sect master, don't you want to understand your disciples' overall conditions and test their standards or something like that?"
Shen Ying took a look at everyone and then looked at the begrudging Father Niu. Now that he said it, it did seem like there was a need to do that, but…
"What should I test them on?"
"Up to you." Lonemoon waved his hand. "It should be enough to just let them just showcase some moves."
"Okay! Then…" Shen Ying finally put down her cutlery and walked over. Wearing a serious look, she walked past the other disciples and stopped in front of Yu Hong. "Sister, do you… have any Freestyle moves?"
Ah? Ah! Which university?
F*ck you Sister, did you think this is a talent show!? How about you let them just sing a verse, huh?!
"Fu… Fu what Si Da?" Yu Hong was stunned. "Sect Master, please forgive your disciple's ignorance, but what did that phrase mean?"
"Master is indeed unfathomably profound!" Yi Qing's eyes lit up as he said, "This must be some high level cultivation technique? Can Master repeat?"
Profound your head! Hey, what are you holding a pen for! This is a freaking joke alright? Yi Qing, can you not forcefully support your Master's bluff?! "So that's what it is!" Yu Hong nodded in understanding. "Sect Master, please demonstrate for us."
Huh? All of you really freaking believed it! Where's your intelligence?!
"Uh, actually I was thinking…"
"Enough!" Lonemoon could not stop himself from interrupting. He looked back at Shen Ying coldly and said, "Shut up! Go and eat your rice."
"…" Weren't you the one who made me ask?
Lonemoon rubbed his forehead and took a deep breath before suppressing all the curses in his heart. "That's it for today. You guys can go and take a rest. We will talk about cultivation matters tomorrow."
Finished, he took out a couple of tokens to remove the restrictions and signaled them to go to their lodgings at the right side of the front hall.
Everyone was a little stunned as they looked at Yu Hong.
Seeing her nod, all of them then saluted and took their leave.
"The problem with this group can't be overlooked." Yi Qing finally said after all of their figures were out of sight.
"Of course I know that." Lonemoon rolled his eyes at him. Your intelligence only returns when the matter doesn't concern Shen Ying. "Just now amongst them, there were already three people who have completed their Core Formation, yet the cultivation techniques they reported are only some low level ones, some of them skills that not even an itinerant cultivator would practice. Who would believe that? Obviously, none of them were speaking the truth."
He looked in the direction which they had left. "From the look of things, they probably met with some trouble which is why they seized the opportunity to hide here, and that trouble must be pretty huge." "Sect traitors? Or escaped slaves?" Yi Qing furrowed his brows. Either possibility did not put them in a good light.
"They must have something with them which conceals their aura and that's why we can't see through their identity." He flipped the flute in his hand. "But they can't hide it for long. If we're lucky, perhaps we'll find out tomorrow."
Late into the night.
A silhouette of a person appeared at an area beneath a roof and was checking out the surroundings nervously.
"Sister Hong…" The next moment, another eight people appeared at her opposite side who went up to that figure quickly.
"Coming." Yu Hong looked at the rest of them and took count. "Is everyone here? Have any of you been discovered?" "Don't worry, Sister Yu Hong," one of them replied softly. "We have checked both front and back. No one is tailing us. Apart from the three of them, this Invincible Sect really did not have other people."
"That's good!" Yu Hong heaved a sigh of relief, but still looked at them nervously. "We cannot let down our guard too early. Don't forget this place is within the Demon Realm. You guys also saw those high level demons from before. They are not opponents that we are able to handle."
Everyone's expressions became grave. "Sister Yu Hong, can we really… escape to the Lower Realm safely?"
"Yes, yes we can!" Yu Hong held the hand of the girl beside her tightly, not sure if she was encouraging them or herself. "We have escaped even from the Sky Severance Cliff, so what else is there to fear? As long as we can hang on until we reach the Lower Realm, we will get our freedom. With that person's protection, we can start anew and no one would dare to belittle us again."
As she spoke, everyone's eyes lit up as if gaining new hope. "That's right. I have heard that she was just like us… As a woman, she… she will definitely help us."
"But…" There were some who were still worried and one of them said hesitantly, "Sister Yu Hong, do we really have to leave? I think… those two Supremacies don't look like bad people and this is in the Demon Realm. That old crook, Zhen Xiang… even he won't be able to find his way here. Moreover, those two Supremacies are at the Soul Formation stage and on top of that, they are sword cultivators."
Chapter 63: Midnight Escape
"You're right. Sword Cultivators have always trained the hardest. If we stay behind, maybe we wouldn't-" Another girl also seemed to waver as she interrupted, "I also heard that there were two Sword Cultivators who recently broke into the Xuan Yuan Family and even that family couldn't do anything to them. There are also two Sword Cultivators here, so do you think they're-"
"Si Yu!" Yu Hong's expression darkened as she cut her off. "So what if they were the Sword Cultivators who were able to defeat the Xuan Yuan Family? It's been so long, yet do you still not understand? There is not one man on this earth who is reliable! We cannot afford to take this risk."
"You saw the lady they call Shen Ying. How come she remained a mortal while the two men reached Soul Formation? Don't you think that's weird?" Yu Hong's expression changed as she said this. She continued, "They say she's the sect master, but I think they're making a joke out of her. Maybe they're just hiding their skills from her because they refuse to teach her. Maybe they are hiding other things too. Do you think people like them would take care of people like us who have 'betrayed our sect masters'?" "…" The crowd fell silent.
"What's more, they are clearly already suspicious of us," Yu Hong warned. "We need to leave soon. The people who were after us back at Upper Azure Town are probably already gone. We should take this chance to look for that man on the street and ask him to take us to the Middle Azure World."
They all nodded.
"Everyone, hide your auras well. We're in the Demon Realm. Remember not to alert any demons." Yu Hong checked each of their array formations and gave further instructions, "Once we find that man on the street and reach Ming Yin Mountain, we'll be safe."
"So… you're going to look for Roasted Chicken Gal?" A familiar voice sounded out from behind them.
"Who's there?" Yu Hong cried out. Startled, she drew her sword instinctively. That was when she turned around and then recognised the person in front of her. "Sect Master! Why… why are you…"
All of their expressions changed, showing confusion. Where did she come from? How was it that none of them had noticed her?
"You… when did you appear?" Yu Hong's heart sank.
"From…" Shen Ying fell into thought for a few seconds. "From the time you said that men were useless."
"You… heard everything!"
"Yeah!" Shen Ying sighed. She pointed to the room beside her and said seriously, "Little Hong… I'm alright if you want to whisper in the middle of the night. But squatting outside my window and whispering right next to my headboard… that's unacceptable, right?" She had been sleeping!
Who's Little Hong? No, the important thing is…
"This… this is your room?" How could that be?
"Yeah, I've been staying here for a few days." Shen Ying nodded in affirmation.
"You… don't you stay in the back of the hall?"
"Oh, that's the kitchen!"
"Kitch…" What freaking kitchen!
Which sect would use the entire back section of a hall as their kitchen? What kind of bloody sect is this?
"Big Sister Yu Hong, what should we do?" Si Yu nervously tugged at Yu Hong's sleeve. They had intended to escape stealthily, but now their plan was exposed. They wouldn't be able to leave if Shen Ying called for the two Sword Cultivators. Yu Hong had thought of this too. She turned to look at Shen Ying and immediately produced an Immobilizing Seal. She slapped the seal onto Shen Ying's chest and said, "Miss, I'm sorry." She signalled for the other girls to draw their swords. Taking Shen Ying with them, they rode their swords out of the Invincible Sect.
Shen Ying: "…"
Er, did I just get attacked in the chest?
Yu Hong grabbed Shen Ying and led the rest of the girls to fly out of the Demon Realm. She was initially worried that they would encounter a powerful demon, but they must have been lucky as they had already travelled half of the journey and they had not come across a single demon. They did see a couple of shadows, but those shadows had headed in the opposite direction from them. Surprisingly, their journey had been really smooth. Just like that, they smoothly and safely made it to Upper Azure Town. Yu Hong searched high and low before she took out her jade token and formed a hand seal. The jade token glowed momentarily before it then flew up into the sky and disappeared into thin air.
