The third level of the hotel. The inside was an expanse of splendidly glorious jade and gold. Each chair emitted a faint fragrance. The entire room had been decorated with an ancient style and elaborate machine-puppets—products of the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion—were serving cups of spirit tea to the present guests. From the mouths of these teacups, a layer of faint qi-steam twisted and swirled about. The tables were also arranged with the year’s spirit fruits.
From merely the decorations and furnishings, it could be said that this venue had obviously been invested with hard-earned capital. As today’s protagonist, Lu Gandang wore a smile with a sliver of content to it. Taking small and fine brocaded purses, he respectfully handed them over into the hands of the first row of attendees, laughing. “Today is a day of great exultation for my humble self. This is a minor gift. I hope you seniors don’t mind.”
“No, of course not,” a plump old man laughed as he extended a hand, seemingly declining it, but as he pulled his hand back the fine brocaded purse had already vanished without a trace. “I’m no more than the Great Circle of Qi Condensation, how could I be called ‘senior’?”
“No need to say that, Senior is already at the Great Circle. You’ll surely achieve Foundation Establishment in five to six years. As Mingshui’s Zhen Clan, an inheritance of over 300 years, this word is proper,” Lu Gandang laughed. He himself believed that his own conduct was far better than some cowardly cultivators.
Elder Zhen laughed, no longer declining.
“Senior Xu.” Lu Gandang handed over a brocaded purse. “This is our first meeting. In the future, this humble one will be growing in Mingshui Province. I’ll have to request Senior for much advice.”
A lean middle-aged man woodenly received the brocaded purse. Cool and collected as he weighed the purse in hand, he then squeezed out a smile’s trace. “The young will surpass the old in time. Do not mention advice. Let us join hands in party for the truth of the Grand Dao. I will be sure to point the way.”
He walked over to another person’s side. Elder Zhen and Elder Xu quietly exchanged a meaningful glance. Elder Zhen transmitted his voice, You didn’t go Fellow Daoist Xu’s Legion Inauguration Ceremony, either?
“Senior Thousandedge is here,” Elder Xu remarked, making Elder Zhen shut his mouth. “He’s overseeing this himself. We local clans of Panshan City cannot sell this face, even if it must be sold. A Foundation Establishment cultivator’s fury is not something you and I are capable of bearing.”
After several seconds of silence, Elder Zhen laughed, “What do you think about this kid?”
A trace of ridicule flickered through Elder Xu’s eyes. “He believes himself to be infallible… and thinks himself clever.”
“Five years ago, he was still in Heavens Law. He’s simply ignorant of how desperate that battle was. To be able to survive from the claws of an old half-step Core Formation demon, can Fellow Daoist Xu’s talent be deceived by this superficial showing?”
“Right,” Elder Zhen said praisingly, “This kid’s behavior seems steady, but in fact his heart for merits and benefits is too obvious. But Fellow Daoist Xu’s fleeting of years isn’t any good, either. Senior Thousandedge and him appear to be harmonious, but their spirits are divided. Today makes that crystal clear. Otherwise, how would this kid get his turn to lead…”
“Old Zhen!” Elder Xu’s tone became grave. “The rights and wrongs of a Foundation Establishment Senior is not something you or I can discuss!”
At this moment, Lu Gandang had already finished giving out all the brocaded purses. A female assistant walked in and quietly said a few words at the side of his ear.
“Coward!” As he finished listening to her words, Lu Gandang’s complexion was already flushed red, fiery anger in his eyes. He actually started in advance! Is he that scared to confront me face to face?! A cultivator’s shame! A no-good bastard! Who fucking knows how he managed to survive five years ago!
“Immediately report this to Senior Thousandedge!”
The assistant departed, and Lu Gandang glared daggers at the ceiling. Suddenly, he began to laugh coldly. “So what you pushed things ahead?”
“Looks like you’re just a coward… All that shifting the time earlier does is force you to toss aside some of your honor… Only I can have the cultivation world’s resources! Only I can strive for them! A single step back, retreat at each pace… From here on, the cultivation world no longer has you, Xu Yangyi. Only I, Lu Gandang!”
