Chapter 621 - Number One Pavilion
Tianming stepped into the Earth Branch for the first time when he got back from Xuanyuan Lake. As soon as he entered, he realized that the Human Branch was ten times larger than the Earth Branch, but the branches had an equal number of spiritual energy fountains.
As a result, the Earth Branch was covered with thick spiritual energy mist, making it look like a celestial realm. The mist was so thick that it limited his vision.
“I heard that the Heaven Branch has the same number of spiritual energy fountains as the Earth and Human Branches, but the Heaven Branch only has five hundred disciples and is only a tenth as big as the Earth Branch. So everyone practically has a fountain of their own. The Archaion Sect has a realistic system for training their disciples, and those who are talented will be granted more resources while the mediocre will be buried. No wonder everyone in the Human Branch wants to climb up.
“In the Achaion Sect, only disciples from the Earth Branch or higher will be respected. As for the Human Branch, their only way out is joining the Archaion Army and fighting for the sect.” The Earth Branch had fifty thousand disciples, and everything here was better than the Human Branch. There were all kinds of facilities available that made this palace look like an actual sect. The entire Earth Branch was covered in snow under the blizzard, which made for a magnificent sight.
As long as I become an Earth Branch’s disciple, I’ll be able to cultivate in the Old Deepstar Path for two hours a day. Two hours is enough, but I still have another layer of identity now as the faction lord of the Swordking Faction. So my time isn’t limited. The Earth Branch’s Old Deepstar Path starting point is at the end of the Human Branch’s path. The Astral Wills here belong to stronger ancestors.
Tianming was filled with expectations for the Earth Branch. The Earth and Heaven Branches were practically bound together, with the Earth Branch’s core ground being the Heaven Cauldron.
Tianming decided to head to Sourceglow Hall first, but he wasn’t familiar with the Earth Branch so he had to ask for directions before he finally managed to find Sourceglow Hall. He realized that many people in the Earth Branch knew him, and they had probably watched the Human Branch’s faction battle. So they were looking at Tianming with a strange gaze.
“You managed to live to this day? It sure wasn’t easy for you,” a woman chuckled after Tianming asked her for directions.
“Yeah, it hasn’t been easy. Thank you, Senior Sister,” Tianming thanked her and headed toward Sourceglow Hall. Along the way, many people looked at him and exclaimed how lucky he was.
“What, aren't those geniuses from the Sterling House of Fang known for how overbearing they are? Why is he still alive?”
“Probably just luck. He won’t last long, though.”
“The Archaion Sect belongs to the three houses, and small houses like ours don’t dare to offend the ordinary disciples of the three houses even if we’re talented. We’ll know what’s going on if he’s gone in two days.”
Tianming arrived at Sourceglow Hall while they were discussing among themselves.
“Here’s your emblem as an Earth Branch’s disciple.” Sourceglow Hall was where disciple’s information was stored, and disciples received their emblems there. Every newly-promoted Earth Branch disciple had to report there to officially join the Earth Branch.
“Thank you, Palace Lord,” Tianming said. The palace lord of Sourceglow Hall was an old woman called Gou Yuqiu. Tianming didn’t know who she was, but she was rumored to be a dedicated person, and she would check on all the Earth Branch’s disciples.
However, she didn’t pay much attention to Tianming. After recording Tianming’s identity, she said, “Tianming, go and pick an earth pavilion to stay in. It’ll be your root in the Earth Branch in the future.”
Tianming took the emblem and went to pick his earth pavilion. The residences for Earth Branch’s disciples were four times larger than the Human Branch, and everyone practically had a peak to themselves.
But when Tianming came out of Sourceglow Hall, he ran into an ‘acquaintance.’ His body was hunched and his face was pale, decorated with blood and despair.
“Fang Xingying,” Tianming called out.
“Mhm?” Fang Xingying raised his head, and he immediately took a few steps back when he saw Tianming.
“Where are your teeth?” Tianming couldn’t help laughing. “Why’re you like an old granny now? Is that the latest fashion?”
Fang Xingying tried gnashing his ‘teeth,’ only to hurt himself in the process. He glared at Tianming and turned to leave.
“Hey, don’t go.” Tianming chased after him. “Aren’t you trying to assassinate me? You don’t have to be polite with me.”
“Don’t provoke me,” Fang Xingying said.
“You’re overthinking. Let me guess, did Fang Xingque pull out your teeth since you failed to kill me?” Tianming patted his shoulder.
“Looks like you have a talent for guessing,” replied Fang Xingying.
“Haha, your boss seems terrible. Don’t work for him anymore. He’s not worthy of your loyalty,” Tianming replied.
“What do you know? Care about yourself and your life while you can. Don’t poke your nose into someone else’s problems.” Fang Xingying quickened his steps, but Tianming came and blocked his way again.
“Don’t force me,” said Fang Xingying.
“Do you hate Fang Xingque?” Tianming asked with his eyes narrowed into slits.
“What’s it got to do with you? You think you’re smart?” Fang Xingying raged.
“Nah, but the enemy of an enemy is a friend. That means we’re friends now. Why don’t you tell me who this Fang Xingque is? Who knows, I might be able to kill him.” Tianming smiled.
