Slanted Eye did not believe there would be people in the Evernorth region that would not fawn when they heard the name Frostcloud Sect. He looked at Jing Yue triumphantly, eyes full of scorn.
Jing Yue raised an eyebrow. So, he was a disciple of the Frostcloud Sect, most probably from the outer gates at that.
His appointment as the patriarch was only made known to the summit leaders, which only included the Amethyst Abode cultivators and above, so it was not unusual if Slanted Eye did not recognize him.
Jing Yue, “The Frostcloud Sect has to be reasonable too.”
Seeing the young boy’s indignation, the stall owner was worried that Slanted Eye would get angry, so he hurriedly advised, “Little brother, why don’t you take a walk around, maybe other vendors are selling the golden crocodile too.”
Despite saying that, he was also quite certain he was the only stall in the whole street selling it. He paid a lot of money for the few crocodiles and specially invited a few Qi Refining cultivators to help him capture it, and now he could only curse his bad luck.
Jing Yue, “I’ve walked around for a long time before finding it here. Besides, I’m only buying two. Don’t tell me you’re really selling everything to him for one spirit-stone?”
“Two? You can’t even have one!” Slanted Eye said. “Talking to me about being reasonable? I make the rules here. Get lost!”
Jing Yue stood motionless while blue phoenix squawked excitedly, “Here it comes! Here it comes! The classic cannon fodder who knows nothing about power battle is here! Well done, Jing-jing! I’m crazily rooting for you!”
Jing Yue, “…” What the hell? Don’t understand.
Slanted Eye did not disappoint the blue phoenix. Instead of getting angry, he laughed, “Very well.”
He raised his hand and beckoned to the people behind him, “Go on! I’ll be responsible for any death or disablement!”
Needless to say, death and disablement did not happen to Jing Yue.
When Slanted Eye saw his juniors sprawled on the ground groaning in pain, he was shocked and furious. Even if the people he brought with him had not guided Qi into their bodies yet, at the worst they were at the later stage of Body Forging, and yet, all of them lost to a boy to the point they could not even fight back?
It seemed that the opponent was not an ordinary person. Maybe, he could even be a highly esteemed disciple from other renowned sects!
Slanted Eye reined in his contempt, but he was still unafraid. He had just attained Level 1 Qi Refining and was now regarded as a rising star in the outer gates!
The next moment, Slanted Eye took out a hammer, struck a pose and shouted, “Brat, where do you think you’re going!”
Jing Yue: ??
Slanted Eye unleashed his spiritual energy and the hammer he controlled flew up in the air, spinning faster and faster before it was launched at Jing Yue like a spinning top.
Seeing that the young boy was about to be reduced to mincemeat, many onlookers that were hiding not too far away covered their eyes in distress.
A wail like a pig squealing was heard, but the sound did not seem to be produced by the young boy.
The stall owner peeked through his fingers curiously and was just in time to see Slanted Eye crashing to the ground next to him, followed by the hammer smashing right between his legs, less than an inch from the critical point.
The stall owner felt a tightening in his lower body.
Slanted Eye sat on the ground in a daze. How did he get thrown over here?
The sound of laughter brought him back to his senses. Slanted Eye turned around and saw the stall owner trying his best to contain his laughter. Many people on the street also stole glances at him, their eyes full of glee at his misfortune.
Slanted Eye felt the flames in his heart burning. How dare this bunch of lowly mortals laugh at him? In his fury, he picked his hammer and jumped up. The hammer smashed into the cage holding the Golden Crocodile beast.
“All of you will die!” He smiled menacingly.
The golden crocodile beast suddenly got its freedom and started struggling fiercely. Although it had been drugged, the restraint from the cage was destroyed and it could still rely on its powerful body.
Very quickly, it broke through the confines of the cage and instinctively dashed towards the stall owner who it harbored the most resentment.
The crowd fled in panic while the targeted stall owner was so frightened that he was paralyzed on the ground. Just as he was about to fall prey to the crocodile’s jaws, a small figure stood in front of him.
Jing Yue punched the beast’s head and the golden crocodile fainted, foaming at its mouth.
Everyone was astounded by that supernatural display.
Slanted Eye was stunned on the spot. He saw the boy looking at him, dark eyes staring straight at him, and he felt chills all over him as if his blood had frozen.
At that moment, the pressure that leaked from the opponent almost deceived him into thinking that he was facing a Golden Core cultivator, or someone even stronger!
No, it must be an illusion!
However, in the next moment, he felt pain between his eyebrows and the world turned blood red.
Vaguely, he heard an icy voice, “You deserve to die!”
Then, his world fell into complete silence.
The entire street went quiet, everyone staring at Jing Yue’s sword dripping with blood.
That boy… just killed someone from Frostcloud Sect?
“You, you, you…!”
The rest of the disciples that were defeated by Jing Yue some time ago stared at him incredulously. In Frore City, someone dared to kill a disciple of Frostcloud Sect?
They were about to utter some threatening words, but at Jing Yue’s dark look, everyone’s throat seemed to be stuffed with cotton.
They stood up with great difficulty and scurried away frantically, not even bothering to collect Slanted Eye’s body.
It would never be too late to take revenge! Brat, just wait!
Those people vowed silently in their hearts.
After they left, the scene resumed its stifling silence.
Blue phoenix, which flew away just now, landed next to Jing Yue’s feet and pecked him carefully.
The blue phoenix was scared. Ever since it followed Jing Yue, it had never seen him so angry, not even when it recited the little porn story.
