Book 30, Ancient Cultivator, Chapter 20 – Learning From Heaven and Earth
“Master, I really don’t like the look of that ‘Immortal Mountainplume’ fellow.” Su Youji looked at Ji Ning.
Ning shook his head. “No rush.” He turned his gaze to the distant young master Skywind, then began to scry the young man’s destiny. It was quite difficult to scry the man’s future, as he was an Elder God who would soon reach the World level; to scry his future was extremely difficult. To scry his past, however, was fairly easy.
The future had yet to happen; all things were possible. The past, however, had already ended.
The Windfiend Governor was a World-level cultivator who had been alive for an extremely long period of time. He was a very tyrannical figure who had countless beautiful concubines. Although it was very difficult for World-level cultivators to have children, over the course of many years he sired a total of nine sons and daughters, with Skywind being the youngest of the nine. Skywind’s mother died when he was young, and so he was a very solitary person as a child. After he grew up, he eventually encountered a dazzling beauty known as Fairy Violetlotus.
Fairy Violetlotus was warm and gentle towards him, causing him to feel that the world was truly a beautiful place. He immediately felt certain that she would be his Dao-companion, his eternal Dao-companion.
Who would’ve thought that this most blissful period of his life would transform into a nightmare? The woman suddenly displayed an overwhelming level of power, crippling his cultivation base. She tortured him, sending his body into a hell of pain… but to him, the spiritual pain he suffered was far more nightmarish. His one and only love had transformed into nothing more than a cruel plotter. The only reason she had befriended him was to torment him to get back at the Windfiend Governor.
Later on, the Windfiend Governor found his son, saved him, restored and repaired his body, then helped his son return to the path of cultivation.
But from this day forth, young master Skywind’s heart was forever filled with hidden pain. In fact, he decided that he would never feel love towards another woman again. And so, he began to roam the world, adventuring through its mountains and rivers.
The Windfiend Governor no longer held many hopes for his youngest son; he had always been a solitary figure, and he was very slow in cultivation. As a result, he chose to just let his son do as he pleased. Who would’ve thought that Skywind would suddenly take a liking to sword-arts while out touring the world? He became completely infatuated with sword-arts, taking on the natural world of Heaven and Earth as his master. He developed increasingly powerful sword-arts based on the natural world and soared into the skies. In just a hundred thousand years, he reached the Elder God stage and was virtually invincible within it.
“What?!” Ning revealed a stunned look.
“What’s wrong?” Su Youji and the Ninedust Sectlord both looked towards Ning, puzzled.
“Nothing.” But Ning was still unable to disguise his shock. This ‘young master Skywind’ had never trained under any master at all? He had learned from the workings of Heaven and Earth, yet had managed to reach his current level of cultivation?
Previously, when the Ninedust Sectlord had mocked his sword-arts as unspeakably crude, that was in comparison to Ji Ning. In truth, Skywind had reached an incredible level for an Elder God!
“He’s actually this talented in sword-arts?” Ning glanced at the distant Skywind, then nodded slightly. “And he’s not a bad person.” Ning cared more about character when considering whether or not to take on a disciple; talent was of secondary concern.
“Let’s leave.” Immortal Mountainplume and Fairy Violetlotus retired into their pavilion atop the giant bird. While leaving, Fairy Violetlotus glanced sideways at young master Skywind, then smirked. “You’ll never recover from this.”
Young master Skywind just looked at her silently. Although he felt pain in his heart, he bore no hatred for her. Even the most detestable of people had their own pitiable attributes. The reason why Fairy Violetlotus had treated him like that was principally due to the great grudge she bore for the Windfiend Governor.
Whoosh. The flying beast spread its wings, then departed.
The Dragonwing Governor shook his head and sighed upon seeing this. “Skywind, Immortal Mountainplume must’ve caused trouble in secret. He’s Swordmaster Eastvoid’s favored disciple; if he’s insistent on causing trouble, it’ll be impossible for you to be able to enter the Swordmaster’s tutelage.”
“It’s fine,” young master Skywind said. “But Father will be very disappointed once he learns this.”
“Skywind.” A voice suddenly rang out by Skywind’s ears. Skywind was stunned to hear this voice. It was Ji Ning’s. “Come to me, immediately.”
Young master Skywind didn’t dare to tarry; he hurried ran towards Ning’s residence.
Ning, Su Youji, and the Ninedust Sectlord all sat down to eat and drink. Right at this moment, young master Skywind came. He immediately bowed respectfully. “Greetings, seniors.”
“Skywind.” Ning looked at him.
“Senior.” Skywind looked back at Ning.
Ning smiled at him. “You’ve been wanting to become my disciple, yes?”
Skywind was stunned for a moment, then was overjoyed and fell to his knees and kowtowed. “Your disciple greets you, Master.”
