The disciple tasks were divided into two categories.

One was private transactions among disciples, similar to her selling talismans.

The other was more formal and mostly assigned by the sect.
They were assessments given by mentors to their disciples, as well as tasks from wanderers and independent cultivators who sought out Clearwater Sect due to its reputation.

Tasks of this kind yield higher sect contributions, but they have to be claimed at the administrative office.

“It’s best to have a water view.
A frozen lake in winter, with the whole sky covered in snow.”

Lin Shuang lived in the mountains day in and day out, so if she was going out, she wanted to see water.

“You don’t need many companions, one or two will do.”

The Eight Trigrams Sword behind Xu Rui vibrated and hummed as if it wanted to fly out of its sheath.

“Junior Sister, if you don’t want to end up buried somewhere, I only have a Grade D task that suits you.”

He took out his task book, flipped it open, and quickly turned to the last page.

The lowest difficulty, the lowest danger.

Without considering her personal scenery preferences.


“Escort duty at the Desolate Mountains.
Bandits frequently appear there.”

Even martial bandits, no matter how skilled, wouldn’t last long in front of cultivators, let alone those in the realm of cultivation.

It could be said to be a task of infant-level safety.

Xu Rui looked up.
“The companion is a 9th layer Qi Condensation disciple, Zhou Xuanwu.
You should be familiar with him.
He’s setting out for his hometown tomorrow and will pass by this area, so he took on this task.”

Zhou Xuanwu?

Ranked in the top three among Outer Sect disciples.

His talisman result today was also A-level, just one rank below Zhao Keran.
He was considered an outstanding disciple in the eyes of the mentors.

Lin Shuang quickly remembered, but soon a mask of pain came over her face.


She wasn’t very familiar with this person.
Among this batch of outer sect disciples, Zhou Xuanwu and Zhao Keran were always in the top ranks.

However, he didn’t interact much with disciples who ranked lower.
He seemed a bit aloof and not very approachable, unlike her, a mid-level disciple who was on friendly terms with others.

For a weekend outing, to relax, she wanted a cheerful and friendly companion who could share the joy of the trip.

“Senior Brother, aren’t there any other options?”

Desolate Mountains didn’t sound very scenic.

Lin Shuang frowned and restrained Senior Brother Xu Rui from closing the task booklet.

Xu Rui’s brow twitched.
He reached out as if he was about to touch the Eight Trigrams Sword on his back.

Lin Shuang quickly stepped back a step.
“This one, this one.
Senior Brother, if you have something to say, let’s talk properly.
It’s not my sword practice time right now.”

Xu Rui: “…”

What sword practice? Could she even survive half a move under his sword?


“You’re setting out tomorrow.
It will earn you 200 sect contributions!”

As Zhou Xuanwu was exchanging insights on the Sound Transmission Talisman with Zhao Keran, preparing to leave the Transmission Hall, he had a feeling.
He took out his sect waist token.

[Escort Duty at the Desolate Mountains—Grade D (200 sect contributions, 200 spirit stones reward)]

[Accepted Disciples: 1.
Zhou Xuanwu (Outer Sect Rank 2)

Lin Shuang (Outer Sect Rank 17291)]

Zhou Xuanwu froze.

But then he sighed wryly.
He should have realized when he casually accepted this simple task that he might end up with lower-ranked disciples.

Well, on this trip, he would have her, a 3rd layer of Qi Condensation, accompanying him.

“I was originally worried that Senior Sister would be going alone.
Now that Senior Brother Zhou is coming, I feel relieved.”

Zhao Keran was unexpectedly pleased.

She had initially intended to free up three days to accompany Senior Sister on the task.

Zhou Xuanwu shook his head.
“Can I even protect her?”

Thinking of Lin Shuang’s recent talisman grade of B, he sighed internally.

Lin Shuang joined the sect before Zhao Keran, yet her cultivation was now far behind.

“When you reach the Foundation Establishment Stage, if you’re not already handling Outer Sect matters, you’ll be promoted to the Inner Sect.
She’s destined not to accompany you.”


Hearing this, Zhao Keran’s gaze immediately turned worried, but quickly a hint of defiance flashed in her eyes.

