Fury Towards The Burning Heaven Chapter 21
The words of the elderly man with white hair caused Manager Yang to become very excited. He did not leave in a hurry but rather paused for a moment before once again speaking. He asked, "Then, Elder Fei, should we invite or try to attract this youngster into joining the Martial Arts Hall?
"That won't be necessary!"
Elder Fei apathetically stood up and walked in the direction of the exterior of the room. It was only when he reached the door that he turned his head around and explained, "He's fifteen or sixteen years old, and yet his power level is only at the second stage of the Cast Tripod Realm. This boy's already missed the golden opportunity to cultivate his power. Saying so, he won't have any great accomplishments for the rest of his life. Even if he does have an obscenely powerful capability to react to opponents' moves, as long as he can't increase his power-level stages, he's just going to be a good-for-nothing. The Martial Arts Hall… does not waste resources on caring for useless good-for-nothings."
Manager Yang promptly cupped his hands in greeting and bowed to send Elder Fei off. It was only when Elder Fei had left that he walked with a quick pace to one of the walls. He used one of his hands enveloped in essence force to press on a stone brick. The image being broadcast on the wall magically vanished, becoming a snow-white stone wall face once again.
"Servants, go and fetch Lone Wolf! Bring him to me!"
Manager Yang sat down for a short while as he instructed a guard standing at the door. That guard hastily walked in the direction of the Technique Practicing Room and brought Jiang Yi into the room quickly. The youth's eyes were filled with confusion and doubt.
"Manager Yang, did you ask for me?"
Jiang Yi had just started cultivation practice for a while before he was interrupted. After being brought into a small room like that, he managed to feel slightly calmer … seeing that the person sitting in the room was none other than Manager Yang.
Manager Yang waved his hands to send away the guard. Beaming from ear to ear, he addressed Jiang Yi by saying, "Lone Wolf, I don't want to beat around the bush so I will say this to you directly. On behalf of the Martial Arts Hall, I would like to make a deal with you."
Under his wolf mask, Jiang Yi's eyes lit up. He asked in a low voice, "A deal?"
Manager Yang nodded his head and replied, "That's right. The Martial Arts Hall will spare no expense in nurturing you over the next two months such that your power level reaches the fourth stage of the Cast Tripod Realm. In exchange, you must be a sparring partner here for five years. Of course, the Martial Arts Hall will give you the corresponding salary based on your power. For instance, when your power is on par with that of a silver token-grade sparring partner, the rate is ten taels of silver per day; when your power is on par with that of a gold token-grade sparring partner, the rate will be a tael of purple gold per day."
Jiang Yi squinted his eyes and decided to open his mouth to ask, "Do I only work as a sparring partner? Don't I need to do anything else aside from that?"
"Of course!" Manager Yang had spotted Jiang Yi's concerns, and he replied with a smile, "Our Martial Arts Hall takes our reputation most seriously. When we do things, we're definitely fair and impartial. We keep our word—that, you can be rest assured about."
Jiang Yi lowered his head and started muttering to himself. He still felt much bewilderment and anxiety in his heart. How could it be that something so good could fall into his lap? Martial artists found it ever-increasingly difficult to increase their power levels the higher the stage in the Cast Tripod Realm they got to, requiring ever-more essence force to make the increment. Unless the Martial Arts Hall gave him enough high-quality elixirs, he would definitely not be able to increase his power levels up to the fourth stage of the Cast Tripod Realm within two months. On top of that, how could they possibly be willing to spend so much money on him? Did they truly want him to stay and just be a sparring partner? Did they claim to give him a salary without changes to normal rates given to other sparring partners? How could such a good thing exist in this world?
If the person discussing this business deal with him at the moment was not the manager of the Martial Arts Hall, Jiang Yi would have definitely turned around and left, thinking that the other party was a madman. This was where the question lay—the Martial Arts Hall was the uncrowned king amongst the major mercantile businesses on the continent and had never experienced a single scandal in over tens of thousands of years, not to mention getting any hearsay of corrupt deeds conducted by the Martial Arts Hall. Besides… he was only a small character, why would the Martial Arts Hall deliberately scheme and plot against him?
He remained silent for a very long time before finally asking once again, "Manager Yang, if I work with you, will I… lose my freedom?"
"Why would that be so?"
Manager Yang laughed involuntarily and explained, "Lone Wolf, you're only being hired by the Martial Arts Hall. You're not one of the men of the Martial Arts Hall. In other words, you have a paid job, and we provide you the salary. The few other gold token-grade sparring partners in the Martial Arts Hall have also signed deals with us. Lone Wolf… don't think about things in such a complicated manner.
"To tell you the truth, I take great interest and importance in your obscenely powerful natural ability in combat and reaction speed. I am ready to invest resources and nurture your skills so that you can become a top-quality gold token-grade sparring partner. In this way, you can help the Martial Arts Hall make money. It's just that simple a situation!"
