Chapter 71: The Record of a Happy Encounter of Ambition Turned Into A Donkey 
Translator: Subudai11 Editor: Chrissy
From the Spirit Sword Mountain, Daoist Master Zhifeng absentmindedly flew to the east. Because he has lost his reliable Sword of Mount Kun and was injured because of his shaken heart’s dao, his flying speed was not as fast as before. After about two hours, he has yet to leave the one thousand miles radius sphere of influence of the Spirit Sword Sect.
On his way, Daoist Zhifeng saw a black-clothed daoist priest blocking his way.
His mind focused again as he tried to recognize the man; he could not help but be surprised as his heart turned cold. “Kong Zhang…!?”
Daoist Kong Zhang was another Shengjing Sect member like him; he was another Division Head in the Blue River Region. However, his identity was highly independent, not at all under Zhifeng’s jurisdiction. Although his cultivation level was merely at Jindan Stage, he has never given face to Zhifeng—the person in charge of the area.
As for the reason why, it was because this Daoist Kong Zhang was the direct subordinate of the leader of the Yama Hall of the Shengjing Sect. He was specifically responsible for the intelligence work in the area, thus their work remained independent. Apart from reporting directly to the Head of the Yama Hall and the Sect Leader, he has no other restriction. Basically, he was somewhat similar to the outside world’s Brocade Clad Guard  of the Great Ming Country.
Daoist Kong Zhang’s intelligence work was not only to gather information about the outside but also internal. In the past, he had always carried himself in low key manner. Whenever Daoist Master Zhifeng tried to tempt or engage him, he remained unmoved. Therefore, Daoist Master Zhifeng gradually put down his guard; he thought that this fellow was just eating and drinking, waiting for his death. He also thought that this fellow was sent to the Blue River Region because of the lack in ability, just like him.
Therefore, Daoist Master Zhifeng had always thought that this fellow was unaware of his little trick in the White Moon Country. Now it seemed like...
Daoist Kong Zhang’s ice-cold word slowly squeezed out from his pale cheek, causing Daoist Master Zhifeng’s chest to tighten.
Things have indeed been brought to light, and this fellow sect member, who resembled more of a ghost, probably knew his conduct from the start, but just deliberately ignored his action; perhaps this fellow was just trying to fish in troubled waters?
“That’s right, I’ve lost.”
Daoist Kong Zhang coldly said, “What a disgraceful waste.”
“You!?” Daoist Master Zhifeng was immediately enraged. Even though he was indeed like a stray dog at the moment, he was still a Yuanying Stage Elder. How could a Jindan cultivator dare to show off and insult him? Who does he think he is? Fifth Elder of the Spirit Sword Sect?
As soon as this Yuanying Stage cultivator got angry, his magical power immediately began to circulate; he was about to transform the surrounding spiritual energy and then use a spell to teach Kong Zhang a little lesson. However, before Daoist Zhifeng could make his move, a lightning strike suddenly appeared right in front of him.
The next moment, Daoist Master Zhifeng completely froze; his magical power circulation was forced to stop, thus even though he knew countless of spells, he could not cast any of them.
Daoist Kong Zhang, with a golden knife in hand, crossed over the one-kilometer distance between them in a flash, broke Daoist Zhifeng’s body protection barrier, held the knife on his throat, and then sneered.
“You can’t even counter my trick, you really are a waste.”
Daoist Master Zhifeng felt a cold feeling welling up inside him. Just now, the lightning power seeped into his body; it was a surprise attack. Even if he has the time to prepare, whether or not he could resist it was still up in the open, much less when he was taken by surprise like now.
Thinking of this, Daoist Master Zhifeng tremblingly asked, “Are… you really just a Jindan Stage Cultivator?”
Kong Zhang sneered. “If someone wants to deal with a waste like you, why would they need to be on a higher level than you?”
With that, his hand moved toward Zhifeng’s chest—on top of his heart—and, while casting a strange spell, he began to draw a character seal.
No matter how waste Daoist Master Zhifeng was, his knowledge was vast. He quickly recognized the meaning of the seal. “This, this is… Kong Zhang, without the sect’s trial, you can’t do this to me!”
“What a joke, why should the Sect Elders bother themselves to put a waste like you into the trial? The evidence has entered the sect; it’s already beyond your control.”
Kong Zhang extended his right hand and forcefully pushed that seal into Daoist Master’s Zhifeng’s heart. Daoist Master Zhifeng immediately screamed as that powerful magical power entered his body and began to devour him. His whole body twisted and groaned; this four hundred years old Yuanying Cultivator could not resist the power of this seal even a little bit.
