Chapter 47: Faction Showdown (Four)
Within the qi walls, Xu Yangyi's gaze finally sparked, and he cautiously lifted his head. He had finally found a flower petal belonging to him. Of the endless flowers that passed, not a single one had touched him.
Since that day his ten-odd years of training concluded, he had never cared for status and wealth.
Finally, his footsteps had stopped before a not-too-appealing autumn chrysanthemum.
"Is the Featherwood Guard's promise something that Fellow Daoist Lotus can under take?" As everyone boiled over, the serene voice of a man emerged from the arena stage. It was only a strand of spiritual force, so it was difficult for people to see it. To hear it clearly cost a bit strength.
But as this voice arose, everyone's mouths froze. Not only was it the clans, even a few great Foundation Establishment cultivators were the same.
This was Xu Yangyi's voice! Presently, his spiritual force had been scattered apart by that strange bullet. This was the spiritual force he had barely managed stored.
After Lotus had bellowed, her heart had long since hit rock bottom. The Featherwood Guard was a special organization. To be frank, it was a tremendous guild. Any cultivator's time was comparable to gold, and while a hundred years seemed very long, it was in fact not as endless as in the imaginations of madly cultivating cultivators. But what if he needed some item, but it wasn't in the hands of others, or perhaps he didn't have the item to be exchanged and only had spirit stones; what would he do?
At that time, he could go the Featherwood Guard to post a mission, and the Featherwood Guard would take a fifth of the commission from the issued mission. In comparison to the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion that dominated most supplementary ventures and the government agency CSIB that held an intimate relationship with the Chinese government, they were the poorest!
She could do nothing more than shout, but it was out of her expectations that Xu Yangyi would respond! Their conditions couldn't be considered generous at all, yet she hadn't expected to hear the sound of a heavenly lyre in the next second!
"T-this…" The clan master of a great clan was flabbergasted. He didn't dare to be convinced of all he had just heard. "Have I misheard things?" He looked at his assistant by his side in shock and asked.
"No…" The assistant pursed his lips. He felt it was unimaginable, as well. What was happening? The Featherwood Guard was a major power, but their conditions couldn't be considered the best in any way! For what reason had Xu Yangyi not asked Moonchaser, the CSIB, and the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion, but on the contrary questioned the Featherwood Guard?
"Is this person a madman or is there something wrong with his brain?!" A clan master obtained a definite answer and suddenly slapped the stone beneath him, nearly spitting out a mouthful of blood in rage: "Is it that our Lu Clan's stated conditions are worse than the Featherwood Guard's?! Their organization is limited to their structured methods; to come out with such conditions is already their limit! Not even to speak of ourselves, but how are the goods put forth by either the alchemy Chen Clan and talisman Wang Clan just now lacking in comparison with the Featherwood Guard?! Is he mentally ill?!"
"At this kind of time, he didn't pick the best conditions when he's a hot commodity, but instead chose the middling Featherwood Guard?!" An old man with a full head of white hair rapped the cane in his hand on the ground with a thud, his eyes flared with anger.
If they lost out to the CSIBS's and Bountiful Treasure Pavilion's exaggeratedly fictitious conditions, they could only sigh deeply their target could not be had. However, the Featherwood Guard was far from being compared to these two organizations. Their conditions weren't much different from a great clan's, yet Xu Yangyi had called out to them first. How the hell did that happen!
"The seed appointed to him from within the Featherwood Guard for his selection will be extremely generous! But what about the signing bonus?! The favor of resources?! His future pledge?!" A middle-aged woman direly fanned herself and said hotly: "They don't hold an advantage in single one! Not a single one!"
"He actually answered the Featherwood Guard!"
Lotus was dazed for but a second.
She nearly used all of her spiritual force in the next second and yelled: "I can guarantee it! I guarantee I can do it! The Featherwood Guard's Vice Hallmaster Tang is hurrying over here to the Heavens Law's branch! He's a middle-stage Foundation Establishment senior! Vice Hallmaster Tang can also promise to put forth your sign-on bonus without delay at the same time! The Featherwood Guard doesn't have many precious treasures, but our number of readily available spirit stones is by no means few! The Featherwood Guard will imburse all of the spirit stones and resources that Fellow Daoist Xu will need later on, even a high-grade Spirit Focusing Formation! Of the few grand refiners that exist, one of them is in the Featherwood Guard!"
