Chapter 4: Departure
Today, the Ten Thousand Swords Mountain was unusually busy.
Streaks could be seen flying across the sky constantly.
Those were not shooting stars, but people - specifically, Origin Qi Scholars carrying freight around.
No, not Origin Qi Scholars anymore.
The people of the Boundless Sect liked to be called cultivators instead.
After all, their cultivation base had come from their own human efforts, not as a blessing from the heavens.
There was an exceptionally great number of cultivators present today.
The “shooting stars” would descend from the sky every so often onto designated platforms at the top of each peak. While the Boundless Sect’s disciples were allowed to fly as they pleased, they were forced to land at these designated platforms to prevent these descents from interfering with other peoples’ business.
Ye Fenghan had just landed when two Boundless Sect disciples ran to greet him. “Greetings, Senior Martial Brother!”
“Greetings, Junior Martial Brothers. I am Ye Fenghan of the Concealed Cloud Hall.” Now that he had returned to the sect, there was no need for pretense any longer.
One of the junior disciples said, “Senior Martial Brother, you may report directly to the Concealed Cloud Hall. Hall Master Le is already there waiting for you.”
Hall Master Le was naturally Le Feng, one of the 76 people that Su Chen had saved from Anubi’s clutches in the past.
After the Boundless Sect was established, Le Feng’s stalwart personality, fierce loyalty, and burning zeal made him a good fit for this position. He was responsible for investigating and dealing with internal affairs, particularly disciples who broke the rules. Because of how seriously he took his job, there weren’t many disciples who weren’t afraid of him. He always wore a cold, icy expression on his face, which was how he came to be known as the Iron-Faced Hall Master.
When Ye Fenghan arrived at the Concealed Cloud Hall, he found that it was already filled with people.
Le Feng stood at the very front. He was completely silent, as were the people assembled below him.
Ye Fenghan silently walked towards his designated spot and stood there, waiting patiently.
After an unknown period of time, Le Feng said, “That’s enough time. The ones who didn’t make it on time will be put on guard duty. As for the rest of you......”
Le Feng gestured, and streaks of light flew into the students’ hands, one for each student.
Ye Fenghan reached out and grabbed his streak of light, only to find that it was actually a signalling talisman, a bottle of medicinal pills, and a Grade Five Origin Tool.
He had never seen the pills before, but the instructions on the side were quite clear. The pills were called Source Guiding Pills, an invention of the Sect Master himself. They would bolster one’s cultivation base, each one equivalent to a month’s cultivation time. There were a total of twelve pills in the vial, meaning that the vial contained an equivalent of a year’s worth of cultivation materials. This was the basis for their distribution.
Any pills that could save a cultivator a year’s time was obviously incredibly valuable.
When paired with a costly Grade Five Origin Tool, it was obvious that this package was a rare collection of treasures.
And this was only the initial package given to everyone before the mission started?
So if they managed to successfully complete the mission, what would the rewards look like?
Ye Fenghan couldn’t help but feel his excitement begin to grow.
The signalling talisman contained information about the mission they were about to embark on. With a single glance, Ye Fenghan was able to capture the most important details that he needed to be aware of.
So this was his mission?
The directive hadn’t specified how they were meant to carry out the mission, but any talented underling would only think about how to accomplish the mission, not why they were being asked to accomplish it.
With but a simple gesture, the directive turned to ash.
“Does everyone understand what they should do next?” Le Feng asked.
“If you don’t have any more questions, then go and make your preparations.”
“Hall Master, I have a question!” Ye Fenghan raised his hand after a moment’s thought.
During his travels these past few years, Ye Fenghan had managed to store up some treasures of his own, and he already had a Grade Four sword. Another Grade Five Origin Tool was a bit overkill.
“May I exchange my pills and Origin Tool for something else?”
