Qi Nanshan was surprised for a moment and then started to laugh, "Hahahaha! Aren't you screwed, asshole Grandmaster? Let me see you pull yourself out from this shit! Hahaha! Are you done playing, Old Xi? You are simply fantastic. I admire you. Hahaha!"
Tan Laoxi looked miserable. "You two bastards—you know how to bully me! Augh you shits, I've never seen you so cunning before! Alright, alright, I'll agree to the terms. But can I at least get a Marked Horse? If I work with the other teams, I would have no hope of getting one. Dammit, seven fucking Grandmasters! You guys are such big bullies!"
Luo Jie laughed. “A Marked Horse is a valuable treasure for you in the in the West Rune Sect, but it is even more valuable for us in the North Rune Sect. At least half would be given to the Sect Factions. You don't have to be sad about it. You will be given what you deserve. So the ancient Rune should also belong to us."
Tan Laoxi was not interested in that ancient Rune. "Oh, Old Luo, you’ve never been so smart before!”
Luo Jie laughed, “I want to raise a couple more of Grandmasters, but it would be difficult since I'm poor!"
Tan Laoxi was completely silent. He agreed with Luo Jie—the more Grandmasters, the stronger they become. But raising Grandmasters would be difficult—everything costs money, from the cultivating system they require to the basic necessities of life. It would take a tremendous amount of resources.
"Okay, don't cry, poor man," he said to Luo Jie. "As an Artificer Grandmaster, you shouldn't have any shortage of money."
Qi Nanshan, interrupted. “Alright, this plan must be approved by Shier."
Tan Laoxi disagreed, but couldn't do anything. “He’s just a child. Why must he approve this? But okay, alright. Let's wait till tomorrow."
“Let's enter the Secret Realm tomorrow, we'll just rest up for today," Luo Jie suggested.
"Damn it, are you driving me away again? Fine, I'll go. You have no feelings for your old friends," Tan Laoxi nagged as he went away.
When Tan Laoxi was gone, Luo Jie turned to Qi Nanshan, “Da-Shan, this time we must go all out. Whether the Marked Horses or the ancient Rune, I hope to get them."
Qi Nanshan laughed. “We have eight Grandmasters. There should be no problem.”
The next morning, Guo Shier got up early and started practicing Tai Chi in his courtyard. Afterwards, he worked on the nine sets of basic moves for an Artificer. His movements were already very skilled. Even though he did not need to learn these rudimentary control techniques and move on to more advanced actions, he believed that the foundation was the most important and did not slack off from practicing the basics.
Soon, Ying Mo and Luo Zhan arrived at the small courtyard and also began to exercise.
“Where are you going today?” Ying Mo asked Guo Shier.
Yesterday, Ying Mo was not included in the small meeting with Tai Laoxi, so he had no idea they were going to the Secret Realm today.
“We're going to the Wild Beast Secret Realm,” Guo Shier answered.
“That’s a good place, I've always wanted to go in but I never had an opportunity to go in. I wonder what we will see this time. Haha! This Wild Beast Secret Realm is filled with Marked Beasts and Marked Beast Variants" Ying Mo said enthusiastically.
“Uncle Luo," Guo Shier turned to his master. "Are Huo Bao and the rest up yet?"
"They're up and are in the wash room. They'll be out in a bit," answered Luo Zhan.
After a few minutes, Huo Bao, Chen Bing, Hong Shi, and Chen Hong started to come out. They started exercising at the command of Ying Mo.
Guo Shier soon finished his exercise and went back to his room to pack up.
After everybody ate their breakfast, Guo Shier and his group gathered at the courtyard to meet up with Luo Jie.
The Wild Beast Secret Realm was an extremely huge pocket dimension. The West Rune Sect had been controlling and operating it for thousands of years. So far, it's not yet known how big the whole Secret Realm was.
This time, they were bringing War Horses to cover more ground.
“Hurry up everyone and prepare to leave," Luo Jie ordered.
A servant came in. "Grandmaster Tan has arrived."
Luo Jie laughed. “This guy runs fast. Ask him to come in."
Tan Laoxi shouted from outside, “Hey, Old Luo! I'm not coming in. You should be the one to fucking hurry and come out!"
Guo Shier couldn't help but frown. His impression of Tan Laoxi was getting worse.
"Why is this guy so annoying?" Guo Shier ask no one in particular. “Master, is this Tan Laoxi really your friend?”
Luo Jie laughed. “I thought you would never ask. Ha ha! That's right—he really is an Old-Friend."
Guo Shier mused. “Old-Friend? Haha! I understand."
“Shier, don't be too hard on him," Qi Nanshan said. "For us, friendships are hard to come by. I remember when Old Timer had a fight with him because of his foul language. Haha!"
“Who won?” Guo Shier asked.
