That opportunity never came. He never made another discovery like the skyturtle dandelion again, and because of the desperation he had for getting recognized again, it gave rise to a heart demon that impacted his cultivation base, and his abilities as an alchemist.

More talented figures rose up, and it wasn't long before he was thrown into obscurity, his achievements a long-forgotten tale, as new sparks took the scene. He didn't handle that fall from grace well, but at least, he thought he would always have the title of a subsidiary of the Golden Bamboo Pavilion to fall back on.

However, that thought was soon under threat when about four hundred years ago the Golden Bamboo Pavilion announced it would be reducing the number of subsidiaries it had as a result of the looming merger with the Maple Leaf Manor. By merging with another organization that was at the same tier as them, they no longer needed to have as many subsidiaries as they did.

Thus a culling era came about, where no one was safe. Competition among the subsidiaries was always brutal, but after the announcement from the Pavilion, it became even more ruthless and Song Ba who was already down on his luck, was quickly drowning in that storm.

Losing the title of a subsidiary of the Golden Bamboo Pavilion was the same as losing one's life. The moment one lost that title,they were nothing more than fat sheep ripe for slaughter. All the rivals, enemies, those they suppressed and those greedy, almost every person looking to get something would set their sights on them.

Being a subsidiary of the Golden Bamboo Pavilion, while it was a blessing when one had it, it was a curse when one lost it because at the back of a lot of people's mind would be, a subsidiary that had fallen from grace, was no different than a piece of meat falling from the sky.

Song Ba didn't want to get devoured and out of said desparation, he moved onto the pill slave and human cauldron trade, to increase the quality of his goods at half the cost.Some plan it was. In trying to protect his life, he ended up in the clutches of the one organization he should never have and now, he was already well on his way to losing his life.

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But at least after his trade, though he was surely to lose his life, his end would be better than what would have awaited him the instant he lost the protection of the pavilion or if he had lacked something to trade with the Order.

Sometimes a peaceful death was more than one could ask for.

Song Ba couldn't help but smile at the absurdity of it all. He would have never expected that there would ever come a time that he would be this calm with dying and even have a positive outlook about it.

Shaking his head clear of excessive thoughts, Song Ba traced his finger over the wing, triggering the activation of silver runes which converged together to form a mirage-like light that shimmered and created the image of two people seated in a beautifully decorated room that had a large window that went from the ground to the roof, looking no different than a wall in and of itself. The view at the window was of an emerald-green lake that produced a resplendent beauty as the rays of the setting sun bounced off it.

Of the two people seated in the room, one of them was Song Ba and the other was Chen Zholan. Song Ba was the picture of composure, with the air of a seasoned merchant surrounding him, while Chen Zholan seemed slightly apprehensive.

["Owner Song Ba, are you sure this place is safe to talk?"

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"Hahaha, what are you worried about, young lord? There is no safer place than here. Because of our close friendship, I am not afraid to reveal this to you, but I am one of the co-owners of this inn.."lightsnovel

"Co-owner?! How?! So you and that palace realm senior are partners in this establishment? How did you manage that?""It's nothing much. I once brokered an important deal with that senior, striking a close friendship with him. Later when he decided to open up this place, he offered me the chance to partner in it with him..." Song Ba said with an air of fake humility.

"So what is the urgent matter you wanted to discuss? You can rest assured with the arrays in this place, not unless a domain expert decides to eavesdrop, anybody below that can forget listening in on what you want to share.

I give you my word, the only way what you discuss here sees the light of day is if you or I are the ones doing it or if there is a rumor-mongering domain expert lurking about.."

lightsΝοvel Both parties ended up laughing at Song Ba's apparent humor, withChen Zholan relaxing as a result of it.

"Okay then... If anyone from the clan were to hear what I was about to say, they would immediately have my head. I have no doubt they would try to silence you too.."

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"What information is so important that they would be willing to kill someone associated with the Golden Bamboo Pavilion?"

"In your line of work, you've surely interacted with a lot of sects, especially ones in rank three, right?"

"I have, why? If you are looking for a referral, In exchange for the information. I can promise to try, but I can't guarantee you an entry. It will have to depend on you, and them whether you get in or not. I hope you understand, young lord.."

"No, that's not it, though I do appreciate the sentiment. The reason I mention them is for context on what I am about to tell you, so bear with me, please. You've obviously heard of the term legacy disciples?"

"I have?"

"Then you know the demands for one to be considered as one. They need to be the best of the best. A talent that hasn't been seen in ten thousand years for one to qualify as a legacy disciple.."

"Y..es, but why bring them up?" asked Song Ba though he already had an idea as his gaze turned solemn.

"Well, one of the most guarded secrets in our clan is within our clan there is a figure whose talent is so high that his brilliance could easily outshine those legacy disciples. At just thirty-one years old, he has already achieved sword intent and has quasi gold-grade core. I do not doubt that within the next decade, he is all but guaranteed to reach the palace realm. I was hoping to prevent that reality, Owner Song Ba, but to do that, I need help, your help.."