“Darknorth, you…?” The Ninedust Sectlord was amazed, as was Su Youji. They knew what level of power Ning had reached. If he publicly announced in the Endless Territories that he was about to accept a disciple, countless World-level geniuses would fight over the chance. In fact, there were even some Samsara Daolords who would come apprentice themselves to him.
Ning glanced at the Ninedust Sectlord and Su Youji, then chuckled. “I wanted to take him on, so I did.”
Ning acted in accordance with his heart when he chose disciples. When he had been in the alternate universe, he had taken a liking to ‘Green Bamboo’ Yang Quding and so had taken him on as his second disciple.
When he saw the past of his third disciple, Skywind, Ning felt a hint of empathy for him. Skywind had been hurt by love, while Ning felt remorse and regret towards his own wife Yu Wei. Skywind was incredibly talented in the Dao of the Sword, and so focused all of his efforts on it. Ning suddenly decided to give the kid a chance.
“From this day forth, you shall be my third disciple,” Ning said. “Now that you are under my tutelage, you must obey my commands.”
“Understood,” Skywind immediately said gratefully.
“Mm.” Ning nodded, then stretched out a finger and waved it lightly. The tip of the finger tapped Skywind on his forehead. Instantly, a large amount of information poured into his mind.
There were cultivation techniques! The Dao of the Sword! Everything was transmitted to him!
The Sword Daos which Ning transmitted to him were, respectively, the [Blood Drop] sword-art, the [Shadowless] sword-art, the [Soleheart] sword-art, the [Yin-Yang] sword-art, and the [Heavenbreaker] sword-art. Any of the five would allow him to become a Daolord. Ning also left behind two powerful types of sword-intent; the first was of his first-stage Omega Sword Dao, the second was of his second-stage Sword Dao.
“These five sword-arts can be merged together. Only then shall you see my true Sword Dao. You should constantly meditate on these two types of sword-intent. The amount you can comprehend, however, will be determined by your talent,” Ning said.
All cultivators had to walk their own paths if they wished to become a Daolord. Just teaching a few sword-stances wouldn’t be of much help, and so Ning went ahead and gave him two memories of Ning’s own sword-intent. Skywind was to meditate on them. Perhaps he would one day develop his own Dao of the Sword.
“When you are in danger, you can even summon these two streams of sword-intent forth from your mind. The first stream of sword-intent is capable of slaying most Daolords of the Third Step, while the second stream is capable of slaying of ordinary Daolords of the Fourth Step.
“The sword-intent is primarily meant to help you train in the Dao. Unless absolutely necessary, do not unleash them.
“Remember… all divine abilities and secret arts are outside sources of power. You can learn them, but you cannot abandon your own Sword Dao for them. The Dao is the foundation of everything,” Ning sent mentally.
He didn’t transmit any divine abilities or secret arts. This planet was quite an extraordinary one; if his disiciple wished to learn them, he could go adventure for them himself. And, to tell the truth, Ning really didn’t have any good divine abilities or secret arts to pass on. The good ones he did have, such as the ones the deceased Sword Hegemon gave him, were not permitted to be taught to others!
Ning was also correct in stating that the ‘Dao’ was the foundation of all things. The more powerful your Dao is, the less meaningful those divine abilities, secret arts, and what-not were.
For example, when the Ninedust Sectlord used his divine ability, his divine power would instantly become a thousand times more powerful than before. However, his actual combat strength would only increase fractionally! This was because the power of his ‘Dao’ made up for most of his power in combat. If Ning became a Daolord of the Fourth Step, a single glance from him could cause ruinous damage. Thus far, he had merely reached the second-stage Omega Sword Dao, but the power of his sword-intent was more greater than his novessence water and could easily annihilate Daolords of the Fourth Step.
Skywind swore a lifeblood oath not to disobey Ning’s commands. After completely receiving Ning’s transmitted memories, a new, vast Dao was visible before him. The two sword-intents of an Omega Sword Dao… they would be lamps that guided him on his path of cultivation.
“Thank you, Master,” young master Skywind said excitedly. These two streams of sword-intent were too unfathomably profound, but the five sword-arts formed a perfect circle that would guide him from all the way from being an Elder God to becoming a Daolord. Every single stance was described in great detail, and it also explained the process by which Ning gained insight into these Daos. They were of tremendous use to him.
“I won’t get involved into your personal issues. You’ll have to handle everything,” Ning said.
“Understood,” Skywind said. He did indeed have some things he wished to do, but in the past he was too weak. Now…
“Also, you need to stay by my side for a period of time,” Ning said. “If you have any questions, I can answer them for you.”
Sooner or later, he would leave this place. He certainly couldn’t take this new disciple with him when he did, as each had their own paths to walk. This was how Ning treated his disciples. Take his second disciple for example; after transmitting the Dao to him, Ning immediately disappeared. That second disciple lived in a fairly ordinary mortal world, after all; this third disciple lived in a somewhat more powerful planet, and so Ning had left those two streams of sword-intent to ensure that he would be protected while he was weak.
As for afterwards? Whether he lived or died would be up to him.