Over the past five years, the Spirit Sword Sect had returned to its past unperturbed and contented rhythm. The disciples continued to cultivate step by step, study and live their lives. The Elders, from time to time, went wandering outside, sometimes living in seclusion on the mountain, or perhaps dispelling some doubts on those who received rewards for their achievements...
Over the past five years, those that were put high expectation to had begun to grow up. Yue Yun, Yue Xinyao, Wen Bao, Zhu Qin... all successfully reached the Foundation Establishment. The side effects of the rushed training that they received prior to the two sects competition had all been offset in these five years; the disciples had taken a solid step forward on the Immortal Cultivation Path.
What about Wang Lu? He was on another level of existence.
As the lead representative of the Spirit Sword Sect, Wang Lu’s cultivation experience in these five years was enough to make most of the Spirit Sword Sect disciples to feel envious. The number of sect’s resources that were allocated to him to cultivate was several times higher than the common disciple; which was indeed in line with his position as the sect’s lead representative.
From the start, Wang Lu did not hesitate to take all of the preferential treatment of the lead representative. In addition to suppressing his unreliable Master, it was also to speed up his cultivation a bit...
Of course, this wasn’t dictated by a sense of crisis at all. Although five years ago in a conversation with the Sect Leader at the Stellar Peak, it had been vaguely revealed that not far into the future there might a big change, but for cultivators, the concept of "not far" was likely to mean one hundred or two hundred or even longer, thus far from the need to be worried.
Wang Lu’s eagerness to cultivate was mostly out of love of cultivation. He liked the Immortal Cultivation, liked the Non-Phase Method, liked to improve his Jade Mansion, liked to refine his primordial spirit, liked the Sword Bone solidification process, immensely enjoying the feeling of being stronger than yesterday. His Void Spirit Root and Non-Phase Method was far from being perfect for each other. Each Immortal Cultivation process would always encounter this and that kind of obstacles. Some of which could be taken a shortcut through tricks and some could only be solved through time and energy resource accumulation... In this, it was naturally unreasonable to rely on the impoverished and destitute Non-Phase Peak, but the privilege of the lead representative could play an enormous role.
A qualified adventurer would inevitably be a leveling maniac. After five years of crazy leveling, he had smoothly entered the middle-level Foundation Establishment. At this point, Wang Lu had been cultivating for ten years. Reaching middle-level Foundation Establishment in a decade could be considered as a fairly fast progress among geniuses of the Union of Ten Thousand Immortals. Not to mention, he also had the Big Heart Demon Oath that strengthened his Non-Phase Method system. Thus, his comprehensive strength had become the top level standard among the young generation.
However, it wasn’t necessary to say that he had left all his peers in the dust behind him. Over the past five years, everyone had also progressed, such as those enduring-the-hardship-to-seek-for-revenge Ten Thousand Arts Sect disciples. A year after returning to their sect, their Eldest Brother Zhan Ziye reached high-level Foundation Establishment Stage; it was such an incredible progress. After this milestone, as promised, he returned to the Spirit Sword Sect to seek for advice.
Then, sure enough, he was once again defeated in the hands of Liu Li.
Because Liu Li had also made a similarly significant progress that year, the gap between them had widened a bit, which nearly sent Zhan Ziye into despair.
Over the past one year, he had gone deep into the sect’s experiential learning place, experiencing a variety of hardships and achieved advancement in his cultivation base. Yet, he still couldn’t keep up with the other’s footsteps. In the end, Zhan Ziye could only sadly depart, making the Elders of Spirit Sword Sect took a deep sigh.
Zhan Ziye, Liu Li, Wang Lu... this line of young generation geniuses that excelled the previous caused many cultivators to sigh with emotion. Each of them had their own opportunity, but without exception, they desperately dedicated themselves into cultivation. Perhaps Zhan Ziye had done many things over the past one year, but would Liu Li suddenly be lazy? In the past year, Liu Li had at least gone all out in one hundred fights seriously injured dozens of times. Her Jade Mansion even shook several times, causing her primordial spirit to crack and nearly leading into a disaster! With such an all-out effort, how could there be no progress?
As for her practice partner that she went all out with and contributed to her rapid progress... who else would that be?
For the last five years, one of the reasons Wang Lu desperately trained to advance his Immortal Cultivation was Liu Li. Since the battle on the Cloud Platform, Liu Li had continued to entangle him.
For this simple-minded girl, the defeat at the Cloud Platform didn’t cause her to harbor resentment. On the contrary, Wang Lu’s mysterious swordsmanship deeply attracted her, making her feel intoxicated. Since she had succeeded in her Brilliant Sword Heart, she had never found another similar level swordsmanship that actually could keep off her Flying Swords head on.
And Liu Li’s way to express her goodwill was to regularly challenge the other for a fight. Every fight was an all out fight; even if she was seriously injured, she would always enjoy it!
Wang Lu would also always welcome her challenge because he knew that no matter whether it was Non-Phase Method or Brilliant Sword Heart, every fight could be of enormous help. Moreover, the more duels he fought in intense and all out style and the more times he faced matches of different variation, the greater the help. On the other hand, the result of simply cultivating in seclusion would not be so obvious.
And no matter if it was the Brilliant Sword Heart or Non-Phase Method, none of them lacked variation. The same opponent could bring different fighting experience. In five years, the two had fought nearly a thousand times, almost all of them were different.
With these many fights, naturally, it would be impossible to win or lose them all. Wang Lu roughly calculated that, overall, he and Liu Li shared the same fifty-fifty percent total victory and defeat. In the first two years, he lost more than he won. Only in the last three years did he gradually pull himself ahead, but it was far from a big advantage.
