NETS - Chapter 139 – The Colored Taishi Chairs
For this year's disciple acceptance ceremony at Zhen Ling Sect, only fourteen Enlightened Masters decided to accept disciples, while more than fifty disciples came to apply.
However, some disciples would choose to leave early and come back for the next ceremony after realizing that there were no suitable teachers for them this year. There were also those who were eliminated during the test.
In the end, only thirty-seven disciples were qualified for the disciple acceptance ceremony.
The ceremony was held in the square in front of Tian Ling Palace.
Following the rest of the disciples, Lu Ping arrived at the square early in the morning with a sense of apprehension about his unknown teacher.
By now, many Zhen Ling disciples had gathered around to witness the ceremony.
When it was almost time, the Core Forging Enlightened Master on duty, who had received Lu Ping and the others a few days ago, slowly walked out of the Tian Ling Palace.
It seemed that this Enlightened Master had taken over the sect’s affairs after Enlightened Master Xuan-Yuan left Tian Ling Palace to take over Enlightened Master Xuan-Yong’s position in Zhen Ling Side Hall.
The Enlightened Master instructed the palace attendant to bring out fourteen exquisite Taishi Chairs from Tian Ling Palace and place them in front of the entrance. The entrance was spacious, so there was an appropriate distance between each chair.
As the chairs were positioned in a single row facing the square, Lu Ping noticed a clear distinction in their placement.
On the outermost sides were eight red Taishi Chairs, followed by four yellow Taishi Chairs, and finally two conspicuous purple Taishi Chairs in the center.
Their appearance caused a burst of discussion among the Zhen Ling cultivators.
Lu Ping knew that someone among them would know the meaning of the chairs’ colors, so he listened carefully to the crowd’s words.
"I never thought there would be a Late Core Forging Enlightened Master this time, even more, there are two of them!"
"Yes, it’s well-known that they don’t accept just any disciple. But it’s just a preference between the Enlightened Masters, the sect rules don’t stipulate anything like that."
"That's right. I've heard of cases where Late Enlightened Masters accepted disciples in the past, but this is the first time I've witnessed it."
"There are also four Mid Enlightened Masters, so it seems that this year’s disciple acceptance ceremony will be quite a grand one!"
After listening to the discussion, Lu Ping now understood that the three colors of the Taishi Chairs symbolized the three stages of Early, Mid, and Late Core Forging Realm for the Enlightened Masters.
However, the appearance of two Late Enlightened Masters had caught everyone by surprise. Lu Ping couldn’t help wondering who they might be, and which disciple would be fortunate enough to earn their favor.
At that moment, the attendant seemed to have received an order—he cleared his throat and announced loudly, "The disciple acceptance ceremony is about to commence. Everyone, be silent!"
Lu Ping heard someone behind him mutter, "What time is it? Why is the ceremony starting all of a sudden?"
Another person whispered, "You mean what time the ceremony usually starts? It starts whenever the Enlightened Masters arrive.”
His companion asked curiously, "If the Enlightened Masters come in the afternoon, then what do we do?"
"Wait all morning!"
Lu Ping listened and rolled his eyes. What a perfect demonstration of privileges, something that belonged to Core Forging Enlightened Masters.
Lu Ping had this thought in mind when he heard the palace attendant raise his voice and say, "Yu Zhang Palace’s Enlightened Master Xuan-Sheng has arrived!"
On the heels of this announcement, Lu Ping saw a middle-aged man, his demeanor idle and lazy, suddenly move out from a group of cultivators watching the ceremony.
The middle-aged man looked up and upon seeing the Enlightened Master on duty, he laughed aloud. "Damn me, I didn't think I’d be the first one here today. Senior Brother Xuan-Miao, good morning!"
The on-duty Enlightened Master Xuan-Miao nodded at him and smiled. "Junior Brother Xuan-Sheng is indeed early."
Enlightened Master Xuan-Sheng sat down casually on one of the outermost Red Taishi Chairs, then closed his eyes as if he’d gone to sleep.
After a few moments, the attendant once again welcomed, "San Xuan Palace's Enlightened Master Xuan-Ce is here!"
At his words, a golden light descended from the sky, and a cultivator dressed in Taoist robes appeared in front of the palace.