“Today, I will trample your honor and respect! What can you do about it?!”
Wealth, scripture, companions, and land. Wealth occupied first place, and regardless of who, wealth was impossible to relinquish. At the same time upstairs, several video recorders and cameras took aim at the master stage like firework cannons. There on top, there was one person.
The venue had originally been prepared for over a hundred seats. Presently, not even a fifth were filled! An hour before, many who had already agreed to come had changed plans as the time drew near. Likewise, they’d come to the hotel. In the same vein, they were participating in a ceremony, yet they absolutely hadn’t set foot into Xu Yangyi’s lounge. Even the remaining reporters were downcast and in low spirits. All of them were reporters for small cultivation magazines.
“Today, I’m very happy to be here.”
Chu Zhaonan gritted his teeth as he heard the speech on the master stage. He wasn’t sure what drug Xu Yangyi was selling in his bottle gourd. Not only was the man not worried, but even the secretary at his side, the woman named Peony, wasn’t nervous, either! The look on her face was carefree and calm! 
“Don’t you disappoint us…” Inhaling deeply, Chu Zhaonan listened to Xu Yangyi’s speech, steady in his expression.
Xu Yangyi faintly paused. His gaze dangerously swept over the entire audience. Presently, there was only him, a lonely and solitary person on stage, and a room full of vacant seats. He looked at the few pages of script in his hand, and his brow gently raised. Confident and in control, he burned the papers into ash with a fireball.
“The aforementioned was all bullshit.” Xu Yangyi undid his necktie and looked at everyone. “Today, I only have a single thing to say here.”
Snap! He snapped his fingers, and a tremendous flag suddenly dropped behind him! Xingtian, done in ink on a black background with a white stripe, jumped out vividly on the banner, grasping two greataxes!
“From this point onwards, the Xingtian Legion is established!”
Below, everyone stared blankly. Chu Zhaonan was at a loss. He hadn’t expected at all that Xu Yangyi would be so unconventional! The man didn’t even want to make a speech! Pulling directly to a banner, Xu Yangyi had declared that the Xingtian Legion was inaugurated!
Vulture was expressionless. He moreover hadn’t anticipated this. Was this the juncture of Xu Yangyi throwing down the pot after shattering it into pieces, making things even worse? Lilac was also dumbfounded. Xu Yangyi… didn’t even talk about what the legion’s development goals were? He’d cut to the chase and declared the legion established? Wasn’t this too much of a child’s game? 
“No… maybe… this isn’t a child’s game at all!” Below the stage, an old man began to narrow his eyes profoundly. “He omitted this… because he has an even more important matter he wants to announce… He very well understands that these issues are all virtually the same. In no way is it the main point of focus… As for what’s to be said later on, that is of the highest importance!”
The old man suddenly felt… interested. For him to realize this, everyone soon caught on.
“Brother Chu, what does Brother Xu want to do?” Gao Ye asked lowly.
“I don’t know…” Chu Zhaonan’s heart somewhat relaxed, and he narrowed his eyes at the person on stage. “But… it’s definitely big. Based on how crucial a legion’s first step is, he isn’t the type of person to use business like this to tell a joke.”
“Look over there.” Chu Zhaonan gently raised his chin. “That old man is the majordomo of Mingshui’s Yi Clan. The Yi Clan is a great clan overseered by a Foundation Establishment Senior.”
“That old lady is the assistant to the regional CEO of Beisan Province’s largest cultivation corporation, Grand Gate Materials. I saw her a few times when me and my father ate.”
“That fatty is the broker for Beisan Province’s largest auction business, Golden Dipper Hall. I remember his last name is Li.”
“There are also those young people that look less than twenty. They’re high-ranking directors for the cultivation world’s largest real estate brokers, the Thousand Domains Residence.” Chu Zhaonan’s gaze brightened the more he spoke, and his hand squeezed down on his armrest. “Gao Ye, in this place, we ourselves are not many. But just these few are the true first-class magnates of Beisan Province!”
