Chapter 36 – Inner Court Elder
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“Although the Riverspan Sect is merely a second-rate sect, not just anyone can beat all twenty of their inner sect disciples at once. Who is that person?” a curious disciple asked.

“Who knows? He’s probably someone on the same level as those freaks from first-rate sects,” another disciple said.

These people had originally been waiting for the entrance to the Thousand Mountain Valley to open but now that it did, only a few of them entered while the rest were still busy talking about the earlier event. They were in awe at Yun Ling’s show of power even though Yun Ling didn’t really go all out. Heck, every single one of them could tell that he wasn’t even trying.

“Oho? Looks like something interesting happened while we’re away,” a somewhat playful voice suddenly interrupted the two disciples’ conversation out of nowhere.

The two were startled as they looked at the person who disturbed them. It was a mischievous looking guy with very narrowed eyes. He had a wide fake smile on his face as he watched the two pleasantly. His smile and appearance gave off an uncomfortable feeling to anyone who came into contact with him. They felt as though they were dealing with an incredibly dangerous snake.

The disciples suddenly broke out into cold sweat. Their reaction was nothing strange since most people who laid their eyes on him would easily get creeped out by him. Furthermore, they knew who this person was.

“G-Gu Fanming!” one of the two exclaimed, garnering everyone’s attention.

“Gu Fanming?”

“What is he doing here?”

“Don’t tell me… could he be the Riverspan Sect disciples'…?”

“Looks like he is.”

“W-What do you want with us?” the other one nervously asked, avoiding eye contact with him. They were just talking about the Riverspan Sect then this person suddenly came up to them. It was only natural they’d be nervous especially since they knew of his reputation.

Gu Fanming was no other than one of the inner court elders of the Riverspan Sect. He was originally an outstanding disciple from the Stone God Sect but because of his cruel behavior towards his fellow disciples, he was kicked out from the sect.

It was said that in one of the friendly competitions held by the sect, he purposely killed his opponent who couldn’t fight back at all with no mercy. He would also regularly inflict severe injuries to his junior disciples in the guise of guiding them as their senior brother. Of course, these disciples had learned their lessons and would refuse when Gu Fanming offers to guide them. But that didn’t deter him at all. Instead, Gu Fanming would beat them more miserably and would threaten to kill them if they told the sect about it. He was a sadistic man who enjoyed inflicting pain and suffering on others.

Normally, any normal disciple would’ve already been subjected to harsh punishments by the sect had they committed the same act as Gu Fanming did to their fellow disciples. However, Gu Fanming was different. The Stone God Sect initially just reprimanded him in consideration of his talent and background, hoping that he would turn over a new leaf. After several more offenses and the fact that Gu Fanming didn’t show any signs of changing, the Stone God Sect decided to expel him.

All in all, during his stay as a disciple of the Stone God Sect, he killed four fellow disciples, inflicted serious injuries to twenty-two disciples, and harmed another sixty-eight disciple. Those were only the official records, not counting the incidents which happened away from the sect’s prying eyes. Many disciples and even the higher-ups of the sect were contemptuous of his actions. It wouldn’t have been strange if he was executed, but they couldn’t really do that since he was the only grandson of one of their sect’s most powerful protector. Executing him might placate the anger of many but they would lose a very powerful ally by doing so.

Still, they couldn’t just let him be in the sect after all the crimes he committed. He was expelled from the Stone God Sect but was taken in by the Riverspan Sect, one of their allies, as per the sect master of the Stone God Sect’s command. This was so as not to offend Gu Fanming’s grandfather too much. The Riverspan Sect couldn’t exactly refuse the Stone God Sect’s sect master for they are only a second-rate sect whereas the former was among the most powerful sect in the World of Terra. They didn’t want to displease them and harm their relationship by refusing them so they could only abide.

“Fufufu, nothing really,” Gu Fanming chuckled as he left the two disciples alone. He then went towards where the rest of the Riverspan Sect disciples were, who were staying silent in a corner.

After losing one-sidedly to Yun Ling, they could feel the mocking stares and murmurs from the disciples from the other sects. It made them livid. They wanted to enter the Thousand Mountain Valley to be away from these people but they couldn’t do that since they were still waiting for their elders. That's why when they saw Gu Fanming, they immediately heaved a sigh of relief. They could finally leave the area and enter the valley.

“Elder Gu Fanming,” the Riverspan Sect disciples paid their respects to him right away.

Gu Fanming looked at them, and said, “All twenty of you should separate into four groups with five members in each group. I’ll watch over one group while the other elders will watch over the others. Since the rest of the elders still aren’t here, we’ll have to wait for them a bit before we can go, is that fine with you?”

The Riverspan Sect disciples nodded.

“For the time being, why don’t you tell me exactly what happened here?” Gu Fanming kindly smiled at them, sending chills down their spine. No one among them believed that his smile was genuine. Gu Fanming wasn’t the type of man who knows how to be kind. He’s merely a monster covered in human skin. This was their opinion of him.