Gu Suihan chuckled at the old man’s expression and returned to talking about the weapon. “How long will it take for you to finish making this weapon?”
The old man stroked his beard and frowned as he did a quick estimate and said, “It will take a little more than a month. This is not like the previous weapon you asked for. Runes take a long time to carve, and the ores you listed earlier are all fairly tough ones to work with, so it will take more time to refine them to a useable state. Are you in a hurry?”
“No, I’m not. I just wanted to know. Can you give me something as my proof of order? I’m going for the second round of internal disciple selection tomorrow, so I’ll only come in after that,” said Gu Suihan with a relaxed smile. He didn’t look like the internal disciple selection mattered to him at all.
“I see.” The old man suddenly realized what Gu Suihan had just said and looked at the younger man with a conflicted look in his eye as he quietly said, “Young man, the rights that an internal disciple has cannot be compared to those that an external disciple has. You should give it a little more thought.”
After saying that, the old man sighed and walked away. But before leaving, he threw an intricately carved token that was about the size of his palm to Gu Suihan. “When you come, show this to the assistants downstairs and they will lead you back here.”
The old man could tell that Gu Suihan was no simple external disciple. His radical views, resolute gaze, and the fact that he could part with so many Spiritual Stones at once were all proof of that.
He didn’t know why Gu Suihan didn’t seem excited about becoming an internal disciple, so he concluded that perhaps Gu Suihan didn’t understand much about internal disciples and decided just to leave him with a small piece of advice.
“Tsk, tsk. Become an internal disciple?” Gu Suihan rubbed his nose as a mysterious smile spread across his face. It was both mocking and disdainful.
The next day.
The cloudless and windy weather combined with the yellowing leaves showed that late autumn had arrived. A cool breeze blew, sending gusts of murderous air swirling within the external disciples’ four Compounds.
Countless people had gathered at the top of the mountain whose peak had been cleanly sliced off. The crowd was filled with voices declaring bold words, as well as vague murmuring between some. The external disciples who did not join the selection had come to be spectators. Not only was it their chance to learn something from watching a real duel, but they were also placing their bets and possibly benefitting monetarily as well.
“I’m placing my bets on Gu Suihan. This fellow might not have cultivated for a long time, but he’s a really amazing fighter. He’s connected to both the deaths of Li Xianlong as well as Hang Chulong, even though nobody can confirm how the latter died.”
“Hoho, Gu Suihan is formidable, but the three factions are a force to be reckoned with too. The disciples from those factions don’t lack access to resources or Spiritual Stones, so they can fully concentrate on cultivating. Besides, their leaders must have given their disciples something to give them an edge over their competition. As someone who doesn’t belong to any faction, Gu Suihan might actually be at a disadvantage.”
“Li Rong’s not bad too. His father’s the Peak Leader of Peak Four, Xiexin zhenren. I’m sure he’s going ot win.”
“Of course. But are you sure you want to bet on him? Haven’t you heard the odds?”
Meanwhile, Gu Suihan and the three faction leaders had gathered in a secluded corner. They had set up a sound barrier around them to shut out the noise.
“I have a good offer to make all of you.” Gu Suihan smiled at the other three.
Wang Aolin raised an eyebrow slightly and said, “Tell us about it.”
“I intend to give up my spot like Feng Ran and Wang Xianxian,” said Gu Suihan flatly.
The first thought that ran through all their minds was, did he find out about something? Why does he want to give up his spot too? Their friendly faces faltered a little.
“What’s happened? Is there something bothering you?” Fang Suyu couldn’t think of why Gu Suihan would suddenly do this.
“Nothing, really. I’ve not spent a lot of time cultivating and my foundation is a little shaky. I’m also feeling a little emotional and distracted today, so I’m afraid that I might not perform as expected. The best thing I should do now is give up,” said Gu Suihan with a heavy sigh as he spoke with indignation in his voice.
The three leaders nearly cursed at Gu Suihan. Gu Suihan was a high-level cultivator before he transmigrated for crying out loud. He would be the last among them to become emotional or distracted. What sort of lousy excuse was this?
Gu Suihan felt a little embarrassed when he noticed the suspicious look in their eyes, so he laughed awkwardly and said, “So, I’m going into seclusion for a while to recondition my body. Also, I haven’t taken on a single sect mission since I entered, so I thought I should try doing some. On top of that, I don’t have a spiritual weapon on hand right now. I just went to the Weapons Refinery Court yesterday to get one made and I’ll need to refine it with my blood as well, so I really don’t have time to join this competition.”
