“Foreman, sir, here’s the work roster. It contains the names of all the disciples who work here in the mines. Of course, they’re all novice disciples. Incidentally, congratulations on your promotion, Elder Brother.”
Yang Qi’s mansion grotto was essentially a cave, and in front of it was a vast platform of about six hundred acres. At the opposite end of the platform from the grotto, there was a towering cliff so steep that anyone who fell off of it would be smashed to bits at the bottom. At the same time, it provided amazing views of the scenery, including the entire exterior of the mine. The mountains were vast, making it impossible to determine how many demonlings lurked about, or what other secrets might be hidden there. Yang Qi opened his Lord's Eye, and immediately caught hints of the aura of demonlings.
These mountains were clearly dangerous; there were demonlings here that were on the same level as gods.
As could be expected, in the god world, Demonfolk and humans were always fighting each other. And because of the horrible climate in the god world, the demons were particularly powerful. A good example were the fish that nearly injured Yang Qi when he first arrived in the god world. 
There were a host of novice disciples arrayed on the platform, all of them Quasi-Gods capable of unleashing immense power, especially if they joined forces. Normally, they were fiendish individuals who kept the miners under control.
But right now they were kneeling in front of Yang Qi. Although he was also a Quasi-God, he was an official disciple, and the ranking system was strictly observed in the House of God Ordainment. Novice disciples didn't count for anything, only official disciples who had survived the Bloodgore Trials were considered worthy of respect.
That was especially true out in a place like this. Yang Qi was now the foreman of Mine Thirteen, and had authority over life and death. As long as he met his yearly quota, he could do anything he wanted, including executing novice disciples.
The leaders among the novice disciples were all very attentive, and clearly wanted to make a good impression.
“Foreman, sir, we have three thousand novice disciples here in Mine Thirteen, but at the moment, only two thousand nine hundred and ninety are present at the mine. All the names are written here, Elder Brother. Please, take a look.”
The novice disciple leaders were powerfully built and had very impressive godpower and energy arts. When they spoke, their voices rumbled like thunder, revealing that they were definitely adept fighters.
Yang Qi flipped through the roster, which contained all the details of the various tasks assigned to the different disciples. Furthermore, he found that the miners were split into groups of a hundred, each managed by an individual novice disciple.
There were fully two hundred thousand miners, with two thousand novice disciples in charge of them. The remaining roughly one thousand novice disciples had jobs related to food preparation, logistics, guard duty, law enforcement, and security. For example, they had to watch very carefully to make sure that none of the miners stole any godstones.
The mine was almost like a small nation, complete with all of the various necessary parts. It was just like the saying the sparrow may be small, but all its vital organs are there.
After perusing the roster, Yang Qi was starting to get a much better idea of how the mine worked.
With that, he handed it back to one of the leaders, a burly fellow with a hairy birthmark on his face that made him look extremely fierce, obstinate, and unruly.
Although these people wouldn’t dare to defy Yang Qi’s authority, they were obviously used to lining their pockets thanks to their position. They were like local thugs, while Yang Qi was the gang boss.
“What’s your name?” Yang Qi asked.
“I'm Huang Weilong,” the disciple replied, his birthmark quivering along with the hairs that poked out of it. He didn’t just look fearsome; the other disciples didn't utter a peep, which seemed to indicate that he was the top figure of authority under Yang Qi. 
“Huang Weilong,” Yang Qi murmured thoughtfully. “You said there are three thousand names on the roster, but only two thousand nine hundred and ninety present. Where are the other ten disciples? And why aren’t they here to receive me?”
“They left yesterday for patrol duty in the mountains, Elder Brother,” Huang Weilong replied. “Unfortunately, they were ambushed by some powerful demonlings and killed. Not even their bones were left behind. That’s why they aren’t here.”
Nodding, Yang Qi said, “I see. And what happened to the Elder Brother who previously ran this mine?”
“He was killed in a riot, Elder Brother. You see, he was a violent person who routinely beat the miners. He even executed a lot of them to help with the devil art he cultivated, in the hopes of reaching godly ascension sooner. Eventually, the miners ran out of patience and rose up in revolt. We weren’t able to keep control, and the foreman was killed. As a result, the sect had to step in and slaughter a full ten thousand miners before they regained control. We also lost a few hundred novice disciples during that time.”
“So it was an insurrection. Well tell me, what sorts of problems do I need to watch out for in managing the mine?”
“Yes sir!” Huang Weilong exchanged a glance with some of the other powerful disciples flanking him. “First, you have to guard against riots. As everyone knows, the miners are mostly career criminals sent here by the sect, some of whom have very powerful energy arts. There are even murderers and escaped slaves. When they get organized and riot, they can do a lot of damage. Sometimes they even manage to coordinate with the other mines, which is why we have to keep them under strict control. Of course, if worse comes to worst, gods from the House of God Ordainment will come to kill any rioters. But we prefer to avoid that.”
