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Chapter 24: Multi-Level Marketing

It was unknown when, but Chu Zhaonan had already shut his eyes to rest, however, no one paid attention to him. Nobody also saw that the blue veins of his hand were completely revealed, and the corner of his mouth was faintly trembling.

He was also a rank one, but the disparity was surprisingly this great!

Just from the kick a moments ago, he knew that Xu Yangyi absolutely couldn't be trifled with. He had acknowledge the other, but he completely hadn't expected that ten minutes later, He, a rank one, would actually serve to become another's foil!

The women kept on repeating about the two rank ones, but it was self-evident who was the primary and who was the secondary. 

He was practically the same as a tacked-on freebie!

"Seniors." A voice abruptly echoed out. Xu Yangyi had flipped through the documents and said serenely: "I still haven't graduated."

"It's not important that you haven't graduated. They say it in the movies; it's the twenty-first century, talent is the most important." Lilac pulled on Xu Yangyi's and Chu Zhaonan's hands: "Won't Student Chu and Student Xu agree to give me, Big Sis Lilac, face? The CSIB absolutely won't treat you two unfairly."

Chu Zhaonan wordlessly shook off her hand. Lilac smiled, but paid it no mind.

Xu Yangyi had broke off from the other, as well, but Lilac held onto him perseveringly. 

"The Featherwood Guard won't mistreat you, too!" The difference between the silver bell and the barbell was that of unequal timbre and unequal volume. It was evident Lotus's voice was growing louder without stop: "If you sign the contract now, we can give you an arcane effort in advance!"*

"Haaa…" The sound of a gasp came out from another person's mouth. A fervent expression appeared on every person's face.

Only the muscle of Chu Zhaonan's cheeks twitched.

An arcane effort… This was the source of establishing oneself!

Everyone had heard that it was difficult to obtain an arcane effort. It wasn't until one had amassed enough resources and been assessed could one consider it and go make the exchange for it. But now, with this one that didn't even need to be tested on, some people had already pledged their futures. 

"Clap Clap Clap…" At this time, the sound of applause could suddenly be heard. A man in Western-style clothes wearing gold-rimmed glasses walked in slowly, his footsteps neither tensed or slow, as if they brought the mystic power to calm people. He bowed courteously: "Have I come late? How is it things are so lively?"

"Hello, students. Everyone may call me C-Vulture. I am Vulture of the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion." 

The Bountiful Treasures Pavilion...

The name suddenly caused everyone to give a complicated expression. Even Xu Yangyi couldn't help but to spare a couple glances at the man.

This name… was truly one where the more you loved it, the more you hated it. It was the cultivation world's greatest megamart, largest shopping platform, and of course, it also had the most expensive prices, as well!

With their limited internet access, students of Heavens Law could only dedicate a large majority of their monthly allowance to the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion.

"This student speaks well." As if Vulture hadn't seen it, he faced towards Xu Yangyi, smiling and nodding: "Since you still haven't graduated, why should the fighting over people be so severe?"

"Presently, all of the students still haven't even left the branch training base, however, everyone understands the information on the internet. Everyone knows that every year, right before graduation from each prestigious institution, there will be famous companies recruiting, but only to recruit the true crème de la crème… Perhaps all of you believe right now that your own cultivations are quite low. However…" He sighed leisurely: "The base number of cultivators is even lower…"

"There are approximately a million cultivators in China. Once every five years, those that graduate may number a thousand." He laughed: "It might be a bit unpleasant to listen to, but this pittance of people isn't even enough to fill the gap of my teeth."

"The difficulty of the graduation exam isn't high, and it's not that tough. It's remarkable, that as long as you can get into this segment, you're a cultivator. As long as you're a cultivator, the Featherwood Guard, CSIB, and Bountiful Treasures Pavilion will not turn their backs to you by a tiny bit in any way. I'll give something to everyone here…"

He coughed lightly, and his smiled vanished. A similarly formidable spiritual pressure suddenly arose within the airplane.

Late-stage Qi Condensation!

Xu Yangyi lightly raised a brow. He hadn't even graduated, but three late-stage Qi Condensation cultivators had come here to recruit him… 

In the world of cultivation, such a person was already considered a figure capable of lording over undeveloped city. For example, if they were to go to Sanshui City, they would've absolutely put the region into peace without even over turning the ocean spray.

Although he faintly understood that spirit energy was sparse during the End of Days, leading to a pitiful few cultivators, he absolutely hadn't expected it would so few to such a degree!

