“Whew.” Watching the sun rise in the east, Ning let out a soft breath. “Come, all of you, come. I’ll take on all comers!”
He had won two consecutive battles last night. The parting words of senior apprentice-brother Bu Ying and senior apprentice-sister Ninelotus allowed Ning to understand…that no matter what, the old disciples definitely wouldn’t just let things rest. They would have to win one round of battle, no matter the cost. Ning had to admit; some of the supremely talented disciples of the Black-White College would definitely find it hard to admit inferiority.
However, Ning wouldn’t easily admit defeat either. If he had to lose, he had to be thoroughly convinced of his defeat.
“If you want to defeat me, then you need to make me feel completely convinced of your superior power.” Ning’s eyes were filled with a readiness for battle. This entire night, he had been analyzing the [Lesser Five Elements Sword]; since he knew that he had to engage in battles tomorrow, he naturally had to seize every moment.
Ning willed it, and a flying boat appeared next to him. He prepared to go meet with his master, Immortal Diancai…after all, there were many questions he had encountered when analyzing the [Lesser Five Elements Sword]. Perhaps by asking his master, he would have some of his questions resolved.
Swoosh! The flying boat instantly disappeared into the skies. But suddenly, a voice rang out. “Senior apprentice-brother Darknorth!”
Ning, atop the boat, turned to look. A middle-aged man, mounted on a sword, was flying towards him. A hint of nervousness and awe was on his face, and the borders of his sleeves were decorated with white and black embroidery. Upon seeing the embroidery, Ning immediately understood that this should be a formal disciple’s retainer.
Every single formal disciple was able to take on ten retainers. These Immortal practitioner retainers would carry out some some important tasks, deliver messages, stand as guards, etc. These were the tasks they would carry out.
“What is it?” Ning looked towards him. The middle-aged man replied respectfully, “There is someone outside the College who wishes to see you, senior apprentice-brother Darknorth. He calls himself Northmont Baiwei.”
“Northmont Baiwei?” Ning nodded. “I’ll head right over.” Swoosh! He immediately directed the boat towards the Black-White College’s main gate. Moments later, he arrived and saw that outside the gate, Baiwei was seated atop his Ninestar Immortal Carriage in an extremely ostentatious manner, with the driver still that female servant construct.
“Ji Ning.” Baiwei, upon seeing Ning fly over aboard his boat, immediately disembarked from the carriage. “Baiwei.” Ning landed. “Why have you come so early this morning to the College?”
Baiwei laughed, then pointed towards three people standing nearby. All of them had fairly exceptional auras. “I told you before that I wanted five slots from you. These three will fill up three of the slots. As for the other two…they’ll arrive after a period of time.”
“The three of them?” Ning sized them up carefully. Every single formal disciple could only have ten retainers. Once a master-servant relationship was established, they would generally be together for a century, or even centuries.
“These three are all not bad.” Baiwei pointed to the tallest one, a rather skinny youth. “His name is Cloudship. He’s a member of the Cloud tribe, and an early stage Zifu Disciple.”
Cloudship’s eyes were very bright. He immediately said with respect, “Cloudship pays his respects to senior apprentice-brother Ji Ning.”
“This is Cloudship’s little sister.” Baiwei pointed to a devilishly beautiful, tall, willowy woman who was dressed in white muslin. This woman’s eyes were extremely large, soft, and moist. Her eyes were just as bright as her older brother’s. She gave Ning a deep look, then curtsied and said, “Cloudjade pays her respects to senior apprentice-brother Ji Ning.”
Baiwei then pointed to the final person, a seemingly ordinary youth. “His name is Forgard. He was originally one of my guards, and is extremely loyal.”
“Forgard pays his respects to senior apprentice-brother Ji Ning.” The ordinary-looking youth also bowed with respect.
“Cloudship, Cloudjade, and Forgard.” Baiwei laughed. “They will be your retainers, Brother Ji Ning. If they treat you with any disrespect at all, you can immediately expel them from the Black-White College. As for myself, Northmont Baiwei, I’ll never meet them again after that. In dealing with them, you do not need to consider the question of giving me face at all.” Ning nodded.
