“Right. Ji Ning, this book holds records of all of the major powers that are located within Stillwater Commandery. It is quite detailed.” Northmont Baiwei waved his hand, and a foot-long book, appearing as massive and as heavy as a shield, appeared. There wasn’t a single word on the cover of this book. He handed it directly over.
Ning stared at the enormous, shield-sized book. He blinked. “This is too big…”
Northmont Baiwei began to chortle. “Think about how large Stillwater Commandery is! This book holds detailed records regarding every single power within Stillwater Commandery, and it even describes some of the magic treasures and techniques which the more important Immortal cultivators of each sect possess.”
“It’s as detailed as that?” Ning was amazed. “I just want to choose a school to enter.” Baiwei grinned. “I couldn’t be bothered to compile something, so I just had my estate prepare a copy of the pre-existing intelligence report regarding the various major powers in the region. This is classified at a fairly low level. The top-secret version is hundreds of books long.”
Ning was speechless. All he needed to do was consider which school he was going to join, but Baiwei had prepared a copy of a full intelligence report. No wonder there wasn’t even a single word on its cover. “Take it,” Baiwei said. Ning immediately accepted it.
Baiwei continued, “I imagine you will need quite some time to read this intelligence report. Actually, given your current power, Brother Ji Ning, if you are to enter a school, you must select one of the absolute best schools which Stillwater Commandery possesses. Within our Stillwater Commandery, aside from the Raindragon Guard and the Marquisate, there are a total of eight supreme powers. I’ll give you a brief explanation of them. Later, when you read the book, you’ll be able to move through it much more quickly.” Ning nodded.
“These eight supreme powers are divided up as into three major schools, three major tribes, and the two major churches,” Baiwei said seriously. “They all have incomparably long histories, and their roots are unfathomably deep. Although some of the other powers might have Immortals guarding over them, compared to these eight supreme powers, they are still lacking in some manner. Their Immortals might not be strong enough, or their foundations might be a bit unstable, or they might not have existed long enough.”
“The three major schools refer to the Black-White College, the Skysplitter Sword Sect, and the Hundred Flowers Fairyland,” Baiwei said. “These three schools vastly surpass all of the other schools within Stillwater Commandery. The Thousand Rivers School, the North River School…they are all much weaker than these three major schools.”
“All three have an incredible background.”
“The Skysplitter Sword Sect is the only one of the three which focuses on swordplay. It has many disciples, and only by by slaughtering a bloody path through the others will the elites of the school rise to the peak. All of them are exceptionally talented, combat-eager figures.” Baiwei continued, “Enough about this one, though; you already know about it.”
Ning nodded. “Please describe the other two.” Baiwei smiled. “The Hundred Flowers Fairyland only recruits female disciples. Since they only accept female disciples, no matter how much of a genius you are, Ji Ning, you won’t be able to enter. This school is situated in a standalone dimension which a major power set up single-handedly. That place is known as the Hundred Flowers Fairyland.”
Established a standalone dimension? Ning’s own underwater estate was also in a dimension of its own.
“I have no intentions of joining the Skysplitter Sword Sect, and I can’t enter the Hundred Flowers Fairyland. Then what of the Black-White College?” Ning asked. Baiwei chortled. “For now, let’s not discuss the Black-White College.”
“Why not?” Ning asked urgently. “I have my reasons,” Baiwei said. “Let me now describe the three major tribes of the eight great powers. They are the Eastriver clan, the Dragonhunter clan, and the Bluewood clan.”
“The Dragonhunter clan has a divine ability suited for archers that it does not teach to any outsiders,” Baiwei said. “This Dragonhunter clan often produces some truly powerful master archers. Master archers, especially extremely powerful, top-tier ones….they can locate their enemies from far away with their divine sense, at a distance of a thousand kilometers or even greater, then release their arrow and badly injure or even kill their foes from that distance. Even if they cannot kill their foes, they can immediately retreat.”
