Those cool and clear eyes shifted slightly to meet Mo Tianliao’s gaze.
“Qingtong, when did you come out of closed cultivation?” The Sect Master smiled as he looked at Master Qingtong. His tone was extremely warm, and if it not for the natural expression on Master Tianlang’s face, one might think that he was trying to earn the favour of Master Qingtong.
Master Qingtong looked away from Mo Tianliao and turned to the Sect Master, then to Master Xuanji.
Master Xuanji shrunk back imperceptibly, then spoke up, “Um… I… I picked out someone with a divine spirit attribute, do you want him?”
After a lazy glance at the talented young man kneeling before Master Xuanji’s seat, Master Qingtong shifted his gaze away and turned back towards Mo Tianliao.
“This one is the most handsome one out of this batch,” The Sect Master pointed at Mo Tianliao with an ever-present smile on his face, “I was thinking of letting him learn under Yanlie…”
“Give this one to me.” That cool and pleasant voice was like the sweet call of a newly born phoenix.
The moment Master Qingtong spoke, the Sect Master nodded profusely without a hint of hesitation.
Right after that, a lustrous white jade token was tossed in front of Mo Tianliao. Mo Tianliao picked it up and looked it over. The word ‘Qing’ was carved on the front, while there was a complicated pattern carved into the back. Glimmers of spirit light would flash from the token from time to time. It was likely a limited access token which only granted entry to areas which didn’t require rank or levels.
When the Sect Master saw the token that Master Qingtong had given to Mo Tianliao, he was slightly stunned, “You’re going to take him as your direct disciple?”
The Sect Master had assumed that Qingtong had come to accept some second-generation disciples instead. The token Qingtong had given Mo Tianliao was meant only for direct disciples. With that token, Mo Tianliao could enter most of the areas within the Heavy Cloud Sect!
Even the expressionless Xuanji finally reacted with wide eyes. That wasn’t something they gave out easily. For example, he hadn’t given one to the talented divine spirit attribute disciple he had just accepted. They would usually observe new disciples over a probation period and wait until they had formed their qi foundation before giving them the special tokens.
“What?” Master Qingtong shot a seemingly blank stare at the other Branch Masters. Tianlang and Xuanji immediately shut up and waved their hands to indicate that they had no other objections.
After a long moment of drinking in his new master’s beauty, Mo Tianliao finally came back to his senses and realised what had happened. He quietly slipped the jade token into his sleeves. So after separating out the high and low potential disciples, the masters would then pick out the best-looking ones… That meant those with better looks had a higher chance of becoming a direct disciple…
Mo Tianliao gulped nervously. He was starting to feel that he was on the verge of stumbling upon some dark secret of the Heavy Cloud Sect… For example…. Using their disciples as cultivation furnaces in bed to increase their cultivation and so on…
As his imagination ran wilder and wilder, the sect members finished picking out their new disciples. Even until the end, he remained the only one who had been picked out for their looks. Of course, that was also the reason why he received countless envious looks from the other newcomers. He rubbed his chin gingerly in thought. As an ex-Demonic Lord, he had somehow fallen so far that he had to use his looks to get by in life. How tragic!
Those who hadn’t been chosen by the Branch Masters or their disciples were led away by Chifeng and Chishan. The lucky ones were then led by their new masters back to their own homes. Mo Tianliao happily followed his newly minted beauty of a master out of the grand hall.
Master Qingtong remained silent the whole way back, while Mo Tianliao took the hint and didn’t utter a single word as he followed closely behind, taking care not to trip over his master’s long shawl.
“You haven’t built your qi foundation yet?” Just as they were about to cross the rainbow bridge, that charming and attractive voice rang out again.
“Yes…” Mo Tianliao didn’t know why his master suddenly asked him such a question. Like most newcomers, he probably shouldn’t even know how to draw qi into his own body yet, right?
Qingtong turned and shot him a look with those clear and glittering eyes, one that clearly read: ‘Good-for-nothing’.
Before Mo Tianliao could even react, Master Qingtong grabbed hold of his collar and took to the air. They floated across the rainbow bridge and an extremely tall cliff, before landing right in front of the entrance to Woqing Abode.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
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The blue sky stretched high up above him as birds chirped and the sweet scent of flowers drifted through the air.