“Here are another hundred ordinary mortals. They were all carefully selected, and all have some special talents. They are skilled in calligraphy, painting, cooking, and the likes.” Baiwei pointed towards a group of ordinary mortals. These were almost all women, with only two or three dozen being men.
When Baiwei pointed towards them, they all fell to their knees in respect, not daring to show the slightest hint of discourtesy.
“Sorry for the trouble, Brother Baiwei.” Ning nodded. Baiwei asked, “If you aren’t in a hurry, how about, in a few days, you, me, and that Mu Northson have a little get together?”
“Very well.” Ning hurriedly added, “Right. There’s something I need to trouble you about, Brother Baiwei.” “Oh? Pray tell,” Baiwei said.
Ning nodded. “Here’s the situation. When travelling to Stillwater City, I encountered three early stage Zifu Disciples of the Meng clan. Their names were Meng Xin, Meng Roch, and Meng Jun. Afterwards, they met with one of their seniors of their clan, someone they addressed as ‘Uncle Ming’, a balding, middle-aged man.”
“Of the three of them, Meng Roch once used a forbidden technique and harmed his foundations. I imagine that it will be hard for him to enter a school, and so I want to give one of the retainer positions to him. Only, I have no idea where he is living, so I’d like to ask you to help investigate, Brother Baiwei.”
“This is a minor matter,” Baiwei said with confidence. “The Meng clan is a major clan. The Heavenly Treasures Mountain will definitely be keeping track of the movements of the members of their clan. I’ll go investigate and will immediately find out.”
“Alright, if there’s nothing else, I won’t tarry.” Baiwei once more walked to his Ninestar Immortal Carriage. The two clasped hands towards each other, bidding each other farewell, and then the Immortal Carriage transformed into a blaze of light, disappearing into the horizons.
With but a thought, Ning made his flying boat increase in size, to a ship that was many tens of meters in length. “All of you, come aboard.” The three retainers and the many mortal followers all boarded the ship, and then the ship soared into the skies, flying at high speed towards Darknorth Peak.
Baiwei, riding within the Ninestar Immortal Carriage, quickly arrived at the Heavenly Treasures Mountain.
“I heard that the new disciple of the Black-White College, Ji Ning, defeated two of the old disciples in a row last night!”
“What sort of a person is this Ji Ning? He is that amazing?”
“No idea. All I heard is that he was accepted by Immortal Diancai as his apprentice.”
As soon as he left the carriage, Baiwei overheard two Immortal practitioners engaged in a conversation. The Heavenly Treasures Mountain was a place where fish and dragons intermingled; there was quite the free flow of information here.
“Oh?” A hint of a smile appeared on Baiwei’s face. “My brother Ji Ning actually did something so incredible last night, and I didn’t even know about it? Mm. First, I’ll help him locate that Meng Roch fellow. Since my brother Ji Ning remembered him, I imagine that this Roch must have some extraordinary qualities.”
East Stillwater City. Within an exquisite estate. Meng Roch was seated here, drinking wine.
“Little Sister Xin, let me.”
“Little Sister Xin, I’ll help you package these.”
Meng Jun was quite the busy bee right now, helping Meng Xin take care of and package some of her household items. They had been living in their Third Uncle’s residence in recent days, but since they had entered a school, the school had given them three days time to prepare. Then, they would leave Stillwater City and head to the headquarters of the main sect, located a million kilometers away from Stillwater City.
Meng Jun glanced sideways at Meng Roch, who was drinking wine gloomily, then sighed, “Rocky, just endure it for a bit. In a few more years, when your injuries can no longer be detected, you’ll be able to join a school as well. I must say though, it seems as though karma has bound myself and Little Sister Xin together. We actually ended up in the same school by coincidence. Haha, what luck.”
Still drinking wine, Roch’s face sank, and he crushed the beastskull goblet in his hand to dust.
“Hmph.” Jun let out a snort, then turned his head and left.
“Despicable fellow.” Roch gave him a glance.
Actually, he was able to guess that Jun had been following after Xin…and so, when Xin had entered a school, Jun had chosen that same school. Xin and Jun were equally talented, and so it wasn’t strange for them to both join the same school.
