Chapter 12: A Sword May Rust but Not the Heart
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
The huge ship sailed on the waves, but Jiang Li, who was in the cabin, almost did not feel any shaking or vibrations.
In these few days, he also stopped cultivating the Age Tiger Technique and took an actual nap instead.
A day later, the hull shook slightly as the ship slowly approached the shore. Waves of cries could be heard from the deck as Jiang Li and Yan Hong walked out of the cabin in response.
What entered their sight was an island enshrouded in dense fog. In the morning sunlight, two strange peaks connected heaven and earth.
From afar, one could almost see a few immortal cranes flying through the clouds.
The eyes of the soon-to-be cultivators lit up when they saw this.
After the gangway was lowered, everyone disembarked impatiently and walked along a cobblestone path towards the venue.
“How is it? Did you find out anything?”
Jiang Li finally realized that Yan Hong had a special passion and talent in the ways of human affairs.
While he was lying on the bed, Yan Hong had already brought the 19 subordinates to gather intelligence.
Next was the important moment to choose their cultivation sect.
If nothing unexpected happened, Jiang Li would be living in that sect for a very long time to come. Joining a sect was not like looking for a job. It was not something that you could quit as you wished.
In order to have better prospects and development in the future, it was natural to assess many aspects.
The first thing to consider was the size and future potential of the sect.
Secondly, to consider the monthly treatment given to the disciples by the sect and whether it was of a higher standard. No matter how good a sect was, it would be useless without this.
The third point was the advancement and growth of the individual in this sect. If a sect was completely controlled by certain families and other forces, then no matter how outstanding an ordinary disciple’s performance was, they would not have much of a future.
These three points were more important.
There were also things like the comprehensive strength, area of expertise, geographical position, sect culture, main cultivation methods, attributes, and so on that had to be taken into consideration.
Of course, the Immortal Ascension Pavilion would not give you this information. Their goal was to get more disciples to join the Immortal Ascension Pavilion. Naturally, they would not help promote their competitors.
However, this was not completely out of the question. The thousand plus soon-to-be disciples who had suffered two years of labor were their source of information.
They were not given cultivation methods to officially cultivate, so they were still a group of mortals.
However, they had lived in the cultivation world as servants for two years, so they were naturally aware of this basic information.
This was especially true for the Immortal Ascension Pavilion, which was a ‘service industry’. From the pavilion masters to the servants, they had to be extremely familiar with the names of powerful sects and powerful cultivators that they could not afford to offend.
Thus, after Yan Hong’s hard work, a small booklet that introduced the sects of the Great Mountain Region soon arrived in Jiang Li’s hands.
“There are a total of 52 sects participating in the Immortal Ascension Assembly.”
“There are four sects that are recommended among them. They are the strongest in the region of the Great Mountain. It is also the choice of the majority of the disciples at each meeting.”
“However, some reliable small and medium-sized sects, in order to recruit more new disciples, often provide better treatment to help with cultivation.”
“Perhaps in some small sects, with our qualifications, we can directly enter the inner sect after entering. It might even be possible for us to become core disciples and be fully nurtured.”
“Come take a look and give me some advice.”
Yan Hong flipped through another similar booklet with a conflicted expression on his face. He looked like a straight-A student who had gotten the top scorer in the exams and was currently wondering if it was better to go to Tsinghua University or Peking University1.
Jiang Li was somewhat speechless. However, with the other party’s high-grade spiritual root aptitude, he believed that no sect would reject him.
“First of all, we must not choose those unorthodox sects. If we end up receiving incomplete cultivation methods from them, we will have nowhere to cry and regret our choice.”
He flipped through it again and realized that the sect on the first page seemed to have been marked a lot.
“This Shu Mountain Five Elements Peak looks pretty good. There aren’t many disciples, but the sect is the strongest of the four. It has an inheritance from the ancient Shu Mountain Sword Sect.”
“Every disciple that joins can obtain a Life-Bound Flying Sword given by the sect. This treatment is much better than the other sects.”
Jiang Li pointed at the first name on the booklet.
“That’s right, that’s right. The Shu Mountain Five Elements Peak is said to be the undisputed leader of the orthodox path in the Great Mountain. However, their requirements for recruiting disciples are also very special.”
“Not only does the grade of the spiritual root need to be above medium-grade, but it also requires a special talent called Sword Heart. Otherwise, even disciples with top-grade spiritual roots will be rejected by them.”
“Gasp! Even top-grade spiritual roots are rejected? What kind of talent is this Sword Heart?”
Jiang Li could not help but be surprised. Logically speaking, the average cultivation speed of a top-grade spiritual root was three times that of a high-grade spiritual root and nine times that of a medium-grade spiritual root.
The Shu Mountain Five Elements Peak would actually reject top-grade spiritual roots, they were truly way too willful.
“Alright, then we can go over and test whether or not we have the talent for Sword Heart. But let’s think about which sect we should join after failing.”