Ning’s eyes lit up. He himself was in possession of a divine sense that could stretch to a distance of over a hundred kilometers. In addition, his divine ability, the [Starseizing Hand], allowed the power of his hands to reach a terrifying level. He could use one hand to grip the bow, and the other to knock the arrow.
“The Eastriver clan. They are extremely skilled in commanding water. I’d strongly urge you not to fight against experts of the Eastriver clan in an aquatic environment.”
“The Bluewood clan is the oldest of these three major clans, comparable to our Northmont clan in age. This is a tribe that was established as far back as the Fiendgod era,” Baiwei said. “The Bluewood clan is extremely skilled in controlling golems and constructs, and many of the constructs within Stillwater Commandery were provided by them. Over the course of countless years…who knows how many powerful constructs the Bluewood clan has amassed? They, too, are a power which no one wishes to antagonize.”
Ning nodded. Three major schools, three major tribes. All of them were extraordinary.
“The two major sects are the Heavenly Saint Church and the Blood God Church.”
“The Heavenly Saint Church acts in a manner which is big-hearted and honest, but also dominating and overbearing,” Baiwei said. “They have existed for an extremely long time, and they are also exceptionally mysterious.”
“The Blood God Church was erected sixty million years ago; it is extremely evil and crazed. The members of the Blood God Church can be described as ‘madmen’; they will often commit major sins, then suffer pursuit and assault from the Raindragon Guards.”
“The Raindragon Guards will pursue after and kill them?” Ning asked, puzzled. Baiwei smiled. “Ji Ning, you should know that in this world, there is such a thing as karmic merits, yes?” “Yes,” Ning nodded.
Of course he knew. It was precisely because of the good karma that he had accumulated that after being sent to the Netherworld Kingdom, he had been assigned to be reborn in the Heaven Realm. However, because of that disturbance in the Netherworld Kingdom, he had entered the mortal realm yet again. If he hadn’t been able to react quickly, he probably would’ve had his soul shattered.
“Acting benevolently accumulates positive karma; acting vilely results in the creation of sin,” Baiwei said. “The greater your karmic merits are, the more you shall be loved by the heavens, and the greater your luck shall be. But if your sins are too great, your ‘three disasters’ and ‘nine tribulations’ will be very terrifying, and your luck will be reduced as well.”
“Killing those creatures who have committed great sins will result in the accumulation of major karmic merits,” Baiwei said with a smile. “The Raindragon Guard serves as the army of the Grand Xia Dynasty. Per the orders of the Grand Xia Dynasty, they will seek out and slay those who have committed grave sins, resulting in the karmic merits of the Grand Xia Dynasty as a whole to rise…and thus, the Grand Xia Dynasty’s fortunes will grow increasingly rosy, and its foundations will become increasingly firm.”
Ning was astonished. So the reason that the Raindragon Guards around the world pursued those who had committed grave sins…was to improve the fortune of the Grand Xia Dynasty? He had no idea, but upon being informed, it was all so simple.
“Those who have rendered karmic merits shall have a clean aura swirling about them. But for those sinners, a corrosive aura will swirl about them,” Baiwei said. “Supposedly, those with extremely high levels of karmic merit will emit a golden light, while those who have committed tremendous sins will radiate a bloody, vile light. Unfortunately, only someone who has opened the Celestial Eye will be capable of seeing it.”
Ning now understood. He himself had opened his Celestial Eye, and had noticed through his divine sense that a faint, clear aura swirled about him. So this was ‘karmic merit’. However, although he had activated his divine sense many times afterwards, he had never found any others with this clear aura around them. Clearly, it was quite difficult to reach this level of karmic merit, much less the level of emanating golden light.
“How can one accumulate sufficient karmic merits?” Ning asked. “Only by doing good deeds can one gain karmic merits, while carrying out vile deeds will result in sin. As for the details…I’m not too clear on them either,” Baiwei said. “Karmic merits and sins; all of these things are determined by the heavens. They are too complicated. However, no matter what, Immortal practitioners must not wantonly slaughter ordinary mortals. It doesn’t matter if an Immortal practitioner kills another practitioner, but if he kills mortals…then his sins will definitely accumulate. This is something my father warned me of.”