Jing Yue lowered his head to glance at the blue phoenix before slowly sheathing his sword.
Of course he was furious. Although he had noticed something off with Frostcloud Sect before, he had only assumed it was because the sect was eager to accept more disciples rather than focusing on the test of character. However, looking at the attitude and actions of those people just now, he could no longer deceive himself.
The disciples of Frostcloud Sect had changed. They were bullies, despise human life, hostile, and knew no boundaries…
When he founded the Frostcloud Sect back then, he was already deeply connected with the sect. All the merits and causality would affect him directly!
In the cultivation world, life and death were commonplace. Even for a righteous sect, they could never claim that their disciples never did any evil, or never planted any misdeeds. On Heaven’s Dao, however, everything must be balanced, and everything had a limit, otherwise, there would be a backlash.
If Frostcloud Sect continued to degenerate in this manner, it was likely to hinder his chance to attain Dao!
Those who stood in his way must die!
That day, after returning to the sect, Jing Yue headed directly to Bluecloud Summit.
Wei Tianli was very happy when he saw Jing Yue, thinking that the patriarch was there to show him some pointers again. When Jing Yue told him about his encounter, however, his good mood was quickly replaced by anger.
“A disciple of the outer gates dares to behave in such a manner!”
Even so, after saying that, he became solemnly quiet.
Jing Yue did not speak either, waiting for Wei Tianli’s explanation.
“For nearly a thousand years, the disciples of the outer gates had been fiercely competitive. Sometimes, they’d even resort to underhanded methods, their temperament not as good as it used to be,” Wei Tianli said tentatively. “I’ve known about it ever since I’ve attained the Golden Core stage.”
Jing Yue was baffled, “And you just let it happen without doing anything?”
Wei Tianli, “Not exactly. It’s just that the root cause of this problem involves the dispute between the factions, and we can’t change some things without shaking the entire foundation.”
Jing Yue could not hold back his laughter, “Faction disputes in Frostcloud Sect? Don’t they belong to the same sect, sharing glory and disgrace equally?”
Wei Tianli smiled bitterly before he started to explain the situation to Jing Yue.
As it turned out, in the past thousands of years, the disciples of Frostcloud Sect mainly came from three different channels.
Firstly, when the Golden Core Zhenren went down the mountain for travels, they would keep an eye out for talents. When the time came for the sect to open its doors, the Zhenren would send someone to invite them into the sect. Once the scouted talents attained Foundation Establishment, they would automatically become the primary disciple of the Zhenren who scouted them.
Secondly, there were talents nominated by the various cultivation families.
And lastly, civilian cultivators with no background and entered the sect by going through the sect selection process.
Unknowingly, these three groups of disciples gradually formed factions, namely the Primary faction, the Noble faction, and the Civilian faction. Among them, the Primary faction had the strongest backing, the Noble faction had the widest connections, and the Civilian faction had the largest number of people. No faction could suppress another faction.
Although Frostcloud Sect is a large sect, the cultivation resources were limited. To compete for resources, the three factions were peaceful on the surface but hostile in reality.
Jing Yue frowned, “Are the Golden Core Zhenren involved in the struggle?”
Wei Tianli, “No, mainly between the core disciples at Foundation Establishment stage, and also the disciples between the inner and outer gates. But the problem is, the origins of the Golden Core Zhenren cannot be separated from the three factions. When necessary, they’ll still support their respective factions.”
Jing Yue, “I see.”
He finally understood. For a sect to be strong for the time being, it depended on the cultivation level of the strongest person of the sect. However, for a sect to be strong in the long run, it depended on the overall strengths of the Golden Core cultivators and the core disciples. The stronger they were, the greater the power reserves of the sect. In other words, they form the foundation of Frostcloud Sect.
And that was also the reason Wei Tianli mentioned that they could not impose changes without shaking the entire foundation.
Wei Tianli, “Initially, the elders at that time didn’t take things to heart. When they realized something was wrong, the three factions have already established their grounds. The previous sect leader thought that since the path of Dao is full of perils and the rivalry in the cultivation world is extremely cruel, it might not be a bad thing to expose them to a sense of competition earlier.”
He sighed heavily, “But no one predicted that the competition between the factions would intensify. By the time we wanted to intervene, the influence of the three factions is too widely spread. For the stability of the sect, we had to plan carefully, so it was delayed until now…”
Jing Yue, “All of you were too indecisive. You’ve missed the chance to strike at the golden opportune moment and now we’re all subjected to chaos. If you’ve dealt with the source at all costs at that time, we’d not be in such a dilemma now.”
Seeing Wei Tianli’s bitter smile, he continued, “Besides, what sort of competition is this? The disciples have developed such dispositions and you still hope for them to achieve immortality? It’s no wonder the Frostcloud Sect has produced so few Amethyst Abode cultivators in the past thousand years. All their energy was spent fighting each other, so how could they cultivate? How many sects have fallen because of in-fighting in the past? If this continues, Frostcloud Sect will be in grave danger!”
Wei Tianli felt sweat on his forehead when he heard those words.
Yes, only a few cultivators achieved the Amethyst Abode stage in Frostcloud Sect in the past thousand years, far below Sword Inscription Sect, and even inferior to some secondary sects. They were baffled about the abnormality, but no one connected it to the internal faction struggles.
If they failed to groom any successors now, by the time the current patriarchs were to ascend or perish, would that signify the end of Frostcloud Sect?
He immediately said anxiously, “This disciple will summon all the elders to discuss this matter at once!”
Jing Yue stopped him.
“No, I’ll handle this matter personally.”