Other than the Shu Mountain Five Elements Peak, the other three sects were Benevolent Travel Temple, Hundred Tempering Mountain, and Scripture Storage Valley.
Benevolent Travel Temple was a Buddhist sect that specialized in body refinement to cultivate the Invulnerable Vajra Physique. Just like the Five Elements Peak, it specialized in killing and had extraordinary combat strength.
The Hundred Tempering Mountain was an auxiliary sect that specialized in weapon forging and spirit pill refinement. They might not be good at fighting, but half of the spirit pills and artifacts in the Great Mountain Region came from this sect.
When Jiang Li first saw the final Scripture Storage Valley, he thought that it was an extremely ancient sect. That was why it had the confidence to call itself the Scripture Storage.
Unexpectedly, it was the youngest sect out of the four. Its history was less than 200 years old. It was said that it was formed by a group of rogue cultivators. The reason seemed to be due to the excavation of an ancient ruin. As for the exact details, it was unknown from their low-end information channels.
As he spoke, the venue of the Immortal Ascension Assembly was already in sight.
It was a utopia-like place. Wooden courtyards of various sizes formed a small town.
At this moment, the venue was already filled with people. Many soon-to-be disciples like Jiang Li who were not even 16 years old had excited expressions on their faces as they walked in and out of the numerous courtyards within the small town.
“Alright! Young masters and young mistresses! Welcome to the Immortal Ascension Assembly! You will decide on your sects here and follow your senior brothers and elders back to your sects to cultivate.”
“I, Fu Zhong, can only send you all here. Now, you can enter the venue and choose your sect.”
“In the venue, each courtyard represents a sect. At the entrance of each courtyard, there is a stone tablet with information about the sects on it.”
“You guys can check every single stone tablet. However, I’ll give you guys a piece of advice. Once you enter the sect, you can’t regret it. Any betrayal will be punished by the sect.”
“Lastly, if you wish to join the Immortal Ascension Pavilion, please proceed to the seventh residence on the left.”
After Fu Zhong took one last look at everyone, his figure disappeared.
The soon-to-be disciples entered the venue and mingled with the first batch of disciples.
Jiang Li and his companion led the 19 people behind them. Their goal was clear as they headed straight for the courtyard where the Shu Mountain Five Elements Peak was located.
There were indeed quite a number of people gathered there. After all, the reputation of the number one immortal sect of the Great Mountain Region was there. Many people wanted to give it a try.
They saw a youth holding a rusty longsword pointing straight ahead. Then, the youth gently placed a piece of white paper on the edge of the sword with a proud expression.
“The white paper has not been torn, you are unqualified!”
With that, the sword-wielding youth put down his rusty sword and returned to the crowd.
“This test seems to be for people to use a rusty sword to cut the paper without slashing their sword.”
Jiang Li was dumbfounded. What kind of test was this?
Could it be that the rusty sword had a hidden secret?
Appraisal was used skillfully.
[Name: Rusted Iron Sword]
[Note: A useless piece of junk.]
It really looked like an ordinary rusty sword.
“Senior Brother, what do we have to do for this test? We really can’t understand it. Senior Brother, please demonstrate how to pass it.”
Jiang Li and Yan Hong watched from the side, and after a few more people failed, Jiang Li finally could not refrain himself from taking two steps forward, cupped his hands, and asked.
The sword cultivator from Five Element Peak opened his eyes slightly and glanced at Jiang Li before snorting coldly as if he was slightly displeased by Jiang Li’s question.
However, he still reached out and pulled out a rusty sword beside him. He raised it horizontally in front of him, then picked up a piece of white paper and gently placed it on the edge of the rusty sword.
The piece of paper slowly floated down. When it came into contact with the long sword, the piece of paper that should have been blocked by the flat and blunt blade actually slid down without any delay, splitting into two pieces that drifted down with the wind.
Jiang Li was stupefied as his face was filled with disbelief. This did not make sense.
“A sword may rust but not the heart. This is a quality that every Sword Cultivator must have.”
The expressions of Jiang Li and the others fell into the senior brother’s eyes. This meant that he had succeeded in showing off this time, and the corners of his mouth were slightly raised. He was in a good mood, and he even gave a few words of explanation.
“Senior Brother, can I try?” Jiang Li took the sword and shook it vigorously.
With a clang, a large amount of rust fell off the sword, making it look much better.
“Senior Brother, come on!”
The corners of the Swordsman’s eyes twitched and he was speechless. He cheated right in front of everyone, why was he acting so confident?
However, he did not care. He casually picked up the paper and put it on.
Sure enough, Jiang Li who had lost himself in the brilliance of the world had utterly no affinity with the Sword Heart, and even shaking off the rust could not sharpen the sword. The piece of paper stopped on the blade without any suspense, and it meant that he had failed the test.
Then, Yan Hong also went on stage to take the test. Similarly, he was without this talent, the two of them could only leave like this.