Sunrise to sunset, spring turned into autumn, and in the blink of an eye, two years had passed.
Spirit Sword Mountain was still standing tall as before, and the Non-Phase Peak remained barren and completely run down like it had been gnawed by dogs. Two years time couldn't leave too many changes on the Non-Phase Peak. However, early in the morning when the Sunlight sprinkled down and when it faced the cool mountain breeze, this piece of lonely and secluded land was a bit livelier than before.
On the valley between the mountain ridge, there was a meandering slender mountain road. A teenager dressed in a red and white robe ran slowly and unhurriedly, yet firm and steady along that road.
An hour later, after the youth had finished circling the Non-Phase Peak, he climbed the stairs back to his original starting point—the small wooden hut in the middle of a flat opening.
"Master, the morning exercise is over, can I please have a meal now?"
Silence from the house greeted him.
The youth sighed, pushed open the door himself and walked into the room. Inside, he found a bowl of thin porridge, a plate of green vegetables, and one plate of sliced meat displayed on the table in the living room… Of course, all were already f*cking cold. As for his affable Master who provided this room and board for him, she was still sleeping like a log inside her room.
The youth frowned, leaned over in front of her bedroom, took a sniff, and then cursed under his breath, "My God, isn't this the third rank Cold Spirit Spring Wine? Where did she get the money? Did she use the monthly subsidy given by the Sect Leader to me to buy this five hundred spirit stones per bottle wine? No wonder my food has been recently less and less greasy; it turns out this motherf*cker used my allowance to buy her wine!"
Even though he routinely cursed behind her back, within these past two years, the youth had quickly adapted to the present situation. He gulped down the breakfast on the table which smelled more like wax in a hurry and went back to his room in preparation for his daily training routine.
The furniture inside his bedroom was simple—a bed, a table and a stool. In addition to these, there was also an exceptionally conspicuous large wooden barrel which was half-filled with water. A few strains of herbs floated on the water, which added a trace of plants aroma inside the room.
The youth stripped off his red and white robe and dipped his bare body inside that barrel. The late autumn chill air had already cooled the water inside this cylinder-shaped barrel, yet it didn't prevent the youth from soaking himself in it in silence.
This medicinal bath was, of course, designed by his master. The purpose of this "training" was unclear; the herbs ingredients were similarly unknown, and the effect remained a mystery… However, his master strongly exhorted him to routinely do this, for this was very important to his training. She didn't allow him to be the least bit negligent.
Around thirty minutes later, the youth finished his medicinal bath, cleaned himself, wore his red and white robe again and pushed open the door to go out.
After completing his training at the Non-Phase Peak, his next stop was the Misty Peak. Wang Lu jogged along the rugged mountain road of the Non-Phase Peak all the way to the Misty Peak. Two young people dressed in black and white robe was guarding the path toward the Misty Peak, standing straight there like pine.
Within these two years, Wang Lu had frequently came to the Misty Peak, so he knew that they were disciples of the Misty Peak who were on daily duty guarding the path at the foothills. In the Spirit Sword Sect, all of the junior disciples of the inner court would be assigned with a similar task such as collecting medicinal herbs, guarding the entrance, refining elixirs… and so on. All of which were essential to the Immortal Cultivation.
Both men became a disciple several years earlier than him, and had already reached the Foundation Establishment Stage at this time. The slightly older one had almost reached the Xudan Stage. From the general Immortal Cultivation World's point of view, he could be considered as a genius in cultivation, and thus, he would have been assigned as someone more senior. But according to the rules of the Spirit Sword Sect, only when he reached the Jindan Stage would he be able to call himself as Daoist Master. Otherwise, even if he entered the sect earlier than any Successor Disciple, he would still have to greet a Successor Disciple as Senior Martial Brother. Just like how an Outer Court Disciple greets the Inner Court Disciples.
Therefore, when the two saw Wang Lu in his red and white robe approaching them, they immediately cupped their hands and greeted him.
