“Commander Xu.” At this time, a somber man’s voice rang out not too far away. In Jun Man’s large plant net, Zhao Fenglai and Zhao Wuye nodded at him with dejection coloring their faces.
Zhao Fenglai faced up and laughed bitterly, taking out a brocaded pouch and shaking it. Without missing a beat, countless shattered jade slips fell out. “Altogether, twenty-seven life slips broke.” His expression was fairly dispirited and gray. “These… were the clan’s elite specialty-disciples…”
“There are still three people?” Xu Yangyi furrowed his brows. “Forgive me for speaking bluntly, Fellow Daoist Zhao, but now isn’t the time for sorrow. Maybe these three blacked out in the water. They have to be saved now.”
“Yes.” Zhao Fenglai heard Xu Yangyi’s words, and his expression finally pulled itself a bit together. He laughed awkwardly yet looked up and sighed in sadness. “The alligator gars… killed Old Seven… The livyatan… killed twenty-seven disciples… I have shamed the Zhao Clan…”
“Fellow Daoist, save your grief.” Xu Yangyi cupped his hands and suddenly recalled something. “What about Zhao Ziqi?”
In the end, an honest wisp of a smile appeared in Zhao Fenglai’s eyes. “Relax, he… did not die.”
“But I haven’t seen him throughout this journey,” Xu Yangyi said deeply.
Zhao Fenglai took out a jade box and slowly opened it. Inside was a delicate rag doll. He laughed and tucked it away. “He will naturally appear when he should.”
“Commander!” At this time, Peony pursed her lips and walked over. She handed Xu Yangyi two shattered jade slips. Xu Yangyi merely took a glance and quietly took a long sigh. It was Zhou Tingting’s and Cheng Jianfeng’s jade slips. Weren’t those two… soon to be married?
He still dimly remembered when he had first arrived in Bai County. The dazed wolf and the girl who was hellbent on saving face. In the turn of an eye… three years had already passed… as for them… moments ago in the chaotic upheaval, had they truly bid their farewells to him for all eternity?
It was a kind of taste he’d never experienced before. A kind of aching sensation of those who he could barely call ‘friends’ disappearing in front of him while he was alive.
“Humans are not grass, which can be without emotion.” After ages, he opened his eyes and said heavily, “After we return, investigate their family background. If they have relatives who are still cultivating, I promise to truly take them as disciples once I reach Foundation Establishment.”
Xu Yangyi held guilt and shame towards these two people. There were others still unaccounted for, but he had agreed to teach both Zhou Tingting and Cheng Jianfeng. Perhaps they had always been waiting, but in the end they couldn’t wait until then. In order to stake their lives for destiny, they had come here. Yet unexpectedly, their lives had made a last stand here.
Even before arrival, they had all been somewhat prepared. However, several hours prior they were still planning. After a few hours, they had already sunk to an unknown place in this thousand-meter-sized lake. In such an event, if aged cultivators saw their expressions, perhaps they would sneer at their childishness. Nonetheless, Xu Yangyi didn’t think this to be childish at all.
This… was a sign that his blood had yet to run cold. On the contrary, he felt that in the face of the inner heart’s complex emotions, the joys and sorrows of life were all viewed as mist. They became a kind of accustomization, that known as apathy, not shrewdness.
Cultivation. If this was the end of cultivation, then he was better off not cultivating. If there existed no anger or early death, then there wouldn’t be those eight silhouettes against Vermilion Snow on that day.
If there was no sorrow or joy, then all the Core Formation ancestors wouldn’t possibly spend an extravagant amount on the day of the auction. At this instant, he seemed to be enlightened of something, yet carefully thinking it over it wasn’t clear at all. On this sought-after path, he was still too young and immature.
“Zhan Twelve.” The present mood was indeed very gloomy. Xu Yangyi clearly understood that if he was downcast, his legionnaires would absolutely have to be spurred by him. Forcing himself not to continue thinking of Zhou Tingting and Cheng Jianfeng’s matter, he put up a sliver of a smile and beckoned. “Next, let’s divvy the spoils.”
It wasn’t that he wasn’t aggrieved. He merely took this sorrow and buried it at the bottom of his heart. No way to cope with the fall of flowers, the familiar return of the swallow. Wilting and thriving, each sip and peck, all are fixed by heaven’s destiny. 
Getting the legionnaires to walk out from shadow was also his responsibility.
Zhan Twelve was moderately injured. Ultimately, the only person able to dodge the livyatan’s attack was basically him. In regards to concealing the figure and evading attacks, if Zhan Twelve said he was second in the Xingtian Legion, none would dare proclaim themselves as first. And yet, this proclamation had also directly led to the moment of his present path. His seven apertures were flowing with blood.