The group waited where they were and a few moments later, they heard male voices.
"You guys are the ones who wanted to go to the Lower Realm?" A young man stepped out from around the corner. He was a Golden Core cultivator, dressed in black. His slit eyes scanned the group that stood before him.
"That's right," Yu Hong answered as she stepped forward. "Just as we discussed, I brought the spirit stones. We want to go to the Lower Realm tonight."
"I only see Fiendish Cultivators heading for the Lower Realms. This is the first time I'm meeting Immortal Cultivators who want to enter the Lower Realm," the man mocked. He turned to count the number of people and then frowned, "Didn't you say nine? Why is there one more person?" Yu Hong hesitated. She glanced at Shen Ying who was standing beside her and said, "She's… my friend. She's just sending us off. She won't be coming with us to the Middle Azure World."
"You told other people about this!" The man became outraged and immediately drew his weapon. He was ready to silence all of them. "Nobody else can know about this."
"Wait!" Yu Hong went to stand in front of Shen Ying. She gritted her teeth and said, "She doesn't know anything and I promise that she won't say a word to anyone else. We… we can give you more spirit stones." She took out a bag of spirit stones from her bag and handed it over.
The man stopped himself and received the bag. He opened it to inspect the spirit stones inside. It was only then that his expression softened. He tutted. "Hmph! On account of this extra bag of spirit stones, I shall let you off this time. But there will be no next time," he said warningly as he scanned Shen Ying up and down. "As you know, if the aristocratic families and immortal sects find out about me bringing you to the Lower Realm, all of us will suffer for it." "We know." Yu Hong nodded. "So… Fellow Daoist, can we go to the Lower Realm now?"
"Now?" He laughed humorlessly. "Only Soul Formation Supremacies can tear through the void. I'm not that capable. The array formation that connects the two worlds is not here. Follow me!" He turned toward the right and began to walk.
Yu Hong hesitated. She turned around to look at the other girls and then decided to follow him. "Thank you, Fellow Daoist."
Indeed, only Soul Formation Supremacies were able to tear through the void and enter the passage between the two realms. Anyone else who wanted to enter the Lower Realm had to go through the Yin Family's transportation array. However, it was far too dangerous for the group of ladies to walk through the Demon Realm and the Yin Family would only use their array to recruit Soul Formation cultivators from the Lower Realm. What's more, given the relationship between the Yin Family and the Yu Family… the Yin Family would never allow her to use their transportation array.
She had waited so long before she heard of a cultivator in Upper Azure Town who had set up a business to send people to and fro between the two realms. That was why she had come here. She had suffered for so long and fought so hard—finally, there was hope.
Thinking of this made her turn to give Shen Ying an apologetic look. She lowered her voice and said, "Don't worry, we won't hurt you. Once we get to the array formation, we will release the Immobilizing Seal and let you go back."
What Immobilizing Seal?
Chapter 64: Buy One Get One Free
Yu Hong took a deep breath. She appeared as delighted as the other girls were as she carefully followed behind the man leading them. They went through several streets but somehow, the more they walked, the more crowded their surroundings became. The man did not bring them to some secluded area, but instead brought them to the town's more prosperous region before finally stopping before a magnificent residence.
Her heart sank and she immediately woke up from the joy of nearing success. She directly summoned forth a spirit sword to attack the man in front of them. "You lied to us!"
Shocked, the man retreated hundreds of feet back and managed to barely avoid the sword.
"Let's go!" Yu Hong could not be bothered with chasing after the man. She instead turned to shout at everyone to leave, but it was already too late.
The doors to the magnificent residence suddenly opened up as a figure came flying out. With a banging sound, a spirit sword pierced into the ground of the road behind the girls, blocking some of their escape routes.
"Hong, you are indeed my favorite disciple, spotting the problem so quickly." The man in the air floated down slowly. He looked gentlemanly, dressed in blue and having a proper face with a long beard, and he was emitting the suppressive aura of Nascent Soul cultivator.
However, Yu Hong's body became ice cold as if a cold aura seeped out of her bone fissures, and even all the other girls present took a couple of steps back like they could not endure the atmosphere, shivering.
"Zhen Xiang, you old crook!" Yu Hong gritted her teeth and glared at the man across from her. She had thought that since they managed to evade his pursuit in the day, he would have ordered people to search in other areas. But she had never imagined that he already knew they would return and even colluded with that middleman to trick them over here.
"Perfected One, I have brought them here so I… can leave now, right?" The man who had led the way for the girls bowed towards Zhen Xiang. "Thank you, Fellow Daoist, in helping me capture these traitors." Zhen Xiang laughed, wearing an amiable look.
"You're welcome, Perfected One." The man smiled and glanced around at everyone else. If he had known that they were people from the Yu Family, he would not have taken up this business deal. Thank goodness he did not really bring them to the Lower Realm. He immediately rode his sword and left the premises, not wanting to be involved with this Upper World aristocratic family's business.
"Hong, there's no need for this." Seeing that the man has gone far away, Perfected One Zhen Xiang began laughing more and more amiably. "Originally, you guys used the identity of human cauldrons to infiltrate Sky Severance Cliff, and even severely injured Yu Meng the creep which was a huge merit and would definitely have been rewarded by the Master. Why do you want to destroy your own futures and head to the Lower Realm? Since you guys injured that fiend and did not return to the Yu Family, he will let none of you off."
"Hmph. Isn't that nice to hear, old crook! If we do not run away, will you let us return to the Yu Family alive?" Yu Hong sneered with bursting hatred she said, "As a Perfected One of Yu Family's branch lineage, you had dealings with a fiendish cultivator of Sky Severance Cliff. If Master had found out about that, he would not have let you off!"
"Shallow woman!" Zhen Xiang glanced at her, saying, "All I did was to annihilate fiends and protect the Dao to paralyze that bunch of fiendish cultivators!"
"Bullshit!" Yu Hong grew angrier. "What do you mean, annihilate fiends and protect the Dao. When have you done anything for justice? Have you ever lifted a finger to kill a fiendish cultivator before? All you did was to conveniently use us, useless human cauldrons, and then threw us over to Sky Severance Cliff to die." She looked directly over at him, her gaze consumed by hatred. "The laughable thing is, not only did we useless human cauldrons not die somehow, we even managed to do what you couldn't, to harm that fiendish cultivator. Aren't you trying to kill us because you want to let others think that you were the one who did it and not us, to be highly regarded by the Master?"
"Shut up!" Zhen Xiang's expression grew twisted for a moment. "You're full of crap. It was obvious that you guys betrayed the sect and even intended to go to the Lower Realm to partner up with fiendish cultivators. I am only preventing you guys from making a huge mistake today." "Who exactly is the one partnering up with fiendish cultivators?" Yu Hong tore off her sleeve and revealed her right arm. It was covered in large and small scars which seemingly looked to be old injuries, yet every wound was hair-raising and horrifying. "We are only your disciples in name but in reality, we are worse than human cauldrons! Our wounded bodies, our destroyed meridians, our broken spirit bones. They were all your doings!"
As she spoke, all of them pulled up their long grey robes. Without the Dharma clothing to cover them up, all eight of them revealed their original looks. Their bodies were crawling with all kinds of scary-looking scars, some on the hands, some on the feet, and some even on their faces. And that was only ones that were visible on their skin—there had to be much more hidden under their clothes.
"You adopted us since we were young yet you never taught us proper sorcery, only teaching Dharma spells that human cauldrons would learn. You treat us like objects, forcing us to help you try out cultivations and poisons, and if we died you would turn us into elixirs." The more Yu Hong spoke, the more hatred she felt, and her eyes grew red as she continued, "You threw us into Sky Severance Cliff only because our foundations had been damaged by your cultivation techniques and you cannot harvest from us, because we are not even worth being concocted into elixirs."
She took a step forward.
"You really think we don't know that killing us is just to cover up your cultivation of fiendish techniques?"
