Book 7, Stillwater City, Chapter 23, Immortal Diancai
The short elder clutched that gourd of wine in his hands, but completely forgot to drink from it. He stared downwards towards the fur-clad youth. The sword-intent radiating from the youth was incomparably firm and resolved, and it continuously resonated with the glowing words on the stone wall.
“Senior Northwalker is transmitting his sword intent to him. And, from the looks of it, this fur-clad youth seems to be receiving it with ease; clearly, he too has the heart of a true Sword Immortal.” The short elder took a deep breath, tamping down his excitement, then turned and sent mentally with a howl, “Junior apprentice-brother Diancai, hurry the hell out!”
“Hurry the hell out!”
“Hurry the hell out!”
His voice transmitted through the air, past countless layers of restrictive spells, and entered the ears of a black-robed, black-haired man who was currently seated in the lotus position atop a jade bed.
“Eh?” The black-haired man revealed a hint of puzzlement in his eyes as he opened them. But then, a look of understanding appeared. “It seems as though senior apprentice-brother Fivecraze has successfully endured the great tribulation which occurs every nine centuries. And he seems to be in quite a good mood!”
The black-robed, black-haired man took a single step forward, then disappeared from his room.
The night sky. The black-robed, black-haired man strode through the skies, moving a hundred kilometers with each step. If one didn’t stare at him carefully, it would seem as though he wasn’t even present.
“Senior apprentice-brother Fivecraze,” the black-haired, black-clothed man said. The short old man gave him a glance, blinked, then mumbled to himself, “You freak. You are growing more and more powerful. It’s been less than a century since we last met, but you’ve reached such a level of power. After I entered the Black-White College, you are the only one I have met who I believe has a great chance of becoming a Celestial Immortal.”
“The path to becoming a Celestial Immortal is incomparably difficult. All I can do is strive as much as I can and to use all my power to attain that goal.” The black-haired, black-clothed man laughed. “Your junior apprentice-brother has to congratulate you, senior apprentice-brother Fivecraze. You once again overcame the nine-century tribulation.”
“I didn’t call you over to chat about becoming a Celestial Immortal.” The short elder pointed downwards. “Quick, look.” Immortal Diancai stared downwards. There were two people in the plaza; one was currently meditating in front of the Black-White Diagram, clearly reaping great rewards from it, while the other was in front of one of the stone walls with words left behind by the Immortals. A line of characters atop that stone wall was currently glowing with light, and the light from each character was incomparably blinding. At the same time, surges of deep, powerful sword-intent radiated from the characters.
The line of words was: ‘My three-foot sword in hand, I shall exterminate all injustices! These are the words of Northwalker!’
“Senior Northwalker’s Epochal Transmission?” Immortal Diancai was stunned. He was an absolute genius which even the Black-White College saw only once in a million years, and the member of the Black-White College with the greatest chance of becoming a Celestial Immortal. When Immortal Diancai had originally entered the Black-White College, he, too, had received an Epochal Transmission from Immortal Northwalker.
“In the past, you received the sword-intent transmission from senior Northwalker, right?” The short old man laughed. “Right.” Immortal Diancai stared down carefully towards that fur-clad youth. His gaze was extremely focused; he was carefully weighing this youth.
“Who is he?” Immortal Diancai finally spoke out. The short elder knew that Immortal Diancai was asking about the fur-clad youth below, and he shook his head and said, “How should I know? I just came out from seclusion and happened upon him by chance, and so I immediately called for you. However, today is the day in which our College accepts new disciples; I imagine this youth should be a newly admitted student.”
Immortal Diancai nodded slowly.
All the higher level members of the Black-White College knew that ever since Immortal Diancai had entered the school and received the sword-intent transmission from ‘senior Northwalker’, and had learned about the life of senior Northwalker, he had felt incomparable respect and veneration for him. Diancai had considered himself to be Northwalker’s apprentice, and had frantically sought out any information he could find about Northwalker, as well as regarding his sword techniques…he had even visited all of the places which his revered mastered, Northwalker, had ever travelled to, in the hope of finding his tracks.
During this process, Immortal Diancai had grown more and more powerful, to the point where he could be described as the second coming of senior Northwalker. All the Immortals of the Black-White College acknowledged him as the one amongst them with the highest chances of becoming a Celestial Immortal.
