Chapter 19: Experts

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Xiao Fan’s eyebrows rose and fell at Li Hao’s question.
He looked at Li Hao’s expression carefully, making sure he didn’t ask it to test his patience.

“The Five Poison Valley is known as the strongest sect of the evil sect because of my existence, but we realized that was not the case.” Xiao Fan let out a long sigh.
“One of the five ten-star sects in the evil faction, the Blood Cloud Clan, is the one at the top, but they chose to hide and strengthen themselves.”

Xiao Fan reminded Li Hao that if one day he left Peach Blossom Mountain, the Blood Cloud Clan would be the group he should be most wary of, more than the Five Poison Valley.

“The Blood Cloud Clan has two people who are within the Seven Kings—the Blood King and the Death King.
The only one who can match their strength is the Heaven Mountain Sect.” 

Li Hao scratched his head in confusion.
“Teacher Xiao, after hearing all of your story, I think I get how the evil factions work, that they have their own way of doing things.
The Blood Cloud Clan shouldn’t be able to accept the Five Poison Valley being known as number one.
If the strength between them differs so much, why don’t they subdue your sect?” 

Xiao Fan laughed loudly, satisfied with Li Hao’s analysis.
“Good child.
You understand the world of cultivators quite a bit now.
That’s right; the Blood Cloud Clan shouldn’t remain silent, because the number one position also provides a lot of advantages, especially when it comes to resources.”

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He explained that if the Blood Cloud Clan believed they could subdue the Five Poison Valley without any major losses, they would have done so a long time ago.

“I, as the Poison King, am in first place among the Seven Kings, while the Death King and Blood King are second and third, respectively.
They have enough strength to face me.
The problem is, one of the other Seven Kings is my best friend.”

The Ice King, who is in fourth position of the Seven Kings, was Xiao Fan’s only friend in the evil faction.
If the Blood Cloud Clan really attacked the Five Poison Valley, the Ice King would not remain silent.
The Ice King could be a troublesome opponent for the Blood Cloud Clan.

“Teacher, didn’t you say there’s no one important to you even if you can get out of here? Isn’t your friend an important person too?”

Xiao Fan laughed loudly, but his laughter did not sound like a happy laughter.
Instead, it was sad and regretful.
“Brother Bing is indeed kind to me; I owe him a lot.
He’d lost his beloved son and daughter-in-law for helping me in the war, and I don’t have the face to see him again.
I think dying in this place could be one of my forms of redemption.”

Li Hao didn’t really understand human emotions because he had lived alone for a long time.
The emotion that Xiao Fan showed felt distant to him.

“Teacher Xiao, now that I understand the importance of the Five Sages and Seven Kings…” Li Hao didn’t understand how to comfort Xiao Fan, so he could only change the topic.
“Then, are these people the strongest experts in the cultivation world?”

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Xiao Fan smiled as he realized Li Hao’s intentions.
But there are also people who can match the big names of the Five Sages and Seven Kings, namely the Three Immortals.
They are three cultivators who have extraordinary strength but are not part of a sect.”

The Three Immortals in question were the Pill Immortal, Jade Immortal, and Talisman Immortal.

“The Pill Immortal is the best Alchemist in the Eastern Star Continent.
He’s one of the people who can beat Fang Mu in the realm of Alchemy.
In addition, it’s believed that he possesses extraordinary abilities, not inferior to the Five Sages and Seven Kings.
He lives alone on Blue Lotus Island.”

“Jade Immortal is the nickname for the Empress of the Ironwood Empire.
She is the strongest female cultivator in the entire Eastern Star Continent.
If it weren’t for her, the Ironwood Empire would not have survived the two Empires that were much bigger than them, the Black Moon Empire and the Heaven Star Empire.”

“The Talisman Immortal is a wanderer, and he is the best Talisman Cultivator.
Among the Three Immortals, he is the most mysterious and rarely encountered.
I don’t know much about him either…”

According to Xiao Fan’s explanation, the Three Immortals had abilities that were not inferior to the Five Sages and Seven Kings.
Even the Pill Immortal was believed to be the strongest master in the Eastern Star Continent as well as the oldest living cultivator, who was at least 800 years old.

“Ehm… Teacher Xiao, what is a Talisman?”

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“Talisman is… Wait a minute! Today, I wanted to teach you poisons.
Why did we discuss all of this?”

Xiao Fan said Li Hao didn’t need to know the Talisman for now.
He was continuing his lessons on poisons and planned to train Li Hao to concoct poison in the near future.

Li Hao became more aware of poisons after getting more explanations from Xiao Fan, but something was bothering him.

“Teacher Xiao, now that I understand poison better, doesn’t that mean you can use poison to kill the powerful beasts that stand in our way to the oldest peach tree?”

Xiao Fan laughed loudly at that.
“Hao’er, you are indeed intelligent to quickly understand this, but there’s a reason why I didn’t do it.
One day, you’ll understand.”

Li Hao scratched his head, not understanding what Xiao Fan meant.
“That means Teacher Fang knows it? Master Fang must have realized sooner than me, right?”

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Xiao Fan nodded.
Once you deepen your knowledge further, you will understand in time even if we don’t explain.
Now, let’s try to make a simple poison.”

Xiao Fan took out some ingredients, then taught Li Hao to make itching powder poison.
Li Hao watched Xiao Fan carefully, seeing a slightly different smile than what Xiao Fan usually showed.
This time, his smile felt more sincere and warm.

“Teacher Xiao, is there something that’s making you happy today?”

“Hmm? I don’t know.
I don’t understand either.
Most people look for me intending to learn deadly poison, but I think it’s more fun doing it like this…”

Li Hao scratched his head again.
“I don’t understand, Teacher…”

“You don’t need to understand.” Xiao Fan stroked Li Hao’s head.
“I just thought it would be interesting if one day a person with an innocent face like you carried all kinds of dangerous poisons in your body.
You might become a better Poison Cultivator than me.”

Xiao Fan laughed loudly, lost in his imagination, while Li Hao just looked at him in surprise.

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