Zhen Xiang's face turned as black as the bottom of a pot. No longer did he have the look of a gentleman about him that he had just now as he looked at Yu Hong with all the intention to kill. His voice had turned much colder as he raised his hand to summon forth his weapon and said, "Since all of you already know about this so clearly, there is no way I am letting you off today!"
As he said this, he flipped his hand and a Dharma artifact enveloped in a dense murderous aura flew towards Yu Hong.
Yu Hong could only feel an immense suppressive aura overwhelming her as she gritted her teeth and immediately activated the Golden Core inside of her—even if she were to blow up, she wanted to fight for more time to allow the rest to escape.
Suddenly, her shoulder was pushed down and the Spirit Qi she had triggered dissipated at that moment as the girl beside her took a step forward.
"Wait a moment."
Shen Ying suddenly stretched out her hand in a grab and the next moment, that fearsome-looking Dharma artifact was caught in her hand. It was actually a bronze bell.
Zhen Xiang was stunned and as if just realizing there was someone else in the group. His Dharma artifact had been so easily caught by the other party.
"You…" Yu Hong was even more surprised than he was. She… wasn't she restricted? How can she move?
Not paying mind to anything else, Shen Ying looked directly at Zhen Xiang and asked, "That guy, you and that… that guy named Gan and another named… Ding? What's your relationship with them?"
"Gan?" He faltered for a while, and then his eyes grew wide. "You mean Gan Zirui and Yu Ding?"
"Oh, so you know them." Shen Ying narrowed her eyes. "Then there's no mistake."
In the blink of an eye, she had moved next to Zhen Xiang.
"Sorry, but I hate scums!"
Zhen Xiang suddenly felt his collar tightening as a tremendous force pulled him in and directly hurled him to the ground, and then came a punch pounding down on him.
All that was heard was a loud crash and Zhen Xiang's entire person was directly beaten into the ground in such a manner that it would not be possible to even dig him out again. What followed after that was a loud clashing noise as the earth trembled and the nearby mountains swayed. As if an earth-dragon had passed by the place Zhen Xiang was buried at, the entirety of the surrounding earth began to crack, the roads were flipped and the houses became crooked as dust flew everywhere. Within a moment, the entire Upper Azure Town was broken and torn apart by the large cracks on the ground.
The crowd: "…"
There was total silence.
The eyes of the nine girls bulged out of their sockets for a long while before recovering.
This was… their sect master?!
This isn't a dream, is it? Where's the lack of cultivation? One punch to destroy the entire town—that cultivation is off the charts! Σ(°△°|||)
A while later…
"Let's go!" Shen Ying patted down her sleeves and turned away calmly.
The group of girls had yet to recover from shock as they opened their mouths mechanically to ask, "Go?"
Go where? What had just happened? Who were they? Where were they?
"Go to that… that Something Cliff?"
"Sky… Severance Cliff?"
"Yes. Don't we have another old fogey to deal with? Since it's convenient, I'll give you guys a buy one get one free service." Old fogey? She couldn't be referring to that fiendish cultivator, Yu Meng, right?
"Come on, let's go." She jumped out from between the cracks in the ground as she said this. "Let's hurry up so that we can still make it in time for breakfast!"
The crowd: "…"
That's a fiend den we're going to. Don't talk as if we're going to the streets to buy cabbage!
Chapter 65: Officially Joining the Sect
Something big had happened in the Upper Azure World recently: word was going around that the Soul Formation Fiendish Cultivator Yu Meng had been killed. Even his subordinate Fiendish Cultivators who had killed many people were gone. Sky Severance Cliff, the Fiend Den which even the aristocratic families had trouble getting rid of, had been wiped out overnight.
Sky Severance Cliff was extremely easy to defend and it was at the border of the Mirage Sea. The Yin Qi had always been strong there, never dissipating. There was a great array formation of Yin just outside the Fiend Den which was set up specially to get rid of Immortal Cultivators. The four great aristocratic families and the immortal cultivation sects had tried countless times to destroy the Fiend Den but the Yin Qi had stopped them from doing so—they were always forced to retreat even before they made it to the top of Sky Severance Cliff. As time went by, the Fiendish Cultivators made their homes on the cliff. That was how the Fiend Den had formed.
Who would have thought that the den would disappear without a sound? Even the great array formation of Yin that once surrounded Sky Severance Cliff had disappeared. No one knew exactly who had taken down the Fiend Den. All that was known related to this incident was a single word which was left on the stone wall atop Sky Severance Cliff
—"Invincible". This was the talk of the town. Some said that the four aristocratic families had finally had enough of the constant provoking from Sky Severance Cliff and so had gathered a whole group of their best Traveling Immortals to take down the Fiend Den by force. Others said that the fiends had offended the Great Demons from the Demon Realm. Since demons were unaffected by Yin Qi, they would be able to get rid of the fiends. Yet others said that some hidden expert had done the deed and the word "Invincible" was meant as a warning to the Fiendish Cultivators so they would not get too cocky.
These were all wild guesses, however. Nobody from the immortal sects or the four aristocratic families were able to solve this mystery.
Lonemoon and Yi Qing had heard about this news as they were looking on the streets for Shen Ying. They had felt it the moment Yu Hong and her group of ladies had left; they had known there was something suspicious about the group of ladies. However, they had never guessed that they would leave in such a hurry. Lonemoon wasn't bothered at first. They could leave if they wanted to as they could always find other people. But Yi Qing then realized… Shen Ying was missing too! Shen Ying did not have the radish to navigate the way and knowing how bad she was with directions, they had no choice but to search for her. They searched to no avail, however. They had tried to follow the aura of the group of girls, but they were suddenly lost. That was until they realized anomalies were happening in Upper Azure Town. It was then they knew where Shen Ying was. Lonemoon and Yi Qing remained in Upper Azure town that night to search high and low for Shen Ying and then the next day, they heard the news.
By the time the two of them made it back to the sect, they realized that Shen Ying was already sitting at the stone table at the rear hall. Her expression was calm and in front of her stood a group of girls dressed in robes of various colours, fussing over Shen Ying.
"Sect Master, what do you think about the dumplings? Are they to your liking?"
"Sect Master, please try the lotus seeds. I used spirit fire to cook them. They're really fragrant!"
"Sect Master, my Xiao Long Baos are cooked! Would you like to try them?" "Sect Master, why don't you try this soya bean milk that I've made?"
What is this? This… are we filming some gourmet program? How does she always manage to turn everyone around her into chefs each time she comes back?
"This is ridiculous!" Yi Qing marched over and pushed everybody away from Shen Ying. "These dumplings are too thick, these lotus seeds are too tough, these Xiao Long Baos are too crammed full of stuffing, and the soya bean milk looks disgusting. How dare you bring all of this food to Master? You're mistreating her!"
"…" You retard, would you like to join them?
"Shen Ying!" The corner of Lonemoon's mouth twitched and he pulled Shen Ying to her feet. "Talk! What in the world is going on?"
"I'm really hungry," Shen Ying explained innocently.
"Master, I'll make some rice for you." Yi Qing put away all the food on the stone table and headed into the kitchen.
Lonemoon's face turned dark. That retard is hopeless. "Where have you been the entire night?"
"I went to fight!"
"…" So she really was the one who took down the Fiend Den! "What are these people doing here?" He pointed to the group of girls who had returned from their escapade. "Who did you hit this time?"
Before Shen Ying could answer him, Yu Hong stopped her and explained, "Supremacy, Sect Master saved all of our lives and she helped us take revenge. So… we just want to do what we can to repay her."
The girls nodded and looked at Shen Ying. The suspicion that was once in their eyes was gone and was replaced with pure freaky admiration. They looked so much like the crazy fans Lonemoon had seen in his previous life.
The group began to recount the events of the previous day, taking turns to speak.
"That's right," Shen Ying suddenly added. "That scum was friends with the two people who bullied Roasted Chicken Gal."
"You mean…" Lonemoon hesitated. He realized what she was saying. The person behind the jade token was the Perfected One of the Yu Family's branch lineage. It was no wonder Gan Zirui was able to hide in Sword Comprehension Peak. Suddenly, everything he had gone through made sense.
