Chapter 511: Recruiting Disciples
Lonemoon adjusted a bit of immortal Qi and reached out to tap the squirrel demon on its forehead. After searching for awhile, his eyes widened in shock. "Spirit Qi!" There was vegetation spirit Qi in the squirrel demon's meridians, and there was not even one ounce of demonic Qi! At first, Lonemoon thought that the squirrel demon had just developed its sentience, which was why its demonic Qi was so thin. Now, he discovered that there was not even a bit of demonic Qi in its meridians.
What's more that vegetation spirit Qi felt a bit familiar. It was like… Radish's!
"Are you a vegetation spirit?" Lonemoon exclaimed. Only vegetation spirits could communicate with other plants. It was no wonder that he could produce mushrooms that could transform immortal Qi to spirit Qi. But immediately, he retracted his guess. "That can't be right! You look like a squirrel!"
"Didn't it eat a huge pine nut earlier?" Shen Ying suddenly asked. It was then that Lonemoon snapped back to reality. "You are a vegetation spirit?" Vegetation spirits didn't actually have a natural form. After they developed their sentience, they would change as and when they liked. That's what happened to Radish as well. It was only because Shen Ying kept calling it Radish that it looked more and more like a radish.
The squirrel said earlier that the Little Flower gave it a pine nut. Perhaps it was a vegetation spirit that had not yet developed a sentience. That was how it became a demon with a vegetation spirit in his body. Now, he was still considered to be at a relatively low stage, so it could only sprout different mushrooms. But once it increased its cultivation level, it would be able to plant any kind of immortal herbs it wanted. Lonemoon could only guess how many cultivators would end up fighting over it.
"Master…" Fatty could not help but speak up. "This little demon has nowhere to go. It will only become lunch for other demons out there. Can we let it stay here? I'll look after it!"
Lonemoon glanced at Fatty. Was he feeling pity for the squirrel because it was beneficial for him? Suddenly, Lonemoon felt the urge to ask if Fatty still remembered that stupid rabbit. "Keep it if you want to!" That would save Lonemoon the effort required to set up a new array to transform the immortal QI.
Fatty rejoiced. He was just about to say something when Lonemoon added, "I'll put its accommodation fees on your account."
"…" Fatty's legs turned to jelly and he nearly fell over. Suddenly, he felt like someone added a ton of weight on his shoulders.
Lonemoon sat back down. Hmph, don't think that just because you address me as "Master", you don't have to pay for all these fees. Lonemoon was not willing to support just anyone!
Shen Ying and Yi Qing: "…"
They kept silent and continued eating. As Lonemoon's immediate family members, they felt no fear!
—————— A few months later.
On the land east of the continent, a huge crowd gathered. Most of them were children, about ten years old. Some of them were 20 or 30 years old. All kinds of children were present - some were dressed in expensive robes while others were dressed in tattered pieces of cloth. They looked like they came from all kinds of backgrounds. Every single one of them, however, was excitedly surveying their surroundings.
This was the first batch of people who had decided to try their luck upon hearing all the rumors. These days, in the human continent, each country seemed to care about were those rumors. They heard that immortals would be accepting students that afternoon on the island east of the continent. Those who made the cut would be allowed to start cultivating. There was also a chance they could become immortals themselves.
Although these rumors were strange, a significant number of people decided to travel far and wide in order to determine if they were true. All of them wanted to at least see this so-called immortal mountain for themselves. Yet, all they found was a weird rock by the sea, which had the words "Become an immortal" written on them. The words seemed to be glowing golden - they were no ordinary carving on rocks.
"Resurgence on an immortal mountain? This is just a rock," said a couple of disappointed people who had come to watch miracles happen.
"That's right - where are the immortals? We've traveled all this way just to see this?"
"I guess all those stories about cultivating and becoming immortals were lies."
There were many people there, but most of them were not there with real hopes of becoming immortals. Most of them were just there to watch a good show. Who knew that not only was there no show, all that was there was a rock. It was understandable that their patience was running thin. One by one, they talked about leaving.
Yet, there were others who stayed, including a few who had met real immortals themselves. "You can't say that. Didn't they say it'll happen in the afternoon? We're early!"
"That's right. I've seen immortals with my own eyes. The immortal mountain is here for sure!"
"I think so too. Perhaps we're not seeing it because the mountain is invisible to the mortal eye!"
The crowd figured that this was the case. Since they had already come all the way, most of them decided to stay on and watch what would happen. The sun rose higher and higher in the sky and the temperature on the island kept rising. The size of the crowd further reduced slightly. Soon, it was the afternoon! Apart from that rock, nobody saw any immortal mountain appear, much less immortals.
More and more people in the crowd were getting disappointed.
"It's really a lie!" Someone couldn't help but exclaim. "Who knows who even spread that rumor in the first place? We have to drag that person out and stone him!" Once he finished speaking, he kicked the rock beside him.
There was a huge crash. A blinding light shot out from the rock, straight into the sky. The man was so shocked that he stumbled and fell backward. The entire crowd fell silent.
Their eyes widened as they looked at the scene in front of them change before their eyes. The golden light emanating from the rock suddenly split into two beams of light that drifted apart. It was as if they were curtains being pulled back, revealing the stage behind it. The sky seemed to rattle. The shoreline changed and soon, a tall mountain appeared. It was so tall that its peak was peeking out from behind the clouds in the sky.
The clouds continued to swirl around the mountain as the glow of the mountain touched the island ground. Faintly, they could see a temple sitting atop the peak of the mountain. It looked grand and formidable.
"The immortal… immortal mountain! It's really an immortal mountain!" Someone shouted. The crowd looked on at the tall mountain, and the temple on the peak. All the doubt in their hearts had finally been driven away. Immortal mountains really do exist.
At that moment, in the main hall.
"Who put that spirit-testing stone at the bottom of this mountain?" Lonemoon asked around. His advertising efforts almost went right down the drain.
"It… it was me…" Fatty raised his hand weakly.
"What did you put that spirit-testing stone right in front of the door for?" It caused Lonemoon to be unable to undo the great array that protected the mountain. Did Fatty have any idea how many spirit stones were required to undo the array just once?
"Master, didn't you say that only disciples with spirit roots would be allowed to ascend the mountain?" People without spirit roots would not be able to train. Fatty looked down meekly. That was what he used to do with the immortal gates as well.
"Er…" Lonemoon hesitated. "Forget it. Set up the ladder for them to ascend the mountain." Lonemoon silently added this mess up to Fatty's account as well.
"Yes, Master." Fatty stood up and retrieved a dharmic stone from his robes, then threw it out.
"Wait!" Lonemoon stopped him. "Add in another spirit-testing array." This was so that people without spirit roots would not be allowed to ascend the mountain. This way, they would not need the spirit-testing stone.
Fatty nodded and added yet another array onto the stone. He activated his spirit Qi and threw the stone out.
Below, near the sea, a white path appeared before the crowd's eyes. It seemed to lead them directly to the peak of the immortal mountain. "It leads up the immortal mountain!" Someone in the crowd exclaimed.
It was then that everybody was knocked out of their reverie. They pushed and shoved each trying to be the first to ascend the mountain. The crowd was split the moment their feet touched the path. Some were allowed to run further and further up the path, while others were constantly pushed back to the starting point, unable to go up no matter how hard they tried.
Chapter 512: Recruitment Test
The ones who got pushed behind kept trying, but the same thing kept happening. They recalled that the rumors said that only cultivators would be able to ascend the immortal mountain. One by one, they retreated with disappointed expressions. There weren't many who got rejected, however. A significant proportion of people there had spirit roots.
The so-called ladder of ascension was what Fatty used to select disciples back in the small realm. It was different from the Three Azure Realms. The Sacred Arrival Realm that Fatty was in only contained immortals who were cultivating, therefore there was only a small minority who did not have spirit roots. However, immortal sects there had certain standards. Naturally, they were strict about the disciples they accepted. Not only did they have to have spirit roots, they had to be of a certain caliber and character etc.
There were many different types of sorcery placed on the ladder that were designed to mess with the human mind. The more pure and determined one was, the shorter the time they would take to ascend the ladder.
Indeed, while many people reached the ladder at the same time, a distance began to grow among them. All the young men who had been at the front in the beginning found themselves trailing behind less than a minute later. What's more, they were panting and wheezing. The women and children who had been trailing behind in the beginning, on the other hand, found themselves at the front of the pack. This was especially so for children under the age of ten. They did not even look half as tired as the men did. Instead, they constantly turned behind to gaze curiously at the adults who were panting.
