Book 7, Stillwater City, Chapter 20, Ji Ning, Disciple of the Black-White College
The six Primal Daoists at the entrance to the caves were roaring with laughter. “Hahahaha…this Ji Ning really is formidable. He lives up to his reputation as someone who has gained insight into a Dao Domain. That sword formation technique…although I’ve never heard of it, it clearly is an extremely complicated and powerful sword formation. For it to control more than seven hundred swords…the demands it must place on his soul and on his level of comprehension are definitely extremely, extremely high.”
The short, chubby old man shook his head. “He, an early stage Zifu Disciple Ki Refiner, was able to force the peak Zifu-level Bloodrinker Bladask to release his own sword formation to block it. Bladask didn’t have any face to remain after that, and so he immediately left.”
“He clearly could’ve just charged out of the cave, but he insisted on fighting one-on-one, fighting to the point where he forced the guardian disciple to voluntarily retreat.”
These Primal Daoists all sighed with praise. Naturally, all of them took a liking to such a formidable disciple. This meant that their Black-White College would rise in power yet again. Centuries later, perhaps the Black-White College would produce yet another formidable Immortal.
“We must provide him with good guidance and tutelage. This Ji Ning has the potential to become an Immortal,” the black-haired, middle-aged man said. The white-robed woman nodded. “Indeed, he must be properly guided. He can’t be pampered; if we end up ruining this piece of unpolished jade, that would be a huge waste.”
Tutelage was an art all its own. Geniuses were naturally endowed with arrogance and pride, and the path of Immortals was that of the three calamities and nine tribulations. One would grow up in the midst of battle, and there was no way one could avoid establishing grudges with anyone. All these things could possibly result in a genius perishing!
Ning rode atop his boat, moving straight to the very peak of the mountain. “A total of eight people went for the trial. I wonder how many passed.” Ning continued to wait there. “I wonder if that Mu Northson was able to pass or not.” Of the others, the only one who Ning had spoken with was Northson, and he had quite a good impression of him.
From afar, a ray of light flew towards Ning, followed by yet another ray of light.
“Hey, someone passed? Which cave was it? Which of our fellow disciples was guarding that cave?”
Ning stared into the distance. He could just barely make out the appearance of a disciple of the Black-White College. That disciple gave Ning a few curious glances, then departed.
Moments later. Whoooosh. That distant ray of light shot over; it was an Azure Dragon construct. “Mu Northson.” Ning was surprised, then immediately clasped his hands. “Congratulations, felicitations.”
“Same to you, same to you.” The white-robed youth, Northson, landed and stored away his construct, his face filled with joy. “Brother Ji Ning, you truly are formidable. I was nearly defeated, but in the end, I finally managed to charge out of the caves. But you were even more formidable; you made it out so quickly.”
Ning could sense the joy radiating out from Northson as he spoke. His eyes were filled with excitement as well. “Success. I’ve finally become a disciple of the Black-White College. If Mother finds out, she will definitely be very happy.”
“Right.” Ning nodded, his gaze growing distant. If his own mother knew that he had become a disciple of the Black-White College, she would definitely be proud as well.
“Father…mother…just wait and see. I, Ji Ning, will definitely have my name be spread throughout these vast lands. I will become one of the supreme existences of this world. Definitely! Those disciples of Snowdragon Mountain who caused your deaths…I will definitely execute them all!”
“Hahaha.” Six figures flew out in an arcing pattern, laughing as they did so. They instantly arrived at the top of the mountain. It was the six Primal Daoists.
The short, pudgy, bald one laughed, “This year, our Black-White College has taken in quite a few disciples; two at once!” The black-haired, middle-aged man said, “Today’s only the first day. We still have two more days.”
“Hmph. Everyone capable of joining our Black-White College is a true, unparalleled genius. Geniuses like that are all supremely confident; if they were to join, they would make us their very first choice. Thus, they would come on the first day.” The short, pudgy, bald man shook his head. “It’s been so many years; how many people ended up joining our Black-White College on the second or third days? If they did, it was only because they were delayed slightly and unable to make it.”
The black-haired, middle-aged man looked towards Ning and Northson. “Ji Ning. Mu Northson. The two of you, starting today, are now the disciples of our Black-White College.” Ning and Northson both felt surges of joy in their hearts.
“The grand ceremony of formal apprenticeship will occur after the next two days of recruitment are finished.” The black-haired man waved his hand, and two insignias appeared. One side of each insignia was white, while the other side was black. “This is the insignia of our Black-White College’s disciples. You can bind it now, and in the future, you will be able to freely enter many of the locations of the Black-White College without being attacked by the various restrictive formations within.”
“Alright.” Ning and Northson each accepted an insignia. They naturally were able to easily bond it, and upon doing so, Ning could immediately sense that there was a grand formation throughout the entire Black-White College. He could sense…that this was a terrifying formation indeed. It encompassed the entire college…and he could sense that it acknowledged him. Ning felt as though this insignia was quite similar to the control talisman for the underwater estate.
“A disciple of the Black-White College.” Ning looked at the insignia. How many people desired this insignia? That Hua Chong, the black-clothed youth who had also trained to the seventh stage of the [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens]…he had failed, in the end. There were also several other geniuses who were even more talented than Hua Chong, but they had been eliminated as well. Only Ning and Northson had been accepted as disciples of the Black-White College.
