Within the mountainous forest. That gray-templed youth continued to work on his simple tools, while Ji Ning continued to stare at him while holding his fish bucket in one hand and his fishing rod in the other.
“How odd. He looks like a youth, but he speaks in such a grandiose manner. I’m just here working on some furniture for myself, and he’s been staring at me for more than an hour,” the young man muttered to himself. “Still… from the looks of him, he probably isn’t an ordinary mortal. How could an ordinary mortal youth be fishing by himself in the deep mountains? His demeanor seems quite extraordinary as well.”
Ning just continued to stare, and the young man didn’t say anything about it.
Suddenly, Ning let out a laugh as the sword-light in his eyes completely faded away. In truth, no ordinary mortal would even be able to see the sword-light generated from the visualizations he had just performed.
“I just came here out of curiosity on my way home from fishing… who would’ve thought that I would’ve mastered yet another stance of [Brightmoon] as a result?” Ning laughed and shook his head, his gaze still focused on the young man. “Although he doesn’t realize it… that drilling he did earlier helped inspire me to master this stance. I have to repay him for that.”
Ning had already taken a liking to the man due to his extraordinary heart. Now that the young man had also helped him comprehend the Dao, Ning decided to bless him with some transformative luck.
“First, I’ll take a look at his history and see what he experienced. Only then will I know what he truly needs.” Ning’s gaze rested on the young man’s figure as he began to visualize all of the young man’s past experiences.
Although he wanted to thank and reward this young mortal, he had to first know what the man wanted.
After seeing the man’s history, Ning couldn’t help but shake his head. This young man’s true name was Yang Quding, and he came from an excellent family background. His mother had died when he was young, resulting in his father doting on him. Ever since he was young, he had been covered in brocade cloth and jade treasures. He was the son of a rich merchant, after all. He was born with great cleverness, and his father had once wanted to come up with a way for him to become an Immortal cultivator. Alas, Yang Quding didn’t have a so-called ‘spiritual root’. Ning, however, knew that the so-called ‘spiritual root’ was actually linked to one’s affinity for the natural energy of Heaven and Earth.
The greater an affinity you had for that natural energy, the easier it would be for you to absorb it. Ever since Ning was young, for example, he always had a close affinity for water. But of course, after he trained in the [Ninehorn Lightning Serpent] his body gained a high affinity towards lightning. Alas, Yang Quding had absolutely terrible elemental affinity.
If you were only able to absorb 1% of how much others could absorb, it would naturally be far more difficult for you to engage in cultivation. Even worse, this continent possessed very sparse elemental energy to begin with, making cultivation difficult for all. For someone in a place like this to absorb elemental energy at such a ridiculously low rate… the chances of becoming a successful cultivator were incredibly poor.
For the sake of allowing his son to become an Immortal cultivator, Yang Quding’s father had paid an enormous price. In the end, he had perished while escorting a shipment of valuables. This had been a tremendous blow to Yang Quding. After failing to become an Immortal cultivator, Yang Quding focused all of his efforts on continuing his father’s legacy as a merchant. He was quite clever and capable, and in just a few short years he had become a huge tycoon. In fact, he even employed two Foundation cultivators as well as several weaker Qi Condensation cultivators. He eventually married a woman as well.
But then… one day, a young, evil man entered the city which Yang Quding was in. He took a fancy to Yang Quding’s wife, and desired to kidnap her and make her his concubine. However, Yang Quding wasn’t an easy person to deal with; he had Foundation cultivators by his side, and he was able to bring a stop to this!
The problem was that this evil man had an extraordinary background. When Yang Quding looked into this man’s background, he immediately befriended a Core Formation elder of a major sect, giving him many precious treasures and eventually becoming that Core Formation elder’s adopted son. But of course, this was only in name! What really mattered was that with this protector of a ‘father’, his opponent wouldn’t dare to be too rash.
Alas, that evil man played some tricks in secret, forcing Yang Quding’s wife’s family to bow their heads before him. In the end, even Yang Quding’s wife had chosen to follow the evil man and leave him.
His parents had died long ago. Yang Quding had no family of his own, and so his love for his wife was deep and intense. And yet… his wife had actually betrayed him and left to follow another man. When she left, she had said, “Quding, you are able to protect me, but can you protect my mother and father? Don’t blame me.”
He had suffered a severe mental blow, but he had no desire to take revenge. Instead, he had just sat there dully every day. Eventually, he dispersed his family’s savings and entered this mountainous forest, giving himself the name ‘Green Bamboo’.
“Now, let me take a look at his future.” Ning’s gaze was still affixed upon Yang Quding’s figure. Yang Quding’s future was a bit cloudy; as soon as he had met Ning, it was guaranteed that his destiny would change. Ning was strong enough to annihilate this entire continent with ease, after all!
If Ning chose not to interfere with his life…
Yang Quding would stay by himself within this mountain forest for more than sixty years. After sixty-plus years, he would encounter a Nascent Soul cultivator of the Nirvana Sect. The two would chat together, resulting in the Nascent Soul cultivator feeling tremendous admiration towards Yang Quding. The Nascent Soul cultivator would pay an enormous price to help him to become an Immortal cultivator. Alas, due to his great age and his poor spiritual root, he was still only able to become a Foundation cultivator.
