Wu Yu did not really understand. Could it be possible to not be allowed up the Clear Sky of Shushan?
Were they still counted as disciples of the Shushan Immortal Sect in that case?
Seeing his doubt, Zhang Futu was even more smug. "The entire Shushan Immortal Sect is bigger than you could imagine. It is thousands of times bigger than the Bipo Mountain Range! It is divided into two. The most core portion is the Clear Sky of Shushan. The Clear Sky of Shushan is extremely huge and penetrates the clouds themselves. It is said that it is even linked to heaven and the Sky Palace, and is the only place on earth to do so. The closer one is to heaven, the denser the spiritual qi. The highest echelons of our Shushan Immortal Sect are all on the peak of Clear Sky of Shushan! Besides the Clear Sky of Shushan, the countless peaks that surround the foot of the Clear Sky of Shushan are the other half. This portion is wider, and spiritual qi is denser the closer one is to the Clear Sky of Shushan. Of course, even the furthest peripheries contain hundreds of times the spiritual qi of your Bipo Mountain Range. We call this region the Common Sword Domain."
This meant that the Shushan Immortal Sect was divided into two - the Common Sword Domain and the Clear Sky of Shushan.
The Clear Sky of Shushan was linked to the Sky Palace, while the Common Sword Domain surrounded it.
"Not just anybody can ascend the Clear Sky of Shushan to cultivate. As a result, the disciples of the Shushan Immortal Sect are also divided into two. Of them, the disciples who can only remain at the Common Sword Domain are not considered at any significant level, and are often called ordinary dan disciples. Don't look down on ordinary dan disciples. The likes of your sect leader, Feng Xueya, and your sect protector, Lan Huayi, are not even qualified to be ordinary dan disciples. Of course, there are also many ordinary dan disciples who are casted out of the Common Sword Domain each year."
Hearing this, Wu Yu reckoned that he would definitely not be allowed up the Clear Sky of Shushan at the sect, and was probably only allowed to be an ordinary dan disciple.
However, he could guess that the inner workings of the Shushan Immortal Sect, which was much bigger, would definitely be even more complicated than things at the Heavenly Sword Sect.
Zhang Futu exclaimed, "At the Shushan Immortal Sect, more than 90% of the disciples are ordinary dan disciples. Some have slowed down considerably after reaching Jindan, their talent strained to their limits. There are also some frighteningly talented people who are temporarily held back because of their age. Their future is limitless."
Wu Yu remained silent, drinking in this information like a man dying of thirst. He wanted more.
The wind whistling around them no longer captured his attention.
At this juncture, Zhang Futu gave a self-possessed laugh. "More than 50 years ago, I entered the fifth tier of the Jindan Dao Realm and cultivated a great dao Mystique, becoming a Huang sword rank disciple. I succeeded in qualifying to ascend the Clear Sky of Shushan. From that moment on, I understood the true Shushan Immortal Sect."
Speaking thus, he looked infinitely majestic.
"What is a great dao Mystique?" Wu Yu had never heard of this strange term before.
Zhang Futu looked at him with a hint of contempt. "You are still too far. Forget it. If the day comes, you will naturally know. I shall continue to tell you about the four major sword ranks."
At this, Wu Yu could only nod his head mutely.
Zhang Futu continued, "The Clear Sky of Shushan is extremely tall. From the foot of the mountain to the peak, it is divided into five regions. The higher you go, the more central you are, and the closer you are to the territory of the dominant. We Shushan disciples mostly hope that one day we can scale the peak and see the beautiful scenery of the Sky Palace!"
Wu Yu could imagine the feeling of standing on the peak and seeing the Sky Palace of the gods.
Zhang Futu began to explain about the five regions.
"From the foot of the mountain, the five regions are known as the Huang sword domain, the Xuan sword domain, the Earth sword domain, the Heaven sword domain, and the peak - also known as the Shusan immortal domain. Forget the Shushan immortal domain for now. The four domains correspond to the four main sword ranks. I am a Huang sword rank disciple, and I can only abide at the Huang sword domain at best. As expected, only disciples of the Xuan sword rank can access the Xuan sword domain, while the most terrifying Heaven sword rank disciples can reach the Heaven sword domain! As for those in the Shushan immortal domain, they form the apex and are those who might even become immortals. It does not matter if you don't know about it. It is a level that you will never even reach in your lifetime."
In Wu Yu's mind, the shape of the Clear Sky of Shushan slowly clarified. From below to top, the five regions. The four below corresponded to the four major sword ranks. The hierarchy between disciples was strict, and only those at the Huang sword rank and above were allowed to take on disciples. These four main sword ranks were each more powerful than the last. He could only imagine how small this must all seem to those at the very top!
The weak would always feel the pressure from those above.
Hearing Zhang Futu's explanation, only when he entered the four main sword ranks could he truly be considered a disciple of the Shushan Immortal Sect, akin to being a core disciple. However, even if he was a core disciple, there were still four realms, corresponding to four different tiers of power.