They were somehow in the middle of a group of small mountains. However, unlike the sharp rock cliffs outside, these were all shorter mountains made of earth. This place was teeming with life with flowers and trees growing everywhere. In the centre of these mountains was the Branch Master’s Qingning Palace, hidden inside a dense bamboo forest. There were quite a few wooden huts visible on the surrounding small mountains, likely the residences of the other disciples.
Most of the disciples they passed along the way bowed without peeking at Master Qingtong, while some even kneeled down on the floor in full reverence.
Master Qingtong didn’t look at any of them and only continued heading straight for the main hall of Qingning Palace.
The main hall was made out of high-grade black crystals, which were translucent and glittered beautifully. Sunlight passed through the translucent walls to reflect on the black and gold floor. As they walked across the hall, the floor seemed to shimmer with their movement, making the large hall seem less lonesome. There wasn’t much in the way of furniture in the hall, just a long sofa in the centre and some thin cushions tossed around haphazardly.
Qingtong tossed his sleeves and sat down on the sofa. He finally looked up at Mo Tianliao, “You…”
“This disciple is called Mo Tianliao, greetings to Master.” Mo Tianliao quickly stepped forward and reported his name when it seemed like his master didn’t know how to address him.
There weren’t many who knew his name on the Taixuan Continent, most of them had only heard of his title Lord Duantian.
Setting aside some of the doubts in his heart, it was a stroke of good luck that Master Qingtong had taken him in as a disciple. He didn’t have to interact with too many people now, and Master Qingtong was at a very high cultivation level. This master might be able to give him some actual pointers, unlike those second-generation disciples whose understanding of the cultivation path might not even match up to a thousandth of what he knew.
Thus, Mo Tianliao didn’t want to make up a fake name and deceive his new master.
Qingtong watched him quietly, but didn’t use his name in the end.
Mo Tianliao waited for a reply for a few moments, then slowly looked up, “Master, then the ceremony…”
The practices for accepting a disciple varied from sect to sect. Back then, when he had been taken in by Old Bastard, they had barely done anything resembling a ceremony, so he had no references for what the ceremony could be like. What might the practices of the Heavy Cloud Sect be like?
“No need,” Qingtong shook his head, “Show me your hand, this excellency wants to have a look.”
As part of the process of becoming a disciple, one naturally had to let their soon-to-be master check their potential and determine their talent. There was one problem though, his woodfire… Mo Tianliao hesitated a little. This special elemental fire was a natural treasure, and it was best if no one knew about it before he recovered his original strength. However, when he looked up at his incredibly beautiful master, he realised that it would be hard to get any suitable cultivation methods from his master if he hid his special attribute.
All these thoughts passed through his mind in a flash. Mo Tianliao pulled his sleeve up and extended his right arm.
His master raised his arm, letting his white sleeve fall, only to reveal skin so fair that it was almost translucent. He set two of his long fingers on Mo Tianliao’s tan wrist.
Mo Tianliao felt as if he had been touched by a piece of high-quality jade. Even though his master’s fingers were cold, they still carried a slight warmth in them. His thoughts ran wild for a moment, before something about the situation struck him as weird. He had extended his right hand, so his master, who was facing him, should have used his left hand to check his pulse. Why did his master use his right hand instead?
Before Mo Tianliao could guess at the reason, those enchanting fingers shifted away.
Qingtong stared at his new disciple without speaking for a moment, before rising from his seat and throwing a jade scroll right in Mo Tianliao’s face, “Study this by yourself, don’t disturb me if there’s nothing important.”
Having said his piece, Qingtong left after another toss of his sleeves.
The entrance to the inner hall opened with a bang, then shut equally as fast, and the peerless beauty disappeared.
Mo Tianliao peeled the jade scroll off his face and blinked dazedly.
As a mortal who hadn’t even learned how to draw qi into his body, he was supposed to study cultivation by himself with this jade scroll? Master, haven’t you forgotten something…?
He took the jade scroll with him as he exited the main hall. Mo Tianliao squatted at the entrance and looked up at the glittering rainbow-coloured qi in the air, then at the jade scroll in his hands, and sighed.
A tall figure suddenly blocked the sunlight warming his face, alerting Mo Tianliao to look up. A man dressed in plain brocade robes was standing in front of him. Judging by his appearance, he looked to be in his thirties. The man was currently watching him with a smile.
