In front of a television, in a partitioned lounge of the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion, a young-looking man’s two eyes doubled in size at these words, almost causing him to pass out.
“Hall Master! What’s going on?”
Vulture waved his hands, gritting his teeth and standing up. From the beginning he saw Xu Yangyi, he knew that the Featherwood Guard was going to bleed out an exorbitant sum of money. Yet he hadn’t expected whatsoever that Xu Yangyi had also unleashed his neurons! On the airplane, he, Lilac, and Hibiscus had been embroiled in conflict. It was stated back then that a several-fold signing bonus would be given if one had activated their neurons.
Nonetheless, confronted with the Featherwood Guard’s great financial showing, Vulture didn’t think of this. He’d only anticipated that Xu Yangyi’s involvement in the Vermilion Snow Incident and the slaying of a God Ming successor would certainly raise his worth a bit. Who knew… that Xu Yangyi had also activated his neurons!
Wasn’t it you that fucking asked us in any case?! Why would you go and stay in a backwater place like the Featherwood Guard?! You think big bro ain’t got the cash? You think I won’t lift up forty tons of spirit stones and smash you to death?!
The upper bound of spirit stones that he could mobilize as a hall master was thirty tons. He didn’t believe that he couldn’t apply for ten more tons for the paragon of that year who had survived Vermilion Snow’s hand, slain a God Ming successor, and held a Core Formation arcane effort in his hand!
Jingle… A telephone suddenly rang out. Vulture was terribly unwilling to take the call at first, but once he glanced at the number he picked up.
“Old Vulture, he’s still alive.” Lilac’s voice floated through from the other end of the line, “About that poor ghost of a Featherwood Guard, they’ve really dished out a hefty sum.”
Where are you guys going to easily get the cash, anyways? How many project professors are there with our support?
Vulture curled his lip. He held in his belly of hot anger and said, “It’s no problem… I’m not fuckin’ convinced that the Featherwood Guard’s contract will be continued for the greater part of thirty years. I don’t believe… I won’t be able to sign that kid down for the next thirty-year cycle!”
He didn’t know that Xu Yangyi simply hadn’t considered the other two organizations. In his heart, there existed an insane plot. And so with this scheme, he didn’t want to defraud the other factions. He only wanted to scam Floatingcloud! To merely swindle the Mingshui Province Featherwood Guard that held intimate relations with Floatingcloud!
On Vulture and Lilac’s end, along with everyone else in front of their computers, they would be astonished by this information. A cultivator who unleashed their neurons was an existence that maybe wouldn’t even be among a thousand people. And those who activated their neurons to S-rank… numbered few in all of China! Although almost everyone at the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion and CSIB weren’t master pill-elixirist, they had some instruction. As for the Featherwood Guard?
Huehue… the projects of other master pill-elixirist, for example the conversion of some ancient medicinal pill, were projects which consumed a calculated portion that demanded tens of thousands of spirit stones.
And those were middle-grade spirit stones.
The Featherwood Guard was a large-scale mercenary corps and illegal military force that took a percentage of earnings. If they wanted to support the projects of ten-odd professors or masters, while it wasn’t out of the question, it would surely put a strain on their liquid funds. Moreover… who said that an alchemy recovery project would succeed in one trial?
Only after throwing in several times to over a dozen times of tens of thousands of spirit stones would there be success and the birth of a registered brand. Only a peak moneybags like the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion and a government-backed power like the CSIB could shoulder this. Right now, the Featherwood Guard had purchased horse bones for a thousand pounds of gold. Thinking of this, the minds of many, many people eased in relief. 
“So that’s how it is… that’s how it actually is. Then I can accept it.” A cultivator in front of a computer sighed deeply. There was nothing to be done. Talent was unequal among men. It couldn’t be incurred.
“I think everybody has no further doubts, yes?” Thousandedge laughed and said.
Everyone shook their heads.
“Furthermore, because the Featherwood Guard hasn’t developed a pill elixir facility, young friend Xu will get to choose to apply to the CSIB’s newcomer support project within the approaching three years…”
On Vulture’s end of the phone, Lilac immediately hung up. Vulture felt himself to have suffered double the blow! Why? You didn’t even ask me! I was frickin’ ready to go, just itching to go! Although the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion doesn’t have that program, we can draw up a new one again! We can talk it over!
After a ten-odd minute speech, Xu Yangyi took a thick resource folder in his hand. It was different from a mortal paper folder, rather a folder of jade slips. He let a drop of fresh blood fall on it and used his spiritual sense to engrave a brand on the red liquid.
