Roughly seventy percent of supreme-level experts were affiliated with one of the nine Divine Mountains’ academies. Another twenty-five percent or so were raised within their clans. Only around five percent were unaffiliated, solitary cultivators.
If the Upheaval Alliance was going to continue to grow, supremes were an absolute necessity.
There was no need to even consider recruiting experts raised within their family clans; they were almost always deeply proud of their backgrounds and loyal to the death. There wasn’t much point considering true solitary cultivators either; if they’d chosen neither to enroll in an academy nor to join a pre-existing major power, many of which had passed on their inheritance for tens of thousands of years, why would they even consider Ye Zichen’s brand-new faction?
His only real hope of recruiting supremes was to find them in the various academies.
But take the Northern Divine Mountain for example. Roughly seventy percent of the supremes there were affiliated with Skyspan Academy, and most were ascenders. In unknown territory, without a family background to protect them, they went to Skyspan Academy. This was in part to study, but more than that, they sought refuge in unknown and hostile territory.
However, they all graduated sooner or later, and when they did, they had to look out for themselves.
Joining student societies was a way of planning for their future.
Murong Xue, Pang Zheng, Jiang Yong and others joined the academy despite being direct descendants of their respective clans. They did this in large part to, alongside their studies, recruit new talent into their clans. By the time they and their society members graduated, odds were, they’d be loyal to the family clan behind the scenes.
Ye Zichen wasn’t particularly knowledgeable about other academies’ situations, but based on Skyspan Academy’s example, odds were other academies were much the same.
Over countless years, this had gradually become a set pattern. This was why the current God Realm was like a stagnant pool, its layout set in stone. Big family clans grew bigger and bigger, while small family clans shrank or even faced destruction and had no choice but to seek refuge beneath a larger, more powerful organization, or even disband and join said larger power directly.
With the lay of the land so set in stone, it made the God Realm an extremely difficult environment for new factions to grow in.
Ye Zichen had the Yao-Sealing Pagoda, so he was an outlier. His yao servants had supported the Upheaval Alliance’s growth to date, and having the Profound Pavillion and the Saints’ Palace’s Star Altar behind him gave him a solid mountain to lean on. But this wasn’t enough to form a top-class faction in the long run. If he wanted to one day face the Lightning Emperor’s Manor or challenge Zhou Wu, the Upheaval Alliance needed to grow, and quickly at that.
If Pang Zheng really meant what he said, and was sincerely willing to send the Grizzly Bear Society’s fresh graduates to him, that would make a huge difference.
Regardless of a graduate’s specific cultivation, all of them had undergone systematic training and education. This was exactly the type of talent Ye Zichen sorely lacked.
Furthermore, there were over a hundred million members of the Grizzly Bear Society, which meant he could theoretically bring a hundred million supremes, or even diviners, over to the Upheaval Alliance.
How could Ye ZIchen not be tempted?
He was almost frantic. No, he was frantic. He grabbed Pang Zheng by the shoulder, then said with the utmost intensity, “Did you mean what you said just now?”
For Ye Zichen to talk to him like this, and with such sincerity, left Pang Zheng stunned.
From his perspective, a family clan’s true strength came from its top experts, while fresh graduates were mostly earth supremes with a few sky supremes and the odd diviner mixed in. Of them, only the diviners were of much use, while the others were more of a drain on a clan’s resources than anything.
He’d actually just said that casually. He hadn’t expected Ye Zichen to react so strongly.
“I naturally meant it.” Pang Zheng nodded, then added, “But Brother Ye, please don’t think me petty. I can’t offer you our platoon leaders or experts above the seventh-stage sky supreme level, as my family also needs….”
“That’s fine!” Ye Zichen nodded.
Ye Zichen was naturally fully aware that no matter how generous Pang Zheng was, he couldn’t offer Ye Zichen any true elites. After all, he was at the academy to hunt for talent on his family’s behalf. If he offered all of them to Ye Zichen, how could the Pang Family grow?
But Ye Zichen had no shortage of top experts or elites.
The Yao Sealing Pagoda had tens of thousands of diviners, and he had twenty rulers, plus Yang Jian, the Great Sage, and Pu Jingwan—three true top class experts!
What he lacked were ordinary rank and file underlings!
To the Pang Family, low-level cultivators were a burden, but to Ye Zichen, they were exactly what he needed.
“You guys must be in the same situation, right? Your families only need the top elites? How about you send those who don’t quite make the cut to me as well?” Ye Zichen took this opportunity to extend this offer to Jiang Yong and the others all at once.
“Brother Ye, what do you need so many low-rankers for? I’m sure you know this, but establishing yourself in the God Realm depends on the quality of your top experts,” said Jiang Yong, but as soon as he opened his mouth, he glanced at the yao servants, as well as the terrifying experts overseeing them.
Established families like them had generations of history, and had always had an abundance of rank and file cultivators. That was why they felt that more was just a burden. But Ye Zichen was different; the Upheaval Alliance was brand new, and lacked manpower more than anything. Furthermore, based on the strength of the yao servants and rulers, did he really lack top experts?
When other factions tried to establish themselves, their greatest challenge was finding top experts, but Ye Zichen’s situation was the exact opposite: he lacked the rank and file.
As for the student societies’ members, they could stay in the societies until they graduated. After spending so much time together, the society heads naturally bonded with them, but after graduation, only a select few were admitted directly into their family clans. The others had poor prospects. The society leaders wanted to help, but there was nothing they could do.
But now Ye Zichen needed exactly those types of people. Why on earth would they refuse?
“No problem. Our Aspirations Society can send you some human resources too, but you understand…. Diviners, well….” Jiang Yong grinned and burst into laughter.
“The Navigators can chip in too.”
“As can our Proud Heavens Society.”
“Hm….” Murong Xue hesitated a bit. “The Appearance Association is all girls. They….”
“I can create an all-female department for them!” Ye Zichen pounded his chest.
“Then there’s no problem.”
The top student societies all agreed to send Ye Zichen rank and file cultivators. The top five student societies represented around forty percent of Skyspan Academy’s numbers. From how easily they agreed, Ye Zichen saw through an underlying problem: Skyspan Academy’s student societies existed to train and recruit elites for various family clans, but for the most part, they didn’t want all the riff-raff.
That was why all Ye Zichen had to do was talk to the student society heads. They had enough authority to agree to this.
Given his current status, they were unlikely to flat out refuse him. Afterward, they could go back and mentally prepare the students. With their help, the Upheaval Alliance could grow much faster, and in a much shorter time.
Afterward, he could extend his reach to the other Divine Mountains….
He trusted that the other mountains’ academies were similar to Skyspan Academy. If he could contact them and recruit there, it would be ideal.
But Ye Zichen didn’t know anyone who lived there.
No, wait. Liu Qing!
Ye Zichen suddenly thought of her. She was a student of the Eastern Divine Mountain’s Four Directions Academy. She might be able to help him out. Also, it had been quite a while since he’d last contacted her, so he could take this opportunity to build up feelings between them.
As soon as the idea occurred to him, Ye Zichen took out his transmission slip and sent her a message.
Afterward, he was in incomparably high spirits. Just like that, he’d solved the Upheaval Alliance’s manpower problem. Of course he was happy!
His eyes alight with happiness, Ye Zichen turned to Jiang Wei, but Jiang Wei’s expression was strange; his brows were still tightly knit.
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