Book 13, Tristar Crescent Abode, Chapter 10 – The Senior Disciples
“The ninth golem?” Silvermoon immediately rose to his feet. Feather-fan in hand, he began to laugh in surprise. “Junior apprentice-brother, do you feel confident?”
“Haven’t fought it before, so hard to say,” Ji Ning said.
“Junior apprentice-brother, you are always so modest. Come, come, come. Let’s hurry. Show me what you have.” Silvermoon immediately led Ning down from the Divinities Palace and to the empty testing grounds.
Many of the disciples of Mount Innerheart were gathered in the empty area. Even Little Qing and Uncle White had hurried over here. Because Ning had sent his two spirit-beasts a mental message earlier, telling them that he was going to challenge the ninth golem, Little Qing and Uncle White had paused their training and hurriedly ran over to watch the fight.
“Can it be that Patriarch Ji Ning is going to challenge the ninth golem? He’s already defeated the eighth golem nine times by now, right?”
“He might really be challenging the ninth golem!”
“There are so many of us here, including some monsters that have lived here for tens of thousands of years, but none of us have ever defeated the ninth golem.”
The other disciples were all stealthily chatting amongst themselves. In fact, some of them even spoke out towards Little Qing or Uncle White.
“Azure Skysnake, Whitewater Hound, which golem is Patriarch Ji Ning challenging?”
“Little sister Qing, don’t tell them, just tell me alone.”
Over the course of the past thirty years, Little Qing and Uncle White had become quite familiar with these disciples.
Uncle White smiled. Little Qing just raised her head proudly. “Just keep watching and you will find out.”
The distant Ning and Silvermoon were currently chatting with each other. These two both had very high statuses, and generally speaking the normal disciples of Mount Innerheart wouldn’t dare to speak to them too often.
Whoosh. Silvermoon waved his hand, and a golem appeared out of nowhere.
This golem’s entire body was a white jade color. Around his right arm were nine circular loops, and the invisible aura of power emanating from him was quite strong.
“The ninth golem!”
“Uncle-master Ji Ning is actually challenging the ninth golem!”
Instantly, a series of startled cries rang out as everyone felt excited.
Life here at Mount Innerheart was too relaxed and peaceful. Normally, everyone just focused on quietly training in the Dao. Thus, when someone went to challenge the ninth golem, many of the other disciples would cluster around to watch. And this particular challenge…was issued by Ji Ning, who had just become a member of Patriarch Subhuti’s school around thirty years ago, and who had been selected as the Old Patriarch’s future personal disciple. This naturally caused great excitement.
Within the testing grounds. Ning and the ninth golem stared at each other from afar.
“This is your first time challenging me, but your Fiendgod body is only at the peak Primal level,” the ninth golem said, his eyes flashing with hidden sharpness as he carefully inspected Ning.
Ning knew that this ninth golem had been personally forged by his master, Patriarch Subhuti, and that it was comparable to a Pure Yang treasure in power. It had its own soul and possessed intelligence.
A pair of Darknorth swords appeared in Ning’s two hands. “Enough chit-chat. Show me your most powerful sword attacks.”
“Hmph.” The ninth golem let out a cold snort as a wide, heavy sword appeared in his hands. “Then I’ll play with you for a bit.” As soon as his words came out, the ninth golem took a single step forward, causing the ground to tremble as he suddenly appeared in front of Ning. He had moved so fast that Ning couldn’t help but raise his eyebrows. Ning’s feet moved just slightly as he simultaneously sent the twin swords in his hands blocking upwards.
Whoosh whoosh whoosh….
A massive illusory wave that seemed to fill the heavens suddenly appeared. Ning’s sword-arts had reached a high enough level that it could call upon the aid of a large amount of natural energy, thus generating this sort of manifestation.
The illusory wave swept forward, Ning’s sword-light within it.
Clang! Clang! Clang!
The ninth golem’s heavy sword carried incomparable savagery and dominance, and with each stroke the heavy sword smashed against the wave!
Ning’s sword technique was more tenacious and powerful, and it came out in a steady, unbroken stream. By contrast, the ninth golem’s sword technique was more savage and ferocious. However, in the face of Ning’s unbroken, flowing string of attacks, the ninth golem was finding it increasingly hard to hang on.
“So you have a bit of talent after all. If I don’t bring out some of my true power, I won’t be able to beat you.” The ninth golem produced a second heavy sword in his other hand as well.
