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AIP - Chapter 33: Choosing a Sect (2)

Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr

"To understand a sect's resources, the simplest method is also the most effective: looking at its history. The greatest difference between a major sect and a minor sect is in their Immortal arts. To understand which one has the better Immortal arts, you can't listen to what they say. You have to look at their past. Sects can decline, but their Immortal arts will remain. If a sect has produced a Violet Palace True Lord in its history, then that means that the sect does not have a problem when it comes to arts. Even if this sect has, for some reason or another, lost its high-level arts, at least there is no problem with its low-level arts, and in the future, you can just cultivate a different art. But if they've never produced a True Lord… you have to be careful."

Saying this, Tang Jie produced another piece of paper. "Take this Furious Sword Gate noted here. It once had a resplendent period where it produced numerous Celestial Heart Realm experts that swept over the opposition. But this Furious Sword Gate has never produced a Violet Palace True Lord. Those peerless geniuses of the Furious Sword Gate ultimately stopped at the peak of the Celestial Heart Realm, none of them able to make that critical step. Some of them even died in the attempt. This means that there is a problem with this sect's arts. If you cultivate it, you might not even have a chance to start over. Of course, it might just be that their luck was bad, but on a matter like this, it's better to be safe than sorry."

In truth, the Xu Clan was a classic example. The clan's Immortal arts were limited, and if there was a problem with one's foundation, then no matter how talented one was, one would never be able to surpass the Celestial Heart Realm.

Fortunately for them, the Celestial Heart Realm was enough to muddle through in the Rosecloud Domain, which was why the Xu Clan was still okay. But for those people who were set on the Great Dao, to have hope and to be able to realize one's hopes were two completely different things.

For arts like those of the Xu Clan, one could learn them in one's journey for the Dao, but one absolutely could not use them to establish their foundation. Of course, the Xu Clan was trying to find its own solutions to this problem.

Unlike Qin Yuan and Wei Die, Tang Jie had spent half a year with Xu Muyang and had learned many important things about the cultivation world. In knowledge of this aspect, only official Spirit Masters could compare to him.

When it came to the various minor sects of Sageheart, Xu Muyang had told him about a lot of them, and Tang Jie had learned about some of them over the last two years. As for the method of looking at history to filter out the bad ones, this was his own unique development. Though it was not guaranteed to work, it was not without reason. At least when it came to the arts of the twenty-two sects he had written, they could be trusted.

Qin Yuan and Wei Die were stunned. It took a while for Wei Die to finally ask, "And what was the meaning behind your second question?"

Tang Jie explained, "Immortal sects differ in their methods. Even the same spell art will have different effects when used by different people. What do you think the essential reason for these differences is?"

"Their individual aptitude?" Steward Qin blurted out.

Tang Jie shook his head. Wei Die was the smarter one, and she shouted out in understanding, "Could it be personality?"

"Yes, personality is the root of it all," Tang Jie replied. "Each person has their own personality, and their fate is often directly linked to their personality. If you tried to teach one of those extreme warriors who only know fighting an Immortal art that requires constant repetition, how could he possibly exhibit his power? And if you took some timid coward and taught him some bold and proactive art, how do you expect him to gather his courage? Personality is talent, and while one's bodily aptitude is also very important, one's personality is even more so. If you don't find the right place, then even if you go to a traditional Immortal sect, your future potential will still be limited!"

He had comprehended this through the whipping Wei Tianchong had given him.

The Ninedark Martial Lord had made his fame through battle, and so his technique was most suited for battle, and even its cultivation required battle.

"Then why do you have to go to Basking Moon Academy?"

"Basking Moon Academy is the dazzling orthodox school, and it contains innumerable Immortal arts. You could even say that it has Immortal arts for everyone. After all, this sort of major sect has far more talents than you can imagine. Over there, you will always be able to find your reflection, which is why anyone can go to them. Even if there's really nothing that suits you, they can design something to suit your needs. Of course, whether they're willing is another matter entirely."

