Chapter 128: Preparations (2)
“S-S-S-S-Spud…” Unknown as to how much time had passed, it was then that Mao Ba’er said shrilly: “C-c-can y-you say that again?”
“I know everyone has their doubts…” Xu Yangyi banished his smile and looked at the crowd: “So, we’ll only be conducting a surrounding investigation.”
“This isn’t a question of doubt!” Mao Ba’er’s fur was raised on edge, and he suddenly hopped on the table: “The eight great deadlands! This is one of the eight great deadlands! This is the business of dead men! Allocate me to luggage! Separate me to luggage! There’s no way I’m going!”
“Commander…” At this instant, Peony came to her wits and looked at Xu Yangyi, not daring to believe: “We… No, not even us, among all the current legions, none of them dare to challenge the eight great deadlands. Firstly, the Xingtian Legion had just been set up and hasn’t even been broken in. Secondly, are we sufficiently equipped? There aren’t enough funds!”
“Spud, tell me!” Mao Ba’er roved before Xu Yangyi, his bearing proper and his words austere: “Which level of the dream realm are you in right now?!”
Li Zongyuan’s face also morphed abruptly. He absolutely hadn’t expected that the Xingtian Legion’s first mission would actually be exploring Danxia Temple!
Xu Yangyi paid no attention to everyone, and after waiting a brief moment for the noisiness to pass, he said insipidly: “I’ve already decided. If you’re unwilling to go, you don’t have to. Likewise, you can stay in the Xingtian Legion. But…” He stood up and picked up his coat: “I’m going.”
“In five days, I need to see the budget for exploring surrounding danger zone of Danxia Temple.”
Thud! The door closed, everyone’s expressions incomparably complex. None of them were able to anticipate that the difficulty factor for the Xingtian Legion’s first mission would surprisingly be so high! The surroundings? The surroundings were a danger zones surroundings!
Ever since a Red Spider Lily had bloomed in the sky above the Heavenly Pit, the names of the eight great deadands had truly caused the entire cultivation world to turn pale at the mention of them!
The inside of the room was morbidly silent. It wasn’t known after how long, but Zhou Tingting weakly raised her hand and said: “Everyone, uhh, colleagues… it’s just the surroundings… I’ve heard of Danxia Temple, too, but everyone says…”
“Says what?” Peony’s face was chillingly frosty: “In 1962, Daomaster Ancientpine forced his way through Danxia Temple. In less than seven hundred meters of his entry, he spat out blood and escaped. It took him a full several decades to recover and has since then kept watch over the northwest, not even leaving a step no matter what.”
Zhou Tingting was rendered foolish.
“In 1978, three of Daoism’s grand ancestral halls and Greenwall Mountain’s Dao Child, Master Longevity, charged collectively into Danxia Temple with Greenwall Mountain’s all-powerful Nine Bearing Immortal Punishment Formation and thirty Dao protectors. And while they traveled the path Daomaster Ancientpine had walked over a dozen years ago…” Peony glanced at the stupefied Zhou Tingting: “I believe you know the names of Daoism's three great halls. Greenwall, Cranecry, and Dragon-Tiger. As to how much of an outstanding talent their Dao Child was, it’s needless of me to keep on narrating.”
Zhou Tingting dumbly nodded. She had never heard of these things in the past and asked robotically: “And… And afterwards?”
Peony was ashen-faced and forced herself to laugh: “Not one came out.”
“Ten days later, an old Daoist with a full head of white hair carrying a peach leaf came before Danxia Temple. He burned incense for three days and a blood-covered Nine Bearing Immortal Punishment Formation flew out, yet it ruined into a single piece.”
“The mountain-protecting great array, the N-N-Nine Bearing Immortal Punishment Formation was broken?” Not only Zhou Tingting, this time, Cheng Jianfeng and Li Zongyuan both jumped in fright.
“This was one of Daoism’s three great ancestral halls, the Greenwall Mountain’s all-powerful mountain-protecting array. Although it wasn’t personally carved by Celestial Master Zhang, it was passed down for over a thousand years. It is said that the great Tang dynasty cultivator Li Chunfeng and Yuan Tiangang cooperated to carve the inscription.” Peony looked coldly at the crowd: “Everyone, do you still think it’s merely the blooming of the Red Spider Lily in the sky above the Heavenly Pit? That the other deadlands just fill in the numbers?”
