Chapter 368: A Strange Young Man
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
Ever since its Sect-Opening Ceremony outside Shazhou City, the Celestial Sect of Wonders has been publicly hailed as the strongest sect in the Northern Foothills of Mount Kunlun.
During the battle that day, almost every sect in the northern regions of Mount Kunlun, large and small, attended the ceremony. The Cloud Elephant Sect, originally considered to be one of the more formidable and influential sects in the area, schemed to ride on the coattails of the Great Void Sect and the Mount Shu Sword Sect in an attack on Lin Feng. In the end, its sect leader, the Cloud Elephant Grandmaster, was effortlessly captured alive by Lin Feng, which astounded everyone there.
Furthermore, the repute of the Celestial Sect of Wonders was rising so aggressively throughout Mount Kunlun, that the strongest sect of its Southern Foothills and previous well-established ruler of Mount Kunlun, the Aeolus Sect, was severely overshadowed by them.
The Aeolus Sect suffered a tremendous loss there. Their Nascent Soul Grandmaster, Master Cyclone, was mercilessly crushed to death by Mount Yujing, but they have never dared to confront Lin Feng for revenge. This was partially due to Mount Yujing’s ability to escape into virtual space, but to outsiders, this was a sign of them admitting defeat and swallowing their pride.
Liang Gan was a prince of the Great Zhou Empire, with an honourable position and a respectable status in the kingdom. But precisely because of this, his expedition to Mount Kunlun, especially to its Northern Foothills, required him to pay a visit to the leader of the Celestial Sect of Wonders.
Regardless of what his personal intentions were, he did not just represent himself, but the entire Great Zhou Empire as well.
When Lin Feng first received the news, the pieces of information that Yan Mingyue provided regarding the members of the Great Zhou Empire that he should take note of flashed through his mind.
“The four sons of the Zhou Emperor Liang Pan are all intelligent, generous, and strong-willed. All of them possess mastery at the peak of the advanced Aurous Core stage, and all of them show immense interest in claiming the spot of the Great Zhou Empire’s Crown Prince …”
After pondering for a bit, Lin Feng agreed to Liang Gan’s visit and ordered Zhu Yi to take charge of hosting him.
After being informed of the visitor’s identity, Zhu Yi cracked a smile. “Don’t worry, Master. I’m on it.”
Both master and disciple looked at each other and laughed. Lin Feng then asked, “How does it feel to officially become another person’s master?”
Zhu Yi replied with a grin, “I’ve coached many people before, so I don’t actually feel anything starkly different now having this appointment.”
Lin Feng nodded and used his mana telepathy to convey something to Zhu Yi, which he also transmitted to his five other immediate disciples simultaneously.
“What?” All of them were taken aback. Zhu Yi looked at Lin Feng in astonishment and stammered, “Master, if that’s the case, then why …”
Lin Feng smiled and replied, “There’s no harm. Keeping them around would still be of use.”
Zhu Yi contemplated the issue and nodded slowly, “I understand. Don’t worry, Master, I know what to do. Big Senior and the rest would also take note of this problem.”
Lin Feng nodded with a grin in acknowledgement, and Zhu Yi took his leave. Lin Feng then used his Supernatural Awareness to scan through the Disciples’ Abode and discovered many of them hard at work, training diligently.
These disciples failed the previous trial and could only watch as their former playmates became official disciples, which greatly provoked and motivated many of them. After all, these disciples all possessed considerable talent to have entered through the gates of the Celestial Sect of Wonders.
Those that were eliminated right at the doorsteps of the Six Abodes were training especially hard. Stopping right before the finish line would be a difficult result to accept for anyone.
When Liu Xiafeng and Fatty ran back to console their close companions, it reinvigorated the drive and ambition in many of them.
Ying Luozha was a lone wolf and was used to being solitary, hence had no friends here. Xu Yunsheng and Li Xingfei, on the other hand, had other considerations. They were worried that their former companions might view them as wanting to show off, so they had no intentions of returning to visit for the time being.
