The Nine Cauldrons

Book 3 Chapter 11 Unpolished Jade

It was late at night.

Silence blanketed the sleeping Gui Yuan Sect. However, within the room of the the Gui Yuan Sect’s Sovereign, Zhuge Yuanhong, a candle was still lit.

Wearing a long white gown, Zhuge Yuanhong had his long hair hanging freely and his feet bare. Holding a writing brush in his hand, he casually painted with a happy expression on his face. It was obvious that he was completely immersed in the act of painting.

“Knock!” ” Knock!” ” Knock!” ” Knock!”……

Knocking sounds could be heard.

Zhuge Yuanhong put down his brush and looked at the painting with a satisfied look on his face. He then placed the brush aside and said with a smile, “Come in.”

The door opened.

The middle-aged man dressed in a grey gown who had been responsible for welcoming the new warriors the previous morning walked in with a smile. Looking at the painting on the desk, he said,

“Sovereign, your paintings are getting more and more vivid. Sovereign, you already have an inheritor for your secret technique, but there is still no good successor for your painting techniques.”

“This is just some random drawing I made because I was in a carefree mood,” Zhuge Yuanhong didn’t really care about it and looked at the middle-aged man, “Martial brother, the investigation I asked you to do on Teng Qingshan, how did it go?”

“I have checked,” The middle-aged man answered.

The Gui Yuan Sect was a huge sect that controlled the entire Jiangning County. The sect had intelligence officers in every city within county borders. For the Gui Yuan Sect to make a background check on Teng Qingshan, they only needed a few hours to check everything clearly.

“Tell me about it,” Zhuge Yuanhong said.

“Sovereign,” The middle age man’s face revealed a big smile, “Teng Qingshan is absolutely an exceptional talent! He was born in a village called Teng Jia Village at the foot of a mountain near Yi City. It is said that when he was six years old, he could already lift a hundred Jin boulder.”

Zhuge Yuanhong frowned.

“When he was ten years old, his Spear Arts were astonishing, and he killed a Wolf King!”

“At the age of fourteen, he fought with the second brother of the Wang Clan Wang Tiefeng almost to a standstill!”

“When he turned sixteen, which was this year, he alone killed the Great Master of the Yanshan Gang, Li Yanshan, and is now seen as the number one expert in Yi City. Moreover, Teng Jia Village is also locally well-known for their immense bravery,” The middle-aged man recited all of this in one breath.

Zhuge Yuanhong smiled and nodded, “Mhm, his origin is actually quite clear.”

“Sovereign, you can rest assured. Teng Qingshan’s background is very clean. Our people have already collected all of Teng Qingshan’s information. His father is named Teng Yongfan and his mother is called Yuan Lan. There was nothing suspicious to be found!” The middle-aged man was extremely confident.

“This was exactly as I guessed!”

The barefooted Zhuge Yuanhong walked towards the window with loose hair, “I have never seen Teng Qingshan’s Spear Art! If my guess is correct, it should be completely self taught; the possibility that a master taught him that art is extremely low! The most important thing is, his inner strength is very rough, and his inner strength secret technique should be one of the lowest ones out there.”

Secret mental cultivation methods and secret sword arts could display great inner strength power.

Yue Song’s«Cangjiang Sword Art»’s Bending Wave Technique had a direct offensive power that was ten times stronger than that of a normal powerhouse in the Postliminary Realm. Even Teng Qingshan could only defend with the Transmutation Unity Law against Song’s astonishing power.

That was the reason why the Bending Wave Technique was so powerful.

Therefore, secret Sword Arts and mental cultivations methods were absolutely necessary.

It wasn’t that Teng Qingshan practiced one of the worst secret inner strength techniques. It was just that Teng Qingshan simply didn’t have one! The reason why he possessed inner strength was because he practiced Internal Martial Arts. Inner strength was only a side effect from practicing Internal Martial Arts.

