Worlds’ Apocalypse Online Chapter 739
5 years later.
Barren Cloud Heavenly Palace.
In the main palace, the Palace Master was in a meeting with the 6 peak masters.
"The situation at the frontline is currently very tense, most of the equipment there are heavily damaged, so the Divinities have requested us to quickly forge a great amount of armour and weapons to replenish supplies" the Palace Master spoke.
"Leave it to our Grey Crane peak" one of the peak masters spoke.
Grey Crane peaks disciples were experts at the 6 arts, so normally supplies were left to them.
The Palace Master nodded: "Thats good to hear. Additionally, weve obtained intelligence that the Desolate world has recently dispatched a group of Nether Soul Demons. To prevent them from infiltrating our bases, our sound cultivators will need to be sent to the frontlines"
The peak masters all glanced at a certain girl.
The girl was sitting cross-legged on her chair with an emerald green flute in her hand.
She was the current Fine Sound peak master, Luo Bing Li.
The one who played to flute to dispel the evil worshippers when new disciples entered the sect 5 years ago was her.
Luo Bing Li smiled: "No problem, leave it to me"
The Palace Master asked: "How many people are you going to bring?"
Luo Bing Li thought briefly: "Ill bring five people, that should be enough"
The Palace Master shook his head: "Sound cultivators are rare and few in number, raising even one of them takes a lot of effort, you dont need to bring so many"
Luo Bing Li replied: "Then I will bring only two"
The Palace Master nodded.
He then turned to a cultivator sitting close to him and spoke: "Perching Cloud peak master, bring a group of subordinates with you to accompany Fine Sound peak master, you will be responsible for their safety.
The cultivator grinned: "Please be assured, Palace Master, I will lead a group of my strongest swordsmen and Bladesmen, as well as a few exceptional spear users"
The Palace Master asked: "How many people are you going to bring?"
"Two hundred" Perching Cloud peak master replied.
"Hm, two hundred should be enough, make sure to protect them well"
The Palace Master stood up and told the peak masters: "Good if there is nothing else, todays meeting can end here"
The peak masters exchanged glances.
Clear Water peak master spoke up: "Palace Master, there is one more thing"
"Ah, then go ahead" the Palace Master said.
"Its about the new disciples of 5 years ago. They have joined our sect for 5 years and have been through 4 years of the annual competition, and it will soon be the end of the year, which is time for the 5th year competition" Clear Water peak master explained.
"Isnt it a simple annual occurrence?" the Palace Master appeared surprised.
"The main issue is that recently, some bad rumors have been circulating among most of the peaks about the master peak" Clear Water peak master told him.
There were a total of 7 mountains on top of the river with the 6 other peaks surrounding the master peak in the middle.
And the master peak was where the Barren Cloud Palace Master resides.
All of the sects crucial scriptures, inheritance treasures as well as the Skyward Path were on this mountain.
"Rumors about the master peak?" the Palace Master scowled and sternly spoke: "Elaborate, what exactly happened?"
"Its actually nothing too serious, just that everyone noticed how the Palace Masters disciple hasnt participated in any competition despite joining the sect for 4 years already, not to mention he doesnt appear in any sect-wide activities as well, so some rumors have appeared" Clear Water peak master explained.
Ancient Dawn peak master added: "The youngsters of our peaks have been practically screaming for the Palace Masters disciple to show up and fight them. If you have some time, please try and convince your disciple to show up for them to quiet down"
The Palace Masters expression loosened.
So thats what it was about.
He asked: "So Gu Qing Shan still hasnt signed up for this years competition?"
Clear Water peak master replied: "Yes, thats why his cultivator peers have been silently questioning why the Palace Masters disciple keeps hiding himself and refuse to show up"
Ancient Dawn peak master followed up: "Palace Master, please tell Gu Qing Shan to participate at least once, so that those children wouldnt hide unnecessary thoughts about the master peak.
The Palace Master answered: "I will ask him, but I cant guarantee any results"
Then he suddenly chuckled: "As for those rumors, hah, theyre still only children, it wouldnt affect the master peak in any way, so theres no need to pay them any mind"
Saying so, the Palace Master disappeared with a wave of his sleeves.
The other peak masters exchanged glances.
