Chapter 21 - The Ascendant Hall And Long Wanqing
Within a room of an inn, inside the Song Capital...
Having washed in the bathtub a few times, Gu Hai finally cleaned up the filth expelled from his body completely. When he took a look in the mirror, a sliver of shock crossed his face.
"Is this how I looked like in my prime?" Gu Hai touched his face in excitement.
All the wrinkles on his face had disappeared completely. And in place of white hair, new hairs had grown and they were completely black.
All his muscles had clear and distinct edges, he looked more perfect than the bodybuilders that he had seen on television when he was on earth. Underneath his bronze skin, his body was full of exuberant vitality. Gu Hai looked to be in his thirties.
He looked as young as he could ever be; his entire body has become younger. The only thing that didn't change was his eyes, which were still as deep as a lake.
"First level of Xiantian Stage? I finally broke through. Xian'er, I am one step closer to avenging you!" Gu Hai's face flashed with a grim look.
After a while, he calmed down. After putting on some clothes, Gu Hai opened the door.
Much to his surprise, two acquaintances stood at the entrance; Chen Tianshan and Chen Lianyi.
"Uncle Gu, you have become young?" Chen Lianyi's eyes lit up.
"Have you captured the Song Capital?" Gu Hai glanced at Chen Lianyi.
"Yes, thank you very much, Uncle Gu, thank you very much!" At this moment, Chen Lianyi sincerely gave him a salute.
Gu Hai nodded.
"The Hall Lord is already waiting for you at the main hall, let's talk after everything is dealt with!" Chen Tianshan said with a smile.
Gu Hai nodded again, and followed Chen Tianshan to the main hall.
Inside the main hall, the girl who was sitting in the main position was playing Weiqi with Grandmaster Liunian, while the rest stood at one side. Gao Xianzhi was also stood at the end of everyone. As Gu Hai entered the hall, everyone looked at him at the same time.
When the Clear River Sect Chief looked at Gu Hai, he wasn’t as happy as he was in the beginning, but rather had a resentful look about him. After all, he had wasted a lot of spirit stones because of this freak.
"Supreme immortal, thank you!" Gu Hai respectfully bent down towards the Lady Hall Lord and said.
"Supreme immortal? Ha, I'm not a supreme immortal. Mister Gu, why are you thanking me?" the girl smiled and said.
"Gu Hai will always remember this grace. If not for supreme immortal, This Lowly One would just be a dead old man and would never have returned to his prime days!" Gu Hai said after taking a long, deep breath
The Clear River Sect Chief standing on the sidelines had a sullen look; nevertheless, he didn't do anything. Gu Hai was giving credit to the girl, but the Chief also didn't have any intentions of stealing the credit.
"Alright, since you are grateful to me, I will also not be polite. Immediately follow us, because of you, we have been delayed for a long time!" the girl bluntly said.
"Oh?" Gu Hai was slightly surprised.
"You, along with Gao Xianzhi as well as Chen Tianshan of Clear River Sect and Song Qingshu of Song Jia Sect will join my Ascendant Hall! I am the Hall Lord and from now on, you will work for me!" the girl directly said.
"Ascendant Hall? Hall Lord?" Gu Hai's eyebrows twitched.
"Gu Hai, you're lucky, Hall Lord happens to have taken a fancy to you. Why are you still not thanking her!?" the Clear River Sect Chief said in a solemn tone.
Gu Hai, on the other hand, looked at the girl with a frown.
"Ascendant Hall? I wonder if supreme immortal could clear my doubts?" Gu Hai said as he once again bent down his body.
"Hahaha, kid, when everyone hears of joining the Ascendant Hall, they will be overjoyed. And you have the nerve to be picky?" the Song Jia Sect Chief suddenly sneered.
"This Lowly One doesn't have the qualifications to pick and choose, it's just that This Lowly One is a mortal who is ignorant of the world. This Lowly One is afraid that he will be incompetent and shame the supreme immortal!" Gu Hai said gingerly.
"You won’t go as far as to throw my face; even though your cultivation is low, you are pretty intelligent. Everything will be alright. In the sea of thousand islands, all the sects will feel honored to join my Ascendant Hall, and the salary is unbelievable too. And my Ascendant Hall is superior!" the Lady Hall Lord said solemnly.
"Oh?" Gu Hai seemed to have been moved. He looked to the Clear River Sect Chief.
Clear River Sect Chief coldly smiled and said, "Hall Lord has taken a fancy to you, I dared not accept you. I can honor my promise and give you Xiantian Stage cultivation exercise, but how can my exercise compare with the exercise of Ascendant Hall? Gu Hai, Hall Lord has taken a fancy to your talent and it's your good fortune!"
"Mister Gu, why are you hesitating?" Gao Xianzhi who was standing nearby said with a wry smile.
