Paragon of Sin

Chapter 896: Endless Prosperitylnterruption

Chapter 895: Endless Prosperity,Golden Meeting

The World Realm of Endless Prosperity was plunged into a state of excited activity. There was news trickling in about visitors from the various branches arriving, including the Branch Managers, Golden Councilmen, and that the Pavilion Master himself was organizing this event.

A Golden Meeting!

A rare event that only occurred when something substantial might begin, such as a Golden Auction or a change in the Golden Life Pavilion ’s ruling laws. With the upcoming Saint Cyclic Renewal Summit on the horizon, the latter seemed more likely, so quite a few individuals from within and outside the Golden Life Pavilion were highly invested in this event.

The sights of all types of grandiose Voidships arriving, and then smaller-sized Skyships that were just as impressive, sporting the markings of the First Branch, Second Branch, and Third Branch, further stimulated the fiery imagination of Endless Prosperity. As a World Realm highway of import and export, the word soon spread across various Domains and Starfields.

The last time this occurred was the unveiling of the Neo-Dawn Eclipse Pill, a product that caused a cascade of rampant changes and developments, including the Ever-Domain Pill ’s public reveal that heavily contributed to the Saint Cyclic Renewal Summit ’s initiation. The thought that this could outright induce another extraordinary change that would reshape the current era was infectious.

Quite a few top-tier experts sent proxies to inquire with those on the Golden Council or worked for the various branches, holding high positions, hoping to gain some inkling on what was to come. However, there was a strict silence surrounding the topic. It brought forth a stronger curiosity from all spectating parties.

What could it be?

It was impossible for the thought of Wei Wuyin to not appear in the minds of everyone, thinking that his arrival in the last half decade or so had weaved numerous changes, and the Golden Life Pavilion was the first to have contact with him. There was also an unverified rumor that the Golden Life Pavilion was in talks with Wei Wuyin regarding a future partnership. This was one of many rumors spreading, with some even suggesting that Wei Wuyin ’s concubine was acting as a proxy, staying in Endless Prosperity, to conduct business on his behalf or was kept prisoner, turning their relationship sour.

It didn ’t take long for the Skyships to all dock at the central headquarters of the Golden Life Pavilion, a grand building, the grandest building amongst the cluster of impressive buildings, that stood as an unwavering skyscraper with four interconnected structures, all representing the four branches of the Golden Life Pavilion. Those extremely important personages shuffled their way with an entourage of members, carrying exceptional auras and dispositions befitting businessmen and women of the finest quality, all dressed in varying taoist robes.

While the leadership of the Golden Life Pavilion has changed numerous times throughout its history, the manner of conduct and rules remained strong and stable; an aspect fought for by none other than the Ma Clan. And it served the Golden Life Pavilion extremely well, nurturing fine men and women of excellent business standards, cutting off an aura of arrogance and unimaginable wealth. A wisp of modesty and friendliness naturally exuded.

That said, it would be a great exaggeration to say these cultivators who grasped great wealth and power weren ’t arrogant, haughty, and felt a sense of superiority over others. They most certainly did, but they were trained very early on to never show it before customers unless it fit the customer, someone who needed to be reassured that their assets were handled by those proud and strong beings.

At the tallest building of the headquarters, dozens of figures had gathered around an oval table crafted out of mystic-graded Oakfall Wood. At the sides of the table, Sea Rousing Incense, a low-tier, Mystic-Earth grade alchemical paste, was burning and releasing a pure scent that could stimulate the Sea of Consciousness, enriching the mental energies and promoting faster processing of one ’s mental means. It was very beneficial for discussing matters, bringing everyone around the table to the greatest focus they could.

The various members who saw these incenses had thought-provoking expressions or wisps of shock in their eyes; this was an indication that this meeting was bound to be extremely important. The last time this was used was during the world-changing Skyship design discussion, where pricing and how to conduct the Golden Auction were decided.

The Neo-Dawn Eclipse Pill might ’ve elicited such a move, but the Ma Clan had solely handled that matter, only announcing that they were hosting the Golden Auction discussing minor details. Since some sought the fall of the Ma Clan, wanting nothing more than to see them embarrass themselves, digging themselves in a hole, they were allowed to act. There was no way a ninth-grade product would be worthy of a Golden Auction, waiting for the Ma Clan to trip and fall, allowing them the justification they need to remove them from that position.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on the perspective, the Neo-Dawn Eclipse Pill hadn ’t just changed the Golden Life Pavilion; it changed the entire Grand Cyclic Stellar Region after the Grand Demonstration was completed. In truth, if the Neo-Dawn Eclipse Pill was the Ever-Domain Pill, this would ’ve certainly caused the Ma Clan ’s downfall. It simply wasn ’t sufficient enough alone to justify the Golden Auction.

