TN: Starting with this chapter, I will be using ‘face’ as opposed to pride or glory.
The old and white haired elder Cui maintained his kind and benign act, all smiles while looking towards Ye Jing. Almost as if he did not realize at all the impact his words had on his audience.
Yan Zhaoge watched elder Cui, and then looked towards Ye Jing. Suddenly, he found this entire situation laughable.
The ordained son of heaven when faced against an opponent that the current him stood no chance against would often received the passive or active backing of certain forces. These forces would become his protection providing time and opportunities for growth, at least until that ordained son of heaven charged out of beginner village.
‘Enemy of your enemy is your friend.’ These people were usually those who stood opposite to the villainous canon fodder.
Once the ordained son of heaven completes his growth, these forces could just sit and watch as he starts a massacre of epic proportions. As allies, they will naturally benefit a hundred fold in return.
Normally, these people would be known as… the hero faction?
“He truly performs with the air of an well rehearsed actor. This is a perfect implementation of the scripted scenario.”
Yan Zhaoge sized up elder Cui and Ye Jing. He did not hide his action nor was he polite about it.
Elder Cui did not miss this, but rather than becoming angry, he was secretly delighted.
“As rumored, those who are domineering and ostentatious will seek to avenge every slight,” the white bearded old man smiled without any indication of his true thoughts, “Having lost face in front of these people. Even though there are only sixteen here but the news will spread quickly, one to ten, ten to a hundred. Now that the thorn has been planted, this child won’t be able to take this slight lying down. Whether he explodes here or endures until the Dragon Sealing Abyss. Both outcomes are acceptable.”
Yan Zhaoge watched elder Cui, and then looked towards Ye Jing again. Deep inside, he was laughing derisively.
“First I express my disdain. Next Ye Jing expresses his unyielding spirit. Then I become angry because I lost face when he contradicted me. Finally I send my thugs in the form of servants or juniors to teach him a lesson, only for them to be beaten so badly that they end up searching for their teeth all over the floor. In this situation, unless the opponent commits an obvious offense, otherwise even if I act openly, I can only exchange pointers or compare skills.”
So long as someone of lower cultivation does not issue a challenge, on the whole using your cultivation to suppress someone will earn a reputation of bullying the weak.
And it just so happens, the ordained son of heaven possesses the main character aura, which grants the innate divine skill to bypass rank when slaughtering villains and be unrivaled against opponents of the same rank.
Sending a single small fry does not work. Sending a mob is also ineffective for the most part. On the contrary, there’s even a possibility of them turning into large amounts of experience points, increasing Ye Jing’s growth rate.
“Maybe, if he keeps fighting, he’ll even level up on the spot?”
This was a very valid possibility.
“At that time, because my thugs have been beaten black and blue, I’ll fly into a fit of rage. Without caring whether I’m bullying the weak, I’ll try to teach this Ye Jing a lesson. Even though Ye Jing is currently much weaker than me, but his unyielding staunchness will allow him to withstand several exchanges letting him to show off his brilliance.
“Perhaps, he’ll even use his magical plot device to make me suffer a small defeat.
“And when I finally get serious and decide to beat him half dead, this elder Cui or another character will speak up and overturn the situation. As for me, I would spout some cliché lines, ‘tiny scum, consider this your lucky day’ or something like that. And like that, wouldn’t today’s performance would come to an end?
“Even if I win this fight, there’s no glory to be had. Most people would think I’m using my strength to bully the weak. Wouldn’t their sympathies would go to Ye Jing instead?”
Yan Zhaoge twitched his lip, “This script… do you think I’m an idiot?”
Elder Cui beamed ever so innocently at Yan Zhaoge and Ye Jing. Si Kongqing looked at Yan Zhaoge guardedly. Everyone else stared at Yan Zhaoge with both apprehension and expectation, wondering how he would respond.
“The Dragon Sealing Abyss, only a few among you have gone there before. Even so, you should all know its fearsome reputation,” in the face of everyone’s expectations, Yan Zhaoge finally started speaking, “With your cultivation, even without entering the depth, merely by nearing the edges, you will experience grave danger. Even though I will travel alongside you, but the true purpose of this trip is for you to train yourselves. It is not a scenic tour. I will act with propriety, but you will also need to persevere.”
Hearing Yan Zhaoge’s words, elder Cui let out a slight smile. He thought to himself, “It seems Yan Zhaoge will wait until the Dragon Sealing Abyss before acting.”
Ye Jing and Si Kongqing both felt a chill in their hearts.
However, at this time, Yan Zhaoge suddenly changed his tune, “You and I will journey together. Thus I will naturally look after you. As they say, to do a good job, you need good tools…”
Yan Zhaoge snapped his fingers, “Ah Hu.”*
A tall and sturdy figure appeared in the doorway, “Yes, prince?”
