This much focused on Immortal Gathering of the Spirit Sword Sect, to everyone's shock and disappointment, finally came to an end.
This time's Immortal Gathering, which lasted for more than a month, fully showed the prestige of the top five sects of the Union of The Ten Thousand Immortals. Around a thousand elite youths from the Nine Regions came to participate. At the Golden Bridge, around ninety percent of them were eliminated because of insufficient talent. Moreover, around a dozen who were sufficiently talented chose to enter the Carefree Peak as Outer Court Disciples. The rest of the elites went on to embark on the Immortal Path to overcome several hard trials. Eventually, only three people stood out and joined the Inner Court.
None of these three people had first-rank spirit root. However, surprisingly, Wen Bao actually had a second rank spirit root, while the other two only had third rank spirit roots… However, after the last Age of Chaos, natural spirit roots had become rare. Not to mention the first rank spirit root like the Heavenly Spirit Root, even these two people's third rank spirit root could be considered quite rare now, so the sect naturally wasn't too nitpicky in their choice.
Besides these three people, Hai Yunfan got a handwritten letter of recommendation from the Spirit Sword Sect's second Elder and went to apply as a disciple at the Ten Thousand Arts Sect. The other ten participants who persevered until the end also had their own opportunity… On their way down the Spirit Sword Mountain, they were stopped by a group Immortal Cultivators. Most of these people were Elders or the Elites from various sects. Amongst them, many were four or fifth rate sects, but there were also two second rate sects.
The reason why they stopped these failed participants was naturally to offer them to become their sect's disciple. Although they were sent down the mountain by the Spirit Sword Sect because they seemed to lack in something, the other sects, even the other four top sects, all viewed that they wasted many talented youths with natural spirit roots, which was truly rare in this day and age. As for these failed participants, any one of them could choose whatever sect they wished to enter.
Even though they failed to become the phoenix tail, they could still become the chicken head , which was not bad at all. In the Spirit Sword Sect, at most, they could only become one of the Inner Court Disciples. But in these other sects, they had a high chance of becoming a Successor Disciple.
Besides these people, there was also Wang Lu who had a rare opportunity.
After using the Firmament Cloud Ancient Coin, Wang Lu got his wish to enter the Spirit Sword Sect as a Successor Disciple, which was far above the status of a mere Inner Court Disciple.
However, the problem was, his Master seemed to be a retard!
This was not the first time he met with this Fifth Elder of the Spirit Sword Sect.
The last time he met her was at the end of the Immortal Path. When Wang Lu's single sword strike pierced through the Frozen Wind Valley, this Elder came all the way to him wailing and mourning, and she had even gotten entangled with him.
At that time, Wang Lu didn't know that this woman in white was one of the Elders of the Heavenly Sword Hall. Moreover, he didn't know that she would become his Master and, at that time, thought that she had mental disability.
However, fate sometimes messed with people. When he used the Firmament Cloud Ancient Coin to ask for the position of a Successor Disciple, he was stuck with this brain dead Master. This fully reflected the truth of the saying, the path to Immortality was uncertain.
After the end of the Immortal Gathering, Wen Bao and the other two were led away by a few disciples in black and white clothing to the living area of the disciples within the Misty Peak. As for Wang Lu, he was left outside the Mystical Cloud Hall like a lost dog for the whole afternoon. Only when the Sun was below the horizon did the woman in white finally approach him.
The woman in white had never thought that she would ever accept a disciple - the sect also wouldn't let her, so she didn't know how she should greet her disciple. She nervously looked at Wang Lu, who seemed to be indifferent to her, and awkwardly scratched her head. "According to the Sect Leader's instruction, from now on, I am your Master. But, this is the first time for me to accept a disciple, so please be gentle… Oh, wrong. In short, let us try to make do about it."
Wang Lu just stared at this Fifth Elder. His mind began to guess whether the Spirit Sword Sect deliberately sent a retard to mess with him.
But the Fifth Elder, of course, didn't deliberately try to mess with him. On the contrary, she wanted to be the legendary teacher, vowing to send Wang Lu to the western paradise ... Oh, no, to ascend to the Immortal World!
