On a pleasant day in spring our protagonists arrive with a hoard of other hopefuls to gain admittance to the School of Five Excellencies. The potential students face their first test a run up the 10,000 Steps of Enlightment to reach the school. Ge Hsiu lectures the students on the climb the are about to make. Then they are off.
The mass of humanity ascends the stairs one of the students shoves his way past Ananda of the Sacred Tears. To which he replies by shifting into his snake form and tripping the aggressive student.
As everyone goes up Lianyu Cheng and company comes across Tsai Jin who sits on the steps with a twisted ankle. After a quick conversation he is placed on chao lan’s back and he rides chao lan up the stairs.
The group passed a food vendor and went through a narrow pass. They pass a meditating person in a Gi who walks past them down the mountains. AS the group ascends they are assaulted by a crazed man with a spear. The students fend him off until Mr. Popo appears and teleports the mean away to somewhere “not safe”.
As time passes the students settle in Ananda of the Sacred Tears tries to teach Tsai Jin martial arts. Lianyu Cheng continues her studies. So goes their lessons, then one day chao lan, Ananda of the Sacred Tears, Lianyu Cheng , and Tsai Jin are tending to the gardens by the entry way when they see a group of students run by screaming about demons.
Every runs toward where the demons came from the dash into the schools center tower where the find Master Cheng locking up the basement. Cheng explains that the students stared into the soul mirror and did not like what they saw.
Ananda of the Sacred Tears and Tsai Jin go to the pool of sacred tears to cleanse themselves. The Zang Shuni is sitting in the hills tossing insults down. Ananda of the Sacred Tears ignores it and gets out of the pool.
Soon the students were called into the room of the mirror where they looked into it’s depths and were brought into a maddeningly impossible representation of the school. After getting their bearings they are assaulted by albino chitterlings demons covered in melting skin.
Ananda of the Sacred Tears and Lianyu Cheng assume a defensive posture while chao lan charges the mass of demons. During the initial exchange the demons carry off Tsai Jin. Ananda of the Sacred Tears smashes several demons creating a gory cloud cover while Lianyu Cheng dashes up a wall and grabs Tsai Jin, hauling him to safety.
While Lianyu Cheng hauls Tsai Jin up chao lan roars scattering the first group of demons. Lianyu Cheng curses as the demons who grabbed Tsai Jin start to climb. Lianyu Cheng deals with these quickly as the group finds themselves in a bamboo forest.
Ananda of the Sacred Tears contemplates burning down the forest to cleanse it of demons. As the group walks down a Tiger leaps out and Assaults Ananda of the Sacred Tears. However Ananda of the Sacred Tears is fast reversing the attack. Both Lianyu Cheng and chao lan try to attack ineffectually. The battle goes back and fourth furiously the opponents being nearly matched. The creature tries to run while chao lan stops it while Lianyu Cheng lassos the beast. The battle continues until the beast gets away.
As the group wanders further they find the Chenge ancestral home.