Plundering The Heavens - Chapter 111
After salvaging and claiming the cores from the corpses, the Duanzhen disciples were looking at a shared fortune over ten thousand low-grade Spirit Stones from more than eighty fourth-tier beasts, over three thousand Stones from the seven fifth-tier beasts, and over four thousand Stones from the three sixth-tier beasts. All together, the grand total was looking to be greater than seventeen thousand low-grade Spirit Stones—a grand fortune!
Not only that, there was also the seventh-tier Fiery-Scaled Serpent of the fire element that Fang Xing had killed. The base value of an ordinary beast was four thousand Stones, and the elemental nature would double it to make it easily worth eight thousand. This was a huge profit even on its own.
And to think that life within the sect had required every single Spirit Stone to be carefully used and spent, yet a single battle yielded such a large amount in one go. This was perhaps the perfect example of the saying "from great danger comes great wealth."
Money and fortune were things that came incredibly slowly at times, but knowing where to look could make them come at a rather incredible speed.
"Little Shixiong Fang, according to how it should be allocated, this is all ours so far…." Even the usually calm and collected Wu Xiangtong could not help but show signs of excitement as he brought over a jade scroll to confirm it with Fang Xing. All of the beasts could be traded in for money, and one of Fang Xing’s most important responsibility as the lead disciple was to evenly distribute and hand out this collected wealth. Yet Fang Xing—being as lazy as he was—had tossed the job completely onto Wu Xiangtong’s shoulders. With how responsible Wu Xiangtong was, he would write it down and ask Fang Xing to look over and confirm it afterwards so the report could be given to the sect.
Fang Xing merely swept his eyes across Wu Xiangtong’s report and saw that not only was the Fiery-Scaled Serpent core his, but thirty percent of all of the collected resources had also been put under Fang Xing’s name. With this, Fang Xing knew that Wu Xiangtong was someone sincere and honest, and for people like this, Fang Xing would respond in kind. He threw back the jade scroll and said, "Only count the Fiery-Scaled Serpent as mine. I don’t need the rest;distribute them evenly to the bunch of bastards instead."
This took Wu Xiangtong by surprise, unable to believe what he had just heard. Even if the Fiery-Scaled Serpent wasn’t added in, the Duanzhen Valley had collected cores worth over seventeen thousand low-grade Spirit Stones. For Fang Xing to say "I don’t need the rest", wasn’t this the same as someone just throwing away five thousand Stones in a heartbeat?
Once Wu Xiangtong once again confirmed that this was exactly what Fang Xing had said, he smiled with joy, bowing over and over before taking hasty steps over to announce this to the Duanzhen disciples, where cheers and claps could soon be heard. Fang Xing had effectively given them five thousand extra Stones;such generosity was unheard of. The Duanzhen disciples were so overwhelmed with joy that they would throw Fang Xing up in the air if they could.
"If they could" being the key phrase. After seeing the barbaric and vicious look on Fang Xing’s face, they quickly passed on that idea, even though it didn’t change that they all felt nothing but gratitude towards Fang Xing.
As for the other branches, their successes were far below Duanzhen Valley’s;only if the three other valleys’ collections were counted together would it equal Duanzhen Valley’s alone. With their lead disciples taking thirty percent, the normal disciples received only a very small amount.
While all of the disciples were busy counting out their share of the spoils, Xu Linyun walked over and spoke in an emotionless manner, "You helped me earlier, so thank you!" Her feelings towards this fact were complex. She hadn’t thought that a weak insect like the Fang Xing from three years ago would become such a help to her today.
In fact, the situation back then had been rather dangerous. Facing all three Fiery-Scaled Serpents at once was quite tough for her, but she knew at the time that if she were to run away and the snakes went after the disciples below, at least half of the Qing-Yun disciples would end up either heavily wounded or dead. This was why she continued to fight even as it began to push up to her limit. When Fang Xing killed one of the three for her, it had eased the steadily mounting pressure on her shoulders. Of course, Xu Linyun clearly knew that he had only helped her, not saved her. If she had truly felt as though she were in grave danger, she could have escaped at any time;her life hadn’t been in danger.
"No need to thank me. As the hero I am, with your physique so tall and your features fair enough to make you beauty itself, it is my duty to save you. If a hero does not rescue his damsel in distress, he’s nothing more than a big fat brown bear, so says the scholars!" Fang Xing declared with a serious expression.
The emotionless Xu Linyun let out the hint of a smile. "The scholars have never said such a thing!"
Fang Xing rolled his eyes. "There are so many scholars and each of them would have said many things throughout their life. How do you know they didn’t say that?"
Xu Linyun was smiling now and no longer wished to dwell on this topic. "Did you realize that something was rather strange just then?" she gently asked.
