The world of immortals prior to the establishment of the Dao Academy was a very different one after its founding.
After the Dao Academy came into being, the world of immortals entered a state of fast-paced development, particularly after Lu Yun returned from the great wilderness. Everyone’s cultivation improved at a rapid clip, and there were no more ancient immortals any longer.
Ancient immortals referred to those who’d never experienced the void realm during their cultivation journey.
The formation of heaven and earth was now mainstream knowledge. Even those who hadn’t cultivated their way through the void realm had all created a small world inside of them via the formation. Though there was a gap between them and immortals that’d broken through after the void realm, it wasn’t significant.
When Lu Yun had first arrived in the world of immortals, golden immortals were the nobility of the world. Lofty and removed, they placed themselves above regular immortals and would never join the army.
Now with the immortal dao’s high velocity of growth, golden immortals were everywhere to be found. Even peerless immortals would join the army as a regular soldier now, to say nothing of golden immortals.
As one of the four aces of Nephrite Major, the Vermillion Bird troops naturally re-selected their members when the general population improved so much. Their lowest bar was now set at the golden immortal realm. Their commander Zhu Zheng was a Golden Immortal of Grand Unity and a disciple of a peak Nephrite Major faction—the Zhu Clan. Due to their relationship with Zhu Zheng, the clan was aligned with both Nephrite Major and the Dao Academy.
Zhu Zheng taking a million soldiers to reinforce a place called the Blue Wilderness Continent immediately sent waves through the world of immortals. No one had thought that the Nephrite lord would really use his armies like this. Everything was in flux at the moment and a new hierarchy of strength had yet to be settled. Wasn’t he afraid of losing such a sizable force in a lower world?
Not only did the Vermillion Bird army head to the lower world, but so did the academy select a hundred exceptional disciples to accompany him to temper themselves. After thorough contemplation, Lu Yun added “trials in the lower worlds” as one of the tests for the inner academy.
Reinforcements arrived in the Blue Wilderness Continent with the momentum of Mount Tai, instantly crushing the boundless dead spirits outside the continent. The energy of a world was anathema to these spirits, and the inner world of a void-ascended immortal was their perfect counter. What had once been an unimaginably terrifying enemy was thus suddenly no longer so terrifying to the immortals.
However, the academy disciples who traveled with Zhu Zheng discovered that, apart from a few void-ascended immortals like Nian Rufeng, the rest of the immortals in this world were all ancient immortals without an internal world.
With that discovery, the disciples took matters into their own hands and passed on the formation of heaven and earth, etching the formation into these ancient immortals.
Zhu Zheng gaped when he saw their actions, but said nothing to stop them. He also believed that if the headmaster was here, he’d be doing the same thing.
It was now the twenty-third year of the Xuanhuang calendar, twenty-three years since the academy’s founding. Knowledge from Lu Yun’s hands that’d once been regarded as unimaginably precious was now found all over the streets as ordinary and commonplace trivia.
The world of immortals was all the stronger because of this.
As fortress ships and cannon crystals fired off furious barrages, the planet in which the Blue Wilderness Continent resided in was quickly cleansed of all dead spirits. The Vermillion Bird troops also suffered some casualties as there were a few tough targets among the enemy. In fact, Zhu Zheng felt that he’d lost a lot of face because he and his men were almost overcome once.
“Before we left, the headmaster mentioned that the Blue Wilderness Continent is one of the safer spots in the lower worlds. The other stars and planets are much more dangerous.” The leader of the academy disciples was Lu Qingshuang of the Lu Clan. She addressed Zhu Zheng calmly when she saw the general’s expression.
Zhu Zheng’s jaw dropped.
“Too weak… you are too weak. The world of immortals is to experience a war even more dangerous than the lower worlds after seventy-seven years. With the Vermillion Bird’s current battle strength, you’ll be good for only cannon fodder.”
Zhu Zheng shuddered violently. The cataclysm that Lu Qingshuang spoke of was no secret. It was what everyone in the world worked toward these days.
“Therefore, the headmaster says that you should go experience the various realms of the lower worlds and battle death. Only then will you become true experts, or you’ll always be a motley crew of mediocrity,” Lu Qingshuang added the last line with no thought spared for her audience’s feelings.
It was very humiliating that one of Nephrite Major’s aces would be labeled a motley crew, but there was nothing Zhu Zheng could say to refute it.
“General Zhu can return now to report on your mission.” Lu Qingshuang turned in another direction.
“Are you not coming back with us?” Zhu Zheng asked doubtfully, taking a look at the academy disciples that were getting to know the local immortals.
“The crisis of the Blue Wilderness Continent is only temporarily resolved. Those dead spirits will be back at some point. We will be remaining here to build an academy to safeguard the continent,” the girl responded matter-of-factly.
“What?!” Zhu Zheng immediately understood Lu Yun’s plans when he heard this. He was going to establish academies in the lower world and pass on knowledge from the world of immortals!
Lu Qingshuang looked wordlessly at the general.
“Then, take care of yourself, Miss Lu.”
As a Zhu Clan descendant, Zhu Zheng was familiar with Lu Qingshuang. The Lu Clan had once been a peak faction in Nephrite Major as well. Lu Qingshuang was a Lu genius and Lu Yun’s cousin.
Lu Qingshuang was only a peerless immortal and thus Zhu Zheng doubted she could protect the continent. But since Lu Yun had decided to make his move, then the academy here would be as solid as Mount Tai.
It was at this moment Zhu Zheng understood that Lu Yun not only wanted to be a saint of the world of immortals, but that he wanted to be a saint of all life. He didn’t build academy branches in any other location in the world of immortals, choosing instead to locate them in the lower worlds. This timely assistance in the most dire straits would be more effective at winning over hearts than anything else.
When the Vermillion Bird troops returned, Zhu Zheng made a full report to Zhao Shenguang and expressed his desire to lead his men back to the lower worlds.
Zhao Shenguang naturally permitted this deployment.
Increasing numbers of immortals activated the protocol to ascend to the world of immortals. Apart from a few who truly wished to leave their homes, most were here to request help. Their worlds wouldn’t hold on for long.
Nephrite Major sent out her other three aces—the armies of the Azure Dragon, White Tiger, and Dusk Phalanx that Lu Yun had returned to the imperial court. Each army split out a million golden immortals and sent them campaigning through the lower worlds.
At the same time, academy disciples descended en masse and built academies in the lower worlds, bringing all sorts of the combat arts, cultivation methods, and supplemental paths to these struggling worlds so they could defend themselves.
The Dao Academy didn’t open new branches in the world of immortals, but put down firm roots in the lower worlds.
Though the campaigns inflicted massive casualties on Nephrite’s armies, those who survived returned three times stronger than before, whether in terms of cultivation or battle strength.
These results finally alerted the other factions of the world what was at stake here.Previous Chapter Next Chapter