There are nine continents in the cultivation community.
The continent Ling Xian was at was named Yunzhou. It was splendid in land and resources, prosperous in beauty and richness. Its land extended millions of miles and was occupied by 10 dynasties, nine Houses, and 13 different clans.
The House of Wan Jian was one of the nine Houses. It was established 8,600 years ago by the Wan Jian ancestors. Therefore, it has an extensive culture with as many admirable powerhouses in the House as there are clouds. When compared with 10 dynasties and nine houses, it belonged in the top one or two.
Right now, a silver and white little boat was speeding quickly in mid-air, carving out a beautiful curve in the sky. Because the House of Wan Jian was at the very north of Yunzhou, it was heading directly towards there.
Immortal's boat was a divine treasure and was known as the most useful transportation tool in the cultivation community. Even the lowest ranked type of Immortal Boat would still be sought after by the majority of the population. Because it was insanely fast, its price was astronomical. A regular cultivator would never have the ability to buy it. Only those with some power or background could acquire it.
The Elder here had one.
The sun was beginning to rise.
The boat carried Ling Xian and the Elder. It has been flying for an entire night, has long departed from the Qin Dynasty, and was aiming directly north.
Ling Xian stood on the Immortal's Boat and indulged himself in the beauty of the mountain, river, and scenery of the sky. He couldn't help it but to complement and exclaim, "The mountain and the water are like a painting. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous. Sadly, I cannot stop and appreciate it in peace."
"Once you conquer the world and become the hero of the cultivation community, you'll get the chance to explore all nine continents." The Elder stroke his beard and beamed lightly. "Now, let's hurry and get to the House of Wan Jian. I cannot wait to see the looks on those old monsters of men's faces when they fight each other in order to snatch you."
"You are exaggerating. There are countless talents and geniuses in the House of Wan Jian. A bunch of powerful old monsters won't fight each other that hard to acquire me," Ling Xian shook his head.
"You are wrong about that. I clearly remember that about three years ago, the House of Wan Jian was selecting apprentices. A young girl who awakened a pair of Inner Eyes showed up. Those old monsters, in order to get her for themselves, gave her everything they've got. They gave her secret techniques, magical Dans, even rare treasures. In the end, two of them fought each other and only stopped the madness when the House leader came out to scold them," the Elder reminisced. Remembering those funny days and those ridiculous events, he couldn't help it but chuckle. "The Inner Eyes that the young girl had was merely the 97 ranked Eyes of Revelation. It was almost useless for battles because she could only see through some illusions. Compared to your Eyes of Execution, they are worthless!"
"It's not hard to imagine then when you step into the House of Wan Jian, how shaken the entire House will become. Fine, say we ignore those old monsters, I bet those with seniority in the House will break out of their shells for you." The Elder appeared very satisfied. When he pictured the hypothetical scenario of those old monsters meeting up and arguing against each other for Ling Xian, he laughed.
Those kinds of ridiculous situations, just picturing it made him amused.
The Elder placed his gaze upon Ling Xian, and his smile bloomed into a flower.
"Like I said, I will not accept anyone as my Master. Please remember this," Ling Xian frowned and reminded him of the condition he set up.
"Ling Xian, why are you so stubborn? I never asked you break the bond between you and your Master. Isn't it a wonderful thing to have someone to lean on in a House?" The Elder sighed softly and repeated himself, "Think about it. A powerful Master can bring you great help and give you great resources. More than that, he can provide you with answers to any questions you may have about Taoism, which can save you a lot of time. Having a great mentor also means you now have a strong backbone, which makes it difficult for others to try and take advantage of you."
"Thank you for your advice. I am fully aware of all those advantages. You can call me stubborn and call me stupid, but I will not call another person my Master." Ling Xian smiled lightly. He knew very well of what the Elder had said. Sadly, he was unwilling to betray his principle. No matter how stupid his decision appears to others, he will not turn his back on his beliefs.
"You… Alright, I won't say anymore. I will let them know of the one condition you have. After all, once you are a member of the House of Wan Jian, you are technically an apprentice of the house. It doesn't really matter whether or not you are appointed with a master." The Elder signed deeply. "You have to be careful though. In this world, there are too many geniuses who die on their journey to immortality merely due to others' jealousy."
"Thanks for the reminder," Ling Xian thanked him very seriously. He then remembered something. "Oh, Elder, I still do not know your name."
"Haha, you finally remembered to ask." The Elder chuckled. "Remember it well. My name is Si Tu Nan."
"Ah, so you are Elder Si Tu Nan." Ling Xian bowed slightly and asked, "I wonder what kind of title and role you have?"
"I am one of the 12 sword peaks in the House of Wan Jian. I am the Elder of Law Enforcement." Si Tu Nan grinned. It was obvious that he was proud of his identity.
"Elder of Law Enforcement?" Ling Xian was startled and shocked. He could not believe that the ordinary looking man before him had such a high position.
The role of Elder of Law Enforcement can be described as the group of cultivators who ensured the laws of the Houses were being followed. In the entire cultivation community, the Elder of Law Enforcement was the highest position one can become in a House. They were responsible for getting rid of those who were unlawful, as well as being in charge of regulating, inspecting, and the ruling of criminals. These people are highly respected and are considered to be very powerful.
Even though Si Tu Nan was only the Elder of Law Enforcement in one of the 12 sword peaks, he still had an enormous amount of power. With his position and status, only the House leader and the managing Elder were higher up than him.
"Hehe, you seem shocked. This is good. After being in contact with you for the past two days, you seemed very calm and composed all the time. I was suspicious that you might've been abandoned by some old monster. Or else how could you have such a mature mindset," Si Nan Tu nodded, as he was very satisfied with how shocked Ling Xian appeared.
