Chapter 131 – Leon


The chief manager was sent into a thunderous rage. Sea Spirit Pavilion launched a massive internal investigation and soon locked onto the source of the news. But, the two middle level managers had clearly expected this earlier, and before the flames of retribution reached them they had already vanished without a trace. A bounty was soon placed on them, and unless they never made another public appearance in their lives, they wouldn’t be able to escape the fate of eventually being hunted down.

But even if the culprits were caught and chopped into a thousand pieces, this wouldn’t help fix the situation at all. Beneath the gloating gazes of many people, Chief Manager Wu boarded the carriage and hurried straight to Qin Yu. Since the news had already been exposed, there was no point in trying to further conceal things. However, even though Chief Manager Wu was prepared earlier, his heart still shrank when he got off the carriage and saw the sight before him.

The people of the capital city were renowned for being brazen and bold; they never feared any event, only that it wasn’t lively enough. They wore their pride on their faces and always had an inexplicable sense of arrogance when facing outsiders. Their bones were filled with the desire for gossip. Now, with the three main sea spirit organizations fighting and Sea Spirit Pavilion caught up in such a scandal, how could they miss out on such an explosive scene? As soon as Chief Manager Wu appeared, it was unknown who started first, but the crowds were soon booing and jeering out loud.

With a glance around, the Sea Spirit Pavilion cultivators that were blocking the inn sent out several people. They pushed into the crowd without notice, and with a few pained grunts, the main troublemakers fell to the ground and were soon dragged out.

Chief Manager Wu had a calm expression. He lifted a hand. “Everyone!” His words contained his cultivation. They rung in everyone’s ears, causing a curtain of silence to momentarily fall over the crowd.

“Concerning the rumors that are harming Sea Spirit Pavilion, we will surely investigate them and we will never forgive rumormongers. This matter isn’t as everyone thinks. If you all have time, then wait here for a moment. I will soon give everyone an explanation.” He turned, and through a path opened by his guards, he entered the inn.

After a moment, Chief Manager Wu spoke a few words and pushed open Qin Yu’s door. He sat down at a table, a cup of tea before him, and said, “I have already waited a day, yet this is what has happened so far. Even if it has nothing to do with you, you should still give me an explanation.”

Qin Yu took out a jade box and passed it over.

Chief Manager Wu picked it up and opened it. His eyebrows were tightly furrowed together. Although there weren’t any changes in his expression, his eyes rapidly shrank, indicating his rapidly shifting state of mind.

After a long time, he took a deep breath and place the jade box down. He quietly said, “And just what does mister intend with this?”

Qin Yu smiled. “I would like to find work with Sea Spirit Pavilion.”

….

An hour later, Chief Manger Wu stepped out of the inn, a bright and breezy smile on his face. He pulled the black-robed figure close to him in a familiar gesture and said, “Everyone, this person here is the owner of the red coral. I have asked him to personally announce the final results of this matter.”

Qin Yu lightly said, “Everyone. The red coral has already recovered.”

Chief Manager Wu clapped his hands. “As a leading figure of the industry, Sea Spirit Pavilion possesses the most powerful background and strength. I ask that you all believe us, and not be blinded or fooled by those with ulterior motives. From beginning to end, Sea Spirit Pavilion’s Supreme Book has never failed. It was only that the treatment required a bit more time.”

“Don’t believe them everyone!” A crab monster leapt out from the crowd, his face full of contempt and ridicule. “With Sea Spirit Pavilion’s methods, it is far too easy for them to find someone to masquerade as the original owner. I have a marking of the red coral in my hands. Since you said it has already been cured, do you dare to take it out to compare? And don’t ask me how I obtained this mark. In this world, there are still some righteous sea race members who have the courage to stand up to evil!”

Chief Manager Wu coldly sneered. Since this fellow dared to jump out, he was likely already prepared to die. He didn’t respond to the crab monster. He cupped his hands together and said, “Mister Ning, since this person wants to see the red coral, please take it out. This is a good chance to prove the good name of my Sea Spirit Pavilion in front of the great citizens of the capital city!”