"In that case…"
With Manager Yang's full disclosure of his intentions, Jiang Yi became calmer in his heart. He thought deeply for a while before finally revealing a look of ruthlessness in his eyes. He gritted his teeth and responded, "I don't have a problem with working here for five years, but I have two requests."
Manager Yang nonchalantly waved his hands and replied, "Say it. It's all negotiable as long as it isn't too excessive or demanding."
Jiang Yi nodded his head and speedily replied, "Firstly, I cannot be in the Martial Arts Hall for the entire day. Of course, if I have the time, I will try my best to be in the Martial Arts Hall. Secondly, I need… an advance on my pay."
The debt problems with the Fengyue Brothel bore down on Jiang Yi so much that he could not breathe. At the moment, since this Martial Arts Hall saw him so highly, he naturally thought of first getting the ten taels of purple gold to pay back his debts.
This time, it was Manager Yang who hesitated. It was only after a short moment of time had passed when he said in a low deep voice, "I have no problem with the first point, but I will pay you the rate of a day's worth in wages if you serve as a sparring partner for four matches. Only after completing four matches will you earn a day's worth. As for the second point, what is the amount of money you need an advance on?"
Jiang Yi's spirit jolted with excitement as he promptly replied, "Ten taels of purple gold."
Manager Yang smiled as he stood up, before nodding and responding, "No problem, but you must work for ten full days here. Only then will I give you an advance on your pay. Are there any other questions? If not, I hope we have a good working partnership and business collaboration!"
Still filled with doubt, Jiang Yi blinked his eyes and asked, "I don't have any other questions, just that… don't we need to sign a contract of mutual agreement or something like that?"
Manager Yang laughed loudly and proudly replied, "There's no need for that kind of thing. The Martial Arts Hall will never breach a contract and has never been afraid… that someone else would breach a contract either! That's settled then. You hold onto this elixir bottle first. Head over to the interior of the Great Hall and cultivate your power. For these next few days, unless as an absolute last resort, I will not send you out for a sparring match. Your main task right now would be to cultivate your power and increase its level to the fourth stage of the Cast Tripod Realm as soon as possible."
With a single hand, Jiang Yi received the porcelain bottle Manager Yang had thrown over to him. Lifting the bottle lid and taking a look, he saw that there were actually three Spirit Pills inside. He muttered to himself about how the Martial Arts Hall was indeed a rich and imposing organization. He promptly cupped his hands and thanked Manager Yang, as he walked towards the exterior of the room. At the door, he suddenly thought of something—which made him turn his head to ask, "Manager… if it has not been five years and I decide to quit, or if something happens to me and I need to leave temporarily, what happens then?"
With a faint smile, Manager Yang replied, "Very simple—this is considered a breach of contract. According to the rules stipulated, you would have to repay a hundred times worth in valuables. According to my calculation, you would owe the Martial Arts Hall almost ten thousand taels of purple gold. Of course… if you die, this contract will automatically be canceled."
"Ten thousand taels!"
Jiang Yi contracted his body and left the room. He muttered to himself about how he had just basically sold his body and soul to the Martial Arts Hall for five years. How could he take money from the Martial Arts Hall and not work for them? If he did not, he would have to face the endless chase by the Martial Arts Hall to kill him. Thinking about how every city in the continent had a branch of the Martial Arts Hall, Jiang Yi could not help but shudder in fear.
Returning to the Great Hall, Jiang Yi had very quickly felt silently excited in his heart as he sat down cross-legged. The five-year sale of his person had at least relieved him of his crisis in the short term. With the advance of ten taels of purple gold coming after ten days, which he could bring to the Fengyue Brothel and redeem his command token, all would be well at long last. As for Jiang Rulong? Jiang Yi no longer took him to heart. With the Martial Arts Hall presently providing him with elixirs, he had great confidence. Furthermore, his power-level stages of the Cast Tripod Realm continuously increased in the immediate short term. As long as his power level reached the fourth stage of the Cast Tripod Realm, he would have no need to fear Jiang Rulong.
Quietly consuming a Spirit Pill, Jiang Yi immediately sat cross-legged and started meditating for power cultivation. Besides, Manager Yang said that he would not be letting him fight in sparring matches over the next few days. He needed not to feel scared that his black essence force would be fully consumed.
The power cultivation speed in this Martial Arts Hall was indeed faster by two times. He was able to reach a power level at the second stage of the Cast Tripod Realm and produce condensed black essence force. The elixir medical efficacy lasted for more than two and half minutes of its duration, and he could also sense blue essence forces spurting out of his dantian like a well of water. With all of these, Jiang Yi felt completely and uncontrollably excited.
Despite not having eaten lunch, Jiang Yi did not feel hungry at all. Instead, his attention was fully focused on his power cultivation practice which he was conducting alone. In the afternoon, there had been a continuous stream of young masters and young mistresses who came in search of sparring partners for combat training, and yet Manager Yang had indeed not called Jiang Yi out to fight, as promised.