A minute later, apart from five or six adults at the front, the others were all children.
"How long would they take to make it up here?" Lonemoon asked.
Fatty looked at him and said, "Perhaps another hour."
That wasn't too long. It should be over soon.
"Eh? Where are the two bastards?" Lonemoon turned back to find that Yi Qing and Shen Ying were no longer in the main hall. "Master, have you forgotten?" Fatty reminded him, "It's noon now, they've gone to eat lunch."
Lonemoon pursed his lips. Motherf*ckers, those little…
"Father Niu, it's time for lunch!" Just as he was cursing them in his head, he heard Chef's voice. "Oh, Fatty you won't have to join us. I didn't cook his share."
Alright! Since they remembered to call him along, he would not deduct their allowance this time.
Why did Yi Qing have to address both of them? Fatty did not want to know.
*** The distance between the front pack and the rear pack in the crowd that was ascending the ladder was growing. The people trailing behind were looking more exhausted by now. Some could not even stand upright anymore, and others had already given up and were turning back. The moment they turned around, it was like the ladder had become a slope that sent them back to the seaside in seconds. Just like that, the people who remained on the ladder became fewer and fewer.
This was what Lonemoon thought in the beginning as well. The aim of this exercise was not exactly to recruit disciples into their sect and teach them how to cultivate. His main aim was instead to spread the knowledge about cultivation to the mortal world. So these people that they were selecting not only had to learn how to cultivate, but they also had to have the ability to pass their knowledge and skills down to future generations. This would allow humans to preserve their own race while the Heavenly Dao was still stabilizing itself.
In modern language, this was called making some people rich so that the entire race could prosper in the future.
For this reason, Lonemoon did not need too many people to join the sect. In fact, just a few of them would do. In future, however, these few disciples would have to take on a teaching role. They would naturally have to be strict.
A minute later, only a few figures remained on the ladder. There were about 20 or 30 children who were the age of ten or so. There were also over ten teenage girls. Least of all were strong, young men who had started the race off first. What was amazing was that there were also a couple of middle-aged adults. They were not trailing too far behind. In fact, they were directly behind two children.
Those two children were at the back of the entire group of children, and they looked more tired than any other person their age did. There was one male and one female. The little boy was panting and perspiring. This was not so because of the arrays set up on the ladder, but because he had carried the little girl all the way up the ladder. They looked about the same age. Naturally, he had spent a huge amount of effort carrying the girl up the ladder.
Only Fatty remained in the main hall. He looked down curiously at these two children. The girl looked extremely pale and sickly. It was obvious that there were issues with her body. From time to time, she would retrieve her napkin to wipe the sweat off the boy's face. Fatty could faintly sense the blood ties between this boy and girl. He guessed that they were siblings. Perhaps these children's situation was special. Fatty could not take his eyes off them. They were still a distance from the peak of the mountain. He had set the ladder so that it would only remain there for two hours. If they were lucky, they would be able to make it.
At that moment, the person who led the entire group had almost reached the top of the mountain. Fatty thought about the squirrel demon who was still planting mushrooms at the entrance. He turned around and moved to get him.
Indeed, a child with chubby cheeks who did not even look ten years old had made it to the entrance of the mountain. Beside him, the squirrel demon who had been working hard at planting mushrooms jumped in shock. He did not control the spirit Qi in his body in time. The spirit Qi in his body surged up and gathered to form an entire field of mushrooms before their eyes.
"Monster!" The child screamed. Perhaps he was too young - he was not even afraid of the squirrel demon. Instead, he kept pointing and shouting at it, and reaching out to try and grab its tail.
"Mushroom," Fatty called. He walked over. "Exalted… Exalted Immortal!" The squirrel demon threw his mushrooms aside and ran to hide behind Fatty. With its tail between its legs, it stared in fright at the child standing by the entrance.
The child hesitated. He seemed to recognize Fatty's identity. He bowed respectfully and said, "Lu Zheng of Chi Xu Country greets Elder Immortal." The child looked curiously at the squirrel demon beside Fatty.
"Mm." Fatty nodded his head and pointed to the empty field. "You're the first person to make it to the top of this mountain. Please wait at the side for the others to ascend. Then, I will bring all of you to meet my master."
"Yes, Elder Immortal." Lu Zheng obediently stood by the side. From his robes, it was obvious that he came from a wealthy background. That was why his manners were so good even at such a young age. However, he was a child after all. He still could not stop himself from looking around curiously.
Fatty did not wait at the entrance of the mountain for too long. People were beginning to flow in. At first, it was just children. After five children entered, there was a lady, then a young man and an elderly man. It was almost time. The ladder was beginning to disappear. The people who were still trying to make it up the ladder were being sent back one by one.
Just before the ladder fully disappeared, the boy carrying the girl caught sight of the entrance of the mountain. With their strength boosted, the boy ran up the last remaining steps of the ladder.
Suddenly, a tall man stepped out from behind him. He sensed that the ladder was fast disappearing. Speeding up, he pushed the children in front of him out of his way and shouted, "Move!"
At the last second, he stepped onto the mountain and through the entrance. He heaved a huge sigh and looked up at Fatty, who was emanating immortal Qi. Before the man could rejoice, his body was sent back down to the seaside.
Chapter 513: Natural Sword Embodiment
Fatty frowned. He could have ascended together with the children, but he had to reach out and shove them aside. If mortals fell off this ladder, they could become very severely injured. What's more, the ladder itself would not allow anyone to hurt others. Otherwise, it would automatically send the perpetrator all the way back down. People with crooked hearts naturally would not be allowed to enter the sect. Fatty immediately conjured a seal to carry the two children who fell off the ladder back up the mountain.
He retreated a few steps and activated a tinge of immortal Qi to transport them back on the ladder, then delayed the disappearance of the ladder. There was a good reason to give them another chance after all. He would see whether the ladder would give them a chance. The boy hesitated and surprisingly picked the girl up again, with an even more determined expression on his face. He did not give up carrying her up the mountain. Surprisingly, he made it to the peak in time before the ladder disappeared.
Fatty kept the ascension ladder and closed off the array that protected the sect. The crowd by the side saw the immortal mountain disappear before their very eyes. Fatty turned around to address the nine people who made it up the mountain. "You managed to make it up the immortal mountain - this shows that you have an affinity to become immortals. Please, follow me. I will bring you to meet the Immortal Elder who will be training you in immortal techniques from today onward."
"Training us in immortal techniques? So he'll be our future master?" Someone asked excitedly.
Fatty paused and thought about the three people in the rear hall. In all these years, Lonemoon had never even acknowledged Fatty as his disciple. Yi Qing was not recruiting. Lady Shen… Forget it. Fatty turned around to face them once again and said, "I think you can wait a bit longer before you acknowledge your master. They will train you in cultivation, but they will not take you as their disciples."
The group clearly looked disappointed, but they looked forward to meeting their teacher nevertheless. Thus, they followed Fatty to the rear hall. Fatty considered the reputation of the sect and calculated the time. He purposely brought the group one full circle before they finally arrived at the rear hall. Indeed, the three of them had finished their lunch by then. From afar, the group spotted the three people seated in the yard. There were two men and one woman. The man on the left was sipping his tea. The woman was slumped over the table, and she held a fruit in her hand, which she was gnawing on. The other man was pouring her some tea. Apart from the lady in the middle, the other two's immortal Qi seemed to be surging around their bodies.
"Master," Fatty addressed Lonemoon. "The disciples we have selected this time are here. There are nine of them in total."
"Nine?" Lonemoon paused. How coincidental! When Invincible Sect first recruited disciples, there were nine of them as well. Lonemoon scanned the group. Apart from three adults, the others were all young children.
"Greetings, Immortal Elder!" The three adults cupped their fists respectfully. Seeing this, the other children followed suit and bowed to the three of them.
"Mm." Lonemoon nodded. He set down his cup of tea and got to his feet. "Since you have all passed the test of the ladder, I will take it that all of you have successfully been recruited into the sect." The group's eyes brightened. They were visibly more excited.
"The trouble with the demons is getting more and more serious. There is unimaginable danger in the world outside of us. I will teach you how to cultivate, so that once you have established your skills, you will be able to set up your own sects and train your own cultivators to defend themselves against these dangers," Lonemoon explained his vision. "So I hope that from today onward, you will work your hardest with the view of passing your skills down to future generations."
"Yes, Immortal Elder!" They replied in unison.
"Mm." Lonemoon nodded. He introduced himself, "I am Lonemoon. That is Yi Qing and the woman beside him is… not important!" She would not remember them anyway.
Shen Ying: "…" Son of a b*tch!
