Ten days later
A red robed guard escorted Rigel to the mountains behind the sect. Treated by the chief physician himself, Rigel’s injuries were mostly healed in a mere span of ten days. Since he wasn’t even in the Qi condensation stage, it was a nearly impossible feat without the assistance of the sect’s medical herbs.
Rigel himself was very interested in the various pills and potions he given to him during his recovery. Although Rigel learned the properties of different alchemical substances, Frank mainly concentrated on the poisonous effects and thus, Rigel was much more proficient in the alchemy of poisons than in medicine.
During the ten days, Elder Feng visited Rigel a total of three times. Seeing that Rigel was recovering quickly, he informed Rigel about Patriarch SilverLeaf’s decision.
The Xia sect, being one of the three major powers of the Rio town had an excessive number of disciples. Even though they were selective while recruiting disciples, they weren’t too strict either.
Any person who reached the first level of Qi condensation by the age of fifteen would be instantly accepted. However, this led to a huge number of disciples being recruited into the sect.
Even though the Xia sect could refuse these people, if they did, these people would all eventually join the Li sect or the Shia clan. There is always a chance that a diamond may appear among pebbles. Why should the sect waste the opportunity to acquire a diamond by rejecting these disciples? Thus, the outer sect was formed.
The Xia sect is divided into the outer sect, the inner sect, and the core circle. There are no set rules to enter into each circle. However, the commonly followed rules were simple.
Only a fifth level Qi condensation stage expert can join the inner sect, and only a spark formation stage expert can enter the core circle.
Naturally the disciples of the inner sect and the core circle will receive better care and support from the sect than those in the outer sect. Since Rigel wasn’t even in the Qi condensation stage, so he was appointed into the outer sect.
Rigel followed behind the guard until they reached the mountains. The Xia sect bordered the mountainous region of the Rio town. Even though the entire Rio town was the property of the Blood emperor, the Xia sect occupied an entire part of the town to establish their sect.
Thus, the sect was huge with a total area spanning hundreds of acres. Such a vast area within a city represented the deep roots of the sect and its solid economic condition.
After Rigel passed through the small forest which separated the main sect and the outer sect, he could see many small huts on the slopes of various small mountains.
The guard raised his hand and waved it to call someone. Soon a man appeared in front of Rigel. The red-robed guard whispered something to the man, and the man looked at Rigel with confused eyes.
“Are you sure? This kid isn’t even in Qi condensation stage yet. This place will kill him in no time.” The man asked the guard in a serious voice.
The guard shook his head indifferently and said, “Its the elder’s order.” He then looked at Rigel and said in a pitying tone, “Kid, I will give you some advice. Don’t offend anyone. This place is worse than a jungle. If you aren’t careful, you will be dead before you know it.”
The guard then left leaving Rigel with the man. The man looked at Rigel and sighed lightly. Rigel looked at the man and saw his thick black beard. He was about thirty-five, with brown skin and had a massive built.
The man patted Rigel lightly and said, “Kid, my name is Hedge. You can call me uncle Hedge. I am one of the guards stationed here. Let me take you to the pavilion master.”
Rigel nodded his head and followed Hedge silently. In an unknown place; you should always act with sincerity. Even though, it wouldn’t always protect you, it will at least make you seem docile and weak leading to others underestimating you.
The guard Hedge walked through a rocky path leading into the valley of the mountains. He then proceeded to walk to the base of a small mountain. That mountain differed from the rest by the fact that it had no huts on its slopes.
At the base of the mountain was a man who was sleeping peacefully. Behind him was a thick door which was attached to the mountain itself. Rigel could tell that inside the mountain was the hidden location of the treasure pavilion.
A treasure pavilion is a place where the sect stored its resources to be distributed to the deserving disciples.
Hedge walked to the sleeping man slowly. When Hedge was about ten steps away, the man slowly opened one eye and glanced at Hedge. He then saw Rigel behind him.
Even though Rigel expected the man to be powerful, he didn’t expect to be stunned by his mere gaze. That instant, Rigel knew that under his watch, the pavilion can never be robbed.
Hedge walked forward causally and bowed slightly. He then nudged Rigel to follow him. Rigel immediately bowed as he stood beside Hedge.
“Pavilion master, Edgar. This kid is a new disciple. I am responsible for being his guide.” Hedge said in a respectful voice.
The pavilion master, Edgar looked at Rigel for a second and then threw a bag of holding towards him. He then quietly closed his eyes. Nobody could tell if he was sleeping or was only resting.
A Bag of Holding is a storage bag which had a storage capacity of several hundreds of times its size.
