The Cloud Boat went all the way to the northwest, toward Cloud Region. This flying boat that soared high in altitude could travel tens of thousands kilometers in a day. Even though the Nine Regions was vast, the vessel just needed a day or two to fly away from Blue River Region to the adjacent Cloud Region. Toward this, Liu Li was extremely amazed but also embarrassed. Because before she went down the mountain, her Master had earnestly warned her to not turn this time’s experiential learning to the Cloud Region into a food travel diary like in her previous experiential learning, or other nonsensical things. Instead, she had to see more and remember more. If the two of them walked on foot to the Cloud Region, they needed at least ten days, during which, she had to carefully observe everything along the way and think of it...
However, looking at the layers of white cloud as well as the clear sky outside the flying boat, Liu Li’s pure mind didn't doubt that, with such speed, they would arrive on the Cloud Region in less than two days. The question was, should she remember all these things? But... since her Master had requested it, she could only oblige.
Although Liu Li was not familiar with the ways of the world, her memory was extremely good. She stood blankly on the edge of the hall, looking at the passing-like-waterfall clusters of cloud outside the window. Her mind memorized everything that entered her eyes, even automatically thought of images that were similar in shape to those clouds. For example, some were like oval barbeque, some like square barbeque, some like oil dripped barbeque, there were also... The girl earnestly remembered them all so that when she returned, she could describe them all back to her Master; she believed that the Senior would certainly be very pleased.
As for Wang Lu and Ye Chuchen, they were sitting at the tea table in the hall as Ye Chuchen began to report the work of the past few years.
On the mountain, Wang Lu had been cultivating for several years, during which, every ten days, he received documents containing the work summary of the Wisdom Sect sent by the Great Arrangement Delivery, thus he understood the general situation. However, some important details needed to be supplemented orally by Ye Chuchen.
On the whole, the Wisdom Sect development had entered the right track; even if there was no hands-on support from Wang Lu, it already had a basis for self-development. Currently, the total followers of the Wisdom Sect had already surpassed one hundred million people. Their foundation at the Great Ming Country had been unshakeable. In Great Ming Country, the popularity of Ye Chuchen, Li Nana, and Daoist Ming Yun—these three giants—were already comparable to the Prime Minister, and the sect’s mobilization and organization ability could already be called as against the heaven.
With the power of over one hundred million followers plus Wang Lu’s huge investment five years ago, Wisdom Sect had achieved enormous achievements in infrastructures; the output of low-rank spirit objects and spirit plants was so enormous that they even caught the attention of the Mysterious Sky Mansion since they had established long-term cooperative relationship several years ago. Simply relying on these basic level buildings, Wisdom Sect was already able to amass a yearly profit that made the person in the know to stare wide in amazement.
If it was simply to amass money, at this time, Wisdom Sect had already reached the harvest period. Wang Lu’s past amazing investment would be able to return at most in ten years, and if he carried out some simple capital operations, the profit would be even more astonishing.
However, Wang Lu’s ambition was not limited to this because spirit stones would gradually lose its value the higher its level. Ten thousand spirit stones could buy a Jindan Stage cultivator as your hired thug, but one million spirit stones would not be able to budge a Yuanying cultivator to act. If you showed your VIP status in the Mysterious Sky Mansion, you could buy eight rank spirit stone for hundreds of thousands of normal spirit stones, but if you wanted to buy a rank higher than that, the price wasn’t even available on the market.
Wang Lu’s solution to this was very simple: industry upgrade and future self-sufficiency. In achieving this grand blueprint, the biggest hurdle was the lack of talent. Right now, Wisdom Sect’s followers were in the hundreds of millions, but the cultivation of the several Vice Sect Leaders was only Xudan. Moreover, it wasn’t that strong of a Xudan. Although they had also spent money to hire several Jindan Stage thugs, generally speaking, it was still far short of a mature sect.
How to solve this? Very simple, use the money. What was missing from the Wisdom Sect was not the lack of money. Although using spirit stones alone would be very difficult to attract for those with genuine talents and name, it could still attract those declining cultivators of the prestigious big sects, with cultivation bases that exceeded that of a loose cultivator like Ye Chuchen.
Wang Lu ordered the Wisdom Sect to come up with a lot of money to attract these talents and provide them with extremely lavish benefits. This strategy had been going on for more than six months and had already attracted a number of cultivators from the prestigious upright sects. Though they were living in the shadows of better cultivators on their sects, they were incomparably precious talents to the Wisdom Sect, and thus played a great role in advancing the sect’s objectives. And Wang Lu, as the number one person in the Wisdom Sect, naturally had the privilege to enjoy the proper leadership treatment. In fact, if he didn’t set this leadership example, people would doubt his power. And Wang Lu exactly wanted to use this Cloud Boat 2000 to make clear to the world that: Wisdom Sect was filthy rich and full of vitality! Outstanding talents were invited to join!
This sect affairs report by Ye Chuchen was done for most of the day, yet this Xudan Stage Vice Sect Leader had already felt physically and mentally exhausted.
The pressure in reporting the work before Wang Lu and listening to his instruction was actually quite big. Although the cultivation base of the young man in front of him was lower than him, Ye Chuchen was very clear on the real strength disparity between the two. Eight years ago when Wang Lu was still in the Qi Cultivating Stage, his Non-Phase Sword had already been able to contend against his most proud of Seven Stars Sword. Now, eight years later, perhaps he already didn’t even have the qualification to fight against Wang Lu... That mottled dog alone was not even his match. Moreover, though when Wang Lu spoke, he always spoke in a calm tone, yet he was easily able to pick even the slightest error in Ye Chuchen’s report. Although Wang Lu never directly criticized Ye Chuchen, Ye Chuchen still broke into cold sweat.
