The fat Zhenren noticed it from the corner of his eye and turned around curiously, but at the same time, he heard someone calling him from behind.
The fat Zhenren turned his head and saw that Zhang-zhenren had appeared behind him at one point. He was startled and looked at the place where Zhang-zhenren used to be and found that there was still a ‘Zhang-zhenren’ sitting there and had not left. But upon closer inspection, he found that the one next to the desk was just a fake body.
“What kind of technique is this?”
Behind him, Zhang-zhenren looked delighted. “It’s a kind of escape technique that uses the earth's spiritual energy to transform into a fake body, while the real body can seize the opportunity to escape. Even though it’s only a Foundation Establishment technique, and a golden core cultivator can notice something wrong with little effort, if the distance is far away and the enemy is unprepared, it can still deceive others!”
Zhang-zhenren became more excited as he talked, pacing back and forth in the room. “I've never heard of this kind of technique, have you?”
The dozen or so Zhenren in the library shook their heads. They were also very excited—every time they saw a new technique born, they would feel honored. After all, these techniques were selected by their hands. Everyone felt like their fatigue had been wiped away and they were full of energy again.
Zhang-zhenren, “Very good, this submission is definitely worthy of a recommendation letter.”
He quickly searched for the signature of the manuscript, thinking that it was probably a famous cultivator. However, the paper crane was written with Daoist Bai Xia, an unfamiliar name.
“Daoist Bai Xia?” No one in the room had any impression. The fat Zhenren said, “Could it be a rogue cultivator who lives in the mountains all year round?”
Zhang-zhenren, “I don’t know. No rush, let me see if there are any other contributions from him.”
He poured out that basket of paper cranes and the rest of the Zhenren also helped to check them out. The more they looked, the more astonished they were, from initial joy to respect, and now fear.
—More than ten paper cranes! More than ten techniques that were unheard of in this world!
Although they didn’t try everything out, just by looking at the cultivation and practice descriptions, they knew the techniques must be genuine!
Although the signatures were different, without exception, they were all names they had never heard of!
Zhang-zhenren’s voice shook, “These paper cranes must come from a certain hermit. The handwriting on them is exactly the same. As for the different signatures, he likely disdains fame and fortune, and just wants to teach the world, so he used someone else's pseudonym!”
Other Zhenren felt that it was possible.
Zhang-zhenren, “No way, I have to report this to the mountain leader immediately!”
So he hugged a pile of paper cranes and rushed out of the library in a flash.
As Zhang-zhenren was in such a hurry, he didn't notice a Daoist sitting in a pavilion not far from the library. At this time, he was lazily resting his head on his hand, lost in thoughts.
The last head of the academy was the famous Qin Yanzhi of the cultivation world. But since he disappeared, the academy waited for a year without his return, and could only replace him with another person. The current mountain leader was from Mauve Aurora Sect, none other than Elder Wei who led Mauve Aurora Sect into the academy and wanted to make things difficult for Jing Yue but was severely slapped in the face instead.
Elder Wei… Ah no, Wei-shanzhang was originally meditating in the room. Hearing what Zhang-zhenren said, he couldn’t settle down any longer. He casually picked up a paper crane, unfolded it, and saw a sword technique called ‘Here comes the wind’ recorded on it. The level was not high but could induce wind when activated so that the power of the swordsmanship could be increased by more than double.
Wei-shanzhang immediately took the sword to the yard and slashed it lightly as described by the paper crane. The strong wind blew, the green plants in the yard shook violently, and flying leaves filled the sky.
After one strike, the original green lush trees actually became bare, and there was even a deep and long sword mark on the ground.
“Excellent!” Wei-shanzhang was overjoyed and asked, “Where did these paper cranes come from?”
Zhang-zhenren was taken aback. He was too excited just now and actually forgot to check the mailing address, so he reopened the paper crane and saw the words written on the wings—from Nine Heaven Academy.