"Senior Martial Brother Wang Lu, do you want to go up?"
Wang Lu returned the courtesy ritual and smiled to the two. "Yes, I do."
Then, he walked past them, and after another long journey, he finally arrived at the front of the Teng Cloud Hall on the Misty Peak.
Teng Cloud Hall was located at the flat opening halfway through the Misty Peak. It was one of the important places for all the disciples of the Spirit Sword Sect, whether they were Outer Court Disciples, Inner Court Disciples, or even Successor Disciples. In this place, they all learned their education.
The Cultural Class...
This was one of the major surprises that greeted Wang Lu when he was accepted as the Successor Disciple. In his imagination not so long ago, the Immortal Cultivation World should adhere to the law of the jungle; the strong would prey on the weak. Each sect should push their disciples to the limit to stimulate their abilities, and at the same time, gather their resources and increase their influence and power. And this Spirit Sword Sect, as one of the top five sects of the Union of Ten Thousand Immortals and was also in a state of decline, should try even harder to do all of those—spend all their efforts on the Immortal Cultivation.
But on the contrary, two days after Wang Lu started living on the Spirit Sword Mountain, he was given a schedule to learn Cultural Class at the Teng Cloud Hall along with the other blue and white and black and white disciples. This cultural class consisted of a wide variety of subjects. In addition to the most basic reading and writing study, they also learned mathematical logic, foreign language, Nine Regions' history, etiquette and rules in the Immortal Cultivation World, and so on...
According to the Spirit Sword Sect, this was called a comprehensive education. In today's Immortal Cultivation World, many sects heavily emphasized on the cultivation level of their disciples. As soon the disciples have a profound magical power, they wished that they could immediately spend all of their time to meditate, or go out to temper themselves. At the same time, they ignored their disciples' overall quality.
This "overall quality" sounded like they were words without substance, but a few examples would make one understand its importance. For example, on the subject of common history knowledge, if other people asked one to name three ancient countries and what came out of their mouth were Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand… then be prepared to be punished by the Disciplinary Elder.
In addition to that, the importance of etiquette lessons was self-evident. People who bragged about how delicious dog meat was in front of animal lovers, or if people who ignorantly invited a monk to eat meat… It would be a miracle if these kinds of people were still alive and not beaten to death by other people.
Then, there was the geography of the Nine Regions. When the disciples traveled in the future, it would be to their advantage if they knew beforehand about the places where there were abundant natural resources, places where there were pockets of ancient realms, or the locations of the habitat of the monsters that were difficult to deal with and couldn't be taken lightly… If they lacked this geographical awareness, they could be sold as slaves, or be raped.
Nowadays, this kind of powerful yet incompetent Immortal Cultivator was a dime a dozen in the Immortal Cultivation World. However, as one of the top five sects, Spirit Sword Sect had a particular disdain for it. Like what the Sect Leader said, cultivation is important, but education is even more important! Or like what the Fifth Elder said: even if the cultivation level of the sect's disciples couldn't be compared to those from the Shengjing Sect or Kunlun Sect, at least, when they met at the gathering of the Union of Ten Thousand Immortals, they could show off their breaths of knowledge there, so as not to make a fool of themselves.
In any case, this comprehensive education had been continuously developed by the Spirit Sword Sect since a hundred years ago. Now it had become quite a mature education system and also compulsory for all the disciples, regardless if they liked it or not.
Of course, Wang Lu was quite happy with this arrangement.
The reason for that was very simple. Within these two years, Wang Lu's comprehensive education performance was overwhelmingly strong compared to the others who entered the sect the same time as him. Not only was he the top performer in the literary subject, he even excelled on the feminine subject like knitting, which was a pain in the ass subject for the other male disciples. When he was asked about it, Wang Lu said that his achievement came from his unwavering determination. However, in the eyes of countless male disciples, this was a despicable and shameless act to win the favor of the female disciples.
