Chapter 103: Signing with the Featherwood Guard (1)
In Zhujiang Province's Tianhe District, there was a superb villa. The air conditioning completely isolated all temperature from the outside. It was as if it made the inside the Chengde Mountain Resort. The exterior was of European build, but the inside was completely not of the same style! Instead, it was a strong Chinese air. There was Taiji, the Eight Trigrams, and folding fans… On the red Tang-style carpet, there were a group of approximately fifteen-or-sixteen-year-old girls clicking away at a computer with terrible excitement.*
"It's him! It's him!" A young girl's ten fingers flew, typing on her computer with all of her might. Her eyes were starry, smitten with love: "Heavens… So handsome! So very awesome!"
"Yes, yes! You think Yangyu is handsome, too, right?! The Featherwood Guard's central headquarter official just released major news this morning on China's cultivation net! His looks could practically kill!"**
"He's delish! I could just lick the screen!" The head of another girl seemed as if she was going to bore a hole into her computer and go: "He's my new Prince Charming!"***
"What time is the live broadcast beginning?"
"There's still another hour! The three big media outlets, Cultivation News, Cultivation Eye, and Cool Cultivation Vidz have all went!"
"I heard the Featherwood Guard's central headquarters has people going! Also, Little Chu is going, too!"
"Fuck! Why the frick is he going?! Is he intending to get his fans and our Spud Squad to get into a catfight?!"****
Ceaselessly clamorous, yet ever so excited, they were in front of their computers, each computer on the Chinese cultivation net's web page. However, today's cultivation web page had a line of large characters, exceptionally striking.
"Student of the sixteenth graduation and the true paragon. After disappearing for three years, he appeared at the Four Great Joint Pools and executed a successor of God Ming at Old Black Mountain!" On the side, there was the accompanying Old Black Mountain on that day, when Xu Yangyi had raised up God Ming's head. There was also a mutilated and mangled corpse in the lakewater.
"It's this photo! He's soooo damn awesome!" The brows on the face of a young girl wrinkled together excitedly. Tightly holding both her hands to her chest, she pursed her lips and shrieked: "It's a pity we just can't go in! Otherwise, I would definitely be going in for a look!"
In Nanhe Province, in a student apartment building next to a university, three male students carefully stuck in a USB into a computer. After three minutes, they entered the chinacultivate web page. However, just as the web page loaded, they were completely dumbfounded!
"A scion of God Ming?!" If even Foundation Establishment cultivators sighed in admiration, then their eyeballs nearly popped out. The hand of a student who had just lit a cigarette fumbled, and his cigarette fell onto his clothes. He immediately picked it up in a flurry and said in amazement: "N-no way, right?! Isn't that the demons' Ming Clan?!"
"Should be…" A student at the side gulped stiffly, pointing at a photo: "This object… I seem to have heard my clan say that this is one of the Ming Clan's upper-ranked puppets…"
"But that can't be correct, right? No matter how awesome he is, he's still a Qi Condensation cultivator… How did he get on the front page?" Nonetheless, on today's cultivation net, the forum posts below were already in a state of total mayhem!
"Yangyu (Yangyi) Army come to report!"
"Discussion about the importance of the cultivation world's attractiveness index."
The rest of the forum posts were all made by crazy female cultivators!
"Starting today, I formally join the Spud Squad! The heaven-mandated masculine god!" - Robodog.
"You who cometh from the stars! Descendant of the sun! From the first time I saw your photo! I was convinced by you! Please allow me to pay worship beneath your jeans!" - Beijing Mahua.*****
"I didn't dare to believe in it completely, but there's actually a person who can be placed on the same level as my Great Chu on the attractiveness index…" - A Delicate Flower on the Roadside.
"Post above! This is the Yangyu camp! Get your Big Chu out of here, make a left, and see yourself out!" - Sovereign Queen.
Xu Yangyi's finger gently slid over his computer mouse, not even batting an eye as he looked at everything on the computer.
"Commander." At this time, a female secretary, around twenty-four or twenty-five years old, gracefully walked over, followed by a clicking noise on the floor. She said sweetly, but not lost on decorum: "It's just about time. Sir, your appointed assistant and chief of finance have already received your invitation. Five minutes ago, they hurried over to Mingshui Province. The three reporter teams of Cultivation News, Cultivation Eye, and Cool Cultivation Vidz are also preparing to get ready."
Xu Yangyi set down the mouse and turned around, his expression indifferent. This was a room of luxurious installation. Above him, there wasn't a lighting fixture, but rays of soft brilliance passing through from the ceiling. It didn't sting the eyes and it moreover wasn't dim. The furniture inside the room was formed from a kind of unknown wood, a luxuriousness penetrating their ornate designs and elegance. Wisps of a sweet scent emitted from the timber, soothing the soul with a refreshing snugness.