"I see…" Wei Die seemed to understand.

"Besides that, not only can personality determine one's cultivation achievements, but also whether or not you fit into a sect. Different sects and different Immortal arts often also mean different cultures… mm, I mean to say 'different ways of thinking'. If your lifestance… if your ideas differ from the mainstream ideas of the sect you're in, you'll have a very bad time of it in the future. But if it's the opposite, then you'll be able to easily get into that sect."

Saying this, Tang Jie waved around that first paper. "Fourth Young Lady is a woman, and many of these sects on this paper focus too much on Yang energy. This makes them unsuitable for women, so we can rule them out."

Saying this, he raised the brush and eliminated many of the names, instantly leaving behind a scant few.

Tang Jie added, "I don't understand Fourth Young Lady that much, but it seems to me that you do not fear difficulty in cultivation and are willing to seize any chance. From this, I can see that you are outwardly soft and inwardly hard. You're also very opinionated, and once you make up your mind, it's very hard to change it. A personality like this is most suited for a technique that is simple yet requires constant tempering, an art that tests your tenacity. While such arts are not very noteworthy at first, they get stronger as time goes on. If that's the case, then I think the ones that fit you are the Heavenly Extinction Sect, the Five God Church, and Heart Severing Pavilion. But the Heavenly Extinction Sect is too murderous in nature. Fourth Young Lady's ambition does not lie in wielding your sword to wander the world, nor do you align with its goal of killing all things that can be killed. Moreover, they've been getting more and more arrogant over the last few years, and in my view, it's a foregone conclusion that the Basking Moon Sect will wipe them out. Going there is no different from seeking death, so it's best to forget about it.

"The Five God Church is very mysterious, and though it has produced a Violet Palace True Lord, it was far too long ago, and it has withered away into a miserable state, only getting on by duping people into believing it has high connections. I wouldn't advise you to go there unless there was no other option. Although I emphasize history, we also cannot ignore the present.

"As for Heart Severing Pavilion, its master originated from the Thousand Passions Sect. I heard that she was hurt by a man and developed a hatred for men, so she left the Thousand Passions Sect and set up Heart Severing Pavilion. The master of Heart Severing Pavilion can be considered a genius. When she left, she swore a great aspiration that she would never pass on the secret learnings of the Thousand Passions Sect to outsiders, but she managed to produce her Heart Severing Mantra by basing it on the Thousand Passions Sect's basic mantra, which has been passed down through her school since then. Though Heart Severing Pavilion has never produced a Violet Palace True Lord, that is because too little time has passed since she first established her sect. As this pavilion master based her own art on the Thousand Passions Sect's basic art, I am confident that there is no problem with the cultivation foundation and that you will not be led down the wrong path. Moreover, that she could create her own art means that she possesses top-class experience, not even considering her talent. After all, creating an Immortal art has little to do with one's talent in cultivation, having more to do with one's life experiences and understanding of cultivation. When it comes to teachers, an experienced teacher will always be better than a talented one. This is why I have included this sect among the twenty-two sects you can choose."

After talking for so long, Tang Jie took a drink of water and rested a bit before continuing. "Fourth Young Lady seeks freedom, to not be oppressed under the feet of men. In truth, you actually share some similarities with the master of Heart Severing Pavilion. In human relations, people need to speak the same language to be friends. If people with mismatched personalities become teacher and disciple, it probably won't turn out well. But if their personalities complement each other, matters will become much simpler. It's just that the personalities of the people in Heart Severing Pavilion are rather extreme. If you join the pavilion, you need to be careful to not be brainwashed by them into hating men as soon as you see them."

"I understand." Wei Die's face reddened as she answered. "Given what you've said, I'll choose Heart Severing Pavilion."

"Although Heart Severing Pavilion doesn't have a very high status in the Sageheart Kingdom, and its requirements for accepting disciples aren't too out-there, it's not a place just anyone can get into. It requires the payment of five hundred spirit coins every year."