Those who were present had witnessed the livyatan’s counterattack at death’s door and the greatness of its attack power. Gasping for breath a good few times, Zhan Twelve didn’t stand up, and Xu Yangyi made a stopping gesture. Xu Yangyi walked over and took a proffered brocaded pouch from Zhan Twelve’s bosom.
A storage ring was a high-grade commodity. A majority of cultivators didn’t have one. Instead, a brocaded pouch substitute was used that only had about less than a meter of storage space. It held the glorified name of “Universe Pouch”. In fact, who knew who even used this item.
Xu Yangyi’s hand gently shook, and a jade box appeared on it. Moreover… this jade box wasn’t an ordinary jade box. In the hand, it was ice-cold. A kind of precious ice jade was used to carve and craft it.
To collect the Rootless Nine Bends Aqua, there was no item whatsoever that could receive it apart from this box. If the temperature wasn’t enough, the flower would be like a real water drop and scatter away. If another object was used to collect, there was moreover a possibility of the aqua directly melting in the device.
Just as the jade box opened, an enchanting red light quietly shot out. Eighteen ruby-like dewdrops had already solidified into ice chunks because of the jade chest’s low temperature. They emitted a resplendent light. With a mere glance, Xu Yangyi felt his spirit rise! His spiritual sense seemed to be shouting, enjoying this moment of delight.
“Eighteen drops. There are fourteen of us. The Zhao Clan’s three people will still get a drop.” Xu Yangyi took a long and deep sigh. If the Rootless Nine Bends Aqua wasn’t enough, then it would be a true killing of three generals for two peaches, a struggle for benefit but a failure in principle.
In this battle, everyone had sustained moderate injuries. Everyone had put out great power, and people had even died in battle. If he shared less with anyone—not to mention what the others would think—he himself would be embarrassed.
Although the Zhao Clan’s exertion didn’t seem large, this path was brought by them. Furthermore, their casualties were disastrous. If they weren’t granted a sliver, perhaps it would chill their hearts. If anything even occurred later on, it wouldn’t be easy to handle.
“I want two drops.” Fang Cheng snorted and raised a brow as he looked at him.This fellow looked like an honorable gentleman, so why did he seem more petty the more he was looked at?
“I forgot to tell you. “Mao Ba’er nibbled at a sardine can that had come out of nowhere. “In life, each cultivator can only take one drop of this item. This is one of the reasons that the Rootless Nine Bends Aqua didn’t reach S-rank. The other reason is that its output is considered too low, and I’m talking about each flower. In history, a flower said to have bloomed in the past had a max of thirty-two droplets. The rarer something is, the greater its value. So, its value has always been fixed at A-rank and at most A++.” Finished nibbling at the can, the husky ruthlessly extended a leg out and licked his mouth. “That means you’re wasting your time.”
Fang Cheng’s face distorted. That kick had been suffered in vain?
“Relax. After we return, I’ll properly compensate you.” Xu Yangyi coughed dryly and interrupted, “How is this item taken?”
“I heard it’s fine to be directly eaten.” Peony was sitting on a puppet and coughed. “I once heard a couple Fellow Daoists say that.”
“Baloney!!” The hair all over Mao Ba’er’s body stood on edge, and he immediately put a stop to Peony’s stupid decision. “Haven’t you guys heard about an item known as the Myriad Spirits Pill?!”
In a flash, this name caused everyone’s eyes to begin smoldering, especially the Xingtian Legion’s personnel. Li Zongyuan and Mao Ba’er were the only two who knew the inside information about the “pill master”. They even cast forth intimately vague gazes!
Master~ Please provide for us, and we’ll roll around in bed. I’m an expert in dripping wax play, and my first-class foreplay technique is growing. Everyday, we can even do it seven times, darling. Being the best around means attacking and receiving!
Xu Yangyi’s forehead veins throbbed. The two demons hadn’t said anything, but the expression in their eyes was still more blatant than speech.
Where was their sense of honor!
“What’s that?” At this moment, Zhao Fenglai was completely uplifted and deeply cupped his hands. “Why haven’t I ever heard about it?”
“Of course you haven’t heard about it!” Mao Ba’er laughed in immense satisfaction. “Because… there’s only one truth!”
“Speak plainly!” Fang Cheng angrily kicked, but Mao Ba’er turned around and dodged.
