The group walked towards the teleportation array and teleported to Shiwu Peak. Not long after they arrived at the teleportation array of Shiwu Peak, they saw many others who were coming out of the array as well. All of them carried their own supplies, but they all seemed to be servants of the other three courts.
Chengfeng and the group followed the crowd. After a half an hour hike, they quickly reached the foot of Shiwu Mountain.
This mountain peak was drastically different from the other mountains that Chengfeng had witnessed. The mountains that Chengfeng had gone to before this was full of lush greenery and covered by dense forests as if it was unaffected by the change in seasons, one would call it a land of lush perfection. This mountain, however, was the complete opposite. Once Chengfeng reached this mountain, it was evident that the forests surrounding them were bald, the ground was scattered with dried leaves. The signs of winter were painted across the scenery of Shiwu Mountain.
Not only that, at first glance, this mountain was filled with rocks of jagged shapes and was covered with caves. The entire mountain had been excavated to the point where the twisting path to these caves was very prominent. A conveyor system was even wedged in between the path to transport minerals from the bottom of the mountain. Carts after carts filled with minerals could be seen as they were being transported up and down the mountain.
Chengfeng curiously asked, “Aren’t we going down the cave to mine? Why are these minerals being transported from the top to the bottom of the mountain?”
Su You used his palm to shield the blinding sunlight as he explained, “The top is where we would mine spirit stones, whereas the bottom is where the spirit jade and spirit crystals lie.”
Chengfeng knew magical weapons could not be forged. Instead, they were made by embedding a spirit crystal into a finely crafted weapon because only the spirit crystal could store magical powers. Spirit jades, on the other hand, allowed the weapon to transfer its powers according to the will of its wielder. Despite this, the created magical weapon would still not be considered a genuine magical weapon.
A genuine magical weapon would be one to possess its own conscience, even after leaving the grasp of its wielder. It would be able to engage in battle on its own, there was no need for the owner to control it!
It was magical weapons such as these that would require a process of soul refinement, which was to instil the soul of demons or witches into the weapon. Of course, some used the souls of humans to refine their weapon, but this was a method that would only be used on weapons that do not require them to battle demons nor evil spells.
Only when a soul had been instilled into the weapon and formed a blood bond with its owner, where it would be able to recognise its master, can it become an actual magical weapon.
Chengfeng made a mental note to himself, ‘By the time I go to Cresent Valley once more, I have to catch the soul of a higher levelled demon to instil into my weapon.’
Just as he was thinking to himself, Su You who was beside him curiously asked, “What’s happening on that side?”
Tianjun pointed at a place not far from them and replied, “Right there.”
Chengfeng looked where Tianjun was pointing and saw the entrance of a mine surrounded by a group of people. Like audiences to a brawl, about thirty to forty people gathered around that spot, screaming and shouting could be heard periodically.
Chengfeng glanced at Su You and noticed his facial expression had turned dark. He then curiously walked towards the crowd and squeezed between them, only to find an average-sized man with a fat face brutally beating up a young man dressed as a scholar. These two men were wearing cultivator robes from the same court. However, the young scholar had no stripes on his sleeve, which signified that he was a newly enrolled disciple.
This young man had been beaten up so bad, his face and head were bleeding. He helplessly curled into a ball while both of his hands grabbed onto the fat-faced man’s feet as he cried in agony.
Chengfeng had always been one to step up for the weak, as he witnessed this scene, an uncontrollable fit of rage took over him. As he observed the crowd, he realised all of them were staring at the poor young man with pity in their eyes. However, none of them tried to stand up for him. Chengfeng couldn’t help but grabbed onto Su You and whispered, “Who is this guy?”
Su You replied in a whisper, “This is Shiwu Mountain’s head miner, he is also the servant of Grand Senior Brother Qian Shanxue. His name is Xue Man. Many cultivators like us in Spiritual Mountain Sect are afraid of him. We call him “The Arrogant Bully”. Try your best not to provoke him, for he will definitely take revenge!”
Chengfeng tried to hold in his anger as he pulled the nearest bystander towards him. “If I may ask, how did this young man wrong you, Head Miner Xue?”
This bystander was a petite-sized man, he dared not to look at the scene as he replied, “That’s because he didn’t give the arrogant bully his filial piety fee!”
