Chapter 44: Faction Showdown (1)
Clap clap clap… Just as an ordinary middle-aged man wearing a well-trimmed western suit stood up, he began to clap vigorously without the slightest pause. At the same time, his entire body suddenly erupted with an unparalleled, valiant spiritual pressure like an ocean tide or mountain breeze! The expressions of everyone present faintly changed.
Foundation Establishment! Another Foundation Establishment cultivator!
Chu Tianyi’s eyes narrowed with an icy coldness. He had heard about most of the several tens of thousands Foundation Establishment cultivators, yet he had truly only seen about a greater half of them. It was wildly out of his expectations that a Foundation Establishment cultivator would actually be so close to him!
Calmly and cooly, his hand completely shifted away from his ring. It was too late to say anything or do anything now. Since the matter was like this, it would be better to do nothing and act as if he had only come to cheer on his grandson.
“Fame follows merit… Yes, fame follows merit!” A square-faced, middle-aged man with no eyebrows, a harsh scar on his bare forehead, and a seemingly vicious face held a remarkably friendly smile globbed onto his face at this moment: “With my status as Daomaster Floatingcloud’s personal secretary, I represent Daomaster Floatingcloud in congratulating the brave paragon Mr. Xu. Young friend may call me Moonchaser.”
“Fuck!” Just as he finished speaking, Lilac, Hibiscus, and Vulture nearly clenched their pearly teeth so hard that their teeth broke apart. What they were most worried about had finally occurred!
Who in the cultivation world could stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Big Three’s fame? Besides the independent factions of Core Formation masters, who else could it be?!
What was the meaning of hearing “I represent Daomaster Floatingcloud in his congratulations”? Wasn’t this an obvious suggestion to Xu Yangyi: I’m very interested in you, how about you hurry up and come into my bowl?
Wouldn’t a wet-behind-the-ears Qi Condensation cultivator eagerly run over upon hearing a Core Formation master’s name?
“Fellow Daoist’s words are just and proper.” Shadowslay seemed to look apathetically at the billowing qi walls and smiled: “So Fellow Daoist turned out to be one of Daomaster Floatingcloud’s ten great disciples, Moonchaser. Daomaster Floatingcloud’s selection of disciples is strict, and as everyone knows, is to raise a cultivator from Qi Condensation to Foundation Establishment. It is only then at Foundation Establishment can one be counted as a pillar of their faction. Fellow Daoist is a hero of a generation, to be capable of rising up and revealing his talents among the myriad masses.”
As these words were said, the people in the VIP seating suddenly looked oddly at the composed Shadowslay. This man… Whatever he said gave them a feeling of reticence, his speech succinct. But as these words came out, they knew that this was a man that had a bloody bite to him. 
Listening to this… there were ten great disciples in themselves; how could their resources not be biased? The Qin Imperial Court paid worship to Floatingcloud, so wouldn’t they also revere his disciples?! Moreover, they were raised from Qi Condensation to Foundation Establishment. Besides, why on earth would other initial-stage Qi Condensation cultivators go to you? Third, weren’t there thousands of Qi Condensation cultivators that wished to pay respects to Daomaster Floatingcloud? No… this was still possibly a conservative estimate...
They really could be said to be birds of a feather, closely related to each other. Even if Xu Yangyi’s thoughts were set with burning passion upon hearing these words, he would immediately douse himself with a basin of cold water. Especially, these words that were openly praising, but secretly derisive…
The art of passing a knife in darkness wasn’t to be too profound.
Within the qi walls, Xu Yangyi sat down and meditated to restore his spiritual force. He only knew that in his battle moments ago, his wounds were rather heavy. Right now, it seemed that every single one of his bones had been broken. That wasn’t to further mention that he could even smell the barbecued scent of his body… He really wanted to pick up Chu Zhaonan and beat the crap out of him, but for the sake of his counterpart passing out, he would just remember it for next time.
He couldn’t be less aware of the situation in the outside world. Presently, he felt as if his five senses had left him far away, and his primary-required nutrient was only the qi in the air.
Xu Yangyi couldn’t hear anything carefully… He still hadn’t left, and the qi walls still hadn’t opened. The outside seemed to be calm already, but in fact, a hidden edge was beginning to tear things apart.