Ning was startled. Killing common mortals would result in accumulating major sin? “Thank you for your guidance, Brother Baiwei,” Ning said gratefully.
“After you join a school, you will quickly learn about the various taboos and proscriptions,” Baiwei said. “Killing common mortals is forbidden. Killing one or two is one thing, but the more you kill, the more trouble it will be. That Bei Zishan you killed? It was precisely because he murdered far too many common mortals that he was covered in sin, and thus hunted by the Raindragon Guard.”
After this topic of conversation, Ning suddenly thought of something. “You’ve already spoken of the Heavenly Saint Church, the Blood God Church, the Eastriver clan, the Bluewood clan, the Dragonhunter clan, the Skysplitter Sword Sect, and the Hundred Flowers Fairyland. These are seven of the major powers. Then the final one, the Black-White College; what’s that all about?”
Ning cared more about the schools. He didn’t wish to enter the Skysplitter Sword Sect, and wouldn’t be permitted to join the Hundred Flowers Fairyland. The Black-White College was the only one remaining.
“The Black-White College is the most powerful of the eight major powers!” Baiwei looked towards Ning. “Most powerful?” Ning instantly grew curious. “Yes.” Baiwei’s eyes were shining. “The other seven powers are on par with each other; they are all very ancient, and their roots are deep. But the Black-White College is the true cream of the crop. In fact, the Black-White College has even produced a Celestial Immortal.”
“A Celestial Immortal?” Ning’s heart instantly began to pound. Good heavens. Although quite a few of the powers located in the Stillwater Commandery had Immortals, those were all Loose Immortals or Earth Immortals. He had never heard of any power being in possession of a Celestial Immortal.
“Right. Celestial Immortal.” Baiwei continued, “The Black-White College, at its peak of power, was once comparable to my Northmont clan of Stillwater, as well as the Raindragon Guard.”
“Countless years have passed. Although that ancient Celestial Immortal departed long ago, the Black-White College remains the strongest of the eight powers.” Baiwei laughed as he looked at Ning. “And, do you know? Of the three supreme schools, the Skysplitter Sword Sect has a headquarters that stretches a hundred thousand kilometers, the Hundred Flowers Fairyland has its own separate dimension, but the Black-White College…it is located right here in Stillwater City.”
“Stillwater City?” Ning couldn’t believe it. “Stillwater City is so small. How could a school be located here, and such a supreme school at that?”
Baiwei laughed. “That’s because this Black-White College’s members range from Immortals to Zifu Disciples, and they only number in the hundreds. The entire Black-White College has, in total, a hundred Zifu Disciples, two hundred Wanxiang Adepts, thirty-plus Primal Daoists, and a number of Immortals who disappear and reappear randomly. Supposedly, they have at least six Immortals.”
Ning blinked. What? A hundred Zifu Disciples? Two hundred Wanxiang Adepts? There were even fewer Zifu Disciples than Wanxiang Adepts? They had a ridiculous number of Primal Daoists as well…and they had at least six Immortals! That was even more than the Skysplitter Sword Sect had!
“Now do you understand?” Baiwei looked at Ning. “The Black-White Palace has exceedingly few members. To enter it is also exceedingly difficult. Even though I think highly of you, all I can do is recommend you for entry into the Skysplitter Sword Sect. However, now that you have already reached the Dao Domain level, you are qualified to enter the Black-White Palace.”
“Only someone like me can enter it?” Ning was curious.
“The Black-White College’s name is known even in the royal capital of the Grand Xia Dynasty.” Baiwei looked at Ning. “Each year, it will accept at most three or four disciples. Sometimes, it won’t accept any at all. They only accept those who are true geniuses with unparalleled abilities to comprehend things. If one’s foundation is even slightly lacking, one won’t be able to enter. The vast majority of those who are able to enter the Black-White College are the most monstrous geniuses of the various tribes within the Stillwater Commandery. Even some of the major powers outside Stillwater Commandery will send their geniuses over in the hopes of joining the Black-White College.”