Chapter 47: Faction Showdown (4)
Within the qi walls, Xu Yangyi’s gaze finally sparked, and he cautiously lifted his head. He had finally found a flower petal belonging to him. Among the endless flowers that passed, not a single one had touched him.
Since that day his ten-odd years of training concluded, he had never cared for status and wealth. Finally, his footsteps had stopped before a not-too-appealing autumn chrysanthemum.
“Is the Featherwood Guard’s promise something that Fellow Daoist Hibiscus can undertake?” As everyone boiled over, a man’s serene voice emerged from behind the qi walls. It was only a strand of spiritual force, so one found it difficult to perceive. To hear it clearly cost a bit strength.
But as this voice arose, everyone’s mouths froze. Not only was it the clans, even a few great Foundation Establishment cultivators were the same. This was Xu Yangyi’s voice! Presently, his spiritual force had been scattered apart by that strange bullet. This was the spiritual force he had barely managed to store.
After Hibiscus had bellowed, her heart had long since hit rock-bottom. The Featherwood Guard was a special organization. To be frank, it was a tremendous guild. Any cultivator’s time was comparable to gold, and while a hundred years seemed very long, it was in fact not as endless as in the imaginations of cultivation-crazy cultivators. But what if he needed some item, yet it wasn’t in someone else’s hands? Or perhaps he didn’t have the item to be exchanged and only had spirit stones. What would he do?
At that time, he could go the Featherwood Guard to post a mission, and the Featherwood Guard would take a fifth of the commission from the issued mission. In comparison to the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion that dominated most supplementary ventures, and the government agency CSIB that held an intimate relationship with the Chinese government, they were the poorest!
She could do nothing more than shout, but it was beyond her expectations that Xu Yangyi would respond! Their conditions couldn’t be considered generous in the slightest, yet she hadn’t expected to hear the sound of a heavenly lyre, in the next second!
“T-This…” The clan master of a great clan was flabbergasted. He didn’t dare believe everything he had just heard. “Did I hear that right?” He asked and looked at his assistant by his side in shock.
“No…” The assistant pursed his lips. He felt it unimaginable as well. What was happening? The Featherwood Guard was a major power, but their conditions couldn’t be considered the best in any respect! Instead of asking Moonchaser, the CSIB, or the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion, why had Xu Yangyi instead questioned the Featherwood Guard?
“Is this guy crazy, or is there something wrong with his mind?!” A clan master obtained a definite answer, and suddenly slapped the stone beneath him, nearly spitting out a mouthful of blood in rage. “Are our Lu Clan’s stated conditions worse than the Featherwood Guard’s?! Their organization is limited to their structured methods. Coming out with those kinds of conditions is already their limit! Not to even speak for ourselves, but which of the items put forward just now by either the alchemy-specialized Chen Clan or the talisman-specialized Wang Clan are lacking in comparison with the Featherwood Guard?! Is he mentally ill?!”
“In a time like this where everyone wants a piece of him, he didn’t pick the best conditions, but the mediocre Featherwood Guard?!” His eyes flaring with anger, an old man with a full head of white hair rapped the cane in his hand on the ground with a thud.
If they lost out to the CSIB’s and Bountiful Treasure Pavilion’s extravagant conditions, they could only sigh deeply that their target couldn’t be had. However, the Featherwood Guard was far from comparable to these two organizations. Their conditions weren’t much different from a great clan’s, yet Xu Yangyi had called out to them first. How the hell did that happen?!
“The seeds appointed to his selection within the Featherwood Guard will be extremely generous! But what about the signing bonus?! The favor of resources?! His future pledge?!” A middle-aged woman direly fanned herself and said hotly, “They don’t hold an advantage in a single aspect! Not a single one!”
“He actually answered the Featherwood Guard?!”
Hibiscus was dazed for but a second.
She nearly used all of her spiritual force in the next second and yelled, “I can guarantee it! I guarantee I can do it! The Featherwood Guard’s Deputy Hallmaster Tang is rushing here! He’s a middle-stage Foundation Establishment Senior! Deputy Hallmaster Tang can also promise to immediately handle your sign-on bonus at the same time! The Featherwood Guard doesn’t have many precious treasures, but our number of readily available spirit stones is by no means few! The Featherwood Guard will reimburse all the spirit stones and resources that Fellow Daoist Xu will need later on, even a high-grade Spirit Focusing Formation! Among the few grand artificers that exist, one of them is in the Featherwood Guard!”
