Immortal - 11
Zhong Shan and the other three who had come with him flying on top of clouds were the only ones inside Kaiyang Hall; it looked like they had sent the others away.
Once inside, the three stared at Zhong Shan, analyzing him.
“I am Zhong Shan. It’s an honor to meet three qianbei.” Zhong Shan spoke first.
“I am the current grandmaster of Kaiyang School, Tianxingzi. This is my shimei, Gushuangzi, headmaster of Xuezhu Peak. And this is my shidi, Xuanxinzi, headmaster of Yanshan Peak. Where did you get this jade slip?” The robed old man fixed his eyes on Zhong Shan and asked.
“One evening, while I was resting in my home, a man with great ability came to me and asked me to bring this jade piece to Kaiyang School. He said the grandmaster of the Kaiyang School would grant me a not so difficult wish.” Zhong Shan said and described in great details the look, voice, tone of speech of that person as he repeated every word he had spoken.
After he finished, all three of them believed Zhong Shan’s story. They looked at Zhong Shan, then looked at each other, finally they looked at Zhong Shan again.
“What’s your wish?” Tianxingzi asked.
Zhong Shan abruptly knelt down when he heard the question and said, “Zhong Shan wishes to be a disciple of the Kaiyang School and hopes the grandmaster can grant me this wish.”
They heard Zhong Shan’s wish and recalled what Zhong Shan had told them about the situation of that day. Even before he opened his mouth, they had guessed what his wish the moment he began to kneel. The three masters all used their divine senses to carefully examine Zhong Shan.
“You reached Xiantian by taking a pill?” Tianxingzi frowned and asked.
“Yes, I happened to acquire a ‘Pojin Pill’ not too long ago and reached Xiantian with it.” Zhong Shan honestly answered.
The three masters looked at each other, Xuanxinzi and Gushuangzi also frowned. Evidently they didn’t think Zhong Shan’s aptitude was good enough.
Seeing the reactions of his shidi and shimei, Tinaxingzi could only shake his head in amusement. “If that’s the case, then you can become my disciple. You will practice with all the other Xiantian people, and when any of the second generation disciples thinks you are good enough, he or she will take you in as a disciple.”
“Thank you, grandmaster.” Zhong Shan excitedly called out.
It was a month later.
Zhong Shan was meditating with his eyes closed.
Now Zhong Shan was a member of Kaiyang School. There were three branches of Kaiyang School, Kaiyang Peak, Yanshan Peak and Xuezhu Peak. Gushuangzi was in charge of Xuezhu Peak and only took in female disciples. Xuanxinzi was in charge of Yanshan Peak and only had male disciples. Grandmaster Tianxingzi was in charge of Kaiyang Peak; most of his disciples were males but he occasionally took in female disciples.
In Kaiyang School, the grandmaster and two headmasters had all reached the Nascent Soul stage. They were the first generation of disciples. The second generation disciples were those who had reached the Gold Core stage. Those who had reached Xiantian were of the third generation. At the Kaiyang School, ability was the sole factor; as long as one could make a breakthrough, someone from the third generation could instantly become one of the second generation or even the first generation.
Zhong Shan was one of the third generation. In this month, Zhong Shan continually practiced and also waited for the other members of Kaiyang School to return.
There were other Dragon Gate Tournaments held in places other than the one Zhong Shan attended. Members of the Kaiyang School would spread out to look for suitable disciples in different locations.
This month was the month of everyone’s return.
Zixun Fairy was said to be a member of Kaiyang School, but Zhong Shan wouldn’t dare inquire about her.
Awakening from his meditation, Zhong Shan tidied his clothes, opened the door and slowly walked towards a square in the distance.
This was a huge square under Kaiyang Peak. All the newly admitted disciples would gather here today.
When Zhong Shan arrived, there were twenty some people composed of those who had just reached Xiantian and those who had yet to reach Xiantian. A young man clad in a purple robe was giving orders to these people.
“You, move here. Stand in line. In a while, shishu and shibo will all be here.” The purple robed young man shouted.
Zhong Shan quickly moved to his position, followed by another twenty some people, one after another.
In the end, Zhong Shan counted 56 new disciples. This time, Kaiyang School had taken in 56 new members.
