Chapter 23 Book 1: 21: Elite Hall, Long Wanqing
Chapter 23 Book 1: 21: Elite Hall, Long Wanqing
Book 1: Chapter 21: Elite Hall, Long Wanqing
In a room within an inn of Song City:
Gu Hai washed several times before finally getting all the filth on his body off. Then, he looked at the mirror with some shock.
“Is this how I looked at my peak, when I was thirty years old?” Gu Hai excitedly touched his face.
All the wrinkles on Gu Hai’s face had disappeared. The white hair that he had dyed black as a disguise had truly turned black this time.
Gu Hai’s muscles looked sharply defined and even more perfect than those of the bodybuilders that appeared on Earth’s television. His bronze skin hid a vibrant lifeforce.
Gu Hai had regained his youth. The only thing that had not changed was his calm gaze, which looked like a still, deep pond.
“First Layer Innate Realm? I finally broke through. Xianer, I am now one step closer to taking revenge for you!” A ferocious look flashed on Gu Hai’s face.
Gu Hai calmed down after a while. Then, he opened the door after he got dressed.
Chen Tianshan and Chen Liangyi stood before the door to Gu Hai’s room.
“Uncle Gu, you became young?” Chen Liangyi’s eyes lit up.
“You claimed Song City already?” Gu Hai looked at Chen Liangyi.
“Yes. Many thanks, Uncle Gu. Many thanks!” Chen Liangyi bowed sincerely.
Gu Hai nodded.
“The hall master is waiting for you in the main hall. We will speak more then,” Chen Tianshan said with a smile.
Gu Hai nodded and followed Chen Tianshan to the main hall.
The young woman played Go against Venerable Liu Nian in the main hall while the others stood by the side. Gao Xianzhi also stood at the end of the group. When Gu Hai entered the hall, everyone looked at him.
The Clear River Sect Master looked at Gu Hai. However, he no longer showed the joy he initially had but some resentment. After all, he had wasted a large number of his spirit stones because of this freak.
“Gu Hai greatly thanks Immortal Venerate!” Gu Hai bowed respectfully to the young, female hall master.
“Immortal Venerate? Ha! I’m not the one who helped. Why is Mister Gu thanking me?” The young woman smiled.
“Gu Hai will remember this favor. If not for Immortal Venerate, this humble one would just be an old man waiting for death, unable to return to the age of my peak,” Gu Hai said after a deep breath.
The Clear River Sect Master showed a sullen expression at the side, but he did not say anything. Even though Gu Hai gave all the credit to the young woman, the Clear River Sect Master did not intend to claim the credit.
“Alright. Since you are grateful to me, then I will not stand on ceremony, then. We have delayed a lot because of you, so leave with us immediately,” the young woman said, not holding back.
“Oh?” Gu Hai felt surprised.
“Aside from you, Gao Xianzhi, the Clear River Sect’s Chen Tianshan, the First Song Sect’s Song Qingshu will enter my Elite Hall. I am the hall master, and you will serve me from now on,” the young woman said bluntly.
“Elite Hall? Hall master?” Gu Hai raised his eyebrows.
“Gu Hai, the hall master thinking highly of you is your opportunity. Why are you not thanking her yet?” the Clear River Sect Master asked seriously.
However, Gu Hai frowned as he looked at the young woman.
“Elite Hall? Would Immortal Venerate explain a little further to help resolve my confusion?” Gu Hai said with another bow.
“Hahaha! You brat. If others heard that they could enter Elite Hall, they would be overjoyed, yet you are being picky?” the First Song Sect Master immediately said with a cold smile.
“This humble one has no right to be picky. I am just an ignorant and inexperienced ordinary person. I fear that I am not capable enough and will embarrass Immortal Venerate,” Gu Hai immediately said carefully.
“It won’t go to the point of embarrassing me. It is just a weaker cultivation. As long as you are smart, it will be fine. All the sects in this Thousand Islands Sea consider joining my Elite Hall an honor. By working for my Elite Hall, you will receive a salary that will surpass your imagination. However, my Elite Hall only takes in elites,” the young, female hall master said gravely.
“Oh?” Gu Hai appeared excited as he looked at the Clear River Sect Master.
The Clear River Sect Master smiled coldly and said, “Given that the hall master thinks highly of you, I do not dare to take you in. I can fulfill my promise and give you an Innate Realm cultivation technique. However, can my cultivation technique be better than Elite Hall’s cultivation technique? Gu Hai, the hall master thinks highly of your abilities. This is your opportunity.”
