Chapter 70 – Execution Hall

“How clever! Junior Sister is truly brilliant to come up with this hammer swinging method,” Yuan Ming thought to himself, complimenting her.

“Don’t talk nonsense. I couldn’t have come up with this method. It was created by a master craftsman from our sect a hundred years ago. That master was naturally weak, so in order to compensate for his lack of strength, he came up with this method,” Chen Wan blushed slightly and shook her head.

“I see. What is the name of this master craftsman? Is he still in the sect?” Yuan Ming curiously asked.

“Master Heimu is one of the most talented master craftsmen in our sect for the past hundred years. Unfortunately, he mysteriously disappeared many years ago. If he were still here, the level of craftsmanship in our Bi Luo Cave would be far beyond what it is now,” Chen Wan said with regret.

Yuan Ming had no interest in craftsmanship and couldn’t understand Chen Wan’s thoughts. Instead, he started thinking about the spellcasting technique.

Having been in the sect for half a month, Yuan Ming had gained some basic understanding of the Bi Luo Cave. The storage place for spells, secret techniques, and cultivation methods that Chen Wan mentioned was the Archive Pavilion.

The Bi Luo Cave was quite careless in teaching its disciples, except for the inner disciples who were taken in by the elders and cave masters. Ordinary registered disciples who wanted to learn new cultivation methods or secret techniques had to go to the Archive Pavilion to exchange and comprehend them on their own.

As an official institution of the sect, the Archive Pavilion did not allow the exchange of spells through bartering like the Toad Valley. Instead, a thing called “contribution points” had to be used.

For newly registered disciples, the sect would grant them twenty contribution points to establish themselves within the sect. However, these points would only be officially distributed at the end of the month.

Yuan Ming could earn some contribution points by working in the Fire Workshop, but he would also have to wait until the end of the month to receive them. So, until now, he couldn’t exchange for any spells.

“Don’t get your hopes up too much. Using the spellcasting technique to assist in forging is theoretically feasible, but it is actually very difficult. Although this technique is easy to learn, it is not easy to combine it with physical strength and use it in forging, at least for Qi Refining stage cultivators. Many weak individuals in our sect have tried this method, but very few have succeeded. You should consider it for yourself. I have something to do, so I’ll leave first,” Chen Wan reminded Yuan Ming before turning to leave.

“If you don’t have anything else, Chen Junior Sister, could you take me to the Execution Hall?” Yuan Ming called out to her.

“The tasks issued by the Execution Hall are not simple. There is a risk to life if you are not careful. You have just entered the sect, so it seems too early for you to take on tasks. It’s better to wait for a while,” Chen Wan frowned and advised.

“It’s alright. I just want to take a look. I might not necessarily take on a task,” Yuan Ming waved his hand and suddenly felt a chill running down his spine, causing him to shiver.

“What’s wrong with you?” Chen Wan asked, puzzled, as she noticed his reaction.

“N-nothing. Maybe I caught a cold,” Yuan Ming touched his nose and vaguely caught a glimpse of a silver figure flashing on a big tree outside the forge.

“Are you still going or not?” Chen Wan asked.

“Let’s go,” Yuan Ming withdrew his gaze and said.

The two of them left the forge and walked towards the foot of the mountain. Soon, they arrived at a valley between three peaks. In the valley stood a tall gray stone tower, divided into three levels.

At the entrance of the stone tower stood a stone pillar with three large red characters that read “Execution Hall.”

There were constantly people coming in and out of the entrance of the Execution Hall, making it quite lively.

The Execution Hall was where the Bi Luo Cave issued reward tasks. Disciples of the Bi Luo Cave could undertake tasks here to earn contribution points.

Contribution points were of great importance. They could not only be used to exchange spells and cultivation methods in the Archive Pavilion but also to exchange for other things such as pills, talismans, and spiritual materials elsewhere.

Yuan Ming had heard about this place before but had been busy practicing forging and cultivation. Today was his first time coming here.

“Alright, I’ve brought you here. I won’t say any more unnecessary words. Take care of yourself,” Chen Wan said and turned to leave.

Yuan Ming stood still in place, observing the gray tower for a moment, and was about to step inside.

“Junior Brother Yuan Ming, are you here to take on tasks?” a timid voice came from behind, and it was Qi Qige.

“Senior Sister Qi Qige, I came here to familiarize myself with the environment. Are you here to take on tasks, Senior Sister?” Yuan Ming had a favorable impression of Qi Qige and smiled as he replied.

“Yes,” Qi Qige was very shy and immediately lowered her head when her gaze met Yuan Ming’s.

“Then let’s go in together. It’s my first time here, so I hope Senior Sister can give me some guidance,” Yuan Ming said.

“Okay,” Qi Qige uttered a word and walked in.

Yuan Ming followed Qi Qige into the Execution Hall. The space inside was quite large, about a hundred zhang in diameter. The first thing that caught their eyes was a long stone platform, where two old men dressed in the attire of the Execution Hall were registering disciples who had taken on tasks.

Next to the stone platform stood a seven to eight zhang tall and three to four zhang wide white jade stele, on which various sect tasks were displayed through prohibitive methods.

Several Bi Luo Cave disciples gathered around the stele, mostly registered disciples, quietly discussing the contents on the stele.

“There aren’t many people here. I thought there would be many disciples coming here to take on tasks,” Yuan Ming said.

