Chapter 204 – Position
Zhao Ning stood by before taking a step forward and bowing. “Free Cloud Sect mustn’t go without a leader, even for a single day. Since the Sect Leader has handed out his authority, and the Patriarchs have given their consent, let’s not delay anymore and do what’s best for Free Cloud Sect. You should hurry and assume the position.”
Pei Zi Yun was obviously hesitating. Seeing that Pei Zi Yun looked unsure, Zhang Yun chimed in, “Junior brother, when it comes to fighting skills, there’s nobody better than you. When it comes to contributions to the Sect, nobody can come close as well. What are you hesitating for at this point?”
“Zi Yun, since you’re the disciple who herited Sect Leader’s leadership, and the Patriarchs have granted their approval, you should assume the new position quickly. Since today is already too late, you should start tomorrow.” Yu Yun Jun spoke out.
The pair of Core Elders had already spoken out. Pei Zi Yun stood there and replied, “Since master says so, I cannot disobey.”
Chu Xia who had been standing on the side revealed a smile, “Looks like I have a junior brother who’s a Sect Leader now.”
The minute Chu Xia’s words landed, the entire hall turned silent.
“Tomorrow, we will gather all the remaining disciples for you to inherit your position.” Zhao Ning sais.
“I’m not well versed in such matters and will need the assistance of senior uncle and master.” Pei Zi Yun spoke out. “I was also thinking, there are several pressing matters we need to handle.”
“First is dealing with the matter of the old sect leader, can you say that his body had been unstable for a few years. That the old sect leader said that he hasn’t been well these past few days, and that being unable to stand up was a bad omen, making him dispirited?”
Zhao Ning understood. This was to write a note to the Imperial Court to inform them of his death. This was part of the rules and customs. Of course they wouldn’t mention that he died while fighting. Instead, they would say his health had been steadily declining over time and that he had lived out his natural course of life.
“As for the many corpses of our fallen disciples, we should quickly find a way to resolve that issue. The weather is getting hotter which will speed up decomposition. Senior brother Zhang!”
“I don’t dare to be your senior brother. What other instructions do you have for me?” Zhang Yin hurried replied.
“We are facing a severe lack of men and resources. This truth cannot be hidden. Stop delaying and take several disciples down the mountain to purchase some coffins for our fallen brothers. We should also buy some funeral rite items.”
“Don’t involve any outsiders in this matter.”
“Also, find a good doctor and buy sufficient medicinal supplies from him.”
When Zhang Yun heard all these, he paused in shock and Zhao Ning sighed subtly. Such matters were supposed to be arranged by himself but Pei Zi Yun handled it so perfectly and effortlessly. Thinking this way, he then turned to Zhang Yun and spoke out, “Sect Leader has issued his orders, why haven’t you moved?”
Since he referred to Pei Zi Yun as Sect Leader, Zhang Yun immediately regained his senses and hurriedly acknowledged. He then gathered some men and brought them out of the mountain.
Four hours later, the entire stronghold of Free Cloud Sect had white silk curtains being hung up as the bells chimed. Nine rings of the bell rang out, as birds around the nearby forests squeaked in shock and scattered.
Just in front of Free Cloud Sect’s monastery, many Daoists had gathered and changed into their ceremony robes. Seventy one coffins filled the entire square and brought an atmosphere of sorrow and depression.
The main hall which used to keep hundreds of Fate Lanterns now saw more than half being extinguished. There were a small number of lanterns which still flickered weakly, and dozens of new memorial tablets were added to the shelves.
Pei Zi Yun stood there and pondered for a long time before walking out.
Next day, Patriarch’s Hall
There were still an abundance of cracks on the statue, but the restoration was not of utmost importance at this point. The atmosphere within the hall was solemn as the disciples were all dressed in white robes. Pei Zi Yun stood there wordlessly.
Zhao Ning stood in front of the hall and cast a glance at everyone before speaking, “Our sect was supposed to collapse and be destroyed after the devastating attack by Dark Altar Sect. Thankfully our losses were not as grave as anticipated. With the timely Sect Leader succession and the approval of the Patriarchs, the sixth generation’s Sect Leader position will be handed to Pei Zi Yun. If anyone here objects, you can raise your objections here now.”
The minute Zhao Ning said this, everyone looked at each other before responding unanimously, “We have no objections.”
