“Urk!” Xu Yangyi used his hand to wipe away the blood at the corner of his mouth. He extended his tongue and licked it, clasping his hands with a wooden expression. “Junior has been enlightened.”
A breath of air gently spritzed out from Thousandedge’s nose. He gritted his teeth and sat back down again. This son of a bitch… It appeared he was dominating the situation, his might holding superiority, but only he clearly understood himself. A sword was poised at his neck.
In cultivation novels, the greatest fist was king, but this was impossible. In any cultivation period, once such a matter occurred it would only lead to a single phenomenon—system collapse. Like in a majority of cultivation novels, powerful sects frequently exterminated other sects and claimed their territories. Strong cultivators would destroy their opponent’s clans with a word; how could this be? With the emperor presiding over all of China, overly heavy taxation on the common people would guide the aristocracy to the courage for mutual pacification.
In addition, that wasn’t to mention the cultivation world’s outer foes, the demons. Within the system, there were also tens of ancient families, inheritances that were centuries to even a thousand years old. In addition, there were the millennia-old supreme existences, the orthodoxies of Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism.
To do such would be suicide. Not a death of oneself, but rather the entire cultivation world. A self-severing at the root. And so, this was the Cultivation Civilization of increasingly modern humanization. Between cultivators’ mighty fists as king and the ethics system, a balance point was sought. This was a style that a proper societal system should’ve had.
Thousandedge suddenly loathed the internet’s coming. But at the same time, it brought convenience… He still had to undertake each day’s “celebrity effect” of invisibly monitoring close to a million cultivators.
Xu Yangyi’s words were like the dagger revealed from the map; even the specific cultivation address was reported! In case something happened to him, this seemingly issueless report would immediately change: I only met the branch master, so please start the investigation with him. 
Would he be able to withstand the investigation? That wasn’t to say that Daomaster Floatingcloud still hadn’t received him into his sect. Even if he was brought in as a disciple, did he risk implicating Daomaster Floatingcloud?
“Go on then.” Thousandedge’s gaze wavered, and he said indifferently, “If there’s nothing else, you need not seek me for an audience.”
“Also…” He sat down in his seat, the crook of his mouth pulling an ice-cold arc. “Commander Xu, you mustn't forget… If a mission isn’t completed within five years, your legion will be automatically demoted.”
“When the time comes, you’ll no longer have the privilege to survey S-rank demons.”
“Yes.” Xu Yangyi pursed his lips as if nothing had occurred and said nonchalantly, “Lastly, I want to know about where my partitioned minor-mine and the accompanying metals are.”
Thousandedge studied Xu Yangyi for several seconds and burst into cold laughter. Snapping his fingers, a safe opened by itself, and a green contract flew into his hand. “Commander Xu, are you in such a hurry?” He handed over the contract with a smile that wasn’t a smile.
“Of course, I have to take good care of my own estate.” Xu Yangyi received the folder, cool and collected, yet he discovered that he simply couldn’t lift it.
Thousandedge coldly looked at the contract in his hand and laughed with seemingly deep meaning. “While property is good… one needs to be alive to enjoy its use.”
“My thanks, Branch Master. However, Junior has some self-confidence towards his own fortune.”
“Heh…” Thousandedge observed Xu Yangyi for three seconds and loosened his hand.
Xu Yangyi didn’t even look as he placed it in his storage ring, cupping his hands. “Branch Master, concerning the spirit-vein extraction and operation rights, may I ask whether it all belongs to Junior starting from now?”
These were the words I wanted… In his heart, Xu Yangyi sneered, and he turned around and left.
“Master!” Li Zongyuan who was at the door evidently noticed the bloodstain at the corner of Xu Yangyi’s mouth and questioned nervously, “A-Are you alright? Did anything happen? You didn’t have to come specifically to make a trip!”
Of course it was necessary. Xu Yangyi used his thumb to wipe the crook of his mouth. Likewise, a cool sneer hung there. If he didn’t clearly understand what the person who desired to kill him was like… his foe would be in the dark and he would be in the light. Such a feeling was somewhat dreadful and also passive on his end.
