Daily life of a cultivation judge

Chapter 460 Considered Options
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It didn't take long for Yang Qing to make his way to the Order's branch in Deer Mountain Kingdom.

The Branch was situated in one of the numerous mountain ranges that were in the kingdom. Creating a branch here was easier compared to other places because of the predicament of the Deer Mountain Kingdom.

The kingdom was vast, with its territory matching the size of young rank 2 kingdoms, empires, clans, or sects. However, unlike those groups, the kingdom didn't have a firm grasp of its territory due to the numerous tumultuous regions in the area, and after their failed attempt at consolidating their territory a few hundred years ago, they were all too glad to welcome the Order's presence in the area.

With how vast the territory was, the Order was able to cut out a place in the territory to build the branch. They chose to occupy a mountain that housed a bloodthirsty rock horn boa that was in the early stages of the palace realm.

The Mountain they occupied was large as it covered an area of about 8,000 acres. It had a mountain, an inland lake, and a forest that wasn't filled with much at the time. But when the Order gained control of the area, they renovated it, and added natural treasures to boost the spiritual qi in the area, and the quality of the vegetation there.

The whole area was suffused with dense spiritual qi to the point it had condensed into blue droplets filled with ethereal light, and the growth of spiritual plants was abundant.

As for the building itself, the Order didn't skimp out on the materials as it used low-tier ascendant grade materials to build it. From goldweave cedar wood to silverdew stone down to stormcloud slate.

The materials used to build, coupled with skilled craftsmanship and the dense spiritual qi in the area, made the building look like an immortal's abode.

Yang Qing sighed as he saw the grandiose image before him.

"For as stingy as it is, it sure loves its face a lot."

"Hao Da," Yang Qing waved his hands as he saw the young blue-haired youth making his way over. π›πžππ—»π¨π˜ƒπ—²π—Ή.πœπ¨π—Ί

"It seems you've had a long day.." said the blue-haired youth with a sigh.

Even with Yang Qing smiling like he always did, for someone who has known him since their younger days at the institute, he could detect him hiding a bit of his grief.

"It was a hard one, but I'm a little better than I was half an hour ago.."

Hao Da stared at him briefly before he said,

"You know you could always just join a branch. I feel it suits your temperament more. The cases are not that many or that large scale, and you get to decide your schedule. If there are no cases, the rest of the time, you can spend it doing what you want, other than the occasional surveillance of the area.

It's an easy job. You could get the soft life you always cried about here."

"Ideally the branches suit me best, but Hao Da, you know how much of a coward I am.." Yang Qing said with an embarrassed smile.

"I'd have to leave the dense layers of protection at the headquarters if I joined a branch. While the formation arrays, and protective mechanisms here are not bad, they don't quite much like those at the headquarters.

Then what if I have to leave to go eat? I'd be exposing myself, and with how much a creature of habit I am, I'd be the softest target.

No, I get nervous just thinking about it. Maybe when I'm a domain expert and I have my own saint-grade treasure, maybe I could consider leaving that overworking black tower, but until then I'll have to slave away for the protection it affords me.."

"How could you still be so cowardly with your abilities? Glad to see you're still the same.." Hao Da said as he shook his head with a smile.

"Though...Yang Qing, pardon me for saying this, but you're not exactly an altruist, right?"

"Not really. While I'd step in to help if I can, I'll always weigh it against my own well-being. Why?" Yang Qing asked in curiosity.

"Then why didn't you join the holy lands? With your talents, you could have surely gotten in and would have received preferential treatment from the moment you stepped in. In terms of protection, they offer the same as the Order, and you wouldn't have to work.

The only requirement they have is for you to cultivate.."

"The Holy lands huh.." Yang Qing stared at the skies as his mind wandered. Under different circumstances, he may have very well tried his hand, and if back then he had known he would be worked to the bone at the Order, then maybe he would have opted.

"Who am i kidding," Yang Qing thought with a smile as he shook his head, dispelling those notions.

"It's the same reason I won't go to a branch, I'm a coward. For holy lands, you'd have to go all the way to the one testing site. Who knows what could have happened to me during that journey..unlike the Order where you can visit any branch and they'll transport you to the headquarters.

Though it would be a lie to say, I didn't entertain the thought but I wouldn't have gone to either of them. If not the Order, I think I'd have gone to the Jade Leaf Academy. I have a family friend who's like my grandfather, and he is from there..."

"The two holy lands while they'd offer me safety and resources, I don't know why, but I felt I'd be more constrained there, but the Order and the Jade Leaf Academy are different.

I doubt I'd get away with half the things I do here if I were to do them there. As much as I hate to admit it, the Order grew on me, more than I expected it to. Even with recent events, I wouldn't leave even if there was a chance to.." added Yang Qing as he shuddered in fear at the thought the Order had them where they wanted.

"What about you? From the questions you are asking, it seems like you considered it?" asked Yang Qing.

Hao Da didn't have the best of starts at the Order, so Yang Qing wouldn't be surprised if he harbored those thoughts. He wouldn't be the first one. When they were young they would all fantasize about what life would be like in the holy lands, especially, after a session with the murderous instructors, that thought was constantly on their minds.

"I haven't, actually. I doubt I'd have fitted much in those places.." he said with a rueful smile.

"Besides, my current life isn't bad, just like you, it has grown on me and I'm looking forward to the three fires branch. Come visit when you can, the Three Fires Empire has pretty great restaurants known for their meat dishes..." he added with a chuckle when he saw the greedy look on Yang Qing.

Even when going through hard times, it seemed like his appetite would remain constant.

"I'll do that.." Yang Qing said as he quickly wiped his dripping drool with a floosh of his sleeves.

"Where's the branch chief by the way?" Yang Qing said when he didn't see or sense him around.

"He went to see the king of the kingdom who had concerns that there may be heretical cultivators with a hideout here..."

"Oh...the Spiritual Temperance Sect had one too, the Dark Helminth Ghost Sect. I wonder if the special inquisitors found anything related to them.." Yang Qing thought as he rubbed his chin in deep thought.

He still had a pending report to make with the Judicial Review Committee, separate from today's matter, in regard to opening a branch within that area.

He exchanged a few more words with Hao Da before the latter activated the teleportation array at the branch and had him transported back to the headquarters.

"The holy lands huh.." Hao Da muttered to himself as he watched the spatial gate that had been opened, close up.

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