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Mi Xiaojing stepped out of his room into the surrounding silence. Not far away stood a figure, one of Lu Yu's subordinates. He waved and called out, "Is it just you here?"
The man scurried over and respectfully said, "Master Uncle, do you have any orders?"
Only then did Mi Xiaojing realize that this man was an early-stage Qi Refining cultivator. Calling him Master Uncle was indeed appropriate. He asked, "Where are the others?"
"Please follow me," the man replied.
Mi Xiaojing followed him through the halls and rooms until he saw a group of people sitting cross-legged on a large straw mat. As Mi Xiaojing approached, they all stood up.
He noticed that Lu Yu, Yong Ji, Yang Shan, Tian Cang, Luo Bo, and Mu Xiaoyin were all present, with only Zhang Ke, Mao Tou, and Da Zhu missing. Mi Xiaojing removed his shoes and stepped onto the mat.
Everyone then sat down cross-legged. Despite only being at the Great Perfection stage of Foundation Establishment, Mi Xiaojing had become the de facto leader of the group.
It wasn't because of his high cultivation level, but rather his status as a master alchemist. His talent and ability were what mattered, as everyone relied on his Spirit Pills for their cultivation. Thus, they naturally looked to him for leadership and decision-making.
Mi Xiaojing asked, "Why is everyone sitting here?"
Lu Yu replied, "The manor has been arranged. It's just a few miles upstream, an existing estate that we've taken over. The environment is nice, and it comes with several hundred acres of land. It should suffice for now."
Mi Xiaojing nodded, "Good. How many Spirit Stones did it cost to take over?"
Lu Yu said, "Not many Spirit Stones. Consider it my purchase, a gift to everyone."
Yong Ji laughed, "Are all of you from Grass-Benevolence Hall so generous?"
Lu Yu chuckled and said, "Master Uncle, the real wealthy one here isn't me... It's Xiao Mi, Senior Brother."
Yong Ji replied, "I believe that. Just one batch of pills can bring in a heap of Spirit Stones." It was rare for him to joke around.
Mi Xiaojing inquired, "Any recent news? And has the Grand Elder from the sect contacted us?"
Yang Shan said, "I've received a message from Master..."
Mi Xiaojing didn't know who Yang Shan's master was and asked, "Master? Who?"
Yang Shan replied, "Mu Hengyuan. He's my master. I'm not his direct disciple, just a nominal one... Well, Master doesn't have any direct disciples yet."
"After a while, Master will come over. There are some matters he needs to arrange."
Yong Ji, a direct disciple of Yu Hong, hadn't received any news from his master, which made him a bit downcast. He sighed, "Has my master sent any news?"
Yang Shan replied with a wry smile, "I don't know. The message I got was simple, and I only informed Master of our location in my response. Nothing else was said."
Yong Ji shook his head, "We have too little information. We don't know what to do next. It's good if Uncle Mu comes; we can understand more about the situation... Alright, there's nothing else for now. Let's focus on cultivation. When Uncle arrives, we'll follow the elder's advice."
Mi Xiaojing asked, "Did he say when he'll come?"
Yang Shan replied, "No specific time, just that it will be sometime soon."
Mi Xiaojing said, "Besides cultivating, I plan to refine a batch of low-level Spirit Pills. I'll need Brother Lu to arrange it. After they're made, we'll sell the surplus and exchange them for Spirit Stones."
The group was immediately excited. Yong Ji asked, "Can you refine some Foundation Establishment stage Spirit Pills?"
Mi Xiaojing replied, "No problem, but you'll need to gather the materials, Master Uncle."
Yong Ji nodded vigorously, "No problem!"
Yang Shan became anxious, "Me too! I need them as well!"
Mi Xiaojing chuckled, "Same for you. Collect the materials, and I'll handle the alchemy. I'll give you a list of materials later."
Yang Shan was overjoyed, having waited for this moment. He followed Mi Xiaojing precisely for the Spirit Pills, believing that with them, his cultivation would soar.
Lu Yu looked at Mi Xiaojing eagerly.
Mi Xiaojing smiled, "Don't worry, you'll have your share. The rule is the same: provide your own materials, and I'll do the refining."
Despite having spent so much time in Grass-Benevolence Hall, Lu Yu had never managed to obtain Spirit Pills suitable for his use. His slow cultivation progress was disheartening. After successfully establishing his foundation, he had been stuck at the early stage, unable to advance no matter how hard he tried. This led him to focus on business, hoping to accumulate wealth to buy Spirit Pills from the market.
But even after all this time, Lu Yu hadn't achieved his goal. Hearing Mi Xiaojing's plan to refine pills, his ecstatic joy was evident on his face.
Lu Yu rubbed his hands together eagerly.
Mi Xiaojing said, "Let's go to the manor. I want to see our new home."
Zheng Cong sat grim-faced at the table. He had lost an arm, which he managed to save only after paying a hefty sum for a Nascent Soul expert to force the Poisonous Thread to his arm and sever it, sparing his life.
His hatred for Mi Xiaojing had reached the bone, and he had been keeping a close watch on Yunjian Pavilion.
A few days ago, Zheng Cong received news that Yong Ji had appeared at Yunjian Pavilion, but the youngsters who were usually with him were not seen.
After Yong Ji left Yunjian Pavilion, Zheng Cong's men followed him but were killed in the wilderness, losing Yong Ji's trail. It wasn't until today that Zheng Cong found three corpses, which infuriated him to the point of dizziness.
He demanded, "Didn't I send two groups to follow? Where's the other group, and why is there no news?"
His subordinates trembled as they replied, "The other group has also disappeared, and we haven't found them yet."
Yong Ji gritted his teeth, "Yong Ji! Good, very good!"
Yong Ji's ruthlessness gave Zheng Cong a headache, cutting off the trail completely.
"You're all like stray dogs now; I refuse to believe I can't find you!"
Zheng Cong ordered, "Continue to keep watch. I need their whereabouts, the number of people they have, and to know if this group is residing in Tianyuan Market!"
His subordinates paled as they agreed.
Zheng Cong added, "Also, inquire about the Heart Sect. I want any news, and I'm willing to pay in Spirit Stones!"
After arranging everything, Zheng Cong stood up and instructed his butler, Zheng Ming, to ready the carriage. He was going to seek help.
It can be hard to make great work when its stolen from "p𝑎wread.com".
In Tianyuan Market, he still had quite a few connections. The cost of hiring people was a matter of exchanging benefits, and he believed he could enlist many experts. No matter what, he would not let Mi Xiaojing and Yong Ji go; he couldn't afford to lose face.
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