"From tomorrow, we will begin teaching you the ways of cultivation. Today, you can…" He was just about to arrange their accommodations. "Immortal Elder!" The child on the right suddenly called out. He fell to his knees and said, "Immortal Elder, I beg you to teach my sister! If you are willing to teach her, I am willing to do anything in return!"
After he finished speaking, the boy kowtowed. The girl beside him looked confused and weak. She did not seem to be able to stand on her own. At that moment, she was leaning against an older girl for support.
Lonemoon looked curiously at Fatty.
Fatty paused. It was obvious that he was confused about the situation as well. He said, "This child's sister is sick. He carried her up the ladder the entire way."
"Oh?" Lonemoon turned to face the kneeling child. "Speak - what's the problem?"
"Responding to Immortal Elder," the boy responded. "A few years ago, my sister got bitten by a beast. After that, we found that she could no longer walk. Everybody in the village said that she met with this unfortunate accident because she was a jinx. They chased us out of the village. Immortal Elder… you are an immortal. You must have a way of healing my sister, don't you? I'm begging you to teach her!"
"You carried her up the immortal ascension ladder because you wanted me to heal her?" Lonemoon scanned the girl from head to toe and took a closer look at her legs. With one look, Lonemoon could tell that her legs had been infected following a beast's bite. Thankfully, however, it was not too serious..
"Yes!" The boy nodded.
"Then what if I make you choose between me teaching you how to cultivate and me healing your sister?" Lonemoon asked.
The boy stared blankly at him. He clearly had not expected that Lonemoon would make him choose. He turned around and looked at his sister. Then, he gritted his teeth and said, "I choose my sister. Please, Immortal Elder, grant my wish!"
Lonemoon nodded. This was a good child. He walked toward the little girl, reached out and dissipated the demonic Qi around the girl's legs. She hesitated and felt her strength begin to gather back in her legs. Instinctively, she stood up. Her eyes widened in disbelief.
"Brother, I… I can walk!"
The little boy was overjoyed. He immediately pulled his sister down to kneel beside him. "Thank you, Immortal Elder! Thank you, Immortal Elder!"
"Dispense with the ceremonies," Lonemoon helped them both up. "At such a young age, you are willing to go to such lengths to help your family. That's… Eh!" Lonemoon had been praising him, but felt something in his hands. His heart jumped as he pulled the boy to his feet and took a closer look at him. He activated a string of immortal Qi to inspect the boy's body.
Indeed, a moment later, Lonemoon felt a negligible repulsion from the sword Qi inside the boy's body.
"Holy shit, an innate sword embodiment!" He had the same body type as Chef. This meant that he was a natural sword cultivator - the kind that would never stray from the path! He grabbed hold of the boy and said very seriously, "I've decided to take you as my disciple. Come, call me Master!" He shot a glance at the master and disciple duo behind him that seemed to say, "Don't even think of stealing him from me."
Shen Ying: "…"
Yi Qing: "…"
Didn't he say that he was not taking in disciples?
Fatty felt an ache in his heart.
Lonemoon had not thought that a simple advertisement would gain him someone with an innate sword embodiment. Thinking back to the countless people he had taught before, his heart wrenched. The fact that there were so many body cultivators in his sect aside, the only hardworking Fatty had no fate with sword techniques. Now, this boy with an innate sword embodiment was his saving grace. Lonemoon finally saw hope for sword cultivation.
Chapter 514: Learn Well
Lonemoon immediately accepted the boy as his disciple. He also was determined to cut the boy off entirely from Shen Ying's bad influence He would teach this boy himself. Even Chef would not be allowed to come near to this boy. He refused to accept that he would not be able to train up a pure sword cultivator!
Lonemoon purposely called him Jian Xing. His name meant that he would prosper and do well in sword cultivation. After all, these people would end up leaving the sect one day to set up their own sects. When the time came, Jian Xing could be expected to set up a sword cultivation sect. Just thinking about this made Lonemoon happy.
Therefore, Lonemoon worked hard at training this boy. From the foundations of sword cultivation, to the technique of attracting auras into his body, Lonemoon taught Jian Xing very seriously. Jian Xing, on the other hand, was intelligent and learned fast. Among all the nine new disciples, he was the first to learn how to attract aura into his body.
As for the others, Fatty was put in charge of teaching them the basics. Lonemoon only offered tips every now and then. What's more, although Fatty was naturally lousy at sword cultivation, he was very good at everything else. Naturally, Lonemoon had little to worry about by setting him in charge of the rest of the disciples. Among the rest of the disciples, not one of them had an innate sword embodiment. Instead, their body types were quite ordinary. All of them, including Jian Xing's sister, Zhi Lin, had four spirit roots.
The good thing about them was their characters. Although they would not be able to specialize in any one cultivation, they would surely be able to set up their own sects and teach their own disciples. The best part was that the plane was still considered a newborn. It was the best time for people to pick up cultivation. As long as they did not slack off, it would not be difficult for them to eventually ascend to immortality.
Fatty was obviously more reliable than Lonemoon, who was driven by his dream to further sword cultivation. After observing the eight disciples for several months, he began to plan more targeted training. He would only request for Yi Qing's help from time to time when he met with difficulties in teaching sword cultivation. Yi Qing would then offer some tips and guidance.
Therefore, the entire sect became fired up in teaching and cultivating… except Shen Ying! As a hundred-thousand-year-old lucky token, Shen Ying's contribution to the sect was just one - watering the plants!
With Radish around before, she had to go to the rear garden every single day to water the plants that he planted. Now that Radish had become Mushroom, however, Shen Ying left the watering of the mushrooms to the squirrel demon instead.
Perhaps because their friendship had been established on one fruit, the squirrel demon took a liking toward Shen Ying. Moreover, the immortal meridian was planted in the rear garden. The squirrel demon had to go close to the immortal meridian each day in order to plant mushrooms that could convert the immortal Qi from the meridian into spirit Qi. While the squirrel demon planted mushrooms there day in and day out, Shen Ying watered them. Then, she would gnaw on her fruits and the squirrel demon would eat its pine nuts. As time went by, their friendship strengthened.
"Greetings, Respected Immortals!" As the two of them were chewing on their respective foods, they heard the gentle voice of a girl. They turned around to see a young girl dressed in white robes. She was bowing toward them. She looked about ten years old, quite bright, quite short. They could already picture the dignified woman she would become in the future. Mushroom was quite close to Fatty. From his stories, it recognized this girl as the younger sister of Lonemoon's disciple, Jian Xing. Her name was Zhi Lin. Immediately, the squirrel demon jumped atop a rock and waved its hands, shaking its head profusely and saying in a slightly panicked tone, "I'm not an immortal or whatever. Just call me Mushroom." It had just developed its sentience not long ago and did not yet have a name. Since Shen Ying had been calling it Mushroom, it decided that it should just take that to be its name.
"Elder Sister Mushroom," Zhi Lin greeted smoothly and sweetly. She turned to face the person beside the squirrel demon. "And how should I address this older sister?"
Shen Ying hesitated, then said, "Shen Ying."
"Elder Sister Shen," Zhi Lin greeted. She looked curiously at Shen Ying and asked, "Exalted Master Hui told me to come to the rear mountain to pick a few spirit herbs to be used for refining pills. I wonder if you two elder sisters can-"
"Go ahead, go ahead!" Mushroom waved its hands."Since Hui Ze told you to do so, just go ahead and do it." "Thank you, Elder Sisters!" Zhi Lin smiled even more sweetly and nodded toward the both of them. Then, she turned toward the field full of spirit herbs and began to identify the kind of herbs she needed to pick
Mushroom could not help but stare at her for awhile longer. It was a demon, and humans were normally afraid of demons. That was why after Fatty told it that the disciples would likely avoid it even though it was just a young demon, Mushroom decided to follow Shen Ying to plant mushrooms in the rear garden. Zhi Lin was the first among the nine new disciples to take the initiative to talk to it. Naturally, this made Mushroom extremely happy. This was why it could not seem to take its eyes off Zhi Lin.
As it observed Zhi Lin, it saw that Zhi Lin was getting closer and closer to the immortal meridian. In a panic, Mushroom called out, "Wait! You can't pick those mushrooms!"
Zhi Lin paused, then retracted her hand. She turned around and smiled apologetically, "I'm sorry, Elder Sister Mushroom. I thought they were spirit herbs!"
"That's alright," Mushroom waved it off. Shen Ying, however, jumped down from atop her rock and dusted off her behind. "I'm done watering the plants. Mushroom, I'm going back in for some food."