Mission success. Henceforth, he would no longer be the uncertain wanderer Xu Yangyi. Instead, he would be a legion commander of Mingshui Province’s Featherwood Guard! An A-rank legion commander!
“I still need to request Commander Xu to christen his legion and determine an enlistment date.” The middle-aged man finally calmed down, solemnly put away the bamboo slip, and laughed.
Xu Yangyi mused to himself and laughed towards a camera. “My legion shall be named Xingtian.” 
‘How cool! How domineering!’
‘I’m in love with this name! Q-Quickly, talk about conditions!’
‘A billion is waiting for you! Fellow Daoist Xu! Speak! I will forever strive my hardest towards your objective!’
Chinacultivation.com was already in a mass of chaos. Love-smitten female cultivators and jealous male cultivators began to post countless messages. They esteemed Foundation Establishment seniors and admired Core Formation masters even more, however… how could these figures find common ground compared to Qi Condensation cultivators? It had to be known that at least 70% of the cultivation world were Qi Condensation cultivators.
Xu Yangyi mumbled for a brief moment, “There are no conditions. All that’s required is to undergo my test and then one can join the Xingtian Legion. The evaluation time is not presently set, but will be extremely short. In a few years, I hope everyone will still be paying attention.”
Of course, we’ll be following closely! So many hidden treasures are waiting for us to divvy up. How could we possibly not be interested?
It was unknown how many people made a resolution in silence. Starting tomorrow, they would take note of each scrap of information regarding the Xingtian Legion on Chinacultivation.com. By no means would they relinquish a single bit!
Soon, Thousandedge laughed as he walked over to Xu Yangyi’s side and shook hands. “The signing is a great success. Young friend Xu, from this day onwards you’re an agent of Mingshui Province’s Featherwood Guard. The legion commander of the A-rank Xingtian Legion. I hope that you’ll be able to formally complete legion registration within a month and hand over your legion insignia to the Featherwood Guard’s statistics department, so that people can make assignments and appointments.”
“This upcoming year is your year to familiarize yourself with the Featherwood Guard. Young friend, I wish… you take good care of yourself.”
“Thanks, Senior.” Xu Yangyi clasped his hands and left the floor. Thousandedge laughed and also walked to the other side.
Thud… A door shut in passing while Thousandedge was in a passage. In the wake of each of his steps, the temperature became fractionally colder. Ultimately, all that existed beneath his feet was chilling ice. “Your nerve sure is big enough…” He inhaled deeply, and his hand stroked a door to a room. “In these two or three years… I’ll have to let you run rampant for the time being…”
“Daring to look down on the Featherwood Guard… Junior…” A wisp of killing intent flashed through his eyes. “In my hands, whether or not you live or die is beyond your control…”
“In the cultivation world… there have been many who have vanished without rhyme or reason, not just limited to you, a so-called genius…”
On the other side, it wasn’t until Xu Yangyi entered the passage did his smile fade away. He had struck Thousandedge’s face and honor!
Weren’t you going to kill me? Aren’t you coming? I’m standing right in front of you. Come and give it your best shot! To look on helplessly as a person you want to kill takes the Featherwood Guard’s benefits, what must you, a Foundation Establishment Senior, be feeling in your heart?
“To whoever’s hand the deer falls to first is not yet known,” Xu Yangyi sneered as he turned his head and glanced back. A faint smile played at the corner of his mouth. Who was it that said one had to live in hiding to evade a manhunt? Different times had different ways of handling things. He stood in front of the person who wanted to kill him and made off with all his rewards from three years ago. Moreover, he even specifically announced that he’d unshackled his neurons, causing this reward to become even more significant. That was because…
In his hand, he also possessed the hidden ace that was the Eternal Alchemy Canon! A Core Formation cultivator’s Black Kill Order was like a hanging blade above his head. So long as he stayed here and didn’t make a move, absolutely no one would be able to take action against him. However, once he left the city and began taking missions or entering vast desolaces, swamplands, barrens, and secret realms…
There were no less than 10,000 different ways for him to die. The total extermination of a small squadron. Dead men could bear no testimony, and with the quiet smoothing of traces by a Core Formation master, the entire cultivation world would still be in harmony.
“You won’t have such an opportunity…” His finger gently stroked the wall, softly tapping it from time to time. It seemed he was tapping piano keys. “Give me three years… As soon as the Eternal Alchemy Canon is successfully completed, we’ll come and see then… who is the hunter, and who is the prey…”
Great power rested in his hands. Floatingcloud would forever be none the wiser that after he failed to take action at the Four Great Joint Pools, the chances for him to dispose of Xu Yangyi in the future would be so absolutely few that his hair would prick up in anger.