“Fellow Daoist Xu!’ Her voice had been stirred to hoarseness, and she excitedly took a step forward. “As long as you join our organization, all conditions may be discussed!” She hadn’t anticipated whatsoever that the first time Xu Yangyi would raise his voice it would actually be directed to the Featherwood Guard!
Brilliant fireworks suddenly exploded all around her, and she took out the next condition with barely any consideration! This was the Featherwood Guard’s bottom line!
The surroundings were quiet as the Featherwood Guard declared their conditions. The other clans could denounce it, but when this major player in the cultivation world spoke there was no room for interruption. Everyone’s gazes were nailed to the billowing qi walls, waiting on Xu Yangyi’s response, on the edge of their seats.
Xu Yangyi mumbled to himself. In his silence, Vulture nearly smashed his cell phone!
How could Fenyi City’s Heavens Law branch be so poor?! Why couldn’t they change their communication equipment?! At such an important juncture, when he’d been planning to ask if Xu Yangyi had other hobbies or interests, he actually couldn’t make a call?!
He couldn’t wait any longer… He sucked in deeply and said clearly, “Fellow Daoist Xu! Are you not planning on considering? The Bountiful Treasures Pavilion isn’t wanting in any way. Be it rare treasures, precious items, or spirit stones, we have it all! Whatever the Featherwood Guard can give to you, our Bountiful Treasures Pavilion can bestow as well! Moreover, we’ll give double!”
While it was a major power, the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion’s lack of a Core Formation cultivator had forever been it’s pain! On both accounts of a genius second only to Sunnihilator and a Core Formation-grade arcane effort, the Bountiful Treasures Pavilion had neither! With these two points added together, there was a sliver of a possibility “equal” to a Core Formation master!
Give up? He wasn’t resigned to do so at all!
There was no time to ask the branch again… Now was the time put forth a heavy fist!
“If you promise…” He gritted his teeth and opened his wrist watch. “I’ll immediately open dispatch to the branch. You can discuss it here with the branch chief! No matter any condition you want!”
“Fellow Daoist Xu… do you know why Heavens Law is unable to find the murderer you want to find?” Within the qi walls, there was no answer, so Vulture cut straight to the heart of the matter and asked lowly.
It was silent again. After the passage of a few seconds, Xu Yangyi’s voice finally echoed out, “I’d like to hear the details.”
Hook, line, and sinker!
Vulture’s eyes twinkled. This was it… The crux of the matter laid here!
While perhaps the cultivations of the special envoys from the Big Three weren’t the highest, they were undeniably the ones who knew the most about the world’s ways! In the instant he heard that the Featherwood Guard, who didn’t hold a superior position in a single aspect, was able to obtain Xu Yangyi’s favor, he realized it was only because they had added on one more condition!
To assist Xu Yangyi in finding the murderer of his parents!
“It’s because of the scope of authority!” He immediately said without a moment’s hesitation, “Fellow Daoist Xu, you couldn’t possibly be aware unless you were one of Heavens Law’s half-step Core Formation cultivators or true Core Formation authorities… but on China’s wanted list, besides the A-rank listing… there’s also the S-rank listing above! Even SS-rank! And it goes all the way to SSS-rank listing!”
“There’s something like that?!”
“The S-rank listing… The A-rank Vermilion Snow is at the Great Circle of Foundation Establishment. Is S-rank Core Formation?!”
“Is SS-rank the middle stage of Core Formation?! Is SSS-rank the late stage of Core Formation?!”
“My god… How is this be possible?!”
“A-rank actually isn’t the highest?!”
The arena immediately became a storm of uproars. All of China was crystal clear on this list. Its name was the “Heavenly Demon Ranking”, and all of China’s most crazed, powerful, and murderous demons were on it!
Fengyi’s Vermilion Snow was ranked ninth. Kill count: started at 500,000 and included four cities. To this day, Hegu Province still had a Fox-King Temple. Its viciousness had not changed. Vermilion Snow gained its name for leaving 50 kilometers of snowy lands dyed in blood. Birth date: Era of Emperor Daoguang, exact specifics unclear. Present lair: across from Fengyi City’s Heavens Law branch in the Triumphant Virtue Plaza. Realm: Great Circle Foundation Establishment.
Shanghai’s Sootharkener was ranked tenth. Kill count: started at 300,000. Birth date: Era of Emperor Qianlong, exact specifics unclear. Present lair: Underwater Sootharkener Palace in Shanghai’s Huangpu River. Realm: Great Circle Foundation Establishment. 