"Five hundred spirit coins!" Wei Die's face immediately turned unpleasant.

Qin Yuan also complained, "This isn't cheap! Basking Moon Academy only charges three hundred spirit coins."

Tang Jie smiled. "Basking Moon Academy only asks for three hundred because it doesn't rely on tuition fees to make money. Its primary goal is to select talented individuals, spread its influence, and establish a foundation that can stand for eons. Heart Severing Pavilion is still a small sect, and it doesn't receive offerings from the locals. It even has to pay a fee to the Basking Moon Sect every year, so they can only make money from the tuition fees. If you really do the calculations, five hundred spirit coins is actually quite cheap. Most important is that their spots aren't hard to get, nor do they have a lot of follow-up fees. If you consider the spot and the additional fees, Basking Moon Academy is a hundred times more expensive than Heart Severing Pavilion. Second Master might not be able to get a spot at Basking Moon Academy for the fourth young lady, but with his status, five hundred spirit coins and a spot at Heart Severing Pavilion shouldn't be difficult."

"But I have heard that even if I go to Heart Severing Pavilion's academy, it doesn't mean I will be able to get into Heart Severing Pavilion."

"Naturally. Getting into Basking Moon Academy doesn't mean you can get into the Basking Moon Sect either. Once you get into the academy, you still have to rely on yourself for your performance. That's why I recommended that sect to you. With your personality, you're more of a fit for Heart Severing Pavilion, so your chances of success will be greater. Don't look down on Heart Severing Pavilion because of its size. So long as you choose the right path and do well, your future accomplishments might be greater than you think."

"I'm just worried that Father won't agree," Wei Die said with a sigh.

Five hundred spirit coins wasn't cheap. According to the standard exchange rate, it was five hundred silver taels, but it would be several times that on the black market. Wei Qingsong was no Wei Danbai, so he might not be that generous.

Tang Jie chuckled. "While Second Master isn't the patriarch, he is still a principal member of the Wei Clan. He should still be able to pay out five hundred spirit coins a year. What's key is not whether Second Master has it, but whether he's willing."

Tang Jie's words happened to be exactly what Wei Die was worried about. Sighing, she said, "In the end, I am a woman…"

"Wrong!" Tang Jie replied with a harshness in his eyes. "That you are a woman is not the reason the second master is unwilling."

"Mm?" Wei Die and Qin Yuan both looked at Tang Jie in surprise.

Tang Jie explained, "Parents dote on their children, whether male or female. The difference in treatment is often due to a variety of factors. While the favoring of men over women is undoubtedly an important reason, that doesn't mean there are no other reasons. Fourth Young Lady, think about it. Growing up, have you ever done anything that can make your parents trust you?"

"Make my parents trust me?"

"Right!" Tang Jie sternly said, "In the Wei Estate, the most senior figures are the venerable master and the venerable lady, but the one managing the entire estate is the first lady. Normally, when she speaks, even the venerable master listens. Why do you think this is so? Because she is the wife to the first son? No, it is because the lady is sufficiently smart and can shoulder the duties of the house. None of the servants are displeased about her place, and even the Immortal Masters like Master Lu are willing to obey her!"

Qin Yuan repeatedly nodded at these words. Zheng Shufeng was an intelligent woman who handled things very fairly. Even when she rebuked the servants, nobody complained. She was many times more intelligent than Wei Lanxin and had always been very popular.

Tang Jie sighed. "If you want to prove that you're better than a man, you can't just rely on empty words. You have to show it. In truth, Fourth Young Lady, if you really did succeed at cultivation, the second master would be overjoyed. Even if you are married out in the future, you are still a daughter of the Wei Clan. When the Wei Clan truly needs it, I am sure that Fourth Young Lady will be willing to help them out. Even if he values a daughter much, much less than a son, one hundred thousand taels of silver can be spent on the third young master, so spending twenty thousand taels of silver can't be too much, yes? And it's only five hundred spirit coins.

