Chapter 57 - Behind the Scenes; Coming Clean

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"I have gathered everyone today because I want to clarify a few things," said Mo Yuluo as her pretty eyes scanned the whole table. "I have received news from the higher ups that the internal disciple selection that is happening soon has an increase in the number of vacancies again. It stands at 36 people now."

Nobody said anything. Besides Gu Suihan, the rest at the table had backers from positions of power within the sect, so they probably already knew about this a long time ago. Mo Yuluo was saying this for Gu Suihan's benefit.

"Does it matter?" Gu Suihan sipped his tea leisurely.

"Of course it does. You killed too many people in the secret realm, almost half of the best disciples of the latest batch. The remaining new disciples are only at level six or poorer and they are mostly at Qi Activation stage. How do you expect them to compete at the internal disciple selection?" huffed Mo Yuluo. Fang Suyu and Wang Aolin looked equally annoyed.

"In that case, we'll have to rely on our abilities to get by." Gu Suihan smiled frostily as he looked sinisterly at the rest.

"You…" Mo Yuluo felt a rage rise within her. Her teeth chattered angrily but she suppressed her anger and forced herself to remain civil. "The point of today's meeting is to ask if you could PLEASE be merciful this time. Don't pull underhanded stunts."

She emphasized the word "please", which was a rare word for her to say, given her status and position.

"Oh my! How did you know I was going to do that?" Gu Suihan pretended to look extremely surprised as if his plans had been exposed. Unfortunately, his acting was overly exaggerated, which made everyone else twitch their lips in annoyance and scoff.

After calming himself down, Fang Suyu put his cup down and made a proposal, "300 Spiritual Stones for you to spare them. What do you think, Brother Gu?"

"Not enough." Gu Suihan didn't even look up. His voice sounded mildly disdainful as well.

"Humph! Did you think we really can't do anything about you?" sneered Wang Aolin.

"If you had a way to deal with me, you wouldn't have called me here now." Gu Suihan looked at Wang Aolin like he was an idiot.

"We'll give you a total of 4,500 Spiritual Stones. Out of the 36 vacancies, 10 will go to each of our factions and those who don't belong to any faction can fight for the last six," declared Mo Yuluo as she slammed her palm on the table. She simply couldn't stand that look on Gu Suihan's face.

"Excellent! I like your attitude!" said Gu Suihan as he slammed the table in agreement before anybody else could say anything. When he saw the doubtful looks on the faces of the rest, he added, "If you just want to ensure your disciples become internal disciples, I can let them off."

Their faces eased up after he said those words. Wang Aolin said, "Brother Gu, don't worry, the process is very simple. Usually, the top 36 of the initial selection round will have to challenge an internal disciple. However, this time, because some things happened and some internal disciples died, the top six will be allowed to become internal disciples without having to win a duel against an internal disciple. In other words, number seven to 36 will have to defeat an internal disciple to become one."

Fang Suyu smiled and said, "I believe that you should be able to defeat an internal disciple without any problems, judging from how many tricks you have up your sleeve."

"What about people like Wang Xianxian and Feng Ran?" Gu Suihan did not respond to Fang Suyu's remark and asked about the external disciples who also showed a lot of potential but did not belong to any faction.

"We'll bribe them. If it doesn't work, then we'll deal with them somehow." Wang Aolin had a scheming look on his face as he said, "The sect does not allow us to kill anyone for some reason, but you don't have to kill someone in order to destroy them."

"My, my, how underhanded," remarked Gu Suihan in a mocking voice. Then he added, "But I like the sound of that."

After they had reached an agreement, they were no longer wary of each other and began chatting happily with one another again. It was hard to say if everyone was truly agreeable with these terms. Gu Suihan was someone who could bear a grudge for a long time. If he had the chance to hit someone when they were down, he would happily do so.

Li Rong rapped his knuckles against the table and cleared his throat. When everyone had quietened down, he looked straight at Gu Suihan and said in a solemn voice, "I want to ask you a question."

"Go ahead." Gu Suihan had a twinkle in his eye.

"I want to know if you're actually a senior who took over a younger person's body and has now restarted your cultivation journey," said Li Rong slowly as he emphasized each word very seriously.

The other three exchanged glances. There was a look of enlightenment accompanied by a look of shock in their eyes.

"So what if I am, and so what if I'm not?" Gu Suihan did not answer the question and asked another instead as he looked curiously at Li Rong.