Right now, Lilac and her two fellow recruiters had no share to speak, yet their hearts burned with anxiety! If Xu Yangyi had been a bit worse, things would’ve still be fine, but in his battle, the only remaining stone stele was Sunnihilator’s. Moreover, he had made a crack appear on it! This event couldn’t be kept quiet at all!
One by one, these Foundation Establishment seniors were already making serious moves. Their words appeared ordinary but were actually a florid battle of tongues. If they didn’t act, would there still be a share for them to eat?
“Senior.” Vulture hardened his heart and immediately stepped out, cupping his hands in greetings: “The paragon’s and the runner-up’s injuries currently aren’t light. Wouldn’t it be better to let them come out first? The Bountiful Treasures Pavilion has already prepared a precious pill elixir for such a situation. How about it…”
“That’s reasonable.” It was within Vulture’s expectations that the four menacing gazes wouldn’t retract, but it was far beyond his forecast that Firecloud would be the first to clap his hands: “However… there’s no way around it.”
“These qi walls aren’t seals that disappear just because you tell them to. After all, Daomaster Floatingcloud who established the seal isn’t here. Therefore, the seal is activated for a fixed time. I set up the time to be an hour…” He sighed regretfully, seemingly wanting to say something but he shook his head.
Lilac was stunned. Vulture was dumbfounded. Hibiscus’s lips were angrily trembling.
These words didn’t come out, but all of their eyes carried a gaze of “can you not be anymore shameless?” as they looked at him. Firecloud leisurely held his hand at his back and looked at the qi walls, his expression exceptionally calm.
This was just great… There were many ways to express goodwill, but some people would directly close off the ones in question from coming out!
“Of course, because of the severity of the wounds that the students have sustained, I’ll take it into consideration. In one of the years I was traveling, I once studied a restorative arcane effort. The name is quite simple, merely the two words ‘Good Fortune’. Afterwards, I investigated it…” He used his qi to revolve his voice through the entire arena, laughing as he looked at the crowd: “In Heavens Law’s Hidden Scripture Pavilion, it ranks as an A-rank arcane effort. Moreover, it’s a supplementary arcane effort. I shall personally heal the two young friends.”
This emotion. This shamelessness index. The detailed degree of this explanation.
All the cultivators below and everyone in the VIP seating sighed with incomparable sorrow. Sure enough, the longer one lived, the more one would know when to be shameless and when to completely toss away one’s bottom line.
“Hehe…” Shadowslay laughed hollowly, not knowing whether or not this was a hallucination. Firecloud thought he heard the sound of the other grinding his teeth: “Fellow Daoist Firecloud, it’s been many years since we’ve last seen each other, but your essence is already as deep as the pennings of Mr. Li Bojia.”
It was from Li Baojia’s Bureaucracy Unmasked that the despicable word “shameless” originated from. 
“Well said, well said.” Firecloud said without the least bit of concern. What did he want to save face for now? Didn’t he see that the eyes of everyone present had turned green in desire? This was no novel where the one with the greatest fist was king. The modern age was Cultivation Civilization. Any benefit, resource, and method had to involve the entire body’s mobilization. A Foundation Establishment cultivator could suppress a great deal of the cultivators present, but they couldn’t disregard the opinions of over 10,000 Qi Condensation cultivators. President Li of the Nantong Cultivation Court was waiting everyday to give them, the wealthy Foundation Establishment cultivators, bullshit fines!
He still wanted to save face at this time?
He gently brandished his hand. In the sky, the four large characters of Unrivaled Beneath the Heavens suddenly radiated a grand light. Subsequently, motes of qi sprinkled down and softly fell on Chu Zhaonan’s and Xu Yangyi’s bodies.
“Young friend Xu, young friend Chu, how are you?” He laughed and asked. Not waiting for the crowd to react, he immediately took advantage of the opportunity to hit the head of the snake and make a play. 
There was no answer, but Firecloud, a Foundation Establishment cultivator, didn’t get angry the least bit. Or perhaps it could be said that at this moment, such a thing as anger didn’t exist in his dictionary. He laughed and took a step forward. With both of his hands at his back, he chuckled brightly: “Young friend Xu, this is my Good Fortune Secret Art. It appears simple, but it is in fact boundlessly profound. I have specifically increased the efficacy for the two young friends; do you still feel your body is in poor shape?”