“What? Filial piety fees?” Chengfeng asked in astonishment, “Why in the world would you need to pay filial piety fees for mining?”
The petite-sized man looked at Chengfeng peculiarly and replied, “If you don’t pay your filial piety fees, no one will let you enter the mines!”
Before they headed to Shiwu Mountain, Su You had already explained this exchange to Chengfeng. He recalled what Su You had told him, “When you go down the mountain to mine, it’s not as simple as taking home everything that you have unearthed. Just like farming, the Sect needs to collect taxes from these mines. The taxes from mining though are burdensome, it’s about 70 percent of what you mine! Which also meant that if you were to dig out 10 spirit jades, you have to pay 7 of these spirit jades to the sect. However, regarding how those 7 spirit jades are split and divided, I wouldn’t know.”
Chengfeng had been messing among the streets since childhood, he was used to seeing the antics of blood-sucking loan sharks. However, he had never seen one with such black-hearted rules!
Were they a cultivation sect or a mob?
Even if this young man had not paid his filial piety fee, there was no need for them to be so brutal! Do they want to beat him to death?
Chengfeng’s rage was burning up, but just as he was about to confront them, Su You quickly held onto Chengfeng’s shoulder. He turned around and saw Su You staring at him as he shook his head slowly.
Chengfeng suddenly thought of the conclusion he made two days ago. He had already made so many enemies in Spiritual Mountain Sect, if he were to also offend Grand Senior Brother Qian Shanxue of Hidden Brocade Court… the result of this impulsive behavior would be unfathomable.
Not to mention, if Grand Senior Sister of Hidden Beauty Court were to see him right now, it would not be a surprise that her first instinct would be to kill him to shut him up. Zhan Qisheng and Huangfu Song from Hidden Brocade Court couldn’t help but want to shred his corpse into pieces as well. For now, it seemed that he had not offended anyone from Hidden Modesty Court yet. But seeing how Hidden Brocade Court and Hidden Beauty Court were ones to follow the orders of their higher-ups, if he offended Hidden Modesty Court and the other two courts were to plan on assassinating him, Hidden Modesty Court would probably be the first one to jump the gun.
Zhou Jieyi from Hidden Modesty Court was one of the best examples!
As Chengfeng recounted the type of people he had offended during his stay in Spiritual Mountain Sect, he realised he was in deep sh*t. If he were to add Hidden Modesty Court’s Grand Senior Brother Qian Shanxue to the list… Even if the Sect Masters were to protect him, he still would not be able to survive through this journey anymore.
Chengfeng took a deep breath and tried to suppress the anger inside of him. He then whispered to Su You, “The money that Head Miner Xue is taking, does it coincide with the rules of the Sect?”
He Zhu froze, but before he could answer, the petite-sized man beside him sneered, “I have already flipped through the entire book of rules, but I have yet to find such a rule.”
Chengfeng glared at Xue Man, his eyes squinted as he asked, “How much does this ‘filial piety fee’ cost?”
The petite man angrily replied, “Fifty-two silvers!”
To Chengfeng, this amount of money was not too much. However, to the average person, this was a formidable payment. Not to mention, almost all the disciples from Hidden Sword Court and Hidden Modesty Court came from poor families!
Chengfeng slightly nodded, “Do your Senior Brothers know about his rule?”
The petite man hesitated for a moment but stayed silent instead.
At this moment, Xue Man was feeling tired from beating up the young man. The young scholar was still hugging his feet tightly, so Xue Man could only bend down to throw him a few punches. He then stood up once more and puffed a few heavy breathes, calling out to his subordinates, “Someone! Come and drag this good for nothing away!”
Two men came from the side and pried the unconscious young man who was still tightly holding onto Xueman’s feet off of him. They then dragged him away from the crowd, leaving behind a trail of blood. It was a terrifying sight to see, the bystanders looked in horror as the scholar was being dragged away.
Xue Man stood in front of the crowd with two hands on his waist, pointing towards the scholar that was being dragged on the ground as he exclaimed, “Look here! This better be a warning to you all! Who dares to defy my rule, you shall end up like that as well! Let this be a lesson!”
As he finished his sentence, he glared at the crowd. His piercing stare warned everyone who stood by, each of those that he stared that dared not to look him in the eye. He was like a beacon of light that no one dared to touch.