Enlightened Master Xuan-Ce nodded at Enlightened Master Xuan-Miao. Enlightened Master Xuan-Sheng was unresponsive as if he was really asleep. Enlightened Master Xuan-Ce was unconcerned and sat down next to him.
By the time the third Enlightened Master arrived, two hours had already passed.
But shortly after that, four Enlightened Masters came one after another. These four arrived in different ways and filled seven of the eight red chairs. Among the four Enlightened Masters, two were women.
While they waited for the eighth Early Core Forging Enlightened Master to arrive, Enlightened Master Xuan-Miao, who had been standing at the entrance of Tian Ling Palace, suddenly walked to the only empty Red Taishi Chair and sat on it.
The palace attendant froze for a split second and quickly said, "Wu Yuan Palace’s Enlightened Master Xuan-Miao is seated!"
With this announcement, a distant chirping sound could be heard in the air.
A flying bird twice as large as Lu Qin was carrying a man towards Tian Ling Palace. A dark cloud accompanied the bird, bearing a man atop it. They seemed to be conversing as they flew toward Tian Ling Palace.
The attendant saw the men and he shouted, "Jin Peng Palace’s Enlightened Master Nie Xuan-Jing, Shan Wu Palace’s Enlightened Master Xuan-Huai, are here!"
The eight Early Enlightened Masters in the Red Taishi Chairs stood up together and saluted in unison.
"Good day, Senior Brother Xuan-Jing, Senior Brother Xuan-Huai!"
"Good day, Junior Uncle Xuan-Jing, Junior Uncle Xuan-Huai!"
The Enlightened Masters greeted each one differently, and the scene was confusing for a moment.
The two Mid Enlightened Masters didn't say much, only greeting everyone happily before seating themselves on a Yellow Taishi Chair each.
After a while, two more Mid Enlightened Masters arrived, one of which was a woman, and there was another round of greetings again.
Lu Ping looked on in amazement every time an Enlightened Master arrived.
The Enlightened Masters were all laughing and talking like the disciples weren’t there, and for disciples like Lu Ping, who were waiting to pay their respects, could only watch in awe.
Then, the attendant announced again, "Ling Yu Palace’s Enlightened Master Qiu Xuan-Yin has arrived!"
As soon as the attendant’s voice fell, a silence overtook the Enlightened Masters who were reclining on their seats.
They looked at Enlightened Master Xuan-Miao, the one on duty in Tian Ling Palace, with gazes filled with questions. He gave no response other than informing them that he was just following the rules and knew nothing else.
While the disciples were anticipating how Enlightened Master Xuan-Yin would make his entrance, they suddenly noticed a short middle-aged man had already seated himself on one of the Purple Taishi Chairs in the middle. The Enlightened Master’s face was blurred and he felt as ordinary as a commoner, making it extremely difficult for the cultivators to notice his presence.
While the cultivators glanced at each other, wondering how the Enlightened Master appeared, they saw the twelve Enlightened Masters stand up and greet the short middle-aged man.
"Greetings to Senior Brother Xuan-Yin!"
"Greetings to Junior Uncle Xuan-Yin!"
The middle-aged man was clearly superior to the rest. He sat in the chair without moving and only gave them a faint nod, as well as a muffled reply, "En."
He then stopped responding to them.
The twelve Enlightened Masters were obviously accustomed to the middle-aged man’s usual behavior; they returned to their seats after the salutation.
After that, although the Enlightened Masters still conversed, they were no longer chatting casually. Obviously, this was due to Enlightened Master Xuan-Yin’s presence.
Lu Ping secretly admired the man’s overwhelming aura. He used his divine sense to probe at the Enlightened Master, but he couldn’t even detect the slightest of breaths.
Although Enlightened Master Xuan-Yin was sitting right there, it was as if he simply didn’t exist in Lu Ping’s divine sense at all.
On the other hand, Enlightened Master Xuan-Yin was immediately aware of Lu Ping’s secret peek—his tightly closed eyes abruptly opened to a slit and he looked in Lu Ping’s direction, before shutting his eyes again.
Lu Ping felt a sharp gaze as if a blade was thrown towards him. There was a fierce murderous aura within the gaze, yet it didn’t unleash its wrath on him. Even so, Lu Ping still felt a shortness of breath under the aura’s oppression.
