The Desolate Era - Book 7, Chapter 28 - Tradition
Ji Ning had already reached the Dao Domain level, and his highest level of accomplishments was in the water-element of the Five Elements. For him, comprehending the [Flowing Watersource] was naturally very easy. Although this was his first time training in it, he thoroughly understood the Zifu level portion of the technique, and even comprehended the majority of the Wanxiang level of the technique.
In other words, if he so chose, Ning could, at one breath, train straight to the Wanxiang Adept level. But of course, the prerequisite was that he had enough liquefied elemental essence.
“Rumble…” The elemental ki in his Zifu Lake was slowly swiveling. The waters of the lake were now swirling in a very slow manner, but the closer to the bottom, the faster the whirling motion was. At the very bottom of the lake, in the Watersource, the whirlpool was spinning with incredible force. As the amount of elemental ki in the Zifu Lake grew, the power of the whirlpool grew as well.
In addition, the Watersource grew deeper and deeper. The elemental ki it produced grew more and more pure as well!
After training for roughly an hour…with a rumble, the entire Zifu Violet Palace began to tremble. The vast lake of elemental ki’s Watersource once more transformed, and the purity of the elemental ki once more skyrocketed.
“Peak Zifu level.”
Within the vast Violet Palace region, the turbid waters of the lake continued to slowly expand. However, in terms of quality, the elemental ki had already reached the ultimate level possible at the Zifu Disciple level; there was no way to increase it any further. The only thing possible was to constantly increase the quantity of ki and expand it in size.
Within the still room. The bright jewels continued to gleam brilliantly. Ning, seated on the jade bed in the lotus position, opened his eyes and glanced at the emerald jade bottle placed before him. He nodded slowly. “I spent nearly forty kilograms of liquefied elemental essence, and managed to surge all the way to the peak Zifu Disciple level as a Ki Refiner. Only, to break through from the peak Zifu level to the early Wanxiang level, and while using a top-tier Ki Refining technique…the amount of liquefied elemental essence that will be needed is quite shocking.”
The Wanxiang ‘Myriad Manifestations’ level was an extremely unusual level. Some of the Manifestations possessed by Wanxiang Adepts were merely those of countless stars gleaming in a night sky. But some Manifestations, such as those of Daoist Mu Xiao or Daoist Xu Li, had a brilliant moon amidst the sea of stars. Thus, the Manifestation technique they demonstrated was that of a grand moonlight hand!
According to legend, top-tier Manifestations would generate trillions of stars, the brilliant moon, and the blazing sun, all at the same time! And only the truly supreme Manifestations could, during the peak Wanxiang stage, have the ‘Jade Rabbit emerge from the brilliant moon, the Golden Crow emerge from the blazing sun’.
The emergence of the Jade Rabbit, the appearance of the Golden Crow.
This, and this alone, symbolized that one’s foundations were perfect. This was the so-called ‘foundation of a Celestial Immortal’. If you didn’t reach this stage, there was no way you could become a Celestial Immortal at all.
But where did the supreme Manifestations come from? In truth, they relied on the practitioner having built up an extremely large ‘Zifu Lake’ during the Zifu level. The Zifu Lake is the fundamental foundation for an Immortal cultivator; the deeper and wider the lake is, the deeper the practitioner’s elemental ki foundation would be, and the more astonishing a Manifestation they would be able to create.
“Some poor-quality techniques will result in a Zifu Lake that is both shallow and small. Upon reaching the peak Zifu level, they won’t even be able to expand the size of the lake; they won’t have any hope of becoming Wanxiang Adepts.” Ning sighed to himself. That was exactly the case for his own Ji clan; their techniques were simply too poor, and the Zifu Lakes that they were able to create were correspondingly weak to the point where they could never break through to acquire Manifestations!
The Manifestation of the Stars was the weakest Manifestation.
The Manifestation of the Bright Moon was on a slightly higher level.
The Manifestation of the Sun and the Moon was the best Manifestation.
And, for the Jade Rabbit and the Golden Crow to appear during the peak Wanxiang Adept level was proof that one’s foundation was perfect.