“Only 16 years old, and without anybody teaching him, he is still stronger than Brother Wei’s proudest disciple, Yue Song! And this was still accomplished with inferior inner strength. He is truly a talented unpolished jade!” Zhuge Yuanhong eyes lit up.

As the Sovereign of a sect, him being able to obtain an unpolished jade could be counted as fortunate.

“Sovereign, when do you plan to take Teng Qingshan as your disciple?”The middle-aged man wearing the grey gown asked.

Among the four commanders, Zhang Feng and the female commander were both Zhuge Yuanhong’s disciples! Not only did Zhuge Yuanhong possess astonishing strength; he was also a great teacher. Those who were devotedly taught by him were never weak.

“No, I temporarily don’t plan on taking him as disciple,”Zhuge Yuanhong shook his head.

“This, Sovereign ……how come?” The man in grey was shocked.

That was because a master and his disciple had a very close relationship.

A master held the same status as his disciple’s parent.

If he took Teng Qingshan as his disciple and created a mentoring relationship, he could let Teng Qingshan further support his Gui Yuan Sect.

“Teng Qingshan is just as talented as Yun’ Er. However, the most important thing about Teng Qingshan isn’t his talent, but his mind!” Zhuge Yuanhong continued, “The difference between the two is that unlike Teng Qingshan, Yun’ Er cannot endure loneliness. Although his talent is extremely high, a genuine expert needs to be able to endure loneliness! However, one’s personality cannot be suppressed by force, else it will backfire on Yun’ Er.  I can only wait patiently.”

Zhuge Yuanhong had very high expectations for his son.

“However, Teng Qingshan is very different. I saw in him composure and patience that was incompatible with his age! He was as calm as a mountain! Even in the presence of the whole Black Armored Army, he stayed frighteningly calm, his mind never wavering!! With this personality,  talent, and innocence of a newborn …… He doesn’t need my teaching.”

“The most suitable path is the path that is forged by oneself . I only need to give him a little guidance, and everything else should be created by himself,” Zhuge Yuanhong revealed a faint smile.

The middle-aged man thoughtfully nodded.

“He is an unpolished jade! He is a rare genius that will only show up in my Gui Yuan Sect once every  few thousand years. Perhaps in the future, he will be the person that lifts the Cauldron for my Gui Yuan Sect. Such an unpolished jade like this needs to polished and carved well,” Zhuge Yuanhong exclaimed.

The middle-aged man wearing the grey gown was shocked: “Sovereign, you think that Teng Qingshan will be the one that will lift the Cauldron for our Gui Yuan Sect? You mean that you think he can reach the Innate Realm?”

In the Nine Prefectures, the real powerful figures among all of the ancient powerful sects that had lasted for millenniums  were those who had reached the Innate Realm!

Zhuge Yuanhong’s expression turned profound as he looked at the night sky through the window, “Using the Unity of Spirit and Qi to step into the Innate Realm. Whether it is possible or not ……I don’t dare to say that he could for sure step into the Innate Realm. However, compared to the rest of the young generation within Gui Yuan Sect, if you ask me who is the most promising, then I would answer Teng Qingshan!”

“Alright, martial brother, you were busy for such a long time. You should go back and get some rest.” Zhuge Yuanhong mentioned.

Soon afterwards, the middle-aged man wearing the grey gown left the study.

Inside the room, the dim candle light flicked faintly.

Zhuge Yuanhong, who stood with his hair loose and his hands behind his back, looked out at the distant night sky. In a soft voice, he whispered: “Although Teng Qingshan’s background was very clear and clean, why do I always feel that he is so mysterious? Where is the issue in the end?!” People that Zhuge Yuanhong couldn’t see through were very few.

Afterwards, Zhuge Yuanhong walked towards the futon behind his desk and sat down cross-leggedly.

With a flick of his sleeve, the candle went out.

“Squeak!” The study’s door closed automatically.

