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AIP - Chapter 153: Factions (1)

Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr

Tang Jie had forbidden the little tiger to show itself to anyone, so the Carefree House had become the only place where it could hide. Whenever there was a visitor, Tang Jie or Yiyi would put the cub in the beast talisman.

As the space inside the beast talisman was dark, the tiger cub couldn't be kept in there for very long, so Tang Jie and Yiyi were reluctant to do this.

Tang Jie now asked, "Right, so what business do you have with me?"

"The matter of True Person Changfeng, of course. So, what—you plan to discuss this with us outside?" Ping Jingyue asked.

Even if Ping Jingyue didn't say anything, Tang Jie could guess at what they wanted.

As expected, Ping Jingyue and the others were planning to use the Freedom Society to form an alliance. They would work together to find Lin Lang, after which they would fight among themselves for the head.

The best advantage of this method was that no matter whose hands the head fell into, it would remain within the Freedom Society. It would also increase the chances for the members of the Freedom Society as a whole.

Cooperating with the competition and competing while cooperating was all it was.

Unfortunately, he was going to have to disappoint them.

Tang Jie had no choice but to knock on the gate. "Yiyi, open the door."

A few moments later, Yiyi opened the gate and blinked at Tang Jie. From this, Tang Jie knew that Bao'er had been taken into the talisman already.

Yiyi rushed over to Ping Jingyue and hugged her neck. She then waved at Liu Hongyan and said, "Hello, Big Sis Hongyan, and Big Sister Jingyue, and Big Brother Junyang, and Big Brother Shuyang…"

She greeted all of the other students in one go.

She had a sweet mouth and immediately had Liu Hongyan and the others smiling, no longer angry that she had refused to open the gate.

Tang Jie said, "Let's go in so we can talk inside."

Yiyi had already climbed down from Ping Jingyue and run off somewhere.

Ping Jingyue couldn't stop her, so all she could say was, "This child—she's so sly. I wonder what she's up to."

Tang Jie commented, "Children have their secrets. Big people like us shouldn't try and butt in."

"What about you? What sort of secrets do you have?" Liu Hongyan casually said as she followed Tang Jie into his house.

"That depends on what you're asking about." Tang Jie invited everyone into the courtyard, had them sit, and served them tea.

"What else could it be?" Shu Mingyang replied. "It's public knowledge that True Person Changfeng is taking a True Inheritor, so everyone is thinking of what to do. Tang Jie, you've been gone for an entire day, so can I presume that you've thought of something?"

"Me? I spent the entire day in the Inkscent Parlor reading books," Tang Jie replied.

The Inkscent Parlor?

They glanced at each other in surprise.

Cai Junyang asked, "What did you go there for?"

"If I want to become a True Person's disciple, I naturally have to understand the Basking Moon Sect first. To hunt down Lin Lang, I have to understand the Sageheart Kingdom, even understand Cloudflow Academy. Any of these reasons is enough to make me go and study up."

"So what did you find out?" Ping Jingyue asked.

Tang Jie answered, "I've determined that True Person Changfeng really is looking to take a disciple."

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Pfft!

Everybody spat out their tea.

Liu Hongyan glared at him. "This is what you found out after an entire day of reading?"

"That's it," Tang Jie replied.

They rolled their eyes, nobody believing him.

But Tang Jie really wasn't lying.

While reading books in Inkscent Parlor, the first thing he had wanted to confirm was whether or not Yan Changfeng actually wanted to take a disciple!

Everything had a major objective, and if the major objective was wrong, then it was all pointless no matter how much effort one put in.

The Hawk Hall had suffered such grievous losses precisely because it had failed to understand Tang Jie's major objective.

Qi Shaoming's mistake was also that he had chosen the wrong direction!

After all his experience, how could Tang Jie possibly make the same mistake?

One day of time was rather valuable, but in Tang Jie's view, using it to confirm that he had the right objective was extremely worthwhile.

Working in the wrong direction, no matter how passionately, was pointless.

Besides, this hadn't been his only harvest.

After one day of studying, he now had a greater understanding of the Basking Moon Sect's structure and internal circumstances, and also those of the various sects of the Sageheart Kingdom.

This had allowed him to finally comprehend many things that had previously escaped him, and it also had allowed him to make up his mind.

He took a drink of tea, and then he slowly said, "This disciple selection… I'm giving up on it."

"What?" Everyone stared in gobsmacked wonder at Tang Jie.

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"Are you okay?" Cai Junyang couldn't help but place a hand on Tang Jie's forehead.

Tang Jie swatted Cai Junyang's hand away. "My head is fine. I have my reasons for giving up."

"What reason is that?" Liu Hongyan asked.

Sighing, Tang Jie said, "All you know is that this disciple selection is an opportunity, but do you know about the problem behind this disciple selection?"

"The problem behind it?" The others were all confused.

Ping Jingyue asked, "Is there some sort of plot behind this disciple selection?"

"Not a plot, but there is a faction behind it," Tang Jie answered.

Any large organization would never be able to remain completely united over the long term.

Different people would have different thoughts, different viewpoints, and different ideals, so they would inevitably make different choices and form various organizations and powers.

The Basking Moon Sect and Godhead Palace were both the same in this aspect.