Le Feng nodded. “All of these items are worth contribution points. If you don’t want them, you can exchange them for a corresponding number of contribution points and then pick whatever else you want. However, your cultivation base is your own, so you shouldn’t rely on too many outward crutches. I recommend that you only exchange the Origin Tool. It would be better to keep the pills for yourself.”
Everyone was delighted when they heard this.
This way, they could all choose a setup that would meet their needs without fear of being wasteful.
“If you don’t have any more pressing questions, you all are dismissed. Feel free to leave whenever necessary.”
“Yes, sir!” the disciples all replied at the same time.
The crowd dispersed. There were a few groups of people who appeared to be huddling and telling each other to take care of themselves.
After leaving the main hall, Ye Fenghan headed for the Achievement Hall, which was the place where he could turn in his contribution points for other things.
After turning in the Grade Five Origin Tool, he had around three hundred contribution points in total. Most of the contribution points he had earlier had been spent on the Frost Aspect already.
What could he get for three hundred contribution points?
Ye Fenghan was a bit stymied.
“What? Finding it hard to choose?” a voice spoke from behind him.
Ye Fenghan didn’t even bother turning around and replied, “Yes. There’s too many good things, but I don’t have enough money. Three hundred contribution points is a hard number to work with!”
“Your body technique and sword technique all rely on agility and lightness, while your Frost Aspect can slow your opponents down. This allows your agility to become even more apparent. But only pursuing one aspect is not necessarily a good thing. After all, a real fight is not like an arena competition. Lacking any major flaws is often more important than being incredibly strong in one aspect. Why not choose this Silkworm Armor? It’s light, so it won’t affect your speed, and its defensive properties come not from the silk itself but from the defensive Arcana Techniques imbued into it. The armor can unleash three defensive barriers to shield you from fatal harm. Even though it only has a limited number of uses, given your particular combat style, it would probably be rare for you to be struck by a potentially fatal attack more than once. It seems to suit you quite well.”
“Not bad, not bad!” Ye Fenghan said happily. “Many thanks for your guidance, brother.”
He turned around to demonstrate his thanks but froze in place.
How come the person standing behind him appeared so familiar?
He rubbed his eyes before yelping, “Sect Master?”
So the person giving him pointers was the Sect Master, Su Chen.
Su Chen smiled slightly and nodded at him. The people around appeared to notice as well and came over to pay their respects to the Sect Master.
“There’s no need to pay any attention to me, everyone. Just do what you were doing before. If there’s anything you don’t understand, feel free to ask,” Su Chen said with a slight smile.
He had only come over out of sheer curiosity to take a look and happened to run into Ye Fenghan, who couldn’t make up his mind, which was also why he had made the suggestion. He didn’t mind staying a little longer to offer some more suggestions; after all, given his perception and experience, he was easily able to determine the condition of his disciples and make the appropriate suggestion.
After providing some more pointers, Su Chen left.
He returned to the Heaven-Upholding Peak, where a massive palace had been constructed. Countless people were streaming in and out of the palace’s entrance, carrying items and resources with them. In front of the palace sat eight gigantic flying boats.
Su Chen and Cloud Leopard were responsible for commanding these boats.
When Cloud Leopard saw Su Chen arrive, he said, “We’re almost ready to head out.”
“Oh.” Su Chen said calmly as he glanced at the palace behind him. “Who knows how long it will be when we return.”
“Don’t worry. Wenchang will take good care of this place,” Shi Kaihuang said as he stroked his beard.
Su Chen nodded. “Since we’re done here, let’s head out.”
Once Su Chen had given the signal, a low, mourning call of a bull’s horn could be heard reverberating through the sky.
The Boundless Sect’s disciples all knew that the time to spring into action had come when they heard the signal. They all began to fly towards Sky-Upholding Peak, with some entering the palace and some entering the boat.
The eight massive dragon boats began to ascend, carrying the cultivators inside, as well as the palace behind it, into the sky.
A majestic, imposing army was thus transported into the sky.