"Not even the Palace Master can make that youngster go out and fight?" the Spirit Echo peak master commented in disbelief.
The Ancient Dawn peak master shook his head: "Like I said before, the Palace Master favors his disciple too much. That disciple really should have more contact with his peers, build up trust and relationships through the competition, that way everyone would have nothing to say about this position"
The other peak masters nodded in agreement.
"You think that hasnt happened?" the Fine Sound peak master, Luo Bing Li spoke, "Im responsible for overseeing the sect, so I have seen Gu Qing Shan travel to and from Grey Crane peak a few times, there are always disciples going after him trying to challenge him to spar, but he always refused them"
The peak masters were all shocked.
He refused them?
Usually, unless the difference in cultivation is too great, no one would refuse to spar with others among their peers.
If someone did, they would be thought of as being fearful.
Not to mention, this type of sparring is also a way for their name to be known.
The more they thought about it, the more the peak masters scowled.
That youngster was the first disciple that the Palace Master took in, so naturally, hes the Eldest Disciple of the sect.
Regardless of how their character or cultivation is, someone in this position would naturally represent every disciple of that sect.
With such a status, even if his cultivation is lacking, he should have already joined the Palace Master in dealing with various matters around the sect, not only to build his abilities but also to accumulate prestige.
But ever since he joined the sect, that youngster hasnt shown up in public at all.
The very few times that he did show up, that youngster would stay for days on end inside the library of Grey Crane peak.
According to the library records, he borrowed quite a few jade tags related to spirit cooking and formation arts.
Since he had the Palace Masters jade disk, no one could stop him.
But is it really fine for a new disciple of the sect who hasnt joined for too long to distract himself this way instead of focusing on training his sword arts?
The Palace Master really does spoil him too much.
The Spirit Echo peak master muses: "Maybe we should find an opportunity to talk some sense into the Palace Master later on, since his eldest disciple will represent the dignity of the sect, as well as the attitude by which our sect nurtures our disciples"
"That should be the case"
"Let us try and convince the Palace Master next time"
Barren Cloud master peak.
Barren Cloud Palace Master, Xie Gu Hong had returned.
He was taking a stroll along the gravel path that led towards the peak of the mountain.
This relaxes him.
Whenever he returned from a meeting, he made it a habit to take a stroll like this for a while.
Suddenly, he stopped and looked up at the sky.
Snow was lightly drifting from above.
It was now the end of another year.
But it wasnt at all a relaxing year.
At the frontlines, more and more Desolate monsters were showing up day by day, and they were also getting stronger, some of them to the point that it was practically impossible to defeat by force.
Even the Divinities were wary of those monsters.
Although this wasnt something that could be openly discussed, Xie Gu Hong believed that the other leading cultivators have already noticed.
That battle was a tragic one.
It took the death of 10 consecutive great cultivators, as well as basically using the weaker cultivators lives as fodder to swarm the monster to finally kill it.
Indeed, humanity was becoming more and more prosperous.
But at the same time, the risk they faced was slowly and silently becoming greater.
Xie Gu Hong sighed.
The frontline battle situation, the urging of the Divinities, as well as various matters of the sect, his attention and effort were needed everywhere.
He reached his hand out to catch a snowflake.
I could die at the frontlines at any moment.
All of a sudden, he recalled the matter that the other peak masters mentioned at the end of the meeting.
Xie Gu Hong muttered and disappeared where he stood.
Deep inside the Barren Cloud master peak.
The Sword Abyss.
All of the sects sword scriptures were kept here.
A teenager sat among the mountain of piled up jade tags with one of them in his hand, silently studying the mystery inside.
Gu Qing Shan.
He had entered a state of deep immersion.
Xie Gu Hong appeared in the void of space in front of him.
At first, Xie Gu Hong waited for a bit, but seeing how Gu Qing Shan didnt react at all, he uttered a light cough.
Gu Qing Shan immediately sensed that.
He opened his eyes.
"Master, youve returned" he stood up and clasped his fist.
"Hm, how has your cultivation been recently?" Xie Gu Hong asked.
"Everything is going smoothly" Gu Qing Shan replied.
Xie Gu Hong tried asking: "Teacher suddenly recalled something, youve joined the sect for 5 years already, but you still havent sparred with anyone even once, have you?"
