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The Immortal Fairy was flicked away by the eldest senior sister, hanging from a nearby tree branch, head down, her body swaying gently.
"Lu Yang, you show no respect for immortals!" the Immortal Fairy exclaimed angrily, having suffered an unwarranted disaster, a calamity that came without cause.
Back in ancient times when she commanded the winds and clouds, who would have dared to treat her thus?
Lu Yang replied respectfully, "It's not that I don't respect the Immortal Fairy, but I've just formed the Invincible Elixir and am not yet accustomed to it. I was hoping the Immortal Fairy could demonstrate how to use the Invincible Elixir."
"Thanks to the Immortal Fairy's demonstration, I now know how to use it."
"Really?" The Immortal Fairy looked at Lu Yang skeptically, sensing something amiss.
"I am but a mere mortal; how could I dare to deceive an Immortal Fairy?"
The Immortal Fairy, considering herself magnanimous, decided not to pursue the matter further.
A puppet sprang up, plucked Lu Yang from the tree branch, and held him by the collar like a mischievous cat.
The eldest senior sister placed two fingers on Lu Yang's wrist, diagnosing like a physician. She nodded imperceptibly, "I see, it was my oversight. When creating the technique, I forgot that the Invincible Elixir also imparts blind confidence, making you overconfident and losing the ability to think clearly, unable to control your body."
She picked up the technique that had fallen to the ground. It ignited and burned to ashes as if it had never existed.
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"I'll make some revisions. Just wait a moment."
The eldest senior sister sat by a stone table, tore through space, and retrieved a blank book from the void.
After a moment's thought, she knew how to revise it and began writing swiftly.
Soon, a new version of the "Clarity and Insight Mantra: Golden Elixir Chapter" was completed.
"Try this now."
Lu Yang took the technique and noticed only a few phrases had changed from the previous version.
Could this really suppress the impulses of the Invincible Elixir?
Lu Yang circulated his energy through a complete cycle and then stealthily glanced at the eldest senior sister, who was resting with closed eyes, and sighed in relief.
This time, he felt no urge to strike her, a suicidal impulse.
Lu Yang meditated on the spot, feeling the changes the technique brought.
The greatest change was a sense of clarity in his heart. The technique pointed out the path forward, and he just needed to follow its prescribed course.
Previously, his cultivation was all about accumulating mana without any improvement in his realm. Now, with this new technique, his previously accumulated mana came into play, advancing him from the early stage of the Golden Elixir to the early stage.
It seemed like marking time, but the change was not much.
Next were the changes in his spiritual consciousness and mental space. His spiritual consciousness expanded slightly, and with it, his mental space grew. The Immortal Fairy's bed, which had been against the wall—the boundary of his mental space—was now two arm's lengths from the edge.
The Immortal Fairy noticed this too and pushed her bed back to the edge of the mental space.
She liked to lean against the bed with her little feet kicking the wall, finding the position comfortable.
"Is Lu Yang around?" Meng Jingzhou called out softly as he ascended the mountain.
With his typically carefree nature, he would usually shout loudly when looking for someone.
But this was Tianmen Peak, home not only to Lu Yang but also the extremely terrifying eldest senior sister. Even with eight times his usual courage, Meng Jingzhou wouldn't dare to make a racket here.
"Eldest senior sister, are you there?" Meng Jingzhou greeted her with nods and bows upon seeing her resting with closed eyes by a tree.
The eldest senior sister hummed softly in response. She had been aware of his presence since he stepped onto Tianmen Peak.
"What do you want?"
Meng Jingzhou said mysteriously, "Of course, it's good news! Have you heard about the Qingzhou Festival? It's about to start."
Lu Yang, unfamiliar with the common events of the Great Xia Dynasty, asked, "What is the Qingzhou Festival?"
"It's a grand event held for cultivators, led by the Qingzhou government and involving several first-rate sects. It takes place every year in early August, featuring competitions, auctions, and the like. It's quite lively. The main goal is to attract young cultivators to stay in Qingzhou, so many participants are around our age."
Lu Yang's eyes lit up. He rarely interacted with his peers, and this was a good opportunity.
"Let's go! By the way, is this Qingzhou the same one the Fifth Elder mentioned, where the Qingzhou Governor from 20,000 years ago, under the guise of a duel, moved a neighboring city to their location?"
"That's the one."
The eldest senior sister, who had been resting with her eyes closed, slowly opened them, showing a hint of curiosity, "The Fifth Elder told you about the Qingzhou Governor?"
"Eldest senior sister, you know about it too?"
"Of course, I do. After all, that Qingzhou Governor is our sect's ancestor."
Lu Yang: "…"
Meng Jingzhou: "…"
Somehow, neither of them was surprised by this fact.
It indeed fit the usual style of the Seek Tao Sect, logical yet outrageous.
"The matter of the Qingzhou Governor, you know it, but don't spread it around. It would damage the reputation of our Seek Tao Sect," the eldest senior sister said, as the de facto sect leader, she was protective of the sect's reputation.
Though she was unaware of the Seek Tao Sect's reputation in the outside world.
Meng Jingzhou curiously asked, "Eldest senior sister, what happened to the Governor afterward?"
"Subsequently, he developed Qingzhou methodically. The Qingzhou Festival was his idea. It attracted many talented cultivators and was highly effective, prompting other governors to follow suit. Under his governance, Qingzhou flourished. When he achieved success and fame, he retired and returned to our sect."
Lu Yang realized a problem, "Wait, can people from our five great immortal sects still hold government positions?"
He thought that because the five great immortal sects held high status and power, the Great Xia Dynasty, out of fear and suspicion, wouldn't allow their members to hold office.
"Of course, they can."
Meng Jingzhou gave Lu Yang an example, "The imperial court is desperate for wise men, and where are the wisest? Naturally, from the people of the five great immortal sects. The court even invited the head of The Floating Temple to take office. Had he agreed, he would have been the Prime Minister, but he declined."
"The head of the Suppress Hell Sect was also invited but didn't accept."
"For young talents like us to hold office, the court is very welcoming. However, unlike the head of The Floating Temple, we would need to pass the imperial examinations."
The eldest senior sister reminded, "Lu Yang, you can't take part in the imperial examinations, nor can you hold office."
Lu Yang was stunned, "Why?"
He had no intention of holding office, but surely he should at least have the opportunity.
"Because of our master."
Lu Yang understood immediately. With his sharp wit, he grasped the situation: twenty thousand years ago, the Seek Tao Sect wasn't the foremost of the five great immortal sects. Now, it had become the undisputed number one.
The court feared the Seek Tao Sect's dominance and dared not allow disciples of the sect, or rather, direct disciples of the sect leader like himself, to hold office. This was to prevent collusion between the court and the sect, which could destabilize the Great Xia Dynasty's ruling position.
"Our master has committed many crimes, and his disciple, our grandmaster, also cannot hold office," the eldest senior sister continued.
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