AGM 518 - Grass Hut
After Qin Wentian heard Liu Yun's words, he wanted nothing more than to find a hole to bury himself in. He secretly snuck a glance at Ye Lingshuang, only to see her regarding him with a look of disdain. This made Qin Wentian want to sigh-he'd only just entered the Battle Sword Sect and his reputation had already been instantly destroyed by Little Rascal.
"Little Rascal, you better get your ass over here." Qin Wentian stared sternly at that little puppy, only to see it yawning lazily as it settled itself more comfortably in the ample bosom of Ye Linshuang, a look of mesmerization flickering in its eyes.
"Junior Brother is truly such a good teacher." Ye Linshuang laughed, and Qin Wentian howled in his heart. Right now, he wouldn't be able to wash his reputation clean even if he jumped inside a river.
"Junior Brother and Junior Sister, I'll show you around our Battle Sword Sect." At this moment, Lin Shuai interjected, helping Qin Wentian to escape the situation. Qin Wentian nodded in agreement and a moment later, they soared up into the air and flew around, with Ye Linshuang and the others following behind.
"Our Battle Sword Sect has a territory of a few hundred miles, and a total of three thousand disciples. The peaks of the mountains here are all connected and the disciples reside in wooden houses at the peak. You may choose an empty residence for your own lodging." Lin Shuai led Qin Wentian and pointed at a residence set in the middle of two mountain ramparts. The scenery here was exemplary, and projected a feeling of solitude and quietness, as though it were a place separated from the rest of the world. Mist cloaked the area, giving it the appearance of an abode for immortals to reside in during cultivation.. In one's residence, no one should be able to disturb you at such a time.
"The lodging grounds are completely separated from the training grounds. Look over there, that's the training stage of our Battle Sword Sect. Several of our disciples are usually found sparring or honing their skills there. If there are conflicts among our disciples, the elders normally step in to mediate, but if mediation fails, both parties can apply for the rights to have a duel." Lin Shuai pointed to a vast space with a magnificient training arena built upon it.
Qin Wentian took note of this. Although the Battle Sword Sect had the least number of members in the nine great sects, their recruitment tests were especially stringent. However, Qin Wentian didn't expect that they would actually have a total of three thousand disciples-one could very well see how fearsome a great sect could be. Not only that, for the other eight sects, it was likely that they would have over ten thousand disciples, with each of them being the elites of their generation.
In fact, if one were to think about it, it wasn't strange at all. The Royal Sacred Region was insanely vast with countless powerful sects and aristocratic clans, and this was including the three great empires, and several ancient kingdoms. The population was overwhelming, and with the nine great sects being the highest-tiered powers below the Royal Sacred Sect, there would be countless talented individuals hoping to join it, year after year. For every ten thousand that came, even if the Battle Sword Sect were to choose only one of them, when the thousands of years added up, then three thousand disciples was actually considered to be on the low side.
"That's the Battle Sword Platform. Whenever the sect has a major event, they sound out the drums to call for all the disciples to gather there." Lin Shuai pointed to another area.
Qin Wentian silently took note as he continued following Lin Shuai. And finally up ahead, nine great ancient mountains could be seen. The area each mountain occupied was overwhelmingly large.
"These are the cultivation mountains. With so many disciples in our sect, naturally it wouldn't make sense just to have one speciality and then group everyone within it. There are nine Sword Sovereigns that guide their disciples according to one's strength. Each of the Sword Sovereigns are assigned control of one of the nine mountains, and the elders under them are in charge of the day-to-day administrative tasks, as well as assist the Sword Sovereigns in guiding the disciples.
"Senior, which mountain do you belong to?" Qin Wentian curiously asked.
"Senior Brother Lin Shuai is the personal disciple of the first mountain's Sword Sovereign, Ling Tian. Sword Sovereign Ling Tian is also the sect master of our Battle Sword Sect," Ye Lingshuang replied on behalf of Lin Shuai. She then continued, "As for the rest of us, we belong to the first mountain as well, but we are not the personal disciples of Sword Sovereign Ling Tian. Our masters are the various elders of the first mountain."