Yes… in a civilized age, courtesy and manners were the development of society’s system. There was nothing to say. However… why did they want to kick him so badly?
Several Foundation Establishment cultivators appeared disgusted like they had eaten a fly; looking at Firecloud’s expression made them somewhat ill.
After several more minutes passed, Xu Yangyi’s voice was heard: “Thank you, Senior. My wounds have already healed. All that’s left is my body’s lack of qi.”
“I might as well. The two of you just used up the utmost of your qi; you won’t be able to bring it back in a short time. I know a grand formationist and have already invited him to come engrave a high-grade Spirit Focusing Formation. If young friend…”
“Cough…” Moonchaser was no longer able to abide by this. Was there still no law of the land?! Forcefully coughing, he cut off Firecloud’s continued enticement. He glared fiercely at Firecloud and said clearly: “Young friend, do you know what the reward this time is?”
Not waiting for Xu Yangyi to respond, he revealed a smidgen of a smile: “It’s Cultivator Floatingcloud’s Burning Heavens Revelation!”
“Hiss…” As these words emerged, all the present cultivators gasped coldly in unison. Even Firecloud, Shadowslay, and the cultivators who weren’t well-known turned their heads to look at him incredulously.
An arcane effort was a cultivator’s foundation. In Heavens Law, the only one that could be learned was the Hundred Solutions. From Xu Yangyi’s and Chu Zhaonan’s struggle to become the paragon, the importance of arcane efforts could be seen in full display
A complete arcane effort ought to have been comprised of five great systems: cultivation, attack, defense, evasion, and supplementary methods. Only such a fully developed system was capable of being called a true arcane effort!
An intact arcane effort was seldom encountered. An entire high-level arcane effort was even more rare! As for the Burning Heavens Revelation, this was one of China’s name-shaking fifty grand arcane efforts! Only the arcane efforts specialized in by Core Formation masters and Great Circle of Foundation Establishment cultivators had the clout to be listed among China’s fifty grand arcane efforts. This was because these arcane efforts were verified to be capable of leading one at the minimum to the baseline of Foundation Establishment’s peak!
However… the Burning Heavens Revelation was vastly different, since the one who cultivated it was Daomaster Floatingcloud, a great late-stage Core Formation cultivator!
In other words… this was a complete arcane effort that would lead straight to the late stage of Core Formation, one without a single flaw or the slightest hindrance!
Within the qi walls, Xu Yangyi suddenly opened his eyes. Even if it was him, he was endlessly amazed by Daomaster Floatingcloud’s grand style. He had originally believed that the prize would be a spirit pill’s pill elixir or perhaps an awesome magik artifact. Although he had never seen what a magik artifact looked like, the gun in Chu Zhaonan’s hand was probably one, but the latter was currently unable to answer.
“In the ranking of secret arts… the Burning Heavens Revelation ranks in the twenty-seventh position…” At this moment, the thousands of people in the arena were silent. The white beard beneath an old ancestor’s chin was trembling, his voice wavering: “T-the prize this time is a-actually this treasure… Such a secret art will go to this person…”
His eyes reddened in a flash, the significance of this didn’t need to be said! This was equal to saying that as long as Xu Yangyi didn’t die during the cruel passage of cultivation, he had the hope of becoming a Core Formation cultivator!
Among the million cultivators, there were only ten that were great Core Formation Dao Masters! This fame, barely a seemingly rational desire, was worth them discarding everything aside to gamble for!
As long as a Core Formation cultivator appeared in any clan, even if they were in a muddy quagmire in the past, they would be able to soar straight to clear blue skies in the next second! Yet he didn’t expect by any means that it would actually be the cultivation origin that the cultivation world fought over for—an arcane effort!
1. “This a man that had a bloody bite to him” Actual Chinese is more along the lines of “A dog that bites people should not be called on and leaves bloody bite”. Literally. Meant to describe someone who is somewhat concealed/ordinary, but is actually powerful.
2. This is kinda hard to relate to for western audience in my opinion. Bureaucracy Unmasked = Officialdom Unmasked (official title) is the translated title of Li Baojia’s work that focuses on themes of opposing government/corruption/bureaucracy. Li Baojia was a writer/essayist during the Qin Dynasty period.