Chapter 172: It’s Time.
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Comment/Review on the story readers and give me ideas on possible xianxia things you want to see! No guarantees that I will add what you want. But it helps to have ideas out there. Please point out any mistakes you notice or anything you're not clear about. I'll try to answer them and fix them to the best of my abilities.

“Huan Leng has been killed by an unknown Qi Gatherer.” Wen relayed as he appeared at Jing’s stand in disguise.  

  He had the mask she gave him on and had the appearance of a generic disciple. The average disciple wouldn’t be able to take notice of his existence unless he willed so. This much caution must mean he has important news to share besides the death of Leng. She wondered what interesting news he had to share with her, the day of the Grand Tournament. 

[Mission Completed!] 

[Bing has dealt the final blow to Huan Leng without any direct help from others or support from the host.] 

[Rewards: 5 epic tickets, Refining the Heavens, Green-eyed Angel’s Bloodline] 

  Jing wasted no time in using those tickets for the upcoming Grand Tournament. It seemed like whenever a big event happened, the system would flood her with several new missions for it. She expected nothing differently for when it was time for Grand Tournament to officially start in a few hours. Considering how aggressive the missions have been getting lately, Jing wouldn’t be surprised if the missions were more unforgiving this time around. By limiting her missions to her followers, it would incentivize Jing into focusing more on their growth rather than caring all about herself. While this wasn’t something that she was against, as her followers were more than just followers at this point, Jing did know that most of those missions given to her followers would easily be solvable by her hand. 

Taking a look at the other two rewards, Jing felt like the first one was useless while the other one was a mystery. Refining the Heavens was a sky-ranked pill refining technique. This would’ve been useful for Ying if she was still practicing alchemy. But now she was a Spiritual Baker just like Jing. It still held value though, so she stored it in her inventory for later and refused to sell it to the system for store points. She would get more value out of selling it to alchemists than she would giving it to the system. 

  The Green-eyed Angel’s Bloodline was a single glowing emerald pill inside a small bottle. Jing guessed that upon consumption, the person or creature that eats it will be given the bloodline of a Green-eyed Angel. What that bloodline did, she didn’t know. How useful or powerful that bloodline was, how was she supposed to know? Was there any important history behind this bloodline that she should know about, who’s to know?! Because there wasn’t a single damn useful thing inside this sect that wasn’t related to martial arts or cultivation! Now she had to ask around about the Green-eyed Angel bloodline before gifting this to one of her followers or herself. Instead of just reading about it inside a history book of some sorts! Whatever that might be! 

  No one could truly understand the anger and rage that Jing felt at how this sect functioned. It just seemed so illogical and backward that it genuinely amazed her that it was still running somehow. Maybe it was because the world itself was so screwed up that it could allow a sect like this to properly work. The possibility that Jing was actually the crazy one and everyone else was sane did momentarily cross her mind but no! That didn’t make sense either. She couldn’t see the benefits in focusing on only strength when there are several other things to focus on that could augment that obsession with strength and face. 

“Before you tell me the rest of your report, do you know anything about the Green-eyed Angel bloodline?” Jing asked him. 

“Never heard of it.” He answered immediately. 

“Then continue.” 

“All of the Inner Court factions have been preparing for this day. The faction with the most members that make it to the finals will certainly reign as the top faction in the Inner Court.” 

‘Hmm. Out of all my followers, I believe that Hu Tao, Wan Qing, Bing, and Lei will make it to the finals if the tournament is run like I think it will be. They are all quite strong compared to others in their stage. Ying is strong but going against 9th stage Qi Consolidators is too much for her at the moment. Bing and Lei are at the final stage of the first realm with sufficient skills of their own. Hu Tao is Hu Tao. Wan Qing has not been idling wasting her time inside the void world. But regardless, with some time all of the Inner Court would be in my hands.’ Even now, Lei was on a task for her regarding one of the main factions in the Inner Court. Considering he could tame that abominable thing, she trusted he’d be able to handle the job. 