Lonemoon turned to assess the group. A moment later, he lowered his voice and said, "Forget it! Since you girls were victims, I won't hold it against you for infiltrating my Invincible Sect. Since everything is solved now, you girls can go ahead to wherever you need to be."
"Supremacy, we wanted to go to the Middle Azure World's Ming Yin Mountain," Yu Hong explained. "Ming Yin Mountain's Fiend Supremacy is different from other Fiendish Cultivators— she has never done anything evil. The disciples in her sect are the same. We heard that she had suffered from the same fate as us a while ago and took in many girls like us. We're just not sure if she would take us in given our special identities…"
"I see." Shen Ying looked as if she had an idea as she said, "Father Niu, do you have pen and paper with you?"
"What for?" Lonemoon frowned. Nevertheless, he took out a piece of paper and a pen and placed them on the stone table. Shen Ying sat down and immediately began to write on the paper. She afterwards handed the piece of paper over to Yu Hong.
"This is for you. Roasted Chicken Gal knows us very well, so take this to her. She'll definitely take you in."
Yu Hong was stunned, her face blank.
"Roasted Chicken Gal is the Fiend Supremacy on Ming Yin Mountain, Qi Chengyu. Aren't you girls planning to go to the Middle Azure World to look for her?" Lonemoon explained. Turning around to glare at Shen Ying, he chided, "Can't you even remember a freaking name?"
Yu Hong was clearly surprised. But after a moment, her face fell. She turned around to exchange looks with the girls behind her and then gritted her teeth as if she had decided on something. The nine of them took in a breath simultaneously before they knelt before Shen Ying.
"Sect Master, please accept us!" "…"
"Sect Master," Yu Hong began without waiting for Shen Ying to say anything. "After what happened yesterday, we understand that no matter how strong our protection is, we will only be able to truly control our fate if we ourselves become strong. Ming Yin Mountain is good, but we are Immortal Cultivators after all. Unless we're willing to render our cultivations null and train again from scratch, we will never be able to improve there."
"We'd much rather work and train hard to live a life that we want to instead of living a life of fear. We have never done anything to hurt anyone else, so why can't we hold our heads high in this world?"
"We want to become like you, Sect Master, who is so strong and fearless that no one can bully you and embarrass you. Sect Master, your cultivation level is extremely advanced. We'd be honored to learn to become even one percent as powerful as you."
"Before, we were ignorant. That was why we offended you, Sect Master. We're willing to take any punishment as long as you allow us to remain in your sect. From today onwards, we will train hard to bring honor to Invincible Sect. Please, Sect Master, accept us as your disciples!"
All of them spoke at once:
"Please accept us as your disciples, Sect Master!"
But before Shen Ying could answer them, the sound of something dropping to the floor came from behind her. Yi Qing flew out of the kitchen, surging with Sword Qi. The rear of the hall collapsed to the ground behind him.
 A type of bun
Chapter 66: Teacher of All Subjects
Shen Ying's eyelids were slowly closing as she could not resist the temptation to sleep. But just when she was about to fall asleep, her eyes suddenly snapped wide open and she glanced at the bright moonlight outside the window, letting out a long sigh. She had no choice but to climb up from her position, pushed open the window on the right and talked to that perfectly upright figure outside.
"Chef, how long do you intend on standing there?"
Yi Qing hesitated, immediately standing straighter, before answering seriously, "Master, rest assured. I will guard this place well. Nobody can come near to disturb Master again." He did not believe that there would be anyone who would still dare to snatch her away right under his nose.
"Sigh. Little Hong and her girls have already been officially accepted into the sect, so they won't be coming here at midnight anymore." "Master, the heart of a person is always unpredictable and evil. We need to be careful just in case." He continued seriously, "Previously, it was your disciple's mistake in letting Master be abducted. I will not let myself make this mistake a third time."
"But standing outside my window every day isn't the solution. You still have to wake up early tomorrow to prepare breakfast, right?"
"Master, do not worry. Your disciple is not tired."
But I am!
Shen Ying took a deep breath once again. For the first time, she realized how much of a blockhead her chef was. She climbed out of the window and pulled him to take a seat at the side. "Oh, Chef. If you keep standing here in the middle of the night not sleeping, it won't feel good for me to just take a rest. How about I promise you that if someone comes, I'll call for you?"
"But… Master, once you fall asleep, even thunder cannot wake you up!" "Uh…" What rubbish.
"What if another person who does not look where they are going came to abduct Master again? It is safer for me to stand guard here."
"…" Was she a child who was so easily abducted?
The more Yi Qing spoke, the more he felt the need to stand guard. He held a firm stance as he said, "Master, go ahead and rest. I will not disturb your sleep."
You're disturbing me already!
Shen Ying felt a headache as she looked at this person who did not heed any of her advice and wholeheartedly wanted to stand guard by her door. She let out a long sigh after thinking for a while, compelled to say something.
"I'm not taking Little Hong and the girls as my disciples. Will that be fine?!" He turned back.
"And I won't be taking in any disciples in the future as well," she added.
Indeed, his gaze immediately brightened up like the stars in the sky. "Really?!"
"Yeah." She nodded. Their dishes weren't as tasty as yours. "Now can you go back to sleep?"
"Yes Master, no problem Master!"
Yi Qing stood up immediately and left the yard in joy. That briskness in his steps were as if he had won a top prize as he turned and disappeared by the door.
Shen Ying: "…" Having an overly proud chef was also a problem. It seemed that the flavor of meals would not be changing in the future.
Recently, the entire Demon Realm had been very busy as all the demons were busy helping the Great Immortal to rebuild the rear hall of her palace which had inexplicably collapsed. Shen Ying was busy eating all day while Lonemoon was busy coaching the new disciples. Originally, Yi Qing had a part to play regarding the matters of teaching sorcery, but he seemed to have experienced some kind of blow. From the second day that those disciples had entered the sect, he sectioned off a temporary kitchen beside Shen Ying's house and began wholeheartedly experimenting on new dishes. No one could get him to come out.
Lonemoon lost all hope with this Sword Immortal turned Chef Immortal, and he also could not let Shen Ying help out either; otherwise, this foodie might just teach a whole new oriental chef class. All he could do was to grit his teeth and take over the teaching.
On the first day of lessons, he examined all of their cultivation sorcery carefully and was shocked upon inspection. The Spirit Roots of all nine disciples were not complete. Although it could be seen that they did have great potential, the forceful infiltration of much Spirit Qi for harvesting had caused their foundations to be greatly damaged. Moreover, the meridians in their bodies were very messy, some even containing poison. Putting cultivation aside, it was already a miracle that they had been able to live till today.
Fortunately, the Invincible Sect had an abundance of spirit herbs all around the wild mountains, so nursing their health back was only a matter of time. The only problem was that neither he nor Yi Qing were experts in concocting medicine and so they would not be able to restore the girls' damaged foundations. Learning cultivation techniques would be more difficult for them in the future and they would not be able to further improve on them, so this was a good opportunity to switch to sword cultivation instead.
Originally, those disciples were cultivated as human cauldrons from young and so all they had learned were the more gentle types of sorcery. He was also not familiar with the other types of cultivators which was why if their foundations had still been intact, perhaps he could not have taught much. But why not make use of this opportunity to switch to become Sword Cultivators? Sword cultivation and sorcery were different as sword cultivation relied on technique and the understanding of Sword Intent. So while their foundations were damaged, perhaps they could walk further on the path of Sword Cultivators.
It was just that they would have a much harder time compared to normal cultivators, even other Sword Cultivators. Lonemoon glanced at the delicate-looking girls with some hesitation.
"Supremacy, don't worry. We aren't afraid of hardship." Knowing what he was worried about, Yu Hong stepped forward with firm determination and said, "We have already experienced the toughest thing in the world, what's there to be afraid of?"
Lonemoon's brows relaxed as he scanned them again. It turned out he was the one belittling these girls. As individuals capable of surviving through such hellish situations and not giving up, staying true to their hearts, how could they fear a trial of this level?
