Chapter 103: Signing with the Featherwood Guard (1)
In Zhujiang Province’s Tianhe District, there was a superb villa. The air conditioning isolated all temperature from the outside. It seemed to turn the inside into the Chengde Mountain Resort. The exterior was of European build, but the interior was of a completely different style! Instead, it was a strong Chinese air. There was a Taiji, the Eight Trigrams, and folding fans… On the red Tang-style carpet, there were a group of fifteen or sixteen-year-old girls clicking away at a computer with terrible excitement. 
“It’s him! It’s him!” A young girl’s ten fingers flew, typing on her computer with every fiber of her being. Her eyes were starry, smitten with love. “Heavens… So handsome! So very awesome!”
“Yes, yes! You think Yangyu’s handsome, too, right?! The Featherwood Guard’s headquarter official just released major news this morning on Chinacultivation! His looks could practically kill!” 
“He’s delish! I could just lick the screen!” Another girl’s head seemed as if she was going to drill a hole into her computer and go in. “He’s my new Prince Charming!” 
“What time does the live broadcast start?”
“There’s still another hour! The three big media outlets, Cultivation News, Cultivation Eye, and Cool Cultivation Vidz are all going!”
“I heard the Featherwood Guard’s headquarters has people going! Also, Little Chu is going, too!”
“Fuck! Why the frick is he going?! Is he planning on getting his fans and our Spud Squad to get into a catfight?!” 
Ceaselessly clamorous yet ever so excited, they were in front of their computers. Each computer was on Chinacultivation.com’s web page. However, today’s cultivation web page had a line of large and exceptionally striking characters.
Student of the Sixteenth Graduation and the True Paragon. After Disappearing for Three Years, He Appeared at the Four Great Joint Pools and Executed a God Ming Successor at Old Black Mountain! On the side, there was an accompanying picture of Old Black Mountain on that day, when Xu Yangyi had raised up God Ming’s head. There was also a mutilated and mangled corpse in the lakewater.
“It’s this photo! He’s soooo damn awesome!” The young girl’s brows wrinkled together excitedly. Tightly holding both her hands to her chest, she pursed her lips and shrieked, “It’s a pity we just can’t go! Otherwise, I would definitely be going in for a look!”
In a student apartment building next to a university in Nanhe Province, three male students carefully stuck in a USB into a computer. After three minutes, they entered Chinacultivation.com’s page. Yet just as the web page loaded, they fell into a complete daze!
“A God Ming successor?!” If even Foundation Establishment cultivators had sighed in admiration, then their eyeballs nearly popped out. The hand of a student who had just lit a cigarette fumbled, and his cigarette fell onto his clothes. He immediately picked it up in a flurry and said in amazement, “N-No way, right?! Isn’t that the Ming Demon Clan?!”
“Should be…” A student at the side gulped stiffly, pointing at a photo. “This object… I seem to have heard my clan say that this is one of the Ming Clan’s upper-ranked puppets…”
“But that can’t be correct, right? No matter how awesome he is, he’s still a Qi Condensation cultivator… How did he get on the front page?” Nonetheless, on today’s Chinacultivation, the forum posts below were already in a state of total mayhem!
Yangyu (Yangyi) Army come to report!
Discussion about the importance of the cultivation world’s attractiveness index.
The rest of the forum posts were all made by crazy female cultivators!
Starting today, I formally join the Spud Squad! The heaven-mandated god! - Robodog.
You who cometh from the stars! Descendant of the sun! From the first time I saw your photo! I was convinced by you! Please allow me to pay worship beneath your jeans! - Beijing Fried Dough Twist.
I didn’t dare to completely believe it, but there’s actually someone who can be placed on the same level as my Great Chu on the attractiveness index… - A Delicate Flower on the Roadside.
Post above! This is the Yangyu camp! Get your Big Chu out of here, make a left, and see yourself out! - Sovereign Queen.
Xu Yangyi’s finger gently slid over his computer mouse, not even batting an eye as he looked at everything on the computer.
“Commander.” At this time, a female secretary around twenty-four or twenty-five years old gracefully walked over, followed by a clicking noise on the floor. She said sweetly, but not lost on etiquette, “It’s just about time. Sir, your appointed assistant and chief of finance have already received your invitation. Five minutes ago, they hurried over to Mingshui Province. The three reporter teams of Cultivation News, Cultivation Eye, and Cool Cultivation Vidz are also preparing to get ready.”
