The White Cat’s Divine Scratching Post
Chapter 3

Author: 绿野千鹤
Source: Chrysanthemum Garden

Since Mount Yanhuo was located on the southernmost point of the continent, it was pretty far from both the orthodox sects, as well as the places where the demonic cultivators liked to gather.

Mo Tianliao recalled the memories of when he had been chased here. He had ridden his high-grade flying ship for thirty or so days before he had reached this place. XKfSwA

He scratched his head and turned back to climb back up the mountain, intending to dig up some hundred-year-old fire ginseng.

The Yanhuo mountain range had a strange topography. There were many precious ingredients and spirit herbs growing here. Over the hundreds of years of drifting around this mountain, Mo Tianliao was already familiar with the locations of everything valuable here. However, he didn’t have enough power to guarantee he wouldn’t get robbed of those precious ingredients at this point. He didn’t have any suitable storage tools that could keep those ingredients fresh either, so he could only dig up some low-grade fire ginseng to sell to the mortals.

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It took a few days of walking before he finally got out of the mountains and reached a mortal town at the foot of the range.

The town was rather lively since there were merchants who traded in medicinal herbs and ingredients coming to and fro.

Mo Tianliao found a medicinal hall and sold the fire ginseng. With a few hundred taels of silver in his storage bracelet, he went searching for a restaurant for a good meal, as well as to ask about the date.

“I’ve been harvesting herbs in the mountains for a few months, so I can’t remember the date. Has the new year passed yet?” Mo Tianliao asked the waiter with a smile as he set down some dishes on the table.

“Well! Sir, you must have been stuck in the mountains for a long time, it’s already the start of March!” The waiter returned the smile and continued, “It’s the year 8371 of the Taixuan calendar now, it’s no longer 8370!”

“Is that so…” Mo Tianliao nodded in acknowledgement and picked up his chopsticks to start eating. The year he died was 8024, so three hundred years had already passed… MiK9 y

“Hey, did you hear? The sect immortals have come to look for disciples!” Just as he was about to get lost in his thoughts, a discussion started up at the table next to his.

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“Really? I should go and apply to be a disciple too!” Someone answered.

“You? You’re almost thirty, who’s going to want you?” His friend laughed at him mercilessly, “They only take in those under sixteen and with at least one spirit attribute, unless you have great spirit potential…”

After finishing his meal and walking out of the restaurant, Mo Tianliao noticed a flood of people walking towards the centre of the town, all chatting noisily about wanting to meet the immortals. mndY7y

Mo Tianliao followed along and peered from afar at the ‘immortals’, standing in the middle of the crowd with haughty expressions on their youthful faces.

The cultivators were dressed in the same green sect robes, those of the Green Cloud Sect! He couldn’t help the frown that formed on his face. The southernmost part of the continent was where the demonic cultivators liked to gather. It was also much closer to the demonic sects. Why were the so-called orthodox sects searching for disciples here?

“I found this young man first!” A young girl’s voice rang out from behind the crowd. The onlookers all turned at once, only to see a young lady dressed in a light blue dress with wide sleeves walking over swiftly. Behind her were a few men dressed in blue sect robes.

This was going to be an interesting show. The three strongest sects amongst the orthodox side were the three cloud sects: the Green Cloud Sect, the Flowing Cloud Sect, and the Heavy Cloud Sect. It seemed like the Green Cloud Sect and Flowing Cloud Sect had both taken a liking to a young man with great potential…

“Excuse me, shimei, we came first and we’ve already met this young man’s parents. Their family has agreed to let their child join my Green Cloud Sect. I’m not sure what shimei means when you say you found him first.” The leader of the Green Cloud Sect disciples held back the others, who seemed ready to leap out to argue. 8VKjnq

“I found him yesterday!” The young girl raised her chin as she proclaimed.

Mo Tianliao raised an eyebrow, eagerly waiting for them to start brawling.

He didn’t like any of the two sects here. Back then, both of these sects had taken part in the hunt for him. From Mo Tianliao’s perspective, the Green Cloud Sect were a bunch of hypocrites, while the cultivators of the Flowing Cloud Sect were all petty, grudgeful people.

“When you say you found him yesterday, did you leave him any sort of tokens to…” The Green Cloud Sect disciple still kept his amiable expression on, but he suddenly turned to look at the crowd in the middle of speaking. 6xBA2E

“Shixiong, what’s wrong?” The disciple behind him questioned.

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Story translated by Chrysanthemum Garden.

