Gu Zuo wore an ordinary brown, full-body robe. Following behind Gongyi Tianheng, he seemed like a speck of dust floating in the wind. Similarly, Dragon One and Dragon Two wore black full-body robes and looked like pitch-black shadows.
They followed Tianheng to leave for the Qingyun Sect. Although each of their identities were nominal disciples, the truth was that Dragon One and Dragon Two were still subordinates. As for Gu Zuo, after discussing it with Tianheng, he would be a little servant boy who had a small talent in medicine refinement.
For Gu Zuo’s safety, once they arrived at the Qingyun Sect, he still had to live together with Tianheng. And since they needed to live together, there wasn’t an identity that was more convenient than a personal servant boy.
A group of people quickly arrived at the imperial palace. They weren’t late, but one could already see a huge crowd outside the palace hall.
There really were as many as ten people standing behind both Huangfu Zhanghao and Cang Yu.
On the contrary, Tianheng simply brought three over. Although the people across from them already knew in advance, they still had to swallow their astonishment after actually seeing it.
Gongyi Tianheng’s methods were truly hard for people to predict.
Maybe it wasn’t that no one had similar conjectures and opinions like Tianheng, but the people who came to mind might’ve needed to compromise. The rest basically weren’t willing due to benefits… What happened to each person after going to the sect would depend on their own luck.
In addition, the other aristocratic families all had the Clan Heads, elders, or close relatives come to send them off. All except for the Gongyi Clan. Not a single clan member showed because their needed reunion to say their goodbyes had already been done yesterday.
…If they bid them farewell now, it would only add to the sadness.
Gu Zuo saw this scene and couldn’t help transmitting some comforting words: Big brother, don’t feel sad. Haven’t we given the clan lots of medicinal pills? If they don’t waste too much, then at the very least, there’ll still be enough to use before the clan’s pharmacists learn it.
Tianheng’s gaze eased slightly: Ah Zuo also doesn’t need to worry. It’s a common matter for people who practice martial arts to leave on a long journey. Although I have some reluctance, I don’t harbor any sadness at all.
Only then did Gu Zuo feel relieved.
He could still remember that when he came to this world, he found himself leaving his dad and suffering a lot of heartache. He couldn’t help wanting to comfort his big brother. Only, it was obvious that his big brother’s determination was much stronger than his. This was also very good.
In the front, Huangfu Zhanghao and Cang Yu saw that Tianheng had arrived. By chance, they both took the initiative to take a couple steps forward and greet him: “Brother Tianheng.”
Members of an aristocratic family usually had the same surname. In regards to how they were addressed, it was normal to call them by their first name.
Tianheng returned the greeting: “Brother Zhanghao, Brother Cang Yu.”
The two smiled, but didn’t speak with him too much.
At this time, Gu Zuo was mainly looking at who the two families brought to occupy the nominal disciple positions.
Besides the Huangfu Clan’s descendants, behind Huangfu Zhanghao were four Duanmu Clan descendants, including Duanmu Qingrong. None of the people they brought were subordinates. Rather, they were all clan members.
Previously, Gu Zuo heard that the relationship between the Huangfu and Duanmu Clans was rather good. Grouping the two clans together shouldn’t cause too much friction.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
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In addition, between the three spots auctioned off, two were the Sima Clan’s and one was the Helian Clan’s. The Sima Clan had Sima Yuanyou and a fellow clan member who seemed only a little bit inferior to him. The Helian Clan had… Unexpectedly, it wasn’t Helian Xingcheng?
Gu Zuo felt a little baffled.
Of the imperial capital’s five great young masters, only four came. How could Xingcheng renounce this opportunity? Wasn’t he a talent nominated by this generation’s Helian Clan Head? This position was a very precious one. Also, there had been three days since they returned plus the previous dozen or so days during the journey back to nurse his health. How could he go so far as to renounce it?
— In actuality, it was Gu Zuo who didn’t understand the implications.
After he speculated in his mind, he transmitted a question to Tianheng, who unexpectedly gave a reply.
Due to the Helian Clan’s situation, it went without saying that he paid attention to them from the very beginning.
As it turned out, Xingcheng’s insurmountable temperament was still the cause.
Nevertheless, it was due to Xingcheng’s momentary slip when he received the Cangyun Emperor’s trials in the palace. It wasn’t known why, but from that point on, he suffered from bad luck ever since. When he didn’t have enough strength, he had bad luck. When he did have enough strength, he still had bad luck. What made him angrier was that when he had bad luck, the team he was on actually obtained huge achievements…
As a guy who didn’t have a lot of tolerance, he angrily spat quite a few mouthfuls of blood. After returning home, his mind suffered from emotional knots for a long time and he couldn’t free himself. So, his strength fell from half-step Xiantian back to the peak of Meridian Condensing third stage. Wasn’t this also very normal? After all, this state of half-step Xiantian originally drew support from the inspiration of the Azure Dragon Pool. It was fundamentally unstable.
Yet, for such a setback, Helian Xingcheng’s anger grew larger. After this, his strength wouldn’t easily decline, but he wouldn’t be able to make any progress again for a long time. That was the truth!
Consequently, being like this all the time… Xingcheng would have no advantages over the others. Moreover, his clan members worried that, with his current state, going to the sect would invite misfortune. In the end, they replaced him with a guy, who was only slightly inferior to him, to take what originally should’ve been his spot!
…Helian Xingcheng furiously threw up blood again.
Gu Zuo’s facial expression suddenly became a little odd.
The contrast between this unlucky fellow and Zhanghao was…really clear to see.
