One of the most important reason, was that Xiong Xiao’s repeated attempts on his life had scared him out of his wits—to the point that he hadn’t felt safe even in his own territory and was so paranoid that he hid on the island to train. If he could obtain a bunch of Blue Lotus Realm experts and make them his subordinates, it would be that damned dog Xiong Xiao’s turn to feel restless.
In the heat of the moment, he did not even bother with beating around the bush and immediately made an exorbitant demand. He pointed at the four hundred men and said, "I do not need the rest. Just give me twenty with the highest cultivations!"
"What?!" Hong Changhai exclaimed as his eyes nearly popped out of their sockets. "Cave Master Miao, surely you jest? Even for a Blue Lotus First Grade cultivator—once they enter the system, even the lowest of wage would cost ten low-grade Orbs of Will every year. There are twelve of them here, so at the very least they would need one hundred and twenty Orbs of Will a year. Including the rest of them, you would need to fork out two hundred Orbs of Will a year at least. From what I hear, your East Arrival Cave’s annual income is but a meager twenty or so Orbs of Will. What will you use to fund them?"
‘Two hundred orbs a year?’ Miao Yi was brought to his senses with a douse of cold water. Calculating it carefully, with the amount of Orbs of Will he had in hand, he really could not afford to feed them for more than a few years. If he were to sell all the things he had on him and turn them into Orbs of Will, he might be able to feed them for a few hundred years, but their cultivations would also rise and when that happened, he would have to increase their wages. Otherwise if the other party’s cultivation was higher than his and he couldn’t suppress and properly control them—what was the purpose of him spending all that money to feed them?
Additionally, he himself also had to use the Orbs of Will he had on hand. In the event of an emergency, he might even need to spend it elsewhere. He couldn’t use it all just to feed his troops.
Seeing that he had finally calmed down, Hong Changhai was annoyed and amused at the same time. He kindly advised, "Cave Master Miao, why don’t I just give you ten White Lotus Third Grade disciples? Ten White Lotus Third Grade disciples are more than enough for a single Cave. It is definitely sufficient."
"No. I do not want any that are below the fifth grade…"
Miao Yi resolutely declined. A bunch of men who could not threaten Xiong Xiao—why would he want them? He would still be unsafe!
The two of them immediately started bargaining.
"I cannot give you five Blue Lotus disciples either. I will not be able to report back to the School if I sent five Blue Lotus disciples to a mere Cave."
"How about four?"
"No, I can give you two at most. And they can only be at Blue Lotus First Grade."
Both of them bargained as though they were pushing and pulling a saw. In the end, they came to an agreement. Hong Changhai agreed to give him two Blue Lotus First Grade, two White Lotus Ninth Grade, two White Lotus Eighth Grade, two White Lotus Seventh Grade, two White Lotus Sixth Grade and ten White Lotus Fifth Grade cultivators; making up a total of twenty men.
As for cultivators below the fifth grade, Miao Yi didn’t want them even if it was the death of him.
Both parties then discussed again about the wages for these twenty men. Miao Yi would only give the lowest price. For example—those in the Blue Lotus realm, he would only give the bare minimum, which was ten Orbs of Will every year.
Hong Changhai would not agree to it, as he felt that it mistreated the disciples too much. Even though Blue Lotus Cultivators basically had no way of obtaining ten Orbs of Will within the Sect, they received a certain degree of prestige and the Sect would give them special treatment using other means. That was why they could not be too pitiful when they were bought out, otherwise the School of Blue Jade would lose face.
Miao Yi wouldn’t budge on the Orbs of Will. He had to save as much as he could for himself. After all, that was what he had gone to the Sea of Constellations and risked his life for. However, that didn’t mean he wouldn't compromise on other aspects; otherwise there would be no way to continue the negotiations. He proposed, "I will raise their salaries in terms of crystal coins. I can’t possibly give out too many Orbs of Will, so how about I use money to make up for it?"
