Ji Ning, Adept Blackstone, and Adept Woodpass quickly came to understand the situation. It wasn’t so bad for Adept Woodpass, but Ji Ning and Adept Blackstone found it hard to refrain from feeling envy.
Becoming a Daofather’s disciple! Aside from personal effort, luck was another part of it!
“Xiamang,” Seatopple said, puzzled. “I heard you say earlier that it seems as though of the three, Ji Ning is the youngest. In addition, he also became number one in this Conclave. In turn, Blackstone is a grandmaster in formations. Why would the Daofather end up choosing Adept Woodpass?”
“How should I know?” The Xia Emperor shook his head. However, in his heart, the Xia Emperor thought back to his Primaltwin’s visit with Daofather Crimsonbright.
Beyond the Three Realms, within the infinite void. There was a mountain that was hovering within the void. The mountain was a million kilometers in size, and it was filled with palaces. This was the place where Daofather Crimsonbright, a major power of the Three Realms, resided.
“Master, here are the recordings of the top three youths who participated in this Conclave of Immortal Destiny.” The white-robed Xia Emperor stood there respectfully while handing over a scroll.
Off in the distance, there was an elder with long azure hair seated in the lotus position atop a stone. The void around the place where he was seated seemed to be incomparably stable and steady.
The azure-haired elder nodded gently. The scroll instantly unfurled, its surface flashing through the images of those three duels.
Whoosh…the scene of the first battle suddenly turned dramatic and exciting. Instantly, the battle between Ji Ning and Adept Blackstone began to proceed.
“Mm.” The azure-haired elder revealed a hint of a smile as he nodded lightly. “This young fellow who uses formations truly is quite remarkable in this respect. If he were to focus on it, in the future, he would most likely become a true grandmaster of the Dao of Formations! By relying on the Dao of Formations, he has a chance of overcome the Celestial Tribulation and becoming a Celestial Immortal. He is worth nurturing!”
“The young fellow who uses the sword isn’t bad either. His sword-intent is quite formidable; he should be an excellent potential Sword Immortal,” the azure-haired elder said in praise.
The white-robed Xia Emperor said respectfully, “Master, of the final three in this Conclave, the number one victor is the sword-wielding one. His name is Ji Ning, and he has only trained for thirty years. This formations wielder is known as Blackstone; he ranked number three, and has spent a hundred years in his training. As for the last one, his name was Adept Woodpass. He ranked number two in this Conclave, and has trained for more than three hundred years!”
“Thirty years?” Daofather Crimsonbright was surprised. He nodded lightly, a look of delight appearing in his eyes. “It seems his talent in the Dao of the Sword is quite astonishing. He’s worth nurturing as well.”
The white-robed Xia Emperor nodded lightly as well. That went without saying. Even Lu Dongbin had grown intrigued, and he was someone who was quite skilled at guiding disciples, and who had exceptional judgement. He had taken a liking to Ji Ning…and had long ago praised him as being a genius in the Dao of the Sword.
Whoosh. Daofather Crimsonbright flicked through to the second battle. This was between Adept Woodpass and Adept Blackstone.
Upon seeing seeing this battle, Daofather Crimsonbright’s eyes lit up. He immediately flicked through to the third battle, the one between Ji Ning and Adept Woodpass.
“Good, good, good.” Daofather Crimsonbright said the word ‘good’ three times in a row.
The white-robed Xia Emperor was immediately surprised and perplexed. Who was Daofather Crimsonbright praising? Was it Ji Ning?
“Master, there was someone else in this Conclave known as the Sloppy Daoist. He is the disciple of Grand Emperor Xuanwu, and has trained for a hundred years. The Sloppy Daoist was actually himself kept in the dark, and had no idea that he was the Grand Emperor’s disciple. In the end, Seatopple personally came to receive him back to meet with Grand Emperor Xuanwu,” the white-robed Xia Emperor added.
“The Turtle-Snake’s disciple?” Daofather Crimsonbright was curious. “Do you have a scryer recording?”
