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Chapter 223 – 20 Golden Cores

Refining the Mountains and Rivers
    

    In Moon Praying Shrine, the interval between each arrival of heavenly tribulation began to shrink. Roughly every two or three days there was a seafolk who would smoothly cross tribulation and reach Nascent Soul. With so many new Nascent Soul powerhouses, many of them were unable to control their own strength well, so their aura was released outside, causing the spiritual strength in the surroundings to be chaotic.

    And this chaos was very good at hiding common traces of things. For instance, today, 20 Golden Cores had quietly gathered. They didn’t know each other, but through their clothing and bearings, they were able to determine that they were all seafolk without much of a foundation or background.

    At this time, Qin Yu had used the little blue lamp to cause a commotion. The number of Nascent Soul powerhouses within the sea region grew at an explosive rate. But, the ones that made the largest profit were primarily the most powerful influences, such as the capital city, Moon Praying Shrine, Sega City, and so forth. Those rogue cultivators with no background, limited resources, and sparse relations found it impossibly difficult to obtain Nascent Soul spots.

    As for going to the Netherworld Sea Region to hunt for soul beads…

    Some time ago, it was unknown exactly what happened, but an extremely terrifying tsunami erupted within the Netherworld Sea Region. It was said that several newly ascended Nascent Souls had prepared to go there to hunt for soul beads and earn a profit, but they actually vanished without a trace in this tsunami and were still unaccounted for. There were also a large number of Golden Core masters who died.

    Even today, the storm continued within the Netherworld Sea Region, and no seafolk who entered ever reappeared. With the path to finding new soul beads cut off, this was the same as severing the last hope for these rogue cultivators to obtain a Nascent Soul spot.

    As they were pained and lost, some people came to secretly talk to them. Not much was said, but just a single question had all these people gather here without hesitation.

    “Do you want to reach Nascent Soul?”

    What nonsense, of course they wanted to! They wanted to even in their dreams! Golden Cores weren’t weak, but compared to a Nascent Soul, the difference was as great as the heavens and earth! After becoming a Nascent Soul, not only would one’s lifespan rise dramatically but they would become a genuine powerhouse, and their status would experience an increase in all directions. If it weren’t for this, why would all of them gather here?

    But soon, they discovered that the one who gathered them was a little girl, and their eyes started to fill with anger. A little girl who had barely managed to reach Golden Core actually dared to deceive them and waste their precious time. Was she looking to die?

    However, her noble and regal aura made them not dare to do anything for the time being. Still, their complexions turned extremely ugly and darkened to the point that it seemed they might drop water.

    Sang Yueyue said, “Are you disappointed? Are you angry? I know your time is very precious, but my time is even more precious. So, maintaining a bit of patience is the smartest decision.” She turned and bowed, “Priest, please come out.”

    From the shadows, a black-robed figure stood out. Exposed beneath the bright lights, he lifted his hood to reveal a calm face.

    Qin Yu swept his eyes around and smiled. “I am the one who gathered you all here today.”

    20 Golden Cores all widened their eyes together. Their gazes were full of disbelief, before this disbelief rapidly started turning to joy.

    Qin Yu, it was Qin Yu!

    In recent times, if one had to choose the top 10 most recognizable characters in the sea region, Qin Yu would definitely be number one. His appearance, what he sounded like, all other little details and tidbits had already spread throughout the entire sea region through jade slips.

    Of course, Moon Praying Shrine had also made a considerable profit. After secretly selling jade slips that provided information on the mysterious Sea Spirit Caretaker and raising the price some, they still sold like wildfire.

    Qin Yu waved his hand, “You may all sit down.”

    Suppressing their excitement, the 20 Golden Cores bowed and sat down.

    Qin Yu continued to say, “I know that everyone is curious as to why you are here. Then, I won’t delay you any further and will delve directly into business. Everyone should be well aware that I have a grudge against the Whale Sovereign. I can help all of you become Nascent Souls, but for payment, I hope you can all help me kill him.”

    This was indeed direct!

    The 20 Golden Cores were shaken, their complexions changing.

    Within the sea region, the Whale Sovereign was a peak powerhouse existence. It was rumored that he was only a tiny step away from His Majesty. How could it be easy to kill such a terrifying existence?

    A single careless mistake, and much less killing someone, they would lose everything.

    A deathly silence followed. Everyone fell quiet.

    Sang Yueyue was nervous, but before she could say anything, Qin Yu turned and smiled to her, indicating that this wasn’t a problem.

    “That’s right, the Whale Sovereign is strong. But, right now he is alone and has no relations to the whale monster race. Killing him won’t stir up too much trouble. Moreover, if I didn’t have absolute assurance in myself, I would never have suggested this. I only have one life, and I wouldn’t randomly risk myself.”

    Seeing some of the seafolk reveal interest, Qin Yu continued to say, “The reason I chose all of you is that I carefully investigated each of you ahead of time and found that everyone here is a freely wandering rogue cultivator with few worries to burden them. Taking a step back, even if you fail, the only thing you will have to compensate with is your life. But, if you succeed, you can use your status as a Nascent Soul to live without fear in the sea region from then on.”

    A Golden Core seafolk said, “Priest Qin Yu, I acknowledge that what you said is persuasive, but everyone here knows that the Whale Sovereign severing relations with the whale monster race is only a temporary measure for the current situation. How can both sides possibly become complete strangers like that? Even if we kill the Whale Sovereign, we might be hunted down by the whale monsters for the rest of our lives. That is a pitiful fate.”

