Time passed, and in the blink of an eye, the twelth lunar month arrived. The first to the third days of the twelfth lunar month were the days which many of the schools located in Stillwater City would accept disciples.
“Wow.” Meng Xin, Meng Jun, and Meng Roch walked out of an alley, arriving at the main street. “There are so many people here,” Meng Xin breathed in amazement. Meng Jun said, his expression exuberant, “That goes without saying. Today is the first day of the twelfth lunar month, the very first day in which one can join a school. There are countless people in Stillwater City who will join a school today. There are ordinary mortals, Xiantian lifeforms, and also Zifu Disciples like us! However, those top-tier schools generally will only accept early Zifu stage experts! We are all early Zifu stage experts; it should be much easier for us to join a school.”
Meng Xin secretly gave the neaby Meng Roch a sideways glance. Previously, when the Snowdragon Mountain experts had ambushed them, Roch had executed a forbidden technique in order to save her. This had resulted in damage to his cultivation base, and it would now be much harder for him to join a school.
“Little Sister Xin, let’s go,” Jun said. Suddenly, he gave the nearby Roch a sidelong glance, and then a look of amusement appear on his face. “Rocky, although your cultivation foundation was damaged, you are still an early stage Zifu Disciple. If you are lucky, perhaps you’ll encounter some schools that didn’t investigate too carefully, and you’ll still be able to join them.”
Roch found it hard to hide the anger from his face. What did Jun mean by ‘didn’t investigate too carefully’? Accepting new disciples was something which determined a school’s future. Which school was careless in doing this?
“Oho, you are angry.” Jun let out a snicker, then turned and left.
“Big Brother Rocky.” Meng Xin couldn’t help but call out to him, but Roch said in a low voice, “You two can go. I’ll go by myself to try out some schools.” Xin hesitated, then said, “Big Brother Rocky, I’ll go with you. Let’s go join a school together.”
Roch couldn’t help but feel surprised and delighted. But right at this moment, Jun, who had already walked quite far away, turned and called out to Xin, “Little Sister Xin!” Xin stood there by Roch’s side. “I’ll stay with Big Brother Rocky,” she said. This caused a hint of excitement to appear on Roch’s face.
Jun stared. “You’ll go with him? How can he possibly enter any decent school?” Xin replied, “When Big Brother Rocky used that forbidden technique, he saved your life as well. And you actually treat him like this? I won’t go with you.”
Because she was both beautiful and talented since she was a child, Xin had always been doted on. Thus, she had a bit of a spoiled streak. Although she slightly looked down on both Roch and Jun, she still felt very grateful towards Roch for having rescued her life on the journey over. As for Jun…Xin naturally now held Meng Jun in great contempt, due to the way he treated his savior.
“You…” Jun stared. “Hmph.” Xin just snorted coldly. Jun turned and left. As he did, he said, “You just wait and see. I want to see what sort of a school you two will end up joining.”
Meng Xin turned to look towards Meng Roch. “Big Brother Rocky, let’s go.” As for Roch, a blazing fire was in his heart, and so he followed Xin forward. The two would try to join a school on their own.
West Stillwater. Northmont Blacktiger’s Estate.
“Brother Baiwei, no need to send me off,” Ji Ning laughed. Northmont Baiwei laughed as well. “Then I’ll wait for your good news, Ji Ning.” Ning clasped his hands, then turned and left, taking his Whitewater Hound with him as he headed directly towards the Black-White College.
The recent days he had spent in Northmont Blacktiger’s Estate had all been quite calm and peaceful. Ning had learned through Baiwei that in recent days, thanks to the power he had displayed in the Carefree Caverns, there had indeed been quite a few schools which had sent people to the Estate with the goal of having Ning join them.
All of them had made extremely good offers. Some offered an Immortal as his master; others offered five hundred kilograms of liquefied elemental essence; still others had prepared a Heaven-ranked magic treasure for him.
Many offers had been made, and these offers were good enough to make even a Primal Daoist envious. In terms of value, there weren’t at all inferior to the entire value of the elemental ore mine that had been discovered in the Ji clan’s territory. Unfortunately, the Skysplitter Sword Sect wasn’t amongst them, nor the Black-White College.
