Around half way up the highest peak of Mount White Sun was a steep, golden colored cliff. A few hundred unusual looking pine trees were loosely hung on the cliff; straight or bent, twisted, leaning, their shapes resembling dragons. Their roots were deep and firmly gripped on the cliff wall; their trunks and crowns stretched while bending out, absorbing the water mist and natural energies enshrouding the cliff. They looked magnificent and out of the world.
A couple dozens of White Cranes had their nests built on the crown of these sturdy pine trees. When Nie Yaonu brought Wu Qi and her son to pass by them, they immediately let out joyful cries, flapping their large wings and leaping into the sky. They were wheeling and circling around Nie Yaonu's cloud, as if they were welcoming her return.
Right at the center of the cliff, at a spot a few thousand feet from both the peak and the foot of the mountain, was a small piece of flat land. A few ancient pine trees were standing aloft on the land, with patches of exotic flowers and rare herbs were scattered around. Under the pine trees were a few blocks of stones in their natural form. At the end of this small flat land, an Immortal's Cave was found opened up on the cliff wall. A light golden colored plaque was mounted on the cliff wall above the cave's entrance, with a few large words engraved on it: Sword Stems From The Mind.
Wu Qi took a glimpse at the cave entrance with a copious amount of natural energies gurgling out, then quickly turned his sight away from it. Supposedly, this Immortal's Cave was the root and most important place for Heaven Breaking Sword Sect, the place where Nie Yaonu inherited the legacy of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect. Wu Qi would definitely pay such an important place a visit when he reached a sufficient cultivation base. This was not only because of the teaching he learned from the Scroll of Stealing, but also a habit which he had acquired after he joined the Underhand Sect back on Earth.
Thus, when faced with his future target, it was better not to express too much interest now.
Nie Yaonu leaped off the cloud, came before the ancient pine trees and sat down on a block of stone. Nie Baihong followed her and said no word, sitting on the other stone block placed opposite to her. Wu Qi ran his eyes around, and it seemed that he was not qualified to sit down with these two people. Hence, he just remained standing obediently in front of them, letting Nie Yaonu run her eyes up and down on him.
Wu Qi calmed his mind down and brought up an innocent and friendly smile on his face. He let Nie Yaonu stare at him for a full fifteen minutes, yet didn't show any discomfort or unnatural expression. Finally, Nie Yaonu nodded her head satisfyingly. "You have a calm temperament, neither conceited nor rash… Worthy for me to save you this time." said Nie Yaonu with an indifferent voice.
Wu Qi had a quick laugh. Then, he asked in a low voice, "What would happen if I did not satisfy your Patriarch's assessment?"
Nie Yaonu still had both her hands hiding under her sleeves. She answered like it was how things should go in nature, "If you were as bad as what they claimed, it was your luck for being saved by me today, and whether you are dead or alive tomorrow does not concern me. You are not my son, so why should I take care of you every single day and rescue you from calamity? There is no such reason under the heaven."
Wu Qi spent some time in pondering over what Nie Yaonu said. She was right, Wu Qi was not her son, and it was obvious that by saving him today, Nie Yaonu merely wanted to put fear in Yan Li's mind. Wu Qi was just an excuse used by her. After today, whether he was dead or alive really didn't concern her anymore. Although Nie Yaonu said she would provide protection to Wu Qi in front of so many people just now, if one day he really vanished from this world, Nie Yaonu would never waste her energy in avenging him.
Wu Qi laughed hollowly. While retracting the enormous strength in his body which nearly exploded, he asked carefully, "Then, by bringing me to this place and discovering that I seem like a man who can be cultivated, I wonder what kind of teaching does senior have for me?"
Nie Yaonu mused for some time. She didn't answer Wu Qi, but turned to Nie Baihong and asked, "Baihong, what is the exact background of this Wu Qi? He is considered not bad for having such a cultivation at this young age. But why does he have such an incredible courage as well?"
