Chapter 24 - Scheme

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“Perhaps it’s time for me to get some Contribution Points,” murmured Gu Suihan with a frown as he looked at the big fat zero inscribed on his disciple token.

The biggest difference between himself and other disciples was that he didn’t lack techniques. His experience over nearly two millennia was what he relied on the most. Ever since the lectures at the Compounds ended, he had gone to the Cultivation Library and borrowed two books just to look like everybody else. If he wasn’t spending time cultivating, he was at the Main Library reading up on the history of this era, hoping to find some clues.

Disciples were allowed to go into the Main Library anytime they wanted since this library didn’t carry any books about techniques and the like. On the contrary, the Cultivation Library had a full collection of everything that the Seven Kill Sect had taught their disciples since they were founded.

Each disciple was allowed into the Cultivation Library a certain number of times a month. If you wanted to go in more often, you would have to accumulate enough Contribution Points. Not only were these Contribution Points useful for gaining entry into the Cultivation Library, but you could also exchange them for pills, herbs, magic weapons, Spiritual Stones, or magic treasures. There was also a long list of rare natural resources you could exchange these points for.

With that in mind, Gu Suihan got up and decided to go out and take on some missions in order to gain some Contribution Points.

“Hmm?” He suddenly stopped and pulled out an ordinary-looking statue from his magic storage bag. He stared at it for a long time and didn’t say anything.

This was the item he had taken from the tax ship. Perhaps it was an item that Disciplinarian Zhang and the rest sought after.

Vow Power.

This statue had the Vow Power of everyone living within a state. If a cultivator in the Way of the Gods or one of those martial artists doing physical cultivation got their hands on this, they could become a god. You would only be a Soil God and not even a City God1(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tudigong). City God (China)], but the Way of the Gods was always the hardest at the beginning. Having this little statue would save one so much time.

“I need to get rid of this sometime soon. Bringing it around all the time like this only brings me trouble.” He frowned deeply at the statue.

This statue was good stuff, but it was useless to him. There was no way he was going to cultivate in the Way of the Gods. It was such an unstable job. Besides getting yourself stuck mostly where you became a god, you also had to deal with the messy wishes of your worshippers. Otherwise, if none of your worshippers’ wishes came true, they would stop believing in you. Once that happened, your cultivation level would start backsliding and you might even stop being a god after some time.

But there was also no way Gu Suihan was going to just give this away for nothing in return. That was out of the question. This thing could sell for a lot of money.

His initial plan had been to shut himself in so that he could separate the spirit inside the knife from the knife itself, but since it was still taking some time to decide, there was nothing he could do about it.

While he was still deciding exactly what he should do next, Taohua suddenly called out to him from outside the room, “Young Master, Young Master Li is waiting in the guest area by the door. He says it’s very urgent and wants you to come out as quickly as possible.”

Gu Suihan looked up with a start as he raised an eyebrow. “I’ll be out in a minute.”

“If this matter wasn’t urgent, I wouldn’t interrupt your recuperation process like this. I hope you can understand,” said Li Rong when he saw Gu Suihan walkout.

“Oh?” Gu Suihan motioned to Li Rong to sit, got Taohua to get Li Rong some tea, then asked, “What’s the matter?”

“An elder is gathering disciples from the East Compound with a mission,” said Li Rong as he frowned and tapped his fingers on the table. “It wasn’t really anything out of the ordinary since you could go ahead and ask anybody to do whatever. But this elder has been given the authority to do so by the Peak Leader of Peak Six. The elder has to gather five fairly capable external disciples, or he will be disciplined.”

“What has that got to do with me?” asked Gu Suihan. All the external disciples knew that he was supposed to be injured. The result of that duel was that Li Xianlong was dead and Gu Suihan was badly injured.

Li Rong scoffed and said with some disgust in his voice, “It didn’t have anything to do with you initially, but someone told the elder about you, so your name appeared on the list.” He really hated tattletales.

“Who did that?” Gu Suihan narrowed his eyes to conceal the piercing and murderous gaze he had. He bent down to blow at his hot tea and said slowly, “You mean I have to go even if I’m injured?”

“That elder is from Peak Six, otherwise known as the Pill Furnace Peak, so they’re in charge of providing all the pills for the sect. He heard that you were injured, so he doesn’t mind giving you a Spiritual Multiplier Pill.”

“Wow, how generous,” Gu Suihan scoffed.

Spiritual Multiplier Pills were usually meant to heal the injuries of cultivators at the Origin Core Stage. One pill cost 300 Spiritual Stones, or 50 Contribution Points.

“What does he need us to do? Why is it worth so much effort on his part?” asked Gu Suihan quietly after thinking about this matter for a while.

Li Rong massaged his temples, then said with some annoyance, “A disciple stole one of the three Seven Kill Spiritual Transformation Pills that the elder refined. After the elder reported it to the Disciplinary Hall, someone found out that the thief has some connection to the Vast Sky Sect. So this is no small matter.”

“Is that elder stupid?” Gu Suihan insulted the elder without hesitation. “This is a problem for cultivators at the Origin Core stage to fix. It has nothing to do with a bunch of low-level external disciples. Besides, a traitor in the sect will affect the two sects directly. And they’re going to count on a bunch of kids who aren’t even at Foundation Establishment stage?”

“You don’t say,” Li Rong clearly shared the same sentiments. “Apparently, the sect already sent a few direct disciples out to kill the person from Vast Sky Sect, but they’ve been held up by the folks from Vast Sky Sect who were supposed to meet with the traitor.”