Of course, from being completely not Liu Li’s match in a fair and square fight even after exhausting all his efforts and methods five years ago to now being able to fight an even fight or even slightly ahead of her, it had been an extremely rare progress…In one followed Wang Lu’s popular method of ranking, now his comprehensive strength was about level six Foundation Establishment +20, while Liu Li was about level two Foundation Establishment +16, nearly equal to the peak Xudan Xiao Ming. If the calculation was based on their offensive and defensive power alone, the highest could even reach more than +25, which basically had entered the Jindan Stage.
Over the past five years, besides progressing their cultivation base, friendship also grew out from their nearly one thousand fights. Five years ago, Wang Lu and Liu Li would just nod to acknowledge each other whenever they met. Five years later, they had become good friends—in Wang Lu’s words, Liu Li was man’s best friend.
In this particular day, Wang Lu had finished his breakfast and just tidied up the tableware when the lively, cheerful, and full of vitality voice of a girl came through his ears.
"Wang Lu, Wang Lu, I come here to play with you!"
Then a multicolored cloud flashed before his eyes, and Liu Li had stood in front of him with a cheerful like-a-flower smile.
Wang Lu looked at the girl and then nodded his head. "Sit down."
Liu Li immediately sat down at the table, sitting upright.
"Hold out your hand."
The girl stretched out her slender hand.
"Good girl." Wang Lu then lightly patted her head and fetched a few candies from his pocket and then put them in her hand. "Eat it."
"Hehe." Liu Li smiled, put the candies in her mouth and somewhat unclearly said, "Fight now?"
"Damn, you want to fight again? Wasn’t it just yesterday?"
However, Liu Li unexpectedly said a sentence that contained philosophical words, "Yesterday eat, today still have to eat."
"Girl, don’t be too excessive in your demand!" Wang Lu peevishly flicked his finger on her forehead. "I probably couldn’t fight with you these several days because I want to prepare to go out (far)."
Liu Li nodded and then said as if it was natural, "Of course the fight should be outside (the room). Master said I absolutely must not fight in a room. Otherwise, if things break, I couldn’t eat."
"... Go out (far) and outside (the room) are two different concepts." After five years of interactions, Wang Lu had developed a very high tolerance of Liu Li’s IQ. Therefore, he patiently explained, "I want to go down the mountain on a trip to Cloud Region. It will probably last from ten days to a fortnight, during which I can’t accompany you to fight."
Surprised, Liu Li said, "You want to go down the mountain? I will be lonely!"
"Then find yourself a cucumber." Wang Lu helplessly shook his head. "I don’t want to go either, but I can’t disobey my Master."
Liu Li asked, "I remember you said that you are now the lead representative, under one person but above many people, so you can ignore the words of your idiot Master as it doesn’t have authority over you anymore."
"The problem is this time she managed to persuade the Sect Leader, which leaves me with no choice but to obey." Wang Lu shrugged. "That bitch said I, as the sect’s lead representative, have stayed on the mountain for far too long and thus wasted the honor of being the lead representative in vain. Now since I have been cultivating for ten years, it is time for me to descend the mountain to boost the Sect’s prestige and influence... Which is absurd. If she really wants to improve the sect’s influence, is there anything stronger than if she goes to the Shengjing Sect and runs around naked there? This is a blatant retaliation."
Liu Li curiously asked, "Retaliation? Why?"
Wang Lu furrowed his brows. "... Because I reported her to the Sect Leader for trying to steal the Sect’s property? Because I refused to be her guarantor when she took a loan? Because I look for Aya to make her a dinner? There are too many reasons to choose. In any case, because of her, I can’t play with you for several days."
"Oh." The girl listlessly hung her head, looking very pitiful.
"But." Wang Lu has a change of mind. "I can take you down the mountain with me."
"Go down the mountain together, really?" Liu Li’s eyes suddenly slightly lit up. "There are so many fun things down the mountain. Unfortunately, Master forbids me from going."
Wang Lu inwardly thought, "Nonsense. With your IQ, no one will trust you to go down the mountain alone." Eight years ago, when the sect organized an experiential learning down the mountain, Liu Li spent all her time playing and eating, rushing to the Blood Cloud Gorge and causing trouble there, also reaching Foundation Establishment and slaying the twelve Blood Cloud Demons. To others, this experience might sound awe-inspiring, but to the Master of the Brilliant Peak, it nearly scared him out of his wits.
However, if she followed Wang Lu, there should be no problem. For five years, she had been trained by Wang Lu to be as obedient as Huahua. His Fourth Uncle was also quite open-minded, willingly dropping his treasured disciple at Wang Lu’s door to become his pet... But then again, in the past five years, under Wang Lu’s care, the number of times when Liu Li caused trouble had continued to decline.
And this time, it would really be boring if he went down the mountain all by himself. It wouldn’t go well if he went with the other disciples that had a good relation with him such as Yue Xinyao, Wen Bao, and the others because the gap between their cultivation bases was too wide already. Only Liu Li was his match. Not only their power was similar, their offense and defense also complemented each other, and with their tacit understanding built during their five years of fighting, they could be called as a perfect combination.
When Wang Lu brought this matter up to Zhou Ming, Zhou Ming happily nodded. "That’s good. I actually had a mind in arranging her to go down the mountain for experiential learning. If she walks together with you, then I would rest assured. That child’s mind is pure; she can’t differentiate the good from the sinister people in the world, so she needs a sinister person to teach her. Since you are willing to help her with this, I ought to thank you instead."
"... Thank you for your praise Uncle. I will accept this coolie."
Leaving the Brilliant Peak, Wang Lu went straight for Non-Phase Peak to call Liu Li and his mottled dog. Together, they embarked on a journey to the Cloud Region.