Bai was correct in her complaint.
Hei had learned her Marionet ability, which allowed one to hijack the cultivation paths of weaker cultivators or those who put up no resistance.
The entire fight from start to finish had been orchestrated by Hei, and Bai was made to be a performer against her will.
Hei smiled while looking up at Bai’s face, still in her arms.
“I… I tried so hard… Who knew you were at this level?”
He raised his hand up to caress her cheek.
“You… you hid your abilities well… Sigh.”
As he let out his sigh, his hand fell to his side. He had completely ‘lost consciousness’.
Bai had no choice but to smile at her brother’s nonsense. She carried him back to his seat and waited for the announcement.
Everyone was left dumbfounded. At this point, they knew it was all an act.
Back in the stands, the representatives were discussing what just happened.
“Well, that confirms it. They are using some kind of illusions.”
“What they are doing, is making a mockery of the summit!”
“But to be fair, we were the ones who put them in with the internalisation realm cultivators.”
“Mm. Judging by that Shao Mei’s kick, they should have pretty good power, that is except for that Shao Hei. Think about it. Have we seen him actually attack? All he did was redirect people by confusing their senses.”
“And that fight with Shao Tianlan was obviously another illusion. He most likely can’t fight at all and is relying on these illusions to achieve victory.”
“Mm. If he were to strike someone, his tricks would be revealed.”
The representatives were less than impressed.
Tianlan, on the other hand, was grumbling about how Hei was biased towards Bai. Why couldn’t he let him win?
Mei was jealous of Bai who was able to hold Hei in her arms.
Most of the audience just felt it was strange. They didn’t know what was real and what was illusory. But they did know that they enjoyed whatever it was.
It was far better than the other matches they had seen, even though it was quite short.
The boys of the Fang Clan were different.
After witnessing the match, they all had bright eyes and stood up in horse stances.
“I want to be a Super Heiyan too!”
“Right? It was so cool!”
The young ladies gave them odd looks.
“But then your skin will turn dark.”
After realising this, the boys sat back down.
Hei wanted to say something but he held himself back.
The young man on stage spoke up at that point.
“That brings us to the end of the summit. Since Shao Mei is the only transcendent realm participant, she is champion by default.”
He paused for a moment before continuing.
“I will now announce the names of those who have been selected. As I call your name, step up to the stage where you will receive offers from the sects. If there are multiple offers, you are free to choose. Obviously, if your name is not called, you have not been selected.”
The young man then started calling out names, starting with the body refining cultivators. No one really cared about these cultivators, it was as if they had no names.
After the body refining cultivators, the externalisation realm cultivators’ names were called out.
Those body refining cultivators who weren’t selected were depressed. They had been looking forward to joining a sect and making their parents proud.
A similar scene occurred for the externalisation realm cultivators, but interestingly enough, the Fang Clan juniors got many more offers than the others.
This trend continued into the internalisation realm participants.
Whenever a young man from the Fang Clan was called up, the same four sects would make offers. For the young ladies, all five sects made offers.
This was because the Radiant Jade Sect only accepted female disciples.
The picture for the Wu Clan was quite different. A lot of them didn’t receive offers at all, and none of them except for Wu Ning got offers from more than two sects.
This painted a clear picture for them of who the number one clan in Spring Leaf City was.
What made it worse, was that they had discarded the very thing that allowed the Fang Clan to achieve all this. One man’s trash was another man’s treasure indeed.
The young ladies of the Fang Clan were quite disappointed that their names were called before Sage Tianlan’s. This meant they could only hope he would go to the same sect as them.
They may have been vocal about their disappointment, but they all made serious choices for which sect would suit them best. They all knew that their chances with Tianlan weren’t good to begin with. But one could hope.
When it came to Fang Ren’s turn, she looked to the three before making her decision to join the Radiant Jade Sect.
Even though Hei had already told her that she no longer needed to accompany Bai, she couldn’t forget the Myriad Kindness they had shown to her.
Her choice wasn’t much of a concern to Hei. After all, he had found a perfectly good sister-in-law to protect Bai.
Fang Lian ended up following Ji Dian to the Violet River Sect and Fang Long chose the Blazing Flame Sect.
Fang Noname made an interesting choice… But it was quite difficult to notice him/her. Most people only remembered an indistinct grey fog as they thought of Fang Noname.
The time came for Tianlan’s selection.
There was an awkward pause before the Shimmering Sword Sect made him an offer. His only offer.
He could have sworn they had said something about a coin toss, but it wasn’t clear enough to be sure.
Then came Bai’s turn, and her results were shocking.
Some would say shocking isn’t the right word, but she received a grand total of  offer(s). And it was the Radiant Jade Sect who was basically giving all of the young ladies offers.
After Bai was Mei, which caused some confusion.
Everyone looked to Hei, who didn’t seem to be concerned.
For Mei, all of the sects had made offers. All she needed to do was go up to the stage and choose one.
Mei turned to Hei before she stood up and spoke.
“I will choose after my darling. I want to go to the same sect as him.”
She pointed to Hei as she spoke.
Hearing this, the representatives had awkward faces.
The young man responded.