G.o.d knows why Gu Hai is hesitating? How can he consider so much when such a good opportunity is in front of him?
Gu Hai looked at everyone.
The congregation of Clear River Sect disciples and Song Jia Sect disciples looked at Gu Hai with a look of jealousy in their eyes, the Lady Hall Lord projected confidence, whereas Chen Tianshan continuously indicated with his eyes that Gu Hai should accept. The middle-aged and handsome Buddhist monk behind the girl, on the other hand, had an uninterested att.i.tude; he was counting the beads in his hand as though he was silently chanting.
"Supreme immortal, I wonder what constraints I will be bound with, if I enter the Ascendant Hall? What will be forbidden?" Nevertheless, Gu Hai looked at the Lady Hall Lord with an earnest look.
Everyone looked at Gu Hai, perplexed. You are just a mortal, yet you dare to talk about conditions with the Hall Lord? Is there something wrong with your head? The gap between you is like heaven and earth. It is like a king accepted a beggar as a courtier, yet the beggar is actually being picky.
"Constraints? It's simple, you must not betray Ascendant Hall and listen to me, that's all! And also, you have no choice!" the girl smiled confidently.
Gu Hai smiled bitterly and nodded.
"If that's the case, Gu Hai is pleased to meet Hall Lord. I only hope that Hall Lord can fulfill their promise. From now on, This Lowly One will be at Hall Lord's command!" Gu Hai said as he bent down earnestly.
"Oh?" Everyone was taken by some surprise.
So from the beginning, Gu Hai asked so much just for this. At the Hall Lord's command? If it is anyone else, then you won’t obey?
"Hahaha, alright, if you do well, I don't mind giving you that privilege! Remember, my name is Long Wanqing!" the Lady Hall Lord said as she burst into laughter.
"Thank you, Hall Lord!" Gu Hai smiled.
"Grandmaster, what do you think, which Throne would be best for Gu Hai to join my Ascendant Hall?" The girl looked towards Grandmaster Liunian at her side.
Grandmaster Liunian seemed to have suddenly woken up. He looked at Gu Hai as he stopped his bead-counting.
"Ascendant Hall is divided into metal, wood, water, fire, and earth, five Thrones. Since Hall Lord has promised him the privilege of only being at the Hall Lord’s command, naturally, only the five Throne Masters are qualified. It just so happens, the position of Water Throne Master is vacant. How about letting Gu Hai be the Water Throne Master?" Grandmaster Liunian said.
"What?!" Everyone's expressions suddenly changed as they looked at Grandmaster Liunian in astonishment.
"Hall Lord, don't! Though Gu Hai is somewhat capable, if he became a Throne Master just after joining the Ascendant Hall, it would be contrary to custom. What would others think of Ascendant Hall?" the Clear River Sect Chief's spoke out as his eyebrows twitched with envy.
"That's right, Hall Lord, please think again. Although my Song Jia Sect is just a va.s.sal of Ascendant Hall and has not entered the core of Ascendant Hall, he is just a Xiantian Stage brat. We are not sure as to what end he can cultivate, and you want to make him the Master of a Throne? How will you convince the public?" The Song Jia Sect Chief’s complexion had also changed.
At this moment, Long Wanqing also looked at Grandmaster Liunian with a frown. Obviously, she also thought that this reward was a bit over the top.
"Grandmaster, why do you recommend him as a Throne Master?" Long Wanqing frowned and said.
Grandmaster Liunian shook his head and said, "It’s not that I want to recommend him as a Throne Master. His strength is simply insufficient to compete for the position of Throne Master. Furthermore, countless members of the Ascendant Hall are eyeing that position, and Gu Hai is not in the position to forcibly occupy it. I just wanted to tell Hall Lord that you are already not as you once were. From the moment you succeeded the Ascendant Hall, your words and deeds have been magnified numerous times. All the disciples of Ascendant Hall are looking at you, and not only the Ascendant Hall, the people from other forces are waiting for you to make a joke of yourself, waiting for you to personally destroy the brand of Ascendant Hall!"
"En?" The girl's eyebrows twitched.
"There is a saying: the king's words are to be taken seriously. The same is true for you today. In your position, you must be cautious in word and deed. Every word should be carefully spoken. You have promised Gu Hai that he would be at your command alone once he joins the Ascendant Hall, and there are only two positions where that is possible; the first is a Throne Master, and the second is if he becomes a guest like me! Hall Lord, it's your decision!" Grandmaster Liunian said calmly.
Long Wanqing's eyebrows twitched as her eyes flickered with complex emotions.
The crowd dared not talk too much after they heard Grandmaster Liunian's words
Long Wanqing's expression changed for a bit before finally looking at Gu Hai again.
