HSSB27: The Rewards
When Wen Ningzhi received the Disciplinary Elder’s summons, he initially still thought that it was because of Yan Zhaoge’s matter.
Arriving in Overlooking Abyss City, having found out that this was not the case and that he was actually the one being investigated, he was completely stunned.
However much he scratched at his head, he just couldn’t understand what exactly he had done that would require him to be interrogated.
When he finally got to understand what the matter was all about, his mouth opened wide involuntarily as he stared blankly into thin air.
Although it was only a temporary suspension of duties, having faced this trial, Wen Ningzhi would most likely be unable to return to the Spirit Wind Canyon, even if he was cleared of all suspicion. Being deployed elsewhere as an Acting Elder was already the best case scenario for him.
If Yan Zhaoge’s second apprentice-uncle’s faction wanted to continue competing for the position of the Spirit Wind Canyon’s Acting Elder, they would have to find someone else. And because of Wen Ningzhi’s earlier failure, they had lost the prerogative; it would therefore be hard for them to compete with Yan Zhaoge’s side.
While he was still trusted on his side, he would have to inevitably suffer the fate of being tagged with the ‘incompetent’ label.
Originally, everything had been smooth-sailing for Wen Ningzhi. Now, his obvious rise to power had been halted, and his future prospects immediately turned incomparably dark.
“Yan! Zhao! Ge!”
Wen Ningzhi wanted to roar, but, opening his mouth, just couldn’t get his voice out of his throat. Instead, his throat contracted as he felt as though a mouthful of old blood was going to spurt out at any moment.
“Young Master, within a short period of time, you have already pushed those Elders of the Assignment Hall off their seats.”
Hearing Ah Hu’s words, Yan Zhaoge shrugged his shoulders, saying nonchalantly, “I guess second apprentice-uncle’s faction will soon start to treat me as a real threat, and not think of me as a little kid anymore.”
“That’s good, but also bad at the same time. Falling on second apprentice-uncle’s radar would naturally be undesirable. Still, it’s good that some of those nasty people who want to make a move against me will probably be staying away from me in the future.”
Wen Ningzhi’s fate had already been sealed; Yan Zhaoge no longer had to waste any attention on him. On the contrary, he was rather interested in this time’s gains.
The punishment that had been meted out to him was twofold: First, he would be grounded for a short period of time, facing the wall to ponder on his faults. Next, he would have to take on the role of a minor frontline soldier in the investigation of the abnormalities within the Sealing Dragon Abyss.
This was nothing much to Yan Zhaoge; the number of days he would be grounded was equivalent to the number days he would spend cultivating.
As for the Sealing Dragon Abyss, he had originally intended to enter it again anyway, drawing on the chaotic streams of baleful qi within to help him cultivate the Heaven-Thwarting Mantra.
In stark contrast to the punishment he had received which did not even hurt one bit, the rewards the clan had given to him were much more generous.
Having found a way to further upgrade the Internal Crystal Furnace, he was rewarded with one of the clan’s most treasured pills, the Profound Spirit Pill.
“Young Master, amongst the various pills and medicines that our Broad Creed Mountain possesses, the best one would still have to be the Heavenly Broad Creed Pill. Still, going down the list, the Profound Spirit Pill is one of the next best things we have.”
Ah Hu chuckled, saying, “The Profound Spirit Pill is a rare and precious pill that is not easy to concoct. The number of Profound Spirit Pills available within the entire clan is therefore extremely limited.”
Yan Zhaoge laughed mildly, “The main thing is that I just so happen to need one.”
In his hands were the pill formulas for pills that were of a much higher quality than the Profound Spirit Pill. Still, concocting them would be somewhat difficult; most importantly, gathering the many ingredients which were required in order to concoct these pills would be a challenge indeed.
For the Yan Zhaoge of the present moment, the Profound Spirit Pill was already a rather nice reward, as the pill had the function of helping martial practitioners in the refining of their aura-qi.
Having reached the peak of the inner aura stage, the early outer aura stage was already beckoning to him.
In the early outer aura stage, one’s aura-qi could be released outside of the body. Having reached the mid outer aura stage, a Martial Scholar’s aura-qi would be refined to take form; it would undergo countless refinements, being suppressed to become denser and denser till it could finally take on corporeal form.
To break through from the early to mid phase of the outer aura stage, a martial practitioner had to refine the aura-qi that their body possessed; this was absolutely crucial.
Therefore, it could be said this was the pill that was the most suitable for Yan Zhaoge to consume at the current time.
In choosing the reward to be given, the clan had obviously placed all these aspects under consideration; the decision was by no means made blindly, in that sense.
Of course, increasing the purity of the aura-qi within one's body would not just be of help in breaking through from the early to mid outer aura stage; it would also benefit one's future cultivation greatly.
Ah Hu laughed with a simple look on his face, "Still, Young Master, with your level of talent, even without the help of the Profound Spirit Pill, breaking through from the mid to late outer aura stage wouldn’t be an issue at all."