Boom. Boom. The two heavy swords began to whirl out, seeming to have transformed into an enormous windmill and creating the massive illusion of a whirlpool above it! The enormous whirlpool illusion clearly represented an enormous amount of natural power had been summoned…and the ninth golem’s sword technique clearly became even more savage and dominating! It carried a crushing, grinding power that was able to completely suppress Ning!
“Sword Roaming the Three Realms!” Upon being suppressed, Ning instantly changed his sword technique. He immediately executed ‘Sword Roaming the Three Realms’, which he had perfected while in closed-door training. Two streaks of dazzling sword-light flew out like a pair of black dragons that were swimming through the air. These two roaming black dragons twined around each other as they pounced towards the enemy.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
Their respective sword-lights clashed out three times.
Suddenly, everything came to a halt.
The ninth golem and Ning had moved past each other while exchanging blows. Their backs were to each other, and the ninth golem was completely unmoving. As for Ning, he put away the Darknorth swords in his hands.
On the golem’s chest, there was a wicked, savage-looking wound!
During their three clashes, Ning’s sword had clearly been a slight bit faster. Although it was only faster by a small amount…it had been the deciding factor in this battle.
The ninth golem lowered his head to look at the wound. The wound on his chest disappeared in the blink of an eye.
“You win.” The ninth golem turned, giving Ning a glance. “You beat me in our very first fight; you can now enter the ninth floor of the Divinities Palace.”
“Jadesuffer, this is my junior apprentice-brother; it is only natural that he beat you.” Silvermoon walked over.
“Junior apprentice-brother? The Old Patriarch took on a new disciple?” The ninth golem looked towards Ning in surprise.
“The more disciples who defeat you, the closer you are to freedom. You should be happy. Alright, time for you to go back to your place.” Silvermoon waved his hand, instantly collecting the ninth golem again.
“Junior apprentice-brother, congratulations.” Silvermoon smiled towards Ning. “Come, let’s go into the Divinities Palace.”
“Right.” Ning nodded. He immediately followed Silvermoon into the Divinities Palace.
The disciples of Mount Innerheart watched this all happen in a daze. They stared as Ning and Silvermoon entered the Divinities Palace.
“He actually won!”
“Patriarch Ji Ning defeated the ninth golem.”
“What a dominating sword-art…what a terrifying sword-art!”
“Uncle-master truly is a peerless Sword Immortal.”
All of them sighed in endless amazement.
“It has only been thirty years, right?”
“It has only been about thirty years since the Patriarch became the Old Patriarch’s disciple, right? Thirty years ago, the Patriarch was just barely able to defeat the fourth golem, but after thirty short years, he has actually defeated the ninth golem. I’ve been here on this mountain for nearly a million years!” A six-armed Fiendgod whose body was wreathed in dim flames muttered to himself, then shook his head and sighed. “You humans truly do have a ridiculous level of comprehension.”
“I’m a human and I’ve been on the mountain for a thousand years, but I haven’t beaten the ninth golem.”
“Not even Celestial Immortals are necessarily capable of defeating the ninth golem. Thirty years…no wonder the Old Patriarch chose him as a disciple.”
“The personal disciples of the Old Patriarch truly are all formidable.”
“Little sister Qing, can you ask the Patriarch to lecture to us on the Dao sometime?”
“Brother White, your master’s sword techniques are truly formidable. I have many questions with regards to the sword; can we have your master provide us with a few pointers sometime?”
Everyone was discussing what had just happened. Little Qing and Uncle White both felt their hearts filled with delight.
After just thirty years, Ning had defeated the ninth golem. This caused all the ordinary disciples of Mount Innerheart to sigh in amazement at how inconceivable this was. However, for the personal disciples such as the old demon Silvermoon, this was as expected.
Ning and Silvermoon were walking up the stairs in the Divinities Palace, striding upon the wooden steps as they moved upwards.
“Junior apprentice-brother, for you to be able to defeat the ninth golem after thirty years is quite impressive,” Silvermoon laughed. “All of those ordinary disciples below us are completely shocked right now.”
“Eh.” Ning didn’t feel as though there was anything to be proud of. He had the guidance of his master, Patriarch Subhuti, as well help from the Stellar Hall of the underwater estate. He would often sit atop the bed of netherwater jade within the Still Room in the underwater estate, and constantly attune to the Dao within the Grand Bodhi Stillheart Formation. Thirty years? His original goal had always been to defeat the ninth golem within a few decades.