In about a quarter of an hour, Daoist Master Zhifeng had been completely transformed, from an old man to a donkey.
Kong Zhang grabbed that donkey and flew away. Before long. they reached a humble small town in the Blue River Region. This was a small town, but it was where the traffic passed through. It was a very bustling city with many people coming and going. Kong Zhang landed several miles outside of the town. His green Daoist Robe, which was filled with a lot of magical power, has become an ordinary coarse cloth long gown. Kong Zhang himself has changed from a grim Daoist to a middle-aged peddler. He slowly walked into the town while pulling the donkey.
When he entered the town later, Kong Zhang came straight to an inn. After he tied the donkey in the front, he called the waiter to open a room for him, ordered a few dishes, and then, after he ate, went upstairs to rest.
However, when he pushed open the door, that simple guest room suddenly transformed, changing its appearance into :”clear water and green hills”, a place of exceptional scenery.
Shortly after Kong Zhang entered the room, several black clothed Shengjing Sect members appeared out of thin air and respectfully saluted him.
Kong Zhang nodded to one of them, and then said, “Give me the several years worth of data that came out of the Spirit Sword Sect.”
That black-clothed member immediately complied with a “yes”. Half an hour later, that member returned with five pieces of Jade Plates.
Kong Zhang’s brows could not help but wrinkle. “Just these?”
In recent years, the focus of their intelligence in the Blue River Region was not on the Spirit Sword Sect. Although they were one of the top five sects, they were being low-key for too long, which made nobody interested in them. However, some second rate sects in the Blue River Region had gone into prominence lately and caught their attention… Kong Zhang just didn’t think that the intelligence data regarding Spirit Sword Sect would be so scarce!
However, when he took a piece of that Jade Plate and read the information in it using his Primordial Spirit, cold sweat began to pour out his body as his mind was greatly shocked!
“H-how could this sect…”
This grim-faced sect member put down that Jade Plate, and then scolded, “That waste Zhifeng almost provoked a disaster!”
Shengjing Sect has never been afraid of enemies, but they wouldn’t just casually antagonize other people, especially now that they had established the continent-wide strategy of putting sect’s divisions in each region. They wanted to make friends, not to antagonize everyone and make enemies everywhere. If they stirred up the whole world’s anger, they’d be dead. In particular, even though they were the strongest sect in the Union of Ten Thousand Immortals, they were not invincible; some adversaries were better off left to their own devices.
After looking at this Jade Plate, Kong Zhang could immediately conclude that this Spirit Sword Sect was one of those sects that should not be easily provoked. Of course, that didn’t mean they were untouchables, but… it was completely not worth the candle.
Thinking to this, Kong Zhang sighed, lifted a pen, and began to write something in the air.
A day later, a golden flying sword flew from the east and arrived on the boundary of the Spirit Sword Sect. That flying sword was extremely fast, but it suddenly stopped before the entrance of the Spirit Sword Sect; it floated high in the air, as far away as possible from the visiting guests.
Before long, the Spirit Sword Sect’s great array opened a path for it. This flying sword thus slowly flew along that open path and eventually fell into a palm of an old man.
This old man was naturally the controller of all things inside the Spirit Sword Sect—the Sect Leader, Daoist Master Feng Yin. He let the golden sword enter the sect area because he had already recognized that it was the Shengjing Sect’s flying sword messenger.
Speaking of which, the letter exchange between the top sects have become more frequent today. This flying sword was not their usual method of communication, and it was only used in a relatively formal occasion. Usually, they would just use a talisman, which was both fast and effortless.
Feng Yin warily took the golden sword and discovered that there was a mustard seed bag tied on the handle. With a glance, he knew what this meant and understood why they didn’t use the talisman.
However, why would the dignified Shengjing Sect’s Sect Leader send this thing in secret? This flying sword messenger was usually used between individuals. Between two sects, especially among the top five sects in the Union of Ten Thousand Immortals, their actions and movements would usually be handled with utmost care. The Spirit Sword Sect has always been low-key, but the Shengjing Sect was known as the top sect in the Immortal Cultivation World. Thus, everything they did would always be exceptionally elaborate. If there were something they wanted to send, they would do it in a much bigger fun fare—they would dispatch one of their members to personally deliver. It was never as simple as sending out a flying golden sword; no matter what, it seemed disrespectful.
