Valley of Immortal Fate.
By the time Wu Yu and the others reached the plains outside of the Valley of Immortal Fate on the backs of their Immortal Cranes, the disciples who were participating in this iteration were largely all present.
"Since the emergence of the spiritual qi spring, many were able to break through. This year, quite a few have reached the fourth tier of the Qi Condensation Realm for the first time, causing the total number to be slightly higher than last year's."
The moment their Immortal Cranes landed, Su Yanli began to analyze it for him.
At first glance, Wu Yu saw that there were about 10 odd people.
"Still alright. About half are at the fourth tier of the Qi Condensation Realm, while the other half are at the fifth tier. It's significantly harder for the fourth tiers to get an immortal root."
Su Yanli could attain an immortal root at the fourth tier of the Qi Condensation Realm because of her ability.
To martial cultivators, immortal roots were just too important.
Just ahead was the Valley of Immortal Fate. Looking out at the misty mountain cluster, it was unclear what the vast mountain ranges held from this position.
He could vaguely make out the sounds of wild beasts from within.
The wind that blew felt extremely moist. Within the wetness, there was a stench.
Although this place was adjacent to the Bipo Mountain Range, one was like heaven and the other like hell.
Wu Yu's unexpected arrival had naturally attracted the attention of all those present. Within them was Lan Shuiyue, hair tied back in a ponytail, with two swords on her back. She was talking and laughing with those around her, like a blue flower within their midst. She noticed Wu Yu, and her expression suddenly froze.
Yesterday at the Myriad Treasures Valley, not only had they failed to clarify matters, they had also caused everyone to think that there was something going on between them. Before Wu Yu came, someone else had mentioned it, and had been thoroughly cursed at by Lan Shuiyue. Naturally, she included Wu Yu in the scorn.
"Look, it’s the shameless guy you were just talking about. He's here. Hehe," a nubile and slender girl beside Lan Shuiyue said. Her long hair was lightly curled, tumbling gently on her full chest. She wore a red robe that split below, revealing a pair of creamy and full legs. Her red lips were alluring and her expression smoky. She was a pretty thing, and her teasing smile only drew more attention to her.
In truth, besides the personal disciples of the Sect Leader and the Sect Protector, those that could reach the fourth tier of the Qi Condensation Realm and above were at least twice the age of Su Yanli and the others. That was why all these disciples did not look young at all. The woman in the red dress beside Lan Shuiyue had a mature flavor to her.
"Quiet, Ni Hongyi." Lan Shuiyue's expression turned cold. At this time, Su Yanli and Mo Shishu had already brought Wu Yu beside them.
"Wu Yu, you should not be here. Scram quickly." Lan Shuiyue detested him the most. The moment he was near, others would whisper.
Yesterday, Wu Yu had sent Lan Shuiyue packing, and the news had spread throughout the Bipo Mountain Range, causing Lan Shuiyue to lose face.
At present, there were many in the Heavenly Sword Sect who admired Wu Yu's godly talents. He had far surpassed Lan Shuiyue's own influence.
Lan Shuiyue had just finished speaking when Wu Yu and the others walked straight past, ignoring her.
In front, there was a stream, beside which sat a person. There were a few middle-aged people standing around, both men and women.
"These are Elder Shentu's helpers. They are roughly at the seventh tier of the Qi Condensation Realm, and almost ready to become elders themselves. They are the cornerstones of the sect."
Before they came, Su Yanli had already introduced them to Wu Yu.
The Heavenly Sword Sect did not care about seniority. Those of the Body Refining Realm’s sixth tier and above could become external disciples. After they condensed their qi, they could become core disciples. Those above the eighth tier of the Qi Condensation Realm could become elders.
As for positions like the Sect Leader, Sect Protector, Five Elders, and Elder of Imparting Arts, these did not just depend on ability, but also talent and actions.
Those at the seventh tier of the Qi Condensation Realm were the strongest of the core disciples.
"In the entire Heavenly Sword Sect, including the Five Elders and the Elder of Imparting Arts, there are close to 20 elders in total. They are our strongest force. Of course, now with the spiritual qi spring, we might have more than 50 in just a few decades, if things go well!
"These seniors in the Qi Condensation Realm support Elder Shentu, guarding the boundaries of the Valley of Immortal Fate. They prevent outsiders and demons from entering our territory. We can cultivate in peace all thanks to their protection."
That was why Su Yanli held the utmost respect for them.
The three walked up. Mo Shishu was still easygoing, looking about and catcalling at pretty disciples. While Su Yanli brought Wu Yu to pay their respects to those few. "Su Yanli and Wu Yu pay their respects to Elder Shentu, and the other senior brothers and senior sisters."
It was Elder Shentu who was sitting beside the river. He wore an old and tattered robe and an equally ragged cap on his head. He was scrawny and emaciated, his skin wrinkled. He looked very old. When he turned around, one could see his full head of white hair and rheumy eyes. One eye was blind. Fortunately, he was a very amicable person, and perennially held a smile. He seemed like an ordinary old man.
In the Qi Condensation Realm, one had a lifespan of about 200 years. If one failed to reach the Jindan Realm before one's lifespan ended, then the body would fail, the dao dissipating. This Elder Shentu had not yet managed to achieve Jindan, and his days were numbered.
Death was something that a majority of martial cultivators could not avoid.
Unless one became an immortal.
