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“What… did she say?”
The disciples in the audience watched the girl with dumb looks, “What did I just hear? She wants to go to the Labor Office on purpose?”
“Uh, yes. I heard that too.” Another said, stumped all the same.
It was a reaction quite popular today, even among elders and venerables. A place that was designated as the sect’s dump, where disciples were thrown to spend the rest of their days crying, just got a volunteer.
But how could a lady with glorious prospects conceive such an idea?
Xie Wuyue said, “Yue’er, are you certain? Once you are there, your future is over. It is a pit from which you can never crawl out of.”
Yue Ling kept dropping more and more hints to do the opposite.
[I was forced to go there but you shouldn’t. Why do you insist on wasting yourself away?]
But Yue’er’s decision was final, “Sect Leader, I want to got to the Labor Office!”
“As it is your choice, I won’t force you. You shall henceforth be a laborer. Now go!” Xie Wuyue waved coldly.
Venerable Shi was uneasy, “Sect Leader, how can we do this to a talent?”
“She wants the Labor Office rather than helping the sect. What would you have me do, beg? Humph, forcing her will only make it worse.”
Xie Wuyue flicked his sleeve, “From now on, the girl is a laborer, so don’t let me see you going after her still. If you’ve got so much time to waste, you’d better use it preparing for the competition three months from now. It’s a chance for your disciples and yourselves. Don’t squander it.”
Xie Wuyue left with a hard face, annoyed that Yue’er refused his goodwill and selected the Labor Office.
Alas, no one noticed the flicker of a smile tracing his face just before leaving.
Venerable Shi scowled, his eyes wandering like his thoughts.
[Something’s definitely off about all of this, but what?]
[The Sect Leader threw her into that dump too fast. Was it just to abandon her, or something else?]
Venerable Shi turned to a frowning Grand Elder.
He read the old man’s eyes, the thoughts running through his head were the same.
“Gui Hu, come!” Grand Elder left.
Gui Hu rushed to follow him.
Venerable Shi called Liu Xu over and left to ponder as well. Soon, all the oldies left, leaving Yue’er on the ring with one last look of pity.
[A shame for those baubles, with no excuse I can’t take them. Or just stealing them will make others attack me.]
Doing all the work just to have another profit from it was such a waste.
As such, the elders came to a silent accord, only to move when another got them first. They all left with snickers and evil glints in their eyes.
Only Kui Lang, Yue Ling and her sister remained.
“Fool, why are you going to that damn place? I myself barely got out!” Yue Ling grumbled, but more than anything she was worried.
Yue’er giggled, “I believe that I’ll become far stronger there. Didn’t you see me kill Hu Mei’er? I took revenge.”
The two jerked with surprise.
[Yeah, which elder or venerable could make someone be reborn and grow so much in three months? It might be far better to stand by his side than to end up an elite.]
The two were getting fired up. And Kui Lang recalled his dear son…
The three lurking shadows were disappointed.
“Never mind the three demonic treasures, just the fact that her Yuan Qi is so cold and icy, makes her a gem! She needs a bit of guidance and she’ll stand atop even elites!” One said.
The others nodded, before shaking their heads, “A pity Wuyue sent her to be a laborer. The elites lost a good seed.”
“Just what is up with Wuyue? He should use her, not throw her away. That Black Wind blade is worlds above the other girl’s charm whammy. She’d have taken us far in the Double Dragon Gathering.”
“Let’s drop it. Wuyue may be rash but not one to ignore the bigger picture, or he wouldn’t have become the Sect Leader. I’ve got a feeling that things are more complicated than they seem. I’ll ask him about the girl and that kid. No matter what, the kid must become an elite!”
The others nodded and the shadows flew away…
Meanwhile, Zhuo Fan had just gotten back to the Labor Office, the run-down house stirring in him, wistfulness.
“Ha-ha-ha, I must be really born to work under others!”
Zhuo Fan chuckled, walking towards the door and shouting, “Is Elder Yuan around? I’m back!”
The door creaked open and Elder Yuan’s humble face stuck out, “He-he-he, Steward Zhuo, weren’t you supposed to never come out of the cemetery?”
“Those two made me stay there for a month but I took three. Can’t I come out even now?” Zhuo Fan grinned.
Elder Yuan rolled his eyes, “Please, those two are practically worshiping you. I may be of low cultivation, but I still got a good pair of eyes on these old bones. Since you’re stronger and those two are back in the inner sect, that makes you the big cheese in here. “
“Oh no, I march to my own beat. Elder Yuan, you’re the one in charge, it’s best if you handle the Labor Office. But if you meet some hard times, I can just lend a hand, ha-ha-ha…” Zhuo Fan raised an eyebrow.
Elder Yuan nodded, “Why thank you, Steward Zhuo, for becoming my rock. Now I can finally get the respect this old body deserves.”
Elder Yuan stuck out his chest and put on a feisty look. But with his short stature, it looked funny.
Elder Yuan scratched his head and chuckled along Zhuo Fan.
The two acted like age old friends, like they’ve never been closer.
It was a first for Zhuo Fan.
Oh, he had had his fair share of loyal men, Li Jingtian and the power couple.
But that was based on rank, while the difference in mentality made sure that no common ground was established, nothing to talk about.
While with Elder Yuan, he’d never felt freer. He had gained from their talks as well.
So while the old man was weak, he had a broad heart, earning Zhuo Fan’s respect.
To him, Elder Yuan was his equal.
“Steward Zhuo, I heard you trained Yue’er for three months in order to deal with Hu Mei’er.” Elder Yuan added.
Zhuo Fan nodded, “Yes, and there should be no problems.”
“Why are you so carefree while they fight? Shouldn’t you be watching the fight?” Elder Yuan asked.
Zhuo Fan smiled, “Why, when her win is obvious. I’ll be honest, I’ve put a lot of effort into that girl. “
Zhuo Fan pointed and a blue flame appeared.
Elder Yuan’s eyes widened, “W-wha-“
“I’m an alchemist and in my travels, I found this flame.” Zhuo Fan spilled its secrets, “This flame protects the soul and can also harm it. I used it to refine the Soul Bead replica, Azure Bead. With the flames inside it, Hu Mei’er’s soul attacks will bite her instead. The azure flame inside isn’t strong but enough.”
Elder Yuan blinked at the azure flame in shock. The flame didn’t seem much in its tame form, but he felt its raw and destructive power.
“Uh, Steward Zhuo, you can make a 9th grade spiritual weapon?”
“Ha-ha-ha, that’s not all. I gave her an armor piece and a weapon as well, the 8th grade demonic treasure, Dragon Locking Armor, and the 8th grade Dark Moon Blade. So you tell me if she’ll win or not. Failing even now will prove that she had to die.” Zhuo Fan raised a smug eyebrow.
Though Elder Yuan was too lost for words at the sheer wealth he had dished out.
[And here I thought he already had them, when in fact he actually made them. A 9th grade tool refiner and a 10th grade alchemist, and to say nothing about his outrageous cultivation…]