Dual Cultivation God Returns

Chapter 6: The Yin Yang Unity Palace

Chapter 6: The Yin Yang Unity Palace

At the Armoury Hall, he received a standard kit given to the disciples going outside to accomplish missions. There were a few things there:

A few fasting pills, which provide sustenance and alleviate hunger. By charming the woman who gave out the gear with his smile and mentioning that he might need to stay outside longer he received a dozen pills, slightly more than usual. They were easy to make, very cheap and could be stored for an extremely long time, so the sect could give even hundreds of them without losing profit from the missions these disciples were doing.

A leather bag with clear drinking water, which would not be enough for a whole week, but it was expected that in three days the water would last, the disciples would be able to find a clear source of water to replenish it.

A simple steel sword. The majority of the disciples had their own gear, most would have at least a low-grade spiritual treasure weapon. But since going outside was not completely safe the sect lent those who did not possess their own weapons these standard weapons.

A small dagger usually used to cut vegetation, cut out monster cores or neidans out of slain demonic beasts, or perform other random tasks that required a sharp tool.

A small jade knife with the blade the size of an index finger used to cut precious medicine, a little jade shovel with the shovel head the size of a human palm if the medicine was of the root type, as well as a separate bag for storing the medicinal ingredients or refining materials.

A lightweight cloak with sect insignia and a bamboo hat to shield from wind, rain and snow, as well as a slightly bigger cloth travel bag to carry them and other things over the shoulder.

A small pouch with 5 stink pills in tiny sealed glass flasks that would help in an unlikely case the disciple met a demonic beast stronger than 2nd tier so they could not even run if not for this life-saving tool, or if they unluckily ran into many demonic beasts at once.

All of the items except for the fasting pills and stink pills were only lent out and had to be returned upon arriving back at the sect after the mission, and would require points to compensate if lost, damaged or broken.

Wu Long put everything besides the bamboo hat, sword and dagger in the travel bag, and fastened the bag with the rope over his shoulder along with the bamboo hat. He then fastened the sword to his robe sash on one side and the dagger on the other. He proceeded to the sect gates, the only safe way to descend the mountain the sect was on while on foot.

On the way, the closer he got to the gates, the more he met people patrolling in gray robes, they were in groups of 7 people, with 6 people in 1st to 6th level Qi Condensation Realm, a realm higher than Qi Gathering, and 1 person in 7th to 9th level Qi Condensation Realm. He would also occasionally see people in Qi Manifestation Realm, the realm higher than Qi Condensation, wearing gray robes with blue linings.

The gray robes identified Sect Protectors. Similar to Sect Retainers, when disciples stopped improving for nearly a decade after reaching a realm higher than Sect Retainers thus proving that they most likely have reached their maximum potential but have not reached the level of sect elders, they would have to resign as disciples and face a choice to either leave the sect or stay as Sect Protectors.

Sect Protectors were the main muscle force of the sect, they manned all guarding positions as well as law enforcement, and played the role of the sect army in times of conflict.

Judging by the realms of the disciples, elders, sect retainers and protectors Wu Long got an estimate of the overall standing of the sect.

In his estimation, the Yin Yang Unity Palace would accept disciples at 7th level of Body Transformation Realm and higher every 10 years. There would be part of the new disciples who directly join the Inner Court, but most of them would join the Outer Court.

Around 10% of them would inevitably be expelled for breaking rules, lack of talent or die in accidents. If they manage to breakthrough to the Qi Gathering Realm in less than a year from being recruited, or they display other unique talents they may be promoted to Inner Court disciples, as their talents would be judged as high. There wouls also occasionally be people demoted from Inner Court to the Outer Court due to showing weak results.

The only difference between Inner Court and Outer Court disciples is talent, as Inner Court disciples would receive much better resources in their monthly allowances, in hopes that they would soon reach higher realms and become a major strength to the sect. Thus there were Outer Court disciples that were higher in cultivation to the Inner Court disciples, but they were lower in standing as with their talents they basically had no hope to breakthrough to the elder level.

Every year, the sect would expel some disciples who do not contribute enough through accomplishing missions to keep them from both the Inner Court and the Outer Court.

As such, the sect at any time has disciples ranging from higher level Body Transformation Realm to Qi Manifestation Realm.

After about two decades from the moment of joining, the majority (55-65%) of the disciples in both Inner Court and Outer Court in the batch have stopped growing at the Qi Gathering for a decade, while their peers have reached higher realms in that time, with some very talented ones reaching Revolving Qi realm and becoming elders. The majority of this group will then leave while a tiny minority will stay as Sect Retainers.

After another decade, the absolute majority (70%-80%) of the remaining disciples from that batch have stopped growing at Qi Condensation Realm or Qi Manifestation Realm for a decade, hence either leaving the sect or joining Sect Protectors, with a small percentage either expelled or dead due to various reasons, while the remaining ones are growing at a very slow pace, eventually reaching Revolving Qi Realm later and becoming elders.

Thus any batch of new disciples would have at most 3 senior generations, each earlier generation exponentially becoming smaller than the later one, with only the generation directly above them somewhat comparable in size to their own. Those above the 3rd generation that still keep growing but are slow are collectively called Hidden Court disciples as they are mostly in closed seclusion until they either breakthrough to the elder level or stop growing and fail, thus becoming protectors, and are almost never seen during normal times.