“Based on the recorded experiences of disciples of the Black-White College regarding the [Flowing Watersource],” Ning mused, “Upon reaching the peak Zifu level, if one absorbs a further 250 kilograms of liquefied elemental essence, then one will gain the Manifestation of the Sun and the Moon. If one absorbs 400 kilograms before one breaks through to the Wanxiang Adept level…then at the peak Wanxiang level, the Manifestation will produce the Jade Rabbit and the Golden Crow.”
This was one of the benefits of having a sect; the experiences of the forerunners would guide the latecomers in knowing what to do.
Fortunately, this was an Immortal-ranked Ki Refining technique. If it was a poorer technique…even if one had unlimited amounts of liquefied elemental essence, one wouldn’t be able to absorb it all. It would be useless.
He had spent two hours to reach the peak Zifu Disciple level. Next, Ning flipped through the [Lesser Five Elements Sword] tome.
This was how things were in supreme schools, for disciples the schools cared about. Training was as simple as this. Once they reached a certain level of insight, the school would make it so that they could save as much time as possible in training, allowing them to focus their attention on comprehending the Dao, analyzing sword arts, divine abilities, etc.
“Sword arts!” Ning’s eyes were gleaming, and a hungry look was in them. Ever since he had reached the Dao Domain level, the sword arts manuals of the Ji clan had become useless to him; his level of insight was simply too high.
To a true Sword Immortal…an incredibly deep and profound sword art could let them unleash incredibly great power in battle. Although Ning was only at the Dao Domain level, if he focused on comprehending sword arts, he could gain insights into sword arts which were on a higher level than he himself was at.
“The [Lesser Five Elements Sword]! One of the top five sword arts in the entire Black-White College, something which even Immortals would be wiling to study.” The cost of this sword arts manual was close to that of a divine ability manual; from this, one could see how powerful it was.
Ning gently flipped through the pages. Stretching out his fingers, he formed them into the shape of a sword, testing the movements. These still rooms inside the Black-White College were specially designed for its formal disciples to train in, and the formation protecting these rooms were linked together with the grand formation which protected the entire College. Even if one tested out techniques within…as long as one was not an Immortal, there was no way one could possibly damage the still rooms in the slightest.
Ning read while testing out the movements, completely absorbed in this sword technique. He felt as though he were back in his youth, when he was training in the [108 Swords of the Gods and Demons] for the first time. Back then, his father taught him, but this time, Ning analyzed everything by himself.
As Ning was analyzing this sword technique. Within the estate located on another mountain peak within the Black-White College.
“Junior apprentice-brother Bladask, junior apprentice-brother Bladask,” a voice rang out. “Senior apprentice-brother Bu. Please, come in.”
A calm voice rang out from within the estate. Instantly, an azure-robed, long-haired man drifted in. This estate had a Zifu Disciple and some ordinary mortals within it, all of whom saluted. They naturally couldn’t compare in status to a formal disciple of the Black-White College.
“Might I ask why you have come here, senior apprentice-brother Bu?” A white-robed youth walked over. It was Bloodrinker Bladask.
“Junior apprentice-brother Bladask,” the azure-robed man laughed, “I heard that during our recent recruitment, the mountain tunnel which you guarded was broken through, correct?”
Bladask’s face sank. This was a humiliation for him! That time, Ning had forced him to use a sword formation to block. Given his proud nature, he naturally remembered the matter. Thus, when Ning and Northson had undergone the formal ceremony, he had not attended.
“Right,” Bladask said coldly. The azure-robed man laughed. “Junior apprentice-brother Bladask, don’t be angry. I imagine you don’t know this yet but…that Ji Ning is so talented that he has already been accepted by our College’s Immortal Diancai as his first, senior apprentice.”
