It was not only Zheng Yuandong who had noticed Bai Xiaochun. After all, the others were in an uproar, yet Bai Xiaochun stood beside the statue and assumed a seniorly air. His different mannerisms were quite eye-catching.
“This kid, Bai Xiaochun, has also reached the eighth level of Qi Condensation. He had even previously narrowly escaped the Fallen Chen Clan. I can see that this boy will definitely be in the top ten and even has hope for the top five.” An Elder who was on the high platform smiled as he spoke.
“That is right. That boy’s herbal knowledge is extraordinary, and his body-cultivation techniques are astonishing. He might be able to become this qualification battle’s dark horse.”
Listening to the words said by a multitude of people, Li Qinghou and Zheng Yuandong felt their faces brightened up as they laughed.
“This child is not like the others. His conviction is strong and far greater in comparison to those of his age. When I brought him up the mountain that year, I once asked him why he wanted to cultivate. He told me that he wanted to achieve immortality.” Li Qinghou said with a smile on his face. When he looked at Bai Xiaochun, there was a gentle look in his eyes. He had already traded for the protective magical treasure which he planned to give to Bai Xiaochun after the qualification battle ended.
“It is best if everyone does not continue praising him any further. Even though this child is my Junior Brother, but as Qinghou should know, that child has a naughty and mischievous personality and still needs to learn self-discipline. However, he is pure and simple in nature and has a personality that is not fond of being in the limelight which is also very excellent.” The Sect Master smiled as he spoke. Even though he put it that way, but everyone could also detect Zheng Yuandong’s expectations.
When everyone was laughing and chattering on the high platform, Bai Xiaochun was standing there beside a statue in the arena. He looked at Lu Tianlei who was filled with boundless pride and then glanced at Shangguan Tianyou who was the object of numerous cheers. Bai Xiaochun was apprehensive of them both.
Bai Xiaochun looked at Lu Tianlei whose whole body was covered in lightning to the point that his hair stood on end as he recalled the scene where he was about to be struck by lightning before. As for Shangguan Tianyou’s good fortune and that extraordinary ancient sword, as well as the imposing aura surrounding his whole body that seemed to be as startling as the heavens, it even more so caused Bai Xiaochun to suck in a deep breath.
He felt that these two people were truly too powerful.
However, when he remembered his own status, Bai Xiaochun quickly let out a dry cough and once again nodded with a smile on his face, assuming a look of admiration in his eyes.
‘The more Heaven’s Chosen there are, the greater our Spirit River Sect will be. I am an Honourable Disciple and also the Sect Master’s Junior Brother. I definitely shouldn’t compete with these juniors. They are the future of the Sect and I cannot bully them. Yes, if I were to compete with them, I would have to wait for these Heaven’s Chosen to enter the Inner Sect!” Bai Xiaochun made up his mind and appeared to be very relaxed.
More and more people gradually came, and all of the eight level Qi Condensation outer sect disciples were preparing for the battle. Some who had not reached the required cultivation level were also present, they naturally wanted to observe and learn from a grand occasion such as the qualification battle.
There were thousands of eighth level Qi Condensation disciples at the three mountains on the South Bank. In this moment, they were all gathered in this mountain valley, and there were also many within them that Bai Xiaochun had never even seen in his life. After all, not everybody loved the noise and excitement, and a lot of them preferred being alone. Their cultivations were unknown to others, and they did not necessarily have the thought of borrowing a grand occasion such as the one being held today to become a sensation overnight.
There were even more outer sect disciples in the surroundings who, with their level of cultivation, were unable to participate in the qualification battle and were currently only acting as spectators. Every single one of them were looking expectantly at the thousands of eighth level Qi Condensation disciples. They were all waiting in their hearts to find out exactly who among the thousands would climb to the ranks of the top hundred, and who would enter the top ten in the following qualification battle.
As for the top three, there was no doubt in everyone’s eyes that it would definitely be Shangguan Tianyou, Lu Tianlei and Zhou Xinqi. They were even certain that the rankings would be in this order.
As the thousands of eighth level Qi Condensation slowly went silent, the surrounding spectating disciples also gradually quietened down. A stifling atmosphere enveloped the whole place, making the atmosphere even chillier.
