“According to this Fellow Daoist’s arrangements, I’ll be convening an auction in a month.” Xu Yangyi shook his head. “He won’t be coming.”
As these words were said, quite a few gazes deepened. Thousandedge realized it. Some people in the crowd also realized it. If the pill master wasn’t coming, then on that day… Commander Xu would quite possibly be confronted with a chance of fortune as the sole person able to contact the pill master. A mobilization of clouds in all directions!
A direct meeting with a Core Formation ancestor!
Lost for nearly two centuries, the Dao of Pills had reappeared and shocked the entire cultivation world. If these ancestors couldn’t obtain the answer they fancied, how could Xu Yangyi still be capable of going to the auction hall as the only contact?
This was the resurrection of a craft! This was an overture of cultivation transformation! A trifling A-rank legion commander couldn’t shoulder this responsibility! The pill master wasn’t coming… so all questions had to be answered by Xu Yangyi, the sole liaison. Questions weren’t only words, but words were never voiced with the same weight and meaning between two different people. There existed a difference in strength.
A single word from a Core Formation cultivator was law! Nonetheless, how was this related to their business?
“Fellow Daoist, is it that our bids are insufficient?!” Vulture stood out without the slightest hesitation. “Be at ease! As long as you shout it, we will pay it!”
“Hehe…” a middle-aged woman laughed dryly, “What a good tone, Fellow Daoist. I’m unaware, which party does Fellow Daoist represent?”
Vulture smiled faintly. “The Bountiful Treasures Pavilion.”
Grass mud horse! This mythical beast galloped in everyone’s hearts. Afterwards, they all fell in collective silence. 
“Yes! Just shout it, and we’ll pay it!” Lilac stood out too. Her gaze was scorching as she looked at Xu Yangyi. “Old friend, won’t you grant this little favor and face?”
“You…” The middle-aged woman was stunned, but she wasn’t so direct this time. “You are?”
“The CSIB,” Lilac laughed sarcastically.
Double the grass mud horse! The cultivation world’s two local tyrants were actually here!
At the entrance, Lu Gandang was on the cusp of walking in. He paused in step, his face deathly pale. He’d arrived earlier, yet he dared not enter. He was truly ashamed to go in! Downstairs, a vast sum had been squandered, and now his reception was so barren that he was better off putting nets up at the entrance to catch sparrows to sell! Upstairs had been dull and colorless, yet the present scene was flowing with guests! 
Right now, he suddenly discovered… that he truly didn’t even have someone downstairs that could compare to the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion and the CSIB! He had many people in attendance, but in terms of quality with Xu Yangyi, it was at most equally matched! And now… he didn’t even have quantity…
He stood at the entrance, his face ashen as he looked into the lounge. He didn’t utter a single word.
Why… did such a thing as the Dao of Pills actually have to show up?! Since it’s been dead for 200 years, weren’t things alright if it stayed dead? Why did it have to show up?! Why did it have to show up today?! Xu Yangyi… you really have great luck… I got to this stage one step at a time, but a coward like you only relied on luck to get here!
“Today’s Legion Inauguration Ceremony ends here.” Xu Yangyi looked at his watch and cupped his hands. “Many thanks to all the Fellow Daoists for their deep affections. The first batch of medicinal pills will be ten in total. Next month, please be on time, everyone.”
He shot a look at the man from the Golden Dipper Hall. “Fellow Daoist of the Golden Dipper Hall, if you don’t mind, could I ask you to step aside for a chat?”
“I don’t mind… No! How could my humble self mind?! Many thanks! Many thanks, Fellow Daoist, for granting our hall this opportunity!” The face of the Golden Dipper Hall broker was originally colored with disappointment, but at this instant he appeared as if he’d won endless prizes, bouncing straight up!
On the other side, Luo Sanfeng and Gao Ye finally let loose a long sigh.
Damn… this kid actually had an ace like that up his sleeve! The Dao of Pills had been recreated… This month really was crazy. This information would thoroughly sweep through the cultivation world! As for the Golden Dipper Hall, their hall master and the rest would personally heft their spears and go into battle this month! They would promote next month’s auction with their own powers! However, as Luo Sanfeng’s and Gao Ye’s eyes radiated light, Chu Zhaonan’s brows began to furrow deeply.
“Brother Chu!” Luo Sanfeng and Gao Ye whispered loudly, “We’re not going to throw our hat in?”
Chu Zhaonan’s face was heavy like water, and he rocked his head. “We can’t vie for these things.”
“Why?” Luo Sanfeng said excitedly. “A medicinal pill! This is a medicinal pill! You and Brother Xu’s relationship…”
“It’s not our turn.” Chu Zhaonan looked into their eyes, his voice deep. “Have you guys thought… about what will happen this month?”
“What?” Gao Ye was a bit daft and asked.
Chu Zhaonan sighed. He made a gesture to depart and said softly as he walked, “Ten medicinal pills, ten great Core Formation masters. Who do you think… is the master of the cultivation world’s pill-elixirs?”