Although he had been on the demonic side of the cultivation world in his past life, he didn’t intend to return there now. The reason for that was because the demonic cultivators only respected pure strength. As a nobody right now, it was going to be hard for him at the start. It would be better to join an orthodox sect, since they cared more about appearances and their own reputations. Disciples could get food and boarding, and the masters there wouldn’t scold or beat their disciples without reason. LAfOMS

Furthermore, the most important reason was… Mo Tianliao lifted up the mirror he had bought from a small street stall and sighed. He had possessed the divine tree, so naturally the wood took on the shape of his soul. He had the earth and fire attributes in the past, which were very well-suited for forging magical tools and weapons. Thus, his spirit potential had only been rather average. He had only been able to form his foundation at twenty-seven, so that was when he had stopped aging.

However, he now looked to be in his early twenties instead. Although he had managed to shave a few years off his outer appearance, he was still recognisable as his past self!

Not many people in the cultivation world had actually seen his face before, and most of them had died in Death Valley. However, that wasn’t a guarantee that no one would be able to recognise him. Thus, the mysterious and reclusive Heavy Cloud Sect became his first choice.

Mo Tianliao bought a good horse and started heading towards a city about 50 kilometres away. It was considered a large city, and if he remembered correctly, there was a cultivator-oriented market there, which would have some spirit beast mounts for rent. 6sBhzM

Flying ships and swords were all considered treasure-grade equipment or higher. Those required both a strong divine soul and Qi to control, so he couldn’t use those now.

He rented an ugly-looking bird for a cheap price at the market. From there, it took a whole twenty days of flying before he finally reached the territory of the Heavy Cloud Sect.

Story translated by Chrysanthemum Garden.

There were 72 tall mountains here, all capped with white snow. Seemingly endless clouds drifted around the mountain peaks.

He had arrived on the last day of recruitment for the Heavy Cloud Sect, but there were still plenty of people gathered in front of the entrance to the mountains. Most of them were here to apply for the sect, but there were also business-minded merchants who had set up small stalls selling tea and snacks. g34rvp

Mo Tianliao had visited the other two sects in his past life, but he had never come to the Heavy Cloud Sect before. Compared to the other two sects, which boasted grand entrances with plaques carved from high-quality white jade or a large sword made entirely from black crystals, there was only a round rock about ten feet tall at the entrance. The three words ‘Heavy Cloud Sect’ were carved simply into the rock, and there was a never-ending, narrow stone-paved road leading up the mountain behind the rock.

Many of the first-time visitors made fun of the humble decorations.

“This sect looks really poor,” A few of the young men who had come to join the sect whispered amongst themselves as they pointed at the ugly-looking rock at the entrance.

Mo Tianliao glanced at the ten-foot-tall Harmless Rock and wondered how those young men would react if they knew a fist-sized piece of it was worth at least a hundred high-grade spirit stones. 0cyUHm

A sudden buzz of movement started from behind the crowd. Mo Tianliao subconsciously moved aside as a fiery red shape darted past him. The figure headed straight through the entrance to the Heavy Cloud Sect, scrambling up the stone steps frantically. It was only at that distance that he realised it was a little red fox.

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“Where do you think you’re going?!” A few cultivators with swords on their backs came chasing right after, hot on the heels of the little red fox.

HUMMM! A subtle pulse of light suddenly burst out from the ugly-looking rock, pushing the hunters away and tossing them on the ground.

When the fox saw that the hunters had fallen, it stopped running and sat on the stone steps in a rather pleased manner. Its tail swung from side to side as it watched the show unfold. wIWelY

The cultivators got back on their feet and drew their flying swords, intending to continue their hunt, when another pulse of energy swept over them again.

“Who’s causing trouble here?!” A deep voice rang out from right behind the sect entrance. Three cultivators dressed in different coloured robes drifted over. The one in the lead was the man who had spoken.

A cute young lady picked up the fox from the ground.

“Hey, we found that magic beast first!” The hunters started complaining. gmUVLJ

“The Harmless Rock reacts to murderous intent and repels those who try to harm any within our sect bounds. What do you intend to accomplish by trying to kill in front of our Heavy Cloud Sect’s entrance!” The leader of the sect members narrowed his eyes. His voice was mixed with an imposing aura made of his own Qi, so it was clear that his cultivation was a lot higher than the hunters.

It was only then that the hunters finally came back to their senses and realised that they had somehow chased the fox to the Heavy Cloud Sect’s entrance. Magic beasts were very valuable, so they were reluctant to give up the beast. However, their sect was too small and they couldn’t afford to offend the Heavy Cloud Sect, so they grit their teeth and apologised, “Apologies to shixiong, we were too reckless in our behaviour. Please forgive our transgressions and return that fox to us.”

