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In the Western Mountains of the Savage Land, the Bright Jade Flames gradually dimmed, and a young man's countenance turned gloomy and uncertain.

"... Master, I can't afford to wait."

"Oh, you're still young, how come you can't even wait? It's just one or two days. You've been surviving there for a year, what's another one or two days? Well then, see you later."

"Hey, hey, I'm really going to die here."

"Then why are you spouting nonsense to me? Quickly save your life!"



Seeing that their communication was incompatible, Wang Lu had no other choice. "Master, are you receiving 'guests' [1]?"

"Puff!"

The sound of someone vomiting blood brought great comfort to Wang Lu.

"Evil disciple, how dare you slander me?"

"You aren't? With your moral values, I can only say that it's a reasonable assumption."

"Moreover, I used a provocative question to probe the situation. What are the things that you are so busy about that you even disregard your disciple's life and death, if not for receiving a 'guest'?"

Silenced ensued for a long time before the other side probingly asked, "Are you really in danger? And not sexually harassing your Master because you have nothing better to do?"

Wang Lu yelled, "Your father, I, have burned a Summoning Heaven Talisman in order to talk to you. This single use talisman is worth the same as your yearly income, why would I have to spend so much just to molest you?"

This time, his Master's voice had turned anxious. "You, this kid, actually used the Summoning Heaven Talisman? Wait a moment, I'll be right there."

A few moments later, a burst of wave set off in this boundless black tide. For an absolutely dead silent place like this, this wave was undoubtedly a great sight to behold. A moment later, a hole appeared in the black tide, and the rays of light flushed through. Then, a white-clad female standing on top of a bamboo sword descended from the sky. The brilliant light of the sun shone over the place. The dark tide on the Western Mountain struggled for a few moments before dissipating away, which promptly forced those powerful dead spirits to retreat in haste, but the weaker ones didn't have the chance. Under the sunlight, they sent out ear piercing shriek as their body began to emit smoke. Before long, they completely withered away.

The things that frightened countless of living creatures on the Western Mountain, which came every ten days along with the dark tide, perished just like that.

For a time, the dumb mutt slackened its jaw, dumbfoundedly looking at that golden ball of light in the sky with its eyes sprang wide. Until a moment later, tears flowed down because of intense light, which could be said as having nearly blinded the dog's eyes, and it finally averted its gaze.

The Honored Master could be seen from afar as truly anxious. The green light flashed over to Wang Lu.

"Where's the enemy?"

Wang Lu looked at her in silence.

"Didn't you say you're in the middle of life and death crisis? So where's the enemy?"

Wang Lu continued to look at her in silence; he has a really mixed feeling about this.

His Master looked around and scanned the surrounding with her Primordial Spirit. A moment later, her eyes shifted back to Wang Lu; furrowing her brows, she asked, "Strange, you look fine to me. Moreover, your body is overflowing with energy unlike a seriously injured, dying person. Huh, where's your left arm? Is it cut off?"

Wang Lu sighed. "Master, you're a big idiot."

In any case, With the arrival of his Master, the Gate of the Savage Land had been opened, and the one-year trip was finally over.

Wang Lu, bringing with him his dog, and the spoils of the Western Mountain, triumphantly returned to the Spirit Sword Mountain.

Along the way, Wang Lu had planned to share his experience with his Master. But when he thought about it, there was no use in talking too much with this cheap woman.

"I picked up a dog."

The stupid dog revealed a fawning smile. "Woof-woof."

His Master cast a sidelong glance. "Oh, is this your food reserve?"

The dumb mutt's eyes were immediately filled with resentment.

Wang Lu pondered. "This thing's IQ is too low, can't be eaten."

"No matter, maybe you can find an opportunity later to give it as a gift to your Senior Sister Liu Li, perhaps it could make up her brain."

"... By the way, I've mastered the Innate Non-Phase Sword Qi."

"Oh, it's slower than expected, eh."

"Um, I overdid it this year."

"It's okay. It doesn't matter. In any case, your progress is already quite ahead, so, slowing down a bit is good to stabilize your mood. But, seeing that you're already overflowing with innate energy, reaching high-level Qi Cultivating Stage is just a matter of days."

Battling the Black Poison Corpse General forced Wang Lu to release the Innate Non-Phase Sword Qi over a hundred of times. The required huge volume of magical power to fuel that came from the massive combustion of innate lifespan within a short period of time, which shocked the entire structure of his Inner Mansion. For someone with superficial foundation, this kind of shock was tantamount to fatal internal injury. If someone has an average foundation, with the help of panacea and method to dissolve this shock, this could be a blessing in disguise, a catalyst to hasten the cultivation progress by leaps and bounds… However, this skyrocketing of the cultivation was just an empty facade because it completely separated the cultivation of magical power from the cultivation stage, which limited future development even further. Only those cultivators with deep foundation could really defuse this shock and actually improved their cultivation speed.

With his deep foundation, Wang Lu had already dissolved the shock quite a while ago. His previous shortcomings of the lack of cultivation of magical power were finally padded by this incident—a true blessing in disguise for him. The only thing that vexed him a bit was his original plan to challenge his defense so that he could reach the boundary of level five Qi Cultivating Stage ultimately could not be reached...

According to his Master's calculation, as long as he spent a few days on nursing his injury and fixing his Inner Mansion, the high-level Qi Cultivating Stage would come naturally to him.

"Speaking of which, hastening your cultivation is also a good thing. While you were away for a year, the Heavenly Sword Hall has opened up for a number of meetings. Most of the discussion centered around whether there should be an adjustment to the disciples' education policy or not."