“Fufufu.” Mao Ba’er made a bizarre chuckle that a dog simply couldn’t make, and his canine eyes narrowed into slits. “Because Spud and the pill master have an unusual bottom-top relationship… I specifically used a month to understand all modern pill formulas. I accidentally discovered this one…I didn’t take it seriously at the time. After all, the Rootless Nine Bends Aqua is too hard to find. For us Qi Condensation cultivators, the heavens should be thanked for a B-rank spirit-object… but I remembered this pill formula.” 
“Talk!” Fang Cheng was itching to kick again, yet he shockingly saw a raised snow-white dog paw before him. He looked suspiciously at Mao Ba’er. The husky’s face was actually brimming with a kind of brilliant style.
“What are you doing?” Peony was also somewhat dazed. She pushed on her glasses and asked.
“Kiss the second knuckle of my front paw,” Mao Ba’er said proudly. “Sincerely beg me, and I will tell you with great mercy.”
“Fuck your @$&#^! Don’t hold me back! There’s no way I’m not killing this crappy dog today!” Fang Cheng almost blew his top off in anger.
Man and dog brawled together, intermingled with Mao Ba’er’s howl. “Woof! If it weren’t because I can’t manifest my true form at will, I would take you down right now!”
“Alright.” Xu Yangyi broke apart his childish senior brother and the clownish but cute husky, not knowing whether to laugh or cry. “Speak.”
“Okay.” Ever since Mao Ba’er knew that Xu Yangyi was the pill master, he was practically ready to go with the flow. Coughing lightly, he said prudently, “The Myriad Spirits Pill… This is a kind of peak supplementary ancient formula. It can completely activate the Rootless Nine Bends Aqua’s medicinality, and the other paired heavenly treasures are easily found. Only the aqua is hard to get! It…” he took a deep breath. “The most supreme Myriad Spirits Pill… can make spiritual sense increase… by 4%! At each level!”
A multiplier of four!
Xu Yangyi’s gaze flashed, and he put an immediate halt to the thought of taking the Rootless Nine Bends Aqua. With the killing ace of Pill Cauldron Builds Spirit plus the Spiritcleaver Pulse… the higher the spiritual sense, the stronger the might! Even Fang Cheng couldn’t escape such a silent, hidden design. This formula would transform this combo into a great killing move in the future!
Moreover… these two moves could be combined together by using the Smelting God’s Treasure Mirror! He was contemplating yet discovered that everyone was looking towards him with burning gazes.
He collected his thoughts and laughed. “If everyone trusts me, it would be better to hand this item over to me. I still have some assurance to ask the pill master to try. But, I can’t give everyone a certain answer whether or not it’ll succeed.”
“Alright!” Zhan Twelve was the first to speak. Xu Yangyi wasn’t the only exception. As an assassin, what he needed the most was “radar”. In certainly didn’t disdain accuracy!
“Of course. Even if it isn’t refined, I won’t even blame Commander at all!” Mo Yeyu was the second to answer. Puppetry divine abilities likewise required precise spiritual sense manipulation. Regarding a possible chance to upgrade his spiritual sense, he absolutely wouldn’t decline! An increase of four! Even if the risk was a shortfall of 1%!
“Of course there’s no problem!” Zhao Wuye’s expression was somewhat flushed. “If I can’t trust Commander Xu, who can I?”
Everyone declared their positions, one after another. Not a single person was unwilling.
Those in court can become officials through a patron… After seeing Xu Yangyi put all the water drops into the box again, each person’s face truly revealed a smile. Perhaps others would still have an endless headache in meeting with the never-seen pill master, but as for them?
Already, they could ask the master to attempt a pill refining! What was disparity? This was disparity! They hadn’t traveled from distant parts to join the Xingtian Legion in vain! Furthermore, it wasn’t a waste to invest their all-out strength in this battle!
Quan Ningyue’s young, girlish gaze faintly studied Xu Yangyi, and she murmured, “Master can be considered below ten people, but above the masses… He made an extreme effort to recommend me to come to the Xingtian Legion… Luckily, I came… With such great luck, it would be too much of a loss if I didn’t come…”
1. “No way to cope with the fall of flowers, the familiar return of the swallow.” This line is from Song Poet Yan Shu. Supposed to represent an idea of reluctance to leave, but unable to stay. “Wilting and thriving, each sip and peck, all are fixed by heaven’s destiny” Is a line from Buddhism. Meaning: everything is foreordained by god/destiny.
2. “Bottom-Top” Is contemplated for a long time since I didn’t quite understand the Chinese. It is literally “Self-attack/Self-receive”... and then it dawned on me what it meant. As always, doing Mao Ba’er’s dialogue is fun. I had originally went with “seme-uke” (since while this is a Japanese term, it kinda matches Mao Ba’er’s style to say, but I remembered this English phrase). Bottom-Top refers to same-sex relationship dynamic.
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