"Oh, alright." Mushroom nodded its head and turned to smile at Zhi Lin once again before following Shen Ying in. "I'm going to look for Hui Ze as well."
"Goodbye, Elder Sisters!" Zhi Lin waved to them politely. Her gaze landed on Shen Ying.
She had not noticed before she started to cultivate. She thought that this woman had been of the same rank as the other two Exalted Masters. But after she learned how to attract auras into her own body, she discovered that this woman they called Shen Ying did not have any immortal Qi around her body. The other Exalted Masters, however, treated her very differently. What was so amazing was that from time to time, this Shen Ying would even offer some guidance to Exalted Master Yi Qing. Exalted Master Yi Qing, on the other hand, seemed to always want to be close to her. This made all the disciples extremely curious about her identity.
However, Zhi Lin noticed that Shen Ying did not seem to like talking very much. After staring at Shen Ying for awhile, a strange expression flashed across Zhi Lin's face. She turned back and continued picking herbs.
Perhaps Lonemoon liked the feeling of teaching disciples. These days, Lonemoon seldom came to the rear hall to steal Shen Ying's food. Without her father watching over her shoulder all the time, Shen Ying felt completely free. She finally lived a few years of comfort, doing nothing but eating and sleeping all day.
The nine pioneer cultivators in this plane were improving rapidly. In these few years, they had almost completed their Foundation Establishment. Jian Xing himself was already in the late stages of Foundation Establishment and was just one step away from forming his core.
Lonemoon estimated that it was about time for them to undergo experiential training so that they could gain more practical experience, but… "Me?" Shen Ying paused.
"Mm. You and Fatty should bring them out," Lonemoon said again very seriously.
"Why?" Why her?
"Two divine races are caught in a battle, and they're very near to Purple Night Palace!" Lonemoon frowned. "There is a group of people there who have not regained consciousness. Hong Meng asked for us to go over and drag them here for lessons." Chef was in charge of dragging them here and Lonemoon was in charge of giving the lessons.
"I've chosen the location for experiential training. You'll bring them away from the city, near the seaside. Although it's not that dangerous given Fatty's cultivation, this plane has not yet developed its rules after all. What's more, these disciples are going out for the first time. You'll have to be there just in case."  Mandarin for sword
Chapter 515: Out For Some Training And Experience
Lonemoon continued, "Don't worry, we'll be back soon. Anyhow you just need to follow along and make up the numbers, you only have to act as a last resort, there's Fatty there for everything else."
"Sigh, how troublesome!"
"Troublesome my ass! You're a manager in any case, could you have some awareness of your position!" Lonemoon stuffed a bag into her hand. "Here! This is the food for these few days that Chef prepared for you, quickly set off."
With that said, without waiting for Chef who went to wash the vegetables to return, he pushed Shen Ying onto the departing pirate ship… oh no, it's a spirit boat.
Shen Ying: "…"
"Miss Shen." Fatty immediately waved at her. Perhaps she was too much of a homebody, the nine disciples in the sect had only seen her once when they entered the sect, hence they also curiously turned around to look at her. A bunch of kids back them had already grown into young men and young ladies.
Shen Ying lifted the bag in her hands, seems quite heavy, before walking towards Fatty.
The place that Lonemoon had chosen, accurately speaking was outside the isolated territory of the human race, on a large island.
Fatty controlled the spirit boat to land on a leveled ground, this was the edge of the island, slightly safer. But was also covered in spirit herbs, the eyes of two disciples who specialized in pill refinement had lit up. Fatty released his divine perception and checked the area before allowing the disciples to head out. Since it was their training, Fatty did not interfere much, letting them decide by themselves which direction to go towards. The person with the highest cultivation amongst the nine of them was Jian Xing and he was also Lonemoon's personal disciple, so everyone indistinctly showed the tendency of letting him take the lead.
After picking a few stems of spirit herbs, the few of them made a final decision to move towards the center of the island, Fatty and Shen Ying simply followed far behind. The island was full of various types of spirit herbs and all sorts of cultivation ingredients. Much more variety than they had in the sect, the disciples who rarely came out naturally wouldn't give up this chance.
Hence most of their time was spent on picking these ingredients. Midway, they'd also met with surprise attacks from demon beasts, but they weren't the formidable kind, the few of them could deal with it with a joint effort. Though there were injuries, they all narrowly escaped. They continued pushing into the deeper areas. Perhaps, due to the feeling of freshness of their first outdoor training, these disciples were super energetic. In a few days' time, they'd already travelled a very far distance. Only every morning, afternoon and night, they had to stop at a fixed timing. And it was Fatty who forced them to stop, not for anything else, but only because… it was Shen Ying's mealtime.
Fatty knew how punctual Shen Ying's daily mealtime was, there essentially wouldn't be any changes. Whereas these disciples had long mastered grain liberation, they didn't eat and because there were very few of them in the first place, they naturally couldn't disperse, hence everyone could only stop and wait.
At first, all the disciples were busy with picking all sorts of spirit herbs and gathering various ingredients and did not think much of it. But slowly, everything that had to be picked and gathered were more or less done. Yet everyone still had to specially stop everyday for her to finish eating, they naturally had some objections towards it. They started to show their unhappiness on their faces, especially the few younger ones, their gazes towards Shen Ying held anger.
Yet Shen Ying had absolutely no reaction, as if she couldn't feel the resentment of them all as she continued to eat like a whirlwind sweeping up all the food. She even glanced up at Fatty, then kindly handed a bowl of white rice over. "Here!" Fatty's mouth twitched, instantly recalling those days of chewing on white rice. "Um, it's fine Miss Shen, I've successfully mastered grain liberation." Don't tempt me! Hello!
"Oh." Shen Ying took back the rice that had just been scooped and ate a mouthful. "I was just asking."
"…" Hey, don't tell me you never thought of giving it to me!
Fatty frowned and turned back to look at the nine disciples who were waiting at a side. He'd taught these people for so many years, naturally, he was able to guess what they were thinking. Hence he explained, "Master has instructed, during this training, we are not to disrupt Miss Shen from eating and sleeping." Especially sleeping! Though he was slightly puzzled as to why Master emphasized on sleeping, he still advised patiently, "Cultivation isn't a day's work, the main objective of training is to steel your mental state, bear that in mind."
They faltered for a moment before their expressions changed, especially the older ones, they'd reacted immediately, no longer looking irritated. But there were still a handful who remained indignant. They were young when they entered the sect and had not been through much. After practicing cultivation for these few years, they were still in their teens. Becoming cultivators that were above humans in one leap, their mentalities became arrogant.
Though for fear of it being Lonemoon's order, they did not dare to say anything, deep down, they still resented Shen Ying for wasting their time.
They continued like this for several days, when they stopped to eat once again, a female disciple finally could not hold it in anymore and walked over with a bottle of elixir pills, saying with some anger, "Here, these are grain liberation pills."
Shen Ying paused and turned to look over, half a mouthful of rice still in her mouth, her cheeks bulging as she chewed.
"Zi Yu!" Fatty stood up, slightly bristled. He had instructed them previously, this was Master's orders.
"Master Hui Ze…" Zi Yu looked at Fatty slightly aggrievedly. "With this, she wouldn't have to stop to eat." One grain liberation pill could allow one to not feel hunger for a month. Fatty was about to reprimand her when Shen Ying took a glance at the bottle in her hand and replied, "I don't eat Mylikes!"
The other party was stunned for a moment, then immediately realized that she was refusing to eat it.
"I mean well for you, after eating it, you won't have to be so troublesome to stop and eat!" Zi Yu was even more enraged. "Why won't you eat it?"
"Because it's not nice!" Shen Ying replied with an expression that it was only right and natural.
"You…" Zi Yu was so angered that her face was flushed, thinking that she was intentionally finding faults. "You're way too much, this is wasting our time, you…"
"Enough!" Before she could finish, Fatty interrupted directly. He, who was all along, kind and gentle was pulling a long face for once and had even unknowingly released some suppression as he looked towards Zi Yu heatedly. "I've said long ago, Miss Shen's three meals is something that Master personally instructed and agreed to! It's not up to you all to raise any objections."
Zi Yu froze instantly, as if being frightened by Fatty who had suddenly turned hostile and took several steps back.
Fatty then turned towards the others. "Also, Miss Shen's cultivation is advanced, her status is all the more special. Since all of you are practicing cultivation in the sect, you should not mean any bit of disrespect to her, otherwise, the consequence isn't something that you can bear."