“I do.” Since the white-robed Xia Emperor had mentioned the Sloppy Daoist, he naturally had come prepared. He immediately offered yet another scroll, this one with multiple battles recorded, including that between Adept Woodpass and the Sloppy Daoist, where the Sloppy Daoist had been defeated in the end.
After viewing that battle, Daofather Crimsonbright couldn’t help but laugh. “Hahaha, that old Turtle-Snake’s temperament is very similar to mine, and his judgement is the same. This Sloppy Daoist that he chose…he is quite low-key and quite reliable, with a solid, deep foundation that has no flaws. Although in his youth he may have seemed to be slow in training, as time passes…his deep, solid foundation will allow his Immortal path to be a long and stable one.”
“Woodpass and this Sloppy have almost identical Immortal cultivation paths,” Daofather Crimsonbright nodded with a sigh. “Both have incomparably perfect and stable foundations, and both have extremely strong Dao-hearts.”
The white-robed Xia Emperor was startled. Judging from these words…it seemed as though his master favored Adept Woodpass.
“Daofather, can it be that you are going to choose Adept Woodpass?” The white-robed Xia Emperor couldn’t help but speak out. He had spent the most time training out of the top three.
“Remember,” Daofather Crimsonbright said with a calm laugh, “Don’t just judge a person just by his temporary prominence. The path of Immortal cultivation is an incomparably long and limitless one…and these three have just embarked on it a short while ago. In choosing a disciple, one must see through the present and into the infinite future.”
“Thirty years? A hundred years? Three hundred years? In the fact of the long Immortal path, these timeframes are nothing,” Daofather Crimsonbright said. “The Sloppy Daoist and Adept Woodpath are both unrushed and stable, with calm, leisurely dispositions! Just by looking at their combat styles, I can tell that they didn’t waste any of their attention on small tricks and benefits.”
The white-robed Xia Emperor nodded. Indeed, the Sloppy Daoist and Adept Woodpass were quite similar.
“This sort of temperament is the best sort of mentality and heart for an Immortal cultivator,” Daofather Crimsonbright said with a laugh. “Or at least, it’s the sort that I and the old Turtle-Snake favor.”
Daofather Crimsonbright was an extremely good-natured person; everyone knew this. As the saying goes, when a turtle sees a pea, he would like it for its color! Daofather Crimsonbright favored Woodpass for his heart and mind. He knew very well that although the Immortal path required a certain degree of comprehension ability and talent, towards the later parts of the path, it required even more regarding one’s mind and Dao-heart!
“It’ll be Woodpass,” Daofather Crimsonbright nodded. “As for the other two, they are moldable talents as well. Go and seek out your fellow disciples and see which of them are willing to accept these two as disciples. The Three Realms are in a state of upheaval; perhaps my gaze has gone astray and either Ji Ning or Adept Blackstone shall become formidable in the future as well. Thus, we should still bring them into my Crimsonbright League!”
“Yes,” the white-robed Xia Emperor nodded. “Ji Ning is a Sword Immortal. I shall go seek out junior apprentice-brother Evergreen! Junior apprentice-brother Evergreen is a Sword Immortal as well. As for this Blackstone…it seems as though none of us are truly peerless with regards to the Dao of Formations.”
“If you can’t find anyone suitable, then you can accept this Blackstone yourself. Although your talent in formations isn’t amongst the top within the Three Realms, it is more than enough to teach this Blackstone,” Daofather Crimsonbright said.
The white-robed Xia Emperor nodded in acknowledgment.
Back within the main hall of the Skylight Palace.
Amongst the True Immortals and Empyrean Gods, Lu Dongbin was the strongest. He was ranked at the very top amongst the Pure Yang True Immortals of the Three Realms, and was a peerless Sword Immortal who had an extremely good chance of becoming a Daofather of the Great Firmament.
As for the Daofathers supporting him…they were Lieges of the Daoist Path.
He was viewed with great favor by those two Daofathers, and had even produced a disciple who became a Pure Yang True Immortal. Lu Dongbin’s vision was particularly astute! Long before the others had realized how special Ji Ning was, Lu Dongbin had been able to somewhat sense it.
