Chapter 174: Now We’re Getting Somewhere!
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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.

  Jing stood in the large sea of disciples. Due to her short stature, it was difficult for anyone to spot her within it. This was only important because of the latest message she just sent to her followers, telling them to meet up with her. There were some things she wanted to discuss and give them before the tournament started. Most notably, Bing and Lei Zhi for successfully completing her given tasks on such short notice.  

  Above a glorious and uncountable number of stairs, the three Head Elders and Supreme Commander stood looking down on them all. Behind them were several other elders of various rankings doing the same. Jing saw no signs of the Sect Leader but that was starting to be a regular pattern from what she noticed. All the disciples in the sect were gathered here in this part of the sect, talking, discussing, and chatting together. There was no disciple that was excluded from this tournament and it was a requirement to participate or you would be crippled and expelled from the sect for your cowardice.  

  Jing wasn’t particularly excited to see most of those faces up there looking directly at her but expected it nonetheless. She kept her back straight, eyes forward, and stared back at them. From Wen’s report, she knew that most of them would be watching her in this tournament. It would be unusual if they weren’t, especially after her visit to the Supreme Commander.  

  She didn’t know if he’s spoken to anyone about her gift. Besides him, that elder that worked under him, and the Sect Leader, Jing figured no one else knew. Hopefully, that was the case. If people outside the sect began to learn about her, that would be more trouble than it's worth. She hasn’t gained a solid enough footing in the world for something like that yet. This was why she was planning to take over this sect before moving on to bigger goals. How could someone like herself be satisfied with just a sect like this?  

“Oi! Where the fuck are you at Jing?” Hu Tao messaged her. 

“I’m having trouble finding you too.” Ying added. 

“I can’t find anyone at all.” Bing said in his message. 

  Jing created a large arrow of water above her head that pointed down at herself. In a few moments, all of Heaven’s Angels were gathered together. Her eyes met Bing’s and she held out her hand. He looked confused and soon became uneasy. Maybe he didn’t understand what she was requesting from him. 

“Soap.” She clarified. 

“Ooh! Here!” He handed it to her and bowed his head. 

“Everyone, open your mouths.” She demanded. 

“I’m not putting that shit in my mouth again.” Hu Tao refused. 

“The taste is nasty...” Ying, for once, found herself agreeing with him. 

  No one looked pleased about having their tongues scrubbed with SCP-1331 again. Jing didn’t ask for their permission though. Either they gave her their tongues, or she would make them. This wasn’t up for discussion and everyone soon understood that they needed to open their mouths or else. Hu Tao showed everyone a good example of what would happen if they didn’t.  

  He showed a toothy grin as he saw Jing slowly walking towards him. Hu Tao prepared himself for a fight despite being surrounded by thousands of other disciples. Having a proper fight or battle in a place like this was basically impossible. Impossible for anyone sane anyway. The mad man struck out to defend himself from the horrible tasting soap. Jing swayed her head and got in close enough to grab him. 

  Hu Tao struck out with his knee to gain some distance from her. His knee met with Jing’s shin as she forced his mouth open with her hand. He tried biting down on her fingers but this wasn’t enough to stop her, she ignored being bitten as if he didn’t use most of his jaw muscles to do so and gave his tongue a scrub with the soap. After doing so, Jing removed her hand and the soap from his mouth before striking him across the face into the ground with an insanely quick high kick. 

“Biting me? Have you lost your mind?” She stomped on his handsome face without regard to his well-being. “Don’t forget your place slave just because I've been a little nice lately.” She rubbed her foot on his face, crushing him into the ground. 

  Jie and Runt immediately feared for their lives seeing Bleep take out Hu Tao so easily. They knew that she was the leader of the group but never really saw how strong she was. If she could take out Hu Tao without much problem, then it wouldn’t even take her half a second to deal with them! No wonder everyone treated her with respect!  

  Ying and Wan Qing laughed at Hu Tao’s beating. Ying thought the prick deserved it and it's been a while since she’s saw him being put in his place by Jing. Wan Qing thought it was only natural. A slave saying no to their master? A beating is all but deserved. If anything, Hu Tao’s punishment was too light in Wan’s opinion. She would’ve broken more bones if it was up to her. 

  Bing understood that could’ve easily been him in Hu Tao’s place. He was her slave as well. This was something that he’s never forgotten. How could he? Your life being in someone else’s hands isn’t something that can just easily slip the mind.  

  Lei Zhi thought that maybe Jing was a bit too harsh with Hu Tao but maybe this was the universe’s way of giving some karma to him from all his actions. This was most likely nothing compared to the pain he’s given to others throughout his lifetime. Despite being old, he wasn’t stupid. He knew what type of person Hu Tao was after working alongside him for so long. All those people he hurt without rhyme or reason. It was in his plans to reform Hu Tao as well once he gets enough strength. Xiang wouldn’t be able to help him reform Hu Tao, he’s already seen what it did to him. For someone like Hu Tao, only by besting the boy could he force him into changing. Using his great talent for good, dealing with those that cannot be helped no matter what. Unless he turns into one of those people himself. Then, Lei Zhi would have to put an end to the boy himself if he wants to stay true to his goal. 