Li Rong gritted his teeth and said resolutely, "If that's truly the case, then that would explain all the mysteries surrounding you. Otherwise, it only proves that you're backed by a large and mysterious faction."

Gu Suihan thought about it for a while, then gave everyone who was looking at him for an answer an affirmative one, "Yes, I am indeed such a person."

The other four looked at each other. Everything made sense now.

"That would explain everything. From your calm demeanor when I first met you, to how you emotionlessly told me to help you completely wipe your clan out. Also, Disciplinarian Zhang described you as someone without a heart."

"Just a few months after you entered the sect, you successfully reached Foundation Establishment. Inside the secret realm, you displayed knowledge of Buddhist spells and extremely difficult sword techniques, as though you had a lot of experience. I get it now," said Li Rong with a sigh as the frown on his face cleared up.

The other three were shocked once more. They had kept close tabs on Gu Suihan, but they had mostly regarded him as a young chap who got lucky. They had no idea that there was more that they didn't know about.

Mo Yuluo had a conflicted look in her eyes as she analyzed the situation further. "Given Disciplinarian Zhang's review, I suppose you used to be someone who was nearly at Nascent Change, so you had three Hun and seven Po. You're more decisive and vicious than the average person, so I suppose you died trying to reach Nascent Change, which was why you had no choice but to transmigrate and start over. You only brought the three Hun with you, and failed to transmigrate the seven Po, which is the part of your soul that has emotions."

"You can see it that way." Gu Suihan had a faint smile on his face and did not elaborate further.

Mo Yuluo saw his smile as a bitter smile that represented disappointment and was further convinced that her conjecture was correct.

"The road of cultivation is an endless one that is achieved at the expense of thousands of corpses, fraught with thorns and thistles, and a willingness to do anything to attain immortality," said Wang Aolin with a quiet sigh after he had closed his eyes and pondered for a long time.

"Here you go." Li Rong suddenly gave Gu Suihan two little bottles. One was filled with blood, while the other was filled with a substance that resembled ash.

That was the blood and the soul of the family member from Gu Suihan's line of the family. Li Rong had handed it to Gu Suihan to show that he wasn't going to treat Gu Suihan as an enemy anymore.

Li Rong was pleased to see Gu Suihan accept the two bottles. He paused, then asked, "Also, do you know of any way to prevent a body takeover? Or a way to prevent someone else from taking over my own body?"

"Yes," said Gu Suihan with a slight nod. He knew at least a dozen methods of taking over a body, so he knew several ways of preventing it too. He didn't mind sharing a few more common methods with them. But there was no way he was going to tell them about any of the other special techniques he knew. They weren't anybody important to him and it had been difficult for him to gather these techniques too. He wasn't going to tell them just because one of them asked.

"Oh? Could you tell me more? I'll repay you for it." Li Rong's eyes lit up as he thought to himself, I knew he would know something!

The other three were also interested to find out more.

Gu Suihan looked at them and smiled faintly as he said, "The easiest way is to cultivate a powerful spiritual sense. If your spiritual sense is stable and powerful enough, you wouldn't have to worry about someone else taking over your body. The other part is to lay down rules."

"The front bit makes sense. What is this about laying down rules?" Mo Yuluo's eyes glimmered as they stared straight at Gu Suihan.

Gu Suihan sighed and said, "Actually, taking over another person's body is no easy task. The safest way is to make sure you're at least one full stage above the other party so that you can forcibly wipe out the other party's soul and consciousness, and take over their physical body. If you don't do that, the consequences will be very severe. The one taking over the body might be more powerful, but you don't have anything to anchor to. If the owner of the body you want is experienced, he could protect himself. His consciousness belongs to him, so he sets the rules, while you would have no choice but to accept those rules. That way, both sides would be on par and it will be hard for you to take over that body. Worse still, the process would wear your consciousness down and you'd become nourishment for him."

Everyone gasped inwardly when they heard Gu Suihan describe how dangerous it could be to take over the body of someone who knew how to protect themselves. At the same time, they became warier of Gu Suihan. He was a monster who successfully took over another body and restarted his cultivation journey with this body.

"Thank you for telling me these things. I have something to attend to, so I shall take my leave first." Li Rong had a grim look on his face. A tinge of sadness and anger flashed across his face for just one second before he threw a magic storage bag at Gu Suihan and left quickly. He was clearly in a hurry.

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