Below the furniture of antique style was a red rug, embroidered with the golden design of the twelve zodiac animals. Ink washing paintings were suspended on the surrounding walls, all of them from master artists of the present age. Regardless of counterfeit or genuine goods, the entire room appeared to possess an exceptional style, asceticism, and olden appeal. There wasn't a vestige of disharmony. The three-hundred-thirty-square-meter room was as such, devoid of a shred of remiss.
His gaze swept over the person before him. The leading woman immediately bowed even deeper, unaware whether it was a question of posture. From his position, it just happened that he could see the vast stretch of the woman's creamy-white breasts from inside the open collar of her western-style dress and the deep line of her cleavage.
"C-Peony." Xu Yangyi was dressed in a well-ironed snow-white shirt. It even emitted the faint fragrance of cologne. A black pair of military trousers paired with a body-hugging shirt entirely set off his build. He casually grabbed a black coat off his chair and easily swung it over his person. He straightened out his collar button as he asked: "And the others?"
Ask me to help you tidy up! Peony didn't say these words. As a professional woman, she completely understood the differentiation of what meat was tasty and what meat was poor in taste. Considering it was her superior's first day, she knew… this hot, young morsel really did bring one to salivate in desire… However… such a thought… could only be wished for…******
"The others are already present. The only one left is you, Commander." Peony concealed the regretful look in her eyes, answering respectfully.
Hearing the clacking sound of crisp leather shoes walk past in front of her, she then brought her body up and sighed gently. There was a trace of a cold sweat on her forehead. This new commander… even discounting his paragon status… his imposing momentum was sufficient to make her dare not face him directly.
It was not that of a novice just graduated from Heavens Law. Instead, it was a true cultivator with blood dyed on their hands. Furthermore, it wasn't a logistics cultivator that could only sit in an office. He belonged to the battlefield. What had he experienced in these three years? Bearing such thoughts, she set down her footsteps as gently as she could, softly following behind.
Xu Yangyi was not a man of many words, and he calmly walked out the door. Outside the room, there was a passage with the same red carpet laid out. It was no less than twenty-meters long, and there were personnel in black military uniform with a silver emblem on their chest of a crossing sword and feather stationed at every three meters.
The chest of Xu Yangyi's military attire also had this symbol. The instant he walked out and passed by each person, the other immediately saluted. Xu Yangyi only nodded, quietly walking out the corridor.
The outside room was a tremendous room of a full 1650 square meters. Several tens of middle-stage and initial-stage Qi Condensation men were wearing the same black military attire and standing here, bearing their hands at their backs. At the center, there was a spacious oval conference table, about seven or eight meters.
An old man sat across with a peaceful expression. His black military attire contrasted his incomparable austerity, and a shallow smile hung on his face. In the surroundings, there were a few video cameras and cameras already taking aim at round table.
"It's started, it's started!" In front of a computer, many cultivators watched everything before theirs eyes in excitement. This was their objective, the cultivation world's desire! In any industry, there wouldn't be a lack of hope. For Cultivation Civilization to develop until now, and intermingling with human society for so long, this aspect had long since been clearly understood. They were rather cognizant of what was called the "celebrity effect".*******
Was it believed everyone possessed the kind of qualification to participate in such a dignified signing ceremony? Was it thought that a branch master would personally attend the establishment of a legion?
If it wasn't a paragon, a true elite once in five years, was it believed that such an opportunity to have the entire cultivation world to recognize you could be obtained?
There were many cultivators and even more vagrant cultivators! Of the million cultivators, several major powers occupied at most thirty to forty percent of this figure, and clans took up twenty to thirty percent. Without these models and without the cultivation world's spreading of resources, could it be hoped for other cultivators to join some organization? Perhaps others could still say: Its not as good as my carefree happiness!
"Young friend Xu." The old man stood up, smiling and nodding: "I am Thousandedge. The branch master of Mingshui Province's Featherwood Guard."
Is it you…? The person who has received Floatingcloud's Black Kill Order? Xu Yangyi's gaze silently brushed over Thousandedge. In his heart, he had already clearly memorized the other's appearance. "Greetings, Branch master." He laughed as he cupped his hands: "I'll have to trouble senior Thousandedge."
Before their computers, it was unknown how many people were watching this scene. A majority were initial-stage and middle-stage Qi Condensation cultivators. There wasn't a single person right now that wasn't wishing that it was them standing there above.
"The sixteenth paragon of Nantong Province's Heavens Law." On the cultivation net's live broadcast, a middle-aged man wearing black military attire slowly got up and said clearly: "Through the confirmation of Yuyang City's branch, serial number HL-01 is the sixteenth paragon."
The present scene was dead silent. Only the echo of this voice—through video cameras—was transmitted to all of the nooks and crannies of China's cultivation world.
