A cultivator's innate stars were akin to their life. Without innate stars, a cultivator was as good as a cripple. One would not be able to gather astral energy and could no longer set foot on the path of cultivation. That was what had happened to Pang Tongyuan. After being captured by Di Batian, his innate stars were destroyed, making him a cripple. The other prisoners suffered the same fate.
When Xiang Shaoyun learned that, he grasped Pang Tongyuan's hand sorrowfully and said, "Third uncle, it's all my fault."
Pang Tongyuan smiled. "Don't apologize, young master. The only one to have ever wronged me is that dog, Di Batian. Just be sure to take revenge for me in the future, and I will have no regrets."
"Don't worry, third uncle. Wherever Di Batian runs to, I will tear him into pieces," Xiang Shaoyun vowed.
"Good, good. All is good as long as you have that intention," said Pang Tongyuan.
Xiang Shaoyun looked at Old Yao and asked, "Grandpa Yao, is there no way to help third uncle?"
"There is, but it's extremely difficult," said Old Yao after giving it some thought.
Xiang Shaoyun hurriedly asked, "What's the method?"
"Finding the legendary saint herb, the astral grass. With that herb, one can reform one's stars," said Old Yao.
Just the fact that the astral grass had the word astral in its name proved how impressive the plant was. It also reminded Xiang Shaoyun of the records he had once read.
There were two types of astral grass. One was called the minor astral grass, and the other was called the major astral grass. The minor astral grass was classified as saint medicine, while the major astral grass was classified as something beyond the saint grade, the god grade.
Both the grasses were extraordinary plants that grew through absorbing astral energy. A different astral grass would result from a different grade of natural star. Astral grasses were extremely rare, only growing at the core of a star. In fact, there were stars where not even a single blade of astral grass grew.
Because of that, the astral grass was a herb that only existed in the legends. Very few people had actually seen it, so Old Yao's reply placed great pressure on Xiang Shaoyun.
"Don't bother, young master. Saint herbs are extremely rare. Don't waste your time looking for one. In my current condition, I will have no problem living a few more years," said Pang Tongyuan, who seemed to have accepted his fate.
Xiang Shaoyun did not know what to say, and his heart was filled with guilt.
Scarlet Flame Monarch, who had been silent, interjected, "It's really not that hard to find astral grass. Just wait until I recover to my peak strength. I can get some for you, young master."
"For real?" Xiang Shaoyun was overjoyed.
"Of course. Astral grass might be rare, but stars aren't exactly hard to find. I just need to put some effort into it," said Scarlet Flame Monarch.
"That's good to hear!" Xiang Shaoyun was glad.
Pang Tongyuan's expression shifted as he finally saw some hope. Next, Xiang Shaoyun sent Duo Ji to settle Pang Tongyuan and the other loyalists in the sect. The loyalists might be crippled, but Xiang Shaoyun would not mistreat them.
"Grandpa Yao, Little Qian, it has been hard on you," said Xiang Shaoyun as he finally found some time for them.
"Not at all, young master. I'm already happy that you didn't see us as traitors," said Old Yao.
"How would I? If I can't even trust you, who else can I trust? It's all thanks to you that I can have my current accomplishment," said Xiang Shaoyun somewhat awkwardly.
He had indeed doubted Old Yao's loyalty, but the doubt had been completely dispelled.
Old Yao sighed and said, "I remember that when I used to place you in the medicine bucket, you were still a tiny kid. In a flash, you're now a handsome adult. I have survived these years because Di Batian needed my help to refine pills for him and manage his many herbs. I can't abandon Yao Qian either, so I opted to stay. Without my care, she would probably be dead already."
"Grandpa, it's my fault for being your burden," said Yao Qian.
"Silly child. So long as you can keep living, your grandpa will be happy," said Old Yao with a genial look on his face.
"Grandpa Yao, Little Qian, let's stop talking about all the sad things. With me here, everything will get better," Xiang Shaoyun comforted them. "Go back and rest first. I'll have a talk with the survivors and see if they're willing to stay and work for me."
"You're not afraid of betrayal, young master?" asked Old Yao.
"If they are capable enough to stab me in the back, I will accept it," declared Xiang Shaoyun domineeringly before walking out of the grand hall.
The Di Sect members had all been gathered in one place. There were still many survivors, including the regular disciples, overseers, and managers, totaling to about 7,000 people. For a tier-7 organization, this really wasn't a big number. They had suffered high casualties after the numerous battles, and the subsequent shockwaves from the Saints had killed thousands of them. These survivors were the lucky ones.
When they saw Xiang Shaoyun, they lowered their heads instinctively as a sense of fear rose within them. Only some of the younger ones were looking at Xiang Shaoyun curiously, trying to see just who had destroyed their sect and chased their powerful sect master away.
"This young man is the youth who had chased our sect master away? He doesn't look like a villain at all."
"He is so handsome and cool, like a child of the heavens. His charm is sweeping me off my feet."
"Stop getting all smitten with him. He might kill us all. He really doesn't look ruthless."
"You can never judge a book by its cover. He might look righteous, but he is someone with the heart of a beast. If he wants to do something to us, we must fight to the end and not compromise."
"That's right. He is definitely going to try something against me with my good looks. Unless he takes me as his wife, I won't agree!"
When Xiang Shaoyun heard the conversation between the youths, his face sank. Inwardly, he thought, Is this young master that kind of man? Ignorant kids.
He swept his gaze through them and released his presence. A heavy pressure descended upon them as he said, "Among you, some know me, and some do not. It doesn't matter. Let me inform you that before this sect was the Di Sect, it was the Ziling Sect. The founder of the Ziling Sect was Xiang Yangzhan; the deputy sect master was Di Batian. I am Xiang Yangzhan's son, Xiang Shaoyun.
"About 11 years ago, Xiang Yangzhan went for a duel at Wumo Pass and did not return. Di Batian stole the throne and murdered many sect loyalists. He also pursued me like a stray dog. Luckily, I survived. After 10 years, I've returned to reclaim what my father built and kill the traitorous dog, Di Batian.
"Unfortunately, Di Batian managed to escape, and I was only able to kill his son and some of his loyalists. Now, I don't plan to kill every last one of you survivors. I am not someone who enjoys killing. I will be giving you three options. First, serve me, and I will support your growth as a cultivator with all my strength. Second, cripple your cultivation and leave. Third, kill yourself."Previous Chapter Next Chapter