It seemed to be so pressurising that people struggled to catch their breath as anxiety bloomed in their heart.
Bai Xiaochun realised with astonishment that he too was actually feeling some unfathomable pressure, even though he wasn’t planning on participating in the examination. He looked around as he struggled to relax his body.
At this moment, Li Qinghou’s voice suddenly echoed out from the high platform.
“The grand competition between both the South and North Bank is near at hand!”
“There are a few among you that have been alone all this while and your true abilities are unknown to anyone. Therefore, this is the time where you have the opportunity to reveal yourself to the world. You need not worry that your cultivation has risen too quickly or you have extraordinary luck that would make the seniors in the Sect greedy. Cultivation is a personal matter. Everyone has their own secrets. The Spirit River Sect has developed from a small sect ten thousands of years ago to what it is today. It was definitely not by chance. Every single disciple has their own luck. If you are able to obtain it, then that is decreed by fate!”
“There are also those among you whom others address as the Heaven’s Chosen, but those are the ones who only rely on their innate talents. Those who have talents but ultimately fail can be found everywhere. Therefore, today is for you to prove yourselves if you are worthy of having been called… Heaven’s Chosen! Li Qinghou’s voice was deep and held excitement in it as though it resonated with the surrounding atmosphere, causing everyone in the mountain valley to breathe heavily.
Especially those who had secrets of their own, their eyes filled with fervor.
Even Lu Tianlei and the others had also raised their heads as fighting spirit surfaced on their faces.
“In this time’s qualification battle, the top hundred participants will be promoted to inner sect disciples, and the top ten will represent the South Bank to participate in the grand competition. This is a grand occasion that happens once every half of a sixty-year cycle. This is also the only opportunity available once every thirty years for you to make yourselves known in our sect’s North Bank!” Li Qinghou flourished his large sleeve as the an earth-shaking roar rumbled. In this moment, a light pillar erupted from all of the three mountains on the South Bank and soared towards the sky.
There was an earth-shattering noise and the firmaments roiled, as though a large invisible hand was tearing through the air until it reached the side mountain valley and transformed into a bridge!
That bridge was simplistic and ancient, as though it had existed for countless years. Every single one of the stones that formed that bridge had ancient runes radiating on its surface.
This bridge was a full hundred zhang wide and its end was not in sight. Its sudden appearance seemed to tower above the world. This originally majestic mountain valley had suddenly become an entrance to this bridge.
(ED note: one zhang is approximately 3.58 meters, or 3.64 yards.)
“This bridge is named Spirit River Bridge and is one of the most precious asset of the Spirit River Sect. It has now been requested here to serve as your road of trial. All eighth level Qi Condensation disciples are to step onto that bridge after nine chimes of the bell!” Li Qinghou was no longer speaking, but it was Xu Meixiang instead who stood up on the high platform. She was incredibly beautiful. She had a solemn expression on her face as she stood there, her clothes billowing and her long hair dancing with the wind. She looked as though she was not a human, but a fairy instead.
“The one who reaches the end the fastest is the first and so on, this is how the top ten and top hundred disciples will be chosen!” As Xu Meixiang’s voice echoed out, the disciples were filled with agitation as they looked toward that bridge.
This kind of method to have a competition was to test the participants’ overall quality. Moreover, it was not stated in the rules that people were forbidden from fighting, which also meant that as long as the person did not die, regardless of what method was used, as long as they could be the fastest to reach the end, they would be the first!
Moreover, one could imagine that some obstructions would definitely appear on this bridge. It was extremely possible that even luck could become a type of strength.
One by one, everyone present started breathing rapidly, and their eyes flickered with determination. At the same time, their cultivations were raging inside their bodies, Bai Xiaochun let out a yawn from within the crowd and the chime of the bell resounded.
Once, twice, thrice… fourth, fifth, sixth time...
These chimes that rang out one by one struck in everyone’s mind causing all of the participating disciples in this qualification battle to focus their minds. They circulated their cultivations within their body faster and faster. Each and every one seemed imposing as they prepared to unleash their full strength.