  Li Li didn’t think much of it. He liked Hu Tao but he does forget his place sometimes. As his mother’s slave he needed to listen to her. A beating like this looked bad but it wasn’t anything much for him. His mom didn’t need to hold back against him but he was tougher than he looked. From time to time, he even sparred with him. It was fun to fight against him. 

“Now. Let’s see those tongues, Angels.” Jing gave Hu Tao one last kick across the face before turning to the rest. 

  Everyone immediately put out their tongues without a shred of hesitation. A satisfied smile grew on Jing’s face as she scrubbed their mouths with the soap. After hearing them gag, wipe their tongues with their hands, and retch, Jing tossed the soap into her inventory. Now it was time to move onto other matters. 

“Say my name.” Jing commanded. 

“Jing?” Ying went first. 

“Jing.” Lei Zhi went second. 

“You really don’t hold back Jing! I don’t expect anything less from the woman I love!” Hu Tao put his dislocated jaw back in place with an audible crack and grinned. 

“Her name is Jing?!” Runt and Jie exclaimed. 

“You don’t need to hide anymore?” Wan asked. 

“There’s no need. I’ve told you all my plans for the sect, right?” Jing asked. 

“To change it for the better or something like that, right?” Ying asked. 

“That’s right. I hate the way the sect is currently run and once I become Sect Leader, I will improve it to a level that will shame the way it's currently run.” Jing nodded. 

“I’m glad to see you haven’t forgotten.” Lei smiled. 

“I haven’t forgotten your reasons for joining me. Today will be the true start of our faction’s rise. You will be my Head Elders that will shape and structure the sect for me.” She told them all. 

“Can I be the Supreme Commander?” Wan Qing asked. 

“We’ll see if you’re suited for the position. I’ll tell you now, that my Supreme Commander will need more than just strength.” Her eyes glazed over all of them. 

“I will do my best.” Wan bowed her head, confusing everyone else. 

“Why are you being so nice, Freak?” Hu Tao asked. 

“You are acting a little differently...” Ying supported. 

“After giving me the one thing, I've always wanted. I’ve decided to give Jing my everything. Loyalty, mind, body, and soul.” She explained. 

“Good to hear. Now, there are a few things that I need to give to some of you before the Grand Tournament begins. Bing.” She called out to him. 

“Yes, Empress?” He got on one knee and bowed. 

“For completing a task that I thought was impossible for the current you, take this.” Jing handed him a small bottle with golden liquid floating inside it. 

“Thank you for your benevolence and kindness!” He shouted. 

  Ying rolled her eyes at his exaggerated behavior while Wan snickered.  

“Do you know what a Golden Blood Elixir does?” Jing asked. 

“I do not!” 

“Golden Blood Elixir...?!” Jie unintentionally squeaked. Jing’s eyes glanced over to her. 

“Feel free to explain for those who don’t know.” Jing gave her the go-ahead. 

“Well, I heard that it was the perfect concoction for body cultivators. Only a master alchemist could produce something as valuable as that. Once a body cultivator has drunk it, their blood would turn into gold and they would become nearly priceless! The strength that a body cultivator gains from the golden blood is as if they were strengthened more than 2 or 3 times! Plus, anyone that regularly drinks their blood would gain the same prowess as them. Meaning that people with this blood are invaluable to alchemists all over the world! If he drinks that, he’s going to become wanted by everyone who realizes he has it!” She explained. 

“Why does he get something like that? I want people all over wanting to try and get me.” Hu Tao complained. 

“Don’t they do that anyway?” Ying asked. 

“They don’t count.” Hu Tao waved off those from the Inner Court. 

“Can I pass on my reward...?” Being wanted by numerous powerful people is not something he was looking forward to. 

“Pass?” Jing questioned. 

“I mean, I am eternally grateful!” 

“Good. Drink up then.” She said. 

  Bing was planning to put it away and never drink it at all but now that the Empress has ordered him to drink it in front of her, he has no choice but to do so. With obvious hesitation, he opened the top and gulped it down in one drink. The effects were instant as his body puffed up. He felt the strength in his body rising without control. Keeping himself from breaking through into the next cultivation realm was basically impossible if it wasn’t for the help of Lei Zhi. Lei Zhi stabbed his body with his needles, helping him properly control and direct this transformation happening inside him.  

  Once he could control himself again, he definitely felt stronger just like Hu Tao’s girlfriend said. So, strong that dealing with Leng would’ve probably been much easier if he took this before his fight. This strength... The Empress... Just why would she give him so much power? Is being her slave really this great? Even if he somehow made it through the Golden Serpent Sect’s recruitment test, he knew that he wouldn’t have gained anywhere near as much strength as he does now. Not even 1% of his current strength would probably match the strength of that version of him. 

“I can only thank you...” His dream of living life how he wants doesn’t seem so impossible anymore. 

[Ai Bing’s loyalty has reached 100%] 

[He is now able to receive an SCP from the Host as a gift for his loyalty.] 

About time! To think that our first ally would also take the longest to max out on loyalty. Does that say more about Bing's character or Jing's lack of experience in leadership? Who knows?

Anyway! It's been a little difficult for me to write chapters lately as I haven't really been in the mood to write. Haven't been feeling really inspired but that's because I've been reading a novel that gives me absolutely no inspiration for this story. Its called Gamers of the Underworld and I think its really neat. The concept is unique but it gets repetitive the more you read it. I'm currently on chapter 478 and don't plan to stop until I get to the end.