If one wished to summarize the shortcomings of the Fifth Elder, it would be too numerous to mention, but she had made a very serious commitment. She had promised her Senior Martial Brother, the Sect Leader, to personally train this Chosen One and stop her bad habit of drinking. She also wanted to teach Wang Lu to be a person who was worthy of respect, even if Wang Lu was someone who didn't have the aptitude to become an Immortal Cultivator.
With such a determination, Fifth Elder met with Wang Lu. Furthermore, she even adopted a gentle and soft countenance which would creep the hell out of her Martial Brothers and Sister. If Wang Lu, at this time, could cast the Water Curtain Shadow Record Magical Art, he could sell the record of their exchange at more than ten thousand spirit stones within the sect.
Unfortunately, Wang Lu didn't know how precious this moment was and just silently looked at his Master, letting the silent atmosphere to continue indefinitely.
While Fifth Elder was actually laughing in her heart, on the surface, she was still cordial.
"Well, don't just stand here…"
With that, she loosened the bamboo sword from her waist. The emerald green sword suddenly turned into a flat piece of light.
"Let's talk on our way to my Non-Phase Peak. I have arranged accommodation for you there. Henceforth… you will cultivate together with me."
The woman then extended out her hand.
But Wang Lu sighed and put forward his own question.
"Cultivate? What cultivate? Can I really cultivate with my spirit root property?"
Although he was now officially a Successor Disciple, but it couldn't change his spirit root property. His Void Spirit Root, in the current Immortal Cultivation World, was almost equal to a trash spirit root… A professional adventurer like him couldn't possibly ignore this reality and just choose to live in a dream world.
Therefore, even though Wang Lu had used the Firmament Cloud Ancient Coin in exchange for a spot as a Successor Disciple, which was a miracle, but the way in front of him was still a bottomless abyss of a dead end. When the crowd of participants dispersed, Wang Lu's heart gradually cooled down because he realized he still had to face this unsolvable problem.
To say that he was a bit disheartened was not entirely wrong… He still remembered when he was three years old; it was the first time he ever found a record about the Immortal Cultivation from an old book. In that book, it was written that in this world, there were people that could naturally sense the surrounding spiritual energy, which was a profound mystery to anyone else. These people, although they couldn't polish this spiritual energy, but the spiritual energy could clearly reflect in their line of sight. To them, practicing cultivation naturally came like breathing.
Those were the people who had the Heavenly Spirit Root; the almost extinct Immortal Cultivation Geniuses since the end of the last Age of Chaos.
And, as it turned out, Wang Lu, even at that time, had been able to detect the so-called spiritual energy. Moreover, he could sense it even clearer than what the book described… He had thought that it was the blessing that came from the comet, but now it appeared that a dark existence had deliberately done it with a malicious intention.
It gave him an unprecedented spirit root, but it let himself born in this era, when his spirit root was useless.
The world's tragedy could not surpass this. Even with his best effort, all he could do was to use that Firmament Cloud Ancient Coin. Immortal Cultivation? How could he possibly train any kind of Immortal Cultivation with his type of spirit root? Being an expert as the sect's mascot?
"Oh? It is rare to see an arrogant peerless youth like you to show an impotent look like that."
Wang Lu immediately retorted, "The hell! What did a-hundred-years-old-crazy-woman just say to a-twelve-years-old-young-boy?"
"Humph, I was trying to cheer you up." The woman in white smiled as if she didn't hear about the one hundred years old woman comment.
"You don't need to worry about the matters regarding the Immortal Cultivation. Since that retarded Sect Leader had entrusted you to me… No matter what, I will definitely help you embark on the path of Immortal Cultivation. A mere Void Spirit Root is not going to stop me."
Although Wang Lu once had an impression that this woman in white had a mental disability, at this time, upon listening to her comforting words, Wang Lu had indeed felt a bit better.
"Okay then, I hope you're right. Henceforth, I, Wang Lu, will train Immortal Cultivation with you."
Then, Wang Lu extended his hand and held the hand of the woman in white.