Su Chen, Gu Qingluo, Li Chongshan, Shi Kaihuang, Cloud Leopard, and a bunch of others flew to the top of the palace and stood there, rising steadily along with it. The Sky-Upholding Peak began to shrink before it disappeared behind a cloud.
Su Chen glanced behind him before saying calmly, “Set out for target destination...... Unlimited Sea City.”
“Set out for target destination Unlimited Sea City!”
The signal once again rang through the sky. All of the dragon boats began to rumble forwards towards the target destination.
Of course, not all of the disciples had boarded the dragon boats.
Apart from the disciples responsible for guarding the sect, there were also a few who had been assigned to carry out secret, individual missions.
Ye Fenghan was one of those disciples.
He glanced up in the sky and watched as the dragon boats and palace disappeared from view before putting away everything in his Origin Ring. Then, he began to walk down the mountain.
His target destination was also the Unlimited Sea City, but a slightly different region of it.
Just as he was walking, he suddenly heard a voice call out from behind him. “Wait up! Hey! Wait for me!”
It was Chang He.
Ye Fenghan shot him a glance. “What are you doing here?”
“Don’t bring it up. My mission is to head for the Thousand Illusions Island to gather some secret information. I will need to go alone. What about you?” Chang He said without much of an attempt at secrecy.
Ye Fenghan shook his head. “All individual missions are meant to be kept a complete secret. You broke the rule already.”
“Hey, I only told you cause we’re friends,” Chang He said casually.
“That’s why I didn’t report you. This is the only exception I’m going to make,” Ye Fenghan said coldly.
Chang He stuck his tongue out. “No wonder you wanted the Frost Aspect. You’re just a chunk of ice yourself! Your organs must be frozen solid!”
Ye Fenghan ignored him and began to walk away. Chang He, however, followed along close behind, chattering the whole time.
They had known each other for some time know and were familiar with each others’ tempers. Ye Fenghan ignored Chang He’s constant barrage of chatter, while Chang He ignored Ye Fenghan’s ignoring of him.
They got along quite well.
But just as they were walking, they heard a shrill shriek.
This shriek sounded like it had come from above them. When they glanced up at the source of the scream, they found a humanoid figure tumbling towards them at startling speeds.
“Careful!” Chang He yelled as the two of them sidestepped simultaneously.
The humanoid figure slammed hard into the ground.
Upon closer inspection, it appeared to be a young maiden.
“Ouchie!” The maiden crawled to her feet as she massaged her midsection.
Then, she shot them a vicious glare. “Hey, what’s wrong with you guys! Why didn’t you try and catch me?”
Ye Fenghan and Chang He glanced at each other.
Chang He spoke. “Miss, how were we to know if you were an enemy or an ally? Also, it’s not every day that you see a person fall from the sky. It shouldn’t surprise you that we weren’t able to react in time. But how did you get up there?”
The maiden shot them a glare. “Nonsense. I’m a Light Shaking Realm cultivator. Of course I flew! Is it that strange?”
“Then how did you come down?”
The maiden’s expression fell as she said with some reluctance and embarrassment, “...... I didn’t control my flight well.”
What an unbelievable reason.
Light Shaking Realm cultivators were still regarded as powerful people, but it was their first time seeing such
Ye Fenghan was the first to speak. “Miss, you aren’t part of the Boundless Sect, are you?”
“No. What about it?” the maiden replied, rubbing her calves.
“If you aren’t, then please return. The Boundless Sect is completely closed to visitors today.”
“That won’t do! Su Chen invited me here personally.” The maiden almost immediately bounced to her feet.
The Sect Master?
The two of them glanced at each other.
“May I ask what your name is, Miss?” Ye Fenghan asked.
“My name is Night Demon,” the maiden replied with a smile. “Go and ask Su Chen. He’ll know who I am.”
Ye Fenghan and Chang He glanced at each other before saying, “There’s no need for that. We know who you are too!”