Chapter 1: Five Year Leap
Winter came, then spring. In the blink of an eye, yet another year had passed.
The Ten Thousand Swords Mountain bid goodbye to the winter, welcoming a season of beautiful, vibrant life.
The flowers were in full bloom all over the surface of the mountain, forming a sea of flowers. The wind gently caressed the flowers, sending petals flying through the air.
This was where Gu Qingluo lived - Jiulian Peak, which she had renamed.
In the blink of an eye, Gu Qingluo had spent five years at the Boundless Sect.
The sect’s influence had only increased when compared to before.
At the beginning, the Boundless Sect only possessed the Heaven-Upholding Peak, which stationed nearly eight thousand of the Heavenly Might Battalion’s soldiers. Now, the Boundless Sect had spread to the nearby eighteen peaks, and there were now a total of seventy thousand disciples. The sect’s circle of influence was a few thousand kilometers in diameter.
If it weren’t for the desolate nature of this territory, many people would have felt incredibly envious of the Boundless Sect’s influence.
However, the land’s fertility had also begun to increase as the members of the Boundless Sect carefully cultivated it, with the River Source Peak having experienced the greatest revival.
This was because the River Source Grass had been planted on it. At this point, the River Source Peak housed the Boundless Sect’s medicinal garden. Su Chen had also planted the Moonglow he had taken from the Mother Goddess Sect, along with a large number of other rare medicines and herbs.
River Source Grass and Moonglow made quite a beautiful pair. The River Source Grass accelerated the growth process - a normal herb which might take a hundred years to mature could ripen in merely a few decades under the influence of the River Source Grass. The exact increased rate of growth depended on the herb itself, and how far it was planted from the River Source Grass.
The shorter the distance, or the less high-quality the herb, the greater the effect.
Moonglow was used to concoct Divine Medicines, but it could also increase the quality of any herbs planted nearby.
These two effects caused the herbs planted in this garden to grow rapidly and greatly increased their quality as well.
The Boundless Sect hadn’t been around for a long time, so their foundation was relatively lacking.
The River Source Grass and Moonglow helped to ameliorate this problem somewhat.
With enough resources, they could begin to concoct large quantities of medicines.
The Divine Medicine Peak was where all of the alchemy took place.
The Boundless Sect’s field of alchemy was incredibly strong, because Su Chen himself was a Master Alchemist.
For this reason, Su Chen personally oversaw the management of the Divine Medicine Peak.
Every day, large quantities of medicines were concocted and distributed to the members of the sect.
Of course, these medicines weren’t just given to anyone. Rather, they were given as rewards for making contributions to the sect.
A large sect needed to have a means of income. The benefit of having such a large number of individuals was that it was equivalent to having that many workers.
The Boundless Sect had three main avenues of earning money.
The first avenue was by cultivating relatively desolate areas of territory and planting spiritual herbs there, allowing the sect to be self-sufficient in this regard. The lowest-status disciples were usually responsible for handling the agricultural side of things. The Boundless Sect had already managed to open up the nearby three peaks, filling them with fields.
The second avenue was by selling products. The Boundless Sect’s prestige had begun to increase, allowing them to open up shops in different cities and sell items like Origin Tools, medicines, desserts, silk fabrics, and money laundering services. Li Shu oversaw this branch, and he had selected a few of the disciples in the sect who showed some talent in this regard to assist him. By completing designated tasks, they would be rewarded with medicines, equipment, and cultivation techniques.
The third avenue was to lend out military force. The relatively stronger disciples of the sect were the ones who handled this branch of business.
At this moment, the Boundless Sect had quite a few mid-tier disciples, all of whom were at the Light Shaking Realm. Perhaps in the outside world, this would already be considered quite high-tier.
Because of the sect’s monopoly on the Light Shaking Realm cultivation technique - no, the fourth level of the Flying Immortal Cultivation Techniques, the Boundless Sect now had an astounding number of Light Shaking Realm cultivators at its disposal.
These Light Shaking Realm cultivators had been dispersed and given many different kinds of tasks to strengthen the sect. As such, no one really knew how many Light Shaking Realm cultivators the Boundless Sect had. Su Chen, Li Chongshan, and the other important members of the sect knew, and the number was truly quite staggering.
But before they had obtained absolute dominance, it was better to keep a low profile.
Even though they could keep their strength on the down-low, however, it was impossible for their influence not to begin to become obvious.
As the sect’s disciples began to appear everywhere across the Seven Kingdoms, the name of the Boundless Sect started to spread despite the Sect Master’s best efforts to control the spread of information.
Ye Fenghan skewered the man in front of him with a thrust of his sword.
“How is this possible......” the small-headed, wide-eyed man muttered in shock as he clutched at his throat, blood frothing from his mouth. “How...... could you have...... nullified my...... Nine-Layered Smoke Net......”
“Hmph, it’s just an illusion technique. The Hidden Dragon Peak’s annual assessment always includes tests of this kind, as well as soul tests and foundational tests. If you can’t pass these tests, you aren’t allowed to leave the mountain,” Ye Fenghan said with disdain.
“Soul...... test......” The man wanted to ask what “soul tests” were, but he fell to the ground before he could finish his question.
“Impressive, Prince Ye!”
“Prince Ye is truly impressive. This Yama guy is incredibly slippery and is quite proficient in using illusory techniques. He comes and goes without leaving any traces, and who knows how many people have had a hard time capturing him? But now he has fallen to Prince’s sword.”