The woman in white smiled sweetly. "I am Wang Wu. from now on, I will be your Master."
That bamboo sword, which had turned into a piece of emerald green light, carried the master and disciple off to the Non-Phase Peak.
Their flying speed was not that fast, so the Master had enough time to introduce some things to the disciple.
While standing on the flying sword, the woman pointed downward and explained, "Our Spirit Sword Sect occupies the Spirit Sword Mountain because according to the geopositioning, it is the place where the spiritual energy converges in the Blue River Region. From afar, the Spirit Sword Mountain looks straight as a sword with a single peak, but it actually has twelve separate peaks. Each of the peaks is a perfect place for training Immortal Cultivation. Amongst these twelve peaks, the top places are the Stellar Peak, Brilliant Peak and Misty Peak. The Non-Phase Peak only occupies the second place, but currently, we are the only ones on the Non-Phase Peak, so there are plenty of spiritual energy there for you to use."
Upon hearing her explanation, Wang Lu's heart beat a bit faster. He was not too concerned about the abundant spiritual energy… What caught his attention was the fact that only two of them, master and disciple, who would live on the Non-Phase Peak. In other words, wouldn't it mean that, prior to this Immortal Gathering, this woman lived a solitary life? Even if the Spirit Sword Sect was recently known to be in a state of decline in terms of the number of people, it wouldn't be this desolate right?
However… The area with a low density of people was not always a bad thing. Moreover, personally, Wang Lu didn't think that he would like to live with many people. The one important reason why Wang Lu chose to participate in the Immortal Gathering of the Spirit Sword Sect was that, among the top five sects, the Spirit Sword Sect had the least amount of people.
Although their flying speed was not that fast, before long, they crossed the Misty Peak and entered the boundary of the Non-Phase Peak.
As soon as he looked at it, he was immediately caught by surprise.
People often said that the dwellings of the Immortal Cultivators were too beautiful to behold. When Wang Lu was on the Immortal Path, from the Golden Bridge forward, he had seen the outside scenery of the Carefree Peak and Misty Peak, which was filled with lush green scenery and luxuriant mist; a true paradise on Earth. When he crossed the boundary of the Non-Phase Peak, he expected it to have at least a similar scenery, but who would have thought that what greeted him was a rundown sight!
What he saw was a slice of motley mess, a bare peak that should have been covered with green vegetation. Compared to the other peaks, this Non-Phase Peak was like a brutally desecrated corpse.
Wang Lu looked at the scene before him for a long time as he silently figured out the meaning of it… Was this a proof that the path to immortality was uncertain? Or...
"Oh, you notice the absence of the vegetation in this peak? Several years ago, I went into a debt, which gave me a big headache, so I chopped down all the spirit trees here and sold them for money. But because the wholesale price was cut down too harsh, I became disheartened, so when I came back, I didn't bother to spend money to buy the new seeds to replant the place. Thus, it became like this… But it doesn't matter, in any case, this place is where the spiritual energy converges. In three to five hundred years, it would naturally regrow itself, so no need to hurry."
"No need to hurry my ass! So you're the one who denuded this place of its trees!? You, as the owner of this peak, actually destroyed your own place instead of nurturing it!? This is like taking a dump in your own bedroom! No wonder you live by yourself; the dignified Elder has been reduced to a leftover woman!"
At this time, Fifth Elder suddenly sneezed. "Wang Lu, did you just curse me?"
"No, I didn't. There are many people who hates you, so the one who cursed you must have been one of them."
"Hmm, that's a reasonable analysis…"
Flying on top of this appalling mountain "scenery", the two soon saw a flat land between the valley. A solitary plain hut stood there surrounded by ranges of hills. It didn't look so much as a dwelling, but rather a prison cell.
"Well, this is my home… Oh right, it's your home now too. From now on, you will live here with me. Although the condition of this place is relatively simple, but an Immortal Cultivator shouldn't put too much attention to that."
Fifth Elder gave a sounding excuse, but since he had seen the barren mountain peak, Wang Lu concluded that even if this place was a luxurious little town, this woman would soon squander it away.