"Great! From today onwards, all of you are Sword Cultivators of my Invincible Sect." Lonemoon waved his hand, summoning forth several spirit swords and placing them before the girls. "You will all need to learn from the most basic of sword techniques."
Everyone answered in unison.
From then on, the once top Sword Cultivator of the Middle Azure World, Supremacy Lonemoon, began his journey of treating illnesses and teaching sword moves. It was totally the life of a babysitter. Suddenly, the quiet Invincible Sect became more lively as the figures of people waving their swords could be spotted from time to time.
Lonemoon did not carry much hope for these disciples in the beginning; after all, the reason that there were very few Sword Cultivators was because the requirements for people to learn in this way of cultivation was extremely high. In particular, their understanding of the Sword Dao had to be beyond the ordinary. In Yi Qing's case, he was born with an Innate Sword Embodiment, but it was very rare to come by those who could even achieve the Nascent Soul stage as a Sword Cultivator as seen in the entire Middle Azure World in which there was only one Soul Formation Sword Cultivator. And this went true even for the Upper Azure World where talents were abundant. It needn't be said that the path of a Sword Cultivator was extremely difficult.
He began by getting them to switch to Sword Cultivators. Apart from giving them hope, it was also to impart them another method to handle enemies in the future.
What made him shocked, however, was their determination. It was precisely because they understood their own circumstances that they worked way harder every day and night, training nonstop. Within a few short months, their cultivation which had been stuck on one level actually showed signs of gradually improving which was truly a surprise. Lonemoon felt pride from the bottom of his heart—they were indeed his disciples whom he was teaching to become Sword Cultivators.
The only thing that he was unhappy about was that even though they were taught by him, every time they looked at Shen Ying, their gazes was more respectful than towards anyone else. Even when she coincidentally brought radish out for a walk, all the girls' gazes would uncontrollably turn towards her. If it had not been for him standing in front of them, they would have rushed over to get signatures and pictures taken together with faces of admiration, a sign of becoming brain damaged fans in a second.
Regarding this, he only wanted to say one thing: Damn this cheat!
Chapter 67: Impure Sword Cultivator
"Sect Master!" Making use of the break time, Sister Si Yu, who had the softest character, could not help but go to stop that cheat who was passing by.
"Hey, Sister Little Green."
Lonemoon took a glance, thinking: who was Sister Little Green? Upon turning around to look, he realized that the disciple named Si Yu was wearing a green dress…
Indeed… she was still not able to remember names!
"Want to eat?" Shen Ying asked as she munched on her fruit.
"No… no need!" Si Yu bashfully pushed back a proffered fruit. "I only have a question to… consult Sect Master about."
"Go ahead." Shen Ying nodded in a very easygoing manner. "What… did you think of our sword moves just now? What are we lacking?"
"Cheh!" Lonemoon immediately rolled his eyes. Like she would know anything.
"It… was pretty good." As expected, Shen Ying froze for a moment and she looked left and right before squeezing out, "Perhaps what you're lacking is in… strength?"
Si Yu looked blank.
"Isn't there the saying: one strong man can defeat ten skillful ones!"
Lonemoon: You copycat!
Si Yu stood there blankly for a while before her eyes lit up along with the rest of the girls around them. With a look of revelation, she said, "I understand now. Thank you for your guidance, Sect Master!" Hey, you guys really believed it?!
Wait a moment!
Why did this conversation sound so familiar? Yi Qing's face of a brain-damaged fan immediately surfaced in his mind.
Would they also…
He immediately swept his gaze across all the girls present.
Thank goodness, no one had an epiphany.
Even Si Yu also only gave a deep bow and ran back to continue practicing. The only difference now was that they were even more hardworking compared to before. The rest of them also began swinging their swords, using more force for every move.
Lonemoon finally heaved a sigh of relief. On the next day, to prevent Shen Ying from giving nonsensical advice and interrupting his teaching plan, he purposely set up a transportation array between the newly built kitchen and the radish's plot of vegetation, thereby cutting off the need for her to walk past the area when she helped a certain chef take the side dishes.
The strange thing was that the girls' enthusiasm in learning did not diminish due to not seeing their admired idol, but instead they became even more hardworking. Their sword strokes became fiercer and tougher, and they even shortened their break times on their own accord. Sometimes even in the night, he accidentally spread his Divine Perception only to realize that they had secretly gone to practice with their bare hands facing the stone walls.
Something just seemed amiss… but what exactly was it?
He thought for a long while but just could not put his finger on it. All he could do was to remind them to strike a proper balance between practice and rest during his lessons. However, they did not seem to give up that momentum of using all their might to practice. Their techniques became more proficient, their bodies grew stronger, their strength also grew and the atmosphere around them became… less like Sword Cultivators? (O_O)?
It was not until a few months later when he organized a mini competition that Sister Si Yu, the originally most petite in size, suddenly threw away the sword in her hand and held up her fists and with a crashing sound, smashed a punch right into the stone wall ahead.
Looking at the biceps on her arm, he had a moment of eureka and finally understood what had been amiss.
That strength and the fighting style, those fists full of killing intent…
That was not sword cultivation. That was purely body cultivation!
(╯‵□′)╯(┻━┻ Holy shit! He got them to practice swords, not to train their bodies! They grew more fierce and ferocious, not wanting to use swords and only liked to use their fists to solve problems. What was happening to them? What about the sword moves he taught them? Were those eaten up?
"Huh. Why do I feel like my Spirit Qi is growing increasingly stronger today?" Si Yu suddenly furrowed her brows after winning the match.
"Oh no! Junior Sister, you are going to complete your Core Formation!" Yu Hong was surprised as she shouted, "Quick, have a seat. Concentrate, gather your Qi and focus on your Core Formation."
Suddenly, the level of Spirit Qi in the surrounding spiked as it was all drawn towards Si Yu.
Level… level up?
(⊙_⊙) "The most fearful thing during Core Formation would be to get interrupted. Everyone step back." Lonemoon stepped forward and set up a few array formations to gather Spirit Qi and brought away the others by dozens of meters.
The sky immediately turned dark as thunder clouds gathered above. The Spirit Qi in the center of the arena was rising and the might of the world was faintly transmitting over.
These were nothing to the Soul Formation cultivator Lonemoon, but it was a great might to the disciples below the Golden Core stage. But just as he was about to set up an isolating array, he turned to see that four to five people seemed to have been affected by the might of the world and were immediately sitting on the spot to meditate. Even their cultivations went up a level.
Holy shit, how is this possible?!
That's it, that's it, that's it…
One was completing Core Formation while another four or five of them were advancing by another minor realm. With the foundation of a Body Cultivator, there was no turning back. What the hell, did it have to be so tragic?! He had undoubtedly taught sword cultivation, so why had they all practiced body cultivation?
What were Body Cultivators? They were a bunch of people who only knew how to talk with their fists and had no skills whatsoever, training only their bodies! Aren't you guys a group of girls? Why did they all want to be like those demons and creatures treading such a ferocious path? What was good about having rough skin and thick muscles as a Body Cultivator? Were there not only a few male Body Cultivators in the entire Three Azure Realms, much less females?
Why did you guys take things so hard?!
He suddenly saw an obscure vision of the entire sect being filled with iron barbies in the future. Damn it. His heart was tired and he wanted to quit!
This time, Si Yu's lightning tribulation went on for four hours. Each lightning bolt struck harder than the previous one, not straying far from the intensity of a Nascent Soul's lightning tribulation. Body Cultivators walked the path of putting oneself through the mill. Every strike of lightning would break off each meridian of the person under tribulation and use the Spirit Qi to recover them. This was to achieve the aim of reconstructing the body which was why compared to other cultivators, the lightning tribulation of Body Cultivators was more ferocious and fearsome. There were 81 strikes of lightning in total and every one of them signified a rebirth.
There were barely any Body Cultivators in the Three Azure Realms and even for the ones that existed, they would die from the bolts of lightning during their first Core Formation. A human body was not as tough as the demons'. However, Sister Si Yu forcibly held on. Even after the 81 strikes of lightning had ended and she was only left with a bloody frame, she gritted her teeth to complete her Core Formation. After the thunder clouds dissipated, the sky began to shower down spirit rain which all fell upon the person who had taken the tribulation. Sister Si Yu's body began to grow flesh and muscles then gradually regained a human look, but she was still too weak to get up.