Fortunately, the hard time finally passed, and Ye Chuchen breathed a sigh of relief. He then briefed Wang Lu about the local condition and customs of the Cloud Region.
Cloud Region was located in the northwest direction of the Blue River Region. As an important part of the Nine Regions, it had a vast territory, was rich in natural resources, and so on. However, its biggest characteristic was: chaotic.
Unlike regions that were dominated by the Five Unique such as Blue River Region, there has never been a particularly powerful deterrent sect in the boundary of Cloud Region. Even the level of Myriad Appearance Sect or Flowing Cloud Sect was not powerful enough. One region was divided by over a hundred third or fourth level sects such as White Dragon Temple or Merciful Cloud Mountain. In a good word, this was a flourishing region; in a bad word, the region was divided among warlords.
Nevertheless, there were advantages and disadvantages to such situation. The advantage was that, such a chaotic place was conducive for a sect like Wisdom Sect to enter and fish in troubled waters. The disadvantage was that, if not careful, the ‘boat’ would capsize. Currently, Wisdom Sect’s power still couldn’t be compared to those third or fourth rank sects.
Therefore, a few days ago Wang Lu sent a message to Ye Chuchen to ready the Cloud Wave Boat and go with him to the Cloud Region. Naturally, Ye Chuchen was curious on what exactly Wang Lu’s purpose in doing this trip?
"It’s nothing, just to send a letter from Master," Wang Lu understatement-ly said.
Ye Chuchen was somewhat surprised and at the same time unsettled. "Shouldn’t odd jobs like delivering a letter a chore done by people from the Great Arrangement Delivery? Director shouldn’t trouble your honorable self!?"
Wang Lu chuckled. "When you enter a village, follow the local custom. Down the mountain, I’m just the number one person in the Wisdom Sect, not yet qualified to be referred as honorable. Besides delivering a letter, I have my own business to do... Old Ye, is there any particularly interesting thing happening in the surrounding area of Grand Cloud Mountain recently?"
Ye Chuchen had done his homework, so after thinking about it for a moment, he said, "Grand Cloud Mountain is located in the Grand Cloud Empire. White Dragon Temple, Flowing Cloud Mountain and other lower rank Immortal Cultivation sects exist there. Under the Imperial power repression of the Grand Cloud Empire, the area has been relatively stable. However, recently, there a sect from another region that set up a branch in the vicinity of the Grand Cloud Mountain. Their manner was rude and unreasonable, and the disturbance caused by their conflicting views are not small."
Upon hearing this, Wang Lu was inwardly moved, thinking that it was very likely related to this matter. Therefore, he braced himself. "Oh? Why don’t you tell me about it in details."
Ye Chuchen froze for a moment, and then wryly smiled. The news around the Grand Cloud Mountain only came to him like that, where would he know about its detail? However, there was one story that he could tell, thus, Ye Chuchen began to narrate the outline of the story.
It was the provoking-trouble case. The culprit was a third rank sect from the Southern Heaven Region, Beast Master School. More than a year ago, many Elders of the Beast Master School traveled thousands of miles with their disciples from the Southern Heaven Region to the Cloud Region. They then established a Division in the vicinity of the Grand Cloud Mountain. The ruler of the land, the Grand Cloud Empire, didn’t try to stop this development. On the contrary, the Imperial household and court looked favorably on it. For this kind of neither strong nor weak sect, the Empire could help them balance their engagement with other Immortal Cultivation Sects and profit from it.
The local sects within the Grand Cloud Empire also didn’t oppose. On the one hand, three years ago, the Division Head of the Beast Master School had succeeded in the training and reached the cultivation base of peak Yuanying Stage, which in this third rank sect could be regarded as powerful. Compared with fourth rank sects like the White Dragon Temple, it was several times more powerful. Secondly, there was nothing valuable in the vicinity of the Grand Cloud Mountain in terms of natural resources, so why would they care if a piece of worthless land was occupied by someone else, they could instead take advantage of this opportunity to sell favor for.
However, in the past one year, the atmosphere of harmony could not be maintained anymore. The Beast Master School had a conflicting view with the local authorities and several of their cultivators injured people in the vicinity. Afterward, when the government sent their officials to inquire about the matter, the officials and their men were injured and insulted. To say that this was a big matter, it was actually not that big. After all, cultivators stood tall high above ordinary people, so they behaved regardless of the law and natural morality. However, when an envoy from the White Dragon Temple came to ask for an explanation from the Division Head of the Beast Master School, that person actually suffered a humiliating verbal abuse. Afterward, the conflict began to intensify as it escalated into armed conflict.
"Fortunately, later on, through the mediation from the Union of Ten Thousand Immortals, the situation didn’t escalate any further. With the apology from the Beast Master School Division, the White Dragon Temple and Grand Cloud Empire had to reluctantly accept... however, the root problem has not been solved yet, so I think this calm wouldn’t last for a long time."
"The root problem?"
Ye Chuchen shook his head and, with a face that clearly showed his disgust, said, "The Beast Master people that came to establish the Division there are people with a more extreme view than the other people from the Beast Master School. Their views are totally different than that of ordinary people. Moreover, they are also self-righteous about it, and they react extremely to those with opposing views."
"Specifically refers to?"
Ye Chuchen said, "Mr. Director, you also know that cultivators from the Beast Master School are often accompanied by spirit birds or spirit beast and has forged deep feelings with them, therefore…"
Wang Lu’s mind quickly worked to guess all the reasons for this; he couldn’t help but sneer.
"Interesting. This time, the opponent is a bunch of animal lovers?"
Here, Wang Lu turned his head, looked at the mottled dog on the floor, and at Liu Li who was looking at the cloud outside by the window.
"Damn, you guys actually came across your loved ones…"