By the time Yang Qi got to Mine One, there were already plenty of other foremen there, waiting nervously for the teleportation portal to activate.
Elder Brother Yue was there, and quite a few disciples were clustered around him.
There were also disciples who gathered by Yang Qi, until the two groups were very clearly separated. Over the last three months, Yang Qi had been making efforts to get more people on his side. Of the fifty-six total foremen, thirty were currently loyal to Yang Qi, while the rest had stuck with Elder Brother Yue.
Elder Brother Yue looked at Yang Qi with open killing intent in his eyes.
His cultivation base had improved recently, but that was because Yang Qi let it happen to lull him into a false sense of security. He had allowed Elder Brother Yue to absorb energy from his godpower clone, yet it was all a trap. With a mere thought, Yang Qi could instantly drain him dry and turn him into a puppet.
As they waited for the envoys to arrive, Elder Brother Yue chuckled darkly and said, “So you recruited a lot of disciples, eh Yang Qi? You’ve done well.”
“What makes you think you have the right to talk to me, scum? Want me to smack you around again so you can cough up more blood?” Yang Qi obviously wasn’t in the mood to give any face to Elder Brother Yue.
“You!” Elder Brother Yue shouted furiously, and was about to launch an attack when intense rumbling sounds filled the area and a group of people emerged from the teleportation portal.
“Respectful greetings, Envoy!” Elder Brother Yue said loudly, obviously trying to make a good impression on the envoys.
Yang Qi and the others watched as six people emerged. The highest ranking among them was a woman in beautiful clothing, whose face was cold and calculating.
No one in this group had a godhood rating as low as one or two. All of them were either four or five, and the woman in the lead had a rating of nine. That meant she was just on the verge of becoming a Common God, causing anyone present who even looked at her to feel an urge to kneel.
Everyone in this group was an envoy sent to inspect the mines.
“Are all fifty-six foremen present?” asked one of the envoys, a man.
Joining voices in the prescribed response, the fifty-six foremen replied, “Present! Please, inspectors, begin your work!”
“Excellent,” the male envoy replied. “We heard there was a major demonling invasion recently, yet none of you disciples died. Furthermore, the casualty rate among the miners was low. That’s a big improvement from the past. The sect is very pleased, and will not only reward you, but will also make an official note of this in the sect records.”
“Many thanks, Envoy!” All of the disciples were visibly pleased. It was a big matter to have an official record made of an event like this. Whenever major figures in the sect considered taking in new apprentices, they would always consult the record and give a lot of weight to past loyalty and service.
Although it didn’t involve a reward of merit points, it was still very valuable.
For example, in the case of a martial arts competition in the sect in which two opponents fought to a draw, the judges would usually consult the official records and give the victory to whoever had the most impressive record.
It wasn’t a rare occurrence, as draws were common among people with the same godhood rating and similar sets of equipment.
“As you all know,” another envoy said, “the main purpose of our inspection is to see if you’ve met the ore quota. Remember, we don’t want any low-quality ore. Only greater godstones will be accepted. Those are the rules, as I'm sure you're aware. You should’ve taken any shoddy or normal godstones to trade with outside consortiums and converted the profits to greater godstones.”
“Yes, we understand!” Elder Brother Yue said. He waved his hand, and his subordinates brought out some cases of glittering ore. The quality was very high. Obviously, some of it had been personally mined, but the rest had been purchased with normal godstones.
“Count it up!” said the woman with the godhood rating of nine. Another envoy hurried forward and extended her hand, revealing a ring. Light shot from the ring, wrapped around the godstones, and pulled them inside. A moment later, she said, “Excellent. Greater godstones, all of them. And you have enough to meet the quota.”
A broad smile appeared on Elder Brother Yue’s face.
Looking at him, the envoy said, “You’ve met the quota for this year already, and you need to keep it up going forward. Understand? Do you have any other treasures you plan to offer to the sect? We can appraise them and compensate you with merit points. And with enough merit points, you can choose to leave this place and go somewhere else to further your cultivation. What do you say?”
“Many thanks!” Elder Brother Yue said, looking very pleased. At the same time, he produced a small box and handed it out toward the envoys.
“This box contains a medicinal plant that I would like to donate to the sect. It’s a three-hundred-thousand-year-old Redblood God Ginseng. I heard that a certain exalted figure in the sect needs to concoct a medicinal pill using a Redblood God Ginseng of at least a hundred thousand years of age, for the purpose of achieving a breakthrough. It’s for that reason that I procured the ginseng.”
