An hour later, Qin Yu appeared in the largest restaurant within Canyondwell City. This was a place where dragons and snakes were mixed together but also a place where information flowed freely. Before he finished eating, he already found what he wanted.
The various factions within the Southern Empire had set up a reward system for those who aided in resisting the demonic path. By killing demonic cultivators it was possible to accumulate merit points and exchange them for items on the hundred treasure list.
The hundred treasure list was sold all over the region at a price of one spirit stone. Qin Yu tossed the server two spirit stones and the server glowed with joy as he hurried away and returned with a jade slip.
Probing the jade slip, Qin Yu found that there were really all sorts of items on the hundred treasure list. There were cultivation method manuals, magic tools, pills, materials, and all sorts of other valuable treasures.
He swept through the list, and at tenth place he found information about the Skythunder Bamboo.
Ancient spirit plant, Skythunder Bamboo (with roots). 800 years old, can be exchanged for 10,000 merit points.
Qin Yu’s eyes brightened as he put away the jade slip. He was pleasantly surprised to discover that this was a living plant that was 800 years old. With the little blue lamp, if he could obtain the Skythunder Bamboo then he would be able to solve his problem of being unable to break into the Golden Core realm!
Currently, the only question was what identity he should use to join the battlefield. He couldn’t use his status as the Eastern Mountain Sect’s Qin Yu for now and he would have to alter his appearance too. Otherwise, it would be troublesome if others were to discover him. To reach the ninth level of Foundation Establishment in three years, even an idiot would find that suspicious.
After leaving the restaurant, Qin Yu went to a magic tool store and used 700 spirit stones to purchase an appearance changing mask, one that could shield him from the divine sense of a Golden Core. After going into a remote alleyway and emerging once more, his appearance had turned into that of an ordinary looking youth, completely commonplace amongst the crowd.
Everything was prepared. All he needed was an identity.
In order to filter out demonic path spies, the cultivator army was extremely strict in investigating the status of those who joined, especially if they were wandering cultivators. Qin Yu thought over and over about it and decided not to enter as a wandering cultivator. As he was deep in thought, he suddenly caught a glance of a group of people across the street and his eyes brightened.
He turned and followed the group. After making a few turns he entered a long alley. Then, the group suddenly turned around and the one leading them coldly asked, “You’ve followed us all the way. Just what do you want?”
Two cultivators appeared behind Qin Yu, blocking his path.
Qin Yu remained calm. He hadn’t covered up his location so it was normal for him to be discovered. He took out a black token.
Kong Xuan’s complexion changed. “The Patriarch’s command token!” With surprise in his eyes, he whispered, “You are…”
Qin Yu responded, “Who I am is unimportant. What is important is whether or not the Kong Family is willing to abide by their promise.”
Kong Xuan hesitated for a moment. Then he cupped his hands across his chest and said, “That Patriarch command taken was gifted by my Kong Family to a certain Grandmaster. Although I don’t know what relationship fellow daoist has with the Grandmaster, since the token is in your hands and you also know the reason for it, the Kong Family will naturally fulfill our promise.”
“Patriarch!” A man on the side anxiously said, “We have important matters to attend to. We cannot delay!”
Kong Xuan’s voice sank. “Grandmaster’s graciousness to my Kong Family is as heavy as a mountain. There is no need for you to speak again!” He looked up, “May I ask fellow daoist how my Kong Family may help you?”
Qin Yu said, “I want to join the cultivator army and need an identity.”
Kong Xuan let out a breath of relief. “This won’t be difficult. Since fellow daoist is related to the Grandmaster, it is impossible that you are a spy from the demonic path. The Kong Family will guarantee your status.” He turned and ordered, “Kong Lin, bring this…”
“My name is Ning Qin.”
“Bring fellow daoist Ning back home and prepare accommodation for him.” Kong Xuan cupped his hands across his chest and continued, “I currently have some important business to attend to, so I apologize for any disrespect.”
Qin Yu cupped his hands in response, “It’s no problem.”
Kong Xuan quickly left with his group.
Kong Lin had an anxious look on his face, as if he wanted to follow but had no way to. He looked at Qin Yu, his face gloomy, and said, “Follow me.”
His tone was stiff and terse. But, for better or worse he knew this youth was a guest of the Patriarch so he didn’t go overboard.
Qin Yu originally wanted to ask some questions, but as he noticed this fellow seemed reluctant to speak, he simply nodded and followed behind, also happy to enjoy the quiet.
