Chapter 69.1 Accepting disciples
For the disciples of Outer Peaks, the Outer Peaks Grand Competition that took place once every decade held the power to shape their destiny. Yunxiao’s every disciple was relentlessly instilled with the notion of “unwavering diligence” before even setting foot in the sect. They dedicated countless nights to rigorous training, all in pursuit of a chance to prove themselves in the pivotal event that occurred every ten years.
The Outer Peaks Grand Competition meticulously sieved through the seventy-two towering peaks, selecting a mere hundred individuals. However, their arduous journey was far from over. They faced the final test in the Inner Peaks, where Changji Peak, Tianqian Peak, and Wenqing Peak were eradicated, leaving behind a select group of thirty-three esteemed Elders.
Fate hung precariously on a delicate balance. Even in the previous iteration of the Outer Peaks Grand Competition, fortune had forsaken the aspirants, with not a single soul crossing the threshold into the Inner Peaks.
The face of Zhongnan Peak Master creased with concern. “Isn’t this haste a gamble?”
Pei Jing answered, “It is not hasty in the slightest.”
He spun on his heels, ascending the grand throne in the lofty expanse of Tianqian Hall. His robes billowed as he issued his command, “Summon the Peak Masters of all seventy-two peaks to the Tianqian Hall.”
The Zhongnan Peak Master hesitated momentarily, but the aura of unquestionable authority left no room for dissent. With deference, she nodded and acquiesced, “Understood.”
She stepped out of the door.
Pei Jing stood in front of the Sect Master’s seat, his finger delicately pressing on the ornate mechanism of the armrest. With a crisp sound, a white jade bead intertwined with swirling purple sword energy ascended slowly from behind the seat. The jade bead radiated a dazzling light, while the deep and vast purple aura marked it as the pivotal point of Yunxiao’s mountain protection formation—a sacred focal point only accessible to the chosen successors of Tianqian Peak. It also served as the Sect Master’s revered artifact for issuing commands.
Pei Jing had encountered the true master of Yunxiao twice—once in Changtian Realm and once on the suspension bridge. Those encounters had earned him the master’s recognition, forging a profound connection with the jade bead. The gentle waves of purple light caressed his fingertips, imparting a newfound warmth that softened his previously stern and austere expression.
“As the temporary Sect Master, the very first command I give to the entire Sect using the Purple Jade Bead is none other than the Outer Peaks Grand Competition. I wonder if my master will reprimand me for this choice.” Pei Jing’s spirits lightened, a slight smile curling at the corners of his lips, even as his eyes delved into deep contemplation. “But I must draw him out.”
He infused a hint of ice-blue spiritual energy into the Purple Jade Bead.
In an instant, a clear and resonant chime reverberated, stirring all existence.
Like an unsheathed sword or a mighty dragon plunging into the sea, the majestic Tianqian Peak, positioned at the heart of the main hall, cast forth a radiant circle of purple light. Ancient and profound, it expanded outward, enshrouding the 108 peaks. The Inner Peaks, whether adorned with bustling palaces, secluded caves rarely touched by human feet, or adorned with intricate simplicity, all directed their gaze towards one focal point—the central core, Tianqian Peak.
Each Inner Peak Master boasted cultivation levels no lower than the middle stage of Golden Core, and some were even on the precipice of Nascent Soul perfection. Whether in seclusion or embarking on distant travels, they always appointed their trusted disciples to oversee internal matters, including responding to the Sect Master’s summons. As the sweeping purple light bathed them, the profound essence of the sword dispelled the profound darkness of night.
The Feihong Peak Master, one of the thirty-six Inner Peak Master, stepped forward. A flicker of astonishment crossed her eternally enchanting face, and her vermilion lips parted gently. “Pei Yuzhi?”
While all the ordinary disciples of Yunxiao remained in deep meditation, the thirty-six Inner Peak Masters awakened completely. At the same time, the seventy-two Outer Peak Masters also received orders from Tianqian Peak.
However, as soon as the Purple Jade Bead was activated, a faint ripple disrupted the otherwise tranquil mirror stand. Pei Jing withdrew his hand and walked towards the center of the main hall. In truth, he activated the core formation to convey his command, intending to make his master aware. As expected, his master, who had disappeared after leaving him with the words “back to basics,” appeared furious in the central pond of the hall.
Clad in a dark green silk robe, with hair and eyebrows turned white, he usually had an expressionless face, appearing as a venerable sage. But now, his brows furrowed in anger, embodying the image of Pei Jing’s familiar yet fearsome hot-tempered older brother. Tianya Daoren could hardly contain his urge to strike Pei Jing across the distance! Through gritted teeth, he spoke with seething resentment, “Why did you activate the Purple Jade Bead?”
Pei Jing stood before the water mirror and replied, “Master, I wish to advance the Outer Peaks Grand Competition by three years.”
Tianya Daoren grew even more infuriated. “You dare to meddle with the Purple Jade Bead for a mere Outer Peaks Grand Competition?”
The fury seethed through the mirrored surface, his expression contorted, as if he could burst out and physically attack.
Heart racing, Pei Jing cleared his throat before speaking, “I activated the Purple Jade Bead merely to draw you out. Moreover, the more crucial matter is that I wish to accept disciple in this upcoming Outer Peaks Grand Competition.”
Tianya Daoren’s expression froze, and he squinted his eyes. “Accept disciple?”
Pei Jing, feeling slightly less afraid now, nodded earnestly and said, “Yes.”
Tianya Daoren understood the nature of his own disciple.
Pei Jing had always been a rebellious soul, never one to submit to discipline. Whether it was through scolding or punishment, he would obediently nod and appear well-behaved, only to reveal his true nature as soon as he turned away.