He opened the lid of the box, whereupon a blood-colored light emerged, along with a strong medicinal aroma.
“Amazing, nothing short of amazing!” said the woman with the godhood rating of nine as she accepted the box.
Then she smiled, and it was hard to tell if it was a cold smile, or some other sort of smile. “You know, the Yue Clan has been part of the House of God Ordainment for many years. And all of a sudden you’re coming to us with a gift like this? Isn’t that peculiar....”
“Allow me to explain more, exalted Envoy!” Elder Brother Yue gushed. “You see—”
“No explanation required,” the woman interrupted. “I'm not interested in any of the backstory. All that matters is that you’re offering this as a donation. If there's anything fishy about where this came from, it's the responsibility of the Hall of Law Enforcement to investigate. Not mine. Since you’re the one donating the Redblood God Ginseng, you’ll be rewarded for it. The normal reward for a Redblood God Ginseng is ten merit points, but since this one is three hundred thousand years old, you’ll receive fifteen.”
“Many thanks, exalted Envoy!” Elder Brother Yue said, looking visibly pleased.
Next, the other disciples took their turns turning in their ore stockpiles. Most of them weren’t exactly rich, and had struggled to gather the ore they needed to meet their quota, much less acquire impressive gifts. As a result, none of them earned any extra merit points.
Luckily for them, they had all managed to meet their quota, so none of them were punished.
Eventually, it was Yang Qi’s turn.
When he handed over his bag of godsand, the envoy reached in, pulled out a handful, and was visibly shocked at the glittering, sand-like stones. “Noble caliber godstones?!”
The envoys were all completely taken aback.
“Noble caliber godstones? Where did he get them? The mines here can’t produce that. We usually just get shoddy and normal godstones. No one has ever dug up anything noble caliber!”
“Alright,” said the woman with the rating of nine. “Check to see if they’re really noble caliber godstones.”
A moment later, one of the other envoys nodded. “They’re real. Very high quality! This godsand goes so far beyond the quota that it's worth an additional reward of two merit points.”
“Fine, give him the merit points.” The woman looked at Yang Qi, a faint smile on her face. “You’re Yang Qi, right? You did well to meet the quota. No wonder Junior Sister Jadefall spoke so highly of you. However, you being her friend doesn’t mean that I’ll give you any special treatment. You’ll be rewarded with exactly what you should be rewarded. Now, do you have any other donations you’d like to make to the sect? If so, please produce them now. You’ll be rewarded fairly, and if your donation is worth enough merit points, you’ll be allowed to go further your cultivation in the sect headquarters.”
“What? Jadefall?” Yang Qi instantly realized that this woman with a godhood rating of nine was an Elder Sister of Jadefall. And although she made a point of being impartial, it was obvious that she had a favorable impression of him already. It seemed that Jadefall had made some progress in the past few months and was already rising through the ranks.
If Yang Qi had shown his true strength early on, and entered the sect that way, he would have advanced in the ranks much faster than Jadefall or any of the others. But the risk of someone finding out about his God Legion Seal was simply too great.
Instead, he kept low and quiet.
“After Junior Sister Jadefall entered Master’s care, she quickly reached godly ascension. She now has a godhood rating of four. And in a trial last month, she acquired a precious treasure which helped Master rise from being a Greater God to a Consummate God and be promoted to elder king. The sect has really come to value Junior Sister Jadefall. I’m sure she’ll soon become more important and powerful than me. These are all things that Junior Sister asked me to tell you. That said, your current cultivation base, despite being impressive, can’t compare to Junior Sister’s, and that disparity will only continue to grow. However, she has full faith in you. Although I'm uncertain how she knew, she said that you would provide an impressive donation to the sect, something worth a lot of merit points. So, I'm curious to see what it is. What donation have you prepared?”
‘So that’s what happened,’ Yang Qi thought, nodding inwardly. ‘Jadefall is already a god, and has been accomplishing missions for the sect. She really is talented. I bet it has to do with the purrling. And the hidden meaning behind her words is that because of her high position, she's already secure in the sect and can offer me protection. In other words, I can offer a big contribution without worrying about being investigated.’
Jadefall helping her new Master become a Consummate God was no small feat.Previous Chapter Next Chapter