By eavesdropping on the barbarian Cultivators’ whispers, Li Yao also got a piece of crucial information.
Ling Shoujing, the newly appointed Appeasing Ambassador of the Fifth Prefecture of the Southland of Sorcerers, had two purposes for his journey.
Firstly, he was there to back Huo Wuji and sustain the Great Qian Dynasty’s nominal reign in the place.
But his second purpose was actually to draft the barbarian soldiers to suppress the insurrections of the White Lotus Cult, the Heaven Battering King, and Ghost Qin.
It appeared that the Great Qian Dynasty was indeed seriously short of soldiers and had to exploit the places harder even though it was not a good approach in the long term.
Or maybe it was a trick to kill two birds with one stone. As long as the young soldiers in the Southland of Sorcerers were drafted into the Great Qian Dynasty’s army, and after they were weakened during the battles to come, the hundred tribes in the southwest would not be able to rebel even if they wanted to.
Other than the ordinary soldiers, the barbarian Cultivators were welcomed, too.
The Great Qian Dynasty’s politicians and Cultivators were essentially two complementary and yet independent systems.
While the emperor’s army and Ghost Qin’s cavalry were fighting hard, the Cultivators of the Great Qian Dynasty and those from the northern prairies had a few huge competitions, too.
It was said that the two parties would hold yet another shocking match to decide the fate of the regimes that they represented.
To prepare for the once-in-a-hundred-years match, the Great Qian Dynasty and Ghost Qin were both inviting experts from everywhere.
Although the Southland of Sorcerers was rather weak, it could still provide certain support. Even if the experts in the Nascent Soul Stage were few, it was still good if some barbarian Cultivators in the Core Formation Stage or the Building Foundation Stage were invited back to build up their force.
Besides, it was a trade-off. If the Great Qian Dynasty failed to recruit the barbarian Cultivators, they would likely be hired by Ghost Qin. As a result, one fewer Core Formation Stage Cultivator would be on their side, and one more Core Formation Stage would be on the enemy’s side, which could significantly affect the overall capabilities of the two sides.
Therefore, Ling Shoujing, as the Appeasing Ambassador of the Fifth Prefecture of the Southland of Sorcerers, had come to officially decree Huo Wuji as the new Chieftain of the South Land as a representative of the Great Qian Dynasty. He was also going to draft the soldiers through the new Chieftain, collect assets, and march to the north.
In the meantime, Ling Lanyin—Ling Shoujing’s daughter who was from the Purple Pole Sword Sect, which was known as the best sword sect in the Great Qian Dynasty—was sort of a representative of the Cultivators of the Great Qian Dynasty to invite the extraordinary folks in the southern tribes to join the Great Qian Dynasty’s side in the match to come.
The news could not have been better for Li Yao.
The match between the Cultivators of the Great Qian Dynasty and those from the northern land would certainly involve the top experts of both sides. If he could observe the match in person, a lot of his time could be saved.
The only thing to be confirmed right now was whether or not there was anything wrong with the identity of ‘Master Spiritual Vulture’. It would be quite embarrassing if he presented himself in the match only to discover that he was a mutual target of the Great Qian Dynasty and Ghost Qin.
Li Yao eavesdropped on them from behind without a sound. Then he suddenly heard the two barbarian Cultivators mentioning his fake name.
As it turned out, not all the barbarian Cultivators were as cunning as foxes.
The spiritual energy in the Ancient Sages Sector was too abundant. As a result, many bizarre Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures had been generated. Some fruits and the blood of certain animals could even transform someone into a Cultivator by cleansing their body and awakening their spiritual root!
But such Cultivators were often not wise enough despite their surging spiritual energy. They were essentially three-year-olds waving deadly weapons, threats to both themselves and others.
Such cases were much more common in the Southland of Sorcerers, which was short of tutelage and edification.
Therefore, of the hundred barbarian Cultivators in the team, other than most of the sleazy scoundrels, quite a few of them were actually ‘cute’ and ‘innocent’.
The role that Li Yao was playing was exactly such a person.
Such people only became Cultivators because of luck. Sometimes, because of the crash of spiritual energy when their spiritual root was awakened, their brain was more or less injured, and they were even more unintelligent and reckless than ordinary people.
Born and raised in the roughest land, they often lacked the latest news, too.
Most people’s impression of the Great Qian Dynasty was still its domination and invincibility hundreds of years ago.
Therefore, when the emperor’s army arrived, the cute and innocent Cultivators were the most active of all. They thought that they could make great contributions by following the emperor’s army and be rewarded with the magical equipment, Cultivation arts, and Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures from the central plateaus as their ancestors did hundreds of years ago!
The two barbarian Cultivators, one fat and the other slender, in front were discussing how to instigate the stupid boys to lead the vanguard and earn the trophies for them when the ‘negotiation’ began.
Of course, the role that Li Yao was playing was one of the ‘stupid boys’.
Thinking of something, Li Yao pinched his legs. The giant python below his bottom slithered like a dragon and squeezed into the middle of the two barbarian Cultivators.