“Shao Hei has not been selected.”
Mei was angered.
“Are you saying my darling isn’t good enough for you?”
Her aura started to leak out. Her colours started to change. Red became white as white became red. The audience could almost smell blood in her words.
Even the representatives became fearful as this was happening.
Mei was a pinnacle existence in this world. Even in the middle continent, there were not many spirit beasts that could stand up against her bloodline.
For these cultivators of the lower eastern continent, her aura was enough to separate their souls from their bodies.
“Calm down, Mei.”
As she was losing herself to her anger, Mei heard a calm voice, shortly followed by a hand on her shoulder, and she immediately returned to calm.
She turned to him and spoke.
“Just choose the Radiant Jade Sect. I want you to protect Little Bai for me.”
Mei was going to say that she wanted to be with Hei, but he cut her off.
“I trust you to be able to do this for me.”
After saying these words, Hei could see conflict in Mei’s eyes. He realised that he was asking her to go against her wishes.
He knew that he was biased towards Bai, and he was unashamed of this. But he didn’t want to neglect one sister in favour of the other.
So, he decided to give Mei something in return.
“In return, I will take you out on a trip, just the two of us. How about it?”
He remembered how his walk through the city with Bai seemed to improve her mood, so he had the same idea for Mei.
Mei was very excited to hear these words.
“I will take good care of our little sister, Darling.”
She hugged Hei tightly.
“It’s- Ah, never mind.”
Hei was going to correct her and break free from her hug, but he decided to let her have this much. It also didn’t help that the other soul was basically doing cartwheels.
‘It’ll only be this once. Yup! Just this once.’
Seeing that Hei did not reject the title, Mei became even happier. She turned to the representatives and voiced her choice without even bothering to head down to the stage.
“I’ll be going to the Radiant Jade Sect.”
She then sat back down next to Hei, planning the things they would do on their trip when the time came.
Noticing this, Hei spoke.
“The trip will happen after Little Bai is finished with the sect.”
Mei didn’t seem bothered with the time delay as she continued in her planning.
Hei was lost for words.
He felt an odd sensation, so he turned to look at Bai and what he saw left him even more helpless.
Bai had been looking at him with aggrieved eyes, but she didn’t say anything.
She knew he was doing this for her, but she would have also liked a trip.
Seeing this, Hei could only awkwardly cough.
‘This almost feels like a… No, it can’t be.’
Hei felt that this was somehow familiar, but he put the thought aside.
After the selections were over, the representatives had the successful participants report to their representatives. They would soon be leaving to go to their sects.
Bai and Mei were reluctant to part with Hei, but they were pulled by the collars and dragged over to the Radiant Jade Sect.
It was Tianlan who had dragged them away.
Even though the young ladies of the city gave him much of their attention, two of the most important women in his life only had eyes for Hei.
This resulted in a strange situation where Hei was jealous of Tianlan and Tianlan was also jealous of Hei.
After everyone had left, the matriarch turned to Hei and asked him what he would do now.
She was hoping he would choose to stay in the Fang Clan for a few more years.
“I’ll probably go on a solo adventure. Finding treasures here, ignoring damsels in distress there. I may even obtain a few more maids.”
Hei smiled as he spoke those last words.
Any solo adventure was bound to be chock-full of encounters with young ladies. If even one of them was a blue aura holder, he would have made a good harvest.
He was also interested in getting some butlers. But a delicate balance was required. He didn’t want to invite any boys into the group, only to have Bai become interested in one of them.
That would truly be a calamity.
It would be better if he could pair up the butlers with the maids, leaving nothing for Bai to be interested in.
He then started speaking using his Qi, so others wouldn’t overhear.
“By the way, your first task as my maid is to take care of our matriarch and old ancestor.”
“Your mother and grandfather?”
“Well, yes. But to you, they are Miss Matriarch and Ancestor Shao.”
The matriarch nodded her head. This much was to be expected.
At that moment, Hei realised something.
“Come to think of it, I still don’t know your name. What is it?”
“Shao Liling. It’s nice.”
The matriarch didn’t react to Hei arbitrarily changing her family name to Shao. In fact, she had an inexplicable pride as she heard her name as part of the Shao Clan.
But she could also feel a weight behind it. She wouldn’t allow herself to disappoint the family that changed her clan’s future.
“While you are protecting our matriarch and ancestor, you can continue as the Fang Clan’s matriarch. When we come up with a minute realm technique for you, I will bring it to you. We will also create minute realm variants of the elemental foundations series.”
The matriarch was relieved to know that she wouldn’t have to leave her clan behind for the time being. There were still many things she needed to do before she could leave.
Seeing that the matriarch had no complaints, Hei continued.
“Mm. When the time comes to move up to the upper continent, I will come to get you. By that time, the lower continent will already belong to our Shao Clan.”
The matriarch nodded in response.
Most people would have considered Hei a fool to spout these words as if he actually believed them, but the matriarch was strangely confident that it would be as he had said.
Hei was quite pleased with the matriarch. Maybe she did deserve the head maid position after all.
He then clapped his hands, letting the sound enter the ears of everyone in the venue. He wanted quiet, so he could speak to the juniors.
