Three days later.
"Nine Dragons Ascension Column."
A wide grin appeared on Wu Yu's face. In a desolate corner of the fourth story, he had finally found a dao technique that thrilled him even more than the Golden Portal of Firestorms!
It was a yellowed, tattered scroll that had been left lying untouched at the bottom of a pile. It was obvious that nobody had browsed through its contents in ages, and if Wu Yu had not been so meticulous in his search, he would easily have missed this scroll.
Wu Yu sat in an alcove of the Scripture Holding Depository, beaming at himself.
"This dao technique seems to be rather similar to the Spectral Concubine's Soul Piercing Snake Spear on the surface; however, the inner workings are totally different."
Back then, whenever the Spectral Concubine jabbed at the Soul Summoning Banner, a black snake would appear. The black snakes could take on an ephemeral form to enter a body, wildly biting at organs and extremities, causing the opponent to die in an instant.
"To activate the Nine Dragons Ascension Column, compress the spiritual power to manifest the dragon of flame and coil it around the blazing pillar. When the two are interlocked, there will be unparalleled destructive might!
"Excellent, my Demon Subduing Staff will be perfect as the blazing pillar described!
"This skill is a marriage of both dao and weapon techniques. If it were to be successfully cultivated, it would unequivocally be several times more formidable than Heavenly Immortal Hao Tian's Fire Tornado Skill.
"The Fire Tornado Skill is just flashy and might fool mortals, but its power has no effect on me. This Nine Dragons Ascension Column is not the same. If I can achieve peak cultivation, I will be able to summon nine flaming dragons around my Demon Subduing Staff. With the strike of the weapon coupled with my innate physical strength, the result would definitely be more deadly than even the Golden Portal of Firestorms!"
Perhaps this was truly an impractical skill for sword cultivators.
However, it was indisputably a match for Wu Yu.
"Nine Dragons Ascension Column, blaze to the heavens! The arrival of dragons, extinguishable by none!
"The Soul Piercing Snake Spear employed a piercing method to deal with enemies, whereas the Nine Dragons Ascension Column is used for smashing, matching my preferences superbly. Furthermore, there are many different subsets of skills. These include Lava Dragon and Ear-shattering Explosion. As expected, there is also a forbidden dao technique."
Forbidden dao techniques were only to be used for saving the lives of masses. They could be learned, but under no circumstances were they to be used against fellow righteous dao practitioners. Flouting of this sect rule would result in expulsion.
"I have decided, I am choosing the Nine Dragons Ascension Column!"
Having finally decided on a dao technique that complimented him, Wu Yu was ecstatic. As he departed the Scripture Holding Depository, he once again crossed paths with the Five Affinities Fencers. This time, as they held Wu Yu in high regard, they hurriedly made way for him with mystified gazes.
"How curiously mysterious."
Wu Yu continued down the pagoda, passing both the white-robed disciple and the black-robed disciple, both of whom were deferential towards Wu Yu. Upon seeing Wu Yu descend to the ground floor, the lass bolted up to him but stopped at a comfortable distance away. With a puzzled expression, she asked, "Wu Yu, I heard from the upper floors that you kissed Lan Shuiyue."
This information was privy to Zhao Changtian alone. Wu Yu had not expected the disciples on the upper levels to spread the gossip all the way to the first floor. Feeling a smidgen embarrassed, he answered, "Don't believe such lies."
"But this was spread from above, although Lan Shuiyue personally said that it never happened. Your lustful ways have caused this… Although, the more she denies it, the more people believe in its authenticity. The only reason why you've enjoyed a peaceful past few days is because the Sect Protector has forcibly grounded Lan Shuiyue and her two senior brothers."
The female disciple had a mischievous glint in her eye as she inched closer. "Wu Yu, come clean with me. Did it really happen?"
Wu Yu did not expect that a single line from him would get blown out of proportion so quickly by the Five Affinities Fencers, leaving him a little speechless. However, he was still delighted over finding the Nine Dragons Ascension Column and brushed the matter aside, ignoring the wench completely. He strode over to the main entrance where the Lone Elder sat with his eyes closed, deep in meditation. Wu Yu produced the scroll in front of the elder.
