Translator: Silavin & Tia
Translation Checker: PewPewLazerGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
[An alliance? Look out for each other? That’s great news!] Although High Heaven Palace was currently respected and the disciples in the Sect numbered over a hundred thousand, it was still a new force in the Northern Territory. If it could form an alliance with Fire Dragon Palace, it would surely be beneficial in the future. In any case, Li Jiao was no longer an outsider and Yang Kai had no reason to refuse such a request. Hence, Yang Kai immediately agreed.
Li Jiao chuckled and put his hand on his chest, “From now on, Fire Dragon Palace will be depending on you, Brother Yang. We will only submit to High Heaven Palace.”
He knew better than anybody else just what Yang Kai was capable of; therefore, he knew that there was still a hierarchy to adhere to in the alliance. Fire Dragon Palace was no match for High Heaven Palace. Those were honest words, but there was nothing to be embarrassed about.
An alliance between two great forces was a major event; however, it was finalized in a few words between these two men. They didn’t even sign an agreement because they both knew that there was no need to sign anything.
“Brother Yang, since we have allied, that would mean we are family now?” Li Jiao grinned meaningfully, “So… about those debts… do you think we can write them off now?”
When Li Jiao came to High Heaven Palace to cause trouble with Ji Ying back then, he had taken the chance to make a bet during an Alchemy competition between Yang Kai and Ji Ying. Consequently, he lost the bet pathetically and ended up owing High Heaven Palace several dozen years’ worth of Fire Dragon Palace’s income. He was required to pay millions of High-Rank Source Crystals every year, causing Fire Dragon Palace to tighten its belt considerably. Life had been very miserable for Fire Dragon Palace as a result. Many of the Elders and Deacons in the Sect had been complaining while the disciples occasionally ran out of Source Crystals to use for cultivation.
Only slightly more than 10 years had passed since then, but Fire Dragon Palace was starting to fall apart. Just thinking about another 20 to 30 years of repayment left Li Jiao feeling extremely troubled.
“You tricked me!” Yang Kai glared at Li Jiao as those debts were not a small amount after all.
Li Jiao grinned meaningfully and cheekily stated, “We are not outsiders anymore. We are family now.”
Yang Kai paused for a moment before he laughed, “It’s not like I can’t write them off…”
Li Jiao hurriedly latched onto the opportunity and cupped his fists, “Many thanks, Brother Yang.”
Yang Kai lifted his palm to stop Li Jiao, “But, I have a condition.”
Li Jiao said, “Please name it, Brother Yang.”
Yang Kai replied, “I’m sure you are aware of what is going on within High Heaven Palace at the moment. More than a hundred thousand disciples have just arrived, and although there is no need to worry about cultivation resources, Secret Arts, and Secret Techniques for the time being, cultivating experience is indispensable. These disciples need people to teach and guide them, but there are just too many of them. I can’t gather enough people to teach them on my own; therefore, I would like to ask for your support, Li Jiao.”
In the pursuit of the Martial Dao, having someone to guide you in contrast to figuring things out on your own was completely different. Yang Kai had first-hand experience with this, having navigated his journey almost entirely on his own. Hence, he already had plans to arrange for people to guide the disciples. It just so happened that Li Jiao came offering himself up on a silver platter, so how could Yang Kai let the chance slip him by?
All of Ice Heart Valley’s disciples cultivated Ice Attribute Secret Arts and Secret Techniques; thus, they were unsuitable to teach the general masses. If not for that, he would have asked Bing Yun to send some people over for support during his previous trip to Ice Heart Valley. It was just that the Ice Attribute Secret Arts and Secret Techniques of Ice Heart Valley were too specific and might not be suitable for a lot of cultivators.
“What kind of support?” Li Jiao was puzzled.
“Please select a group of experienced cultivators from Fire Dragon Palace and send them here to teach my disciples how to cultivate.”
[Is that all? I thought it would be a bigger deal.] Li Jiao immediately patted his chest and said reassuringly, “Not a problem!”
Pausing for a moment, he continued, “But, there are too many disciples in High Heaven Palace. Even with the support of Fire Dragon Palace, I’m afraid it still won’t be enough.”