Li Rong downed the rest of his tea and smacked his lips before continuing, “That traitor had no choice but to continue on his way. He’s got a bunch of servants with him, but they’re all below Foundation Establishment level. There are about seven or eight of them in all.”

“So, wouldn’t it be better to send internal disciples at Foundation Establishment after them?”

“It’s probably an agreement between Vast Sky Sect and our sect to settle this problem with disciples who are not as powerful as the thief. The thief is only at the Half Step to Foundation Establishment Stage and hasn’t completely transformed his meridian channels yet.” Li Rong looked very unhappy by this point. “So…”

“Is your name on that list too?” Gu Suihan felt a sense of schadenfreude when he saw how unhappy Li Rong looked.

Li Rong noticed Gu Suihan’s smirk and became even more annoyed.

“Let’s go then,” said Gu Suihan with a long sigh.

“Why are we even involved,” Li Rong continued to grumble as he got up and shook his head with a miserable expression on his face.

“You’re Gu Suihan?” said a middle-aged man with shriveled skin and a perpetual worried look as he stood at the entrance to the East Compound.

“That is correct,” said Gu Suihan politely as he cupped his fists to greet the elder.

The Elder couldn’t help but frown at how sickly Gu Suihan looked. He asked, “Have your injuries gotten better over the past few days? How long more do you need to recuperate?”

“Thank you for the concern, elder. I have been pretty badly injured, so I will probably take another month or so to fully recover,” said Gu Suihan in a slow and pained manner.

“Oh dear!” The elder let out a long sigh, then said, “If Li Xianlong hadn’t died, he would have been a good candidate for this mission. But…sigh…”

“You can have this Spiritual Multiplier Pill. It will help you recover faster.” The elder frowned even more deeply, making his already wrinkled face seem even older as he sighed.

“But…” Gu Suihan didn’t take the pill from the elder and frowned as he said hesitantly, “It’s not that I don’t want to help the sect, but even if I did have the heart to do so, I don’t have the ability to do so.”

“Why do you say that?” The elder’s face fell. “If you do a good job this time, I will reward you with other things.”

The elder had clearly thought that Gu Suihan was trying to negotiate for some additional benefits.

As the elder spoke, he enveloped Gu Suihan with a thin layer of pressure, which was a hint to Gu Suihan that if Gu Suihan continued trying to find excuses, the elder would teach him a lesson.

Gu Suihan immediately became terrified and bowed low as he said, “Please don’t take it wrongly, elder. Let me explain. I had been lucky enough to survive that duel with Li Xianlong some days ago, but the weapon I had been using all these years was also destroyed in the fight and I’ve been spending the last few days trying to rest and recuperate. So, even if you give me a pill to help with my recuperation process, I’m still going to have a lot of trouble fighting if I don’t even have a weapon.”

“Is that really what happened?” the elder turned to ask the other four external disciples he had gathered suspiciously.

“It’s true, elder.”

“Sigh!” The elder’s lips twitched for a moment before the elder pulled a sword out very reluctantly from his magic storage bag and passed it to Gu Suihan. “This was a weapon I had actually spent some time and effort in obtaining for that ungrateful traitor. You can have it. But that means you won’t get anything else after you complete this mission.”

“Thank you, elder,” Gu Suihan thanked the elder in a sincere voice as he bowed low.

“According to our intel, that traitor is trying to head back to Vast Sky Sect and he has already reached Blizzard City, so you have to move fast. It’ll be best if you bring that traitor back alive, but if he tries to resist, just kill him,” instructed the elder very sternly.

“Yes, elder,” responded all five of them as they solemnly placed a palm against their other fist politely.

After the elder disappeared out of sight, Li Rong suddenly spat and said, “What a wily old fox.”

“Hello, my dear junior brothers. My name is Feng Ran, and I hope we can support each other in this journey,” said the young man in blue robes with a friendly smile as he stood next to Li Rong.

“My name is Zhou Haotian,” said another young man emotionlessly with an aloof expression.

“My name’s Wang Xianxian, looking forward to working with everyone,” said the third young man whom Gu Suihan did not know. He was short and small-sized and had a rather cheeky countenance.

“I’m Li Rong, I think everyone knows that. And this is Gu Suihan.”

Since everyone was friendly and they were going on a mission like this, they automatically looked out for one another. Besides, they had no conflict of interest, so the five of them got along quite harmoniously.

As they chatted a bit more, they pasted a Wind Blast Talisman on their legs, activated it with Qi, and flew towards Blizzard City.

Blizzard City was about 200 kilometers from the Seven Kill Sect, so it wasn’t too far. They could reach it within a day or so, so the five of them weren’t in too much of a hurry. When the sun was about to set, they took a break and decided to find somewhere to spend the night in the forest.

“Li Rong, why did you insult Elder Wang after he left in the afternoon? Did you notice something?” asked Wang Xianxiang as he continued roasting a pig over the open fire.

Before Li Rong could answer, Feng Ran said, “Something’s fishy,” as he used a dagger to cut slits into the pig’s skin so that it would cook more evenly.


The Clacker’s Dodgy Chinese Takeout

Today’s snack recommendation: Chinese Pig Ear Salad. Sorry to everyone who doesn’t eat pork (or ears), but reading these guys roasting a pig just makes me crave this eaaaaarsss. Filled with collagen and cartilage. Excellent crunch. Umami: ********

  1. Soil God and City God. [Tudigong ↩️

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