The room had a total of seventeen seated, including members which included the thirteen Golden Councilmen and four Branch Managers. The Golden Councilmen weren ’t all active managers of vital locations or merchants; many were providers or those elected due to their investments and the power these investments gave, granting them some decision-making power and authority amongst the Golden Life Pavilion.

For example, some Councilmen were top-tier Creationists. They were Prime and Grand Mortal Sovereign Alchemists, Mystic-Level Architects, and Forgers. They headed various departments, from product concoction and the creation of varied methods, to the development of certain materials via formations and arrays at a planetary scale. They each contributed enough of their expertise in reshaping and enriching the Golden Life Pavilion, gaining their place here today as a result.

Of course, not all of them were the direct result of their personal investment, some had inherited their seat from their ancestors hard fought efforts, passing it down as their families or clans continued to contribute. There were also numerous times when this succession failed, with later generations losing the qualifications to be amongst this council. These relegated councilmen would be given lesser positions; meanwhile, each person present here who gained their seat by succession had all retained it through their own arduous effort.

Others were legacies, clans such as the Ma Clan that had led the Golden Life Pavilion at one point or another but lost their rights to lead, given this position as a result, and continued to work for the Golden Life Pavilion.

Regardless of how they got here, they all earned their seats and continued to do so. This was why they held the power to decide matters of the pavilion and were given a greater voice to their thoughts. It also helped that none of these figures were beneath the Mystic Ascendant Realm, with the lowest amongst them being at the ’failed ’ Ascended stage, the Mystic Star Phase.

At the lead seat was a middle-aged man with rich, vibrant, and warm beige skin, with a tall stature, a stern facial expression, and an air of importance about him. He had a clean beard with signs of greying, and his long, dark hair was tied neatly in a half-ponytail, giving him a strong feel. Coupled with his chiseled facial features, he was quite handsome.

He gave off an exceptionally profound aura, clearly indicating his existence as an Earthly Saint, as he commanded the room with just a sweep of his light brown eyes. All those seated and those throughout the entire Grand Cyclic Stellar Region would find this man unforgettable; he was well-renowned and the current Pavilion Master of the Golden Life Pavilion, the Head Manager of the Life Branch, and one of the two Earthly Saints belonging to the Mystic-tier force!

Sheng Jizi!

The attention of the sixteen others was all on Sheng Jizi. There was an air of seriousness circulating, and this caused quite a few of these powerful men and women to grow increasingly dignified.

However, that tense air was dispersed when Sheng Jizi revealed a small smile.

”Before we begin this 87th Golden Meeting of our Golden Life Pavilion, I ’d like to welcome Ban Ma to his first meeting as the newest Third Branch Manager. ” Sheng Jizi spoke with a deep, powerful, yet soothing voice that flowed through one ’s ears like silk touching one ’s skin, making it quite hard for one to not find comfort in it, and when he clapped in welcome, the others subconsciously followed.

Ban Ma was a young-looking man with the air of a scholarly merchant, well-read, well-learned, well-traveled, and wore a pair of round spectacles with thin frames. He wasn ’t too handsome, but he wasn ’t bad looking either. He used his finger to push his glasses up the bridge of his nose, smiling as he rose. He bowed to Sheng Jizi, giving a long-lengthy thanks and a small speech of acceptance for his new position.

Ban Ma belonged to one of the main clans of the Third Branch, the Ban Clan. They handled the mining division for ores within the Third Branch, handling dozens of high-end mines and contracts. They were the fiercest of competitors over the Third Branch ’s leadership. Ban Ma was the suggested replacement for assistant manager after Ma Sujiang ’s firing. While young, he ’s shown himself to be quite capable, rivaling even Ma Zheng in some matters.

While his cultivation base was disappointingly at the Mystic Star Phase, he did have the backing of a legitimate Demi-Mortal Lord in the form of his great-grandfather to act as his strength. Moreover, he was perfect for taking over for the role of Third Branch Manager, for now, considering his ’failed ’ Ascended state. A temporary replacement.

The others knew this, aware that Sheng Jizi was placing him in the vacant seat to fill the void, gain a supporter, and decide if the Ban Clan was suitable to remain leaders of the Third Branch. If not, he could easily push for a better candidate.

While the Golden Councilmen were all applauding and smiling, they each had their own ambitions. If they could take that seat as the Third Branch Manager, they wouldn ’t just have the power they currently wielded but further access to incredible wealth and connections.

As for Ma Zheng? They all were fully aware that the Life Branch and Second Branch had been trying to remove the Ma Clan as leaders of the Third Branch for quite some time. But due to the Ma Clan ’s connections, continuous climbing profits, and renewed contracts every passing year, it was challenging to justify the removal of the Ma Clan.

However, after Ma Zheng withheld the Neo-Dawn Eclipse Pill ’s Concoction Method, the firing of his Assistant Manager, and his increasing age, he no longer had a successor and was at the end of his life. With a little bit of maneuvering and a timely requested status assessment after his recent…assault, he was determined unfit to continue and pushed out via forced retirement.

