Chapter 22 – Duty Hall
A dark cloud that was ten feet in length slowly condensed and rose up in front of the four.
Shi Chuan beckoned towards the three and brought them flying down the mountain.
Standing on the dark grey cloud, Liu Ming felt that the cloud under his feet was soft and spongy. This was a huge contrast to Martial Uncle Li’s black cloud’s hard and solid ground. In addition, this cloud of Shi Chuan’s didn’t fly very fast. Except for being able to be moving high in the air, it’s actual speed wasn’t much faster than Liu Ming’s speed before he became a Spirit Apostle.
“Senior Shi, I see that everyone in the sect can call on the clouds to use as transportation. What kind of spell is this and how fast can one go with the cloud?” Finally, Liu Ming couldn’t help but ask his question.
“Junior Bai, this is called Soaring Sky Technique. It’s an extremely simple spell; all Junior has to do is convert your original Yuan Li to Fa Li to be able to perform it. As for the speed, it’s very slow. It’s only suitable for short distance flying, if you’re going to be traveling a moderate distance, it would be smarter to use other methods.” Shi Chuan answered without pause.
“Hearing Senior’s tone, there are more than one flying techniques?” Liu Ming’s eyes brightened.
“Of course! If you want to fly, there are quite a few ways to besides the Soaring Sky Technique. However, these methods require Glyphs or Totems to perform. For example, one could use a special flying totem or the Godspeed Glyph. Or if one practices one’s own cultivation method to a certain level, one can perform the unique Escape Technique associated with it. For example, the famous ‘Sword Flight’ is the Escape Technique associated with Sword Practitioners. However, the former are much simpler. As long as Junior reaches the Middle Spirit Apostle level, you will have the strength to activate a couple of the simpler Glyphs. At High Spirit Apostle level, you will be able to use a couple of the single-functioned Totems. As for the latter, there are few in the Sect that know or have achieved such a level in their cultivation technique such that they know Escape Techniques.” Shi Chuan thought about it for a moment before replying.
“What is a totem? Is it the same thing as a Practitioner Weapon?” Liu Ming asked again.
“Haha. Of course they are not the same. The power between the two is far from the same and after bonding to a Totem, you change the size of the Totem and use it based on your liking. The two things are not even on the same level. However, Totems are extremely rare and besides the Martial Uncles and other on their level, there are only a few Spirit Apostles that have Totems. In our faction, besides Junior Zhu, all of us disciples are still using Practioner Weapons.”
“She’s Martial Uncle Zhu’s daughter, you should have seen her in the main temple earlier.”
“So it’s like that. Thanks for your help.” Liu Ming finally understood the differences and recalled the two girls’ pretty faces.
“Senior Shi, does our faction have numerous entrance Cultivation Methods that we can choose from like the other factions? If Gui Teacher isn’t going to teach us personally, then where are we supposed to learn these Cultivation Methods?” The girl named Wan Xiaoqing also pipped up.
“If Junior wants to learn the entrance Cultivation Methods, then the Scriptures Pavilion has the thirteen entrance Cultivation Methods for all disciples to learn free of charge and restrictions. However, since our Sect is split into eight factions, there are favorable methods for each faction. For example, in order to learn our Nine Infant Faction’s most famous Cultivation Method is called Dark Styx Devil Method, one should choose Earth Spirit Method or Dark Sunflower Method as their entrance Cultivation Method. If you choose to start with a different method, you’ll have much trouble practicing the Dark Styx Devil Method and not be able to achieve the higher forms of the method. In addition, a couple of the more powerful sect techniques require certain Cultivation Methods to be at a certain level. Thus, it can be said that picking a entrance Cultivation Method is very important.” This time, Shi Chuan was extremely serious when he was speaking.
“Senior Shi, I have another question. I heard that…”
Like that, Shi Chuan slowly brought the three to their possible dwellings and answered the questions that they may have had.
Under Senior Shi’s suggestions, the three found their dwellings after some time.
The dwelling Liu Ming chose was a three house courtyard that was at the waist of the mountain. Not only was its position extremely far and distanced, it was also quite quiet.
Afterwards, Shi Chuan brought them to the mountain in which the Duty Hall was at.
Not long after, the dark cloud which was carrying everyone landed in front of a 300 foot tall tower.
“Junior Bai, this tower has three levels and is owned by the Duty Hall. Each level has a different function: the first level is for the various chores and assigned missions within the Sect. The second level is for the posted missions that can be taken in order to earn Contribution Points and Spirit Stones. The third floor is Duty Hall’s disciples’ temporary resting place.”
“Contribution Points! Spirit Stones!” Liu Ming eyes slightly closed while he thought about the two new terms.