    These words caused the complexions of many to change.

    Qin Yu nodded. “You’re right. This is why I invited her.” He turned and smiled. “I’ll leave the rest to you.”

    Sang Yueyue tensed. She took a deep breath and nodded. “Everyone, if you agree to the conditions, then before Priest Qin Yu helps you break through, you need to first sign a contract with me. After signing the contract, you will obtain a piece of territory and become the masters there. With 20 Nascent Souls combined together, this is a strength that not even the whale monster race can easily shake. Moreover, I will lend you certain assistance and protection. Of course, I will become the true ruler of that territory. In other words, you will become the hidden force under my command.”

    If the person who said this was Qin Yu, then the Golden Core seafolk might be able to believe it. But, the one speaking was a girl that seemed at most in her teen years, and yet she was actually declaring that she would give them shelter and become their master. This was simply a joke! Although no one said anything, their expressions made their thoughts clear.

    Sang Yueyue calmly said, “Many of you don’t know me, but that doesn’t matter; I can introduce myself. My name is Sang Yueyue and I am from Sega City’s Sang Family. My mother is the Elder Princess of the sea, and my father is the Sang Patriarch. Even if I don’t mention my uncle, that person who wields the highest authority within the royal palace, in the future I will inherit the strength of both my parents. With that, I believe I have the qualifications to provide you protection and become your master.”

    The faces of the Golden Cores all changed. With their status, while they didn’t know information concerning the highest echelons of people, what Sang Yueyue said was more than astonishing.

    Sega City’s Sang Family, the ones that protect against the bitter cold, they possess a war division of peak strength. That mysterious madam controlled Sea Spirit Pavilion, that massive sea spirit influence. It was no surprise now why Sea Spirit Pavilion was able to develop so quickly. Anyone that dared to become enemies with them would surely suffer severe punishment. It was because that madam’s true identity was the Elder Princess!

    Equipped with such knowledge, Sang Yueyue suddenly became dignified and formidable in their eyes.

    “Subordinate greets master. I am willing to follow you into death!” The first Golden Core fell to his knees.

    Soon after, people began to kneel one after another. “We are willing to follow master!”

    Sang Yueyue let out a light breath. She turned around and revealed a blinding smile. She clapped her hands and some people soon brought in the contracts. The 20 Golden Cores didn’t hesitate too much. They glanced over it and then placed their spirit mark on it.

    Hu –

    The contract automatically ignited and burned to ashes.

    “We greet master!”

    Sang Yueyue had a solemn expression. “There will be people leading you away. Be discreet and cautious. Wait for Priest Qin Yu to help you break through. You may leave now.”

    “Yes, master.”

    As the 20 Golden Cores left, Sang Yueyue spit out her tongue. “That was hard. I nearly cracked. Big Brother Qin Yu, what did you think about my performance?”

    Qin Yu gave her a thumbs up. “It was fantastic. Yueyue has the superior attitude down pat, even I was in awe watching you.”

    Sang Yueyue blushed. “Big Brother Qin Yu is laughing at me!” But soon, she seemed worried. “Big Brother Qin Yu, are you sure I can control them?”

    Qin Yu smiled. “Yueyue, you should be more confident, just like when you introduced yourself. With the strength of the contract and your status, none of them would dare to rebel against you.”

    “But, these people are clearly being raised by Big Brother Qin Yu. I haven’t done anything at all.”

    “You silly girl. I am a human so I must return to the land one day. When I leave, they will be useless to me.” Qin Yu rubbed her head. “I’m going back first. For what follows afterwards, we will continue according to plan.”

    Wearing his hood, Qin Yu turned and left.

    In an inn near Sea God Palace.

    Although the price had been raised again and again, there were still countless seafolk brandishing their spirit stone cards, trying to find a place to stay. Even the servant quarters, kitchen, the shack in the back, every place was overflowing with people.

    “Brother Turtle, after several days it will be your turn, right?” A seafolk had a face full of envy as he spoke. “It looks like it won’t be too long before we will have to call you Senior Turtle instead.”

    “That’s right! Even until today, when Priest Qin Yu took action, there has never been a single failure in making a breakthrough. With Brother Turtle’s cultivation, you will definitely be safe!”

    “Once Brother Turtle becomes a Nascent Soul, there shouldn’t be any problems with your marriage to the young miss from the Purple Clam Family. Your cultivation will increase drastically and you will also obtain a beautiful woman; I’m just so envious of you!”

    In the seat of honor, a turtle race cultivator tried to be modest, but it was actually impossible to cover up the happiness on his face. As he thought about how he would reach Nascent Soul in just a few days, his smile only widened. “Everyone, today is my treat. Eat and drink as much as you want!”

    “Great!”

    “We’ll drink until we can’t drink anymore!”

    As everyone was partying, the weather above Sea God Palace began to darken. Large swathes of black clouds wildly gushed out.

    This was heavenly tribulation.

    During this period of time, as long as one had stayed in Moon Praying Shrine long enough, one could nearly become immune to this aura.

    In the inn, the seafolk were startled for a brief moment before they continued to eat and drink.

    But this time, the heavenly tribulation seemed a bit different. This was because there were too many black clouds and it covered far too wide a range. It even covered the inn.

    Rumble rumble –

    Terrifying lightning lit up the faces of the watching seafolk. Their bodies shook and they looked up towards the vault of heaven, their mouths slowly growing wide.