“Okay, what’s your second bit of advice,” Yang Qi asked.
“There's a second and a third,” Huang Weilong said. “Second, you have to prepare for invasions. The mountains are filled with demonlings, and every so often they mount large scale attacks, both to steal godstones and to kill and eat miners. If they break through our defenses and slaughter a lot of people, you’ll be held responsible, Elder Brother, and the sect will definitely punish you. About ten years ago, an invasion of demonlings broke through the defenses of Mine Fifty-Six and slaughtered a whole bunch of miners. Because of that, they weren’t able to meet their quota, which led to the foreman being stripped of his position and demoted to miner. It was really tragic. As for the third point, you have to be on guard for cultivators from the dao of devils. There are some big devil organizations that oppose the House of God Ordainment, and they sometimes try to come to steal godstones or damage the mines. If we’re not careful, we could lose an entire year's worth of stock, in which case you’ll definitely be severely punished.”
“That was a very thorough explanation,” Yang Qi said. From Huang Weilong’s description, it sounded like being a foreman was a dismal assignment. Whether it was riots or invasions, it was easy to fail in one’s duties and be punished. However, there was an unspoken message in Huang Weilong’s words: he wanted Yang Qi to back off and not interfere with the status quo. To focus on cultivation and be a figurehead leader, nothing more.
If Yang Qi were a god, these disciples wouldn’t dare to talk to him in this way. But he was only a Quasi-God, as were they. They were the ones who truly controlled the miners, and they didn’t want him interfering with their personal profit margins.
Of course, he had once been the leader of the Dao Defense League, an alliance of billions of trillions of immortal worlds, with a structure vastly more complicated than this mine. Back then, he had to worry about the ‘profit margins’ of various factions as well. If he had to guess, he would say that at least half of the godstones taken from the mines went into the hands of the novice disciples, who would then use them for cultivation purposes.
If he could somehow put an end to the embezzlement, he would obviously surpass the yearly quota.
Unfortunately, the only person who would benefit in that circumstance would be the foreman, which meant that the novice disciples obviously wouldn’t be happy about it. Why should they support the foreman in such an endeavor?
In the end, Yang Qi knew that he was in an important position, but at the same time, was relatively powerless. And although the novice disciples were being respectful, there was no way they would just hand over their power.
It was very similar to the games that were often played between mortal emperors and their court ministers.
Despite all of these realizations, Yang Qi remained completely calm and collected. He didn’t need these people to accomplish the tasks assigned to him, especially considering that he could create his own high-level godstones. In fact, a simple bag of godsand would be worth more than the entire yearly quota, earning him the praise of the sect. Nodding, he said, “You've all done very well here. As long as you stay on task, it seems I don’t need to directly manage things. For now, I'm going into seclusion to seek enlightenment of a technique I'm working on. In a few days, I’ll come out for an inspection. Understand?”
Eyes flickering with delight, Huang Weilong said, “Congratulations on going into seclusion, Elder Brother! We’ll head back down to the mines now, and make sure all the miners know you’ll be coming for an inspection soon. By the way, Elder Brother, there’s a bell at the entrance of your mansion grotto. Just ring it, and we’ll rush up here to accept any orders you give.”
Flicking his sleeve, Yang Qi walked into his mansion grotto and closed the door. The first thing he planned to do was study the Great Classic of God Ordainment, which went into detail about the structure of the House of God Ordainment and its rules. At the same time, he would prepare to push his energy arts to the next level and become a god.
The interior of the mansion grotto glowed with soft light from the spell formation set into the walls. In addition to providing light, the formations kept the temperature pleasant.
He also saw a spring of fresh water, a bed, an empty bookshelf, and a pill furnace. The pill furnace was nothing special, and was in fact so ordinary that no one had even bothered to take it away after the old foreman died. Obviously, his other belongings had been cleared out by the novice disciples.
Of course, Yang Qi didn’t need a pill furnace. His sea of energy contained the Heaven and Earth Furnace, which was the best kind of furnace that could ever exist.
Sitting on the stone bed, he began flipping through the Great Classic of God Ordainment.
Meanwhile, outside, Huang Weilong and the other novice disciples were walking down the mountain. “Elder Brother,” one of the disciples said, “that new official disciple is really a piece of trash. I can’t believe he was too scared to exert his own authority. Everyone knows that someone assuming a new position should make some changes to impress people. At the very least, he should have checked into the godstone deficits. I bet the new leaders of the other mines are causing big scenes.”
Huang Weilong chuckled coldly. “Actually, he's smart. He knows that if he pisses us off, things will go badly for him.”
1. It’s been nearly forty chapters since Yang Qi arrived in the god world and was bitten by a fangfish. Chapter 1142.