After exactly half a month's time, she finally recovered and her cultivation stabilized. Even the rest of them had grown in their cultivation. Although they were unlike Si Yu who had directly completed her Core Formation, they were at least improving by a minor realm. Their cultivation of the body had already become a fact that could not be changed.
After understanding this point, Lonemoon wanted to tear Shen Ying apart with his hands!
Look at what this cheat had done! It was all because of that saying, one strong man can overcome ten, that caused everyone to walk on this crooked path.
Give me back my students! The odd thing, however, was that all of them were not against becoming Body Cultivators, but they were instead… pleasantly surprised?! From the second day onwards, they happily tossed aside their swords and began to purely practice their body and fists as if… finally affirming an open secret.
Lonemoon who had always thought that he had been teaching Sword Cultivators — Son of a b*tch!
Was he the only one who thought that they wanted to become Sword Cultivators?!
Hmph, brain damaged fans!
If you all have so many ideas, why are you guys still here? I can't be bothered anymore!
Lonemoon was about to throw away his responsibility and quit, but upon receiving a certain unexpected news, he immediately suppressed the urge to do so.
Chapter 68: Competition Amongst the Sects
"Competition amongst the sects?" Shen Ying's hand paused just as it was going to grab a pastry. "What's that?"
"It's equivalent to a competition where each sect gets to compete their skills against each other," Lonemoon explained. "All the sects from the aristocratic families in the Upper Azure World can participate according to cultivation realm. There are three separate divisions: Qi Refinement, Foundation Establishment and Golden Core. The top three in each division will receive an award from the organizer."
"Upper Azure World Olympics?"
"You can call it that." He nodded. "This competition among the sects only occur once in ten years and this time it's coincidentally happening in three days' time."
"Oh…" Shen Ying's interest was dwindling. "Can we not go?" "No!" Lonemoon glared at her. "I already went to Upper Azure Town yesterday and signed up for the competition under Invincible Sect's name. This year's competition is organized by the Yin Family of the four aristocratic families and the venue is in Yin Tian Town. We need to set off tomorrow."
He handed over the participation token to her as he spoke.
Shen Ying did not take it, however, but instead glanced at that token with the word 'Competition' written on it. "That… why must we participate? We don't have a lot of people either." Isn't it better to stay home and eat?
"You dare to ask me why?" Lonemoon exploded. "Don't you have any freaking idea of our sect's current situation? We only have twenty sect members including the three of us. Only twenty people after a whole year! And all of them were turned into Body Cultivators by you. Does it even look like a sect?"
"Uh… twenty is pretty good too." Just enough to clean the house.
"Good your head! Have you seen any sect that has so few people?" When he thought of those nine future iron barbies, his liver began to hurt, alright? "If we don't do some promotion, gain some popularity, then we can say goodbye to recruiting other disciples. Moreover, I have tested the skills of the nine of them. Although competing against people with higher cultivation levels will be a little tough, their foundations are… solid!" He had gritted his teeth to spit out that word. "Anyway, they stand at an advantage when competing with those of the same level. For this competition, I don't have very high expectations. It will be good as long one of them can land a place in the top ten. At least let other people know the capabilities of our Invincible Sect."
"Oh…" So it's about going there as the marketing department to advertise.
"So not only are they going to participate in order to prevent people from belittling them, we have to go as well, including you!" When he finished, he immediately pulled her arm over and forcefully stuck the token in her hand. "You better wake up early tomorrow, otherwise…" His expression became solemn as he pronounced each of the following words clearly, "Next month's food allowance will be canceled!"
Shen Ying was stunned. Jolted from her laziness, she gripped the participation token tightly.
"Father Niu, what you said made so much sense!" She turned to say to the person beside her, "Chef, for the future of our sect, let's work overtime tonight! Quickly prepare some cold dishes, pastries, fast food, fruits and so on to eat on the way. We musn't let our Olympians be hungry! Understand?"
"Yes Master, no problem Master!"
At the end of the day, you still can't forget about eating!
Yin Tian Town was situated at the east of the Upper Azure World and it was considered the largest immortal town in that region. Shen Ying took an entire day's effort to rush to the town before nightfall.
It was no wonder the Yin Family was the richest amongst the four aristocratic families; from the moment they showed their participation token, there was already someone leading the line of people to the independent courtyards specifically catered for the participants. Although the courtyard was not as wide as Invincible Sect's, accommodating roughly a dozen people to rest was more than sufficient and every sect was separated. According to what Lonemoon had found out, just the number of sects, big and small, that had come to participate in the competition were already in the thousands. Evidently, the Yin Family was truly wealthy.
"The competition will begin tomorrow. Everyone get some rest tonight." Lonemoon scanned all the nine their disciples. Some of them seemed nervous, perhaps because it was their first time participating in such a proper competition; thus, he calmly encouraged them, "Your abilities are not bad. Just relax and it will be fine. While it'll be good to be able to clinch the top ten, there's no need to overdo it too much if it isn't possible. Just admit defeat at that time."
A few of them nodded as they glanced over at Shen Ying and their eyes lit up. Lonemoon subconsciously turned to look over at her as well.
Shen Ying had finished munching on her fruit and had raised her head when her eyes met with everyone else's gazes and she choked. "Cough… what's the matter?"
Lonemoon's mouth twitched. Glaring at her, he said, "Don't you have something to give them?"
"Is… there?" Huh?
"Master, it's the Defense Bells." Yi Qing immediately took out a string of small bells which all looked exactly the same and handed them to her. "I pulled an all nighter to refine these defense Dharma artifacts last night. They will be able to withstand a full attack from a Nascent Soul cultivator."
"Although this is a competition amongst decent sects, there is no guarantee that there won't be people who are narrow minded and are out to kill," Lonemoon explained. "Take these defense Dharma artifacts with you guys during the competition, just in case."
Shen Ying finally recalled that this was the welfare benefit that Father Niu had mentioned yesterday. She quickly took over the string of bells and took it apart, putting one each into the girls' hands.
Red shirt girl.
"Come on Little Hong, you can do it!"
"Yes, Sect Master." She accepted a bell in joy.
White shirt girl.
"Little White, you can do it!"
"Yes, Sect Master." She accepted a bell, rejoicing in her heart. Blue shirt girl.
"Little Blue, you can do it!"
"Yes, Sect Master." She was ecstatic as she accepted it.
The second girl with a white shirt.
"Little White… Bunny, you can do it!"
"Yes, Sect Master." She accepted a bell happily.
Lonemoon: "…" Heh heh. He had already lost hope with the way a certain someone remembered names.
Shen Ying went on to continue giving out the bells. After she finished, she coughed and in a rare serious tone, she said, "The most important thing is to participate and try your best. The rankings aren't important. After all, friendship first and competition rank second! I have great hopes for you girls."
The faces of the girls were all filled with excitement as they carefully put away the small bell that Shen Ying gave into their sleeves as if having received some rare treasure. They were so excited that they looked like they were about to leap in joy and their eyes sparkled so brightly as they bowed in unison towards her and showed a face of hard determination.
"Thank you, Sect Master! We will do our best!"
"For Sect Master, for Invincible Sect!"
"Sect Master, rest assured! We will fight for glory!"
"We will bring your blessings to the competition."
"May Sect Master always be with us!" Lonemoon: "…"
Yi Qing: "…"
Lonemoon was the one who had brought the team, Yi Qing was the one who had refined the artifacts. How were those things related in any way to Shen Ying? Why are all of you excited about receiving gifts from your admired idol?
Due to their few numbers, the Invincible Sect only signed up for the Foundation Establishment and Golden Core divisions of the competition. Besides Yu Hong and Si Yu, there were two other girls who were participating in the Golden Core division, four of them in total. The other five girls were participating in the Foundation Establishment division. Lonemoon's goal was to get into the top ten of the Foundation Establishment division. There was still hope to achieve this; after all, two of the five were of Perfected Foundation Establishment. Out of the four Golden Core disciples, aside from Yu Hong who was at mid-stage Golden Core, only Si Yu had completed her Core Formation. It would still be much too difficult to defeat a bunch of late-stage Golden Core and Perfected Golden Core cultivators.