The last time when Zhifeng came ablaze in anger, he single-handedly confronted them, Feng Yin has already seen his guilty conscience and knew that he was the sole offender. However, how could he possibly let a mere Shengjing Sect’s Division Head run rampant in his own place? Even if the Shengjing Sect looked down on people, on the surface, they would still need to appear good.
Then this one...
Feng Yin smiled and correctly guessed that this must be related with Daoist Master Zhifeng. Shengjing Sect should have already known about this scandal, and thus didn’t dare to be preachy. Then, would this mean that inside this mustard seed bag there was the money to keep their mouth shut? That must be it.
Although the Spirit Sword Sect could not be considered as poor and even resource-abundant, but compared to the filthy rich Shengjing Sect… In Feng Yin’s understanding, their yearly foreign expenditure was more than tens of millions of spirit stones!
Thus, the money needed to shut their mouth because of that Zhifeng’s White Moon Country’s scandal should not be less than one or two million spirit stones, otherwise, how could it be justified?
With a glimmer of expectation, Daoist Master Feng Yin cast a spell to unlock the mustard bag’s restriction and, sure enough, found a sparkling and translucent pure crystal inside—the first rate Mysterious Sky Crystal.
The so-called Mysterious Sky Crystal was a large denomination currency published by the Mysterious Sky Mansion. Usually, a piece of Mysterious Sky Crystal was worth tens of thousands of spirit stones, but the piece in Feng Yin’s hand was the first rate Mysterious Sky Crystal that was worth millions!
The Mysterious Sky Crystal itself wasn’t particularly precious. Supporting its prices were the powerful strength and good reputation of the Mysterious Sky Mansion, which was a large monetary institution completely independent from the Union of Ten Thousand Immortals or any sects. It was a jointly funded establishment by the top five sects in the Union of the Ten Thousand Immortals and the ten first rate sects. Its prestige was almost equal to that of the Union of the Ten Thousand Immortals, thus, its reliability naturally needed not be said anymore.
At the same time, the Mysterious Sky Crystal contained a secret mark from the Mysterious Sky Mansion, which was very difficult to counterfeit. More importantly, even if, in time, it could be counterfeited, it was absolutely impossible to not be noticed immediately. Thus, Daoist Master Feng Yin didn’t worry about this Mysterious Sky Crystal’s authenticity. A dignified Sect Leader of the Shengjing Sect, even if it were sent secretly using the flying sword, would never send a counterfeited good, lest he would be laughed at by knowledgeable people like himself.
Millions of spirit stones… as a fee to cover the mouth, was really a sincere offer from the Shengjing Sect. However, while he was thinking, Feng Yin found several fragments of something within the mustard seed bag. When he poured them out later, he was suddenly taken aback.
“This… this is burnt donkey meat!?”
Looking at those several pieces of still hot burnt meat on the table, Feng Yin deeply wrinkled his eyebrows. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t figure out the meaning behind this. Thus, he put on the nearby spectacles on the bridge of his nose.
Looking through the Kunlun Mirror, the world suddenly became different. Through his deeply profound eyes, the temporal lines of cause and effect were no longer mysterious. Daoist Feng Yin was suddenly amazed, but then, his complexion gradually turned solemn.
“Second Junior Brother, come here for a moment.”
Feng Yin casually said, and after a moment, a sword of light flew from the Misty Peak, carrying Liu Xian with it.
“Senior Brother, why are you looking for me?”
Daoist Master Feng Yin shook his head and threw that burnt donkey meat to Liu Xian. After he bewilderedly took it, Liu Xian opened his mouth and was about to eat it.
“Junior Brother, don’t eat it!” Feng Yin was greatly shocked; how could he eat that burnt donkey meat!? “Can’t you recognize what’s in your hand?”
Liu Xian was startled, and then he carefully observed the burnt thing in his hand. “This… flesh is exquisite, its fat is thin and well-distributed, and it faintly has Immortal Spirit’s aura, could this be an Immortal Donkey? Senior Brother, where did you find such a strange thing?”
Feng Yin snorted and gestured at the Shengjing Sect’s golden sword at the table, as well as that piece of Mysterious Sky Crystal. “Do you understand?”
Liu Xian’s mind began to work, and after a moment, the cause and effect became substantially clear as he immediately threw the burnt donkey meat back to his senior brother.
“This Shengjing Sect is quite ruthless.”