Of the three major schools that were amongst the eight great powers of Stillwater Commandery, the Hundred Flowers Fairyland only accepted female disciples, while the Skysplitter Sword Sect was extremely proud and wouldn’t go recruit disciples. As for the Black-White College, of course it would never, ever proactively reach out to potential disciples.
“Those schools are all much weaker than the three major schools. The Ki Refining techniques, divine abilities, and secret arts they have to offer are all on a lower level as well.” Ning shook his head. This lower level represented a difference that was as great as that between the heavens and the earth. The more top-tier a Ki Refining technique was, the better a chance one would have of becoming an Immortal.
Moments later. “Here we are.” Ning raised his head, staring towards the distant Black-White College. The Whitewater Hound looked at it as well.
“There really are quite a lot of people here today,” Ning sighed. The Whitewater Hound sent mentally towards him, “This Black-White College is extremely exacting in its standards for taking on new disciples. Ning, son, don’t be careless and end up eliminated.”
“Don’t worry, Uncle White.” Ning nodded.
Today, the gates to the Black-White College were wide open. People were allowed to freely enter, and Ning entered, the Whitewater Hound by his side. Within the thronging masses of people present were the various Immortal cultivators who wished to enter the Black-White College.
“Father, I will definitely work hard. I’ll enter the Black-White College at one try.”
“The Black-White College. I’ll definitely enter!”
“I will definitely become a disciple of the Black-White College. Sister Ru promised that she would be my wife if I succeed.”
All of the Immortal cultivators were gritting their teeth. Near them, many spirit-beasts, servants, family members, and friends were present as well. “There has to be thousands of people here,” Ning said to himself, speechless.
From up ahead, an angry voice rang out. “Why have you, a middle stage Ki Refiner, come to my Black-White College? Hurry up and leave. Everyone who wishes to enter our Black-White College, listen up; you must be an early stage Ki Refiner. Our Black-White College will only accept early stage Ki Refiners! If you aren’t an early stage Ki Refiner, hurry up and leave, unless you want to listen to me curse at you. NEXT!”
“Mmm. The toughness of your meridian channels is insufficient. Begone. NEXT!”
“You’ve used a forbidden technique, and you still have come to my Black-White College? Scram! NEXT!”
“Your meridian channels are insufficiently wide. Begone. NEXT!”
“Mmm. You barely qualify. Go inside and wait.”
Ning heard every single evaluation with perfect clarity. Hearing the voice ring out from far away, he couldn’t help but feel surprised. The vast majority had been eliminated, just based on their physical qualifications. From this, one could tell how strict the standards were.
A short time later. Ning moved closer to the front, and he saw the scene happening up ahead. There was a lake in the distance, and above the lake there was a boat with a black-haired middle-aged man seated on it. The man sat there, holding a flagon of wine, appearing quite relaxed. An enormous bronze mirror hung there in the air above him, and it shone down towards the Immortal practitioners that flew towards the man.
“Greetings, senior.” A young man flew forward, standing atop the water without sinking down. Rumble…the light of the bronze mirror shone down upon him. “Mm. You just barely qualify. Go inside and wait,” the black-haired, middle-aged man said casually.
“Thank you, senior.” The young man instantly walked forward atop the water, moving at high speed across the lake and arriving at the opposite end of it. There were tens of young men and women waiting there already, as well as a few youths.
One Immortal cultivator after another was eliminated, and they all had to return to the side of the shore from whence they had come. As for those who passed, they all flew to the other shore.
Yet another graceful young master glided towards the top of the lake. Cupping his hands, he said, “Meng Tang greets you yet again, senior.” The giant bronze mirror shone down on him from above, and the black-haired, middle-aged man revealed a rare hint of a satisfied smile. “Go in.” Meng Tang bowed modestly, then flew to the other shore.
“Uncle White. Wait here for me.” Ning looked at the Whitewater Hound by his side, then sent him a mental message. The Whitewater Hound nodded. Swoosh! Ning’s figure flickered, and he too appeared atop the lake. Clasping his hands, he said, “My respects to you, senior.”