“Xiamang,” Lu Dongbin said with a laugh, “Since Daofather Crimsonbright has not accepted Ji Ning as his disciple, then I’ll shamelessly raise this topic again; Ji Ning truly has exceptional potential as a Sword Immortal, and I like him very much. I wonder, Xiamang, if you would ber willing to give me some face and let me take Ji Ning. I truly do want to take on this disciple.”
“Lu Dongbin…” The Xia Emperor shook his head. “Although Master didn’t choose Ji Ning, he still praised him multiple times. So…please don’t make things hard for me, Lu Dongbin.”
“Xiamang, it is just a Wanxiang Adept.” Empyrean God Seatopple pursed his lips. “Since Eastflower has asked this of you…can it be that Eastflower’s face is worth less than a young Wanxiang Adept? In addition, your Crimsonbright League only has a single Pure Yang Sword Immortal, Immortal Evergreen, right? Immortal Evergreen isn’t a good teacher; it’s been so many years, but I’ve never heard of him producing a single Celestial Immortal.”
The corners of the Xia Emperor’s eyes twitched.
“Since Eastflower has made the request, just give him some face, Xiamang,” the Immortal Elder of the Northlands spoke out as well.
At the beginning, Lu Dongbin had mentioned this in a joking way, but had been refused. But this time…he was being extremely serious.
Lu Dongbin had many good friends. He was very influential, and his backers were very powerful. All of the True Immortals and Empyrean Gods present aside from Sovereign Hao, who was also Daofather Crimsonbright’s disciple, were speaking out on his behalf.
“Xiamang, you know what sort of a temperament I have. I’ve always been a blunt, straight-talker. I truly am intrigued by this Ji Ning, and I want to take him on as my disciple. Xiamang, help me out here. I’ll owe you a favor and I won’t forget it. What do you say?” Lu Dongbin spoke out earnestly.
The Xia Emperor was startled. A favor from Lu Dongbin? That was quite valuable indeed.
But…Daofather’s Crimsonbright’s words remained within his mind. Although the Daofather hadn’t chosen Ji Ning and Blackstone, he still had a very good impression of them. He had said that perhaps Ji Ning and Blackstone would also be quite astonishing in the future…and that they had to be brought into the Crimsonbright League.
“Lu Dongbin, it’s not that I won’t allow it, it is that Master has given his orders.” The Xia Emperor shook his head. “There’s nothing I can do.”
Lu Dongbin frowned.
The Xia Emperor could tell that Lu Dongbin was unhappy…but there was nothing he could do about it. He had to make this refusal.
Lu Dongbin shook his head and sighed. It seemed as though he truly was not destined to become Ji Ning’s master! He didn’t dare to actually kidnap and forcibly take away Ji Ning…after all, that would be the equivalent of slapping Daofather Crimsonbright directly in the face! A Daofather who had emerged from the primordial chaos and had survived into the present era…he absolutely would not offend such a person for no good reason.
“Then Ji Ning’s Dao-companion, Yu Wei. I rather like this little lady as well. If I take her as my disciple, you won’t stop me, will you Xiamang?” Lu Dongbin said.
“Haha, that’s a small matter. Lu Dongbin, you can pick anyone you want from outside the top ninety-six. Even if you choose them all, it’d be fine.” The Xia Emperor spoke out in a very magnanimous way. He knew that he had caused Lu Dongbin to feel unhappy, and so he naturally now spoke out in a way to make him feel better.
Lu Dongbin nodded, then turned his gaze towards King Yan’s side, towards Yu Wei. She was currently holding hands with Ji Ning and whispering with him.
“Little girl, come over here,” Lu Dongbin smiled towards Yu Wei. His voice rang out directly within her ears.
“Eh?” Yu Wei was startled. Raising her head to look over, she immediately saw that the Xia Emperor and the others were all looking towards her.
“Yu Wei, come here,” the Xia Emperor said as well.
Only now did Yu Wei, rather puzzled and lost, rise to her feet. She began to walk towards them…and in doing so, caused quite a few of the Celestial Immortals and Wanxiang Adepts present to pay attention to her.
“Little girl,” Lu Dongbin said with a laugh as he looked at Yu Wei, “I, Lu Dongbin, wish to take you on as a disciple. Are you willing?”