Once the small percentage of disciples become elders at the Revolving Qi Realm the sects' core grows, and they are able to accept more disciples since there are more people who can mentor the younger generations and the sect grows in size.

From Wu Long's experience, he speculated that since the sect elders were at the Revolving Qi Realm, there should be Grand Elders a realm above them at Foundation Building Realm, as well as a Sect Master usually a realm higher than grand elders and in this case should be a Core Formation Realm practitioner.

But seeing that the sect only had around 7 000 people with around 2000 of them being protectors and retainers, and around 500 elder level people, he believed that the sect is rather new, at most 200 years old, or have recently experienced a drastic drop in numbers, which he found no indication of. So it was entirely possible that this new sect appointed grand elders when they reached the peak of Revolving Qi Realm, and the Sect Master and perhaps Vice-Sect Master are at the Foundation Building Realm. This would not even count as a sect compared to the 'backwater' he grew up in, which really told a tale about the quality of cultivation in this place.

The reason he could easily speculate the higher ups of the Yin Yang Unity Palace was because any sect would have basically the same structure, with the difference being the number of realms, the realm at which the sect accepts disciples, and the timeframes. Diiscover new 𝒔tories at n𝒐ve/lbin(.)c/o𝒎

For example, a sect he joined in his youth, which was a pretty standard sect, would start accepting disciples only at Qi Gathering realm every 20 years, have sect retainers at Qi Manifestation realm, and protectors at Revolving Qi and Foundation Building Realms, Elders at Core Formation Realm, Grand Elders at Core Condensation Realm and have a Sect Master in Mortal Transcendence Realm. In most sects there would also be one or more Sect Ancestors, the previous generation sect masters in later stages of Mortal Transcendence Realm.

Thus such a sect would have from disciples to the Sect Master practitioners at every major realm of Nine Mortal Realms except for the first Body Transformation Realm, but the basic structure of how it promoted and allocated its personnel followed the same general logic. And that would be the same for every sect, including ones much much higher in level, even immortal sects.

As he was trying to figure out where he was by judging the power level of the people around, which in actuality made him more confused as he did not know where in the world a sect at this level and size would be able to survive the vicious competition of the cultivation world, he reached the gates and passed with his mission permit without any problems.

He descended the mountain trail for a few hours, sparsely meeting outer patrols and checkpoints of the sect protectors until he reached the foot of the mountain where a beautiful and lush forest filled with Spiritual Qi sprawled as far as the eye could see, occasionally going up hills and mountains in this enormously vast territory.

He traveled through the forest, not following the road that led through the forest from the beginning of the mountain trail to presumably the nearest human settlement, and choosing a direction he traveled on a mission before, though at a pace only slightly higher than a mortal would. Body Transformation Ream cultivator at the first 3 levels would have only slightly improved strength and endurance compared to a mortal in his prime who have trained all their life, which was already impressive in the eyes of mortals, but quite pathetic in the eyes of even Qi Gathering Realm practitioners who already had superhuman strength, speed and endurance due to being able to gather Spiritual Qi and store it in their Dantian.

He moved for a few hours straight until he reached a small spring where he took a little break as his body in his current state had limits, and his strength began declining from his peak. And traveling in a wilderness always required one to try to maintain their peak condition in case of an emergency.

On his way he sometimes passed by some Outer Court disciples gathering medicinal ingredients in the distance, he also slayed a couple of hostile wild beasts he encountered with no difficulty, using one slash of his sword to instantly kill per encounter.

Beasts generally were divided into three categories of wild beasts, demonic beasts and spiritual beasts. Those were not the only types of beasts, but the most common ones that could be met.

Wild beasts were basically mortal animals with no special powers, there were hostile ones and docile ones.

Demonic beasts were ferocious and hostile, and had special abilities. Their body parts were sometimes treated as precious materials, and they occasionally had monster cores and neidans which was the condensation of their cultivation. They were ranked in grades, tiers and levels corresponding to the human cultivation levels. For example all demonic beasts that were comparable to a cultivator in any of the Nine Mortal Realms were of the Mortal grade, those who were comparable to Body Transformation Realm cultivators were of 1st tier and those who were comparable to 1st to 3rd level of Body Transformation Realm cultivators were low-level. Thus, theoretically speaking Wu Long would only be able to go up against low-level 1st tier Mortal grade demonic beasts.

Though, in his memories he could not recall anyone in the sect mentioning the grade of demonic beasts, only tiers and levels which could imply that there was not even knowledge of demonic beasts above Mortal grade.

The third and last most common type of beasts, the spiritual beasts could be treated as more of a races than beasts, as they possess high intelligence, equal or in some cases vastly greater than humans, can cultivate, and at cultivation levels above Nine Mortal Realms turn into human form.

Wu Long passed by many medicinal ingredients, but none of them interested him. Let alone him, even his sect would not consider these particularly precious or rare, though they were still valuable and were gathered by disciples in exchange for points.

He have yet to encounter a demonic beast in battle, but he sensed quite a lot in the distance.

The abundance of spiritual vegetation and demonic beasts only confirmed his doubts. This was indeed a Spiritual Land.

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