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 Season 1

Episode 84

(Protection fee)

After the steward just left, six men who had been standing under a tree not far away approached the new outer disciples. Wicked expressions reflected on their faces.     

"Hi! Everybody! Since you are new here, let me tell you two things. First, I would like to extend a warm welcome. You are now members of the family of outer disciples."    

A man who appeared to be around twenty years of age said loudly to the new outer disciples. He seemed high-spiritedly and enthusiastic.    

 In contrast, the six men standing beside him still wore sly smiles. They didn't seem to be as nice as the speaker.     Still, just to avoid trouble, the new outer disciples showed their gratitude.    

 "Ah," the speaker said," You don't have to thank me. There's no need to be so formal. It is my pleasure to welcome all of you."  

The young man continued talking.    

 "The second thing I wanted to share was that every new outer disciple is required to pay us ten vital energy crystals."    

The young man paused and waited for his audience to react.     

Hearing what he had said, the new outer disciples were stunned. After a moment's silence, they began whispering and discussing among themselves. As outrage grew, their voices soared. Soon, the residential area was filled with noise.    
 "What? What do you mean?"  

  "Is this a sect rule?"    

They clamored to have their questions heard.     

"The ten vital energy crystals are a sort of 'getting to know you' gift. You can also call it a protection fee or routine money. As long as you pay us the vital energy crystals, no one can harm you. If anyone tries, you can mention that you are under Billy Tan's protection!"  

Protection fee!    

 The new disciples were not foolish. They understood at once that the six disciples were blackmailing them. It was the six disciples who were threatening the new disciples now!     

"Be quick! Pay us the crystals. Only then can you leave. If you are not willing to... Hmmm!"    

The young man paused, and his expression turned cold. He glared intimidatingly at all the new outer disciples.    

 "One thing you should know is that our leader, Billy Tang, is ranked fifteenth among the outer disciples. Whether you want to or not, you have to give us the crystals. And this is Mr. Billy Tang's brother, Barton Tang."  

While the young man was speaking, he pointed to another young man who was dressed in purple. He looked arrogant and wore a cold smile on his face.     Hearing what the first young man had said, the new outer disciples, who looked indignant a moment ago, became silent.     
Billy Tang was ranked in the top 15 from thousands of outer disciples. Of course, the new outer disciples could not be as powerful as he.    

 If they did not pay, they would offend Billy Tang. The new outer disciples didn't want to provoke a higher ranked disciple on their first day in the outer part of the sect.     

On the contrary, if they paid, this would be their opportunity to build a good relationship with Billy, and they might get help from him in the future.   

So more than one disciple started to take action.    

 Some of the new disciples reacted quickly. They took out ten vital energy crystals and passed the crystals with two hands to Barton Tang. Since they had lived on the meager salary of a grunt disciple, the amount was almost like a small fortune for them. They cringed at having to pay, but they smiled while offering the money to Barton Tang.    

 "Mr. Tang, please accept my gift and speak on my behalf to Mr. Billy Tang. I am Booth."    

"Good. You are doing excellently. I will ask my brother to protect you from now on."    

Barton felt glad and looked more arrogant when he heard the new outer disciple flatter him.     

Booth's smile expanded to his whole face. He felt as though it was totally worth his ten vital energy crystals.   

Influenced by Booth, other disciples started to pay the protection fee to the six young men.     

Matias looked dispirited as he stood among the new outer disciples. He didn't say anything. Instead, he considered his options carefully before reaching a decision.     

He walked forth from the crowd and stopped in front of Barton. Taking out fifty vital energy crystals, he put them in Barton's hands. "Mr. Barton Tang, this is my gift for Mr. Billy Tang," he said with a flattering smile.   

  Then he took out a pile of vital energy crystals and passed twenty to Barton, and ten to each of the other five young men.    

 "This is my gift to each of you. I hope you do not refuse it."    

Matias demonstrated such generosity that it delighted Barton and the other five men. Of course, they would not refuse Matias's gift and accepted it happily.   