Secondly, as a legion commander new in office, it was proper to pay respects to the branch master. He wouldn’t give his opponent any chance to nitpick. Thirdly...
As the duo returned to Xu Yangyi’s office, Xu Yangyi produced the contract, a shred of a bloodthirsty grin on his face. “If you’ll let me, then I’ll clean things out!”
This was his objective in visiting Thousandedge! Four kinds of accompanying metals and a minor spirit-vein. A full 100,000 to 200,000 low-grade spirit stones could be excavated! The valuable treasure that he harbored was also known to a Core Formation master! Presently, he was racing against time!
Such a crisis was mild, yet it wouldn’t fade away. Rather, it laid dormant… because once it erupted, it was bound to be a situation of extreme danger. Thousandedge’s words already wholly betrayed his killing intent. Five years… He only had five years of peaceful and steady times. Once he took a mission… there were many, many methods to make a person disappear in a secret realm or desolace. Also, if he wished to continue investigating SS-rank to even SSS-rank apex bloodline demons, the Xingtian Legion HAD to complete a mission and raise its rating in the next few years.
In these coming years, he couldn’t put into play his own hidden aces even once. Today, all of his prospects seemed shining, but there would be a day in the future that symbolized the flower garland upon his burial. By the Eternal Alchemy Canon, he would be the sole pill master in the End of Days. This was his true trump.
“Master…” Li Zongyuan glanced, and his eyes instantly sparked, but he said hesitantly, “If a minor spirit-vein is completely extracted, then it’ll be wasted…”
Xu Yangyi laughed coldly as he lit a cigarette. “Of course I know.”
“Go do it. Convert everything into spirit stones. If you can exchange for middle-grade spirit stones then do it. If you can get high-grade ones, do it. Moreover, research all data about Thousandedge for me. I want everything you can gather.” His storage ring couldn’t be considered large; there wasn’t much it was able to pack.
“Understood.” Li Zongyuan softly coughed, taking out a small and delicate black box. “Master, this was mailed by someone called Zhao Yuanjing. He said it’s from Mr. Chu. Do you want to see, sir?”
“I know. You can go.”
Carrying the box, he walked into the cultivation room. He closed the door, opened the box, and a dainty mask along with a tiny black insect appeared before his eyes.
“Thousand Illusions?” Xu Yangyi’s gaze suddenly twinkled. It was entirely out of his expectations that Chu Zhaonan would actually deliver such a precious gift. The Thousand Illusions was the name of this equipment. This insect could take on any form, to the extent that it couldn’t be said to be either organism or material. It could be a button on the chest or a ring on the finger. It only had a single function… and that was to totally alter the wearer’s voice.
As for this mask, it could finely tune the wearer’s face, a few subtle changes of the five facial features, stature, build, and face shape. In short, it could basically disguise one’s features.
If it was merely this, Xu Yangyi wouldn’t be so moved at all. What truly stirred his heart was that even middle Foundation Establishment seniors would find it extremely difficult to penetrate through this item kit. It in itself wasn’t restricted to any cultivation whatsoever! The Bountiful Treasures Pavilion’s master artificer produced these wares, merely it was only sold over the course of a year when he had reached 180 years old. It could be said to be a device that allowed low-level cultivators to disguise themselves as deities!
Xu Yangyi stroked the Thousand Illusions, somewhat bestirred with emotion. With this item set, all he needed was identification papers, and he would be the same as a completely different person. Regardless of after a medicinal pill was sold… or he transcended humanity, although this magik artifact was in no way of the highest order, it was the item he needed the most right now.
Closing the small box, he couldn’t help but lose himself in laughter. How could Xu Yangyi expect that his kick on the plane back then would surprisingly bring such a rival and friend? A smile emerged on his face, and he softly patted the box. “I will remember this sentiment.”
