Chapter 61 – Tian Ling Palace
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Nine Evolutions of the True Spirit Chapter 61 – Tian Ling Palace

Truth be told, Lu Ping was slightly disappointed. In his imagination, as a big sect in the North Ocean Alliance, Zhen Ling Sect’s base should have been filled with pavilions and palaces like a heavenly kingdom. However, what entered his eyes resembled a large farmland than anything else.

Along the way, he found that the spiritual energy on Tian Ling Mountain was incredibly rich. However, other than the cave-dwellings of the Zhen Ling Sect disciples, the rest of the mountain had been converted into various kinds of herb gardens. Countless spirit herbs and spirit materials grew in these gardens, which in turn were protected by array formations. However, the array formations weren’t strong. Clearly, they were mostly there just to prevent the disciples from entering the gardens by accident.

Wu Zi-Niu looked at Lu Ping’s expression with a smile. “What’s the matter? Feeling disappointed, yes? In all honesty, I was shocked the first time I came here. Who would’ve thought the great Zhen Ling Sect’s base would be so crude and simple?”

Lu Ping replied, “Yeah.”

“But the reason for this is simple too—we lack cultivation resources. Hence, we have to make full use of every acre of spirit-gathering land to grow as many cultivation resources as possible. Because of Tian Ling Mountain’s large spirit vein, there are many spirit-gathering places to be found. Aside from those used by the disciples as their cave-dwellings, the rest are all turned into spirit gardens.”

Lu Ping’s heart fluctuated wildly at this explanation. His view on the cultivation world was clearer now, and he started to understand things he couldn’t before.

The two conversed as they walked. Soon, they reached the mountainside.

Because of the spirit vein on Tian Ling Mountain, the area was divided into three levels according to the intensity of spiritual energy.

The spiritual energy on the mountain base was the weakest. Hence, Blood Condensation Realm cultivators were allowed to set up their cave-dwellings here.

The spiritual energy on the mountainside was richer. This area was set aside for the Core Forging Realm Enlightened Masters.

And finally, the spiritual energy on the mountain summit was the richest. Only the Peak Core Forging Realm Enlightened Masters and Avatar Realm Great Ancestors could live there.

On the mountainside, there was a large palace built with copper bricks and jade tiles. Finally, there was something that looked grandiose on the mountain.

Wu Zi-Niu pointed at the palace and said, “There, that’s where the sect handles the daily affairs. The procedure for you to become an inner disciple will be processed there.”

Lu Ping looked at the stately palace and asked, “Is the sect’s headmaster there as well?”

Wu Zi-Niu tapped on his head and said, “Oh my, I’ve forgotten to tell you. The sect doesn’t have a headmaster. The daily affairs are handled here in Tian Ling Palace, and any big decisions are made together between the Great Ancestors.”

Entering the palace, Wu Zi-Niu brought Lu Ping to a room in the back hall. “This year, Junior Martial Uncle Xuan Yuan is in charge of the palace. Junior Martial Uncle Xuan Yuan is like my teacher, they’re both in the Third Layer Core Forging Realm.”

He knocked politely on the door and announced, “Junior Martial Uncle Xuan Yuan, Disciple Wu Zi-Niu and Lu Ping are here to see you.”

A lackadaisical voice answered from inside of the room. “Come on in. I could hear you blabbering nonstop from far away.”

Wu Zi-Niu shot a smile at Lu Ping and they walked into the room. Lu Ping saw a sluggish middle-aged man sitting behind a table. He was slumped over the bamboo chair, drinking a mouthful of liquid from a huge wine gourd in his right hand and flipping through an old book with his left.

It was such a strange scene to look at, yet it also felt incredibly harmonious. Every move he made had a unique charm to it.

Wu Zi-Niu stepped forward and smiled. “Junior Martial Uncle, you’re still reading novels?”

Then, he pointed at Lu Ping and said, “This junior martial brother is a newly advanced Blood Condensation Realm cultivator from the side hall. Teacher asked me to bring him here to choose an appropriate cultivation method.

Enlightened Master Xuan Yuan smiled. “Here to trouble me?”

After saying thus, he raised his head and looked at Lu Ping.

Immediately, Lu Ping felt like he was completely seen through. Enlightened Master Xuan Yuan praised, “Not bad. A very solid foundation and thick arcane energy. Not too old too. You’re a nice talent. What’s your foundation bloodline?”

“This disciple has the Water Jiao Bloodline.”

Enlightened Master Xuan Yuan twisted his lips and took a mouthful of wine. “Water Jiao?”

After that, he remained silent.

Lu Ping was still waiting for him to say something when suddenly, Wu Zi-Niu approached Enlightened Master Xuan Yuan with a grin. He passed over ten spirit stones and said, “Junior Martial Uncle, please enlighten us!”

Lu Ping’s expression turned weird. A Core Forging Realm Enlightened Master and he still cares about a mere ten spirit stones?

Enlightened Master Xuan Yuan turned a blind eye to Lu Ping’s expression. “The sect has nineteen cultivation methods for the Water Jiao Bloodline. Excluding eight of those that end at the peak of Blood Condensation Realm, there are seven others that lead to the Core Forging Realm, and only four can reach the heights of the Avatar Realm. Which one do you want?”

This time, Lu Ping didn’t need Wu Zi-Niu’s reminder as he hurriedly placed ten spirit stones on the table. He said, “This disciple is a stubborn one. Junior Martial Uncle, please teach me.”

Enlightened Master Xuan Yuan weighed the spirit stones in his hand and he said, “Quite a quick learner.”

He took a sip of the wine and continued, “The first eight are out of the question. Among the seven Core Forging Realm cultivation methods, two are pure water-element oriented, and the other five require auxiliary elements—either gold and water, water and wood, wind and water, water and ice, or gold, wood, and water together. Either way, the water element is the main element.”

Enlightened Master Xuan Yuan took another sip, cleared his throat, and said, “Whereas among the four Avatar Realm cultivation methods, only one is pure water-element oriented. The other three also require auxiliary elements. However, while the cultivation methods may be different, they all work the same way.”

After Enlightened Master Xuan Yuan explained this, Lu Ping asked, “Between the pure water cultivation methods and those supplemented by auxiliary elements, which is better?”

Enlightened Master Xuan Yuan smiled and continued to drink without answering. Lu Ping immediately placed ten more spirit stones on the table.

Enlightened Master Xuan Yuan praised, “Good thoughts.”

“Well, the thing about cultivation methods is that not many can completely unleash their true potential. And so, it largely depends on the cultivator. The pure water cultivation methods are valuable because they are “pure”. However, this “pure” is incredibly difficult to achieve. Cultivation methods supplemented by auxiliary elements place emphasis on the “changes”. This provides the cultivator with a good adaptability to different situations.”

Enlightened Master Xuan Yuan paused for a second. “But, frankly speaking, if a pure water cultivation method’s prowess is fully unleashed, it can be much stronger than other methods. However, one needs perseverance, determination, and also luck. Furthermore, the pure elemental cultivation methods greatly emphasize the eradication of impurities, making their cultivation progress incredibly slow. But the upside is, because of that, breaking through cultivation levels will be easier.”

Enlightened Master Xuan Yuan looked at Lu Ping and asked, “Little guy, have you made your decision yet?”

Lu Ping was dumbfounded. He didn’t expect to gain so much knowledge in choosing a suitable cultivation method. Perhaps, this was one of the advantages of a sect disciple compared to a rogue cultivator. A sect’s guidance could save their disciples a lot of trouble while rogue cultivators could only explore everything on their own.

And in the path of cultivation, a wrong step could lead to a lifelong regret.

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