"Elder, you are making fun of me. I can't believe you are an Elder of Law Enforcement. I have been disrespectful." Ling Xian smiled, baring his teeth. He then took out the Grass of Millennium that Gong Suo Xin gifted him and said, "This is a small token of my appreciation and cannot nearly represent how thankful I am towards you. Please take it as my thank you gift for leading me onto this journey,"
Looking at the spiritual medicine Ling Xian was holding, Si Tu Nan was a little stunned. He laughed. "What is this? Are you bribing me?"
"I wouldn't really call this bribing. If I'm not wrong, you practice techniques with ice attributes, so you must be in need of spiritual medicine with ice properties. This object would just be idle in my hands anyway. It's better to not waste it by letting you use it. Please don't object." Ling Xian grinned.
"Good pair of eyes you have. No wonder you are known as a genius. You could tell which attributes I practice?" Astonishment flashed across Si Tu Nan's murky eyes.
"Elder, you have over praised me. When I stand next to you, I constantly feel a wave of coldness. I deduced your attributes based off that," Ling Xian said modestly.
"It's still not easy. This shows how meticulous you are to detail." Si Tu Nan liked Ling Xian more and more the more he looked at him. Even though it was something very small, he still felt like Ling Xian was different than the others and stood out. He deserved the title of genius.
"Please stop praising me. During my entire journey, the most frequent statement I heard about me is how much of a genius I am. I've heard it so much my ears are getting calluses." Ling Xian laughed bitterly.
"Haha, what I said is true." Si Tu Nan stroke his beard. Looking at the Grass of Millennium and feeling the jolt of iciness given off by it, he said, "Not bad. Even though it is only a seventh realm spiritual medicine, it is really high quality. Since it is a gift that you want to give me, I will accept it."
In reality, because of his position and identity, he could get his hands on as many seventh realm spiritual medicine as he wanted to and he doesn't actually find them interesting at all. What he was satisfied with though, was Ling Xian's attitude. A gift from a genius with a bright future, he was very satisfied that Ling Xian fed his ego.
It didn't matter how valuable the gift was. The most important thing was the signal Ling Xian was trying to send out with this gift.
He was signaling his desire to befriend him.
Si Tu Nan wanted to befriend the youth before him as well.
After all, Ling Xian's natural capability was obvious. Without accidents, the worst he'll do is become a well- known powerhouse. Being his friend has no negative effects.
The idea of reciprocity means something has to be given first.
Today, he accepted Ling Xian's gift. Tomorrow, he will be able to give a present to Ling Xian in good manners. A few rounds of this will allow them to become friends naturally.
Therefore, Si Tu Nan must accept Ling Xian's gift. Even though it was a seventh-realm spiritual medicine that he normally wrinkles his nose at, he must accept it excitedly.
Looking at Si Tu Nan accepting his Grass of Millennium, Ling Xian smiled in satisfaction. After experiencing the lost century, he knew well of how relationships and common courtesy work. He was coming to a strange new place, to have someone who can help him was a good thing. On top of that, Si Tu Nan was an Elder of Law Enforcement. He had the background and the power. If he ever runs into any problems in the future, he will have someone who can help him.
Someone might ask:
Why would he choose not to become the apprentice of someone powerful and not to rely on a man with a strong background. Rather, why would he give a gift in an attempt to befriend an Elder of Law Enforcement?
This is two separate issues and should not be discussed together. Ling Xian had his strong beliefs and principles that he followed at all cost, but he was not a stubborn man who did not know how to adjust his attitude based on situations. Giving a gift was a small thing that would not hurt him. It was also small commitment, not like acquiring another master.
Ling Xian saw Liao Cang Qiong as a father. He naturally wouldn't get himself another Master despite how much help he will be able to acquire.
"Ling Xian, I used to think you were only stubborn for not wanting to get a Master and that you do not know how to change your way of thinking. But seeing that you have given me a gift, I realize that you are not stubborn, you are smart." Si Tu Nan stroke his beard again and glanced at Ling Xian with admiration.
"You have been too kind with your words. I am in a new strange place. I really do need your support." Ling Xian's smile was very genuine, and he was not at all saying things just to impress him.
"OF course." After accepting his gift, Si Tu Nan was even more enthusiastic. Holding onto Ling Xian's hand, he said, "You may not understand the House of Wan Jian. Let me introduce you to the House."
"I would love to know the details," Ling Xian said.
"There are twelve peaks in the House of Wan Jian. You could understand peaks as twelve bloodlines. Even though there is a saying that one's fate is decided by which peak one belongs, it is actually rather complicated. You will learn to understand slowly but surely. I will not speak more about that," Si Tu Nan's expression turned serious and continued, "The only thing I want to highlight is the Hidden Sword Peak, which is the bloodline I belong to. If you are willing, I hope you will choose the Hidden Sword Peak. It is the only neutral peak out of the twelve peaks with no desires to fight for power. It is the most compatible with you, who I know wants to cultivate peacefully."
"How did you know that I have no desire to fight for power?" Ling Xian was a little surprised.
"Haha, I am a few hundred years old, don't underestimate me. Based on how you behave and how you speak, also the fact that you refuse to acquire another master, I can tell that you are not very interested in having a power struggle. You really are looking for immortality and want to stay on the main path of Taoism," Si Tu Nan answered.
Ling Xian nodded and said, "You are right, Elder. I have no interest in the so-called power. I think they are simply distractions that get you off the right path. What does power really mean anyway? If I can become the strongest with training, then nobody would be powerful enough to stop me."