Although they were Body Cultivators who were tougher than Sword Cultivators, the offensive techniques they had learned in the past year were all sword moves and none of them had actual battle experience. Moreover, the gentle sorcery they had previously learned would most likely not be of use.
Chapter 69: The Preliminary Round of the Competition
Shen Ying's group arrived at the competition venue just in time. When they entered, the cultivators from the different sects had already congregated there. At a glance it could be seen that there were perhaps about a thousand people there.
Whether by coincidence or not, they did not know, but the disciples of the Venation Sect had arrived one step ahead of them. It just so happened that the cultivators in this sect were also all female. There being fewer female cultivators compared to male cultivators participating in this competition, the addition of nine more from the Invincible Sect to this small pool caused the sudden influx of female cultivators to be particularly conspicuous.
They had initially not been bothered by the attention they attracted until the chattering among the crowd grew louder and louder, and an increasing number of eyes were focused on the nine girls accompanied by more and more pointing fingers.
"Take a look. Those people there have such ruined faces, yet they dare to come out?" "Yeah, they are all so ugly! I have never seen such ugly cultivators! Could they be Fiendish Cultivators?"
"Yet despite that they chose to stand next to the Venation Sect who are renowned for producing female disciples with angelic beauty."
"That's right, which sect that takes in such hideous characters are they from?"
The commotion in the surrounding grew louder and louder. The nine girls bowed their heads, ashamed and annoyed, subconsciously covering the scars on their faces. Their previous high morale had vanished completely.
Lonemoon's expression darkened immediately. Yu Hong and her fellow disciples' Foundation Establishment had been damaged. Although there were spirit herbs growing all around the Invincible Sect, herbs alone could not heal the girls completely, so remnants of old injuries still lingered in their bodies. While these lingering injuries had not posed any great impact to their practice, their scarred faces showed no signs of improvements.
Being Soul Formation cultivators, both Lonemoon and Yi Qing had long lost their attachments to their physical forms. Moreover, there was a chance to reshape the body during Neonate Formation, so few high-level cultivators valued their appearance. Therefore, Lonemoon had never turned his mind to solving this problem and he had also become so used to the girls' appearances that he had not thought there was anything wrong with how they looked.
But who would have expected that, because of such a trivial matter, they would be looked down upon by some low-level disciples at their first competition debut. He felt angry but could not think of a way to shut everyone up. All he could do was to unleash the suppressive aura of his Soul Formation cultivation as a warning to the people around them, and console the girls by saying, "Concentrate on the competition. Don't be bothered by other matters."
"Yes…" The girls nodded, but they showed no signs of lightening up. Lonemoon sighed, then seeing that the competition was about to start, he said, "We can't stay here for too long. Don't worry though. We'll be watching you guys from outside, so do your best."
Having said that, Lonemoon motioned for Yi Qing and Shen Ying to leave. However, he had only walked a couple of steps when Shen Ying, who was in front, came to a halt. "What's the matter?" he asked.
Shen Ying did not reply, but merely turned around suddenly and walked back to face the nine girls. "Regarding what I said yesterday… I made a mistake."
Surprised, the nine girls raised their heads to look at her.
"In any case, our Invincible Sect has no friends, so don't bother about what I said about placing friendship first." The expression in her eyes turned cold and emphasizing every word, she said, "So… don't give me face. Just thrash them all!"
"…" "You bunch are definitely no fairies, but you could be nightmares of all these people!"
A moment later…
"Yes! Sect Master!" *9
The girls felt indomitable, their hearts burning with fighting spirit!
Yi Qing: "…" What Master says makes so much sense!
Lonemoon: "…" Yuck, a brain-damaged fan!
Inter-sect competitions were grand events that attracted huge crowds in the Upper Azure World, but the entire competition actually only needed three days to finish. Today was the preliminary rounds which mainly served to select the top 50 in each cultivation divisions. The rules were also simple: each division would be divided into teams of 100 people and those who made it through this round would automatically qualify for the next round.
This being the first day, the various sects who had brought their contingents would all come to watch the proceedings. A towering floating platform was packed with the experts from the different sects. Atop the highest level were the people from the four aristocratic families. The top three contestants of each round were usually from these families, but as their reputations were at stake, the patriarchs from each of these families were all present and the members of their entourage were also all Traveling Immortals.
"The number of sects competing this time is much greater than in the previous years." The Yu Family's patriarch, Yu Haiheng, commented with a frown as he looked at the huge throng below.
"Of course. I have heard that in recent years, quite a number of new sects have been formed." The Yi Jia Family's patriarch, Yi Feng, patted the tenth-stage demon beast lying next to him. He said with a chuckle, "Fortunately, this Yin Skycity is big enough. Even if double the number of people came, it would be no problem. The Yin Family really lives up to its reputation of superior wealth. But why is there no sign of the Yin patriarch?"
Yi Feng had looked around and realized that the Yin patriarch, their host, was nowhere to be found.
"Perhaps he has left to attend to matters of the competition. He must have his hands full, what with so many sects taking part this time." Frowning even more, Yu Haiheng swept a disdainful glance at the other sects below. He was confident that they stood no chance against his sect. "Each competition is worse than the last. All kinds of downtrodden sects now dare to take part. The Yin Family were amiss in not putting in some form of restriction."
Yi Feng laughed but did not respond. He had heard about the arrogance of the Yu Family Patriarch, that he never followed the rules of decorum in his speech.
However, Yu Haiheng took his silence for agreement. The expression in his eyes grew increasingly contemptuous. Having suddenly spotted something, he snorted coldly. "Look over there, there are actually people who bring mortals to the viewing platform. What do they think this place is? Any kind of people…"
But before he could complete his sentence, the Xuan Yuan Family Patriarch, Xuan Yuanyu, who had been silently sitting beside him all the while suddenly felt his legs go weak. He slipped from his chair and landed on the ground.
Everyone got a shock.
"Brother Xuan Yuan? What happened to you…" How could a Soul Formation expert fall from a flat surface?
Yi Feng was a little bewildered, but Xuan Yuanyu completely ignored him. He got up immediately and sprinted towards the mortal that Yu Haiheng had been pointing to. Even the Xuan Yuan Family's Traveling Immortals who had been standing next to Xuan Yuan followed behind immediately. They dashed off with such urgency that it seemed like they were rushing to be reincarnated. "Great… Immortal, you… what brings you here?" It was not until he had walked up to Shen Ying that Xuan Yuanyu dared to believe his eyes. By the Gods, it was not an illusion. It was really her! All of a sudden, he felt his phantom balls hurting.
"Greetings, Great Immortal!" With great trepidation, Traveling Immortal Xuan Yuanyong also rushed forward to greet Shen Ying.
Surprised at the sudden appearance of these two people, Shen Ying instinctively raised a hand in greeting.
"Oh, good morning. You…" Pausing in mid-speech, she asked, "Who are you?"
The two of them: "…"
"He is the Traveling Immortal from the Xuan Yuan Family that we visited the other time," Lonemoon explained, his mouth twitching as he pointed to Xuan Yuanyong. He then turned to look at the man next to Xuan Yuanyong. "And you must be the patriarch of the Xuan Yuan Family?" "Oh…" Suddenly recalling them, Shen Ying exclaimed, "That vegetable family who tried to snatch the radish."
The two men: "…" What vegetable family? You might as well not have explained to her!
"There were many misunderstandings between us the other time. We are most grateful to Great Immortal for being merciful to us." Xuan Yuanyu smiled a friendly smile. "May I enquire as to the matter which has brought Great Immortal here?"
"Competition?" You? Who the hell can beat you?
"We have already formed a sect called the Invincible Sect. We have brought our disciples here to participate in the competition," Lonemoon explained.
Xuan Yuanyu nodded and quickly turned to lead the way. "In that case, since the competition is about to start, would Great Immortal please sit with us to watch the competition?"