It was just that although the latter’s luck was borrowed, he benefitted enormously. And as for the former, to use a relatively popular saying: It was a problem of his own making.
No one would sympathize with him.
Xingcheng lost this opportunity. The newcomer was called Helian Xingye. He shared some resemblance to Xingcheng, but the emotions showing in his eyes were rather different.
…To say the least, there wasn’t such obvious jealousy and spite.
Merely, the Helian Clan was always exuberantly ambitious. In the end, how this Helian Xingye behaved, and whether or not he could uphold propriety and think clearly, wasn’t something that could be figured out at the moment.
Gu Zuo didn’t have a good impression of the Helian Clan. As a result, he stopped caring after a single glance at this Helian Xingye. He’d naturally know about this guy’s true colors after going to the sect.
The Cangyun Emperor stood with his hands clasped behind his back, still emanating that dignified presence.
At this moment, he saw that the people were already present and sternly said: “Ladies and gentlemen, each of you are my Cangyun Empire’s utmost talented martial artists. It will be difficult for the empire to come to your aid on this trip to the Qingyun Sect. Nevertheless, we expect everyone to conduct themselves prudently. Do not disgrace the glory of the empire, and you mustn’t incite disaster because of a moment of anger. Harming others will only harm yourselves.”
This was a seldom repeated warning where the emperor placed his complete trust in them.
Although many young martial artists had an air of arrogance, they didn’t dare act negligently and seriously stated one after another: “We obey Your Majesty’s orders. Many thanks, Your Majesty, for the warning!”
The Cangyun Emperor was fully aware that these martial artists were fundamentally untamable. He was also once their age. At this time, he didn’t waste any more time explaining. He waved his hand again and called for several royal family intermediaries to distribute some golden banknotes.
“Ladies and gentlemen, for the nation and for the fight for glory, the empire will provide some backing. For some trifling valuables, do not decline.”
The royal family spent a lot of money at this moment.
Gongyi Tianheng, Huangfu Zhanghao, and Cang Yu. Each of these three received five hundred thousand in golden banknotes. And for those nominal disciples following them, each one received one hundred thousand in golden banknotes.
These were considered start-up funds. When they headed to the sect, if they couldn’t grasp the methods of handling things in the short term, these golden banknotes could support them for a period of time.
These were the kind intentions of the empire.
After the martial artists received them, there was naturally a burst of gratitude.
Gu Zuo never anticipated that he’d also get this benefit. However, because there were fewer people coming from the Gongyi Clan, the total sum was also smaller. It couldn’t be compared to the other aristocratic families. If it weren’t for the recent “private funds” in Gu Zuo’s possession, and that his accumulated golden banknotes surpassed one million, this might’ve really pained him.
This was indeed a free boon… Any boon from the royal family was something one should take advantage of! What a pity.
After that, the Cangyun Emperor didn’t explain anything further and just said: “May everyone’s journey run smoothly, and that everyone returns wreathed in glory and prestige!”
The crowd of martial artists heard this and were overwhelmed by emotions. After expressing their thanks again, they followed the Prince Beside the Emperor Cang He and got on the Cirrus-Cloud Eagle. Just like three days ago, they journeyed back to the Qingyun Boundary.
Thirteen days later, the Qingyun Boundary appeared before their eyes once more!
As before, the three Immortal realm martial artists stood aloof with cold and indifferent faces.
Although these winners of the Hundred Countries Tournament were about to become sect disciples, they still didn’t show any friendly expressions. In fact, it seemed that these so-called young talents didn’t even enter their eyes.
Gu Zuo stealthily sized up the people who came.
Those here numbered over one hundred… In particular, the people behind that He Chengfeng numbered at least twenty. Apparently, they also wanted to follow after him?
Recalling his big brother’s analysis before, perhaps it was due to He Chengfeng starting off as an inner sect disciple. As a result, the number of placements for bringing nominal disciples were also greater.
The present Tianheng understood clearly.
Among the twenty people behind He Chengfeng, more than half of the martial artists had features that somewhat resembled him. It was clear it was a familial relationship. Furthermore, along with having a great resemblance, they apparently shared pretty good bonds… Those should be the result of clashing powers reaching a compromise within the Qingcang Empire.
If he fought over first place, He Chengfeng could’ve only obtained ten placements. The number of people who could enter the sect would’ve been reduced by half. This was a pile of trouble.
In any case, Tianheng only needed three spots from start to finish. After seeing through his scheme now, the situation was even more clear.
His decision to throw the match before really was advantageous to him.
At this moment, everyone was present.
That cool and elegant Immortal realm martial artist, Zou Qingyue, gently opened her vermillion lips: “Ordinary sect disciples-to-be, follow me!”
None of the martial artists dared act negligently, and hurriedly followed after her.
Then, they saw a ship ahead.
This ship, that should’ve sailed on the seas, suddenly appeared in midair.
Zou Qingyue’s body flashed. Just like the other two Immortal realm martial artists, they all stood on top of that ship.
The hearts of the other martial artists trembled. Without the slightest hesitation, they jumped. Using the body lightening footwork they were best at, they all promptly soared up!
Gu Zuo only felt his waist being caught by someone. After that, his head started spinning…
En, he was directly carried on his big brother’s shoulder as they flew up.
T/N: Hello, everyone. This is the final chapter of the second volume. Just like the end of the first one, feel free to tell me if you have any questions or concerns about my translation so far. Spoilers not included.
See you all in the third volume, A Lofty Yet Unpredictable Sect. (This doozy of a volume has nearly 180 chapters!)
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