(Lian Li POV)
We followed Master through the Phoenix Sect's doors, taking the front most position of the Heaven Sect convoy just behind the Sect Master.
Eris finally recovered from Master's unexpected princess carry the week before, leaving her blissful corner of the room.
How incredibly fortunate of her.
Kuh~ I want Master to carry me too…
No, no, must not be too greedy, Master is still brushing my hair after all.
"Sect Master Long! Long time no see!" Some old fart greeted the Sect Master enthusiastically.
"Oho? Sect Master Feng! How unexpected of you to greet us at the door!"
"Ho ho ho! You are too humble Master Long!"
I rolled my eyes at their farce, it's so obvious that neither of them meant what they've said. I won't be surprised if either of them had been planning on backstabbing each other anytime soon.
"Ah, this must be the famed Master Lin!"
The four of us tensed, all our eyes on this old fogey.
"Welcome to my humble Sect, Master Lin! I've heard a lot of things about you!" The old fart greeted, cupping his hands.
"Likewise Sect Master Feng," Master greeted while mirroring his hand actions.
"Hmm, Master Lin. We have a lot of people here who are interested in meeting you within our Sect. Could I offer an invitation for you to stay at our Sect after the Festival as a guest for a while?"
This old fart couldn't be more obvious in his attempt to poach Master over to his own Sect.
Our own Sect Master placed a possessive hand on Master's shoulder, "Ho ho ho! Master Feng, you must understand our Master Lin is a very busy man, he has duties he needs to fulfill back at our own Sect. What's more, he has recently picked up a few disciples which means he won't be able to stay here for long."
"Oh nonsense! Master Lin, your disciples are welcome to stay as well!" That old fart laughed, eyeing us with his disgusting eyes. "In fact, I would welcome them with open arms."
"Hahaha! Sect Master Feng really knows how to jest, our Master Lin's disciples should be nurtured within Heaven Sect itself."
"Oh? But I was not joking at all, Sect Master Long. An exchange between our Sects would go a very long way towards improving our Sect relations. Who else better than the famed Master Lin and his disciples to do this?"
This old geezer really knows how to talk, it's obvious that he's only interested in roping Master to his Sect.
"Oh, but we can't neglect Master Lin's feeling now can we? What do you think of Sect Master Feng's offer, Master Lin?"
Master cupped his hands together, "I am honored by Sect Master Feng's offer, but I cannot accept your offer at this time as I would like to focus on training my own disciples now. With my attention spread out as such, I would not be a good guest at Master Feng's Sect."
As expected of Master, he skillfully deflected the old geezer's invitation without sounding rude or arrogant.
"Hmm… I see," the old fossil nodded pretentiously. "I shall not impose on you then, just know our doors are always open for you, Master Lin."
My sisters and I shared a knowing look, we'll definitely need to keep an eye on this pre-decomposed old fossil.
"Now, if you'll excuse us, Sect Master Feng, I shall lead my Sect to the Festival grounds," our own Sect Master huffed, walking past him with his chin high.
Master followed him without hesitation, prompting the rest of the Sect to do the same and leaving the old fart behind.
The Festival location was in the Phoenix Sect's biggest courtyard, they had a giant stage built to accommodate this farce. I'm pretty sure the stage could have a few hundred people fighting comfortably on it without it being too cramped.
We were promptly shown to our seating area where our Sect Master took the centre seat with Master beside him. The rest of the Elders and Masters also took their own seats while we disciples stood behind them with the others.
Manami, Eris and I stood next to each other while Cai Hong sat on Master's lap as his 'adopted' daughter.
If only there's a way to regress my body's age.
Oh wait, I believe Manami's searching on a way to do just that, I suppose it's just a matter of time. She didn't tell me why exactly she was searching for such a thing though, but I didn't deem it important enough to ask.
It took another half an hour before all the Sects were present, some of the other Sect's Elders and Masters came over to offer greetings to our Sect Master.
