Book 4: A Different Kind Of Hostage!
Chapter 379: Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect
Beyond the Middle Reaches was the true eastern Heavenspan River, vast and majestic, so grand that it wasn’t possible to see the end of it. It was an area so large that the entire Middle Reaches cultivation world couldn’t even compare to it.
If you followed it along far enough, it reached the place where the river flowed out from the sea!
In that location was a waterfall so large and boundless that it virtually defied description. It was as tall as an enormous mountain, and so wide that it was impossible to see one end from the other. As the waters flew down, they transformed into the eastern Heavenspan River!
One could only imagine what existed at the top of that waterfall: the Heavenspan Sea!
The spiritual energy in the area was so strong that it also defied description; the spiritual energy of the Middle Reaches cultivation world couldn’t even compare to it. This was the location of the sect headquarters of the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect.
Shockingly, that headquarters rose up from within the boundless mists at the bottom of the waterfall. Towering high above the waterfall itself were seven rainbows, which were organized into three levels.
The first level, and the highest, was made up of a single rainbow. The second level had two rainbows, one on the left and one on the right. Beneath them was the third level, made up of four rainbows lined up in a row….
Considering how enormous the waterfall itself was, it only made sense that the rainbows were even more majestic. Astonishingly, those seven rainbows were actually part of Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect!
Even from a distance, it was just barely possible to see countless indistinct figures flying back and forth through the air, making it very clear how enormous the sect was!
Furthermore, those rainbows were only part of the sect. Higher up, at the very top of the waterfall, was an enormous, ancient battleship!
It was pitch black, and emanated the most archaic of auras. There was something ghastly about it, and it was even possible to see ghostly figures inside, perhaps the reserve powers of the sect itself.
In addition to all that, there were four gigantic cities built on the banks of the Heavenspan River, two on each side.
Any one of those cities alone was larger than any of the four great sects of the Middle Reaches, and could clearly house millions upon millions of people. The mere sight of this sect would leave anyone completely shaken.
This was the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect!
At the base of the waterfall were four enormous cities.
Towering above the waterfall were seven rainbows.
And behind the waterfall was the Heavenspan Sea!
A moment ago, the enormous giant had just stepped out of thin air to appear some distance off from the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect. Bai Xiaochun was on the giant’s head, looking at the sect and gasping. The mere size of the sect was enough to cause his head to spin.
Then, as he got closer, he could feel the spiritual energy getting stronger, so strong that it was almost uncomfortable.
Bai Xiaochun wasn’t the only one to have such a reaction. Everyone else was left similarly gasping.
Master God-Diviner’s face was a mask of incredulity. “How did they do this? Rainbows are fundamentally immaterial, but that’s what the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect actually built their headquarters with!”
“You’re right,” Chen Manyao said, keeping her voice low. “Rainbows are immaterial. However, experts in the Demigod Realm can take that which is immaterial and make it eternal!
“Furthermore, the seven rainbows are strictly separated by a ranking system. From bottom to top, those ranks are: Starry, Sky, Dao, Polarity, Mortal, Earth, Heaven!
“See the highest rainbow? That’s Heaven! The next two below it are Earth and Mortal. The four rainbows which make up the bottom level are Starry, Sky, Dao, and Polarity!
“We’re from the River-Defying Sect, but technically, we count as the Sky River Court. Therefore, our final destination will be the second rainbow of the third level!” Bai Xiaochun listened intently as Chen Manyao explained everything she knew about the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect.
“Those four cities on the banks of the river are nothing more than the outer sect. You see, the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect’s ranking system is a bit different from what we’re used to.” Even Gongsun Wan’er seemed to be surprised at how much Chen Manyao knew, and was listening carefully.
The Deva Realm boy opened his eyes and looked over. “You seem to know quite a bit, little girl.”
Chen Manyao’s face flickered. Fearful of angering a Deva Realm eccentric, she nervously clasped hands and said, “Please don’t take offense, Senior.”
“None taken,” the boy said coolly. “The more you explain, the fewer words I have to waste in my own introduction. Listen up, all of you. Just as the girl said, the ranking and organization of the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect is different from that of most other sects, and that’s intentional.
“Most sects have an outer sect, an inner sect, a conclave, and a legacy echelon, or some variation thereof. But not the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect. We are organized by color. Red, orange, yellow, green, cyan, blue, violet. Those seven colors are how we organize our sect. It doesn’t matter who you are, as long as you’re under the Nascent Soul stage, you have to follow that ranking system. Everyone starts out as a red-robed disciple, and rises in the ranks, not based on cultivation base level, but based on how many merit points you accumulate!