Roch had been infatuated with Xin since he was young, but the same was true for Jun! This made Roch feel all the more miserable.
“Despicable fellow!” Roch ground his teeth. “I hate the fact that I…”
“Big Brother Rocky.” Xin stood there next to him. Roch raised his head, looking towards her. “Don’t give up. I believe that you will definitely succeed.” Xin’s eyes were slightly red. Roch instantly felt a warm feeling in his heart, and he nodded strongly.
“Succeed? Hmph.” From nearby, a strange, bizarre sounding snort could be heard. “Little Sister Xin, let’s go. We should go to our Thousand Rivers School.” Xin gave Roch a deep look, but in the end, she had to leave. She had to go to the main sect. Had to embark on her Immortal path.
Roch silently watched as she left.
“Little Xin. Wait for me,” Roch silently said to himself. However, the fact that he had been kicked out by various schools for three days in a row made Roch feel all the more miserable and frantic in his heart.
Within the Black-White College. Ning was carefully observing Cloudship, Cloudjade, and Forgard. Although Baiwei had brought them here, if Ning truly disliked them, he could still kick them out. After all, masters and retainers would be together for a very long period of time. As for Cloudship, Cloudjade, and Forgard, they were rather nervous as well.
“This Forgard was originally a guard? And is quite loyal?” Ning had immediately felt well-disposed towards Forgard. “Cloudship, upon seeing me, immediately smiled; he knows how to flatter. As for his little sister, Cloudjade…what the hell was Baiwei thinking? Why’d he deliver such an alluring girl to me?”
Cloudjade definitely could be considered an alluring girl. In terms of appearance alone, she was not even inferior to Meng Xin, and more attractive than even Ninelotus. In addition, her entire body seemed to naturally exude a certain magnetism, and her soft, moist eyes were extremely seductive as well. It seemed as though ever since she had seen Ning, she was either consciously or unconsciously attempting to seduce him.
“Forgard. Why do you have a name like this?” Ning asked.
Forgard said solemnly, “Originally, I had no name. Afterwards, I was given a name by the young master and served him for many years. Perhaps the young master felt that I would have great future accomplishments, and so he gave me this life-changing chance. And thus, he also gave me a Daoist title, ‘Forgard’; he wished for me to forget that I was once a guard, and wished for me to truly become a formidable Immortal practitioner.
Whoosh. The ship descended towards Darknorth Peak. The nearby Cloudship, Cloudjade, and Forgard all nervously awaited Ning’s questions…but unexpectedly, Ning didn’t ask them a single thing.
“Uncle White.” Upon landing, Ning spoke out, and the Whitewater Hound immediately appeared. Ning glanced towards the three retainers and many commoners, then said in a clear voice, “All of you, listen up. This is Darknorth Peak, of the Black-White College. Here in my Darknorth Peak…you must always obey the words of my Uncle White. Whatever Uncle White tells you to do, you do. You must never disobey.”
“Yes.” Cloudship, Cloudjade, Forgard, and the crowd of commoners all assented respectfully.
“Uncle White, those three are retainers, while the rest are all ordinary mortals.” Ning looked towards the Whitewater Hound. “I’ll hand full responsibility for all matters in Darknorth Peak to you, Uncle White. Give them their instructions and tell them about the rules here at the Black-White College.”
The Whitewater Hound immediately transformed into mist, and when he reformed, he appeared as a white-robed, white-haired man.
The white-robed, white-haired man had a very gentle look in his eyes, and he seemed to extrude a natural aura of friendliness, as though he brought the gentle, warm spring wind with him. He laughed and said, “Ning, son, go ahead and leave these things to me.”
“Alright.” Ning immediately transformed into a ray of light, quickly departing from Darknorth Peak. As for the others, including the retainers, they were restricted as to where in the Black-White College they could go.
A short while later, Ning arrived before the mountain peak which was the residence of his master, Immortal Diancai.
“Ji Ning. Enter.” A calm voice rang out by Ning’s ears. “Yes, Master.” Ning immediately descended towards the peak.