Mo Tianliao suddenly recalled that he could ask for guidance from his fellow disciples. Drawing Qi into his body was such a minor step that he wouldn’t need his master to teach it personally. Using that as a cover, he could then start on the basic steps of cultivation.
After realising that, Mo Tianliao immediately stood up and returned the smile, “Excuse me, shixiong, how should I address you?”
Now that Mo Tianliao had a young appearance, when he tried to smile warmly, he gave off the air of a naive youth.
Fear flashed across the man’s face and he abruptly bowed respectfully, “This disciple is Suheng, a second-generation disciple of the Heavy Cloud Sect. Shishu, please use this disciple’s name directly.”
“…” Mo Tianliao twitched.
Suheng had come over to take care of him temporarily. As he led Mo Tianliao to his living quarters, he explained the general situation of the Heavy Cloud Sect. It was only then that Mo Tianliao found out that his beautiful master had only accepted two disciples so far. The second-generation disciples of this branch had all been taught by his older shixiong. However, his older shixiong had ventured out of the sect for training, so Mo Tianliao was now the second-highest in position in Woqing Abode.
Since he had a high position, no one would dare to order him to do any chores, but it also meant that no one was qualified to teach him… Mo Tianliao felt a headache starting.
His new residence was a small courtyard within Qingning Palace. The furniture here was all of very high quality. After dismissing the talkative Suheng, he sat cross-legged on the bed and gently pressed the jade scroll to his forehead. Mo Tianliao decided to see what kind of cultivation method his master had given him first before doing anything else.
Cultivation methods had to match with the cultivator.
He had the earth and fire attributes in his past life, so he knew all the earth and fire exercises by heart. Fire could strengthen earth, so he had mainly used earth techniques. Now that he had become a natural wood attribute, along with the woodfire he didn’t know how to use, he could only use techniques utilising wood or fire. Wood gave rise to fire, so he would have to use fire as his main offensive attribute from now on.
The five elements complemented each other. For someone with dual spirit attributes, if they had two complementary elements, like wood and fire, they could accomplish more with less effort. Thus, their cultivation speed might even be better than someone with a single spirit attribute. However, if the two elements were total opposites, like water and fire, then the cultivator wouldn’t be able to use both types of techniques at once, so their offensive power might not even compare to someone with three attributes!
Mo Tianliao didn’t know much about wood-type techniques, which was why he needed to find a master to teach him. Since he had nothing to his name right now, it would be hard to find even a high-grade cultivation method.
Once the jade scroll touched his forehead, his powerful divine soul swept through the scroll’s contents instantly. This scroll contained a special cultivation method called <Wood Igniting Technique>, which was very well suited for cultivators with wood and fire attributes!
Mo Tianliao was pleasantly surprised. He quickly read through the first chapter before slowly opening his eyes. There was a rather peculiar expression on his face.
He could only read a single chapter of this <Wood Igniting Technique> every day, which left him very confused.
<Wood Igniting Technique> Chapter One, Fruit Tree Section. Trees on the southern mountain, ignite one with the fragrance of fruits. Find a deer, char it on the fire.
That is to say, deep within the mountains with high qi concentration, on a southern mountain facing the sun with a special fruit-scented tree, he had to chop down the tree, hunt down a deer, then light the wood and roast the deer. That was all for the first chapter.
Wasn’t there something… weird about this cultivation technique?
Carpenter: Master, are you sure this isn’t a recipe book?
Master: This is a cultivation novel, not a cooking novel
Carpenter: Oh… But, are you really sure this isn’t a recipe book?
Master: (shows off claws)
Carpenter: Ahaha… this must be a high-grade technique, I’m going to practise immediately! Ahahahaha…
Mo Tianliao and his shixiong are on the same generation, as they share the same master. However, Suheng is the disciple of that shixiong, so he is one generation lower than Mo Tianliao.
When Mo Tianliao tries to call him shixiong (older brother) and treat him as a senior, it would be very disrespectful if Suheng accepted that address, so Suheng corrects him immediately.
Think of it like a family tree, where your master = your ‘father’, and having your uncle call you elder brother instead!
shixiong – term used to refer to an older male cultivator
shishu – literally ‘teacher-uncle’, term used to refer to a cultivator who has the same master as your master (eg: Qingtong has 2 disciples, Mo Tianliao and his older shixiong who hasn’t appeared yet, any disciples of his shixiong would call him shishu, like an uncle)