??? The expert was in Nine Heaven Academy? Who could it be?
Zhang-zhenren looked at Wei-shanzhang at once, but after another thought, it was definitely not this person. Wei-shanzhang always preferred to show off in front of others. If he really knew so many rare techniques, everyone in the cultivation world would know about it by now, not to mention that Wei-shanzhang’s excitement just now didn’t seem fake.
Wei-shanzhang met Zhang-zhenren’s eyes. The corners of his mouth twitched as he said, “Most disciples in the academy are Foundation Establishment stage and those with the highest cultivation levels are teachers like you and me. No one fits the bill, right? Could it be that an outsider has entered the Nine Heaven Academy?”
But after he said that, it felt wrong too. Even if someone could break the barrier of Nine Heaven Academy, it couldn’t be this quiet, right?
If the academy was vulnerable to this extent, other major sects wouldn’t dare to send their core disciples here. Wouldn’t that be giving an opportunity to the enemy? Why would the demonic Dao bother to ambush them at Buried Star Ocean then?
Wei-shanzhang couldn't figure it out and only said, “Why don’t we send the paper cranes back? Since the contributor is in the academy, we only need to brand the divine consciousness on the paper crane to find them.”
Zhang-zhenren, “Will we offend the expert by doing this?”
Wei-shanzhang, “Since he came to contribute and left his address, he wouldn't be angry about this. If he really refuses to show himself, he must have the ability to erase his divine consciousness, and it won’t delay anything either.”
Zhang-zhenren thought about it and agreed.
The paper crane could be used back and forth, and the letter of recommendation from the Nine Heaven Academy was also sent back through the paper crane. As soon as Zhang-zhenren cast the spell, he saw the paper crane fanning its wings and disappearing in a flash.
After a while, Zhang-zhenren exclaimed in surprise.
Wei-shanzhang said anxiously, “Did you find him?”
Zhang-zhenren’s expression was a little odd. “I found him, but why is he in the library?”
The two looked at each other, but when they learned that the other party didn't resent their actions, they became happy again. Wei-shanzhang adjusted his clothes and said solemnly, “Don’t think about it. Let’s take a look.”
Along the way, Wei-shanzhang had all kinds of speculations and fantasies about the expert, but when he really saw the ‘expert’, only a constipated face of vicissitudes remained.
Zhang-zhenren also recognized Jing Yue at a glance. He didn’t have such a complicated mental journey as Wei-shanzhang, and he was immediately surprised and delighted. “Jing-laozu? Why are you back?”
Jing Yue half-joked, “I’m here to return the academy token and make some contribution to the academy by the way.” He then looked at Wei-shanzhang. “Oh, are you the current mountain leader of the academy?”
Wei-shanzhang's face flushed red. He even felt that the little blue chicken on Jing Yue's shoulder was despising him. He weakly said, “Greetings to Laozu.”
Jing Yue asked despite knowing, “Why are you looking for me?”
Wei-shanzhang was thoroughly embarrassed by Jing Yue back then. Even now, people still spoke about the lightning tribulation technique, and whenever it was mentioned, he was bound to be implicated, so his perception of Jing Yue was not good.
But Frostcloud Sect had become very powerful in recent years. Especially after Liu Feng was promoted to Tribulation Passage stage, Mauve Aurora Sect had no choice but to cease certain thoughts. Moreover, Jing Yue had saved many disciples of Mauve Aurora Sect in Buried Star Ocean, which formed a debt of gratitude.
With all these, his resentment was gone, but the embarrassment remained.
Wei-shanzhang sighed inwardly before saying, “May I ask if these paper cranes are sent by Jing-laozu?”
Jing Yue, “Yes, I don't need the recommendation letters. I want to use them in exchange for Frostcloud Sect's quota instead. Two techniques for one, is that okay?”
Wei-shanzhang was in a sour mood. Any one of these techniques was worth a letter of recommendation, but if Jing Yue wanted to change the letter into the number of spots, of course…
Jing Yue, “That’s good to hear. I’ll stay in the academy these days and submit a manuscript whenever I think of any techniques.”