With more than a hundred thousand disciples, they would still need two hundred to three hundred teachers even if each teacher took responsibility for five hundred disciples. Fire Dragon Palace could not afford to send that many people over; after all, a cultivator had to be at least in the Dao Source Realm to be qualified to teach. Those with cultivations lower than the Dao Source Realm would not be helpful since the cultivators from the Star Field were already capable of cultivating to the Origin King Realm. What they lacked was the cultivation experience above the Origin King Realm. Regardless of how many cultivators Fire Dragon Palace had that were in the Dao Source Realm, it was still impossible to send them all here.
“It’ll serve as emergency measures for now. I’ll try to come up with a solution for the rest.” Yang Kai sighed. With so many people, it was inevitable that all kinds of issues would appear too. It was impossible for him to account for everything all at once, so all he could do was create a foundation for High Heaven Palace as best he could. How it developed in the future would depend on the management of those below him and the advancement of the disciples themselves.
“How many people do you need, Brother Yang?” Li Jiao asked.
Li Jiao considered it for a while before nodding, “Good!”
A hundred was not a small amount, but Fire Dragon Palace could still afford to deploy this number of people; any more than that was impossible. As the task was to teach, it would require Masters who could instruct others in cultivation, not something everybody was capable of. Teaching somebody else to cultivate was different from cultivating themselves after all. Fire Dragon Palace was a large Sect, so even though deploying a hundred disciples was difficult, it was still doable.
“We can consider those debts as the monthly salary of the 100 teachers. Do you have any objections, Brother Li?”
“None at all! None at all!” Li Jiao responded with a smile. Those debts were a huge fortune, so if sending out a hundred teachers was enough to cover the entire debt, it would be a huge boon for him. How could he have any objections to that? Besides, these hundred disciples would eventually return to him anyway, so there was nothing to lose in this deal. Thus, Li Jiao stood up and said, “This matter shouldn’t be delayed any further. I will head back immediately and send the necessary manpower over as soon as possible, Brother Yang.”
“I’ll go with you!” Yang Kai said.
Li Jiao was taken aback for a moment before he seemed to realize something and asked, “Could it be that you plan to create a connection between Fire Dragon Palace and High Heaven Palace, Brother Yang?”
“That will make it easier for us to come and go.”
“Good,” Li Jiao did not refuse and immediately set off for Fire Dragon Palace with Yang Kai and Lu San Niang.
All three of them were in the Emperor Realm; moreover, they had the help of a powerful flight type artifact, so it was only natural that their speed was very fast. It didn’t take more than half a day for them to arrive at Fire Dragon Palace.
Li Jiao led the way, bringing Yang Kai to a quiet and remote place in Fire Dragon Palace.
Yang Kai immediately began arranging a Space Array, and by the time night fell and the stars filled the sky, the Space Array was completed. With this Array connecting High Heaven Palace and Fire Dragon Palace, a distance of tens of thousands of kilometres could be crossed in an instant. It truly was helpful for both parties and allowed them to ‘take care of each other’ per the alliance.
Yang Kai initially wanted to rush home right away since there were still lots of trivial matters troubling High Heaven Palace, many of which he needed to handle personally, but contrary to expectations, Li Jiao forcibly made him stay the night. He did that by saying that a banquet would be held in his honour. Since it would not be good for him to refuse Li Jiao, Yang Kai could only agree to remain.
Lights flickered inside the hall, illuminating the luxurious interior. Everyone with any standing in Fire Dragon Palace, from the Palace Master Li Jiao to the Protectors to the Elders came to accompany Yang Kai at the banquet.
Clearly, they had already received the news from Li Jiao that Fire Dragon Palace would no longer have to turn over Source Crystals to High Heaven Palace every year in the future, so all of them were in an exceptionally good mood and it was only natural that their attitudes towards Yang Kai changed too. Every one of them tried to ingratiate themselves to Yang Kai, with Li Jiao even boasting about the fateful friendship between him and Yang Kai. He even wrapped his arm around Yang Kai’s shoulders after getting tipsy from drinking. It was clear that he no longer recalled how much he hated and feared Yang Kai back then.
The atmosphere was exuberant, and there were dancers below livening up the event. Yang Kai sat beside Li Jiao without putting on any airs. When it came down to it, he was only a Second-Order Emperor right now, so there was nothing to brag about after meeting so many more powerful Masters. Consequently, more and more of Fire Dragon Palace’s higher-ups began having a better impression of him.