No one spoke. In a rarity, even Mao Ba’er was silent.
“In 1983, of one of Buddhism’s four grand mountains, the abbot of Mount Emei’s Baoguo Temple was on the verge of passing into Parinirvana. Wielding a portrait of Samantabhadra, he lead eighteen copper men at night into Danxia Temple to seek destiny. Ten days later, the golden-crowned Samantabhadra cried tears of blood. This incident can be searched in the news of 1983, ‘Emei’s golden-crowned bodhisattva’s tears of blood’. If you still have words now, the nineteen jade slips of Baoguo Temple’s Life Slip Pavilion all simultaneously shattered.”
One bloody case after another caused everyone’s faces to become even more unsightly. Zhou Tingting and Cheng Jianfeng didn’t say anything this time. Hearing so much about the deadlands, they were swiftly numbed. At the moment, carefully listening to an insider’s explanation, they understood that these so-called deadlands were truly and genuinely filled with the lives of countless great cultivators within. It was by this that they were called deadlands!
Silent, after a few seconds passed, Peony stood up as well and pushed on her glasses: “Everyone, inside Danxia Temple, there absolutely exists an unusual thing. It is such a thing that turned this place into a deadland.”
“I don’t wish for commander to give an order to touch it. Such a place is too dangerous. How many Foundation Establishment cultivators and Core Formation Dao Masters have come back with regrets? If our Xingtian Legion enters, there will only be death, no life! Even if it is a surrounding exploration, I can in no way approve of this!”
“We’re legionnaires. The Xingtian Legion’s first regiment of legionnaires. We have a duty to raise suggestions to the commander. I hope when the time comes to declare positions next time, everyone can consider things clearly.” No one answered. Peony nodded, pushed the door open, and left.
On the night of that day, Xu Yangyi received Zhao Wuye’s list of names. Altogether, it was sven people. Six at the middle stage of Qi Condensation and a rookie who was still drawing qi into his body. Furthermore, Zhao Wuye had rather considerately sent a list of possible cultivation instruments and devices to use. Xu Yangyi didn’t even look at it and tossed it directly aside to Peony. He entered the cultivation room again. This time, it was for nothing else, just in order to concoct pills.
Five days later, in the cultivation room, he looked at the second medicinal pill which was floating before him, laughing in satisfaction. It was still the Spirit Strengthening Pill… and still a familiar smell. Nonetheless, the time was not! He was unfamiliar at first, but soon grew comfortable. He barely used five days to refine the second medicinal pill!
“I should begin…” Xu Yangyi slightly beckoned, and a scalding-hot Spirit Strengthening Pill flew into his palm. The light of his eyes flashed with a wisp of burning heart, hard-pressed to be tolerated: “To have the Xingtian Legion… tell this world, tell this cultivation world the news that the Dao of Pills, lost for close to two centuries, has appeared in this world once again…”
“This will serve as my first voice decreed towards the entire cultivation world. For I, Paragon Xu Yangyi, who vanished for three years and afterwards bitterly cultivated for two years, it can be no more appropriate.” Breathing in heavily a few times, he walked out the cultivation room’s door and washed his body with a Cleansing Talisman. He advancing directly towards his office, and Peony was already waiting there inside.
“Commander.” Peony bowed deeply and placed a large stack of materials on Xu Yangyi’s desk: “I bring no disgrace to my mission. In these past few days, I’ve already calculated all the possibly required matters.”
Xu Yangyi picked up a cup of coffee on the desk, looking at Peony and laughed: “Why? Aren’t you going to advise me to give up?”
“And why is that?” Peony replied with a smile: “I’ve always been commander’s fan.”
Xu Yangyi raised a brow. In these past days… had Peony come round to the idea? It was the best if she had she done so. He stowed his gaze. There were some affairs where he needed not a consultant, but rather implementer. He understood very well what he was doing. For the first mission, a grand legion commander was still required to seek others to do handle things. Such a commander that didn’t do so wasn’t to be minded. In his legion, only he was king. Whatever he said he wanted to was what he would certainly accomplish. Even if it was also the same as investigating a deadland’s surroundings!
“Is the budget out?”
“Yes.” Peony laughed: “Altogether, it’s 3500 medium-grade spirit stones, the equivalent of 700 million Chinese dollars.”