“The more merit points you get, the higher your rank. Newcomers do not even qualify to step onto the rainbows. Only becoming yellow-robed disciples gives you that right, the right to ascend from ground to the rainbows.” As the boy talked, the giant strode forward, carrying them toward the second city on the left bank of the Heavenspan River, at the base of the waterfall.
“Very well, this city is where you will start out. As for where you end up later, that will depend on your own personal good fortune.” He rose to his feet, flicking his sleeve to send a jade slip flying over to Bai Xiaochun. “Take this jade slip. Once you’re in the city, someone will arrange everything for you.” With that, he waved his sleeve again, causing a wave of power to pick Bai Xiaochun and the others up and fly them off of the giant’s head. Then the giant roared, ripping open the sky in front of it and vanishing into the hole.
As for the boy, he also disappeared, reappearing out of sight, far up on the second level rainbow!
After the boy left, Bai Xiaochun breathed a sigh of relief. Then he looked over at the huge city, which teemed with countless people, beyond which was the enormous waterfall and the rainbows.
This place was gigantic, and completely unfamiliar to Bai Xiaochun, leaving him feeling more isolated than ever, a stranger in a strange land.
“These four huge cities have simple names,” Chen Manyao said softly. “Starry City, Sky City, Dao City, and Polarity City. Once in the cities, don’t make the mistake of underestimating anyone. There could be people with powerful cultivation bases who simply don’t have enough merit points to rise beyond the level of being an orange-robed disciple.
“Remember, in the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect, everyone under the Nascent Soul stage is a disciple, and their ranking is based on the color of their robes, not their cultivation base. That is why Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect cultivators are often called seven-colored disciples!”
With Chen Manyao there to explain things, Bai Xiaochun and the others weren’t at such a loss even though they were newcomers to the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect. Things were already starting to become clear.
“What are the requirements to reach the first and second level rainbows?” Gongsun Wan’er suddenly asked.
Chen Manyao had long since been very leery of Gongsun Wan’er, and thus, did absolutely nothing to conceal her knowledge.
“The first rainbow is also called the Heaven Rainbow, and is occupied by the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect’s one and only demigod patriarch. Beneath it is the Earth Rainbow on the left and the Mortal Rainbow on the right. The Earth Rainbow is for the devas, and the Mortal Rainbow is for the sect leader. It is also the location of many trials by fire and special cultivation zones.
“Most terrifying of all is that ancient battleship at the very top of the waterfall, which actually rests on the Heavenspan Sea itself. All of the four riversource sects have a battleship like that, and they are boundlessly mysterious and infinitely powerful!” With that, she glanced over at Bai Xiaochun, cleary done with her explanation, and also obviously not planning to divulge any information about the Wildlands.
Only she and Bai Xiaochun were aware of her involvement with the Wildlands, and he didn’t plan to say anything either. As for Gongsun Wan’er, she merely smiled, and didn’t ask any further questions.
“Well, let’s go,” Bai Xiaochun said with a sigh. “Now that we’re here, we might as well find a place to settle down.” With that, he headed toward the city, and everyone followed along.
As they neared the city itself, they sensed invisible fluctuations spreading over all of them. Bai Xiaochun took out the jade slip he’d been given, which began to glow with a bright light that was none other than teleportation power. Before anyone in the group of seven could react, they had vanished.
When they reappeared, they were in a grand hall somewhere in the middle of the city. As soon as they appeared, and before they could even see their surroundings clearly, and icy voice spoke out.
“Hostage Bai Xiaochun. Hostage Gongsun Wan’er. Within these bags of holding you will find identity medallions and red Daoist robes for both you and your Dao Protectors.
“From this day on, all of you are cultivators of the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect!” Two bags of holding appeared out of thin air and flew toward Bai Xiaochun and Gongsun Wan’er.
Before they had a chance to even open them, streams of power wrapped them up and threw them out of the hall. Moments later, they were out on the street. No one even spared them a second glance; apparently, they were used to people appearing like this.
Bai Xiaochun looked around blankly. Xu Baocai and Big Fatty Zhang were a bit pale-faced from the teleportation. Song Que and Master God-Diviner seemed to have handled it a bit better, and Chen Manyao didn’t appear to be affected at all.
However, the cold reception from the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect was something none of them were used to.
Feeling less than pleased with the treatment, Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath, looked back at the grand hall, and shouted, “Hey, I’m an important political hostage!”
Translator: Deathblade. Chinese language consultant: ASI a.k.a. Beerblade. Editor: GNE. Memes: Logan. Tocsin. Transcendent Patrons: Daoist Elder N, BLE, ttre208. . .