Downstairs, the lights were splendid and the tide of people swelled. Everyone’s faces were amiable and mutually praising. Lu Gandang was like a butterfly flitting through the flowers as he walked in the crowd. With this opportunity’s help, he claimed higher-level connections with all kinds of major clans and powers.
“Our Edge Peak Legion won’t disappoint you one bit.” At this moment, he was restraining his excitement and cupping his hands at a middle-aged man as he laughed. “We certainly aren’t some legion with an undeserved reputation. In fact, we’ll take on missions, and our diligence is in completing them. I won’t enter seclusion; I’ll only advance myself in missions. Although the Edge Peak Legion’s realms aren’t high currently, I, Lu Gandang, dare to guarantee that it’ll be the best legion in twenty years!”
“Fellow Daoist Lu is courteous.” The middle-aged man smiled amiably, clasping his hands together and bowing with them in front of him. “With Fellow Daoist Lu’s talents, first place is only a question of time.”
Both parties laughed heartily and went no further. Lu Gandang was so excited that his face was flushed red! Just now… that was the deputy elder of Mingshui’s Gou Clan! In the entire nation, the Gou Clan’s pill-elixirs were renowned. If the deputy elder gave him a 50% discount, he would be able to save a great deal of spirit stones!
“Just wait…” Lu Gandang grinded his teeth, his gaze fiery as he looked at the ceiling. “Seclusion? Ridiculous!”
“Cowardice incarnate… do you still fucking think that it’s the age of ancient cultivators? Did you read too many cultivation novels? A cultivator disconnected from the reality of struggling for resources in the End of Days, you’ll be the very first I step on!” 
“Without resources, how could you be a genius? You can only become my stepping stone!”
It was in this moment a boundless spiritual pressure frantically engulfed everyone in the hall, as if it could collapse mountains and overturn seas! Foundation Establishment spiritual pressure!
Swish… One person set down their teacup, and a second person followed and so did a third… Every person put a halt to their business at hand, their gazes trained on the door from where the spiritual sense had originated, with incredible reverence.
Qi Condensation and Foundation Establishment. The separation of a heavenly moat facing all four reaches! The two simple words of Foundation Establishment was the greatest aspiration of all the present cultivators!
Lu Gandang sucked in deeply, and his gaze immediately blazed! This was the silent prestige of a Foundation Establishment cultivator. He was bound to reach this step! Within the first moments he calmed down, he hastily cupped his hands and called out, “Respectful greetings, Branchmaster Thousandedge…”
Swoooosh! Before Lu Gandang’s voice even fell, a human-shaped streak of qi flew over everyone with a boundless squall, like it was a bomber plane! It carried the momentum of driven winds and burning fires. No one could see it clearly as it swiftly faded away at the entrance!
From beginning to end, no one uttered a word. Lu Gandang was stunned. What was this? Branchmaster Thousandedge… hadn’t come to support him?
Why… He said nothing. The branch master had left just like that?
“What’s going on?” As he thought of this and everyone else did as well, an old cultivator said in shock, “This… Has something urgent happened?”
“Why did Senior Thousandedge leave without saying a word?”
“Looks like something extremely important popped up. He wouldn’t be in such a rush, otherwise…”
Lu Gandang’s complexion flushed and paled in shades of red and white. He didn’t know why, but a shred of panic suddenly bubbled in his heart. In all of his affairs, it seemed some variable had appeared… The ceremony upstairs had convened earlier in advance and then Branchmaster Thousandedge had frantically left without a second word… just as if… as if… He gritted his teeth, not daring to continue this thought.
Just as if… something big had occurred upstairs?
Clack clack clack! At this moment, the sound of hurrying leather shoes rang out. Everyone looked at the entrance in astonishment, only seeing two young men with flushed red eyes. The men had stuck on Spirit Traversing Talismans and rushed outside!
“That’s…” an old woman gasped coldly. “That’s Senior Thousandedge’s first and second secretaries…”
Something big had undoubtedly happened… Furthermore it was different from the usual, a great unimaginable event! Else not, one wouldn’t use a Spirit Traversing Talisman in a building! The situation seemed to be wild! The men didn’t have a hint of a secretary’s essential inner calmness!