This deadly aura could only be honed by cultivators that had walked through a mountain of corpses and a sea of blood. Although restrained, the murderous aura overshadowed Lu Ping's heart like a ball of dark fire that would burst at any moment, causing his mind to be in turmoil.
His heart was in shock, but he was also a seasoned cultivator who had experienced life and death situations several times.
In addition, the [North Ocean Wave Listening Scripture] was an excellent cultivation method. As Lu Ping circulated the cultivation method’s arcane energy within his body, his heart pumped powerfully like a beating war drum, which awakened him from Enlightened Master Xuan-Yin’s gaze.
Before he knew it, his back was already covered in a cold sweat.
The four Mid Enlightened Masters sitting on the Yellow Taishi Chairs glanced suspiciously at Enlightened Master Xuan-Yin as if they were aware of something happening.
Whereas the eight Early Enlightened Masters were oblivious to the incident. Enlightened Master Xuan-Yin retained a gloomy look on his face, as if nothing had happened.
At this point, only the last Purple Taishi Chair was left on the field, which naturally led to numerous speculations. Lu Ping was also wondering who the last Late Enlightened Master would be, but he was obviously more concerned about his teacher’s identity.
Among the chairs were seated three female Enlightened Masters, but Lu Ping didn't recognize any of them, he only knew their names through the attendant’s greetings.
While Lu Ping was secretly observing these three, the attendant suddenly shouted, "Zhong Hua Palace’s Enlightened Master Liu Xuan-Ling, is here!
The disciples in the square suddenly fell silent, all wanting to see this Late Enlightened Master that had arrived last.
Whereas Lu Ping was stunned when he heard the attendant’s greeting. Others may not know Enlightened Master Liu Xuan-Ling, but Lu Ping had seen her before.
There were two Zhen Ling Enlightened Masters who had participated in the opening of Fei Ling Island—Enlightened Master Liu Xuan-Ling and Enlightened Master Guo Xuan-Shan.
Back then, Enlightened Master Liu Xuan-Ling had left a deep impression in Lu Ping’s mind, as she actually managed to compete against Xuan Ling Sect's Enlightened Master Feng Xu-Dao!
In this context, one should know Feng Xu-Dao’s background.
A talented cultivator from Xuan Ling Sect, and an Enlightened Master who had a high chance of advancing to the Avatar Realm. He, along with Zhen Ling Sect's Enlightened Master Jiang Xuan-Lin, were known as the "North Ocean’s Prodigy Duo"!
Hence, as someone who could stand equally against Enlightened Master Feng Xu-Dao, Enlightened Master Liu Xuan-Ling’s prowess and status was evident!
Sure enough, after hearing of her arrival, not only did the twelve Early and Mid Enlightened Masters stand up to greet her, even Enlightened Master Xuan-Yin, who had been sitting unmoved in his seat, also righted himself and slowly stood up.
A long red piece of silk stretched across the sky; one end landed in front of Tian Ling Palace, and the other end was connected to the far horizon.
While the disciples looked on in puzzlement, they saw a beautiful woman in her thirties, dressed in a palace gown, standing on the silk road in the far distance. When the disciples glanced over again, the beautiful palace woman had slowly descended on Tian Ling Palace.
Lu Ping was also watching closely. This graceful and noble palace woman was none other than Enlightened Master Liu Xuan-Ling, whom he had seen before.
She was now facing the Core Forging Enlightened Masters and exchanging greetings.
The way the Enlightened Masters addressed Enlightened Master Liu Xuan-Ling was again confusing.
Some addressed her as "Junior Aunty Liu" and some called her "Senior Aunty Liu".
The four Mid Enlightened Masters all addressed her as "Senior Sister Liu".
The strangest one was from Enlightened Master Xuan-Sheng, who was the first to arrive. He respectfully went forward and bowed towards her, and said, "Greetings to Teacher’s wife!"
Enlightened Master Liu Xuan-Ling said nothing in response to Enlightened Master Xuan-Sheng's salute, and moved directly to the Purple Taishi Chair.
The Enlightened Masters weren’t surprised by this salutation as well, nor was Enlightened Master Xuan-Sheng embarrassed. He quietly returned to his seat after saluting.
Enlightened Master Liu Xuan-Ling smiled at Enlightened Master Xuan-Yin who was standing beside her. "I didn't expect Junior Brother Xuan-Yin to be here. I'm glad to see you!"
Currently translated up to Chapter 160.