Feng Yin rhetorically asked back, “Ruthless? Compared to being imprisoned in that hall for a hundred years, this is a much better outcome. Based on this meat’s appearance, ten years later, he would be able to return to his previous form. It’s just that, in these ten years, it would be really tough… However, this does not concern us. They mailed us these things because they want to ask us to settle the matter in private so that we don’t disclose the matter. Later on, there should be a formal visit from them; at that time, it would just be a formality. The two sects will issue a joint statement, and the matter would be just a bygone. But I think that’s not necessary; there’s no need to offend the Shengjing Sect for such a trivial thing, what do you think, Junior Brother?”
Liu Xian frowned. “This is indeed a trivial thing, and we also don’t suffer any loss. I think it’s better for you to decide, no one will oppose it.”
Feng Yin said, “If only to calm things down, I just need to reach an agreement with the Shengjing Sect. But Junior Brother, this matter can’t just end like this.”
“Senior Brother, you mean…?
“The White Moon Country is in the Blue River Region, and it’s also not far from our sect… And I remember from the report of the disciples who descended the mountain to wander that in recent years, the Immortal Cultivation World in the Blue River Region could be said to be in a murky state; the reported cases of scammer sects who dupe the ordinary people have been numerous.”
Liu Xian nodded in agreement. “I can see that; in the other regions, there are several sects that could suppress the situation, but it’s only our Blue River Region that doesn't have a leader… Um, Senior Brother, do you want to expand our sect’s force?”
“Uh, blind expansion of the Spirit Sword Sect does not have any benefit, but since we occupied the spiritual energy node in the Blue River Region, we ought to shoulder some responsibility to the Blue River Region. The Shengjing Sect’s division head’s case is just one example. Similar things have often happened repeatedly, so I think we can’t just ignore this.”
Liu Xian asked, “Then how does Senior Brother plan to deal with this? Wouldn’t it be better if we just ask the Union of Ten Thousand Immortal to intervene?”
“We can, but if we do that, we probably won’t be able to preserve the Spirit Sword Sect’s reputation as one of the five top sects, which has been continually criticized in the last one hundred years… Although we don’t need to care about the outsider’s view, this inclusion in the top five sects is useful on many occasions. So, it’s best if we deal with this thing ourselves. In any case, any A Mou or A Gou  can manufacture this kind of low-end scam.”
Liu Xian coldly humphed. “But the number is too large; just to find these snakes and rats in the huge Blue River Region is already a headache… Unless you are willing to sacrifice your ten years of cultivation to use the ultimate Stars Diffraction Technique to instantly lock all the targets.”
Feng Yin laughed. “There’s no need to use such a force, very soon, someone would deliver the information for us.”
“... Shengjing Sect?”
“Is it not? They have been operating this continent-wide strategy for so many years; their nails have tightly clutched the Blue River Region. Thus, they ought to understand more about this than us, no?”
“Hmm, this makes sense, but after that? Who does Senior Brother intend to send to clean up these insects… Ultimately, our Spirit Sword Sect’s manpower is a bit withered.”
“Is it? I actually think our sect’s disciples are quite a lot. Right now, this is the perfect opportunity for those who had entered the sect for up to ten years to go out and do the experiential learning. If they just do the experiential learning inside the sect, it’s somewhat less real and thus quite unfavorable for their growth. If they can understand the ways of the world of the Nine Regions, their road to immortality would be perfectly steady.”
Liu Xian was taken aback. “Letting the new entry-disciples to deal with that!? Senior Brother, you…” The Second Elder’s face turned solemn. “Senior Brother, what you just said is exactly the same as the management training program one hundred years ago!”
Feng Yin laughed. “Don’t be ridiculous; we’re not sending them in the middle of nowhere to open up a new territory, but just to deal with some small fries in the Blue River Regions… If they can’t even do this, how could they survive in the Immortal Cultivation World later on?”
“... In the end, they’re just newcomers, most of them haven’t even reached the middle Foundation Establishment Stage.”
“Hehe, if we send those disciples who have already reached the peak Foundation Establishment Stage to deal with those snakes and rats, could this still be called an experiential learning? Oh, Junior Brother, you need to have more confidence in our Spirit Sword Sect’s disciples.”
Liu Xian ruefully smiled. Obviously, he still has some apprehension. However, since his Senior Brother’s ideas have been set, there was no need for him to argue about it.
“Yes, Senior Brother.”
“Later on, I want you to coordinate with the Heavenly Policy Hall to come up with a plan for this experiential learning. I want you to finish it by next month.”
 The Zhi in Zhifeng means Ambition.
 Jinyiwei or The Brocade Clad Guard was the imperial secret police that served the Emperors of the Ming Dynasty in China. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embroidered_Uniform_Guard
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