Swoosh! Just as the two men dashed towards the entrance, a short silhouette, leaning on a walking stick, stood before them. The figure had come very quickly, and the two secretaries barely had any time to halt. They didn’t even look at the man facing them or speak. At this instant, their eyes held nothing else, and they yelled with hoarse voices, “O-Out of the way! Hurry up and move aside!”
“What happened?” the old gray-haired man in front of them shouted angrily. It was then that two secretaries’ scrambled pupils gained a little vigor to them, but it was immediately erased by a sheen of frenzy. Right now, only a single word remained in their minds.
The Dao of Pills had resurfaced! After a separation of two centuries, the Dao of Pills had emerged once again!
“Speak!” the old man yelled in fury again.
Without any consideration whatsoever, the two secretaries screamed out almost in chorus, “The Dao of Pills! The Dao of Pills has appeared!!!”
“The Xingtian Legion’s Legion Inauguration Ceremony! The eve of holding a Pill Dao auction!!! A real medicinal pill!”
The old man’s facial expression broke off from anger. In barely a few milliseconds, his expression instantly became incredibly astonished! His mouth couldn’t help but slightly gate and even his lower lip was quivering a little! His eyes were larger and rounder than a chicken egg! In the next second, followed by a woosh, the old man was struck by a feeling of nostalgia. 
“Old thief!!!” Followed by a mournful cry, a middle-aged man fastened three Spirit Traversing Talismans onto his body in the span of a second and rushed upstairs as if he was insane!
“The Dao of Pills?! The Dao of Pills lost for almost 200 years?!”
“An auction?! H-How?!”
Startled cries rose and fell in succession, unable to be contained! However, despite these cries, the crowd’s movements weren’t slow in the least bit! At the same time they shouted out in alarm, countless Spirit Traversing Talismans were used. Their silhouettes were like sharp arrows leaving a bow string, fading away at lightning speed!
They only had one objective! At this moment, a wisp of extreme regret ascended in the hearts of an untold number of people. Why… weren’t they originally upstairs?
Swoosh swoosh swoosh! In the minute before, the surroundings were still packed with company and the seats filled. In the next minute, the people were gone and the room empty!
As the last silhouette vanished, the flesh of Lu Gandang’s face was trembling. He clenched his fists in a death grip as he stood at his original position. He hadn’t left, yet he couldn’t even say he had an urge to stay! At this very moment, his heart was filled with extreme anger, and he instantly overpowered his thirst towards the Dao of Pills!
What was striking face? THIS was striking face, a blow to his honor!
He’d given out words, and Thousandedge was personally lending a hand, yet he hadn’t expected that a single word from upstairs would cause everyone to defect! Thousandedge had even been the first to leave! As the rest had left, no one whatsoever had considered him!
Spirit teas and spirit fruits filled the tables. Emotionless machine-puppets were arranged on the floor, but as of now he was the only person in the party.
“AARRGHH!!!!!!” A few seconds later, he snarled, exhausting all of his strength. A meter-long qi blade suddenly radiated in his hand, and he diced the stretch of chairs and tables in front of him one after another with a passing wave!
“Son of a bitch!!!” Like he’d gone insane, he turned his hand over again and waved, carving a deep gorge and chopping through countless fixtures. Such naked ridicule was even more difficult to endure than a direct slap on his face!
So it turned out… all he’d done still couldn’t compare to a single word from Xu Yangyi! Originally… he’d done so much, yet the other hadn’t even reacted by a hair. It wasn’t because of fear, but rather the ticket to victory had long since been grasped!
“The Dao of Pills… The Dao of Pills!!!” His voice was fairly hoarse. After he vented his emotions for a minute or two, the reception floor was already destroyed by him, not a single place left unscathed!
Crack crack… On the ground, the shattered machine-puppets rang out with grating crackling noises. The floor was covered in spirit tea, and the whole room was in shambles. Soon… he stuck on a Spirit Traversing Talisman even faster, madly raced upstairs! He was unconvinced! Why?! What goody had Xu Yangyi spread out?!