“Most of the sect disciples are busy with their own duties most of the time and spend the remaining time cultivating. There aren’t many people who come to the Execution Hall to take on tasks,” Qi Qige whispered.

“So, coming to the Execution Hall to take on tasks is like doing odd jobs,” Yuan Ming made a comparison.

“You can say that,” Qi Qige nodded slightly and said.

Yuan Ming nodded and looked at the stele.

The tasks on the stele were diverse. The simplest ones were delivery tasks, mostly letters written by Bi Luo Cave disciples to their families.

These tasks were not dangerous but had very little reward, only one or two contribution points.The tasks with slightly higher rewards were mostly gathering tasks, requiring one to venture into dangerous areas to collect spiritual herbs and materials, or to hunt fierce beasts and obtain their materials. The reward in contribution points varied from a few to several tens.

There were also tasks with even higher contribution points, but the level of danger was not comparable to gathering spiritual materials or hunting fierce beasts.

Yuan Ming’s gaze fell on the task with the highest reward. It was an assassination task, and the target was not a fierce beast, but a cultivator named “Ma Xingkong”.

According to the description of the task, this person was a traitor from the Bi Luo Cave, whose cultivation had reached the peak of Qi Refining. He possessed a spiritual beast whose strength was comparable to the Foundation Establishment stage. Bi Luo Cave offered a reward of a thousand contribution points for his capture, regardless of whether he was dead or alive.

“Sister Qi Qige, do you know this Ma Xingkong? His name sounds like he’s from the Central Plains,” Yuan Ming asked.

“I know a little about him. He is indeed from the Central Plains. He was originally a disciple of the Beast Taming Hall. It is said that he was a beast slave before he was personally brought into the sect by Elder Meng Shan. He suddenly betrayed the sect more than a year ago and has not been caught yet,” Qi Qige, no longer as shy as before, spoke more.

“This Ma Xingkong is just a Qi Refining cultivator, no matter how powerful he is. Why would Bi Luo Cave spend a thousand contribution points to capture him?” Yuan Ming asked in confusion.

“I don’t know about that,” Qi Qige shook her head.

Yuan Ming was just asking casually. He quickly put it out of his mind and continued to look at the tasks on the stone tablet.

He came here today not just to look around. If there were suitable tasks, he wanted to try and earn some contribution points.

He didn’t consider the messenger tasks. The contribution points were too few, and these tasks took a lot of time. Each one would take at least half a month, and he still had to work at the Fire Workshop. He couldn’t be away for that long.

Yuan Ming set his sights on the gathering tasks and quickly found one that caught his eye.

“Collect Fire Jade: Go to the Tower Fire Mountain and collect Fire Jade. Every five pieces can be exchanged for one contribution point. This task can be completed in a team.”

After Yuan Ming entered Bi Luo Cave, he deliberately inquired about the geographical situation nearby. He had heard of the Tower Fire Mountain, which was only about a hundred miles away from the gate of Bi Luo Cave. A round trip would take half a day, which was enough.

This task could be completed in a team and was not very dangerous, which was suitable for him.

“Sister Qi Qige, you can go about your business. You don’t need to worry about me,” Yuan Ming said to Qi Qige.

Qi Qige nodded, turned her head to look at the stone tablet, quickly walked towards the long stone platform to accept a task, and left on her own.

Yuan Ming watched Qi Qige leave, then went to the stone platform, took out his identity plaque, and handed it to a black-robed deacon, “I want to take task number thirty-five, the Fire Jade gathering task.”

“Fire Jade tasks are usually done in teams. There’s a team currently recruiting. Do you want to join?” The black-robed deacon took out a white jade charm, tapped it on Yuan Ming’s identity plaque, and asked without any expression.

“I’m willing to join,” Yuan Ming immediately said.

“Very well, the team is over there. You can go directly,” The black-robed deacon returned the identity plaque and pointed to a corner of the hall.

Yuan Ming followed the direction of his finger and saw four disciples of Bi Luo Cave standing there. They were all registered disciples, and among them was a familiar face, A Gula.

His eyebrows furrowed slightly, but he quickly relaxed and walked over.

Noticing someone approaching, the four of them looked over.

A Gula was taken aback when he saw Yuan Ming.

“This junior brother also took the Fire Jade task? Hehe, a new face. I wonder which hall you’re from?” A beautiful young woman with silver ornaments on her head asked after looking at Yuan Ming a few times. She seemed to be the leader of the four.

The woman was in her thirties, with a friendly face. She wore a shining silver bracelet on her wrist, which seemed to be no ordinary item, and a green beast bag hung from her waist.

Next to the young woman stood a dark-skinned man. He wore a piece of animal skin on his upper body, revealing half of his chest. A red tiger head tattoo was carved on his shoulder, and he held a thick black iron rod in his hand. He was obviously a man of great strength.

The last person was a young man with triangular eyes wearing a felt hat. He had a cold expression and seemed to keep people at a distance.

“My name is Yuan Ming, a newly admitted disciple of the Fire Refining Hall. Nice to meet you all,” Yuan Ming greeted with a bow.

“Fire Refining Hall? A Gula, is he from your side?” The beautiful young woman looked at A Gula.

A Gula gave the young woman a forced smile. When he turned to Yuan Ming, his face became gloomy. He said coldly, “Yuan Ming, you’ve only been in Bi Luo Cave for half a month. You probably don’t even know three roads in the sect. Why are you so eager to take on tasks? Are you seeking death?”

Yuan Ming frowned. A Gula was targeting him again. When did he offend him?

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