"So the key is trust!" Tang Jie declared. "Getting the second master to pay this money is very simple. You just need to have him trust you."

"Then how do I get trust?"

"You have to work for it, of course!" Tang Jie smiled. "In a few days, it will be the venerable lady's seventieth birthday. This is one of the biggest social events the Wei Estate will be holding for now, and the Wei Estate will be decked out to entertain all the guests. This matter is normally handled by the lady, so why not go to the lady and ask for some work, to take responsibility for some part of the preparations? So long as the venerable lady's birthday goes well, you will gain some of the credit and everyone will trust in your abilities. And always be more dutiful and filial no matter the occasion, so that they believe that even if you are married off, you will have your parents' clan at heart… In these circumstances, even if you don't say anything, I'm sure that the second master will still get the idea of sending you to school. In truth, parents' expectations for their daughter are sometimes very simple. Large errors can be minimized into small errors and forgiven, while small achievements are often flaunted like great merit. If Fourth Young Lady is dutiful in your everyday life and succeeds in bringing over everyone to your side, Second Master will naturally begin to trust you."

"But… I'm worried that I won't do it well," Wei Die softly said.

"Even if you can't, you must!" Tang Jie bluntly said. "If you can't even do something like this well, why seek Immortality? Do you really think just entering an Immortal sect and practicing Immortal arts every day is really enough? Or is it that you think that because the cultivation world places itself above the world of mortals, it is free from the disgusting and filthy affairs of the mortal world? The path to Immortality is akin to a mountain path, and countless people are struggling for it, fighting to get through the gate and fighting after they get through the gate, and the fighting only gets more vicious, ruthless, savage, and perilous! Stepping onto the Immortal path is stepping on the road of competition. Someone could push you off the mountain path at any time and into the abyss. If you don't want to fight and work, then it would be better to not cultivate at all!"

"If I don't fight and work, it would be better to not cultivate?" Wei Die stared with jaw agape at Tang Jie.

Perhaps realizing that he had spoken too harshly, Tang Jie softened his tone before continuing. "As the fourth young lady, you have many advantages. If you cannot even stand out in your own home, then you might not be able to compete with others in Heart Severing Academy. Thus, we should start from here. This is your chance to get through the Immortal gate, and it is also the training you must go through before entering. I believe that you can do it."

Tang Jie's final words of encouragement caused Wei Die's eyes to flash, and she bowed to Tang Jie. "Thank you for your instruction. Wei Die understands."

Tang Jie chuckled. "There's no need to be polite. Remember, when working, don't think about too much. Just focus on doing a good job. Success sometimes comes very easily. To sum it up briefly, be inconspicuous as a person and conspicuous in your work. Alright, I won't say any more than this. Everything else depends on you."

Once he was done, he realized that the other two were looking at him with strange looks. Surprised, he asked, "What's up? Did I say something wrong?"

Qin Yuan composed himself and said, "I truly didn't think that a child could consider so much… Are you really fourteen?"

It was Tang Jie's turn to be speechless.

Finally, Wei Die chuckled. "Regardless, I have to thank you for your pointers. In the future, if Wei Die succeeds in cultivation, I will not forget the lessons taught to me by Young Master Tang. If you need anything in the future, Wei Die will not let you down!"

She was the fourth young lady, but she was calling Tang Jie 'Young Master'. This was a reflection of just how much she respected Tang Jie.

"Fourth Young Lady is too polite." Tang Jie smiled. "But now that you mention it, I truly need Fourth Young Lady's help with something…"

Tang Jie was like a man with not long to live who wouldn't even overlook a one-night debt. He had just helped out the fourth young lady and was already asking to be paid interest.

Hypersheep325's Notes:

Future romantic interest maybe? Also it feels like the author wrote a book for all this world building, or at least a very long text document.

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Written by Yuanfen 0 缘分0. Translated by Hypersheep325. Edited by Michyrr.