Qi Nanshan laughed, “Of course, Old Timer won! This guy took the opportunity to hang around us. Hehe! After a while, we got accustomed to his mouthfuls of nonsense."
“We gave him Earth Dragon meat…” Guo Shier muttered.
“It's because your master wanted to show off,” Qi Nanshan whispered.
Luo Jie glared at Qi Nanshan.
"Shier, don't you want to give me face? What should I do? I have to serve him the best."
Guo Shier smiled. "I was just asking how my master could have such a lousy friend."
Luo Jie smiled back, awkwardly. "Alright, we should go."
He mounted his horse and went out the door. Guo Shier also choose to ride the horse because it was impossible to ride a carriage inside the Secret Realm.
Qi Nanshan secretly smiled and then followed behind Luo Jie.
Tan Laoxi was on a horse waiting outside, alone.
“Where are your followers?” Luo Jie asked.
“Followers? I didn't ask them to come with me. I'm too lazy to take them. They're a bunch of nitwits and I don't want to clean up after their shit," Tan Laoxi answered.
Qi Nanshan laughed. “I'm afraid you'll be the one to fuck things up!”
Tan Laoxi didn’t dare say anything this time. If he started cursing Qi Nanshan, he would have to deal with the Old Timer.
Luo Jie helplessly shook his head and rode his horse forward. The group followed his lead.
In the West Rune Sect, trips to the Wild Beast Secret Realm are well organized. People throughout the West Rune City make a living out of these journeys. They establish safety points and set up supply stations. This has created jobs and income opportunities, which are much-needed by West Rune City residents. Many people—especially those who serve as professional staff-can earn a lot of Rune Money.
The meeting place was in the last Grandmaster trading venue. Guo Shier was surprised to discover that at least tens of thousands of people were gathered there.
“Why so many people?" he asked. "Master, are all of them also going into the Secret Realm?"
Tan Laoxi answered, “Of course all these people are all fucking going into the Secret Realm! Why would these motherfuckers bother to come here otherwise?"
Guo Shier ignored him and just waited for his master to answer.
Luo Jie laughed. “Yes, most of them are going to the Secret Realm. This entrance to the Secret Realm is well known location in the West Rune Sect."
"We are counted as a Grandmaster level team," he continued. "Most of the other teams that would enter are Master and Adept level teams consisting of Casters and Marked Warriors. They would fight over new routes and resources, but it shouldn't be too dangerous."
Tan Laoxi saw Guo Shier ignore him. This made him feel embarrassed. He tried to converse with the child. "Hey, little guy…".
But he was interrupted by Qi Nanshan. “Old Xi, you're really not taking any followers?"
Qi Nanshan knew Guo Shier's temper. He was sure he would be provoked if Tan Laoxi continued.
Guo Shier whispered, “Master, are we really going to take him?"
“It would be convenient to move around with at least one individual from the West Rune Sect," Luo Jie said.
Guo Shier understood his master's purpose and decided not say anything anymore.
“Old Timer Luo, Shier, are you here? I've been circling around looking for you guys!" Lantian Bao shouted, riding her horse to where they were. With her voice came the sound of bells ringing and jingling.
Luo Jie greeted her warmly. “Big Sister, what are you doing here?"
Big Sister? Guo Shier couldn't help getting the chills when his master called out Lantian Bao. “Elder Sister Lan, are you alone? Why didn't you bring Yingying with you?" he managed to say.
“Yingying is staying home with a sister of an Insect Warrior" she replied. "This Elder Sister also wants to go into the Wild Beast Secret Realm. Anyway, I'm currently looking for a team to partner with, so I came looking for the Old Timer."
“Big sister, talk to Guo Shier," Luo Jie said. "He's in charge of the team."
Lantian Bao thought Luo Jie was just kidding, so she also joked and asked Guo Shier, "Shier, can Elder Sister come with you?"
Guo Shier laughed. “Of course you are welcome to join. A Grandmaster wants to join—how can we not allow it?"
Lantian Bao looked at Luo Jie. She wasn't sure if she should take Guo Shier's words seriously.
“Since Shier allowed you to join, no one will object," Luo Jie declared. "You are welcome to join us."
Tan Laoxi muttered. “Damn, nine Grandmasters! We're not gonna let anyone alive!"
Soon, someone came over and brought Luo Jie's team to the northwest corner to merge with the other team. That team only had one Grandmaster while Luo Jie's team was now comprised of a total of nine Grandmasters.
In addition, they also had four Marked Warrior Adepts. With an additional twelve individuals from the other team, their now had a total of 25 people.
Luo Jie received a booklet that explained the rules of activity in detail, which included Grandmaster level team rewards. He readily handed this booklet to Guo Shier, who looked surprised.
“A hundred Marked Horses? An ancient Rune?" he muttered. His reaction was the same as that of Luo Jie—he couldn't help but show a hint of golden light from his eyes. "Master, we have nine Grandmasters," he continued. "There should be no problem getting first place."