Seeing the disciples standing in rows, memories from the original owner assaulted Pei Zi Yun’s senses. He took some time to collect himself before speaking out, “Dark Altar Sect killed our disciples and attacked our Paradise. They are our top enemy. We have to avenge our fallen disciples, and take revenge on our enemies.”
“Revenge, revenge!” All the disciples around started shouting out in unison. All these disciples had lost their fellow brothers and masters. They were full of hatred for Dark Altar Sect and were itching for revenge.
Pei Zi Yun then retrieved his Sect Leader’s tile as he knelt down before the Patriarch’s statue and shouted out loudly, “Disciple Pei Zi Yun hereby accepts the position of sect leader. I promise to bring the sect to greater heights and take revenge on behalf of our sect.”
As soon as Pei Zi Yun finished speaking he kowtowed once. The second he was done, the Patriarch’s statue lit up with a ray of energy. A shadow then emerged from it and pointed at Pei Zi Yun. This caused the ray of light to emanate from the shadow as it fused into the Sect Leader tile.
The Sect Leader tile immediately absorbed the powers as it directed the flow of energy into Pei Zi Yun’s mind. The minute the powers were being assimilated by Pei Zi Yun, his Yin Master form absorbed all of it.
Everything around seemed to disappear as Pei Zi Yun was thrown into darkness. He stood still and quiet, his eyes started to glow a deep red.
Spots of red light seemed to light up around gradually until the entire area around turned red. He then noticed a plot of land in front of him, which looked to be the opening to heaven. The ray of red light here was particularly weak, although it still existed.
At this point, Pei Zi Yun trembled as it seemed like his entire soul was being linked with Paradise. It felt like a hundred years had came and went in a flash. A single thread of spiritual energy was being extracted from Paradise as it transformed into a single drop of dew. This drop of dew trickled down into Pei Zi Yun’s soul. Following that, a sensation as if he was omnipotent overtook him, and entered his heart.
His Yin Master form started to grow rapidly, causing his consciousness and perception to develop along with it. When he finally opened his eyes, a certain warmth descended down upon him, like a sweet and warm bubble which enveloped him, rejuvenating his soul endlessly.
Everything in his vision turned crystal clear as the ground beneath his feet turned stable. Slightly further up was a landscape which resembled a desert. He could see plains and fields in another direction. ‘So this was Paradise.’ Although the entire Paradise looked somewhat damaged as spiritual energy leaked out incessantly.
There was a town in Paradise, with all the houses being destroyed and overturned. A certain feeling of sadness and sorrow overtook his senses. All of a sudden, some information flooded his mind, which gave him some understanding immediately.
‘More than half of the ancient Patriarchs perished in this war and our True Sovereign needs to enter deep meditation to recover. The rest of the Yin Masters are gravely injured but still have to repair Paradise without rest.’
Within the largest crack in Paradise, a certain gale of evil wind blew across. A strange looking monster was trying to claw his way through the crack and attempted to gain entry into Paradise. A beam of spiritual light shone down upon it, causing it to disintegrate almost instantly.
“If this is Paradise, what happened to the sect’s stronghold?” Pei Zi Yun thought to himself. The Sect Leader’s tile emitted a powerful wave of energy which floated above Free Cloud Sect and hovered around.
When Pei Zi Yun looked across, he saw that the entire Sect stronghold was covered with dust and smog. While a thin layer of red energy hovering just above the ground and was leaking out.
At the next moment, Pei Zi Yun regained his senses. He realized he was still standing beneath the Patriarch’s statue and all the images had disappeared.
“Please take your place.”
Zhao Ning personally escorted him to the Sect Leader seat before backing away. Zhao Ning and Yu Yun Jun then stood on his left and right. Apart from the deceased disciples which they had sent off earlier, all the remaining disciples had injuries as well. In that instant, everyone fell to their knees, “Disciples pay our respects to Sect Leader.”
As soon as this was done, the authority and position was cemented. A Plum Blossom appeared before his eyes and it increased in speed and size until it became a transparent information interface with faint light perception. It floated in the background, with all the necessary figures and numbers before him.
“Mission : Rescue Free Cloud Sect and become the Sect Leader (Completed)”
Since he was under the watchful eyes of everyone around, it wasn’t appropriate for him to tap the mission and conclude it. He thus draped his mourning robes on as the entire group of people proceeded to the burial grounds. Seventy one coffins had to be shifted to the burial place, which took an entire day to get done.