How could he not tell the reason why Zi Yu dared to bring out the grain liberation pill to offend her in the face was actually because she saw that Shen Ying did not have any bit of Immortal Qi around her, and did not abstain from eating, she thought that her cultivation level wasn't high or was merely a mortal. How laughable! A mortal who made an ancient ferocious beast cry with one slap, who could afford to offend her? So he might as well have made it clear, so as to prevent them from doing anything foolish in the future.  Spheroid malted milk center coated with milk chocolate.
Chapter 516: Bringing About Public Wrath
Everyone then cupped their fists and nodded, replying, "Yes, Master." Zi Yu had also stepped back, but her eyes still held resentment.
Shen Ying paid them no heed either, only continuing to enjoy her meal, then… quietly extended her mealtime from the usual one to two hours.
She even brought out a few plates of pastries from time to time, eating while walking. Specially picking the especially fragrant and crispy ones. One crunch in a mouthful was a whiff of fragrance, another crunch, another whiff of fragrance. It was so enticing that those disciples in front who claimed to have mastered grain liberation could not help but look back repeatedly, even the number of demon beasts that appeared increased.
Fatty who was the closest: "…"
Fatty was bitter, but Fatty cannot eat, hence… he silently chanted the Tranquility Chant the entire way.
Such a situation continued for several days, until she finished the pastries in her bag, she then switched back to fruits.
At this point, the group had completely entered the deepest areas of the forest, they'd even encountered fifth-level demon beasts. This was equivalent to demon beasts in the Golden Core stage, all nine of them suffered injuries of varying degrees. Fatty, perhaps really maddened by them repeatedly provoking Shen Ying about her mealtime, did not act. They'd only managed to get away together after Jian Xing, who had the highest cultivation level contained the demon beast.
This was their first time facing such a dangerous situation, those cocky expressions that they first wore upon arrival were no longer seen. Instead, there was now a trace of terror, all their expressions didn't look good. After getting out of danger, they chose a concealed area to rest and reorganize, and started tending to the injured. The injuries that they suffered this time, was several times worse than the previous round. Seven of the nine of them were all injured, even Jian Xing who was at the late stage of Foundation Establishment in his specialization in sword had a cut on his hand, deep to the bone. Fatty hesitated for a moment, but still refrained from helping them. To cultivators, such injuries was actually nothing much. There was one whose injuries had affected his meridians, but his condition wasn't critical, he would be fine after slowly recuperating when he returned, besides, their training hadn't ended yet.
Hence he only stood far away, Shen Ying beside him, was also calmly crunching on her fruits.
"Sister Shen, are you eating the red spirit fruit?" Suddenly, a light, airy voice sounded, the girl dressed in green from the nine was staring at her… fruit in her hands with bright eyes.
Shen Ying cocked her head to a side and casually replied. "Should be." Anyway, it was planted by Chef, she only cared about eating.
"It is indeed the red spirit fruit." Fatty took a glance and nodded in confirmation.
The girl's expression became even more surprised. "It is said that the red spirit fruit is a rare spirit fruit, it flowers once every century and bears fruit once every century. It is also an antidote for hundreds of poison, extend meridians and strengthen divine perception."
Shen Ying took another bite with a crunch and responded, "Oh."
The girl stiffened for a moment, thinking that she hadn't understood what she meant, she respectfully bowed. "Sister Shen, I don't know if you remember me. I am Zhi Lin, I've once met you at the back mountain a few years back."
"I don't remember!" Shen Ying said straightaway.
Zhi Lin's expression became even stiffer, she vaguely had the illusion that she'd been given a slap, but still maintained an amiable smile. "Sister Shen… Senior Brother Cheng Dong has been severely injured, he even hurt his meridians, all of our cultivation is too low to heal him. It happens that you have this red spirit fruit, can you… can…" She did not continue, only staring at the fruit in her hand. Yet Shen Ying did not reply, instead she took another big bite. "Can I what?" As if she totally did not get what she'd meant to imply with her unfinished words.
Zhi Lin's expression was rigid. She could only grit her teeth and continue, "Can you give this fruit in your hand… to Senior Brother Cheng Dong to heal him."
"Oh…" Shen Ying's eyes narrowed. "You want my fruits?"
"It's Senior Brother Cheng Dong who needs it, his injury is severe and cannot delay healing, I ask that Sister Shen give him a red spirit fruit on the account that we are all from the same sect." Zhi Lin said with a worried look, even everyone else who were tending to their injuries on the other side had looked over. Especially that disciple who was injured, he looked extremely touched.
Shen Ying cocked her head to a side, then pulled out seven to eight red fruits from her bag. "This kind?"
Zhi Lin's eyes lit up as she nodded fervently. "Yes yes yes, it is this kind." With that, she reached out and was about to take them. "Thank…"
Yet before she could finish, Shen Ying retracted her hand, causing her to grab the air and suddenly revealed a smile as bright as the sun. "Heh heh, I simply refuse to give it!"
With that said, she even right before her face, pick one up, take a bite and put it down, then pick another up, take a bite and put it down… until every single had been bitten. At once, there was only the sound of her crunching left.
Zhi Lin: "…"
Everyone's face darkened. "You're way too much!" Zi Yu walked over furiously, as if she could not hold herself back anymore. Pointing at Shen Ying she denounced loudly, "Never mind if you've been a drag on us this whole way, Cheng Dong has been so severely injured and you wouldn't even give a fruit. And… and… you're virtually pure evil!"
"Zi Yu!" Fatty who had been stunned by Shen Ying's taunting actions finally came back to his senses. "Do not be rude."
"I didn't say anything wrong!" She seemed to be blinded by her anger and began to criticize without any care. "She'd been slowing down our progress the whole time and even taunted Sister Zhi Lin earlier? No matter how high her cultivation is, she cannot be such a bully."
"That's right." Perhaps because someone had spoken up, the other disciple who were tending to their injuries also opened their mouths.
"It's merely a fruit, she has so many, yet she wouldn't even give us one." "Yeah, in any case, we are from the same sect, why does she not have any compassion."
"Never mind if hasn't done anything all this entire way, she still kept eating and made sounds to affect us."
"Exactly, who knows, that high level demon beast might have been drawn out by her eating sounds.
Everyone became increasingly agitated as they spoke. With the exception of a few older ones who wore a troubled look without making a sound, there was also only Jian Xing who was quiet, only his brows were also tightly knitted together. Whereas Zhi Lin kept persuading them, with an anxious look, only her words were faintly filled with another meaning. "All of you have misunderstood, Sister Shen did not mean it that way, she wasn't intentionally targeting me!"
Hence, the more she went on, the more agitated everyone became, as if the emotions that had been accumulated for many days completely exploded out. "What insolence!" Until Fatty could not hold back anymore and released his suppression, did everyone turn silent, all of them being forced to their knees. Fatty was truly enraged, where did these people find their righteous confidence. "The fruits were Miss Shen's to begin with, it's all dependent on her will to give it or not. To give it is kindness, to not give it, is her prerogative. How are all of you so shameless to think she must give it to you?"
He swept a look across everyone, becoming angrier as he did. "Besides, this is your training, Miss Shen and I are merely here to guide the way and chaperon. Sooner or later, there were come a day where you will experience true danger. Now you can't even handle such a small injury, by then… where would you go to find another Miss Shen to force her to give you fruits?"
Chapter 517: Complaints Back At The Sect
After getting reprimanded by Fatty, everyone bowed their heads, but the discontent in their eyes was still present. Fatty obviously did not have the gift of gab that could brainwash one like Rabbit did. Zi Yu could not help but continued to mutter in a low voice, "But she did not need to treat Sister Zhi Lin like that…"
She lifted her head directly, still looking very resentful. "It would have been fine with just Master Hui Ze leading us, there wasn't even a need for her to come along." Became a burden instead.
"You…" Hui Ze was about to step forward.
"Fatty." But Shen Ying suddenly spoke up, turning to look towards him, there wasn't any bit of anger from being affronted, instead she tilted her head and said with a solemn look, "Your teaching standards are terribly diluted compared to Father Niu's huh? Even my popularity has fallen." The colorful girls of the Invincible Sect were much cuter, at least they all delivered fruits to her, instead of snatching her fruits.
"Huh" Fatty faltered, not understanding what she meant.
But Shen Ying took a step forward and squatted down, looking at the one called Zi Yu, asking with a hand supporting her tilted head. "Tell me girl, you really think that without me around, your training will go smoother?"
Being so seriously questioned, Zi Yu was dazed for a moment, a trace of guilt flashed across her eyes for some reason, but she still nodded stubbornly. "That's right!"
"The rest of you think so too?" She then looked towards the remaining eight people.