"Fellow Daoist Xu!' Her voice had been stirred to hoarseness, and she excitedly took a step forward: "As long as Fellow Daoist joins our organization, all conditions may be discussed!"
She had wholly not expected that the first time Xu Yangyi would raise his voice, it would actually be directed towards the Featherwood Guard!
Brilliant fireworks suddenly exploded all around her, and she took out the next condition without hardly any consideration! This was the Featherwood Guard's bottom line!
The surroundings were quiet as the Featherwood Guard declared its conditions. The other clans could denounce it, but when this major player in the cultivation world spoke, it could absolutely not be interrupted. Everyone's gazes were nailed to the billowing qi walls, waiting on Xu Yangyi's response on the edge of their seats.
Xu Yangyi mumbled to himself. In his silence, Vulture nearly smashed his cell phone!
How could the Fenyi City Heavens Law branch be so poor?! Why was it they couldn't change their communication equipment?! At such an important juncture where he had been planning to ask if Xu Yangyi had other pastimes or interests, he was unexpectedly incapable of making a call?!
He couldn't wait any longer… He sucked in deeply and said clearly: "Fellow Daoist Xu! Are you not planning on considering it? The Bountiful Treasures Pavilion is not wanting in any aspect, be it rare treasures, precious items, or spirit stones, we have it all! Whatever the Featherwood Guard can give to you, our Bountiful Treasures Pavilion can bestow, as well! Moreover, we will give double!"
While it was a major power, the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion's lack of a Core Formation cultivator had forever been it's pain! On the two accounts of a genius second only to Sunnihilator and a Core Formation-grade arcane effort, the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion had neither! With these two points added together, there was a sliver of a possibility "equal" to a Core Formation master!
Give up? He was not resigned to do so in any way!
There was no time to ask the branch again… Now was the time put forth a heavy fist!
"If you promise…" He grit his teeth and opened his wrist watch: "I'll immediately open dispatch to the branch. You can discuss it here with the branch chief! No matter any condition you desire!"
"Fellow Daoist Xu… Do you know why Heavens Law is unable to find the murderer you want to search for?" Within the qi walls, there was no answer, so Vulture cut straight to the heart of the matter and questioned lowly.
It was silent once more, and after the passage of a few seconds, Xu Yangyi's voice finally echoed out: "I'd like to hear the details."
Hook, line, and sinker!
Vulture's eyes twinkled. This was it… The crux of the matter laid here!
While perhaps the cultivations of the special envoys from the Big Three were not the highest, they were undeniably the ones who knew the most about the ways of the world! The instant he had heard that the Featherwood Guard who didn't occupy a superior position in a single aspect was able to obtain Xu Yangyi's favor, he understood it was only because they had added on one more condition!
To assist Xu Yangyi in finding the murderer of his parents!
"It is because of the scope of authority!" He immediately said without the least hesitation: "Fellow Daoist Xu, you couldn't possibly be aware unless you were one of Heavens Law's half-step Core Formation cultivators or genuine Core Formation authorities… but on China's wanted list, besides the A-rank listing… there is also the S-rank listing above! Even SS-rank! And it goes so far as SSS-rank listing!"
"There's such a thing!"
"The S-rank listing… The A-rank Vermillion Snow is at the Great Circle of Foundation Establishment; could it be that S-rank is Core Formation?!"
"SS-rank is the middle stage of Core Formation?! SSS-rank is the late stage of Core Formation?!"
"My god… How could this be possible!" "A-rank is actually not the highest?!"
The present scene immediately became a storm of uproars. The entirety of China was crystal clear on this list. The name of the list was "Heavenly Demons", and all of China's most crazed, powerful, and homicidal demons were on it!
Fengyi's Vermillion Snow was ranked ninth. Kill count: started at 500,000 and included four cities. To this day, Hegu Province still had a Fox King Temple. It's viciousness had not changed. It gained its name from leaving 50 kilometers of snowy lands dyed in blood. Birth date: era of Emperor Daoguang, exact specifics unclear. Present lair: across from Fengyi City's Heavens Law branch in the Triumphant Virtue Plaza. Realm: Great Circle of Foundation Establishment.