“So long, so long as I can produce a pill, whichever direction I walk towards… how can he say something? All I need is just one pill.” Xu Yangyi didn’t want to be a cultivator who sought protection from others. He wanted to become his own guardian!
From here on, under the orders of I, Xu Yangyi, regardless of whether I’m demon, human, or without race, I will surely pull my banner and laugh proudly along the path of martial supremacy, that of the Rivers and Lakes! Henceforth, beneath the cry of my command, even if I’m not of any race, I’ll still be able to overcome a million corpses and rivers of blood so great that even shields drift atop. That is the realm I desire. That is my truth, my Dao.
“It’s not impossible at all…” He laughed coldly as he narrowed his eyes. “The Eternal Alchemy Canon is the strongest assisting force.”
“Commander, did you say something?” Unconsciously, he had already reached a door, and a flattering voice rang out.
“Nothing,” Xu Yangyi laughed, yet immediately reacted with a kick towards the side!
“Woof! How could you be so heartless!” Following an anxious bark, a blurry black-white figure flew into the wall and pressed up against it like a lizard. Its chest heaved up and down incessantly. 
“Mao Ba’er…” Xu Yangyi rubbed his fist. It was an unexpected itch...
“Allow me to observe the fruits of your three years of cultivation…”
“No need… All my points are in my intelligence skill, above my physical power and energy. You won’t even get any equipment experience if you KO me. Commander, why should a human-like, self-walking familiar like me spend points on MP and HP?” This familiar dialogue was truly… praising. Xu Yangyi turned around and beckoned with his finger, yet his expression froze.
Mao Ba’er slid down from the wall and pushed on a pair of sunglasses on his nose. Tidying his tightly fitting suit, he stood up straight on his hind legs and crossed his front paws together, laughing mockingly, “Have you been stunned by my handsomeness?”
“You…” Xu Yangyi didn’t know what to say and nodded his head only after a while. “Have quite a way of thinking.”
“You approve?!” Heavens!” In a flash, Mao Ba’er fell to the ground on his knees, covering his face and wailing. “Over ten years… Over ten years!” Mao Ba’er’s paw pointed waveringly at Xu Yangyi. “This is the first time you’ve acknowledged me!” Finished crying and knocking off his antics, the husky nimbly stood up like a human and stuck out his tongue. “I knew that it was your signing ceremony, so I thought I should be a bit formal. My thinking sure was right!”
Xu Yangyi laughed, and his smile immediately vanished. He said solemnly, “Mao Ba’er, I’ll give you a warning in advance.”
“As of now, we’ve truly stepped into the path of cultivation. If you keep up an undependable style of handling business, I’m going to change managers.”
“You’re going to abandon me?” Mao Ba’er buried his face in his chest with teary eyes. “We’ve slept together… shared secrets… You actually…”
The gazes of a few surrounding guards in black military attire “carelessly” swept past.
“Yes, we’ve slept together on a bed and used our mouths to talk… Mao Ba’er…” Xu Yangyi sighed, “Wherever I am in the future, and wherever the scotch tape, I’ll be paying attention to follow and set things up. 
Mao Ba’er looked at Xu Yangyi in a daze. After a full three seconds, he made a long sigh. “You’ve finally gained a sense of humor from my training…”
1. Spent a thousand pounds of gold on horse bones. Old Chinese tale. Gist of this is that one spends a lot of money on something to display sincerity. An emperor wanted to buy a horse that could travel a thousand li in a single day, but couldn’t find one. His attendant hatched a plan and used the emperor’s gold to buy the skeleton of a horse. The emperor was upset, but was happy when people started bringing horses because of how sincere they thought he was.
2. Xingtian = 刑天. Haha, we’ve finally reached this part. Probably one of the reasons I chose to translate this novel is because Xu Yangyi names his legion the Xingtian Legion. The XT part of my web handle is Xing Tian. Xingtian is god in Chinese myth that had his head chopped off, but his nipples turned into eyes and his belly button into a mouth, so he could fight on. Xingtian Legion can also be translated directly as “Opposing Heaven”.
3. “How could you be so heartless!” is of my patchwork. Every now and then, the author uses English. It was literally “whatcausedyouheartless” before. Doing Mao Ba’er’s dialogue is pretty difficult, considering he is practically a walking meme.
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