“Well? Will you take him as your disciple?” The short elder chortled, lifting his gourd of wine up and taking two drinks. This junior apprentice-brother Diancai of his had never before accepted a disciple, because junior apprentice-brother Diancai had once said…only someone who had also received the Epochal Transmission of senior Northwalker’s sword-intent could become his disciple.
Immortal Diancai had trained for less than a thousand years. During the course of these thousand years, there had been quite a few who had sensed the unusualness of that line of characters, but none of them were capable of receiving the sword-intent transmission.
“He’s not bad.” Immortal Diancai nodded gently. “Only…I still need to watch him to determine whether or not I will take him as a disciple.” The short old man shook his head. “Your standards really are high.”
Immortal Diancai didn’t respond. He continued to focus on the fur-clad youth below. He watched in silence. But suddenly…
“Rumble…” The glowing characters on the stone wall suddenly flared with blinding brilliance, to the point where the characters themselves, formed from light, seemed to leap out of the stone wall. One character of light after another hung there in midair. ‘Hand’ ‘Wield’ ‘Three’…
Every single character radiated with blinding light; they seemed to be characters, but every single stroke of the characters contained the shadow of a sword, as though these were words formed from countless sword-shadows.
“The [Three-Foot Sword] technique. The complete [Three-Foot Sword] technique.” Immortal Diancai’s eyes were shining, and a look of shock and delight was in them.
“That sword technique…that’s the legendary [Three-Foot Sword] technique!” The short old man didn’t appear to be the slightest bit relaxed as well, and his eyes were filled with shock, surprise, and ardor.
Swoosh! Swoosh! Swoosh!
At virtually the same instant, three more figures suddenly appeared in the night sky. One was an old man with a long beard, a crown on his head, and who had an extraordinary bearing; when he strode forward, it was as though an emperor was walking past, naturally capable of commanding a realm. The second was a childish-looking boy who radiated an inexhaustible frigid aura, and whose eyes appeared incomparably ancient. The third was a tall, muscular man whose entire body was covered with chains.
The three of them all stared downwards.
“The [Three-Foot Sword].”
“The [Three-Foot Sword] has once more revealed itself to the world!”
“Our Black-White College has recruited yet another incredible disciple.” The three stared downwards towards Ning, their eyes filled with anticipation and excitement. Immortal Diancai and the short elder also stared downwards. The five of them didn’t say a single word.
Suddenly, yet another figure appeared in the air. This was a white-robed youth who was incomparably handsome, almost devilishly so. The white-robed youth appeared, then immediately said respectfully, “Greetings, Uncle-Masters.”
“Don’t say a thing.” The short elder immediately gestured at him. The white-robed youth nodded. Although he had the exalted status of headmaster of the Black-White College, in front of these five, he still showed the respect due to seniors. He stood there obediently, not saying anything further.
‘Hand’ ‘Wield’ ‘Three’ ‘Foot’ ‘Sword’ ‘Kill’…the characters formed from sword-shadows hung there in the air, radiating light. But suddenly, all of the glowing characters flew straight towards Ning’s eyeballs.
Ning shut his eyes. And then, in the same istant, the glowing line of words atop the stone wall suddenly dimmed, becoming ordinary looking and no longer emanating any radiance or aura whatsoever. Perhaps, when the time was right and when yet another disciple capable of receiving its sword-intent transmission appeared, it would once more display its extraordinariness.
“It’s over.” The short old man laughed. “Senior Northwalker’s complete [Three-Foot Sword] has been transmitted to this kid.”
“Right. The complete [Three-Foot Sword].” The bearded, crowned elder sighed with emotion as well. “How many years has it been? The last time the [Three-Foot Sword] emerged was nearly thirty million years ago. Finally, yet another disciple has inherited the complete [Three-Foot Sword].”
“The [Three-Foot Sword]…it exterminated countless vile demons, and killed until the heavens grew dim and the earth turned dark. It killed so many that even the entire Grand Xia Dynasty was shocked, and it even slaughtered a path out of our very world of existence.” The tall, muscular man who was covered in those bizarre chains spoke in a low, rumbling voice as well. His eyes were filled with eagerness as well.
They were all Immortals, but the difference in their power was great. Immortal Northwalker was at a level where he was no weaker than a Celestial Immortal, and where even some Celestial Immortals would be afraid of him. For someone like him…killing an ordinary Loose Immortal or Earth Immortal was as easy as slaughtering a chicken.