“Xiao Hong has been recruited by Meili into her group after hearing about the passing of Liuxian Xun. Wuying Tang and Gong Jun have been in closed-door training ever since Gong was found nearly dead on Elder Mo’s doorstep. No changes have occurred with Princess Lan and Kang Fu. Their regular meetings have not stopped and only seemed to increase in frequency. And a lot of attention has been focused on Heaven’s Angels ever since a rumor has been circulating regarding your home.” He told her. 

“Rumor?” Jing was interested. Who knew about her house already? 

“Your plant is unusual. It has killed and eaten several Inner Court disciples already. Elder Ru has taken a visit to your home and shown interest in your plant. And because of this, several high-ranking elders are interested in Heaven’s Angels and yourself.” Wen said. 

“Some more attention couldn’t hurt, I suppose. I guess it's time I officially introduce myself to the sect.” Jing decided. 

[Mission available for host!] 

[Announce the purpose of Heaven’s Angels to everyone at the Grand Tournament.] 

[Reward: SCP-018] 

[Failure Penalty: Reduced loyalty with followers and mocking of Golden Serpent Sect cultivators. (Followers with 100% loyalty will lose their given SCP’s)] 

“You know, I'm surprised to see that you didn’t just run off after my disappearance.” Jing suddenly brought up. 

“I know that I wouldn’t be able to get far even with this mask.” He laughed. 

“Is that the only reason?” Jing asked. 

“You are very generous compared to anybody else I've seen. I doubt I would get a better deal working under some elder for doing work as easy as this.” He beamed with his white teeth. 

“Is that so?” 

“All I have to do is split myself and observe anything that happens in the sect to get stronger. There isn’t anything better than doing this. Believe it or not, I almost had a breakdown when you went missing.” 

“Realized that you had to risk your life just to progress in your cultivation?” She snickered 

“Exactly. You know, I wasn’t really fond of fighting now that I think about it. My master used to call me talented in combat but I just did it cause that was what I was expected to do. Not what I wanted to do. By working as your eyes and ears in the sect, I can get strong just listening to gossip! No need to fight, risk my life, get in disputes with others, or get involved in politics. Well actually, I’m sure you’re still using me for political gain but at least I don’t have to get involved in the center of it anymore, you know?” 

“Well, I'm glad to see you are enjoying your position. And since you didn’t turn tail and flee at first chance, I suppose a reward is in order.” Jing pulled out one of her rewards from the epic tickets and handed it to Wen. 

“What’s this?” He held the black orb almost twice the size of his head. 

“It's a Pristine Black-hearted Oyster Pearl. It will aid you in training your qi control to perfection. I don’t need to tell you why that will be useful to a disciple in the 9th stage of the Qi Consolidation realm, do I?” 

“Not at all!” He replied, eagerly stuffing the pearl into his storage ring with a huge smile on his face. 

“If that is all you are free to leave.” Jing said. 

“Yes!” He bowed before disappearing with a cake in his hand and 5 middle-ranked spirit stones on Jing’s table. 

[Host has received Toy Bow and Arrow] 

[Host has received SCP-184] 

[Host has received The Ultimate Bottle] 

[Host has received a Pristine Black-hearted Oyster Pearl] 

[Host has received SCP-3668] 

  Just like always, Jing had to prepare herself for the pain heading straight for her soul after taking in information about the SCP-related gacha rewards. The Ultimate Bottle seemed to be an anomalous object which was related to SCP’s but not SCP’s in themselves. From what she knew, objects like these were deemed simply too useless to merit further attention by the SCP Foundation. A foundation whose sole purpose was for locating and containing individuals, entities, locations, and objects that violate natural law. Which also meant they didn’t get numbers of their own to classify them. Jing could agree with that statement. She didn’t know how the anomalous objects could secure, contain, or protect anyone. If it wasn’t for SCP-914, Jing would sell these objects straight back to the system. 

  But with SCP-184, she could gain some use out of it. Even if they were completely useless to her, like the toy and bottle. At the moment, none of her followers needed a weapon. She wouldn’t gift Hu Tao’s followers weapons either unless he and they completed an important task for her. So, for now, both of them were tossed in her inventory. For a bottle called The Ultimate Bottle, Jing expected more from it. Its only ability was to always land on its head when flipped. Completely useless and pointless. 