The cup of coffee set at the side of Xu Yangyi’s mouth halted, and he looked at Peony in surprise: “How much?”
“3500 medium grade spirit stones. 700 million Chinese dollars.” Peony smile was still the same: “Commander, if entirely sold, our legion, in addition to those talismans and including our trademark, is valued on the market at roughly 900 million Chinese dollars. Our liquid funds are less than 300 million. I’m afraid it’ll be difficult for us to bear the operation of scouting the surroundings.”
So it was here that Peony was waiting for him!
Xu Yangyi didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Peony simply hadn’t abandoned the notion of urging him to change his objective. Instead, she had used another kind of method to admonish him. The exploration of a deadland was not something that a new legion could trifle with.
“How is it so expensive?” Laughing, Xu Yangyi curbed his smile, faintly knitted his brows, and questioned.
“I computed it based on necessary supplies. Protective to preventative goods weren’t factored.” Peony’s expression grew solemn, as well: “Commander, in no way did I overstate it by a hair. For the exploration of a secret realm—even if it isn’t a deadland—requires a perfect defensive formation magik. This isn’t a talisman, but a formation eye, the formation base of a true formation magik.It’s value at the cheapest is around seven hundred spirit stones on the market. And we will be headed into a deadland this time.”
“I believe the formation magik must not only maintain constant operation, but also be equipped with two kinds of functions, exploration and defense. A medium-grade one can not at all be low in price. In merely this aspect, the price is over a thousand medium-grade spirit stones!”
“Second, we still need a life-saving item. It HAS to possess the features of instantaneous movement and extreme speed. Commander, on this single point, my appraisal is between 1500-2000 medium-grade spirit stones. This is the our life insurance for entering the Danxia Temple deadland. For the lives of ten people, 2000 middle-grade spirit stones is still my conservative estimation. Moreover, such an item is fundamentally set at a price without market!”
She said respectfully: “Commander, as for legions with backers like Commander Chu’s Hidden Dragon Legion, there are only two or three in China. If such an item exists, they would’ve set their hands on it early on. Among the present Qi Condensation Legions, never has such a life-saving ace been witnessed.”
“If we don’t have such an ace, I absolutely cannot approve of using a deadland’s surroundings as an objective.”
Xu Yangyi nodded. Peony was moderately preventing him. Although his decision wouldn’t change course, he couldn’t help but say that this intelligent woman, even if she was admonishing him, was very tactful in her methods.
“There are also all other kinds of detoxifying and life-saving pill elixirs and talismans. These things are at least five hundred medium-grade spirit stones. 3500 medium-grade spirit stones, and I even calculated less.”
Xu Yangyi slightly dipped his head in acknowledgement. In light of these computations, the exploration of a deadland was by no measure or pace a newcomer legion was able to bear. Nonetheless… that was a newcomer legion that didn’t have a cheat. In his hands, he held the greatest trump!
“Firstly, let’s not speak of this business.” A thread of an expectant smile hung at the crook of Xu Yangyi’s mouth: “In two months, prepare to convene the Legion Inauguration Ceremony.”
“Sir, are you sure you wish to personally take charge of this matter.” Peony didn’t obtain answer, yet she rather sensibly didn’t mention this issue again. She jotted down a note in haste, her eyes filled with disbelief.
Xu Yangyi laughed, his guffaws rejoiceful. He bent a finger and gently flicked a black object that flew towards Peony at lightning speed.
“What I desire is how to get the Xingtian Legion to fire the opening shot. I have some small ideas. It just so happens that I have a friend who gave me a little something. Take a look, is it suited to shock the world?”
 I wasn’t sure whether or not to translate the names of these mountains/sects but I ultimately chose to. Greenwall Mountain/Dragon-Tiger Mountain/Cranecry Mountain are real places.
 Li Chunfeng (602-670) was a mathematician, astronomer, and historian. Yuan Tiangang is noted in history as a famous fortune teller.
 Few things here. Parinirvana is a very specific term in Buddhism referring to the death of the physical body after attaining nirvana. In this line I THINK it is just general for a Buddhist’s death. Second, Baoguo Temple is a real place. Third, Samantabhadra is a bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism.
 The words for “have a cheat” in Chinese are used specifically regarding video games. As in having a cheat in a video game. 开挂