Nie Baihong smiled. He began to tell Nie Yaonu about everything related to Wu Qi, including Wu Qi being a hanger-on for Lu Chengfeng. It was Princess Zhang Le who requested him to accept Wu Qi as an apprentice, and how Wu Qi caused a massive turmoil today, right on the first time he came to attend a lecture in Heaven Breaking Sword Sect. In short, whatever Nie Baihong knew about Wu Qi, he ended up telling his mother.
Nie Baihong even told her about Lu Chengfeng's background: the nominal eldest lineage son of Liyang Clan in the Lu Kingdom, the love child of Yan Buji, who had just rushed to Ji City and inherited the title of Duke Yan Le. Obviously, Nie Baihong had investigated the background of Wu Qi and the people close to him, thus in this case, Lu Chengfeng. After all, as the Sect Leader of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect, it wasn't that tough to find out the background of a new Duke in Great Yan Dynasty.
"Is that so?" Nie Yaonu bowed her head and closed her eyes, sinking into a deep ponder. A mountain breeze suddenly blew by, sweeping up her long white hair and making them sway freely behind her head, glinting like a long thread of silver in the sunlight. Her face was youthful, yet her hair were white. What had Nie Yaonu went through that got her such an odd look?
Wu Qi's mind was spinning at high speed as well. Very soon, he had drawn out a few possible conclusions. From the facts Wu Qi observed so far: the surname of Nie Baihong, the attitude he had towards Yan Li, the confrontation between Nie Yaonu and Yan Li, the strange atmosphere within Heaven Breaking Sword Sect, where many Sect Elders were having conflict with their Sect Leader Nie Baihong, Wu Qi felt that he was getting closer to the truth. He even had a bold guess in his mind.
However, as what he guessed was too shocking, he couldn't be sure whether it was true or not.
Nevertheless, he was certain about one thing. Judging from the situation where Nie Yaonu and Yan Li was confronting each other, he could accomplish great things in Heaven Breaking Sword Sect. Wu Qi had a sort of presentiment, that as long as he managed his stand in the sect properly, he should be able to safely attain the cultivation of Gold Core realm in Heaven Breaking Sword Sect.
When such a thought came into his mind, Wu Qi's back was getting straighter, the smile on his face had become unquestionable, and the look in his eyes had become pure and flawless, filled with a wild nature like those beasts found in the woods. Yes, the look Wu Qi presented was a look filled with wild nature of untamed beasts, a wildness that came from the instinct, not a wild nature of a filthy mind that was developed when someone grew up.
Although Nie Yaonu was bowing her head and appeared to be in deep thought, she was actually examining Wu Qi with her incredible ability. When she saw the pure and clean look in Wu Qi's eyes, the wildness of the woods that wasn’t contaminated by the mortal world, a faint satisfied smile finally appeared on her face.
After listening to Nie Baihong's narration regarding Wu Qi and Lu Chengfeng's background, Nie Yaonu could at least confirm that Wu Qi was a man she could use, because he didn't have any relationship with those people who Nie Yaonu dreaded or hated. Although he was referred by Princess Zhang Le, she wasn't in the list of the people she hated. The imperial girl was just an over spoiled young lady. Although she owned some power in her hand, she wasn't worth Nie Yaonu's attention.
Nie Yaonu's lips curved upwards as she smiled. The smile instantly vanished all the aged heaviness on her brows and temples. Like blooming Orchid flowers in the valley, she was giving off a splendid feeling of fragrance and sweetness. Even though Wu Qi knew she was an old woman of a few hundred years of age, he was still stunned by her dazzling smile. Wu Qi couldn't help but think how charming she must have been when she was still a teenage girl.
"You're a good boy." Nie Yaonu said indifferently. "Go back and inform your master, Duke Yan Le. If he has the will to cultivate Dao, I can make an exception and ask Baihong to accept him as his direct disciple, and teach him the real profound sword technique of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect."
Wu Qi was startled. He quickly said, "But my master's element affinity is Earth and Gold. In addition to that, he is fond in studying the Dao of arrays and formations."