"Nine Dragons Ascension Column. You may leave."
The Lone Elder's eyelids were still clammed shut and he did not move an inch, yet he was able to identify the scroll that Wu Yu had retrieved. His abilities were nothing to scoff at.
"Lone Elder, I give you my thanks."
Wu Yu bowed his head slightly and lingered no longer. He left the pagoda and rode his Immortal Crane back to Heaven's Equal Peak. When he reached Heaven's Equal Peak, the servants received the Immortal Crane as usual. However, although they did not dare to speak, they looked at Wu Yu with an odd expression.
"What is it?" Wu Yu asked them upon noticing.
Flustered, the servants fell to their knees, but none dared to say the first word.
"Go on, tell me."
"Heaven… Heavenly Immortal, we heard that you have become a couple with the Sect Protector's disciple Lan Shuiyue. Felicitations to Heavenly Immortal, Heavenly Immortal Lan Shuiyue's beauty matches the heavens..."
Wu Yu was dumbfounded.
Who would've thought that even the servants had gotten wind of this. Even worse was that the story had been twisted to such an extent.
"I should really slap my own lips. Once Lan Shuiyue and her senior brothers are released and they hear about the gossip circulating the Bipo Mountain Range, they will definitely come to Heaven's Equal Peak to deal with me..."
There was no use crying over spilled milk, and Wu Yu paid it no further mind, turning his attention to the more important task at hand, the Nine Dragons Ascension Column!
"Starting today, I will practice the unorthodox arts, the Nine Dragons Ascension Column, and continue refining the Fixed Body Art! After which, I will endeavor to establish a stronger connection with the Ruyi Jingu Bang. Who knows, there may be more mystical immortality arts for me to uncover!"
Wu Yu arrived at Heaven's Equal Palace and commenced his cultivation with a single-minded intent.
Although there were as many as 99 different unorthodox arts, they were all relatively simple to grasp, save for the Art of Sword Control, which would take slightly longer. Wu Yu would be able to learn several of them in a single day as most of them only required spiritual power and did not call for rigorous trial and error.
On the other hand, the Nine Dragons Ascension Column was nowhere near as easy.
"The first major cultivation milestone of this dao technique is the Lone Dragon Ascension Column. The next major milestone is the Four Dragons Ascension Column, followed lastly by the Nine Dragons Ascension Column, which can only be reached by cultivating the skill to its limits.
"I will set my sights on cultivating the Lone Dragon Ascension Column within a month's time."
He was not being greedy with his progress, instead choosing to make steady advancements incrementally. In addition, he was still not versed in the application of dao techniques, which made it even more important to focus on creating a solid foundation in cultivating the first level of this skill.
Days passed in tranquillity.
Heaven's Equal Peak rarely had any visitors. Normally, those who came would leave upon hearing that Wu Yu was busy cultivating in solitude.
In reality, Wu Yu was seldom present in Heaven's Equal Palace, instead choosing to spend the majority of his time on the top of Heaven's Equal Peak, where he would be surrounded by the elements, a much more conducive environment for cultivating dao techniques.
As a byproduct of his intense training, the vicinity of 100 zhang around him had been levelled and razed into a field of cinders.
Golden embers burned the stones and earth, producing a dazzling light that shone towards the heavens, shrouding Wu Yu's presence.
A month flew by.
All of a sudden the peal of a dragon's roar thundered throughout the mountain, sending large tremors underfoot as a sea of flames boiled to the surface. It was as if an ancient beast had awoken with a mighty bellow. In that instant, even the most steady-footed of servants lost their footing and crashed to the ground.
"Heavenly Immortal is amazing!"
All the disciples and servants were shaken to their core as they peered at the peak of the mountain.
"Lone Dragon Ascension Column, success."