  SCP-184... Now she could gain some use out of this for her new home and future homes. This SCP was a small, smooth metallic object in the shape of a dodecahedron. When inside an enclosed structure, SCP-184 expands the structure's inner dimensions without altering its outer dimensions. Meaning that no matter how big it gets from the inside, there will be absolutely no change from the outside. Each day, this expansion will increase by several hundred meters, starting one hour after entry into the enclosed space. At the start, SCP-184 will only extend to the walls out, causing the room to become larger but not necessarily taller. For cultivators, an object like this would be a godsend for their storage rings. It would expand the dimensional space until the original dimensions have been tripled! Giving them the freedom to stuff treasure after treasure into their storage ring. 

  But the capabilities of SCP-184 didn’t just stop there. Eventually, the object will begin to create entirely new rooms on its own accord. Being able to copy items from inside the structure and creating rooms that are matching with the rest of the building. In time, this process will begin to break down in an unusual manner. Items will begin to be copied but with inappropriate materials such as glass books or a wooden microwave. Rooms will be oddly-shaped with doors leading into blank walls and hallways will be tiny or twist back into around into long mazes. These occurrences will continue while the outside will never show a change. 

  Jing was very excited to place this inside her home. She wasn’t afraid of having to navigate through a maze with her refined body. However, having guests will be a problem. Maybe she can think of a fun activity with her followers or the sect as they travel around inside her home. Those being able to make it to the living room will be rewarded while those who don’t starve to death. Who knows? 

  SCP-3668 was a shield. An indestructible shield that had the mystical ability to manifest ghostly figures to support them when in trouble. These incorporeal figures grow in number corresponding to the threat level of the wielder of the shield. She was interested in seeing it used on herself and her followers. Just how strong were they to this SCP? Besides that, when manifested, they would hold a similar shield and resemble the wearer’s ancestors. They held the same indestructible properties as SCP-3668 and did everything they could to protect the wielder’s life without being able to verbally communicate. Upon successful defense of the wielder, the ghosts would begin to hug the wielder, kiss their forehead, or salute them. 

  For completing a task that she basically figured was impossible for him. Bing did deserve something as good as this. She should give him and the others some rewards before the start of the Grand Tournament. Maybe. Jing did decide to gift them after the Grand Tournament for when they got started on tasks for her. And Jing couldn’t really gift this to Bing until his loyalty rating reached 100%. So, maybe she should reward him with something else he needs and then hopes he reaches full loyalty. If not, she’s going to be upset at this slave that refused to give her his full trust. 

“Hey! Brown girl!” Jing heard someone calling out to her. 

  In the distance, it was that customer she made a deal with. His body was covered in blood but a friendly smile was pasted on his face. She assumed everything went well for him with her cake. He arrived in front of her stand and slammed down 5 high-ranked spirit stones for her Gathering of Qi Spirit Cake. 

“It fucking worked! I told all my pals and even some people I didn’t know about your cakes. Now let me buy that one with the money I took from that dead bastard’s ring.” He asked. 

“Not a problem.” Jing handed him the cake and pocketed the spirit stones. 

“I’ll definitely get a high ranking in the Grand Tournament with this! And none of those bastards I told will be able to buy any of these cakes in time for the tournament! I’ll be the only one!” He gleefully laughed as he walked away. 

  Jing started closing down her stand. It was time for the Grand Tournament and she couldn’t be late. Some excitement ran up and down her body in anticipation of the system’s missions and how she could have the most fun in this tournament. As of now, her only goals were focused on the takeover of the Inner Court and her other missions she still had standing right now. 

“Let’s see if this tournament will be half as exciting as the Treasured Plains was...” Jing muttered to herself, seeing Li Li flying in the sky above, coming down towards her with the goldfish behind him. 

Okay i think next chapter is the actual start of the Grand Tournament. But I'm not entirely sure considering how much I've been dragging this out to make sure I didn't forget about any character. That's kind of how these xianxia's work sometimes. Either they're dragged out so much or they're not and quickly gone through. 

I don't know. I asked you guys this question before but do you think the pacing is fine as it is now or should I speed things up?