After everyone was in line, the purple robed young man began to speak, “From today, you are all members of our Kaiyang School. The masters who picked you at a Dragon Gate Tournament will not be your actual master here. Remember, you are the third generation disciples. To become a second generation disciple or be picked by the first generation as a disciple, one has to strive to reach the sixth rank of Xiantian, only then will you have a chance to be picked by a qianbei to be his disciple. Otherwise, you will be the third generation of Kaiyang School for all your life.”
“Yes.” everyone immediately shouted.
The purple robed young man was quite pleased with himself when he saw all the newcomers were so cooperative.
“I’m still at the Xiantian stage, but I have reached the 7th rank already. I’m your ninth shixiong, Nanbatian. There are a few things I will explain today. Here in Kaiyang School, we have many houses. Everyone of you will have your own quarter. You need to practice on your own and make a breakthrough as soon as possible. Over there, do you see the scripture library?” Nanbatian pointed to a small hall in the distance and said.
“Yes.” Everyone answered.
“Inside the library, there are manuals of various exercises for those at the Xiantian stage of our School. Everyone has ten days; you are not allowed to copy the scriptures, but you are allowed to search for exercises you need, memorize them, and then go practice them on you own. After ten days, you will not be allowed to go back in again. The library only opens for ten days each year. Only then, you will be able to go in again to search for other exercises. Is that clear?” Nanbatian said.
“Understood.” All the newbies shouted.
Nanbatian was quite satisfied with the responses from all the new members.
“Xiaonanzi, you are lecturing people just like my dad!” An abrupt voice interrupted Nanbatian at this moment.
Everyone followed the voice with their eyes. They saw an energetic teenage girl, dressed in red clothes and looked like a porcelain doll, flew on top a piece of red silk and slowly descended on the square. She was teasingly looking at Nanbatian.
“Shimei…………” Nanbatian’s facial expression suddenly turned uneasy.
“Er?” The porcelain doll widened her eyes and stared at Nanbatian.
“Shi, shijie.” Nanbatian said with a bitter smile.
“En.” Porcelain proudly answered.
“Ling-er.” Suddenly a shout came from above, stopping her.
Everyone looked up and saw the grandmaster and the two headmasters coming down from the clouds. Behind them were about twenty some people flying on various magic items. The one who shouted was the grandmaster, Tianxingzi.
“Dad, it is so. According to the rules of Kaiyang School, whoever has a higher level is in a higher position. I’m already at the eighth rank of Xiantian. What’s wrong to be shijie of Xiaonanzi?” Porcelain doll unhappily said.
“Alright, we will not discuss this now. Just be quiet.” Tianxingzi shook his head; it looked like he didn’t know how to handle his daughter.
“En.” Porcelain doll moved behind Tianxingzi right away.
Tianling-er? Everyone glanced at the porcelain doll and realized that she was the daughter of the grandmaster.
After carefully examining the 56 new disciples, Tianxingzi said, “Nanbatian has already announced to you that later on, you will go to the library to pick exercise manuals, then you will practice them on you own. A year later, we will meet again to evaluate your progress.”
“Yes.” everyone quickly responded.
“En.” Tianxingzi nodded.
Afterwards, Tianxingzi, Xuanxinzi, and Gushuangzi all turned to the people behind them and began giving instructions.
The second generation disciples behind them all nodded and then, they all looked towards Zhong Shan who stood not too far away. Evidently, they had mentioned the jade slip.
Porcelain doll Tianling-er and Nanbatian also curiously looked over at Zhong Shan’s direction.
Then, the grandmaster and the two headmasters flew away on top of white clouds. Based on Zhong Shan’s memory, the direction they flew was the opposite direction of Kaiyang School.
They were leaving the School?
The porcelain doll, Tianling-er, was extremely curious, but Tianxingzi wouldn’t take her with them. She seemed quiet unhappy about it and had turned a curious eye at Zhong Shan.
“Alright, you all go to the library to pick out exercises.” One of the second generation disciples of Gold Core stage said.
“Yes.” Everyone answered.
Yet, everyone ran over to the second generation disciples to greet them first. It was these second generation disciples who had chosen them in the first place. The second generation were very happy to see their chosen ones here, too, and gave the new members some instructions before letting them go to the library.
Obviously, they were instructing the new members on how to pick exercise manuals. They were willing to take care of these new members because later on they might become their own disciples if they made a breakthrough.