The crab monster who leapt out was immediately stunned. This…the script didn’t seem right…it was fine if he panicked, it was fine if he was angered out of shame, it was fine if he immediately tried to kill him…no matter what it was, the crab monster had a contingency plan ready. But, how could this fellow just directly agree like that? Such strength and calm…could it be that he was skilled at concealing his emotions so that no one could see through them? No, something was wrong. Someone as sharp as Chief Manager Wu wouldn’t make such a suggestion unless he had full faith in the outcome.

Could it be that the red coral really was fine? Was this entire incident a plot from Sea Spirit Pavilion from beginning to end? A cold sweat began to drip down his head. It wasn’t that he feared death, because the person behind him had already suggested a high enough price. But if his death was completely meaningless, then he feared all those promises would become nothing but a dream.

Qin Yu turned his hand. With a bright flash, the jade box appeared. He opened it to reveal a red coral lying peacefully within.

Chief Manager Wu coldly sneered. “Who has the mark? Take it out.”

The crab monster paled. But with things having come to this point, he could no longer retreat. He clenched his teeth and crumbled a jade slip in his hands. A mark appeared above his head; it was the phantom of the red coral. This mark was a unique method utilized by sea spirit teachers. Its use was to verify the status of sea spirits in order to prevent fraudulent switches and replacements being made. The method of proof was simple: as long as the mark approached the true object, it would emit light.

Hum –

With a cry, light gushed out from the mark, sprinkling onto the crowd. The crab monster’s expression was like dying embers.

The crowd was whipped up into an uproar. No one thought that the propagandized Sea Spirit Pavilion scandal was in actuality completely false from beginning to end. The crowd was suddenly angered from being deceived. At the same time, several dozen cultivators scattered all throughout the crowd had extremely ugly complexions. They lowered their heads as if listening to instructions and then turned to leave.

Chief Manager Wu cupped his hands together and loudly said, “Everyone, citizens of the capital city, in full public view today, the reputation of my Sea Spirit Pavilion has been cleansed of all lies. Everyone here can stand as witness. In the future, if someone dares to mention this matter again, I ask that you all speak up for my Sea Spirit Pavilion. I will be deeply grateful.”

These words were well said. In particular, they lifted the audience so that they all had a better impression of Sea Spirit Pavilion. To gain the will of the people with just a few words, Chief Manager Wu truly kept up to his reputation as someone who was able to oversee the capital city’s branch division.

But, his true strengths weren’t limited to just this.

There was a sudden change in pace. In a lowered tone, he said, “Sea Spirit Pavilion has been established in the capital city for many years. While there is competition with our fellow colleagues, we have always held each other in high esteem, and have striven to improve our skills and services together in mutual harmony so that all sides can win. We have never had any thoughts of plotting against others. But this time, I have been left bitterly disappointed. Sea Spirit Pavilion will not stir up trouble on our own initiative, but this doesn’t mean we are afraid of wading into the fray. I hope that all of our fellow colleagues that were involved will give us an explanation for this as soon as possible."

With a mere ‘fellow colleagues involved’, everyone knew that the ones being named were actually Bluesky Tower and Earthfault Spire. There was a faint demeaning tone applied to them. The crowd immediately began to applaud, and there were also many people that also cursed out loud. Anger spread out like an unstoppable tide, and soon, in a single day, the reputation that Bluesky Tower and Earthfault Spire had built up throughout the years was destroyed.

Of course, those that started cursing and cheering were all people that had been planted by Sea Spirit Pavilion. None of them forgot to do their job. Chief Manager Wu was clearly eager to give the other two sea spirit influences a taste of their own medicine.

The incident ended as soon as it occurred. Sea Spirit Pavilion came out without a single loss while Bluesky Tower and Earthfault Spire both suffered heavy losses. The future could be called endlessly beautiful. Chief Manager Wu’s reputation rose to new heights and all the other managers bowed in congratulations even as they secretly lamented his luck.