Wu Yu noticed that Elder Shentu held a fishing rod in his hands. But from the tip of the pole, three transparent lines extended, not into the river, but stretched endlessly into the Valley of Immortal Fate. Who knew how long they were. On closer look, one could see the spiritual power currents along this fishing rod. Clearly it had an Immortal Treasure Spirit Design on it, and was an immortal treasure. Moreover, it was an extremely powerful immortal treasure!
"You are Little Feng's newest disciple, eh? You'll do." Elder Shentu used his one milky eye to size Wu Yu up, then nodded.
"Elder Shentu, although he has only activated two spiritual sources, he is physically strong and can defeat those of the fourth tier of the Qi Condensation Realm. Master wishes to let him enter the Valley of Immortal Fate. How does Elder Shentu see this?" Su Yanli said respectfully.
"If Little Feng says yes, then it's a yes." Elder Shentu cracked a smile.
Although he looked like a very ordinary old man, he was actually the leader of the Five Elders. And he did not seek to stand in Wu Yu's way. Wu Yu gave his thanks respectfully. His courteous manner pleased Elder Shentu. "Wu Yu, I wish you success."
Hearing that Wu Yu was going to go in, those around them were incensed.
Mo Shishu shot them a glance. "The Sect Leader and Elder Shentu have jointly agreed on this. You bunch want to object?"
One of the disciples countered, "Sect rules are for the sect. How can you flout them like this?"
"What, aren't you just afraid Wu Yu will steal your immortal root? Aren't you an honest-to-goodness fifth tier Qi Condensation cultivator? Have you any pride?" Mo Shishu stepped up. The disciple, seeing that even Lan Shuiyue raised no objection, shut up.
Wu Yu looked at Lan Shuiyue, but she just sat there with an indifferent face, as though nothing had happened.
"If she doesn't object to my participation, then she must be thinking of causing me hardship once we're inside." Wu Yu realized.
It seemed like there were one or two more yet to arrive, and they would have to wait a while longer. Su Yanli spoke softly, "You see the three lines extending from Elder Shentu's Demon Fishing Rod?"
"I see them."
"Those three lines each hold a demon. Each are 100-year adult demons. They have already been released into the Valley of Immortal Fate. Those three demons are under Elder Shentu's control, so they cannot kill you. But you still have to be careful, especially of the Black Bear Spirit. That was the one that wounded me last year."
"Black Bear Spirit?" It should be a black bear that had become a demon and obtained its demon essence.
"This Black Bear Spirit has been cultivating for more than 600 years, and is much older than Elder Shentu. It has six demon essence cores and is roughly at the sixth tier of the Qi Condensation Realm. Only when a few of the fifth tiers attack in unison is a threat posed to it. You are alone. If you meet the Black Bear Spirit, it's best to just run," Su Yanli cautioned.
She was very meticulous and also worried about Wu Yu. Even though it was Wu Yu's first time, she wanted him to know everything he needed to watch out for.
"That's not something that I can handle."
Six demon essence cores was roughly equivalent to six spiritual sources. Wu Yu did not dare to clash with this Black Bear Spirit.
"And one more thing."
Su Yanli pointed to Lan Shuiyue. "Elder Shentu's rule is that at most four can form a group within the Valley of Immortal Fate. That's why you see that there are three fifth tier Qi Condensation cultivators beside Lan Shuiyue. The moment they enter the Valley of Immortal Fate, they will form a team. When they look for immortal roots, they will have a much higher rate of success. The Sect Protector must have arranged this for Lan Shuiyue, but... Our master will not arrange helpers for you. You know Master's temperament."
Feng Xueya was prideful, and would definitely not arrange bodyguards for Wu Yu.
"That is why Lan Shuiyue is bringing three fifth tier Qi Condensation cultivators. If they meet me, they will definitely show me good and proper."
Wu Yu looked over. There was a beauty in red beside Lan Shuiyue, as well as two male disciples. One wore green, while the other wore blue. They both looked to be near 30 but were actually well over 60 years old. These three fifth tier Qi Condensation cultivators were in no way inferior to Su Yanli, although they did not have immortal roots.
Wu Yu vowed to avoid Lan Shuiyue as best as he could in the Valley of Immortal Fate.
After a while, all were present. Elder Shentu's helpers began to hand out a type of talisman called the Beacon of Flame.
"The fog in the Valley of Immortal Fate is too thick. You have to activate the Beacon of Flame and create a pillar of fire that reaches the skies for them to be able to spot you and go to your rescue. There are two situations where the Beacon of Flame is used. Firstly, if you withdraw. Secondly, if your life is in danger. No matter which it is, if you light the Beacon of Flame, then you can only come back next year.
"The Valley of Immortal Fate decrees that there is to be no murder. Any who murders their own will face the discipline of the sect. Rest assured on this."
Wu Yu understood that although Lan Shuiyue had screamed for his death, she would not really take his life. After all, Wu Yu was not the Situ Minglang back then.
After the Beacons of Flame were passed out, Elder Shentu stood up.
"Those who acquire immortal roots first can light the Beacon of Flame. I will personally fetch you out. If you wish to back out, you may also light it. If anybody tries to kill you, you must definitely light it. Whoever kills will be killed by me."
Elder Shentu's words were conveyed clearly and also shocked the ten-odd core disciples.
With that, Elder Shentu waved the Demon Fishing Rod, which extended a fine line and a hook. It snagged the clothes of one disciple. With a cast, the disciple was hurled into a position in the Valley of Immortal Fate with a startled cry.Previous Chapter Next Chapter