After a while, Han Li suddenly felt his waist tighten and his body grow light. His whole body began to rise.
Startled, Han Li turned his head to look around and soon realized that, while he himself still couldn’t move, the senior disciple was carrying him up. His legs were nimble as he quickly climbed upwards. At the same time, Han Li noticed that the sun was at its highest point. It was midday.
In the end, Han Li was unable to complete this test and his heart clenched. He couldn’t help but feel terrible. He had tried his best, pushing himself beyond his limits, but why couldn’t he compare to those other people?
On top of the mountain peak there was only 6 children, who sat crossed legged on the side. One of them included Wu Yan who sat next to a dark blue robed elder that looked to be around 50 years old. Lord Yue and Wang Hufa stood by his side, waiting for the senior disciples to bring up their charges to the mountain peak.
After waiting for all of the children to be carried up to the top, Lord Yue slowly walked toward the group of boys.
“This time, meeting the standard were seven people. Of these, only six of them will enter the Hundred Disciplines Hall and formally become Inner Sect Disciples,” he slowly stated.
“Wu Yan, however, who was the first person to reach the top of the cliff and showed promise, will be instead be sent directly to the Seven Void Main Hall to study the Sect’s most secret skills.” Lord Yue looked back at the robed elder who looked satisfied and nodded his head in contentment.
“As for the others…” Lord Yue looked at the other children and rubbed at his chin with his right hand. After muttering to himself for a moment, he spoke:
“Zhang Tie and Han Li. Although those two did not successfully climb up to the peak, they both showed surprising performances. It would appear that they will be able to handle the bitter path of learning martial arts. You two will undergo some training to learn fundamentals, and then take the test again half a year later. If you reach the requirements at that time, then you will become inner disciples. If you don’t, then you will become outer disciples.”
Han Li looked at the other child who was mentioned, Zhang Tie. He recalled that he was also just barely about to climb up from the rope onto the peak.
“Wang Hufa, give the remaining few children some coins and return them home.” Lord Yue stared at the other children.
“As you wish!”
Wang Hufa stepped forward to obey Lord Yue’s commands and escorted the children off the mountain peak.
“Zhang Jun, Wu Mingrui, you two will take those who passed into the main hall and take them to vice-chief Gu and instructor Li.”
Another two youths came forward to accept their orders and separated Han Li and the others into two groups. One of the youths taking them down the cliff was that cold looking senior disciple. As they went down the cliff, Han Li couldn’t help but look at Wu Yan, only to discover that he was talking with the deep blue robed elder without showing any intentions of moving.
“He and you are different, as he will become the core disciple of the Seven Void Hall. When he finishes his training, he will gain the same status of Wang Hufa.” The other slim looking senior disciple spoke to Han Li as if to answer his question and dispel any doubts. However, even as he spoke, there was a hint of jealousy in his speech.
“He can only rely on his connection to his elder cousin’s husband. Other than his relationship to the sect’s vice-lord, what strength does he have?! His age has is not even within the requirement, so how is he permitted to enter the Seven Void Hall?” A cold looking senior disciple, spat out these words, with an ominous, frigid feeling emanating from him.
“Zhang Jun, are you so reckless as to say such a thing near the vice master? If he were to hear that comment, everyone involved would have to be punished by facing the wall for a long time!” The slim faced senior disciple coldly stated. After saying this, this Zhang Jun looked panicked and quickly checked the surroundings. After noticing that nobody other than the children was there, he sighed in relief.
The icy senior disciple groaned as if even he had some misgivings about Wu Yan and spoke no more. It was at this moment that Han Li realized this icy senior disciple was the same Zhang Jun whose name had been called out earlier. The words these senior disciples had spoke had made sense to him; Wu Yan’s strength was only the product of his relationship with the sect’s vice-leader. For that reason, he was able to effortlessly reach great heights.
While walking along the mountain road, these two senior disciples couldn’t help but think about what had just happened and then they started to become irritated. Neither was in the mood to talk anymore. The entire group moved in silence. Han Li was too afraid to speak, even privately. The silence was also because the children realized that the Seven Dao Sect was not the same comfortable kind of place as home.
After crossing through a dense forest, another elderly and thin man around the age of 60 years old appeared. His skin was yellow and withered, and his hair was of a white color. As he walked, he coughed continuously in a way that made it seem as if he would topple over at any moment, making everyone around him worried.
The moment Zhang Jun saw the man, he hurriedly walked up to him without any amount of worry and respectfully greeted the elder.
“Elder Mo, greetings. Did you have any business with the disciples?” Zhang Jun said, his face no longer containing any of his previous coldness. His face was filled with respect. It seemed this elder, compared to even the vice-leader, was far more respectable.
“Oh, are these the new disciples?” The elder finally stopped coughing and asked in a raspy voice.
“That’s right. There are 6 official disciples within this group, and 2 secret disciples,” Zhang Jun replied.
“We currently don’t have enough people and lack disciples to assist me with alchemy and gathering herbs. Those two children will be with me then.” Elder Mo pointed at the two secret disciples, Han Li and Zhang Tie. The way he spoke had made everyone who listened obey him unquestionably.
“As you wish, these two secret disciples will have Elder Mo look after them. It seems that these children truly have good luck to have Elder Mo teach them in the art of medicine. This is your fortune!” The two senior disciples were utterly compliant, and Wu Mingrui had instead flattered the elder.
Han Li and Zhang Tie, seeing these two senior disciples act like this, naturally had no complaints. Truthfully, they themselves had no right to complain either way. They followed the Elder into the forest.
Elder Mo took the two secret disciples and calmly walked down the road in the forest. Turning east and turning west, the elder’s eyes lit up as the three of them were suddenly greeted with the verdant and lush sight of a valley.
Here on the left side of the valley was a large and fragrant smelling medicine field. Next to the field there was a building with many medicines that Han Li could not even begin to understand. On the right side of the building, there were many other rooms of all types. Looking around him, he noticed that except for the entrance there was no other exit.
“This is Valley of God’s Hand. Aside from the inner disciples of the valley and the injured, outsiders cannot enter this place. You two will live here in the future. For now, rest up and then meet me in the lobby later tonight. I will have words to say to you then.” The elder walked towards a house after pointing the two towards another house.
“You two will call me Elder Mo.” The elder paused before then saying another sentence:
“Calling me Doctor Mo will do as well.”
After that, Doctor Mo didn’t pay attention to the two children any longer and began to walk into the larger house that was far more imposing than the house assigned to Han Li and Zhang Tie.
Han Li was exhausted and didn’t care for Zhang Tie. Staggering to his own bed to rest, he collapsed into a deep sleep. At this moment, he didn’t care that he had already become half of a Seven Dao Sect disciple.