Luo Jie nodded.
“But how do we allocate the Marked Horses if we win?" Guo Shier asked.
Hearing Guo Shier mention the distribution problem got Tan Laoxi's attention. His heart skipped a beat and he hastily suggested, "It should be allocated in three ways. You North Rune Sect would get a part, another towards to the South Rune Sect Grandmaster, and I would represent the West Rune Sect. This should work—even if I take a little loss."
Qi Nanshan wanted to curse at him, while Luo Jie wanted to grab him.
All Guo Shier could do was laugh. “Mr. Tan, your distribution plan is not valid,” he said.
He didn’t even call him Grandpa Tan—just directly called him mister.
Lantian Bao interrupted. “I just came to look around. I would not participate in the distribution. Hee hee!"
Tan Laoxi protested. “That’s half-and-half!”
Guo Shier shook his head. “Tell me, Mr. Tan. With your strength alone, can you get the first place?”
Tan Laoxi was momentary surprised. Dammit, of course I can't get it! But I can't show them any weakness! he told himself.
“It's not always the case, but maybe I can get first place this time!" he said out loud.
Guo Shier smiled. “Oh, really? So we'll all follow you and rely on your leadership in order to get the first place. Afterwards, we'll split everything in half. Is this your plan?"
Tan Laoxi was not able to give a reply.
Guo Shier continued, "You know what? We really don't need any charity from you. You can actually get all the shares if you make your own team and get the first place."
“Whaaaat?” Tan Laoxi exclaimed, suddenly panicked. Guo Shier actually went straight to kicking him out of the team!
Qi Nanshan laughed. "You and Shier are fighting? Haha! This is fun to watch."
Tan Laoxi said, “At the very last minute? How do you expect me to make my own team?"
“This has nothing to do with us!” Guo Shier coldly said.
Tan Laoxi could not help but show his frustration. “Fuck! Old Luo, who is in command of this team?"
Luo Jie smiled and pointed at Guo Shier. "Old Xi, Shier is in command of the team! If you don't believe me, you can ask anyone in the team."
Tan Laoxi was dumbfounded. Even Lantian Bao couldn't believe what she was hearing.
“Mr. Tan, if there's nothing else, you can leave the team," Guo Shier said. "I wish you the best and hope you get first place and get all the prizes!"
“I didn't agree to leave the team!" Tan Laoxi repeatedly uttered. "Your master promised to let me join this team!"
“Well, if you want to join the team. you must obey my command! Otherwise you are free to leave," Guo Shier said bluntly.
Tan Laoxi was driven to a corner and was having a hard time thinking. He asked, "Then how do we allocate?"
Guo Shier laughed. “You’re just a member! You have no right to know how we are going to allocate. You'll have to wait until it's over. I'll decide when and how we allocate them!"
Qi Nanshan wanted to applaud. Guo Shier was simply fantastic. He denied any rights to Tan Laoxi.
“Fuck!” Tan Laoxi was flustered.
Guo Shier suddenly got vicious. “You're the fucker! Do you want to try me again?”
This time, Guo Shier was relentless and applied pressure on Tan Laoxi. Although he looked small, his soul was powerful.
Tan Laoxi was suddenly out of breath.
He was aghast. He finally realized that he has underestimated Guo Shier.
Finally deflated, he now answered with softened tone, "Then can you… tell me the plan… how much are you giving me?"
Guo Shier put up a finger.
Tan Laoxi said, “Ten horses?”
He sighed. If he followed the original allocation scheme of Qi Nanshan, he would instead receive 12 horses.
“Alright, ten horses. Ten horses…" he said, defeated.
Guo Shier looked at him coldly and continued to hold a finger up.
Tan Laoxi got annoyed. “I already agreed. What are you still doing with your finger?"
Guo Shier turned to the lady. “Elder Sister Lan, how many fingers can you see?"
Lantian Bao can no longer hold back her laugh, “It's only a single finger. Even my daughter can identify it."
Puchi! Puchi! A couple of people can no longer hold back their laughter.
(Note: Puchi – Sound when you make when you try to hold back your laugh.)
Guo Shier asked, “Mr. Tan, do you do not know how to count?"
Tan Laoxi now understood that Guo Shier was giving him only one Marked Horse. He suddenly got furious.
"You think I'm a beggar?" he yelled. "Fuck, I'm a Grandmaster! And you're fucking with me? Why would you give only one horse to me? You're kidding, right? What the hell!"
Guo Shier yelled. “Scram!”
(Glasses Tanggu: Okay, so Tan Laoxi uses so many Chinese slangs that it only dawned on me now what they are talking about. So to clear things up, a hundred Marked Horses and an ancient Rune is up for grabs as a reward from the West Rune Sect. As for what they should do, whoever hunts the most Marked Beasts gets the rewards.)
Translator: Glasses TangGu