“Mister Gu, why are you still hesitating?” Gao Xianzhi smiled bitterly.
No one knew why Gu Hai was hesitating. This was such a good opportunity. Why did he need to think so much?
Gu Hai looked at everyone.
The disciples of the Clear River Sect and the First Song Sect all had envious expressions. The young, female hall master showed a look of confidence. Chen Tianshan kept trying to hint at Gu Hai with glances to accept. On the other hand, the handsome, middle-aged monk behind the young woman seemed unconcerned. He fiddled with his Buddhist prayer beads, appearing to be chanting the scriptures.
“Immortal Venerate, if I join Elite Hall, will there be any restrictions? Is there anything taboo?” Gu Hai looked gravely at the young, female hall master.
Everyone looked at Gu Hai in confusion.
You are just an ordinary person, yet you actually dare to negotiate with the hall master? Is something wrong with your brains? Your statuses differ significantly, like heaven and earth. This is just like an emperor wanting to take a beggar as an official. To think that the beggar dares to be picky.
“Restrictions? Simply put, just don’t betray Elite Hall. You only need to heed my commands. Also, you do not have a choice!” the young woman said confidently.
Gu Hai forced out a faint smile and nodded.
“Since that is the case, Gu Hai greets Hall Master. I hope that Hall Master will honor your promise. From today on, I will listen only to Hall Master’s command!” Gu Hai said gravely with a bow.
“Oh?” Everyone felt stunned.
After so long, it turned out that Gu Hai was only waiting for this.
Listenonly to the hall master’s commands? Does that mean that he won’t listen to anyone else?
“Hahaha! Good. If you do well, I do not mind giving you special privileges. Remember, my name is Long Wanqing!” the young female hall master said with a smile.
“Many thanks, Hall Master!” Gu Hai said with a smile.
“Venerable, now that Gu Hai has entered my Elite Hall, which division do you think will suit him?” The young woman looked at Venerable Liu Nian.
Venerable Liu Nian seemed to startle awake. He stopped fiddling with his Buddhist prayer beads and looked at Gu Hai.
“Elite Hall is split into five divisions—fire, wood, water, earth, and metal. Since Hall Master agreed to give Gu Hai special privileges, only heeding Hall Master’s commands, he can only be one of the five division masters. The Water Division Master position happens to be empty. How about you make Gu Hai the Water Division Master?” Venerable Liu Nian suggested.
“What?” Everyone’s expression immediately changed as they looked at Venerable Liu Nian in horror.
“Hall Master, that cannot happen. While Gu Hai is somewhat capable, it is not appropriate for him to become a division master upon entering Elite Hall. What would the other people of Elite Hall think?” the Clear River Sect Master protested while raising his eyebrows, feeling envious.
“Indeed. Hall Master, do consider this carefully. Although we are just subordinate sects to Elite Hall, not part of Elite Hall’s core, this is a person who just broke into the Innate Realm. We don’t even know if he can progress further, and you are making him a division master? How will he convince the others?” The First Song Sect Master’s expression changed as well.
At this moment, Long Wanqing also frowned as she looked at Venerable Liu Nian. Clearly, she also felt that this was too much.
“Venerable, why do you recommend him to be a division master?” Long Wanqing asked with a frown.
Venerable Liu Nian shook his head and replied, “It is not that I am recommending him to become a division master. Given his strength, he is far from capable of competing to be a division master. Furthermore, many people in Elite Hall are eyeing that position; Gu Hai cannot possibly seize it. I am just saying that Hall Master is no longer in the same situation as before. Since you succeeded Elite Hall, your every word and action will be boundlessly magnified. All the Elite Hall disciples are watching you. It is not just Elite Hall but also other factions. They are all waiting to see you make a joke of yourself, waiting for you to ruin Elite Hall’s reputation with your own hands.”
“Huh?” The young woman raised her eyebrows.
“There is a saying, a sovereign’s words must be taken seriously. Right now, the same goes for Hall Master. Given your position, you need to watch what you say. You have to be careful with every word. You promised Gu Hai that he had to listen to only your orders upon entering Elite Hall. In that case, there are only two positions that he can take: one, a division master; two, an honorary official like myself. Hall Master, you make the decision yourself,” Venerable Liu Nian explained indifferently.
However, Long Wangqing kept her eyebrows raised as a complicated look flashed in her eyes.
When the others heard Venerable Liu Nian’s words, no one dared to interject.