“Right now… the most important thing is to raise my realm…” Stowing his smile, he muttered to himself as he walked into the heart of the cultivation room’s high-grade Spirit Focusing Formation. “S-rank demons… didn’t have what I wanted. The ranking isn’t based on strength, but on demons of stronger bloodlines. Their strength is more powerful in the same realm… The current me still isn’t enough.”
He inhaled deeply and shut his eyes. In the next second, countless white motes of spiritual light glittered. It made the room’s interior appear to transform into a summer-night grassland. His breathing immersed, Xu Yangyi abandoned all distracting thoughts. His entire body was moist like he was soaking in a hot spring. In the past, when he revolved his arcane effort, he could only sense qi pouring into his internals in the manner of a stream, but at this moment he could feel the vast river outside of his body! It didn’t even matter how he absorbed it!
A Qi Condensation cultivator was fundamentally unable of conducting such extravagant cultivation. Not to speak of a high-grade Spirit Focusing Formation, even an organization like Heavens Law didn’t possess a single great Spirit Focusing Formation. That wasn’t to further mention some minor clans. People who hadn’t seen a Spirit Focusing Formation before were a dime a dozen.
Nonetheless, he dared to do so. His hand gently brushed his storage ring, and a fist-sized blue origin crystal, bearing an aura that caused bystanders to choke, floated before the incomparably complex array hub. If said that the qi outside of Xu Yangyi’s body was a large river, then this origin crystal concealed an azure ocean within!
Boundless qi drew forth from the origin crystal, sliver by sliver. However, no matter how long it was drawn, the core wouldn’t darken in color. Resembling eternal stars, the origin crystal twinkled forever.
Xu Yangyi simply didn’t glance at it. The origin crystal of a thousand-year-old greater demon contained an unknown amount of qi. Outside of anything unexpected within the next two decades, he could keep the high-grade Spirit Focusing Formation activated. It wasn’t even a question of needing to consider shutting it off.
“Alright…” He sucked in deeply. Inside his body, qi exploded with a rumble. “Let’s begin!”
Swoosh! The Eternal Alchemy Canon—its great golden characters—emerged in his mind once again.
“The next progression is the second step, the medicine placement.” Xu Yangyi shut his eyes, feeling the tide-like qi outside, almost starting to feel comfortable. He didn’t immediately proceed, but instead carefully read the arcane effort in his mind again. It wasn’t until after making sure to carefully memorize it in his heart did he continue ahead.
In a flash, one day passed and two days passed. Three days drifted on by. In the cultivation room, Xu Yangyi was mumbling to himself as he sat at the the pill furnace’s side, looking complicatedly at the apparatus.
This step… was difficulty. Very difficult. If said that the Fire Manipulation Art from before was building the foundation—the origin of pill concoction—it was kindergarten studies. But in that case, medicine placement was elementary school. The difficulty and precision was far beyond the Fire Manipulation Art!
“Spiritual sense as silk controls each ingredient. The heart and soul are of many purposes…” He mumbled to himself and rubbed his chin. The status of alchemists were high, but not without reason. No matter whether it was the transformation of spiritual sense into silk, or the heart and soul’s multiple uses, in the absence of tremendous spiritual sense as support and perseverance training, attainment simply couldn’t be wished for.
Firstly, a fraction of energy had to be used to look after the fire. Secondly, the remaining portion of spiritual sense still had to transform into threads, and when it came to joining all the heavenly treasures, it was which ingredient had to be placed in after however long whatever ingredient had been put in. What fire control should be used in putting in what ingredient… Not only did these heavenly treasures grow in bizarre and fantastic environments, it moreover wasn’t a question that they were as expensive as an arm and a leg. In case things were off by even five seconds, there was quite a possibility that this lapse would cause the medicinal pill to completely crumble.
However… he looked complicatedly at the pill furnace. “This step… can be said to be so hard that it could drive a man crazy. But if said that it’s simple… then it’s unexpectedly easy…”
1. I’ve explained this idiom in the past, but I will do so again. Hiding the dagger in the map refers to the assassination attempt of the first emperor of China by the assassin Jing Ke. Suppose to give a sneaky/danger feeling.