Plundering The Heavens - Chapter 8
Chapter 8: A Bad Little Temper
Translator: Actias-Myriea Editor: Nou
’’Show me your token!’’ a chilling voice demanded, the words belonging to the shixiong with the face of a dead man who had taken Fang Xing to Elder Gao for questioning. He had still been waiting outside of the garret room, and with a sweep of his sleeve the wooden block flew into his hands.
’’D-Rank? Another useless one.’’ The young man flipped the token over as he looked to Fang Xing with disdain, pointing towards a direction before moving to leave. ’’I'm actually quite busy right now;just go to Qing-Mu Hall on your own.’’
’’I'll remember you, just you wait!’’ Fang Xing murmured hatefully under his breath. Clearly, this corpse-faced shixiong was required to guide Fang Xing to this place called Qing-Mu Hall, but it seemed that his assigned rank had been too unimportant and he had been left to find the hall on his own.
As Fang Xing walked towards the direction the corpse-faced man had pointed, an endless string of curses was uttered under his breath. 'How the hell do I know where this ’’Qing-Mu Hall’’ is? Everything here looks the same!'
’’Err... is that you? Shidi Fang Xing?’’ A familiar voice followed by a fat figure stopped only a few inches away from Fang Xing.
It was the plump Taoist that Fang Xing had been drinking with the night before, embarrassed. He had promised that he would be waiting for Fang Xing at the Samsara Bell in the morning, but who would have predicted that he would oversleep and not wake up until the bell actually rang? After realizing that he was late, he had rushed hurriedly towards the bell only to bump into the cursing Fang Xing.
’’Isn't that Shixiong Zhu? I've been waiting for you, where have you been?’’ Fang Xing smiled in welcome, immediately understanding what was in Yu's thoughts.
’’Ah... ahem, my name really is Yu, not Zhu...’’ Seeing that Fang Xing was actually quite pleased, Yu dropped his worries and smiled as well. ’’Sorry to have kept you waiting, Shidi Fang Xing.’’
’’By the way... why are you alone? Where's the shixiong that was supposed to guide you?
’’Well, there was this corpse-faced shixiong who was supposed to, but he suddenly had diarrhea and ran to the toilet. Since I couldn't wait any longer, I decided to go on my own.’’
’’Cultivators can get diarrhea...?’’
’’Who knows? Maybe his intestines have rotted.’’ Fang Xing cursed the corpse-faced shixiong one last time before cheerfully hooking his arm around Yu's fat neck. He was quite a few inches shorter than Yu so it actually did take some effort even when Yu also bent down slightly to help him reach.
’’Which rank did you get into?’’
’’Unfortunately, I'm in the lowest, D-Rank.’’
’’Hah! In that case, we're the same!’’
Two figures of stark contrast one tall with the other short, one fat with the other thin walked merrily towards the Qing-Yun Hall together.
Yu didn't think twice about Fang Xing being placed in the same rank as himself, and Fang Xing also learned from Yu that within all of the outer court disciples, more than half belonged to the D-Rank: the lowest rank in the sect. Half of the remainder was in the slightly better C-Rank, while only an eighth of the outer court disciples belonged to the B-Rank.
The best A-Rank only had a handful of people with suitable zi'zhi or background to qualify. Each of these individuals was a treasure to the entire sect;they were the ones most likely to succeed the furthest.
'On the bright side,' Fang Xing thought to himself, 'at least I'm not the absolute worst.'
It wasn't long before the pair arrived at the Qing-Mu Hall;it was another wooden garret, though this time it was three stories tall. At first glance, it looked like nothing special, but closer inspection showed details in the connecting parts of the entire structure that showed off the designers and artisans' fine craftsmanship: It was simple yet impressively solemn.
Once Fang Xing and Yu had walked up to the garret, a meager old man moved to greet them. Yu grabbed onto Fang Xing's sleeve and introduced the newcomer as 'Shixiong Chao' and with a little help from the [Book of Revelation] Fang Xing learned that this man appearing nearly as old as Elder Gao had only achieved tier four of the Spirit Stage. Regardless, Fang Xing would still have no chance against him in a fight.
After Shixiong Chao saw Fang Xing's token, there was no further questioning. Fang Xing was soon assigned to a district within the outer sect's living quarters and given a new set of robes that would identify him as an outer court disciple, the remaining chapters of the [Qing-Yun's Qi Formation] manual, and a red pebble-sized rock: a low-grade Spirit Stone. Fang Xing was then hurriedly sent off towards the Pavilion of Spiritual Tools.
