“I believe you’re right,” said Feng Ran in response to Gu Suihan’s conjecture. When he thought about it now, it was true that after the internal disciples he had seen before were promoted, they disappeared completely. He was quite sure that Gu Suihan was right.
Wang Xianxian frowned and said a little hesitantly, “Both of us made use of the three faction leader’s proposal as an excuse to back out completely from this internal disciple selection because we were worried about this. A storm is brewing in the world of cultivators, and if they really end up going to war with one another, the ones who will really lose out will be low-ranking disciples like us. We’ve been friends since we braved dangers together before, so we thought we should tell you about this.”
After Wang Xianxian finished speaking, the table fell silent again.
“Thank you. I will take note of this,” said Gu Suihan solemnly and formally, after thinking about this for a long time. Regardless of what the two of them had hoped to achieve by coming here, telling Gu Suihan about all these things was already very kind on their part, so he ought to thank them.
“Alright then, we shall get going. This is a very serious matter, so I hope you will not tell anyone else about it,” said Feng Ran quietly with a sigh. He and Wang Xianxian then left Gu Suihan’s residence.
Gu Suihan wondered what role Li Rong and Xiexin Zhenren had to play in all of this. He sat alone at the stone table, and his brows were tightly knit as he drank by himself.
He was sure that Li Rong and his father were definitely up to no good. Mo Yuluo and the rest definitely knew about this, yet they did their best to push disciples in their faction to become internal disciples. They had to be plotting something.
Everything he knew now seemed to be just speculation, but these pieces of information proved just how mysterious the world of cultivators could be. The higher-ups of the sect had not made their stand clear on anything at the moment, and these things were kept as hidden as possible, as if there was an ultimate mastermind invisibly moving things along in the background.
Gu Suihan was at the Beginner Foundation Establishment stage, and he had just stabilized himself, so he was as good as dust in the face of this impending disaster. The best thing to do now would be to follow Feng Ran and Wang Xianxian in finding a way to protect himself from harm since one wrong step might result in his death. Gu Suihan very much preferred to stay alive.
The Ethereal Court had allied with four of the seven sects and would be much more powerful than the remaining three, but they did not do anything to actively suppress the three. So, even though the former had a high chance of winning this battle, the other three stood a chance at turning the tables.
If the Seven Kill Sect lost this battle, annihilation was the only thing awaiting the low-ranking disciples like Gu Suihan. Even if they weren’t punished, they would definitely be forced out of this circle, and he would not get a chance to enter the Upper World. The best-case scenario was to become a deacon or elder, stay at Origin Core for a few hundred years and finally die of old age.
“Right now, the best thing to do is to just watch from afar and not get caught up in this mess, in case I can’t get out of it. But if I want to do that, then I’ve got to make a few arrangements.” Gu Suihan decided he would not involve himself in this imminent disaster. He might lose out now, but nobody knew what the future held, so he might have the chance to stage a comeback. On the contrary, if he decided to involve himself with this low stage of cultivation, he might die without knowing what hit him.
Also, besides dodging this disaster, he might be able to avoid whatever schemes Li Rong, his father, and the three faction leaders were planning. He was killing two birds with one stone. This was definitely a good plan.
He just had to go to the arena the next day and admit defeat before the next round started, get himself out of this problematic internal disciple selection, and then hide for a few years or even a few decades.
“Surely I can wait this out,” he thought.
A hardened look appeared on Gu Suihan’s chiseled face. He touched the storage ring on his hand and decided to head for the Weapon Refinery Court.
Even if he was going to hide from the world, he had to prepare for that. The least he had to do was make himself a personal spiritual weapon. He needed his fighting prowess to be at its maximum level to ensure the highest chance of survival.
“I need a spiritual weapon. Money is no problem. Get me one of your best weapon refiners NOW,” said Gu Suihan the instant he set foot in the Weapon Refinery Court without even waiting for the staff to greet him. His face was expressionless, but there was an urgency in his gaze.
“Sir, this way please!” The young staff quickly led Gu Suihan upstairs.
After Gu Suihan had walked out of sight, the disciples browsing through the magic weapons on the first floor started whispering among themselves.
“Who was that? He spoke so arrogantly.”
One of them was more observant and was shocked when he heard his friend complain. He grabbed his friend by the collar and whispered, “Are you blind? The token on his belt shows that he’s an East Compound disciple. He’s just an external disciple, yet he already has a storage ring. Only a few external disciples have one, and regardless of which one it is, we definitely can’t afford to offend any of them.”
