Wang Lu always prided himself as a professional adventurer, and one of the main business of professional adventurer was to decipher various mechanisms and puzzles. Therefore, the trials within the ancient sword tomb were naturally within his business scope.
After just listening Hai Yunfan recounting his experience in the sword tomb, Wang Lu immediately knew that the cooperation between the team from Kunlun Immortal Sect and the team from Ten Thousand Arts Sect was simply pointless. Even he alone could do better than them… However, on the other hand, a professional adventurer was not omnipotent. On his own, perhaps he would struggle just to continue after the third level; he must have some help in order to continue.
Compared to Zhu Shiyao who easily walked into the treasure room all by herself, Wang Lu also acknowledged that at least in the first three levels, his ability to pass them was not the best. Without even counting Zhu Shiyao, on the ability to break through levels alone, he dared not claim to be the first in the Spirit Sword Mountain.
The Lady Boss of Ru Family Inn on the Spirit Creek Town was the real expert. With just a touch from her delicate jade-like hand, even an enormous array mechanism would disintegrate. Moreover, though she looked slim and delicate, in fact, she actually has hammer-like iron fists and her strength was as big as countless of cattle. Therefore, as long as she was with him, breaking through levels would be a piece of cake.
Thus, when thinking about exploring the deeper levels of the ancient sword tomb, the first thing that came to Wang Lu’s mind was the Lady Boss.
"Lady Boss, I want to order a take out."
When he opened the door of the inn, he saw the Lady Boss was holding an abacus, standing behind the counter with an uneasy look towards the blank account book—the calculation process was probably zero plus zero equals zero… Seeing it was Wang Lu who came in, Lady Boss put down the abacus, raised her eyelids, and then said, "Don’t you have to prepare for your experiential learning down at the Southern Heaven Region? Why are you wasting time here… what kind of take out?"
Wang Lu dropped his voice and seriously said, "I want a pair of sliced trotters that could break thousands of method."
Lady Boss took a jar of wine and smashed it on the ground.
"Don’t be so grumpy, I’m really serious in asking for help."
Lady Boss threw a glance at him. "I’ve told you, my abilities only work most effectively within the Spirit Sword Mountain and won’t work at all if I cross the Blue River Region, so I can do nothing to help you in the faraway Southern Heaven Region."
Wang Lu explained, "The main body of the sword tomb is not in the Southern Heaven Region, but lies in the space somewhere else. It’s just the entrance that was accidentally found there."
Lady Boss said, "Even though the main body is not in the Southern Heaven Region, it’s also not in the Blue River Region. Once I cross the region boundary, I won’t be able to display my ability at all. If that thing runs away, are you going to take responsibility?"
Wang Lu said, "Therefore, I don’t expect Sister Ling to personally accompany me. However, do you have any means where your abilities could be transferred away? Um, for example, would your personal clothing possibly inherit your ability…"
"Go to hell, you pervert!"
"Wait-wait-wait-wait, I’m just basing on academic research…"
After these series of laughing and joking, seeing Feng Ling’s attitude, he knew that his dream has already been shattered; there was no shortcut that could help him in exploring the ancient sword tomb.
Of course, he should’ve thought about it earlier. If Feng Ling were useful in exploring the ancient sword tomb, Sect Leader would definitely try to recruit her, even if he had to kneel and lick her feet… Wang Lu only considered that it was because of the strained relationship of the pair of father and daughter that Feng Yin didn’t do anything to approach her. But now, it seemed like it was not so.
However, he was just trying his luck, Sister Ling’s personal clothing… ah, wrong. Although he couldn’t get a portable object that could break any method, having a sumptuous meal of sliced trotters was also not bad. However, when Wang Lu has given up, Lady Boss somewhat hesitantly said, "In this sword tomb exploration, the risk is highly unusual; I think this is even quite controversial among the Heavenly Sword Hall Elders—but you don’t need to bother about them. I have a treasure that was given by that old man Feng Yin, which supposedly could save lives at a critical time. I think you might need it."
With that, Lady Boss took out a small orange jade plate from her bosom and directly put it in Wang Lu’s hand.
"Crush it when you want to use it. However, unless you’re in a life and death situation, don’t casually use it. If you don’t have to use it, then that’s the best, and remember to give it back to me when you return."
Warm feeling welled up in Wang Lu’s heart, especially since the jade plate, with a temperature that of the young woman, unquestionably has fallen into his hand. However, when he was about to speak up, Lady Boss has already turned around and went into the kitchen.
