"What? You want to go to the Clear Sky Peak?"
Outside the Teng Cloud Hall at the Misty Peak, a tall senior disciple in black and white clothes looked at the younger brother before him with a look of surprise… Oh, wrong. The one in front of him wore a red and white gown, so it should be his senior brother.
The red and white disciple responded his surprise with a nod. "Yes, my Master said I have to register to Senior Brother Yue, is that right?"
The black and white disciple wryly smiled. "Yes, I am indeed responsible for organizing this experiential learning to the Clear Sky Peak. It's just that… I didn't expect a Successor Disciple to register. And, pardon my faux pas, Senior Brother, but in the past, only disciples who, at least, already started qi cultivating can participate. As far as I know, this event has never been participated by disciples who were still in the body refining stage."
There was another thing that the disciple in black and white didn't dare to say out loud.
Even if a disciple was still in the body refining stage, that disciple could still temper his or her body at the experiential learning, but now...The disciple in black and white didn't see any progression in this red and white disciple towards the martial art master of Xiantian Stage.
However, he didn't want to think about this too much. For an inner court disciple who had reached the sixth level of the Qi Cultivating Stage in four years, he had no right to make the decision to approve this registration or not. Thus, he simply went back to his Master and let the respected old-self make a decision.
"Oh, really? That kid Wang Lu also wants to participate in this experiential learning?"
At the Misty Peak, Liu Xian was surprised to hear the report from his disciple.
"Report, Master, he did say so. This thing is really irrational. Usually, there are only very few Successor Disciples who participate in this experiential learning. Moreover, his cultivation is not up to standard. According to my observation, at most, he is only at the second or third level of Body Refining Stage. He still needs some training time before he reaches the peak Body Refining Stage; he doesn't meet the minimum requirement to participate in this experiential learning, which is Qi Cultivating Stage. Nevertheless, he is, after all, a Successor Disciple, so I don't know how to refuse him, therefore…"
Before he finished his sentence, Liu Xian flicked his wrist to interrupt him. "No need to decline, just allow him to participate."
The disciple looked up in surprise. "But, Master, it's already hard enough for the two of us, Junior Sister and I, to take care of the four newcomers. If we add another one who was still in the Body Refining Stage, we wouldn't be able to guarantee his safety."
"It doesn't matter. You don't need to provide absolute safety for them. If you take care everything for them, how could they learn from this experience? If you do that, this is nothing more than a sightseeing trip! Moreover, since that Wang Lu is the disciple of the Non-Phase Peak, you don't need to care for his safety. You ought to focus your attention on the four newcomers instead, and you and Huo Ying should be enough."
The black and white disciple was surprised. "I don't need to care for his safety? How could this be!? Although I knew Master and Martial Aunt of the Non-Phase Peak don't stay on good terms, but, but wouldn't this be called implicating the innocent…?"
"Alright, Yue Yun, as the organizer for this trip to the Clear Sky Peak, you still need to arrange a lot of things. You better go now and prepare them properly. If you have something you don't understand, don't hesitate to ask a more experienced senior brother. If you need to, you can also ask the disciples from the Carefree Peak. Be sure to get things right, understand?"
"Senior Brother, your application has already been accepted by Master. Next week at this time, we'll gather here and depart to the Clear Sky Peak together."
Then, Yue Yun hesitated for a moment before adding, "In this week, please prepare yourself, Senior Brother. And don't forget to intensify your training. Although we're not going to go too deep into the Clear Sky Peak and we're only going to reach the boundary of the Azure Dragon Gorge at most, but… there are still risks. Martial Sister Huo Ying and I started cultivating two years ahead of you, so our cultivation is not that high, and there will be a time when we'll not be able to help."
Wang Lu replied, "Rest assured, when the time comes, I'll be sure to lend my hand to help you we are all fellow disciples after all. If you need my help, you just have to say it, no need to be so polite."
"... Then, I wish you well, Senior Brother."
When he turned away, this black and white disciple wryly smiled in his heart. "Non-Phase Peak is really worthy of its fame. This guy is so amazing at the Immortal Gathering, but after just two years of training there, he already has a brain problem."
A week later, Wang Lu didn't waste any of his time. His Non-Phase Sword Bone's cultivation continued to advance, however, the progress had obviously encountered a bottleneck; the eighth layer couldn't be opened. On the bright side, the positive effect of the Seventh Layer had emerged little by little. In his daily training, he always felt that there was a trace of gentle force dispersed into his four limbs and hundreds of bones. He only needed to wait for an opportune time to break out of his "cocoon" and amaze the world.
Although this opportune time seemed nowhere in sight, Wang Lu had already vaguely understood that this Non-Phase Sword Bone was not a rip-off method.
Moreover, upon hearing that Wang Lu was going to go to the Clear Sky Peak, the Lady Boss passed him a sword skill named Soft Cloud Sword.
"This sword has a deep relationship with your good friend -- It originated from the Grand Cloud Empire because the creator of this sword skill was a member of the royal family who had reached the realm of Martial Art Saint. Afterwards, the other royal family members continued to improve this sword skill for a millennium until it reached the current form of the Soft Cloud Sword. This sword skill has no other feat other than its formidable defense which was very powerful. If you can master this unique sword skill from the Grand Cloud Empire, it's almost the same as having a life-saving talisman. Although I don't have any amazing weapon, but… you can make do with this Purple Soft Sword. If you can make yourself familiar with this swordsmanship, when you go to the Clear Sky Peak to do the experiential learning, you can have a little bit more protection."
Although in a week's time, no matter how talented Wang Lu was, he couldn't possibly completely master this sword skill; if he could at least make himself familiar with it, it should be enough.