The Kong Family had over 200 people here, with the elderly, women, and even children present, as if they had moved their entire family here. This was a bit strange. After all, although everyone knew that Canyondwell City had firm defenses and cultivators had gathered here from all over, that didn’t necessarily mean they would be able to hold it.
With the normal actions of the demonic path, if they managed to break into the city, lives would burn away like coal!
Qin Yu’s arrival attracted only a little bit of attention. After Kong Lin explained the situation, no one worried about him again; all of them had preoccupied and worried expressions. However, there were some youths that weren’t shy and only hesitated for a bit before gathering around to find out more information about Qin Yu.
Qin Yu smiled and spoke with them. He didn’t reveal anything as he conversed with them, but these youths were like barrels that had been tipped over, spitting out everything they knew.
So, it seems that the Kong Family was being persecuted by one of their former enemies and as a result they moved their entire family to Canyondwell City in order to seek help to avoid this calamity. No wonder Kong Xuan and the others had all seemed so anxious.
Sitting in a corner of the courtyard, Qin Yu casually chatted with the youths. Several family members warily glanced at him but sneered and turned away as they saw this scene.
To them, Qin Yu was an outsider of unknown origin, and he also seemed to lack any skills. Now with their family facing imminent disaster, no one had time to care about him. Gradually, Qin Yu was forgotten. When the Kong Family ate a meal, no one greeted him or asked him to sit at the table. But the several youths actually sent him some food and Qin Yu smiled without refusing.
As the sun set in the west, Kong Xuan and his group returned. Although he didn’t say much, his dark and gloomy expression indicated the result.
The atmosphere within the Kong Family became even more tense.
At dinner, Kong Xuan thought of Qin Yu. As he ordered someone to set up a seat for him, he was suddenly glared at by an older uncle.
“With disaster right before our eyes, how can you find the time to greet outsiders! You and I should be thinking about ways of getting through this mess!”
Worries filled Kong Xuan’s heart and he soon forgot about Qin Yu. The Kong Family continued through the night without sleep but weren’t able to figure out a plan.
Qin Yu laid down on an animal-drawn cart, resting his head on a pillow brought out by a boy from the Kong Family. He looked up at the skies. There was a dim haze covering the moon tonight; there should be wind and rain coming tomorrow.
Dawn soon arrived. Winds began to howl.
The gray skies left one’s heart feeling sad and depressed. At breakfast time, the entire Kong Family was silent, as if a pall of gloom covered them. Even the little children sat politely in their seats, not daring to make a single sound.
Kong Xuan finally saw Qin Yu. A bit of guilt flashed over his face. “There are great changes coming to my family, so I apologize if I have neglected fellow daoist. Allow me to write a letter of introduction for you so that fellow daoist may leave as soon as possible, lest you are drawn into my Kong Family’s disaster.”
His words caused Qin Yu to view him in a different light. Qin Yu smiled and said, “It’s no problem, life is full of little twists and turns. I’m sure this will pass soon too.”
Qin Yu smiled, but his smile was annoying to some others. The Kong Family’s great uncle coldly snorted, “You don’t know the greatness of the heavens and earth! If it were just a little problem, why would my Kong Family be in such distress!” He turned and scolded, “The family is already tired from dealing with this and yet you continue messing around, wanting to be a guarantor for someone of unknown status. What if you draw another disaster onto yourself!”
Kong Xuan’s face turned red. “Great uncle is too anxious. Fellow daoist Ning Qin has the Patriarch’s command token of our family, so there naturally isn’t a problem with his status.”
The great uncle’s complexion changed. He seemed as if he wanted to say something else but then he coughed without speaking again. If it were the Grandmaster who came here the entire Kong Family would treat him with utter respect. But, what arrived was only a Foundation Establishment realm cultivator, so how could anyone attend to him in such a situation?
Kong Xuan embarrassingly said, “Fellow daoist Ning Qin, please eat.”
Qin Yu nodded, no longer saying anything.
Not many people were in the mood to eat. The breakfast was soon removed. Kong Xuan went to his study to write a letter and then handed it to Qin Yu, “Fellow daoist Ning Qin, take this letter to the army to receive your identity token.”
Qin Yu cupped his hands across his chest, “Thank you.”
Kong Xuan waved his hand, “It was my Kong Family that was disrespectful to you. I hope that fellow daoist does not mind. Allow me to escort you out.”
As the two reached the courtyard, the doors were suddenly smashed open. Several black-clothed cultivators stood outside, “Kong Family, it's been many days since we’ve met!”