On the third day, the Fate Lanterns of the deceased were lit up for the last time and were destroyed on the fourth day. After that everything returned to normal. Pei Zi Yun returned to the monastery and saw that the disciples had resumed their night lessons. Although the numbers had dwindled exponentially, the bells still chimed and the dozen disciples started chanting their mantras.
Pei Zi yun didn’t interrupt or impose on them. He sat on his mattress and tapped his mission to completion when he realized that nobody else was around. Instantly, a transparent shadow of a Plum Blossom appeared on his forehead. A petal which was yellow but transparent was now opaque and deep yellow. Three petals had been completed. Soon after it faded away.
Looking once again at the information interface, he saw the words, “Yin master: Level 2 (1.3% Completed)”
He then sighed, ‘After obtaining the Sect Leader’s tile and being impacted by the dew, I gained a level.’
‘I can feel my prestige level rising gradually as well.’
He then thought about the images he saw on the day he took the position of a Sect Leader. He recalled how the entire monastery was covered with massive swarms of dark energy. He then sighed, ‘It seems like we’ve exhausted the amount of good fortunes stored up during this battle.’
‘It seems like Free Cloud Sect is currently in danger of toppling. I have to think of a way to ensure that the sect remains strong.’
With this thought in mind, the transparent information interface lit up, bringing along a new mission.
“Mission : Dispel the dangers surrounding Free Cloud Sect and receive the Dao Master title.”
‘Indeed, the system has issued a new mission.’
‘In order for the dangers surrounding the sect to be dispelled, Elder Zhao would have to straighten some things out before we can proceed.”’Pei Zi Yun thought and smiled.
Before long, Zhao Ning knocked on the door and entered to see Pei Zi Yun having his meal. He was having a simple course of two dishes and a soup.
“Elder Zhao please take a seat!” Pei Zi Yun was eating plain rice at this point and he said, “I know everyone is busy now. Please get to the point!”
Zhao Ning thus started saying everything he needed to say. It took the half a meal time before he could succinctly explain everything.
At this point, Pei Zi Yun was done with his meal and he listened quietly. When he finished listening he sighed and took several steps. Before long he replied, “Of the issues you’ve mentioned, the most important would be to sort out our storage vault. The entire Free Cloud Sect has 9,400 taels of silver.”
“At this time, our disciples’ status are extremely unstable.”
“Our tenants and suppliers are extremely unstable at this time as well, is that right?”
“This is an easy problem to solve.” Pei Zi Yun straightened as he spoke gently, “Let’s deal with them one by one.”
“Firstly, compensation. Seventy one disciples have perished. We shall split them according to true disciples and normal disciples. Issue their families a sum ranging from one hundred taels to thirty taels.”
“Normal disciples don’t cultivate Dao arts and martial arts. Or rather, they cultivate a different sort of unorthodox fighting techniques. Give their families 30 taels.”
“As for those without families, give the silver to the shrine and use this sum to pray for blessings.”
“As for those who have cultivated Dao arts and martial arts, give their families fifty taels to a hundred taels. Likewise, those without families would see the sum given to the shrine as well.”
“As for the remaining disciples, send them out on errands to run. We have plenty to do at this point. The first priority would be to start reconstruction and rebuilding of our buildings and restore the monastery.”
Zhao Ning’s eyes glimmered in hope. He realized Pei Zi Yun had been extremely decisive and even made all the right decisions. Paying out money as compensation was the best way to ease any potential instability or disloyal thoughts between disciples. Getting them to run errands and to rebuild the sect stronghold would also mean they wouldn’t have time for negative thoughts.
“But, isn’t this amount too much? Just by spending on compensation money alone requires up to three thousand taels. We still have to repair the monastery, which would completely deplete our reserves.”
“If we don’t spend on compensation money, how can we appease people?” Pei Zi Yun looked up as he spoke slowly, “Now, all the tenants and suppliers have doubts and uneasy hearts. Someone is intentionally spreading rumours and sowing discord. Another reason is also because we have sustained huge losses. Their faith in us isn’t as strong as it once was.”
“We should act with great fanfare and spend as much as we can now. This would allow merchants and suppliers to buy materials. The tenants would then be able to live as normal. We should give them meat to appease them as well!”
“In doing so, the rumors would eventually die down.”