Xu Yangyi set down the mouse and turned around, his expression indifferent. This was a room of luxurious facilities. Above him, there wasn’t a lighting fixture, but rays of soft brilliance passed through from the ceiling. It didn’t sting the eyes and it moreover wasn’t dim. The furniture inside the room was formed from a kind of unknown wood, a sumptuousness penetrating their ornate designs and elegance. Wisps of a sweet scent emitted from the timber and soothed the soul with refreshing comfort.
Below the antique furniture, there was a red rug that was embroidered with the golden design of the twelve zodiac animals. Ink washing paintings were suspended on the surrounding walls, all of them from master artists of the present age. Regardless of counterfeit or genuine products, the entire room appeared to possess an exceptional style, asceticism, and olden appeal. There wasn’t a vestige of disharmony. The 330-square-meter room was without a shred of remiss.
His gaze swept over the person before him. The leading woman immediately bowed even deeper, unaware whether it was a question of posture. From his position, it just so happened that Xu Yangyi could see the vast stretch of the woman’s creamy-white breasts from inside the open collar of her western-style dress and the deep line of her cleavage.
“C-Peony.” Xu Yangyi was dressed in a well-ironed snow-white shirt. It even emitted the faint scent of cologne. A black pair of military trousers paired with a body-hugging shirt entirely set off his build. He casually grabbed a black coat off his chair and easily swung it over his person. He straightened out his collar button and asked, “And the others?”
Ask me to help you tidy up! Peony didn’t say these words. As a professional woman, she completely understood the difference of which meat was tasty and what meat was poor. Considering it was her superior’s first day, she knew… this hot, young morsel really did make one salivate with desire… However… such a thought… could only be wished for…
“The others are already present. The only one left is you, Commander.” Peony concealed the regretful look in her eyes and answered respectfully.
Hearing the clacking sound of crisp leather shoes walk past in front of her, she then straightened out and sighed gently. There was a trace of cold sweat on her forehead. This new commander… even discounting his paragon status… his imposing momentum was enough to make her dare not face him directly.
His bearing wasn’t like a novice who had just graduated from Heavens Law. Instead, Xu Yangyi was a true cultivator with blood dyed on his hands. Furthermore, he wasn’t a logistics cultivator that could only sit in an office. He belonged to the battlefield. What had he experienced in these three years? Bearing such thoughts, she paced as gently as she could, softly following from behind.
Xu Yangyi wasn’t a man of many words, and he calmly walked out the door. Outside the room, there was a passage with the same red carpet laid out, no less than twenty meters long. At every three-meter interval, there were people in black military uniform with a silver emblem on their chest of a crossing sword and feather.
Xu Yangyi’s military attire also had this symbol. The instant he walked out and passed by each person, they immediately saluted. Xu Yangyi only nodded, quietly walking out the corridor.
The outside room was a tremendous room that was a full 1,650 square meters. Dozens of middle-stage and initial-stage Qi Condensation men were wearing the same black military attire and standing with their hands at their backs. At the center, there was a spacious oval conference table that was about seven or eight meters long.
An old man sat across with a peaceful expression. His black military attire contrasted his incomparable austerity, and a shallow smile hung on his face. In the surroundings, there were a few video cameras and cameras already taking aim at the round table.
“It’s started, it’s started!”
In front of their computers, many cultivators watched everything before theirs eyes in excitement. This was their objective, the cultivation world’s desire! In any industry, there wouldn’t be a lack of hope. For Cultivation Civilization to develop until now and intermingle with human society for so long, this aspect had long since been clearly understood. They understood what was called the “celebrity effect” very well. 
Was it believed that everyone possessed the kind of qualifications to participate in such a dignified signing ceremony? Was it thought that a branch master would personally attend a legion’s establishment?
If not a paragon, a true elite once every five years, was it thought that such an opportunity to have the entire cultivation world recognize you could be obtained?
There were many cultivators and even more drifting cultivators! Among China’s million cultivators, several major powers occupied at most thirty to forty percent of this figure, and clans took up twenty to thirty percent. Without these models and without the cultivation world’s spreading of resources, could it be wished for other cultivators to join some organization? Perhaps others could still say: “its not as good as my carefree happiness!”