“Hoho!” Fang Suyu’s stiff and stern face broke into a faint smile. “Well, I’m certainly pleased to hear about these plans of yours. This is good news to us indeed.”
“Exactly, exactly. I mean, there’ll be other chances in the future to become internal disciples or whatever else there is in the sect. There’s no need to do this right now,” said Gu Suihan flippantly, as though being an internal disciple was no different from being an external one.
His disdainful gaze, pretentious demeanor, and nonchalant tone of voice made Mo Yuluo so angry that her bosom heaved. Her chiffon dress only made her chest movement even more apparent.
“Humph! Being an internal disciple is a big thing! Much better than being an external disciple!” She gritted her teeth, glared fiercely at Gu Suihan, and left. She felt that Gu Suihan was looking down on her since she was an internal disciple, but her fighting prowess was on par with his. That really frustrated her.
At the same time, Fang Suyu and Wang Aolin exchanged glances. They both concluded that they had overthought Gu Suihan’s decision after all. Gu Suihan did not have connections to many sources of information, so he couldn’t have heard anything that would sway his decision. This was all just a coincidence.
“Brother Gu, if you want to give up, then go ahead. We’ll have nothing to do with one another from now on.” Fang Suyu and Wang Aolin then left as well.
“That wouldn’t seem so sudden anymore, right?” thought Gu Suihan. A sly smile appeared on his face as he watched the two men leave.
“Number 128, Gu Suihan, versus number 763, Zhang Yifeng,” called out the deacon who was the referee for the day. His voice passed through every obstacle and echoed loudly amidst the mountains.
Gu Suihan focused his gaze, and he had an expressionless face as he ran in the air towards the wide stage that was slightly more than three meters high, leaving nothing but a trail of smoke behind him.
“Zhang Yifeng, I hope to learn more from you,” said the young man as he bowed stiffly towards Gu Suihan with a slightly frightened look in his eyes.
“I think you’ve got potential,” said Gu Suihan with a faint smile as he motioned to his opponent to start the duel.
Zhang Yifeng felt slightly more relaxed when he saw Gu Suihan’s friendly smile. He gave a low shout, and the long sword in his hand began to stir up a strong wind.
“Wind-like Sword Shadow!” A green beam of light shot out from the sword, and the tip of the sword was aimed at his opponent’s chest.
Pfft! Everyone stared in confusion as Gu Suihan immediately vomited blood the moment his opponent drew his sword. Gu Suihan turned as pale as a sheet as he stumbled backward dramatically.
“What’s going on?”
“How is this even happening?”
Zhang Yifeng stopped in his tracks abruptly and looked down at his sword with a confused expression on his face. When did his sword technique become this powerful? How could it severely injure the famously formidable Gu Suihan from a distance of nearly 50 meters?
“What the fuck? This…that was so fake!” Li Rong made a face and rolled his eyes.
“What in the world…” Mo Yuluo’s mouth fell open, and her eyes widened.
“What IS going on?” The Peak Leaders in the sky were utterly dumbfounded. Gu Suihan’s actions were so fake that even a non-martial artist could tell it was fake. That was how obvious it was.
“Brother Zhang has truly reached the next level of cultivation and I am nothing compared to him. I can barely believe it myself – he has reached a point where his sword Qi can invisibly attack me from nearly 50 meters away, and I wasn’t able to even react in time. There are so many hidden talents among the external disciples. I admit defeat.” Gu Suihan took much effort to get up from the ground and clutched his chest tightly. His body was bent as he coughed violently, spewing out so much blood that Zhang Yifeng didn’t even know what to do with himself.
“Are you…are you sure about this?” asked the referee as he stared oddly at Gu Suihan, thinking that Gu Suihan was just joking with him.
“I’m sure. Zhang Yifeng’s invisible sword Qi is like a leech under my skin, sucking the life out of me. I no longer have any strength to fight on. Please accept my defeat and allow me to return to my residence to rest,” Gu Suihan shamelessly finished his final words as if he hadn’t noticed any of the suspicious and disdainful looks from everybody watching. He hobbled off the stage and left.
“Gosh, acting is so hard.” He took a handkerchief out to wipe his mouth as if nobody was around, and color instantly returned to his face. His face glowed as though he had just finished a nice bowl of nourishing soup and looked nothing like how he was about to die just two seconds ago.
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