They all glanced at her, some nodded resentfully, some simply kept quiet. Only the three older ones seemed like they wanted to say something and moved their mouths but did not speak up in the end. "Alright." Shen Ying nodded, looking like she was very good- tempered and even smiled at her. "I shall listen to you, I will wash my hands off things."
"Eh?" Zi Yu was taken aback, what did she mean, wash her hands off what?
Fatty also panicked for no reason, somehow having an ill feeling. "Mi… Miss Shen?"
But Shen Ying had already stood up, as she was about to turn, she thought of something. "Oh yes, a word of advice for you." Turning back, she added while staring at Zi Yu. "Stupidity will kill a person!"
What did that mean? Was she scolding her?
Before she could think further, in the next moment, everyone present, including Fatty, very obviously felt like something that they couldn't see was suddenly being pulled back from around them, just like a huge net being suddenly retracted.
Roar, Roar, Roar…
Ear shattering roars sounded from their surroundings, rising one after another incessantly. It was as if the entire forest had awakened. Uncountable auras of demon beasts surged madly over from all directions. Those roars were vaguely coupled with suppression, all nine of them spat blood right there and then, their faces deathly pale, as their eyes widened in complete shock.
What… were those!
Fatty felt his heart skip a beat as his entire heart sank. This was the sound from a high level demon beast. No! There were even those at immortal levels, even divine levels, that were rushing towards them. He was finally enlightened, earlier on, on their way, he'd sense the aura of high level demon beasts, but those that jumped out before them were always the low level ones.
Was this all because of Miss Shen? She'd had set up something around all of them that even he could not sense, that was why those demon beasts did not find them, but now… It was all gone.
So those demon beasts had discovered their existence.
We're dead we're dead we're dead we're dead!
Fatty was about to cry, with these rookies in the Foundation Establishment stage, any high level demon beast that came would be able to finish them off with a slap. Though he wasn't scared and was able to hold his own against it, but he had to fend for the nine other burdens too!
"Hurry!" Fatty immediately set up an array formation and eased the suppression on them as he ordered loudly. "Run! Quickly run in the direction that we came from! Towards the sea." Upon hearing that, all of them did not have the time to think about what was going on and stood up with panic-stricken expressions, turned and dashed wildly in the direction of the entrance, some even forgot about sword-riding.
"Move together, do not split up!" Fatty could not help but loudly reminded those who were running too fast. Pity, tremendous fear had ruled, they only focused on running forward. Fatty then had to go and carry them back, protecting them to retreat towards the sea while a dense field of high level demon beasts trailed behind them.
What was this…
Three days later, in the main hall.
Lonemoon's mouth twitched as he swept a glance at the bunch of severely injured disciples. Some had their meridians completely broken, some had internal injuries, some even had their cultivation level go back to the Qi Refinement stage. Everyone looked pathetic and still in shock. Even Jian Xing was covered in wounds as he kneeled on one knee on the ground, seeming like he couldn't stand.
"What happened?!" It was an ordinary training, how did things become like this in a blink of an eye? Were they on their way to having their sect wiped out?
Fatty was about to speak but Jian Xing spoke up first. "Master, it's all because we weren't skilled enough and could not go against those demon beasts, that's why we were seriously injured. Please punish us."
"All of you were injured by demon beasts?" Lonemoon frowned and turned towards Fatty who wore a miserable look too. "Fatty, weren't you following them the whole way?" Why did things still turn out this way?
"Master." Fatty wore an extremely guilty look. "There were really way too many demon beasts, and there were immortal beasts and divine beasts amongst them, I really couldn't handle so many…" "What about you, Shen Ying?" He looked towards the only completely unscathed person who had just took out a fruit that had a bite taken out of it. He'd checked beforehand, the demon beasts on the outer areas of the island were all low level ones, had they sought their own deaths and went to the deeper areas? Besides even if Fatty could not handle it all, the cheat should be able to!
"I already knocked off?" Shen Ying replied in all seriousness.
What knock off? Lonemoon was about to ask when a disciple with serious injuries struggled and fought to reply first.
"Master! Our injuries, were all thanks to her." The one who was speaking was the disciple named Cheng Dong who'd been injured by a sixth-level demon beast at the very start. As he'd already sustained some injuries, Fatty naturally paid more attention to him during their retreat and he ended up as the one with the least injuries amongst the nine of them.
Lonemoon's expression darkened at once, his eyes narrowed slightly, giving one an illusion of a brewing storm. "Thanks to who, you said?" Repeat yourself? "It's her!" Yet Cheng Dong did not notice his expression and pointed right at Shen Ying, resentment showing all over his face. "Initially it was very safe in the forest, there weren't that many high level demon beasts. I don't know what she did? But it suddenly lured packs of demon beasts over. It's her! She brought the demon beasts out to attack us."
"Hur…" Lonemoon's smile became colder. "According to what you meant, she even has the ability to control demon beasts?"
"It must be her!" Cheng Dong said with a very certain look. "Otherwise why would so many demon beasts suddenly appear? Besides, there were so many of us and she was the only one who wasn't injured, those demon beasts did not even attack her, she… she must be in cahoots with those demon beasts!"
"Ridiculous! Master…" Fatty was anxiously about to say something when Lonemoon lifted a hand to stop him. "Let him continue!"
Chapter 518: Evicted From The Sect
"Master!" Cheng Dong became increasingly indignant as he spoke on. "At that time, I was already injured, Junior Sister Zhi Lin asked her for help, she refused to and even taunted her with her speech. She even threatened us and after that, many demon beasts suddenly appeared in the forest. And…" He turned and glanced at Fatty, then gritted his teeth, like he was going all out." And Master Hui Ze, he was biased and conniving to that bad person the whole time, totally not listening to our explanations. That was why we were injured so badly."
"Oh?" Lonemoon's expression became more peaceful. "So… you think that the reason why all of you were injured, was all because of Shen Ying?"
Cheng Dong did not reply, but anger contorted his face, it was evident that he thought so.
Lonemoon then turned towards the other disciples. "How about you all?" The remaining people looked at each other, seeming slightly hesitant." He then added, "It's alright, speak the truth, if you have the same thoughts as Cheng Dong, step forward." "I can prove that Senior Brother Cheng Dong was speaking the truth!" Zi Yu was the first to voice her support, even taking two steps in Cheng Dong's direction while enduring her injuries. Giving Shen Ying a glare, she said, "It was her who caused us to be in this predicament."
A trace of emotion flashed through Cheng Dong's eyes as his gaze became more confident. Perhaps because there was someone leading the way, the remaining disciples also started to raise their hands.
In the end, it turned out that there was half of them who agreed with Cheng Dong, the remaining three oldest ones, Jian Xing who was kneeling this entire time and Zhi Lin who was supporting him did not raise their hands.
The fan in Lonemoon's hand made a splintering sound from being held tightly. Inhaling deeply to suppress the restlessness deep down, his eyes grew colder. A moment later, he then looked to the remaining five and questioned, "Why didn't you raise your hands, do you think they were lying?"
All of them were taken aback for a moment, not knowing how to reply to that. Zhi Lin was the one who spoke up after a while. "Replying to Master, I think… Sister Shen doesn't seem to be such a bad person, though previously… but I believe she wouldn't do such things that will harm people from the same sect and put them to death." With that said, she even looked towards Shen Ying who was totally out of the situation with a hopeful look. "There might be other reasons for this!"
"Junior Sister Zhi Lin!" Cheng Dong sighed, heartache for her filled his eyes. "She did you in so badly, why are you still speaking for her?"
The others who'd raised their hands wore the same expressions, their resentment towards Shen Ying flared.
Lonemoon looked across these people and suddenly lifted his lips into a smile, as he questioned, a word at a time, "Then… for such a grave wrongdoing, what punishment do you think should be meted out?"
Everyone stared at each other for some time, in the end, it was still Cheng Dong who said angrily. "For a person like her, it wouldn't be too much to cripple her cultivation and kick her out of the sect."
The others also nodded.
"Alright!" Lonemoon closed his eyes, he really couldn't continue questioning. Standing up, he looked to Hui Ze and instructed, "Fatty, heal their injuries first."
"Yes, Master!" Fatty looked at all of them, then shook his head while sighing. He then conjured a spell, a rejuvenation array instantly appeared beneath their feet. Everyone who looked miserable initially felt their bodies relax, the wounds on them swiftly healed at a speed that could be seen with the naked eye. In a few moments, they were as good as new.
Fatty then brought out a bottle of elixir pills, handed it to the closest disciple and told him to distribute it. "Eat it, within three days, your meridians will recover."