It might sound simple, but there were centuries of evidence and established bylaws used to do so, and without all this effort and those impetuses, it would be impossible to remove him outside of a vote. Unfortunately for the Life and Second Branches, a call for a vote, such as lack of confidence or being unfit in a professional or personal capacity, required reasoning behind them.

Most of the Golden Council were cogs in the grand scale of the Golden Life Pavilion and heavily relied on the Branch Managers for their earned profits through contracts and prior percentage deals. Why remove someone that was providing them immense benefits? Let alone the one that was earning them the most.

Ma Zheng knew precisely how to secure his position, giving up a portion of the Third Branch ’s earnings to those with power, giving away some of the Ma Clan ’s wealth for security. It was a crucial and strategic sacrifice.

Sheng Jizi nodded after Ban Ma gave his speech, gesturing slightly with his eyes, and the latter sat down obediently. ”I ’ve called this 87th Golden Meeting, bringing you all here because of Xue Yifei. ”

Xue Yifei?

Quite a few members were shocked by that name. They knew of the Dragonborn Saintess, not only because of her accomplishments as of late, which were nothing short of extraordinary for a junior of her age but because of her status as Wei Wuyin ’s official concubine! She was the only living official relationship they knew of, and she was guarded by the Ma Clan ’s experts.

She also had a Worldly Domain forged by a Neo-Dawn Eclipse Pill, and it was higher quality than even Ma Luling ’s, suggesting a high-quality or higher product, further solidifying her relationship with Wei Wuyin. There were rumors of her being in Endless Prosperity.

Sheng Jizi only paused for a short while to see if there was anyone ignorant of that name. Seeing how they all reacted, he nodded, saying: ”Miss Xue has offered to exchange the Neo-Dawn Eclipse Pill ’s Concoction Method. ”

What?!

The expressions of everyone changed.

”Is this true? ” An elderly, white-bearded man with a lively gaze asked in disbelief. He was Shui Yu, the foremost alchemic authority within the entire Golden Life Pavilion, the only Grand Mortal Sovereign Alchemist, and leader of the training of younger alchemists. As the teacher of almost every Mortal Sovereign Alchemist of the Golden Life Pavilion, he had tremendous power and sway over many matters, holding his seat as a Golden Councilman with his own merits.

When he asked this question, the others listened and looked at Sheng Jizi. Was this for real?

One must know that the Ma Clan were the sole earners of the Concoction Method, and with Ma Zheng being removed from his position, it was highly unlikely they would obtain the Concoction Method through them. As for the product they obtained through other channels, studying it intensely, their Mortal Sovereign Alchemists were unable to deduce how it was made. Even Shui Yu was unable to figure it out, baffling almost everyone.

Of course, if he was given enough time, a decade or a few centuries, he might be able to figure it all out, but even a century was an exceptionally long period of time for Demi-Mortal Lords despite their lifespans going up to 30,000 years.

”It is, ” Sheng Jizi confirmed. After the Ma Clan ’s refusal and Ma Zheng ’s expulsion, they felt that the concoction method was lost. As for forcefully stealing the method, this would only invoke Wei Wuyin ’s ire. To steal the concoction method of an alchemist was one of the greatest affronts to their name and no different than stealing from them. Of course, if they deduced how it was made and made alterations, that was evidence of their skill, and they could justifiably sell the product under a different name.

This was a widespread practice amongst alchemist associations—a fiercely competitive platform.

If Wei Wuyin wasn ’t a giant enigma that kept growing in terms of personal forces, especially the recent Grand Knight Wu Yu, they might ’ve been a tad bit more unscrupulous. But stealing also meant an acceptance of one ’s inferiority; even the Everlore Association had its own pride, making the Ever-Domain Pills.

Still, this matter was definitely important enough for Sheng Jizi to call forth a Golden Meeting. The entire dynamic of the cultivation world would change if they obtained the concoction method of the Neo-Dawn Eclipse Pill. Ma Sujiang had once thought that the Ma Clan could ’ve kept it a secret and use it to foster a horde of talented geniuses and then explosively dominate the entire Stellar Region. Her thoughts weren ’t wrong, but most of the figures present were thinking of using it as a way to gain exceptional wealth for their own cultivation. A payday of epic proportions.

How much would the Everlore Association pay to gain the rights to concoct Neo-Dawn Eclipse Pills? Or the twenty-one Starfields with numerous alchemist associations? Especially if the Golden Life Pavilion could control the finer details of concoction and pricing, setting limits, and controlling distribution.

They would control the future Chosen, the future Leaders of the Stellar Region!

A gorgeous woman with short blonde hair spoke out, her demeanor impeccable, her voice just as impressive as Sheng Jizi, ”For what, Pavilion Master Sheng? ”

”… ”

The faint sounds of interest and shock settled instantly. They all looked to Sheng Jizi, who calmly answered:

”A seat at the table. ”

”… ”

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