“The royal capital of the Grand Xia Dynasty?” Ji Ning felt a certain itchiness in his heart. He couldn’t help but immediately begin to flip through this enormous compiled intelligence report.
Northmont Baiwei, seeing how eager Ning was, laughed then said, “Intrigued? Now do you know what I saved it for last?”
Soon, Ning flipped to the relevant page regarding the Black-White College. “So actually…so it’s….” Ning, upon reading the information regarding the glorious history of the Black-White College, began to mumble to himself, his eyes shining.
“Black-White Diagram? The Black-White Bedstone Diagram?” Ning, after reading towards the end of the report, raised his head and looked towards Baiwei, his eyes filled with curiosity. “Brother Baiwei, is this Black-White Bedstone Diagram truly so incredible?”
“How could it not be?” Baiwei laughed. “After you join the Black-White College, you will personally see the Black-White Bedstone Diagram. By then, you’ll understand how miraculous it is.” Ning nodded lightly.
The Black-White Diagram was the most precious treasure of the entire Black-White College! It was an enormous sculpture that was carved into the diagram of a black-and-white bedstone. The black-and-white bedstone appeared ordinary, but in reality it was covered with complicated runes, with white and black lines crisscrossing it. It was so intricate and detailed…that the simple crisscrossings of the black and white lines created incomparably profoundness which contained many different types of Dao. It was simply unfathomable.
It allured many of the major figures from outside sects, who would come to stare at it and meditate. But of course, since this was the most sacred treasure of the Black-White College, the major figures of other powers who occasionally received a chance to view it would be given a time limit. Only the disciples of the Black-White College would be given unlimited amounts of time to meditate on it.
“My father once said,” Baiwei explained, “That the Dao is even profounder than the profound. If one wishes to comprehend it, it is like seeking a flower in a fog…while the Black-White Bedstone Diagram seems to summarize the profundities and mysteries of the countless Daos in a very detailed, expert manner. Those countless crisscrossing black and white lines…by viewing them in a different way, you will gain different insights into different mysteries. Such a marvelous item must have been born from nature itself, which naturally formed this diagram.”
The Black-White Diagram had been found by an Immortal in one of the minor worlds, who had brought it back here. By relying on the Black-White Diagram, the College had grown famous and powerful, and had even changed its name after it, becoming the Black-White College.
“I want to go for a stroll,” Ning said, rising to his feet. “Go where?” Baiwei asked. “The Black-White College,” Ning said. “Haha, you can’t resist taking a look?” Baiwei laughed. “Only when I see it with my own eyes will I have a better grasp of whether or not I will choose to join this Black-White College.” Ning was indeed quite eager to see this Black-White College; after all, every single disciple of a school such as this could be described as a unparalleled genius. Ning was naturally quite eager to see what this place, a gathering spot for supreme geniuses, was like.
“Come, I’ll accompany you.” Baiwei rose to his feet as well.
Ning, Baiwei, the Whitewater Hound, and that golem maidservant walked together within the estate, heading towards the outside. “Eh?” Baiwei suddenly noticed several distant figures from the corner of his eyes.
It was his father, Northmont Blacktiger, and that triangle-pupiled old man, along with a third, tall, skinny man. “Xuan Six?” Baiwei frowned, musing to himself. “Why has Six returned to the estate? Can something major have occurred?”
As the only child of Blacktiger, Baiwei naturally knew many secrets. He instantly recognized that tall, skinny man.
“What is it?” Ning asked. “Nothing. Let’s go to the Black-White College,” Baiwei laughed. “We’re in no hurry today. Let’s just walk.” “Alright.” Ning laughed, then followed Baiwei out.
Blacktiger and the old triangle-pupiled servant just stood there, listening to the report from that tall, skinny man – Xuan Six. The triangle-pupiled old man glanced sideways, noting the distant Baiwei and Ning.
