Translator : Casualtranslator
~ Enjoy ~
Within Piaomiao sect’s discussion hall, the Piaomiao six tigers and Zhang Chengyue were discussing about how to expand and run the next meeting among the four faction leaders.
Ou Peng was sitting in his usual seat as he looked towards the brothers whom he grown up together had returned after ten days of rest. All of them seemed to have consolidated the recent growth in their prowess, the explosive power that they were emitting ten days ago has all been restrained. From their current appearance, they no longer looked like top martial exponents, instead, they have returned to the simplicity of nature.
Ou Peng felt pleased, and he was not the only one feeling so. Apart from Zhang Chengyue who did not take the pill, everyone’s mood was in high spirits. Of course, after ten days of cultivation, their initially excited hearts have calmed down, and what they have to do now is plan the expansion on their sect in hopes that they will reach the peak and join the ranks of Dalin temple, ChuanXiang sect and Heavenly alliance one day.
Ou Peng coughed, cleared his throat, and said, “Fellow brothers, I congratulate all of you again on your improvement in martial arts.”
The rest courteously replied, “Same to you. We thank the sect master for making this happen.”
Ou Peng continued, “Now that the power of our Piaomiao sect has grown, I wonder if there is any news on other three factions. Chengyue, do you have any report?”
Zhang Chengyue immediately replied, “Sect master Ou, there was news from thousand swords peak that the sect master Wan Chengjiu and several of the elders entered closed door cultivation. Like sect master and senior uncles, they have chosen not to meet with other people after they came out, and are likely to have experienced vast improvements in their martial arts as well. The spies we sent to Tan family could not reach the upper ranks, so the situation there is uncertain. As for Yanming sect, the information we have is even scarcer because we could not infiltrate into their sect, and there are no news circulating outside.”
Ou Peng was not too happy as he said, “Chengyue, although you have put in much effort in this area, they are still not up to standard. If our Piaomiao sect is to grow in the future, then there has to be a steady inflow of news. You have to buckle up, and use all sorts of methods to plant our spies in the different sects. If not, we will be blind to the currents around us.”
Zhang Cheng Yue’s face was full of shame as he replied, “Yes, master. I will take note of this.”
Ou Peng then continued, “This is because master has not instructed you well. In the past, I had only taught you how to train, which is why I am now trying to impart to you the responsibilities of a sect leader. You can look to your fourth senior uncle on how to do so in the future.”
Zhang Chengyue nodded in understanding.
Then, Ou Peng carried on, “The herbs in the secret are has been refined by the pharmacy hall to produce yet another batch of pills. There are now fifty plus such pills. Fellow brothers, inform your personal disciples when you return to gather at the martial display hall tomorrow afternoon, and to prepare for closed door cultivation. This has to remain a secret. Also, Chengyue, go inform your fellow junior disicples.”
Everyone gave a sign to show that they understood.
Ou Peng pondered and said, “Chengyue, pick a few second or third generation talents and bring them to the discussion hall tomorrow. We need to expand the number of core disciples in our sect.”
At this moment, fourth elder Shangguan interrupted, “Sect master brother, our Piaomiao sect’s power has experienced a large rise, so it is time we consider expanding our boundaries.”
Ou Peng nodded, and replied, “Yes, this is one of the reasons why us brothers have gathered.”
First elder Hu raised his question, “Old fourth, the matter of expansion cannot be done simply though words. What idea do you have?”
Fourth elder Shangguan replied, “I have considered this problem during these few days, and currently have an idea of the road we should take.”
Ou Peng smiled and said, “Then you should hurry and say it out. Who doesn’t know that you are our Piaomiao sect’s chief strategist?”
Fourth elder Shangguan continued, “Actually, my idea is very simple. I feel that the first step should be to follow senior’s idea and raise the capabilities of our core disciples, then use these core disciples to form a crack team. Then, we will assign them to the hall of external affairs where they will be dispatched for missions. The thousand swords peak in the south has also experienced a surge of power due to the same incident, so that option is struck out. As for the Golden crow sect in the east and Luoshui sect in the west, their powers were slightly inferior to us in the past and thus good targets. However, if we were to make our moves on both sides at once, it will disperse our power. This matter will require senior sect master to decide.”
Ou Peng pondered for a moment, and said, “Then we shall temporarily set Luoshui sect as our target. Golden crow sect is in the west, and its area of influence slightly overlaps with thousand swords peak. Hence, they may already have some relationships with the latter, or perhaps the thousand swords peak have set their sights on them. Wait till Yucheng and Wan Jiucheng form an alliance before investigating them. Luoshui sect has already set their roots in Luoshui, this is something we cannot compete against. Thus, we have to take advantage of the fact that they are still green and take over them. It will surely bring our Piaomiao sect benefits in the future if we take over both land and water.”
First elder Hu quipped in and said, “Third junior brother, water warfare is a weakness of ours. Why don’t we look for Xinrong sect in the east? After all, their roots are still not deep, and we have confidence fighting on land.”
Ou Peng smiled towards first elder Hu and said, “Eldest senior brother, we have both been fooled by Xinrong’s low profile. I have recently received the news that Xinrong is a chess piece placed by Dalin temple in Yu city and our Pingyang city, and we cannot move rashly against them. Even though this Luoshui sect fights in the water, we will attack first and if our plans are good, there is still a high chance of success.”
