Climbing Ultimate Immortals Ranking
The wind took water from a creek and splashed it on autumn leaves by the bank. A falling leaf split neatly in two. The remaining leaves on the tree danced freely, nonetheless.
A rock resembling a turtle had lost its head. Standing on the back of its shell was a man adorning a white robe spinning a sword in his hand. Standing opposite him was his opponent, an exhausted youth clothed in a blue robe and brandishing an exquisite flute. The flute was made from celestial mountain phoebe and coloured in black and white, dangling ornament an enamouring blue.
The audience of cultivators in conversation were honoured to have the privilege of spectating the fight.
The contestant in white was Bei Chitian, a disciple of Daoist Hui Yang and ranked ninety-two on Ultimate Immortals Ranking. It was believed that Bei Chitian would surpass his shifu with time.
Daoist Hui Yang’s claim to fame was his swordplay. He was the best disciple at Sword Purifying Valley during his time there. Later in life, he left the sect and created Returning Sun Sect, which was named after himself. He coined his swordplay Returning Sun Swordplay and passed it on to his disciples, who went on to establish they didn’t pale in comparison to Sword Purifying Valley.
Bei Chitian’s shiny blade forced spectators to shield their eyes whenever he wielded it. Hence, the invisible spiritual energy that split the leaf wasn’t informational with just the two of them standing still.
Blood from Bei Chitian’s wound dyed his shirt red. He couldn’t believe he lost the first challenge he accepted since being ranked; he hadn’t even had the chance to celebrate properly. When he was conferred a rank, his shifu was elated, and his martial siblings showered him with praise. He deemed himself a legend among those in his age bracket. He was burning to challenge others and soar through the ranks. When he was challenged, he disregarded his opponent’s skills. His confidence, however, became his downfall. In his final moments, he replayed the scenes of his glorious moment…
“Bei Chitian lost?!” exclaimed a middle-aged daoist.
For whatever reason, it was stereotypical for people to assume those praised and associated with big sects would triumph against those less known, less praised and from more obscure sects.
The newly-crowned rank ninety-two youth disdainfully looked down at Bei Chitian. He swung his gaze over the audience, savouring the sensation of having all the attention. “I’m Wan Tianming! Remember me! Hahaha!”
Until then, nobody recognised the name Wan Tianming. He could rest assured for, very soon, they would remember his name.
Rank fifty-five, Tian Budai, watched the duel and treated it as a cultured show. He muttered to himself, “Wan Tianming, not a bad candidate. Eternally Youthful Ku Mu, Mu Yu and an ultimate immortal. Shadow Syndicate are an efficient group. My plan is ready to be set in motion now.”
Tian Budai maintained his smile and fixed his gaze on Wan Tianming until the latter left.
Because Sword Shadow Dust Gale took a break at Sword Shadow City after he defeated the five elemental demon spirit lords, the statue of him there was particularly suave and depicted as a man without cumbersome burdens.
Eyes on the statue of Feng Haochen, Ku Mu grouched, “Did you have to take your stroll here?”
After they were out of public view, Ku Mu unleashed a verbal lashing on Elder Leng. Alas, Elder Leng leveraged his status as Ku Mu’s “dad” to Ku Mu’s chagrin.
“Keep garbling and I’ll break your leg! Third Heaven Palace suddenly rushed me, yet I can’t just dump you on the side of the road. I’m here to find two people from the Hundreds Herb Hall branch here to escort you back.”
“I have legs. I don’t need an escort,” fumed Ku Mu, glad he didn’t have to share the same path as Elder Leng.
“Be honest. Are you secretly a masochist? Why are you always asking to get hit? I don’t feel safe sending you off alone.”
Elder Leng waltzed into the Hundreds Herb Hall branch and summoned two Body Severing Realm guards with a grunt. They were stealthy enough to avoid causing a commotion. Elder Leng explained the circumstances to the two frightened guards and tasked them with safely escorting Ku Mu back to Pill Cauldron Sect.
“If Ku Mu is missing has a single blemish on him, I’ll be holding you two responsible.”
“We will put our lives on the line to protect Elder Ku Mu, Ancestor.”
“I’m off, then.” Elder Leng ripped open a void in the atmosphere and walked through.
The sudden turn of events rendered Ku Mu uneasy and pondering, why did they suddenly summon him now of all times?
“Elder Ku Mu, can we get going?” a guard respectfully asked.
“Let’s go,” answered Ku Mu, telling himself he was overthinking.
Two hours after Ku Mu set out, Tian Budai arrived in the airspace of Sword Shadow City with Tian Wanming. Unlike the victorious look on his face when he defeated Bei Chitian, Tian Wanming was crushed underneath his fear of Tian Budai.
Tian Budai, wearing his signature smile, held out a white flickering light in his hand that oozed an indescribable energy. He mulled over why the mysterious individual gave him the light and how the latter knew he was searching for Ku Mu. The white light he was gifted acted as a compass.
“Daoist Yuan De has left Eternally Youthful Ku Mu? Lady Luck is smiling upon me, it seems.” Tian Budai closed his fist and notified Tian Wanming, “Don’t panic. Our only target is Eternally Youthful Ku Mu.”