Early the next day, Xuan Yuanyu invited Shen Ying to watch the competition with him. Behind him followed several disciples from the Xuan Yuan Family bloodline. Each one of them was courteous. While the patriarch was extra courteous to Shen Ying, the disciples were extra courteous to Yi Qing and Lonemoon. Evidently, each of them from the Xuan Yuan Family feared different people.
At the same time and place as the day before, Shen Ying sat to watch the competition. She was on the highest level of the viewing stand wearing a calm expression on her face. It was the second day of the great competition and the battles were to be carried out in pairs. The top ten fighters would be picked from each cultivation level. There were so many disciples from the four aristocratic families which made it very easy for them to get into the top ten. This was why the patriarchs of the Yu Family and Yin Family were not present. There was much more space on the viewing stands today and Xuan Yuanyu could finally sit down this time.
Apart from the few of them, the patriarch of the Yi Family, Yi Feng, was also present. He was alone and the seats around him were empty.
Shen Ying looked over at him out of curiosity. Yi Feng understood what she was thinking and laughed, saying, "I think Xue Yin is sick. No matter how I persuaded it, it refused to leave the house. I left it in the garden."
"Oh." It's a dog after all.
"Fellow Daoist, you seem to be very interested in spirit beasts."
She nodded. "Yeah, I do kind of like small animals." I like eating them.
"It seems that you, Lady, are very similar to me." Yi Feng smiled. The techniques related to spirit beasts required one to first get familiar with a spirit beast which required a long time. Sometimes, in order to earn the spirit beast's trust, one had to live with it. That explained why few female cultivators enjoyed taming beasts, especially when it came to high-level spirit beasts which looked as terrifying as Xue Yin did. Yi Feng was happy to know that Shen Ying was interested—she was a rare find indeed. "Spirit beasts may look scary, but as you interact with them, you'll find that they're actually more sentimental than humans are. Xue Yin is like that. Once it acknowledges its master, it will follow its master for life. Humans just tend to be superficial. They get scared once they see how scary these beasts look."
"It's not scary," she replied, suddenly thinking of a certain rabbit. "They may be a little timid, but they are incredibly loyal. I like that."
"Hahaha, well said, Lady. Compared to humans, spirit beasts are indeed much more loyal and reliable." It had been a long time since Yi Feng met a female cultivator who liked spirit beasts. Shen Ying also looked like a hidden expert. After a moment, Yi Feng decided that he wanted to get to know her better. "I'm Yi Feng, the patriarch of the Yi Family. May I know how to address you, Lady?"
"Shen Ying," she replied. Then, she thought of something. "I'm the sect master of Invincible Sect."
"Invincible Sect…" Yi Feng hesitated. He fell deep in thought for a while, but he couldn't figure out which sect that was. He shrugged and said, "Fellow Daoist Shen Ying, judging from your restrained Spirit Qi, I'm guessing that you're a hidden expert. In future, if you're interested, we can go to the Mirage Sea Shore to look for high-level spirit beasts together. I heard that there are many spirit beasts you can find there which cannot be found in the Three Azure Realms."
"Really!" Shen Ying exclaimed. "Are they delicious?"
"Huh?" Yi Feng hesitated. What did she mean by delicious? Thinking that she was referring to the training techniques, he said, "The higher the beast's level, the harder it will be to train them. I don't think they will submit to you so easily. Oh right. Fellow Daoist Shen Ying, you look like you know your spirit beasts really well. Do you have any advice on taming high-level beasts, especially those above the tenth-stage?"
"I do!" Shen Ying nodded.
"Really?" Yi Feng was evidently surprised. "What is your advice?"
"Just beat them."
"Huh? Ah!" Yi Feng paused.
She continued seriously, "Small animals don't listen because they're spoilt. They'll listen to you if you beat them into submission. If that doesn't work, you can eat them."
"…" What the hell?
"Master, the competition is over," Yi Qing suddenly said.
Shen Ying realized that the competitions for the Golden Core group and the Foundation Establishment group were over. The competitions had finished up really quickly today. The stage was almost empty and the top ten fighters had already been picked. It was good enough that two people from the Invincible Sect got into the top ten in the Foundation Establishment group, but two people from their sect also got into the top ten for the Golden Core group. One was Yu Hong while the other was Si Yu. Among the nine disciples, four had made it to the finals. This was a pleasant surprise indeed. Lonemoon, who was standing at the side, had a silly grin on his face. He urged Shen Ying to hurry back to their sect.
"Mister, er… Goodbye," Shen Ying quickly ended the small talk and turned around to leave the viewing stands.
"Fellow Daoist Shen Ying, take care," Yi Feng responded dazedly. She was joking about that method right? She must have been…
Four of their disciples had placed among the top ten while two of them had qualified for the finals for the Golden Core group. Lonemoon was the most satisfied of all of them. The past year of training had not gone to waste. Although their training direction had gone off track, the result was still pleasing. He suddenly had renewed faith in the sect.
Thousands of sects had taken part in the competition today, including the four aristocratic families. They were the younger generation of leaders, each one of them trained and nurtured by the people from the aristocratic families. Everybody else who made it to the top ten list, apart from those from the Invincible Sect, were from the aristocratic families. This was only to be expected.
On their way back, Lonemoon noticed that the way people looked at their sect had changed. Some looked at them with jealousy, others with envy, and yet some others with pure shock. No one was looking down on them like they did before. Lonemoon had achieved his marketing goal. He could already imagine the long queue in front of their recruitment stand at Upper Azure Town.
Lonemoon got excited just thinking about this. They were going to make it this time. He was going to make sure that his new disciples would not get distracted by Shen Ying anymore. This time, he was going to train them to become pure Sword Cultivators.
When they returned to the yard, Lonemoon took the time to praise each one of his nine new disciples, especially the four Foundation Establishment disciples, and he also calmed their post-competition nerves.
He had originally thought that the few of them would be excited. Only after he had spent a significant amount of time praising them did he realize that they were not showing any type of response. Their eyes were fixated on Shen Ying as if waiting for her to say something. Even Shen Ying, who was missing a part of her meridians, could tell that they were focused on her. She hesitated before turning around, and then smoothly praised them as well.
"You guys fought well. Keep working hard!"
"Yes, Sect Master!"
The girls looked like they got just what they wanted. They shouted in unison as they each broke into a huge grin.
Lonemoon: "…" *Son of a b*tch! *
"Xuan Yuanyu has come looking for Great Immortal Shen. Is it convenient for the Great Immortal?" A familiar voice sounded out from just outside the door.
Shen Ying didn't respond. Radish made a face and rushed out, glaring at the man outside the door. "What are you doing here? Are you trying to ravage my body again?"
"…" The corner of Xuan Yuanyu's mouth twitched. He suddenly recalled something and felt his blood pressure begin to rise. Upon seeing Shen Ying following behind the radish, however, he had no choice but to swallow his anger.
Heh heh… After what he had experienced last night, he began to doubt his own core cultivators' Great Dao. He did not think he could look directly at the ingredients for refining pills again.