Chapter 82:

First Lesson

Mad God

A few days after the opening ceremony, the newcomers settled into their new homes in the Sect. Those who made it to the inner disciple status were the most excited as today marked their first day when they would receive guidance from one of the Elders from the Sect. Their group was mixed as the youngest was 14, and the oldest was already 24. Looking around as they gathered on the main training field, 70 percent were male, and only 30 percent were female. The most eye-catching pair was undoubtedly Emi and Rem, who stood at the edge of the group, looking a bit isolated from the rest, yet the two were not bothered by it. Rem even felt lucky that nobody bothered her as these many unknown humans made her nervous. For the rest, this was the first time they stood beside demon folk; their only experience was from the tales of the army or the fables. It was still uncomfortable being around them, but none of the disciples dared to voice their honest feelings.

"I see everyone is here!" came a young, bell-like voice as Ren slowly flew down from the sky, hovering before them in the air before gently landing on the ground.

Some knew who she was, but the majority had only heard about her before and were surprised at how young their teacher would be. Those who made it this far quickly realized what her entrance meant, and nobody thought it would be a shame being under the tutelage of someone who, being this young, was already at the Harmony Realm. A few pairs of eyes lit up excessively, mainly Yanda's, Lulu's, and the three brothers.

"My name is Ren. I am the First Disciple of our Sect Head, also the next in line for the position; the Head Disciple! What it means is simple! I am part of the top figures here!" She smiled, scanning them with her senses, making a mental note of everyone's reaction and energy fluctuation, and committing them to memory. "For the next months and years, I'll be the one who will guide you, and I may accept those who catch my eye as a disciple! That will mean you were promoted to a core disciple, like my new brother, Frenir."

This news immediately sent whispers around the already established little clicks that formed in the past few days.

"I am already clear about most of your names, affinities, and current stage in the body refinement realm. Here!" She waved her hands, and multiple jade tablets flew out from her sleeve, landing in every one of their palms. "This is the basic cultivation technique of the Sect for the body refinement realm. It was developed by me and refined by the Sect Head. To read it, you need to infuse your energies into it, and it will transfer its contents to your mind directly."

Saying this, many of them had already tried it, and as they were low in strength, it was designed to be easily readable by anyone who has at least reached 2nd stage of body refinement.

"Energy Points?"

"9 in total?"

"Meditation exercises?"

Multiple whispers rang out once again as everyone read through it. The faster one had a chance to do it more than once as Ren patiently waited for them to finish it. Those who were more advanced, already in the 4th stage or maybe above, were clearly nervous as they realized that the earlier one starts using this cultivation method, the better the results will be.

"Cultivating, following this method, will make you stronger, and when you step into Harmony, you will have a head start! It will place you at the middle stage of the first level at a minimum! At the peak of it, if you have talent and discipline! Mm... I see some of you recognized the hard part." Ren nodded, watching those whose faces turned solemn. "Those of you who have already gone on with your cultivation, you need to adjust it. It won't be easy. My suggestion is to destroy it and start over. We can help you with that if you wish to do so! Anyone who decides to start over can come to me!" She looked over them with a serious and solemn expression. As she spoke, Leinor appeared descending from the sky, standing beside Ren. "He is Elder Leinor, my husband. He can sap you of your cultivation and reset you to the start line. Note that this can only be done once… more, and you will damage your body irreversibly! Once you start over, use our method to cultivate!"

"Our sect has a set of rules towards what it is that is expected from our disciples," Leinor spoke up, taking over from Ren. "The outer disciples also have access to this cultivation method. They also can request me to drain them dry and reset their cultivation. We are giving everyone the same opportunity to rise above the rest! But we expect more from you all than from the outer disciples! Every month will start with a general test, checking your progress and achievements! Those who stagnate for 6 months straight will be sent back to the outer disciples' ranks!"

Leinor's voice was calm, yet it sounded like a warning bell in most of the young cultivators' heads. It wasn't rare for some to be stuck at a level for years. Six months seemed too little time to achieve something noteworthy.

"Let me finish." he smiled a little, seeing the panic on their faces. "Our method produces results more quickly! I don't mean you must advance a stage every half a year. It means if you can show achievements every half a year, be it a rise in strength, or learning new skills, you will be fine even if you don't ascend a stage. ALSO." he emphasized with a stronger voice, "You are exempt from this if you rose to the 8th and 9th stages! You won't need to take tests when you are at the last two. Your only focus should be reaching either the 9th stage or reaching Harmony."