Beijing’s “Mr. One-Eye Five”, the One-eyed Pentageist. Kill count: started at 300,000. Birth date: unknown. Present lair: unknown. It acted as an adviser for a famous demon family, the Ming Clan. 
All kinds of frequently heard names that were enough to send the spirits of Qi Condensation cultivators scattering in fear streaked through the ears of every person. There was no one, even Firecloud, who was able to restrain themselves from shivering all over.
These… were true Greater Demons concealed within human society! The lingering evils of the past that were but a mere step away from treading into Core Formation! And there was an S-rank bounty list above these demons?!
Within the qi walls, Xu Yangyi shut his eyes and sat down in meditation, yet his eyes were ultimately unable to restrain themselves from shivering. It had been many years… but he finally had the trace of a clue to follow! But this was the S-rank bounty list… even if he did find his nemesis, then what?
Although he was presently a marvelous commodity worthy of raising, he was too weak. He stifled the frenzied throbbing of his heart. The feeling within his veins was fiercely scalding.
“Could Fellow Daoist take a look at the S-rank bounty list?” He pursed his lips firmly and asked quietly.
“He can’t!” At this instant, Lilac’s voice pushed itself to the head again. “All of these things are under the CSIB’s administration! I’ll make an immediate report to HQ! Fellow Daoist Xu, believe in me, the CSIB is your best choice! We can discuss conditions again! The CSIB is the highest authority on composing every ranking list!”
“Fellow Daoist Xu, you’re at the cusp of truly stepping into society! You’ll know right away that the CSIB has great authority in the cultivation world! I, Lilac, guarantee this here! If you join the CSIB, I can let you look at the S-rank bounty list, in ten minutes!”
“But!” Her anger already blazing hot, Hibiscus yelled before Lilac had even finished speaking, “Fellow Daoist Xu, do you know from where the CSIB gets their info?! It’s all the Featherwood Guard’s credit!”
“We and the CSIB have a cooperative relationship; we’re bounty hunters! We’re the moving sword of demon slaying! Every month, we hand over information on discovered demon species! Everyone, you only know that the CSIB’s and Heavens Law’s teaching materials are formidable, but what about the demon forms?! The experimental specimens?! Those dangerous videos?! All of it was exchanged blade and spear with the lives of everyone from the Featherwood Guard!”
“Hibiscus!” It was a cat fight, a cat fight had started, and never did Lilac expect in her wildest dreams that Hibiscus would spill the beans about this secret collaboration. Although it wasn’t important, a devilish fury ensnared her heart in madness!
She turned to glower at her counterpart. “So what?! Didn’t our CSIB give your Featherwood Guard a massive commision for a one-time new variety?! Wasn’t it just under 10 million?!”
“I’m only stating a fact! Is there anyone NOT communicating with each other among the Big Three? Since Fellow Daoist Vulture let the cat out of the bag, I’m just clearing the air! Only the Featherwood Guard can find what Fellow Daoist Xu wants to search for in a finger snap! Or were you going to say the CSIB can move the entire globe’s satellites to focus and lock down on his prey? Gimme a break! Your CSIB only has a single cultivation satellite, ‘Big Flag-7’! Are you willing to sacrifice an uninterrupted decade of satellite use to monitor for Fellow Daoist Xu?!”
“The other satellites can’t survey demons.” Vulture leisurely added. At this moment, electricity sparked between his and Hibiscus’s gazes. A course of action was instantly settled upon: since the authoritative ranking order list is in the hands of the CSIB, let’s first join hands and dispose of the most threatening opponent!
1. 谛听 - is an actual monster/demon in Chinese mythology. It is famously known as Ksitigarbha’s mount. Other names it is known by is “Hell’s Ear”. Said to be very sensitive to the truth, especially regarding humans being truthful or lying. Known for distinguishing the veracity of the Monkey King’s story. It has the head of tiger, a single horn, dog’s ears, a dragon body, a qilin’s feet, and a lion’s tail.
2. 一目五 - Mr. Yimu Wu. This is a pretty interesting Chinese folk monster. It is actually a group of ghost considered one entity. There are five ghosts and only one of them has an eye. They other four are blind. The blind ghosts depend on the ghost with the eye to find food. It is said his arrival brings plague, which has do with how he selects his victims. He comes at night while people are sleeping and smells their breath. From what I read, each successive victim’s breath he smells will fall sicker and sicker until the last one dies, and then everyone is done for.