The one shouting was a middle-aged man. He strode in, arrogantly sweeping his eyes around.
Kong Xuan’s complexion changed. He clenched his teeth. “Han Sheng, my Kong Family has already moved to Canyondwell City. What else do you want?”
Han Sheng sneered, “I don’t want to do anything. It's just that my family’s old ancestor has an interest in Senior Kong’s Golden Core, so I ask the Kong Family to give it up.”
“You are delusional!” Kong Xuan roared out. “Han Sheng, don’t you dare go too far, otherwise even if we must all die here, don’t think that my Kong Family will fear you!”
A deep voice echoed out from beyond the courtyard doors, “All of us die here? By relying on you juniors? You are not worthy!”
An old man with gray hair walked in. He was tall and imposing and a divine light flashed in his eyes. An invisible aura covered the courtyard.
Kong Xuan and the other Kong Family cultivators behind him suddenly paled.
Golden Core realm!
Although this was only an early period second level cultivation, it was enough to trample across the entire Kong Family!
Kong Xuan gnashed his teeth and cupped a hand across his chest, “I greet Senior Han. With senior’s Golden Core cultivation, do you really plan on bullying and attacking us juniors?”
Han Sheng and the others drew back. They bowed, “Greetings, old ancestor.”
The Han Family’s old ancestor had an indifferent expression, “These words are what you should have been asked old freak Kong. After he broke into the Golden Core realm in the past and chased my Han Family out of East Stream Town, did he care for his status back then? There is no need to speak any further. Hand over old freak Kong’s Golden Core or don’t blame me for taking it myself.”
Qin Yu stood at the side, listening to the cultivators argue on both sides. He approximately understood what was happening. The Kong Family and Han Family used to be two cultivator families in East Stream Town. However, over time the two sides had accumulated great grudges, and after the Kong Family’s old ancestor reached Golden Core, he chased the Han Family out.
No one expected that the Kong Family’s old ancestor would die and that a Foundation Establishment Elder of the Han Family would manage to find a lucky chance and break into the Golden Core realm. Because of that, the relationship between the two families had been flipped upside down. Not long after the Kong Family left East Stream Town they were found by the Han Family and forced to endure humiliation and bullying. Finally, they were ordered to hand over the Golden Core left behind by the Kong Family’s old ancestor.
Although a Golden Core was an inanimate object, if one carefully refined it, it could last for dozens or even hundreds of years. It possessed great power and could be considered a magic tool. The greatest benefit of it was that it allowed someone to meditate and perceive that boundary, providing them with a great advantage once they tried to break into the Golden Core realm.
For ordinary cultivator families, if they didn’t have a deep and long inheritance, the chances of them producing a Golden Core cultivator would be nearly zero. The Han Family wanted to take away this Golden Core and exterminate all hopes that the Kong Family would rise once more in the future.
The Kong Family originally came to Canyondwell City to request help from a friend of their old ancestor. But yesterday, they had waited for four hours drinking tea and yet they weren’t able to see him. This led to the Han Family visiting them and intimidating them today.
In all fairness, there was nothing wrong with this. In the past the Kong Family had chased out the Han Family, and with the tables flipped, it was the Han Family harassing the Kong Family. The Kong Family could have been said to have brought this disaster upon themselves.
Qin Yu had helped the Kong Family retrieve their old ancestor’s Golden Core in the past, and today all he received was a letter of recommendation in return. This could be said to have profited the Kong Family. Now, he didn’t have any intention of interfering in their current problems.
Of course, this was not unrelated to the attitude of the Kong Family. Although he didn’t care about it too much, he couldn’t help but feel a bit colder in his heart.
Kong Xuan’s complexion paled. If he were to hand over the Golden Core, he would be a traitor to the Kong Family. But if he didn’t, he feared that the Kong Family would suffer a grave misfortune today. As he hesitated, the great uncle roared out, “We cannot hand over the old ancestor’s Golden Core! With the factions from all over having gathered at Canyondwell City, I don’t believe the Han Family will dare to do anything to my Kong Family!”
Qin Yu glanced at him, berating the man for being an idiot. These days, with the invasion of the demonic path, every Golden Core cultivator was occupied so who would bother paying attention to the declining Kong Family? This old fellow shouted out as if he were being noble and principled, but it was likely because of his own selfishness. With his ninth level Foundation Establishment cultivation, he was certainly the most qualified person within the Kong Family to meditate over the Golden Core.
His ignorant shouts would likely draw a great disaster onto the Kong Family.