But unfortunately for them, it was quite painfully obvious to us that all of them were trying to entice our Master in some way to move to their Sect. Master would always turn down their offers gently though, his compassion truly knows no bounds.
As everyone began settling back to their designated places, an old fart wearing grey robes leapt onto the stage.
Cupping his hands, he made an exaggerated bow to the audience, "Greetings my fellow Practitioners, I am Elder Yu of the Phoenix Sect! On behalf of my Sect, I welcome everyone to this years Sect Showcase Festival!"
Everyone applauded the old fart's introduction.
"For the new ones amongst us today, I shall go over the rules for their benefit."
A few people started murmuring amongst themselves, no doubt the people who are already familiar with the rules and are not bothering to listen.
"We will first start off with the Outer Core Practitioners, then the Inner Core Practitioners and finally the Elite Practitioners. Mercenary Practitioners should already have your ranking groups decided at the sign in tables, so only participate in the group you are allocated in. After that, there will be the open segment where anyone can participate in either group fights or duels."
Ah, so that's why Master wanted us to advance to Inner Core Practitioner before participating in this. If we had entered this as Outer Core Practitioners, we would barely get any recognition! Surely this is the chance for us to gain glory for our Master!
"Now, each group will send out their selected representatives and participate in a free-for-all where the last one standing wins! The stage has been infused with a Cultivation Technique that will send a person out of the ring should they be hit with a potentially fatal attack! It also negates any damage done to the stage! This is all possible thanks to Master Lin introducing this technique to all of us!"
Everyone applauded enthusiastically to which Master nodded in his seat in acknowledgement.
Yes! Glory to Master!
"With that, I wish all of you the best of luck! For the first round, may all the participating Outer Sect Practitioners please step on the stage!"
The crowd applauds once more as the old fart leapt off the stage, giving way for the numerous Outer Core Practitioners to ascend to the stage.
A bell sounded and the free-for-all started. Some had already formed teams while others fought it out on their own, sending their own Techniques all over the stage.
It was basically just a chaotic war zone where everyone did whatever, all the class and decorum stripped off.
While I was just getting bored of the low level fights, I felt a nudge from my right.
Turning my head, I see an older man staring right at me.
"You are Master Lin's disciple, right?" he asked.
I nodded, wondering what this busybody wanted.
"Hmph, must be nice to be a girl. Getting Master Lin to take you in just by spreading your legs."
Did this flea just…
He did, didn't he?
I clenched my fist, sparks already gathering around it in preparation to strike down this insect.
A figure blurred in front of me with a little girl coddled in his arms.
A sudden pressure washed over me, similar to the warm, comforting pressure of being hugged by Master back at Manami's village.
On the other hand, I could tell a different kind of pressure had enveloped the flea with how he's standing rigidly still.
Master tilted his head as he glared at that insect in the eyes, "What… Did I hear you say?"
Ah… Master is making a very scary face now...
I earnestly prayed that Master never show such an enraged expression to me, ever.
"No… Nothing… Master Lin…"
Master clicked his tongue at him, "No, no. That's not what I heard, care to repeat that?"
"I… I wouldn't dare… Master Lin…"
"You wouldn't dare… Huh? I see, I see. I must have misheard it then?" Master asked, placing a hand on the thing's shoulder.
The air got heavier, I have no doubt that thing is feeling the full brunt of Master's anger. He's probably seeing what I saw back when I first experienced Master's pressure during my entry to the Sect.
"Ahughhhh… Master… Lin…"
"Mhm, I guess I really did hear wrong. My bad then."
Master released that thing's shoulder, returning back to his seat with Cai Hong in his arms, her glowing, light brown eyes never leaving that thing throughout.
The pressure was lifted when Master sat back down, the sensation giving me a comfortable shiver.
That thing quickly left the place, almost sprinting. Ah, he's even vomiting as he's running.
The fight was still ongoing, everyone's eyes were still glued to the stage and no one else but us and that thing had even known this scene took place.
I think I may need to go relieve myself…
Be right back.