Matias's gift and accepted it happily.     "Okay. Good. You are very good. What is your name?"    

"I am Matias," Matias replied immediately.    

 "Matias. Fine. You are now a member of our group. You can do anything, and no one will refuse you."    

Matias showed his gratitude repeatedly. Then he flashed Austin a provocative glare. 'Now I have helpers. You will see how I torture you in the future!' he thought.     

After a few minutes, two-thirds of the new outer disciples had finished paying the vital energy crystals as their protection fee.     

But the others, about one-third of the new disciples, stood still. They seemed to disincline to pay the protection fee.  

   "So, you, don't want to be wise enough to submit?"  

One of the six young men shook his bag full of vital energy crystals as he asked the disciples who didn't take any action.    
 "You'd better take our advice. I am telling you this for the last time. You are not in a position to refuse us. If a person is powerful enough to protect himself, he can do as he pleases. But if he is not, then hesitating makes him a fool! 

Apparently, you are the latter. To tell you the truth, I can kill you, all the newcomers, with one hand. Billy Tang is more powerful. Imagine what he could do to you."   

 He glared at the disciples who had not given the vital energy crystals to them.     But no one changed their minds, Seeing this, the young men turned furious.    

 "You bastards! Do you want to refuse us when we're so nice?"    

"You! You don't want to pay for your protection?"  

The young man threw the bulging bag full of vital energy crystals and stomped to the closest new outer disciple. He reached out and caught the disciple by the neck before dragging him away from the crowd.     

The man was at the fifth-level of the Energy Gathering Realm while the disciple he had seized was only at the third level. There was a gap of two levels between them.     

Without enough power, the new outer disciple could not resist the young man. The young man began to throttle the new disciple. He gasped, and his face turned red.     

After struggling for a few seconds, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a few vital energy crystals with great difficulty.    

 "Sir, I, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend you by not paying. It's just... I only have five vital energy crystals," the new outer disciple blurted.   

The new disciple clawed at the young man's hand as he struggled to breathe.     Hearing the new disciple's explanation, the young man released his grip and took the five vital energy crystals.    

 "Hmmm! You poor wretch! I am going to be kind this time. You can write a note that you would give us another five in the future."    

When the matter was settled, the young man pushed the new outer disciple aside.     

Then he pointed to another one.    

 "You. Come here!"    

Evan took a deep breath when he realized that the young man was pointing at him.     

Austin saw the gang blackmailing the new disciples and didn't stop them or say anything. He had decided that if they let him go without asking for vital energy crystals, he would not get involved in this.   

He knew that such practices existed at the sect. After all, he had seen this on several occasions. Three years ago, when he had been an outer disciple, he knew that the stronger outer disciples would resort to such blackmailing.     

But now, since they wanted to bully Evan, Austin could not stand by this time.     Austin took Evan by the hand and pulled him behind himself.   

  "You can ask for protection fee from the others. But he and I will give you nothing," Austin said.     

His expression was calm as usual.   


Barton and the other five young men could not believe their ears. A new outer disciple dared to say that to them!   

"Aren't you overconfident of your abilities?" Barton said with a cold smile.     
"But I think you are insane!"    

After he finished speaking, Barton squinted at three young men. All six men in the gang were at the fifth-level of the Energy Gathering Realm, while most of the new outer disciples were at the third level. At best, there were a few who might have reached the fourth level.    

 Sometimes, it was beneficial to pick a new outer disciple and make an example out of him. Since Austin had chosen to oppose them so publicly, the gang decided to use him to warn the others of the consequences of being arrogant.   

  Matias seemed to take pleasure in Austin's situation.     

Even though Austin had once been the top-ranked disciple from among the other outer disciples, now he was only at the sixth-level of the Energy Gathering Realm. Austin had no fear of grunt disciples back then.   

'But now, you are in the outer part of the sect. No longer are you surrounded by common grunt disciples. Although you have reached the sixth level, there will be many disciples who are much stronger than you. Now that you have offended Billy Tang's group, you will face great difficulties.' Matias thought as a smile grew on his face.

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