Ou Peng drank another mouth of tea, and continued, “Even though our Piaomiao sect has always concentrated on the land, but with Pingyang city surrounded by Luoshui sect, Golden crow sect and Xinrong sect, there is little room for expansion left on land. If we gain the advantage that Luoshui sect has on water, it will be more beneficial to our sect in the future.”
The other people were also thinking silently.
After half the time to boil tea, fourth elder Shangguan said, “If we follow this plan of action, I am afraid that our sect will not have enough manpower.”
Ou Peng replied, “I already have a solution for this. We will definitely need manpower for Piaomiao sect to expand. In the past, our Piaomiao sect would concentrate our resources on the few talented disciples. However, now that we have promoted more disciples into the core disciples, we face a shortage of outer disciples. Let’s do it this way, Chengyue, think of an idea to recruit a new batch of disciples as soon as possible to bolster our sect’s strength. I shall leave everything about this matter to you to decide.”
Zhang Chengyue nodded his head.
Then, Ou Peng said towards Zhang Chengyue, “Chengyue, you may take your leave first. Inform you fellow junior disciples, take a good rest yourself, and prepare to improve your martial skill tomorrow.”
Zhang Chengyue’s face turned red in excitement and excused himself.
Fifth elder Liu who had been sitting at a side then spoke at this moment, “Isn’t it just to improve your martial skill. Look at yourself being so anxious about it.”
Zhang Chengyue though in his heart, “Elder-ah, this is about improving ones martial skill, how can I not be excited? I heard that you gained twenty years’ worth of training at one go, weren’t you excited then too?”
Of course, he did not say what was in his heart and instead replied, “Yes, fifth senior uncle. I should have controlled my emotions better.”
Ou Peng said, “Do not listen to you fifth senior uncle’s trash talk. However, you are indeed too excited. Your nerves have to be calm when you take the pill in order for you to cultivate properly, or you will waste this precious treasure.”
Zhang Chengyue walked out quickly, trying only to get out of his fifth senior uncle’s sight.
After Zhang Chengyue left the hall, Ou Peng retuned his gaze towards fifth elder Liu and said, “Fifth junior brother, this Chengyue has a steady personality, so don’t keep making fun of him.”
Sixth elder Xu added, “Hehe, still talking about someone else. On that day, wasn’t old fifth just as excited, leaving with Shi Niu for a drink immediately after this power up? If that is not excited, then how did you get so drunk that day?”
Fifth elder Liu turned red and argued, “I was tired after absorbing the pill, or else why would I get drunk before Shi Niu?”
Everyone laughed in response.
The, Ou Peng switched to a serious tone as he addressed everyone, “Fellow brothers, we have finished refining the herbs that we picked the previous time. The second of February is coming in a few days, and the four factions have agreed to meet in Wutong mountain to discuss the matter of the remaining herbs. This is also a good opportunity to form an alliance, what do you all think?”
Fourth elder Shagguan replied, “Senior brother, I do not think the possibility of forming an alliance is high.”
Ou Peng asked, “Why so?”
Fourth elder Shangguan explained, “Thousand swords peak and our Piaomiao sect may form an alliance as we are all sects in Jianghu, and can share weal and woe. However, Yanming sect and Tan family, despite being part of Jianghu, do not participate in any of the affairs in Jianghu, so they have neither the reasons nor the ability to form an alliance with us.”
Ou Peng rubbed his chin as though he was thinking, and said, “An alliance on the surface is impossible. Be it the direction of our growth, the compatibility of our strengths, or the hierarchy structure of the alliance, the four of us will not be able to provide a reasonable explanation for our cooperation. If we do form an alliance, it will draw the attention of the other sects, bringing more harm than benefits. I propose for a looser form of collusion, meaning an alliance among the four faction heads rather than the four factions themselves. In this way, we can enjoy the benefits of the secret area while maintaining its secrecy.”
First elder Hu nodded and said, “This is a good idea. The purpose of this alliance is for the sake of the secret area only; we should separate it from the affairs of the entire sect. If one of the four factions reveals the secret, the other three can punish the troublemaker.”
Ou Peng smiled bitterly, “If the secret is revealed, there will be no need for punishment. There will soon be a rain of blood in Jianghu, so we have to consolidate our power before then.”
Then, Ou Peng turned towards second elder Li who was frowning silently all this while, and asked, “Second brother, have you seen the sword manual?”
Second elder Li nodded in a dejected manner and did not say anything.
Ou Peng did not mind him, and continued, “How many disciples who train in swords in our sect do you think we can train to learn this sword manual?”
Second elder Li shook his head.
Ou Peng turned slightly dispirited and said, “Sigh, indeed we cannot ask them to switch their way of training midway. Fourth brother, when Chengyue recruits the new disciples, you can pick a few from them to let them learn from the sword manual. They can also be given pointers on the side by second brother, although the best case scenario is if second brother accepts a few as his personal disciples.”
Second elder Li nodded in approval. It seems that after the improvement in power, he has focused even more on training in the way of the sword, and would not talk much anymore.