Fang Xing was startled. "You noticed it too?" he asked quite seriously.
Xu Linyun nodded her head. "When I was up there with the snakes, it looked as though all of the beasts within the entire one-hundred-and-fifty-mile range of the forest were coming towards us in packs in an endless wave. This is not normal. Although these beasts might have started developing their own thoughts and consciousness, most would still base their actions on their natural temperament. They would typically stay within their own territory without ever going past that!"
Fang Xing also nodded before taking Xu Linyun by her sleeve to lead her to the side of the lake. "That’s correct. You see, this one is called Iron Wire Python, and this is called Hook-Clawed Rat. These two are born as natural enemies and would fight each other to the death even if they only catch the scent of the other. To have them coexist with each other is impossible, yet they joined forces to attack us…."
Under normal circumstances, Xu Linyun would have immediately waved Fang Xing off after he had grabbed her sleeve;however, seeing how unusually serious Fang Xing was, she instead considered it for some time before responding. "Some higher-tier beasts might be able to control these lower-tier beasts."
Fang Xing smiled at her response and pointed to four large piles of beast corpses. "But take a look there. Among all of these beasts, the ones with the highest tier are the three Fiery-Scaled Serpents, yet while you were fighting with them in the air, the lower-tiered beasts below already began to leave. This at least shows that these beast packs were not controlled by the Fiery-Scaled Serpents. Otherwise, how would anyone explain why the minions would leave before their bosses?"
Xu Linyun had been only slightly curious when she had first consulted Fang Xing, but when he unexpectedly reasoned all of this out as though he was very familiar with all of these beasts, she began to take this matter more seriously. "Then there must be somebody that was controlling these beasts in the shadows?"
Fang Xing grinned. "Who said it was ‘somebody’? It could be ‘something’ for all we know!"
While Xu Linyun thought over what Fang Xing had just said, she walked off and ordered all of the disciples—who had been busy collecting beast cores—to take a quick rest and prepare to continue their journey. She then called Shanhe Valley’s Feng Qingwei to join her on her giant crane into the air. Seeing this, Fang Xing immediately guessed that they were attempting to examine the changes in the land’s geography based on the directions the beast packs had come and gone from;they wanted to see if they could find any hints as to why there had been such abnormal movements.
Since that topic wasn’t something he was good at, Fang Xing ignored it and quickly moved over towards his Duanzhen disciples, kneeling beside them to observe them cutting away the beast cores from the corpses. Among the nine disciples from Duanzhen Valley, four had been assigned to come and collect the beast cores while the other five were assigned to follow Wu Xiangtong’s lead to repair spirit weapons and tools for the other branches.
"Heh heh, Little Shixiong Fang, you seem to be quite close with Shijie Linyun!" one of the disciples wondered aloud with a wink.
"Shijie Linyun?" Surprised, Fang Xing quickly answered, "Rumor, it’s all just a rumor!"
The same disciples then laughed. "I’ve already been inside the sect for twenty years now, and I have never before heard of anyone who could get close to Shijie Linyun. Yet Little Shixiong Fang, you were even able to hold her hand…. Such a rumor is not seen every day!"
Fang Xing just now realized that—thanks to the distance between them and these disciples—his act of grabbing Xu Linyun’s sleeve had given the disciples the mistaken impression that he had held her hand. It was fortunate that only a few of them had seen this, or else the news would have caused all of the Qing-Yun disciples present to explode. Without explaining further, Fang Xing instead smiled back in a foreboding manner. "You bastards have a sharp eye, huh? But let me warn you, if anyone dares to spread this, I’ll cut each of you in half…."
Although the words were vicious, Fang Xing’s face was cheerful, and these Duanzhen disciples were not afraid of his words either. Instead, it simply confirmed their guesses and they began to wink even more.
"Little Shixiong Fang, you’re like our role model."
"Tch, I knew you were someone extraordinary at first glance, Little Shixiong Fang!"
"Shijie Linyun is the goddess of our Qing-Yun Sect…."
Fang Xing calmly accepted the fawning of these Duanzhen disciples before shrugging his shoulders and modestly replying, "No, no, not at all. That woman does quite well in the looks department, but she’s a bit older than me. In fact… I actually prefer someone a little younger!"
"That… Little Shixiong Fang, you’ve been misled. To have a woman three years older is like having a bar of gold."
"That’s right. Besides, to cultivators like us, what’s the difference between ten or twenty years, anyway!"
 To have a woman three years older is like having a bar of gold: A Chinese saying where if a man were to marry a woman three years (or a few years) his senior, he would be in luck. The wife would be able to look after him better (as she is more mature) compared to marrying someone younger than him.