Wang Lu was somewhat curious. "What?"

"Simply speaking, they want to speed up the pace of cultivation of the disciples. Our Spirit Sword Sect, over the years, have always emphasized a solid foundation, not advancing recklessly… But actually, the disciples' cultivation speed is not slow. In general, in ten years, a disciple would reach the Foundation Establishment. They would smoothly go from the level nine to level one Qi Cultivating Stage, which is simply unheard of for the common sect."

Wang Lu nodded approvingly. Generally speaking, the higher the level of cultivation, the slower it was. However, the Spirit Sword Sect was able to ensure a smooth progress for its disciples. This could only be explained by the sect's degree of control of the cultivation pace of the disciples, which gave them a solid foundation and easily did an over-rank challenge.

"However, although ten years to reach Foundation Establishment is relatively fast compared to an ordinary sect, who let us among the Five Unique of the Union of Ten Thousand Immortals? Amongst the five, ours is a bit slow. The fastest one is Royal Soldier Sect. Their disciples only need three years to reach Foundation Establishment—that's crazy! As for others, the standard for the Shengjing Sect is six years, seven years for Ten Thousand Arts Sect, and the slower one is Kunlun Immortal Sect, which is eight years. But we, Spirit Sword Sect, are at the bottom."

Wang Lu sneered. "We've always been at the bottom anyway, why would you all care about this comparison now?"

His Master shrugged. "Before, we indeed didn't want to compare. Unfortunately, someone came with the intention to slap our face. Although we've been enduring this humiliation all these years, there is a limit to our endurance."

Wang Lu immediately got his interest piqued. "Who came to slap our face? Tell me the details?"

"It's nothing actually. It's just that when the Sect Leader and the several Elders attended the Union of Ten Thousand Immortals gathering, a few individual elders from the other sects peculiarly claimed that someone from their sect has successfully reached Foundation Establishment in about three to four years. Moreover, that someone is far superior to the other genius cultivators of the same level and so on. Originally, they were just saying that to past time while drinking tea in between session. However, the others took that to heart, and when they continue their meeting, they immediately wanted to discuss the Sect's educational policy issue; it's very amusing actually."

Wang Lu thought for a moment and gave his critical evaluation. "We should fully support it."

"Who said I didn't? But this matter eventually gets a bit way out of hand. A few days ago, there's an official letter from the Ten Thousand Arts Sect, telling that they want to organize some kind of activities between the sects' disciples… These several days, the Sect Leader recruited me to work overtime for this thing days and nights. Just now, I thought you were okay and were just sexually harassing me, which almost made me mad."

Wang Lu ignored his Master's complaint and instead curiously asked, "What kind of activity, is it blind dates? Just welcome them then. Ask them to provide a large number of high-quality female cultivators."

"... You think too much. The ratio between male and female cultivators has always been ten to one. Female cultivators are worth more than spiritual treasure you know. But if you want a feminine male cultivator, that's another matter entirely."

"Damn, then what do they come here for, what kind of activity do they refer to?"

His Master sneered. "What else could it be? Of course, it's to fight."

"How? Capturing flag or fighting to the death? Or is it climbing stairways to heaven competition?"

"... It's not so exaggerated like that. It's just a fight on an arena between a few young cultivators of each sect. Who won the fight can boast that their sect is a cut above the others. However, this time, there's a limit on who can compete, which is, their cultivation time must be less than ten years."

Wang Lu furrowed his brows. "What kind of rules is this? Do the Ten Thousand Arts Sect like to watch the fight between younglings?"

"What choice do we have? The recent focus of development of the Union of Ten Thousand Immortals is on the younger generation cultivators. A cultivator with ten years of cultivation is probably around twenty-five years old. According to them, to produce something called the golden generation, the sects need to comprehensively strengthen the cultivation of this group of cultivators. The key point is basically to push the young cultivators into the limelight. If a sect could have a gifted cultivator, they would be happier than if an elder reaches Deity Stage."

Wang Lu was pleasantly surprised. "Then wouldn't that mean I bring glory to the sect?"

"You?" His Master very contemptuously cast a despised glance at him. "A five-year-cultivation-yet-only-reached-high-level-Qi-Cultivating-Stage trash that doesn't even deserve to carry the shoes of a true genius? This time, the talent that the Ten Thousand Arts Sect prepared to bring is someone named Zhan Zhiye. In eight years, that person has reached middle-level Foundation Establishment, a stage higher than you."

Wang Lu dismissively brushed it off. "Nowadays, challenging someone a stage higher than me is just a trivial matter, there's nothing difficult about it."

"... That's just on the defense, what makes you think you can overcome these higher stage cultivator?"

"... Do you think I couldn't?"

"Nonsense, except for the Royal Soldier Sect, those madmen, nowadays, which genius in each top rank sect doesn't have a real strength? Although I haven't seen that Zhan Ziye, from common sense, he should also be able to do the over-rank challenge; it's basically not that strange. So…"

Wang Lu abruptly cut her off, "So, this sect's competition doesn't have anything to do with me right?"

As soon as he finished that, his Master suddenly sized him up with interest.

"Doesn't have anything to do with you? On the contrary, it's actually quite big."

"Me?"

His Master nodded and fetched out a letter.

"This is a private letter that was attached to the official letter from the Ten Thousand Arts Sect. It's for you."

Wang Lu curiously took that letter.

From: Hai Yunfan.

Translator's Thoughts Subudai11

[1] (as in prostitute receiving guests)

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