He didn’t have a lot of Orbs of Will now—but he did have a lot of money. He didn’t have enough of those crystal coins to procure a high-grade transcendent artifact, and the gap was huge; there was no point in purchasing something too low-grade either now that he had a whole pile of first grade transcendent artifacts. This was why he had to save as many Orbs of Will as he could, and spend the money first!
Hong Changhai was taken aback. He asked doubtfully, "How many crystal coins are you prepared to offer for Blue Lotus realm disciples?"
Miao Yi replied confidently, "Name your price!"
Hong Changhai pondered for a while. The market price for one low-grade Orb of Will was a thousand gold crystals. Even though Orbs of Will had a price, without a market, there was no guarantee that spending a thousand gold crystals would assure one could buy it, but it was also just as well if he could help the disciples fight for some benefits.
He raised a finger and probed with an opening price, "Ten thousand gold crystals!"
This price gave Miao Yi some room to bargain. Ten thousand gold crystals were enough to buy ten low-grade Orbs of Will according to market prices. Even though there was no guarantee one could buy it, it would sound nicer to say that with the Orbs of Will and crystal coins together, he had helped the disciples obtain a wage of almost twenty low-grade Orbs of Will every year.
Without saying another word, Miao Yi raised two fingers, and replied, "Stop fussing. I will give twenty thousand gold crystals!"
From a distance, Qin Weiwei and the rest watched as the both of them raised their fingers here and there, unable to make heads or tails of what they were doing.
Hong Changhai was speechless. The other party had immediately doubled the price—what else could he say? His mouth was shut in no time by Miao Yi’s twenty thousand gold crystals.
He didn’t even suspect that the Great Cave Master Miao had almost thirty million gold crystals in hard cash alone. An expenditure of this amount was not a problem at all.
Since that was done, Hong Changhai then continued discussing with him on the gold crystal remunerations for the rest of them.
In the end, they concluded that between the two Blue Lotus First Grade cultivators would each receive ten low-grade Orbs of Will and twenty thousand gold crystals every year; for the two White Lotus Ninth Grade cultivators, each of them would receive nine Orbs of Will every year, but the money they received was immediately slashed in half from the former offer for a total of ten thousand gold crystals.
The rest of them followed a decreasing trend: Eighth Grades would obtain eight Orbs of Will and eight thousand gold crystals; Seventh Grades would receive seven Orbs of Will and seven thousand gold crystals; Sixth Grades would receive six orbs and six thousand gold coins; and Fifth Grades would receive five orbs and five thousand gold coins.
Even if such wages were to be found elsewhere, if one didn’t hold some kind of position such as a Cave Master, Mountain Chieftain, Manor Head and the like, it would not be considered low.
Nonetheless, even though the position of watching over a domain came with an extravagant treatment, not everyone would get the opportunity to obtain such a position. Anyone could see the benefits, but not everyone could get it.
With all these expenses considered, the Great Cave Master Miao would have to provide one hundred and fifty two thousand gold crystals and one hundred and thirty low-grade Orbs of Will for these people.
Even though Hong Changhai was quite satisfied with the price they discussed, and felt that the disciples wouldn’t be mistreated this way—he couldn’t help but feel that the situation was a little unbelievable. Where would a mere Cave Master find so much to offer?
Both parties had agreed that if Miao Yi could not produce the amount of items specified, the disciples would immediately withdraw. It was almost the day of harvest of the Orbs of Will, so they would be able to confirm his validity very soon.
Naturally, a verbal assurance wouldn’t work; it would be too easy to trick someone. If they were tricked by Maio Yi into entering the system, it wouldn’t be as simple to just leave again.
Both parties had to sign a ‘Commandment of Conformity’ in order to ensure their agreement on the terms.
Why was it called the Commandment of Conformity?
The rules of the Commandment of Conformity originated from the ‘Manor of Conformity’—a merchant guild under the jurisdiction of the Six Sages. For example, the Celestial Nation has the Celestial Nation Merchant Guild, which specialises in trades of the cultivating world.