On the way to the Duty Hall, he had learned that normal disciples within the sect could only learn the entrance Cultivation Method and a couple faction techniques for free. For the powerful and secret techniques, one had to earn enough Contribution Points in order to learn from the Scripture Pavilion. These Contribution Points could as be exchanged for pills, Glyphs, and various other materials or be used as entrance fees to special training places within the sect.
As for Spirit Stones, they were the most universal currency in the Practitioner World. They were basically stones that contained Worldly Qi and were cut into slabs the size of an inch in length and width.
The huge crystals that were used in the Opening Spirit Ceremony were original Spirit Stones that had not been cut into individual small pieces.
Even though it was the first time Liu Ming had heard of these two objects, he knew that if he wanted to excel within the sect, these two things would be extremely important. The gaze in which he looked at the huge tower also grew heated.
At this time, there were few disciples entering and exiting the huge tower; probably because it was quite late.
Quickly, Shi Chuan brought the trio through the huge door of the tower.
The first floor of the tower was only about a half acre large and had a long, rectangular stone table with an old man with muddled eyes behind it. In front of him were about five to six disciples listening to what the old man was saying.
“Okay, you can leave. I will count this mission as complete. However, if your next mission is still as bad, I will penalize your Contribution Points. Take out your name plates.” Finally, the old man impatiently said.
“Thank you, Hu Enforcer!” The outer sect disciples were all smiles as they hurriedly took out white jade slates and placed them on the large stone table.
The Hu Enforcer also took out a light gold stick and tapped the white jade slates before putting away the stick.
After this was done, the outer disciples smiled as they left the stone counter.
“Senior Hu, I have brought a couple of new Juniors to receive their things.” Seeing this, Shi Chuan quickly brought the trio forward and respectfully said to the Hu old man.
“I was wondering who it was. So it’s Junior Shi. These few disciples are the new disciples in your faction? They all look promising. Oh right, the Dark Qi Stones that Junior brought last time, are there any more of those? I’ll be buying them all at the same price as before.” Once the old man saw Shi Chuan’s face, he immediately smiled and ignored Liu Ming and the new disciples after a curious glance.
“Senior Hu, I’ve been busying training recently and haven’t had time to go to the Dark Sand Valley.” Shi Chuan’s eyebrows furrowed as he faintly said.
“Haha, no problem. When Junior Shi has time, remember to bring Senior a couple pieces. Oh, I’ll retrieve the things for the three Juniors. Your names are….”
The old man with the last name Hu showed disappointment on his face but soon cheered up as he turned to Liu Ming and the new disciples.
Liu Ming and the others quickly said their names and after verifying that these names were all correct, the old man walked to the blank green stone wall behind him.
The result scared the new disciple trio.
Right after making contact with the wall, a bright white light shone from the old man and after the light disappeared, the old man was gone.
“Junior Bai, you don’t have to be so surprised. That was just an extremely simple Passing Object Technique along with a couple of seals.” Shi Chuan smiled as he explained.
Hearing this, the shock on Liu Ming’s trio’s faces diminished a little.
After a while, Hu Old Man came out again with a flash of light. In his hands were quite a few things that he placed on the stone table.
“Each person will get one nameplate, one Dust Avoidance Suit, one Practitioner Sword and five Spirit Stones. Also, I will remind you that new Disciples can get five Spirit Stones from here every month, but you also need to finish a mission in order to receive their five stones. Alright, each of you must mark the slates in front of me with a drop of blood in order to activate them.” Hu Old Man lightly said.
“The nameplate is a thing of the sect that will show one’s identity and Contribution Points. By itself, it’s a special Practitioner Weapon that will bond to one after a drop of blood is placed onto it. After bonding, it can only be used by one person.” Shi Chuan explained at the side.
Even though Liu Ming still didn’t really understand, he knew that now was not the time to ask and moved his finger to his mouth. After biting a small wound onto the tip of his finger, he let a drop of blood fall onto the slate.
The drop of red blood landed squarely and was sucked into the Jade Slate.
Instantly, the nameplate shone with a layer of soft white light and a couple of weird silver glyphs before turning back to normal.
Liu Ming curiously picked up the normal nameplate and poked around.
“Junior Bai, once you have Fa Li, all you need to do is insert a tiny bit of Fa Li into this and you will learn how to use it.” Shi Chuan said.
Nodding, Liu Ming quickly put away the nameplate and grabbed a green Sect Disciple clothing and a yellow sheathed sword.
Xue Shan and Wan Xiaoqing copied Liu Ming’s actions and quickly finished.
After saying thanks to the Hu Old Man, the three followed Shi Chuan out of the stone tower.
“We still have some time right now. Junior Bai, do you guys want to go to the Scripture Pavilion to look around?” Right after exiting, Shi Chuan stopped and asked after some hesitation.