Everyone was delighted and quickly distributed the pills and swallowed them. Indeed, their remaining internal injuries eased up greatly. They could already stand and bowed towards Lonemoon. "Thank you, Master Lonemoon."
"No need!" Lonemoon smiled at them, but there was no trace of it in his eyes. "Now that your injuries are healed, let's talk about the punishment next."
The people were dazed for a moment, especially the four who had pointed Shen Ying earlier, their eyes had lit up.
"As you all wish." Lonemoon said slowly, emphasizing each word. "I am evicting you from the sect, from today onwards, four of you are no longer disciples of this sect!"
"What!" The four were stunned, thinking that they had heard wrong.
"Fatty!" Lonemoon directly ordered, "Rid them of their cultivation and send them down the mountain."
"Yes, Master." "Hold on!" Cheng Dong exclaimed, his eyes filled with fear and disbelief. "Why is it us? Isn't the one who did something wrong…"
Before he could finish, Lonemoon could not hold back and with a wave of his hand, a stream of Sword Qi struck towards him and hit his dantian. Cheng Dong felt an immense pain spread, the Spirit Qi in his entire body dissipated completely as he shrieked out loud.
"Ah!" He felt onto the ground once again and began to roll about.
"Practicing cultivation for so many years, how did all of you cultivate into a such a bunch of fools!" Lonemoon finally could not hold back and stood up with a slam on the table. Seeming like his fury had overcome him, his entire body was releasing scorching air out, the table by his side was instantly reduced to ashes.
Shen Ying finally lifted her head. "Father Niu, the table is a hundred spirit stones." "You shut up!"
Lonemoon then turned back and continued to rage. "Never mind if you're stupid, you still consider yourself to be above the crowd and have no sense of gratitude. Just who was so blind back then to have recruited you bunch of trash!"
Fatty who was blind answered in a small voice, "Um… It was me." Fatty dropped to his knees. "Please forgive me Master!" His heart ached.
The other disciples also kneeled down, their eyes filled with terror at Lonemoon suddenly flaring up, but also a little blankness.
"Do you still not know where you were wrong up till now?" Lonemoon glanced across them. "What kind of place is that island? With your Foundation Establishment stage's sh*tty cultivation, you would be able to go deep in the forest? Or did you think there were only low level demon beasts on such a huge island!" He inhaled deeply before spitting out the words, "All of you were injured this badly even with Fatty protecting and bringing you out. How did you even get in in the first place, do you all have no f*cking idea at all?"
Everyone's hearts sank, as if they'd never thought this way and looked up towards Shen Ying in disbelief. It's her? How was that possible! She didn't seem to have any bit of cultivation. But, there was indeed no problem when they went it. Subsequently, there were so many demon beasts when they came out, could it be because… they pissed her off!
"The Invincible Sect has no place for fools like you."
"Master!" All of them finally knew fear now as they started to desperately beg for mercy. "Forgive us Master, we know we were wrong!" They'd witnessed the strength of cultivators, how would they be willing to return to being ordinary.
"Fatty, bring them down the mountain." Lonemoon had no intention of changing his decision. The entire Invincible Sect did not let Shen Ying suffer any bit of grievance, what right did these immature ones have! Fatty actually still did not have the heart to, after all he'd taught them for so many years. Yet he also understood that they only had themselves to blame. "Yes, Master!" He summoned three streams of Immortal Qi and dissipated the Spirit Qi in their dantian, then dragged the few of them who were still crying outside.
"Hold on!" Shen Ying suddenly voiced out.
Chapter 519: Four Left
"Shen Ying!" Lonemoon glared at her, you better not be recklessly kind-hearted now.
"Um… I just wanted to point out that, you missed out one." Shen Ying took a bite of her fruit, then pointed towards Zhi Lin at the side.
Zhi Lin's face paled instantly, wearing a complete look of disbelief. "Sister Shen…" Tears welled up in her eyes, looking full of grievance like she could start crying anytime.
"Actually…" Shen Ying cocked her head to a side, still exhibiting a languid attitude, her eyes narrowed. "I am quite fond of white lotus flowers, I just don't like those with a black heart."
Lonemoon's brows knitted together. "Fatty, bring her down together!"
"Yes, Master." Fatty could only turn back to drag her. "No! I don't want to leave the mountain." Zhi Lin was truly panicking this time, tears flowed down as she begged, "Master… Brother, brother help me." She frantically grabbed on Jian Xing who was beside her.
Jian Xing was also anxious as he kneeled down and implored, "Master, Little Lin did not do anything wrong, why is she being expelled too?" After all, she was his sister.
Lonemoon had yet to speak when Shen Ying suddenly walked over. Taking out a familiar-looking bottle, she handed it to Zhi Lin. "Here, I picked this up, I'm returning it back to you!" That was a bottle of grain liberation pills, which happened to be the same bottle that Zi Yu had given to Shen Ying back then.
Zhi Lin's face turned ghostly pale at once, even the hand that was grabbing Jian Xing relaxed and fell to her side as she stared at that bottle with disbelief. She… knew everything.
Fatty was also taken aback upon seeing that bottle, she was actually the one who'd instructed Zi Yu to come forward and get Shen Ying to abstain from eating, at a deeper thought, Zi Yu wasn't a core cultivator, Zhi Lin was. His face darkened instantly as he directly rid her of her cultivation and dragged her out.
"Oh yes!" Just as Fatty was about to step out with the five people in tow, Lonemoon suddenly added, "It seems like I keep forgetting to tell all of you, Shen Ying… she is our actual sect master."
This time, not only the five disciples who'd been evicted, even the remaining four had abruptly widened their eyes as they looked towards Shen Ying in disbelief. She… was the sect master!
Shen Ying: "…" Was Father Niu conveniently pushing all the responsibility back!
Son of a b*tch!
"Master…" Jian Xing looked towards Lonemoon once again with some urgency.
"I know what you want to say." Lonemoon stopped him from voicing the words that were already in his mouth and turned to look towards his remaining three disciples at the side before saying in a low voice, "I teach all of you to practice cultivation, because I do hope that you will achieve something in the future and pass on the techniques of cultivation to more people, to protect the common people and lessen suffering in the world. But I hope all of you remember, that I chose you because you happened to appear, and not because you are irreplaceable!"
The few of them were all shocked and their expressions changed as they bowed their heads, even Jian Xing had put down his cupped fists.
Lonemoon glanced at the group that was being brought down the mountain, his eyes narrowing as he commented, "All of you should be glad that Ch… Yi Qing isn't here today. Otherwise, not just those few, all of you don't have to dream of leaving the mountain alive."
Daring to provoke the cheat, did they think that they were Shen Jing? —————
It was another watering day.
"Shen Ying, is it really okay to not water the plants today?" Mushroom glanced at the rows of droopy mushrooms beside the immortal meridian and asked with some worry.
"I didn't eat, I have no energy to do watering." Shen Ying slumped onto the rock like mud while nibbling on a fruit. "I don't know when Chef is coming too." Father Niu said that Chef went to help Rabbit out in supervising the second batch of students of the Purple Night Palace branch of the Civil and Military Academy. He would take some time there and only come back after Rabbit has brainwashed the entire batch.
"Huh? But hasn't Great Immortal Lonemoon went to make you food?"
The corner of Shen Ying's lips twitched as she looked at Mushroom with an expression like she couldn't express herself in a few words. "Sigh, you don't understand!" If she was given pig feed for meals, she would rather eat snacks everyday. "Want a fruit?" She handed one over.
Mushroom's eyes lit up and it nodded fervently before receiving it. "Shen Ying you are the best, best person in the entire world." Mushroom labeled her a good person with an innocent look. "You are the only other person who gives me food other than Little Flower."
"Does Fatty not?" Shen Ying could not help but ask, don't the two of you hang out together often?
Mushroom shook its head and pouted a little angrily. "He only gives me carrots and even told me to abstain from eating."
"…" Sigh, as expected, Rabbit was Fatty's true love!
"You're still the best." Mushroom looked towards her with bright eyes. "Just… why is it that all the fruits you give these few days all have a bite taken out of them already?" "Um…" Shen Ying went stiff for a moment. "Don't be mindful of such details."
"Alright." Mushroom big-heartedly stopped questioning and added after a moment of thought, "Hui Ze is in low spirits recently, he doesn't even plant mushrooms with me anymore, I'm so bored being all alone."
"What's with him?" Shen Ying kept up the conversation.
"He said he doesn't know how to teach his disciples and is fretting over what to do in the future."
