Chapter 144: Top Grade
I walked out of the Mirror world accompanied by the elder into a group of highly agitated disciples, a lot of them had untold amounts of scorn and were gazing daggers at me for reasons I had no idea the source of.
I ignored the bunch of kids and followed after the elder who used his ability to freely fly and carried me with him to the depth of the Inner Sect.
Once we arrived at the center of the Inner Sect, the elder brought me down in front of a long staircase that led up into a mountain piercing through the clouds.
The stairs were clean, and the beautiful plants that were carefully planted alongside the stairs gave the whole mountain a great sense of archaic beauty to it.
"Walk up the stairs, you'll find a disciple that'll be waiting for you, pay your respects to the elder, and don't be rude to him."
I nodded at the elder who scuffed at me and left. I had a strange feeling that if I wasn't summoned by this Grand Elder, this guy would have immediately acted against me.
I should be more careful from now on, I'm in uncharted territory, and I have no allies.
I took the first step on the mountain and felt a rush of Spiritual Qi that swirled around me. Sadly, I couldn't cultivate it even if it was clear, clean, and potent, I don't have the ability to cultivate natural Qi. So, I ignored it and moved forward, taking but an incense stick worth of time to get to the top. Which is about half an hour.
Once I arrived at the top, I found a disciple in black robes and golden embroidery of the Three-Legged Crow on his chest calmly waiting for me. Behind him was a thick wall of fog that obscured the rest of the mountain.
"You're Xiao Meng?" the disciple said.
"Yes," I said.
"Grand Elder Zhong Chuzi is waiting for you," the disciple said.
'Chuzi, that's the same name of the guy who acted against the Purple Cloud Sect Master. A family perhaps.'
"Right," I nodded, "Please lead the way," I said and the disciple turned and moved forward into the thick fog.
"Follow my lead, and step exactly where I step lest you lose yourself." The disciple said.
I frowned thinking that was a threat but apparently it was not as the explanation came to me moments later.
Walking through the fog, I noticed a few lights emitting whenever the disciple took certain steps. Realizing that this fog was not natural, I figured that this was a formation.
It took me a few moments to understand how this formation worked and soon I was walking right next to the disciple.
"I told you to take the same steps I did, you'll end up lost, this is not a casual walk…" but the disciple immediately swallowed his words as he noticed that not only was I taking the most optimal of steps, I was even moving faster than he was.
And all of a sudden, I walked out of the thick fog and into a wide opening that was lit by a gentle sunray.
There was a small house here that was built atop a pond full of small koi fish, an old man was caringly throwing food for the fish.
Smiling the man said, "I'm really impressed lad, your formation knowledge is far beyond your current level," the elder said.
"Thank you for the high praise, I merely got lucky and met a person who taught me about formations," I replied.
"Aah, they must be a great person to have managed to teach you things that even Nascent Soul cultivators would rack their brains trying to figure out. But it's sad." The elder said, and almost immediately the disciple I left in the dust entered, he had an ashamed expression on his face and stared daggers at me, but still reigned his anger in and sat calmly waiting for the elder's orders.
Peeling my eyes off of the disciple I turned to the elder and asked, "What is sad? Grand Elder?"
"The fact that you're poisoned, you don't really have good health, the Body and Bone Grinding Poison is a sinister plague. How come you still stand while being heavily poisoned is beyond me."
His words caused the disciple to immediately take a few steps away and look at me like I was the plague itself.
"It's not contagious unless you drink my blood, so don't worry," I said to the disciple, "I've had good luck and bad luck, but that's no reason to stop my cultivation journey."
"You must be in insufferable pain every day, I'm amazed that you didn't kill yourself or gone mad from the agony."
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"I can deal with a little pain," I said, actually the moment I started cultivating the Poison G.o.d's manual I no longer felt the Bone and Body Grinding Poison's agonizing pain. But I wasn't going to tell him that.
"This is too much," I said.
"No, it's only fair, especially since I saw how you weren't greedy into 'stealing' the Qi of this mountain the moment you stepped foot in it, I see honesty in you and I would like to reward you adequately." The elder smiled.
But in that smile, I felt dread. Something was happening behind the scene here. Though his gift was generous, I felt that there were some bad intentions behind it.
"Now, that the payment is offered, I'll tell you what I need of you." The elder said.
"Right, I'm all ears."
"We've captured some rebels a year ago, however, they huddled up behind a ma.s.sive barrier. Though we have a lot of power, I'm sure that only a Formation Master could easily break the barrier surrounding their palace. Though I don't expect you to break the formation, I do expect that you'll provide great a.s.sistance in taking it down."
"Right, I'll make sure to do all I can, but can I ask something?"
"What did the rebels do if I mind asking?"
"Since you've recently joined I'm sure you don't know the story. Our Sect's young prince was promised a woman who was captured by the rebels. We cornered them and have them caught once the barrier breaks we'll save her. After all, the young master is soon to come out of his secluded cultivation and we don't want him throwing a fit of rage if he doesn't find his bride to be."
"Ah right, but wouldn't the rebels just threaten you to back off with her as a hostage?" I asked, clearly I knew he was full of c.r.a.p but I wanted to see his reaction.
The elder's smile slowly disappeared, before he said, "Don't worry about that, the young prince had given his beloved a treasure that's keeping her safe from their filthy hands, now stop with the questions, Feng, take him to the Formation's location, and report to me regularly. Xiao Meng, I expect good results, don't disappoint me.
"As you wish," I nodded and turned.
'How ironic. You just gave me the very thing I desperately needed to doom you all without causing trouble to myself. Believe me, disappointment will be the least of your worries once I'm done with this whole cl.u.s.terf.u.c.k.'
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