“After discovering his whereabouts, we did everything we could to set down an all-encompassing net. In the end, we finally captured that Primordial Fiendgod. We captured him alive!” The tall, skinny man spoke with great respect. “Our side lost a squad, a Primal Daoist, and twelve Wanxiang Adepts.”
“Mm. Well done.” Blacktiger nodded, his deep, abyssal eyes flashing faintly with lightning. “And where has this Fiendgod been imprisoned?” Blacktiger asked. “In the second ‘Kun’ trigram character,” the tall man replied respectfully.
Blacktiger nodded gently. “You can leave now.” “Yes.” The tall, skinny Xuan Six immediately, quietly slipped away.
The nearby triangle-pupiled servant hurriedly whispered, “Congratulations and felicitations, master. You caught a Primordial Fiendgod alive.” Blacktiger responded in a low voice, “Let’s first see what sort of Fiendgod it is, how strong it is, and what divine abilities it is skilled in. These Primordial Fiendgods have been able to struggle at death’s doorstep and survive to this era; none of them are easy to deal with. Even the weakest of them…might have others of the same race in hiding. No matter what, we have to take a look. Come, let’s leave the city.”
“Alright.” The triangle-pupiled old servant replied with respect, and soon…
Whoosh! A wave of black energy appeared. Eight black divine dragons, pulling a carriage behind them, flew out from the Northmont Blacktiger Estate, flying directly into the heavens, finally disappearing into the skies above Stillwater City.
Ning and Baiwei, by contrast, were quite relaxed. The two strolled through the incomparably wide streets, moving a kilometer with each blink of the eye. The Whitewater Hound and the maidservant were able to effortlessly keep up.
“Here we are. The Black-White College is up ahead,” Baiwei said, pointing towards the front. The two quickly came to a halt. Ning lifted his head, staring straight ahead. Up ahead was an enormous edifice, the main gates three hundred meters tall and nearly six hundred meters wide. The main gates had three characters inscribed onto it – ‘Black-White College’. In addition, in the center of these characters, there was a complicated black-and-white diagram of a bedstone.
“The Black-White Bedstone Diagram?” Ning took a look, and as he did, he could sense infinite mysteries contained within it…but when he took a closer inspection, he felt as though they were all blurred, and that he couldn’t get a clear grasp on them.
“Those characters in front of the Black-White College, along with that bedstone diagram, were left behind by that Celestial Immortal to the Black-White College.” Baiwei explained, “It isn’t the true Black-White Bedstone Diagram; the true Black-White Bedstone Diagram is far larger than this one, and far more complicated.”
“So that’s how it is.” Ning nodded. On the second floor of the main gate of the Black-White College, there was an enormous inky-jade stone sculpture of a lion, as well as the inky-jade stone sculpture of a divine dragon. They stood at each side of the bedstone, with many soldiers in the nearby area as well.
“Those soldiers belong to my Marquisate of Stillwater,” Baiwei said. “They’ve been sent here to help guard this place. That lion and that divine dragon? They are the true gate guards for the Black-White College.”
“Them? Guards?” Ning was astonished. Even with his vision, he hadn’t been able to tell that the stone lion and the stone dragon were guardians.
“These are two constructs which the Black-White College purchased from the Bluewood clan at enormous cost,” Baiwei explained. “Supposedly, these two constructs have close to an Immortal’s power, and they have intelligence no lower than an ordinary person’s. They have already stood guard here for countless years.”
Ning was speechless. Constructs? That were close to Immortals in power?
“Blackcurrent!” Baiwei suddenly called out in a high voice. “Baiwei!” From within the Black-White College, a white-robed youth who was leading a group of followers laughed in surprise.
Baiwei immediately sent mentally to the nearby Ning, “This person is named Northmont Blackcurrent. He, too, is a member of our Northmont clan of Stillwater. However, he’s from an extremely distant branch of the family. Although his talent was exceptional, he wasn’t viewed as being very important. Afterwards, however, he actually was able to successfully enter the Black-White College. His status within our Northmont clan instantly rose dramatically.”