In reality, many of the disciples disliked this comprehensive education. But at least, those who entered the sect at the same time as Wang Lu had a reasonable excuse to complain; they especially couldn't stand Wang Lu's overbearing educational performance.
Perhaps some people would say that in the Immortal Cultivation Sects, cultivation level trumped all else, and good results in the comprehensive education wouldn't have mattered.
But everyone knew that this comprehensive education was the reflection of the disciples' intelligence! Wang Lu's performance compared to those who entered the sect at the same time as him was like the difference between heaven and earth. Wouldn't it mean that, in front of Wang Lu, these arrogant and proud youths were no different than monkeys?
"Haha, just now, I have successfully drawn the spiritual energy into my body. Now, I am a real Immortal Cultivator! What about you?"
"... My Master just bestowed a piece of eight rank magical tool to me, did your Master give you something?"
"... I just learned the Godspeed Technique!"
"Hello, god monkey!"
As the best performer in the comprehensive education class, Wang Lu had long been accustomed to such acrimonious word spar and always enjoyed it. And his greatest rival was, of course, the crown prince of the Great Ming Kingdom Zhu Qin. During these two years, they already had several word spars; they couldn't wait to tear each other out.
However, today was a good day because when he went into Teng Cloud Hall, he didn't see Zhu Qin's figure… This was not unusual because today's class was the Specialized History of the Nine Regions class. Only those disciples who got top rated scores in the advance history of the Nine Regions exam could continue to take this course. Usually, the disciples needed to take the advance class two or three times before they got a high enough score to pass, unlike Wang Lu, who only needed to take the exam once.
As for those disciples who were more senior than him, there were many history experts amongst them. When Wang Lu rushed to the Teng Cloud Hall, around twenty to thirty disciples had already gathered inside and outside the hall. For students who specialized in history, their number was quite impressive.
These people may not be real history buffs, but the Spirit Sword Sect, who wanted disciples with comprehensive education, had set quite a generous reward to this cultural education. For example, in this specialized Nine Regions History class, if one could smoothly pass the final exam, that someone would be rewarded with five hundred points of sect's credit. This amount of credit could then be exchanged with one top rank magical tool. But if one was to become the top scorer of this exam, the reward would be one thousand credits!
Wang Lu tried to forget that he had already accumulated astronomical numbers of credit as he walked into the inner hall. Upon entering, he saw that the desks and futons had already been neatly arranged in rows inside the hall. Approximately, it could accommodate seventy to eighty people. But of course, not every seat would be taken. Inside the hall, in addition to the four dressed in black and white robe Inner Court Disciples, there were even more Outer Court Disciples dressed in the blue and white robe from the Carefree Peak.
The Spirit Sword Sect's treatment toward the Inner and Outer Court Disciples was vastly different. The Inner Court Disciples have way more method to increase their credits. Therefore, the Outer Court Disciples attached great importance towards this cultural education compared to the Inner Court Disciples. And although the Spirit Sword Sect required the Inner Court Disciples to pass the exams of many regular courses, it didn't demand them to be in the specialized class. Those who attended this specialized class were the real history buffs and those credit seeker Outer Court Disciples. There was also the-knowledge-seeker-high-achiever-but-pain-in-the-butt-for-other-people Wang Lu.
Not long after, several rows at the front were basically filled. However, the first row positions were actually empty. This row was reserved for those Successor Disciples who wore the red and white robe. But today, Wang Lu was the only one to come. The other Successor Disciples didn't appear.
In fact, for two years, Wang Lu had only met with the other Successor Disciples less than ten times, and each of their meetings consisted only of a simple nod of acknowledgment. Some of their names were even unknown to him. As such, he decided to might as well make friends with some Inner and Outer Court Disciples. After all, although the Spirit Sword Sect's rules concerning the Successor Disciples were the loosest, the number of the Successor Disciples were too few.
However, this was okay with Wang Lu. After he had walked to the front, he picked the middle table and then greeted several other disciples behind him. Before long, the lecturer for this class finally arrived.