“Wu Xiu, we’ll let you make the arrangements for their residences. We’re going back now,” the bearded, middle-aged man grinned. “Yes, we’re leaving.” The other Primal Daoists immediately flew into the air, quickly departing.
The black-haired, middle-aged man waved his hand. A mist instantly arose, lifting up the three of them. “Let’s go.” The black-haired Wu Xiu immediately guided Ning and Northson to fly forward.
“The entire Black-White College is divided into multiple areas, and it has many rules.” Wu Xiu waved his hand, then took out two books which he tossed to them. “This book has the rules of our Black-White College, as well as some other things which you must know. You must memorize everything within it.”
Ning and Northson accepted the book. Lowering their heads, they saw just two words on the book; ‘Black’ and ‘White’.
Atop the peak of a small mountain, there was a graceful little villa. There were multiple buildings surrounding it, but at the peak of this little mountain, Ning was the only person present.
“From today onwards, I am the master of this peak.” Ning stood in midair, staring down at his mountain peak. Because the Black-White College had so few formal disciple, one could choose any mountain one wanted to become one’s estate. Ning thus selected this one, giving it the name ‘Darknorth Peak’.
Darknorth…this was also the name of the swords he wielded. They symbolized that he would embark on a path of his own.
Darknorth. This also was the place where his parents had met and fallen in love. This was a way of memorializing his parents.
“Father. Mother…” Ning was silent for quite some time as he reminisced. And then, he turned his head and immediately flew towards the skies atop his flying boat.
Soon, he arrived at the formal gates to the Black-White College. His Uncle White had been waiting here the entire time. Ning immediately saw that large, snowy white dog who was quietly waiting by the side of the lake. The Whitewater Hound was simply standing there, waiting.
“Uncle White.” Ning immediately charged down. The Whitewater Hound lifted his head, a questioning look in his eyes. “It’s done.” Ning landed, then nodded. “I’m already a disciple of the Black-White College.”
“If Big Brother Yichuan knew this, he would definitely be ecstatic.” The Whitewater Hound’s eyes became filled with delight and excitement as well. The Black-White College! What sort of a school was this? The status of a formal disciple of Black-White College was far higher than that of a Wanxiang Adept of an ordinary school.
Right at this moment…
“Hahaha, Brother Ji Ning, you only have eyes for this spirit-beast of yours. You didn’t even notice me.” A voice rang out, and Ning immediately turned to look. There was a carriage parked before the gates, and Northmont Baiwei was descending from that carriage.
“Brother Baiwei.” Ning immediately went to greet him. Baiwei said, “I expected that you would definitely become a disciple of the Black-White College, so I predicted that you would return at around nightfall.”
“Sorry for making you wait so long, Brother Baiwei,” Ning said. Baiwei’s eyes radiated excitement as he spoke. “Not long at all. You have no idea how happy I was as I waited. Especially towards the end, when those other geniuses emerged, like Hua Chong, Liu Shuilian…they have been famous for quite some time now, but in the end, all of them had been eliminated.”
Ning nodded gently. “Hua Chong and the others you mentioned; they should have been eliminated after the final trial.” Ning had a fairly deep impression regarding Hua Chong, who also had reached the seventh stage of the [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens] and whose aunt was a Primal Daoist of the school.
“No matter what, they all slunk away in defeat,” Baiwei said. “In the end…the Skysplitter Sword Sect, the Hundred Flowers Fairyland, and the other schools will still accept many disciples. Given their talent, they can easily enter. Only the Black-White College…unless one is truly a supreme, unparalleled genius, they won’t accept them. Even the most talented of geniuses must undergo a thorough examination. Given their pride, of course they came. What a pity, what a pity.”
There was no hint of pity on the face of Baiwei at all; all he had on his face was a look of schadenfreude.
“Right. How many disciples did the Black-White College accept this time?” Baiwei hurriedly asked. “Today was the first day. They took in two disciples,” Ning replied. “I was one. Another is named Mu Northson.”
Baiwei nodded lightly. “Mu Northson? This is a name I’ve never heard of before. It seems as though some of the backwater, out-of-the-way areas will occasionally produce a supreme genius from time to time. When you are free, why don’t you bring this Mu Northson over? We’ll meet and make friends with each other.”
“Easily done,” Ning nodded. Baiwei said, “I came for two reasons. First, to congratulate you on becoming a disciple of the Black-White College. Secondly, to ask you for some help.”
Ning laughed. “As long as I can help, I will.” Baiwei looked at Ning. “Here’s the situation. You should know that formal disciples of the Black-White College are permitted to bring in ten retainers with them, right?”
Ning nodded. Ten retainers…to be a retainer of a disciple of the Black-White College was far more alluring a position than being a disciple of an ordinary school. This was because the retainer would live within the Black-White College! Even though it would be very, very hard for them to acquire any techniques, anything they did acquire would be supreme, top-tier techniques.”
“Loan me three of those positions,” Baiwei said. “You should know that I have many family and friends. There are many that I will find hard to reject, once they ask me to help.”
Ning laughed. “Why the courtesy? Of the ten positions, you can take nine of them. Just leave one for me!”
Ning thought back to Meng Roch, who he had encountered on the road to Stillwater City. He knew that after Roch had used a forbidden technique, he had definitely harmed his own foundation. He would most likely find it hard to join any school.