Wu Yu could not help but ask, "How can one become a Huang sword rank disciple, or even higher?" He too was anticipating that he might scale the Clear Sky of Shushan and see the Sky Palace for himself one day.
Zhang Futu laughed again, as though dealing with a naive child. His laughter subsiding, he said, "Of Heaven, Earth, Xuan, and Huang, the Huang sword rank is relatively easy. You simply need to reach the fifth tier of the Jindan Dao Realm and then master a great dao Mystique, then you can become a Huang sword rank disciple. As for the Xuan sword rank, Earth sword rank, and Heaven sword rank, that is too far from you. You come from a small place and are lowborn. No matter how you look at it, you are lacking. Reaching the Huang sword rank will already be not bad for you."
Since he did not say, Wu Yu could roughly guess that the Xuan sword rank was probably for the elite of the Jindan Dao Realm, while the Earth sword rank and Heaven sword rank would surpass the Jindan Dao Realm; perhaps martial cultivators of the Violet Kingdom of the Inner Sea Realm. Wu Yu was completely ignorant of this level - for now, all he knew was its name.
As for the Shushan immortal domain, the most central core, that had to be filled with those who were considered the most powerful in this world. Wu Yu guessed that Ming Long must have been someone of that level.
At this time, Zhang Futu said, "The one you should get to know best is the Common Sword Domain. For a long time, you will abide there and become one of the ordinary dan disciples. Of course, even as an ordinary dan disciple, you are also an extremely honored martial cultivator outside. Any martial cultivator from outside will show you much respect. The most excellent sword cultivators in this world are all gathered at Shushan."
"Please tell me more." In his addresses, Wu Yu always dropped the honorific “master.” He found it difficult to say those words.
Zhang Futu continued, "The Common Sword Domain is extremely expansive. It is more than 80% of the Shushan Immortal Sect's surface area. Because of how high the Clear Sky of Shushan is, the surrounding mountains are also extremely tall. The entire Shushan Immortal Sect is on an elevated piece of winter land. Within it are countless pockets of richness. Besides special regions which make up 10%, the rest of the Common Sword Domain has 99 sword palaces. Each sword palace is further divided into dozens of halls. Each sword palace has a palace master, which is a position held by a disciple of the Xuan sword rank. Within each sword palace are dozens of hall masters. Each hall master position is taken up by a Huang sword rank disciple. I forgot to mention that the disciples of the four major sword ranks can freely enter domains that are lower than theirs. For example, I spend a lot of my time in the Common Sword Domain because I am a hall master in the Common Sword Domain."
"The hall that I am in charge of is known as Futu Hall. You will spend a long time in my Futu Hall as one of my ordinary dan disciples. That is my territory. With me around, your future is assured."
Zhang Futu seemed to have determined Wu Yu's future just like that. As expected, Zhang Futu would keep him close, where constant surveillance was possible.
The Common Sword Domain had 99 sword palaces, each sword palace had dozens of halls. Wu Yu understood this system quickly.
"How many disciples are there in Futu Hall?" Wu Yu asked.
Zhang Futu considered this. "About 300, all under my supervision. There are also five assistant hall masters, all fourth tier Jindan cultivators. These five assistant hall masters are classified into dao techniques, immortal treasures, immortal essences, talismans, and merits. I decide punishments there. You will frequently come into contact with these five. As my disciple, no one will bully you, at least within Futu Hall. At least not openly."
Wu Yu clearly remembered everything he had learned today. The Shushan Immortal Sect was already very clear within his mind's eye.
"I say all this only as a rough picture. Once you reach Futu Hall, you will naturally understand many more details, such as sword cores, merits, and refining. The Shushan Immortal Sect is very big indeed. You will definitely be shocked the first time you arrive," Zhang Futu pronounced with certainty.
Wu Yu did not doubt this at all. After all, it was the place of Feng Xueya's dreams.
After that, Zhang Futu would occasionally tell Wu Yu about some details of the Shushan Immortal Sect on their long flight. He spoke in great detail, much as a master would.
Only, Wu Yu was constantly wary of him. The more friendly he was, the greater his ambition must be.
Flying through the clouds, it was difficult to keep track of time. Wu Yu had no idea how long it took. Perhaps a few months? The more west they flew, the higher they flew, and the colder it got. Towards the end, Wu Yu realized that Zhang Futu was basically flying upwards.
The Shushan Immortal Sect was in a wintry land.
One day, Zhang Futu exclaimed, "We're almost there!"
Before them were endless clouds.
Wu Yu lifted his head. He could see a whole new world before him, and it was a palpitating experience.
This was just the far reaches of the perimeter, and the spiritual qi was already 10 times than of the Bipo Mountain Range.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
2nd Chapter for the day, a little earlier :)