The Dao of Pills! This was Pill Dao! These two insignificant words had ruined his ten-odd years of bitter cultivation! These two words had caused his years of cultivation hardship, seizing of the paragonship, and the ascendance of his life as first place on the award stage—a cultivator’s first take-off point—to turn into flying ash!
It was all because of this man! Xu Yangyi… It was all because of him! As he ran, his face was already distorted. You have no integrity or ability… You have no integrity or ability, but you take precedence in everything!
Boom! Simultaneously, the upstairs door was smashed open by rocketing spiritual pressure! There was no sound whatsoever. A tide-like qi caused everyone to turn sluggish in their hearts!
Foundation Establishment spiritual pressure! Thousandedge had arrived in the flesh! To Qi Condensation cultivators, this complete eruption of spiritual pressure rushed forth like a landslide or tsunami. It caused each person’s breathing to falter! Long accumulated might, the name of a Foundation Establishment cultivator, caused almost everyone to half-bow out of reflex and immediately cup their hands. “Respectful greetings…”
“STEP ASIDE!!!!!!” Thousandedge thundered, sandwiched within his rolling spiritual pressure. In a twinkling, everyone was nearly flicked several meters away!
Boom boom boom! All the seats went flying everywhere! Surprisingly, Thousandedge had forcibly charged an empty path through the ceremony floor!
Xu Yangyi sucked in deeply. That spiritual pressure like mountains and seas… was akin to solid matter. It seemed as if an infinite asura ground had unfolded in front of him. Of Qi Condensation cultivators, he’d risen over a hundred. Perhaps only a few of the very best would be able to barely survive.
Is this the total eruption of Foundation Establishment power…?
The two words of Pill Dao has caused Thousandedge’s emotions to burst out in an instant. Right now, his Foundation Establishment might shrouded the heavens and concealed the earth!
Swoosh! In the next second, before Xu Yangyi’s eyes could even blink, Thousandedge’s figure was already standing before him. The duo’s gazes suddenly met. They were sharply opposed to each other, neither of them prepared to retreat a single inch.
Xu Yangyi didn’t bow, and he didn’t cup his hands. He just looked serenely at Thousandedge.
Thousandedge didn’t speak, both his hands behind him. He stood and floated in midair, independent from the void and resistant to the wind. Burdened with endless coldness and vexations, he forced down his murderous desire and fixed his eyes on Xu Yangyi.
There was no talk or discussion. All that remained was the limitless billowing qi at Thousandedge’s sides, similar to archangels unfolding his wings. This auspicious qi was like a thousand ribbons!
Amidst silence, Thousandedge abruptly discovered he didn’t know what to say. He was supporting Lu Gandang. He’d decorated and arranged for so long, but the result saw that he was actually the very first to come!
He dared not even imagine what the state downstairs was. This invisible slap to the face not only slapped Lu Gandang but moreover slapped his own! A slap from a Qi Condensation cultivator. Contrary to reason, he didn’t risk flaring up with anger at all! Breaking out into displeasure was beyond his means!
He even… wanted to talk nicely!
Anxiety and fury attacked his heart, but so did expectation. A state of mind, difficult to voice aloud, crept upwards like an extending vine. Both his hands held behind his back cracked as he wrung them. His aged Adam’s apple shivered a few good times. Perhaps by the work of the Dao, gods, or devils, he said these words.
“Young… friend, I heard that you… Commander Xu, have…” Gnashing his teeth, Thousandedge forcefully squeezed out the shred of a smile. “A medicinal pill?”
1. 闭门造车 - “Disconnected from reality”. I often enjoy literally translating phrases, but somethings just don’t work. This idiom literally means “shutting oneself inside and building a cart”. The meaning is something that gets at the idea that one “ignores the real world and only focuses on their own matters”. Originates from the era of the Song dynasty.
2. “Struck by a feeling of nostalgia”, the actual Chinese is literally “Man goes, building empty”. Apparently, this is an idiom that dates back to the Tang Dynasty’s Cui Hao, a poet. Supposed to evoke an idea of nostalgia/reminiscence. In a sense, this is also a play on words, since the old man is also leaving the room.