Fortunately, although the interior of this wooden hut was rudimentary, there were a few separate bedrooms in it, so this magnificent Successor Disciple wouldn't have to stoop himself to sleep in the woodshed. After assigning Wang Lu his bedroom, Fifth Elder thought for a moment and then said, "Why don't you introduce yourself first?"
Wang Lu didn't have much to say about his background apart from being the son of a rich peasant at the mountain village in the Great Ming Kingdom. Apart from his extremely rare spirit root, compared to others who were born into a rich family, he had very few worth mentioning experiences.
As for the Fifth Elder herself, she seemed reluctant to talk about her background.
"You already know my name. At present, the Spirit Sword Sect's Heavenly Sword Hall has a total of ten elders. I am the fifth. You can say my position is so-so… I invented my own cultivation method, which I called Non-Phase Method. Consequently, this peak that I control was named after that."
Upon hearing that she invented her own cultivation method, in his mind, Wang Lu could not help but wonder. Although he didn't understand many of the things regarding the Immortal Cultivation World in the Nine Regions and only relied on that old, obsolete book he read when he was still little, he had still heard many stories about the flying immortals from the storytellers. All of those stories had one similarity, which was, the more ancient the Immortal Cultivators were, the more powerful they were.
Legend has it that thousands of years ago, each of the Immortal Cultivators possessed an inconceivably huge magical power, so much that they could easily move a mountain with just a flick of their hand. Compared to the current illustrious Union of the Ten Thousand Immortals, perhaps only a dozen high-ranking member had that similar power.
As one of the top five sects, the Spirit Sword Sect's tradition couldn't be considered as too long. However, its Patriarch actually inherited many cultivation methods from those ancient immortal cultivators. Moreover, after several thousands of years, they had accumulated many cultivation methods and other inheritance. So, why did this Fifth Elder create her own cultivation method? Did she look for novelty?
"Em, Master, I want to ask you something. What is your current cultivation stage?"
His Master graciously smiled. "Jindan Stage! Are you scared?"
Wang Lu was indeed scared. He was scared because his master's cultivation level was so low!
Even if he was a country boy with little understanding about the Immortal Cultivation World, but after he had traveled together with Hai Yunfan for so long, he had learned quite a lot of common knowledge.
The current Immortal Cultivation World didn't have as many Yuanying Stage experts as before the Age of Chaos. In the entire Nine Regions, excluding the Deity Stage or higher, only the Yuanying Stage experts could become the leader of the sects… in the sects which reside in the remote regions. No matter how far the decline in power of the current Immortal Cultivation World was, it, nevertheless, still had some very able people.
The current number one expert in the Immortal Cultivation World was the leader of the Shengjing Sect, Daoist Master He Tu, who was in the peak Unity stage, which was one step away from the Mahayana Stage. The seemingly distant divine tribulation to ascend to the World of Immortals was already in sight, and among the top five sects, each of the Sect Leaders of the Ten Thousand Arts Sect, Kunlun Immortal Sect and Royal Soldier Sect already reached the Unity Stage. Only Daoist Master Feng Yin of the Spirit Sword Sect had a lower cultivation level. But no matter what, he was still a Deity Stage expert.
Since the Sect Leader was a Deity Stage expert, the cultivation level of the sect's elders, who were the same generation as him, shouldn't differ too much from him. Almost all of them had reached the Peak Yuanying Stage, except for this Fifth Elder… who was still in Jindan Stage. The difference in cultivation level was so blindingly obvious that one couldn't help but ask if this was just her level when she was having her period?
"Um… Master, what are the current cultivation level of the other elders?"
The Fifth Elder was oblivious to Wang Lu's skeptical look and said, "Yuanying Stage. Except for that retarded Sect Leader, none of the other Elders has reached the Deity Stage, what a shame."
"A Jindan Stage cultivators like you have the nerve to say that?"
 Even though they couldn't become a part of a first rate sect, they could still choose whatever sect they liked.
 To death
 Jindan Stage < Yuanying Stage < Deity Stage < Unity Stage < Mahayana Stage < True Immortal; There are several stages prior to Jindan Stage