Shanghai's Sootharkener was ranked tenth. Kill count: started at 300,000. Birth date: Era of Emperor Qianlong, exact specifics unclear. Present lair: Underwater Sootharkener Palace in Shanghai's Huangpu River. Realm: Great Circle of Foundation Establishment.*
Beijing's "Mr. One-Eye Five", the One-eyed Pentageist. Kill count: started at 300,000. Birth date: unknown. Present lair: unknown. It acted as an adviser for a famous demon family, the Ming Clan. **
All kinds of frequently heard names that were enough to send the spirits of Qi Condensation cultivators scattering in fear streaked through the ears of every person. There wasn't anyone, even Firecloud, that were able to restrain the trembling of their entire body.
These… were the true Greater Demons concealed within human society! The lingering evils of the past that were but a mere step away from treading into Core Formation!
And there was an S-rank bounty list above these demons?!
Within the qi walls, Xu Yangyi shut his eyes and sat down in meditation, yet was in the end unable to restrain the trembling of his eyes.
It had been many years… but he finally had a trace of a clue to follow!
But this was the S-rank bounty list… Even if he did find his nemesis, then what?
Although he was presently a marvelous commodity worthy of raising, he was too weak.
He stifled the frenzied palpitations of his heart. The feeling within his arteries was fiercely scalding.
"Could Fellow Daoist take a look at the S-rank bounty list?" He pursed his lips firmly and asked lowly.
"He can't!" At this instant, Lilac's voice pushed itself to the head once more: "All of these things are under the administration of the CSIB! I'll make an immediate report to HQ! Fellow Daoist Xu, believe in me, the CSIB is your best choice! We can discuss conditions again! The CSIB is the highest authority to compose every ranking list!"
"Fellow Daoist Xu, you are at the cusp of truly treading into society! You'll know right away that the CSIB has great authority in the cultivation world! I, Lilac, guarantee this here! If you join the CSIB, I can let you look at the S-rank bounty list in ten minutes!"
"But!" Her anger already thoroughly ignited, Lotus yelled before Lilac had even finished speaking: "Fellow Daoist Xu, do you know from where the CSIB gets their materials?! It is entirely the credit of the Featherwood Guard!"
"We and the CSIB hold a cooperative relationship; we're bounty hunters! We are the moving sword of demon slaying! Every month, we hand over information on discovered demon varieties! Everyone, you only know that the CSIB's and Heavens Law's teaching materials are formidable, but what about the demon corpses?! The experimental specimens?! Those awfully perilous videos?! All of it was exchanged blade and gun with the lives of everyone in the Featherwood Guard!"
"Lotus!" It was a cat fight, a cat fight had begun, and never did Lilac expect in her wildest dreams that Lotus would spill the beans about this secret collaboration. Although it wasn't important, a devilish flame ensnared her heart in madness!
She turned to glower at her counterpart: "So what! Our CSIB didn't give your Featherwood Guard a massive commision for a one-time new variety! Wasn't it just under 10 million?!"
"I'm only stating a fact! In the Big Three, who isn't communicating with each other? Since Fellow Daoist Vulture has torn off the cover, I'm just clearing the air! Only the Featherwood Guard can find the thing that Fellow Daoist Xu wants to search for in a snap of the fingers! Or were you going to say the CSIB can move the entire globe's satellites to focus and lock down on his prey? Gimme a break! Your CSIB only has a single cultivation satellite, 'Big Flag-7'! Are you willing to sacrifice an uninterrupted decade of time in order to use this satellite to monitor for Fellow Daoist Xu?!"
"The other satellites can't survey demons." Vulture leisurely added. At this moment, electricity sparked in his and Lotus's gazes. In a flash, a course of action was settled upon: since the authoritative ranking order list is in the hands of the CSIB, let us first join hands and dispose of the most threatening opponent!
T/N: Early chapter today. Doing things later. Happy New Year!
* 谛听 - is an actual monster/demon in Chinese mythology. It is famously known as Ksitigarbha's mount. Other names it is known by is "Hell's Ear". Said to be very sensitive to the truth, especially regarding humans being truthful or lying. Known for distinguishing the veracity of the Monkey King's story. It has the head of tiger, a single horn, dog's ears, a dragon body, a qilin's feet, and a lion's tail.
** 一目五 - Mr. Yimu Wu. This is a pretty interesting Chinese folk monster. It is actually a group of ghost considered one entity. There are five ghosts and only one of them has an eye. They other four are blind. The blind ghosts depend on the ghost with the eye to find food. It is said his arrival brings plague, which has do with how he selects his victims. He comes at night while people are sleeping and smells their breath. From what I read, each successive victim's breath he smells will fall sicker and sicker until the last one dies, and then everyone is done for.