Qin Wentian lightly nodded his head. It was only to be expected that the Sword Sovereigns wouldn't have the time to personally coach all three thousand disciples. Only personal disciples like Lin Shuai would have the privilege to be trained by them.
"Within the nine mountains, there are a total of nine libraries that contain a plethora of cultivation arts, innate techniques, and even notes left behind from ancient times. Disciples are allowed to browse the library freely with no restrictions. And up ahead, that's the place where the supreme elders cultivate, it's a forbidden area where most disciples have no right to enter," Lin Shuai informed.
"Other than this, you'll find that between some of the mountain peaks, there are marks and traces of swordplay cultivators from ancient times left behind. One can freely visit the area and gain comprehension regarding their swordplay," Lin Shuai added.
"Next, I'll bring you to an extremely important place in our Battle Sword Sect."
After that, Lin Shuai sped up. Qin Wentian and the others followed closely behind. When he glanced at Ye Lingshuang, he discovered that she, as well as Liu Yun and the rest, all wore extremely solemn looks on their countenances.
After some time, they arrived at the foot of a mountain. There were actually many disciples already gathered there and when they saw Lin Shuai, all of them immediately stopped what they were doing and greeted him.
Lin Shuai was a personal disciple of the sect leader and his cultivation base had already broken through to the Celestial Phenomenon Realm. He wasn't any weaker compared to some of the elder-level executives of the sect, and hence, he was well respected.
Lin Shuai lightly nodded his head in response. The crowd then shifted their gazes onto Qin Wentian and Qing`er standing behind Lin Shuai, as a look of bewilderment appeared on their faces. Were these two the new disciples of their Battle Sword Sect? To think that senior Lin Shuai would personally bring them to this place.
Qin Wentian projected a reserved bearing, yet he was handsome and had an extraordinary aura. Qing`er appeared ice-cold, yet her beauty was comparable even to celestial maidens. Despite Ye Lingshuang's beauty, she could only serve as a backdrop, losing her luster. These two new juniors who'd just joined the sect were indeed unique/uncommon.
Qin Wentian didn't really care what others thought about him. Right now, his eyes stared at the peak of the mountain, only to see a grass hut situated there. This grass hut looked exceedingly ordinary, yet the entire area around it was coated with a mysterious energy.
Just a single glance at the grass hut was sufficient to capture Qin Wentian's attention. But what shocked him was that when he tried sending tendrils of his perception into it, it was actually blocked by a formless energy-he had no way to 'see' nor sense what was contained within the grass hut at all.
"Senior, what's inside that grass hut?" Qin Wentian asked curiously.
Lin Shuai shook his head, "Nobody knows. Not even my master has ever entered there before. Or to better put it, we are unable to enter it."
Qin Wentian's heart trembled in astonishment, who would have thought that the Battle Sword Sect would actually have such a mysterious place.
"This place is where the founder of our Battle Sword Sect used to cultivate in. Rumors have it that our founder had already reached the level of a Sword Immortal, and many speculated that his personal sword was hidden within the grass hut. Some say that there are incredibly profound sword arts within, and others say that there was nothing there at all. However, the mountain pathway up to the grass hut contains essences of the sword insights gained by the founder in his Dao of Swords."
Lin Shuai's countenance was extremely solemn. Only then did Qin Wentian realize that there was a small mountain pathway leading up to the grass hut and right now, there were even people attempting the journey. Yet, they seemed to still be stuck at the foot of the mountain. The distance to the grass hut was too great. For some reason, they were unable to ascend.
And right at this moment, the terrifying sound of a whistling sword filled the air. After which, a mighty sword rainbow flashed past the skies, emanating a might that caused the entire mountain to shake, as sounds of explosions erupted in the air.
"Junior Apprentice Sister Hanyou is so strong, she's actually on her ninth step now. Her accomplishments truly paint her as one of the chosen in our Battle Sword Sect." Many people sighed in admiration.
"Yeah, Junior Apprentice Sister Hanyou is a personal disciple of the Plum Mountain Sword Sovereign. She's one of those in the younger generations with the highest amount of latent potential this year."