There was no lack of fraud when it came to trades. As the number of illicit frauds escalated to the point where it affected the profits of the lawmakers of the cultivation realm, the Manor of Conformity was thus born. Initially, it helped maintain the agreement terms of the trades, but towards the end, it spread across the entire cultivation realm.
The Manor of Conformity was not a place like South Edict Manor, but was more akin to the mortal world’s law enforcement system. The difference was that the Manor of Conformity was targeted at the cultivation realm and was under the direct management of the disciples and descendants of the Six Sages. It was the Six Sages’ single most direct platform of intervention on the affairs of the cultivation realm, so to speak.
Once two parties have signed a contract, if one party violates the terms and refuses to offer compensations for the breach of contract, the other party could send the contract over to the Manor of Conformity and request for a fair judgement. In turn, the Manor of Conformity would immediately send the Commandment of Conformity over to the party that had violated the terms, and interrogate them to determine whether or not they were willing to take responsibility for breaching the contract.
If one still wouldn’t admit that they had breached the contract upon receiving the Commandment of Conformity, then the Manor of Conformity would personally send someone for further investigation. If the investigation managed to prove that there was indeed a breach, or found that the other party had made a false report, then the party responsible not only had to pay for the costs of the investigation—the consequences were severe. The Manor of Conformity had many skilled experts.
In order to uphold the rules of the game that is the cultivation realm, the Manor of Conformity was definitely a place where the laws were iron-clad. Any sort of favoritism was not allowed. This was to reflect the justness and righteousness of the exalted Six Sages. It represented the image of the Six Sages, and thus was not to be taken lightly.
Truthfully, the contract that was signed between the two respective parties was not called the Commandment of Conformity. Only that which the Manor of Conformity delivered would be called the Commandment of Conformity. However, the current cultivation realm had long since become accustomed to calling the contract, signed between two parties who were willing to accept the Manor of Conformity’s supervision, as the Commandment of Conformity. People eventually became used to it the more they called it as such.
This was the origin of the Commandment of Conformity, and what Yang Qing and the Sect Master of the School of Blue Jade had signed was precisely one such Commandment of Conformity.
Miao Yi had no objections to signing a Commandment of Conformity and happily agreed.
However, Hong Changhai was still a little hesitant. He thought to himself, ‘If you didn’t manage to keep your end of the bargain, all you have to do is return the School of Blue Jade disciples. You do not lose anything, but how would you compensate for bossing my School of Blue Jade disciples around for nothing? Would I not be played for a fool by you? How would I report that then?’
‘You are someone that exists within the system. Those outside the system would not dare to oppose you openly, no matter how high their cultivations are, because the biggest support you have behind you are the Six Sages.’ he thought.
This was also the greatest reason why so many cultivators wanted to enter the system. Normally those outside would not dare openly oppose someone within the system, and those belonging in the system would also need to follow the rules to deal with other within the system—they couldn’t do it haphazardly.
In the end, those within the system were those helping the Six Sages maintain order, and enforcing the rules of the cultivation realm. This was not an average status, so it came with a basic assurance that those outside could not enjoy.
Hong Changhai wanted Miao Yi to hand over something that could serve as a down payment in case he failed to uphold his terms of the agreement. Only then would he agree to sign the contract with Miao Yi. Otherwise for a small Cave Master like him, even if he reported him to the Manor of Conformity and let them kill him, there wouldn’t be a point. It was still better to have something to act as a down payment.
Without another word, Miao Yi immediately flashed out a Square Sky Decorated Halberd from his storage ring and asked, "Would a first grade transcendent artifact be sufficient for down payment?"
Hong Changhai looked at the single storage ring on his hand, then looked at the six storage rings on Miao Yi’s hand. He lifted his head, and looked at the skies as he almost shed an aggrieved old tear. How many years had he been cultivating? Yet he still wasn’t still doing better than a greenhorn brat. This little youngster of a Cave Master was actually wearing six storage rings whereas most of the men behind him didn’t even have a single storage ring. Additionally, he could casually take out one first grade transcendent artifact, while most of the men behind him had never even used a first grade transcendent artifact before.