Since the signal from the other party was so obvious, though Wang Lu felt slightly bewildered, he stood up and left the inn. However, when he grasped that jade plate, a problem suddenly emerged in his mind.
Because of her physique, Feng Ling rarely touched a spirit object because it was possible that a single touch from her would immediately destroy the treasure. Previously on the Immortal Gathering, when she gave him a box that could keep food inside fresh, she had wrapped a handkerchief around its handle. However, now she straightforwardly took out this jade plate, did she not fear this spirit object would break?
Wang Lu curiously observed the spiritual energy within the jade plate, only to find that it was sealed with a unique method. Unless he seriously crushed it, he probably wouldn’t be able to determine its true effect.
After his farewell from the Ru Family Inn, his second stop was the Misty Peak cafeteria.
"Oh? It’s you. I heard that you’re going to go to a very dangerous place for experiential learning? Not bad! A qualified swordsman should constantly challenge oneself in dangerous situations to sharpen your edge. Wait here, I have something for you."
With that, Aya quickly trotted away and brought back a big package.
"This is a military ration that I especially prepared for you guys."
"Using the special product from Clear Sky Peak, this ration is guaranteed to have very high nutritional values!"
"..." Wang Lu was silent for a moment, and then he took the package. He thought that though he didn’t need the poison, the raw materials would still be valuable.
After freeing the load off of her mind, Aya became cheerful and carefree. "So, what else?"
Wang Lu said, "I want to fight a sword match against you."
"Oh? We indeed haven’t had a sword fight in quite a while. During which, you have grown a lot. Might as well see your progress!"
While speaking, her green eyes radiated a threatening heroic spirit.
Fighting a sword match with Aya, it was not a surprise that he was once again defeated. Similarly, it was also not a surprise that he gained a new understanding. This chef of Misty Peak could be said to be the most mysterious person in the Spirit Sword Mountain; she was merely a mortal with good sword art and seemingly without the least bit of cultivation base, yet still able to win a sword match against Wang Lu whose strength has already reached Xudan Stage. Aya’s swordplay was like a never-ending towering peak, the stronger you were, the more difficult for you to guess where her limit was.
However, for Wang Lu, this sword match wasn’t intended so that he could win, but to sharpen his sword skill. A sword match with Aya before he went to explore the sword tomb was like sharpening himself on a fine whetstone. Any immature parts of his sword skill were sharpened all at once, so that his Non-Phase Sword was more rounded.
A day later, the elders of the Heavenly Sword Hall began to summon the Successor Disciples to the Stellar Peak. Wang Lu bid his goodbye to Aya, and while the latter gave her blessing, he stepped on the transmission array and arrived at the Stellar Peak.
In front of the bamboo hut of the Sect Leader at the Stellar Peak, Liu Li had already arrived ahead of time. She was leaning on several bamboos while holding a bag of nuts and munching it. However, upon seeing Wang Lu’s arrival, she threw away the nuts, laughed heartily and threw herself at Wang Lu. She said with a foolish smile, "Master said I have to listen to your words."
"Oh? Then, shake hands."
Wang Lu then touched Liu Li’s head, ready to give her a couple of praises. However, suddenly, he found that not far away from him, there were few pairs of as sharp as sword gazes that firmly locked onto him.
Second Elder Liu Xian, Third Elder Fang He, Fourth Elder Zhou Ming… Almost all of the Heavenly Sword Hall Elders were already gathered here, coldly gazing his pet treatment behavior.
Wang Lu cleared his throat and tried to justify his act, "Just now, we were doing a sketch that we prepare for the annual meeting, it’s called...Ximen Qing  meets Snoopy; please point out if there’s a mistake in that sketch."
"Humph!" Zhou Ming coldly humphed and threw his gaze harshly to the side. The rest of the elders mostly assumed indifferent attitudes. Only Wang Lu’s master appreciated it by secretly giving him a thumbs up. At the same time, she also talked to him through his primordial spirit, "Brat, well done! Brilliant Peak is very rich! This is a tree money, you must hold it steady for me!"
Steady your ass...
While he was feeling embarrassed, Sect Leader faintly called out.
"The exploration of Ancient Sword Tomb will be led by you. You were born smart, and has also experienced many things in your ten years in this mountain. Therefore, I don’t need to say any unnecessary words. However, I must emphasize one thing. You are the sect’s Lead Representative, this does not only represent authority, but also obligation."