Rigel noticed the bag of holding, and his face involuntarily lit with joy. He once very much wanted a bag of holding, but only a cultivator can use it. Since he had no way to cultivate, all he could do was to dream about those legendary inner spatial storage devices which can be used even without Qi.
Inside the bag of holding, he saw a total of ten spirit crystals and two thin books. Hedge nudged Rigel to follow him as Rigel was deep in thought.
Rigel immediately put away all his thoughts and followed Hedge as he hid the bag of holding among his robes. Hedge walked between the small mountains until he reached a relatively crowded mountain.
He raised his head and shouted loudly, “JIYA.”
A boy in his late teens emerged from a hut and ran down the mountain and saluted Hedge respectfully. Hedge looked at Jiya and then at Rigel. He shook his head and said, “This kid will be with you for the time being. Make sure he isn’t killed for being stupid.”
Jiya nodded his head thoughtfully and said, “I will take care of him, Uncle Hedge.”
Rigel quietly stood beside Hedge and listened to everything intently. He glanced at Jiya, who had pale skin, brown hair, and a muscular body. Rigel could tell that he wasn’t too powerful but should be in the second level of Qi condensation stage.
Soon Hedge left after once again reminding Rigel to be careful. Jiya watched as Hedge left and then turned towards Rigel. He smiled warmly and said, “Junior Brother, My name is Jiya. I am the caretaker of this mountain.
Don’t worry; you will soon be able to fit right in. Follow me; I will show you to your hut.”
Rigel nodded his head silently and followed behind Jiya but before they could walk ten steps further a voice stopped them in their tracks.
“Looks likes a new chicken has come to your coop Jiya,” a voice snickered loudly and continued, “and by the looks of it, this kid isn’t even worthy enough to be a slave. What a waste of spirit crystals? Jiya, why don’t you speak some sense into this brat? You know me, I don’t like to be violent.”
Rigel turned around and watched the man who was laughing smugly as he saw the ugly expression on Jiya’s face. Rigel could immediately tell what was happening before him. Having lived in Gehenna prison for so long, how couldn’t he recognize this?
This too was a form of bullying. Rigel had seen and experienced it many times. Listening to the man’s words and the ugly expression on Jiya’s face, Rigel knew right away that he was going to lose the spirit crystals anyway so he took them out himself and threw them towards the man.
The man was about twenty-two and was in the third level of Qi condensation. He was surprised with Rigel’s actions, and so was Jiya. However, watching Rigel throwing the spirit crystals away indifferently, his face twisted with rage.
“You fucking bastard, do you take me to be a beggar? How dare you throw these crystals at me?” The man roared loudly in anger and walked towards Rigel.
However, Jiya stepped in and said in a cold voice, “Maze, you got your spirit crystals, leave the kid alone. He arrived here just recently so he doesn’t know the rules.”
The man named Maze snorted coldly and said, “If he doesn’t know the rules, then I will beat them into him.”
Jiya snorted coldly and said, “Maze, Uncle Hedge personally asked me to take care of the kid. Don’t you dare do anything Maze? Now get out of here.”
Maze stopped in his tracks as he heard Jiya. He looked at Jiya and raised his eyebrows. Jiya shook his head and eyed Rigel and then at mountains.
Rigel’s face didn’t show any change, but he sneered inside. How could he miss the little conversation which was happening right before his eyes? Jiya was obviously telling Maze to deal with Rigel later in an isolated place.
Maze coldly snorted and left the mountain. Jiya sighed loudly and smiled at Rigel warmly. He then said in a calm voice, “Don’t take it to heart Rigel. This is an everyday occurrence in here. Just make sure that you don’t offend anyone and you will be safe. I hardly doubt Maze will even remember about this incident tomorrow.”
Rigel only nodded his head and climbed the stairs following Jiya. Halfway up the mountain, Jiya pointed at a hut and said, “That would be your hut, Rigel. You are still new here and powerless at the moment. So until you gain sufficient power, you can never act recklessly. Understood?” Jiya reminded Rigel in a warm tone.
Rigel nodded his head and said, “I understand, Senior Jiya.”
Jiya soon left leaving Rigel behind. Rigel looked at Jiya’s back and then at the distant figure of Maze walking away in the mountain valley with cold eyes.
He walked towards his hut and thought to himself, “I certainly am new, but I am not powerless, Senior Jiya.”
As Rigel willed, a small amount of black fog drifted out of his hands and touched the surrounding vegetation. The weeds growing in his path instantly turned black and then slowly transformed into ashes under the effect of the black fog.
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