Wu Yu's hands gripped the Demon Subduing Staff, and around the Demon Subduing Staff coiled a mythical golden dragon. The mythical dragon was incomparably majestic, radiating a tyrannical aura, flames dancing between its golden scales. The combination of the Demon Subduing Staff, its fire array, and the dragon was a terrifying image.
"Dao techniques are really incredible!"
Wu Yu could not help but feel deeply moved.
After bitterly cultivating for a month, this Nine Dragons Ascension Column was only at the first major milestone and he could only barely demonstrate the skill.
Although they were both first level dao techniques, the Nine Dragons Ascension Column was overwhelmingly stronger than the Art of Lightning Control. Previously. Situ Minglang had taken a year to cultivate his dao technique, and Wu Yu had already surpassed him based on that benchmark.
"Perhaps it is the effect of the Ruyi Jingu Bang that has improved my aptitude to learn new skills to this extent; even those cryptic words were not difficult for me to comprehend."
Stashing the Demon Subduing Staff, Wu Yu was brimming with confidence now that he finally possessed a dao technique.
"Art of Sword Control."
The Art of Sword Control was referred to as a form of Instrument Governing Arts in other sects. The only difference between the Art of Sword Control and Instrument Governing Arts was that the Art of Sword Control was carefully refined and tailored exclusively for the sword. Wu Yu could vaguely apply these arts to the Demon Subduing Staff, but there was no way he could use the Art of Sword Flight with a staff.
The basic concepts of the remaining unorthodox arts had already been grasped by Wu Yu. Henceforth, he would be able to take care of menial tasks such as taking a bath with a simple spiritual art. He was also able to use a few simple metal, wood, water, fire, and earth spells.
As Wu Yu prepared to descend the mountain, a gentle exclamation echoed above him. Lifting his gaze, he spotted a lady upon an Immortal Crane slowly descending from the misty clouds. There was an ethereal quality about the woman. She did not need to eat or drink for sustenance and her eyes emanated an intoxicating sense of peace as her long dress fluttered gently in the wind like a troupe of graceful dancers.
It was as if she had come straight out of a painting, an image that would not easily be erased from one's mind.
This was Su Yanli.
Wu Yu put down the Demon Subduing Staff.
"You've really managed to cultivate the Nine Dragons Ascension Column in such a short period of time?" Su Yanli's words were tinged with surprise as she elegantly dismounted the Immortal Crane in front of Wu Yu.
"This is just a minor achievement," Wu Yu replied humbly.
"Even if it just a minor achievement, the speed at which you have achieved it cannot be emulated by most in all of the Heavenly Sword Sect's history. I did some background checks, and the Nine Dragons Ascension Column's destructive capabilities are amongst the top of all dao techniques. Fully cultivated, it would be on par with my Golden Taiyi Constellation Blade."
Wu Yu could just make out what seemed like a hint of admiration in Su Yanli's otherwise distant gaze.
Suddenly, her countenance turned a little icy as she changed the subject. "I heard you kissed Lan Shuiyue, is that right?"
Wu Yu broke into a cold sweat as he hurriedly explained the matter to her.
This pacified Su Yanli, who said, "It's great that it isn't true. Master dislikes Lan Huayi, and I frown upon the idea of you associating yourself with her disciples. Furthermore, the spoiled and temperamental Lan Shuiyue is not worthy of you. It would be best if you cease any unnecessary contact with her in the future."
Wu Yu had not expected her to care so much about this matter.
Thinking back, she was indeed worried about Wu Yu seeing that Lan Shuiyue was not the easiest person to interact with.
"I understand, Senior Sister. Please be at ease, I will no longer have any dealings with her."
Wu Yu felt not a single drop of affection towards Lan Shuiyue. He had seen many of her ilk back in the palace.
Satisfied, Su Yanli let the matter rest and gave Wu Yu a coy smile before asking, "Would you like to test the capabilities of the Nine Dragons Ascension Column?"
"Of course, the problem is that I have no worthy opponent." Wu Yu chuckled.
"Me."Previous Chapter Next Chapter