The other disciples immediately gasped, then glanced at the stairs warily and left as quickly as they could.
“It’s you again.” The same old man who made Red Dust ran over in a hurry only to find that it was Gu Suihan. Besides looking surprised, the old man was immediately reminded of how Gu Suihan had tricked him into making Red Dust the last time.
He sniggered at the younger man and said, “So, you ruined the weapon base I made the last time by attempting to carve runes into it yourself? Is that why you’re back here?”
“What a coincidence.” Gu Suihan squeezed a somewhat awkward smile out but did not explain what happened to the last weapon. He went straight to the point, “I need a spiritual weapon. I want to make a sword. I will list all the materials you need, the runes I want you to carve, and exact measurements of each part. Also, I want to watch the process from start to finish. At the end, I also want to infuse my blood with the weapon just before it is complete so that it becomes my personal spiritual weapon. Any issues with that?”
Gu Suihan’s sudden flurry of words was too much for the old man, and he sat across Gu Suihan for a long time before he finally digested everything Gu Suihan had just said to him. He stared straight at the young man who always looked wise beyond his years and said in a deep voice, “That’s not a problem. Why don’t you list out all the materials and runes you want so that I can calculate how much this will cost you?”
“I need Tainted Blood ore, Dragon Scale crystals, unpolished Heavenly Fiend stones, Hades Refined Gold….” Gu Suihan immediately listed all the things required for his new sword, including some of the most malicious formation runes that were connected in one way or another. The old man started sweating profusely and knitted his eyebrows more tightly.
After Gu Suihan had finished reciting his list and had slowly picked up the cup of tea in front of him, the old man finally said what was going through his mind all this time. “You’re making an extremely powerful weapon, a killing machine. Aren’t you afraid that it will turn on you and destroy you instead?”
“Turn on me?” Gu Suihan scoffed. The frosty glint in his eye was so intense that the old man couldn’t help but turn away. “If it dares to do that, that means it’s no longer useful to me and I’d just destroy it. Besides, I don’t intend to allow it to grow a spirit of its own, so there’s no way it can turn on me.”
“You…” The old man was already frightened by the imposing stare that Gu Suihan had, and now, he was confused by what Gu Suihan had just said. “Why won’t you let it grow a spirit of its own? Don’t you know that many cultivators wished their personal spiritual weapons had its own weapon spirit? A spiritual weapon needs to have a weapon spirit in order to eventually become a Dao weapon.”
“A Dao weapon?” Gu Suihan snorted again and said in a sarcastic voice, “You’re a weapon refiner and you know better than I do what a weapon at that level really is. Besides, a weapon is supposed to work for its owner. If it has a spirit, it will no longer truly be a part of you. The weapon spirit might listen to everything you say, but there is no way we would always think the same. Why would I want something like that?”
The old man paled at these words, and his lips trembled for a long time before he finally managed to stutter, “You…this…this argument of yours is too extreme, isn’t it? Magic treasures and spirit weapons are a cultivator’s closest companions. If you can’t even trust your own weapon, then who can you trust? Even if your personal spiritual weapon gains a spirit of its own, it wouldn’t be a separate entity from you. If you—”
Gu Suihan put his hand up to stop the old man from going on. He downed the rest of his tea, wiped his lips, and said in a voice that did not allow any room for negotiation, “I don’t care what others do. I will only allow one person’s will to exist, and that’s mine. It’s alright for my weapon to have some instincts, but I will not allow it to have intelligence.”
The old man sighed heavily, then said a little hesitantly, “If you don’t want it to have a spirit of its own, then it’s a lot easier to make. It will cost you a little more than 30,000 Spiritual Stones, I’ll just charge you 30,000.”
He was pretty sure that Gu Suihan couldn’t possibly have that much on him since he was a relatively new external disciple. It was hard for an external disciple to have so much, even if they scrimped and saved for the next decade.
“Here you go.” Gu Suihan threw a magic storage bag onto the table. As the old man stared back at Gu Suihan in stunned silence, Gu Suihan said, “I threw in 1,000 more, make me a sheath as well.”
“It’s really impossible to judge a book by its cover,” murmured the old man to himself as he picked up the magic storage bag on the table, confirmed the amount inside, then led Gu Suihan into the workshop area.
Along the way, several people dressed in gray would bow and greet the old man, then look strangely at Gu Suihan as he strolled behind the old man.
“Your standing is pretty high around here, huh,” Gu Suihan suddenly spoke up. His voice echoed in the quiet and warm corridor.
The old man looked a little smug as he stroked his beard with a smile but did not say anything.
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