“The ten great Core Formation ancestors?!” Luo Sanfeng and Gao Ye gasped coldly. “Y-You’re saying…”
“That’s right.” Chu Zhaonan’s gaze twinkled. “The next month really isn’t for normal cultivators to prepare for the auction gala. The ten great Core Formation masters are definitely going to make a move!”
“What they want aren’t these pills, but whether or not they can cooperate with the pill concoctionist. If it’s possible to penetrate the medicinal pill’s refinement method. When this technique is grasped, the heavens will change for the cultivation world.”
Gao Ye suddenly realized something and came to an abrupt halt. “If collaboration isn’t possible, they…”
No one continued to speak. Everyone understood the cruelness of cultivation. If they couldn’t work together… the pill master, harboring this important treasure on his person, was already standing on the edge of a cliff!
“No! Brother Xu is the only person in contact with the pill master…” Luo Sanfeng pursed his lips, his voice low.
Chu Zhaonan looked at Xu Yangyi for a few seconds and took a long, deep sigh. What do you want to do?
Ten great Core Formation ancestors… Perhaps a single incarnation isn’t something a Qi Condensation cultivator can handle! In the world, a majority of spirit-stone gathering methods are pinched between the fingers of these true peak authorities. Yes… it’s by this hand that countless people scramble around for the unattainable, like ducks. Even Thousandedge has no choice but to leave his attitude aside and talk with you as equals, but… did you ever once think of the consequences?
What if the pill master doesn’t agree with a Core Formation master? What if the Core Formation masters can’t find him? Not to mention you… even my Chu Clan doesn’t dare to confront a Core Formation ancestor’s wrath at will!
“I really didn’t expect this play you were keeping… The cultivation world is definitely going to go crazy for the Xingtian Legion this month, but have you thought about how your own situation’s going to be a month from now?”
Inhaling heavily, Chu Zhaonan was just about to leave. This business was too great; he simply didn’t have the chance to participate. At this time, Li Zongyuan’s voice suddenly rang out at his side. “Mr. Chu, Commander is requesting a meeting with you.”
The Legion Inauguration Ceremony dispersed. Xu Yangyi didn’t wait on the Foundation Establishment cultivators to rush over. Of course, none dared to advise him. Before the Dao Masters hadn’t declared their positions, no one risked pulling this tiger’s whisker!
“Commander!” Peony’s voice was so excited that the inside of her mouth was dry. “Next month, next month is our Xingtian Legion’s time to shine!” She seemed to suddenly recall something. “Right! Looks like we didn’t speak about signing newcomers?”
“No worries.” Xu Yangyi narrowed his eyes. “As soon as the auction is over… we’ll talk about this matter again.”
“Good thinking!” Peony’s eyes brightened. “Once they’re done fighting, and the great Foundation Establishment cultivators make a move, we’ll bring up exploring Danxia Temple then! No matter what, we’ll be able to recruit suitable people!”
“Great Foundation Establishment cultivators?” Xu Yangyi had visualized it all in his mind. He looked at Peony with a smile that wasn’t a smile. “You think… it’ll only be Foundation Establishment Seniors?” 
Peony was dumbfounded. In the next second, her entire face blushed deep-red! It seemed that the mention of these few words caused her heartbeat to rise, and she said shakily, “C-C-C-Core Formation Ancestors…?”
She couldn’t be blamed for her fear and trepidation. The world’s apex, China’s ten grand supremacies! A turn of the hand for clouds and a cover of the hand for rain. A single thought to exchange heaven and earth. To Qi Condensation cultivators, Dao Masters only existed in legend.
“They’re, they’re really going to come? Which one? Commander? Which one do you suppose is coming?”
“Which one?” Xu Yangyi faintly smiled. “All of their proxies or an incarnation.”
All of them! Peony went soft at the legs, her footing unsteady. Her face was flushed as she grabbed onto Xu Yangyi’s arm. “A-A-All o-of them?”
Daomaster Blackmount, a longevity of 521 years. Great Circle Core Formation!
Daomaster Mountainruler, a longevity of over 600 years. Late Core Formation!
Daomaster Droughtbringer, a longevity of 399 years. The peak of initial Core Formation!
The Northwest King, Flowing Light Imprisoning Shadow, Daomaster Ancientpine, a longevity of 353 years, the guild master of the Featherwood Guard! Middle Core Formation!
The Riversouth King, Five Phases Cardinal Extreme, Daomaster Cloudcrane, a longevity of 283 years, chairman of the CSIB! The peak of initial Core Formation!
The Northeast King, Still Shadow Sinking Jade, Daomaster Hiddenscent, a longevity of 398 years. Middle Core Formation!
The Far-East King, Motionless Wisdom Monarch, Daomaster Floatingcloud, a longevity of 366 years. Middle Core Formation! 
The Southwest King, Mad-Eye Vajra, Daomaster Titanspirit, a longevity of 358 years. Great Circle Core Formation!