Li Yao glared at him, and his python was gazing at the two of them maliciously, too. He declared, “I heard you mentioning my name while laughing. Were you making fun of me?”
The two barbarian Cultivators were greatly shocked. They did not realize that the boy who popped up from the Head Cutting Cliff had been following them so closely all the time without being discovered and that his ears were keen enough to catch their mosquito-like voices.
“Brother Snake Swallower, make no mistake!”
The fat barbarian Cultivator who was tied up in snakes hurried to drop a hint at the other barbarian Cultivator who was as slender as skeleton before he said with a smile, “Come here. Let me introduce to you Brother Gu Siduo from Black Mist Village. I was talking about your strength with him just now, Brother Snake Swallower. It was truly marvelous of you to have thrown away three leaders of Hundred Flowers Village of the Sky Touching Mountain.
Li Yao’s fake named ‘Snake Swallower’ suggested that he had grown up feeding on vipers.
It was a rather common way to give names in the uncivilized tribes in the southwest.
Raising his chin, Li Yao did not even bother to look at them. “Is that worth mentioning at all? Not just the three monkeys, when I was in the woods, I could casually toss giant boars weighing a thousand kilograms several kilometers away!”
“Of course. We absolutely have no doubt you can. You are certainly going to distinguish yourself under the Appeasing Ambassador’s command. These old bones here are all counting on young heroes such as you!” Gu Siduo adulated him with a feigned smile.
Li Yao was so delighted that his face was beet red. Suddenly, he lowered his head ‘in embarrassment’ and asked, “Hey, let me ask you something. I’m told that, after we reach the village of the Fire Rude Clan, if I throw the opponents several kilometers away as I did just now or smash them into rocks, there will be great rewards. I can get all the rare treasures and even be a man with power in the central plateaus. Is it true?”
Looking at each other in bewilderment, the two barbarian Cultivators both held back their smiles and nodded. “Of course it is true. As said clearly in the ‘Appeasing Order’, as long as you try your best and preferably kill dozens of Cultivators on the enemy’s side, you can get as much gold, Cultivation arts, and magical equipment as you want. You will be granted a high position, too, and you will get to choose what official you would like to work as!”
Li Yao scratched his face in joy. “The guy surnamed Ling said that we are on… right, Huo Wuji’s side, and I should not kill anyone randomly on our side. I wonder, who are the people on the enemy’s side? Are they capable of bearing my toss, punch, and strangle?”
Meng Duo, the fat barbarian Cultivator with vipers all over his body, smiled. “Brother Snake Swallower, you boast naturally-endowed formidable strength. You also have your extraordinary arts that have domesticated such a dangerous Highly-Crowed Lethal Python. You are obviously second to none in the Southland of Sorcerers. Isn’t it so, Brother Gu Siduo?”
“Of course. Of course!” the zombie-like barbarian Cultivator said solemnly. “Brother Snake Swallower, you will certainly make the greatest contributions in the battle to come!”
Li Yao smashed his fists in excitement before he glared at the two of them. “Don’t steal my opponents after the battle begins. Otherwise, I may remember your names, but the giant python below me certainly won’t!”
The two barbarian Cultivators were too old and cunning to bother fighting for credit with him. Therefore, they simply flattered Brother Snake Swallower and described him as a great hero who would not only dominate the Southland of Sorcerers but also make a name for himself in the central plateaus or the northern prairies.
Li Yao seemed to have been lost in their exaltations. While clapping his hands and bursting into laughter, he declared arrogantly, “Right. A few years ago, when my master was still alive, he often mentioned a tough guy named ‘Master Spiritual Vulture’. My master’s greatest regret in his life was that he didn’t have a chance to fight Master Spiritual Vulture!
“My master is dead now. I’ve lived more than ten years in the wilderness, and I feel that I’m much stronger than him when he was alive! I wonder, is Master Spiritual Vulture coming or not? If he does, which side will he be on? It will be best if he is on our enemy’s side. I’ll punch him into pieces easily and pour a cup of wine for my master with his skull!”
Hearing that, Meng Duo and Gu Siduo both shuddered, and their faces immediately turned pale.
The temperature around the three of them suddenly lowered by dozens of degrees, as if an invisible block of ice hit them hard.
The two of them looked at Li Yao as if he were a dead body filled with venom and plague.
“Brother Snake Swallower, watch your mouth!” Meng Duo was smiling in a way uglier than crying. “You must not joke about M—M—Master Spiritual Vulture’s name!”
“Exactly!” Gu Siduo had not entirely recovered from his shock, either. “It doesn’t matter if you want to get yourself killed, but please don’t bring the two of us down with you!”
The two of them quietly moved away from him, as if they were avoiding a leper.
But Li Yao certainly would not let go of them so easily. He intentionally raised his voice and shouted, “Huh? What are you doing? Is Master Spiritual Vulture so terrible? Can we not defeat him even if the three of us join hands?”