This limitless spiritual energy filled the entire sky, so powerful that it seemed to coagulate into a sea, so oppressing that every disciple there couldn’t lift their heads. Only Luo Jianqing who was standing in the middle of the tall platform faintly raised his head, like he had long gotten used to this fearsome, oppressing aura. He raised his gaze, fixed on somewhere far away.
No one had arrived yet. Only the voice had reached them first.
After that vast, majestic golden sword-light passed, they were finally able to see a white-clothed figure.
Long black hair was tied up in the simplest white jade crown, clothed in a white embroidered gown sewn with complicated, densely veined patterns, rich clothes with wide sleeves, contrasting against the blue sky above. He was so dazzling that people couldn’t help but look at him with reverence blooming in their hearts. He stood at the summit above all living things, watching the crowd below him with an apathetic and tranquil gaze. Finally, his line of sight slowly stopped at the top of the tall platform.
Luo Jianqing’s head was lifted, several hundred meters away, one in the sky, one on the ground, staring at that person.
Like he hadn’t seen him in a hundred thousand years, Luo Jianqing gazed at him soundlessly, the other person calmly returning his gaze. After a moment, the bloodstains in his palm were so hot it felt like it was going to combust. Luo Jianqing raised his hand in a show of respect, solemnly saying, “Master.”
Xuan Lingzi stood in the clouds, answering lightly, “Mn.”
Tai Hua Mountain’s Yu Xiao Peak Lord was Sir Xuan Lingzi, the current number one immortal in the cultivation world. At fifteen, he achieved Foundation Establishment. At 25, he reached the Core Formation stage. At 56, he succeeded in creating a Nascent Soul. At present, he had cultivated for no more than 300 years, but was the only cultivator under the heavens who refined his qi into spirit. Looking over the past 5,000 years, he was also the only cultivator who had hopes to levitate heavenwards and become immortal.
Countless disciples widened their eyes in amazement when they saw Xuan Lingzi. Even the newly accepted disciples did not dare look towards that person in disbelief. They only stared for a moment, then timidly moved away their line of sight.
This was the superiority of a honored senior who had achieved spirit-refining. They had merely looked at him for an instant, but quickly became panic-stricken.
And among the crowd of disciples, no one was more excited than Li Xiuchen. With wild joy, he looked at the noble honored senior who was dressed in a white chang pao. Although he couldn’t look at him for too long, he was so excited that he couldn’t control himself: Xuan Lingzi came! Xuan Lingzi’s going to take me as his disciple!
Xuan Lingzi’s cold, elegant face had no trace of emotion, like he totally had no concern for the disciples all around him. His line of sight was fixed on his own disciple, the golden sword mark in the middle of his forehead glowing faintly with golden light. He had thin eyes and long eyebrows, a nose like it had been cut with a knife, lips devoid of color. He truly seemed like a simple and elegant immortal with no worldly concerns, making anyone respect him.
Xuan Lingzi attentively gazed at the disciple on the high platform. Luo Jianqing lowered his head, keeping silent.
After a moment, Xuan Lingzi’s pupils shrunk, and suddenly shifted to the high platform.
Once he appeared, Xie Zizhuo next to Luo Jianqing became intimidated. Xie Zizhuo hurriedly shouted several sentences, “Martial uncle Xuan Lingzi.” Xuan Lingzi lightly nodded towards him, and Xie Zizhuo hastily descended the high platform, not daring to stand next to this gifted martial uncle.
“You really won’t lift your head?” Xuan Lingzi asked apathetically.
Luo Jianqing kept his respectful position as before, not answering.
His handsome eyebrows knit together, Xuan Lingzi looked down towards his rebellious disciple, and asked again in a low voice, “Your master has just come out of seclusion and heard you are currently arranging the all-peak examinations for the new disciples. Your flying sword has finished refining, would you like to look?”
Luo Jianqing still kept his head lowered with no reaction.
This situation made Xuan Lingzi knit his eyebrows together tightly, as if he didn’t understand what was the matter with his usually considerate disciple. His cold lips pursed, about to ask a question, then suddenly heard a pleasantly surprised shout off stage. “Sir! I am Li Xiuchen, I have admired you for many years, and wish to enter your school.”
