Today would be an unforgettable day for Pan. It was only about 2 days into the one week event the Pan Suppression Sect were holding when the itinerant cultivators of the outer sect saw the gate to the inner sect open and a bunch of pale face aides were carrying their masters on stretchers in a rush.

The aides had tears in their eyes and trauma on their faces, as if they had seen something that should never exist in this world, while their masters were a bunch of shivered old fogies who looked like they were crippled and on the verge of death.

They got onto their airships and quickly left, seeming as if they were fleeing something. The itinerant cultivators were flabbergasted by this and couldn't help but feel a chill in their bones.

Just… just what had those powerhouses seen in the inner sect that led to this shocking display?

This question was left unanswered as the days continued to pass and the event went on, the more cultivators came to visit the Pan Suppression Sect, the more they realized that they were trapped and could never leave.

It was at this time that Darius released ways for these itinerant cultivators to earn the right to live here, and that was to sell certain materials and resources to the sect in exchange for Supreme Coins which could be used to rent lodging in the outer sect.

The itinerant cultivators quickly sold all they had collected without hesitation, breathing with relief when they managed to buy more time. However the more they stayed, the more they would be tied to this place and unable to leave, so they were ambivalent.

One thing was for sure, they would have to find ways to get more materials to stay longer. While they dreaded the idea of leaving and entering the 'muck' that was the outside world, they had no choice unless they had connections to use.

Finally, this was where mortals came in handy. Many cultivators set up Chambers of Commerce among mortal villages, towns and kingdoms and had them scrounge their area for the necessary materials. The mortals would then travel over with the goods in caravans and give them to the cultivator's subordinates, who would hand them to him.

The cultivator would then exchange then with the Pan Suppression Sect and buy himself more time to stay and cultivate without ever having to step out. So the cultivators had basically mobilized the mortal forces of the continent to not only harvest, but to grow these resources and sustainably collect them.

The interesting consequence of this was that the value of mortals and their lives rose drastically. From being less than ants that one could squish and destroy at their whim, they were precious little worker bees that kept the hive alive, so had to be cared for and protected.

In just the span of a few days, the mortality of non cultivators across Pan rose by hundreds of levels.

Still, there were issues though.

The main part was competition, Cultivator A and Cultivator B had their eyes on a kingdom and so set up two separate chambers of commence there, but since both of them were dealing in the same business for the same reasons, competition had sprung up between them.

Due to the nature of the business, this competition was neither healthy nor useful. In fact, it was rather destructive as they harmed each others growth, which in turn harmed the benefits of the cultivators above, which in turn led to either abandonment of the chamber of commerce or severe punishment for those in charge, which was usually death.

The next part was banditry. Seeing how these chambers of commerce were making so much money that they almost didn't know how to spend, the less fortunate mortals thought of ways to help them spend it.

Of course, the consequences of this were dire for the new bandits who had only begun to taste the goods when the true rulers of this continent descended upon them. After all, they had no idea that these chambers of commerce were linked to cultivators and what they were for.

All they knew is that they had money and it was money that could be taken. So naturally, they had their lives taken, but not being brutally tortured first to set an example for the public and as you could imagine, hearing that cultivators were involved, banditry alms practically died down.

Now how did Darius benefit from this? It was mostly as you thought, basically relying on Static Transmutation to save costs. So Darius got both common and precious resources, Static Transmuted them into their perfect forms and then stored and/or used then for what he wanted.

This saved him huge heaps of Conversion Points. The best part was that he was giving them his own currency and then taking it back from them while giving them something 'free' that cost him nothing to produce.

This allowed Darius to fully and perfectly control the flow of income and distribute wealth as he pleased. Of course, this was just the beginning as it only involved the itinerant cultivators right now. When the powerful sects joined his little 'economy', then things would truly explode.

Darius was only just waiting on the response of the powerful cultivators who came. They should had reached their places and gain treatment for what happened, and Darius was curious as to their responses.

It would be interesting to see if they made the right choice or they made the foolish one, though Darius doubted they were that dumb. At least on the surface, they presented themselves as schemers, so they should consider the best options, right?

Well, Darius was giving them the benefit of the doubt, and in truth, it would have been relevant. However, on earth, there was a popular theory that the more a person cultivated, the more damaged their braincells that caused them to response and think in the dumbest possible manner compared to a human of the same age or level.

The powerhouses of Pan woke up a few days later while screaming, having finally escaped their nightmares. When they realized they were safe and sound, they sighed with relief and then thought back to the crazy things they had seen a few moments ago, in their eyes at least.

Shivering, they realized that they could not take on the Pan Suppression Sect no matter what. At this time, the message from the fellows from Houto came that they had come over and were about to get into place.

The cultivators: "???"

The cultivators: "…"

My Brother in Christ, you want to do what?

Immediately, the cultivators of Pan seemed to share a look that transcend time, space and distance as they all came to a conclusion. They nodded to each other and then focused back on the excited Houto fellows who could see victory in their grasp.

They claimed to be on their way, and they truly did set out with solemn expressions. The eyes of the cultivators of Pan glinted with ferocity as they had decided to face their fear and overcome this adversity by hook or crook!

This was their only chance to change things up! If they let this pass them by they would never be able to make a comeback!

As such, they rushed back, but not on gaudy airships, but their private mounts. Some even used their own bodies and energy to fly over rapidly so that they could squeeze in and be the first.

While they sped over, Darius and co sensed the arrival of some guests who radiated a different type of energy from that which was the natural on Pan. Well, they weren't really trying to conceal themselves as the came over, riding on the back of Dragons.

The Samurai and Onmyoji of Houto were here!

The itinerant cultivators who stayed in the outer sect could smell the scent of gunpowder and danger with how the Pan Suppression Sect was surrounded on all sides. As was norm with cultivators, they immediately panicked and tried to separate themselves from the sect, some even directly fleeing.

Unfortunately for them, they were dealing with powerhouses from Houto, they didn't care if you were innocent or not, all the knew was that ever cultivator was a potential threat to their supremacy, so if they could nip them in the bid, they would.

As such, anyone who escaped was killed immediately. In fact, they looked around and saw that the cultivator powerhouses were not here yet and wicked thoughts appeared in their minds. Since those fools were late, they couldn't blame them for opening the ceremony and having some fun!

As for Darius, they naturally did not take him seriously, just like the cultivators initially hadn't. They couldn't feel Spirit Energy so couldn't see the uniqueness of the outer sect and only thought it was populated because of the goods, good which they coveted.

As such, they attacked without waiting for anyone to offer an explanation and rained attacks down on the outer sect.