“Young friend Xu.” The old man stood up, smiling and nodding. “I am Thousandedge. The Branch Master of Mingshui Province’s Featherwood Guard.”
Is it you…? The one who’s received Floatingcloud’s Black Kill Order? Xu Yangyi’s gaze silently brushed over Thousandedge. In his heart, he had already clearly memorized the other’s appearance. “Greetings, Branch Master.” He laughed as he cupped his hands. “I’ll have to trouble Senior Thousandedge.”
It was unknown how many people were watching this scene in front of their computers. A majority were initial-stage and middle-stage Qi Condensation cultivators. There wasn’t a single person right now that didn’t wish that it was them standing there in Xu Yangyi’s position.
“The sixteenth paragon of Nantong Province’s Heavens Law.” On Chinacultivation’s live broadcast, a middle-aged man wearing black military attire slowly got up and said clearly, “Through the confirmation of Yuyang City’s branch, serial number HL-01 is the sixteenth paragon.”
The present scene was dead silent. Only the echo of this voice—through video cameras—was transmitted to all the nooks and crannies of China’s cultivation world.
“By process of verification, the condition that the Featherwood Guard enlisted Fellow Daoist Xu back then…” The middle-aged man paused. An unknown amount of people in front of their computers straightened their waists, their gazes shining as they looked at their screens.
This damned pause! Who came up with this?! Stand up!
“Since Fellow Daoist Xu joined Heavens Law, he is qualified to serve as a legion commander. His team distribution is set to a financial consultant, a market development adviser, and a mission evaluation aide. His legionnaires are numbered at twenty. His starting capital…” The middle-aged man suddenly choked, studying the contract in astonishment. Afterwards, he immediately looked at Thousandedge with a bewildered and uncertain gaze.
“Fuck! Can’t you be a little decent?!”
“Is there a single word you can’t finish in one breath?! What’re you keeping us in suspense for!”
“Don’t think I won’t hack up blood… I’ll get so mad that I’ll even scare myself!”
No one was aware of the middle-aged man’s frame of mind. Instead, there was the sound of cursing in front of their computers! Thousandedge’s face wore a smile, but the inside of his heart was dripping with blood. He revealed the most good-natured expression he could possibly muster and smiled as he nodded.
It was then that the middle-aged man’s wildly beating heart restabilized a little. Why had the contract been altered? A last-minute correction? He remembered that this wasn’t the amount before! How had it been raised so high now?! He hadn’t experienced Fengyi City’s Qualifier, but he could guess from this figure how great the price the Featherwood Guard back then had invested to snatch Xu Yangyi!
“Spirit stones…” He opened his mouth again, and those in front of their computers waited with bated breath once more.
“How much are you guessing it is?” With another wretched pause, a youth in front of a computer looked at the companion beside him with a burning gaze. “I think it’s no lower than 3,000!”
“3,000?” His companion rolled his eyes at him and drank a sip of water. “Aren’t they ashamed to only present that much?”
“This is a paragon! And he was also able to survive the sixteenth graduation’s Vermilion Snow Incident! He even executed a God Ming successor!”
“3,000? Don’t you think other groups would instantly rush over with double the price to recruit someone like that?!”
The middle-aged man sucked in deeply. “Ten tons.”
“Did I hear that right?!”
“Y-You kiddin’ me?!”
“Chu Zhaonan only got 10,000 spirit stones back then! Ten tons… 17,000 spirit stones?!”
“This is the second best in history, right?! Besides Sunnihilator’s 24,000 spirit stones, isn’t this the highest initiation funding?”
2. Yangyu is not a misspelling. Looks like our leading man has his own fan club now. I was uncertain how/whether I should translate this, but I ultimately decided on a case by case basis. Yangyu = 洋芋.
3. 舔屏 - this translates literally to “lick screen”, which is a chinese net slang. In the raws, it sounds weird to directly translate it, so I decided to work around/with it. It’s an idea that the person/thing you are looking at on the computer looks so good that you lick the screen.
4. Spud Squad. This is what I mean by case by case basis. 洋芋 means potato. So I could’ve translated this as “potato team”. Spud sounds better and I didn’t want to translate Yangyu as potato. As a non-native Chinese speaker I can’t really understand why the girls would call him “Yangyu”, but I can guess that from the way it sounds, it is a lot softer than “Yangyi”.