“No, Senior Sister will catch up.”

“Someday, Senior Sister will become the fastest cultivator.”

Zhou Xuanwu was taken aback.

The fastest?

She ranked 17,291st among the outer sect.

Zhou Xuanwu pursed his lips, not saying anything, and bid farewell with a bow.

【I’m Most Generous】has confirmed receipt of the ‘Third-grade Gathering Spirit Talisman (Unusual)’.

【I’m Most Generous】has paid you 600 spirit stones.

【I’m Most Generous】: Senior Sister, do you have any more third-grade Gathering Spirit Talismans? Or third-grade Armor Talismans, Swift Spirit Talismans, Enhancing Spirit Talismans, or similar ones? I want them all.

【I’m Most Generous】: Oh, and I also want the ones engraved on the table.
Is that possible?

Meng Zi, breathing heavily, turned away and took advantage of the other masked assassin’s distraction to quickly transmit a message using the sect waist token.

Throughout the night, they stood on the Gathering Spirit Table, battling against the wicked cultivator at the Foundation Establishment Stage 7.
They finally exhausted the opponent’s spiritual energy and cut off their right arm.

Inside that mustard seed bag were more than 2,700 spirit stones, as well as herbs and weapons.

Adding the 2,000 spirit stones from the mission reward, they had hit the jackpot on this trip!

Meng Zi thoroughly tasted the sweetness of success.

“Brother, we shared the Gathering Spirit Talisman for a whole night.
The cost of the talisman is 250 spirit stones.
In addition to the reward and the contents of the mustard seed bag, I’ll give you 3,500.
How about it?”

Deducting the costs, he probably earned around 3,000 spirit stones!

The village chief, he made a fortune this time!

He planned to burn paper offerings for his ancestors when he got back.

Meng Zi cut a quarter of the Revitalizing Pill, swallowed it, and then struggled to settle accounts with his companion assassin.

Then he heard the other person speak, “Brother, are there more of these talisman tables? I want to buy one in full.”

Meng Zi: “!”

Great minds think alike.

Talisman tables, what a miraculous effect!

The first time they took it out, the enemies couldn’t even react to it being a talisman!

But that fastest woman still hadn’t replied.

“I only have this one.”

Zhao Ming, who had taken a Rejuvenation Pill and was holding a long sword, had a flicker of emotion beneath his mask.

Could it be someone else who’s skilled at drawing talismans?

Could it be the same person that Xiao Qi Junior Brother saw? Or was it common to have talisman tables in the Clearwater Sect?

But when he fought for the spring with the Clearwater Sect a few years ago, he had never seen one.

“It’s just a pity that the guy with the Diamond Hammer escaped.
I’ll go look for him again.
Brother, you go ahead first!”

Further ahead is the Desolate Mountains.
He probably fled there.
I won’t pursue him.


Desolate Mountains, entrance to the southwestern mountain range.

With a packed meal for her junior sister slung on her back, Lin Shuang finally welcomed Zhou Xuanwu, the fellow escort, at the hour of Chen.


Meanwhile, as Zhao Ming returned to the disciples’ dwelling of the Mountain and Sea Sect, he saw a message left by his junior brother.

—”Senior Brother, I went to the Desolate Mountains to get beaten up… No, I mean, I went for a fat-burning exercise.”

Zhao Ming: “?!?”

Author’s Note:

《Memoirs of the 134th Generation Leader Zhao of the Clearwater Sect, Entry 7》—

“Desolate Mountains.
Looking back later, I’ve asked myself many times why I didn’t travel with my senior sister that day.
Regret! I envied Zhou Senior Brother, envied Xiao Senior Brother! But if I could do it over again, I’m afraid the result would be the same.
Because with senior sisters traveling together, we could split the task reward of 200 spirit stones.
If I joined in, then… it would be… splitting 200 spirit stones between three people, how much would each get…

Stop, Zhao Ke Ran, you can’t keep thinking about this, it’s too much of a waste of time! You’re someone who mastered Lin’s fastest method, after all.
If you can’t solve it, move on to the next question!”

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