Lonemoon exchanged a look with Yi Qing, and after looking at the packed viewing stands, he replied, "Thank you for your trouble."
"It's my duty. Come this way, Great Immortal!"
And so, both the Yu and the Yi Families saw the Xuan Yuan Family Patriarch respectfully leading that mortal, whom Yu Haiheng had been so contemptuous of, to her seat. She sat down on the chair Xuan Yuanyu had sat on earlier without showing any signs of awkwardness, the two Soul Formation cultivators standing at her side. Even Xuan Yuanyu and Xuan Yuanyong stood at attention next to her, showing no intention of sitting down beside her.
The Yu Family Patriarch was shocked, looking at the two men as if they were mad. Had the Xuan Yuan Family gone crazy? But it was none of his business after all, and it would not do for him to ask them about it, so he just snorted coldly and turned his head away.
Chapter 70: Forming Good Karmic Ties
It was Yi Feng who was curious about the young lady seated lazily beside him. Who was this lady? Why the special treatment from the Xuan Yuan Family?
But just as he was about to give voice to his questions, his hand was suddenly pricked. Looking down, he saw that the tenth-stage demon creature which had previously been lying down quietly at the side had suddenly jumped to its feet, limbs stiff straight and its fur standing on end. Its whole body began to tremble slightly as if having encountered something frightening.
"Huh? Xue Yin?" What's wrong with it?
The sudden movement caused the girl beside Yi Feng to turn around and look at the creature on the ground. She asked, "Cat?"
"It's a Lion Roaring Beast," Yi Feng explained. "Oh." Shen Ying looked at it again. I've never seen this little creature before. Wonder if it can be eaten?
The Lion Roaring Beast trembled even harder…
"Stop trembling. You're going to knock into others," she suddenly warned.
The Lion Roaring Beast immediately froze like a fossil, still as can be.
Yi Feng could not believe his eyes. "Lady, are you also an expert in beast taming?"
"Never learned that before."
"Then that's even weirder. Xue Yin has never listened to others before unless… maybe it is sick?"
"Possibly!" He conveniently asked, "In your opinion, what illness do you think it has contracted?"
"Uh… Canine distemper?"
The first day of the preliminary rounds was a mere formality like an opening ceremony. The important part would be the finals on the third day. The experts of every sect only watched for a few hours from the audience platform before they began leaving in succession. Even both the Yu and Yi Family left.
Shen Ying's group waited till all nine of their disciples had finished their fights before getting ready to leave. The lucky thing was that all nine of them had qualified for the second round of the competition tomorrow. The two members from the Xuan Yuan Family beside them had kept them company throughout the entire match and afterwards even courteously sent them back to their courtyard to rest. "Little Missy, you are finally back!" Upon entering the house, Radish who was dressed like a jade, pounced onto Shen Ying who habitually dodged a step to the side. It resulted in that jade- resembling piece smashing directly into the person behind Shen Ying - Lonemoon.
Lonemoon's mouth twitched as he asked, "Why the hell did you transform into a human?" Where did your promise to stay in the pit hole go?!
"Cheh!" Radish stepped back in disdain as it slapped at Lonemoon's hand. "Ugly, don't touch me!"
The blue veins on Lonemoon's temples exploded. "Holy shit, how about you move around by yourself in the future? Don't turn into a radish and cling onto my leg!" I haven't even complained about your weight!
"Pui. You think I want to?!" Rradish was also unwilling to do so. If only if it weren't for Little Missy who did not allow him to hug onto her leg… The more radish thought about it, the more it felt aggrieved. It turned to Shen Ying, wanting to beg for a hug. "Little Missy, he bullied me!" "Get lost!" A vegetable thing has no right to speak up.
"Wa wa wa…"
"This… is this a Thousand Leaves Vegetation Spirit?" Xuan Yuanyu looked towards Radish in shock. It had manifested so quickly! The Xuan Yuan Family had worked hard for thousands of years yet they had not managed to get their Vegetation Spirit to manifest, even though they had nurtured it till its death!
Both gazes of the Xuan Yuan Family members on Radish grew fiery until Radish had to hide behind Shen Ying. Enraged, it threatened, "Pui! Get lost you ugly things. Don't covet my pure body!"
The Xuan Yuan Family pair: "…" Were all Vegetation Spirits that had manifested so mean?
"Cough. Great Immortal." Xuan Yuanyu withdrew his gaze from Radish and scanned everybody else before turning towards Shen Ying, saying, "Congratulations to all the disciples that have entered the second round of the competition. You all are indeed the Great Immortal's disciples. Every one of you are outstanding."
"Of course!" Radish answered with pride before Shen Ying could reply. "Our Little Missys are all very formidable."
During this year, Radish had already become familiar with the disciples. After all, they were the ones watering him everyday. In its heart, Shen Ying ranked first, Radish itself ranked second and the Little Missys third. As for its mortal enemy, it was the chef Yi Qing who always cut radishes, and as for Lonemoon… Pui!
"Great Immortal's disciples are naturally formidable!" Xuan Yuanyu nodded as he looked at them again before continuing, "But… after taking a rough glance at my Fellow Daoists' spirit bones, it seems like… their foundations have been damaged, and they seem to be old wounds. Forgive me for being straightforward, but such injuries should be treated as soon as possible. Otherwise, it will affect their immortal cultivation path in the future."
"Do you have a way?" Lonemoon looked at him in surprise. He nodded and said, "My Xuan Yuan Family has always been skilled when it comes to elixirs, and I have some minor achievements in the path of refining pills. Their situations are actually not too big of a problem. With an eighth-grade nourishing elixir, they should be able to heal their wounds and recover their looks. It just so happens that I have just refined a batch of nourishing elixirs which I can gift to your sect."
Everyone from Invincible Sect was delighted at this.
Xuan Yuanyu immediately took out a palm-sized bottle and handed it over to Lonemoon. He added, "They have not completed their Nascent Soul Formation yet, so repairing their foundation as soon as possible will be beneficial."
Lonemoon received the elixirs and asked in a serious tone, "How many Spirit Stones for these?" After all, Lonemoon did smash up his place. It wasn't nice to take the things of others for free.
"No need, no need…" Xuan Yuanyu quickly shook his head and then said earnestly, "I just want to form good karmic ties with your sect. There is no other meaning to it." Even if he had any requests, would he dare to ask for it? Moreover, coming from one of the four aristocratic families, he really was not lacking in Spirit Stones, unless…
His gaze uncontrollably turned towards Radish.
Lonemoon understood and suddenly, the gazes of everyone settled on a certain vegetable.
Radish shivered under their stares, subconsciously hugged its chest and took a step back. "What? I sell my skills but I do not sell my body!"
The crowd: "…"
"Radish, make some flowers bloom," Shen Ying said. They could not receive things for free.
"No!" Radish shook its head hard and it looked at Shen Ying with grievance on its face. "I want to let only Little Missy look at my flowers." Who wants your dandelions!
Seeing that it did not want to budge, Shen Ying turned to look at Yi Qing and said, "Chef, let's have boiled ribs and radish soup tonight."
"Great idea, Master."
Radish's face turned pale and became on the verge of crying. "I will make them bloom, I will, alright?"
It then walked out of its grievance and… made to tear off its lower clothing.
"Holy shit! What are you doing?!" Lonemoon rushed up and barely managed to stop Radish from taking off its pants. In shock, he said to the girls, "All of you turn away, turn away!"
Yi Qing also subconsciously covered Shen Ying's eyes. "Why do you want to play hooligan out of nowhere?" Being angry isn't an excuse for this.
"Who is playing hooligan? Didn't you want flowers? How am I going to make them bloom if I don't take off my pants?"
Blooming flowers and taking off pants…
Lonemoon faltered, suddenly remembering something.
Flowers seemed to be a plant's… something?
So it really was taking off its pants to… bloom flowers?!
Lonemoon: "…" Yi Qing: "…"
Shen Ying: "…"
Xuan Yuanyu: "…" I suddenly don't feel like receiving them anymore?