Only Liu Xiafeng and Fatty did not bear such concerns and ran back unhesitatingly to find their friends.
Birds of a feather flock together. Having played together in the past, these friends remained cheerful and open-minded, and did not feel that Liu Xiafeng and Fatty were returning to boast. They were in fact glad that these two haven’t forgotten about their old friends even after attaining success.
A boy grabbed Fatty’s sleeve and scrutinized the flame pattern on the cuff. “There’s an additional emblem on Brother Feng’s clothes and yours.”
Fatty swung his head around snobbishly. “That’s the unique symbol of the Inferno Precipice.”
After entering the sect, all the second-generation disciples wore a standardized costume that Zhu Yi designed based on his own outfit by collecting the surrounding purple clouds. It was a purple robe with a Taichi symbol sewn on the hem.
After Liu Xiafeng and Fatty entered Xiao Yan’s wing, their outfits remained purple, but the design of their robes changed to the formal, dignified one donned by Xiao Yan, with an additional flame pattern placed on the hem.
Even though it only contained a few strokes, it adequately depicted the strength of roaring, dancing flames.
Lin Feng smiled at this sight. After a sweeping glance with his Supernatural Awareness, he already noticed that besides Xiao Yan’s Inferno Precipice, the others who have taken in immediate disciples have also added their respective unique insignias on the disciples’ robes.
Upon seeing Fatty acting so arrogantly, his friends began jeering. “You’re just a blind cat that caught a dead rat. It was sheer dumb luck that let you stumble your way into the Inferno Precipice with Brother Feng!”
“That’s … that’s nonsense!” Fatty leaned back, exposing a hint of guilt and shame. He did complete Lin Feng’s Purple Clouds Maze with a considerable amount of luck, spinning around the maze like a headless chicken before finally locating the exit. He could not figure out the solution to the puzzle no matter how many times he scratched his head, and even knocked his head against the walls in frustration. No one expected him to blunder upon the secret of the maze by pure luck.
He also scraped through his subsequent challenge in the Inferno Precipice barely with the help of Liu Xiafeng. Fatty felt even guiltier after he recalled the forced smile Xiao Yan gave him as he stared at him after he passed the trial.
The young man who participated in the Inferno Precipice trial alongside Liu Xiafeng and Fatty but sadly failed to make the cut, was Xu Yunsheng’s acquaintance. When he saw the two of them, his eyes burned with uncontrollable grief and anguish.
Liu Xiafeng watched in amusement as the other disciples chided Fatty repeatedly. Then, someone shoved his way to Liu Xiafeng and asked curiously, “Brother Feng, Grandmaster mentioned that those who were successfully inducted as official disciples would receive a reward. What reward did the both of you get?”
Liu Xiafeng made no effort to conceal his reward, and extended his right hand out generously in full view of everyone. He was wearing a ring with a tiny piece of crystal white jade embedded inside.
“This is the Storage Ring that he just gave us. It has over ten times the capacity of the original Storage Pouch, making it extremely handy.”
The other disciples crowded around him, their faces brimming with envy. Fatty also followed suit, flashing his right hand out haughtily like a proud rooster.
“What else is there, what else is there?” Everyone pestered them continuously.
Fatty cleared his throat and said, “We’ve also been rewarded with numerous elixirs. The common ones like the Energy Gathering Pill and the Energy Cultivation Pill aren’t worth mentioning. The most impressive ones are the Thunderous Echo Elixir pill and the Barrier-Breaking Elixir pill.”
“One has amazing healing properties, boasting miraculous effectiveness in remedying physical injuries. It’s capable of curing the wounded victim as long as he’s not on the brink of death.” Fatty spouted in an unceasing flow, “The Barrier-Breaking Pill, on the other hand, helps to overcome bottlenecks encountered during cultivation. Both are incredibly useful elixirs.”
Fatty then paused. His face lit up with a conceited smirk while his left hand fondled with the Storage Ring on his right hand. With a “swoosh”, he took a few talismans. Horrifying mana waves rippled forth from the ring, frightening everyone on-site.