“Finders keepers, that’s the rule of the Taixuan Continent. The magic beast belongs to whoever catches it, so it’s mine now!” The young lady hugged the fox and grinned mischievously. The little fox seemed to understand her words and chirped as if in agreement.

The hunters hesitated for a few moments, torn between greed and fear, but eventually, they had no choice but to storm away angrily. vp4kns

Now that the show was over, the three Heavy Cloud Sect members started calling out to the applicants. So they had actually come to test the spirit potential of the applicants.

The process wasn’t very complicated. The narrow-eyed man just explained their rules, got the crowd to line up, then left things to his junior disciple, who was going to test their spirit potential. The young lady wasn’t involved in the process, so she simply stood to one side and played with her new fox.

Immortal cultivators all started out as mortals, so their appearances were usually quite mixed. However, the three Heavy Cloud Sect members were very good-looking. Coupled with the elegant aura that most cultivators carried, the three sect members looked stunning to the mortals.

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Some of the young men kept staring at the young lady, you would think their eyeballs would have popped out by the intensity of their stares. ztJfap

Mo Tianliao ended up somewhere at the back of the queue. By the time it was his turn, four hours had already passed.

“Show me your hand,” the kind-looking man instructed. Once he had obediently extended his left hand, the man took out a three-inch long ruler. The ruler wasn’t made of gold or jade, but a shimmery, translucent crystal. It looked very pretty.

Mo Tianliao’s eyes widened imperceptibly. This spirit potential ruler was something he had made. Back then, it had simply been a toy that he made for Xiaozhao to play with in his free time. Most tools could only measure a human’s spirit potential, but this one could measure the attributes of magic beasts as well.

“Double spirit attributes, wood and fire.” As expected, while normal measuring tools could only detect his wood attribute, this ruler had managed to detect his woodfire ability as well. 3sNVEt

Since Xiaozhao’s toy had now appeared out here, his demonic palace must have been completely ransacked. Mo Tianliao was a little downcast after realising that fact. He numbly followed the man’s instructions and joined the group of high potential applicants. 

There were five attributes in total: gold, wood, water, fire and earth. Most people would usually have one or more of those attributes. Those with double or single attributes were considered to have high spirit potential, while those with a particularly strong single attribute were considered to have divine spirit potential.

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The high potential and normal potential applicants were quickly separated into groups. It was then that the young lady stood up and pointed at a few people, “You, you, you and… you, you’re all disqualified.”

“Huh? Why?” The people who had been pointed out were shocked.  CP5bXR

The young lady didn’t answer them and continued pointing out a few more people. Suddenly, two-thirds of the applicants had been eliminated.

“Wait, why??” The crowd was clamoring for answers.

“I’m sorry, everyone,” The narrow-eyed man spoke up with a smile, “Our Heavy Cloud Sect only accepts good-looking people. Those who have been eliminated, your potential is still rather good, you may go to try your luck at other sects instead.”

When he was done, without waiting for a response from the crowd, he gave a light wave of his hand and the disqualified applicants were pushed off to one side. The man then turned around and started leading the remaining applicants up the stone steps. UvRa8D

A twitch developed at the corner of Mo Tianliao’s lips. So the Heavy Cloud Sect actually picked disciples based on their looks? They weren’t actually some demonic sect in disguise right? Weren’t there some that practised sexual techniques to drain the Qi of their disciples…?

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Author’s Note:

Xiaozhao: Why haven’t I appeared yet? Cq7ye

Author: You’ll be in the next chapter, I promise!

Xiaozhao: (raises paw, sends author flying)

Carpenter: Pfft!

— KP5MJh

TL Note:

So… I’ve decided to keep any shimei, shixiong, shibo etc. in their pinyin forms. It’s just too awkward to use any of the common translations like ‘junior sister’, ‘senior brother’, ‘martial uncle’… I’ll put a note for them whenever they’re used in the chapter!

However, I’m making an exception for shizun/shifu (师尊), which will be translated as Master.

— 5BKv4Q

Mini Glossary:

shimei – term used to refer to a younger female cultivator, possibly from your own sect or other sects

shidi – term used to refer to a younger male cultivator

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shijie – term used to refer to an older female cultivator EanSHY

shixiong – term used to refer to an older male cultivator

Green Cloud Sect (青云宗) – One of the three top sects on the orthodox side. Disciples dress in green.

Flowing Cloud Sect (流云宗) – One of the three top sects on the orthodox side. Disciples dress in blue.

Heavy Cloud Sect (沃云宗) – One of the three top sects on the orthodox side. Disciples don’t have a specific colour. Picks new disciples based on looks. oFL98a

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The White Cat’s Divine Scratching Post
Chapter 3