Long Wanqing’s expression changed again before she finally looked at Gu Hai.
She took out a purple authority token, saying, “Gu Hai, from today on, you are my Elite Hall’s Water Division Master! This is your authority token. From today on, you answer only to me!”
Gu Hai looked at Long Wanqing. Unexpectedly, Elite Hall had so many rules.
Although Gu Hai did not know the situation surrounding the Water Division Master, he could clearly make out its status and authority from the earlier conversation. Now, he could no longer refuse.
“Yes. Many thanks, Hall Master. Gu Hai will not let Hall Master down!” Gu Hai said gravely.
Gu Hai received the purple authority token before the crowd’s envious gazes.
This authority token was made of neither wood nor metal. There seemed to be the carving of a water droplet on it.
“Drip your blood on it!” Long Wanqing said with a frown.
Gu Hai nodded and searched for a needle. Then, he pricked his finger and dripped some blood on the authority token.
The purple authority token trembled slightly as it released a beam of purple light into Gu Hai’s body. It seemed to connect to Gu Hai’s consciousness in an instant. Gu Hai immediately sensed a small space of about thirty-three square meters, which held ten purple spirit stones and a scroll of bamboo slips.
“This is?” Gu Hai said in shock.
“Keep this token well. From now on, you are the Elite Hall’s Water Division Master. Do not disappoint me!” Long Wanqing said seriously.
“I will do my best!” Gu Hai nodded.
The Clear River Sect Master appeared conflicted as he looked at Gu Hai. Previously, he felt upset when he saw Gu Hai. Things were different now. With Gu Hai an Elite Hall division master, his status had immediately changed.
“Congratulations, Division Master Gu. Previously, I agreed to take Division Master Gu into my Clear River Sect to learn. It looks like there is no longer any opportunity for that. What would Division Master Gu like as a replacement? As long as your request is not overboard, I will do my best to fulfill it. Consider it as me expressing my regrets!” the Clear River Sect Master said with a smile.
“I am already extremely grateful to the Clear River Sect for helping me with my breakthrough. However, as I have to leave immediately with the hall master, my Gu Residence…”
“Division Master Gu, rest assured. No one will dare to touch them. From here on, the Gu Residence will manage all the land around the Chen Nation’s Hulao Pass. You can return at any time,” the Clear River Sect Master said with certainty.
“Many thanks!” Gu Hai bowed slightly.
Gao Xianzhi suddenly stepped forward and asked, “Hall Master, may this humble one be assigned under Division Master Gu?”
“Oh?” Curiosity flashed in Long Wanqing’s eyes.
“This humble one possesses limited abilities. I hope to follow Division Master Gu and learn from him!” Gao Xianzhi said seriously.
“That’s fine with me. I still had not decided where to assign you anyway. Ask Gu Hai if he agrees first.” Long Wanqing did not mind.
“This humble one is happy to work with Commander Gao. Why would I reject?” Gu Hai immediately said with a smile.
“Mister Gu, no, Division Master Gu, please stop teasing me. Just call me Little Gao! It is my honor to follow Division Master Gu!” Gao Xianzhi said with joy as he went down on his knees.
“Alright. Mister Gao is too polite!” Gu Hai helped Gao Xianzhi stand up.
“Since it’s all settled, let’s go with this. Gu Hai, we will depart three days later. I’ll give you three days to manage your affairs!” Long Wanqing said with a frown.
“Yes. Many thanks, Hall Master!” Gu Hai nodded.
Then, Gu Hai left the hall with Gao Xianzhi trailing him.
The people from the Clear River Sect and First Song Sect looked in Gu Hai’s direction with expressions of envy.
After everyone said their goodbyes, only Long Wanqing and Venerable Liu Nian remained in the hall.
Long Wanqing continued frowning heavily, clearly feeling frustrated over her earlier rash words.
“Hall Master, are you regretting installing Gu Hai as a division master?” Venerable Liu Nian asked with a smile.
“I got too cocky. Since I already made that promise, let it be, then. I only worry that he cannot manage…” Long Wanqing said with a frown.
“To outsiders, Elite Hall appears united. Although Hall Master just succeeded Elite Hall, you should be able to see the internal problems. Although this Gu Hai’s cultivation is weak, he is not a pushover.” Venerable Liu Nian smiled.
“Perhaps this Gu Hai can help you stir up the stagnant Elite Hall. Let him go against those old fellows and help you fully grasp Elite Hall,” Venerable Liu Nian said gravely.