Xuan Lingzi seemed as if he didn’t hear him and put his hands together behind him, continuing to look down at his disciple.
After a long time, the powerful and oppressive ocean-like aura scattered heavily, making the disciples near the tall platform feel so threatened their faces turned white. Even Li Xiuchen who had shouted earlier was sweating like a pig from fright. And the white-clothed great senior brother who was in the heart of the oppressive aura felt so constricted he could not straighten his back, but he still grit his teeth and didn’t make a sound.
Xuan Lingzi sighed heavily and drew back his oppressive aura. “Go back to Yu Xiao Peak.”
Luo Jianqing suddenly raised his head in surprise. He looked at the other person and asked, astonished, “Master?”
This time, Xuan Lingzi discovered that at some point, his normally respectful disciple’s eyes had turned completely red. His fair and beautiful face was covered in dense sweat, and his scattered hair was damp with sweat and stuck to his face. He was out of spiritual breath, but this frightened state was more beautiful.
Having no reaction to this, Xuan Lingzi neutrally nodded. “Go back. I’ll let you see your new flying sword.”
Luo Jianqing was overjoyed at the unexpected good news, and immediately answered, “Yes!”
As he spoke, Luo Jianqing gave the follow-up matters of the all-peak examinations to the disciple next to him, then prepared to return with his master. No one expected that at that moment, Li Xiuchen ran to the side of the high platform and raised his head, saying loudly, “Sir Xuan Lingzi, this disciple wishes to enter Yu Xiao Peak, to become your disciple!”
Everyone was strangely quiet when these words fell.
Luo Jianqing’s smile disappeared in a flash. He clenched his fingers tightly, his fingernails digging into the recent bloodstains again. The bloodstains had already formed a scab, but blood started seeping out again when it was punctured. The pain made Luo Jianqing narrow his eyes, looking at Li Xiuchen off-stage.
Li Xiuchen had an earnest and serious expression, but he was secretly very excited.
After he became Xuan Lingzi’s disciple and entered Yu Xiao Peak, he would receive careful guidance from the cultivation world’s most powerful person. At 20 years old, he could achieve Qi Foundation, and Core Formation at 40. He may not be as good as Xuan Lingzi, but it was good to be well prepared! His inherent weakness was no problem, he had a golden finger. The first step is to find a good master, then he would get further and further!
This was all well and fine, but although this Luo Jianqing was a little strange, Xuan Lingzi still arrived in the end. He could enter Yu Xiao Peak as he had before.
Through his joy, Li Xiuchen was not paying attention to what was happening on the high platform.
Only being able to see Xuan Lingzi’s cold white robe and the dazzling golden sword marking on his forehead, he lowered his head to glance at Li Xiuchen, then turned his head to continue looking at his disciple. With a cold expression, he asked serenely, “Jianqing, has Yu Xiao Peak started accepting disciples?”
Suddenly hearing these words, Luo Jianqing stumbled, the monstrous hatred in his heart instantly fading away. He looked at him in surprise, his logic and reason also vanishing in the moment.
Under the shining sunlight, Xuan Lingzi looked at him with his usual indifference. He buried that sentence he said into the bottom of his heart. In his two lifetimes, he had never destroyed his hurt and bitterness, and suddenly felt like it had lightened somewhat.
Luo Jianqing faintly opened his mouth. When he spoke, he found that his voice was already hoarse.
“Then let’s go.”
This happened very quickly. Li Xiuchen looked at the pair of master and disciple with astonishment, and couldn’t collect his thoughts for a long time. By the time he reacted, in the wake of the golden light fading away above the mountains, the two had left behind the waiting Li Xiuchen standing in the audience, along with his watching senior and junior brothers.
“Yu Xiao Peak has traditionally never accepted disciples for years. How come this new junior brother doesn’t realize that?”
“I heard in those days, martial uncle Xuan Lingzi was the only disciple of Yu Xiao Peak, and now Yu Xiao Peak has a great senior brother. Does he still think he can enter?”