A look of shock appeared on Bladask’s face. “Immortal Diancai?” Immortal Diancai was a Sword Immortal! As for Bladask, the path he walked was the Dao of the Sword as well. In the past, he had desired to become Immortal Diancai’s apprentice, but formal disciples, upon entering the school, were generally apprenticed to Primal Daoists. It was very rare for Immortals to directly choose them as an apprentice. As time had gone on, they had all grown accustomed to this, and he felt that it was normal that Immortal Diancai had not taken him as a disciple. But this Ji Ning had actually become apprenticed directly to Immortal Diancai!
“What about it?” Bladask had a sharp look in his eyes. “His future level of strength will depend on himself.”
The azure-robed man nodded. “Right. Training depends on one’s self. However, junior apprentice-brother Bladask, the reason why you lost to Ning last time was only because you were only permitted to use a single flying sword. You weren’t able to unleash your true power at all.”
Bladask didn’t say a word. In terms of power, he felt that he was far more powerful than that kid named Ji Ning.
“And, junior apprentice-brother Bladask, you should also know,” chuckled the azure-robed man, “That our Black-White College has an unspoken custom; all new apprentices will be taught a lesson at the Dao Debate Palace.”
Bladask nodded. The battles at the Dao Debate Palace were an extremely safe sort of sparring matches. The Black-White College’s formal disciples loved to engage in this sort of battles against each other!
“All new disciples were supreme geniuses in their former organizations, and are accustomed to being arrogant. The Dao Debate battles…they can help these new disciples wake up. Help them understand a certain principle; that there is a heaven beyond the heavens, and that there are geniuses beyond geniuses.” The azure-robed man laughed. “I wonder, junior apprentice-brother Bladask…would you be interested in having the chance to help that genius, Ji Ning, wake up and understand that in the Black-White College, he’s nothing more than an ordinary figure?”
Bladask’s eyes instantly lit up. After hesitating just a moment, he said in a cold voice, “I will only spar with Ji Ning!”
“There are quite a few other fellow disciples who want to fight,” the azure-robed man said with a laugh. “What we need to do right now is to go invite Mu Northson and Ji Ning to a battle.”
Northson was currently standing atop his Azure Dragon construct, flying through the air towards his own residence. “The Black-White College really lives up to its name.” Whenever he thought about the secret manual on constructs which he held in his hands, he felt a blazing fire in his heart. This manual held answers to many of the questions he had regarding the Dao of Constructs, and he had been completely absorbed by it.
The Azure Dragon construct which Northson stood upon descended from the skies.
“Junior apprentice-brother Twinwood.” A blue-clothed maiden in front of his gate called out to him. “Who are you, senior apprentice-sister?” Northson remembered seeing this woman amongst the other formal disciples of the Black-White College; she had been with them during the grand initiation ceremony. Immortal practitioners had formidable memories; after having seen her once, he had firmly memorized her appearance.
The blue-robed woman laughed, “My name is Winterain. You can simply address me as senior apprentice-sister Winterain.” Northson said happily, “I don’t have a single servant yet, and thus ended up treating you discourteously by having you wait outside. Please forgive me, senior apprentice-sister.”
Seeing the way in which he acted, the blue-clothed woman felt a hint of goodwill towards Northson. She thus said, “Junior apprentice-brother Northson, I’ve come here to invite you to the Dao Debate Palace…”
“Dao Debate Palace!” Northson’s eyes instantly lit up. He had read the black-and-white book, and knew that the duels in the Dao Debate Palace were extremely safe. They had nothing to do with elemental ki, power, or magic treasures; what they competed in was comprehension regarding the Dao and the ways in which they would apply the Dao. This is why it was described as a ‘Dao Debate’. In addition, there would generally be stakes in these ‘debates’, such as black-white pellets or liquefied elemental essences.
“To be able to spar with you, senior apprentice-sister, is something I’ve been looking forward to,” Northson said eagerly. “Then let’s go,” the blue-clothed woman said.
“Alright.” Northson’s eyes were filled with an eagerness for combat. Geniuses all had their pride. In the past, they had never before met their matches. Although they knew that these old disciples of the Black-White College were all extraordinary, in their hearts, the new students would still feel an eagerness to do battle.
The blue-clothed woman and Northson flew rapidly through the air, heading towards the Dao Debate Palace.