In this situation, Chief Manager Wu informed them all that he had directly hired a new high level sea spirit teacher. Although this violated some rules, no one dared to step forwards to voice their opposition.

Thus, in Sea Spirit Pavilion, there was another person called Ning Qin.

….

Yesterday had been a busy day, and he had even needed to work overtime. He was mentally worn out, but even when the coral began to turn dark blue, Leon still couldn’t fall asleep. He rose up and rubbed his eyes, bitterly smiling as he stretched his sore back. Then, he pushed open the door and walked out. In the past several days, a scandal had struck Sea Spirit Pavilion. Although the danger had been resolved and a beautiful counterattack made, after an internal investigation, it was found that the reason the two middle level managers were able to smoothly obtain the red coral mark was also because they had the help of several assistant sea spirit teachers.

Perhaps these people didn’t know why the two middle managers had asked for the red coral mark, but in the end the result was the same. These bad luck fellows hadn’t appeared in a long time, and perhaps they might never appear again. At the same time, Sea Spirit Pavilion strengthened their management and oversight of assistant sea spirit teachers. This was because they discovered that even though these people only held small roles, they actually possessed a great potential for destruction.

Leon had lived a hard life these past days. He had worked himself to the bone in fear that his position would be eliminated. Becoming a genuine sea spirit teacher was his singular dream from childhood until now, as well as his dying father’s greatest hopes. Moreover, his job at Sea Spirit Pavilion was his family’s only source of income. With his mother sick and him also needing to take care of his little brother, he couldn’t afford to lose his job.

He hoped that he could overcome this ordeal.

As he was lost in thought, he heard several coughs from the rear courtyard followed by low whispers. Leon frowned. His mother’s condition had always been poor, and she still wasn’t sleeping right now.

He hurried to the rear courtyard. Although he called this the rear courtyard, it was actually only a small space that had been split off from the main courtyard. Several low level sea monsters that weren’t able to take human form were being kept here. Among them was Leon’s little brother, a beautiful underwater koi. Right now, he was lying in his mother’s arms, staring at him with large and pure eyes.

His mother was still young, but her hair had already gone gray. Her rough hands gently stroked the koi fish’s scales. “Lyon, your big brother is working very hard, and he’s already doing the best he can. But, he hasn’t managed to gather the funds needed to bring you to the Manifestation Pond. I hid your age from him, and said that next year is the deadline, but in truth, it is tomorrow. Please, don’t blame mama, mama cannot push your big brother too hard. He is still a child, so how can he withstand so much pressure? But if you want to blame someone, just blame mama. Mama is useless and has no skills. Don’t blame your father either. For his entire life, he did the best he could for all of us…”

Leon didn’t hear the words that followed. He covered his mouth so that he wouldn’t make any sobbing sounds, and then returned to the front courtyard as tears started to flow down his eyes.

The Manifestation Pond was the only altar that had the qualifications to be established in the city. After paying a fee, it could help a sea monster complete their manifestation and obtain human form. This sort of manifestation would exhaust a considerable amount of monster strength within a sea monster, and for the rest of their life they could only be an ordinary sea monster, never able to leave the city.

But for many low level sea monsters, this was the only chance they had to ever take human form.

The reason Leon was able to take human form was all because of his father’s life pension. And now it was Lyon’s turn…but once one’s age surpassed a certain limit, the Manifestation Pond would no longer work on them. Without accident, Lyon would only be able to keep his true form.

And, the capital city had a limit to the number of low level sea monsters that could stay. In other words, once Lyon wasn’t able to manifest into human form, it wouldn’t be long before he was forced out.

Lyon, his lovable little brother, was so young and small. He had lived in the capital city his entire life, so how could he possibly adapt to the terrifying conditions outside?

If he left the capital there was only a single path left to him – death.

Leon clenched his teeth, firming his heart. No matter what, he couldn’t stare helplessly on and allow his little brother to die. There was still one day remaining. He definitely had to make something happen!

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