’’Don't underestimate a single Spirit Stone like this;on top of being able to use this to exchange for things you want, our cultivation almost entirely relies on it as well,’’ Yu began to eagerly explain as he saw Fang Xing playing around with the Spirit Stone in his hand. ’’We only get one of these every three months... but in the world we used to live in, a single pebble-sized Spirit Stone is worth over one hundred taels of gold!’’
’’Only one every three months? Why is the sect so cheap!’’ Fang Xing complained, dissatisfied.
’’One every three months is already pretty good, you know;at least we have something! It's because of our zi'zhi;even if we're all outer court disciples, C-Ranked disciples receive one stone every two months, and B-Ranked receive one every month... As for those A-Ranks, they're moneybags that get two every month!’’
’’Hrm, moneybags, you say? Maybe I could borrow something from them someday...’’
’’Are you serious? Those A-Ranks are not to be messed with! If there's any dispute even if we were provoked by them the elders will still pin all the blame on us. If you want to make some extra stones, I can actually introduce you to some departmental duties. It'll earn you another one of these Spirit Stones every three months as a wage;it's like doubling your income instantly!’’
’’Hah, that might not be too suitable for me, but I'll think about the offer anyway.’’
The pair chatted with high spirits as they arrived at the front of the Pavilion of Spiritual Tools. Suddenly remembering something, Yu began to speak in a low voice, ’’By the way, once you're inside the pavilion, give the shixiong that guards the place the stone. He'll help you choose a better spirit tool...’’
’’Are you kidding me?’’ Fang Xing was stumped for a moment before rolling his eyes. ’’We only get one every three months! One! Why the hell should I hand it over to someone else?’’
Fang Xing's question left Yu between laughter and tears. ’’Shidi Fang Xing, this is no time to be stingy;we only get to choose a spirit tool once! Each tool in the pavilion had once belonged to an elder of the sect, but not all of them are useful or even in good condition,’’ Yu patiently explained. ’’Now, if you give the guardian shixiong a Spirit Stone, he will guide you to a more powerful one, but if you don't...’’
Yu swallowed some saliva before taking a talisman out of his pocket. ’’This is what I got for not giving them a Spirit Stone when I first entered the sect. They told me that this sword talisman could release sword powers equivalent to that of a tier four! I was so excited then, thinking that I had found a treasure, but who would have thought this talisman could only be used once.... That once was used up when I tested it in the pavilion;now I just hold on to it as a keepsake.’’
'So you're one of those spineless idiots, too! No wonder you only strut around the daotong.' Though Fang Xing's thoughts were filled with Yu's cowardly behavior, he still thanked him politely, ’’Thank you, Shixiong, for pointing that out to me.’’
’’How outrageous! Do you know where this is? This is the Pavilion of Spirit Tools! Who do you think you are!’’ A loud voice suddenly reverberated throughout the room as Fang Xing swaggered into the entrance of the pavilion.
Fang Xing jumped at the sudden voice as three men appeared from the back of the pavilion. The person in the lead appeared to be in his thirties, his body thin with a small mustache on his face. His shifty eyes were even more mouse-like than those of Mousy from the herb field.
Without much effort, Fang Xing was able to see their cultivation stages clearly: the mustached man was in tier three while the other two were in tier two. Understanding that they were just posturing to show who was in charge here, Fang Xing responded in a polite manner. ’’My name is Fang Xing, the newest outer court disciple. Please, take a look at my token from Elder Gao...’’
The mustached man satisfied with Fang Xing's demeanor grabbed the token and smiled, revealing his stained teeth. ’’I see, so you're the one who rang the Samsara Bell earlier today, is it? I'll forgive you this time since you didn't know the rules around here. But... did you come here empty-handed?’’ he tried to hint to Fang Xing about the stone, his eyes sparkling all the while.
’’What? What do you mean?’’ Pretending to have missed the signal the mustached man had tried to send, Fang Xing simply responded with innocence just as any regular ten-year-old child would. There was no way he was willing to give up his only Spirit Stone without a very good reason.
Besides, while others may need these shixiong to guide and help to pick out a Spirit Tool, Fang Xing had the [Book of Revelation];who could compete with him in the art of appraisal?
’’What a disgrace you are! Don't act like you don't know about this, hurry up and hand over your Spirit Stone or get the hell out of here!’’ one of the other men yelled out impatiently, throwing away all his manners and face to go directly for the Spirit Stone.
Fang Xing's expression also changed as he started to get yelled at. Originally, Fang Xing had decided that he would hand the leader the Spirit Stone even though he really didn't want to, even if it was just to avoid standing out too much.
But Fang Xing was only open to persuasion, not coercion;as soon as the man started to yell at him, he had decided that there would be no way he would give up on the Spirit Stone anymore. Definitely not to them, at least.
Then, in a voice even louder: ’’I only get ONE stone every THREE months! Why in the hell should I give it to YOU bastards?’’