“Oh?” Ning looked at the white-clothed youth with surprise.
“Still, be careful of this person. This person is extremely good at putting on false pretenses. My father once said…this Northmont Blackcurrent is a viper dressed in a sheepskin. You cannot let yourself grow too close to this sort of person, but there’s no need to create any grudges between you either.” This was what Baiwei sent to Ning.
Ning nodded. A viper dressed in a sheepskin?
The Northmont clan of Stillwater had managed to last from the Fiendgod era to the modern era. One could imagine how many members it had. Some of the more distant branches…probably wouldn’t have statuses that were much higher than that of the Ji clan’s. Only if they produced a supreme genius would the Marquisate of Stillwater value them.
“This person had probably been stifled terribly in the past, and so his personality became distorted.” This was what Ning guessed.
“Baiwei, why have you come?” Blackcurrent laughed. “I brought my good friend, Ji Ning, to come take a look,” Baiwei replied. “Brother Ji Ning also wishes to enter this Black-White College.”
Ning spoke out: “It is extremely hard to enter the Black-White College. I just want to give it a try.”
Northmont Blackcurrent glanced at Ning. He instantly felt a hint of dislike towards him! His experiences in his youth had caused him to view all of the members of the primary lineage of the Northmont clan, all those exalted young masters, with extreme jealousy and dislike! Thus, he now easily began to view Ning as being on Northmont Baiwei’s side.
“Oh. Even though you might fail, you should still make an attempt,” Blackcurrent said with a laugh. He looked at Ning…but a hint of pity was in his gaze. “You might be lucky. You might get in. By then, we will be fellow disciples.”
Ning could sense that this Blackcurrent had an arrogant, lofty demeanor about him. Clearly, as Blackcurrent saw it, he himself was an unparalleled genius. As for this Ji Ning? Since he had come alongside Baiwei, Ji Ning’s status was extraordinary, but what of it? What the Black-White College cared about was a person’s innate talent and comprehension ability.
“Baiwei, I can’t stay here for too long. I have business. Let’s have a good chat, sometime in the future.” Blackcurrent clasped his hands, then led his group away. Every member of this group had an extraordinary demeanor. Based on what Ning could sense, it seemed as though all of these followers were Immortal cultivators.
“What’s going on with those followers?” Ning asked. “Didn’t you say that he is an ordinary member of a distant branch of your Northmont clan? Why are there so many Immortal practitioners following him?”
Baiwei shook his head. “Every single disciple of the Black-White College is an unparalleled genius. You can’t expect them to all do everything for themselves, can you? Thus, the Black-White College will permit every single formal disciple to accept ten retainers. Thus, although the Black-White College only has a few hundred disciples, it has thousands of retainers.”
“These thousands of retainers will act on behalf of the Black-White College, and they can also go listen to the Primal Daoists, or perhaps even the Immortals, expound on the Dao. They can also be gifted with Ki Refining techniques. If there is a particularly talented person amongst them, they might even be promoted to the rank of full disciple. But of course, it’s rare for even a single retainer to be promoted to full disciple, even after a hundred years. The Black-White College’s requirements for its full disciples are quite strict, after all. Still, no matter what, to be a retainer in the Black-White College is better than going to be an ordinary disciple in an ordinary school,” Baiwei said. “Thus, many Immortal practitioners are willing to go be retainers.”
Ning nodded. Formidable. By accepting retainers, these genius disciples essentially formed their own coteries! This helped make the Black-White College more stable as well.
“However, this fellow clansman of mine, Blackcurrent, seems to not hold you in particularly high regard, Brother Ji Ning,” Baiwei said. “When the time comes, after you enter the Black-White College, the look on his face will be priceless.”
Ning laughed. “My mind is settled!” Baiwei was startled. “Are you saying…?”
“At the twelth lunar month, I will enter this Black-White College.” Ning raised his head, staring towards the words left behind by that Celestial Immortal.
Black-White College…this was the place where he would begin his sudden rise to prominence!