"Since you've basically completed your Non-Phase Sword Bone's cultivation, when you start practicing Qi Cultivation, later on, you can train the Non-Phase Sword Knack Sword Art. By then, you can forget this Soft Cloud Sword Skill, unless you have a leisure time to learn two sword skills."
Although this sword skill was only so-so according to Lady Boss's appraisal, since she had selected this skill to teach Wang Lu, how could it be average? To Wang Lu's pleasant surprise, he found out that this Soft Cloud Sword was a perfect match to his Winding Step; both perfectly complemented each other. The combination of the ability of this sword skill to deflect huge force with the tenacity of the Winding Step multiplied Wang Lu's defensive ability!
When he became familiar with this sword skill, he immediately set off to the black bear's cave on the Non-Phase Peak to try his new skill with his old neighbor. After the last fiasco, the Black Bear religiously ate the spirit grass everyday to prepare for when it met Wang Lu again. Now, upon seeing Wang Lu, it immediately roared and dashed at him with nearly double its speed!
Of course, Wang Lu didn't neglect his training of Winding Step in the past week. As such, he didn't fear a rematch. But this time, Wang Lu was determined to test his sword skill. Thus, rather than dodging, he held the sword horizontally in front of him to block the incoming bear.
The black bear's extremely powerful strike was actually dissipated by the sword's purple handle. Wang Lu was still standing while holding the sword. Although his body suffered a huge shock, his face remained calm and his body didn't budge.
Based on this initial result, the rest of the exchange need not be said anymore. An hour later, the exhausted black bear curled into a ball as it fell on the floor. Then, it tore a piece of white cloth and covered it on its head.
After venting his desire on the black bear… Oh, wrong, after finding his confidence, Wang Lu carried the purple soft sword with him as he jogged all the way to the Teng Cloud Hall on the Misty Peak.
Around five or six people had gathered in front of the hall, including the organizer Yue Yun who was happily chatting with his junior brothers and sisters. Seeing Wang Lu's arrival, Yue Yun immediately greeted, "Senior Brother Wang Lu, over here!"
Upon hearing this loud greeting from Yue Yun, the other people turned around and shifted their attention to Wang Lu.
"Yo! Isn't this Junior Brother Zhu Qin and Junior Brother Wen Bao?"
Zhu Qin cupped his hand and greeted him, "Good morning, Senior Brother Wang Lu."
Then, the other people also saluted him one by one—regardless of what was on their mind, whether they wanted to do it or not, this was the rule of the sect! Especially since they were standing in front of the Teng Cloud Hall; if the Disciplinary Elder caught them disrespecting their senior brother, they would definitely suffer a hard-to-forget lesson!
After exchanging pleasantries, Yue Yun, exclusively for Wang Lu, described the process and the course of the experiential learning. The leaders of their team were the two slightly senior black and white disciples Yue Yun and Huo Ying, and the participants were two black and blue and two blue and white newcomers who entered the sect two years ago.
Speaking about the two blue and white disciples, Wang Lu remembered what happened two years ago. When he passed the golden bridge, he came across two Carefree Peak disciples. At that time, they said that although the disciples of the Carefree Peak were Outer Court Disciples, they were not necessarily inferior to the Inner Court Disciples. Today, Wang Lu found out that it was indeed true. The two blue and white participants had actually entered the Qi Cultivating Stage, one of which was a taciturn woman who had reached the eighth level of the Qi Cultivating Stage! This was simply frightening! According to Yue Yun's description, the woman's name was Yue Xinyao. This junior sister actually had second rate Aqueous Spirit Root! By this point alone, she was indeed stronger than most of the Inner Court Disciples. Unfortunately, she lacked the spirit of adventure and determination to forge ahead, so she didn't go through the Immortal Path and missed the chance to become an Inner Court Disciple.
The team on this trip to the Clear Sky Peak consisted of disciples with varying levels: two sixth level Qi Cultivating Stage, one eighth level Qi Cultivating Stage disciple, three Ninth level Qi Cultivating Stage, and lastly, one Body Refining Stage. This was a fairly low-level team. A lot of the sects would often send their low-level team, with similar composition as this, to go out and do the experiential learning. This team's composition was actually fairly great, but the appearance of the one in red and white ruined everything.
Based on their level of cultivation, the one who was still in the Body Refining Stage should be at the bottom of the others. However, based on the status of the one in red and white robe, it was entirely the reverse! Even the organizer, Yue Yun, had to respectfully defer to him as senior brother! Even worse was that, because of Wang Lu's presence, the designed team formation became troublesome.
It stood to reason that the one with the lowest cultivation should be arranged at the penultimate position, while Senior Sister Huo Ying would be responsible for looking out from the rear. But, according to the status theory, the red and white Successor Disciple should bear the brunt at the front, side-by-side with Yue Yun!
Yue Yun had been talking about this with Huo Ying for a while without reaching any conclusion. Finally, Wang Lu volunteered. "I'll be the guide at the front! Let me, as your Senior Brother, protect everyone!"
Yue Yun's sputtered some words but didn't know how to refuse him. Finally, he relented, "Anyway, this is your choice, it's not my problem!"
Thus, the team's line-up was finally arranged. Yue Yun and Wang Lu would lead the way, Zhu Qin and Wen Bao would be the second, and then the two Outer Court Disciples would walk in front of Huo Ying. The seven people vaguely formed the Big Dipper Formation.
Then, from the Teng Cloud Hall, the team, via the shrinking earth array, directly arrived at the Clear Sky Peak.
Translator's Note: The lower the number of the level, the stronger the disciple is. A sixth level Qi Cultivation Stage disciple IS more powerful than a ninth level Qi Cultivation Stage Disciple. Please feel free to try and ask the author.