"Among five hundred people, approximately five to six have the hope of entering Foundation Establishment. But in these five to six people, it is possible that a Core Formation master will not appear." The man surveyed the crowd and said monotonously: "However, all organizations, not even to speak of China but the entire world, England, and Japan are all like this… composed of 80% Qi Condensation cultivators, 19% Foundation Establishment cultivators, and 1% Core Formation cultivators. Of China's Big Three, each one has their own distant origin. They cannot possibly ignore the circumstances of cultivators in any way."

"Each of us has something we're good at. Were only looking out for everyone's desires." He swept his eyes over Lilac and Lotus: "Doesn't everyone think such marketing tactics are too slovenly?"

"I sent a letter; one every day. But the school didn't get back to me." Lilac twirled her hair and said regretfully. 

Everyone understood and looked at Xu Yangyi at the same time, with Chu Zhaonan's expression being even more complicated. Especially the gaze he used to look at Xu Yangyi, it was silent, already wrought with admiration and jealousy. 

This was something the others would bet on. 

The present condition shouldn't have been the highest. If the women had gambled on it, then they had used a relatively cheap contract to bind two potential prospects. Especially, since the two of them were both the best of their branches! It could be gambled that the probability of the greatness of their future successes absolutely wouldn't be considered minor! 

"Fucking hell…" A student could no longer contain his bitter laugh: "It really does make one so angry that their hairs stand on edge…"

"This is the reality." Vulture smiled: "If you're going to walk it, then this is the only realistic path. In cultivation, your own strength is number one. The myriad living things are all nothing but crickets and ants… Forget about it, you'll naturally come to understand later on."

Vulture continued to speak: "As long as your strength is enough, you will absolutely not go unseen by high-level powers, moreover, they will not be begrudging to groom you. Power has eternally been the proportion of Core Formation masters, the invisible contrast of strength between countries. If… you reach Foundation Establishment, even so far as Core Formation, but not to speak of commanding wind at your grasps and rain at your fancy, I guarantee that 90% of your requests will go through unconditionally! Til this day, I've cultivated for sixty-two years, and I've seen many, many matters like this."

"Strength. Strength is the reason all of you can stay standing and speak. It is the reason why others can invest in you. However it is not…" His glasses flashed with a cold edge: "The reason that brings you to your knees and obey."

Sixty-two years?

No few people looked at Vulture in amazement; he appeared not a day over thirty.

"After cultivating, it is extremely simple to return to your youth…" Just as Vulture was about to say something, he suddenly saw Lilac's oppressive gaze and coughed dryly just as he opened his mouth. 

Lotus said coldly: "Propaganda is propaganda. I won't block you from spreading it, but what are you yammering for?"

Xu Yangyi didn't speak. He was unparalledly in favor of Vulture's words.

His mortal enemy… To this day, he didn't know what its rank was, however, it was similarly of true strength!

He was absolutely, categorically unwilling to need the assistance of an organization to be able to kill the other.

"Alright, I'm done talking. This is the recruiting materials of our Bountiful Treasures Pavilion. I want to remind all of you while I'm at it that Heavens Law enrolls new students every ten years and has a graduation once every five. Every graduation ceremony is taken as a grand provincial ceremony by the cultivation world. When the time comes, not only will we be there, but Foundation Establishment seniors will be there, as well. Furthermore, the assistants and secretaries of Core Formation masters will come to select people. Everyone, I hope when the time comes, we will be able to obtain a satisfying answer."

Lilac sighed, a nameless spectral ember emanated within her heart.

The heck? What the hell was this?!

Of the Big Three, all of them were unable to shift their eyes away as they waited for Heavens Law's graduation; there was a demand for people everywhere! There was a shortage of people everywhere! Those that hadn't graduated didn't know how scarce elite cultivators were! Which of China's organizations on the day of graduation wouldn't be waiting with wide eyes?

The result was that No. 9310 had directly revealed this game.

It had been ten years, but there was a new cultivator that had slayed an abnormality during their graduation assessment! She hadn't even slept and come running here. The result? 

She glanced hatefully at the representatives of the Featherwood Guard and Bountiful Treasures Pavilion. She clenched her teeth and spoke no longer.

Presently, she had wanted to take advantage of Xu Yangyi on the airplane before he hadn't made contact with the true world, but the meddling thoughts of others already made it so it wouldn't be. She could only wait to recruit on site. However, by that time, her opponents wouldn't only be the heritage organizations, but the assistants, private secretaries, and personal disciples of Core Formation masters; their origin was their prestige!

"Goddamn it…" Without place to give vent to her belly full of anger, she didn't say a thing and walked back towards the fore hold.

Vulture laughed and walked back in kind. However, just as he left and placed his hand on the cabin door, he suddenly recalled something, turning his head and chuckling: "I'd like to mention something in passing."

