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 Chapter 50: Wild Zhou

Translator: Novel Saga Editor: Maggie

A while passed. Shi Mu and the other teenagers arrived in the valley at the foot of a tall and straight peak. They were still being carried by the black-robed men.

The valley was a sight to see. There was a wide expanse of buildings. These buildings were delicate and were more than 40 meters high. There were simple and crude stones houses which were about 7-10 meters tall. The buildings varied in shape, size, and make. However, they were arranged in orderly rows. The taller buildings were at the back - closer to the peak. The shorter ones were at the front.

Many people could be seen shuttling between these buildings. They were dressed in various kinds of attires. This small town seemed to be bustling with noise and excitement.

The black-robed men carried Shi Mu and the other teenagers to the centre of the valley, and dropped them off at a bluestone plaza. Then, they left without saying a word.

Hundreds of people had gathered around them. The surrounding people were pointing fingers at them. The boys and girls couldn't help but looked at each other is dismay.

The crowd consisted of ordinary men and women; young and old. But they seemed to have a strange yet strong flavour about their body language. These people were looking at the teenagers with malice in their eyes - as if the boys and the girls were ordinary commodities which could be purchased for a price.

"Everyone... get out of here! What are you doing? What are you up to? Have you never seen a new disciple before?" a carefree voice was heard. It came from the direction of the onlookers who had made a circle around the teenagers by now.

Then, the crowd separated and a young semi-naked person came walking-out with big strides. His body was giant in size. He held a 2 meter long mace in his hand. Its handle seemed to have been made from the ivory teeth of a wolf, and had a brass top.

Each step he took gave rise to a crashing sound; the ground was left to shake. The crowd dispersed in confusion. They were afraid of getting crushed by his feet.

"Ah! That's Elder Brother Zhou! This is his assignment!"

"Elder Brother Zhou? These youngsters must be good. Please don't forget to leave a few for our Flame Gang."

"You Flame Gang guys are going too far. You walked away with two Blood Warriors the last time a new batch arrived. Our Iron and Stone Gang won't let you pick-first this time!"

"Humph! It doesn't matter which faction you guys belong to. Our Ancient Spirit Chamber will get the first-pick on the disciples with innate talents. Or do you wish to start a fight with us?"

The crowd separated as they saw the young giant man. Everyone started to shout at each other even before the giant man had made his opening statement.

"You people better forget about your plans to fight over this batch. I've just received a Summon from the Sect. These people are not from the Yan Kingdom. Young Master Zhao has brought them from the Da Qi Kingdom," the giant man said with a sneer.

"What? These people are from the Da Qi Kingdom. That's why their faces are so strange."

"The Young Master Zhao brought them?! Then they were probably on-route to join the Black Turtle Sect. The Sect must have undertaken this task in order to make reprisals for the last time when the Black Turtle Sect snatched the Tiger Seedlings."

"There's no need to fuss over them then. Let them adapt to our Sect's rules first. The Black Turtle Sect is so 'womanish' compared to ours."

Suddenly, the expressions of the people in the crowd changed as they realized that the new disciples belonged to the Da Qi Kingdom. They started to comment in softer voices as they scattered with a loud rumbling noise.

Shi Mu's eyebrows wrinkled as he saw this.

"Well... Now boring people have left. It's time I give you a proper reception. It doesn't matter if you come from the Yan Kingdom or the Da Qi Kingdom... It doesn't matter if you're willing or not... Once you enter the Black Demon Peaks - you become a member of our Sect. The seven influential families of the Three Kingdoms[1] have signed a series of collaborative agreements owing to their common enemy - the barbarian race. There shall always be minor collisions amongst the three Kingdoms. However, none of signed parties shall violate this treaty as long as the collisions remain minor. Thus, we've always had disciples from various Kingdoms in our Sect. Their achievements can range from a junior disciple to a senior; so on and so forth. That's the gist of it. But I'll give you one tip - you're disciples of the Black Demon Sect now; irrevocably. Your connection with the other Sects or Kingdoms is of no significance now. Be good, and don't ever try to betray or harm our Sect. Else, you'll either have your martial base disabled, or you'll be condemned to death along with your entire family," the big man threw his mace to the ground. A loud sound was issued as it broke several blue bricks.

"Who are you Sir? Are you responsible for us 'new recruits'?" someone gathered the courage to ask.

"Understand this clearly - No one is going to 'nanny' you around in this Sect. My name is Wild Zhou. I'm a disciple who guides the newcomers; that's all you need to know. This task was given to me by the Temple of Merits and Virtues of our sect. I'm not permitted to answer your questions. So no one will grill me with any. The next time someone asks me a question - I will break their nose before I decide whether I wish to answer or not. You're only to speak if you think I need to hear you 'melodious' voice. Otherwise, keep shut and walk. You may try me if you don't like my style. Strength is everything in this Sect. Strength is respected. And big fists are listened to," the giant man gave a nasty smile.

Most of the candidates were shocked by his words.

But Shi Mu just narrowed his eyes.

He was familiar with the Black Demon Sect's 'law of the jungle' style. However, he hadn't expected them to be this blatant about it.

Some candidates found it difficult to accept the burly man's words. But none of the candidates dared to stand out.

Wild Zhou was delighted to see the effect of his words. He continued...

"Good. I see that you're well behaved. I'll give you a rough outline of how things work here. You should listen carefully since you're new here. You're lucky that I got assigned to your batch. Most other guys don't give out this information for free. And you're bound to suffer without this information. So listen carefully! Our sect is just a branch of the Heavenly Demon Sect that occupies a central place on the continent. We worship the Black Fire Demon of the Three Great Demons. We are different from the other sects. We don't divide disciples according to their talent. That means your talent won't gain or lose you favours here. There's only one path to learning higher arts or gaining higher position here - defeat others with your strength, perform better and contribute more than the others. In other words, it's all a competition between disciples. You can choose any path to prove your superiority - covert or overt. Nobody will mind; not unless you overdo it. No one will protect you here. Not unless you receive protection from a Xian Tian Level Master. But it's a different story if they take you as a disciple. Even then you'll have to compete with your peers to gain more resource and support. Furthermore, there's a match every season, and a competition every year. The outstanding disciples are rewarded with rare pills and techniques. They are moved-up the rank, while the losers are punished. A loser's rank could be downgraded; they could even be deprived of resources. Some might even have to do manual labour like cleaning and cooking. You may even feel free to challenge the Master of the Thirteen Peaks if you're strong-enough; someday."

Notes:

Seems to be inspired out Chinese historical background. Might be mentioned repeatedly in the story. Chapter 3 will give more info about the structure of the setting. The three kingdoms are Yan, Da Qi and Huang Kingdom. They have a treaty which allies them against the barbarians.

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