"Those who show exceptional potential will be picked up by Elders to learn under them. If that happens, you are no longer an Inner Disciple but a Core Disciple, so you are also freed from any tests!" Ren chuckled. "Of course, this could also mean you will be under much bigger pressure than any other disciple of the Sect! For example, I had four disciples under me before! All of them are Elders now, and one even married the devil herself~" She giggled, making the others laugh a little, while Leinor shook his head with a soft smile. "So if I accept someone, be ready because I'll work you until you are dead! I'll expel you from the Sect if you can't produce results! This means I will wipe your memory of every method you learned from me and send you back home with nothing." She said, smiling, genuinely looking like a devil. "You can keep your strength. I am not a monster… but anything I taught you will be lost!" She said with a friendly expression, but the previous laughter immediately stopped. "Other Elders may have similarly strict rules, so don't be overjoyed just yet~."

"Okay, okay. For the introduction, this should be enough!" Leinor took the lead once again, clapping his hands. "For now, study the method given to you, and tomorrow only those who wish to reset their cultivation should come! The rest cultivate well because we only have half a month ahead of us before the first test." He laughed the same way as Ren, making everyone freeze in place.

"Oh, yes, I almost forgot!" Ren chuckled, too. "The first ten in the test will receive rewards! As to what those are… let it be a surprise~ If there are any questions, you can come to me anytime in the day. I'll be at the Pill Garden!"

"Or to me, I am also available at the same time, and you can find me either at the Pill Garden too or at the Pill Hall as I usually help Elder Dermitos with crafting pills," Leinor added as the first meeting was over.

Watching them, Leinor and Ren couldn't stop smiling, curious how many would choose to restart. They did not trouble them with more than they needed, knowing that the disciples had to familiarize themselves with their new cultivation method to see how easily they could convert their bodies. Or if they needed to take up Leinor's offer. As they dispersed, most were deep in thought, returning to their rooms and reading it repeatedly. Only Emi and Rem stayed behind when everyone left, walking up to them with a smile. Rem suddenly flew off, hugging Ren tightly and rubbing her face against hers.

"I don't want to be expelled!" Rem cried out, afraid she would be sent off.

"Ahaha, don't worry! You have protection in the form of me! You also cultivate completely differently. The rules are for humans for now, as we have too few demons in our ranks." Ren chuckled, calming her down.

"Really? Really, really?"

"Really." She patted her head, calming down the little cinnamon roll.

"If the others would know this…." Emi chuckled.

"Then what? You both are different. Don't worry. When we get more demons, we will expand upon it." She shrugged her shoulders.

"What about Yanda?" Emi asked with a raised eyebrow.

"We will test him on how well he can cultivate it. He needs to work his body… this is one of the best methods for it. We will create a special course for him if it does not work out." Leinor replied.

"I see. What about the test? Can you tell us?" Emi smiled softly and with a crafty light in her eyes.

"Ahaha, sure. It will be easy. You all need to reach Leinor!" Ren winked at her.

"Huh?" Emi and Rem looked at him, too, confused, before they turned back to Ren.

"You heard her." Leinor nodded, confirming that their ears did not play a trick on them.

"You think it's child's play, eh?" Ren smirked before nodding towards Leinor, who suddenly released an aura never felt by Emi.

It was as if a black hole appeared as Leinor's body sucked in the energy around him like a whale. She felt herself weakening at an alarming rate as if she was falling sick. A few seconds later, Leinor stopped, and the weight they felt around them disappeared as if it was never there.

"What… what was that?" Emi gasped.

"A new technique he came up with after his tribulation. Frightening, isn't it?" Ren looked at her with a grin. "Those who will get the closest before fainting is the winners. Of course, LeiLei will adjust its force of it according to its average strength. Still… this technique of yours…." She looked at her husband, who just scratched his cheeks apologetically. "Tsk. Be smug about it, don't hold back! Soon I'll come up with something to counter it! Fighting you from a long range is booooooring! I need to come up with something to deal with it in melee range."

"He beat you?" Rem asked, tilting her head and sitting on Ren's shoulder.

"Yeah… 5 out of 5 matches, I lost." She lowered her head dejectedly.

"Bwahahaha! He should be the Head Disciple by now!" Emi laughed loudly.

"Ugh… it's just a temporary setback!" She twitched her mouth.

"Yeah… I bet!" Emi gasped for air, still laughing.

"You sound like Isha, honestly... She reacted exactly the same." Ren commented with a slanted look.

Emi suddenly shut her mouth, blinking her eyes rapidly, before scratching her throat, looking like she had never let loose her feelings a second before.

"Well, this test is going to be interesting. I need to prepare myself." She cupped her hand before leaving.

"She is really shy, isn't she?" Ren asked while Rem just nodded heavily.

"Let's go. We also need to be ready. I bet tomorrow many people will come to us!" Leinor patted her shoulder as they also left for the Pill Garden. Rem was still taking care of it happily and now having two dozen other outer disciple helpers under her was exciting for the little fairy, making her job as easy for Ren… she needed to reign in Kyu, who now felt it was her own garden. And it was under attack by people trying to steal her precious food source!