Being able to join the Battle Sword Sect meant that you were already a genius. Yet these people were still full of praise for this particular junior sister. Qin Wentian focused and soon discovered that the sword rainbow earlier had been cast by a young woman clad in a fiery-red dress. This was none other than the Junior Apprentice Sister Hanyou that those people were talking about.
The countenance of this young woman was as cold as ice, yet her figure looked as hot as fire. Her fiery-red dress fully accentuated her curves, and with just a single glance, one felt mesmerized. She was someone extraordinary as well.
"That's Junior Sister Li Hanyou. She's just joined the sect, but was instantly accepted as a personal disciple of the Plum Mountain's Sword Sovereign. Her background itself was already something many couldn't compare to. She's a descendent of the ancient Li Clan located in the southern area of the Sacred Royal Sect, and possesses the bloodline of the Blood Phoenix. Her combat prowess is insane-although her cultivation base is only at the peak of the fifth level of Heavenly Dipper, she can effortlessly defeat those at the peak of the sixth level. She's simply a monstrous genius."
Lin Shuai whispered to Qin Wentian, as an expression of praise appeared in his eyes. Evidently, he had an extremely high valuation of Li Hanyou.
There were so many geniuses in the Battle Sword Sect, and it was already exceedingly difficult to enter it, let alone becoming a personal disciple of one of the nine Sword Sovereigns of the Battle Sword Sect.
"Senior, which mountain shall I join then?" Qin Wentian asked as a look of confusion flashed on his face. The nine mountains could be classified as the nine branches of the Battle Sword Sect. He didn't know which mountain to join.
"Naturally, the mountain under my master Sword Sovereign Ling Tian." Lin Shuai laughed as he continued, "The mountain path towards the grass hut is extremely rugged and craggy, so ordinary cultivators find it hard to even take a single step. Does Junior Brother wish to give it a try?"
"The mountain path to the grass hut? What is it exactly, why would it be that difficult?" Qin Wentian asked.
"You will know if you go there. Actually, that area is a considered an extremely important area of our Battle Sword Sect and its value is comparable to the libraries in the nine mountains. Also, there's no restrictions for this place, so as long as you are able to advance passed the path, you will be able to enter the grass hut. I once heard that there's a senior character in our Battle Sword Sect who barely managed to ascend the mountain path and eventually stood at the peak, entering the grass hut. He was the first member of our Battle Sword Sect to accomplish that.
Lin Shuai laughed, his words causing Qin Wentian to feel even more curious. After which, he then nodded his head lightly, "I feel like giving it a try. Qing`er do you want to come along?"
Qing`er didn't seem to be too interested. Back then when experts from her clan went to the Celestial Lake Palace, they had passed her many cultivation arts and innate techniques suitable for her. She wasn't lacking in either of them. The reason she joined the Battle Sword Sect was only because of Qin Wentian. It was impossible to follow and protect him in the dark given how powerful the members of the Battle Sword Sect were. It was highly possible she might be mistakenly identified as an enemy if she chose to hide in the shadows and hence, she could only join the sect together with Qin Wentian.
"Mhm, okay then, wait for me here." Qin Wentian smiled. After which, his silhouette flickered as he reappeared once more on the pathway leading upwards to the grass hut. As he stared at the grass hut in the distance, Qin Wentian had a strange feeling that the end point was way further than it seemed.
Qin Wentian took the first step out. At the instant his step landed, his surroundings underwent a complete change. There was no longer a mountain path in front of him, but rather, an ancient pathway had appeared instead. The grass hut was situated right at the end of this pathway.
All of a sudden, a mountain rampart sprang up before Qin Wentian. On this rampart, there was an incomparably exquisite picture etched upon it.
Staring at the picture, Qin Wentian felt his senses being involuntarily drawn out, immersing into it. He involuntarily sighed in his heart. No wonder Lin Shuai said that the value of this place wasn't any lesser compared to the nine libraries situated in the nine mountains. The true form of this ancient path itself was a priceless treasure!
Ling Tian - Rising Sky/Heaven