"It's been so quiet here recently, so many people disappeared. The little sister who was picking herbs the previous time is gone too." Mushroom said while chomping on the fruit.
"You like her a lot?" Shen Ying looked back. "Mm…" She thought for a while before nodding. "She was the only one who would talk to me amongst the whole group, I think I do?" It frowned, looking a little confused. "But Hui Ze told me to stay away from her, I don't know why too. She's already gone, how do I stay away?"
"Oh." Shen Ying continued to nibble on her fruit.
"By the way, Shen Ying!" Mushroom held her hand and pointed to the big tree in front, saying, "Do you owe that person a lot of fruits?"
"Hmm?" Shen Ying took a glance and saw a person standing under the tree, looking right in their direction, he seemed slightly familiar. Seems like the Innate Sword Embodiment disciple that Father Niu talked about all day long and boasted in front of Chef a while back, she forgot his name.
"Am I the kind of person who will owe a debt?" A father will pay for his daughter's debt, even if she did, it would be on Father Niu. "But he has been staring at us from that spot for four hours."
"If that's the case." Shen Ying's eyes narrowed. "Then we'll look back." Can't lose out.
"Sure!" Mushroom nodded fervently.
Hence, two gazes landed on the figure under the tree together, not forgetting to nibble on their fruits while staring. All at once, the entire back mountain was filled with the sounds of crunching.
Jian Xing froze for a moment and shifted his eyes away embarrassingly in less than ten seconds. He instantly felt that such actions of his was especially silly, but also somehow had a feeling of being defeated.
He coughed and retracted his gaze with a frown before walking forward and stopping before the two people with an expressionless face. Cupping his fists, he bowed towards Shen Ying respectfully. "Greetings, Sect Master!" His gaze seemed to sweep across Mushroom at the side. "Mm." Shen Ying responded lazily.
He clenched the hands by this side, inhaled deeply and said, "Jian Xing come forth this time to apologize to Sect Master on behalf of my sister. I hope that Sect Master would forgive her rude and offensive behavior previously on the account that she is young."
 Commonly used to refer to women who appear to be pure and innocent
Chapter 520: Long-Distance Show-Off
Shen Ying gave him a look, and then answered, still lazily, "Oh."
"Is sect master willing to forgive her?" Jian Xing felt a joy. "Then…"
"I don't forgive her!" She interrupted.
The joy on Jian Xing's face froze, and he spurted out subconsciously, "Why?"
"Umm… Is this very hard to understand?" Shen Ying's head tilted, as though not understanding why he'd ask such a question. She thought about it, and then suddenly turned to Mushroom beside her and said, "Mushroom, hit him once."
"Huh?" Mushroom was stunned, and then immediately nodded obediently, "Okay!" It bit the fruit in its mouth, reached out in both hands to make a mushroom the size of a bowl, and then threw it forcefully towards Jian Xing's face, even making a forceful cry, "Hey!"
Jian Xing couldn't react for a moment, and that mushroom slapped onto his face immediately. The mushroom which was just made was naturally soft, and it wasn't painful. It bounced off the face at once and fell on the ground, but leaving a black, wet circle on his face. That was a Shiitake Mushroom.
Jian Xing stiffened, and he was about to burst out.
But Shen Ying looked at Mushroom and said first, "Mushroom, apologize!"
"Oh." Mushroom nodded, took the fruit out of its mouth and said, "Sorry."
Jian Xing, "…"
"Do you get it?" asked Shen Ying. "If you get it, go back and continue practicing sword techniques." Not all apologies could get forgiveness, much less apologies with purposes.
Jian Xing gave him a look, and many emotions flashed across his eyes, but they dimmed down eventually. He cupped his fists and saluted again, before he turned back somewhat dizzily and left.
"Oh, and!" Shen Ying actually spoke again. "About the matter earlier, I didn't really mind it, and didn't intend to tell at first, but you all sought trouble for yourselves and provoked Father Niu's anger. Since it was already dealt with, this is an end to it. If they still can't let go…" Her eyes narrowed, "Later… If Father Niu gets sad, I really will be angry."
"…" Jian Xing paled. He did actually come with the intention of letting her forgive his sister first. Once she agreed, he could beg Master to fetch Zhi Lin back again. But he didn't expect her to see through him with just one look. His heart sank, and his footsteps quickened immediately, leaving the back mountain.
Mushroom's face was blank, completely not knowing what they were talking about. But it didn't pay much attention to it. It directly leaped down, picking up that huge mushroom on the ground, and ran to the side of the immortal vein and planted it down. "Shouldn't waste it." It was a pretty big one!
Shen Ying had also sat enough. She thought that Father Niu should have left the kitchen, and waved at Mushroom, "I'm going back."
"Yup. Goodbye, Shen Ying!" Mushroom also wagged its tail.
Only then did she slowly stand up, but a familiar voice actually came from the side of her body, "Master…"
Shen Ying was stunned. She looked all around, before finally remembering that voice transmission amulet stuffed inside her storage bag. She reached out and dug for a long time before getting it out. "Chef?"
"Master!" That voice was raised, full of surprise and joy. "I've sent voice transmissions to you every day. Why are you only responding now?" "Oh, I stuffed it in the bag and forgot about it." There were too many things inside. It was lucky that some stored fruits were cleared out, so that this amulet came to the top."
"Master…" The voice in the amulet took on some grievance, but it was soon replaced by a lot of concern. "Are you well? Did you eat and sleep properly? Do you still step on your quilt at night? Oh yeah, you should have finished those dishes I left, right? I asked Father Niu to bring back new ones, have you received them? If they are not enough…"
"What? Father Niu brought dishes?" If she had known, she wouldn't come pretending to water mushrooms. Shen Ying's footsteps quickened towards the back palace.
"Don't be anxious, Master. I know those aren't enough. I've already cooked more and let Hong Meng send to you separately."
"Good Chef!" Fortunate that he did so.
"Master, there will still be a few days before I can come back. I have to stay back in Purple Night Palace, don't go down the mountain in any case."
"Uh…" She had already gone down once.
"And, thought the back mountain there was smaller than that of Invincible Sect, you must ask someone to show you the way. Radish is not here, you should ask Mushroom."
"Also, please don't eat too much of the fruit, eat some pastries from time to time. They are all in the storage bag, be patient and dig for them."
"The weather is already turning cold. Though Master is not scared of cold, it is still better to add a few layers of clothing. I've already put them all in the cupboard in your room." "Alright, alright, alright."
"If anything happens, you must notify me first. I've already set the transportation array, I'll rush back immediately.
"Yes, yes, yes."
"I… miss you a lot!"
"…" Shen Ying's footsteps paused. She felt something warm flowing across her heart. The corner of her mouth raised up for no reason.
"Master? Master!" Seeing that she didn't reply, Chef called out twice carefully. Did she get angry? Shen Ying laughed. "Really?"
"You really miss me so much?" Shen Ying smiled even deeper.
"How do you miss me?"
"Huh?" Chef was stunned. What how?
"You can't say it? Then write three thousand words and send it over. Format not restricted, due in three days." She had never received a love letter and wanted to try it.
"Oh… Okay." "Good boy!"
Three days later.
A white spirit bird flapped its wings and flew into back palace. A certain old father recognized the aura belonging to Chef on there and thought that something big happened at Purple Night Palace. He made the unfortunate decision of producing a hand seal. Instantly, the spirit bird turned into a thick pile of letters, falling into his hand.
He looked down and realized that on the paper was written densely words of yearning for a certain foodie. The magnificence of language and richness of emotions were abominable!
Lonemoon felt a stuffiness about his heart. In a moment, he only wanted to slap the thing in his hand hard onto a certain person's face.
Go to hell with your romantic show-off! (╯°Д°)╯(┻━┻
After coming back from one experiential training, the original nine disciples had been reduced to four at once. Lonemoon did feel rather irritated, but there was no regret. He chased those disciples out of the mountain not only because of Shen Ying, but because their attitudes were really not suitable. Should it be in the previous small world, where they were in a large sect, they may not be given up on directly.
But these few were nurtured to found sects in the first place, which meant that they would be the role models of all cultivators in this world. But with emotional qualities like this, one couldn't imagine what a group of cultivators they would become.
Actually, he could imagine why they were so. Those who were chased out came onto the mountain at around ten years old, and had never faced any big obstacles, nor any significant failures. After suddenly becoming cultivators who rose high among living beings, they naturally thought that they were better than others, and looked nothing in the eye. They were too confident with themselves, such that even after Fatty's reminder, they still believed that Shen Ying was just a mortal whom could be offended easily, and mortals should be inferior to them