Among those was one particular vermillion talisman with intense energy levels that struck fear in their hearts.
“These are the talismans that we received. I wouldn’t bother talking about the five Foundation Establishment stage talismans that we all received, but check this out, this is an Aurous Core stage talisman!” Fatty jumped about joyfully and blurted, “We’re only in the Qi Training stage and every one of us is already given an Aurous Core stage talisman. And Master said that there would have been even better goodies in store for us if our mastery levels weren’t so low.”
One young man exclaimed in awe, “I heard at home that many large sects would never give Aurous Core stage talismans to disciples in the Qi Training stage. Among those who do possess an Aurous Core stage talisman during the Qi Training stage, a small percentage of them picked one up by chance during their travels, while most them have high-level cultivators in their family who gave them a talisman for protection.”
Fatty raised his head. “Well apparently, that’s not the case. When we just entered the sect, everyone was issued with three Foundation Establishment stage talismans for protection even though none of us could even summon our Qi back then. And now we’ve received Aurous Core stage talismans after we just became immediate disciples. I even heard Master say that this is just the beginning. My Master is definitely better than …”
Before he could complete his sentence, Liu Xiafeng cut him off abruptly and pacified the others with a smile, saying, “All in all, work hard everyone. Master said that there will still be tests in the future, so there might even be one coming up soon.”
Everyone agreed peppily in unison. Liu Xiafeng turned around and shot Fatty a menacing glare when no one was looking.
Fatty grinned sheepishly. Staying close to Xiao Yan indeed grants them greater access to various elixirs as compared to other factions.
Xiao Yan actually did not mind them telling others about this. Zhu Yi and the others could already guess, but Liu Xiafeng still instructed Fatty not to reveal this privilege to anyone else. However, Fatty almost let slip the news on the spur of the moment.
Lin Feng watched the drama unfold in amusement. “This Fatty has one of the best fortunes of all the second-generation disciples. Well, having good luck is also an advantage.”
With Liu Xiafeng and Fatty personally sharing their achievements, the other disciples’ passion and drive for training have surged once again. Such is the value of providing good role models to look towards, which made Lin Feng nod in satisfaction.
“Master, we’re back.” Lin Feng heard Zhu Yi’s voice and drew a line across the air with his hand. A gap cracked through space, and a group of people filed out from the slit. Leading the pack was Zhu Yi, and half a step behind him was a young man who wore a golden crown and jade-green robes, holding a silk fan in his hand.
The young man promptly bowed to greet Lin Feng. “I’m Liang Gan from the Great Zhou Empire. I pay my respects to Senior Lin, the Sect Master.”
He used the most appropriate method for a junior in the cultivation world to greet a high-level senior – proper, moderate, respectful, yet not compromising one’s esteemed status.
Lin Feng nodded in acknowledgement. “The Fourth Prince is too kind. I’ve communicated telepathically with the Zhou Emperor for a long time but I’ve never had the fortune of meeting him. Meeting you today really reminds me of the Emperor himself.”
Liang Gan hastily added, “How can I dare compare myself to Father? But Father did mention that he wanted to meet Senior Lin.”
“There will come a chance.” Lin Feng smiled as his gaze landed on the people standing behind Liang Gan. Two cultivators in the advanced Nascent Soul stage flanked Liang Gan like bodyguards on either side.
Besides them, there was a middle-aged Aurous Core cultivator with the look of a scholar. But what surprised Lin Feng the most was that the final accompanying cultivator was actually a teenager only in the Qi Training stage. He fixed his eyes on the teenager as Liang Gan’s other escorts bowed in respect.
Liang Gan probably had plenty of available escorts and squires, and the ones he selected to accompany him up Mount Yujing must have been his most trusted advisors. So, what was so special about this fifteen or sixteen-year-old teenager only in the Qi Training stage?
“He did a self-introduction just now. I believe he said his name was Chu Yang?”