Wang Lu seriously said, "I understand. I will certainly take a good care of Junior Sister Liu Li and Senior Sister Shiyao! I will not disappoint the trust that has been put on me."
Feng Yin shook his head. "It’s good that you have this determination. However, you’re wrong on one thing. Yao’Er will not be on your team; she’s her own team."
Wang Lu was taken aback and looked towards the bamboo room. The figure of the tall woman silently stood in the shadow of one of the corners of the bamboo room, looking very much solitary, yet her arrogance stance was also without a doubt.
"Interesting. Is she looking down on us as dregs?" Wang Lu chuckled. "Then let us see how would a sword god fare against a professional adventurer."
Feng Yin added, "Apart from Liu Li, you also have another person to take care of… Shixuan, come here."
Along with the soft sound of a woman, the atmosphere on the Stellar Peak immediately became somewhat refreshed. A white figure slowly strolled out from the bamboo forest. With a smile, Bai Shixuan arrived at the front of the bamboo room, nodded to salute the Heavenly Sword Hall Elders, and then smiled widely at Wang Lu.
"Long time no see, Senior Brother… Wang Lu."
Wang Lu was immediately moved. "Indeed, it’s a long time no see. In a blink of an eye, you’ve grown up."
One month ago, Seventh Elder brought Bai Shixuan to Clear Sky Peak to cultivate in seclusion. Now, when they met again, though Bai Shixuan still has the same slightly shy childish look, she was calmer and more composed, no longer a simple immortal beast that could be cheated over a bone.
Wang Lu inwardly sighed with emotion, thinking that Bai Shixuan and Liu Li were different after all. In the last month, she obviously has gained more than just recuperating from her internal injury. On the Clear Sky Peak, she learned much common knowledge from Junior Uncle Guanhai. At present, Bai Shixuan was still as naturally pure as before, but she looked much more mature. Only within the depth of her eyes did she hide her attachment of him...
"Shixuan is a fully transformed immortal beast, so she possesses wondrous magical abilities. With her help, I believe your team will be even more powerful."
With that, Sect Leader flipped his palm and starlight immediately appeared on the Stellar Peak.
"Since all of you are already here, there’s no need to waste time any longer. It’s time for you all to leave."
According to the agreement between Spirit Sword Sect, Kunlun Immortal Sect and Ten Thousand Arts Sect, in order to keep their movement secret, when the time came, each of the three sects would respectively open a transmission link to the treasure room inside the Ancient Sword Tomb and meet there.
Previously, at the end of their experiential learning, the disciples of the Kunlun Immortal Sect and Ten Thousand Arts Sect have left behind their respective transmission mark in that treasure room. As for Zhu Shiyao, though she forgot to leave behind any mark, the ancient sword that she got there has a direct resonance link with the sword tomb. In this way, they could avoid the eyes and ears of other sects.
Under Sect Leader’s instruction, Zhu Shiyao, Wang Lu, Liu Li, and Bai Shixuan… the four participants of Spirit Sword Sect stepped into that starlight. There, they felt the fluctuation of space as they were ready to meet a new challenge.
As the one who controlled the array, Feng Yin used his true soul core to tear the space, and his magical power pierced the void, ready to bring the four people straight to the tomb in that unnamed space.
However, on Stellar Peak, Reward Giver Elder could not help but urge, "Among the three sects, our Spirit Sword Sect’s participants are fewer, however, you must display our Spirit Sword Sect’s style, which is neither arrogant nor servile… Of course, for the most part, the three sects are to cooperate, so you must consciously avoid confrontation, don’t let the disagreement foil the important matter. In short…"
While the nagging voice has yet to stop, along with a command from Daoist Master Feng Yin, the scene before Wang Lu and the others immediately became distorted and then turned dark in an instant.
According to the plan, the transmission would send them directly to the previous treasure room in the ancient sword tomb and rendezvous with the people from Ten Thousand Arts Sect and Kunlun Immortal Sect. Then, together they would explore the deeper levels of the ancient sword tomb.
It was just that… Wang Lu frowned, and his heart was puzzled.
No one has ever said that the people from Kunlun Immortal Sect and Ten Thousand Arts Sect would be this many!
Looking at the more than thirty people before him as well as the unique magical power fluctuations of Kunlun Immortal Sect and Ten Thousand Arts Sect, Wang Lu’s heart sank. Before they even started to explore the ancient sword tomb, the situation seemed to begin to get out of hand.
 (A character from the novel Jin Ping Mei - The Plum In The Golden Vase)