“Alright, juniors. You may be feeling pretty good right now, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.”
He wanted them to remember that they were nothing much and that they should just be low key. After all, almost all of the Fang Clan’s juniors were fodder characters.
Except for Fang Lian and possibly Fang Ren, who were closely tied to main characters, the rest of them would be mediocre at best.
He began the chant he had taught them during training.
“To seek glory!”
The Fang Clan’s juniors all shouted out in unison.
“IS FOR FOOLS!”
Hearing this, Hei was pleased, so he continued.
“To seek honour!”
“IS FOR FOOLS!”
“To seek treasure!”
“IS FOR FOOLS!”
“To seek inheritances!”
“IS FOR FOOLS!”
“To be concerned about face!”
“IS FOR FOOLS!”
“To be low key!”
“IS FOR THE WISE!”
“And what are we?”
“WE ARE WISE!”
“Now just the boys.”
He had a special section for the boys.
“Damsels in distress!”
“What will they do?”
“MESS UP OUR LIVES!”
“And what are we?”
“WE ARE WISE!”
“Just the ladies now.”
Hei was starting to get into it as he raised his voice louder and started waving his arms as if he were conducting an orchestra.
“Grubby little boys!”
“STAY WHERE YOU ARE!”
“We don’t want to see you!”
“NEAR OF FAR.”
“What will they do?”
“TELL MANY LIES!”
“And what are we?”
“WE ARE WISE!”
“Now just my siblings.”
Hei was fully into it now. This was the grand finale.
“What will we do?”
“LOOK FOR THE BLUES!”
“How do we win?”
“WE TAKE THEM IN!
After the chant was finished, the audience watched in silence.
His siblings hid their faces in embarrassment.
Hei was pleased with the response. It seemed that everyone had taken his advice seriously. They were even willing to say these things in front of the audience.
He then spoke one last thing to the Fang Clan juniors.
“Make sure to come back to the Fang Clan every now and then.”
There were no objections, so Hei prepared to make his exit.
He jumped into the air, and as he reached the centre stage, he entered his Dragon Knight mode.
Then, he pulled a dragon from his storages space and stood atop its head as it flapped its wings, flying just above the stage, at the height of the representatives’ seats.
He pointed his lance at the old lady who was a representative of the Radiant Jade Sect.
“I have entrusted my little sister to your Radiant Jade Sect. I do hope you will treat her well.”
He then released a suppressive aura and allowed two red glows to be visible through his helmet.
“Because if I hear of even the slightest grievance from Little Bai…”
He paused for dramatic effect, as the dragon bore its fangs.
“I’ll have to destroy your sect with my own hands.”
The old lady was frightened by Hei’s aura, but she soon realised that it was all an illusion.
Coming to this realisation, she became enraged.
“You little brat! Who do you think you are fooling with your illusions? Should I come and teach you a lesson right now?”
She was sure that once his little act was seen through, he would promptly get on his knees to apologise?
Hei was confused by this for a while before he understood.
He disengaged his Unlimited Chain Works and landed in the middle of the stage.
Seeing this, the old lady became more confident.
While they had been assuming that Hei was using illusions, it was only one of the possibilities. It was always possible that all of it was real.
But since he had backed down, she was confident that they were correct, and that this Shao Hei was just showboating.
Hei then looked up to the old lady.
“You will teach me a lesson?”
Hearing Hei’s tone, the old lady felt that something was wrong, but she continued in her authoritative tone.
“Unless you get on your knees right now and apologise.”
Hearing these words, Fang Long felt sorry for the old lady. He had said the very same foolish words a while back.
Hei placed his hands behind his back and closed his eyes as he spoke.
“Then let me ask you something.”
This time the old lady decided not to speak.
This wasn’t the attitude of a junior being reprimanded at all.
Hearing no response, Hei opened his eyes again, and when he did, the old lady felt a suppressive aura unlike any she had ever felt before. Even the sect leader hadn’t made her feel so small.
With a completely relaxed voice, Hei spoke.
“Do I look scared?”
This sentence sent cold chills down the spines of the half-siblings.
The image of Hei’s bloodied body was still clear in their minds. Those eyes that didn’t show even the slightest weakness still haunted their dreams from time to time.
The contrast between the tone of his voice and the aura he was releasing made the old lady realise that she was only a speck of dust in Hei’s world. A completely inconsequential existence.
She had been gravely mistaken in thinking that Hei had been using illusions before.
Her face paled as she struggled to respond.
Seeing this, Hei smiled and the suppressive aura disappeared.
“Calm down, old lady. It’s just an illusion.”
He turned around, ready to disappear into thin air when he heard a young woman’s voice.
“Please wait, Shao Hei!”
Surprised at the voice he hadn’t heard before, Hei turned around.
The source of the voice was the young woman sitting next to the old lady. She was also a representative of the Radiant Jade Sect.
Hei could see determination in her eyes.
And he was right. Having seen Hei’s fearlessness, even to the extent of threatening a sect, she had made a choice.
“I am inviting you to join the man peak of the Radiant Jade Sect. Will you accept?”