“As long as the item that Brother Xu takes out later on can draw their attention, I fucking guarantee…” He licked his lips excitedly. “They won’t even want to go to the Signing Ceremony downstairs!”
On the stage, Xu Yangyi took a slight pause for a period of time. He understood that the greatest storm of the cultivation world was on the verge of beginning here! Even in his eyes, a wisp of hard-tolerated excitement flashed through!
“How interesting.” The old woman of Grand Gate Materials straightened her figure, engrossed. How could they not see the look now on Xu Yangyi’s face? This Legion Inauguration Ceremony possessed an ace… Xu Yangyi should’ve held a shocking trump that could bring the cultivation world to cast sideways glances!
“Little Ge.” The seemingly young man of the Thousand Domains Residence sat in his chair coolly and unperturbed. He said indifferently to the assistant at his side, “Remember, if his proposal is truly good, immediately suggest that our Thousand Domains Residence contract the ten of them cultivation estates. In addition, make sure all of them genuine estates with spirit veins above the minor scale.”
In a moment of rareness, the old man of the Yi Clan laughed. Their Yi Clan were well-known in the entire nation for spirit plants. Their clan elder was a great cultivator at late-stage Foundation Establishment. Similarly, in his comparison of new recruits without hardly any battle merits to Xu Ynagyi, he was such a cultivator that further admired the demon slayer for being able to survive from the clutches of an old half-step Core Formation demon.
“Assistant Zhao,” he uttered, “If Fellow Daoist Xu’s proposal is indeed good, remember to immediately quote a price later on. It’s good there’s no one here today. In the absence of competitors, how can bystanders understand the preciousness of the seed I’ve chosen…” They were bidders, but they weren’t the ones who shouted price. They held their own unique statuses.
Xu Yangyi breathed in heavily a few times and calmed his emotions. He looked at everyone below the stage. “At the month’s end, the Xingtian Legion will be organizing our first auction.”
At this instant, the floor under the stage was suddenly dead-silent, not a sound in earshot. Now, the feeling of expectation just constructed had been annihilated into flying ash.
“What the hell is this?!” Luo Sanfeng stared so blankly that he could even said to have been completely stricken dumb. “An auction? What is he selling? Selling his nudes?! What else does he have to sell besides that? What does a Qi Condensation cultivator have that can attract the cultivation world’s focus?”
“What a troublesome scene…” Cultivator Li from the Golden Dipper Hall, even if he himself managed Beisan Province’s largest auction business, shut his eyes in irritation.
What good sell did a Qi Condensation cultivator possess? Based on Xu Yangyi’s expression a moment ago, he even believed that Xu Yangyi had a pretty good proposal! But the born fruit was no more than this! It wasn’t that a Qi Condensation cultivator’s auction couldn’t be held, but only Qi Condensation cultivators self-organized. Why?
And it wasn’t even because a low-level cultivator simply didn’t have the cash! The Qi Condensation realm was cultivation’s most initial stage. Their auctions were fundamentally unable to draw the attention of high-end cultivators. Profit was still incomparable to meagerness; who was willing to manage this endeavor?
The old man of the Yi Clan was dazed for a few seconds until the gentle voice of the assistant at his side reminded him, “Sir… may I ask if you still desire this proposal?”
It was then that the truth dawned on him. A bitter smile across his face, he waved his hand self-mockingly. A slip of the eye… He’d once believed this cultivator Xu was a good seedling and worthy of investment. Who could’ve imagined that such a joke was actually made?
“No need,” he made a long sigh. “Let’s call it a day. From now on, cancel all attention on the Xingtian Legion. After we return, I will personally apologize for clemency.”
1. Bottle gourds are an icon of ancient Chinese folk medicine. These bottle gourds are a fruit shaped like a gourd but can be hollowed and turned into bottles. Folk healers selling elixirs would sell their concoctions in these gourds.