“He’s dressed in animal furs?” “This young man is dressed in animal furs? How rare.” “I wonder where he came from.” “He looks quite young…I imagine he must be quite talented.” The spectators were all chatting amongst themselves.
Ning, however, was quite calm. Although some of those people looked down on his animal fur clothes, these clothes were a perfect copy of the fur clothes his mother had personally sown for him. When he wore these furs, he felt incomparably comfortable, as though his mother was right there by his side. As for the actual fur clothes his mother had sown, he couldn’t bear to wear them, for fear of wearing them out. He kept them safely hidden away.
The black-haired, middle-aged man on the boat gave Ning a glance. “Move faster. No need to put on airs.” The bronze mirror in the sky shone down towards Ning as well.
“Hrm?” Ning suddenly had a strange feeling, as though this light had penetrated through his skin, flesh, and bones throughout his body. “Eh? A Fiendgod Body Refiner?” The black-haired, middle-aged man gave Ning a surprised glance, then nodded in satisfaction. “Your talent isn’t bad. And you’ve already reached the Zifu level as a Fiendgod as well, and seemingly in a very perfect manner. What technique do you train in?”
“The [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens]!” Ning gave a direct response, and his words instantly elicited surprised cries.
“The [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens]?”
“The legendary number one Fiendgod Body Refining technique? Someone was actually able to train to the Zifu level in it?”
“He appears to be simply a youth…it really is true that the younger an Immortal cultivator appears, the more one must be wary of them. For him to be able to successfully train in the [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens] at such a young age…formidable, formidable.”
“There really are quite a few geniuses that have come to join the Black-White College. I came very early in the morning, and this is now the second person I have seen here who trains in the [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens] and is at the Zifu level.”
Ning’s ears twitched. Oh? He wasn’t the only one here who had successfully trained in the [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens]?
“Mm.” The black-haired, middle-aged man nodded with a smile. “Go. Still, you must not be the slightest bit careless. Perhaps you might be able to enter my College after all.” Ning bowed, his heart filled with surprise. “Thank you, senior.”
It seemed as though the Black-White College’s requirements for accepting new disciples truly were exacting. Even someone at the seventh stage of the [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens]… only ‘might’ have a chance at entering? Still, the Black-White College attracted the interest of all of the supreme talents of Stillwater Commandery, and even some of the supreme geniuses outside of Stillwater Commandery would come here. Each year, they would at most select three or four disciples, or perhaps none at all!
Just by relying on the fact that Ning was at the seventh stage of the [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens], he could probably easily enter the Skysplitter Sword Sect. But it was incredibly difficult to become one of the very few disciples of the Black-White College!
Swoosh! Ning moved forward, and it was as though he was one with the water under his feet. Quite easily and simply, he flashed across the surface of the water, arriving on the opposite shore.
“Fifth Bro, yet another practitioner of the [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens] has come.” A youth was currently speaking to a black-clothed youth next to him. The black-clothed youth gave Ning a glance, and Ning glanced back at him.
“What stage of the [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens] have you reached?” The black-clothed youth asked. But Ning just turned his head, not even glancing at him.
The black-clothed youth frowned. Within his clan, he was viewed as a peerless, heaven-favored genius. He was used to being pampered. Moreover, he had reached the seventh stage of the [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens], and was now at the Blood-Drop Rebirth level of power. He, too, had decided to join the Black-White College. He was accustomed to not holding others of the same generation with any regard, and by relying on his divine ability, he was even able to fight those at a higher level. Naturally, he was an extremely proud man.
“Hmph. He doesn’t know his place.” The black-clothed youth gave Ning a glance, then paid him no more attention. As for Ning, he chose a large rock, then sat down atop it in the lotus position. He couldn’t be bothered to notice that black-clothed youth.
As time passed on, the number of young men and women nearby grew more and more numerous. Some were from major tribes, and there were even those from outside Stillwater Commandery. Even members of the Northmont clan of Stillwater had come. Ning occasionally would glance at them, but he wouldn’t engage any of them in conversation. He knew that of the people in front of him, most likely at most one or two would actually be able to enter the Black-White College.