A bright gleam burst out from Nie Yaonu's eyes. She nodded her head and said, "That's even better. Everyone under the heaven only knows that the power of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect's sword techniques topped all other sects in Great Yan Dynasty, yet nobody knows that, when I inherited the legacy of the Immortal, there was a legacy of arrays and formations as well. However, as the Dao of arrays and formation is too difficult to comprehend, and I have no intention to study them. That is why its legacy isn't inherited within Heaven Breaking Sword Sect."
Staring at Wu Qi, Nie Yaonu said with a deep voice, "Get your master, Duke Yan Le to join Heaven Breaking Sword Sect. I'll personally teach him the 'Arts of Heaven Patching Formation', which are on par with 'Heaven Breaking Sword Technique'!"
Wu Qi went blank, and then bowed deeply toward Nie Yaonu. "On behalf of my young master, Wu Qi thanks Patriarch for the kindness. However, Wu Qi can't make the decision on his behalf. I'll have to inform him and let him have the final say."
Nie Yaonu replied with a deep voice, "Fine, Baihong will send you back to Ji City later. He can take the opportunity to accept Duke Yan Le as his disciple."
It seemed Nie Yaonu had made up her mind in taking Lu Chengfeng into Heaven Breaking Sword Sect. Her words had clearly shown the meaning, that she didn't allow Lu Chengfeng and Wu Qi to reject her suggestion. Wu Qi had no choice but to affirm her order. It looked like whether Lu Chengfeng liked it or not, he would have to accept the offer.
After making up her mind and settling things about Lu Chengfeng, Nie Yaonu continued, "Wu Qi, how was the result of your bone structure testing in Heaven's Will Palace just now?"
Without hesitation, Wu Qi told her about the result of his bone structure and potential in cultivating which Haoying Xiong had done for him. There was nothing worth hiding, except for the five feet tall innate Nascent Embryo, which seemed a little bit scary. Although the other results were pretty good, they didn't make him an extraordinary genius that could make people's jaw drop. Thus, he had no intention to hide them.
However, Nie Yaonu was giving out praising comments with regards to Wu Qi's bone structure and potential, as if she was really satisfied with it. She pondered for a while before speaking slowly again, "Well, I like your attitude and background. Baihong can take you as his disciple. Hmm, for all cultivators like us, we'll give ourself a Daoist name. Give me a name at will."
Daoist name? Looking at how Nie Yaonu mentioned it like something really important, Wu Qi didn't feel he should be panicked. The so-call Daoist name was merely a nickname besides a person's real name. Wu Qi suddenly recalled Wu Wang's nickname when he was still in the army, then said, "Let me be called Greedy Wolf. Daoist Greedy Wolf, how about it, Patriarch?"
Although it was a Daoist name Wu Qi came up with thoughtlessly, it made Nie Yaonu's body tremble suddenly. She stared shockingly at Wu Qi for a long time, then suddenly burst out into a loud laughter, "I suppose this is your fate, as well as the fate of that sword! Well, well, this Sword of Greedy Wolf has finally met its master today!"
She moved her arm and pulled out a scabbard-less longsword of peculiar design out of nowhere, and gave it over to Wu Qi. As the longsword made its appearance, an invisible cold breeze immediately swept across the place. It struck Wu Qi, making his pores contract and his body shudder.
"The name of this sword is Greedy Wolf. It is one of the five flying swords I found when I stumbled across the Immortal's Cave when I was harvesting some herbs. The sword used by me is 'Sword of Shadowcross'. Baihong is using 'Sword of Grand White', Yan Li had taken away 'Sword of Purple Lord' and 'Sword of Patriarch', giving them to Crown Prince Yan Qijun. This Sword of Greedy Wolf is the last one I own."
She casually threw the longsword over to Wu Qi, and as if she suddenly recalled some unhappy memories, her face darkened while she said, "Since you have given yourself the Daoist name of 'Greedy Wolf', it means you and this sword are destined to be together. Well, you may go now. Just be careful in what you do in the future."
Nie Yaonu had lost her interest in talking any further. She turned to Nie Baihong and told him something, then with a wave of her sleeve, a strong dark green wind coiled up from the surroundings, pushing Wu Qi and Nie Baihong to a distance of dozens of miles away. When both of them finally landed on the ground again, they were standing outside the Mount White Sun's gateway.