Black Tiger was the first to come out of his stupor, “To face a Grand Archfiend we need ten thousand Great Fiends.”
Black Python added, “Can Yan Mountain even handle such huge costs?”
Chen Ming was all smiles, “This is only temporary. The plan is to have the same power as the fiends’ Grand Sovereign. And now is the time to start, by recruiting ten thousand, for now, in the vicinity of Yan Mountain. Half a year later, we will proceed with the second expansion, only stopping at a hundred thousand!”
They all though Chen Ming had huge potential. But it never crossed their minds his ambition would stretch so far, encompassing the whole Myriad Mountains!
Yet they didn’t have any adverse feelings. They wouldn’t be fighting against the fiends’ Grand Sovereign for now anyway, so they had time to prepare. Black Tiger said, “What of Yan Mountain’s disciples? Will they be joining the fray?”
Chen Ming laughed, “None of them will fight. I have something else in store for them. Once they have attained suitable cultivation, I will give the order for expansion, to leave the mountain. The ones leaving will receive a hundred thousand spirit stones for organizing their private army. They will conquer many new lands in the area, becoming proud new owners over them!”
This shocked the three to no end. Chen Ming didn’t limit himself to Myriad Mountains, what he wanted was the whole world!
The three also became privy to Li Suyi recruiting three thousand disciples. When all three thousand and six hundred disciples were given the order to expand, these many lords would become an unimaginable force across the entire world.
Yet, how much would all of this cost?
Once they came to know the refining speed of these disciples, hope sprouted in their hearts. Then adding another three thousand disciples, Yan Mountain’s success was almost guaranteed.
When they thought before, how the speed for attaining success was lacking, well now, they felt like flying.
At this point, they had no words to refute. If it worked, they would be rulers on their own, if not, it was only death anyway!
They even dared to go as far as thinking Yan Mountain would unify the world. But what name would their land have when each had his own territory?
Chen Ming cough brought them back to reality. Black Tiger said, “I understand. I will expand the army, but I need Black Python’s help so that this operation doesn’t stand out.”
Black Python said, “I will do my utmost in helping you, scouting ahead for any suitable recruiting areas.”
With the army expansion affair covered, Chen Ming called upon White Fox, to have her build accommodations for the new three thousand disciples.
Black Tiger, Black Python, and Fire Swallow looked back upon Yan Mountain, as they left its lands. No outsider would ever know how much of a monster Yan Mountain became.
Everyone had unattainable dreams, but now, they could grasp the opportunity of achieving them. This was most terrifying indeed. The three spared no energy in fulfilling Chen Ming’s plan. On the surface, actions were taken, and beneath it, this was only the start. Yan Mountain’s war machine, slowly but surely, started its great undertaking, that of expansion.
As the days passed, the army ranks bolstered. And despite showing a slow increase, the growth was noticeable.
The disciples had other matters to deal with to notice any of this, like poking fun at the fresh disciples trickling in. Flowing Peak and Blazing Peak’s disciples have been living here for the past six months. They were looking at the newcomers like city folks looked at country bumpkins.
The fresh recruits found Yan Mountain a novelty, seeing as Scriptures Pavilion had most of Southern Border’s cultivation methods. But above all these, they had Chen Ming’s lecture to look forward to. The fresh disciples would undoubtedly choose a cultivation method Chen Ming would hold a lecture of.
After roaming around Yan Mountain, the recruits’ stomachs began growling, but fun fact, there was no dining hall on Yan Mountain.
“Master went too far with taking in new disciples, so much so that he didn’t even get to handle our dining hall.”
“What do we do? Will we starve to death on Yan Mountain?”
“Let’s search everywhere.”
After a long trek across Yan Mountain, with the exception of Master and his legacy disciples’ peaks where they didn’t have access, the fresh recruits have come to know that there was no dining hall or any of such sort anywhere on Yan Mountain, “Weird, is it possible we will be eating over at Master’s?”
“You don’t seem to have discovered, but senior brothers and senior sisters don’t eat food, but chug pills instead.”
“Pills, what pills?”
The new recruits went to find a group of senior brothers and senior sisters to ask, “Excuse me, seniors, but where do we take our meals?”
The group was filled with shock and awe, “Meals, what meals? Yan Mountain doesn’t provide meals.”
The new recruits were struck dumb, “If we don’t get meals, then what should we do, hunt?”
One senior brother explained, “You should know that Yan Mountain is doing its best in training us. And since this costs a pretty coin, Yan Mountain can’t provide meals, becoming a dirt-poor place.”
A new disciple said, “No way! You mean to tell me that not even Archfiend’s subordinates have meals?”
That one senior brother further added, “What meals? On Yan Mountain, we are so poor that only pills are left. So Master made us eat them instead. That over there is the Alchemy House. You can all go there and take your pick. As long as the spiritual energy isn’t enough to make you explode, if you can eat, then eat.”
The fresh recruits stood in a daze. So poor, pills are the only choice. This goes beyond poverty!
Back up, eating pills as meals?
At long last, the fresh recruits have discovered what Yan Mountain used to soothe hunger, pills. The same things over which the outside world was now waging life and death battles.
They were skeptical at first, thinking these seniors were deceiving them, but as they arrived at the Alchemy House, they were met with the hard truth. So it is indeed like this. Is this truly Yan Mountain, or an immortal’s paradise?
The seniors were bursting with joy, “There are finally people who can finish all those weird tasting pills!”
“Don’t let them catch a whiff of those chicken-flavored and strawberry-flavored pills. Only tell them when they finish the old ones.”
“They have only caught a glimpse of Yan Mountain’s thrilling nature. For now, it’s enough to leave them with their zeal for pills.”
Before Xing Ming returned to Astral Immortal Sect, he checked the pills’ effect. Not that he didn’t trust Chen Ming, oh no, he did have Vermilion Bird’s token after all. But even with this trust it still fell in his right to sample the goods.
He fished out a Qi Pill and began the examination. It was plum and perfectly round, a first-rate pill. Popping it in his mouth, he found its medicinal property more than great, even one time higher than Medicine King Valley’s!
But why do I find it’s flavor so fitting? And after a careful and long smack of his lips, “Is this chicken I taste?”
Is it just one? There’s no way they made it chicken-flavored on purpose, right?
Xing Ming was thorough in his testing, and the next pill he tried had strawberry flavor.
Xing Ming swiftly reported this news to the elders. After their own testing, they were also utterly baffled by it. Far from being amazed by its flavor since it wasn’t hard to make at all, just that who in their right mind would be that bored and deranged to refine all these pills with different flavors?
All alchemists were off their rockers!
An elder spoke, “It looks like that young friend’s words weren’t empty when he said he can refine a million a month. Their profound knowledge of alchemy is something we can’t even begin to imagine.”
Jian Wangge said, “Right, their refining must have reached the heavens for them to make pills with so many different flavors.”
Xue Shan added, “Yeah, they even changed Qi Pill’s flavor, making high ranked pills must be as simple as waving their fingers around. We have found ourselves a powerful ally. Next time we meet young friend we need to do our utmost in lowering our attitude, to have equal standing in the trade, and not to pry too deeply.”