“Yes, yes. Prince’s sword is truly majestic!”
“Formidable, Prince Ye.”
The group of merchants traveling with him all praised and flattered him incessantly when they saw what he had done.
Ye Fenghan yawned. “Don’t worry about saying these kinds of things. You guys paid me to do this work, so it’s my job to take care of the problem for you and make sure you stay safe. Right, it seems that this Yama guy was also on a list of wanted criminals, right? So he should be worth a little. I’ll leave his corpse to you in exchange for one of the Misty Dew Flowers you’re transporting. Does that sound okay to you?”
The merchants conferred with each other briefly before agreeing.
A satisfied smile appeared on Ye Fenghan’s face.
The Boundless Sect would also assign a few resource collection assignments. By turning in the required amount of resources, he would be able to receive a corresponding reward.
The Misty Dew Flower was one of the resources on that list, each one worth fifty contribution points.
He was getting close to reaching a thousand contribution points at this point.
Once he reached that amount, he would be able to go to the Cultivation Transmission Peak and select an Aspect that he had been eyeing for a long time.
He happily put the Misty Dew Flower away. Just as he was about to leave, however, he saw a person running in their direction. Apparently, he was being chased by a large group of individuals.
Ye Fenghan had no intention of paying it any attention. He glanced at the person being chased before turning around to leave.
However, Ye Fenghan suddenly realized that he was using a cultivation technique belonging to the sect and stopped. “Are you a guest of the Ten Thousand Swords Sect?”
When that person heard, he snapped to attention and replied, “Third-Year Light of Flowing Fire!”
The disciples of the Boundless Sect were everywhere, but they wouldn’t openly reveal their origin so as to minimize the impact it would have on others. As such, they relied on these secret phrases to identify each other. Ye Fenghan was basically asking whether the other party was a disciple of the Boundless Sect.
Rather than responding directly, however, the person presented with the callsign would need to clearly identify themselves without directly revealing their identity.
Flowing Fire referred to the Flowing Fire Division, while three years meant that they had officially joined three years ago. Lamp, which referred to light, was referring to information gathering. Clearly, this person was a third-year disciple belonging to the Flowing Fire Division.
When he heard this response, Ye Fenghan sneered. “Your luck is pretty good.”
He raised his hand and swung his sword.
This sword strike appeared quite plain and common. Actually, it appeared to be a tad bit slow.
The person being chased unleashed a palm strike behind him as he yelled, “It’s not that my luck is pretty good. This was all part of the plan!”
This palm strike wasn’t aimed at any particular target. However, the space around him suddenly seemed to congeal as the air condensed, making it incredibly difficult for anyone to move.
Ye Fenghan’s slow sword strike, however, continued to descend.
The two Origin Qi Scholars leading the charge were obviously not weak and moved to react to the attack, but they were totally unable to defend themselves against this sword strike and were immediately cut in half.
The sword Qi continued to advance, cutting through another seven or eight people. The remaining group of pursuers were stunned and stopped in their tracks.
The disciple being pursued laughed loudly, “I already told you that my sect’s disciples are all over the place, and that we would definitely run into one of them eventually. You refused to believe me, so now you must suffer the consequences!”
As he spoke, he unleashed eighteen palm strikes in rapid succession. This time, he was not intending on restricting his opponents’ movements. These palm strikes were purely offensive in nature, beating the remaining pursuers black and blue.
“Raging Torrent Palms and Sumeru Void? You’re pretty strong yourself!” Ye Fenghan was stunned.
These two Origin Skills could only be obtained by trading in a large number of contribution points.
He had only been part of the Flowing Fire Division for three years, but had already accumulated this many contribution points. If he didn’t have a backer higher up on the ladder, then he had managed to achieve it all by his own efforts.
The Boundless Sect was in the early stages of development, so there was a lot of room for growth. Powerful backers didn’t really exist yet, so rising in the ranks really depended on a person’s own individual ability.
When Ye Fenghan connected that to the fact that this disciple was being chased, he asked, “What information did you find?”
Ye Fenghan said, “I thought I saved your life.”
“Hmph, I would have been able to escape even without your help,” the person replied. “At the Light Shaking Realm, the people that can catch up to me, Chang He, aren’t many.”
Ye Fenghan was stunned. “So you’re Flying Ape Chang He, the one who ranked seventh in speed during last year’s assessment.”
Ye Fenghan was familiar with Chang He’s name. He specialized in speed and possessed the Wind Spirit Aspect, making him incredibly agile. As such, this guy actually possessed three different powers.
However, Ye Fenghan didn’t think that he lost to Chang He in the slightest. He didn’t have an aspect yet because he had his sights set on an even stronger one. As such, he had been waiting this whole time to build up enough contribution points. At that point in time, his strength would surge.
“I’m impressed you still remember. Seventh place isn’t really all that impressive,” Chang He said, apparently very unimpressed by his ranking.
The merchants listening nearby were all stunned.
What sect did they belong to, exactly? How were these random disciples this strong?
And what about this seventh rank on the assessment? So even powerful individuals like them weren’t all that rare amongst their sect?
It was unsurprising that they were in disbelief.
Ye Fenghan and Chang He had already left.
To them, an occurrence like this was an everyday affair.
The Boundless Sect did their best to suppress their reputation, but as their influence spread uncontrollably, people couldn’t help but begin to take notice.