To dare activate the Purple Jade Bead and specifically inform him about it meant that Pei Jing already had an answer in his heart.
Tianya Daoren gritted his teeth. “You want to take a disciple now? I haven’t even died yet.”
As a Nascent Soul cultivator, a revered figure whose every movement could shake the cultivation world, the Yunxiao Sect Master was now unable to summon even a spark of anger.
Pei Jing hurriedly explained, “I merely spotted a promising seedling. I wanted him to enter Tianqian Peak earlier, to have better cultivation resources.”
Tianya Daoren sneered coldly. “Those who can enter my Tianqian Peak still rely on resources for cultivation?”
“…” He found himself unable to argue.
After some thought, Pei Jing continued, “Master, this disciple is different. But you must believe that he will bring miracles to the entire cultivation world.”
Tianya Daoren: “What guarantees do you have?”
Pei Jing: “I offer my reputation.”
Tianya Daoren mercilessly mocked, “You don’t even have credibility with me.” Just a troublemaking little brat.
It was truly his respected master.
Pei Jing’s expression became serious as he said, “Master, he will truly be the one to change the cultivation world, including repairing the Heavenly Ladder.”
The mention of the Heavenly Ladder made Tianya Daoren’s brow twitch. Looking at Pei Jing again, the flames of anger in his eyes subsided slightly, but his tone remained stern. “Do you know what the Heavenly Ladder is? How dare you speak such words.”
Pei Jing only had a rough understanding of the Heavenly Ladder. It was not recorded in history. All he knew was that it happened in a distant era. Suddenly, the gods fell, the spiritual energy in the cultivation world dried up, the Heavenly Ladder collapsed, and the connection with the upper realms was completely severed, making ascension impossible.
After much hesitation, Pei Jing finally spoke up. “Master, do you know about the Celestial Demon race?”
Tianya Daoren’s eyes widened abruptly.
At that moment, another voice came through the water mirror, sounding cheerful and kind.
“Xiao Jing has grown up so much. The position of Yunxiao Sect Master will eventually be his. Why worry so much?” the voice said with a laugh.
Tianya Daoren immediately turned his head, his anger dissipating by half as he respectfully said, “Master.”
Another person walked in from the side, with a small stature and a frail appearance. Despite a voice filled with wisdom and kindness, he had the face of a child. His dark green robe flowed noticeably at the cuffs as he moved his hand. It wasn’t made of earthly cotton or silk but woven from pure light particles.
The person who entered was none other than the current Master of the Institute of Celestial Ascension, Pei Jing’s grandmaster— Immortal Xuhan.
Pei Jing could see that his grandmaster’s head was getting larger.
The three years at the Institute of Celestial Ascension were a nightmare with the smiling tiger grandmaster.
He nervously called out, “Grandmaster.”
Immortal Xuhan smiled cheerfully, his face round and his eyes also round. However, unlike ordinary people, his irises were larger, with three colors. Around his amber-colored eyes, a layer of grayish-blue appeared, blending with the whites of his eyes, as if containing the vastness of the heavens and earth.
Upon reaching the Nascent Soul stage of cultivation, one essentially comprehended the laws governing the world. In this world, the only known Nascent Soul cultivator was the former Sect Master of Yunxiao, Immortal Xuhan.
However, Immortal Xuhan had secluded himself for thousands of years, becoming a legend rarely mentioned by people.
Immortal Xuhan said, still smiling, “What did Xiao Jing just say? This old man didn’t hear it clearly.”
Pei Jing had no intention of concealing anything.
Even though he had transmigrated into this novel and knew that Ji Wuyou was the protagonist, he wasn’t familiar with the plot’s development. Thus, he relied even more on his ancestor, who had already reached the Nascent Soul stage.
“Grandmaster, I plan to take in someone who carries the blood of the Celestial Demons as my disciple.”
This was a decision Pei Jing had considered for a long time. After resolving the matter with the Azute Bird, he would enter seclusion at Changji Peak to break through to the Nascent Soul stage. This seclusion could last for many years. Therefore, he needed to arrange Ji Wuyou’s matter properly in advance. Ji Wuyou still possessed an innocent heart untainted by darkness, but there was no guarantee that he wouldn’t encounter any mishaps during Pei Jing’s seclusion. If he were to take Ji Wuyou as his disciple after the Outer Peaks Grand Competition, Ji Wuyou would become the next Sect Master of Yunxiao, and no one would dare to trouble him recklessly.
After all, it wasn’t easy to enter Tianqian Peak.
Immortal Xuhan listened carefully, his smile fading slightly, as he asked, “Where did you hear the term ‘Celestial Demons’?”
Pei Jing stuttered, “I… I read it in ancient texts.” The name of that ancient text was “Executioner’s Sword.”
Immortal Xuhan narrowed his eyes and spoke slowly, “Do you know how terrifying the existence of Celestial Demon blood is? If it awakens one day, it will bring great calamity upon the mortal realm.”
Pei Jing replied, “I know. But as a descendant of the Celestial Demons, it is impossible for him not to awaken. Awakening anywhere in the world would bring disaster and misfortune. It’s better to let him awaken within Yunxiao.”
As soon as those words left his mouth, both the Yunxiao Sect Master and the grandmaster furrowed their brows. To others, Pei Jing’s actions would undoubtedly bring calamity upon Yunxiao. However, Tianya Daoren and Immortal Xuhan had both been Yunxiao Sect Masters before. Their sense of righteousness ran deep within them, just like every Yunxiao disciple was taught from the moment they entered the sect—to slay demons and eradicate evil.
Leaving the calamity within Yunxiao, they wouldn’t oppose such a decision.
“Furthermore,” Pei Jing spoke softly, “the child’s nature is still pure and benevolent.”
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