As factions were not supported by the Rosecloud Domain, these factions were not publicly known existences. They took the form of groups of various sizes led by specific individuals. Outsiders normally divided them into the conservatives, the radicals, and the centrists, and there were finer divisions within these groups.

The conservative faction occupied the mainstream in the Basking Moon Sect. As it was led by Basking Moon Sect Master Ling Xiao, it considered itself the orthodox school. This was also the inevitable result of any large faction holding power for a long time, or else this would be an era of great strife, not an era of great peace.

The radicals were led by the Sword of the sect, Xiao Biehan, and so they drew many young talents.

In truth, the radicals didn't go around fighting and killing every day. It was just that they were more radical and flashy than the conservatives when it came to dealing with things. 

For example, when Xiao Biehan had gone against Shi Wunian, he had chosen combat to keep his guest.

But if Basking Moon Sect Master Ling Xiao had been present, it would have been a show of hospitality, cups of wine raised in a toast to the moon.

They both would succeed at keeping Shi Wunian, but the methods were poles apart.

The difference in how they handled this minor matter, if reflected in their administrative methods, would truly embody the saying "a centimeter's error leads to a flaw of one thousand kilometers"!

As for the centrists, they were also known as the academy faction, which was centered on Basking Moon Academy. On the surface, because Basking Moon Academy appeared too small, it seemed incapable of matching up against the two other factions, but Basking Moon Academy produced countless disciples that could be found throughout the other factions, so it actually wielded considerable influence.

The academy faction was the typical traditionalist faction, believing that cultivators should pursue the Heavenly Dao, focusing more on cultivation and less on worldly affairs.

It should be said that the academy faction represented the original mainstream thought of the cultivation world.

Alas, when a person was in a high position, they no longer had complete freedom. When it came to dealing with the complicated struggles of the cultivation world and controlling the cultivators of the world, no one could truly be aloof and transcendent, paying no attention to worldly affairs.

If that were possible, why was there even a need to establish a sect?

Would it not be far more free to wander the world as an unaffiliated cultivator, as unbound as the clouds and the cranes?

Sects were established for the sake of obtaining resources, and control was required to obtain resources, and control required administrative methods.

It was akin to how in the endless history of the evolution of life, not every species had the ability to reproduce and thrive. Only those species that understood how to thrive and reproduce were qualified to persist for generation after generation.

The same was true for the cultivation world. It wasn't every cultivator that needed to play around with and control others, but only those who could play around with others and control them could stand at the apex of the cultivation world.

This was precisely why, even though the academy faction had the traditional and correct mindset, it had always fallen behind.

The three factions struggled against each other behind the scenes, and while it wasn't at a level where they couldn't coexist, many other matters would inevitably be dragged into the struggle, which would cause many decisions to have unexpected results.

Why was it that Tang Jie had been able to use the "impersonation strategy" to deceive the Hawk Hall while the Basking Moon Sect couldn't do the same? Why was it that the Basking Moon Sect was so apprehensive about a single student, not simply seizing and interrogating them? This was all connected to these factional struggles. With these factions suppressing each other, there were many things that they couldn't do.

The same was true for Godhead Palace.

Yan Changfeng's disciple selection was also connected to the struggle between the three factions.

The conservatives had had the upper hand in the Basking Moon Sect, but after the Tang Jie incident, the relations between the Basking Moon Sect and Godhead Palace had suddenly become tense. With their swords drawn against each other, the radicals immediately rose to the occasion.

Yan Changfeng was a member of the radicals, and this disciple selection was an expression of the radical faction's rising power.

Both major factions had always been actively trying to recruit the students of Basking Moon Academy. Young people were hotblooded and impulsive, so they were easily drawn to the radical faction's ideals.

Thus, every disciple selection was actually a proclamation the two major factions made to themselves. It served both to recruit talent and to rally the people to their side.

Although nothing had been plainly written about these things, there were at least some rumors. By combining these rumors with the history of the Basking Moon Sect and a string of recent incidents, Tang Jie had naturally been able to spot something fishy in this incident and thus obtain a conclusion.

Thus, Yan Changfeng's disciple selection was actually having the students choose a side!

"I see…" The Freedom Society students had never thought about this matter from this angle, and they were all rather dazzled after hearing Tang Jie explain it all.

They would have never imagined that a disciple selection would be so complicated.

"So you're giving up on this disciple selection because you don't want to join the radicals?" Cai Junyang asked.

Tang Jie chuckled. "Do you think I'm that sort of person who chooses combat as his number one solution?"

"That's true." Cai Junyang scratched his head. Now that he thought about it, Tang Jie really didn't like fighting that much. When someone tried to cause trouble for him, he would just casually smile and let it go.

He really didn't seem like the sort to join those Basking Moon Sect extremists in sweeping over the world, crushing the other major sects, and uniting the Rosecloud Domain.

Since he wasn't that sort of person, it was best if he didn't join them.

"Then which faction do you prefer?" Ping Jingyue giggled and prodded Tang Jie with her elbow as she charmingly inquired.

hypersheep325's Notes:

Ah yes, there's no escaping politics, not even in the cultivation world! Can Tang Jie remain above the fray, or will he have to choose a party one day?

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Written by Yuanfen 0 缘分0. Translated by hypersheep325. Edited by Michyrr.