“You?” Fang Xingque laughed.
“I can tell that you hate him. It didn’t feel good having your teeth removed, right?” Tianming asked.
“You really want to know who he is?” Fang Xingying narrowed his eyes when Tianming exposed his thoughts. Now that he thought about it, Tianming should have a similar identity since he had the sect master of the Human Branch protecting him, right?
“He’s the son of Heaven Branch’s sect master and the grandson of Godservant Hall’s palace lord. He’s one of the few in the Archaion Sect with the strongest background!” Fang Xingying said.
It was sad, as he was also the grandson of Godservant Hall’s palace lord. But he had never been paid any attention.
“Wow, that’s a strong background. So why’s someone like him going after someone insignificant like me?” Tianming asked.
“He had a cricket battle with his friends in the Dimensional Battlefield, but you stood out and humiliated his ‘crickets,’ embarrassing him before his friends. So he’ll naturally be coming after you,” said Fang Xingying.
“Does he have nothing better to do? Since when would someone playing with crickets go after crickets himself? This proves that he’s not a human being, but a cricket himself,” Tianming laughed.
“No one dares to provoke the disciples of the Sterling House of Fang because of Fang Xingque’s vengeful personality,” said Fang Xingying.
“Wouldn’t you be arrogant if you were the son of Heaven Branch’s sect master and grandson of Godservant Hall’s palace lord?” Fang Xingying asked.
Well, I’m the eminent’s husband, and I don’t see myself being arrogant… Tianming commented inwardly before asking, “Is he done now? Does he know that I’m under the protection of the Human Branch’s sect master?”
“He didn’t believe me.”
“So that means he’s still coming after me?”
“What do you think?”
“Simple. I’ll help you beat him up and pull out his teeth one day,” Tianming smiled.
“What’re you laughing about?”
“He has the Sterling House of Fang’s Rainbow Phoenix Bloodline. He’s only sixteen this year, and he’s already in the Samsara stage. In terms of talent, he’s ranked in the Archaion Sect’s top three,” said Fang Xingying. His fists were balled together when he mentioned the Rainbow Phoenix Bloodline. He was trying his best to keep himself composed.
“Wow, that’s impressive,” replied Tianming.
“See you later.” Fang Xingying continued walking away.
“Wait. I’m looking for a vacant Earth Pavilion. Do you have any recommendations?” Tianming asked.
“There’s one beside mine,” replied Fang Xingying.
“Alright. We’ll be neighbors then.”
“You’re sticking yourself to me?”
“Don’t say that. I’m new in the Earth Branch, and there’s many things I don’t know about. So I’ll come ask you if there’s an opportunity,” Tianming said in a sincere tone.
“Becoming friends after fighting each other?”
“Come on then.” Fang Xingying had no idea about Tianming’s identity, nor did he know how long he could stay alive for. But no one had taken the initiative to become neighbors with him since he was young; he would already have died if he hadn’t fawned over Fang Xingque.
With that, Tianming officially moved next to Fang Xingying. As flashy as he was, Tianming naturally put up a plaque with ‘Number One Pavilion.’
The pavilion was massive; it was practically a snow-covered mountain. Aside from buildings on the mountain, there was also a lake-sized hot spring.
Tianming fell in love with it at first sight, and he imagined taking a dip in it with Ling’er.
Fang Xingying lived on the next mountain over. His place was remote, as he liked the silence and lack of disruptions in his cultivation.
“The sect has a rule that Earth Branch disciples can take a Human Branch disciple as a servant, or even a maid. Although becoming an Earth Branch disciple’s servant won’t give you more resources or any changes to their identity, they can at least enjoy the rich spiritual energy here.
“Many Earth Branch disciples, especially the males, have a female disciple from the Human Branch as a maid. One seeks improvement in her cultivation, while the other seeks beauty, a mutually beneficial relationship. That’s also a way out for Human Branch disciples. I heard that anyone who becomes an Earth Branch disciple’s servant will have a higher chance of being promoted to the Earth Branch. Reality is truly harsh, but….“ Tianming grinned and continued, “Maybe I should bring Xiaoxiao over to be my maid!”
“Holy shit, you shameless lecher! Are you going to go for a ‘maid play?’” Ying Huo was dumbfounded.
“Boss, don’t force me to rat you out to Ling’er! I know biology, and I can vividly describe how you have fun with Lin Xiaoxiao,” Meow Meow chuckled. “From today onward, you’re finished if you dare to disturb my sleep!”
“I support your idea, boss! I want to play with Big Sister Youyou!” Lan Huang chipped in.
“Screw you guys!” Beads of sweat rolled down Tianming’s forehead. “Many people saw me together with her in the faction battle, and I’m just worried that Fang Xingque will go after her instead, since he can’t do anything to me. After all, I can’t possibly drag her down in the mess I created, right?”
“We know, we know. You don’t have to explain.”
“Xiaoxiao is actually pretty cute.”
Tianming was left speechless by them, and wondered if he should give them a beating. But right at that moment, a loud voice came from outside. “Li Tianming, come out!”
The voice belonged to Xuanyuan Yuheng.