It was already dusk when Jiang Yi decided to stop his power cultivation. Using his inner vision to observe the essence force in his dantian, his eyes were filled with fiery passion. He had only done power cultivation for an afternoon, and yet the amount of essence force he had collated was equivalent to what he used to produce in an entire month.
He had an increase in the speed of his essence force cultivation in the Martial Arts, aided by the effects of the black essence force and the medical efficacy of the elixir. There was also a gradual removal of more runic patterns on the seal on his person. All of these allowed his power cultivation speed to become faster and stay longer, akin to a flying fire arrow.
No wonder wealthy young masters with exceptional talent could cultivate essence force at such high speeds! I feel so jealous, and yet constantly comparing myself to others like that will only make me even angrier!
Jiang Yi used to be very startled about how Jiang Henshui could have a power cultivation speed that was so fast despite being only older than him by just three months. Now, his power level had already reached the eighth stage of the Cast Tripod Realm. Jiang Yi felt relieved—after all, Jiang Henshui had a natural talent that was not too bad and had an abundance of elixirs to use. He could even go into seclusion at this Martial Arts Hall when he had nothing to do. Likewise, considering how Jiang Yi now had all sorts of resources to consume at will, how could his own power cultivation speed be slow now?
The sky is about to turn dark. I'll stay here for just a bit longer before heading home. If I stay any longer, Xiaonu will get worried again.
Through the skylight on the ceiling of the Great Hall, one could see the colors of the sky gradually turning darker over time. Jiang Yi had also decided to stop power cultivation and started to look around at his surroundings out of curiosity instead. From time to time, he saw some young masters and mistresses walk in and out of the surrounding Technique Practicing Rooms. Occasionally, some sparring partners crawled out of the rooms, vomiting blood from their injuries due to the fight, and yet their partnering young masters and mistresses simply coldly walked past them and left.
After observing for a short while, Jiang Yi had more or less understood some of the circumstances around him. This Martial Arts Hall had only three gold token-grade sparring partners, with power levels around the fifth or sixth stage of the Cast Tripod Realm. There were also four or five silver token-grade sparring partners, with power levels around the third or fourth stage of the Cast Tripod Realm. The remaining eight or nine persons were all bronze token-grade.
At present, there were at least twenty or thirty young masters and mistresses in seclusion within the Martial Arts Hall. Every single day, more than half of this group of people would go up there to fight one or two matches. That was why there was such a severe shortage of sparring partners in the Martial Arts Hall. Of course, according to Jiang Yi's estimate, there should not be only so many sparring partners in the Martial Arts Hall. He guessed that many of the sparring partners had been beaten up severely and had left to recuperate from their injuries. This bunch of young masters and mistresses had never treated their sparring partners as fellow human beings after all. Their attacks had always been very heavy-handed and full of force.
After waiting for a while, Jiang Yi was just getting ready to say farewell to Manager Yang and return home when the sound of footsteps suddenly rang from outside the corridor. Jiang Yi gave a quick glance before promptly contracting his body and returned to his sitting position.
He saw people he was familiar with—not just one person but two!
Four people walked through the corridor, all of them dressed elegantly in luxurious clothes with extraordinary atmospheres about them. They consisted of three gentlemen and a beautiful lady. The young lady was dressed in a yellow robe with a long dress and was pretty like a yellow rose in full bloom. That was the young mistress of the Ji Family, Ji Tingyu, and amongst the three gentlemen beside her included—impressively enough—Jiang Henshui.
"Haha, Miss Tingyu, your power is top-class and a head above the rest. With your power level already at the eighth stage of the Cast Tripod Realm, which sparring partner here could ever be a worthy opponent? How about I join you for a match?"
"Yes, how could these lowly sparring partners ever have the good fortune of sparring in combat with the Young Mistress? I, Young Master Ma, recently developed a new Earth-tier martial arts skill, just perfect to be used in a practice round with you, Young Mistress!'
With their heroism and bravery reaching the heavens, the loud laughter coming from two of the handsome gentlemen, who followed Ji Tingyu walk into the hall, rang throughout the Great Hall. Jiang Henshui, on the other hand, did not open his mouth. Nonetheless, his gaze had always been locked onto Young Mistress Ji Tingyu, with his pupils revealing a look of fiery passion.
Eighth stage of the Cast Tripod Realm? And even the young mistress of the Jiang Clan, the one managing the Pearl Gathering Pavilion? Such remarkable beauty! No wonder Jiang Henshui and these two men were sticking to her like flies.
Jiang Yi silently wondered… if he stole a glance in the direction of Ji Tingyu, what reaction would she give him?
Who knew that when Ji Tingyu's gaze swept across the room in the direction of the group of sparring partners, she had coincidentally met Jiang Yi's eyes. As Jiang Yi hurriedly lowered his head to hide his body, Young Mistress Ji suddenly extended an onion-white finger and pointed towards Jiang Yi. She faintly opened her mouth to say, "Everyone, this young gentleman has good intentions, and I, Ji Tingyu, receive and appreciate your kindness. Manager Yang, please arrange for me to have a sparring match with the sparring partner wearing a wolf mask."