"If you ask me, it's still this second reward that's the best!"
Having defeated Chao Yuanlong in battle, the reward for Yan Zhaoge was that after returning to the clan, he would be allowed to enter the third level of the clan's Martial Vault once.
Within that particular building were stored the manuals of Broad Creed Mountain's various elite martial arts.
Generally speaking, those disciples who were just starting out on their cultivation were not allowed into the Martial Vault. At the very most, they would only be granted the right to enter its first level as an especially huge reward; this sort of thing only happened once in a while.
The elite disciples were freely allowed in and out of the first level. Similarly, some of them would also be granted the right to enter the second level once in a while, as an especially huge reward.
For a core, direct lineage disciple of the clan like Yan Zhaoge, they could freely enter and leave the first and second levels as they pleased. Once in a while, they would be allowed into the third level as an especially huge reward.
Although Yan Zhaoge was already familiar with the absolute best martial arts, having read up on them at the Divine Palace before the Great Calamity descended, as a disciple of Broad Creed Mountain, moreover the face of its young generation, learning Broad Creed Mountain’s elite martial arts was an absolutely necessary thing.
Also, after the Great Calamity, while the various clans and Sacred Grounds had had to pick themselves up from the rubble, inheriting what their predecessors had left behind, they had also managed to think unconstrainedly as a result, leading to the birth of new theories on cultivation that differed somewhat from those of the past.
Yan Zhaoge wanted to compare the best of both the past and the present, before combining them into a more refined, perfected whole. That way, his research into the precious scriptures that the Divine Palace had possessed would also be put to as good a use as possible.
Only by properly comprehending the depth of both systems of cultivation, meanwhile dividing his time properly between the two, would his gains be greatest.
However, this particular reward could only be used when Yan Zhaoge had returned to the clan. It was not like the Profound Spirit Pill, which the clan's people had already delivered to Overlooking Abyss City and into Yan Zhaoge's hands.
Yan Zhaoge snapped his fingers, "Actually, the third and final reward is really the best of them all."
In discovering the Cloud-Veined Crystal's secret, gifting the clan with a way to obtain a large amount of Jade Essence, the reward was not a material thing; it was, rather, a special privilege.
While he was active within the territory of the East Heaven Region, if there was anything he wanted, he could just ask the East Elder to take care of it for him.
To others, this reward might seem a bit empty from the outside. However, Yan Zhaoge was even more overjoyed by it, liking it much more than the two previous rewards that had been given to him.
Ah Hu sniggered, "With that, whatever you wish to do in the Eastern Tang Kingdom, that old man Yan Xu will be unable to object to; you won't have to communicate your intentions to him beforehand either."
Yan Zhaoge said, "That's not really the case, though. After all, he is the Principal Elder of the Eastern Tang. If he really wanted to create trouble for me, it would also not be that hard. Threatening his position won't be as easy as it was with that old man Cui as well as that Wen Ningzhi."
Ah Hu laughed, "That Elder Xu is a rather understanding person, huh. After we had emerged, he told me that whatever you, Young Master, want, you only need to tell him; he will give you priority of the resources stored within the vaults of the Spirit Wind Canyon as well as Overlooking Abyss City, supplying you with them when the need arises."
Yan Zhaoge nodded. He would be remaining in the vicinity of the Sealing Dragon Abyss for quite a while; having an ally by his side would definitely make things much more convenient for him.
However, for the time being, Yan Xu won't move against me. He will also be keeping an eye on Xu Chuan."
Wen Ningzhi having failed in his duties, Yan Xu had been temporarily suppressed by Yan Zhaoge and the King of the Eastern Tang Kingdom, both of whom would definitely not approve of someone from his faction being chosen for the role of the Spirit Wind Canyon's Acting Elder.
However, if someone from Yan Zhaoge's father's faction were to be chosen, it was probable that having settled into the position of the temporary Acting Elder there, he would be allowed to stay there permanently.
And Xu Chuan just happened to be different; while he was in the opposing faction, he had also not retired from the role of Overlooking Abyss City's Acting Elder.
Yan Xu had not deployed people from elsewhere, but had instead made Xu Chuan hold the role of acting Elder in both the Spirit Wind Canyon and Overlooking Abyss City simultaneously, just to achieve this effect of making gains whilst retreating. Because of his decision, when the time came for the clan to officially deliberate on who would be appointed to the role, his side would still stand a fighting chance.
At the same time, with the abnormalities within the Sealing Dragon Abyss as well as the changes regarding the Spirit Wind Canyon, Xu Chuan, having to assume two roles at the same time, would have his responsibilities greatly increased, the pressure on him correspondingly multiplying, and he might just mess something up as a result.
Yan Zhaoge sat himself relaxedly down on a chair, one leg propped over the other, "I'm afraid that he is waiting for just that moment, to get back the corresponding interest alongside what he feels he’s owed."
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