However, he had reached an extremely high level of enlightenment. As a Foundation cultivator, he was capable of slaying Core Formation Daoists. He was also a good man with a virtuous reputation, and he was incredibly skilled in the ‘Illusions of Nirvana’, a skill which allowed him to trap foes in myriad illusions which would cause them to feel regret, then repent and change their ways. He even ended up slaying that vile man who had taken his wife from him. Although he was merely a Foundation cultivator, he was respectfully addressed as ‘Daoist Green Bamboo’ by others. In the end, due to his allotted time being used up, he passed away peacefully.
“His heart has already reached such a profound level that he is even more formidable than Nascent Soul cultivators and Apotheosis cultivators in this regard. After he becomes an Immortal cultivator… that ‘Illusions of Nirvana’ technique is a classic example of something which major powers who belong to the Buddhist paths would use.” Ning nodded slowly. “Given his heart, he truly is well-suited to become an Immortal cultivator.”
Two streaks of sword-light suddenly shot out from Ning’s eyes, and they landed upon the body of the furniture-making man.
The sword-light quickly covered his entire body, rapidly transforming and overhauling it. The young man’s body quickly began to completely transform, with his muscles and tendons reaching a level of perfection in strength. His physical strength alone was stronger than even Xiantian-level Fiendgods of the Three Realms.
With a body like this… it could be said that Yang Quding’s spiritual result was unquestionably number one in this entire continent.
Whoosh. Ning waved a finger, tapping Yang Quding on the forehead. A surge of divine will surged outwards and was transmitted straight into his sea of consciousness.
Yang Quding was just an ordinary mortal, after all. Even though his body had been completely transformed, he still couldn’t withstand the power of the memories which Ning wished to give him. Thus, Ning could only choose to leave a stream of his own divine will within Yang Quding’s mind, much like how Emperor Mirrorsnow had left some of his own divine will behind. However, the reason why Emperor Mirrorsnow had done this was because he had left long ago and wished to be able to pass something onto his disciples. Ning had done this because his disciple was too weak and wouldn’t be able to endure a ‘normal’ transmission.
“Right now, you are too weak. You are only able to endure me passing unto you sword-arts and techniques which are at the Empyrean God or Celestial Immortal level,” Ning mused to himself. That stream of divine will contained complete cultivation systems, including both of Ning’s proudest accomplishments, the ‘Yin-Yang’ sword-art and the ‘Blood Drop’ sword-art. These were Ning’s most impressive techniques to date.
As the young man grew stronger, he would naturally gain more and more information from this legacy. When his soul became sufficiently powerful, he would finally be able to endure and receive it all.
“You are the first person I’ve truly transmitted my sword-arts unto.” Ning laughed.
Ning’s first disciple was Bluecliff Xiaoyu, but that was because of the rules of Mount Innerheart. Ning had to choose a person of great karmic virtue as his disciple! His Primaltwin stood guard over the Three Realms and would often provide Bluecliff Xiaoyu with some advice, but alas she simply wasn’t that talented.
‘Green Bamboo’, also known as Yang Quding, was Ning’s second disciple.
Ning only left behind a cultivation method and his sword-arts! As for divine abilities and what not, he didn’t leave any of those. Emperor Mirrorsnow had left behind four Daolord-level golems, but Ning didn’t leave a single protective measure behind at all. This was because these fairly weaker protective measures wouldn’t really be that useful. Given Green Bamboo’s talent, it wouldn’t be hard for him to rise to prominence in this Mortal Realm. As for those excessively powerful protective measures? They might actually result in some unnecessary trouble.
Guiding and nurturing a mortal was completely different from guiding and nurturing a World-level cultivator.
Emperor Mirrorsnow required his potential disciples to be World-level cultivators who had passed multiple trials. Yang Quding, however, was still just an ordinary mortal.
“W-what did I just…” Yang Quding felt as though he had just awoken from a dream.
When he came to his senses, he saw a youth carrying a fishing bucket and a fishing rod walk far off into the distance. “Disciple, if fate wills it the two of us shall meet again, ahahah…”
And just like that, Ning vanished into thin air.
Yang Quding was stunned. Moments later, a large amount of information flooded into his mind.
There were detailed instructions on how to go from being an ordinary mortal to a Celestial Immortal or Empyrean God. There were also two inconceivably powerful sword-arts known as the [Yin-Yang] sword-arts and the [Blood Drop] sword-arts. Only part of the information was available to him for now. When his soul grew stronger, he’d naturally be able to gain even more of this legacy. Ning had set down restrictive spells on his memories, preventing him from teaching these things to any others.
“B-b-but…” Yang Quding was stunned. He wasn’t someone who knew nothing of cultivation at all. He knew what the major impediments to Immortal cultivation were, but today he had just gained techniques which would actually lead him past tribulation and reach the legendary level of Celestial Immortals and Empyrean Gods? And this was just a portion of the true technique? And those infinitely powerful sword-arts!
Yang Quding instantly understood that from this day forth, his life would be changed.
If a major power was to scry his destiny, he would discover that this man’s life had been completely changed. His future would actually become extremely fuzzy, and the farther one gazed the more difficult it would be to divine.
“Master.” Yang Quding immediately knelt down and kowtowed towards the direction in which Ning left. He remembered that Ning had addressed himself as Darknorth.
“He’s in an alternate universe, while I must return to the Endless Territories. I wonder if we’ll ever meet again,” Ning mused. He had been seized by the sudden impulse to teach a disciple. He… really was an absolutely irresponsible ‘master’.
“Darknorth.” Prince Greatjoy, Heartlord Solewind, Waterlord Firesurge, and Skyfire Brightshore were seated next to each other, drinking some wine.
“I just caught a big fish.” Ning grinned as he lifted up his fish bucket.