Ji Ning walked out of the Daoist monastery. Outside of it was the white-robed Lord Jiang, Little Qing, and Uncle White.
“Master.” Little Qing had already transformed into an azure-robed maiden. She immediately called out in delight upon seeing him.
The white-robed Lord Jiang smiled as he looked at Ning. “I should now address you as junior apprentice-brother.”
“Senior apprentice-brother,” Ning called out in response.
The two novitiates outside the Daoist monastery all revealed looks of surprise. The white-robed Lord Jiang said with a laugh, “Clearwater and Whiteriver, Master has just accepted junior apprentice-brother Ji Ning as his disciple. The two of you need to remember this.”
“Greetings, uncle-master,” the two novices both said towards Ning.
“Junior apprentice-brother Ji Ning,” Lord Jiang said with a laugh, “Clearwater and Whiteriver are the personifications of two Protocosmic spirit-treasures who always serve him. Normally, even if I wish to meet with Master, I must first notify him and receive his permission, but the two of them are always by his side. They are able to see Master far more often than disciples like ourselves.”
Ning, the Whitewater Hound, and Little Qing were all greatly shocked. Protocosmic spirit-treasures?
“Greetings, apprentice-nephews.” Ning naturally didn’t dare to show any hint of arrogance.
“No need to be so courteous, uncle-master. We are merely two Protocosmic spirit-treasures; it is incomparably difficult for us to even train in cultivation. How can we possibly compare to the two of you? Your training speed far surpasses us,” the novitiate named Clearwater said.
Protocosmic Fiendgods were the Fiendgods who had been born by the heavens and the earths after Pangu had created the universe.
Protocosmic spirit-treasures were the magic treasures that were born by the heavens and the earths after Pangu had created the universe!
Immortal cultivators were generally only capable of making Mortal-ranked, Earth-ranked, Heaven-ranked, Immortal-ranked, and Pure Yang magic treasures! Even major powers were only capable of creating Pure Yang magic treasures; this was the limit for manufactured treasures. However, Pure Yang magic treasures possess souls; they could absorb energy from the natural world, comprehend the profound mysteries of the universe, and have a very tiny chance of breaking through to become a Protocosmic spirit-treasure.
“Junior apprentice-brother, the scenery here is quite beautiful, and it is also quite secluded. This can be your home, here at Mount Innerheart. Junior apprentice-brother, you can place your Immortal estate here.” The white-robed Lord Jiang looked at Ning as they arrived within a secluded region. Creeks could be seen nearby, as well as ripe red spirit-fruit hanging from the branches of trees, as well as some fairy birds flying past.
Ning nodded. “Fine. Here it is, then.”
He had come to the Tristar Crescent Abode in order to study the Dao. It didn’t really matter where he lived. In addition, this place which Lord Jiang had helped him choose was indeed worthy of being an abode for an Immortal.
Whoosh. The Immortal estate descended, landing upon the grassy region.
“Mount Innerheart has spirit-fruit and wells. You can eat and drink from them as you please,” Lord Jiang said. “There are many Diremonsters in this mountain, but you must remember that they cannot be killed. Those ordinary animals that are merely at the Houtian level, however, can be hunted, cooked, and eaten.”
“Right.” Ning nodded his head.
“We can only eat ordinary animals?” Little Qing was mumbling by herself.
“Senior apprentice-brother, Master told me earlier that Mount Innerheart has two Dao-Palaces that include everything within them,” Ning said.
“Right.” Lord Jiang nodded. “I’ll take you three over.”
The place in the entire Tristar Crescent Abode with the most Fiendgods and Diremonsters was the Divinities Palace.
“That’s the Divinities Palace, one of the two Dao-Palaces.” Lord Jiang pointed to a nine-layered palace in the distance. “The Divinities Palace is divided into nine levels, each one containing all sorts of techniques, including those for formations, golems, the Dao of the Sword, evasion, lightning, magnetism…all sorts of divine abilities and secrets arts are within it. The higher up you go, the more profound the mysteries are. The ninth floor naturally has the most profound techniques.”