This was precisely why, despite the passage of countless years, the Black-White College continued to feel the utmost of veneration for Immortal Northwalker. In fact, he was the only person in the entire history of the Black-White College whose status was considered to be even higher than that of the Celestial Immortal they had produced.
“The [Three-Foot Sword].” Immortal Diancai spoke very slowly. “According to the legends, it has a total of nine stances; the first six stances are recorded in the secret annals of our Black-White College, but the final three stances…they were what Immortal Northwalker truly relied on when he roamed the world and dominated it with invincibility. They were impossible to record down through words and pictures; the only way one can receive them is through the profounder-than-profound Epochal Transmission.”
“This child has the heart of a Sword Immortal.” The bearded elder stared downwards at Ning. “In addition, his Dao-heart is incomparably firm and pure, and his soul is very powerful. Only one who fulfills all three criteria can receive a technique such as this [Three-Foot Sword].”
The juvenile-looking boy nodded. “In each generation, our Black-White College has a good number of disciples who have firm Dao-hearts and powerful souls, but the heart of a Sword Immortal…this is too rare, too rare.”
“The heart of a Sword Immortal represents the true essence of a swordsman, that which stems from the heart.” The short old man said with a sigh, “In addition, being able to develop the heart of a Sword Immortal is a prerequisite for embarking on one of the Grand Daos, the Dao of the Sword.”
“Junior apprentice-brother Diancai, are you going to accept this excellent disciple or not? If you won’t, I will,” the bearded elder said with a laugh.
The juvenile-looking boy’s eyes were blazing. “Junior apprentice-brother Diancai, I’ll take this disciple. Although he isn’t able to execute the [Three-Foot Sword] right now, it has already been imprinted onto his soul. Once he reaches the proper level, he’ll be able to execute it. I am quite eager to have the chance to cultivate a Sword Immortal who will be in possession of the [Three-Foot Sword].”
“Junior apprentice-brother Diancai…” All of them spoke out. But Immortal Diancai just glanced out of the corner of his eyes at the four. “I haven’t even taken a single disciple. Are you all going to fight with me over him?” The other four all laughed.
“Jadesea.” Immortal Diancai looked towards the white-robed youth. “Uncle-master.” The white-robed youth immediately nodded. Immortal Diancai chuckled, then asked, “Who is that young fellow below us?”
The white-robed youth, Daoist Jadesea, immediately responded, “He is one of the two disciples which our Black-White College has just accepted. His name is Ji Ning, and he comes from a minor tribe, the Ji clan, which lives in the Swallow Mountain region of our Stillwater Commandery. His parents are already deceased. Ever since he was young, he displayed astonishing, unparalleled talents, and at the age of eleven, he executed the Zifu Disciple, Bei Zishan, who was being pursued by the Raindragon Guard.”
“Then, because Immortal Firedragon made a breakthrough in the territory of the Ji clan and caused an elemental ore mine to appear, a local branch of Snowdragon Mountain sought to annihilate the Ji clan, but the end result was that Snowdragon Mountain lost a Wanxiang Adept and more than twenty Zifu Disciples. The main reason why Snowdragon Mountain suffered such a catastrophic loss was this Ji Ning.”
“Afterwards, he became friends with Northmont Baiwei, who is of the direct, primary lineage of the Northmont clan. He engaged in a battle in the Carefree Caverns, and during the battle revealed that he was already at the level of comprehending a Dao Domain. He is currently sixteen years of age. The other person who entered our Black-White College, Mu Northson, is fourteen years of age.”
The five Immortals, upon hearing this information, all nodded. Ning’s growth rate was monstrous and astonishing in the ears of others, but in the eyes of these Immortals of the Black-White College, Ning’s growth rate was just decent at best. After all, they had all even seen quite a few reincarnated Immortals.
“This Ji Ning shall be my disciple.” Immortal Diancai glanced at the surrounding individuals. “My four senior apprentice-brothers, please support me in this.”
“I thought you’d never take on a disciple, junior apprentice-brother Diancai.”
“I won’t fight with you over him. You have gained the deepest level of insight regarding the swordplay of senior Northwalker; if you don’t teach this boy, who will? If I taught him, wouldn’t I hamper his progress?”
And so, over the course of this conversation amongst Immortals, Ning’s future master had been determined, just like that.
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