“Yu Xiao Peak’s standards for apprenticeship are so high. This guy totally doesn’t meet the qualifications. Martial uncle Xuan Lingzi has a super level constitution, and so does senior brother Luo. This person doesn’t seem to have any constitution at all. How could martial uncle Xuan Lingzi even look at him?”
Li Xiuchen’s eyes were wide open, looking towards where the two people had disappeared in confusion. Once he was taken to Hao Ming Peak, in the room he was assigned he muttered, as if he lost his soul, “No no no… how could this happen? How could this happen? Where did I go wrong in the end? Where did… yi? Luo Jianqing?!”
Thinking of this, Li Xiuchen seemed like he was struck by lightning. After a moment, he cursed loudly, “That’s right! That little girl should’ve gotten hit by lightning, so why did Luo Jianqing suddenly show up! And today, why didn’t Luo Jianqing hit me! Luo Jianqing Luo Jianqing… is it possible he transmigrated as well? Fucking Luo Jianqing, who the hell are you!!!”
Luo Jianqing didn’t hear Li Xiuchen’s curses, as he had been following Xuan Lingzi the entire time back to Yu Xiao Peak. It wasn’t long before he could see the two simple and modest bamboo houses. The bamboo houses were surrounded by a dense forest of bamboo. Green bamboo swayed gently in the breeze, causing them to gurgle.
After they returned to the bamboo houses, Xuan Lingzi took out a sword from his storage ring.
“This sword is three feet and seven inches long and 312 pounds. Use this ten-thousand year black iron that you have brought back previously, a thousand-year Lightning Crystal, a low-level fourth-degree Lightning Pellet and refine them together. This sword is quick, and can pull ten thousand miles of lightning and thunder to join you in resisting the enemy. It is considered to be a earth-level magic weapon.” As he spoke, Xuan Lingzi grasped the sword with one hand, handing it to his disciple. “Jianqing, from now on, this will be your life-bound magic weapon, so it must have a name.”
The cyan tip of the sword faintly twinkled, and the sharp and fierce edge seemed like it could cut the skies, but it had been temporarily sealed by Xuan Lingzi’s spiritual power. The sword lightly shivered, as if it didn’t agree to surrender in this tiny bamboo house. Xuan Lingzi had been holding the sword the entire time, waiting for his disciple to take it.
However, Luo Jianqing had been staring attentively at the sword the entire time, and was slow with reacting.
In his past lifetime, he named this sword Zhui Yin.
His master had asked him in astonishment why he chose this name. His reply was, “This sword is quick, and chases at the speed of sound, so I named it Zhui Yin.”(1)
At the time, his master lightly nodded and didn’t ask any further. But he was the only one who truly knew what this sword’s name meant.
The immortal name of Tai Hua Mountain’s Yu Xiao Peak Lord was Xuan Lingzi, originally named Wu Yin. (2)
Chasing and chasing sound, chasing at the speed of sound, or perhaps no sound?
Looking at this sword, Luo Jianqing’s heart gradually began to ache. After a moment, he took the sword. The originally howling sword suddenly became obedient in Luo Jianqing’s hands, flowing with blue light and letting out a low cry.
Xuan Lingzi looked at this scene, satisfied. He understood this sword had already recognized its master. But before he could think anything else, he heard his disciple say quietly, “Master, its name will be Shuang Fu.” (3)
Xuan Lingzi’s entire body trembled, and raised his head to look at Luo Jianqing. After a while, he finally asked, “… For what reason?”
Luo Jianqing laughed, and said, “Thunder frightens electricity into scattering. Snow splashes, becoming floating frost. And since this sword can pull ten thousand miles of lightning, I name it Shuang Fu.” Luo Jianqing’s voice had just fell when the sword trembled slightly, like it was agreeing with him.
Luo Jianqing looked at his sword with a smile, then decided to turn and go into the bamboo forest to try it out. However, just when he turned, he heard Xuan Lingzi’s cold and elegant voice say behind him, “Jianqing, you…yi, what happened to your hand?”
The next moment, an ice-cold hand suddenly gripped Luo Jianqing’s wrist, pulling him back.
(1) Zhui Yin (追音): to chase sound
(2) Wu Yin (无音): without sound
(3) Shuang Fu (霜浮): floating frost