In the darkness, Zhuge Yuanhong closed his eyes and sat cross-legged while meditating.

When  dawn arrived, the entire Black Armored Army’s barracks came alive. For the over six thousand soldiers of the Black Armored Army, the meals were all guaranteed. Normally,  officers that were single could casually eat what they wanted to at the cooking camp. Those officers inside the Black Armored Army that were married could bring back food from the cooking camp to their wives and children to eat together.

That’s right!

The officers among the Black Armored Army could bring their women and children inside the barracks.

After all, once someone became an officer in the Black Armored Army, it was something that lasted for a lifetime. The Gui Yuan Sect wasn’t so heartless that they wouldn’t allow their officers to bring their women and children.

The cooking camp consisted of four large houses spread out over a large area .  Each house had a width of 10 Zhang (30m) and a length of about 30 Zhang (90m). These four houses were large enough to accommodate the four commanders and the six thousand soldiers of the Black Armored Army as they ate their meals.

“Haha, brother Qingshan!”

“Brother Teng, you came.”

“Boss, you only came after we all finished eating.”

The moment Teng Qingshan arrived, he was greeted warmly by many people. Some were centurions and others ordinary sergeants, but they all welcomed him cheerfully.  Even during the evening celebration banquet last night, a lot of people had already begun to see Teng Qingshan as their brother.

“What’s on the menu this morning?” Teng Qingshan walked over with a smile.

The meals for the Black Armored Army were always extremely good.
Steamed buns, eggs, pancakes, meat dumpling, stuffed dumpling and so on……One bucket after another was offered. After all, each officer of the Black Armored Army could eat a lot on their own, and combined their appetites were massive.

“The food here is even better than what was offered in our village,” Teng Qinghu happily ate one egg after another and stuffed a big pork pun in his month.

“Better eat some more or you won’t have any strength for the morning exercises, ” Teng Qingshan said with a smile.

“Qingshan.” Teng Qinghu frowned and suddenly said, “Although I am a sergeant, I’m not in your hundred man team. I am in the spearmen unit and you’re a centurion  there. Can’t you find someone and see if they can change me to your hundred man team?”

Hearing this, Teng Qingshan also thought that it was a problem.

Initially they were assigned to the first troops under the third lieutenant and although his cousin Teng Qinghu, was also  under the same command, he wasn’t in his hundred man team.

After all……

There were only so many sergeant positions and people often had to compete for them. If there was a vacancy, the most talented person would win it.

However, there were no vacant sergeant position in Teng Qingshan’s hundred man team and so Teng Qinghu didn’t get assigned under him.

“This is a small matter.  I will go ask in a minute and have them transfer you under me. It shouldn’t be a problem,”Teng Qingshan said.

“Hehe, following you, Qingshan, is still the best,”Teng Qinghu laughed.

Very soon, both of them finished their breakfasts and walked together with the large number of mighty Black Armored Army officers towards the training field.

On the training field, each hundred man team formed a block and started their training.



The hundred men under Teng Qingshan all wore heavy armor and trained their Spear Arts. During a battle with massive armies, they didn’t need excellent and complex Spear Arts; they only needed simple thrusting. Because of this, what they needed was strength and speed!

Teng Qingshan carefully watched and supervised.

Suddenly, Teng Qingshan shot a look to the side at another hundred men spearmen unit that wasn’t far away. Teng Qinghu was inside that unit.

“Brother Tian Dan.” Teng Qingshan smiled and walked towards the centurion of that other hundred man team, Tian Dan.

Since they were under the same lieutenant, the several centurions of course drank together last night during the celebration.

“Brother Qingshan,” Holding a spear, Tian Dan greeted him with a smile. Teng Qingshan asked very directly: “Brother Tian Dan, I have a matter that I want to ask for your help with.”

“If you have some matter in your heart, just say it out loud. If it is something I can help you with, I will definitely do it.” Tian Dan  was very forthright.

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