“Might I ask, how did my senior fellow disciples do? How many years did they spend in order to defeat the ninth golem?” Ning asked curiously.
“Amongst Master’s many personal disciples, your performance can be described as normal,” Silvermoon said with a laugh. “Ruling out the ones who were already extremely strong when they first followed Master…there have been a total of twelve who were very weak when they first followed Master. The fastest one took one year, while the slowest one took more than 13000 years.”
Ning was amazed. “The fastest one took one year? The slowest one took more than ten thousand?” A personal disciple of the Old Patriarch who had taken more than ten thousand the years…this was too ridiculous. And just a single year for the other? This was also too crazy!
“Master has a total of nineteen disciples. There were seven who were already extremely strong when they accepted him as their master, while there were twelve who accepted him as master when they were weak,” Silvermoon said. “Amongst them…ninth junior apprentice-brother had an exceedingly high level of comprehension. Back then, Master’s avatar was roaming the ancient Primordial World. He ran into ninth junior apprentice-brother, who at that time was nothing more than an ordinary child who loved to paint. Master just provided him with a single line of guidance…and ninth junior apprentice-brother transformed overnight from an ordinary child who had never before engaged in cultivation to the level of having completely mastered an entire Dao-Path, the Dao of Inkwater. He then followed Master to Mount Innerheart. After a year, he defeated the ninth golem.”
Ning blinked. To transform overnight from an ordinary child who loved painting…to someone who had completely mastered a complete Dao-Path?
To defeat the ninth golem after a single year?
“Next are third senior apprentice-brother and sixth junior apprentice-brother,” Silvermoon said. “Both of them only spent a few years to defeat the ninth golem, and when they first joined the school neither had engaged in any cultivation training. However…they have extraordinary heritages. Third senior apprentice-brother was blessed with tremendous luck when he was born, as he is a Golden Crow who was born on the Solar Star. As for sixth junior apprentice-brother, he is also incredible; he is a spirit-monkey who was born from one of the stones which Lady Nuwa used to repair the Heavens.” 1
Ning was startled. A spirit-monkey born from a stone that was used to repair the Heavens? This caused Ning to think back to a story recorded in a novel back from his own lesser world of Earth. 2 He wondered if this so-called spirit-monkey was similar to the one mentioned in the story he had read.
“After those two are the ones who trained for dozens of years,” Silvermoon said. “In short…humans have extremely high levels of comprehension, while third senior apprentice-brother and sixth junior apprentice-brother were born as extraordinary living creatures who also had extremely high levels of comprehension.”
“All of the disciples under Master’s tutelage who defeated the ninth golem in under a century were humans and those with extraordinary lineages.”
“There are several who are monsters like me who are under Master’s tutelage. For example, I had to train for more than three thousand years before I defeated the ninth golem. There are some who were even slower than me. On the whole, monsters have a much lower level of comprehension than humans do.”
Monsters had poor levels of comprehension, and Fiendgods had it even worse! However, the heavens had made it up to them in other ways. Humans at the Zifu level had a lifespan of five centuries, while those at the Wanxiang levels had a lifespan of eight centuries. Monsters, however, were different. Xiantian-level Diremonsters were capable of living up to a thousand years, and Wanxiang-level Diremonsters were able to live more than ten thousand years. As for Fiendgods, their lifespans were even more ridiculous. Fiendgods were innately ageless, and they didn’t even have to worry about the Three Calamities and Nine Tribulations. However, their levels of comprehension were pitifully low; it was possible for them to spend a trillion years without improving even a tiny bit.
“Truly, all of the senior fellow disciples under Master’s tutelage are extraordinary. Some were born incredible, while others met with incredible luck and destiny. I myself was only able to enter his tutelage due to having acquired the legacy of Daoist Threelives.” Ning understood that amongst his fellow disciples, he was quite ordinary.
Still, there was a difference between him and the others. He was the disciple of both Patriarch Subhuti and Daoist Threelives…and his divine ability, the [Starseizing Hand], was the ability which Daoist Threelives had relied on to dominate and roam the Primal World. Not even Patriarch Subhuti had ever created a divine ability on this level.
“The ninth floor.” Silvermoon reached the ninth floor, then said with a laugh, “After you choose a technique from this ninth floor, you can go to the Three Realms Palace! After you learn a single technique from the Three Realms Palace, if you can train in that technique to its limit, you’ll absolutely be able to roam the Three Realms fearlessly and become an awe-inspiringly famous figure.”
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