“Anyone can come to the Divinities Palace. All living creatures within Mount Innerheart can enter and learn. However, the Dao cannot be casually taught; there is a simple test that must be taken before studying a technique or secret art. Only after passing the test can you learn it,” Lord Jiang said.
Ning nodded and immediately asked, “Then my two spirit-beasts can study here as well?”
“Of course.” Lord Jiang nodded. “The techniques and arts within the Divinities Palace might not be the most profound and arcane ones possessed by the Tristar Crescent Abode, but they vastly surpass the Dao-Repositories of your Grand Xia world.”
“Do you have techniques and secret arts of the Grand Dao of Qiankun1?” Little Qing was extremely delighted.
“Do you have many formations here?” The Whitewater Hound was excited as well.
“Far more than exist in your entire world of the Grand Xia,” Lord Jiang said confidently. “Even Daofather Crimsonbright is inferior to my master in terms of how many techniques he possesses. If you want to learn Ki Refining, Body Refining, formations, the Grand Dao of Qiankun, the Grand Dao of Taiji…you can learn all these things. All you need to do is pass that simple test.”
Little Qing and the Whitewater Hound instantly realized that their chance had come.
Actually, everyone within Mount Innerheart had some sort of connection to Daofather Subhuti. Some were his disciples or grand-disciples, while others were his disciples’ servants, spirit-beasts, etc. In short, they were generally all under Patriarch Subhuti’s command, which was why it made sense that everyone here within Mount Innerheart was permitted to learn these techniques.
“There are many humans here, but even more Diremonsters and Fiendgods.” Ning saw many figures on the ground outside the Divinities Palace. There were even avian Diremonsters flying about, as well as some Fiendgods that had extremely strange appearances.
“Senior apprentice-brother, what’s the other Dao-Palace?” Ning asked.
“Two Dao-Palaces – the Divinities Palace, and the Three Realms Palace. All living creatures within Mount Innerheart are permitted to enter the Divinities Palace, but only personal disciples of the Patriarch or those with special dispensation from the Patriarch are allowed to enter the Three Realms Palace!” Lord Jiang continued, “Junior apprentice-brother, since you are still weak, you are technically only an honorary disciple for now. However, Master treats you as he does his other personal disciples, and so you can enter the Three Realms Palace. Your two spirit-beasts, however, cannot.”
Ning nodded in understanding.
“The Three Realms Palace holds some of the most truly supreme divine abilities of the Three Realms, as well as some terrifying secret arts. These things cannot be casually taught. Even personal disciples are only permitted to learn a few, at which point Master forbids them from learning any more,” Lord Jiang said. “To be able to learn a few is already a tremendous fortune; after all, for normal Empyrean Gods, being able to learn even one of these techniques is already enough to allow them to roam the Three Realms fearlessly.”
This caused Ning’s heart to be filled with a blazing fire. The power to roam the Three Realms without fear!
“And generally, when a student leaves his tutelage, Master will bestow a divine ability or secret art that is very suited to him,” Lord Jiang said with a laugh.
Ning now remembered…that his master had said that when he left, he would be given two great gifts.
“Divinities Palace, Three Realms Palace.” Lord Jiang sighed, “Junior apprentice-brother, you must remember that you must have the ability to acquire one of the techniques or secret arts from the ninth level of the Divinities Palace before you can enter the Three Realms Palace.”
“If you can’t even acquire the ninth level techniques, then you naturally aren’t qualified to enter the Three Realms Palace,” Lord Jiang said. “As for the other living creatures of Mount Innerheart, generally speaking, after they have the ability to learn ninth level techniques, they will eventually be shooed off the mountain.”
Ning nodded. This was something that was different for personal disciples! And although Ning was only an honorary disciple, his treatment was completely in line with that given to personal disciples.
“The Three Realms Palace.” Ning felt an itchiness in his heart.
“Junior apprentice-brother, spend some time and look around. If there’s anything you need, just come find me. I live just up the mountain; you can ask anyone and they’ll tell you where I am,” Lord Jiang said.
“Thank you, senior apprentice-brother,” Ning said with gratitude.