"By process of verification, the condition that the Featherwood Guard enlisted Fellow Daoist Xu back then…" The middle-aged man paused. An unknown amount of people in front of their computers straightened their waists, their gazes shining as they looked at their screens.
This damned pause! Whose invention was it?! Stand up!
"Since Fellow Daoist Xu joined Heavens Law, he is qualified to serve as a legion commander. His team distribution is set to a financial consultant, a market development adviser, and a mission evaluation aide. His legionnaires are numbered to twenty. His starting capital…" The middle-aged man suddenly choked, studying the contract in astonishment. Afterwards, he immediately looked at Thousandedge with a bewildered and uncertain gaze.
"Fuck! Can't you be a bit moral?!"
"Is there a word you can't finish in a single breath?! What're you keeping us in suspense for!"
"Don't think I won't hack up blood… I'll get so mad that even I'll be scared!"
No one was aware of his frame of mind. Instead, there was the sound of cursing before their computers! Thousandedge's face carried a smile, but the inside of his heart was dripping with blood. He revealed the most good-natured expression he could possibly muster and smiled as he nodded.
It was then that the middle-aged man's wildly beating heart re-stabilized somewhat. How had the contract been altered? A last-minute correction? He remembered it wasn't this amount before! How had it been raised so high now?! He hadn't experienced the Qualifier of Fengyi City, but he could guess from this figure how great the price that the Featherwood Guard of that year had invest to snatch Xu Yangyi!
"Spirit stones…" He opened his mouth again, and the people before their computers held their breath in waiting once more.
"How much do you guess it is?" With another wretched pause, a youth before a computer looked at the companion beside him with a burning gaze: "I think it's no lower than three thousand!"
"Three thousand?" His companion rolled his eyes at him and drank a sip of water: "Aren't they ashamed to present that?"
"This is a paragon! Furthermore, he was even able to survive from the Vermilion Snow Incident of the sixteenth graduation! He even executed a successor of God Ming!"
"Three thousand? Don't you think there would be others that would rush in straight away with double the price to snatch a person?!"
The middle-aged man sucked in deeply: "Ten tons."
"Did I hear that right?!"
"Y-you kiddin' me?!"
"Chu Zhaonan only got 10,000 spirit stones back then! Ten tons… 17,000 spirit stones?!"
"This is the second best in history, right?! Besides Sunnihilator's 24,000 spirit stones, isn't this the highest initiation funding?"
T/N: I am making a correction to what I believe is an error I made. You may recall that I wrote "student of sixteen years" the last chapter. The way the author sets things up/my inexperience creates this mistake. I was confused by how he was doing the numbering and actually went back to earlier chapters, since we see that we have graduations in the 2000s. From what we have learned from the story and thus far, Heavens Law holds a graduation every five years. HOWEVER, Heavens Law has a branch in each provincial-level territory. In modern-day China, there are 34 such places. Considering if Heavens Law considers each graduation of each provincial-level region to count towards the graduation count, then that means there have been at least sixteen graduations at each location or perhaps more at unequal amounts of graduations at each location. Sixteen graduations for the Nantong Province branch sounds just about right, considering we know that Floatingcloud made the Unrivaled Beneath the Heavens Arena during the early 20th century. However, there might be more than 34 Heavens Law branches for all we know. It just so happens that I got confused because you might recall that Xu Yangyi is 24~ right now and joined Heavens Law when he was 8. OR I could be completely wrong.
* The Chengde Mountain Resort is a lavish summer palace built during the Qing Dynasty. It took a total of 89 years to complete. It has many different gardens, temples, pagodas, and son.
** Yangyu is not a misspelling. Looks like our leading man has his own fan club now. I was uncertain how/whether I should translate this, but I ultimately decided on a case by case basis. Yangyu = 洋芋.
*** 舔屏 - this translates literally to "lick screen", which is a chinese net slang. In the raws, it sounds weird to directly translate it, so I decided to work around/with it. It's an idea that the person/thing you are looking at on the computer looks so good that you lick the screen.
**** Spud Squad. This is what I mean by case by case basis. 洋芋 means potato. So I could've translated this as potato team. Spud sounds better and I didn't want to translate Yangyu as potato. As a non-native Chinese speaker I can't really understand why the girls would call him "Yangyu", but I can guess that from the way it sounds, it is a lot softer than "Yangyi".
***** Mahua - 麻花 is a Chinese fried dough twist. Search this character for pictures.
****** 小鲜肉 = Young, hot morsel. Translated directly = "Little/Young fresh meat". Apparently a colloquial term meant to describe male teen idols.
******* The way the author intends to use celebrity effect is similar to an idea of a celebrity promoting an item and then that item gets sold out because of the popularity rub-off.