Up until the seventh chime, the eighth… In the instant that the ninth chime resounded, a monstrously loud explosion sounded out. Almost every one of the thousands of eighth level Qi Condensation disciples’ cultivations erupted in an instant. Each and every one of them shot forth like an arrow from a bow!
Thousands of people were dashing. Many immediately took flight and headed straight for the ancient bridge in front of them. In the blink of an eye, there were already people stepping on the bridge and speeding along. Shangguan Tianyou’s speed was the fastest. The flying sword beneath his feet whistled, and his whole being turned into a green rainbow, taking the lead for himself!
Behind him was Lu Tianlei. The lightning coiling around his body seemed to propel him with a speed second only to Shangguan Tianyou’s. There was a crimson colour to his eyes as he released a low roar and sped up even faster.
The third was Zhou Xinqi. The blue damask below her feet was rapidly waving as she advanced quickly.
Behind them were a few unrecognisable disciples. Just as Li Qinghou had said, those disciples who normally concealed their strengths were all waiting for this opportunity. They no longer concealed their abilities as they unleashed their full strength. They had pulled away a great distance from the rest in the rear, yet one could see that they still had some energy left in reserve.
The surrounding disciples were observing with eyes wide-opened, their minds were shocked as they squeezed against one another to see.
However, while the crowd was focusing their attention on the arena and following the frantic rush of all the participants, Bai Xiaochun was the only one left behind, standing there all alone.
Bai Xiaochun blinked his eyes, and in the instant that the ninth chime resounded, he could sense a gale sweeping across from his entire body. There was already no one in his surroundings. Thousands of people were surging ahead of him, sprinting up to the stone bridge. This was a very spectacular scene, captivating him as he let out praises one after another.
“Good luck!” Bai Xiaochun chanted loudly as his body flashed and appeared on the stone bridge. He had already made up his mind. He was going to only participate in this qualification battle without competing for the top ten or top one hundred.
“I heard that everyone from the North Bank are incredibly fierce. Only a fool would fight with them.” Bai Xiaochun wore a vexing expression. As for the matter of being promoted to an Inner Sect Disciple, he had even more so didn’t take it seriously. He was already an Honourable Disciple and the Sect Master’s Junior Brother as well. Why would he still bother about a status such as an inner sect disciple?
As such, he now looked at the scenery while cheering loudly from time to time, forming an extremely obvious contrast between him and the others on the stone bridge.
One by one, the observing disciples were dumbfounded as they looked at Bai Xiaochun, different kinds of odd expressions surfaced on their faces.
On the platform, Li Qinghou’s veins surfaced on his forehead as he glared at Bai Xiaochun, feeling as if his mind was about to explode.
Both Xu Meixiang and the Green Peak Mountain’s Ancestor were stunned. The duo looked at one another and forced a smile. As for those Elders all around, their eyes were now wide. They would have never thought that such a scene would appear in this qualification battle.
If it was any other disciple, the Elders could just go and scold them. However, Bai Xiaochun’s status was really too exceptional. As a result, one by one, the Elders could only direct their gazes at Li Qinghou and Zheng Yuandong.
Zheng Yuandong had a headache and felt even more awkward because he felt it was truly too embarrassing… He cleared his throat and glanced at Elder Zhou by his side.
“Elder Zhou, this old man can only pretend not to see anything in the following events. That phoenix of yours is so pitiful, ah.”
When Elder Zhou heard this, he immediately understood its meaning as he assumed a gloomy look on his face. He suddenly flew out and yelled out to Bai Xiaochun who was on the stone bridge.
“Bai Xiaochun, no one can save you today. Once this old man catches you, he will definitely make you personally experience the misery that my phoenix felt that day!” As he spoke, he descended on the stone bridge just like a big bird——
Chapter 68 was the first sponsored chapter, sponsored by Perry W., Joseph Ryan H., and Exil3402
It has only been fixed on monday by the mods of XianXiaWorld, sorry for the inconvenience, and we also apologize for not giving credit to the donators. As a compensation, we would have an extra bonus chapter soon. Again, thank you for the donators, and also thank you for the support of all atte readers!
Edited by: Crimsonguard, Arch