"Gu Hai, from now on, you are the Water Throne Master of my Ascendant Hall! This is your token, and in the future, you only have to listen to me!" Long Wanqing stated solemnly as she took out a purple token.
Gu Hai glanced at Long Wanqing. He had never imagined that the Ascendant Hall would have so many rules and regulations.
Although he didn't know what being the Water Throne Master meant, from the dialogue, it was not that hard to guess what its privileges were. At this moment, there was no room for him to refuse.
"Yes, thank you, Hall Lord. Gu Hai will never betray Hall Lord's trust!" Gu Hai swore earnestly.
Gu Hai slowly took the purple token under everyone’s jealous gazes. The token was not carved from wood or forged from metal. Engraved upon it was a drop of water.
"Bleed upon it!" Long Wanqing ordered, frowning.
Gu Hai nodded and found a needle before p.r.i.c.king his finger to draw blood.
The purple token slightly trembled before it released a flash of purple light, and entered Gu Hai's body thereafter. The purple token linked with Gu Hai's mind in the blink of an eye. Suddenly, Gu Hai felt a thirty meters cubed s.p.a.ce within in the token, inside of which there were ten purple spirit stones and a bamboo slip.
"What is this?" Gu Hai was surprised.
"Now that you have taken this token, you are the Master of the Water Throne of Ascendant Hall from now on! Do not disappoint me!" Long Wanqing said in a heavy tone.
"I'll do my best!" Gu Hai nodded.
The Clear River Sect Chief's face was laced with a dazed expression as he looked at Gu Hai. He had been unhappy when regarding Gu Hai earlier. Now, the situation was completely different. Gu Hai had become a Throne Master of Ascendant Hall, and his status was completely unlike before.
"Congratulations, Throne Master Gu! I previously promised you that you could enter my Clear Water Sect and teach. But now, I won't have the opportunity to fulfill my promise. Throne Master Gu, I wonder what do you want? As long as it is within my reach, I will do everything to fulfill it. Think of it as a small token of my regret!" the Clear River Sect Chief said with a smile.
"I've already been very grateful to Clear River Sect Chief for helping me break through. It is just that I have to immediately leave. Hall Lord, my Gu Mansion...!"
"Master Gu, please rest a.s.sured. No one will dare to make a move on them. All the territory under the Tiger Cage Pa.s.s which used to managed by the Chen Kingdom will now be under the jurisdiction of Gu Mansion. You can come back anytime!" the Clear River Sect Chief said with certainty.
"Thank you!" Gu Hai bowed ever so slightly, as was proper now that he was of higher rank.
"Hall Lord, can This Lowly One be a.s.signed under Throne Master Gu?" spoke up Gao Xianzhi suddenly from the sidelines.
"Oh?" Long Wanqing's eyes flickered with curiosity.
"This Lowly One has limited ability and hopes to follow Throne Master Gu to learn whatever possible!" Gao Xianzhi said in an earnest tone.
"All right, I still haven't decided where to a.s.sign you. You can ask Gu Hai whether or not he will agree!" Long Wanqing did not mind at all.
"Commander Gao, This Lowly One had long been interested in working together with you. How could I disagree?" Gu Hai immediately replied with a smile.
"Mister Gu, no, Throne Master Gu, you should not make fun of This Lowly One, please call me Little Gao! It would be This Lowly One's honor to follow Throne Master Gu!" Gao Xianzhi happily kowtowed and answered.
"Okay, Mister Gao you're being too courteous!" Gu Hai immediately lifted Gao Xianzhi back up.
"If that's the case, so be it! Gu Hai, we will leave after three days, I will give you three days to handle all your business!" Long Wanqing frowned and said.
"Thank you, Hall Lord!" Gu Hai nodded.
Gu Hai made his way out of the main hall, followed by Gao Xianzhi.
A look of envy appeared in the eyes of the people of the Clear River and Song Jia Sects as they looked after Gu Hai.
After everyone bid farewell, only Long Wanqing and Grandmaster Liunian remained in the main hall.
Long Wanqing locked her expression into a frown. She believed she had been rash and somewhat agitated a moment ago.
"Hall Lord, do you regret a.s.signing Gi Hai to that post?" Grandmaster Liunian asked as he laughed.
"I am too proud. Since I promised, let's forget it! I just worry that he is not qualified...!" Long Wanqing frowned harder.
"In the eyes of the public, the Ascendant Hall seems to be at peace. Hall Lord, although you have just succeeded to your position, you should be able to see the internal problems. Although this Gu Hai's cultivation is low, he is not good to mess with!" Grandmaster Liunian explained with a laugh.
"This Gu Hai may be able to help you churn the stagnant pool that is the Ascendant Hall. Just let him fight with a few of the old men, and he will help you completely grasp the Ascendant Hall!" Grandmaster Liunian declared solemnly.