Yan Zhaoge said, “Bring me sixteen second grade products. Yes, and mainly choose the sword and defense types.”
“As you say, prince,” replied Ah Hu, this man was the burly large attendant who followed at his side earlier.
Not long after, Ah Hu returned from his task with his arms full of objects, which he then placed in front of everyone.
An entire field of magnificent light flashed and flickered so brightly that the young disciples were unable to open their eyes. Furthermore, strong waves of spiritual qi caused their blood and qi to heave.
“Artifacts! They’re all artifacts!” each and every person expressed their shock, “Senior brother Yan, these artifacts…”
Yan Zhaoge continued as if nothing happened, “These are from my personal collection and not from the sect. I have decided to grant them to you. There are a total of sixteen artifacts, one for each of you. Now you may come forth and pick your own artifact in order of seniority.”
The entire hall was suddenly silent. A couple vague noises sounded in the background as if someone was swallowing their saliva.
To these new disciples with their lowly cultivation, these artifacts were rare treasures. Ye Jing and the other two were only granted artifacts after facing heavy competition in the sect’s youth competition to take the top three places. And even so, they only received a single artifact each.
How much effort did they spend? How great was their glory as they were bestowed their artifact at that time?
But now, suddenly, everyone was given an artifact each.
Even though Ye Jing and them already possessed artifacts, but how could any one reject more of this kind of precious treasure?
It was just that Yan Zhaoge brought out sixteen artifacts without blinking an eye, as if these were not the artifacts that the younger generation yearned for even in their dreams, but rather a pile of scrap metal.
Moreover, Yan Zhaoge did not use his identity to obtain these from the sect’s reserves. Instead, this was his personal property.
Everyone’s attitude towards Yan Zhaoge suddenly changed from before, their regarded him with increasingly greater enthusiasm.
Ye Jing tightened his fists instead. The anger in his eyes could not be hidden.
He felt as if Yan Zhaoge had humiliated him, as if Yan Zhaoge was purposefully flaunting.
Si Kongqing looked towards Yan Zhaoge and slightly shook her head in displeasure.
Elder Cui was intially surprised, but soon after, he started laughing inside, “What is this supposed to be? Using wealth to make friends. Bribing others to isolate Ye Jing while showing off his wealth at the same time?”
“Admittedly, this is an excellent hand. The results aren’t bad either. He managed to regain the face lost earlier. However, this course of action is… is… ha ha, truly the actions of a hedonistic silk pants…”**
“This child is not someone to fear. In the future, he will definitely cause trouble for his father.”
Elder Cui smiled while shaking his head. He picked up and examined a set of armor, before speaking to Ye Jing and them, “The Dragon Sealing Abyss is indeed dangerous. This is also a kindness from your senior brother Yan.”
Facing everyone’s expectant looks, Yan Zhaoge continued to speak steadily without any change in demeanor as if he didn’t notice their reactions, “These things are my gifts to you, thus I will not ask for them back. They are yours now. However, I request that you report the performance of these artifacts to me. Whether you are nourishing them, refining them, or using them, please keep proper records of their performance. That way I can separate the wheat from the chaff and make proper adjustments when I refine the next batch of artifacts.”
The disciples all agreed to Yan Zhaoge’s request simultaneously. Then they suddenly realized something was strange. A moment later, everyone focused their attention on Yan Zhaoge. Their expressions were unnatural as if they had just seen a ghost.
Elder Cui trembled involuntarily. The artifact in his hand almost fell out of his loosened grip. “What did you just say?”
*This is not his name. It is a combination of 阿 ,which shows familiarity and hu or “tiger”, the name of the burly attendant.
**Silk pants are spoiled hedonistic rich young masters with rich and powerful parents. They’re called silk pants because they tend to wear expensive and comfortable silk pants that aren’t suited for any type of physical labor. You might have seen this term in ISSTH, during the demon sect arc. Or in the Otherworldly Evil Monarch, where the main character took over the body of a silk pants before pretending to be a silk pants for the longest time.
TN: This author has the horrible habit of mixing the protagonist’s thoughts into the dialogue despite not writing in first person limited. In fact, it should be a mix of third person multi perspective and third person limited. Please forgive me for being lazy and not fixing this mistake. I’ll justify myself by saying it’s actually really difficult to separate the character’s thought and the narrative, especially with the character’s thoughts occasionally placed in quotations, which indicates what the author thinks should be the character’s thoughts as opposed to the occasions when the narrative suddenly becomes first person but not really due to the differences in pronouns and lack of tense in the Chinese language. The good news is that everything including the style gets better after the first 10 or so chapters. Until then, bear with me. It’s like some manhwa that start out with really bad art but seem to improve with every chapter.
Hu hu hu, I come bearing gifts.