"Our Bountiful Treasures Pavilion has completed a deal with all of Ali Baba of the greatest capacity and highest monetary sum. It is not comparable with those disorderly small fries in any way. We specialize in all kinds of 'side doors', for example, alchemy, artifact refining, talismans, and so on. It can be said that every weapon in the world of cultivation bears the mark of the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion. Even if it is not of our assembly, the components surely are. Such as the Beretta 92F at this student's waist."**

He glanced at Chu Zhaonan who had his eyes hung low, making it unknown what he was thinking. At the other's waist, there was a holstered pistol. Whether it was real was unknown, only a small part of the butt was revealed. On it, a few mysterious runes could be seen.

Lilac paused in step, and Lotus stopped, as well.

"If some students have a talent in respect to alchemy, artifact refining, or talismans…"

His voice not yet falling, Lilac and Lotus had already roared out eagerly: "We are willing to dish out five times the hiring price for the students that join our organizations!"

"Ten times." Vulture's smile was splendid like spring wind, but his voice was like terrifyingly icy: "Ten times the price. A treatment of ten times for ordinary  students. The Bountiful Treasures Pavilion recruits talents with Elysial Bestowments from all kinds of fields to join our organization."***

He looked deeply at Xu Yangyi and Chu Zhaonan: "If… by chance it is the two Rank Ones, we are willing to…"

"Twenty times!" Lilac's voice was fairly sharp.

"Thirty times." Vulture laughed and stuck up two fingers.

Lilac and Lotus gaped, sensibly pausing at the ridiculous financial gambling of the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion. In their hearts, they were itching to trample this sleazebag to death.****

"Isn't it quite lacking?" As if it weren't for other things moving, Chu Zhaonan finally spoke.

"How is it lacking…" Lilac laughed wryly: "How many people does the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion have? Don't they have a hundred people? While they don't have a single Core Formation cultivator, they are the wealthiest organization among the Big Three. They are the organization with the most superior of equipment… Nobody is willing to offend an alchemist, a refiner, or a talismancer… If any of you have the talent, I dare to guarantee that even if you failed your graduation exam, your treatment will not fall even the least bit to that of a Rank One!"

"That's incorrect. Presently, while refiners and formationists still have Dao inheritances, alchemists have died out long ago." Vulture sighed: "Too many things have been lost to the long river of history. Current alchemists are actually just glorified medicinalist… because even if they are grand medicinalist, they are incapable of creating pills; the leakage of medicinal potency is simply unavoidable. They can only put pill serum within a syringe."

Xu Yangyi didn't understand these words and asked curiously: "What is Elysial Bestowment?"

"It's a kind of… very profound feeling." Lotus thought it over and answered his question: "There are some things that science is incapable of validating through experimentation. If you really want to put it in scientific terms, there are approximately ten billion neurons in the brain. People who awaken Elysial Bestowments can attain twenty billion, as to so far as thirty billion neurons. It is a kind of exceptional sensitivity towards all stimulations in the outside world. While cultivating, It can truly grasp every crucial moment, each brush mark, and make use of the scope of spiritual energy. Such a person…"

"Thump…" Xu Yangyi's heart softly trembled.

After he had left the hospital, he was already beginning to the increased acuity of his five senses. It was a life like the world had been uncovered by a layer of cotton.

Even though he was concealing a ticking-time bomb within his sea of essence, his life had still had to go on.

"Is it that your five sense will become even sharper?" Pushing down on the faint palpitations of his heart, he asked calmly.

* 功法 - this is how I decided to translate this. Arcane Effort. Anyone who has tried to translate this term knows how vague the idea behind these two characters are. It can often be thought of as a "mystical ability achieved through continuous labor/effort" etc. Depending on what translations you've read, you might see this translated as a bunch of different things with the one that pops out at me being "merit law" Based on the story's background (modern day with some scientific elements) I decided to give it this name. I really wanted to stress the time + labor put into learning this skill as well as giving it a strong name based on the esotericism. 

** Beretta 92F. I just want to point out that the F designation stands for that the sidearm was part of US federal testing. Go check it out of you don't believe.

*** 天赋 - Elysial Bestowment - learners of Chinese may realize it was just "talent", "innate skill", "gift". This word is referred to in a specific way that makes it more of a "thing"/"concept". In this novel, it's a pretty clear distinction that it's not something that's run of the mill. It is an idea that one has been blessed by the heavens to be good at everything/something.

**** 搅屎棍 - I translated this as sleazebag. What this actually means is "shit-stirring rod", a stick used to mix manure. Doesn't sound quite right to use it like this. 

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