After giving instructions, these Gold Core second generation disciples flew away one after another.
Zhong Shan laughed at himself since he knew that there’s no one to give him any instructions and he could only watch the other new members happily go in search of their exercise manuals.
He slowly walked towards the library.
“You are Zhong Shan?” Tianling-er abruptly stopped him out of curiosity.
Looking at this beautiful porcelain doll, Zhong Shan just nodded and didn’t say anything.
“Let me ask you. What was in the jade slip that you gave to my father? What is it that led my father and the other two shishus to discuss over a month about and then decide to leave?” Tianling-er suddenly asked.
“Uh?” Zhong Shan looked at Tianling-er strangely.
“I don’t know either. It was given to me by a qianbei and he just asked me to bring it over here.” Zhong Shan honestly replied.
“If you tell me, I’ll tell you a secret about the library.” Tianling-er mysteriously said.
“Secret?” Zhong Shan surprisingly looked at Tianling-er.
“That’s right. Aunt Gushuang told me. It will help you locate the best manuals among the thousands of manuals in the library.” Tianling-er immediately lowered her voice and said.
“Oh, really?” Zhong Shan surprisingly said.
“Sure, it’s true. I had told Xiaonanzi before and that’s why he progressed so quickly. Isn’t that right, Xiaonanzi?” Tianling-er looked at the only other person who’s left in the square.
“Yeah, shijie.” Nanbatian embarrassedly said.
After hearing the two of them, Zhong Shan started to ponder. Zhong Shan knew very well that a good exercise manual was very important to one’s progress, it could save a lot of trouble from trial and error. In addition, his aptitude wasn’t good to start with, a good manual was especially what he would need.
But, Zhong Shan really didn’t know anything about the jade slip. What could he tell them? Yet, he didn’t want to let such a good opportunity to go waste. Zhong Shan was caught in a dilemma, unsure of what to do.
Seeing the curiosity of the two people in front of him, one thing he could be sure was that the grandmaster and the two headmasters didn’t tell them anything about it. Then, maybe he would just make up something in order to get information about a good exercise manual, which was the most pressing issue now. He would make up for it to them on a later day.
“This thing, you have to promise not to tell anyone that I say so.” Zhong Shan looked around pretending to be nervous.
Seeing Zhong Shan’s mysterious reaction, Tianling-er’s eyes brightened up. She felt that she’s about to learn something amazing. Nanbatian stood next to them pretending to not care too much about the secret, but his eyes betrayed him.
“A magical item. A very powerful magical item.” Zhong Shan looked at the two and whispered.
“Oh?” Tianling-er’s eyes were even brighter now when she heard that it’s a magical item.
“The magical item is called the ‘Flying Nimbus’. I heard that if one can properly operate it, one could travel tens of thousands miles in just one somersault.” Zhong Shan used his marketing skills as if he was running his business and told them in a very serious tone as if he feared that they would tell others about it.
Tianling-er’s mouth opened into an O shape and was very amazed.
Nanbatian showed an inconceivable expression. Flying Nimbus? A somersault that could travel tens of thousands miles?
“Uhm, I’m not sure about anything else. I hadn’t seen what’s inside the jade slip after all, only what I have heard. Furthermore, don’t tell anyone it’s from me.” Zhong Shan seriously said it again.
“En, en.” Tianling-er nodded right away.
Nanbetian on the other hand looked at Zhong Shan with suspicion.
“Then, how to pick the best exercise manual?” Zhong Shan asked facing Tianling-er.
“The best exercise? Oh, right. After you go in the library, any manual with a white finger print on the back of the book is the best one.” Tianling-er immediately kept her promise.
“En, thanks a lot.” Zhong Shan said. Then he bid goodbye to the two and quickly walked towards the library.
He left the two there to muse over how amazing the Flying Nimbus was.
- ^ 师妹, pinyin: “shi mei,” lit: “younger female student of same master,” one who studies under the same master as you but who started later; the opposite of 师姐 (pinyin: shijie). For males 师弟, pinyin: “shi di” for younger male and 师兄, pinyin: “shi xiong”
- ^ 师叔, pinyin: “shi shu” and 师伯, pinyin: “shi bo” both literally mean “uncle” though shibo means “older uncle.” They are used to address the older members of the school.