"I indeed have not" Gu Qing Shan nodded.
Xie Gu Hong asked: "Why havent you sparred with the others?"
Gu Qing Shan seemed confused and replied: "I couldnt possibly win against the seniors as I am right now, their cultivation is too far ahead"
Xie Gu Hong spoke: "Teacher was talking about your peers"
Gu Qing Shan replied: "Because thats meaningless. The heaven and earth still havent said anything, so I clearly am still number one, fighting with them would just be a waste of time"
Xie Gu Hong was speechless.
This brat once made a vow to heaven and earth, as long as he isnt the number one sword cultivator he would have to cripple his own cultivation and leave the sect.
Even if he stays here without doing anything.
The heaven and earth are still judging him, constantly proving his abilities.
Xie Gu Hong cleared his throat and said: "During this years annual competition, you should consider participating"
Gu Qing Shan hesitated: "Master if I do that, wouldnt that just be bullying?"
Xie Gu Hong raised his brows.
Even while he did nothing, seven swords appeared behind him, floating in the air.
Xie Gu Hong took one of the swords.
"Come, let teacher test you, as the number one sword cultivator of this generation, just what level youve achieved"
"Yes, please teach me, Master"
Gu Qing Shan also took out a sword.
Without bowing, he simply leapt forward.
To receive teachings directly from a sword cultivator that could win against a Divinity, Gu Qing Shan has been itching for a very long time.
He held nothing back.
The sword split into two, then into six, finally settling at 36 swords, all giving off an intense glow that slashed towards Xie Gu Hong.
Gu Qing Shan has combined all the sword techniques he knew with everything he had learnt for the past 5 years into one, together with his wealth of battle experience for this one attack.
Xie Gu Hongs eyes lit up.
"Its only been 5 years" he muttered.
His sword swung.
Clang clang clang clang clang.
With a few light swings of his sword, all of Gu Qing Shans attacks were diverted away.
Gu Qing Shan suddenly appeared right in front of him as his sword and half his body was a complete blur.
This attack was so fast it couldnt be seen.
A sharp clash of metal.
Gu Qing Shan and his swords were sent flying.
Spinning a few times in the air, Gu Qing Shan regained his footing at about 10 feet.
Xie Gu Hong let go of his sword.
Gu Qing Shan reluctantly put his sword away.
He still wanted to spar more.
But if Master had put his sword away, that means the sparring stops here.
Gu Qing Shan looked at the seven swords behind Xie Gu Hong and seriously asked: "Master, have you already surpassed the realm of Sword Saint?"
Xie Gu Hong nodded.
Gu Qing Shan asked doubtfully: "But why do you only have seven swords? With your strength, you can probably manipulate a few hundred swords at once without problem"
Xie Gu Hong replied: "In the past when I achieved Great Attainment as a Sword Saint, I carried 1954 swords with me. But after I surpassed Sword Saint until now, Ive ever only used seven swords"
"Why is that?"
"Because once you can completely release the power of your flying swords, you will have to think of how to converge it"
"Converge" Gu Qing Shan muttered.
He recalled that Ilya told him the same thing back in the hidden world of the Gods below the sea.
Xie Gu Hong nodded: "Indeed, converging is much harder than releasing, when you can converge all of your power into one, turning it into a single sword, that is when your swordsmanship reaches Great Attainment"
"So Master has converged it into seven swords"
"No, I have already converged it into one sword, but Ive reached another realm beyond that, so I have seven swords"
Hearing that, Gu Qing Shan gasped in admiration and appeared fascinated.
Seeing his expression, Xie Gu Hong smiled: "Alright, your speed of improvement is already considerably impressive, no need to admire me"
"Continue your cultivation, teacher will leave first"
Xie Gu Hong put the seven swords behind him away and slowly turned to leave.
On his way out, he recalled something and stopped.
He turned and told Gu Qing Shan: "For the next three years, dont go out and bully the others. After three years, Ill give you an official position, youll be teaching others how to use a sword in Perching Cloud peak"
"As Master wills"
 basically, regardless of when someone joined the sect or how old they are, as long as they are the sect masters first disciple, they are considered the big brother of the entire sect. The Eldest Disciple position is usually considered to be one that commands respect and awe from every disciples, both in mind and in reality.