The last… were the Cultivation Court’s twin powerhouses!
Lower President, Might Quakes Eight Desolaces, Daomaster Earthcleaver. Great Circle Core Formation!
Upper President, Sweeping The Six Directions, Daomaster Skybearer… Half-step Nascent Soul!
Thinking of these figures’ names… thinking of their legions… Peony’s throat went dry!
“M-M-Many of them have engaged in arcane combat, t-they just w-w-won’t fight, right?” Her brain had already turned robotic. Unable to restrain her emotions, she fired out like a machine-gun, “Daomaster Blackmount has fought against the Riversouth King, the Northeast King, and the Southwest King! Commander, you might not know, but those battles practically destroyed the world! Also, when the upper president was at the middle stage of Core Formation, he sought out Daomaster Mountainruler in arcane combat. A level-ten tsunami… and…”
“They won’t.” Xu Yangyi laughed and cut her off, “Fellowship is number one. There’s value in participation.” He said this jest, and his eyes began to narrow, as well.
Perhaps… that day at the Four Great Joint Pools, Daomaster Floatingcloud’s lesson still hadn’t been deep enough.
Checkmate? That was right, but also wrong! On that day, he was checkmating his opponent. Now, he was checkmating even more! Dual chariots killing the king! 
With so many Dao Masters arriving… what will you think, Floatingcloud? With the gazes of so many Dao Masters on me, what will you do, Ancestor Floatingcloud? On that day, I let you know that you didn’t have the courage to kill me. Since then, you won’t have another chance! Earthcleaver saw you, and there’s the deterrence of the Emperor Armament below Mingshui Province. Floatingcloud, you don’t risk taking action.
If you were truly determined in heart, a Qi Condensation cultivator like me could be settled with the tip of your finger, but you’re scared and worried about every single thing. You want to gracefully wipe your mouth and escape the intimidation of the Cultivation Court’s half-step Nascent Soul upper president. You dread the Emperor Armament and the origin crystal in my hand. In the world… how could these two perfectly beautiful things exists!
Either way, I’ll be standing here. If you got the guts, slap me to death on the day of the auction! But in any case… wait for the day I reach Core Formation… I’ll be coming to demand compensation for everything!
As he thought of this, a thin smile began to form on his lips.
“He can’t risk it.”
Concerning Daomaster Floatingcloud, the Motionless Wisdom Monarch, Xu Yangyi already held a definite understanding. Floatingcloud was a person that desired both a fish’s fins and a bear’s paws. Perhaps he was a perfectionist or maybe he didn’t have such great courage. In any case, Xu Yangyi dared to gamble that the other wouldn’t risk slapping him to death whatsoever!
Strength wasn’t only power. Wisdom, courage, guile, and adaptability, it was these added characteristics that summed a person’s true power. To be wanting but possess realm, this was called bold but artless. To be wanting but possess intelligence, one had no choice but to be a single force destroying myriad methods.
“Go prepare…” Xu Yangyi and Peony had unwittingly arrived below the Featherwood Guard building. “Next month, our Xingtian Legion will recruit.”
Xu Yangyi made his way to his room and pushed the door open. He saw Chu Zhaonan sitting in his seat. Chu Zhaonan was somewhat twitchy as he played with a pen.
“Help me get in touch with someone.” Xu Yangyi cut straight to the chase.
Chu Zhaonan’s pen stopped. “Who?”
“Someone I can’t get into contact with, given my current status.” Xu Yangyi propped both his hands on the table and looked into the other’s eyes. He said in an earnest tone, “Help me bring a word…”
1. The infamous grass mud horse. Some of you may be unaware, but in Chinese memes, grass mud horse is the phrase used to get around a Chinese internet censor for “f*ck your mother” or “Cao ni ma” The pinyin of grass mud horse and this curse is almost the same, just differing in tones. A grass mud horse is allegedly an alpaca. If you’re interested in reading more. Look up “grass mud horse” on wikipedia.
2. “Putting nets on the door to catch sparrows.” This is a line from a Qing era author named Ji Yun (1724-1805 CE). The idea behind this is that the person has so few visitors that he might as well put a net up on his door to catch sparrows. I should do this too.
3. “Visualized it all in his mind” - This idiom in Chinese literally translates to “In chest form bamboo”. This phrase itself dates back to the Song Dynasty’s Su Shi (1037-1101 CE), a poet and a calligrapher. The concept behind is that in Chinese, paintings of bamboo is popular. If you want to paint bamboo, you need to visualize it.
4. Motionless Wisdom Monarch - Unlike some of the other nicknames/titles, the author uses a combination of idioms/cool sounding things to describe people. The Motionless Wisdom Monarch just happens to be named after a deity in Buddhism named Acala. I didn’t want to really explain too much of the other names, but the only one I feel that I should elaborate more on is Daomaster Hiddenscent’s. Her title comes from an idiom describing the shadow cast beneath the water’s surface looks like still jade.