Wei-shanzhang didn't know whether to be sad or happy. “… Sure.”
So Jing Yue stayed in the academy, but he asked Wei-shanzhang and Zhang-zhenren to keep it secret because he didn't want to be disturbed.
Otherwise, he was afraid that he wouldn’t be left in peace.
Five days passed in a flash.
At the foot of Nine Heaven Mountain, the crowd was like a tide.
It took Lu Sheng a year to travel from a small city in the upper south region and finally arrive at the Nine Heaven Academy.
Looking up at the lofty Nine Heaven Mountain, he said to his companion, “Xiao Hei, don’t worry too much. I heard that the library has a huge collection of books. There must be a suitable technique for you.”
The person called Xiao Hei was about 13 or 14 years old, with an honest face but a gloomy look in his eyes. He muttered, “I hope so.”
Lu Sheng sighed. His companion was also pitiful. Although he was born in a well-known cultivation family, he was born with a five-element spiritual root, and his talent was extremely poor. After more than ten years, he was only at level-2 Qi Refining stage. As soon as Xiao Hei's father died, the clan even kicked Xiao Hei and his mother out, leaving them to fend for themselves.
Xiao Hei's family became neighbors with him since he arrived in the small town. Over the past few years, Lu Sheng had seen the other party's efforts. Of course, he hoped that Xiao Hei could get what he wanted, but he also knew that the hope was slim.
As the two arrived only two days ago and were a little late, many people still lined up in front of them. They waited for a day and a night before they were allowed to enter the mountain.
A student from the academy took them to the library. Lu Sheng peeked at these prodigies and couldn't help but feel envious. If he could find that method, maybe one day he could come too.
The library of the Nine Heaven Academy looked like a small building on the outside, but after entering, the inside was extremely vast. Countless bookshelves were neatly arranged without an end, and the room was full of the aroma of books and ink.
In fact, for preservation, jade tokens were the most suitable, but the founder, Luo-zhenjun believed that since this was a library, of course it must collect books.
Thus, the library had always used the oldest model.
Although the library was packed, it was silent.
Lu Sheng and Xiao Hei looked at each other before going their separate ways, looking for their preferred technique according to the library guide jade token.
Lu Sheng practiced a technique passed down from his ancestors. It suited him very well, but unfortunately, the technique was incomplete with only fragments left. He hoped to find other parts of the technique from the library.
He searched for a day and a half and finally found a familiar-looking book on a bookshelf. Lu Sheng took the book down nervously. When he opened the pages, it really was what he wanted, and it was the complete set!
Lu Sheng was so excited that he couldn't wait to laugh wildly. He shivered and began to flip through it, refusing to miss a single word.
The books in the library were not allowed to be taken away or transcribed, so he had to rely on his memory.
Fortunately, cultivators had a good memory. When he finished reading the entire book, everything was stored in his mind. At that moment, he felt the middle of his eyebrows swell. He hadn’t even started practicing but he already had a breakthrough!
At that moment, he suddenly heard someone say, “The open day of the library has ended. Please put the books back in place and leave quietly.”
A series of sighs could be heard throughout the library but no one dared to make a fuss. Everyone put the books away and walked outside.
When he reached the door of the library, Lu Sheng found Xiao Hei and wanted to ask the other party about his situation, but after looking at Xiao Hei's face, he refrained.
Obviously, Xiao Hei did not get his wish.
It wasn’t appropriate for Lu Sheng to display his joy, so he could only follow Xiao Hei in silence. Suddenly, a Daoist ahead of them blocked the way.
The Daoist was extremely good-looking. Lu Sheng couldn't help feeling a little distracted when he saw the other party smile, and there seemed to be nostalgia and relief hidden in the smile.
He heard the Daoist say to Xiao Hei, “I have been waiting for you.”