Wine flowed freely, and they drank until they were drunk.
It wasn’t until the latter half of the night that they began to disperse. Li Jiao ordered a young and beautiful maidservant to bring Yang Kai to a room to rest; however, Yang Kai declined. He wanted to return to High Heaven Palace that very night, so Li Jiao personally saw him off.
Standing in front of the Space Array, Yang Kai suddenly turned to look at Li Jiao, “Brother Li, I want to unify the Northern Territory. What do you think?”
The night breeze blew across their faces and Li Jiao sobered up instantly as he exclaimed, “Unify the Northern Territory!?”
“Good!” It was a sudden idea that struck Yang Kai. A hundred thousand disciples were waiting to be fed back at High Heaven Palace, and while there might be no need to worry about cultivation resources for the time being, and there was even a source of trade with Violet Source Chamber of Commerce which was located in the Southern Territory as well as the possibility of establishing trade with the Ancient Wild Lands in the Eastern Territory, doing nothing but using up resources was not a viable solution in the long term. If High Heaven Palace wanted to continue its legacy, it would need to establish its own business and industry.
The Seeking Passion Sect owned many properties in the past and held jurisdiction over as many as twenty cities of various sizes in their vicinity, so the Sect used to receive many offerings from those cities every year. In return, it ensured the safety of those cities.
Unfortunately, Yang Kai only looted the wealth of the Seeking Passion Sect after he destroyed the Sect and ignored the properties left behind by the Sect. In other words, those twenty or so cities of various sizes were not under High Heaven Palace’s control. Still, it would be easy to take them back in. With High Heaven Palace’s current strength, he could randomly send out a Monster King as a threat and the opposing party would promptly give in to his demands.
Nevertheless, that income would not satisfy the cultivation needs of all the disciples. If he could unify the entire Northern Territory though, then there would be nothing else to worry about. All the resources in the Northern Territory would be at his beck and call. Forget about a hundred thousand people, he could even feed millions of people.
Be that as it may, Yang Kai knew that there would be resistance. No matter how powerful High Heaven Palace was, there were billions of cultivators in the Northern Territory and many of them would not take him trying to establish dominion lying down. The Monster Kings were powerful indeed, but there were only three of them. Besides, their identities were a bit sensitive. They were not suited for long-term public appearances, so the gain would not be worth the losses if they accidentally provoked a great force and ignited a war with the Monster Race.
Moreover, Yang Kai did not believe that there were no stronger Masters in the Northern Territory. All the Masters he knew of were those who were already known to the public, but there must be other capable people that remained hidden beneath the surface. The only reason he didn’t know about them was that he had no interest in approaching them. Nonetheless, they would not sit around and do nothing if he provoked them.
At present, there were several top forces in the Northern Territory. High Heaven Palace, Ice Heart Valley, and Fire Dragon Palace were in the same boat, advancing and retreating together, so if Yang Kai really wanted to unify the whole Northern Territory, these two Sects would not stand in his way. Besides, he would not harm their interests either. Unfortunately, the other great forces would not step aside so easily.
By now, Li Jiao was very familiar with Yang Kai’s thought process, so he knew that this person was incredibly bold and daring. Yang Kai even dared to intrude on Dragon Island, so there was really nothing in this world he would not dare to do. If somebody else had asked Li Jiao this question, he would have laughed it off as it was highly unrealistic, but it was different when it came to Yang Kai. The reason Yang Kai asked was because he might be able to pull it off, and had the confidence to back up his plans.
Looking up at Yang Kai, Li Jiao saw there were no signs of intoxication on his face; hence, he knew that Yang Kai was not just making drunk talk. After pondering in silence for a moment, Li Jiao answered, “If you have the intention to do so, I will surely assist you…” [Besides, I just agreed to form an alliance between us, so I can’t slap myself in the face like that.]
“It’s just that… Are you mentally prepared to face the criticism of countless people? Including those in the Northern Territory?”
Yang Kai laughed, “What does the life or death of others have to do with me? I only care about High Heaven Palace.”
Li Jiao nodded in response. Every man for himself. Ever since he had embarked to pursue the peak of the Martial Dao, he had been mentally prepared to die at any moment. Killing and being killed were normal occurrences for cultivators like them.