“A minor matter.” Lord Jiang left gracefully. He had long ago ascended past his apprenticeship and had reached the Pure Yang True Immortal level. The main reason he continued to live at Mount Innerheart was because he liked the peaceful quiet of this place, and because he could occasionally listen to Patriarch Subhuti expound on the Dao. After all…at his level, everyone’s main goal was to become a Daofather.
Daofathers were truly the most supreme figures of the Three Realms!
“The Three Realms Palace is so tiny,” Little Qing mumbled. “It looks completely unremarkable. It’s a place that holds the most supreme divine abilities and most terrifying secret arts of the Three Realms; this Dao-Palace should be built to look a bit more imposing and have at least a bit of Immortal majesty.”
Ning blinked as well. The distant ‘Three Realms Palace’ was just an ordinary little building, just ten or so meters high. Outside the building, there was a skinny old man that was lying down taking a nap, a fan across his chest. His slumbering snores were quite loud; even at this distance, Ning could hear everything clearly.
The Divinities Palace.
Ning, Little Qing, and the Whitewater Hound arrived at the Divinities Palace. The humans, Diremonsters, and Fiendgods outside the Divinities Palace all looked at the three with curiosity.
“Who are these three? Why haven’t I seen them before?”
“I’ve never seen them either. They must’ve just come to the mountain.”
“I saw Patriarch Jiang leading them around earlier. Perhaps that fur-clad youth is a disciple which Patriarch Jiang accepted as a disciple.”
“Their auras are very weak. It seems these three are at the Wanxiang level.”
“Right. Quite weak.”
The humans, monsters, and Fiendgods chatted amongst themselves, clearly not recognizing this group.
In front of the entrance to the Divinities Palace, there was a handsome man in a white robe and who held a white fan in his hands. The handsome man languidly barked, “Hush.”
Instantly, everyone fell silent. All the humans, Diremonsters, and Fiendgods all fell silent. This handsome man was in charge of the Divinities Palace; of course they respected him! In addition, he was also an incredibly, terrifyingly powerful Primordial Fiendgod. His power was incomparably great, far greater than any of theirs.
“Junior apprentice-brother Ji Ning.” The handsome man smiled and nodded towards Ning. “My name is Silvermoon. You may simply refer to me as senior apprentice-brother Silvermoon. I already know of your affairs.”
“Ji Ning greets you, senior apprentice-brother.” Ning could sense an incomparably terrifying aura emanating from this handsome man’s body, an aura comparable to the one which Empyrean God Seatopple had.
All of the humans, Diremonsters, and Fiendgods were completely stunned.
Junior apprentice-brother? That old demon Silvermoon had actually addressed the fur-clad kid as junior apprentice-brother? That meant…this fur-clad kid was Patriarch Subhuti’s disciple! For a mere Wanxiang Adept to become Patriarch Subhuti’s disciple…there was no question that the Patriarch viewed him with great favor. If he was to become a Celestial Immortal, he would definitely become a personal disciple.
“Right.” The white-robed, fan-holding man glanced at the many distant humans, Diremonsters, and Fiendgods. He said calmly, “All of you, listen up. This Ji Ning is the new disciple the Patriarch has just accepted. All of you need to be respectful. Those of you who should address him as uncle-master, do so. Those of you who should address him as Patriarch, do so as well.”
“Respectful greetings, uncle-master.”
“Respectful greetings, Patriarch.”
All of these mighty humans, Diremonsters, and Fiendgods were all calling out to him with respect.
Ning stared at these figures. There were all at least at the Primal or Void levels. There were even quite a few Void-level Fiendgods and Godbeasts. Void-level Fiendgods…these were figures on the level of that Fiendgod he had met in the wild marshes of the Gaol Mountains. For all of them to be obediently calling out to him as ‘uncle-master’ and ‘Patriarch’…Ning felt this was quite bizarre.
“Come in, junior apprentice-brother,” the white-robed man said.
Ning immediately turned and entered the Divinities Palace. The very first floor was filled with bookshelves and countless books. Atop one of the bookshelves, there was a line of large characters: “If you clean the mountain path of Mount Innerheart once, you can choose a technique at will.”